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How to Watch Channel 4 Abroad with a VPN

Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society.

Fact-checked by Simon MiglianoAdditional Testing by David Hughes

Our Verdict

The easiest way to watch Channel 4 in the US is to use a VPN and connect to a UK VPN server. This assigns you a UK IP address, spoofing your location and bypassing Channel 4’s geo-restrictions. The best VPN for Channel 4 is ExpressVPN, which unblocks the streaming service on desktop, mobile, and Smart TV devices.

How to Watch Channel 4 from Outside the UK

Channel 4 is one of the best free streaming sites, but content is geographically restricted in order to comply with UK copyright laws. If you try to watch it from abroad, you’ll see an error message and be unable to continue streaming.

However, you can watch Channel 4 outside the UK if you use a VPN to get a UK IP address. This allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and watch Channel 4 shows live or on-demand from any country.

How to watch Channel 4 in the US or outside the UK:

  1. Register an account with Channel 4 using a UK postcode.
  2. Subscribe to a VPN that comes with UK servers, fast international speeds, and works reliably to unblock Channel 4. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  3. Install the VPN client and launch the application on your device.
  4. Connect to a UK VPN server.
  5. Head back to Channel 4 and begin streaming British TV.

If you want to watch Channel 4 on a device that doesn’t support VPN applications, you can also use a Smart DNS tool to redirect your DNS requests through a UK proxy server.

However, only a handful of VPNs come with Smart DNS capabilities, and even fewer work with Channel 4.

The best VPNs for watching Channel 4 from anywhere are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The fastest and most reliable VPN for Channel 4.
  2. NordVPN: Easy access to Channel 4 across a large UK VPN server network.
  3. StrongVPN: Five UK city servers and an excellent Smart DNS for Channel 4.

These VPNs are the best for watching Channel 4 as they come with plenty of UK servers, fast US to UK download speeds, and offer Smart DNS tools that access Channel 4 from overseas.

Why Do You Need a VPN To Watch Channel 4 Outside of the UK

Channel 4 is only available in the UK. This is due to copyright and distribution laws that restrict access to Channel 4’s content outside of the country. If you want to stream Channel 4 outside of the UK, you’ll need a VPN. Simply connect to a UK server to get a UK IP address and stream Channel 4.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to use a VPN or Smart DNS to watch Channel 4 from the US and other countries outside the UK. You’ll find instructions for your preferred device or platform, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and more.

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VPNs Tested With Channel 465
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Test DevicesWindows, Android, macOS, iOS, Fire TV & Apple TV

How to Watch Channel 4 in the US

You can watch Channel 4 live or on-demand in America, or from any country outside the UK, completely free. To do this, you simply need to sign up for a Channel 4 account and use a VPN with access to UK servers.

A VPN works by spoofing your real IP address to make it look like you’re in the UK, getting around British streaming geoblocks in the process.

To create an account with Channel 4, you only need to provide an email address and UK postcode.

To watch Channel 4 from abroad, follow these instructions:

  1. Register a Channel 4 account and sign up to a VPN that offers a pool of UK servers, fast international speeds, and consistent access to Channel 4. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN onto your device. You should consider whether your VPN has a native application for the device you want to stream Channel 4 on, such as Samsung TV or Fire TV Stick.
  3. Open the VPN, login, and connect to a UK server. If there are servers optimized for British TV or Channel 4 specifically, select these.
  4. Head to, login to your Channel 4 account, and begin streaming your favorite British TV shows.
  5. If your VPN isn’t working and you’re receiving an error code, there are some fixes you can try.

In the video below, we show how easy it is to stream The Great British Bake Off from the US by connecting to a UK IP address. We use ExpressVPN as an example:

A VPN enables you to get a UK IP address and unblock Channel 4 from outside the UK.

How to Sign Up to Channel 4 from Abroad

You can stream content on Channel 4’s app completely free. It is funded by advertising but you can pay extra for an ad-free experience.

Before you can use a VPN to watch Channel 4 from overseas, you need to create and register a Channel 4 account.

This is entirely free to do and no payment details are required. You also do not need to use a VPN at this point.

