How to watch Sky Go abroad

Sky is one of those services that you love or for those that don’t have it don’t know what they’re missing. For those that have Sky (and let’s face it that is quite a large number with over 10 million subscribers) the service is one of those can’t live without type deals. Plenty of extra channels to choose from, not to mention the ability for sports fanatics to watch their favourite sport or teams and a host of quality premium movie channels. So is it possible to watch Sky Go abroad? It’s a question I keep getting asked.

No matter what you like to watch on Sky you’ve no doubt heard of Sky Go, a system similar to BBC iPlayer but for Sky. It allows you to watch TV programmes you might have missed or live TV for the majority of channels. It’s a great little system that is handy for taking on the road…. well, the road if the road involves the UK only. As some of you might have already realised after attempting to watch outside the UK, it isn’t available. Well, it is available but isn’t in the sense you can’t watch outside the UK. I’ve never really understood why you can’t want Sky Go abroad because the ability to watch Sky Go on holiday is one thing you would expect from a pay for TV service.

So if you’re attempting to watch Sky Go in the USA, France, Spain or anywhere else in the world you’re probably disappointed that you can’t. The good news is, although you can’t access Sky Go directly outside the UK there is a totally legal system called a Virtual Private Network that allows you to bypass the restrictions that stop you from watching when abroad. The reason it doesn’t allow you to watch outside the UK is because the IP address of your foreign internet connection tells Sky that you’re not on home soil. What a Virtual Private Network does is firstly encrypts your internet connection for privacy reasons but also masks your IP address giving the impression you’re in a different country. This can be any country but for watching Sky Go you’ll want that to be the United Kingdom.

IP Address – A unique identifier for your internet connection, similar to a phone number.

We’ve reviewed some of the best VPN service providers over recent months which has given us an opportunity to compare VPN providers for which will be the best for watching Sky Go on the move. The following three all have UK connections and come highly recommended by us but we also have a VPN Comparison Guide if you want to check out some other providers. Just click on any of the following providers to be taken to their pages :-

  1. IPVanish
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. StrongVPN

Due to video streaming being a pretty intensive task it pays to sign up to a reliable and professional VPN service, we recommend IPVanish for the job because in our VPN review of their service we found them not only to be fast and reliable but also easy to use. Once signed up simply download the software for your device. There are a range of easy to use software solutions for Windows, Android, iOS and even VPN for Mac! So no matter what system or device you use you will be up and running within minutes. Once you’ve downloaded the software simply connect to a United Kingdom server or connection and then head over to the Sky Go website. Login as normal and you’ll be able to watch any live channel or catch up TV until your heart is content from anywhere in the world!

A good VPN service should only cost between about £3-£6 (US$5-$10) with bigger savings being able to be made on longer term packages so take your time to weigh up the benefits of signing up for a longer period than a month as you could find you can make some decent savings especially if you’re abroad for an extended period of time.

Although it sounds like an extremely complicated system it really isn’t, you’ll actually be really pleased on how little technical know how you need to get this system up and running. Generally it takes only a handful of clicks from start to finish to execute the process and after that you just watch like normal, take a look at our example video below in which we use IPVanish to watch Sky Go from outside the UK.

  • paul

    Doesn’t work, Sky Go checks Networks. So even if you use a UK based proxy, Your non-uk network, eg. AT&T, Sprint, Sonera, China mobile, will be detected as foreign and you will get the error message “unable to connect whilst roaming”. The only reason it “works” in the video is because the guy is already in the UK (you can see this from the Google UK page). Trust me, I am currently in Finland trying to connect to Sky Go on my android phone, using PIA to proxy my location as London, and it simply doesn’t work. Sorry

    • VPNCompare

      Hi Paul. You can access Google UK outside the UK. The reason it doesn’t work for you is because PIA’s IP range has been blocked on Sky Go and is one of the reasons we stopped recommending them.

      If you try the other providers they work fine.

      A “UK based proxy” as you mention wouldn’t work either, these are VPN services.

      • Osymoko

        Really useful page thanks so much.

        What I don’t understand is if sky go doesn’t use a mobile network to determine you are out of the country on an android phone , why doesTunnelBear or cyber ghost work on an android tablet but not a phone for skygo ? It can’t be just ip range bans by Sky?

        • VPNCompare

          Have you tried personally on an android phone Osymoko? Things change all the time with providers like Sky Go, so it’s possible it was working at one point, but not another. For example, BT Sport works on Android devices, but not iOS because it uses GPS to determine the location.

          • Scott

            Sky Go doors check your mobile network, but only by whatever active SIM is in your device at the time.

