How to Watch Channel 4 Abroad [Free and Paid Options]

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If you’ve tried to use the All4 app to watch channel 4 abroad, you’ll notice that it’s geo-blocked due to licencing restrictions. But with shows like The Inbetweeners and The IT Crowd, you might be wondering how to watch channel 4 outside the UK?

Yes, although you can’t stream channel 4 outside the UK using their All4 app (previously 4oD), there are some ways you can watch channel 4 and their programming, the best method is to use a VPN or download the content before you leave the UK.

Keep reading for full instructions on how to set up a VPN for Channel 4 and some alternative ways you can watch content without one.

How to Watch Channel 4 Abroad

The best method for watching Channel 4 or All4 abroad is using a virtual private network (VPN). This will use servers in the UK to mask your IP address and make your device think you are in the UK which will unblock Channel 4.

Due to licencing, Channel 4 have blocked some VPNs so ensure you use one that has been proven to work with All4. I recommend Express VPN because it’s well-priced, reliable, and works across most devices.

These instructions assume you are using Express VPN, however, I have some other VPN recommendations in the below section which will follow a near-identical process.

To watch Channel 4 abroad using a laptop:

  1. Sign up to Express VPN on their website.
  2. Once you have signed up, hit ‘Download’ in the dashboard.
  3. Choose from Windows, Mac, or Chromebook to begin. Take a note of the activation code or leave the tab open.
  4. Once downloaded, follow the instructions to install Express VPN on your laptop.
  5. Once the install is complete, you’ll be asked to enter the activation code from earlier.
  6. When setup is complete, the Express VPN app will launch. Before hitting connect, ensure you choose a UK server because this is needed for Channel 4 to work. Hit the ‘Connect’ button.
  7. Once it says ‘Connected’, you’re ready to go. Head to Channel 4 in your browser and you should be able to watch as normal.

If you’re having trouble, you may need to change the time of your laptop to match the UK. See the troubleshooting section below.

To watch Channel 4 abroad on a phone or tablet:

  1. Sign up to Express VPN on their website and remember your log-in credentials.
  2. On your phone or tablet, install Express VPN from the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android).
  3. Once installed, sign in with your log-in credentials from step 1.
  4. You’ll be asked to allow Express VPN to set up a VPN connection, you need to accept this.
  5. Once the app is set up, ensure you choose a UK server before connecting, this is needed for Channel 4 to work. Hit the ‘Connect’ button.
  6. Once it says ‘Connected’, you’re ready to go. Now head over to the All4 app to watch live TV and on-demand shows.

What’s the Best VPN for Channel 4?

Over time, broadcasters such as Channel 4 have become good at blocking VPNs so not all of them will work. It’s important that you use one that has been optimised for the service.

These three VPNs are best for Channel 4:

Express VPN – Express VPN is my top pick because it’s lightning-fast and they have apps for almost every device so you can get the most out of your subscription. It can even be installed on a router or you can use a virtual VPN router for difficult devices like Chromecast.

Nord VPN – A close runner up to Express has to be Nord VPN. It offers blazing speeds and has a 30-day moneyback guarantee for peace of mind so you can check it Channel 4 is properly accessible without worry. However, it’s a little more expensive.

SurfShark – Surfshark is a budget pick but it’s still faster than Express and Nord. However, it works on fewer devices than the previous two devices so it’s best for phones and tablets only.


Troubleshooting: Channel 4 Not Working With VPN

Even when you use one of the services recommended above, other factors can cause Channel 4 to stop working with a VPN. If you’re experiencing problems, here are some possible causes and the fixes:

  • Ensure you’re using one of the recommended providers. Channel 4 will blacklist IP addresses over time. Use one of the above services or if you’d rather use a different one, search the support pages to ensure compatibility.
  • Ensure you have connected to a UK server. Channel 4 will only work if it thinks you are in the UK, therefore it’s essential that you connect your VPN to a UK server.
  • Turn your location off. If you’re using a mobile device that has GPS, turn this off to ensure All4 is not using that to determine your location rather than IP address.
  • Clear the cookies on your browser. If you’re using a browser rather than the app, Channel 4 may drop a cookie when it knows you’re outside the UK. Clear your browser cookies and browser cache to remove any data it has left.
  • Try using a laptop or PC. Laptops and PCs do not have location data from GPS so this is almost always taken from the IP address. However, take note of the next point too.
  • The time of your devices does not match UK time. When using a VPN to watch channel 4 on a laptop, the site may check the time of your device and compare it to the UK time. If this happens, you can try changing your system time or using a chrome extension to change your time zone.

