It’s too bad you can’t watch Paramount+ in the UK. With low prices and a huge library of on-demand and live content, Paramount+ is aiming to be a force in the streaming business. The service is available now in the United States, Canada, across Latin America and in the Nordic countries of Europe with Australian service coming soon. But there’s no word on when the service will launch in the United Kingdom.
Even when it does, Paramount+ will block American subscribers in the UK. Fortunately, there is a way to keep bingeing Spongebob while traveling in Britain. A virtual private network (VPN) service bypasses the geographical fences Paramount+ and other streamers put in the way of their customers. Our recommended option is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN: The Best VPN to Watch Paramount+ in the UK
Whether you’re sitting in a local coffee shop or an airport on the other side of the world, ExpressVPN protects your online activity thanks to its global network of fast, secure VPN servers.
How to Watch Paramount+ in the UK
Launching a Paramount+ stream while visiting the UK is a simple, four-step process:
- Sign up with ExpressVPN
- Download and install your VPN client
- Connect to an ExpressVPN server in the US
- Start watching Paramount+
Can I Watch Paramount+ in the UK Without a VPN?
Paramount+ probably won’t be available in the UK in 2021. When it does go live, however, American subscribers won’t have access to it when they travel overseas. Paramount+ treats its various international versions as stand-alone entities. A subscription to one does not give you access to any of the others.
Yet there is a way to keep Paramount+ streaming no matter whether you’re in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Chile or Vietnam. ExpressVPN bypasses the streaming services’ geographic blocking systems by making it look like you’re back home in the States.
Core ExpressVPN Benefits
Restoring your streaming subscription is not ExpressVPN’s only benefit. The VPN service creates a secure connection to the internet no matter where you are. Compromised WiFi hotspots in cafés, hotels and airports can expose your email and Zoom calls to hackers. ExpressVPN hides your activity from prying eyes and helps keep your personal and business information safe. Other ExpressVPN benefits include:
Dense, global network. ExpressVPN operates in 94 countries around the world. Their 160 server locations host more than 3,000 VPN servers. No matter where you travel, you’re sure to get a fast, secure connection.
Fast customer support. Should you run into connection issues, you’ll get a quick response from ExpressVPN’s 24×7 chat support service.
Affordable plans. While you can pay by the month, ExpressVPN rewards subscribers to its six-month and twelve-month plans — you can save as much as 35%
30-day money-back guarantee. ExpressVPN does not offer a free trial, but it does provide a no-risk way to give its service a try before making a commitment. Pick the monthly plan and pay for the first month. You get full access to the service for 30 days during which you can cancel any time, no questions asked.
Simultaneous devices. ExpressVPN does not restrict who uses your account. When traveling with your family, you can have five devices connected to the ExpressVPN network at the same time.
Although securing email, web browsing, Zoom calls and other online activity is the main purpose for getting ExpressVPN, restoring streaming subscriptions is a very popular benefit. Besides unblocking Paramount+, ExpressVPN restores your access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other major services.
How to Stream Paramount+ in the UK with ExpressVPN
These four simple steps will let you access your US Paramount+ account while in the United Kingdom.
Step 1: Sign Up for ExpressVPN
Subscribe at the monthly, semi-annual or annual levels. ExpressVPN will charge your credit card up front.
Step 2: Download and Install the ExpressVPN Client
Once you receive ExpressVPN’s subscription confirmation email and click the confirmation link, you can download the ExpressVPN for any of the following platforms:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets
- Apple TV
- Google Chrome
- iPhone, iPad, iPod
- Routers from various vendors
- Select smart home devices
ExpressVPN works with a number of device platforms not on this list. Check the ExpressVPN support site for more information.
Step 3: Activate Your App
Once you’ve installed the app, you need to activate it. Go back to the ExpressVPN website and go into your account. There you will find your device’s activation code. Enter that code into the app. The installation process is complete.
Step 4: Connect to a US Server
Whenever you need to create a secure internet connection, simply open the ExpressVPN app and tap the “Smart Locations” button. Typing in “United States” produces a list of ExpressVPN’s server locations in the United States. Pick one of those servers to connect and the app’s main screen will turn green.
You’ll now look like you’re back home Stateside and can stream Paramount+ in the UK or wherever else you travel.
Still getting a blocked message when you try to stream?
Every once in a while a VPN server will have too many people connected at the same time. The network congestion this creates will slow your download speeds. Usually, you can fix this by simply choosing a different VPN server. If that doesn’t work, the ExpressVPN support team responds quickly to chat support requests.
Flixed TV Guides – What’s On Paramount+?
Figuring out what’s one live TV is a hassle when you’re home, but it becomes more of a struggle when you’re traveling overseas. Paramount+ carries live streams from local CBS stations, CBS News and a dozen cable channels. You can find out what’s on now and in the future by visiting Flixed’s Local TV Guides and National Channel Schedules.