            Get round it simply by removing the SIM whilst you watch 👍

  • The Guy

    SkyGo is also not working with Tunnel Bear either. I just tried earlier today and got a message that it thought I was hiding my location so Sky prevented me having access.

    • VPNCompare

      Might be worth trying IPVanish, confirmed working yesterday.

      • The Guy

        I ended up with Hide My Ass and can confirm it works with Sky 🙂 Seems pretty reliable and quick in China too, of all places!

        • VPNCompare

          Great news, enjoy it!

  • Alex McGeorge

    Why can’t I download the ip vanish app from AppStore? I am a Sky customer. It won’t let me download Hidemyass either

    • VPNCompare

      Which app store? Android or iOS? Are you getting a particular error message?

  • Alex McGeorge

    IOS! It shows the App but either starts the blue download circle then reverts back to the Get button or else I get a page saying the App Store is not available at this time! Looks like Sky are blocking this somehow!

    • VPNCompare

      Strange. Just to confirm, you’re using Sky internet? Do you have issue downloading any other apps at the same time or just those two?

  • Alex McGeorge

    Got fed up trying everything else and contacted Apple! iTunes is being upgraded today so App Store is partially down! I’ve tried other different apps and they won’t download either so problem solved but thanks greatly for your input!

    • VPNCompare

      No problem Alex, thanks for the update, if you run in to any issues with either app when it’s back working fully let us know as we can check with the VPN providers directly for you.

  • lee

    Hi Chris, if I was going to sign up to one of the ip address providers, should I do this in the UK before I go on holiday to America or whilst I’m there? Thank you

    • VPNCompare

      Hi Lee. It doesn’t actually matter. Personally I’d do it a few days beforehand though. Sometimes buying online outside of your own country causes your bank to flag the payment up so they may contact you abroad, I had this happen recently.

      Doing it a few days before travelling is best as it allows you time to download the software or apps (even though this is only a few minute job)

      Like I said, it doesn’t matter but I’d personally do it just before, if you forget though, there is no harm doing it while in the US. Enjoy your trip!

      • lee

        That’s great. Thank you for your help, really appreciated. Will probably be mithering you when I’m on holiday haha

        • VPNCompare

          No problem Lee, feel free to drop us a message if you get stuck before or while away.

  • Ken

    I’m looking to go to live in New Zealand but their sky TV is poor compared to UK is there a way I can watch UK sky over there if I keep my subscription in the UK and if so how do I do it and what’s needed thanks

    • VPNCompare

      Hi Ken, Yes it’s entirely possible. This article is the guide to what you need. It’s called a VPN and costs about £5 per month. Have a read through the article and if you get stuck or have any questions let us know.

  • GJ

    I have the OverPlay VPN, which seems to work fine when using Sky Go, but if I try to use the Sky Go Extra desktop, I can’t get logged into the account. Any ideas?

    • VPNCompare

      Are you getting a specific error message or?

  • Kevin

    I’m trying to login into a sky go app with a username and password from canada using a vpn but my message is just username login invalid? What error should you get

    • VPNCompare

      Hi Kevin, that doesn’t actually sound like a VPN issue. Can you login without the VPN while in Canada? You should at least be able to login and not play anything without a VPN. Please test.

  • Christopher O’Shea

    I’m trying to access the skygo app via a vpn connection. The proxy I’m using doesn’t seem to be masking my connection as the app recognises I’m abroad every time. I’m using the SkyGO app for android.

    • VPNCompare

      What VPN provider are you using?

      When connected to the VPN please visit http://geotool.flagfox.com and let us know what country it shows you’re in.

      It’s possible the Sky Go android app is locating you via GPS, have you tried turning GPS off and seeing if it works?

      • Christopher O’Shea

        I’m using TunnelBear for Android. The locator shows I’m in London UK. SkyGO app says “you appear to be outside of the territory in which this programme is available…”etc

        • VPNCompare

          The locator on TunnelBear itself or on the link I gave you?

          Are you using the free version of TunnelBear

          Did you try disabling GPS and trying again? Also known as “Location Services” in the settings of your phone/tablet.

          • Christopher O’Shea

            The locator on the link you gave me. I’m using the full, paid version of tunnelbear. I tried turning off location services, still get the error. Maybe it needs to be done in a different order? I’ll try uninstalling the app and try again.

          • VPNCompare

            The only other possibility is TunneBear is blocked from accessing Sky Go. I know VyprVPN doesn’t work with Sky because they blocked it but other providers like IPVanish do work.

            Do you have a laptop or computer you can test it on to make sure it isn’t just the Android system that’s causing a problem?

