Has Sky Go stopped working with your VPN? If the answer is “yes”, then I have some bad news for you. The VPN you’re using has been detected and blacklisted by Sky. But don’t worry, there are a couple of easy things you can still do. Follow the workaround below and you’ll be watching Sky Go again within five minutes.
See also: BBC detecting VPN? Here’s a QUICK fix!
Sky Go not working with VPN: Quick guide
If Sky Go isn’t working with your VPN and you want a quick fix, here are some things to try.
- Delete cookies and hit refresh (if you’re using a web browser)
- Try connecting to a different UK server
- Contact your VPN’s support team via Live Chat and ask for a server that works with Sky Go
- If your VPN doesn’t support Sky Go, you’ll need to upgrade your VPN
- ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) and Private Internet Access ($2.85/month) are the best VPNs for watching Sky Go abroad.
Why is Sky Go blocking my VPN?
Sky Go is a digital app that lets customers stream live and catch-up Sky TV from their smartphone tablet and laptops. However, like Sky’s satellite TV product, customers have to be accessing the app from within the UK for it to work.
The reason for this is pretty logical. Sky TV is only permitted to broadcast in the UK and it pays big money for this privilege.
Let’s use Sky Sports’ jewel in the crown (the EPL) as an example. The most recent Premier League rights package cost Sky Sports and BT Sport £4.464billion. This enables them to broadcast 160 games per season for three years.
Now, when you consider that US TV network NBC Sports were able to buy the rights to every game for six seasons for $1bn – you start to understand why viewing territories are protected.
…which is why broadcasters are tightening their grip on VPNs.
How is Sky Go detecting my VPN?
VPNs (virtual private networks) work by encrypting data at the user’s end and then resurfacing that data through an IP address in a location of the user’s choice. The unencrypted is then relayed to a local ISP (internet service provider) allowing users to spoof their location to anywhere in the world.
This is how, in theory, a subscriber to Sky Go can watch live and catch-up TV on their mobile device or laptop from literally anywhere in the world.
But times are changing. Sky Go (and pretty much every other major broadcaster) is clamping down on location spoofing via VPNs.
The way this is policed is pretty simple. Broadcasters have correctly recognised that VPN funnels a large number of customers through a small number of servers/IP addresses. The creates the potential for tens, or even hundreds, of Sky Go users connecting via the same IP address – and unrealistic scenario in the real world.
Which is why Sky Go, BBC iPlayer, Netflix (et al) are now blacklisting any IP address that has an abnormal level of activity.
This is why your VPN is not working with Sky Go anymore…
Sky Go detecting VPN? How to fix!
(As I’ve said above) The reason Sky Go has stopped working with your VPN is simple – the IP address you’ve been using, via your VPN’s UK server, has been blacklisted by Sky Go.
The fix is simple. You need to use VPN that gives you access to IP addresses that aren’t blacklisted by Sky Go.
Annoyingly, not all VPNs do this. It’s an expensive process that requires the constant management of IP address loads – to prevent them getting detected and blacklisted – as well as the additional cost of replacing IP addresses if/when they get blacklisted by Sky Go.
The good news is that there are still a handful of VPNs who are willing to play this game of Cat and Mouse with streaming services such as Sky Go, BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
I’ve found ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) to be the best at this. It’s a little bit more expensive than its peers, but over the course of a year, you get what you pay for. ExpressVPN’s servers always have IP addresses that work with Sky Go. Better still, ExpressVPN also has the fastest servers in the industry.
ExpressVPN also employs a full-time dedicated team of technical staff that monitors its connections to major streaming services – Sky Go, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, etc. – so whenever there’s a glitch with the connection, they start work on it straight away.
They also have an excellent Live Chat feature on their website that’s available for customers 27/7 if there’s ever a problem.
If you’re looking for a VPN that works with Sky Go, but represent better value for money, I recommend Private Internet Access (£2.30/month). It’s a fraction of the price and does the same job (although, I confess that I haven’t tested PIA for as long as ExpressVPN).
I’ve been using Private Internet Access on several devices recently and have been impressed at its ability to unblock a wide range of online streaming services.
Does Sky Go work abroad?
Yes and No. It works from inside the EU (for now). But won’t work in any other country.
If you’re a Sky subscriber in the UK, you can only watch Sky TV when you’re in the UK or EU. This is because of international copyright and licensing laws.
This can be maddening for users. Especially when you consider the high price Sky charges for its TV packages. Rival services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video let users access local libraries no matter where they are in the world. If, for example, a UK Netflix subscriber goes on holiday to America, they’ll be served the US Netflix library.
Sky is different. Annoyingly. The only option users have – if they want to watch Sky Go while overseas – is to buy a VPN and use it to location spoof to a UK IP address. Read the sections above to find out how to do this.
Best VPNs for Sky Go 2020
The BEST VPN of 2020!
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
ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can buy. If you can afford the extra few pounds/dollars a month, you won’t regret it.
The first thing you need to know about this VPN is that it’s fast. Really fast! It consistently tops our independent VPN speed tests, with blazingly fast download/upload speeds.
And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market 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 prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than the other VPNs. But if you want the most reliable VPN on the market, there’s only one choice. ExpressVPN is the best.
The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 48 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
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-days 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).
The BEST low-cost VPN
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
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.
7-DAY TRIAL – $0.99
(30-day money-back guarantee)
A solid all-round VPN option!
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
NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And its 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 pretty reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. – but its record isn’t perfect. NordVPN claims that’s all changed now as a result of hiring full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and aggressive investment 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 tunnelling 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.
Number of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
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.