How to Get Pandora in UK
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start by setting up a VPN account
- Next, download and install the VPN software to the device(s) you will listen to Pandora in UK from
- Open the VPN software then connect to UK located server
- Sign into your Pandora account or create one if you have not already
- Enjoy Pandora in UK
How to get Pandora in UK in more detail:
I love listening to music. Who doesn't? I studied music in University and honestly cannot go a day without getting some audio therapy from either my own collection or via some of the awesome online music streaming services available nowadays.
Pandora is one such epic resource I use regularly to discover great new artists and bands I would otherwise never be exposed to. Since I moved to the US, I have revelled in daily sessions of Pandora's discover features while working away.
So when I returned for my first visit back home to the UK, I was super disappointed to be presented with this message when attempting to access Pandora:
Yes, my favourite music streaming service provider is not available and thus blocked from listening to in the UK. What a disaster! Sure, I could resort to the old Spotify for my new music fix, but that's just not my nature.
I went ahead and researched possible solutions for how to get Pandora in UK locations as quickly and effectively as possible -- and I figured it out! So I wanted to share this solution in a quick guide in the off-chance that others are also looking for such a solution.
Why is Pandora not Available in the UK?
So the first order of business to figuring out how to get Pandora in the UK was to understand exactly why the service is not made available therein.
After some researching I came to the understand that this comes down to licensing rights agreed upon between Pandora and the owners of every piece of music they offer on the service. What this means is that Pandora have to buy licensing rights for each and every artist/band they offer on the service. Such licensing rights are purchased per country, so to offer an artist's music in the USA and Australia, Pandora needs to purchase licensing rights for both.
As you can imagine, this adds up to a large monetary investment from Pandora to offer the music they do in the countries they do. So it makes sense that they choose to offer a large library of music to a small number of countries (USA, Australia and New Zealand), rather than a smaller library of music to a larger number of countries.
How is Pandora Blocking Access in the UK?
Now to really get why the solution I lay out below works to effectively, I'll quickly explain exactly how Pandora manages to know which users to block and which to allow almost instantly when arriving on the service.
I checked out all the online media streaming providers that I had experienced 'blocks' with prior to this one, and referenced the technique they use against Pandora, and sure enough - the same process is used by Pandora: "geo-blocking".
This process is used a sort of watchman by Pandora. So when a user arrives on the service, this geo-blocking "watchman" will instantaneously check the user's current location at that moment and deny or grant them access to the services based on this.
So how does this watchman know each and every users' location? By checking the IP address, which tells them the location because you IP address is a numerical representation of the server you are connected to at any moment (which will always be located in the country you're in.)
This means that the best way to resolve how to get Pandora in UK locations is to somehow manage to change your IP address to one that instead shows your location as in one of the locations that Pandora is available in (i.e. USA, Australia or New Zealand.)
By far the most effective and secure way to do this is to use a sophisticated and simple piece of software called a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, for short.
How to Use a VPN to Get Pandora in UK
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
As mentioned at the top of this guide, I personally went ahead and reviewed a huge amount of VPN service providers in order to find the best ones that fit my modest budget -- deciding on ExpressVPN. So I will use this VPN as the example while walking you through the quick setup steps below.
Go to the ExpressVPN website and choose the plan you want and payment method you prefer. You can see that a 30-day money back guarantee is given, which means you get a full refund if you decide against this VPN after a month:
After choosing your plan, processing payment and confirming your account details via email (which takes a minute at most) you will now be ready to download and install the VPN software onto your device(s)...
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Downloading and installing the VPN software is a total breeze. No super technical expertise required at all. Simply click on the download area link in the confirmation email you receive regarding your account setup, then choose the according software download link for the device you're currently using.
As you can see in the above screenshot, you can download and install ExpressVPN onto literally every device you would ever want to listen to Pandora on. So for me this was both my Macbook and Android smartphone.
The installation process is very straightforward. Just follow the few steps as prompted to and the software will be installed in a few moments.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
With the software installed onto the device(s) you want it on, all that is left to do is open it up and connect to the location you want to connect on.
This is the step that will change your IP address from the UK (i.e. your actual IP address), to whatever location you choose to join the VPN on. So make sure to select either a US, Australian or New Zealand server location.
No technical knowledge is required to connect, as the ExpressVPN software is incredibly simple to use. When you open it you'll clearly be presented with the list of locations to choose. Pick one, then click on the big "Connect" button. Wait a few moments, and that's you connected:
Above is how it looks on my Macbook device, and below is an example of me connecting to a London-based server (which you obviously don't want to do in this case) on my Android smartphone:
Step 4: Setup Pandora Account and Enjoy
Once connected to the appropriate server location through your VPN, you will now have full access to Pandora. So go ahead and head to the site and (if you haven't already) sign up for an account and enjoy!
Of course, you can disconnect and reconnect to your VPN as often as you like. You have total control over this and also get a sophisticated level of online privacy on your behaviour, which you only get through using a VPN. This is one big reason I recommend using a VPN as the best method for this solution.
If you went ahead and followed the steps I laid out in this guide on how to get Pandora in UK locations , you will now be happily listening to Pandora to your heart's desire.
As mentioned, I reviewed a lot of different VPN providers before choosing the one I did, so to give you some more variety of choice, here are the top five I narrowed my decision down to:
All will let you get Pandora in the UK without issue. If you have any feedback or questions then do let me know in the comments section below.
Thanks, and happy Pandora'ing!