ITV Hub Ireland – How to Beat the Block !
It’s just across the border but your TV options change greatly when you’re in the Republic of Ireland as opposed to being in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately although you can gain access to some TV channels like RTE, overall I think you tend to lose out. Here’s a brief post about how you can access some of the best British TV stations online including ITV Hub and BBC iPLayer.
What is the ITV Hub?
ITV Hub is the successor to ITV’s original streaming service ITV Player. It’s basically a video on demand service which operates online in a similar way to BBC iPlayer. ITV Hub though offers access to all the ITV channels including ITV, ITV2, ITVBe, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV. The ITV Hub is a streaming service that was launched by the TV channel in 2013. It is available on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. The hub allows users to watch their favorite shows from the ITV channels, as well as shows and movies from other UK broadcasters.
You can watch all the channels live as they broadcast or you can use it to catch up with programmes you’ve missed. So if you’ve missed the last episode of Downton Abbey or last Friday’s Coronation Street this is the place to visit.
The standard version is completely free for all UK domestic viewers although unlike the BBC’s version ITV Hub does have adverts. You don’t need a UK TV license either like BBC iPlayer. Though there is a premium service you can subscribe to which eliminates these completely. At the time of writing it costs £3.99 per month and removes all the advertising plus allows downloads which the standard service doesn’t support.
What can you watch on ITV Hub
ITV Hub is a catch-all streaming service that allows viewers to watch their favorite shows online. It offers the latest episodes of popular ITV shows including Coronation Street, The Jeremy Kyle Show, and Poldark. Here’s some of the other great shows that are available on ITV Hub –
Britain’s Got Talent
This award-winning TV show was one of the most watched talent shows in the UK. It has also been a big hit worldwide on YouTube, bringing good entertainment to people from all ages. Each new series seems to get more entertaining ! Rumour has it that the next one will be even better, as it is anticipated to feature the best performances from Got Talent history.
ITV has created the reality TV show Love Island and it’s been a smash hit. It seems like wherever you go in the world, you’ll hear people talking about this bizarre show which has a vibe all its own. Social media sites like Facebook and YouTube are full of reaction videos – some weird, others respectable – all talking about how weird and addictive Love Island is. It truly does stand on its own terms as a true UK original.
After a brand-new series to premiere in 2020 viewers are eagerly awaiting the next series while enjoying some of the re-runs. Vera is a British crime drama TV show which has been on the air for almost 10 years. The show stars the wonderful Brenda Blethyn, who plays an uncompromising Detective Chief Inspector at the top of her game who’s intolerant of mistakes made by her peers.
A beautiful slice of luxury, the hotel was once great host to many famous people including actors, rock stars and royalty. Following its storyline through with events occurring in both the off and on season, the series captures all the desirability of one of the world’s greatest hotels.
That’s just a small selection remember you can also watch all UK TV live if you follow the instructions below.
Why is the ITV Hub Blocked in Ireland?
It is available in the UK and Northern Ireland but was blocked from being accessed in Ireland following a judgement by the country’s High Court in 2014. The case was brought by TV3, the Irish broadcaster that is a direct competitor to ITV.
In reality there were other issues regarding broadcasting beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. ITV rely on a lot of content produced by other companies, and they have broadcasting rights to broadcast these in the UK only. To show content worldwide or even just in Ireland then it would require negotiating new rights which would could become very expensive.
ITV Hub is available to those in the UK but only while they are physically located there. This technology is called geo-blocking and is used by the majority of online media companies to restrict access to normally their domestic markets. Although some companies like Netflix and Amazon use the technology to segregate their markets. i.e Italians get Italian version of Netflix, US user get American Netflix and so on. Other than moving to the UK then the only other method of watching ITV Hub is by hiding your real location and pretending to be in the United Kingdom.
How to Watch ITV Hub in Ireland
when you connect to the ITV Hub website or start the ITV Hub app, a quick check is done on your physical location. This is achieved by looking up to see where your IP address is registered to. This is the network address which is required to go online and will always be linked to your internet connection. The problem is that we’re all defined by this address and there’s no direct way to change it. Which means all the blocks and filters used by media sites across the world will apply to us including ITV Hub. Of course, RTE will work fine but that’s no help if you’re craving Coronation Street!
Although you can’t change your IP address directly you can hide it using technology called a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Basically this allows you to hide your real address and pretend you’re in a different location. It’s really useful and you can use it to access any site in the world as long as you can connect to a VPN server in the appropriate country.
