Figuring out how to stream Canadian TV abroad can be challenging if you’ve never been through the process before or if the usual streaming methods you use are no longer available.
If you’re an expat from Canada, a Canadian citizen who often travels abroad for work or leisure, or even a resident of another country around the world who enjoys Canadian TV and sports, this article will help you access and watch Canadian TV overseas.
The easy way to watch Canadian TV anywhere
Most Canadian television shows are geo-restricted to viewers who live in Canada and have a Canadian IP address.
Despite this, you can access online streams of Canadian TV, including Crave TV, by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN will change your current IP address to a Canadian one, unblocking TV streams even if you’re all the way in Guatemala.
I find ExpressVPN does a perfect job of unblocking geo-restricted Canadian TV and can stream HD content at super fast speeds, with no bandwidth restrictions and great security and privacy features.
ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
The major Canadian TV networks and online content providers restrict access to their shows to those living within Canada.
For those traveling abroad on vacation or for regular business trips, this can make keeping up with the latest must-watch series a challenge.
If you’ve experienced frustration trying to stream Canadian TV online abroad previously, then you’ll be pleased to know there is an easy and inexpensive way to get around the blocks placed on international viewers: a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
About Canadian Television
The Canadian television industry is strongly linked to that of the United States, and the U.S. has had a heavy influence on the type of shows and content broadcast on TV in Canada.
While many popular U.S. shows are set in Canada – including Suits, which is filmed in Vancouver – Canada also has several of its own TV networks, which create popular TV series.
The Canadian TV sector is made up of a number of free-to-air networks, including CBC, CTV, Global and City, plus French language networks, such as SRA and TVC, which serve Quebec.
Alongside the free-to-air channels, there are a number of Canadian cable TV channels that have their own online streaming platforms. In addition, international online streaming services, such as Netflix and Crave TV, provide Canadian versions of their websites with TV content, movies and sports.
Why Are International Users Banned From Canadian TV Streams?
Even if you subscribe to a paid Canadian TV network, such as Crave TV, or are a Canadian citizen abroad on vacation, TV streaming services are not designed to take this fact into account and will block you if you are currently located outside of the nation’s borders.
Canadian TV distribution contracts are usually designed so that content can only be broadcast to viewers within Canada, as this enables TV shows to be licensed separately to other countries around the world, increasing revenues for program creators.
This kind of distribution structure does not take into account the worldwide nature of the internet and the genuine subscribers or citizens who want to watch content while they travel abroad.
How Do Geo-Restrictions Work?
Internet Service Providers assign an IP address (Internet Protocol address) to each device that connects to the internet.
The purpose of an IP address is to help locate and transfer information and content from a server on the internet to your computer or other internet-enabled device. Without an IP address indicating where to send information from and to, it would be impossible for you to access the content you want.
While your IP address is important and enables you to use the internet, it can also be used to monitor and record the websites you access online.
Because IP addresses show information about your location, Canadian TV content providers can tell when you request to access content from another part of the world, outside of Canada.
By looking at the IP address for every request for content, Canadian streaming sites can then block every request sent from outside of Canada.
How Can I Watch Blocked Canadian Television Content?
To access geo-restricted content from outside of Canada, users must change their IP address so it appears as though their device is located within Canadian borders.
The most reliable and effective way to change your IP address is with the use of a VPN to connect to a server located in Canada. When a user logs into their VPN account, they have the choice of connecting to any server on the chosen VPN’s network.
The best VPN providers have the most global coverage, so you can connect to a server in most countries around the world and change your IP location so it appears to streaming services and other websites that you are in that country.
This then provides access to the blocked content, as the streaming provider sees a content request from a device located inside Canada and has no reason to block access to the stream.
Hiding your real IP location and providing you with a new one in your country of choice is just one of the benefits of a VPN.
VPNs can also keep your data safe and secure from hackers and cybercriminals. Safety features include an encrypted connection to keep your personal information private.
Which VPN Is Best for Streaming Canadian TV Abroad?
As concerns about online security have grown over the years, so have the number of VPN providers. The good news is that there’s now a number of VPN providers capable of unblocking geo-restricted content and providing extra security when using the internet.
However, there’s one particular VPN that I’ve found does an excellent job.
ExpressVPN provides reliable access to Canadian TV streams, including Crave TV, from almost anywhere in the world. With a large network of servers, this VPN provider can also unblock TV streams from many other countries, including the U.S. and the U.K.
The service also offers super fast VPN server speeds, so you never experience lag while streaming your favorite shows, even in HD.
ExpressVPN is well known for its high security standards, and it offers military-grade encryption for your data. There’s also excellent multi-platform support for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
Read the full review here.
1. Connection Speed
Speed is one of the most important aspects of a VPN, and this is especially true for streaming TV content in standard resolution or even in HD or 4K.
ExpressVPN scores well in this regard, and even when connecting to servers in far flung corners of the world, I’ve found a super fast connection with only a minor drop in my usual full ISP connection speeds.
2. Multi-Platform Support
When you’re looking for a VPN for streaming Canadian TV, it’s important to find something that’s easy to use.
ExpressVPN falls into that bracket by offering apps that are easy to download and install, and available for all the major platforms.
This includes apps for desktop and mobile devices, including Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android, with support available for Linux, too.
There are also simple browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome that are easy to set up and use.
If you’re a gamer with a PS3, PS4, Xbox One or Xbox 360, then you’ll be able to access Canadian TV streams via your console by using ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer. This won’t encrypt your traffic like a VPN, but will allow fast access to Canadian TV streams by changing your DNS settings.
Amazon Fire TV can access the internet via the VPN thanks to ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer as well. Other platforms, such as Apple TV and Roku, are also covered.
ExpressVPN allows 3 simultaneous connections on different devices to the VPN servers with just one subscription. If you’d rather apply the VPN subscription to your router so every device in your home is covered, a wide range of wireless routers can be set up to connect to ExpressVPN.
In sum: with ExpressVPN, you can access the majority of streaming services via web browsers, game consoles and streaming set-top boxes, such as Roku boxes.
3. Customer Support
If you have technical issues or billing queries, it’s important that you have responsive customer support on hand from your VPN provider.
ExpressVPN has always offered reliable and fast support, and it provides a number of routes for customers to get help.
There’s live chat support, a ticket system for solving requests, and a good support library with how to’s and user guides.
4. Global Server Coverage
Global server coverage is an important consideration when it comes to the ability to unblock online content from almost anywhere in the world.
ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries, so users have a lot of choice in which server they connect to.
The service currently has 4 servers located in Canada, so this is ideal for streaming Canadian TV.
Selecting a VPN that offers wide global server coverage like ExpressVPN will also be a benefit if you ever wish to access content that is geo-restricted to another country around the world.
ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than some other VPN providers, but the service is a good value, with fast speeds, a number of useful security features, a large global server network and easy-to-use apps for all the major platforms.
There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on offer from ExpressVPN.