Britbox is the latest innovative new streaming service which for many people represents a treasure trove of British Television programmes from the last few decades. On it you’ll be sure to find a whole host of old favourites and some very new shows too from the best of the UK TV channels. Initially there’s shows from the BBC, ITV and Channel 5 however there will be some more additions in the coming few months. In Spring 2020, Channel 4 and Film 4 will be joining the channel which should add lots more shows and loads of movies available too. It’s an interesting concept and there’s a huge amount of content on Britbox which will dwarf other rivals like Apple TV for example.
For any fan of British Television it’s probably worth subscribing especially if there’s a few shows you want to catch up with. There are for example over 600 episodes of Dr Who currently available there, which is worth the subscription on it’s own for a sci-fi fan. Of course most of us have lots of different new streaming services nowadays so it’s difficult to see if Britbox can actually compete with similarly priced services like Prime Video.
A lot of the attraction though to Britbox though will be through nostalgia, I guarantee anyone who grew up in the UK and who is over 30 years of old will find some hidden treasure they’ve forgotten about. Some of these shows that are lost in the midst of time had huge followings and won buckets of awards. There are some delights waiting to be rediscovered in Britbox for many of us I can assure you. However if you’re younger, then there’s probably very little to attract you here over something like Amazon Prime or Netflix.
At the moment, and unfortunately it’s unlikely to change for a while, you can only access Britbox if you’re located in the United Kingdom , USA or Canada. The three versions differ slightly with some people saying that the US version has slightly more content than the other two. So if you’ve got a choice, then watching Britbox in the US might be the best option. When you connect to the website the site will do a lookup on your IP address to double check that you’re in one of those countries, if you’re not then you’ll be unable to access it. It’s called geo restricted or geo targeted, it basically means restricting access based on your location.
How to Watch Britbox Using a VPN
Yet fear not, if you fancy losing yourself in a world of classic UK television and are not in those countries, there’s still hope. Like most new streaming service sites which block access based on location there’s a simple workaround to these geo restrictions. It’s called a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and although it sounds complicated and technical, they are incredibly easy to use. Basically you just install the application on your computer/laptop/tablet or phone then connect to a country that supports Britbox and then it will all work. You can literally start to watch Britbox in minutes, by literally clicking a button. You connect to a VPN server in the selected country which hides your real location, so if you choose UK or USA for example then Britbox will work. I would suggest picking a UK server as you can then get access to the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 as well as watch Britbox, which have loads more British shows available for free.
So which is the best VPN for Britbox? Here’s the easiest VPN service to use, bypasses most geo restrictions and it’s one of the cheapest too ! Don’t worry about the phone on the picture it will work on virtually any device you like, mine is running on my ten year old desktop. It’s definitely one of the best VPN programs and great value for money too.
Even if you don’t subscribe to watch Britbox, this VPN actually allows you access to all the other UK television channels which broadcast online too. In fact, there’s so much on the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and the other UK channels you might not even bother with Britbox. Honestly when you combine with Live TV and all the shows available on the ‘free UK’ stations you wonder if you need to access Britbox at all.
Of course, most of us who have been watching the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and all the other UK streaming service channels from outside the UK for decades knew this would work – but unfortunately there is one slight problem. Although NordVPN works perfectly for bypassing all the blocks from the UK Television channels including Britbox there is another factor to consider. It regards payment and for some people even the best VPN alone is not quite enough to watch BritBox from anywhere in the world!
Why your VPN Might Not Work with BritBox
There’s rarely an actual issue with the VPN, for instance NordVPN works fine and it does fool the website. As such when connected to the right server the Britbox site is perfectly accessible. The issue actually comes with creating Britbox subscription, at least when you come to pay for it. If you’ve already subscribed to Britbox and just want to access it, then stop reading these are not your problems ! This issue regards the fact that like most streaming services, BritBox will check where your payment method is registered to. All debit and credit cards have a country of issue identifier which is easily checked, most subscription services like this and Prime Video will check your payment method too. So if you’re using NordVPN to pretend you’re in the UK this will work fine except when you present a French registered debit card to pay.
Don’t Buy a VPN for Britbox unless you have a UK, US or Canadian Card !!
There’s no simple way around this, you’ll see mentions of pre-paid debit cards and gift cards but it’s not easy to set up. It’s simple to bypass the IP address checks but the payment method check is much more difficult and I would suspect most people won’t bother. If you can’t get passed this then don’t mess around using a VPN service because it won’t work.
Here’s some other useful facts if you’re considering either subscribing to Britbox through a VPN or not.
- No Giftcards currently available – this might be a handy workaround to access Britbox and the payment issue if they become available. Until then get someone with a valid card to buy the subscription for you.
- UK access from EU temporarily – Britbox say that you can access your UK account for short periods whilst in the EU. This will probably change when UK leaves the EU though.
- 30 Day Free trial needs payment details too – unfortunately you have to put in your card details to use the 30 day free trial too.
- Some VPNs are blocked by BritBox – stick to VPNs like NordVPN which work with the BBC. Test with short trials if unsure.
Is BritBox Worth Subscribing via VPN
Well obviously this depends on what sort of TV programmes you like! It’s very unclear when will BritBox be available in Europe or places like Australia. However for anyone who enjoys British TV and drama shows like Downton Abbey then it does seem like incredible value. There are shows and series which have dozens of episodes and can keep the family entertained for years. It should be remembered thought that content will move and expire like on any other streaming service although as the BBC and ITV own most of it then this is likely to be quite minimal.
These two companies alone have probably the largest media archives in the world. The BBC is of course the oldest broadcaster so has some brilliant shows from decades ago. Whether people will be interested in streaming low resolution archive shows on their UHD screens is difficult to be certain. The cost is very low and the $6 dollars or so, is a fraction of what some of us used to spend in Blockbuster every weekend! You should remember to include the cost of the VPN as well though if you require one. To be fair though this can be used for lots more too.
I would suggest using your VPN service first to access the media sites directly which are of course free. There’s an awful lot on the main BBC ITV media sites too and much of it is more recent than the BritBox content which is more of an archive. You can try out the free 30 day trial first, the subscription is simple to cancel if you’re just happy with the free versions.