          • Christopher O’Shea

            TunnelBear works fine on my MacBook. I like the service. Maybe I have to switch to another one to have it work on Mobile. Does IPVanish have an android app?

          • VPNCompare

            IPVanish do yes. However, if it works fine on your Mac then I doubt the issue is with TunnelBear. Although there is a slim chance it could be to do with their Android app.

            It’s most likely something to do with GPS is causing the problem. Do you notice any GPS type logo appearing at the top of your screen when running the Sky Go Android app at any point?

            Apart from making sure location services and all GPS type settings are turned off I’m at a bit of a loss on this one sorry 🙁

          • Christopher O’Shea

            No GPS logo. I tried changing my google settings and address to England, redownloaded the app. Interestingly, BBC iPlayer works. SkyGO still doesn’t though.

          • Scott

            Perhaps you need to take any foreign SIM card out.

            For example, Sky Go only works via my vpn outside the UK when my Spanish SIM card is out? The App seems to “read it”.

          • VPNCompare

            Thanks for the tip Scott, haven’t heard that one before, but worth trying.

          • Christopher O’Shea

            Thanks for your help, the SIM card removal worked great. I have 1 other problem to run by you:

            I’m now looking to access SkyGo via the app on my PS3 console (I’m in the USA). TunnelBear doesn’t provide the DNS settings for its VPN so I can’t use that. Instead I’m using my Mac to share it’s TunnelBear-ed internet connection with the PS3. That’s not working. The PS3 connects to the internet, through the Mac, fine when TunnelBear is off, but can’t connect when it’s on. Any ideas why? Thanks!

          • Christopher O’Shea

            Scott, that worked perfectly! Took the sim card out and I could access the app fine through TunnelBear. Thanks!

          • Christopher O’Shea

            Also tried changing to IPVanish. Same story. Works for iPlayer but not SkyGO. SkyGo still working on MacBook

          • VPNCompare

            The only thing I can think is it’s using GPS some way in the background, not entirely sure.

            You should be able to get a refund from IPVanish if you cancel within 7 days, although they are generally faster than TunnelBear so you might want to have a play around with it before the 7 days is up.

            Sorry I can’t be of more help on the Android issue.

  • Chris Hubble

    Skygo uses a number of methods to detect your location. They certainly use the location of your IP address and also GPS (I.e Location Services on iOS). From reading these posts it looks like they also use the origin of the SIM.

    So to watch skygo abroad you need to satisfy all three criteria. Obviously having a UK SIM is the simple part. Then you need to mask IP address using a VPN with a UK IP as described in this artical (for iOS download the UK VPN app for free from the App Store). Next you need to hide your GPS. On iOS you can’t simply turn off Location Services for Skygo as they detect this and tell you to turn it on. So what you must do is enable Location Services for Skygo then switch device to Airplane mode – this will of course then stop you connecting to the Internet and linking to a Bluetooth device which you may want to do if you want to listen to Skygo on the beach on your Bluetooth headphones. This is no problem as the more experimental of you will know that you can simply turn wifi and Bluetooth back on once you have activated Airplane mode – so you will have wifi, VPN and Bluetooth functions active but GPS will be hidden from Skygo and you can sit back with your cold beer by the pool and watch the football while the kids play in the pool and the wife burns her fair skin!! Happy days!

    Chris Hubble

    • VPNCompare

      Great post Chris, really appreciate you taking the time to post this update.

      Things change regularly with Sky Go and the others. I haven’t had any reports that Sky Go on iOS uses GPS though, have you confirmed this is the case? I know BT Sport on the iPad does use GPS which stops it working but wasn’t aware Sky Go did, can you confirm that?

      • Chris Hubble

        Hi, yes I can 100% confirm that SkyGo uses GPS on iOS to verify location within the UK.

        It is easily overcome how I explained but only if you are using wifi if you are using 3G or 4G not sure how you can overcome the problem!

        Chris Hubble

        • VPNCompare

          Great tips Chris, again, thanks for taking the time to keep us all updated.

  • Terence Arthur

    Sky Go & HDMI
    Hello Chris, I use HMA abroad and can view BBCiPlayer and SkyGo on my iPad. With BBC I can project it to my TV set via Apple TV, which as you know is a small piece of kit attached to the TV by an HDMI cable. SkyGo does not allow this however and an error message tells me that SkyGo does not allow transmission via HDMI.
    My question is in this modern age is it possible to buy a Smart TV whereupon I can download the HMA app and stream UK directly to that TV using a VPN?
    I guess that I could do this via a macbook or iMac but a larger TV set would provide sensible viewing for the family.

