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How to Watch Cartoon Network Shows Without Cable in 2023

Rosemary S Siluvai Anthony
Last Updated by Rosemary S Siluvai Anthony on February 01, 2023

Cartoon Network’s free app doesn’t include certain episodes and is even missing entire shows. To make things more frustrating, buying cable TV to watch the live broadcast is expensive. Even with a paid subscription, Cartoon Network isn’t available outside the US.

Luckily, it’s still possible to watch the live channel or individual episodes from abroad. All that’s needed is a VPN and a paid plan for Hulu, SlingTV, DirecTV, or HBO Max. A VPN grants a new IP address that unblocks Cartoon Network from anywhere despite powerful geo-blocks.

Extensive testing showed the best VPN for Cartoon Network is ExpressVPN, with its super-fast speeds for lag-free cartoons and ability to unblock the channel. You can buy ExpressVPN confidently as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get ExpressVPN for Cartoon Network

Quick Guide: 3 Steps to Watching Cartoon Network

  1. Download a VPN. ExpressVPN is the top VPN for Cartoon Network as it has blazing-fast servers. It’s also backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Connect to a server. Choose one located in any city in the US.
  3. That’s it! Log into a streaming site on this list and watch Cartoon Network shows.

Watch Cartoon Network with ExpressVPN

5 Steps to Watching Cartoon Network on HULU + Live TV

Screenshot of Cartoon Network on Hulu
Cartoon Network on Hulu
  1. Connect VPN to a server in the US
  2. Visit Hulu’s website at www.hulu.com
  3. Register and get the Live TV add-on to watch the broadcast, or sign in with an existing account
  4. Type Cartoon Network in the search bar and select the desired show and episode, or watch live
  5. Click Play and watch cartoons

5 Steps to Watching Cartoon Network With DirecTV NOW

Screenshot of Cartoon Network on DirectTV Now
Cartoon Network on DirectTV Now
  1. Connect VPN to a US-based server
  2. Go to DirecTV NOW website at www.directv.com
  3. Sign up for an account or log into an existing once
  4. Search for Cartoon Network
  5. Select a show and episode to start watching

5 Steps to Watching Cartoon Network With Sling TV

Screenshot of Cartoon Network on SlingTV
Cartoon Network on SlingTV
  1. Connect to a VPN server in the US
  2. Visit SlingTV site at www.sling.com
  3. Sign up for an Orange or Blue account or log into one that already exists
  4. Search for Cartoon Network or select ‘Channels’ in the site footer to find it manually
  5. Click on the show, pick an episode, and enjoy hit Cartoon Network shows

Watch Cartoon Network with ExpressVPN

Why You Need a VPN to Watch Cartoon Network

Streaming services that offer Cartoon Network restrict content to certain geographic locations due to licensing agreements. Regardless of the streaming service, both live broadcasts of Cartoon Network and on-demand individual episodes are only available in the US.

TV streaming sites with Cartoon Network find your location by looking at your IP address which is assigned to each device by internet providers. If a show isn’t licensed for your area, it won’t appear in content libraries.

How a VPN works is by using an encrypted server in another country that grants a new IP address to a device. With a US-based IP address, powerful VPNs unblock Cartoon Network shows on streaming sites that would otherwise display foreign content or not work at all.

The 3 Best VPNs for Watching Cartoon Network Online

1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN With Lightning-Fast Lightway Protocol to Watch Cartoon Network Without Buffering

Key Features:

  • 3000+ servers in more than 94 countries, with thousands in the US to watch Cartoon Network
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, RAM-based TrustedServer technology, a no-log policy, and a Network Lock kill switch keeps your data safe and private
  • Customer support includes 24/7 live chat, email, and video tutorials
  • Stream cartoons on-demand or watch the live channel on up to 5 devices
  • Plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Cartoon Network because of its blazing-fast speed for uninterrupted HD streaming. This is due to the VPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol, designed for smooth TV shows and live broadcasts. During tests of ExpressVPN’s Lightway-enabled server in LA, it took less than 5 seconds to load Uncle Grandpa on Hulu and play an HD episode without interruptions.

Besides unblocking Hulu, DirecTV, Sling TV, and HBO Max for easy access to live Cartoon Network shows and broadcasts, ExpressVPN can access the most popular streaming services in the US like:

Netflix US Disney+ Vudu Amazon Prime Video Stremio fuboTV
YouTube TV ESPN Crunchyroll Showtime Paramount+ Philo

Using an ExpressVPN server in the UK with BBC iPlayer and testing Peaky Blinders, none of Tommy’s tense showdowns with the Changretta family were ruined by sudden buffering.

