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ION TV is a great channel for fans of shows like NCIS, Law and Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Chicago P.D, and more.

Watch ION for free with VPN

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A Virtual Private Network consists of a group of servers distributed in different parts of the world that encrypt a user’s traffic, and also hide their actual details by changing their IP address. This is only possible once a user links their connection to a server. All that a viewer hoping to watch ION outside the US has to do is connect to a server in America, and they’ll be all set. This is because their actual IP will get hidden in favor of the new one depending on which server they’ll connect to. Follow these steps to access ION TV from anywhere in the world:

Pick a credible VPN provider. We suggest using NordVPN.

Once you sign up, download their application from their official website. You can find clients on various platforms including Android, iOS, PC, and Mac.

Install the VPN app on your device and launch it.

NordVPN’s VPN app interface is very user-friendly. All you have to do is sign in and head over to the server list.

Select an American server.

Once the connection is established; go back to the ION TV website or their dedicated app.

Using a VPN also greatly adds to the level of security that a user gets to enjoy. Once someone subscribes to a credible VPN service, their data gets encrypted as it is transferred through the Internet. This then makes it difficult for anyone with ill intentions to interfere with a user’s connection or eavesdrop on what they might be up to online.

Best VPN for Ion TV

VPNs also regulate what your ISP can or cannot do to your connection. This is important because so many ISPs are known for placing limiters that their subscribers aren’t even aware of. This is done in a process known as throttling. To help avoid this and keep your online activities safe and secure, we’ve come up with a list of providers that are more than capable of keeping you safe online. Here’s our list of the best VPNs to watch ION TV while outside the US.





Private Internet Access

Watch Ion TV without Cable

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There are two ways you can watch Ion TV without having to subscribe to a satellite or cable TV provider. You can watch Ion TV over the air using a TV antenna or stream Ion TV with Locast.

Watch Ion TV with an Antenna

If you live in a TV market that carries Ion TV, you can watch for free if you have a TV antenna. If you live in one of the TV Markets that carry Ion TV (see the table above) then install an indoor TV antenna, and tune to the TV channel for Ion. I recommend purchasing a TV antenna like the GE Ultra Edge antenna. As we said in our review of the GE Ultra Edge Indoor antenna, it provides a money-back guarantee with no questions asked if you purchase through Amazon. Purchasing an inexpensive antenna with a money-back guarantee eliminates the risk of paying too much for an antenna, setting it up, and realizing you cannot get reception for Ion TV.

When you set up your antenna, you want to put it in the best location to receive Ion TV. As we explained in our guide to using a TV antenna, find the location of the Ion TV broadcast tower in your area. You can do this by entering your Zip Code on the FCC’s DTV Reception Map page. This will provide a list of broadcast TV stations in your area. Click the “Ion TV” channel in the list, and it will show you the direction of the tower, as shown in the image below.

Indoor antennas: the best choice if you’re near the city

If you live near the city, chances are that you’re less than 10-20 miles from your nearest Ion affiliate station. This is a good thing, because it means that you don’t need a super high-powered antenna to receive the signal.

Most indoor antennas will, essentially, do the same thing. You have a couple of different choices. Amazonbasics antennas are highly recommended, and use a simple design that’s very cost-effective and easy to set up.

Other options include brands like Viewtek and Tablo. Do a little bit of research, and find the one that’s right for your budget.

Outdoor antennas: better signal for rural areas

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If you live more than 40-50 miles away from a broadcast station, an indoor TV antenna probably isn’t going to cut it. You may get a bad signal, or fail to get reception entirely.

In these cases, an outdoor antenna is what you’ll need. These are a bit more tricky to set up, as you’ll need to place them on the outside of your home, but they deliver a great signal from as far as 150 miles from broadcast stations.

Stream Ion TV Free

If you don’t have a TV antenna, or don’t want to purchase one just yet, you can try using Locast.

Locast is a non-profit service that offers a wide range of local TV channels normally only available over antenna. You can stream directly from, or using a dedicated app available for iOS and Android.

Unfortunately, Locast is available in only 7 locations: New York, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Denver. The service uses geolocation to determine where you’re located.

While Locast is technically free, the service does interrupt its broadcast every 15 minutes or so to ask for a donation of $5. If you decide to donate, then the message is removed, and you can watch without solicitation from Locast for donations. Please, note that the service also subject to a pending lawsuit from the major broadcast networks, so while the service is currently legal, it is unknown how long that status will last.

ION Programming and Subchannels

Ion has 52 owned-and-operated OTA stations around the country, and has also signed deals with most cable providers to deliver their content digitally.

Interestingly, though, Ion technically delivers 6 different channels over-the-air – using only a single broadcast signal. This is known as “multiplexing”. Multiplexing combines several different sub signals into a single signal.

While some other networks also make use of multiplexing, they usually limit themselves to broadcasting 4 channels on the same signal, while Ion broadcasts up to 6, in some regions.

Only the flagship channel, Ion, is broadcast in HD, though. This is because of bandwidth restrictions. Ion can’t deliver 6 channels in HD, because it would take too much data.

Here are the Ion channels you can expect to receive if you live somewhere with an Ion OTA station:

Ion Television – The flagship Ion Television station is the only channel delivered in full HD. Ion Television features mostly syndicated shows, such as Psych and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Qubo – Qubo is delivered in standard definition. It’s a kid’s channel, focused on programming source from PBS Sprout. It also features some classic cartoons from Filmation, aired at night during the Qubo Night Owl block.

Ion Life – Ion Life features mainly health and lifestyle programs, primarily imported from Canada. It features home improvement shows, a select number of feature films, and cooking shows.

Ion Shop – Ion Shop primarily carries infomercials, though it also shares some programming with Ion Life and the main Ion Television channel.

QVC Over the Air – As part of a partnership with QVC, Ion Television now delivers a special QVC channel known as “QVC Over the Air”. The programming on this channel is identical to that of the main QVC channel, focusing on educational, sales-focused content.

Home Shopping Network – Starting in 2013, Ion began carrying Home Shopping Network (HSN) on their sixth digital subchannel. Though HSN is broadcast in HD, the simulcast Ion Television affiliate is delivered in standard definition.

The availability of each channel will vary, depending on your location and the subchannels available from your local affiliate station.

The “Big 5” networks

These stations are the most common broadcast networks, and you’re probably quite familiar with them already. They reach the vast majority of American households.

ABC – ABC reaches 97% of U.S. households, delivering shows such as The Bachelor and Scandal, as well as local news on affiliate stations.

Fox – Fox reaches 97% of U.S. households, with shows like The Simpsons, Gotham, and Family Guy.

CBS – CBS is also broadcast to 97% of U.S. viewers, featuring Survivor, The Big Bang Theory, and a number of other popular programs.

NBC – NBC, like ABC, Fox and CBS, reaches 97% of viewers with an OTA signal, with content like Saturday Night Live, The Voice, and This Is Us.

The CW – While The CW only launched in 2006, it quickly has become a major OTA network, reaching 95% of U.S. homes with original programming like The Flash, Jane the Virgin, and Riverdale.

Public television networks

Most public television networks are also available for free over-the-air. These include:

PBS – PBS reaches 96% of Americans with shows like Nova, Frontline, and PBS Newshour.

PBS Kids – PBS Kids reaches 83% of OTA viewers, and features children’s focused programming such as cartoons and documentaries

Create – Create reaches 74% of OTA viewers, and is focused on content such as home improvement and DIY programming.

World – World (previously known as PBS World) reaches 59% of households in the U.S., focusing on non-fiction programming like documentaries, interviews, and coverage of public affairs.

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