How to watch TV abroad without a VPN



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 we’ll show you how you can watch TV abroad without the need for a VPN in any country.

If you’ve been searching for ways to watch TV abroad then you’ve probably come across the term ‘VPN‘ on more than one occasion.

A VPN is a foolproof way to watch TV abroad but it’s not suitable for every situation.

Perhaps the device you’re using doesn’t support a VPN, perhaps your internet is too slow so the encryption of a VPN makes watching unbearable due to buffering or perhaps you just don’t want to use a VPN for whatever other reason.

If you can’t or don’t want to use a VPN to watch TV abroad then a SmartDNS service is the solution.

What is SmartDNS

SmartDNS is a system that allows you to watch TV abroad without the need for a VPN.

Unlike a VPN it doesn’t encrypt your data nor does it send it via another location. It is this reason why VPNs can often result in slow or buffering streams, especially if you have an already slow internet connection.

A SmartDNS basically tricks the website you’re requesting into thinking you’re in the correct country for streaming. This allows you to view your favourite TV shows and networks anywhere in the world without needing a VPN.

How can I get a SmartDNS

SmartDNS services like VPN services are offered by hundreds of different companies, yet not all are created equally.

With a SmartDNS the service needs to be set to work with the TV network you’re trying to watch. This is what sets SmartDNS companies apart.

Probably the best SmartDNS service for coverage is StrongVPN which comes with their free SmartDNS service included.

Below we’ve listed the steps needed to get SmartDNS from StrongVPN and how to use it with your device.

  1. Visit the website of StrongVPN by clicking here and sign up to their service.
  2. Now visit the StrongDNS website Member’s Area and login with your account details.
  3. You should now Choose the region closest to your location and press Save.StrongDNS Set-up
  4. Write down the two sets of numbers next to Primary DNS and Secondary DNS.StrongDNS Servers

Now on the device you want to watch TV abroad on you need to locate the place where you can edit ‘DNS Settings‘.

These are usually found under the Network Settings of most devices.

You can change DNS settings on almost all devices from computers running Windows and Mac to tablets, phones, Smart TVs and even games consoles.

Do a quick search of Google on ‘How to change DNS settings on <your device>‘. You can also check the StrongDNS website set-up guides which have instructions for all the most popular devices.

When you’ve located the area to change your DNS settings enter the Primary and Secondary DNS Settings that you wrote down earlier. If there are already settings entered you should write those down in case you want to swap back.

Save the settings and restart your device if needed.

You’ll now be able to watch all your favourite shows on your favourite networks. This works for both free to air services and any you have subscriptions for such as Netflix.

What are the benefits of SmartDNS vs VPN

If you only want to watch TV abroad and you’re not looking for security then a SmartDNS is the superior choice.

A VPN uses encryption to protect your privacy and a side-feature is it can change your location. This is how a VPN helps you watch TV abroad.

Unfortunately though the encryption can make your connection slower. ALL of your data is being passed through a VPN server so it adds additional pressure on your connection speed which often results in buffering or hangs when you’re watching.

This is made worse if the distance is big. If for example you’re in Australia and you want to watch TV from the UK a VPN has to span a massive physical distance.

When using a SmartDNS your data is not encrypted so there is no slowdown and your request for the TV service still comes from your normal internet connection.

A SmartDNS uses some trickery to fool the TV service into thinking your request came from the region it’s intended for.

Benefits of a SmartDNS:

  • Requires no additional apps or software.
  • Works on devices that don’t support VPN.
  • Faster streams reducing buffering.
  • Quick to set-up.

The only downside of a SmartDNS is the service you sign up to needs to support the TV service you’re trying to watch. Luckily if it doesn’t you can often contact the provider like StrongVPN (+StrongDNS) and request they add support which they’re usually happy to do.

StrongVPN with their StrongDNS service supports hundreds of TV networks and services from around the world though so they’re likely to have you covered.

Recap: Watch TV abroad without a VPN

Searching for a solution to watch TV abroad usually only throws up the same solution: a VPN.

While VPN services are usually good for watching TV abroad they aren’t suitable for all situations. Many devices don’t support VPN services.

The solution is to use a SmartDNS service. You can get our recommended service by clicking the button below and following the instructions earlier in this guide.


8 Responses

  1. Margaret says:

    How can I get British TV over the internet in Italy without a VPN?

  2. Doreen Cann says:

    I am using an iPad abroad. Will it work.
    Is there a cost in using the Smart DNS as nothing is mentioned anywhere. Thanks

  3. Marlene Innes says:

    I have tried expat tv which worked fine on my tv although its not a new smart tv would i be able to install your app on my tv

    • Chris says:

      Hi Marlene,

      Most VPN apps won’t install on Smart TV’s unfortunately. What is it specifically you’re trying to watch and maybe we can point you in the direction of how to do that.

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