What You Need to Know About Paramount+
With a deep catalog of TV and movie content plus live TV, news and sports, Paramount+ expects to be a competitive option for your streaming entertainment.
Where Paramount+ Came From
You may have heard of CBS All Access, the national broadcast network’s proprietary streaming service. CBS is owned by a media conglomerate called ViacomCBS which owns dozens of cable channels like BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Showtime. It also owns Paramount Pictures, a film studio that’s been churning out hit movies since the era of silent films.
ViacomCBS decided to turn CBS All Access into Paramount+ and stream all of its film and TV content from one service. The rebranded streamer went live in March 2021 in the US and Latin America before rolling out to other markets around the world.
With all of ViacomCBS’ TV channels and production studios contributing content, Paramount+ enjoys an enviable on-demand library with more than twenty-five hundred movies and thirty thousand TV episodes.
Movies on Paramount+
From time to time, you will find a few classic silent films to stream. But Paramount+ focuses on its biggest hits (with sound and color). The studio owns popular franchises like Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and Transformers. You can also stream critical favorites like Angela’s Ashes, Mommie Dearest and Roman Holiday.
New movies released by Paramount Pictures will appear on Paramount+ within a month or so of their theatrical premiers. In 2021, you’ll be able to stream films like Mission: Impossible 7 from the comfort of your own home.
The Paramount+ movie selection goes beyond Paramount Pictures thanks to deals it cut with MGM Studios and EPIX. Of course, those films are only available in the United States.
TV Shows on Paramount+
With content from a dozen cable and broadcast channels, Paramount+ lets you watch the latest episode of shows like NCIS as soon as it airs. You also get back catalogs from CBS’s rich history of TV shows with all of the Star Trek series, the original Beverly Hills 90210 and The Brady Bunch.
Paramount+ is also developing original content you’ll find nowhere else. New shows include more from the Star Trek universe, a spinoff from The Good Wife and a reboot of iCarly.
Live TV and Sports on Paramount+
The decades-long legacy of CBS Sports will be front-and-center on Paramount+. In addition to seeing nationally-televised sports, you’ll be able to watch events from a wide range of domestic and international sports leagues:
- National Football League
- The Masters, PGA Tour and the PGA Championship
- NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship
- National Women’s Soccer League
- UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League
- Liga Profesional de Fútbol
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
You also get a live news stream from CBS News and access to your local CBS affiliate station’s live stream. There is a catch, however, with local TV. When you visit another city in the US, you have to watch that city’s local CBS station.
Of course, leaving the country means you lose access to all of the Paramount+ live TV streams.
Paramount+ entry-level pricing is a little confusing. Right now, you can get the same deal people had with CBS All Access for $6 per month. This plan gives you access to everything on the service but with ads inserted into on-demand content. In June 2021, Paramount+ replaces this plan with a new $5 monthly subscription. This is also ad-supported and you get access to most of Paramount+. However, you will lose access to your local CBS station.
The Paramount+ premium tier gives you access to everything and removes the ads from on-demand content. This plan costs $10 per month or you can get the annual option for $100.
Viewed as an on-demand streaming service, Paramount+ provides a decent range of features. As a live TV streaming service, however, it’s somewhat lacking.
First, the good news. Much of the on-demand content — especially the movie catalog — is available in surround sound, 4K resolution and high dynamic range video quality.
You can create up to six profiles on your account. That lets each family member have their own viewing histories, favorites and recommendations.
Apps are available on all of the major streaming platforms, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. Mobile users can download content to the Paramount+ app to watch when they’re offline.
The only weakness with Paramount+ is the inability to record live TV. Without a cloud DVR, you cannot record sports and other live events. TV shows are less of an issue since they will be available as on-demand content.
Why Does Paramount+ Block American Subscribers in the UK?
The billions of dollars content owners generate from films and TV shows is made possible by a spaghetti nest of licensing deals that decide who gets what content where. The deals studios strike in other countries usually include clauses that prevent the studio from competing with its international distributors.
Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video handle this by only letting you access the content catalog of the country you’re visiting. American subscribers can still use the service, but the shows they can access will be different (and in a different language).
Paramount+ handles the licensing situation by blocking their service whenever subscribers leave the country. The policy is really there to prevent people in other countries from accessing US content but it ends up punishing American subscribers.
How Does Paramount+ Block American Subscribers in the UK?
When you launch the Paramount+ app or go to the Paramount+ website, you’re doing it through an internet connection. That connection is associated with a country-specific internet address. All Paramount+ and other streaming services need to do is look for non-American addresses and block your access.
There is a way to get around this geo-blocking. When you connect to one of ExpressVPN’s servers in the United States, your device is assigned an American internet address. Paramount+ can’t tell that you’re not in the country so it lets you access your subscription just like when you’re at home.
Can Paramount+ Block VPNs?
There are more sophisticated ways to block a VPN. But those methods are only effective against small VPN providers — usually those offering free service. With its global network, technology investments and in-house staff, ExpressVPN can unblock Paramount+ in the UK.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.