How to watch RTE Player abroad



Chris, a UK-born media connoisseur, is an expert in watching international TV. Known as "The Global Screen Wanderer", he has travelled extensively across the globe with long stints away from home. With over 10 years of experience he has become the go-to guru for streaming content from home and abroad.

In this guide I’ll show you the really easy way you can watch the Irish edition of RTE Player in any country on the planet!

Irish people love to travel that is certainly true. No matter where we go we always bump into Irish people traveling the globe either on holidays, backpacking or even those who have left to live elsewhere.

RTE Player is a fantastic source of watching Irish TV shows, but unfortunately it is restricted to those inside Ireland.

We’re regularly asked how to watch RTE Player abroad and luckily there is a solution called a VPN that we will explain in this simple guide. So fear not Irish travellers and expats, you can get your daily fill of Irish TV no matter where you are in the world by following our simple and inexpensive method given below.

How to watch RTE Player outside Ireland

A VPN is a small piece of software for your computer/laptop or app for your phone/tablet that allows you to connect via another location and assume that location’s identity.

To watch RTE Player abroad, you want to give the impression you’re in Ireland and this is possible and extremely easy with a VPN.

To get a VPN, you need to sign up with a VPN provider. A VPN costs about US$5-$10 per month and bigger savings can be made the longer you subscribe for.

There are basically thousands of providers of VPN services around the world. To watch RTE Player abroad, you need to sign up to a provider that offers an Irish connection. Many of the bigger providers do, but some of the smaller ones don’t.

Unfortunately, not all VPN services work with the Irish edition of RTE Player so you need to be careful which you choose.

After extensive testing we found ExpressVPN offers access to the Irish edition of the RTE Player website. While other providers offer Irish connections they only allow you to access the international edition with reduced content.

One alternative that does work is CyberGhost VPN, so feel free to check them out too.

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What do I do when I’ve signed up

  1. Sign up to ExpressVPN and you’ll be supplied with either software for your computer or laptop or an app for your phone or tablet.
  2. Download and install it from the link provided.
  3. Once installed you simply select the Ireland connection and press Connect.
  4. When connected visit the RTE Player website or use the app and instead of being blocked you’ll be able to access all the Irish TV channels just as if you were in Ireland itself.
ExpressVPN app connecting to Ireland.

Watch in any country with ExpressVPN.

Why is RTE Player blocked?

If you’ve ever visited the RTE website and then RTE Player when you’re outside Ireland you’ll be unable to stream the TV Shows. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia or anywhere else in the world, the site knows this and so blocks you due to “licensing restrictions”.

Your internet connection basically gives away your physical location by something known as an IP Address. This is a unique set of numbers assigned to yourself while connected similar to a phone number. It is from this “phone number” that RTE Player can determine your location.

The solution to watch RTE Player abroad is to get yourself an IP Address from another country and virtually reside there. This is extremely simple and can be done using a VPN which is explained above.

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What can I watch and when?

With a VPN you can watch any TV show that would normally be available on RTE Player either catch-up or live TV, there are no restrictions.

As you are now giving the impression you’re in Ireland even though you’re not you’ll be able to watch at any time and if you visit another country you’ll still be able to use the same VPN account.

Most providers let you watch on 6 or 7 devices at the same time so if you have kids or another adult wants to watch a different show then you can do so by downloading the software or apps on more than one device, you’ll only need one VPN account and so only pay once for the service.

What about free “proxies”

You may have been told about free “proxies”. Unfortunately these don’t work because they only hide your web browsing location and the video streamed via RTE Player goes outside of that. This is how RTE Player knows you’re abroad even when using a free web proxy.

Often there is talk of free VPNs but again the problems with these can be many. Due to them being free many users pile on to their services making them unusable for streaming video, they’re just too slow and so cause lag, buffering and stoppages.


If you want to stream RTE Player but you’re in the UK, Australia, the United States, Canada, Spain, Japan or anywhere else in the world, you’ll need a VPN app.

ExpressVPN works the best in our testing.

Sign up for their service, download their app and connect to Ireland. You’ll now be able to watch every RTE channel whatever country you’re in.

Ready for unrestricted access?

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6 Responses

  1. PaddyMac says:

    Express VPN works like a charm with RTE Player. With BBC Player, you need a BBC account with a UK post code and then say “Yes I have a license” when prompted. I first subscribed to CyberGhost VPN but I had no luck getting RTE to Play, and BBC Player was so slow to load even the thumbnails I couldn’t even try playing anything. In comparison, Express VPN is super fast and their chat is very helpful. Thanks for your blog post.

  2. Donal Conlon says:

    I have NordVPN. I reside in France. Even with a VPN connection to Ireland I am unable to stream RTE. Message says ‘Rights Restrictions’. So I don’t find that what you say is valid

    • Chris says:

      Hi Donal,

      Have just tested this. You sometimes have to play around with servers. I just used Ireland #58 which was working well with ‘CyberSec’ switched off to keep their advert blocking detection happy. Played both Laura Brennan: This Is Me and Explained by Prime Time with no issue.

      Let us know how you get on.

      • Conor says:

        Hi Chris & Donal,

        The new RTE player blocks everything that doesn’t have an Irish residential IP address. Chris, I think the programmes you mentioned are available internationally without restrictions, so you will have to test with a programme that is otherwise blocked.

        • Chris says:

          Seems you’re correct Conor. I tested a few of NordVPN’s other Irish servers and couldn’t get any to work. They do have quite a few though so there may be one working.

          I did find that CyberGhost VPN ( works well using “Dublin-S01-i10” server and have updated the article to reflect this.

          • Chris says:

            This was tested with “Paths to Freedom” which isn’t available on the International Edition. Thanks for the help Conor.

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