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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

How to Watch NHK On Demand Online in 2024

Kelvin Kiogora Updated on 4th January 2024 Cybersecurity Researcher

NHK on Demand offers a rich array of Japanese programming to viewers in Japan. To watch it safely and reliably from Japan, you need a VPN with secure and fast servers located in the country.

While it's theoretically possible to use a VPN to get a Japan IP address and access NHK on Demand from anywhere, this constitutes copyright infringement. Therefore, it's crucial to use a VPN responsibly and only for safe, legal viewing of NHK content within Japan. By adhering to this, you ensure compliance with copyright laws while enjoying your favorite shows.

After trying out dozens of VPNs, ExpressVPN impressed me the most. Its reliable server network and fast speeds are ideal for streaming NHK On Demand uninterrupted from Japan. It even has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you're not 100% happy with it.

Watch NHK On Demand in HD >>

Quick Guide: How to Watch NHK On Demand With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because of its impressive speeds and reliable servers in Japan for watching NHK On Demand without issues. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free as it's backed by a 30-day refund period.
  2. From Japan, connect to a nearby server. If there are multiple server options, connect to the one that’s closest to your actual location in Japan to minimize speed loss.
  3. Start watching NHK On Demand. Grab your popcorn, open NHK On Demand, and enjoy your favorite Japanese shows safely and in HD.
Important. My team and I strongly oppose any unlawful activities, including copyright infringement. The VPNs we recommend uphold strict no-logs policies, ensuring the non-tracking and non-retention of your data. It's your responsibility to use them in accordance with a streaming platform's rules and regulations.

Best VPNs to Watch NHK On Demand Online in 2024

1. ExpressVPN — Exceptional Speeds for Watching NHK On Demand in UHD

Best feature Impressive speeds for uninterrupted streaming of NHK On Demand
Speed Only a 10% speed loss — fastest among all the VPNs I tested
Server network 3,000+ servers in 105 countries, including Tokyo, Shibuya, and Yokohama
Compatible with macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TVs, and more

ExpressVPN’s high-speed servers make it an excellent choice for watching NHK On Demand. From Japan, I tested 5 of its Japanese servers, and they all averaged above 75 Mbps. This is significantly faster than the 5 Mbps required for HD streaming. I got the fastest speeds using ExpressVPN’s Lightway UDP protocol — it uses less code, which makes it faster.

You can enjoy smooth, uninterrupted streaming since ExpressVPN frequently changes its servers' IP addresses, so you automatically get the best available IP each time you connect to a Japan server from within the country. The process involves regularly adding new IP addresses to their pool and retiring old ones.

It also has custom router software that lets you safely stream NHK On Demand on any WiFi-connected device, even if it’s incompatible with VPNs. You can find detailed instructions on its website — it took me about 10 minutes to install it on the Netgear router I use in Japan. I added my LG TV to the router and watched a few episodes of Chimudondon.

I was slightly disappointed with the pricey plans, starting at $6.67/month. Fortunately, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s active deals to unlock lower prices. These discounts allowed me to save 49% on the 12-month subscription and get 3 months free.

A 30-day money-back guarantee backs all plans, so you can try ExpressVPN with complete peace of mind. To test the refund policy's trustworthiness, I contacted its friendly, 24/7 customer support team via live chat to cancel. The process was straightforward, and I had my money back in my bank account after 3 days.

ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Extensive Network in Japan to Always Find the Best Server for Streaming NHK

Best feature 100+ servers in Japan so you can avoid delays due to overcrowding
Speed A 14% speed loss, great for streaming without buffering
Server network 11,690 servers in 100 countries, including servers optimized for streaming
Compatible with macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TVs, and more

CyberGhost's extensive range of servers in Japan means you have plenty of options to avoid overcrowding while watching NHK On Demand. With thousands of IP addresses, you can always find the best for streaming NHK from your location in Japan. A large network also minimizes the risk of server congestion slowing down your streaming speed.

Like ExpressVPN, its speeds are fast enough for streaming without buffering, offering unlimited bandwidth and traffic. So, you can watch as much NHK ON Demand as you want without worrying about data caps. I got an average download speed of 74 Mbps when I tested CyberGhost’s Japanese servers from Japan.

Screenshot showing My connection remained stable the whole time I was streaming

CyberGhost’s simple and intuitive apps make it easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. Installing the app on my Windows laptop took me less than 3 minutes. You can also use the search bar to quickly find a server close to your location in Japan, which you can then bookmark as a favorite server.

