YouTube TV is one of the most popular streaming television services around today. While the service may have only been around a few years, it has quickly become popular among cord-cutting TV fans.
Sadly for international residents, or U.S. residents visiting overseas, YouTube TV geo-blocks its services, meaning it’s only available inside U.S. borders.
In this article, I’ll share with you how to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to watch YouTube overseas in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico or anywhere else outside of the United States.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) assigns your connected device a new, but temporary, IP address, making it appear as if you are physically located in another region. This allows you to appear to be located inside U.S. borders, even if you’re out of the country.
A VPN has the added benefit of routing your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, hiding it from outsiders who may want to monitor your online activities.
This makes a VPN a perfect way to allow online banking, shopping and other online activities, even when you’re connected to an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot in a coffee shop or hotel.
For this article, a VPN’s ability to make it appear that you’re inside U.S. borders while you’re outside of the country, and a VPN’s connection speeds, are the most important features I’ll cover.
However, we will also look at the other features that make a VPN a required item in your online toolbox.
How to Watch YouTube TV Using a VPN
Using a VPN to access YouTube TV from outside the U.S. requires a few easy steps:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN provider. (I use ExpressVPN.)
- Install the latest version of the provider’s VPN app for your device(s).
- Once you’ve logged in, select servers located in the U.S. (As I mentioned before, you can select various locations to get a peek at their local news and programming.)
- Log into your YouTube TV account and enjoy the show! If there are issues, you might have to try a few different servers to gain access.
PRO TIP: IT DOESN’T COST ANYTHING TO TRY: You’ll find that most VPN providers offer a money-back guarantee. They usually range from 7 to 30 days.
This is especially important to remember if you’re going abroad for a vacation or business trip. The VPN allows you to retain access to your favorite shows, and if you’re back within the money-back guarantee time frame, then you can get a refund when you return to the States.
What Is the Best VPN for Watching YouTube TV While Abroad?
After looking at the results of our extensive testing, I’ve concluded that the following 5 VPNs are the best for watching YouTube TV from outside of the United States. If you’re in a hurry, here’s a summary:
- ExpressVPN: My top choice. The service offers a large number of reliable servers located throughout the U.S. Fast, encrypted connections are the rule here. Excellent privacy protections and top-notch multi-app support are pluses.
- NordVPN: The low-cost leader. The service provides above-average global server coverage (with plenty of servers in the U.S.), excellent security and privacy features, and great multi-platform app support.
- CyberGhost: An easy-to-use app makes it simple to select a U.S.-based server, some of which are especially designated for streaming. The provider allows a generous 7 simultaneous connections on a single username.
- IPVanish: Great for first-time VPN users. There are no data caps or bandwidth limitations. This provider owns its VPN server farms (and plenty of them are located in the U.S.).
- PrivateVPN: Works well with several streaming services, YouTube TV included. The provider may be new on the scene, but it has quickly earned a well-deserved reputation for good speeds and excellent service.
If you try multiple VPN providers, you’ll find that each one has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Some providers pride themselves on delivering fast connections, while others provide top-notch global server coverage or comprehensive multi-platform support.
When considering the best VPNs to use to watch YouTube TV from abroad, I considered the following factors:
- Has servers based in the U.S.
- Offers fast connections
- Provides access to YouTube TV and other streaming services
- Provides strong encryption for your connection
- Keeps no logs of its customers’ online activities
- Offers optimal multi-platform support
Here is my list of the top 5 best VPNs for watching YouTube TV while you’re abroad:
ExpressVPN is my top choice for opening up overseas access to the U.S.-based YouTube TV streaming television service.
The provider has servers located in 20 U.S. cities, which will offer you plenty of variety as to which local TV news you can watch. What? You don’t like doing that? Maybe it’s just me.
Fast connection speeds are vital for a VPN to use with any streaming service, and ExpressVPN does not disappoint in the speed department, providing more than enough bandwidth to handle YouTube TV’s high-definition streams (as well as Netflix’s, for that matter).
Privacy and security are important considerations when considering any VPN, and ExpressVPN does not suck at either.
Not only does the British Virgin Islands-based VPN service not keep any logs of their customers’ online travels, it accepts the privacy-protecting Bitcoin as a payment option. It also uses military-grade encryption to protect its users’ connections.
