One of the biggest TV networks in the US is CBS. It delivers many of the hottest shows around, and with a healthy amount of CBS sports coverage, it is easy to see why it is a crowd favourite.
The CBS website does offer some free content, yet it is the CBS All Access, which is the star of the CBS Interactive network.
After looking at what this offers, we will see the best ways to watch CBS All Access online and outside the USA.
What is CBS All Access?
As soon as you look at All Access, you can see it is a very different offering than the website. All Access lets you stream anything from the CBS network for a flat fee.
While it does not offer any shows from other networks like many other streaming platforms. CBS has enough original shows to keep the most ardent TV viewers happy.
With classic shows like Young Sheldon, a spin-off from the classic CBS show The Big Bang Theory. Other classics are Big Brother, The Good Fight, The Good Wife, Strange Angel and the spooky remake of The Twilight Zone.
If you are not in the mood for on-demand, and all the full seasons of shows on offer. You can easily watch live sports, shows, and news either on the go or at home. You have access to ET Live 24/7, HQ, sports, and local CBS stations.
If you want to watch Why Women Kill when another member of the family wants to watch something different, you can pick up a wide variety of devices such as Android and iOS, FireTV. PS4, Roku, Xbox One, and any number of smart TV’s.
Viewers have the chance for live streaming TV, 10,000 episodes, and much more besides.
All Access comes with two plans. Both come with a 1-week free trial before they revert to their regular pricing.
The smaller plan costs $5.99 per month after the trail and is supported by limited commercial intermissions in the shows.
The larger plan costs $9.99 per month after the trial and is ad-free unless you are streaming live TV then you have no choice but to face ads.
Both plans will allow you to sign up annually, where you can save 15%.
Signing up is straightforward and just needs you to follow these few steps.
- First Name and Last Name
- Email address
- Create a password
- US Zip Code
Step 6 means you will need to find a USA based zip code. This is easy in comparison to the payment section.
Like a few other streaming services there are, All Access wants users to be using US-based credit cards or PayPal accounts.
Luckily, there is a workaround for this, and you can use CBS gift cards.
These can be purchased online from Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and many other online retailers.
As this may not work for everyone, there are alternative options how to watch CBS All Access.
However, these streaming services like the All Access website and app do need a good VPN service provider to bypass restrictions, which are in place.
Other Ways to Watch CBS All Access
Before looking at the alternative ways you can access CBS, it is good to understand why you need a great VPN service.
The secret to a great experience is how to trick CBS All Access location sensing into thinking you are inside the USA.
Most VPN’s can be good at bypassing geo-restrictions, which are in place with these streaming platforms. Most can scramble and spoof your IP address to make you look like you are inside the USA.
These platforms though, are increasingly better at detecting the use of VPN’s. All Access being a good example.
This means that not every VPN will be suitable for access, or, they may not support remote regions such as Australia very well.
Signing up to Amazon can be one of the easiest alternative ways you can access CBS. This comes as an add-on to the base subscription to Amazon.
Prime is available in over 200 countries; it costs $12.99 for the full Prime experience, or just $8.99 for just Prime Video.
Amazon Prime offers a one-month free period; however, if you sign up to add All Access as one of your channel add-ons, this only comes with 7 days free.
Using this option, you do need a VPN because you will have to change the VPN client to the USA before starting Prime on your device and accessing All Access.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu is one of the top streaming platforms there is. It is also one of the few, which offer users the chance to use All Access from CBS, others like the PS Vue below only offer access to the regular channel.
Hulu costs $44.99 per month and only comes with a one-week free trial. Devices it runs on is more extensive than many other streaming apps, so it is easy to watch it at home of on the go using Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, iOS and Android and many other mobile device you can think of. (Learn how to get Hulu Australia here)
One of the good things with Hulu is there are also a stream of their own original shows, as well as just aggregating shows from other networks.
The second option is PlayStation VUE. Viewers may think you need a gaming console for this, yet it isn’t the case. It is an OTT service the same as many others.
This service has 4 plans available, and each of these offer 5-days free to test the service. The cheapest being $50 per month, and it enables users to watch CBS. All Access though is a separate subscription service and not included in a PlayStation subscription
Adding to this, there is unlimited DVR that is valid for 28 days, although you can only record a full series and not a separate episode.
Device compatibility is wide ranging and includes browsers, Roku, Chromecast, PlayStation, and some smart TV’s, Android and iOS, and Fire TV.
There are five streams available, and if you do go over the limit, the service blocks access for the extra device for a few hours.
YouTube TV could be seen as a good option. It costs $50 per month and comes with access to 60+ channels. It offers a one-week free trial and has access to many TV everywhere apps, All Access being one of them.
There is unlimited DVR for 9 months, and you can stream on up to three devices. Device support is as good as many other platforms, and content is a great quality.
Watching CBS with a VPN
All the above services need a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions. Aside from this, users who take part in streaming often find they have their connections throttled or slowed down. The ideal VPN will encrypt their connection and mask their IP address.
This not only prevents ISP's from seeing what users are doing, but it will also make users appear they are in the USA to access any of the above services.
The problem with some VPN’s is they don’t offer a full range of features that makes them suitable for everyone. Anyone living in remote regions can find their choices are limited even further.
Some of the most basic things a VPN needs are a good spread of VPN servers across a large number of countries. A good example being Private Internet Access.
Although this has a decent sized number of servers, they only cover 32 countries, so this network is on the smaller side than a lot of competition.
Aside from this, VPN’s need to have their user’s privacy as their number one concern. PIA is based inside the USA, so they sit right in the middle of the 5-eyes jurisdiction.
If the government wants to check connection logs, then they may be forced to help and hand over data, no matter how trivial it may appear.
The second option of ExpressVPN is very different in a few respects. They are based in the BVI, which is under no jurisdiction. The network also covers 94+ countries.
Remote regions are well supported, and all their servers are optimised for streaming.
PIA offers a 7-day refund where Express has a no argument 30-day money back guarantee. Users can use this like a free period to use this as they wish, and cancel if they find anything they are unhappy with.
With the best streaming VPN delivering the best global network download speeds, watching CBS online can be a pleasure rather than a chore using alternative solutions.