Updated: May 12, 2017
- Begin by getting a VPN account setup
- Next install the VPN software onto the device you want to watch Comedy Central in UK on
- Then open the software and connect to a US-based server location
- Go to Comedy Central and either sign in to/up for an account or watch without logging in
- Enjoy Comedy Central in UK
How to Watch Comedy Central in UK
in more detail:
Comedy Central offer some of the best on-demand TV shows in the world. I've been a long time viewer of this great network, and regularly jump on the online service and catch up with SouthPark and Key & Peele episodes whenever I can.
So when I visited the UK to catch up with friends and family, I was keen to sit down with my brother and introduce him to a few of my favourite Comedy Central shows, since he shares my tastes when it comes to humour big time.
However, when I arrived in Scotland and popped open my laptop once in my brother's apartment -- I went to access Comedy Central, but was swiftly prevented for watching any of the shows. What was happening?
Not one to back down from a challenge, I quickly clamped my frustration and went on a research stint to attempt to find a solution to this that would work securely and simply -- and I found one.
So once I figured this out, I guess more people might want to know how to watch Comedy Central in UK location, too. Thus, here's my quick guide on just that!
Why is Comedy Central not Available in UK?
Why is Comedy Central blocking access to their service from the UK? This was the first question I knew I had to get the answer to in order to find the best solution possible.
After researching this for a while, I discovered that this simply comes down to licensing rights that Comedy Central have purchased for each and every TV show they offer on the service. You see, when Comedy Central decide to offer a TV show on their website, they must buy licensing rights to let them offer it.
The reason this is important, is because Comedy Central must buy licensing rights for every individual show they offer, in each individual country they want to offer it in. This quickly adds up to a huge amount of investment for Comedy Central.
Thus, the service decides to only buy licensing rights to show each show they offer within the US and only the US. Of course, this means that they are not legally licensed to offer their service to users located outside the US.
How is Comedy Central Blocking Access in UK?
Next up is to understand the way in which Comedy Central actually achieves this restriction of their service to only users located within the US, and thus blocking access from the UK.
As with 99% of online on-demand media streaming providers nowadays, Comedy Central achieve restrictions on the service by using a method called "geo-blocking", which is basically a checking system that looks at the IP address of every single user that arrives on the website and attempts to access a video.
You see, your IP address tells the "geo-blocking" system on Comedy Central what your physical location is, and thus if you're in the UK and you try to watch a show on the Comedy Central website; geo-blocking determines instantly through your IP address that you're located in the UK, and thus blocks access.
What this means is if you can change your IP address from showing your location as UK-based, to somehow show your location as US-based, then you may be able to get access to Comedy Central's glorious offerings from your UK location.
Once I knew this, I went ahead and checked out the various methods and approaches to changing my IP address securely and effectively. It didn't take me long to realise that the best solution is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network.)
I was wary of using a VPN for the reason that Comedy Central have lately been trying hard to determine whether a user is using a VPN to access the service, and block them if found to be. However, there are still some very sophisticated VPN service providers out there that are constantly staying ahead of Comedy Central's efforts with this, which means these VPNs remain effective.
After checking out a whole load of such still-effective VPN providers, I decided to use ExpressVPN. It works a treat and fits my (modest) budget perfectly. Thus, for the following step-by-step setup walkthrough below I will use ExpressVPN as the example.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Comedy Central in UK
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
To begin this quick setup process, go to the ExpressVPN website and select the plan that suits you best. You can choose how long you want to commit to the service; paying less for the longer commitment length you choose.
Then choose your preferred payment method, confirm account details via email, then you're ready to get the software setup:
FYI, if you happen to have Bitcoins, then definitely consider paying with these, since doing so will keep your online anonymity as high as it can be -- not that anonymity is necessary for this solution -- it's just a nice little bonus!
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
When you have confirmed you new account with ExpressVPN, you will receive a link to the download area in your confirmation email.
Click through to here and you will see all the different software download links. Select the device that you are using and download the software onto it accordingly.
Here you can get an idea of how compatible VPN software is with practically every device you would ever consider watching Comedy Central in the UK through:
So for example, at this stage I was using my Macbook, thus I chose the OS X download link. I also use my Android smartphone to watch Comedy Central sometimes, so I navigated to the Google Play Store on my mobile and downloaded the ExpressVPN Android app (free, of course.)
The installation process itself is very simple. Just open the software you downloaded and you will be walked-through the entire installation process, only being required to click "next" and "ok" when prompted.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
With your VPN software now freshly downloaded and installed on your device, open it up and get ready to connect.
This is the all important step in the setup process. You want to make sure you choose to connect to a US-base server location. Why? Because it is at this point that, once connected, will change your IP address to change your location as be UK-based to being US-based.
So go ahead and choose any US-based server location you like, then connect. Here's how simple the connection process is on my Macbook:
And also on my Android smartphone -- although obviously you don't want to connect to a UK-based server like I am in the example shot below:
Step 4: Watch Comedy Central in UK
The last step is by far the easiest, as hopefully by this point you will be successfully connected to a US-based server location on your VPN software, and thus can now go back to Comedy Central's website, click on that video that was minutes earlier completely inaccessible to you -- and it will now be fully available; along with every other video on the website.
If for whatever reason you want to return you IP address to its original UK "real" setting, then it's just a case of disconnecting from the VPN. You can do this as often and frequently as you like.
And there you have it! If you have followed the steps as I described them above, you will now have solved the issue of how to watch Comedy Central in UK locations in just a few minutes with minimum "tech" knowledge required.
If you want to check out some of the other still-effective VPN service providers that I mentioned earlier in this guide, then check out the five that I personally reviewed and found to be the most value for money:
Thanks for reading this guide. I hope you found it super useful! If you have any questions or feedback then feel free to let me know in the comment section below.
Happy Comedy Central'ing!