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How to watch American TV outside US in 2024


From consistently brilliant HBO shows to unrivaled ESPN sports coverage and an extensive Netflix US content library – American TV offers something for everyone. Unfortunately, you will run into problems if you try to stream US TV from Europe. 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 2024. We also provide detailed explanations and guides on how to watch US TV.

How to stream American TV outside the US with VPN

Watch American TV outside the US logo
  1. Get a VPN that has plenty of servers in America. We recommend NordVPN, now 74% OFF
  2. Install and set up your VPN on your device
  3. Log in and connect to a US server
  4. Head to the American TV channel you want to watch, and start streaming

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 platform like Max from any country in Europe, but if you’re not in the States, the 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 to give 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.

HBO Max isn't 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

Not all VPNs are created equal, 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 USA VPNs that are ideal for watching American TV from Europe and elsewhere worldwide.

1. NordVPN – the ultimate VPN for streaming US TV

NordVPN banner
🖥️Servers/countries:6300+ servers in 111 countries
🍿Unblocks streaming services:Yes
📱Compatible with:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV
🔥Coupons:
NordVPN coupon 74% 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 6300 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, including smart TVs or gaming consoles. 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.

And let's not forget about the NordLynx protocol that the VPN employs to ensure amazing speeds for streaming. With NordLynx, you can stream without lags or annoying buffering.

You can pay as little as $3.09 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

Surfshark banner
🖥️Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
🍿Unblocks streaming services:Yes
📱Compatible with:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV
🔥Coupons:
Surfshark coupon 83% 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. With the WireGuard VPN protocol supplied by Surfshark, you can also enjoy super-fast connection speeds so your streams will never buffer.

We also need to shout out Surfshark’s unbeatable value. At just $2.19 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

IPVanish banner
🖥️Servers/countries:2200+ servers in 52 countries
🍿Unblocks streaming services:Yes
📱Compatible with:Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
🔥Coupons:
IPVanish coupon 83% OFF

An underrated gem in the VPN market, IPVanish has all the tools you need to unblock US TV.

Its 2200 servers consistently knock down the geo-blocks of all the big American TV streamers. Whether you want to watch Netflix US, Disney+, Max, or ESPN – IPVanish will get you in.

Its connections are both reliable and fast. IPVanish employs the WireGuard protocol, 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 $2.19 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 has 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 US TV 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, the top US TV shows they offer, and how much they cost.

US TV streaming serviceProgramming highlightsPrice per month
HBO MaxEuphoria, Succession, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm$9.99
HuluPam and Tommy, Fargo, The Dropout, Nine Perfect Strangers$7.99
Netflix USStranger Things, Ozark, Inventing Anna$6.99
AMC+The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Mad Men$4.99
Disney+WandaVision, Hawkeye, The Mandalorian$9.99
ESPN+NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB$10.99

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

  1. Download a VPN that works well with your chosen device. NordVPN has easy-to-use apps for iOS, Windows, Android, and macOS
  2. Install your VPN and connect to a US server
  3. 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:

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:

  1. You’ll need a VPN that works on your router. Our top suggestion is NordVPN
  2. Set up the VPN on your Wi-Fi router
  3. Scroll through the server list and connect to a US location
  4. Now you can unblock American TV, so visit HBO, Hulu, or Netflix, and watch your favorite US shows

Note: The setup will be different depending on the device you choose. With some devices, you will need to set up through a router.

For the full review, check out these extensive guides on the VPNs to use with different streaming devices:

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.

NordVPN interface connected to the US

Here’s what you need to do to watch American TV from anywhere in the world:

  1. Get a VPN that has plenty of US servers. NordVPN is the best option
  2. Install the VPN, select a US server, connect
  3. 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 to 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 to watch US shows, you should always be able to watch the shows you want.

Unlock American TV with NordVPN
Ability to consistently use all major streaming services, massive server fleet, robust security measures, and fast speeds are the reasons why NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming American TV.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

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, 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 and watch US shows. 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.

Sling TV only available in the US

There are two exceptions you can try, Hotspot Shield and Proton VPN. However, keep in mind that these are freemium VPNs, which means they cannot offer a great range of services or even servers across many countries. Although both Hotspot Shield and Proton VPN have servers in the US, 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 $3.09 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 $2.19 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 $2.19 a month with a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee included.

The bottom line

Now that 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.


More VPN guides from Cybernews:


FAQ

Comments

Michael Khouri
prefix 2 months ago
Last year we were in Greece. I installed Nord VPN and got a US-based IP address. I then tried to log into my existing streaming services that I pay for and was still blocked. What is the workaround?
Cybernews Team
prefix 2 months ago
Hi, thanks for the question! In this situation, you can try a few things: connect to different servers, clear browsing data, switch between browsers or devices, and ensure your real IP and DNS requests aren't leaking using a tool like ipleak.net. Also, try switching between different protocols to see if that helps. Hope this works for you!
Michael
prefix 5 months ago
Nice article...but like most articles, it fails to say exactly what TV channels can be accessed.....all I want to know is can I watch ALL TV channels on my laptop just as I do on my TV? if not, how do I know exactly what programs I can access from my laptop?
Cybernews Team
prefix 4 months ago
Hi there, thanks for your question. A few examples of online TV you can watch on your laptop are NBC, ABC, FOX, TNT Drama, The CW, PBS. Hope this helps!
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