It also has a Smart DNS feature that lets you use CyberGhost on devices that don’t natively support VPNs. CyberGhost’s website provides detailed instructions on how to set up the Smart DNS on different devices. It took me about 15 minutes to set it up on my PlayStation 4 and watch NHK On Demand. This feature also works on smart TVs, Apple TVs, Xbox, and Nintendo Wii.

One drawback is that the VPN doesn't work in countries with strict censorship, like China. However, that's only a concern if you live in or plan to visit the country. You can use CyberGhost on up to 7 devices simultaneously. Plus, its long-term plans come with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access — Streaming-Optimized Servers for Watching NHK On Demand

Best feature A specialized Japan server designed for seamless streaming from Japan
Speed Only a 15% speed loss when using its Japan streaming server from Japan
Server network 29,650 servers in 91 countries, including Japan
Compatible with macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TVs, and more

Private Internet Access (PIA) has a Japan streaming-optimized server that reliably works with NHK On Demand. While its regular Tokyo servers also worked with NHK in my tests from Japan, I found that the optimized server for Japan loaded faster. If you’re in Japan, you can locate it by typing "Streaming" into the search bar and then save it as a favorite.

With its next-generation servers designed for stable connections and fast speeds, I streamed movies on NHK On Demand without delays from Japan. It also uses 10 Gbps network cards to provide more bandwidth and faster connections. When I tested its Tokyo servers from Osaka, my speeds were sufficient for uninterrupted streaming.

Additionally, PIA allows you to customize your encryption settings for better speeds. Select the OpenVPN protocol and choose AES 128-bit encryption — it's faster because there are fewer layers of encryption. If you’re new to VPNs, this process can seem complicated. Luckily, the app comes preconfigured, so you can securely watch NHK On Demand from Japan without tinkering with any settings.

It comes with unlimited device connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The refund period is a great way to watch NHK On Demand risk-free with PIA. Getting a refund was easy. I filled out a simple contact form, got a confirmation via email after an hour, and received my full refund in my bank account after 5 days.

February 2024 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 82% off!

4. NordVPN — Easy Router Setup to Watch NHK Safely on Devices That Don’t Support VPNs

Best feature Install the VPN on your router to safely stream NHK on your smart TV
Speed A 19% speed loss, fast enough for streaming
Server network 6,105 servers in 61 countries, including Japan
Compatible with macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TVs, and more

Installing NordVPN on your router is easy, so you can safely stream on devices that aren't natively compatible with VPNs. It took me about 10 minutes. I followed the step-by-step instructions on its website for my Netgear router. After connecting to the Japan server from Japan, I could watch Maiagare! on my LG TV, which doesn’t typically work with VPNs.

Speeds are also great for watching NHK On Demand, thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol. This is a lightweight VPN protocol that NordVPN designed to deliver faster connections. From Japan, I tested NordVPN’s Japan servers using the NordLynx protocol, and I consistently achieved high speeds above 70 Mbps. My only complaint was that sometimes it took too long to establish a connection. But you can get around this by restarting the VPN app.

Screenshot of NordVPN's interface showing how to switch to its proprietary NordLynx protocolChoose the NordLynx protocol for the best streaming experience

There's even a dedicated IP for Japan (Tokyo), which is great for online services that may flag or block frequently changing IPs. Since this IP is exclusive to you, the risk of being associated with others' misconduct is eliminated, reducing the chances of being blocklisted by certain websites or services. You need to pay a bit extra for a dedicated IP subscription.

You can try all NordVPN’s features for free using its 30-day money-back guarantee, available on all plans. If you change your mind, simply cancel your subscription and claim a refund via 24/7 live chat. I tried this and received the money in my bank account after 7 days.

5. Surfshark — Stream NHK On Demand on All Your Favorite Devices

Best feature Enjoy your favorite NHK shows on an unlimited number of devices
Speed 23% speed loss, good enough for watching NHK On Demand
Server network 3,200 servers in 100 countries, including Tokyo
Compatible with macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TVs, and more

Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription. This is handy when you have a large Japanese household, so everyone can safely stream their favorite shows. Its performance remained stable even when I connected Surfshark on multiple devices simultaneously from Japan, including my Windows laptop, iPhone, Android tablet, and my brother’s iPhone and Mac. It comfortably handled streaming on all devices without buffering.

Even for individuals with limited knowledge about VPNs, I discovered that the apps provided by the service were user-friendly. If you’re in Japan, all you have to do is open the app, enter "Japan" in the search bar, and select one of the accessible servers to establish a connection and begin streaming NHK On Demand.

