CBS All Access is a streaming service that the U.S.-based CBS television network offers. CBS is the most-watched television network in the United States, offering such popular television shows as “The Big Bang Theory,” “NCIS” and many more.
CBS All Access provides both live and on-demand access to all of the CBS television network’s shows. It also offers streaming-only series, such as “Star Trek: Discovery” and “The Good Fight.”
Unfortunately for viewers outside the United States, CBS All Access content is geographically restricted to viewers in the U.S. Luckily, there is a way for television lovers in Europe and other parts of the world to get their Sheldon fix.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the most reliable and secure method of accessing blocked content. It does this by making it appear as if a user is located in another country.
A VPN can make a user’s location appear to be somewhere they actually aren’t by assigning their device a new temporary IP address. In this case, the IP address would be located in the United States, which opens up access to CBS streaming content.
A VPN also protects your online activities from prying eyes thanks to the encrypted tunnel it hides your connection inside.
When considering a VPN to use to access CBS All Access, keep the following considerations in mind: connection speeds, server farms inside the United States, ability to unblock streaming services, security and privacy.
Best VPNs for CBS All Access
I put all of my favorite VPN providers through rigorous testing, and these 5 VPNs worked best for unblocking CBS All Access:
- ExpressVPN: This provider’s U.S.-based servers offer top-notch security and privacy protections, along with HD-capable connection speeds. Their customer support is also admirable.
- NordVPN: This provider’s speedy connections are protected with military-level encryption. Their privacy protections are top-notch, with a no-logs policy and a Bitcoin payment option.
- CyberGhost: This provider offers the fastest connection speeds on this list, and its U.S. VPN servers offer excellent unblocking power for CBS content. CyberGhost’s easy-to-use apps make it a beginner-friendly VPN.
- IPVanish: This provider has plenty of self-owned and -operated servers located in the U.S. Those well-protected servers deliver plenty of horsepower for streaming your favorite CBS programs.
- PrivateVPN: Although this provider has fewer servers than others on this list, its U.S.-based servers do a great job of unblocking CBS All Access. Its connection speeds are impressive.
I evaluated and ranked the top CBS All Access VPNs using the following criteria:
- Servers based in the U.S.
- Unblocks popular streaming services
- Reliable connections fast enough for HD streams
- Strong privacy and security protections
- Multi-platform support
- Top-notch customer support
Here’s my list of the top 5 VPNs for use with CBS All Access.
ExpressVPN is my #1 choice this time around, as it knows all about the ABCs of accessing CBS.
This provider has over 3,000 VPN servers, which are stationed in 94 countries. A large number of those servers are located in the United States. In addition to unblocking CBS All Access, those servers also unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and more.
ExpressVPN’s connection speeds easily keep up with the HD content that CBS offers. Your binging sessions won’t be limited, either, thanks to the provider’s lack of data caps or bandwidth restrictions.
Those connections are encoded with government-grade encryption. Plus, the service does a great job of protecting your privacy by following a strict no-logs policy and accepting Bitcoin for subscription payments.
ExpressVPN also offers apps for most popular devices, including Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux and Amazon Fire TV devices. Browser extensions are available for the Chrome and Firefox platforms.
ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer DNS service opens up any blocked content on the Apple TV and other set-top streaming boxes. However, it lacks the encrypted protection of the service’s VPN coverage.
If you run into any issues with ExpressVPN’s service, you can rely on top-notch customer support thanks to the provider’s 24/7 support chat, email support, support ticket tracking system, and searchable troubleshooting and support knowledge bases.
- Plenty of servers in the U.S.
- Connection speeds that can easily handle HD video
- Excellent customer support
- Top-notch security and privacy protection
- Unblocks CBS All Access and other streaming services
- Limit of 3 simultaneous connections
BEST VPN FOR CBS ALL ACCESS:ExpressVPN is my top choice for unblocking CBS All Access from outside the U.S. With plenty of U.S. VPN servers, this provider has all of your streaming needs covered. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN supplies reliable connections and has a large number of servers located in the United States. It provides top-notch privacy and security to their customers.
