We know how you feel.

Poor Matthew is dead, Mary is a widow with a baby, and Tom is trying to keep the Abbey in business. Yet the producers of PBS insist on making us wait 4 months later than when Downton Abbey is shown in the UK. In the meantime the spoilers fly around on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and the surprises get ruined anyway. 

But what can you do besides move to Britain for 8 weeks in the fall?

There are ways to catch the latest episode of Downton Abbey online after it airs in Britain. We told you about some last year, but we have found a much better alternative.

Expat Shield

Expat Shield is a nifty little software package than can assign your computer a UK-based IP address. The assignment is only temporary and can easily be turned on and off. This allows you access to the itv player where you can watch Downton Abbey after it airs in the UK. 

How to install Expat Shield

Expat Shield is simple to install. Simply go to the Expat Shield homepage and click on the Download button. The software will install and put a shortcut on your desktop. 

To use Expat Shield:

1. Open the shortcut from your desktop.
2. Your default browser will open and Expat Shield will launch. Wait for it to launch until you see Connected in the window. 
3. Open another browser window and go to the ITV player or the ITV Downton Abbey home page
4. Find the episode you want to watch, and open it.
5. NEW THIS YEAR: ITV requests that users enter a UK postal code to watch ITV player content. Here are a few to try:

Highclere Castle: RG20 9RN
Downton Abbey Village (Bampton, Oxfordshire)  OX18 2HA
Lady Rosalynn Painswick's house in Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AL
Jane Austen's House in Chawton: GU34 1SD
Platform 9 3/4, King's Cross Station: N1 9AL

6. When you are done watching, simply launch the Expat Shield shortcut again, and click Disconnect. If you don't disconnect you will find you are brought to the UK version of sites like amazon.com and google.com.

Is Expat Shield Legal?

We do not offer any legal advice on this page.  

 Here are some links to help you decide for yourself. 

Expat Shield Terms of Use 

How to watch BBC and ITV 

Expat Shield for Brits Abroad

Other Alternatives

Tunnel Bear is an Expat Shield type software program. Read more about it here

This Facebook page, Downton Abbey Series 4, may have links to watch episodes after they air.  This page WILL contain season 4 spoilers when the season starts. 

Yes, there are other alternatives too, such as illegal 'torrents'.  We do not recommend these because, apart from the moral issues, they usually involved registering email addresses, allowing cookies and other downloads of software that could be malicious. 

When does Downton Abbey Season 4 start in the UK?

There is a tentative date of September 15, 2013. The official date has not been announced yet. 

The series will air on January 5, 2014 on PBS in the United States. And we'll all be watching then, too!


08/21/2013 1:15am

Thanks for this. I hope a lovely will post like last year.

08/31/2013 12:36pm

My friends and I hope we can see it in September. Can't wait for
"the rest of the story".

Shirley Rosser
09/21/2013 9:08pm

Lucky you! Not sure about using Expat, so I guess I'll need to wait. :(

Irene Kearney
09/14/2013 3:20pm

09/23/2013 9:32pm

Expat Shield now charges $4.99 a month for access.... their streaming is buggy and full of spam.


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