To sign up to a Channel 4 account from outside the UK, follow the simple steps below:

  1. Go to At the top of the website, click Sign in to My4.
  2. Channel 4 Sign In

    Select ‘Sign In’ to register a Channel 4 account.

  3. When asked to sign in to Channel 4, click register.
  4. Channel 4 Registration

    Click ‘Register’ to create a Channel 4 account.

  5. Provide an email address and password for your account.
  6. Channel 4 Account Registration

    Insert an email and generate a password.

  7. Fill out the personal information fields and enter a UK postcode. SW1P 2TX is a good one. Then select Next.
  8. Channel 4 Registration Steps

    You can insert a random UK postcode.

  9. Click Register and your account will be created.

The Best VPNs That Work with Channel 4 in 2024

Not all VPNs work with Channel 4. You’ll know your VPN isn’t working if you get this error message:

“Not available. Channel 4 is only available in the UK.”

To stop getting this error message, you need a top-rated streaming VPN that isn’t blocked by Channel 4.

We’ve regularly tested 65 VPNs with Channel 4 since 2016. Based on our research, we can tell you which are the best and most reliable VPNs for accessing Channel 4 in the US and other countries outside the UK.

At the very least, a good VPN for Channel 4 gets around UK geo-restrictions. We only recommend VPNs that also come with a large number of UK servers and fast US to UK speeds. They also come with dedicated apps for Android TV, Fire TV, and a Smart DNS tool.

You can compare the 10 best VPNs for Channel 4 using the table below:

As you can see, most major VPNs unblock Channel 4. Based on our testing and data, we’ve compiled the top three VPNs for watching Channel 4 outside the UK here:

1. ExpressVPN: The Best VPN for Channel 4

ExpressVPN comes with servers in London, fast US to UK speeds, and apps for desktop, mobile, and TV devices.

ExpressVPN's app for macOS

Pros Cons
UK servers in London Only one UK city available
Fast US to UK speeds Unknown number of UK servers
Smart DNS works with Channel 4
Android TV & Fire TV Stick apps
Secure & private VPN service

ExpressVPN is the fastest and most reliable VPN for watching Channel 4 in the US, or anywhere else.

Although it only has a single UK city to choose from (London), it has enough UK servers to ensure you never experience user congestion when streaming British TV.

In fact, ExpressVPN offers the best long-distance speeds to the UK. We recorded a download speed average of 93Mbps, which ensures that US to UK connections are fast enough for streaming Channel 4 content in Full HD.

ExpressVPN with Channel 4 on macOS

ExpressVPN unblocks Channel 4 on desktop, mobile, and home devices.

ExpressVPN is widely compatible across devices and platforms, meaning that you can stream Channel 4 from a number of different devices, too.

This includes desktop (Windows and macOS), mobile (Android and iOS), and Android TV. You can use ExpressVPN on Xbox and stream Channel 4 via your games console, or install ExpressVPN on Apple TV.

ExpressVPN also has an excellent app for Fire TV, which you can also use to unblock other British streaming sites like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub.

You can also install ExpressVPN on your router. With a VPN on your router, you can download the Channel 4 app onto all of your home devices with ease.

You can also use ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS, MediaStreamer. It’s one of the few Smart DNS tools that is catered towards British streaming, and it works to unblock Channel 4 without you needing to use the VPN.

If you’re unsure about paying the subscription price-tag, you can get ExpressVPN for free for up to a month and test it out.

2. NordVPN: The Best VPN for UK Servers

NordVPN reliably unblocks Channel 4 from abroad and comes with the largest number of UK servers.

NordVPN's app for macOS

Pros Cons
Reliable access to Channel 4 SmartDNS does not work with UK streaming sites
440 UK servers Slower UK speeds than ExpressVPN & StrongVPN
Fast US to UK download speeds
Extensive device compatibility
Low-cost subscription plans

NordVPN is another reliable way to watch Channel 4 from the US. It has hundreds of UK VPN servers in London and excellent international speeds for buffer-free streaming.

We recorded 90Mbps download speeds connecting into London from the US, placing it just shy of ExpressVPN’s fastest speeds.

