How to Watch ITV Abroad [Free and Paid Options]

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  • Post last modified:October 4, 2021
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If you’ve ever gone on holiday but still wanted to keep up with Love Island or check in on Coronation Street, you’ll have noticed that the ITV Hub app and website is geo-blocked, meaning you can’t use them to watch live TV or on-demand shows whilst overseas. So, can you watch ITV abroad?

Yes, although ITV Hub won’t work natively whilst abroad, it’s still possible to watch ITV Hub overseas by downloading shows before you go or by using a VPN. A VPN will unblock ITV Hub by masking your IP address as if your device is in the UK.

Keep reading to find out more about how to set this up, whether it’s legal, and some alternative free and paid ways to watch ITV shows abroad.

How to Watch ITV Hub Abroad

Although there are several ways to watch ITV Hub while overseas, the best method is to use a virtual private network (VPN). Once set up, this will route your internet through a server in the UK so the browser and apps on your device will think it is in the UK.

How to watch ITV Hub abroad using a laptop:

  1. Sign up to Express VPN on their website.
  2. You’ll then be taken to the dashboard where you should click the big ‘Download’ button.
  3. Next, you’ll be asked to choose from Windows, Mac, or Chromebook to start the download. At this point, you’ll see an activation code which you should take note of.
  4. Click the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install Express VPN.
  5. Once installed, follow the set-up process and enter the activation code from earlier.
  6. Once complete, Express VPN will launch.
  7. Ensure you choose a UK-based server to ensure ITV Hub will work. Now, hit the ‘Connect’ button.
  8. Once connected, head over to ITV Hub in your browser to watch as normal.

If you experience any difficulties, see the troubleshooting section below for some potential issues.

How to watch ITV Hub abroad using a phone or tablet:

  1. Sign up to Express VPN on their website.
  2. On your phone or tablet, install Express VPN from the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android) and launch the app.
  3. Sign in with your details, you’ll be asked to allow Express VPN to set up a VPN connection, you need to accept this.
  4. Ensure you choose a UK-based server to ensure ITV Hub will work. Now, tap the ‘Connect’ button.
  5. Once connected, head over to the ITV Hub app to watch as normal.

Note: Both sets of instructions above assume that you are happy using Express VPN which is my top recommended VPN, however, I have detailed some alternative services below. Ensure you use a VPN that is proven to work with ITV Hub because some have been blacklisted.

What’s the Best VPN for ITV?

Not all VPNs will work with ITV hub, you should check if the service support pages provide information about this or ensure they offer a money-back guarantee in case it doesn’t work.

The three best VPNs for ITV Hub are:

Express VPN – With blazing fast speeds and apps for any device you have from phones to firesticks, Express VPN is my top pick for watching ITV Hub abroad. For any devices that can’t have apps installed, they have a router app to create a VPN network or you can create a virtual VPN router with a PC or laptop.

Nord VPN – Nord VPN is also a great choice with UK servers for ITV and a 30-day moneyback guarantee so you can ensure it works properly. However, it’s a little more expensive than Express VPN and Surfshark below.

SurfShark – Surfshark is the cheapest of the three services here and has faster speeds. However, it works across fewer devices so ensure yours is compatible before committing.

Troubleshooting: How to Fix ITV Hub Not Working With VPN

Broadcasters are becoming very good at spotting people using VPN connections. Often they will look for large numbers of people using the same IP address and block that because it’s likely a VPN. This is why it’s important to use one of the recommended VPN services earlier.

But, even using these, you may still encounter other measures ITV have taken to reduce VPN usage. Here are some potential problems you might encounter and how to fix them.

