Best 5 VPNs for PBS | Unblock PBS shows from anywhere in the world

PBS (also known as Public Broadcasting Service) has become a hub for engaging, educational programming as well as period dramas and other TV classics. However, the non-profit distributor is only available in America – meaning anyone living outside the States won't be able to access the site.

But don't despair! With a VPN for PBS, you'll be able to tune into everything the channel has to offer – whether it's thought-provoking science programming, or rustic television serials, and it won't matter where you are in the world.

Keep reading to find out the best PBS VPN services and for some top tips on how to unblock PBS from anywhere in the world.

 

What are the best VPNs for PBS?

We've put together a list of the five best PBS VPNs. Later in the article, we'll get into the real nitty-gritty of each provider, so keep reading, and check out our picks in the table below.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best PBS VPN. It's super-fast, has great apps for laptops, phones, tablets, and more, and offers secure OpenVPN encryption.
  2. NordVPN - Large brand with very good value, and a budget price
  3. CyberGhost VPN - A low-cost VPN for PBS. It's is a solid all-rounder that can keep up with HD streaming – and it has a 24 hour free trial!
  4. Private Internet Access - A secure VPN, great for unblocking PBS. It's cheap, but performs like a more expensive VPN, has staunch privacy and it's fast.
  5. Surfshark - A cheap VPN for PBS. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing you to secure each and every device in your home!

A VPN also has to meet a few simple, but important, criteria before it can feature in our lists:

  • Can it unblock PBS?
  • Is the VPN quick?
  • Is it easy to set up? 

Best 5 VPNS for PBS – looking in detail

We look at the best VPNs for PBS in more detail below, so keep reading, and check out our detailed VPN review pages for more information.

ExpressVPN is an industry veteran and titan of the market – a one-stop-solution for unblocking PBS and other streaming services.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95

With ExpressVPN, you can stream in HD without a fuss thanks to unlimited bandwidth and the provider's ability to bypass ISP throttling. What's more, ExpressVPN boasts more than 3,000 servers across 94 countries – the U.S. included. PBS isn't all ExpressVPN can unblock, either, and with one subscription you'll also be able to check out Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and Hulu.


ExpressVPN also excels when it comes to privacy. Being based in the British Virgin Islands means the service can truly abide by its no-logs policy, which has been audited, too. You'll be able to install the VPN on just about any device you own and enjoy up to five simultaneous connections. Take ExpressVPN for a spin with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and field any questions to an expert team available 24/7.

  • Pricing

    From  $3.71 - $11.95

NordVPN is a no-logs VPN provider based in Panama that is strong on privacy. It is a reliable service with apps for all popular platforms that will easily let you bypass local censorship, access internationally geo-restricted content, or unblock content restricted by an admin in work, at school, or on public WiFi.

NordVPN offers a wealth of market-leading security features that make it a good option for just about anybody. It also has rare privacy features such as double-hop connections, VPN over Tor, DNS-based malware protection, Smart DNS, and more, all at a very reasonable price point. 

CyberGhost is a low cost VPN service. It has easy to use apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. It puts 15 years of service to good use, providing lightning-fast speeds and tons of US servers.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.81 - $13.47

Optimized streaming servers make checking out the latest documentaries as easy as pie – and unlimited bandwidth means there'll be no buffering hiccups, either. CyberGhost customers can take their pick of 6,905 servers in 90 countries, with 1,349 of those servers located in the USA. CyberGhost can also unblock Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, so there's no chance of getting bored.


CyberGhost is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux devices, and supports seven simultaneous connections. Its Romanian headquarters means the VPN is not required to log user information – in fact, the service enforces a zero-logs policy. Customer support is available via live chat or email, any time of the day or week, and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee is worth checking out.

Private Internet Access is a secure VPN that is also great for unblock content like PBS. It will have you set up and streaming PBS in a matter of moments, wherever you are in the world, and has SOCKS5 proxies.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.69 - $9.95

Private Internet Access – or PIA – is a stellar service, and particularly well liked for its ease of use and instant setup. It also has an incredible wealth of servers, with more than 23,000 scattered across 76 countries. PBS users can select from 14 locations within the United States and 10,737 servers in total – meaning you’ll never lack for choice. In addition, PIA can comfortably unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer, too.


The service does not keep user traffic logs, is compatible with all devices, and allows up to ten simultaneous connections. PIA users will also be able to banish ads and malware, making day-to-day browsing that much more secure. Try PIA for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and get in touch with customer support if any questions arise, whatever the time of day or day of the week.

Surfshark is a cheap VPN for PBS. It's a younger service with a solid reputation, but it can access just about any streaming site – including PBS and Netflix.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95

Surfshark is a newer VPN provider that's already taken a bite out of the market – and customers can connect to any of its 3,200+ servers in 65 global locations. These servers are quick, ideal for downloading and streaming, and RAM-only, which is great news for user privacy, since they're wiped fully every time they're turned off. Surfshark can also access a whole host of streaming services in addition to PBS: Disney+, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Now, and 15 Netflix libraries, to name a few.