Can You Watch Channel 4 Abroad Without Using a VPN?

Yes, although you can’t use All4 abroad without a VPN, you can still watch many of Channel 4’s best shows using other streaming providers such as YouTube.

The below Channel 4 shows are available to purchase and watch on YouTube from anywhere in the world:

  • Taskmaster
  • Made in Chelsea
  • Great British Bake Off
  • Friday Night Dinner
  • The Inbetweeners
  • Black Mirror
  • It’s a Sin

This is not an exhaustive list but contains the most well-known shows. You’ll need to purchase each episode or series for a set price. However, it will typically end up costing you more than the VPN method shared earlier if you watch more than a few episodes.

Channel 4 also sells international rights to other services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, so if there is a specific show you’d like to watch, it’s worth checking those platforms.


Can You Watch Channel 4 Abroad for Free?

Yes, it’s possible to watch All4 abroad without paying if you download the shows using the Android or iPhone app before you go.

You must be in the UK when you download the shows, but you can then watch them overseas before they expire. Downloaded shows will automatically expire after 30 days unless they are removed from the platform before that date.

Not all shows are available to download on All4. Typically you can only download shows that they have commissioned or that are made in the UK. For example, The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, and other shows they have licenced cannot be downloaded.

Downloaded shows can only be viewed on the device you downloaded them on, you won’t be able to use a streaming stick or Chromecast.

It’s not possible to watch live TV or download new shows outside the UK without using a VPN as shared above.


How To Watch Channel 4 Shows in the USA, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

If you want to watch Channel 4 in Australia, the USA, Canada, or South Africa, you should consider Britbox which is a service jointly developed by Channel 4 and other UK broadcasters.

It contains classic and current programs from each of these broadcasters for a Netflix-style monthly fee. Some of the shows available on Britbox include Countdown, Father Ted, Peep Show, The Inbetweeners, and more.

Britbox is only available in the countries mentioned above. However, not all subscriptions are the same:

  • If you purchase a Britbox subscription in Australia, the USA, or Canada, then it will work across all three of these countries.
  • The South Africa subscription will only work in South Africa.
  • The UK subscription (via Britbox.co.uk) will only work in the UK.

Related Questions

Does Channel 4 Work with VPNs?

Yes, you can use Channel 4 with a VPN, however, you should ensure that it has been proven to work with Channel 4. Some VPNs have had their IP addresses blacklisted so they will not work. Consult my recommendations above or see the support pages of your chosen VPN service.

Is it Illegal to Watch Channel 4 with a VPN?

No, it’s not illegal to use a VPN to watch Channel 4 abroad nor is it specifically mentioned as being against Channel 4’s terms of service. However, you should be wary of the laws about VPNs in the country you are in, for example, their usage is restricted in China, Russia, Turkey, and a few other countries.

Do I Need a TV Licence to Watch Channel 4 Abroad?

If you’ll be watching live TV via All4, then yes, you should have a UK TV licence. However, if you’re only watching on-demand shows, then you do not need a TV licence to watch Channel 4, whether abroad or in the UK.

Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad?

Yes, although BBC iPlayer does not work for accessing live shows or on-demand content abroad, you can download shows before you leave the UK or you can use a VPN to unblock all iPlayer content. See my full guide to using BBC iPlayer overseas to find out more.

Can I Watch ITV Hub Abroad?

Yes, you can watch ITV Hub abroad, however, you’ll need to use a VPN because it is not available overseas natively due to licencing. See my full guide on using ITV hub abroad.

Kieren

I have been building up my smart home since 2016 so I'm a bit of a smart home expert by now. On this blog, I share my favourite smart home devices that I've tested along with tips and tricks I learn by watching countless YouTube videos, scrolling through forums, and tinkering around with my own smart devices. I've always been a Google Home user but I'm starting to think Alexa might have the edge, what do you think?