Public Broadcasting Service (commonly called PBS) is a non-profit broadcaster that offers a bucketful of engaging educational programs, classic dramas, and period TV shows.
Be it fine arts programs, musicals, rustics, or public affair shows like Washington Week, Downtown Abbey, Soundstage, American Masters – there’s much more to PBS’s primetime than all these amazing shows!
The popular distributor also has a separate service for minors called PBS Kids, which lets kids enjoy Barnie & Friends, Sesame Street, Alma’s Way, and Word Girl. What more can one want?
But enjoying all this comes with a small catch – you need the best VPN for PBS.
Sadly, PBS is only available in the United States. However, with the best PBS VPN, you can tune in to everything the service offers from anywhere across the world.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the list!
Why Do you Need a VPN for PBS Outside US?
You need a VPN to unblock PBS outside the United States since it’s a geo-restricted service confined to America. All you need to do is get a premium VPN and connect to its US server, just like you do when you unblock Disney Plus, Tubi TV outside the US, And YouTube TV outside US. Only a reliable VPN with powerful servers can let you enjoy PBS outside the USA.
If you try to access PBS from anywhere else, like Canada, Australia, India, or Ireland, then you’ll be prompted with the following geo-restriction error.
This is because PBS uses your IP address to identify where you’re in the world. To bypass this error, all you need to do is change your IP address to the United States by using only the best VPN for PBS. We recommend ExpressVPN for its consistent performance.
Detailed Analysis – 3 Best VPNs to Watch PBS Outside USA
We tested 40+ VPNs for their speeds, unblocking capabilities, security, and device compatibility and shortlisted the 3 most reliable VPN providers to unblock PBS.
Let’s discuss each one of them in detail below.
1. ExpressVPN – The Best and Fastest VPN for PBS Outside US
ExpressVPN is the overall best and fastest VPN service to unblock PBS. The VPN offers robust unblocking capabilities and security, along with an incredible download speed of 89.38 Mbps and upload speed of 84.66 Mbps. (check out our speed test below).
ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries including 23+ server locations in the United States alone. These locations are available in all popular cities like Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, and more.
To test ExpressVPN’s unblocking capabilities, we connected to ExpressVPN’s New York server and were able to unblock the service within a minute. We then accessed the PBS and enjoyed Benjamin Franklin in HD playback quality.
Throughout streaming, there were no stutters on our connection. This made us conduct an ExpressVPN speed test to know what speeds the VPN is offering on our network. On our 100 Mbps, the VPN delivered an average download speed of 89.38 Mbps and an upload speed of 84.66 Mbps.
Except for PBS, we could also use ExpressVPN’s US servers to unblock other American streaming services. As per our testing, we could unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Showtime, YouTube TV, Disney Plus, and Directv Stream outside the USA.
With ExpressVPN, you can enjoy PBS on a variety of operating systems, including iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.
It allows users to connect up to 5 devices simultaneously. The VPN also offers a MediaStreamer feature that lets you enjoy a VPN connection on devices that do not offer native VPN support along with smooth streaming.
This means that along with operating systems, you can also use this VPN on devices like Samsung Smart TV, FireStick, Roku, PS4, and more. You can also configure ExpressVPN on Kodi if you love streaming on the media player.
ExpressVPN backs up its streaming capabilities with robust security. This means that your actual IP address wouldn’t be leaked to PBS at all, thanks to this VPN’s DNS leak protection. Its kill switch allows you to avoid all kinds of activity leaks.
Hails to its amazing service, ExpressVPN really is the best VPN for PBS. It comes at a cost of only $6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan) along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a more detailed analysis of this best PBS VPN, go through our ExpressVPN review.
2. Surfshark – Budget-friendly VPN for PBS
Surfshark is the most affordable VPN service for PBS. It’s known for offering a consistent service at a price of only $2.30/mo (Save 81% on 2 Years + 2 Months Free Plan with Surfshark Antivirus) that’s backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark offers 3200+ servers in 95 countries, among which 600+ are available in 25+ cities of the United States. These cities include Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, New York, and more.
Accessing PBS was a pretty smooth process with Surfshark. We connected to its Atlanta server and unblocked the streaming platform within 2 minutes. On PBS, we enjoyed a variety of best PBS programs in HD, including Sesame Street, American Masters, and Downtown Abbey.
The speeds of Surfshark were fast on its US server. In our Surfshark speed test, the VPN delivered an average download speed of 81.32 Mbps and an upload speed of 76.12 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
This VPN is compatible with multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
The best thing about Surfshark is that it allows users to connect as many devices as they like with a single account. This means that whether you own 10 devices or 50, Surfshark would offer its amazing service on each and every one of them.
Along with your operating systems, you can connect a variety of gaming consoles, Smart TVs, and routers with this VPN as well. Surfshark is compatible with PS4, Roku, Xbox, FireStick, Nvidia Shield, and more.
This VPN equips advanced security features that work great in keeping you anonymous and secure. With its MultiHop feature, your ISP wouldn’t be able to decrypt your connection, thanks to the multi-layer protection offered by the VPN.
Its Camouflage mode conceals your VPN traffic and portrays it as usual internet traffic so you’re not monitored.
If you’re still unsure, then you can avail Surfshark’s free trial, available for 7 days on iOS and Android. While this cheap VPN comes at a price of only $2.30/mo (Save 81% on 2 Years + 2 Months Free Plan with Surfshark Antivirus), you can still first try it out by availing its risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee to test its performance.