Screenshot showing some of Surfshark's Japan serversFrom Japan, I used the search bar to quickly find a Japan server near me

NHK can be viewed on any network in Japan using Surfshark's NoBorders mode, which proves particularly valuable for navigating constrained networks such as those in educational or professional settings. As soon as Surfshark identifies your connection to a restricted network, it initiates the NoBorders mode. This facilitates your VPN connection, enabling seamless access to NHK On Demand content.

Its short-term plans are expensive, but long-term subscriptions cost only $2.89/month. Additionally, a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee lets you try Surfshark at no risk. I put this to the test by requesting a refund via email. There was no back-and-forth, and I had the full reimbursement to my credit card within a week.

Where Can I Watch NHK On Demand Online?

Access to NHK On Demand is restricted to Japan, so you can’t watch it from other countries. A monthly subscription fee of 990 yen is necessary to stream the complete library. The platform can be streamed through its website or application, compatible with iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, among others. Additionally, you can watch it through Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

When you try streaming the platform, it checks your IP address to determine your location. If you don’t have a Japanese IP, you can’t watch content on NHK On Demand. You’ll get the following error message, which translates to: “An error occurred. Not available from your region.”

エラーが発生しました
お使いの地域からはご利用いただけません.

How To Set up a VPN to Safely Watch NHK On Demand in Japan

If you are already a subscriber, the following will guide you in configuring a VPN on your preferred streaming device to securely watch NHK On Demand from Japan.

How to Set up a VPN on Your PC to Safely Watch NHK On Demand

  1. Get a VPN. My top recommendation is ExpressVPN due to its excellent speeds that allow you to watch NHK On Demand in UHD without buffering. Plus, you can try it risk-free since it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. From Japan, connect to a local server. This gives you a Japanese IP, so you can seamlessly watch NHK On Demand while maintaining your privacy.
  3. Log into NHK On Demand. Open the NHK On Demand website and use your account details to log in.
  4. Start watching your favorite shows on NHK On Demand safely and in HD.

How to Set up a VPN on Your Mobile Device to Safely Watch NHK On Demand

The setup process below works for both iOS and Android devices:

  1. Download a VPN from the App Store or Play Store. ExpressVPN is my top choice due to its highly reliable servers in Japan and its remarkable speeds.
  2. From Japan, connect to a nearby server. The closer you are to the VPN server, the quicker your data can travel, enabling high-speed streaming.
  3. Download the NHK On Demand app. Go to your app store, download and install the app, and create or log in to your existing account.
  4. Start streaming NHK on your mobile device.

FAQs on Watching NHK On Demand With a VPN

Is watching NHK On Demand outside Japan with a VPN legal?

Watching NHK On Demand from abroad using a VPN can potentially raise copyright infringement concerns, depending on the interpretation and enforcement of copyright laws in your region. However, it is legal to use a VPN to securely stream NHK content from Japan.

Additionally, using a VPN or similar tools to access NHK On Demand content not available in your region may breach NHK's terms of service. This could result in adverse consequences, such as the suspension or termination of your NHK account.

Is it possible to watch NHK On Demand in the US or abroad?

No, NHK On Demand is restricted to Japan. Theoretically, you could use a VPN to watch it anywhere, but this can be considered copyright infringement and goes against the platform’s T&C. A VPN’s primary purpose is to keep you safe online.

How can I watch NHK On Demand on TV?

NHK On Demand has an app you can download on Android or Apple TV. If the app isn’t available for your TV, you can install it on your smartphone and then cast your phone’s screen to your TV. Alternatively, if you’re in Japan, you can install a VPN on your router and allow your TV to connect to NHK On Demand via a Japanese IP.

Can I watch NHK On Demand abroad with a free VPN?

Probably not. Watching NHK On Demand abroad can be considered copyright infringement, so you should avoid doing this anyway. Additionally, many free VPNs don’t have servers in Japan, so you can’t even use them to stream NHK safely in Japan. Even those that do, their small server networks make them prone to overcrowding, resulting in annoyingly slow speeds. A reliable VPN with a money-back guarantee is a better alternative that allows you to stream NHK On Demand safely and without interruptions from Japan.

Many free services also log your data and sell it to advertisers. Others can even infect your device with malware.

Watch NHK On Demand in Minutes

To watch NHK safely from Japan, you need a VPN with Japanese servers. However, not many VPNs have servers in Japan, and the majority are too slow for HD streaming.

My top pick for watching NHK On Demand is ExpressVPN. It was the fastest VPN I had tested in Japan, and I could stream Japanese movies and series without buffering. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs for watching NHK On Demand…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 67%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 82%!
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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Kelvin is a writer and cyber-safety researcher at vpnMentor, whose expertise in the latest online security tools aids readers in keeping them safe from hackers and online snoops.

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