Updated August 2020.
Not everyone is aware of Sky Go even those people who have an active Sky subscription. This is surprising because it’s a fantastic app and completely free of charge if you do subscribe. Basically it’s a way of accessing your Sky TV subscription from any sort of electronic device including computers, tablets and even smart phones. That’s right, wherever you go you can get access to all the programmes and channels including in your subscription – in some way justifying the rather high cost of the current Sky subscriptions.
It’s an extremely useful tools especially if you travel a lot and want to keep up with that latest boxset or the Premiership football. You can install it on your laptop, tablet or even smart phone and it will work fine (even using devices simultaneously). It’s best to only watch Sky GO using a decent Wifi connection on your phone though as it will eat through your data allowance very quickly. You’d think it would be the ideal application for watching Sky Go abroad, unfortunately there’s a big problem with this – the Sky Go app doesn’t always work outside the United Kingdom!
So before you dash off on your holidays with your laptop ready to keep up to date with all the latest shows, you should know that there’s a bit of an issue with foreign travel. You see despite the name – Sky Go doesn’t really go everywhere – in fact it stops outside the borders of the UK. Just like all the other mainstream TV channels such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, there are licensing restrictions put in place which means that Sky Go doesn’t work at all when you’re abroad.
This isn’t the only error message you’ll get if you try and watch Sky Go when you’re abroad but it’s extremely common. Despite the message, if you’re outside the UK then there’s very little point trying to watch SKY Go later as it still won’t work (unless you get on a plane and fly to Heathrow !) If you’re in a location
Sky Go Will Work in Some EU Countries for a Few Months
It’s not all bad news, you can actually watch Sky GO in many European countries for a little while. It’s expected that this arrangement will probably expire soon as the UK withdraws from the European Union. However it’s worth a check – watching Sky Go abroad should work in most major European countries. It only works for a limited period, currently 37 days after which you need to watch it from the UK and confirm your residency. The rules are a little confusing but technically you should be able to watch Sky Go abroad at least from the major European countries.
This might change slightly for Sky Sports, some people have reported that these have different licensing restrictions than the other programmes. So if you have problems outside the UK with the sports channels this could be the issue. These rules do tend to change quite a lot so it’s always worth checking first before you invest in a solution to unblock Sky Go that is not required.
Geo-Targeting Part of the Streaming Experience in 2020
So how does Sky Go know you’re on your holidays! Well it uses a very popular filtering process called geo-location, which basically looks at your IP address. You see every device which has access to the internet has a unique network address called which is assigned by the internet gateway you use to connect. The gateway is the the ISP or internet provider which maintains the connection to the internet whether it’s through a home network, coffee shop or indeed any Wifi access point. The crucial factor is that any website can look up each address and determine where it is registered. So if for example you’re using a modem in a Parisian Cafe then you’ll be assigned a French IP. You have no control over this address and it’s 99% accurate in determining your country and location.
Therefore this is a very simple way to block access from outside the UK. All Sky GO does is look up where your specific IP address is registered, if it’s not from the UK then the application won’t work. So in order to access Sky GO from outside the UK you need to hide the real location of your IP address.
It’s not unique, in fact virtually all streaming services across the world do exactly the same. It’s certainly not a UK only restriction either, every single major platform in North America, Europe, Asia does it as well. Just like you can’t stream Sky when travelling you’ll find accessing anything outside their domestic market impossible too unless you find some way to bypass these blocks. The solution though is no big secret and is amazingly effective at bypassing these blocks and streaming your favorite services. You just need something called a VPN to watch Sky and all these other blocked services.
Getting a UK IP Address for Sky TV Abroad
Unfortunately there’s no simple way of changing your IP address while you’re connected to the internet. You can change your internal address but that actually has no relevance to your connection and won’t really help. However what you can do is hide your real address and pretend to be in the United Kingdom.
Here’s how it’s done – in this video we’re accessing the BBC News from outside the UK. However it works in exactly the same way for Sky Go too.
So what’s happening here, how are we bypassing the BBC’s country restrictions? Well all we are doing is instead of connecting directly to the BBC we are connecting to an intermediate server which relays our connection. Any website we then visit will only see the IP of this server, commonly called a proxy server. As long as the proxy server is based in the UK then all UK only websites will work perfectly.
Watch Sky TV Abroad and All UK TV Stations
There are literally millions of people across the world who use services like this to watch the BBC. It also works for all British TV channels which broadcast online as well as all the subscription channels too. You still need an active subscription, it doesn’t negate the need for this but does mean you can access UK only accounts from anywhere in the world.
The video demonstrates using the software on a computer or laptop but it works on other devices too. You can enable the VPN connection on Smartphones, tablets or chrome books and iPads too. It takes a couple of minutes to set up on these but it’s only a one time job and then you can enable the VPN connection whenever you wish.
What’s more if you want to access sites in other countries then just choose a server based in that country. Popular choices are too use US servers for things like NBC and Hulu which are normally US only. Other people use the French, Australian, Canadian or German servers to access media sites in those places too.
When you’ve finished with your connection then simply disconnect and you’ll very back to current location. Now there are quite a few of these services available but you have to be careful which ones you choose. Firstly most of the media sites including Sky and the BBC don’t like this circumvention of their systems so try and block these connections. A couple of years ago the BBC got quite serious about blocking these and managed to stop about 70% of them working.
Basically they looked at too many connections from a small range of IP addresses. Plus they identified websites and advertising where firms where foolishly posting adverts on how to bypass these geoblocks. Lots of companies simply stopped working particularly with the BBC although the other sites did something similar. It’s the same story with with Sky Go blocking VPN services too.
In today’s market it’s best to choose the best VPN service which simply operates and markets itself as a security company. Be wary of the free vpns like expat shield as they either install adware or lease out your internet bandwidth to strangers(yes, really). The best VPNs have all been working for a decade now in part by simply keeping a low profile with regards the various streaming services like Sky. What’s more they need to have fast, uncrowded servers which means you can stream through Sky GO or the BBC iPlayer without suffering latency or buffering.
There’s a few services and VPN providers out there if you want to use a VPN to access all these blocked channels. However the one we recommend the best for Sky TV abroad , BBC iPlayer and any UK TV online is called NordVPN. Give the 10 day trial a go first to ensure it works well for you.