NordVPN Channel 4 Streaming

NordVPN gets around Channel 4 geo-restrictions with ease.

Unfortunately, NordVPN’s SmartDNS service does not work with Channel 4, or any other British TV app.

Having said that, the VPN remains a reliable streaming solution that we particularly recommend as the best VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer.

You can install NordVPN and watch Channel 4 on multiple devices, including Fire TV Stick, Samsung TVs, and games consoles. You can also set up the VPN on your home router to cover your household’s devices.

NordVPN is competitively priced at $3.29 per month. It’s not in the same ballpark as the best cheap VPNs, but you can take advantage of its 30-day money back guarantee or free trial and get NordVPN for free.

Get NordVPN or read our complete NordVPN review.

3. StrongVPN: StrongDNS for Channel 4

StrongVPN is a safe VPN with UK servers in five cities, a Smart DNS that access Channel 4, and a cheap price tag.

StrongVPN's app for macOS

Pros Cons
UK IP addresses in five cities No free trial option
StrongDNS unblocks Channel 4 Based in the US
Affordable cost
No logs VPN
Fastest US to UK speed

StrongVPN has the most UK city server locations, with UK IP addresses available in Canterbury, Glasgow, London, Manchester, and Rugby. All of these UK connections work to access Channel 4 from overseas.

StrongVPN Channel 4 Streaming

StrongVPN access Channel 4 with ease via its UK servers.

One of StrongVPN’s biggest selling points is its Smart DNS feature, StrongDNS. Unlike so many other Smart DNS tools, you can use it across lots of international streaming services, including UK ones. Most importantly, it can access Channel 4.

StrongVPN's StrongDNS British Streaming Services

StrongDNS can be used for various UK streaming sites, including Channel 4.

StrongVPN has faster US to UK speeds than both ExpressVPN and NordVPN, with an average result of 96Mbps. This is more than enough for Full HD streaming when connecting into the UK.

StrongVPN is slightly more expensive than NordVPN, but $3.97 per month is still great value for money – and cheaper than ExpressVPN.

It doesn’t have a free trial option, but you can use StrongVPN’s one-month refund guarantee to trial it.

The Best Free VPNs for Channel 4

Not many free VPNs come with UK servers. For example, Hotspot Shield Free and Atlas VPN Free don’t come with UK servers, making them useless for Channel 4 streaming.

We’ve tested every trustworthy free VPN to see which can unblock Channel 4 from the US. You can compare the best free VPNs for Channel 4 in the table below:

As you can see, all of the trustworthy free VPNs managed to access Channel 4 from outside the UK. But some are more suited to it than others, and one free VPN performed significantly better than the rest.

1. PrivadoVPN Free: Best Free VPN for Channel 4

PrivadoVPN's free app for macOS

Pros Cons
Reliable access to Channel 4 10GB data cap
London IP addresses Faulty Fire TV Stick app
Fast connection speeds Data has to be manually renewed
Android TV app
No payment details needed

Based on our testing, the best free VPN to watch Channel 4 is PrivadoVPN Free.

You can count on PrivadoVPN Free’s London servers and generally fast speeds to give yu reliable access to Channel 4 from almost anywhere.

PrivadoVPN Free Channel 4 Streaming

PrivadoVPN Free is a reliable free VPN for Channel 4 overseas.

That is until you hit its 10GB data cap, which will put serious limitations on your streaming capacity. You have to manually renew your data each month, too — iit does not renew automatically.

Unfortunately, PrivadoVPN’s Fire TV Stick app is broken, which stops you from downloading the Channel 4 app onto Firestick. But you can use PrivadoVPN on up to 10 different devices at the same time.

You don’t need to provide any payment details to download PrivadoVPN Free. You just need to insert an email address to get instant access.

How to Watch Channel 4 in the US on Different Devices

You can stream Channel 4 on desktop and laptop computers via its official website:

There’s also a 100% free streaming app, which is available on Android, iOS, iPad, Apple TV, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and many more platforms.

However, not all streaming devices support VPN applications. This means that the best way to unblock Channel 4 from abroad might vary depending on the device you intend to use.

How to Watch Channel 4 on Roku

If you’re based in the UK, Roku comes with British TV Channels, such as Channel 4 and BBC iPlayer.

