We’re living in the most exciting era of American TV, a time when some of the best shows and films in the world are coming from the United States. In addition to that, the global audience for US sports continues to grow steadily, and so does the interest in US news and politics, especially around the Trump administration.

How to watch your favorite American TV outside the US

However, even as increased connectivity has made the above content increasingly available to the average American, it’s frustratingly difficult, if not downright impossible, to access the content if you live or are traveling outside of the US. In this article, you’ll learn exactly how to get around that problem.

Why a lot of US TV content is highly popular yet inaccessible outside the US

There are many good reasons why someone outside the US would want to access TV shows that are only available in the country. Needless to say, US citizens that have relocated or traveled to another country still want to access US news and their favorite shows from US-based video streaming services such as Netflix US, HBO and Hulu among others while they’re away.

Similarly, many people living in other countries follow US news and are fans of US sports and TV shows. Even though a streaming service such as Netflix might be available in countries other than the US (e.g. in Europe), the version of the streaming service available in, say, the UK doesn’t offer all the TV shows and films that are available on the version of Netflix available in the US.

The problem here is that a majority of video streaming services and broadcasters in the US make their content available only in the US. They’re able to block people outside the US from accessing the content by using their IP address to identify their location. Thankfully, there are a number of ways of getting around these location-based restrictions. However, using a VPN is the most effective as it completely masks your actual location.

There are, however, a number of things that you ought to keep in mind before we proceed to examine these methods. Most popular video streaming services require viewers to sign up for the service in order to use it. Therefore, for some of these services, you might be required to provide a US address and have a US credit card. Other video streaming services require users to sign up with their US cable subscription details. All these requirements present problems for people located outside the US.

Furthermore, the video streaming services are aware that people use VPNs to get around geo-restrictions. To counter this, streaming companies have put in place systems that are aimed at detecting and blocking the use of a VPN service to access the site. Well-established VPN providers are usually a step ahead of streaming services’ firewalls, but there’s still no guarantee that a VPN server will always get around the restrictions.

Watching US TV content from anywhere in the world

There’s a plethora of online services for watching US TV content, including broadcasters that air the content live and catch-up services. You can watch live streams and catch-up TV on ABC, NBC, and CBS but only if you’re in the US. Most other channels impose these restrictions, meaning viewers in other countries are typically blocked.

Some premium services are available for aggregating content and live-streaming content from popular channels in the US. These services include USTV Now and Watching TV Abroad. However, not everyone is content using these services and, in some cases, using them may inadvertently lead to some legal problems regarding copyrighted content.

Watching US TV shows from abroad

The most effective way of streaming US-only TV shows and films from abroad is by using a VPN. A good VPN should be compatible with all device platforms: Android, iOS, Windows and Mac among others so that you can catch up on your favorite shows regardless of the device you use. In addition to that, the providers you consider should be able to unblock most, if not all, the major video streaming services in the US: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video among others.

Of course, the rates at which a VPN service is offered is among the most important when choosing a VPN service to access US-only content from abroad. However, it is important to approach the matter of price from the right perspective. You don’t want to go for extremely cheap or free VPN services as most of these services fall short in terms of quality. The only free services you should consider are the free trial versions of reputable providers. Providers that offer 30-day no-hassle money-back guarantees are preferable because they allow you to test the features.

It goes without saying speed and reliability are essential when considering VPNs for streaming US-only content from outside America because you don’t want to experience buffering as you live stream or catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite show. However, never lose sight of the level of security and privacy offered by the provider you choose.

Give preference to VPNs that employ the latest encryption standards to ensure that no one can break into your network. Powerful encryption should be accompanied with a wide variety of security protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and SSTP among others to ensure that you can configure the service to fit the purpose for which you’re using it. Other security features to keep in mind include a built-in kill switch, DNS leak protection, and IP leak protection.

When considering VPN providers to stream US-only content from outside America, go for a provider with an extensive global server network. The provider should not only be present in as many countries but it should also have numerous servers in those strategic countries, especially in the US. The more expansive the network, the more likely you are to find a strong connection whenever you need it.

The VPN market is awash with providers and choosing the most suitable one can get confusing. Our experts have carried out research and tested numerous VPNs and have written reviews on the best VPN services for streaming content from each of the major streaming services that feature US-only content.

Once you settle on the most suitable VPN service to use based on the streaming site you’re interested in accessing, sign up for the service, download it to your preferred devices, launch it and select a server in the US to enjoy the latest movie or episodes of your favorite show.