The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was founded in 1926 as a radio network, making it the oldest major broadcast network in the United States. The network currently has 13 owned-and-operated television stations and nearly 200 affiliates throughout the United States.
NBC is now a part of a group of television and streaming networks known as NBCUniversal. The company will launch its new streaming service, “Peacock,” in 2020.
Unfortunately for viewers who either live outside of the United States or who are traveling outside of the U.S., NBC and its fellow networks aren’t accessible due to content licensing conflicts.
However, there is a way for NBC fans to get their “living color” fix. It’s called a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides a reliable and easy way of securely accessing geographically-blocked content such as that which NBC and other streaming services offer.
A VPN can temporarily assign your internet-connected device a new IP address, making it appear as if you are currently located in another area of the world.
In this case, a VPN would make it appear that a user outside of U.S. borders is actually stateside. This would cause NBC to give the “okay” for the user to access its streaming content.
In addition to opening up access to geographically-blocked content such as NBC and other streaming services, a VPN also does an excellent job of protecting all of your online activities from the prying eyes of others.
A VPN encases your internet connection in a tunnel of encryption, preventing anyone from monitoring your online travels. This prevents hackers from stealing your important information, like credit card numbers, checking account info or login credentials for websites.
Here are the top 5 best VPNs for watching NBC.
Best VPNs for Watching NBC
I put all of my favorite VPN providers through rigorous testing, and these 5 VPNs worked best for unblocking NBC. Here’s a summary:
- ExpressVPN: This provider has plenty of servers based in the United States, ensuring reliable access to the NBC streaming service. The provider’s super-fast connections can easily handle NBC’s 1080p streams and will be ready for 4K streaming when it becomes available.
- NordVPN: This provider also offers plenty of U.S.-based servers and does an excellent job of unblocking NBC and other U.S.-based streaming providers. An excellent choice for budget-minded users.
- CyberGhost: This provider is an excellent choice for beginner VPN users. The service delivers fast speeds from streaming-optimized servers. This is another low-price VPN option.
- PrivateVPN: While this provider is rather new on the scene and is still expanding its global server network, it has plenty of U.S.-based servers, delivering reliable access to NBC and other services.
- Surfshark: While this provider may lag behind other providers on this list in certain categories, it seems to be improving every time we take a look at it. An ever-growing server network and fast download speeds are highlights.
I evaluated and ranked the top NBC VPNs using the following criteria:
- Servers based in the U.S.
- Unblocks NBC and other 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 NBC.
ExpressVPN is the best choice for unblocking and enhancing your NBC viewing sessions.
The provider has 3,000+ servers, which are located in 94 countries around the globe. Quite a few of those servers are located in multiple cities in the United States. The service not only reliably unblocks NBC, it also does an excellent job of opening access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services.
ExpressVPN delivers connection speeds that can easily handle the HD streams that NBC offers. Heck, they’re even ready for 4K content. No data caps or bandwidth limitations are around to spoil the fun.
Your privacy is also well-protected thanks to a strict no-logs policy and the ability to pay for your subscription using Bitcoin.
The provider offers apps for many of the NBC streaming-compatible platforms, including the macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux and Amazon Fire platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available to protect in-browser viewing sessions.
5 simultaneous connections are allowed on a single account. Extensive router compatibility protects all of your connected devices.
ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer DNS service opens up NBC access on set-top streaming boxes, game consoles and Smart TVs. Keep in mind, however, that MediaStreamer lacks the encrypted protection of the service’s VPN offering.
You can rely on around-the-clock customer support, with 24/7 support chat, email support, a support ticket tracking system and searchable troubleshooting and support knowledge bases.
- Plenty of NBC-capable servers
- HD and 4K-capable connection speeds
- 24/7 customer support
- Well-encrypted connections
- Excellent privacy protection
- Priced higher than many comparable VPN providers
BEST VPN FOR NBC:ExpressVPN is my top choice for unblocking NBC’s streaming service from outside the United States. The provider delivers blazing download speeds, which are well protected from outside eyes. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN delivers reliable, HD-capable, well-protected connections that easily unblock NBC television streams for Peacock fans outside the U.S. The provider’s low price will be attractive to budget-minded viewers.