NordVPN has nearly 5,200 servers in 60 countries around the globe. 1,600+ of those servers are stationed in the U.S. Those servers easily unblock CBS All Access, as well as other streaming services.
The provider’s HD-capable connections aren’t restricted by bandwidth limitations or data caps. You online activities are well hidden from view thanks to military-grade encryption.
Your online privacy is well kept thanks to NordVPN’s no-logs policy. A Bitcoin payment option keeps your payment info incognito.
The provider’s app support has most of the CBS-compatible platforms covered, with apps for Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux and Android TV devices.
Plus, its comprehensive router compatibility ensures all of your connected devices will be covered. Pre-configured routers are available.
Support is never a worry with NordVPN thanks to their email support, 24/7 live support chat and searchable support database.
- 1,600+ CBS-unblocking servers in the U.S.
- HD-ready connections
- Reasonably priced
- Top-notch privacy and security coverage
- Apps aren’t user-friendly
BEST FOR BUDGET-MINDED VIEWERS:NordVPN is the top VPN choice for viewers who would rather spend their dough on streaming subscriptions than VPN service. Delivers HD-ready speeds and great customer support. A 30-day money-back guarantee has you covered.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost snags the mid-pack spot, thanks to its extremely fast connection speeds, top-notch security and privacy protections, and low price.
This provider’s global server coverage consists of nearly 3,700 servers in 59 countries around the world. Nearly 700 of those servers are stationed in the United States. All of those servers provide unblocking for U.S.-based services like CBS All Access, Netflix and more.
CyberGhost’s connection speeds are some of the fastest in the VPN industry, and definitely the fastest in this roundup. No data caps or bandwidth restrictions to cramp your style, and those speedy connections are well protected with top-notch encryption.
Your privacy is well protected thanks to a total no-logs policy and the provider’s acceptance of Bitcoin to protect your subscription payment information.
Easy-to-use apps for the Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV platforms have you covered, so you can catch the latest episode of Twilight Zone, no matter where you might be.
The provider’s comprehensive router protection covers any and all devices, and pre-configured routers are available.
The service’s customer support department offers live support chat, an easy-to-search support library and a support ticket submission form.
- Unblocks CBS, Netflix, others
- Super-fast connections = super-smooth HD streaming
- Excellent app support
- No logs and accepts Bitcoin
- Apps lack advanced options available from other providers
BEST FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost makes an excellent choice for new VPN users looking for an easy way to open access to CBS All Access and other streaming services. The service’s blazing download speeds make it easy to stream 4K content. 45-day no-risk money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish offers excellent content-unblocking ability and an allowance of 10 simultaneous connections. It also delivers a layer of security that other VPN providers on this list don’t offer. However, it does lack a privacy protection that other VPN providers on this list do offer.
This provider has 1,300+ servers in 50+ countries, 645+ of which are located in the United States. IPVanish owns and operates all of its server farms, putting an additional layer of security between your data and the rest of the world.
IPVanish reliably unblocks CBS All Access along with other popular U.S.-based streaming services like Netflix, HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV.
This provider delivers reliable connection speeds that can easily handle CBS’ HD streams. Plus, you can binge to your heart’s content thanks to a lack of data caps and bandwidth limitations. Those connections are well-protected by military-grade encryption.
Although IPVanish follows a strict no-logs policy, just like all of the other providers in this roundup, it lacks a cryptocurrency payment option, so your payment information could be open to exposure.
Apps are available for the Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux and Amazon Fire TV platforms. Up to 10 devices can be connected to the service at once. Extensive router compatibility protects the rest of your connected devices. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, pre-configured routers are also available.
IPVanish’s customer support competes well with the other providers on this list, with 24/7 live support, email support and a searchable support library.
- Owns and operates its VPN servers
- Allows 10 concurrent connections
- Plenty of servers in the U.S.
- Money-back guarantee period limited to 7 days
- No Bitcoin-type payment options
BEST VPN FOR MULTIPLE USERS:IPVanish’s 10 concurrent connections allowance makes it a great choice for small business owners or for Brady Bunch-like families. Plus, their self-owned and -operated server farms provide an extra layer of data security not found with other VPN providers. Offers only a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
PrivateVPN’s global server network may not measure up to its competitors, but it doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of in the performance department.
