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How to access and Watch BBC - Outside UK IPlayer

Updated on June 14, 2015

What no Iplayer ?

Not in the UK, your IP address will give you away !
Not in the UK, your IP address will give you away !

How to access BBC - Outside UK IPlayer

So can you access IPlayer outside the UK?

Well it's a question that may confound and perplex but there is a solution. If you live abroad or travel a lot like myself, you may miss good old UK TV and particularly the BBC. Of course you may have thought there was an obvious solution called Iplayer but if you have ever tried to connect to BBC Iplayer abroad you will have been disappointed.

Try to connect and all you'll get is a little apology and a blank screen.

So I can't connect to Iplayer outside the UK?

That's not exactly true and if you search the web sites you will find lots of potential solutions. I'm afraid the majority of them you'll find are rubbish but I'll list them here and you make your own mind up.

How's it Done?

How they are blocking BBC Iplayer outside the UK, well it's quite simple it's just based on your IP address. Your IP address locates your computer, in fact you can locate your exact position based on the IP address you connect onto the internet with. Inside UK and Iplayer works without a hitch but outside the UK and you get that little message.

The secret to watching Iplayer outside UK is to simply mask your real IP address and display one that is based in the UK.

BBC Iplayer outside the UK - Free methods

There are some free ways to do this depending on your circumstances. The first one is only available if you have a computer you can access at home - either a friends or your own. All you need to do is create a tunnel back to this PC and then browse via this tunnel. It sounds complicated but it's not too bad. I left on my Linux server on at home running an SSH server. I then connected back to it using a free program called Putty, after the SSH tunnel is connected you just need your proxy settings. Redirect your browser to use a local proxy and then you can surf via a UK based IP address

My Connection through a proxy

My IP address is the Proxy IP address.  Mine is hidden.  If I select a Proxy Server in the UK - BBC Iplayer will work.
My IP address is the Proxy IP address. Mine is hidden. If I select a Proxy Server in the UK - BBC Iplayer will work.

So does this method work for Iplayer ?

Yes it does work, of course you need some technical skills and an available server or pc in the UK. The main problem I have was my upload speed which are often very slow in the UK. It was I'm afraid so slow as to be unusable - maybe if you have access to a faster connection this might be the solution for you.

Any other free methods for IPlayer outside the UK?

There are other methods based on similar principles (that is hiding your real IP address). The most popular method (and the one you'll find for sale mostly on the internet as a secret method) is to use an anonymous proxy that is based in the UK. You can search the many lists or use a program called foxyproxy for Firefox to find anonymous proxies to surf through. When you find one based in the UK you can surf via that and BBC Iplayer will work.

The drawbacks are the quality of the anonymous proxies, the free ones are hacked servers or misconfigured ones. They rarely last more than a couple of days and more often just an hour or two, because they're free they will quickly become extremely slow or fall over. You can watch BBC Iplayer on them outside the UK but prepare to spend hours searching for new proxies daily and mostly giving up as they are too slow. If you have lots of time on your hands and some patience this can work for you - the principle is sound, make sure your virus protection is up to date though some of the free proxies are riddled.

My Preferred UK Iplayer solution

My final method is really based on the above two, the solution is simple you need to browse by proxy through a server based in the UK. Unfortunately it's not free but it does work and is reliable.

The solution I settled on is to use a private proxy based in the UK, which enabled me to watch outside UK Iplayer, there are a few companies that offer this service for a variety of prices.

The advantage is they are secure, fast and always available, every one I tried was able to view BBC Iplayer outside the UK. The main difference was the price and the number of proxies they had available - the best performing one was actually also the cheapest. However it is a surprising discovery and it isn't actually marketed as a TV proxy. Check out the link to learn the best deal I discovered.


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