Can you watch ITV Hub abroad?
Being on holiday or moving overseas shouldn’t mean you miss your favourite ITV shows. Yes, you can record them on your set-top box. But that’s not the same as watching them as they happen. Thankfully, you can watch ITV Hub abroad.
Us Brits have been enjoying Independent Television, the original name for ITV since 1955. They have a catalogue of iconic British TV shows we’ve all grown up watching!
Due to licensing agreements, you can’t watch content on the ITV Hub abroad. Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost. You have several options that will allow you to enjoy your favourite show from anywhere in the world.
You could download your favourite ITV programmes before leaving the UK and play them using ITV Hub. Another option is to use a VPN. This software changes your device’s location to the UK, allowing you to watch your favourite TV shows.
Unlike watching BBC iPlayer abroad, ITV doesn’t sell content to YouTube. So, you’ll either need to download programs before leaving the UK or use a VPN. Let’s explore how to watch ITV Hub abroad in more detail.
What is a VPN and why do we need one?
Before giving you the steps needed to watch ITV Hub abroad using a VPN, it’s worth explaining what one is. Firstly, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. They are a piece of software you install on your computer or mobile device.
Communications giant Cisco describes a VPN as an encrypted connection over the Internet from a device to a network that helps protect your data and ensures privacy.
It might be clear as mud. Don’t worry. Here’s what a VPN helps in reality.
When you load a webpage, your device communicates with the nearest server. These computers store copies of the files used by that webpage, allowing you to access files from anywhere.
However, you can only view some files if you’re within a specific location. Otherwise, you’re blocked from accessing them. Simply put, this is why you can’t watch ITV Hub abroad.
One solution is to install a VPN on your device and change the location to a different country without moving an inch! You can then access location-restricted content regardless of where you are. For example, you get your VPN to router requests using a UK server.
Express VPN is highly recommended as it’s affordable, reliable, and offers solutions for all your devices, including phones, laptops, and smart TVs. You can even use Express VPN with streaming sticks, including the Google Chromecast.
Using Express VPN to watch ITV Hub abroad
Before you can watch your favourite ITV shows, you need to create an Express VPN account on their website. Next, here are the steps for using it with a laptop and smartphone or tablet.
On a laptop:
- Sign in to Express VPN
- Click the Download button from the dashboard
- Choose from Windows, Mac, or Chromebook to initiate the download. Keep the tab open as you’ll need the activation code later
- Click on the download and follow the instructions to install Express VPN
- After installing, you’ll be prompted to enter the activation code from the tab you kept open
- Once set up is complete, the Express VPN app will launch
- Select a UK server
- Click the Connect icon
- You’ll see a Connected message
- Head to the ITV Hub in your browser, and it should work as if you are in the UK.
On a smartphone or tablet:
- On your phone or tablet, head to the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android) and find the Express VPN app
- Install it and sign in with your credential
- You’ll be prompted to allow Express VPN to set up a VPN connection
- Next, choose a UK server
- Tap the Connect icon
- Once you see the Connected message, load the ITV Hub app and watch TV!
Is watching ITV shows with a VPN illegal?
While it’s not illegal to watch ITV shows using a VPN, it is against their license agreement. Watching any UK TV without a valid licence is illegal. So, you need a TV licence to watch live TV or shows using a catch-up service (ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, ALL 4, etc).
Also, it’s worth being cautious about the VPN laws in the countries you are visiting. Some counties, including Russia and China, have restricted their usage. So research in advance.
One solution is Britbox, as you can watch ITV shows without having a TV licence. Britbox is a partnership between ITV and BBC. You can find plenty of content to enjoy for a monthly fee.
Help! ITV Hub doesn’t work with VPN?
While it’s against ITV’s terms of service to watch shows using the ITV Hub abroad using a VPN, they can hardly stop you from using one. Here are some ideas to get your VPN working if it stops working with ITV:
Ensure your VPN states it unblocks ITV Hub
Some have had their servers blacklisted by ITV and no longer work. So double-check your VPN works with the ITV Hub.
Check you’re using a UK server
Most VPN services have servers all across the world. For the ITV Hub to work, you must connect to UK servers. So check what servers you’re using.
Turn off location settings
While a VPN will mask your IP address, if your phone’s location and IP address don’t match, it could cause it to stop working with a VPN.
Clear the browser’s cookies
ITV may place a cookie on your device. So, it knows you are not in the UK. Clearing your browser’s cookies will rectify this issue.
Try using a laptop or PC
These devices do not reveal your location using GPS like phones and tablets.
Still not working?
If you still can’t access your favourite ITV programmes abroad after following the steps above, contact the VPN’s customer support.
Can you watch ITV Hub abroad for free?
Before leaving the UK, you can download TV shows. When you’re outside the country, you can watch them using the ITV Hub for free. Of course, downloading shows to your phone or tablet will take time and require plenty of storage.
You must watch shows on the same device you downloaded them on. So you can’t watch the content using a Chromecast or smart TV. Sorry.
Why aren’t ITV shows on YouTube?
Unlike the BBC, which licences programmes to Google that are available for purchase on YouTube, ITV doesn’t. Sadly, we can’t find the reason why this is the case.
That said, YouTube has a ton of TV shows and movies available for purchase. You don’t need a VPN or loads of device storage. Either purchase single episodes or complete seasons and relax. YouTube pricing starts at a couple of pounds.
Of course, buying a season will cost you more than if you used a VPN. However, it’s a legal way to watch content compared to the questionable method of a VPN.
While ITV shows aren’t available for purchase on YouTube, they do licence programmes to streaming services. So, check if your favourite shows are available on Netflix, HBO Max, or Hulu. Paying for a month’s subscription is usually cheaper than buying seasons or a VPN.
Can you watch ITV shows using a Smart TV?
So far, we’ve only covered watching content on smartphones and tablets. But you might prefer to watch your favourite ITV shows on a Smart TV. Don’t worry, it’s possible. Here are a few options depending on your TV’s operating system:
You can install Express VPN directly onto the TV using the Google Play store and access ITV Hub through the usual TV app.
Samsung and LG Smart TVs
While you can’t directly use VPNs with Samsung and LG smart TVs, there is a solution. You can use Express VPN’s Mediastreamer app.
Other brands of smart TVs
For all other brands of smart TVs, you’ll need to install your VPN onto a compatible router. Doing this will unlock ITV Hub on all devices connected to the router, but it is slightly technical. So you have been warned!
Can you watch ITV shows using a streaming dongle?
It’s possible to watch ITV Hub abroad using an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, or Roku streaming device. But it’s not the easiest of solutions.
Fire TV Stick
You can’t install apps directly on a Chromecast. So, you’ll need to install a VPN on the router, which isn’t easy to do. Plus, you’ll need access to the router.
Enjoying your favourite ITV shows and movies
You now have a few different options to watch ITV Hub abroad, including using a VPN and downloading programmes at home. It’s also worth checking popular streaming services.
Using these options, you should be able to enjoy your favourite ITV shows and movies wherever you are in the world! Fancy watching Channel 4 while you’re away? Start by reading our guide to watching ALL 4 abroad.