150+ servers is not a huge number by any stretch of the imagination, but PrivateVPN does show imagination in how well it positions its servers around the globe. The service has them spread out among 60 countries, the U.S. included.
The service’s well-encrypted, HD-capable connections do an excellent job of unblocking CBS All Access, as well as content from other streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and others.
“No logs” is the rule on PrivateVPN’s server network, and you can go completely incognito thanks to the provider’s Bitcoin payment policy.
PrivateVPN’s app support is rather basic, supplying apps for only macOS, Windows, Android and iOS. However, its comprehensive router support will keep all of your connected devices covered. Up to 6 simultaneous connections are allowed on a single login.
Customer support is adequate, but not dazzling. Live support chat is available, but it lacks around-the-clock availability. A “Contact Us” form is also available if the company’s FAQ section fails to yield answers.
- Connections can easily handle HD and 4K streams
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Provides access to numerous U.S.-based streaming providers
- Server numbers could use a bump
- Customer support is basic
FAST SPEEDS:PrivateVPN offers a speedy VPN service, with plenty of options for advanced users who like to tinker with settings and don’t need much hand-holding. A 30-day money-back guarantee keeps the risk factor to a minimum.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
How to Use a VPN to View CBS All Access
Using a VPN to unblock the United States-based CBS All Access streaming service may seem somewhat daunting at first, but it can be accomplished in a few easy steps:
- First, subscribe to a VPN.
- Download and install the VPN app(s) to your favorite device(s).
- Select and connect to a VPN server located in the United States.
- Start streaming!
Is a Free VPN a Good Option to Unblock CBS?
I’m a strong believer in never using a “free” VPN for any online activity. It’s really not prudent. Freebie VPNs don’t do a satisfactory job of unblocking streaming services, and they carry with them hidden costs.
Streaming providers – such as CBS All Access, Netflix and others – have become adept at detecting when a viewer is making use of a VPN.
When a streaming service detects that a viewer is connecting through an IP address that belongs to a VPN, it will quickly block that address, shutting down access to content.
It’s then up to the VPN provider to set up fresh IP addresses to once more open access. Many paid VPN providers don’t have the resources to compete in this game of virtual whack-a-mole. What makes you think a free VPN provider could keep up?
Even if you can connect to a streaming service while using a gratis VPN provider, your viewing experience is almost guaranteed to be less than enjoyable. These types of VPNs are known to throttle their customers’ connection speeds and place monthly data caps on their usage. Neither of those things are streaming-friendly.
Now let’s take a look at the hidden costs I mentioned.
First hidden cost: your time. Many VPN providers will force you to sit in a holding queue before allowing you to connect to their service. Once you get the go-ahead, you’ll find your server selection is severely limited, if you get to select a server at all!
Second hidden cost: your privacy. Even a “free” VPN provider needs to make money, and one way to do that is to track and sell your online activity info to advertisers and other interested parties. Plus, some providers even inject unwanted tracking cookies and advertisements into their users’ browsing sessions.
A subscription to a reputable and reliable VPN provider costs less than an ad-free subscription to CBS All Access. Why take chances?
Can I Subscribe to CBS All Access From Outside of the United States?
CBS doesn’t make it easy to subscribe to their service from outside of the United States.
When you sign up for a subscription to the service, they check to make sure that your credit card or PayPal billing address is located inside the U.S. They also check your IP address to make sure it’s located inside U.S. borders.
So, if you have a U.S.-based payment method and a VPN, you should be good to go. Otherwise, you may need to find a friend or family member in the U.S. that’s willing to share their login info with you.
I strongly recommend that CBS All Access viewers outside the United States subscribe to a VPN service.
A VPN will open access to CBS All Access when you’re outside the U.S., as well as access to other blocked services, streaming or otherwise.
ExpressVPN is the best way to view CBS All Access from other regions. The provider’s extensive U.S. server network, fast connection speeds, and optimal privacy and security protections add up to the best way to enhance and protect all of your online activities.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.