TCM, or Turner Classic Movies, is a TV-everywhere service that lets users access on demand movies and live broadcasts on a variety of devices. With the right app, you can stream TCM on iOS phones and tablets (iPhone, iPad), Android devices, Fire TV Stick, and even Apple TV. There’s even a web-based streaming component that lets you watch TCM in your browser!
There are only two real downsides to watching movies on TCM: privacy and location availability. Streams you access on mobile and desktop are never encrypted, leaving your data vulnerable to spying and surveillance. You also can’t access TCM anywhere except the U.S., meaning you need an American IP address to stream.
How can you overcome these limitations? By using a VPN. Below we discuss the pros, cons, and methods of finding the best VPN for TCM, covering everything from research to starting your first movie stream.
How Do You Watch TCM?
Getting access to TCM and all of its classic movie content is pretty straightforward for most people. In fact, if you have an existing cable or satellite TV subscription, you probably already have access!
Watching TCM Online
The steps to watching TCM on just about any device are pretty straightforward. You’ll need a subscription to a cable TV provider, and you’ll have to have that login information handy. Next, download the app for your device, or if you’re on a PC or laptop, visit the TCM website and click the Watch Live button. You’ll be prompted to sign in using your cable provider details. Once you do, you’ll have full access to TCM’s library of classic movie content. Easy!
Movies on TCM
TCM’s licensing deals often include separate rules for broadcasting on the TCM television channel and streaming content to the online/app service. For this reason, you may notice some movies aren’t available to watch on-demand, or they simply won’t show up on TCM’s live stream. This is purely due to licensing issues, though Turner Classic Movies does its best to make content available across all platforms.
There are two live broadcasts of TCM: west coast and east coast. You can watch either feed from the TCM website or apps, provided you have the relevant login credentials and a U.S. IP address. Movies generally appear on the on-demand service a few hours after they air on the network and are available to stream for 7 days. In most cases, movies do come back after this initial week-long run, though when that happens all depends on licensing deals.
Compatible TCM Streaming Devices
TCM is available for many different devices. Most people will be fine streaming content from their web browser, especially if they have a powerful computer. But if sitting in front of the TV is more your style, make sure to get the TCM app for Fire TV, Apple TV, or your Android TV device. These provide a straightforward interface for watching TCM content. All you have to do is download, sign in using your cable provider details, and enjoy.
VPNs with TCM
If you’re worried about your online privacy or concerned about leaking identity details each time you surf the web, using a VPN is an absolute must. Even when accessing sites and services like TCM means divulging your location and personal information. Your ISP can glean details from your connection, and cyber criminals find it easy to snoop on your daily activities.
You can fix easily these problems with a virtual private network. VPNs encrypt data passing through your computer, making it impossible for anyone to see what you’re streaming. They also provide virtual IP addresses that let you appear as if you’re in any country. This allows you to safely stream TCM content from anywhere in the world, all without sacrificing your privacy.
Top 5 Best VPNs for TCM
How do you choose the right VPN for watching TCM? What makes one service better than another? We cover all the juicy details below, complete with a series of recommended VPN services that provide the fastest and most secure connections around.
Important VPN Criteria
Being able to choose a good VPN means knowing a few things about the online privacy market space. For example, how important is encryption, and what do privacy policies really mean when put into practice? Finding out which VPN lives up to the hype is also a difficult task. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your online privacy.
We’ve simplified the research process by providing some of the top selection criteria below. We used the same features to make our VPN recommendations in the next section, ensuring you get the fastest, most secure, and best service for the job!
- Fast streams – Only top-tier VPNs provide quality speeds. Without that, your movie streams will lose quality.
- Good device support – TCM runs on multiple devices, and so should your VPN.
- Network distribution – The more servers a VPN runs, the more connection options at your disposal.
- Zero-logging policy – Only use VPNs that have a strict zero-logging policy, no exceptions.
Based on all these factors, we picked out the best five VPNs for TCM
ExpressVPN is fast, friendly, and easy to use. It’s perfect for nearly everyone looking for a reliable VPN, especially for streaming TCM. The service offers a wide range of privacy features to keep you safe and anonymous, including 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy to keep information secure, and both kill switch and DNS leak protection. ExpressVPN’s server network also covers over 2,000 locations in 94 different countries, giving you plenty of options for a fast connection no matter where you live.