NordVPN’s global server network consists of over 5,400 servers, which are stationed in 60 countries around the world. Over 1,600 of those servers are U.S.-based, delivering reliable access to NBC, as well as other streaming services.
This provider delivers HD-capable download speeds that are never restricted by data caps or bandwidth limitations.
Online privacy is another thing you won’t have to worry about while subscribed to NordVPN thanks to their “no server logs” policy and their acceptance of Bitcoin in return for their services.
App support from the provider includes apps for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and Android TV devices. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available. Comprehensive router compatibility keeps all of your connected devices protected. Pre-configured routers are available.
Support is an around-the-clock proposition thanks to NordVPN’s email support, 24/7 live support chat and searchable support database.
- 1,600+ NBC-unblocking servers in the U.S.
- HD-capable connections
- Excellent privacy and security coverage
- Apps could be more user-friendly
BEST BET FOR BUDGET-MINDED VIEWERS:NordVPN is the best VPN for budget-minded NBC viewers. The provider delivers HD-ready speeds and top-notch security and privacy protections. A 30-day money-back guarantee has you covered.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost earns its spot in the top 5 thanks to its reliable access to numerous streaming services, such as NBC, and its easy-to-use apps, making it an attractive option for first-time VPN users.
The provider has the globe well covered with servers, with 6,200+ servers in 90 countries. Over 1,300 of those servers are in the U.S. They provide excellent unblocking power for NBC, CBS, Netflix and others.
CyberGhost’s connection speeds may be the 3rd-fastest in this roundup, but that doesn’t mean they’re slow. They can easily handle HD and 4K video streams, as well as large file downloads. The provider never imposes data caps or bandwidth restrictions.
Military-standard encryption keeps your online activities safe from observation. Other features include the ability to block ads, malicious websites and online tracking. The service can also force websites to serve up HTTPS versions of their pages if available.
Privacy isn’t an issue thanks to CyberGhost’s no-logs policy and Bitcoin subscription payment option.
Beginner VPN users will appreciate the easy-to-use apps available for the Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire and Android TV platforms. CyberGhost’s comprehensive router protection protects your other connected devices, and pre-configured routers are available. Up to 7 devices can connect at once.
Customer support consists of live support chat, a searchable support library and a support ticket submission form.
- Unblocks NBC and other popular streaming services
- Provides smooth HD and 4K video streaming
- Top-notch app support
- Excellent privacy protections
- Apps lack advanced options other providers’ apps offer
BEST FOR NEWBIE VPN USERS:CyberGhost makes an attractive choice for new VPN users who want an easy way to protect their devices while enhancing their access to streaming services like NBC. 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
PrivateVPN is a relative newcomer on the VPN scene, and it appears to still be working on its global server coverage. However, the provider scores well in other service arenas.
While 150+ servers is a small number compared to its competitors, PrivateVPN has positioned them well, spreading them out among 60 countries, the United States included. That means the provider can unblock NBC, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services.
PrivateVPN’s connection speeds are fast, up to just about any online activity you can think of, streaming HD and 4K video included.
PrivateVPN does a top-notch job of protecting their customers’ internet connections, encrypting them with banking-grade protection. The provider delivers additional protection with kill switch and auto-reconnect protection, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and “Stealth VPN” protection that hides your VPN activity.
PrivateVPN never keeps any kind of logs, and a Bitcoin payment option protects your payment information.
PrivateVPN’s app support is a bit light, with apps available only for the macOS, Windows, Android and iOS device platforms. However, there are setup instructions available for Linux devices, as well as numerous routers. Up to 6 concurrent connections are allowed on a single set of login credentials.
Customer support continues the “adequate, but not dazzling” standard we’ve been setting, with live support (not 24/7), a “Contact Us” form and a non-searchable FAQ section.
