How to Watch PBS outside the US

Do you want to watch PBS in Canada, Australia, UK, or anywhere else outside the US? PBS is a public American TV station that only operates in the US. If you’re an American ex-pat living abroad, you will not be able to access PBS overseas due to geographic restrictions.

How to Watch PBS outside the US

This means you will miss out on popular TV shows, documentaries, and indie movies PBS has to offer. Luckily, there’s a workaround you can use to watch PBS abroad. Keep on reading to learn what you need to do:

Watch PBS Anywhere – Quick Walkthrough

Time needed: 4 minutes

If you want to watch PBS outside the United States, you can simply follow the steps below:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN service provider.

    For guaranteed results, we highly recommend ExpressVPN.

  2. Download and install the VPN application on your device.

    You can get the VPN’s client through the provider’s website or directly using your native App Store.

  3. Sign in with your VPN account and connect to a US server.

    You’ll receive a US IP address in the process.

  4. Now, launch PBS’ website or app.

    We’ve included a step-by-step walkthrough on how to get PBS on any device.

  5. Watch PBS anywhere outside the US.

    Access top shows, programs, and live content wherever you are.

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Unblock PBS Anywhere – Full Guide

More information about how to unblock PBS outside the US is provided in this full guide below:

What You’ll Need

Unblocking PBS outside the US requires all of the following:

  • A premium VPN.
  • PBS-compatible device.
  • A PBS account (Extra features).

Is PBS Available in My Country?

PBS is one of the biggest channels in the United States, reaching more than 26 million people online and 120 via television.

The numbers alone showcase how popular the service is in the country. However, these numbers are only statistics within US borders as the channel itself is blocked abroad.

Due to rights restrictions, PBS doesn’t allow any streamer living abroad to access its content. It looks up your IP address to determine your location.

If it’s not a US IP address (You’re overseas), you’ll be blocked instantly. In fact, you’ll receive several error messages depending on the device you’re using, your location, and the local station you’ve chosen.

Below, you’ll find all the error messages you might get: (You’ll find the local stations we used for testing as well)

  • “We’re sorry, but this video is not available in your region due to right restrictions.”
  • “The WVPB livestream is not available in your current location. Station livestreams are only available in the station broadcast coverage area.”
  • “We’re sorry, but this video is not available.”
  • “Video error. Video not available in your region.”
  • “Live TV Not Available. The ThinkTV livestream is not available because you are not currently in the station broadcast coverage area. Support Code: P33-8768136-P35-5187506.”
  • “Request blocked. We can’t connect to the server for this app or website at this time.”

The act of bypassing restrictions on geo-restricted content requires the involvement of a VPN tool. Get that, follow the steps above, and you’ll have PBS in no time.

VPN 101 – The Benefits You Get

In case you don’t know, VPN stands for a virtual private network. It’s a cybersecurity tool that allows you access to content that is not available to you while keeping your data and traffic completely under wraps with the most secure protocols.

The private tunnel – created by a VPN – passes your data through encryptions which transforms it into untouchable pieces of information.

No one under any circumstances can access your data, and that’s how you get ultimate security. But, it doesn’t stop there. Read more to learn about the gains of a VPN:

  • Get Content Unblocked: With all the existing geo-restricted content and just as many people wanting to access them, a VPN can help them get all that it is they come across and cannot access.
  • Get rid of ISP Throttling: When connected to a VPN, you will no longer have to suffer sudden drops in connections. That’s simply because a VPN prevents that from happening.
  • High Privacy: Wrap your data with encryptions, adding layers of privacy and security to all your online activities.
  • Friendly and compatible VPN Applications: You can install and set-up any VPN on almost all platforms: PC, Mac, Android, iOS, and FireStick.

Regarding the best VPN that unblocks content like PBS or just about any other, ExpressVPN tops the list.

The company owns a large server network with thousands of servers in different places. As a result, users from all over the world, find connecting to its servers pretty easy.

Their extremely helpful 24/7 customer service makes you not want to take advantage of the 30-day refund policy but subscribe for good. You might want to check out other top providers, which you’ll find in the table here below.

VPN Provider
Best VPN
  • Best for streaming and privacy
  • High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
  • Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
  • 24/7/ live chat support
  • 3 extra months free on annual plan
Visit ExpressVPN Try risk-free for 30 days Read our review
Second Best VPN
  • UltraHD streaming
  • Free Smart DNS proxy
  • Unblocks all major streaming services
  • Limited Time 72% Discount
Third Best VPN
  • Unlimited VPN connections
  • Over 1000 servers
  • Ad-blocking feature available
  • User-friendly application
  • Exclusive Smart VPN feature
  • Standalone Smart DNS subscription available
  • Extra security features
  • Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
  • Split-tunneling available

How to Unblock PBS Abroad with Smart DNS Proxies

A Smart DNS service is also regarded as an online solution that rose to popularity in the age of increased geo-blocking technology.

