Well the short answer is no, Britbox is only currently available in the UK, Canada and the USA. However there are workarounds and solutions which we explain below.
Britbox is a new collaboration between the BBC and the UK’s largest commercial channel ITV. It’s designed to be a competitor to the various streaming services which are available now like Netflix, Apple, Disney and Amazon Prime. The channel is probably the biggest repository of British content from over the past few decades. It’s priced pretty well, costing around £5.99 in the United Kingdom and a similar price in North America. It’s definitely expanding and there’s talk that other UK based TV channels like Channel 4 will be joining this Summer including the excellent Film 4. It’s likely to continue growing as licences for their existing shows become available again. There’s currently no indication of when and if it will launch in Australia yet.
It’s a fantastic resource especially for slightly older viewers who will recognize and appreciate many of the older shows from ITV and BBC. It’s definitely not a streaming service for the younger audience, although some of the best shows from the BBC studios and indeed ITV are timeless. My teenagers though are completely uninterested apart from the dash to watch the huge collection of Dr Who episodes. There’s so much on there it’s difficult to summarize – however if you’ve ever looked out for a favorite show from the last few decades on the BBC or ITV then there’s a very good chance it will appear on Britbox. The Agatha Christie selections are enough to keep crime fans busy for months !
It’s perfect for older viewers and UK TV fans who know and love many of these shows. However although the BBC are aware that there’s a huge market for this streaming service outside the United Kingdom it’s still very difficult to access it. Currently the service is only available in the United Kingdom, Canada and USA. Unfortunately for people who want access Britbox in places like Australia it’s not currently directly accessible.
So How to Watch Britbox in Australia – Is it Possible ?
Yes it is perfectly possible to watch Britbox in Australia, however there are certain hurdles to overcome. One is pretty easy and can be accomplished without too much effort, whilst the other is much more difficult for most people outside the target countries.
Here’s what you need to do –
- First you need access to a subscription – either borrow someones, up to 5 devices can connect at one time. Or subscribe yourself directly unfortunately you’ll need a debit or credit card linked to that location – either British, Canadian or from the US. Obviously this is difficult for many people unless they’re just travelling.
- Second, you have to hide the location of you computer connection. This is relatively simple to do, you just use something called a VPN to switch your IP address to either UK, Canadian or US depending on which subscription you have.
Using a VPN sounds complicated but it really isn’t. You can install software directly onto your computer, phone or tablet and then it’s pretty much just a matter of clicking on a button to connect. You can see this demonstrated with one of the best value VPNs called NordVPN in the following video –
As you can see it’s pretty simple and requires no technical knowledge. When you’re connected to the VPN, any website (including Britbox) will see the IP address of the VPN server not yours. So as long as that VPN server is located in the correct location then everything will work. So for the UK version of Britbox simply select a UK based VPN server and so on. The VPN services are both simple to use and pretty inexpensive now. Plus they have the added benefit of securing your internet connection which is becoming increasingly vital too.
The difficult aspect is definitely obtaining the payment method, if you try and pay using an Australian payment card it just won’t work. The website actively checks the nationality of any payment method used. So you’ve either got access to some other payment method or you haven’t. Although if you have relatives or friends who can subscribe/pay for you it’s easy to share a Britbox account between households.
If you can’t organize a payment method in the US, Canada or Britain, don’t worry there is another option. Just using the VPN to change your address to a UK based one will let you watch loads of UK television. There’s the wonderful BBC iPlayer which has twelve live streaming channels which mostly broadcast pretty much 24/7. Plus a UK connection lets you access ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 too which all have some of the best UK television available. All these are completely free, although you will have to pretend you’ve got a TV license for the BBC – they don’t check just ask you! To be honest in many senses the ‘free’ BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub are actually better than Britbox especially if you want to watch more contemporary stuff plus it’s great to access things like the BBC News and Match of the day live on a Saturday night.
If you’re looking for fast VPN at a decent price which works with the BBC then may I suggest NordVPN. The longer deals are great value for money and will give you years of free British TV to enjoy even without Britbox.