How to Watch Australian TV Abroad and in the U.S.A.?
If you’re an Australian citizen traveling outside the borders of the land down under, or if you’re an Australian expat who now lives in another country, perhaps the United States, you may be finding it difficult to keep up on episodes of your favorite Australian TV series.
Popular television shows like River Cottage Australia, or sporting events like KFC Big Bash League Cricket, are not available for direct viewing outside of Australia, due to many Aussie television streaming providers blocking access from outside their country.
Luckily, there is an easy way to open up access to your favorite television content from the land of the Outback...even if it’s The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
About Australian Television
Although the Australian television industry got off to a slow start when compared to that of other nations, the industry’s current state of health is grouse. (That's Australian for "awesome.")
While there may be a limited number of available networks in the country, their series and movie offerings are comparable in quality to the content offered in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Most of Australia’s television networks, which include SBS, ABC, Seven West, Nine and Ten, also offer their series episodes and movies via streaming, making it convenient for Aussie viewers to enjoy their favorite content anywhere they might be - well, within reason. You need to stay inside the borders of Oz.
In this article, I explain why a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is your best bet for accessing blocked Australian television content, and also clue you in on which VPN service offers the best track record when it comes to unlocking Aussie content. In addition, I’ll take a quick look at the other ways a VPN can protect your online travels.
Why Do You Need a VPN to View Australian TV Content?
Much like other online streaming providers, Australian television networks have agreements for the content they provide to viewers. These agreements commonly include a clause blocking the streaming of contracted television episodes or movies to viewers outside of a designated viewing area.
While such restrictions are common, it doesn’t make them any less frustrating to television fans who are located outside the Australian viewing area. While some Aussie TV content is available via syndication, or on services like Hulu and Netflix, a great amount of it is not available outside of Australia.
This is where a Virtual Private Network comes in. A VPN allows users who are located outside of Australia to view content normally blocked from the outside world. A VPN does this by making it appear a user’s internet connection is located within Australia.
How Do Australian TV Services Control Who Views Their Content?
When a user’s computer or mobile, streaming or gaming device connects to the internet, it’s automatically assigned an IP address.
This address acts as an identifier, allowing servers on the web to know who is requesting their content and where to send the requested information when it is retrieved. The address acts much like a mailing address does for snail mail and packages.
In addition to letting other computers know where to send content, an IP address can also identify where you are located. Australian streaming providers can tell from your IP address whether or not you are located within their country.
If you show up as residing in another nation, they can then block you from accessing their content.
How Can I Watch Blocked Australian Television Content?
As you might think, the easiest way to access Australia-only streaming content is to use an IP address located down under. And short of moving to Australia (which is a lovely country; you really should visit it sometime), the easiest way to get an Australian IP address is to use a VPN provider that offers servers located in that country.
When a VPN user logs in to their favorite provider, their internet connection is assigned a new IP address, making it appear that they are located somewhere else, be it in the next state or on the other side of the world.
A VPN user looking to access Australian television content can connect to a VPN server located in Australia and will be assigned a new IP address, which indicates the user is located in Oz. This IP address “spoofing” will make Australian streaming providers believe the user is located in-country, and they will happily provide content for the user’s viewing pleasure.
While a Virtual Private Network makes a great way to unlock blocked streaming content, it also offers a large number of other advantages to online users.
When you connect to a VPN provider, their service automatically encrypts your internet connection, adding a layer of protection which keeps your online activities, and any associated personal or business information, from prying eyes.
Regular visitors to my website know that there are a large number of parties out there who are just itching to get a look at your online antics. Everyone from your Internet Service Provider to crooks to the government would love to be able to see what you’re up to and steal your personal and business-related information for their own nefarious purposes.
Which VPN Is Best for Streaming Australian TV While Abroad?
Many VPN providers can offer you access to blocked Australian television content. However, I’ve found that one provider, in particular, does the best job of unlocking said content while also providing fast connections and great customer service, and does a great job of protecting your connection from the prying eyes of others.
#1 - ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN offers a comprehensive, easy-to-use VPN service that provides a reliable way to unblock geographically-blocked streaming content, be it located in Australia or somewhere else in the free world. In addition, its speedy encrypted connections protect your online activities from those looking to monitor your every online move. (Full review available here.)
Currently, most streaming video available from Australian television providers is in the 1080p HD format. However, as 4K HDR video steadily becomes the high-definition standard for video, a fast connection will become more and more essential. A fast VPN connection ensures that you’ll never spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for your video entertainment to begin playing.
ExpressVPN provides fast connections, with protected speeds coming in regularly around 84% as fast as my usual ISP-only connections. This means my VPN connections are more than up to streaming any type of HD or 4K content I fancy, with no extended buffering delays or pixelation in the middle of the action.
Australian television networks offer their content on almost every popular connected platform available today. If the device connects to the internet and can play streaming video, there’s a good chance that you can access Australian TV content on that device. This makes finding a VPN provider that offers comprehensive multi-platform support more important than ever.
ExpressVPN offers native app support for the macOS, Windows, Android and iOS platforms. Browser extensions are also available for the Safari, Chrome and Firefox platforms. This makes ExpressVPN the perfect choice for viewers who do most of their video viewing on their favorite browser.
PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV users aren’t left out-back either, as they can make use of ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service.
Up to 3 simultaneous users can be connected to ExpressVPN servers using the same login credentials. Family or small business users who may need to have more than 3 devices connected at once can set up their compatible router to connect to the service, allowing all of their connected devices to be protected.
Users who don’t feel technically savvy enough to do it themselves can buy pre-configured routers from FlashRouters.com.
While I would never wish technical or billing issues on any VPN user, much less any of my readers, there’s a better-than-average chance that you’ll need to contact your VPN provider’s customer support department with an issue now and then.
When you need it, you’ll want a reliable, knowledgeable support department that’s ready to come to your aid when needed.
ExpressVPN’s customer support offers 3 ways to get support. They offer live support chat, a responsive trouble ticket submission form and a helpful support library that’s easy to search and is chock-full of information.
I always received a fast and knowledgeable reply when I contacted the provider’s support agents, and their support library proved to be quite helpful when I required a quick, non-critical piece of information.
Global Server Coverage
While you may initially think global server coverage isn’t really important because, as long as your VPN provider offers servers in Australia, you’re golden. Right?
However, I encourage you to think on a grander, more global scale than that. When you discover everything your VPN can do for you to unlock Australian content, you’re going to want to use it to unblock content in other lands, too.
The better the global server coverage a VPN provider offers, the more flexible they are when it comes to unblocking streaming music and video content, as well as opening up other services to you, such as international gaming servers you might not usually have access to.
ExpressVPN has over 1,500 servers located in 94 countries around the free world, offering a good to excellent chance of opening up blocked content around the globe.
While it’s likely that even the most financially well-off among us wouldn’t mistake ExpressVPN for a value-priced provider, I believe most of you will find the service offers a nice bang for the buck.
Although ExpressVPN is one of the higher-priced providers among VPN services that I’ve tried, they offer a great value for the money. Payment options are: $12.95 per month, $59.95 for 6 months and $99.95 for 12 months.
You can take advantage of the provider’s 30-day money-back guarantee if you find their offerings don’t fit your needs.
See Tomorrow's Television, Today!
Whether you’re just looking to catch reruns of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, or you just want to celebrate international holidays like New Year’s Eve a half a day early, ExpressVPN makes for a great way to unblock Australian television content, no matter where you’re currently located.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed over to Outback for a Bloomin’ Onion. Seriously, there are Outback restaurants located in Australia. That seems a bit like opening a Panda Express in Beijing, but who am I to say?