After rigorous testing, I picked out the best free and legal TV streaming sites. However, most of them are blocked in different countries due to licensing restrictions. That’s why a VPN is necessary to watch shows reliably from around the world — but most VPNs aren’t powerful enough to get past location filters on TV channels. I tested 20+ VPNs and found that ExpressVPN is the best for streaming TV since it has lightning-fast speeds and unblocked every channel during testing. You can even buy ExpressVPN risk-free for streaming as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, you can easily get a full refund. Try ExpressVPN for streaming

How to Stream Free TV in 3 Easy Steps

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The Best Free Sites to Stream Live TV Online

1. ABC Live

ABC Live is a free live channel with no geo-restrictions, so you can access it from anywhere in the world without a VPN. ABC Live works 24/7, but it doesn’t have any on-demand shows since it’s a live TV station. Keep in mind that ABC Live is an ad-supported platform. Although it’s free to watch, the company makes money by interrupting your streaming with commercial breaks just like on regular TV.

2. PBS

PBS is like the US version of BBC — a publicly-funded news, education, and entertainment channel. It’s 100% free but unfortunately is geo-restricted to US users only. To stream PBS from outside the US, a VPN is necessary to avoid the following error: PBS currently hosts over 190 titles in its library that you can stream for free on demand. However, some additional content is locked behind its paywall. This channel also includes a live TV option to watch news, movies, TV shows, documentaries, and more through the online version of the TV station. Content on the live channel varies depending on location. For example, using a VPN server in New York to watch PBS live will show different content than a VPN server in Chicago.

3. NBC

NBC is a popular streaming service available only to users in the US, but it’s possible to watch the channel from abroad using a reliable VPN with US servers. It’s essentially a TV channel with a companion streaming site, similar to ABC Live. With over 65 titles, NBC has a great selection of TV shows — and most of them are free to watch. Some episodes are locked, but you can unlock them using free NBC credits. All you need to do is register on, and you’ll receive 3 free credits to watch paywalled content. Each episode costs you 1 credit and unfortunately, additional credits aren’t available for purchase.

4. Adult Swim

Adult Swim is home to an extensive library, with Rick and Morty being my all-time favorite. It has over 100 titles available on-demand along with 24/7 marathon streams of hit shows, and you can watch a significant portion of its content without ads. However, you’d need to log in with your US-based cable service provider to stream some locked episodes. Unfortunately, Adult Swim is only available in the US. If you try accessing it from outside the country, you’ll receive an error message saying:

5. Sling TV

Sling TV is a US-specific paid streaming platform, but it has a library for free users as well. The paid version has an extensive library of on-demand movies and TV shows, with an option to watch live TV channels. However, the library on the free version is unimpressive. There are a few gems, but you won’t find as many recent releases.

6. The Roku Channel

The Roku Channel gives you more than 300 live TV channels like FilmRise Classic TV, Fox Live Now, Hallmark, and many others. You can watch news, weather, sports, reality TV, documentaries, Sci-Fi, true crime, kids’ content, Roku originals, and others. I found it one of the best platforms to stream live TV for free. Content on The Roku Channel has ads and during my tests, I got ads every 15 minutes, which were short enough that they didn’t disrupt my experience much. The best thing about Roku is that you don’t need to sign up or create an account to start streaming. Unfortunately, the Roku Channel isn’t available globally — it’s geo-restricted to the US, Canada, and the UK. For people who are outside of these countries, a VPN is necessary to access Roku. I highly recommend ExpressVPN for Roku because it has a vast server network with excellent speeds in each of those countries. Stream legal TV with ExpressVPN

The Best Free Sites to Watch TV Shows On-Demand

1. Peacock TV

Peacock is affiliated with NBC, so it’s only available in the US. It hosts one of the most extensive on-demand content libraries I’ve seen in a free streaming site, with content ranging from TV shows and movies to live sports, news, SNL, and Peacock exclusives. It’s easily accessible by connecting to a server in the US with ExpressVPN or another one of the top VPNs on the market. This opens access to Peacock’s entire free library.

2. Tubi TV

I like Tubi TV because it doesn’t require you to sign up to watch anything. However, it’s geo-restricted to users in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. That’s a reasonable number of countries, but I was surprised that the UK wasn’t on the list. The extensive library mostly contains content from giants like MGM, Lionsgate, and Paramount, which covers a huge variety of TV shows.

3. FreeVee

Unfortunately, FreeVee is currently only available in the US and the UK. For people in other countries, it’s only accessible by connecting to a virtual server in the US using a VPN.

