How (and Where) to Watch Riverdale in 2021: Catching Up with the Gang

Peace and calm won’t last long in Riverdale now that Archie and his gang are back after a four-month hiatus. For all Riverdale fans impatient to start their binge-watching session, we'll tell you where (and how) to watch Riverdale in this guide.

Jacob RoachArjun Ruparelia
By Jacob Roach (Writer) & Arjun Ruparelia (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-08-30T01:59:06+00:00 Facts checked by Elisabeth Ivey

Ever since it first aired in January 2017, Riverdale has managed to keep the viewers curious and wanting more. The teen drama based on the long-running Archie comics is available to stream online from both legitimate and illegitimate sources. If you’ve got some catching up to do or want to binge-watch the new season, we’re going to tell you how — and where — to watch Riverdale.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are several ways to watch Riverdale, including streaming from the CW website and app, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Kodi. Alternatively, you could download it using a torrent.
  • If you want to stream Riverdale for free, you’ll need a VPN, either to bypass geoblocks or to stay anonymous.
  • ExpressVPN is our top VPN pick to watch Riverdale. However, if you prefer torrenting more than streaming or want something less expensive than ExpressVPN, consider NordVPN.

Available on the CW Network’s website or app for free across the U.S., Riverdale is one of the most popular shows on Netflix. If you’re not in the U.S., though, the CW Network’s geoblocks will stand in the way of your streaming Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead and the rest of the gang.

Fortunately, you can bypass geoblocks using a virtual private network (VPN) to watch your favorite Riverdale characters. Keep reading for the full steps, and you’ll be watching Riverdale season 5 (or start at the beginning with season 1) in no time.

  • 08/24/2021

    Fact checked where you can currently find Riverdale online and added step-by-step instructions on how to find the show.

  • You can watch all seasons of Riverdale on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, and it’s also available on the CW Network. If you’re not in the U.S., though, you’ll need to use a VPN and connect to a U.S. server to be able to stream on the CW website or app.

  • Unfortunately, Riverdale isn’t available on Hulu. However, new episodes are available live and on-demand for Hulu + Live TV subscribers.

  • U.S. Netflix will add the Riverdale season 5 a week after the final episode airs on the CW. If you don’t feel like waiting, though, you can use a VPN to change your location to somewhere outside the U.S. and watch the latest episodes on Netflix.

  • You can watch season five of Riverdale on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, websites like CouchTurner and Kodi, or you can download it via a torrent.

Can I Watch Riverdale for Free?

If you’re in the U.S., you can watch the show for free on the CW Network, though you’ll need to sit through a few ads as you watch each episode. You could also watch Riverdale for free using Kodi or download episodes through torrenting. Both methods warrant the use of a VPN, though, since they aren’t entirely legal.

Riverdale is also available on websites like CouchTuner, which bombard viewers with annoying ads and pop-ups. Not only are such websites illegal, these websites could also infect your computer with malware. So make sure you protect your system with one of our best antivirus software picks. 

riverdale on couchtuner
Riverdale is available for free on CouchTuner.

Watch Riverdale From Anywhere

If you’d prefer to watch Riverdale on the CW Network, you either need to be in the U.S. or use a VPN to change your location to the U.S. You can also watch Riverdale on Netflix. However, because the latest season is never available in the U.S. while it’s airing, you’ll need to switch your location to somewhere outside the U.S. In either case, using a VPN is the solution.

Streaming Riverdale: Your Quick & Easy Guide

Using a VPN isn’t difficult. However, if it’s your first time, the following steps will help you set up a VPN for streaming Riverdale.

  1. Download and Install a VPN

    First, you’ll need the VPN on the device(s) where you want to watch Riverdale. So head over to the VPN provider’s website to download and install the VPN app (we recommend ExpressVPN).

    download-expressvpn
  2. Connect to a Server That Can Access Riverdale

    Log in to the VPN app and look for U.S.-based servers. Connect to a U.S. server and check if you’re able to stream on the CW Network’s website or app. Depending on the VPN, you may need to try a few servers to find one that works, but it’s usually not an issue for ExpressVPN.

    ExpressVPN Server Connect
  3. Start Watching

    Once the VPN server is connected, get a bag of chips and launch the CW Network’s website or app. Search for Riverdale, find the episode you want to watch and start streaming.

    riverdale on cw website

Why You Need a VPN to Watch Riverdale

The CW Network doesn’t allow viewers outside the U.S. to stream its content because of licensing agreements. When you visit the CW website from a non-U.S. location, you’ll see a notice stating that the content is restricted rather than the actual website. That’s because the website has geoblocks that prevent viewers from other regions from accessing the website.

However, you can bypass the geoblocks using a VPN. When you use a VPN, it conceals your real IP address and assigns a different (in this case, a U.S.-based) one. This makes it look as though you’re located in the U.S. and allows you to access geoblocked content. That said, not all VPNs offer a great streaming experience.

The Best VPN to Watch Riverdale Online

You’ll need a VPN that offers great connection speeds, unlimited bandwidth and the ability to bypass geoblocks for the best streaming experience. ExpressVPN remains our top pick for streaming because it’s the fastest VPN and offers unlimited bandwidth and data.

ExpressVPN

We like ExpressVPN for many reasons, including its streaming capability. In addition to fast connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth, it manages to bypass most geoblocks. It does cost a little more than other VPNs, but you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee to claim a full refund if you’re not satisfied. Give our ExpressVPN review a read to learn more about it.

NordVPN

NordVPN offers a lot of the same features as ExpressVPN, except for minor differences. Even with a largely similar set of features, NordVPN costs considerably less than ExpressVPN and also comes with a money-back guarantee. The trade-off for the lower cost is slower speeds on distant servers.

If you plan on torrenting to download Riverdale episodes, you’ll appreciate that NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting. Find out more on what the service has to offer in our NordVPN review.

Stream Riverdale on Kodi

You can watch Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes work their magic on Kodi using add-ons like Poseidon. However, these add-ons pull streams from websites like CouchTuner, so you’ll still need to keep your guard on against malware with an antivirus program.

riverdale on kodi
You can stream Riverdale for free on Kodi.

Torrenting itself isn’t illegal, as we explain in our article on the subject. However, Riverdale is copyrighted content, so it’s very much illegal to torrent it. When you use a standard connection, you can be tracked through your IP address and face legal issues for torrenting it. That’s why using a VPN that has a strict no-logs policy is critical for torrenting Riverdale episodes.

Final Thoughts

Whether you need to watch the second half of Riverdale season 5 or binge-watch Riverdale from scratch, you’ll need a VPN if you’re not located in the U.S. A VPN helps you bypass geoblocks and keeps you anonymous while you stream on the CW or Kodi or download the show using torrents. We highly recommend both ExpressVPN and NordVPN for the job.

Have you tried to watch Riverdale from outside the U.S.? Did you face any issues bypassing the geoblocks with a VPN? Do you know of any other free sources to watch Riverdale? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading.