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Britbox is the new streaming service launched jointly from the two largest UK’s TV Networks – BBC and ITV. It’s received mixed reviews so far – with many people falling in love with the station completely and others well not! There’s no doubt that it’s packed with quality entertainment, although it’s certainly more suited to an older demographic than most of the streaming services.
Basically if you’re under 25 (and possibly a lot older) then for most people Britbox is not going to be worth it. Saying that though, if you’re a 25 year old Dr Who fan then it could be an essential subscription – the channel contains the most comprehensive collection of Dr Who episodes through the ages. This is perhaps the important factor to remember about Britbox, if you want blockbuster movies or recent releases of shows it’s not the place to come. Yet it is packed full of quality shows from the last few decades and when you start watching some slightly obscure Detective series released by the BBC 30 years ago, you start to appreciate the true beauty of Britbox.
There are literally so many of them, I think you could probably pick an Agatha Christie theme and that would keep you busy for a year or more. These shows are not current blockbusters, yet many of them received rave reviews and enormous viewing figures when initially released. When you do start watching some of the you’ll certainly be hooked, but the look of complete non interest from my 20 year old son confirmed my demographic suspicions!
Here’s a quick idea of the sort of shows that you’ll find on Britbox which is definitely worth watching first –
So the details – Britbox is currently only available in the UK, Canada and the USA. The versions are all slightly different due to licensing issues, so if you’re after specific titles it might be worth checking first. Having said that all versions have a free trial you can test out first, so you can browse their catalogue first anyway.
The cost varies slightly too but these are the current prices –
- US $69.99/year or $6.99/month.
- UK £5.99/month or
- Canada $8.99 CAD
To be honest, a pretty reasonable cost for the huge amount of shows, movies and content you receive. Their ranges are set to expand too with Channel 4, the other major UK commercial station rumored to be joining the channel sometime in 2020 too. As mentioned the easiest way to assess whether it’s worth the cost to you is to sign up for their free trials.
Can I Watch Britbox Abroad Outside the US and Canada?
The complexity of who can access what over the internet seems to increase with every passing year. There are so many blocks, filters and restrictions that it can be incredibly confusing especially when you’re looking at any sort of movies or online entertainment.
Basically the current situation is that Britbox is only available in UK, USA and Canada. However if you’re a Dr Who fan from somewhere in Europe or a crime drama junky from Australia all is not lost. You can just watch this video for a simple way to avoid these blocks –
The concept is to take back control of your IP address by using something called a VPN. By creating a secure, encrypted channel to a VPN in a specific country you basically make your browsing private and your location too. All the web sites will see the VPN servers address as your home location which means it doesn’t actually matter where you really are.
For example one of the most popular uses of VPN services is to allow access to the BBC iPlayer, the BBC’s main site which is available to all UK license payers entirely free but only if they are in the UK. Millions of people use it from abroad though by simply connecting to a UK based VPN server and watching wherever they are.
Sure it’s an extra cost if you avoid the free ones which install spam and adware on your computer. Yet the cost is pretty low when you consider the myriad of uses and benefits it can give you online. If you’re a UK TV fan you could actually just use a VPN to access the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub instead, both of which are completely free and have thousands of shows for free. You can also watchlive TV on them which means you catch all the latest stuff too unlike Britbox.
With regards accessing Britbox though using a VPN you have to be careful. Connecting to a UK, Canadian or US VPN will allow you access to the site, however there’s a bigger problem – they also check your payment details. So you can forget about accessing UK Britbox without some sort of UK payment, exactly the same as the US does. There are options of using prepaid cards especially for the US but they do add a level of complexity and hassle!
The VPN solution works perfectly if you do have some sort of valid payment method in on of those countries. Also if you know someone who can set up the subscription for you, this actually works pretty well as up to 5 devices can connect to Britbox at the same time so it’s easy to share with friends and family.
If you want a recommendation for a VPN that works with Britbox I can recommend two that I use all the time. The security program Identity Cloaker and my new favorite NordVPN. Nord is the cheapest option if your focus is bypassing blocks and watching TV sites like Britbox abroad.