- HD and 4K streaming-capable download speeds
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Provides access to NBC and other U.S.-based streaming providers
- Server numbers come up short compared to other providers
- Customer support isn’t 24/7
FAST SPEEDS FOR ADVANCED USERS:PrivateVPN offers a speedy and easily-customizable VPN service, providing numerous options for advanced users who don’t need much hand-holding. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Surfshark makes the list this time around thanks to its reliable unblocking of NBC and other television streaming services, as well as its ever-expanding server network.
Surfshark’s global server coverage has shown a healthy increase lately, doubling its numbers since the last time I took note (1,040+ servers stationed in 61+ countries). The provider unblocks NBC, as well as other streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Hulu and others.
Surfshark’s connection speeds come in at 4th-fastest, but that doesn’t make their download speeds slow. There’s more than enough horsepower available from this provider, easily handling both HD and 4K content.
Military-grade encryption, kill switch protection and ad and malware blocking options all add up to comprehensive online security. Privacy isn’t an issue either thanks to a strict no-logs policy and a Bitcoin subscription payment option.
Native app support consists of apps for the Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Amazon Fire TV platforms. Firefox and Chrome browser extensions are available. Router support is available to protect your other connected devices. The provider allows an unusually generous unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
Customer support is covered by a searchable support library, a contact form and live support chat.
- Reliable connections to NBC and other services
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Comprehensive privacy and security protections
- App support could be better
- No 24/7 support agent chat
PERFECT FOR FAMILIES AND OTHER LARGE GROUPS:Surfshark delivers excellent access to NBC and other streaming services. Unlimited connections will prove attractive for any users who require protection for large families, businesses or small island fiefdoms. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
How to Use a VPN to View NBC Shows
You can use a VPN to unblock the United States-based NBC streaming service by following a few easy steps:
- First, subscribe to a VPN.
- Download and install the provider’s VPN app(s) on your favorite device(s).
- Connect to a VPN server inside the United States.
- Binge your favorite NBC programs.
Is a Free VPN a Good Option to Access NBC?
If you’re a regular reader of my website, you’ll know that I am not in favor of using free VPNs. There are simply too many drawbacks to using a free provider.
Perhaps most important to know when it comes to unblocking streaming services is that many streaming services have become rather good at blocking VPN users from accessing their content.
When a streaming service detects an IP address from a VPN provider, they quickly block that IP address, shutting down its access to their content. Then, it’s up to the VPN provider to set up fresh IP addresses to once again enable access to the streaming service.
This back-and-forth game of virtual whack-a-mole is an ongoing competition. Most free VPN providers don’t have the financial resources to compete.
Even if you somehow find a VPN provider that offers access to NBC’s servers, you’re not going to be happy with the VPN’s performance. Most freebie VPNs throttle their users’ connection speeds and also impose daily or monthly data caps on their customers’ usage.
Does any of that sound streaming-friendly?
Besides, many free VPNs don’t allow you to select the VPN server you’ll use. Instead, they’ll automatically connect you to a server of their choosing. That server might not have access to NBC or other streaming services.
You also may be paying with your privacy when you use a “free” VPN. Many no-charge VPNs monitor and record logs of their users’ online travel. They then sell the information to the highest bidder.
Plus, other freebie VPNs insert unwanted tracking cookies and ads into their users’ browsing sessions.
Do yourself a favor: Spend a few bucks a month on a reliable VPN – you’ll be glad you did.
Can I View NBC’s Live Streams From Outside of the United States?
NBC offers live streams of select local affiliates on their website and their apps. This is a great way to stay in touch with local news and other local programs.
However, before NBC allows you to view a live stream, you have to get authorization by confirming your television provider subscription (cable or satellite).
So, be sure to get authorization to view live streaming before leaving the U.S., or you’ll be restricted to viewing only on-demand content.
If you’re a fan of NBC television shows who will be traveling outside the United States, I strongly suggest that you subscribe to a VPN service.
A VPN – like my #1 choice, ExpressVPN – will open access to NBC and other television streaming services based in the United States.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for providing access to NBC and other streaming services based in the United States. A large U.S. server network, speedy connections, excellent native app support and top-notch privacy and security protections all make for the best way to enhance and protect your online activities.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.