How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go abroad

If you’re a Sky Go subscriber or you like to watch TVNZ you may be annoyed to hear that as soon as you leave New Zealand you will no longer have access to your usual online TV services.

The reason you can’t access TVNZ and Sky Go is because they’re only available in NZ. They don’t have the rights to broadcast their content outside Aotearoa. And if you’re outside the country, the streaming services will block your connection.

The good news is there’s an easy way to get around this issue. All you need is a reliable VPN.

In this article we’ll explain how to watch TVNZ and Sky Go NZ abroad.

How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go NZ abroad

To watch TVNZ and Sky Go NZ abroad all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN

    How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go abroad

    Register for an account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN. If you want the very best, these VPNs have been setting the standard in the industry for years. They’re the best VPNs on the market for reliably streaming content.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are renowned for their reliable and fast connections, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without buffering or interruptions. You can get 3 months of an ExpressVPN subscription for free here. And similarly, you can get 3 months of a NordVPN subscription for free here.

    If you don’t like the looks of ExpressVPN or NordVPN, and opt for a different VPN, the process will be very similar, simply continue following the steps below.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go abroad

    Once you’ve signed up for a VPN you can install it on nearly any device.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are available on Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Kindle, Amazon Fire Stick/TV, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Android TV and more.

  3. Open your VPN and connect to a NZ server

    How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go abroad

    When you open the app, you’ll need to log in with the credentials you created. Once logged in, select a server located in NZ. This will give you an NZ IP address. Essentially making it look like you’re connecting to the internet from within the country.

    This step is crucial as NZ streaming services will check your IP address to determine your location. And to watch them outside NZ, you need to have a New Zealand IP address.

  4. Connect to the NZ streaming service/or create an account if you don’t have one

    How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go abroad

    Navigate to the website or app of the NZ streaming service you’re trying to watch. If you already have an account, log in with your credentials.

    If not, you’ll need to sign up for a new account.

  5. Watch TVNZ and Sky Go outside NZ

    How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go abroad

    Once you’re connected to a NZ server on your VPN and are logged in, you will have access to all its content, just as if you were in New Zealand.

Why can’t I watch NZ streaming services abroad?

The primary reason you can’t watch New Zealand (NZ) streaming services abroad is due to geo-blocking restrictions imposed by these services. This practice is largely driven by content licensing agreements. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  1. Content Licensing Agreements: Content providers, such as movie studios and TV networks, grant streaming services the rights to show their content in specific countries. These licenses are negotiated on a country-by-country basis due to differences in demand, cultural relevance, and legal considerations. As a result, a streaming service that operates in New Zealand might not have the rights to broadcast the same content outside NZ.
  2. Enforcement of Geo-blocking: Streaming services use your internet connection’s IP address to determine your geographic location. If your IP address indicates that you are outside New Zealand, the service will block or restrict access to its content based on its licensing agreements. This is an automated process and applies even if you are a paying subscriber traveling abroad.
  3. Contractual Obligations: Streaming services are legally obligated to enforce geo-restrictions to comply with copyright laws and their contractual agreements with content providers. Failing to enforce these restrictions could lead to legal challenges and financial penalties for the streaming services.

How do NZ streaming services block my connection abroad?

When you access a New Zealand streaming service from abroad, the platform uses your IP address to determine your geographic location.

An IP address, which stands for Internet Protocol address, is a unique string of numbers and dots assigned to each device connected to the internet. It serves two main purposes: identifying the host or network interface and providing the location for transferring data.

The reason an IP address can be used to determine your geographic location is because they are distributed in blocks and registered in a way that associates them with specific geographic regions. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which provide your internet access, are allocated IP addresses in blocks that are geographically specific. When you connect to the internet, you are assigned an IP address from this block, indicating your location.

If your IP address suggests you’re outside New Zealand, the service identifies this as a breach of their content licensing agreements, which are often restricted to specific geographic regions.

Consequently, the platform blocks or restricts access to its content based on these agreements to comply with copyright laws and to ensure that they’re not distributing content in areas where they do not hold distribution rights.

How can I get around these blocks?

To get around geo-blocks and access content restricted to specific geographic locations, such as New Zealand streaming services from abroad, you can use several methods:

  1. Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN allows you to route your internet connection through a server located in a different country (e.g., New Zealand). This gives you an IP address from that country, making it appear as though you are accessing the internet from there. Choose a reputable VPN provider with servers in New Zealand for the best performance and reliability.
  2. Smart DNS: A Smart DNS service doesn’t change your IP address but rather reroutes your DNS queries through a server in a different country. This can help you bypass geo-restrictions without the potential speed loss associated with VPNs. However, it might not offer the same level of privacy protection as a VPN because it doesn’t encrypt your traffic.
  3. Proxy Servers: Similar to a VPN, a proxy server routes your internet connection through another server. However, proxies might not encrypt your traffic, making them less secure than VPNs. They can be a quick solution for bypassing geo-blocks but are not recommended for sensitive activities.
  4. Tor Network: The Tor network can also be used to bypass geo-blocks by routing your connection through multiple servers around the world. However, due to its design for anonymity and the random path your traffic takes, it can be significantly slower than the other options.

