How to watch American TV outside US in 2023
From consistently brilliant HBO shows to unrivaled ESPN sports coverage and an extensive Netflix US content library – American TV offers something for everyone. But if you try to stream US TV from overseas, you will run into problems. American TV content is subject to streaming rights and licensing agreements, meaning visitors outside the country will be geo-blocked if they try to stream.
If you want to watch American TV online, you’ll need to use a VPN to get around geo-blocks. A VPN can give you an American IP address, which opens up all sorts of excellent US TV content. Moreover, the best providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the service before committing.
Read on to find out which VPNs are best for unblocking American TV in 2023. We also provide detailed explanations and guides on how to watch US TV.
How to stream American TV outside the US with VPN
Why do you need a VPN to watch American TV online?
American TV channels are usually only available to watch in the US. Sure, you can visit a site like HBO Max from any country, but if you’re not in the States, the website or streaming app will detect your IP address and promptly block you. That is why you need a VPN. VPNs allow you to connect to US servers, which gives you an American IP address. Then, you’ll immediately unblock websites you want.
The IP blocks occur because TV executives force strict licensing agreements that dictate when and where a TV show can be screened. So, if you’re not in the right region, the channel will geo-block you, and all you’ll see is an error message telling you something like this content is not currently available in your region.
Just make sure you’re using a reliable VPN that’s capable enough to unblock content. Not sure which one to pick? The following shortlist should help.
Best VPNs to watch American TV online
- NordVPN – the ultimate VPN for streaming US TV
- Surfshark – best for watching US TV on all your devices
- IPVanish – a top-quality all-rounder
Not all VPNs are created equally, and to truly be able to unblock all the American TV you want, you’ll need a VPN that stands out with the best features. The key features to look out for include: US servers, fast connections, watertight security, value for money, ease of use, and excellent apps for all your devices.
We’ve sifted through the market and nailed down three VPNs that are ideal for watching American TV.
1. NordVPN – the ultimate VPN for streaming US TV
|🖥️Servers/countries:||5700+ servers in 60 countries|
|🍿Unblocks streaming services:||Yes|
|📱Compatible with:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV|
|🔥Coupons: ||NordVPN coupon 63% OFF|
HBO, ESPN, Netflix US, Hulu – NordVPN unblocks any American TV service you can think of, and that makes it the top pick for streaming services.
NordVPN’s server fleet counts over 5700 around the world, so not only can you use it to unlock US content, it works on all the major global sites too.
We’re also impressed with NordVPN’s features. SmartPlay enables you to unblock US content even when using NordVPN on devices that don’t support VPNs. It’s also at the top of the league for security, with market-leading encryption and a swift kill switch keeping your data safe at all times.
You can pay as little as $3.29 per month for subscriptions, so NordVPN is a real bargain. You can also use our discounts for NordVPN services to get an even better deal.
Our NordVPN review has more details,
2. Surfshark – best for watching US TV on all your devices
|🖥️Servers/countries:||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
|🍿Unblocks streaming services:||Yes|
|📱Compatible with:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV|
|🔥Coupons: ||Surfshark coupon 82% OFF|
You’ll never run out of US TV to watch with Surfshark. This VPN consistently unblocks Netflix US, Disney+, Sling TV, Hulu, and more!
Surfshark also lets you connect the VPN to as many devices as you need to at the same time. So your whole household can use it to unblock American TV – no more arguing about what to watch.
Surfshark’s features even rival NordVPN. There’s Smart DNS for effortless content unblocking, impenetrable data encryption and privacy, plus super-fast connection speeds so your streams will never buffer.
We also need to shout out Surfshark’s unbeatable value. At just $2.30 per month, it’s one of the most affordable VPNs on the market. And you can save even more by using one of our Surfshark coupon codes.
Read more in our Surfshark review.
3. IPVanish – a top-quality all-rounder
|🖥️Servers/countries:||2000+ servers in 50 countries|
|🍿Unblocks streaming services:||Yes|
|📱Compatible with:||Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS|
|🔥Coupons: ||IPVanish coupon 72% OFF|
An underrated gem in the VPN market, IPVanish has all the tools you need to unblock US TV.