For a more detailed analysis of this best VPN for PBS, go through our Surfshark review.
3. NordVPN – Secure VPN for PBS
NordVPN offers the most powerful security features to stay secure and anonymous while accessing PBS. The VPN’s advanced security features include obfuscation technology, DNS leak protection, and Double VPN, which all combine and keep users secure while streaming PBS.
NordVPN offers 5500+ servers in 59 countries, among which 1970+ servers are in 15 cities of the United States. These cities include Los Angeles, New Jersey, Denver, Chicago, and Buffalo, which are all great options for accessing PBS.
We connected to NordVPN’s Chicago server and accessed PBS in around 2 minutes. After that, we caught up on the best PBS programs along with a public affairs show: PBS NewsHour, and streamed them in HD and without any lags.
NordVPN’s speeds seemed to be quite fast while streaming. So, we conducted a NordVPN speed test, and the VPN delivered an average download speed of 83.82 Mbps and an upload speed of 44.64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
NordVPN offers compatible apps for all popular platforms you own. You can get NordVPN on a variety of operating systems, including iOS, Windows, Android, macOS, and Linux.
NordVPN is known for its security features. It equips the obfuscation technology that hides your VPN traffic and makes it look like your normal traffic, so no one can snoop into your connection.
Its DNS leak protection feature ensures that your actual IP address isn’t leaked to anyone, including the streaming service. Its Onion over VPN feature combines the security of a Tor browser with a VPN’s security.
All in all, NordVPN is a great choice to earn a position in our best VPN for PBS list. It comes at a price of only $3.99/mo (Save 70% on 2 Years Plan + Extra Subscription) along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a more detailed analysis of this best VPN for PBS, go through our NordVPN review.
What to Look For in a PBS VPN
There are various factors you need to look into when choosing the best PBS VPN. After all, a poor quality VPN may cause serious privacy and security risks and may leave you worse off.
While all the VPNs mentioned above are the top picks for PBS, if you still want to conduct the research on your own, then the following factors are the most significant ones:
- US servers: For unblocking PBS, a VPN should offer at least one server location in the United States. However, if the VPN offers multiple locations/cities, then that’s a bonus.
- Unblocking capabilities: If you’re an avid streamer, then you should definitely check if your chosen VPN is capable of unblocking other streaming platforms as well like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and more outside USA along with PBS.
- Speeds: Fast speeds is a vital consideration when it comes to streaming with a VPN. For PBS, you’d require a VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds to enjoy box-set binges.
- Compatible devices: Nowadays, we don’t only stream on our web browsers or laptops, but also on other devices, like Roku, Smart TVs, smartphones and more. Look for the best VPN for PBS that offers compatibility with multiple devices, along with simultaneous connections.
- No-logging policy: A zero-logging policy proves that the VPN takes users privacy seriously, doesn’t collect users data or keep tabs on their activities when connected to a VPN server.
- Customer service: You may not need it, but it would still be a relief knowing that a team of experts are ready and waiting to help you in case you face any issues.
To get these and even more features in a single VPN provider with unparalleled performance, we highly recommend subscribing to ExpressVPN.
PBS Not Working with VPN? Here’s How to Fix That!
If PBS is not working with your current VPN, then the streaming platform may have identified and blocked the US server of your VPN. The best VPN services react quickly to these blockages and host new servers that let you access PBS once again. However, poor-quality VPNs take too long to make those changes.
This is why we highly recommend using only the best VPN for PBS – ExpressVPN. This VPN refreshes its IP address list from time to time so you don’t get blocked while accessing your favorite content on PBS.
However, if you’re already using ExpressVPN and for some reason facing a connection issue, then follow any of the tips given below.
How to Install a VPN for PBS Outside USA?
You can learn how to install and stream PBS outside the US using the following steps:
FAQs – Best VPN for PBS
Can you watch PBS with a VPN outside US?
Yes, you can watch PBS with a VPN. If you reside outside the US, then you need to get a VPN like ExpressVPN and connect to its US servers to access PBS. You can then start streaming it by visiting the official PBS website or downloading its app on your device.
Is it legal to access PBS using a VPN?
Yes, it’s absolutely legal to access PBS using a VPN. While PBS does equip a VPN detection technology to block all traffic coming from VPN-enabled IP addresses, there is no law that deems using a VPN illegal for accessing PBS. However, if you want to avoid getting blocked by PBS, use the best VPN for PBS that refreshes its IP address list often, like ExpressVPN.
Can I use a free VPN to watch PBS outside the US?
Yes, you can use a free VPN to watch PBS outside the US, but we strongly advise against it. Free VPNs offer just a few servers worldwide along with limited bandwidth, which is ultimately a bad combination for streaming geo-restricted content.
This means that you will face a lot of buffering and lag due to traffic overload if you use a free VPN server. However, you can curb this issue and enjoy bufferless streaming with a premium VPN like ExpressVPN.
Isn’t it annoying visiting the PBS site just to be greeted with its error message? Well, this guide helps you fix the issue once and for all. Our top recommended VPNs help you access all of PBS’s engaging educational and scientific content anywhere in the world.
All you need is to choose the provider that best meets your needs. To get the overall best streaming experience, we highly recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for PBS.
It lets you bypass geo-restrictions within seconds and enjoy its content without any buffering or delays. It would offer you fast speeds along with excellent security, and multiple servers in 23+ US locations.
Ready to catch up on Downtown Abbey and Sesame Street this weekend? Happy binge-watching!