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How can I watch BBC IPlayer anywhere?

Updated on October 30, 2013

Trying to watch the Grand Prix on BBCI Player in Iran ?

No Match of the Day on BBC IPlayer in Tehran then?

Well that's perfectly true, if you are in Iran there's many things you probably can't do and watching BBCI Player is also on the list. Mind you they are not alone, if you're one of many people who have tried to access the awesome Iplayer outside the UK - you may also have been disappointed if you're in the Loire Valley or the Costa Del Sol.

In fact if you are not based in the UK then you should not be able to access BBC Iplayer. The justification is a little confusing, publishing rights, BBC funding etc but the technology is actually quite simple - it's all down to Geotargeting of your IP address.

Not BBC but the UK ITV Player

Geotargeting to Block BBCi Player ?

Actually that doesn't sound very simple does it ?  But it is really, whenever you log on to the internet you are assigned an IP address.  This address basically can be linked to your exact location and account.  So if you logon to the internet in Thailand - then it will be apparent from your IP address, currently BBC Iplayer can only be viewed if you are in the UK, so you will be blocked anywhere outside the UK.

It's not uncommon, particularly with media sites, you'll often see a message like the one below restricting your access. I understand some of the reasons for doing this, but it still makes me kinda sad as you would hope the internet is one of the few places we could all be equal.  Sadly this is simply not the case.

Being Blocked access to the BBCI Player

If you are outside the UK, this is probably what you'll see from BBC Iplayer.
If you are outside the UK, this is probably what you'll see from BBC Iplayer.

So really is that it? I have to move back to the UK?

Well nope, as always the technology is there to be circumvented. As it happens, blocking people by IP address does work, but there are ways around it. Thankfully it's not that difficult.

All you have to do is fool BBCI Player that you are in the UK and it will work perfectly. If you have ever investigated this you'll find lots of web sites, services and technologies that allow you to do this. Web proxies, UK TV proxies many, many web sites offering you a way for you to watch Match of the Day, Dr Who or the BBC News.

Now you can actually do this for free, although it either takes a decent amount of technical knowledge and a willing accomplice in the UK, or lots of time to find a new proxy to use every time you want to watch BBCI Player.

But remember there are many thousands of people with no technical knowledge watching BBC Iplayer all across the world.  You can check out my site below if you want to see how I do it.

Checking Weather Still Awful in UK from BBC

If your somewhere warm, I guarantee  there is no better cure for that occasional bout of missing UK, than the BBC Weather report.
If your somewhere warm, I guarantee there is no better cure for that occasional bout of missing UK, than the BBC Weather report.

Using a Paid Service

Although it is possible to bypass these blocks for free, in reality it's not really practical. There are lots of free proxies about but you have to search for a new one every day (sometimes every hour) as they get overloaded and won't work for long.

There are however lots of paid services which offer a proxy/VPN service for a small subscription. If you do decide on this make sure that it offers a variety of servers preferably in different countries. It is useful to have a server in both the US and the UK, as well in any other country you have an interest in. Don't use a service that charges extra for each country - there's no point there are loads that provide lots of servers globally for a single subscription.


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