PBS not working with VPN? Fix it in 3 steps (2023 guide)

PBS is locked in certain parts of the world, which means that, usually, you can’t access it outside of the US. But we’ve done our research, and it turns out that you can access PBS abroad as long as you have a trusty VPN. But if you already have a VPN and it’s not working, then what’s the problem? Our guide explains what to do if your VPN isn’t working with PBS.

Fighting against error messages on PBS when you’re trying to access it from abroad is no fun at all. If your current VPN isn’t working, there’s a high chance that the PBS website has blacklisted the VPN server you’re trying to connect with. In other words, you won’t be able to use your PBS account until you’re in the US. We can fix that for you.

In this article:

How to use PBS abroad: quick guide

  1. Get ExpressVPN (£5.75+), Ivacy (£0.80+), NordVPN (£2.99+), Atlas VPN (£1.34+) or PureVPN ($2.08+)
  2. Open the VPN and connect to a server based in the US
  3. Sign in to your PBS account
  4. Use PBS from anywhere in the world

Why is PBS not working with my VPN?

In the event that the PBS website works out that you’re trying to access it from a restricted region, your connection will be blocked every time. A message on PBS’ own website explains: “We’re sorry, but this video is not available.”

If your current VPN isn’t working with PBS, it’s not doing a good job of spoofing your location. Some (or all) of the VPN servers you have available to you through that service may be blacklisted. Swapping to a more reliable VPN will save you some trouble, leaving you to enjoy PBS shows in peace.

How does PBS detect my VPN?

The worst VPNs don’t do a very good job of hiding your true location, which means PBS prevents you from streaming content. When the PBS website identifies VPN use, it’ll blacklist the temporary IP address provided by your VPN so you can’t use it again. Rubbish VPNs do a lousy job of replacing their blacklisted servers, which means you’re left in the dark.

So what’s the solution? Have a look at our recommended VPNs below and enjoy a superior service. And don’t worry – you don’t need to spend big to get yourself a top-tier VPN.

The best VPNs for PBS


Watch PBS from anywhere using ExpressVPN
Above: Watch Sherlock on PBS from anywhere in the world using ExpressVPN

If the VPN you’re using at the moment refuses to work, switch over to ExpressVPN. We’ll happily recommend this newbie-friendly VPN over and over again – it’s easy to use, quick and works brilliantly if you’re looking to access PBS from abroad. You won’t have to stare at annoying error messages on the PBS website if you’re protected by this valuable VPN.

Crucially, ExpressVPN does a fantastic job of replacing blacklisted servers. That means that, even if PBS disables incoming connections from ExpressVPN, the VPN will have a replacement server up and running soon. To access your account, all you need to do is open up ExpressVPN, connect to a US-based server and go from there.

ExpressVPN keeps your real IP address hidden all the time, so websites won’t know you’re accessing content from abroad. Every ExpressVPN member can enjoy servers in over 90 countries around the world. This VPN works on loads of different gadgets including Mac, PC, Android or iOS smartphone.

  • Stay hidden while you’re online using this trusted VPN
  • Unlock PBS by hiding your IP address and location
  • Proven to replace blacklisted servers sooner rather than later

Try ExpressVPN with our unique discount code (30-day money-back guarantee)


    Watch PBS from anywhere using Ivacy
    Above: Watch All Creatures Great and Small on PBS from anywhere in the world using Ivacy

    Ivacy is a great pick if you want to enjoy PBS while you’re travelling abroad. This is one of the most popular, affordable VPNs around, thanks in part to its battle against blacklisted servers. The cheapest Ivacy subscription will only set you back $2.45 per month, which is pretty good value!

    This trusted VPN will hide your real location so you can use all of PBS’ features, even if you’ve roamed outside the US. Use our exclusive link below and you get instant access to over 1,000 VPNs servers across the world. A single membership to Ivacy also means you can protect up to 10 gadgets at a time.

    • Unblock the PBS website in just a couple of clicks
    • Unlimited bandwidth with every subscription
    • High-speed downloads guaranteed

    Try Ivacy with our unique discount code (30-day money-back guarantee)

    For more on Ivacy, you can read our full Ivacy review.


    Watch PBS from anywhere using NordVPN
    Above: Watch Indian Summers on PBS from anywhere in the world using NordVPN

    Here’s another VPN for your shortlist if you want to use PBS while you’re travelling. NordVPN has servers all over the world and every one of them is protected by military-grade encryption. They’re extremely secure and you can connect without handing over your personal data to companies that shouldn’t own it.

    If you run into trouble while getting to grips with NordVPN, you can make use of the live chat feature for a helping hand.

    • Keep yourself secure online without buying loads of VPN accounts
    • Enjoy an app that’s great for VPN newbies
    • Unlock PBS from anywhere in the world

    Try NordVPN with our unique discount code (30-day money-back guarantee)

    Atlas VPN

    Watch PBS from anywhere using Atlas VPN
    Above: Watch Indian Summers on PBS from anywhere in the world using Atlas VPN

    Atlas VPN will act as a shield against online threats while at the same time unlocking geo-restricted content for you. It’s a good pick for buyers on a budget and comes with a built-in tracker blocker that stops ads, suspicious websites and phishing links in their tracks. It’s a solid choice if you want to watch PBS anywhere in the world.

    Other handy Atlas VPN features include a shielded connection that leaves ‘no room for unsecured data exchanges’, plus a data breach monitor that lets you know if your personal details have been exposed online. This awesome service also has a no-logs policy (your activities aren’t tracked) and a network kill switch that halts the service if your connection becomes unstable.

    Atlas VPN currently offers access to over 750 servers around the world. Clicking the ‘Connect’ button will automatically pick the ideal server for you according to your distance, download speed and latency. Then, you can start watching PBS wherever you are in the world. It’s also worth noting that Atlas VPN supports unlimited devices and works on both desktop and mobile.

    As an added benefit, Atlas VPN members get access to a 24-hour live support service. That means that, if you encounter a technical problem or have any questions, you can reach out to a real person and get the situation sorted. Give Atlas VPN a try and watch PBS without encountering region-based error messages.

    Try Atlas VPN today with our exclusive code (30-day money-back guarantee)


    Watch PBS from anywhere using PureVPN
    Above: Watch Roadkill on PBS from anywhere in the world using PureVPN

    If your current VPN doesn’t work with PBS, partner up with a better alternative. PureVPN is a great example, being powerful enough to unlock geo-locked websites so you can enjoy them without a hassle. You’ll be able to log in to your PBS account even if you’re in a country where it doesn’t usually work.

    PBS aside, PureVPN also works with ITV Hub, Hulu and Amazon Prime. There are around 2,000 secure PureVPN servers based in over 130 different countries.

    • Access VPN servers all over the world to connect to PBS
    • Unlock PBS with a single PureVPN account
    • Keep your real location hidden at all times

    Try PureVPN with our unique discount code (31-day money-back guarantee)

    Prices listed above correct at time of publication