Its 2000 servers consistently knock down the geo-blocks of all the big American TV streamers. Whether you want to watch Netflix US, Disney+, HBO Max, or ESPN – IPVanish will get you in.
Its connections are both reliable and fast. So you won’t have to worry about the VPN dropping out or a buffering stream getting in the way of you enjoying your favorite US series.
When you factor in unlimited simultaneous connections, IPVanish looks like a bargain with subscriptions starting at just $3.33 a month. You can even get further discounts by checking out our IPVanish coupons.
Read up on IPVanish in our full review.
Top streaming services to watch American TV online
America had led the way for trailblazing TV for decades. Channels like HBO, AMC, and ABC have set new standards for TV entertainment with shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Euphoria, WandaVision, and many more, capturing viewers by the millions, glowing reviews from critics, and awards around the world.
Previously, you’d only be able to watch these shows in America – or wait till your country screened them. But now that the era of digital streaming has taken over, all the big TV channels have online platforms where you can catch up on their shows from both past and present.
Let’s take a look at the major US TV streaming sites, what they show, and how much they cost.
|US TV streaming service||Programming highlights||Price per month|
|HBO Max||Euphoria, Succession, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm||$14.99|
|Hulu||Pam and Tommy, Fargo, The Dropout, Nine Perfect Strangers||$6.99|
|Netflix US||Stranger Things, Ozark, Inventing Anna||$9.99|
|AMC+||The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Mad Men||$8.99|
|Disney+||WandaVision, Hawkeye, The Mandalorian||$7.99|
|ESPN+||NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB||$6.99|
As long as you have a VPN installed on your device, you’ll be able to access all this American TV – and more!
How to watch American TV with VPN on your devices
With a reputable VPN, you can watch all sorts of American TV services on all your different devices – PC, laptop, smartphone, and even different streaming devices. Get connected in minutes with our simple instructions.
How to watch American TV on your computer or smartphone
- Download a VPN that works well with your chosen device. NordVPN has easy-to-use apps for iOS, Windows, Android, and Mac.
- Install your VPN and connect to a US server.
- Now visit the American TV service you want to watch, sign in, and start streaming!
Want to read more? Dive into the details with our in-depth VPN guides for all your favorite devices where you’ll find everything you need and more:
- Top VPNs for iPhone– top reviewed VPNs for Apple’s iOS devices
- The best VPNs for your Mac – how to stream US shows with ease on your Mac
- Excellent VPNs for use with Windows – the best VPNs for streaming US TV
- The ultimate VPNs to use on Android – get the lowdown on which VPNs work best on Android devices
- Best VPNs for iPad – access blocked video, websites on your iPad
How to stream American TV with VPN on streaming devices
Prefer to watch American TV on a streaming device like Apple TV, Roku, Firestick, or Kodi? No problem, you can use a VPN to bypass geo-blocks, but you’ll have to connect via your router as most streaming sticks don’t run VPN apps. These step-by-step instructions show you what to do:
- You’ll need a VPN that works on your router. Our top suggestion is NordVPN.
- Install the VPN and connect it to your wi-fi router.
- Scroll through the server list and connect to a US location.
- Now you can unblock American TV! So visit HBO, Hulu, or Netflix, and watch your favorite US shows.
For the full review, check out these extensive guides on the VPNs to use with different streaming devices:
- VPNs that work with Roku – these VPNs are ideal for use with Roku
- VPNs to use with Apple TV – see which VPNs work best with Apple TV
- Top VPNs for Firestick – how to use a VPN on Firestick to unblock American TV
- The best VPNs for Kodi – these VPNs will help you unblock US TV content on Kodi
Now that you know it all, you can start binge-watching American TV without any restrictions!
How to watch American TV from anywhere in the world with a VPN
America’s top shows are loved all over the world, and there’s no reason for you to wait until your country finally picks up the rights to the shows you want to watch.