This method has allowed many internet users to access restricted material from all parts of the world. Unlike a VPN, it does not hide your IP address.

Instead, it remains visible to the public, which is an answer to a Smart DNS’s lack of encryption process.

The fact that it doesn’t put users’ data through encryptions makes it less of a secure option than a VPN. But, that has no effect whatsoever on its unblocking abilities. If anything, it’s much faster than a VPN. Learn more about a Smart DNS below:

  • A Smart DNS tool is compatible with almost all streaming devices.
  • You can setup Smart DNS on devices like PS4, PS3, Xbox, Apple TV, Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Wii, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
  • Excellent unblocking capabilities.
  • What you get to unblock depends on the type you have chosen to subscribe to.
  • When transparent proxies or DNS hijacking are present, a Smart DNS fails to work properly.
  • You cannot manually select your new virtual location with a Smart DNS.

All the providers presented in the table above have Smart DNS for free with their subscriptions. You can benefit from a 30-day refund policy to test their service out.

How to Create a PBS Account Outside the US

PBS can be streamed without having to sign in or even create an account. However, with a valid PBS account, you get extra privileges when streaming the channel.

So, if you’re interested in streaming in full HD, creating a favorite list, and continuing from where you left off, here’s how you can create a PBS account:

  1. Open your VPN and connect to a US server.
  2. Head over to
  3. On the top right of the screen, right next to the PBS logo, click on Sign in.
  4. Now, you can sue any of your social media accounts or register with PBS.
  5. Fill in the required information.
  6. You now have a PBS account.

How to Watch PBS on Any Device Outside the US

Now that you have a VPN subscription and a PBS account (Although an account is not needed), here’s how you can get PBS Video on any of your streaming platforms:


If you happen to own an Android mobile, tablet, or a device that belongs to the Sony Bravia TV or Nvidia Shield families, this is how you can get PBS:

  1. Download the VPN app on your device and connect to a US server.
  2. Head over to the device’s settings, and clear your Google Play Store’s Cache and Data to change its country to the US.
  3. Download the PBS Video application.
  4. Launch the app, sign in (If you want to), and start watching.

On iOS, the download process is really quite simple. All you have to do is this:

  1. Get the VPN app on your iPad or iPhone and connect to a US server.
  2. Open your device’s settings and switch your Apple Store region to America.
  3. Download and install the PBS Video app.
  4. Launch PBS and stream live or on-demand.

On your PC or Mac, you can watch PBS by doing this:

  1. Download and install the VPN application on your desktop device.
  2. Launch the app and connect to an American server.
  3. Once the connection is established, head over to
  4. Pick your video or live stream and start watching.
Apple TV

To get PBS on Apple TV, this is what you need to do:

  1. Set up a US VPN connection on your router or configure Smart DNS on Apple TV.
  2. Change the device’s App Store region to American and get PBS.
  3. Launch the app and start streaming.

To stream PBS on Roku, you’ll have to follow the steps below:

  1. Set up a VPN or configure Smart DNS on your router.
  2. Change your Roku Account’s region to the US and get PBS.
  3. Launch the channel and start streaming.
Smart TV

On your Samsung Smart TV, these steps are required to get PBS:

  1. Set up the VPN on your router or configure Smart DNS on your TV.
  2. Change the Samsung Smart TV’s region to the US and get PBS.
  3. Activate the channel’s client and start streaming.
Fire Stick

On FireStick, this is what you need to do in order to get PBS:

  1. Download and install the VPN app on your Fire device.
  2. Sign in with your account and connect to a US server.
  3. Change your Amazon account region to the USA and get PBS.
  4. You can also sideload it directly to your device.
  5. Launch PBS and stream away.

To get PBS on Chromecast abroad, you must first download and install the PBS app on your Android and iOS device.

After that, set up a US VPN connection on your router, launch the channel’s client, and select the video you wish to watch.

Finally, hit the cast button and start watching on your TV via Chromecast.

Stream PBS Anywhere – FAQ

We’ve answered a few more of our readers’ inquiries below. Take a quick look. This might be very helpful if you want to watch PBS Video outside the US:

Is PBS for Free?

Do I Need a Cable Subscription to Watch PBS?

Why Am I Getting Different Live Content When I Move Locally?

Can I Get More Content on PBS?

What Devices Can I Watch PBS on?

What Can I Watch on PBS?

Wrap Up

In a nutshell, if you want to access geo-blocked streaming channels or websites overseas, you have to spoof your online location.

Both VPN and Smart DNS proxies allow you to do just that. Which method you choose to unblock PBS abroad is totally up to you, but we’d love to know anyway, so drop a comment down below.


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