If you’re in the US, the only way to watch Channel 4 on Roku is to install a VPN on your router and get household-wide device coverage. You cannot install VPN apps or use Smart DNS on Roku.

We recommend using ExpressVPN for Roku, it’s one of the few VPNs with a router app and the top-rated VPN for Roku overall.

To watch Channel 4 on Roku using Express VPN, follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into your ExpressVPN account and select Router from the list of devices in the middle of the screen.
  2. Navigate to Select your router and choose your router model from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Download Firmware.
  4. Make a note of the activation code.
  5. Use our IP Lookup tool to find out your IP address.
  6. In a new tab, input your IP address into your browser to access your router’s settings.
  7. Log into your router’s admin dashboard.
  8. Click Connectivity > Router Firmware Update and download the ExpressVPN firmware.
  9. Select Start and follow the instructions to reboot your router.
  10. Once this is complete, head to and click Get Started.

How to Watch Channel 4 on Amazon Fire TV

If you have an Amazon account registered in the US, you won’t be able to find the Channel 4 app in the Amazon Appstore. This is the case even if you switch to a UK IP address.

To get Channel 4 on your Fire TV Stick, you first need to set up a British Amazon account. You can do this by connecting to a UK VPN server on your desktop or mobile device and creating a wholly new account at

Here are step by step instructions on how to watch Channel 4 on Fire TV Stick:

  1. Connect to a UK VPN server.
  2. Head to and click Hello, Sign In in the top right corner. You should see that there is a UK flag nearby.
  3. UK Amazon Sign In

    The UK flag appears on the UK version of Amazon.

  4. Click Create your Amazon Account.
  5. Amazon Sign Up Step Two

    You need to generate an Amazon account from scratch.

  6. Insert a name, email, and generate a secure password.
  7. Verify your email address via your inbox and use the one time password provided. Do the same with a mobile number not associated with your current Amazon account.
  8. Amazon Sign Up Step Three

    You need to verify your new Amazon account via an email address.

  9. With your new UK Amazon account registered, turn on your Fire TV Stick. Dissociate your current account with your Fire TV Stick by heading to Settings > Account & Profile Settings > Amazon Account > Deregister.
  10. Amazon Fire TV Stick Settings

    You have to deregister your current Amazon account before you can setup a UK Amazon account.

  11. Register your new Amazon UK account with your Firestick.
  12. Search for the Channel 4 app in the Appstore and download it.
  13. Install a VPN on your Fire TV Stick and connect to a UK server.
  14. Login to Channel 4 and start streaming UK TV.

How to Get Channel 4 on Apple TV

You can only get the Channel 4 app on Apple TV if you’re based in the UK. If you’re not based in the UK, you’ll need to use a VPN.

The problem is that not many VPNs offer native Apple TV apps. However, there are ways around this.

The best method is to use a Smart DNS service on Apple TV.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Apple TV because using MediaStreamer on Apple TV allows you to watch Channel 4 from anywhere.

We provide instructions on how to set up ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer further down this page.

Alternatively, you can AirPlay content from your iOS device or macOS to your Apple TV, or install your VPN on router. ExpressVPN’s dedicated router app allows you to connect to a UK server through a simple graphical interface.

How to Get Channel 4 on Samsung TV

Samsung TV does not allow you to install VPN apps.

However, you can use Smart DNS to watch Channel 4 via a Samsung TV. Follow the instructions in the section below to find out how to do it.

Alternatively, you can install a VPN on your router which will provide coverage for any device connected to your home network.

How to Use Smart DNS to Watch Channel 4 in the US

If your device doesn’t support VPN applications, the easiest way to watch Channel 4 from the US is to use a Smart DNS feature.

Smart DNS technology works by rerouting your DNS requests through a UK proxy server. This makes it appear as if you’re connecting from the UK even though your IP address doesn’t change.

Smart DNS is not the same as a VPN, and only a handful of VPNs offer it as an additional feature. Unlike a full VPN service, there are no security or privacy benefits to using Smart DNS. But it is a useful way to stream content that’s unavailable in your home region.

