Skip to main content

Is CBS All Access free with a cable subscription?

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in "Star Trek: Discovery."
(Image credit: CBS All Access)

Best answer: No, but if you have one of the supported cable providers your CBS All Access account is free only for the streaming Live TV option on their website. You'll need to start a subscription with CBS All Access in order to take advantage of the other benefits.

CBS: CBS All Access Monthly Subscription (From $5.99 a month)

What is CBS All Access?

CBS All Access is loaded with original shows for you to check out and get lost in like The Twilight Zone and Strange Angel — and in 2020 Star Trek: Picard and a new take on Stephen King's The Stand . Each subscription comes with the ability to watch on two screens, but if you upgrade to the No-Commercial subscription you can also download shows to watch in Offline Mode.

Aside from all your favorite shows and movies being helpfully categorized on their website, you can also find Live TV options with your account. Every two weeks CBS updates their Live TV schedule for you to watch shows like Big Brother and Star Trek: Discovery as they air!

CBS All Access is the online streaming home for all things ViacomCBS, plus new exclusives from the Star Trek world. That includes Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery, along with The Twilight Zone and The Good Fight.

CBS All Access will be rebranded to Paramount Plus sometime in 2021.View Deal

Or do I just need a VPN?

There is all kinds of great content on CBS All Access — shows you can't find anywhere else like Star Trek: Discovery and The Twilight Zone. But maybe all you're looking for is a way to watch the things you want to watch wherever you may be, even it's outside of your usual viewing area.

For that, a VPN might well be the ticket. A virtual private network routes all of your computer's traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country. So you can make it look as if you're still in the U.S. watching the newest Trek series even if you're outside the United States. Freedom!

But there's a catch — you need to be able to trust your VPN provider because you're going to be routing all of your network traffic through it. For that, we've been longtime fans of ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN makes it easy to watch your favorite shows and sports (yes, CBS All Access has sports) no matter where you are, because it makes it possible for your internet traffic to be routed through your home country — even if you're on the road somewhere.

It's safe, it's secure, it's easy to use, and it's got a free trial, so you can make sure it's the right VPN for you. (Hint: It will be.)View Deal

What does signing in with my cable subscription get me?

The CBS All Access website has an option to watch prime time TV on their browser. You can only connect your cable company to CBS All Access for live streaming via cellphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. It won't work on TVs, not even through your streaming boxes.

If you don't have a CBS All Access account you can create one by connecting to your cable provider. This will give you access to their prime time TV streaming. CBS updates its live schedule bi-weekly so you'll always be able to see what's on the horizon for you to watch.

Which cable providers work with CBS All Access?

If you have any of the following cable providers, you can get your CBS All Access account free for streaming live TV. But note that on-demand content may not be available.

  • Dish
  • Frontier Communications
  • Hulu
  • Optimum
  • Spectrum
  • Verizon
  • Mediacom
  • PlayStation Vue
  • Suddenlink
  • YouTube TV
  • TDS
  • Service Electric Cablevision
  • Fubo
  • BendBroadBand

How does it work?

In order to get access to streaming Live TV on CBS All Access you'll still need to create an account. However, there are specific steps to take if you want to sign in via your cable provider.

  1. Click here to go to the CBS All Access website.
  2. Sign into your supported cable provider.
  3. Create an account with CBS All Access.
  4. Sign in and enjoy!

As of right now, the option to sign in with your social media account is not an option. The links exist on the website, but all of the redirects are broken. You'll need to create an account with your e-mail instead.