With a VPN installed on your device, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Ireland, France, Japan, or anywhere else, you can say goodbye to geo-blocks and hello to American TV.
Here’s what you need to do to watch American TV from anywhere in the world:
- Get a VPN that has plenty of US servers. NordVPN is the best option.
- Install the VPN, select a US server, connect
- Now, visit the US TV service with the shows you want to watch, and enjoy its unblocked content!
If you’re just temporarily abroad, be sure to check the best VPNs for traveling.
American TV not working even when you use a VPN?
If you find that you’ve connected a VPN but still can’t access American TV shows, don’t get too frustrated, as there’s likely a quick fix. Problems that arise can include:
- Browser settings have leaked your actual IP address
- You’re not in the correct server location
- The server you’ve chosen has been identified and blocked by content providers
- Your VPN isn’t suitable for bypassing geo-blocks
- Your device settings need to be updated
You can easily fix these issues, so try these simple solutions:
- Update your browser, clear all cookies, and cache
- Try a different server and make sure it’s in a US location
- Update your device’s operating system
- Ask your VPN’s support team for help
- Pick a better VPN
The VPN you use is vital here, as only the best VPNs consistently bypass the geo-blocks of the big American streaming channels. As long as you’re using a solid VPN, you should always be able to watch the shows you want.
How to watch American TV for free online
Most American streaming services require you to sign up for a subscription before you’re able to watch movies and shows. Nonetheless, many sites, including Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and others, also offer a free trial, so if you want to watch a particular TV series, this could be a good option.
These services cover the full range of entertainment – from award-winning drama to movies to sports, so you can enjoy a selection of free entertainment.
Remember, you’ll still need a VPN to bypass geo-blocks. Unfortunately, free VPNs are generally not recommended. The majority of them won't be able to bypass geo-blocks, nor will they have any useful features or a decent fleet of servers.
There are two exceptions you can try, Atlas VPN and Proton VPN, but for the complete VPN experience, we recommend using one of our top three options – they all offer free trials.
Take a look at the features you can enjoy when you choose NordVPN, Surfshark, or IPVanish:
- NordVPN – thousands of servers, unmatched features, consistently unblocks US TV, costs as little as $3.29 a month, and includes a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark – super-fast connections, can be used on unlimited devices, at the same time, proven to unblock US TV. Very affordable, with the lowest subscription costing just $2.30 per month with a no-fuss 30-day money-back guarantee.
- IPVanish – a reliable all-rounder, trusted for unblocking US TV, fast connections, and excellent security. Sign up from just $3.33 a month with a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee included.
The bottom line
Now you’re armed with all the info, there’s no reason why you should ever miss out on any of your favorite American TV shows ever again. As long as you’ve got that all-important VPN set up on your device, geo-blocks from the likes of HBO, AMC, Hulu, ESPN, and Netflix US will be a thing of the past.
Just remember, you’ll need to opt for a premium VPN – the weaker products simply don’t cut it. But, just because a product is premium doesn’t mean it will cost a fortune. Top-rated options, like NordVPN, cost as little as a cup of coffee a month, and for that minor expense, you’ll get a lot more than just US TV. You’ll also enjoy anonymous browsing, data encryption, and protection from hackers and snoops.
Let us know which American TV shows you're looking forward to watching in the comments section below!
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Is American TV free to watch?
American TV streaming services like Hulu and AMC offer free trials so you can watch plenty of content before making a financial commitment. But you still need a VPN to bypass content blocks, so we recommend installing a premium option, like NordVPN, before you attempt to stream US TV.
How can I watch American TV in the UK?
Watching American TV in the UK is easy with a VPN. Just use a reliable VPN to connect to a US server, then any US site you visit will see a US IP address and instantly give you full access to all that excellent American TV. Job done.
Is it legal to watch US TV with VPN?
Yes, using a VPN to unblock US TV content is legal in most countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe. Some countries – like Russia, North Korea, and China – don't allow VPNs. You can find more in-depth info in our guide on VPN legality.
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