Many people want to watch their favorite US TV shows when they are traveling or living overseas. However, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max use geo-blocking to restrict access to content based on your location. Fortunately, there are easy ways to bypass these restrictions using a virtual private network (VPN).
Table of Contents
- Why You Can’t Access US TV Shows Abroad
- How a VPN Allows You Access
- Choosing the Best VPNs for Streaming US TV
- Step-by-Step Guide
- Other Benefits of Using a VPN
- Be Sure to Choose the Right Server Location
- Unblock US TV Shows with Ease Using a VPN
Why You Can’t Access US TV Shows Abroad
Geo-blocking is used by streaming platforms due to licensing agreements and copyright laws. For example, Netflix may only have the rights to show certain TV shows and movies in the United States. If Netflix allowed people overseas to freely access this US content, they would be violating their licensing agreements.
Other reasons for geo-blocking include:
- Complying with local censorship laws
- Preventing access to age-restricted content
- Controlling pricing and promotions based on region
So if you try to watch your favorite US shows while traveling or living abroad, you’ll likely be greeted by the dreaded “This content is not available in your region” message.
How a VPN Allows You Access
A VPN gets around geo-blocks by masking your real location. Here’s how it works:
- You connect to a VPN server located in the US
- Your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through this server
- Streaming platforms see the IP address of the VPN server instead of your true IP address
- To the streaming service, it appears you are accessing the internet from within the US
- You can then access US content normally blocked overseas!
This location “spoofing” allows you to bypass the geo-restrictions and watch whatever you want.
Choosing the Best VPNs for Streaming US TV
Not all VPNs are created equal when it comes to streaming. Here are the key features to look for:
Servers in the US
Naturally, you’ll need US-based servers to access American streaming platforms. The more server locations a VPN has in the US the better.
Buffering and lag can quickly ruin your viewing experience. A fast, reliable connection is essential.
Apps for multiple devices
You should be able to install the VPN on your phone, tablet, laptop, smart TV, gaming console, etc.
No bandwidth caps
Some VPNs limit how much data you can use before they throttle your speeds. Unlimited bandwidth is ideal.
Allows P2P traffic
If you want to torrent US TV shows, make sure your VPN permits peer-to-peer file sharing.
Based on these criteria, here are my top recommendations:
With 3,000+ fast servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN excels at unblocking US streaming services. It offers unlimited bandwidth, P2P support, and apps for all major platforms.
NordVPN earns high marks for streaming thanks to specialty servers optimized for Kodi, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. Great speeds and unlimited data make it a superb streaming VPN.
If you’re looking to save money, Surfshark is one of the most affordable options out there. Despite the low cost, performance is still blazing fast and it reliably unblocks US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other sites.
Using a VPN to access US streaming content from anywhere overseas only takes a few minutes to set up:
- Choose a VPN plan. I recommend ExpressVPN but NordVPN and Surfshark are great alternatives.
- Download & install the VPN app on whatever device(s) you want to stream from.
- Log into your VPN account.
- Connect to a US-based server. This is crucial as it will assign you a US IP address.
- Launch the streaming platform such as Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, etc.
- Enjoy watching US TV shows!
It’s really that easy. The VPN handles everything behind the scenes so geo-blocks won’t be an issue.
Other Benefits of Using a VPN
Aside from accessing US streaming platforms abroad, VPNs provide other useful benefits:
- Enhanced Security – Encrypts your internet traffic to keep hackers and spying eyes out
- Access Censored Content – Gets around internet filters and blacklisted sites
- Public Wi-Fi Protection – Safeguards your data when using unsecured networks
- Prevents Throttling – Stops ISPs from slowing down bandwidth-intensive traffic like streaming
- Torrent Safely – Hide your IP address to download torrents anonymously
So even if you only want to stream US TV shows overseas, a VPN can strengthen your privacy, security, and access to the open internet.
Be Sure to Choose the Right Server Location
One last tip…
When you connect to your VPN, be sure to select a server located in the region that matches the streaming service you want to use.
For example, if you want to watch Netflix US, connect to a VPN server based in the United States like New York or Los Angeles.
If you instead want to access BBC iPlayer, choose a UK-based VPN server located in London, Manchester, or elsewhere in Britain.
Picking the server closest to your desired streaming site will provide the best performance.
So don’t forget to double check you are connected to the appropriate server before launching any geo-restricted platforms!
Unblock US TV Shows with Ease Using a VPN
I hope this guide gave you a good overview of why geo-blocking happens and how a VPN gives you the power to access US streaming content from anywhere overseas.
With super-fast connections reaching up to 10Gbps, unlimited data allowances, and apps to work on nearly any device, a premium VPN makes watching American TV abroad quick and hassle-free.
Stop missing out on your favorite shows and events! Choose a top-rated VPN for streaming to virtually transport yourself back home and enjoy US television from wherever you may be.