Are you a British ex-pat who’s found your second home in Australia? Well, you’re certainly not alone: according to data from a 2019 United Nations report, Australia ranked as the number 1 most popular country for British citizens to relocate to, with around 1.2 million British residents currently living in the land down under.
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If you’re a homesick ex-pat (or just a fan of British television), you may be wondering how you can stream your favorite British television shows and programs from Australia.
Perhaps you’ve tried to stream content from BBC iPlayer or Netflix UK and get a disappointing error message informing you that you’re outside of their service region.
So.. How can you get around this?
If you’re in Australia, the best way to get around geo-restrictions and steam your favorite British content is by using a VPN.
Using a VPN with servers located in the UK is the only 100% effective way to unblock and watch UK television and streaming services like Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and ITV Hub (formerly ITV Player). The best VPNs for streaming content in 2023 are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark.
Best VPNs for Watching UK TV in Australia
There is an overwhelming number of VPN providers on the market today, and not all of them will work for unlocking geo-blocked streaming platforms.
To narrow things down, I’ve compiled a list of the four best VPN providers for streaming British TV in Australia in 2023.
1. ExpressVPN (#1 Best VPN to Watch UK TV in Australia)
Number one on my list is ExpressVPN. Founded in 2009 and serving millions of customers in over 180 countries, ExpressVPN is one of the best all-around VPNs on the market today. It comes with super-fast speed, unlimited bandwidth, strong security features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
In terms of speed, ExpressVPN is hard to beat. It’s a well-known fact that using a VPN will slow down your internet traffic a bit, but ExpressVPN largely gets around this problem by using bandwidth from Tier-1 providers.
Speed is a particularly important factor when accessing a streaming platform through a VPN, and ExpressVPN doesn’t disappoint.
ExpressVPN also has strong security and encryption and never tracks or records your activities or personal data. It downloads onto your computer as an app and is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. It also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
In terms of streaming content, ExpressVPN effortlessly unblocks BritBox, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and a host of other streaming platforms. It’s also one of the most user-friendly VPNs on the market, with an easy installation process and intuitive interface that’s appealing to beginners and experienced VPN users alike.
ExpressVPN has three server locations in the UK: London, Docklands, and East London. You can choose from one of these three, or you can simply select “United Kingdom” and let ExpressVPN choose the fastest available server for your needs.
ExpressVPN is a bit pricier than the others on my list, but it’s well worth the investment. It offers three payment plans: One-month ($12.95/month), Six-month ($9.99/month), and Twelve-month ($8.32/month). All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it out.
All in all, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market for bypassing geo-blocking and accessing your favorite UK content from Australia. If you want to know more about why I recommend ExpressVPN, check out my ExpressVPN review.
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2. NordVPN (Fastest VPN to Watch UK TV in Australia)
NordVPN is another great VPN provider that offers a smooth content streaming experience and airtight security.
Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN encrypts all your internet activity, scrambling it so that no one can see what you’re up to. Like all VPNs, it disguises your IP address so that your computer appears to be in another place physically.
NordVPN has 5334 servers worldwide and over 440 servers in the UK (all of which are located in one location, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Simply connect to any of these to make watching UK TV a breeze.
NordVPN also offers split tunneling, a feature that allows you to run your internet traffic through the VPN on certain applications but not others (literally splitting your internet connection into two tunnels).
In other words, if you’re streaming the BBC or BritBox on Chrome but checking your email on Firefox, you can choose to only have your internet traffic from Chrome disguised behind a VPN.
NordVPN can unlock BBC iPlayer, BritBox, Netflix UK, ITV Hub, Sky Go, and All 4, amongst others (it also plays well with the American streaming platform Hulu). It’s super-fast, so you’ll never have to worry about buffering.
Finally, you can connect and run NordVPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously, meaning that one account is likely sufficient for the whole family.
In addition to NordVPN’s great features, its prices are very reasonable: plans start at $3.99/month ($95.76 billed yearly) for a 2-year plan. If you don’t feel ready to sign on for a full two years, you can opt to pay $4.99/month ($59.88/year) for a 1-year plan.
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs to watch UK TV in Australia and if you want to know more, check out my NordVPN review.
3. Surfshark (Cheapest VPN to Watch UK TV in Australia)
Founded in the British Virgin Islands in 2018, Surfshark is another great option for streaming your favorite UK shows from Australia. It comes with a pretty standard array of features and security protocols, as well as a few special features that set it apart from the competition.
One of these is the ability to connect and use your VPN on as many devices as you want, with no limit. That’s right: Surfshark offers unlimited device protection, with no limitations on bandwidth or simultaneous connections.
