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Want to Watch UK TV Abroad? Here’s What You Need to Do

Watch UK TV Abroad

Whether you live outside the UK or are a UK citizen away on a long vacation or gone abroad for work, you’d probably like to relax sometimes with some UK entertainment. We know that feeling, but there’s just one problem – you can’t actually watch UK TV abroad since the content is only available in the country.

Don’t worry, though – in this quick, informative article we’ll show you exactly how to watch UK TV abroad with ease.

Isn’t It Possible to Watch UK TV Abroad?

Usually, no. If you aren’t from the UK, you normally won’t be able to access or watch content from UK websites.

There are certain exceptions like NOW TV or Sky Go, for example, where if you already are a user and live in the UK, you can access shows and movies on those platforms outside the UK. However, there is a catch – in most cases, you’ll have to stream content from those websites in the UK every 30 days to prove you still live there, and most countries where you can watch that content are only in the EU.

In both cases, you won’t be able to enjoy UK content if you’re not from there or are outside the country for a prolonged period (or in the “wrong” country) because all content providers use geo-blocks.

What Are Geo-Restrictions?

Geo-blocks are restrictions content providers use to restrict access to all their content or some of their content based on the geographical area where the users connect from. Since any website you send connection requests to can see your IP address (which contains information about your geo-location), content providers can easily block access if you’re not from the UK.

Why Do UK Content Providers Use Geo-Blocks?

Generally, they use geo-restrictions because it’s the only way they can comply with copyright and licensing regulations. Don’t forget – those platforms don’t always own all the content they broadcast (though the BBC usually does), so whether or not the content is made available worldwide depends on what the content owners decide, not the broadcasting platforms.

Plus, in order to broadcast content worldwide, the providers would have to buy licensing rights in every single country, which can be extremely expensive. Not to mention they might have to pay other fees and taxes depending on the country’s laws.

And one last, more specific reason why UK content providers use geo-restrictions is due to the UK TV license tax. Since a lot of the UK TV content is paid for by taxpayer money, the platforms that share said content must make sure only people who pay the TV license tax (so, UK – sometimes Irish – citizens) get to access it – both to comply with the law and to keep things fair.

how to watch uk tv abroad

Of course, while that makes things more understandable, it still doesn’t make it right for online users like you to be treated this way simply because you’re in a different part of the world.

How to Watch UK TV Abroad in 2 Ways

Since the main obstacle standing between you and UK entertainment is your geo-location, it’s obvious you need to find a way to hide it whenever you’re on the Internet. While it might sound difficult to achieve, it really isn’t. In fact, you have 2 options to choose from:

1. Use a Smart DNS

A Smart DNS is a service you can use to hide your ISP-assigned DNS address. Why would you do that? Well, the DNS (Domain Name System) is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses, and your DNS address also contains information that can reveal your geographical location.

By using a Smart DNS, you replace your DNS address with one that is linked to an “acceptable” location (in this case, the UK), helping you immediately unblock the content you want.

Besides that, a Smart DNS also intercepts your connection requests to UK websites, and replaces any data found within those requests that leaks your geo-location with new information that point to a location in the UK.

2. Use a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that lets you mask your online identity when you’re online. Basically, it hides your IP address (so, your geo-location) whenever you run the VPN app and connect to a VPN server.

When you connect to the VPN server, your IP address is instantly switched with the server’s own IP address, making it seem like you’re connecting to a website from the server’s country. So, you’d essentially just need to connect to a UK VPN server to unblock the content you want.

Which Service Is Better?

Both services have their pros and cons, but here are the main things you should know in this case:

  • A VPN uses encryption to protect your online data. Because of that, there is a slight chance your connection speeds might slow down every once in a while (though it’s not guaranteed to always happen).
  • A Smart DNS doesn’t use any encryption, so your data isn’t protected on the web but you get to enjoy your original ISP speeds.

If you care about your Internet privacy and don’t mind potential slowdowns, a VPN would be a good fit for you. In case you’re not worried about online security, and just want to enjoy fast, smooth streaming experiences, a Smart DNS would be better suited.

Overall, we recommend giving both services a try, and seeing which one works best for you.

Watch UK TV Abroad Hassle-Free With SmartyDNS!

Whether you’re looking for a VPN or a Smart DNS to watch UK TV abroad, we’ve got you covered. We offer both a high-end VPN with high-speed servers and a Smart DNS that’s very user-friendly. Plus, both services provide unlimited bandwidth.

As for how many UK websites you’ll get to enjoy with SmartyDNS, the total number goes over 30:

Amazon Instant Video US
iTV Hub
All 4
Channel4 4Music
5star | Channel 5
Demand 5 | Channel 5
5USA | Channel5
Eurosport Player
STV Player
Rakuten TV
Sky Store
Sky News
Absolute Radio
Box Plus
BT Sport
Premier Player
Blaze TV UK
London Live
TalkTalk TV Store
Now 80s

What’s more, if you ever want more variety you’ll be able to unblock over 290 other websites from countries like the US, Canada, Australia, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Poland

How to Watch UK TV Abroad With SmartyDNS

  1. Sign up for a SmartyDNS account.
  2. Use our apps to set up the Smart DNS service automatically, or browse our helpful tutorials if you want to install the service manually on other devices.
  3. Enjoy being able to watch UK TV abroad no matter where you are in the world.

What Devices Can You Watch UK TV Abroad on?

Whether you want to enjoy UK entertainment on your laptop, mobile phone, or smart TV, we’ve got you covered. Our service works on the following devices:

  • Windows

  • macOS

  • iOS

  • Android

  • Android TV

  • Apple TV

  • Roku

  • Amazon Fire TV

  • Samsung Smart TV

  • Xbox

  • Play Station

  • Now TV Box

Try Out Our Free Trial First

If you’re not 100% convinced SmartyDNS is the right service for you, why not give it a test-drive to see if it can meet all your needs? We offer a free 3-day trial for our Smart DNS and VPN services – no credit card details required!

Not only that, but once you become a SmartyDNS user, we’ll still have your back with our 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Why Is UK TV So Popular?

UK TV and entertainment is well-known around the world as being unique, masterfully made, and sometimes downright amazing. Instinct, The Good Doctor, The Blacklist, and The Affair are just some examples of what an excellent selection of content UK content providers have to offer – not to mention all the news and sports websites on offer.

Also, nowadays it’s easier than ever to watch UK TV – in your home, at work, or on your mobile – since you have so many platforms to choose from.

If you want to check out other noteworthy content platforms, go to our list of unblocked websites.


When it comes to entertainment, UK TV shows, movies, and websites never dissapoint. It’s just too bad you can’t enjoy them if you’re not in the UK. True, if you’re a UK citizen, you can enjoy some services (like NOW TV or Sky Go) outside the UK, but you have to put up with annoying restrictions and limitations anyway (like only being to access said content in specific EU countries).

Luckily, there’s a way to bypass the geo-restrictions most UK content providers use – just use a Smart DNS or a VPN!

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