    Merry Christmas, Terence Arthur

    • VPNCompare

      Hi Terence,

      It’s possible you can buy a Smart TV that will allow you to use a SmartDNS system. It’s similar to a VPN except it doesn’t encrypt your connection, it just allows access to content that is region restricted.

      Basically you change a few settings on the TV called the “DNS Settings” which is a few second job and then it enables content that is usually blocked. The question would be if you can get a Sky Go “app” on that Smart TV directly. If that’s possible I’m not sure but if it is then it should work in theory.

      You won’t be able to download a HMA app directly to a Smart TV or in fact any VPN app but a SmartDNS system would work. You should take a look at Overplay in this case (https://www.vpncompare.co.uk/overplay-net)

      It’ll probably work out cheaper as it’s only $4.95 per month or less if take a longer package. Check out their “Set up” section at the top of their site and scroll down as they have a section on how to set-up on a Samsung Smart TV.

      Anything else let us know. Merry Christmas to you and yours too!

  • Ivan Bonomo

    hello there i use cyberghost for watch skygo italian in UK but now it s not working anymore in skygo there is a notice with u should be in italy to watch this channel….. but a month ago everything was working correctly…can u help me pls

    • VPNCompare

      It’s possible they have blocked Cyberghost, but unlikely.

      Have you tried in Incognito or Inprivate mode?

      • Ivan Bonomo

        i tried with other vpn program as weel still the same problem….i tried with incognito mode the same… what can i do…i don t understand if i m the only one got this problem….because it s bloody impossibile it s just about the ip address so should be working…. i m so sad…
        ps thanls a lot for ur reply

        • VPNCompare

          What system are you using it on?

          • Ivan Bonomo

            windows 7 ultimate

          • VPNCompare

            Strange. Confirmed you’ve got an italian IP when connected? (visit https://iplookup.flagfox.net/ when connected to double check)

            Have you tried disabling IPV6 too just in case.

          • Ivan Bonomo

            where i can disabling this ipv6 ????

          • VPNCompare

            Right click the network icon near the time.

            Open network and sharing centre.

            Change adapter settings.

            Then right click the adapter in use when connected to the VPN service.

            Properties.

            Untick Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).

            OK.

          • Ivan Bonomo

            thanks…i did and i checked alreay but no…still not working 🙁

            and yes i confirm by your iplookup and is in italy 🙁

          • VPNCompare

            Are you using CyberGhost own DNS servers? Not sure if there is an option in their software to do that.

            What other VPN provider did you test?

          • Ivan Bonomo

            i always used cyberghost for watch skygo and was working very good….than yesterday when did worked anymore i saw ur guide and i tried vyprvpn but it s the same no working

          • VPNCompare

            Yes, VyprVPN don’t work with Sky Go. It’s why we don’t recommend them.

            You should try IPVanish, they work, if you don’t like it you can get a refund within 7 days.

          • Ivan Bonomo

            emh actually i don t want pay 10 pound a month there is some free soluction or..pay less ???
            cyberghost was 5 hours free anytime just disconnect and riconnect and everything was ok …. the best provider they will block always…

          • VPNCompare

            The problem with “free” VPN providers is they are never “free”. Usually they sell your data to pay for the service or use your system to provider the service (eg; Hola)

            They’re also heavily overused so will be slow and get blocked easily because too many users are trying to connect.

            If you sign-up to a provider such as IPVanish they can be as cheap as £4.50 per month.

          • Mauri

            Same problem with Cyberghost since 3 weeks ago…disappointed 🙁

          • VPNCompare

            Mauri, use one of the providers listed in the article, we keep it updated and they have been working for years.

  • Brian

    Sorry to be a bit thick 🙄 But as I am off to the USA next month would I be able to watch Sky Go if I use IPVanish via my iPad Mini and the TV in the USA ?

    • VPNCompare

      Yes, as long as you can connect your iPad Mini with Sky Go in the UK then it will allow you to do the same in the USA.

  • Maaarcus

    @VPNCompare:disqus I’m off to Amsterdam in a couple of days time and i’m wondering if you know whether IPVanish is still a working VPN with Sky Go?

    • VPNCompare

      Yes, that’s correct.

      You’ll also be able to test it before you go by connecting to one of their UK servers.

      If you get stuck before or while there let us know. Enjoy the canals and tulips!

      • Amanda Van Leeuwen

        Well im in holland at the moment and i bought this ipvanish and it is not working. Logged in under belfast and it says this is not the right region when i try to watch anything in sky go

        • VPNCompare

          Hi Amanda,

          You may need to try a few different servers first, for example Manchester, Liverpool or one of the many in London. Let us know how you get on.