4. Vudu

Vudu is one of the most popular paid streaming platforms in the US, and it also has a free version. While Vudu’s free library isn’t as extensive as the paid one, it has an impressive list of 10,000+ free TV shows. A lot of the shows are either older or lower-budget productions, but I liked that most of them are available in 1080p. Unfortunately, Vudu is only available to users in the US. You need to sign up and create an account before you can watch. It’s also ad-supported, but thankfully there weren’t enough interruptions to ruin my streaming experience. You can also buy or rent content affordably if you want to watch a show that the free version doesn’t include. Stream TV with ExpressVPN

Best Free Streaming Sites by Country in 2023

The platforms on this list are 100% legal and safe, with a large selection of shows on demand, live TV channels, or both. There’s just one catch — most of them are geo-restricted to certain countries. For example, FreeVee is only available in the US. That means users outside the country will need a premium VPN with US-based servers to watch anything. To find free, legal TV streaming sites by country, use this breakdown by region:

The US

NBC — NBC hosts an extensive library of TV shows and movies with free access to late-night shows, classic series, and much more. Crackle — Crackle includes hundreds of TV shows in its library, including The Whistleblower. It even has parental controls that let you monitor what your child is streaming and restrict their access to PG-rated or mature content. Vudu — Vudu’s free version consists of many TV shows and movies you can watch for free in the US, many in 1080p.

The UK

BBC iPlayer — BBC iPlayer is the UK’s most-watched streaming platform available to residents with a paid TV license, though proof of the license isn’t required. You only need a valid UK postcode and email to sign up. It contains various channels including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, Radio 1, and BBC News. The Roku Channel — If you’re in the UK you can enjoy free access to thousands of TV shows, and documentaries on the Roku Channel. It features popular British TV shows including Fifth Gear and many others. FreeVee — FreeVee features over 3,000 titles available in the UK. New movies and shows are constantly being added to its steadily growing library of free content.


CBC Gem — Canada’s CBC Gem is free, but offers a premium version with much more content for a monthly fee. The free version contains over 75 shows, including Trigger Point and Preppers.


Tubi — Tubi TV contains thousands of free movies and TV shows in Australia. Some titles include Secret City, Danger 5, and more. All you need to do is access the website or download the app. ABC iView — This streaming platform provides access to almost every broadcasted ABC show (both in Australia and internationally). It packs a range of genres, from news and comedy to kids’ shows and art.


NHK — NHK is Japan’s state-controlled public broadcasting corporation. It includes live programs, anime, manga, dramas, and on-demand movies and shows, most of which are locally produced. TV Asahi — TV Asahi is an excellent option if you’re into original Japanese animes and select American cartoons like Police Academy, CatDog, and The Smurfs. Get ExpressVPN for streaming

The Best VPNs to Stream Free TV — Updated 2023

1. ExpressVPN — Blazing-Fast Speeds for Buffer-Free Live TV Streams and 4K Shows On-Demand

Key Features: ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming free TV since it has the fastest speeds for lag-free HD and 4K shows. I tested its network on every continent, choosing over 3000 servers — no matter which location I connected to I got speeds over 25Mbps, which is more than enough for bufferless live TV streams and ultra-HD shows. I was impressed by ExpressVPN’s unblocking capabilities. Its extensive server network means there are ExpressVPN servers in virtually every country to stream TV from anywhere. It worked during tests with these major channels: The MediaStreamer feature unblocks streaming sites even on devices without native ExpressVPN apps, like PS4 and Xbox. The only downside is that it sacrifices the security of VPN encryption, but this enables even faster connections since data can move faster when it doesn’t have to be hidden. The Lightway protocol is ExpressVPN’s proprietary VPN tunnel technology. Lightway is available on all servers and it’s designed from the outset to be optimized for streaming. No matter what server you connect to on ExpressVPN’s network using Lightway, you’ll be able to access legal TV services with no issues. Using a top-of-the-line VPN like ExpressVPN can be a bit expensive if you’re budget-conscious. However, I found out that the 1-year + 3 months plan has a 49% discount that lets you get the VPN for $6.67 per month. You can buy ExpressVPN with confidence, as it’s backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with its performance, you can easily get a refund. I initiated my refund request via its 24/7 live chat and got my money back in just 4 days. Try ExpressVPN risk-free