YouTube is available on most popular device platforms, including macOS, Windows, iOS and Android, as well as most gaming consoles, set-top boxes and smart TVs.
ExpressVPN offers apps for the first 4 platforms, and its comprehensive router support will take care of the rest.
The provider allows 3 connections at a time, which conveniently matches the number of simultaneous connections allowed by YouTube TV. (If you’d like more connections, you can use ExpressVPN’s router support to protect all of your connected devices via a single access point.)
- Fast connections
- Excellent global server coverage, with plenty of U.S. servers
- Top-notch privacy protections
- Works well to unblock YouTube TV
- Military-grade encryption to protect connections
- Priced higher than other providers
BEST FOR UNBLOCKING YOUTUBE TV:ExpressVPN is my top choice. The provider’s fast connections deliver smooth YouTube TV video streams. Your privacy and security are protected, and an abundance of U.S. servers give you plenty of choice. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available, so you can try it risk free.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN easily took the 2nd spot in this roundup thanks to its high-speed connections, plentiful number of servers located in the United States, and top-notch multi-platform support and privacy protections.
The provider has thousands of servers located in 61 countries around the world. (Hundreds of those are located in the United States.) Those servers offer reliable access to YouTube TV in the U.S., providing speedy connections perfect for streaming television episodes.
NordVPN has most of the YouTube TV app platforms covered, with native apps for iOS, Android, Windows and macOS. All of the apps provide kill switch protection and military-grade 256-bit encryption.
The platforms that NordVPN doesn’t offer apps for can be protected thanks to the provider’s router compatibility.
Privacy is no issue with NordVPN, as the provider follows a strict no-logs policy, keeping no records of their users’ online travels. Plus, it accepts Bitcoin as subscription payment, meaning your payment records are also kept completely private.
- Servers in 61 countries (hundreds in the U.S. alone)
- Plenty of bandwidth
- Military-level encryption
- Specific server selection takes longer than it should
BUDGET OPTION:NordVPN provides fast, reliable, well-encrypted connections at a low price. While the provider may not have the best global server coverage, it does a good job in the U.S. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost snagged the #3 spot on this list thanks to its easy-to-use apps and its ability to provide swift connections.
CyberGhost’s global server coverage isn’t quite as comprehensive as others on this list (3,700+ servers in 60+ countries), but neither is its coverage the worst on the list.
Most importantly, it has a large number of its servers stationed throughout the U.S., many of which are specifically designated for streaming. (You’ll see the streaming-optimized servers marked as so in the server list.)
Those servers provide fast connections, making CyberGhost a great way to stream YouTube TV. The high-definition streams that YouTube provides will stream quickly and smoothly when using this VPN service.
CyberGhost protects those connections well are with military-grade encryption and a kill switch that drops your internet connection if you lose connection CyberGhost’s servers.
Privacy is also a strong point with this service, as it follows a self-imposed no-logs policy and accepts Bitcoin as payment for its reasonably-priced subscriptions.
Native app support includes apps for the macOS, iOS, Android, Android TV and Windows platforms. Extensions for Chrome and Firefox make it easy to access YouTube TV from your computer’s browser.
This provider allows a generous 7 simultaneous connections on a single username. If you need to protect more devices than that, the service works well with many popular router makes and models.
- Streaming-optimized servers
- Apps are simple to use
- Totally log-free
- All-around security protections
- Server coverage is lacking when compared to many other providers
STREAMING-OPTIMIZED U.S. CONNECTIONS:CyberGhost is an excellent option for YouTube TV viewers. One-click protection is available, as are streaming-optimized servers. Security and privacy are valued by this provider. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish grabbed 4th place in this top 5 thanks to its easy-to-use apps, fast connections and more, making it the best option for first-time VPN users.
This provider has over 1,200 servers well-distributed around the world, with plenty of servers located in the United States.
IPVanish owns all of its servers, allowing the service to quickly respond if issues arise. Self-owned servers also mean no third-party subcontractors will have access to your personal data.
IPVanish has most of the same app platforms covered as YouTube TV, with native apps for the iOS, macOS, Windows, Android and Amazon Fire Stick platforms. All of the apps offer an obfuscation feature that makes it tough for your VPN connection to be detected.
