In early 2021, the media giant rebranded the CBS All Access streaming service as Paramount+. But the change brought more than a new logo. In addition to content from the CBS broadcast channel, the refreshed streamer now has content from across ViacomCBS’ media empire including productions from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. Despite having an international footprint, American subscribers cannot always watch Paramount+ in Canada.
The entertainment industry’s convoluted licensing deals force Paramount+ to geo-block Americans when they travel overseas. But you can stream Paramount+ in Canada by using a virtual private network (VPN) service like our recommended option ExpressVPN.
With more than three thousand servers in nearly one hundred countries, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services on the market. Their global footprint gives you much more flexibility when traveling abroad. No matter where you travel, you’re likely to get a fast secure, connection for all of your internet activity — including streaming Paramount+.
In a nutshell, all you need to do to watch Paramount+ in Canada is:
- Sign up for a VPN provider
- Download and install your VPN client
- Connect to a VPN server in the US
- Start watching Paramount+
Yes and no. Paramount+ is available to Canadians — they already had CBS All Access. But the content library is different. ViacomCBS had licensed movies and TV shows to Canadian cable and broadcast channels and their streaming services. In its launch announcement, Paramount+ said that more content will appear later in 2021.
However, an American subscription to Paramount+ is only valid within the United States and its Territories. Once you cross an international border, Paramount+ identifies your location and will not let you stream.
Connecting to an ExpressVPN server in the United States bypasses this geographic blocking. By making it look like you are back home, a VPN lets you access the Paramount+ content you’ve already paid for.
Core ExpressVPN Benefits
Restoring access to your streaming subscriptions when you travel is just one of the benefits ExpressVPN offers. Whether you travel internationally or around town, ExpressVPN protects all of your internet activity from the dangers of unsecured public WiFi hotspots.
30-day money-back guarantee. Although ExpressVPN does not offer a free trial, it gives you a no-risk way to try the service out. You pay for your first month up front and have the full thirty days to try the full service. If it isn’t what you’d hoped for, then simply ask for a refund before the month is out.
Discounts and deals available. You can choose between monthly, semi-annual or annual subscription plans. The month-to-month plan makes sense when starting out, but ExpressVPN will cut you a deal — as much as 35% off — when you commit to the longer-term subscription plans.
Dense, global network. Express VPN operates three thousand fast, secure VPN servers in one hundred sixty server locations hosted in ninety-four countries. Within the US alone, the VPN service hosts hundreds of servers in a dozen major cities.
Fast customer support. If something is going to go wrong, it’s going to happen at the worst possible time. ExpressVPN’s chat support is available around the clock to help you get connected to their secure VPN network in minutes.
Simultaneous device streaming. ExpressVPN lets you use as many as five devices at the same time. You personally may not need this, but it lets you share your account with family so everyone is protected.
Whether you’re traveling on business or taking a vacation, you never know whether that WiFi hotspot in the local café or hotel is truly safe. ExpressVPN creates a secure internet connection whether you’re just checking email or streaming a movie. And it doesn’t just unblock Paramount+ in Canada. No matter where you travel, you can use ExpressVPN with every one of your streaming subscriptions from Amazon Prime to Netflix.
It only takes a few minutes to get ExpressVPN running on your device. Just follow these four simple steps.
Step 1: Sign Up for ExpressVPN
As mentioned above, you do need to purchase one of ExpressVPN’s service plans up front. Get a single month’s subscription to check the service out. You can always upgrade to the cheaper, long-term plans later.
Step 2: Download and Install the ExpressVPN Client
When you sign up, ExpressVPN will email you a confirmation link. Click on that link and select the ExpressVPN app for your preferred device. You’ll find ExpressVPN apps for the following platforms:
- iPhone, iPad, iPod
- Amazon Fire TV Kindle Fire
- Apple TV
- Some smart home devices
- Google Chrome
The installation should go smoothly. If you need a little more help, you can check out the manual setup guides for platforms not on this list.
Step 3: Activate Your Client
Once you’ve installed the ExpressVPN client, you need to activate it. Go to your account on the ExpressVPN website and you’ll find the activation code. Enter that code into the app and you’re all set.
Step 4: Connect to a US Server
With the activation process complete, you’re ready to create your first VPN connection on the ExpressVPN network. Click on the “Smart Locations” button and then type in “United States”.
Expand the list of American server locations by clicking on the arrow. Any one of these servers should work for streaming Paramount+. Select one of the servers and you will see the ExpressVPN app has changed to green.
Still getting a blocked message when you try to stream?
There’s always a chance that too many people will be connected to that server. This will cause congestion that degrades your streams. If that happens, simply choose a different US server.
If you still have trouble getting good performance, reach out to ExpressVPN through their chat support service. They will help you find the best-performing secure VPN connection.