In the next section we’ll demonstrate how this technology works. It sounds complicated but it really involves little more than pushing a button after you’ve installed the software.
How do I Stream ITV Hub in Ireland?
Here’s the demonstration, as long as you pick a decent VPN we can see how simple it is to bypass the restrictions.
That’s all there is to it, you start the VPN software or app and then select a UK server. Then when you visit the ITV Hub app or website it sees the British IP address of the VPN server. Your real location and identity is completely hidden which ensures complete privacy and allows ITV Hub to work perfectly. It doesn’t matter where you actually are be it Ireland, France or even Australia ! When you’ve finished either disconnect the VPN or switch it to a different country as required. Remember though when you’re connected to a UK VPN then any Irish only resources won’t work until you turn it off.
After you start using a VPN for the first time you’ll wonder how you lived without it. Not only does it keep your personal information and connection safe but it also unlocks all these wonderful web and media sites too. It’s not just about ITV Hub on TV, you can access all the other major sites too – in the UK use the same servers for BBC iPlayer on your TV, All 4 and Channel 5. A small subscription to a decent VPN service is a great investment and can lock almost unlimited entertainment not just ITV Hub outside UK.
The video above uses our favourite VPN which is called NordVPN – you can grab the latest discounts here. It’s super fast, has versions for most devices and is one of the cheapest options for watching UK TV everywhere.
Choosing a VPN for ITV Hub
In theory any VPN that has UK servers in their network should work perfect for this. However in practice it doesn’t quite work like that. All the media companies obviously try and stop these tools working and ITV Hub is no exception. The simplest way for them to do this is to block the VPN IP addresses from being allowed access. To do this they normally look to see how many connections are being made from the same IP address.
Too many = Probably a VPN or Proxy Server
It’s not hard to do and they can be detected automatically by their network hardware. Which is why free VPNs and the super cheap ones which don’t have enough UK servers rarely work. Remember BBC iPlayer is even stricter if you need a VPN that works for that too. Fortunately some of the best VPNs actively monitor this situation in order to maintain access to sites like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. I stopped using ExpressVPN because it became very unreliable for ITV Ireland access.
So Here’s a quick Checklist for choosing a VPN followed by our recommendation !
Check Your VPN isn’t Blocked for ITV Hub
Nobody is going to openly advertise being able to access to ITV Hub or BBC iPlayer because they’ll get in trouble. However all VPNs potentially can access them if they’re not blocked. You can read forums and blog posts (like this one!) but remember to check the dates. These things can change quickly, if you have any doubt just email or message their support to check. Also make sure there’s some sort of guarantee or money back option especially if you subscribe for a long period. The main reason they don’t work is because there’s too many users on the same IP address – which is why you won;t find a free VPN for ITV Hub or BBC iPlayer that works.
VPN Speed is Essential for Streaming Video
The second most important thing to check about is speed. Streaming video across a super slow connection will not be much fun. You’ll get stalls, stutters and constant buffering it will be even more annoying if you’re relaying it to your super HD television set. Most of the major VPNs have a decent setup to enable your connection speed but a quick test is definitely worthwhile. A VPN is adding an extra step to your connection so it has the potential to slow it down a lot trying to watch ITV Hub abroad.
Support for Other Devices
How do you want to watch ITV Hub – on your phone, tablet, laptop, Smart TV or computer. Not all VPNs work well with all these devices and only a few have created functional applications for them all. Got a Mac? Check if this is supported too. If you want a simple app to install on your phone or tablet there’s only a few options. Generally the bigger companies will give you the more options.
Our Choice for the Best ITV Hub VPN
Over the years many of us have tried loads of different VPNs for accessing BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub abroad. My first attempt to bypass the geo-blocking was nearly 15 years ago. Some VPNs that were great no longer work with BBC and ITV Hub online. It’s simply become too hard work to keep access open. Generally there are two options, a smaller, premium priced VPN with only a few users like Identity Cloaker or a world leader like NordVPN.
The reason we generally stick with NordVPN is that they have a huge infrastructure and equally massive IT support and development team to maintain access to these sites. they won’t advertise the functionality for obvious reasons, however they spend a lot of time and effort maintaining access. It’s not always successful in 2020 for about 3 weeks ITV Hub became inaccessible to most VPNs including Nord. However they were one of the first to get it all working again.
What’s more they have a selection of server designed specifically for access to UK TV sites like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. If you chose NordVPN then make sure you use one of these servers for the best access – UK# 1840-1847, 1850-1863, 1865, 1869, 1873, 1875-1878, 1880-1881, 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919-1920.