How to watch UKTV Play outside the UK

If you’ve signed up to UKTV Play and you’re trying to watch t outside the UK, the streaming service won’t work. You’ll be able to access the streaming service but the content won’t play.

The reason this is happening is because UKTV Play is restricted to the UK and blocks anyone outside the UK from accessing the service.

This can be frustrating but there’s no need to panic. There’s a simple way to get around these location-based blocks.

All you need to do is make UKTV Play think you’re accessing it from within the UK.

This article will explain how to watch UKTV Play outside the UK so you can watch your favourite content anywhere in the world.

See also:

How to watch UKTV Play outside the UK: Quick Guide

To watch UKTV Play outside the UK, you need to trick the streaming service into thinking you’re accessing it from within the UK. To do that you need to change your IP address to a UK-based IP address.

Don’t panic, this is easy. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

  3. Select a UK server

  4. Create a UKTV Play account (see below)

  5. Watch UKTV Play outside the UK

How to make a UKTV Play account outside the UK

To make a UKTV Play account outside the UK you need a few things. You need a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month), you need an active email address and a UK postcode.

Follow these steps to create a UKTV Play account outside the UK:

  1. Download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and connect to a UK server
  2. Visit UKTV Play and select “Create account”
  3. Input your information
  4. Input a UK postcode you can get one here.
  5. You’ll now have a UKTV Play account
How to watch UKTV Play outside the UK

How to download the UKTV Play app outside the UK

If you’re outside the UK you won’t be able to find the UKTV Play app on the Apple or Google app stores.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to get around this:

Apple

  1. Download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and connect to a UK server
  2. Create a new iCloud account for free
  3. Login to your new iCloud account
  4. Open your account
  5. Select Media and Purchases
  6. Select View Account
  7. Tap Country/Region and select the UK
  8. You’ll now have access to the UK version of the App Store
  9. Download UKTV Play

Android

  1. Create a new Google Play account and login to it on the Google Play store
  2. Download and install ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) on your Android phone
  3. Connect to a UK server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)
  4. Open up your Google Play Account
  5. Click Settings
  6. Click General
  7. Click account and device preferences
  8. Change your location to the UK
  9. Put in your credit card details
  10. Close Google Play and open it again
  11. You’ll now be on the UK version of the Google Play Store
  12. Download and install UKTV Play

Why can’t I watch UKTV Play outside the UK?

You can’t watch UKTV Play outside the UK because UKTV Play doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content internationally. It’s a UK-based streaming service only available for UK-based customers.

If UKTV Play made itself available outside the UK it would be breaching copyright and licensing legislation. These sorts of breaches are often met with huge financial punishments.

In order to protect itself and prevent these fines from happening, UKTV Play blocks anyone outside the UK from accessing its platform.

How does UKTV Play block my connection?

UKTV Play’s geo-blocks are all to do with your IP address.

When you go online, your device is allocated a unique IP address. This is a bit of code used by your device to communicate with the service you’re visiting, in this case UKTV Play.

The problem here is in order for this code to work your device needs to know where the request is going, and UKTV Play needs to know where the requested data needs to be sent.

To do this, your IP address contains information about your location. For example, if you’re in Spain, your IP address will show you’re in Spain, if you’re in Australia, your IP address will show you’re in Australia and so on.

When you connect to UKTV Play it scans this IP address to find this location information, and if it finds you aren’t in the UK, it blocks the connection.

How to watch UKTV Play outside the UK

How to watch UKTV Play outside the UK?

It’s simple. All you need to do is change your IP address to a UK IP address.

To do that, you need a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month).

ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) allows you to choose a server from 94 countries around the world. These servers determine where your IP address looks like it’s based.

Simply select a UK server, and within seconds your IP address will change to a UK IP address. 

Now when UKTV Play scans your IP address, it will think you’re in the UK, and you’ll be able to access its content. Also, you can always change back to your normal IP address by simply turning the VPN off with a single click.

Will any VPN work with UKTV Play?

Because VPNs are becoming increasingly more popular, UKTV Play is aware that they can potentially allow people to watch its content outside the UK.

Someone using a VPN to watch UKTV Play outside the UK could result in the streaming service getting fined for being available in a location where it doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content. To prevent this UKTV Play has started to block VPNs.

These blocks are incredibly hard to get around and there’s a huge number of lesser VPNs that can’t beat them. This means they won’t work with UKTV Play and it could mean you waste money on a VPN that won’t work.

Fortunately there are VPNs out there that have measures in place to ensure they can get around these blocks. Both ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) play a game of cat and mouse with UKTV Play.

If an IP address provided by ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) gets blocked by UKTV Play, these VPNs will close that IP and open a new unblocked one.

This will allow you to watch UKTV Play reliably outside the UK, without running into issues.

The best VPNs for UKTV Play

1. ExpressVPN 🥇

Why You Should Use ExpressVPN? It’s the fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2023

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
Best VPN list - ExpressVPN

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Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites. Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites.

Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered.

The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently.

With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevents its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN 🥈

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ No logs
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 6-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store
Best VPN list - NordVPN

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $3.49/month for 2 years
  • $6.99/month for 1 year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers.

It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired a full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers’ connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations.

Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunneling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.

Read our NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access

The BEST low-cost VPN for streaming!

Best VPN list - PIA

Pros

  • ✅ Fast and reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Only 48 server locations
Best VPN list - PIA

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speed: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.03/month for 3 years
  • $7.50/month for 6 months
  • $11.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1-million paying customers.

This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends.

If – for whatever reason – you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

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4. Ivacy

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ Dedicated streaming servers
  • ✅ 5-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat

Cons

  • ❌ Only 5 devices
  • ❌ Sometimes runs slow
  • ❌ Occasionally block by streaming sites for several days
Best VPN - Ivacy on Mac

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for Ivacy and enjoy a 7-day trial with no strings attached

Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $1.16/month for 5 years
  • $3.50/month for 1 year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option.

This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease.

The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer.

For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.

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5. CyberGhost

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ 1-day free trial
  • ✅ Reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 7-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
  • ❌ Average speed scores
CyberGhost
CyberGhost

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Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 1 year
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well.

From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed.

That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either.

Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.

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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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