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Access Pandora, HBO, and other US entertainment services from the UK


The internet has broken made the world a much smaller place, but strict licensing agreements with film, television, and music mean that various entertainment services are still restricted by national borders.

Streaming services, often located in the US, would often like to open their doors to the billions of users situated in other countries, but licensing agreements over content can make that impossible.

For music, the US remains the biggest single market and is therefore home to a large number of internet companies offering various streaming and download offerings, but as copyright works differently in each country – getting the right licenses to launch across Europe and Asia can be time consuming and very expensive in lawyers’ fees.

The way films and television shows are licensed is rather more consistent across countries, but each country’s license shows from around the world for broadcast over the airwaves and catch-up through their own digital services like BBC iPlayer or 4OD.

If these UK TV broadcasters have licensed a TV show from the US, they generally don’t want that US network also offering internet streams of the show directly to UK audiences, competing on their own turf. This is fine when a UK broadcaster is actually licensing a show, so UK viewers can watch it, but there are many excellent shows that no UK broadcaster acquires and so UK viewers are left with no way to watch it.

Luckily, some proxy and VPN services have sprung up to offer access to things like HBO in the UK. These services tunnel your internet traffic via US servers, so it appears to the streaming services as if you reside in the US, giving you access to sign up to all the services that are otherwise US-only.

National boundaries have no place online, and these proxies make that a reality.

See a guide for getting HBO in the UK at

Photograph by Jason Paris

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