Another unique feature is MultiHop, which routes your connection through more than one secure server. This adds another layer of protection because it further disguises your IP address from any malicious actors who might be trying to steal your data.
In terms of more standard security, Surfshark comes with an automatic kill switch, a no-logs policy, private DNS and leak protection, and a camouflage feature that makes it impossible for even your internet provider to tell that you’re using a VPN.
And, because the British Virgin Islands don’t have any data retention laws, Surfshark and other VPNs that are based there (including ExpressVPN) are able to set their own security protocols that don’t include storing your data.
Surfshark is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. It’s decently speedy and won’t impact your ability to stream videos. It effectively unblocks most streaming services, including Netflix UK and BBC iPlayer.
Surfshark’s plans start at $2.49/month for a 2-year plan (billed at $59.76). They also offer a 6-month plan for $6.49/month and a monthly plan for $12.95/month.
If committing to a longer plan isn’t a problem for you, then Surfshark’s 2-year plan is a fantastic deal that’s difficult to match. The company also offers a full refund within the first 30 days, so you have plenty of time to try it out and make sure it works well with your favorite streaming platforms.
For more on why Surfshark is one of the top VPN providers on the market today, check out my full Surfshark review.
4. CyberGhost (Easiest VPN for Streaming British TV in Australia)
CyberGhost is another great option to watch UK TV from Australia. With over 6,800 servers globally (and 370 in the UK), it’s fast and secure, and it works excellently at unblocking streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, BritBox, and Netflix UK.
CyberGhost is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Amazon Fire. It also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Like all of the VPNs on my list, CyberGhost puts security first. It is a no-logs provider, meaning it will never track your personal data, and it uses 256-bit AES encryption to keep your internet activity safe from prying eyes.
It also comes with an automatic kill switch that detects when your VPN has failed and automatically disconnects your computer from the internet.
Best of all, CyberGhost’s user-friendly interface makes it a hassle-free experience for anyone trying out a VPN for the first time.
You can use your CyberGhost VPN on up to 7 different devices at the same time, which makes it a great choice for families or homes with multiple devices. They offer customer support through email and 24/7 live chat.
CyberGhost’s pricing starts at an incredibly low $2.29/month, although to access this price, you have to sign on for a 3 year + 3-month plan (billed at $89.31 every 3 years).
You can also opt to pay for a 12-month plan at $4.29/month (billed as $51.48/year) or monthly at $12.99/month.
While monthly plans are generally a worse deal for your money, if you’re traveling for a short period of time in Australia and simply want to watch your favorite TV shows while you’re on vacation (and don’t plan to use a VPN for anything else) then it’s a better deal to pay monthly.
CyberGhost also comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, so there’s absolutely no risk in giving it a try.
For a fuller picture of CyberGhost’s features and performance, check out my comprehensive CyberGhost review.
Can I get a VPN for free?
There are technically free VPN providers that you can use to connect to the UK and stream content. However, I strongly advise against using a free VPN. Not only are they likely to be slower and less effective, but many free VPN providers can be dangerous.
You know the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”? Well, this is certainly true on the internet. Many free VPN providers make money by selling your data to third parties. At the very best, they often have poor encryption that will put your data at risk of being stolen while you’re connected.
Do all VPN providers work for streaming video content?
Streaming videos requires a very fast connection, and not all VPN providers are able to keep up. Additionally, some VPNs “play nicely” with certain streaming platforms but not others. For example, using a particular VPN, you may be able to stream Netflix but not Hulu.
Most streaming platforms employ anti-VPN technology that detects when an IP address is hidden behind a VPN and blocks it, so you’ll need a VPN with the right features and a large number of servers to get around this.
With that said, all four of the VPN providers on my list work excellently for watching TV from British streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and BritBox (see my guide on how to watch BritBox from anywhere)
Does using a VPN slow down my Internet connection?
In short, yes. All VPNs will slow down your internet speed to some degree, but using a premium VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN will make this unnoticeable. As long as there’s no problem with your WiFi or internet provider, you won’t have to worry about slow loading speeds or annoying buffering.
All in all, it’s more than worth it to pay a bit more and get a fast, secure and trustworthy VPN.
How to watch British TV in Australia?
Popular British streaming services include BritBox ($6.99/month), Netflix UK ($8/month), BBC iPlayer (free to sign up, but $197/year for TV license), ITV Hub ($5.34/month), and SkyGo (free for Sky TV subscribers).
All of the VPNs on my list are effective at unlocking these streaming platforms and will enable you to watch them from Australia. If you’re looking for a particular show or program, you may need to Google search where you can find it.
Note: All the prices in this article are listed in USD and reflect the exchange rate at the time of writing but may be charged in pound sterling.
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