Rest assured that Surfshark's no-logs policy has been independently audited, and take advantage of the unlimited simultaneous connections offered by the service – made all the more impressive when you consider that Surfshark is compatible with all devices. The CleanWeb feature mops up any ads, trackers, and malware you might encounter online, too. Put Surfshark to the test with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a friendly expert support team available 24/7.

Why do you need a VPN for PBS?

Licensing agreements mean that PBS is only allowed to broadcast content in the United States – allowing viewers from elsewhere to watch its shows would violate these restrictions, and so PBS takes action in the form of geo-restrictions to prevent folks from outside of the country from tuning in.

PBS uses your IP address to determine where you are in the world. Every internet-enabled device has an IP address, and it can reveal some pertinent information to the websites you visit, namely your rough geographical location. So, if your IP address places you in the UK or elsewhere outside of the United States, PBS will block your access to the site.

These blocks obviously cause a lot of problems. Fortunately, a VPN is a quick, simple, and cost-effective way of bypassing restrictions.

When you connect to a VPN server, it provides you with a new IP address based in that location. The sites you visit won't be able to read your original IP address, and will instead read the one assigned to you by your VPN, and assume you're in the same place as your server, physically. This is known as "location spoofing" – and you'll simply need to connect to a U.S. VPN server to check out PBS' content.

But a VPN can do much more than unblock streaming services. We live in a golden age of digital technology – but one that's also riddled with privacy threats. Third-party hackers can attempt to read your data via unsecure public hotspots, and your government and ISP keep a close watch on your online activity, silently. A VPN encrypts all of your incoming and outgoing traffic, however. Nobody will be able to read it, nobody will know what you're doing online, and you'll be able to access the internet privately.

What to look for in a PBS VPN

Any of the VPNs we've mentioned in this article would be a stellar pick for accessing PBS and streaming content in HD. However, if you want to do your own research, there are some important factors to keep in mind when deciding on a VPN. We've picked out some of the most important ones below:

But wait – there's more!

As previously mentioned, this is only a snapshot of what a truly great VPN could potentially do for you. The best way to see for yourself is by making use of a provider's money-back guarantee. That way, you can trial the service without limitations, and rest assured that you'll get a full refund if it's not to your liking. Alternatively, head on over to our VPN Guide for Beginners if you'd like to learn more about a VPN's capabilities.

 

How to install a VPN for PBS

Regardless of whether you're unfamiliar with the tech or have been using VPNs for years, it's remarkably easy to get one installed and ready to use, and we'll walk through the process in the steps below.

  1. First of all, you'll need to decide which VPN you're going to use. Once you have, subscribe!
  2. Download and install the VPN software via the provider's site – and be sure that you're downloading the right version for the device you're using.
  3. Log in to the VPN client when prompted, and you'll be asked to connect to a server, so pick one in the U.S. and hit that connect button.
  4. Once you're connected, visit the PBS website and you're all set! You'll be able to browse through a multitude of documentaries, period dramas, and much more – even if you're not currently in America.

What's on PBS?

PBS is the home of educational content in America, being well-produced and easily digested, and the site is stuffed full of content! The educational shows cover all sorts of genres, and at any time you'll be able to check out documentaries and programming on: world history, science, crime, music, nature, and behind-the-scenes footage from various media productions.

And that's not all! PBS also hosts a buffet of fictional shows and movies, ranging from period dramas to war-time epics, and here are just a few morsels you can check out:

Conclusion

It can be frustrating to visit the PBS site and be greeted with an error message – especially when so much engaging content should only be a click away! A VPN can bypass these geo-restrictions in short order, and provide access to PBS' educational programming and other shows without any fuss. You'll simply need to decide on a provider!

So, if you need help making your choice, here's a quick reminder of the VPNs we'd recommend:

  1. ExpressVPN - The best PBS VPN. It's super-fast, has great apps for laptops, phones, tablets, and more, and offers secure OpenVPN encryption.
  2. NordVPN - Large brand with very good value, and a budget price
  3. CyberGhost VPN - A low-cost VPN for PBS. It's is a solid all-rounder that can keep up with HD streaming – and it has a 24 hour free trial!
  4. Private Internet Access - A secure VPN, great for unblocking PBS. It's cheap, but performs like a more expensive VPN, has staunch privacy and it's fast.
  5. Surfshark - A cheap VPN for PBS. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing you to secure each and every device in your home!

FAQs

Written by: Hannah Hart

Originally hailing from Wales, Hannah Hart graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a 1:1 in Creative Writing, going on to work as an Editor across a number of trade magazines. As a professional writer, Hannah has worked across both digital and print media, and is familiar with collating news pieces, in depth reports and producing by lines for international publications. Otherwise, she can be found pouring over a tarot deck or spending more hours than she'll ever admit playing Final Fantasy 14.

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