Up to 6 devices can connect to the service at the same time when using a single login, and router support means you can protect an unlimited number of devices via one connection.
IPVanish’s encrypted connections provide more than enough speed to handle your YouTube TV streaming needs.
While all of the above is important, it means nothing if your VPN doesn’t protect your privacy. IPVanish has you mostly covered, as it keeps no logs of any kind.
Unfortunately, the provider doesn’t do a good job of keeping your payment privacy covered, as it does not accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
- Apps are easy to install and use
- Self-owned and -operated VPN servers
- Extra features to hide VPN usage
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections on a single username
- Money-back guarantee is just 7 days
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
BEST FOR FIRST-TIME VPN USERS:IPVanish is the best VPN option for first-time users thanks to its easy-to-use apps, speedy connections and self-owned and -operated servers. The provider’s money-back guarantee period is shorter than that of most VPNs, but 7 days should still be enough to give the provider a good try.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
PrivateVPN squeaked into the final 5 thanks to its fast connection speeds, top-notch privacy protections and excellent multi-platform support.
PrivateVPN hasn’t been around as long as many of its competitors, but it has quickly earned a reputation for excellent service.
It is true that the provider’s global server coverage is limited when compared to other providers (with just 80+ servers in 59 countries), but the service does a good job of covering the U.S. (14 servers in the U.S., spread out among Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Phoenix and other cities.)
Privacy is king at PrivateVPN, as the provider keeps no logs of their users’ online activities, and it happily accepts the ultra-private Bitcoin cryptocurrency in return for its services.
The service provides excellent connection speeds, easily outpacing YouTube TV’s system requirements. HD television streams start quickly and play stutter-free.
Apps for the Windows, Mac, iOS and Android platforms have you covered. Plus, Kodi users will be glad to hear the provider offers an add-on for the popular media app. All of the apps use military-level encryption to protect your connection.
The service also works well with various router makes and models. Plus, the provider allows up to 6 devices to be connected using the same credentials.
- Well-protected connections
- “No logs” privacy protections
- Multi-platform support includes an add-on for Kodi
- Global server coverage could stand improvement
- No around-the-clock customer support
RELIABLE, FAST ACCESS:PrivateVPN provides speedy, well-protected connections, as well as top-notch privacy protections. A Kodi option is a plus for video lovers. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Watch YouTube TV?
Sure, that would probably work, but it may be as enjoyable as watching a fifth-generation copy of a VHS tape. (Yes, I am old.)
Plus, you may be putting your online privacy at risk by using a free VPN for any online activities.
Even “free” VPNs need to make money, if for no other reason than to keep the lights on in their server room. That means they make money in ways other than charging for subscriptions.
Some “free” providers make their coin by selling logs of your online habits to advertisers and other interested parties. Others may inject tracking cookies or advertisements into your browsing sessions.
You’ll also find that many VPN providers that offer their services for free put severe limitations on the usage of said services.
You may be forced to wait in a queue before connecting to a server. Then, you’ll find that your server connection options are limited to a few, select servers.
Of course, whether or not you decide to try a “free” VPN service is entirely up to you. However, prepare yourself for disappointment if you do.
How Do I Access YouTube TV With a VPN?
Viewing of YouTube TV’s live streaming TV content is geographically restricted to viewers inside the United States. This means you’ll need to use an U.S.-based IP address.
If you’re outside of U.S. borders, load your favorite VPN app and select a U.S.-based VPN server. This will assign your device an IP address located inside the States, allowing access to YouTube TV.
Please note that YouTube TV requires a $40-per-month subscription to view the service’s streaming television content. A free trial is available.
What Else Can I Do With a VPN?
A VPN can unblock geo-restricted content and protect your connection from prying eyes.
A VPN also uses encryption to protect your online activities from observation by your ISP, the government and that hacker sitting at the next table over in Starbucks. This is particularly useful to those who use public Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to the internet, leaving their activities open to other users.
There’s no reason to miss any of your favorite YouTube TV shows while you’re outside the U.S. in the U.K., Australia, Canada, Mexico or anywhere else thanks to the access that VPN providers like ExpressVPN and others can give you.