Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, is a basic cable and satellite channel that has been owned by ABC since 2001. It is a subsidiary of the American Broadcasting Company – Disney. Channel offerings include modern and family oriented shows that have a large audience, but there are many featured series and movies designed for females between the ages of 14 – 34. If you are in the US, you may watch for free online without logging in. If you are outside of the US, you would need to use a VPN to avoid geo-restrictions. Take a look at our list of the best VPNs for Freeform.
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The types of programming you may expect to see on Freeform (ABC Family) include feature films, made for tv movies, religious programming, and syndicated shows. Roughly 82% of the US population that own at least one tv have access to this channel, so if you are in the US, there is a good chance you have it or know someone that does. Of course, since it is family oriented, the entire family can watch it. Let’s take a look at some of the programming.
- Melissa and Joey – Family show that ran for 4 years and featured the likes of Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, in a style similar to the show Who’s The Boss in the 80s.
- The Fosters – Teen and family drama about a same sex couple raising a multi-ethnic family.
- Last Man Standing – Family sitcom featuring Tim Allen as the father of 3 daughters and the director of marketing for a chain of sporting goods stores.
- Switched at Birth – The highest rated show for ABC family about 2 teenagers that were switched at birth and live in 2 very different worlds. It is the first series on network television to show entire scenes shot in American Sign Language (ASL). It also demonstrates some of the problems that deaf children face as opposed to the “Hearies” as they are referred to on the show.
- Greek – Drama/comedy show about students that participate in fraternities and sororities at the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University.
Depending on the time of year, the station will show full length, family movies that were released in theatres. Some examples of those are How the Grinch Stole Chtistmas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Those are just a few of the shows and movies broadcasted, but there are many more. As the future of cable channels become less certain, the question is what will happen to channels like ABC Family? Some of that can already be answered. Freeform (ABC Family) has sold some of the licensing of shows to online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Change is something that ABC Family is familiar with. It actually began in 1977 as a division of a popular TV preacher named Pat Robertson. Over the course of time, it has evolved in to the family channel, and was purchased by Fox in 1998. In 2001, ABC purchased the channel and renamed it ABC Family. Not many stations have the longevity that it has, nor the commitment to showing family broadcasting.
Why use a VPN to stream content from ABC Family? It is great if you are currently in the US, but what if you are not? If you are a resident and traveling abroad or if you’re trying to watch from another country, you would be blocked from seeing the programming outside of the US. Blocking occurs because the technology that allows the content to stream, also reads where your computer is located. That is where using a VPN would be a smart idea. All you would have to do is connect to a server in US, and you are set. You may do this from any country you are in. By doing that, the technology is fooled in to thinking that you are located in the US, even if you are not.
Another useful function of a VPN deals with the security aspect. By using a VPN, you create a secure connection to a server in the US, or any other country you want to connect to. The VPN adds a layer of encryption to whatever you are doing online, whether you are trying to unblock content like this, or performing more sensitive actions. In fact, we would recommend using a VPN to protect your privacy. In today’s society, there are many people that would love to get their hands on your personal information.
You should see by now, that there are some good benefits to using a VPN, and it is a necessity if you plan on watching Freeform outside of the US. Which one is the best? All of the choices we mention in the table above are good options, and we feel you would be happy with any of them. However, we do have some favorites in the list. ExpressVPN is at the top, because we feel that it is the best VPN overall. They offer a reliable network, and servers around the world. They offer fast speeds which is good for unblocking and streaming content like ABC Family, or any others. We should also mention the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) feature. It will help you watch things like Netflix, ABC Family, and other without the overhead of encryption. It is a good solution if you have speed issues, but you watch the content unencrypted. SmartDNS will certainly work, but it lacks the privacy protection of a VPN. Fortunately ExpressVPN members have unlimited access to both services.
Let’s jump right in and take a closer look at the best VPNs for Freeform.
ExpressVPN brings together fast VPN access with MediaStreamer which acts as a Smart DNS service to unblock access to geo-restricted content. The VPN service will help encrypt your connection and unblock live sporting events. You will even find a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on their website. Being in the British Virgin Islands puts ExpressVPN outside the 5 eyes and 14 eyes countries. They maintain a no-log policy that has been verified through high profile legal requests over the years.
ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. Beyond the USA, the ExpressVPN network boasts thousands of servers in key locations to help protect user’s privacy. You can connect to their VPN network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and watch your favorite streaming services from anywhere.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using ExpressVPN is their support for a wide range of devices. ExpressVPN offers custom VPN software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Connect your desktop and mobile at the same time with up to 3 simultaneous connections. You can also install the ExpressVPN web extension for Chrome or Firefox. Want to protect your entire home network with a single VPN account? If so you can use the ExpressVPN router app to set it up. The MediaStreamer feature adds Smart DNS support to devices like game consoles (PS4, Xbox Onw, Nintendo Switch, etc.), media boxes (Apple TV, Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, etc.), and Smart TVs.
ExpressVPN performed very well in our speed tests. They are a great choice for privacy and to unblock geo-restrictions. Customer support is available 24/7 to provide assistance and answer any questions. Enjoy the best VPN for less with confidence as ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is based in Panama which some users prefer to using a VPN company that’s actually headquartered in the United States. You will find that NordVPN has a strong presence in the US with servers located throughout the country. Members have full access to their network in the USA and beyond for a very good price.
You will find that NordVPN has perhaps the best mix of services for the price if you subscribe to a longer term account. All users have full access to their network and custom software. You can connect using the VPN client for Windows or Mac. They also have an easy to use mobile app for Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices. You can use the NordVPN browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. NordVPN offers some advanced privacy features like double VPN, P2P servers, and dedicated IP that really help the service stand out.
Want to access streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world? If so NordVPN is a great choice. They are one of the only VPN services that can still unblock Netflix. You can sign up for unlimited VPN and SmartDNS service from just $2.99 a month with a 3-year membership.
CyberGhost was founded in 2001 by 7 enthusiastic young team members in Bucharest, Romania. Since that time the company has grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world. The team of 50+ members is focused on protecting users privacy. Robert Knapp, co-founder and CEO, continues to lead the team even after they joined the Crossrider group in 2017. Since that time the CyberGhost network has expanded quite a bit.
CyberGhost offers a nice mix of server locations, strong encryption, and the ability to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime. Some of the channels even let you unblock geo-restrictions for multiple regions. For example, you can access Amazon Prime video content in the US, Germany, or UK. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf anonymously, protect WiFi, torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites (Google, Facebook Instagram, etc.), and choose a server.
The CyberGhost VPN client is one of our favorites. It is very easy to use and includes a number of advanced features to help protect your online privacy. They have a development team in Germany that is continually adding features to the client and mobile apps. You can sign up for full access to the CyberGhost network from just $2.75 a month during their current promotion.
The USA is home to several popular VPN services, but none faster than IPVanish. We know from personal experience that IPVanish will work quite well no matter what region of the country you are in. Their servers are fast and the VPN service has more server locations in the United States than most VPN providers.
Along with a large footprint in the USA, IPVanish hosts servers in every continent other than Antarctica. Their VPN network has consistently been the fastest in North America in our speed tests. You will find multiple server locations in countries like the US and UK. You can select a location or get more specific by picking an individual server. IPVanish is excellent for gaming but can be hit and miss for unblocking popular streaming services.
When it comes to value IPVanish is hard to beat. They offer unlimited access to their VPN network and custom software for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Firestick and more for $7.50 a month or $58.49 a year. That works out to just $4.87 a month on the annual plan. A 7-day money back guarantee covers all new members.
Private Internet Access (PIA) gives users a few different options. Unlike in the past, you no longer have to set up a profile for each VPN server. Now, you can connect to any of their server locations in 33 countries. The PIA team has organized their servers by region, country, and city. You will find the speed to be fast most of the time.
There are a lot of torrent users who love Private Internet Access. The service includes a feature that will stop your system from communicating if the connection to their service drops. Meaning if your encrypted VPN access is dropped for any reason it will keep you safe.
PIA offers a Windows client and other apps that are simple and easy to use. However, you won’t want to underestimate it. PIA offers different levels of privacy protection depending on your needs. You can control encryption levels to help you find the right balance between privacy and speed.
When it comes to their Windows client the PIA team has included an Internet kill switch. The kill switch will kill your Internet connection anytime the VPN fails. That can really come in handy for those wanting to ensure anonymity. Private Internet Access offers VPN from $3.49 a month along with a 7-day money back guarantee.
If you desire other choices, please look at our top 10 VPN services page. You should not need to, though. The ones we mention here are on the list because of several criteria. Those are based on price, speed, security, and server locations. Again, we feel you will be happy with any of the options we list here. In choosing a VPN, you want to pick one that will unblock the content you want to see, and protect your privacy. The providers we mention here are well known and will all do that.