How to Watch Sky Go Abroad
Updated: January 23, 2017
- Start by getting a VPN account setup
- Next you will download and install the VPN software onto the device(s) you want to watch Sky GO abroad from
- The open the software and connect to a UK located server
- Go to Sky GO and you will be able to access your account abroad, or create a new account if you have yet to do so
- Enjoy Sky GO abroad
How to watch Sky GO Abroad in more detail:
Sky Go is just awesome. Being a native UK boy, born and bred, I have always made sure to catch all the latest sports and British TV shows on my home Sky Go subscription.
I was excited when Sky Go first came out and subscribed immediately, since it meant being able to stay on top of my entertainment even when away from my actual home television. In fact, it wasn't until I moved to Budapest, Hungary that I realised how much I take Sky for granted back home in the UK.
As soon as was settled into my Budapest apartment, I sat down with my dinner, flipped open my laptop and navigated to my Sky Go account -- only to be denied access!
So once my initial super-frustration had subsided, I got my head straight and decided to understand why this was happening; how it was happening; and figure out a solution, if possible.
Turns out it is indeed possible. It took me a few hours to figure out the most effective and secure solution, but once I did I wanted to put together a quick guide to help out anyone else looking for this solution. So here it is -- my quick and simple guide on how to watch Sky Go abroad in under 5 minutes.
Why is Sky Go Unavailable Outside the UK?
So let's first determine why Sky Go has chosen to only allow access to the service to users physically located within the UK.
I quickly discovered that this was because of licensing agreements made between Sky Go and the owners of each piece of entertainment they offer on the service. You see, in order to offer all the stuff Sky Go do; they need to buy rights to license each one. Each of these license agreements allow them to offer each show/broadcast/movie on the Sky Go service -- but only within an agreed-upon country.
This means that Sky Go choose to only buy licensing rights that allow them to offer their entire service to users physically located in the UK. So anyone that tries to access Sky Go outside the UK is swiftly denied access due to these licensing rights.
This is not uncommon nowadays with online media streaming providers, so it's no surprise that Sky Go has followed the footsteps of other goliath media providers like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc.
How is Sky Go Blocking Access Outside the UK?
So with the "why" covered, it's equally good to understand exactly how Sky Go manages to implement this block. Technically understanding this process makes it clear why the solution I lay out below works so effectively.
I quickly realised that Sky Go uses a common process to block and allow users to the service based on their physical location. This process is called "geo-blocking". Geo-blocking is essentially a process that checks the IP address (and in some cases the Geo-tag) of each user that attempts to access the service.
This checking of your IP address and/or geo-tag, which is given to every device you use to access Sky Go through, is instantaneous and is the key to telling Sky Go where you are accessing the service from at any moment.
Thus, when I left the UK to stay in Budapest, Hungary, my IP address changed accordingly on my laptop, smartphone and iPad to reflect my non-UK location. So when I tried to then access Sky Go; I was swiftly denied.
Therefore my research shifted to determining whether or not I could somehow change or hide my IP address on my laptop and/or smartphone to make my location "appear" within the UK without moving from my non-UK location.
After looking into the few different methods to do this, I quickly realised that the most safe and secure approach is to use a Virtual Private Network (or VPN for short.) By using a VPN, you can securely change your IP address to make your location appear within any of the locations offered by the VPN provider you choose to go with. Thankfully, 99% of providers offer UK-based server locations, so I went ahead and tried out a whole bunch of the highest-rated VPN service providers to find the one that works.
Why put in the effort to do this? Well, because my research showed me that in the last year or so, Sky Go has actually been working hard to determine if a user is accessing the service through a VPN connection, and denying them access because of this. So it was important to find a VPN provider that stays ahead of this and manages to consistently and effectively allow you to watch Sky Go abroad.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Sky Go Abroad
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
After checking and testing a bunch of VPN providers, I decided to go with BufferedVPN as -- as of today, February 10, 2016 -- this provider definitely allows you to watch Sky Go abroad effectively and securely. So I will use it as the example while I walk you through the quick setup steps below.
So firstly head to the BufferedVPN website and choose the plan that you want to commit to. You will see that a 30-day money back guarantee is offered, which means you can try it for a month and if within that month the VPN does not effectively allow you to watch Sky Go abroad; you can cancel your account and get a full refund.
Here's a glimpse at the signup process for you:
With your account confirmed and setup, you then want to download the VPN software onto whichever device(s) you watch Sky Go on.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
As you will see by clicking on the download area link in the confirmation email you get, you can download and install the VPN software onto every device you would ever want to watch Sky Go on, which is awesome:
So go ahead and select the according software download link and then the installation process will start automatically. This all takes just a few minutes and requires zero technical expertise.
For example, I use a Macbook and Android smartphone to watch Sky Go abroad on, so I downloaded the OS X software then navigated to the Google Play Store on my Android device and downloaded the dedicated BufferedVPN app thereon.
Step 3: Connect to UK-based Server on VPN
Then once you have the software downloaded and installed on your device(s), open it up and you'll be presented with the very clear and minimal software interface. As you will see, all you need to do is simply choose a server location to connect to, then hit "Connect".
This is the step in the solution that actually changes your IP address to make your location appear within the UK, allowing you immediately and complete access to watch Sky Go abroad.
To give you an idea, here is a snapshot of me connecting to my Macbook BufferedVPN
software (I'm connecting to a US-based server, which you don't want to do, obviously):
Another example below is me connecting to a UK-based (London) server location on BufferedVPN's software:
Step 4: Setup Sky Go Account and Enjoy
Once you are connected to you VPN, you will have successfully changed your IP address. This means you can go to Sky Go and you will have instant, complete access!
So if you are using Sky Go for the first time, at this stage you can go ahead and sign up for an account. You will be able to do this abroad, since Sky Go will see your location as within the UK. All you will need for this signup process is a valid UK Postcode, which you can get by Googling.
If you already have a Sky Go account, then what are you waiting for? Go enjoy Sky Go now as much as you want!
So as you can see, this guide on how to watch Sky Go abroad is super simple and takes just a few minutes to get setup and working.
I mentioned that not all VPN providers are effective in allowing access to Sky Go, since the service is working hard to detect if a user is using a VPN and blocking access to them as a result. So to give you some more choice, here are the 4 VPN providers I narrowed down my selection to that, at the time of this review publishing, allow you to watch Sky Go abroad:
Any questions or feedback on this guide? Don't hesitate to let me know by commenting below. I'll be happy to hear from you and will do my best to answer any questions you might have.
Happy Sky Go'ing!