Using ExpressVPN couldn’t be easier. The company offers dedicated software for most modern devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Once you create an account, all you need to do is download the right app, sign in, and you’re good to go. ExpressVPN takes care of finding the fastest server to connect you to each time you turn on your device. It keeps your data secure and your location hidden, as well, all without forcing you to lift a finger.
Check out our ExpressVPN review for more info about the company’s amazing features!
NordVPN is best known for its massive server network. The list is growing on an almost daily basis, but at the time of writing it sits at over 4,800 servers in 62 countries, occupying every continent except Antarctica. This incredible variety lets NordVPN deliver unique services to users, as well. Want protection against DDoS attacks? Double encryption? Onion over VPN? Connect to the right server and you’re set.
On the privacy side of things, NordVPN has everything you need to stay safe: 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and an amazing zero-logging policy that covers time stamps, DNS requests, IP addresses, and traffic. It’s also incredibly easy to use, with smart, intuitive software designed for all modern devices!
Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.
PrivateVPN has a fast, well-balanced service that’s simple and easy to use, all while providing the perfect mix of speed and security to keep you safe online. PrivateVPN accomplishes this with lean and lightweight software anyone can pick up and use, making it easily accessible from desktops, tablets, and both Android and iOS smartphones.
PrivateVPN runs a full and dedicated network of over 100 servers in 56 different countries, enough to deliver speed and location variety without sacrificing reliability. PrivateVPN locks down all data passing through this network with 256-bit AES encryption, and it keeps your connection safe with an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a zero logging policy on traffic, too.
Read more about PrivateVPN’s useful features in our full PrivateVPN review.
When you need a fast, safe, secure, and reliable VPN, go with CyberGhost. New users and veterans alike will be thrilled with this company’s dead-simple software interface (available on laptops, mobile devices, and more), which provides tailored protection in just a few easy clicks. Users get access to a huge network of over 2,400 servers in 60 countries, allowing CyberGhost to deliver fast speeds around the world. No buffering delays or internet slowdown, only great connections with no fuss in configuration.
CyberGhost’s privacy features keep you secure with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. These foundational features hide your identity each time you go online, allowing you to connect with fully encrypted data no matter where you travel.
Learn more about CyberGhost’s great features in our complete CyberGhost review.
Need more than just encryption and virtual IP addresses from your VPN? PureVPN is the service for you. The incredibly diverse company delivers a comprehensive security suite that protects you from a range of online cyber threats, making it one of the best ways to stay secure on the internet. With PureVPN you’ll have anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking functions, and DNS website filters in a single package. Simply download the software and you’re safe.
PureVPN provides lots of useful privacy features on top of its unique offerings. It begins with a zero-logging policy on traffic and continues with an automatic kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection. These features work together to keep your data secure no matter what. And with PureVPN’s self-owned network of 750 servers in 180 different countries, you’re guaranteed a fast connection at all times, as well!
How to Run a VPN and Watch TCM
Now that you’ve got a reliable VPN on your device, it’s time to get everything set up and start streaming some TCM movies. Follow the guidelines below and you’ll be set in no time!
The first step is to download and install your VPN software. Sign into your VPN’s website and download the app for your device. Install it (most have a one-click installer), then launch the software. Enter your login credentials to activate the connection.
Most VPNs connect to a fast server as soon as they launch. In order to watch TCM, you’ll need to make sure it’s connected to a server in the U.S. To do this, simply open the server browser and find a node in America. Click to connect, wait a few moments, then you’re ready. Now minimize the VPN app and let it run quietly in the background.
It’s a good idea to verify your IP address to make sure there are no leaks. This is an optional step, but highly recommended, especially for first time VPN users. With your VPN active and connected to a U.S. server, open a web browser and go to ipleak.net. Wait for the page to load and it will run an IP address lookup. Look at the box beneath where it says “Your IP address”. If it shows the U.S. your VPN is ready to go.
Now you’re ready to connect and start watching TCM. The site itself doesn’t impose any restrictions on VPN use, meaning you can watch it from anywhere in the world without limitation.
Begin by visiting the TCM website or downloading the app for your device. Sign in using your cable provider’s login details, then you’ll be redirected back to TCM’s main content. Choose either a live stream or on-demand movie to watch and click the icon. Your video will begin playing right away!
TCM is one of the best resources for live and on-demand classic movies. It’s free to use if you have the right subscription credentials, and it works like a dream with VPNs, as well. All you need is a reliable service and a few minutes to get things set up, then it’s unlimited streams ready for you to enjoy!
What are your favorite classic movies and TV shows? And where in the world will you tune into TCM with your VPN? Tell us your thoughts below!