ExpressVPN server in Docklands seamlessly unblocked an episode of Peaky Blinders on BBC iPlayer

Most VPNs can’t unblock Cartoon Network from censorship-heavy countries like China and Russia, but ExpressVPN is one of the few that can. Its obfuscation technology disguises data to look like regular local internet traffic instead of coming from a VPN server. This gets past firewalls in countries that block VPNs and restrict access to American cartoons.

Some of ExpressVPN’s other privacy and security features include:

  • A Network Lock to protect privacy even while streaming cartoons on unsteady WiFi
  • DNS leak protection that keeps a device’s location hidden to unblock Cartoon Network from outside the US
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption to hide IP addresses and ensure that Cartoon Network stays accessible
  • A range of VPN protocols to choose from.

During my tests, ExpressVPN connected up to 5 devices simultaneously and setting it up on desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets took less than 5 minutes. Some platforms like LG smart TVs won’t work, but MediaStreamer enables access to Cartoon Network even on devices without a native ExpressVPN app. It took about 15 minutes to set up ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer and start watching a hilarious episode of Clarence.

Although ExpressVPN isn’t the most affordable VPN on this list, the Lightway protocol’s unmatched connection speeds make it the clear winner for watching Cartoon Network. To get the best value for the money, you can get a discount of 49% with ExpressVPN’s 1-year + 3 months plan. It only costs $6.67 per month.

All this VPN’s plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can always get a full refund. I requested through the 24/7 live chat, was approved in less than a minute and got my money back in 4 days.

ExpressVPN is compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Chromebook, Chromecast, Firefox, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, Smart TV, Amazon TV, Apple TV, and more.

Get ExpressVPN for Cartoon Network

February 2023 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Multiple TV Services for Reliable Access to Cartoon Network

Key Features:

  • 9736+ servers in 91 countries, including a TV-optimized menu for SlingTV and other services offering Cartoon Network
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and IP leak protection on all servers
  • Get help via 24/7 live chat, an online ticket system, and detailed guides
  • Stream Cartoon Network on 7 devices simultaneously
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on the 2-year + 2 months subscription

CyberGhost has servers for Hulu, Sling TV, and HBO Max to stream Cartoon Network reliably from anywhere in the world. To find an optimized server for Cartoon Network shows or live streams, click the ‘For streaming’ tab in CyberGhost’s expanded view and scroll to the US section.

During tests, the optimized server for Sling TV unblocked the channel almost instantly and it was easy to watch episodes of Steven Universe. Other streaming sites on CyberGhost’s optimized menu worked perfectly besides just Cartoon Network, including:

Netflix Disney+ Crunchyroll ESPN
YouTube TV Amazon Prime Video Paramount+ Showtime

Although there are no optimized servers for DirecTV, CyberGhost’s ordinary servers in the US can unblock it to watch Cartoon Network live. The standard US-based servers weren’t as fast as the streaming servers were, but hit shows like Adventure Time still only had about 3 seconds of buffering during tests.

You can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously with one CyberGhost account, which is more generous than most VPNs. This offers the convenience of not having to log out on one device to watch cartoons on another. The VPN is compatible with most major devices and the 24/7 live chat is very responsive if there are any questions about using it to watch Cartoon Network.

Despite its reliable streaming menu, CyberGhost’s servers in the US weren’t as fast as ExpressVPN when connecting from extremely distant locations. However, even from Singapore they had enough speed to watch the bears help Panda meet his favorite K-pop band in We Bare Bears without lags.

The 2-year + 2 months plan for $2.19 per month is CyberGhost’s most cost-effective. It also gives you 45 days to try CyberGhost risk-free. I asked for a refund via 24/7 live chat, which was approved in about a minute. The money was back in my account in 5 days.

CyberGhost is compatible with: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Chrome, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, Smart TV, Apple TV, and more.

Get CyberGhost for Cartoon Network

February 2023 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.19 per month + get extra 2 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Largest Network With Servers in All 50 US States That Unblock Cartoon Network

Key Features:

  • 35000+ servers in over 84 countries, including locations in every US state to unblock Cartoon Network
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, MACE malware and ad blocker, and a kill switch
  • Online guides, 24/7 live chat, and email support
  • Watch cartoons without cable on up to 10 devices at the same time
  • Fully-tested 30-day money-back guarantee

PIA has the largest US-based network on this list for reliable Cartoon Network streams. Having options in every US state including California, Vermont, and Alaska, prevents slowdowns from crowded servers. That means fast and reliable connections for buffer-free Cartoon Network classics like Apple and Onion and Adventure Time.

