The ITV Hub was set up around a decade ago, as an online, on-demand streaming service. Over the years, it has received a new title, an updated logo and interface, and has surpassed more than a million users. One thing that has remained the same, though, is the quality of drama and entertainment that can be found there. It’s similar to several other services available in that it showcases homegrown content and provides the chance to catch up and keep up with your favorite shows. Plus, all channels within the ITV broadcasting scope, such as ITV, ITV2, and CITV, can be watched live, so keeping up-to-date with sports, news and national TV is easy. Well, that’s if you’re based in the UK.
Most of these services are region-locked and can only be accessed by those who are based within that country. It sucks for those who have a fondness for TV, regardless of region, or those who are abroad that miss their simple homely pleasures. The truth is that these companies are bound by licensing agreements that don’t even allow them to expand their services to everyone – despite how much it would benefit them if they could. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose out, nor does it mean that you’re stuck with the broadcasting where you are.
There are other methods for this, but the simplest, most turnkey solution is a VPN. Connecting to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) means accessing their private network whilst using your public connection, whether that’s at home or a hotel, to power it. The list of benefits for businesses and personal users goes on, but in this instance, the most important aspect is Geo-spoofing. By connecting to servers based in different countries, you can convince your computer that you’re in that respective country. You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? Simply choose a service that has servers based in the UK, and ITV Hub can be viewed by you, on any device, from anywhere in the world.
ITV Hub isn’t the only UK service to provide this. You’ll find that there are other alternatives, many that are free. Below are just a couple of the most popular stream providers in the UK.
Other good free TV streaming sites
BBC iPlayer: As you probably guessed by its name, BBC iPlayer is a way to keep up with all the best entertainment created by the BBC studios. As well as its readily available, extensive back-catalogue of content, viewers can use the website to keep up with the live broadcasts of all BBC channels, as well as S4C. Simply select the ‘Watch Live’ tab under the channels category. It’s worth pointing out that this service can only be used in the UK, and if you’re outside the country, then you’ll need a VPN.
Sky Go: Just like BBC iPlayer, Sky Go can be used on all devices and from anywhere with an Internet connection. With an existing Sky subscription, users can view live TV, sports and news, as well as catch on-demand movies, box sets, TV shows and any other form of entertainment. If you can afford to pay the subscription, this is the ideal app because you’re not restricted to one single broadcaster, so all channels are available as if watching Sky TV. And up to a handful of devices can use one account simultaneously, which is ideal for families that don’t all live under the same roof.
Best VPNs for streaming
NordVPN uses its homegrown SmartPlay technology to be one of the best services around for reliable streaming. Like other VPNs, users bypass Geo-restricted web content, except all requests are routed through the most idealized server available. And that works across all apps, and for more than 400 streaming websites. With around 3000 servers worldwide, user performance is well looked after. And as for security, NordVPN uses a military-grade encryption, as well as other features, to maintain user safety.
VyprVPN has around 700 servers worldwide – which isn’t even half of NordVPN’s 3000 – but its absolute control of its networks and hardware means that it can deliver lightning speeds with optimized performance. If you’re using streaming services like Sky Go, ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer, this would be a good choice for you. It comes with the industry standard 256-bit encryption, multiple protocols for flexibility and a strict no-logging policy. VyprVPN also has its own security technology called Chameleon, which delivers a high level of output to combat VPN throttling and blocking.
ExpressVPN is the more expensive service, but it is known in the industry as offering the most dependable VPN. It has more than 1500 servers spread across more than 90 countries, so it can offer fast and dependable speeds for streaming for everyone. It’s not only good for performance, though, because it offers a 256-bit encryption, zero-logging and a kill switch feature for protection. It’s highly effective on mobile devices, including the Blackberry, and abides by a strict no-log policy.