The CW is a pretty cool U.S.-based network that has made its name thanks to the Arrowverse and Riverdale, but also offers plenty of other shows. In fact, the network has put so much content out there, we figured we’d dedicate an article on how to watch the CW so you can chec it out for yourself, wherever you are.
The CW started life in 2006 as a merger between two existing networks. Though it struggled a bit in the beginning, its now become a mainstay of the entertainment world, producing shows like Jane the Virgin, a very contemporary take on the telenovela, and The 100, a post-apocalyptic series with more twists than a mountain road.
However, the biggest selling points for the CW are Riverdale, a teenage angst-ridden take on the Archie comics which we’ve honored with its very own guide on how to watch Riverdale, and the Arrowverse. This last term is a catch-all for a number of shows set in the DC Universe, such as The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and, of course the one that started it all, Arrow.
If that show interests you, we have of course a full guide on how to watch Arrow. If it’s the CW in its entirety you’re after, though, keep reading as we show you how to watch it online from anywhere in the world.
Watch the CW Live
The CW is a cable channel like any other and thus you can have it included in whatever package you have with your cable provider, as long as you’re in the U.S. or certain parts of Canada. However, as we’re not really into all that terrestrial stuff here at Cloudwards.net, we’ll be focusing on ways of watching the CW online.
If you want to have everything the CW has to offer as it airs, Hulu offers it as part of its Live TV package, which will run you about $45 per month and has a whole bunch of channels in it, plus all the regular streaming Hulu offers. If this sounds good to you, we recommend you check it out, though be warned that Hulu only is accessible for people with a U.S. IP address.
If you’re not in the U.S., but still want to watch Hulu, you’re going to need to use one of our best VPN for Hulu picks to get past the service’s draconian VPN ban.
Another way to watch the CW online is by going to the CW website, clicking on the “shows” tab or going to the search bar and entering the title of what you want to watch. The CW offers the last few episodes of each show live on the site with the built-in player, for free but with ads. It’s a pretty good deal overall, and a great way to catch up on shows as they air, or if you missed an episode.
However, the CW is geoblocked for U.S. visitors only, so once again you will need to use a virtual private network to get in. A VPN will spoof your location so you can pretend that you’re in the States. The block put up by the CW isn’t very formidable, so that’s your silver lining right there.
For this article we used ExpressVPN, which seems to work just fine all the time, on both mobile and desktop. Read more about the service in our ExpressVPN review.
However, there is a better way to watch the CW than via the site, and that’s by using its app. Let’s check it out.
Watch the CW App
To find the CW app, simply go to the website and go to the “apps” tab. There you’ll find a whole bunch of devices you can install the app on. Click the one you want and you’re off to the races. You’ll notice, though, that the app can’t be installed on desktop OSes, which is a bit of a pain if all you have is a laptop and a phone (like yours truly).
For this article, we installed the CW app on an Android smartphone and messed around with it. It looks pretty good, though it probably looks better on your smart TV or tablet.
It’s a very easy-to-use app, overall, and we very much recommend it, especially as it’s free. The ads can be annoying, but it’s nothing as bad as, say, with sites like PutLocker and the like (read our guide on how to watch The Wire for another program that’s on PutLocker).
However, much like the CW site, the app is region locked, so you’re going to need a VPN to access it from outside of the United States. Quick test shows that any of the best VPN services will do the trick, though, as the CW doesn’t seem to take this too seriously.
Installing the app from outside the U.S. is a different matter, though, as the Google Play Store isn’t going to let some VPN fool it. We ended up downloading an APK from this site but it is one of those “at your own risk” deals. That said, so far the APK has given us no problems.
Watch CW Shows on Netflix
If all this messing about with sites, subscriptions, apps and APKs seems like too much trouble, there is one last way in which you can watch many, though not all, CW shows, and that’s via European Netflix. The EU version of the popular streaming site has licenses for a whole bunch of CW content, including most if the Arrowverse.
If this sounds interesting because you already have a Netflix subscription, but you’re not in Europe, check out our best VPN for Netflix selection to get access.
The CW is a great network with a lot of great shows, and has as bonus that its content is completely free, even though it’s locked to the United States. Hopefully, with these tips you can watch the Arrowverse plus everything else the CW has to offer without too much trouble.
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What do you think of the CW and its app? Did we miss any good tips? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thank you for reading.