During tests of servers in different parts of the US, PIA consistently averaged 74Mbps, which was only a small reduction compared to my base speed. Since you only need 5Mbps for smooth HD video, a 3-hour marathon of Courage the Cowardly Dog on DirecTV never stopped to buffer.

Another advantage of PIA is that it can unblock DirecTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and HBO Max which all include either Cartoon Network live streams, on-demand episodes, or both. Its global network instantly accesses popular streaming sites like:

Netflix Disney+ Crunchyroll Amazon Prime Video
YouTube TV ESPN Paramount+ Showtime

The one downside of PIA is that despite being able to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, watching 8 streams simultaneously caused up to 2 minutes of buffering. However, this isn’t a big issue since it’s unlikely anyone will have more than 1 or 2 devices playing Cartoon Network at the same time.

Considering its features and abilities, PIA is very reasonably priced and is one of the best monthly VPNs. That’s because even its short-term plans are a good value for the cost, but if you get the 2-year + 2 months plan, it’s an even better deal at $2.19 per month.

There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on every PIA plan that makes it risk-free to try PIA with Cartoon Network. I tested it by asking for a refund via a support ticket after a few weeks of using the VPN. I received an email the same day saying my refund had been issued. The money was back in my account 8 days later.

PIA is compatible with: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firestick, Roku, Smart TV, and more.

Get PIA for Cartoon Network

February 2023 Update! For a limited time only, save 82% with the 2-year plan + get an additional 2 months free! Hurry and check out the deal here!

FAQs About Watching Cartoon Network With a VPN

Can I watch Cartoon Network on Netflix, HBO Max, and other streaming sites?

Yes, it’s possible to watch some shows on HBO Max — but you can only access Cartoon Network’s live broadcast on Hulu + Live TV, DirecTV Now, or SlingTV.

HBO Max has removed many Cartoon Network favorites like Dodo, Elliott From Earth, Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart, Mighty Magiswords, Victor and Valentino, and other shows. However, many cartoons like Teen Titans, Dexter’s Laboratory, and The Amazing World of Gumball are still available.

Watching Cartoon Network shows on HBO Max requires an account. After logging in and connecting to a US-based server using one of the top VPNs, HBO Max’s Cartoon Network library appears when searching “Cartoon Network” using the search bar.

Netflix currently doesn’t have any Cartoon Network programming. This is because HBO’s parent company owns Cartoon Network, but Netflix is owned by a separate group of companies and investors.

Is Cartoon Network being shut down?

No, this is an online hoax and the channel is not scheduled to shut down anytime soon. It’s safe to get the best VPN for Cartoon Network and pay for one of the streaming accounts on this list without worrying about losing access to the channel.

HBO Max, SlingTV, Hulu + Live TV, and DirecTV Now are all reliable ways to watch Cartoon Network shows or the live broadcast.

Can I use a free VPN to watch Cartoon Network?

Maybe, but free VPNs have too many limitations to be practical for streaming Cartoon Network. In my experience, even the best free VPNs cap bandwidth and speed to keep costs down, so watching more than a few episodes of a cartoon is impossible in most cases.

Without budgets to invest in large networks, free VPNs also have very few servers so you’ll have a hard time connecting to the one that’s not crowded and slow. To recoup the expense of offering servers at no cost, most free VPNs interrupt you with ads — including offensive pornographic ones.

However, the worst free VPNs install malware on your devices to harvest your personal data and sell it to third parties. That’s why it’s better to get CyberGhost for free for 45 days by using its money-back guarantee. After catching up on Cartoon Network shows without the limits and risks of a free VPN, it’s easy to get a refund.

Watch Cartoon Network with CyberGhost for free by asking for a refund within 45 days

Try CyberGhost for free

Start Watching Cartoon Network From Anywhere Today!

Cartoon Network’s best shows like Victor and Valentino are almost impossible to watch from outside the US. A VPN can help regain access to geo-restricted Cartoon Network content on Hulu, DirecTV, Sling TV, and HBO Max, but it’s a challenge to find one that works.

Most VPNs can’t unblock these services, or don’t have the speeds for buffer-free cartoons and live broadcasts. ExpressVPN is the only VPN with the streaming-optimized Lightway protocol for smooth Cartoon Network in HD, and it can even access the channel in China.

If you get ExpressVPN to watch cartoons, every plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. That way you have complete peace of mind about your purchase.

Summary: These are the Top Cartoon Network VPNs in 2023

Top Choice
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.19 / month Save 83%
Private Internet Access
$2.19 / month Save 82%
$2.00 / month Save 83%
IPVanish VPN
$3.33 / month Save 72%
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