When you’re traveling, it can be hard to keep up with TV schedules and figure out what’s on. Flixed has you covered with our National Channel Schedules and Local TV Guides. The National Channel Schedules show you the current and upcoming programming on CBSN, MTV, Comedy Central and other ViacomCBS channels. Use the Local TV Guide for your metro market to find out what’s airing.
What You Need to Know About Paramount+
If you’re still on the fence about whether you want to add Paramount+ to your streaming portfolio, they make a strong case. You’ll find a deep catalog of TV and film content as well as live streams and sports.
The Paramount+ Origin Story
Paramount+ got its start back in 2014 when CBS launched its own streaming service, called CBS All Access. Subscribers got access to currently-airing TV shows and a deep back catalog of TV content dating back to the 1950s. In addition, CBS All Access offered exclusive original content based on popular franchises like Star Trek and The Good Wife.
In 2019, CBS merged with the media conglomerate Viacom to form ViacomCBS, setting the stage for a pivot in the combined company’s streaming strategy. This year’s re-branding of Paramount+ took the original strengths of CBS All Access and added the additional content from Viacom.
The Paramount+ content library contains more than 30,000 TV episodes and 2,500 movie titles.
Movies on Paramount+
Throughout 2021, new release movies from Paramount’s film studios will appear on Paramount+ shortly after premiering in theaters. This includes the horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, the surefire kids’ favorite PAW PATROL: The Movie and the next big Tom Cruise feature Mission: Impossible 7.
These new films add to the deep library of Paramount Pictures productions that includes popular franchises such as Star Trek, Beverly Hills Cop and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Standalone films including Titanic and Forrest Gump will also be part of the film library.
In addition to films from Paramount Pictures, the streaming service cut deals with EPIX and MGM Studios that will bring their content library to Paramount+ in the United States.
TV Shows on Paramount+
The latest episodes from series currently running on BET, CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Showtime Networks and MTV will be available as soon as they air nationally. In addition, subscribers will get access to the back catalogs from these networks.
Paramount+ is also making huge investments in original content. This includes new TV series from the Star Trek, Avatar and SpongeBob universes.
Live TV and Sports on Paramount+
Paramount+ carries live streams from local CBS affiliate stations in more than 200 markets across the United States. You also get live-streaming news from CBSN and live-streaming sports from CBS Sports.
By leveraging the CBS Sports operation, you can watch even more American sports. Events from the NFL; golf from The Masters, the PGA Tour golf, and the PGA Championship; the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship; and the National Women’s Soccer League.
Paramount+ also has US rights for the English-language broadcasts of world football matches from UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League, Concacaf, Liga Profesional de Fútbol, and Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
You have a choice of two pricing tiers. For a limited time, you can still get the original $6-per-month subscription plan that gives you full access to Paramount+. This will be replaced in June with a $5-per-month plan that does not include access to your local CBS station. In both cases, you will see a limited number of ads in all on-demand content.
The $10 per month or $100 per year premium tier removes all ads from on-demand content and gives you access to everything on the platform, including your local CBS station.
Some on-demand content is available in 4K resolution with HDR video quality and surround sound. User profiles for up to six family members so they get their own watch histories, recommendations and favorites lists. Unlike other live TV streaming services, Paramount+ does not offer a DVR feature so your family cannot record live TV.
Apps are available on all the major mobile and TV platforms, including Roku and Apple TV. Your family can use those apps to watch three streams at the same time. When you travel, you can download content to the Paramount+ app on mobile devices for viewing when away from an internet connection.
Why Does Paramount+ Block American Subscribers in Canada?
The TV and film studios make their money by licensing the broadcast, cable and streaming rights of the content they produce. This gets especially complicated when you’re talking about international rights. Typically, content gets licensed to one or more companies in each country around the world. To protect their investments, these companies set terms that prevent companies like Paramount+ from streaming into their country.
This isn’t unique to Paramount+. Netflix is bound by licensing deals but rather than cutting you off, it simply assigns you to the content catalog of whatever country you’re in. Even though Paramount+ offers service in Canada, Latin America and several European countries, however, they are essentially stand-alone services.
Why do Americans Need to Unblock Paramount+ in Canada?
When you connect to the internet, whether at home or at a hotel, your computer receives an internet IP address. These addresses are specific to the country in which the internet service provider operates. As a result, websites and online services can detect where in the world you’re connecting from. Paramount+ uses this geolocation data to see when you’re traveling outside the United States and then denies you service.
VPN services like ExpressVPN help you avoid these geo-blocks by making it look like you’re accessing the internet from a city in the United States. Your device gets an American IP address so websites and services like Paramount+ have no way of knowing that you’re traveling.
Can Paramount+ Block VPNs?
Paramount+ and other streaming services do make an effort to block people using VPN services. Under-resourced VPN providers, usually those who offer free tiers, don’t have the technology or network depth needed to avoid this.
Services like ExpressVPN, on the other hand, have the technology, resources and staff needed to make sure its global VPN network is always available. If you need to unblock Paramount+ in Canada, be sure to check it out.