As one of the most trusted news sources in the US, CNN delivers thorough and relatively unbiased coverage of world events as they happen. Here, we're going to be outlining exactly how to watch a CNN live stream.
However, while it's relatively simple to access CNN from the US, you might run into problems if you're outside the States – even if you pay for the network. So, here we'll explain exactly how to watch CNN live anywhere in the world.
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- Check out our rundown of the best streaming VPN (opens in new tab) services
- Not a fan of CNN? Here's how to watch Fox News live (opens in new tab)
- For something a bit lighter, here's how to watch NBC live (opens in new tab) anywhere
How to watch CNN live in the US
If you're in the USA, it couldn't be easier to watch CNN live.
At home, if you pay for a cable or OTT subscription package that includes CNN, you can simply turn over to the channel on your TV.
If you want to stream on your PC or mobile device, all you need to do is head over to the CNN website (opens in new tab) and sign in. Once you've done that, you'll be able to watch CNN live on the CNN Go app just as you would on your TV.
If you haven't got a TV package that includes CNN, we recommend Sling TV's Blue bundle (opens in new tab) as the cheapest way to get access. At $30 a month it's significantly more affordable than cable, and it also includes Fox News, BBC America, MSNBC and plenty more.
How to watch CNN live abroad
ExpressVPN is our #1 recommendation (opens in new tab) for accessing CNN outside the US. With excellent speeds, unrivalled location spoofing power and easy-to-use apps, it's the perfect choice. Plus, Tom's Guide readers can now claim three months free (opens in new tab) on any 12-month plan.
Things are a little different when you're outside the US.
In some countries you'll be able to watch a free live stream of CNN's news coverage, but this isn't available everywhere, and doesn't provide such flexible coverage as the paid-for CNN Go service.
If you have cable or an OTT provider like Sling and you're out of the US, the most efficient way of getting access is to use the best VPN to change your location. All you need to do is select a US VPN (opens in new tab) server, then head over to the CNN website as if you were back home. Then sign in with your details, and get watching.
Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, thanks to its super simple yet powerful apps, excellent unblocking power, and a great number of server locations worldwide.
So, for example, if you're in Canada visiting family or for work, you won't be able to watch CNN, even though you've paid for it. But, by using ExpressVPN you can select a server in the USA and virtually relocate.
Once you've done that you can log in on the website with your cable details, and access everything CNN has to offer – even though you're physically located somewhere that the service doesn't cover.
How to sign up to CNN
For those in the US, getting access to CNN is super simple – in fact, you've probably already got it.
It comes with just about all basic cable and satellite TV subscriptions, and if you've totally cut the cord it's also available on OTT services like Sling TV (opens in new tab), AT&T TV Now (opens in new tab), Hulu with Live TV (opens in new tab) and others – check out our full TV provider comparison (opens in new tab) to choose.
Plus, no matter how you get access to CNN on your TV, you can also sign in and watch CNN live online as well by using the CNN Go (opens in new tab) site.
How to sign up to CNN outside the US
If you're a US resident (or at least have a US credit card), you can sign up to any OTT provider that carries CNN wherever you are in the world.
All you need to do is sign up to ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), change your location to the US, and head over to the provider's website as usual. Then input your US credit card details and get watching!
However, if you don't have a US credit card, unfortunately you won't be able to get access to CNN this way, even if you use a VPN to change your location.
For users in the UK, a CNN live stream (opens in new tab) is available online, and you can also watch it in HD on both Sky and Freesat.
How to watch CNN live on Roku
If you've got a streaming or cable subscription that allows you regular access to CNN, you'll be able to watch it on your Roku, too. All you need to do is add the CNN Go channel on your Roku device, and then input your subscription information.
However, if you want to use a VPN to watch CNN on your Roku outside the US, you'll have to install a router VPN. This is because Roku devices don't support VPNs themselves. It's a little more complicated than on a desktop or smartphone, but our top choice ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) makes it super easy with a dedicated router app and clear walkthroughs.
How to watch CNN live on Fire TV stick
CNN Go is available on the Amazon Appstore, and all you need to do is download the app and sign in with your relevant credentials.
Plus, because the Fire Stick is Android based, it supports VPNs. If you want to watch CNN on Fire Stick outside the US, check out our guide to the best Fire Stick VPN (opens in new tab) services available.
Why should you use a CNN VPN?
The first and most important reason to use a VPN with CNN is to get access to the content you pay for anywhere in the world. So, if you're in Canada, the UK, or anywhere else, you can connect to a US server and log in to CNN as if you were in your living room.
There's more to it than that, though. If you have a good Internet connection but still find that CNN is buffering or playing at a low quality, it could be because you're being subjected to network throttling.
This happens when your ISP detects high-bandwidth usage of your connection and intentionally slows you down to make sure everyone gets a similar speed. High-bandwidth uses include torrenting, gaming, and, of course, streaming HD content.
A VPN anonymizes what you're using your connection for, which means your provider can't tell you're streaming. Subsequently, it can't choose to slow down your connection.
Plus, a VPN gives unrivalled privacy and security for any kind of browsing, so if you want to watch CNN live abroad as well as keep your personal info safe, a secure VPN (opens in new tab) is the perfect solution.
What is the best CNN VPN?
If you're looking to stream CNN live outside the US, a VPN is essential – and our #1 choice is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). With searing speeds and easy-to-use apps that work on tons of devices like Roku, Fire Stick, and Apple TV, as well as desktop and mobile, it's the perfect solution for accessing blocked content. Plus, you'll have 30 days to test the service before you commit.