VPNs are regarded as the best option for bypassing geo-restrictions primarily because they offer a combination of strong encryption for security and the ability to mask your real IP address, making it appear as if you are accessing the internet from a different location. This dual functionality not only allows you to access geo-blocked New Zealand streaming platforms but also ensures your online activities are kept private and secure from potential eavesdroppers.

Will any VPN work with NZ streaming services?

Not all VPNs will work effectively with New Zealand streaming services. Streaming platforms have become adept at detecting and blocking traffic from VPNs, particularly those that are free or of lower quality. To successfully bypass geo-restrictions and access NZ streaming content from abroad, you’ll need a VPN that:

  • Offers Servers in New Zealand: The VPN must have servers located in New Zealand to provide you with a New Zealand IP address, which is necessary to access local streaming services.
  • Regularly Updates IP Addresses: Streaming services block IP addresses known to belong to VPNs. A good VPN service regularly updates its IP addresses to avoid detection.
  • Has Strong Encryption and Security Features: This ensures your VPN connection remains undetected and your data is secure.
  • Maintains High Speeds and Unlimited Bandwidth: Streaming content, especially in high definition, requires fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth to avoid buffering or data caps.
  • Possesses Reliable Customer Support: Helpful for troubleshooting any issues you might encounter while trying to access streaming services.

The VPNs we recommend for NZ streaming services

1. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • Physical servers in 104 countries
  • Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • Available on almost any device
  • Very secure
  • Pricey
  • Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • No addons
ExpressVPN

Streaming: Known for its lightning-fast speeds and a vast network of servers, including those in New Zealand, ExpressVPN excels at bypassing VPN blocks with its advanced TrustedServer technology, ensuring smooth streaming of NZ services without interruptions.

Servers: With servers in 104 countries, including New Zealand, ExpressVPN offers a wide range of location options for accessing NZ streaming services, ensuring users can always find a high-speed server to overcome VPN blocks and enjoy buffer-free streaming.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • Affordable pricing
  • Effective streaming access
  • Diverse server types
  • Solid speeds
  • Useful add-ons
  • Strong security
  • Limited server locations
  • No virtual servers
NordVPN

Streaming: With its Double VPN feature and extensive server network, including options in New Zealand, NordVPN provides an extra layer of encryption and security, making it particularly effective at circumventing geo-restrictions and VPN detection mechanisms.

Servers: NordVPN’s impressive network of over 5,500 servers worldwide, with options in New Zealand, ensures users have multiple connections to choose from, enhancing the ability to bypass geo-restrictions while using unique features like Double VPN for extra privacy during streaming.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. Private Internet Access

Affordable and secure VPN with wide device compatibility

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Extra features like ad blocker and email protection
  • Verified no-log policy
  • Compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • High use of virtual servers
  • Not as fast as top-tier VPNs
  • Lacks proprietary protocol options
PIA

Streaming: PIA offers a robust server network with multiple servers in New Zealand and utilizes MACE, a built-in ad, tracker, and malware blocker, to enhance privacy and reduce the likelihood of being detected by streaming platforms.

Servers: PIA boasts a large network with thousands of servers globally, including New Zealand, providing plenty of options for users to connect to local streaming services while offering robust encryption to evade detection.

Privacy: PIA’s app is open-source, inviting third-party scrutiny and verification. It has also passed an independent no-log policy audit conducted by Deloitte, affirming its commitment to privacy.

Price: PIA offers three subscription options: 1-month at $11.95/month, 1-year at $3.33/month (upfront cost $39.95), and 3-year at $2.03/month (upfront fee $79). Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and Amazon payments.

Speeds: Speed tests for PIA showed significant drops in download speeds across various servers. While using WireGuard protocol, speeds were faster than OpenVPN but still slower compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN.

OpenVPN Download Speeds (Mbps)OpenVPN Upload Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Download Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off (New Zealand)930516
PIA US server238.527.17300.658.65
PIA UK server2453.77315.787.23
PIA Vietnam server4456.554898.24

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

4. Surfshark

Affordable and secure VPN with unlimited device policy of 2024

  • Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Robust security and privacy
  • 24/7 responsive chat support
  • Extensive server network in 100 countries
  • Has trouble with services like Hulu
  • Lacks a unique proprietary protocol
  • App can be overwhelming
  • Not the fastest among competitors
Surfshark

Streaming: Surfshark’s NoBorders mode is designed to bypass network restrictions and VPN blocks effortlessly, making it a reliable choice for accessing New Zealand streaming content, further supported by its use of CleanWeb to block ads and trackers.

