Disney+ may be out now in the US and a few other countries, but those of us in the UK and most of Europe are still stuck waiting until March to get out hands on the streaming service.
Unlike Apple TV+, Disney has a huge library of content from launch. Most of the recent Marvel films are there, alongside loads of Star Wars, Pixar, and classic Disney animated films - not to mention all its old TV content, even the full Simpsons collection thanks to Disney's Fox buyout. Add eagerly awaited original content such as The Mandalorian or the upcoming MCU series like the Falcon and the Winter Soldier and it becomes a compelling package.
However, the UK release date has been confirmed for 24 March 2020, meaning we still have weeks to wait to watch the new shows.
While it's disappointing that we've had to wait more than four months for access to the same content, there are potential ways to get around this. A virtual private network (VPN) gives you an IP address from a country that you select. With some, you can even have more granular control over a specific region.
It's worth pointing out that there have been reports of Disney blocking the accounts of people using VPNs to watch Disney+ - we can confirm that this is false. Disney is trying to block VPN servers, and so right now many VPNs are unable to access the streaming service, but some still are - including Nord and Hotspot Shield at the time of writing - and even though we were on a VPN that didn't work, switching to one that did then let us watch as normal, with no sign of Disney actually blocking or banning our account.
Unfortunately, a VPN isn't enough. Signing up for Disney Plus also requires a payment method from the appropriate country, though we've found (and tested) a workaround using a US Apple ID and some digital gift cards. Similarly, you can set up a new Google account, buy a Google Play gift card from Amazon.com and sign up that way.
For more info on this, read our detailed guide on how to watch Disney Plus in the UK.
If you're simply looking for a VPN at a great price, visit our round-up of the best VPN deals available right now or our pick of the best streaming VPNs if you want to watch a wider range of streaming services.
Best VPN for Disney Plus
If you're dealing with highly sensitive online information we wouldn't recommend Nord, but it's still safe to use for location-restricted content.
It's our favourite service from a usability standpoint, with great speed and a number of premium features at an affordable price. You can appear in 62 countries in total, including the US, Canada and The Netherlands.
It's available for as little as £2.82 per month if you sign up for the three-year deal, but there's plenty of flexibility with two-year, one-year, six-month and one-month plans also available.
Read more in our NordVPN review.
If the recent news has completely put you off Nord, then ExpressVPN is a great alternative.
It is more expensive than many rivals, but with thousands of servers and great customer support it's easy to recommend. The unrestricted access will give you the opportunity to connect to servers in all countries as the service is launched there.
You data is safe as the company doesn't keep any logs, while there's a kill switch should your connection ever drop.
There is currently a deal that offers 15 months for the price of 12, though, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee available.
Read more in our ExpressVPN review.
The beauty of CyberGhost lies in its flexibility, with the service available across multiple platforms and as a browser extension.
If you're new to VPNs, this is a great one to get started with, with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
All the features you'd expect from a modern VPN are here, including up to seven simultaneous connections, mobile apps and a built-in kill switch.
The pricing is competitive, too, with a three-year deal just £2.10/US$2.75 per month.
Sign up for CyberGhost on its website.
Read our CyberGhost review.
Surfshark's VPN is incredibly easy to set up and get started with. Countries including the US have multiple servers available direct in the application, and it should work with all major streaming services.
There's a MultiHop feature for added privacy, as well as an ad-blocker tool built-in. The implementations within browsers, on mobile and via desktop are all similarly easy to use and effective.
Starting at £1.59/US$1.99 per month, it's one of the cheapest VPNs around. See all of the price plans on the Surfshark website.
Read our Surfshark review.
Although its unusual design may take a little while to get used to, TunnelBear's VPN is incredibly simple and stripped back, offering only the services you really need.
The company is based in Canada, one of the launch destinations, so should be optimised for appearing in North America. There's no choice of server among the 22 countries offered, but for a streaming service
Do note that it doesn't work with BBC iPlayer, so look at other options if you want to be covered for the BBC's catch-up service abroad.
It's great to see a free tier, but with a limit of 500MB per month you'll almost certainly want to upgrade to unlimited data. This starts at £3.33 per month on the two-year plan.