  • Ensure you’ve selected the UK as the server location. ITV Hub will only work if it detects your location to be the UK so you must ensure you have selected a UK server.
  • Turn your location off on mobile devices. Although most devices will use the IP address, ITV may attempt to use your GPS location as another factor when determining where you are.
  • Clear your browser cookies. They may also drop a cookie on your device when they detect you are outside the UK so try clearing all your browser data including cookies.
  • Change the time of your device. If ITV hub isn’t working with a VPN using a laptop or PC, it could be checking the time of your device to ensure it matches the time of the country of your IP address, in this case, the UK. Either change the system time or use a timeshift Chrome extension to change your timezone.

Can You Watch ITV Abroad Without Using a VPN?

Yes, it’s possible to watch some ITV shows abroad without using a VPN because ITV sells the international rights to some shows to other streaming providers.

One of these is YouTube where you can pay on a per-episode or per-series basis for some popular ITV shows. These include:

  • Downton Abbey
  • Midsummer Murders
  • Doc Martin
  • Unforgotten
  • Plebs

If you are planning to watch from the USA, Canada, Australia, or South Africa, you can access a much larger selection of ITV shows by subscribing to Britbox.

Britbox has a selection of recent and classic ITV shows, including Love Island, Cold Feet, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and more. However, there are no live TV channels on Britbox.

This is a service that compiles shows from all of the major UK broadcasters to watch overseas. If you subscribe in the USA, Canada, or Australia, your subscription will work across all three of these countries. If you subscribe in South Africa or the UK, your subscription will only work in that country.

Can You Watch ITV Abroad for Free?

No, unlike other broadcasters that allow you to download shows and watch them overseas, you need an ITV Hub+ subscription to download shows from ITV.

If you have an ITV Hub+ subscription, you can download shows whilst in the UK then watch them from anywhere in the world for the next 7 days.

Shows must be downloaded before you go and can only be watched on the same device that you have downloaded them. Previously, it has been possible to watch ITV in the EU with an ITV Hub+ subscription, however, this is no longer possible since Brexit.

Related Questions

Does ITV Work with VPNs?

Yes, ITV works with VPNs, however, some VPNs have had their IP address blacklisted so they may not work. You should ensure that you use a service that’s been optimised for ITV such as those shared earlier.

Is it Illegal to Watch ITV Hub with a VPN?

No, it’s not illegal to use VPNs to watch online content from ITV or other platforms, however, you should be aware of the laws in the country you are watching from, for example, China, Russia, and Tukey limit VPN usage by law. You should also know that it is against ITV’s terms and conditions which says you should not attempt to circumvent geoblocking.

Do I Need a TV Licence to Watch ITV Abroad?

If you are using the VPN method shared earlier to watch live TV via ITV Hub, then yes, technical you should have a UK TV licence by law. However, if you’re only watching on-demand content or you are watching ITV shows via another service such as YouTube or BritBox, then no you don’t need a TV licence.

Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad?

Yes, there are similar restrictions with BBC iPlayer as there are with ITV Hub due to licencing agreements. You can still watch BBC iPlayer abroad by using a VPN or by downloading shows before you go. Unlike ITV Hub, when you download BBC shows they won’t expire after 7 days and in some instances can last for many weeks or months.

For more information on this, I’ve created a dedicated guide to using BBC iPlayer abroad.

Can I Watch Channel 4 Abroad?

Again, Channel 4 is another broadcaster that has geo-blocked access to its services whilst overseas. However, like ITV, you can still watch Channel 4 abroad using All4 and a VPN to mask your location. There is also the option of downloading shows before you go and watching them overseas within 30 days which is different to ITV.

Why is ITV Hub Saying I’m Outside the UK When I’m Not?

If ITV Hub is saying you’re outside the UK when you’re not, this could be because your internet service provider is using servers located overseas. Try switching to mobile data or using a different Wi-Fi network to see if this is the problem.

If you’re using mobile data and you are located in South-West England, you may be picking up signal from a French mast which will cause ITV Hub to say you’re abroad. Try switching to a Wi-Fi signal instead to see if this is the case.

Once diagnosed, you can resolve both of the above problems by using a VPN and choosing UK servers as outlined earlier in this article.


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?