2. CyberGhost — Extensive Network of Servers Optimized for Seamless Access to Global TV Platforms

Key Features: CyberGhost has streaming-optimized servers to unblock global TV platforms, with consistently fast speeds for buffer-free shows and live broadcasts. In addition to servers to unblock specific platforms. CyberGhost has more than 9633 servers across the world for accessing TV content. Here are some of the sites it’s streaming network and standard servers can unblock: I was happy with CyberGhost’s fast performance on nearby and mid-range servers. I tested its speeds and my CyberGhost connections were fast even on servers 2,000 miles away. I got performance drops of up to 15%, which was slightly slower than ExpressVPN but it had more than enough speed to watch shows like Stranger Things on Netflix with no buffering. You can stream on up to 7 devices with CyberGhost. I tested it on my Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, and Android phone, and it worked perfectly with no speed drops even while connected to so many platforms that were all playing videos at once. The one con to CyberGhost is its month-to-month plan has a shorter money-back guarantee than its longe-range plan, and compared to ExpressVPNs. However, it has a budget-friendly 2-year + 2 months plan that you can get for $2.19 per month and comes with a 45-day refund window. I highly recommend you try CyberGhost risk-free with its 45-day money-back guarantee. I requested a refund via 24/7 live chat and was approved by a CyberGhost support agent in just a minute. I got my refund within 5 business days. Try CyberGhost risk-free

3. PIA — Vast Server Network With Exceptional TV Channel Unblocking Capabilities

Key Features: I got excellent speeds on nearby servers, but when I connected to a distant server in Australia I got speed drops of up to 40%. That still shouldn’t be a problem if you just use servers close to your real location. PIA was fast enough to play content on the following platforms stream in perfect HD while connected to a nearby or mid-range server: I was impressed to learn that PIA supports up to 10 simultaneous device connections on all plans, which is one of the highest I’ve seen in a VPN. If you need to watch legal TV on even more devices, I suggest you configure it directly on your router. This protects your whole network, but keep in mind the process is quite technical. Plans for PIA are inexpensive and are a good value for the money, especially if you get a discount of 82% by trying its 2-year + 2 months plan. To test it out first, you can try PIA risk-free for legal streaming with its 30-day money-back guarantee. I submitted a ticket on its website requesting a refund and got my money back in a week. Try PIA risk-free

Why You Need a VPN to Watch Free TV Online

Most free streaming sites (including the ones on this list) are geo-restricted to certain countries. For example, FreeVee is only available to US and UK users. Even if you’re from one of these countries, you won’t be able to access your usual streaming platforms and content while you travel overseas. Geoblocks track your IP address, a unique code assigned to your internet connection. When a streaming site detects that your IP address is from a restricted country, it’ll show an error message instead of playing content. A VPN connects you to the web through a server in another country to give you a new IP address. This is how it can get past blocks on Netflix US and other sites to restore access to content from around the world.

Is watching free TV with a VPN illegal?

No, it’s not illegal to watch free TV using a VPN as long as you use 100% legal sites and never violate copyright. However, most streaming sites have geo-restrictions and can only be accessed by users of particular countries. A VPN can get past these geo-restrictions, but it violates the terms and conditions. I don’t condone illegal activities, and violating the terms of a website you use could get you banned with no refund.

Are free streaming sites safe?

Not all of them. I picked out the safe, legitimate free streaming sites where you can watch your favorite live channels and shows without worrying about hackers, bots, or malicious links. Many streaming sites are infested with malware and can expose your devices to hackers. Others are too slow for streaming or bombard you with pop-ups that ruin your streaming experience.

What else can I do with a VPN?

Besides unblocking streaming content with VPNs, they also allow safe access to even more TV streams via onion sites on the dark web. Top VPNs are also capable of bypassing bandwidth throttles imposed by ISPs when customers use too much data, enabling full internet speeds. VPNs can also keep you safe while watching TV on public WiFi. Even when connected to a public network, which is usually a prime target for hackers, a VPN can hide your traffic when you’re streaming online TV.

Can I use a free VPN to stream TV shows?

Yes, you can, but I advise against it and prefer using a top-rated VPN. Most free VPNs have overcrowded servers, which means you’ll get frequent speed drops and won’t be able to stream buffer-free. They also usually have limited server networks with poor unblocking capabilities. Instead of risking your safety for a limited VPN that can’t stream reliably, I’d get a premium VPN for free by using its refund policy. For example, you can use CyberGhost for free for 45 days and get a refund when you’re done watching your show. It has excellent speeds and streaming-optimized servers to reliably unblock local TV channels. If you’re unsatisfied, you can always get a full refund with no questions asked.

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Final Thoughts on Using Free Streaming Sites in 2023

You can find dozens of free TV streaming sites on the internet but most aren’t safe, legal, or reliable. They can infect your device with malware, putting your online data at risk. Many of them breach copyrights or subject you to constant pop-ups with links to scams and porn sites. I had to test some really shady sites to find the completely safe and legal options for free TV live streams or shows on-demand. Many free streaming sites on my list are geo-restricted to specific countries. The only way to stream free live TV outside of select locations is by using a VPN to get a new IP address. I strongly recommend ExpressVPN because of its blazing-fast speeds for lagless TV streaming. You can also buy ExpressVPN in confidence knowing it’s backed up by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Summary: More VPNs for Streaming Free TV in 2023