Servers: Surfshark’s growing network includes over 3,200 servers in 65 countries, with servers available in New Zealand. This allows for reliable access to local streaming services by dynamically managing server loads to bypass geo-blocks efficiently, all while offering unlimited simultaneous connections.

Privacy: Surfshark emphasizes its commitment to privacy with successful DNS leak tests and independent security audits by Cure53, ensuring robust online security and privacy. You can find more about their security audits here.

Price: Surfshark offers a 1-month option costing $12.95/month, a 12-month option at $3.99/month, and a 24-month option at $2.49/month. It accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and various cryptocurrencies.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance when using Surfshark. From our tests, we observed decent speeds, suitable for general use, but not the fastest compared to some rivals.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)940.55520.24
Surfshark US server775.96.15
Surfshark UK server587.793.79

Read our full Surfshark review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

Will a free VPN work with NZ streaming services?

A free VPN might occasionally work with New Zealand streaming services, but it’s generally not recommended for several reasons:

  1. Limited Server Options: Free VPNs usually have fewer servers, and they might not have servers in New Zealand or enough of them to avoid detection by streaming services.
  2. Bandwidth and Speed Restrictions: Many free VPNs limit your bandwidth and throttle your speeds, leading to poor streaming quality, buffering, and longer loading times.
  3. Data Caps: Free VPN services often impose data caps, which can be quickly exhausted when streaming video content, making them impractical for regular use with streaming platforms.
  4. Privacy Concerns: To sustain their operations, some free VPNs may log your browsing activity and sell your data to third parties. The lack of strong encryption and security features also makes your data more vulnerable to breaches.
  5. VPN Blocking: Streaming services are becoming increasingly adept at detecting and blocking VPN traffic. Free VPNs, in particular, are more likely to use IP addresses that have already been flagged and blocked by these services.

Is watching NZ streaming services abroad with a VPN legal?

Using a VPN to watch New Zealand streaming services abroad generally falls into a legal gray area, depending on the country you’re in and the specific terms of service of the streaming platform. Here’s a breakdown of the legal considerations:

  1. Terms of Service: Many streaming services include clauses in their terms of service that restrict the use of VPNs to access their content from regions where they do not have rights to distribute it. While using a VPN in such a manner may violate these terms, resulting in potential account suspension or bans, it’s typically not considered illegal in a criminal sense.
  2. Local Laws: The legality of VPN use also depends on local laws in the country you’re accessing the content from. In most countries, using a VPN is perfectly legal as long as you’re not engaging in illegal activities. However, some countries have restrictions or outright bans on VPN use, so it’s important to be aware of and comply with local laws.
  3. Copyright and Licensing: Accessing content via a VPN can bypass restrictions put in place due to copyright and licensing agreements. While this isn’t typically prosecuted on an individual level, it does go against the licensing agreements between content providers and streaming services.
  4. Streaming Service Policies: Streaming platforms actively combat VPN use to enforce their licensing agreements. They may block known VPN IP addresses or take action against accounts they suspect of violating their policies.

How to watch TVNZ and Sky Go NZ abroad: FAQs

Q: Can I use any VPN to watch TVNZ and Sky Go NZ from abroad?

Answer: Not all VPNs are capable of bypassing the geo-restrictions imposed by TVNZ and Sky Go NZ. It’s crucial to select a VPN with servers located in New Zealand that regularly updates its IP addresses to avoid detection by these streaming services. Reputable VPNs known for their ability to overcome geo-blocks are your best bet for uninterrupted streaming.

Q: Will using a VPN to access TVNZ and Sky Go NZ slow down my streaming speed?

Answer: Using a VPN can potentially slow down your internet connection due to the encryption process and the distance data travels to the VPN server. However, premium VPNs minimise this impact with high-speed servers and advanced technology, ensuring a smooth streaming experience with minimal buffering.

Q: Is it legal to watch TVNZ and Sky Go NZ abroad using a VPN?

Answer: While using a VPN to access TVNZ and Sky Go NZ from outside New Zealand isn’t illegal in most countries, it may violate the streaming services’ terms of use. This could potentially lead to your account being restricted or banned, so it’s important to be aware of and consider these terms before proceeding.

Q: How do I choose the best VPN for watching TVNZ and Sky Go NZ overseas?

Answer: Look for a VPN that offers servers in New Zealand, strong encryption for privacy and security, fast connection speeds to support high-quality streaming, and a proven track record of bypassing geo-restrictions. User reviews and free trials or money-back guarantees can also help you find a VPN that meets your needs.

Q: Can I use a free VPN to access TVNZ and Sky Go NZ from another country?

Answer: While some free VPNs might momentarily bypass geo-restrictions, they often come with limitations such as data caps, slower speeds, and fewer servers, which can significantly hinder your streaming experience. Moreover, free VPNs may pose privacy risks by collecting and selling your data. For reliable and secure streaming, investing in a reputable paid VPN service is advisable.

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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