Sky's Sky Go streaming app is amazing, enabling you to watch great TV shows like Game of Thrones and Tin Star when travelling.
But leave the UK for work or holiday and you're out of luck - you'll have to wait to see that last episode in a series or vital Premier League match. But that's not the case if you use a virtual private network (VPN).
Sky's service doesn't usually let you roam outside of the UK. Try and, in most cases, you'll find the Sky servers will give you one of the following error messages:
- Sky ID Error 288.
- Sky Go is only available to users connecting from within the UK or Republic of Ireland. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm that you are within these territories at the moment. Please retry later.
This is due to Sky’s licensing agreements, which generally lock its content to the UK and Ireland.
You may have a valid UK subscription, but that doesn't extend beyond the country's borders.
How to get Sky to work outside the UK
Thankfully, there is a workaround that will ensure that you don’t miss your favourite programming. The restriction can be overcome by using a VPN to fool the Sky servers into thinking that you're back at home.
A VPN service uses an encrypted “tunnel” to pass data from the net to your computer. By routing this “tunnel” to appear as if your current location is in the UK, you should be able to view your subscribed programming from wherever you may be in the world.
There are a number of VPN providers out there that offer either free Lite (usually limited in bandwidth, speed or number of servers that you can access) options, or you can subscribe to a full service from them. The full services aren’t limited in any way, but you will see some reduction in speed with all offerings, which is caused by the overhead that the encryption uses.
What's the best VPN to use for Sky?
We’ve taken a look at a number of offerings and would recommend the following VPN providers. They have each proven to work well in accessing Sky Go from abroad.
Express VPN consistently come out as offering a great VPN service for multiple applications. Providers regularly implement blocking of VPN servers and each time, ExpressVPN adapts to allow its services to continue running. Not the cheapest option, this is made up for by its high speed, excellent customer service and strong encryption.
NordVPN also offers a reliable, consistent service that in most instances allows for unfettered access of Sky Go from abroad. It has multiple servers in the UK that you can route through and is a good option if you’re trying to access a number of subscriptions due to its SmartPlay option that will automatically connect to the best location to use a certain service.
VyprVPN has been in existence for longer than most others and offers its own fast servers in multiple locations around the globe. It does log users' IP addresses, but not details of what you’re doing. It also uses its own proprietary encryption methods, making it that extra bit secure. It offers a free three-day trial for you to see if its right for you.
IPvanish VPN also owns rather than rents its servers, allowing it to offer fast streaming with little issues. This gives its users the possibility of unlimited bandwidth. The app offers high levels of encryption, a no logs policy and other useful features such as a kill switch and DNS Leak protection.
VPNs vs Sky
Sky is constantly battling VPN customers to block their access even though they are likely pay for Sky subscriptions. Sky will try and block the IP addresses of VPN servers to stop accessing the content and VPN companies will do their best to reroute to allow you to carry on accessing the service.
- Because of this, it may take a little configuring of your VPN to get your access working. All of the above providers make this process as simple as possible for the end user to allow you to access your TV shows, movies or sports from wherever you may be.
We've also found that you may also need to make sure that your computer or device is set to English Language and that the time zone is set to the UK, quirks we know. Furthermore, clearing the cache may also help to get things working.
Now why not check out our guide to the Best VPN Services: Top 10 VPNs to keep your browsing secure