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.
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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.
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.