We tested all of the Smart DNS tools on offer from VPN services and can tell you which work with Channel 4 and which do not. Here are our test results:

  • CyberGhost Smart DNS
  • ExpressVPN MediaStreamer
  • NordVPN SmartDNS
  • PIA Smart DNS
  • StrongVPN StrongDNS
  • Surfshark Smart DNS
  • Windscribe Control D

ExpressVPN, StrongVPN, and Windscribe all offer Smart DNS services that work with Channel 4. That means you can use them to stream UK-exclusive content on your Smart TV or any other device that does not support a normal VPN application.

To set up Smart DNS, follow the instructions below. We are using ExpressVPN on macOS as an example.

  1. With an active ExpressVPN subscription, head to My Account on the ExpressVPN website and sign in with your registered details.
  2. ExpressVPN My Account Sign In For MediaStreamer Instructions

    Sign in to your ExpressVPN account via My Account.

  3. Once logged in, go to DNS Settings on the left side menu.
  4. ExpressVPN DNS Settings

    Select DNS settings from the left side menu.

  5. Under My IP address registration select Register my IP address and then toggle on Automatically register my IP address.
  6. ExpressVPN IP Address Registration

    You need to register your IP address.

  7. Head to the ExpressVPN setup page. On the right side you will see Configure MediaStreamer with two DNS server IP addresses.
  8. ExpressVPN DNS Server IP addresses

    ExpressVPN provides two unique DNS server IP addresses – redacted here.

  9. The next stage will depend on what device you’re using. You can find instructions for different devices on the ExpressVPN website, but we’re using macOS as an example. On your macOS, go to System Preferences.
  10. macOS System Preferences for ExpressVPN MediaStreamer Setup Guide

    You can find System Preferences via the Apple logo in the top left corner.

  11. Select Network > Advanced.
  12. macOS Network in System Preferences

    Select ‘Network’ from the listing of macOS system preferences.

  13. On the navigation bar, click DNS. If there is an existing DNS server, make a note of it. Once this is done, remove it by selecting in the bottom left.
  14. macOS DNS Network Settings

    Select DNS from the navigation bar.

  15. Click + and paste the first DNS server IP address you saw under the Configure MediaStreamer section. Then do the same with the second DNS server and click OK.
macOS DNS Network Settings

You can remove and add DNS server IP addresses.

You have now set up ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer on your macOS device.

You can find detailed instructions on how to setup Smart DNS on each VPN’s website:

EXPERT ADVICE: You cannot use Smart DNS on Chromecast or Roku, because they hardcode their DNS.

Channel 4 Not Working Abroad? Here’s How to Fix It

You’ll know your VPN isn’t working with Channel 4 if you receive this error message:

“Not Available. Channel 4 is only available in the UK. You can find more details on our FAQs.”

The best way to avoid Channel 4 error messages is to use a reliable VPN.

If you’re still experiencing issues, try these fixes:

  1. Connect to a different UK server. Channel 4 may have blocked your VPN’s IP address. Changing your server will fix this.
  2. Check for IP or DNS leaks. You can do this by using our leak test tool.
  3. Clear cookies and cache from your device. This will remove any geo-locating trackers. You can also use incognito mode, or another browser.
  4. Use a GPS spoofer. It’s possible that your IP address and GPS location are contradicting each other. A GPS spoofer can align your geolocation with your chosen server location. Surfshark, Windscribe, and IVPN are the only VPNs that have GPS spoofers.
  5. Contact your VPN’s support. Support agents can recommend the best servers for Channel 4 and resolve any problems you may encounter.

What Can I Watch on Channel 4?

Channel 4 has some of the UK’s most popular TV dramas, documentaries, comedy sitcoms, and reality shows. It also regularly screens quality movies that you can watch for free.

Channel 4 Content

Channel 4 includes shows and movies from the UK and the US.

Some of the most popular Channel 4 content includes:

  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Channel 4 News
  • Derry Girls
  • Father Ted
  • First Dates
  • Gogglebox
  • The Great British Bake Off
  • Hollyoaks
  • The Inbetweeners
  • The IT Crowd
  • Made in Chelsea
  • Suspect