The BBC iPlayer is developing all the time, it’s even introduced a new Beta area where they can try out new features. Already you can watch every channel live, plus everything else for a few weeks on the BBC iPlayer site. It’s my main source of entertainment from the news, to sport and dramas like the wonderful Gunpowder Plot which started this week. I am always finding new stuff on the site, for example I’ve just discovered if you look in the categories section you can switch to all the different regional versions.
Now of course, a lot is the same but it’s really useful for watching specific versions of sport broadcasts and the local news. I can watch BBC Wales even though my TV aerial only delivers the North West News because I live near the border.
It’s truly a wonderful application, however of course for those outside the United Kingdom there is a problem because the BBC block access and allow only access to the ‘International Version’ which has none of the radio or TV broadcasts at all.
Using a BBC Live VPN
When you first realise you’ve been redirected to the international version of the BBC site, it’s certainly disappointing. You’ll soon discover that all the best stuff is missing – certainly radio, Live TV and archived programmes. Yet there’s always an workaround on the internet and currently the solution consist of using a BBC Live VPN programme to give you access from outside the UK.
The VPN is a Virtual Private network and is a slightly more sophisticated version of a proxy server. A VPN is a server that hides your real location and encrypts your internet connection to keep your data safe. It also unlocks all these region restricted websites all over the world including the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and all the other UK TV stations.
Here’s the BBC live VPN I’ve used for nearly ten years now when out of the UK:
As you can see it’s very simple to use on a computer or a laptop – just use the software which sits in your task bar to select the country you need. So to watch a US online channel pick a US server and for the wonderful BBC iPlayer just select one of the many UK VPN servers to connect to. It potentially opens up all the world’s TV channels, most broadcasters have something similar to BBC iPlayer and they all restrict to domestic users.
Now if you search online you may come across some stories about BBC iPlayer detecting VPN programs and blocking them like this page. It is in fact true, at the end of 2016 and beginning 0f 2017 there was a huge effort of BBC iPlayer blocking VPN services from all over the world. No-one was quite sure why they became so aggressive suddenly, but it might have been as a result of impending budget cuts. Fortunately no-one has actually figured out how to reliably detect the use of VPN programs so this all had to be done manually. What they did was basically identify these in two distinct ways, firstly all the service which were foolish enough to openly advertise the ability to bypass the BBC region locks were targeted either by blocking or threats of legal action. The second was to manually identify the IP addresses with large numbers of concurrent connections and block these one by one.
Although time consuming this actually stopped a huge number of people using the BBC iPlayer VPN workaround. Most of the easily identified services were the cheaper overloaded ones which many people used. Fortunately this has not continued, and although the market has reduced slightly – the major VPN service providers are still working fine with the BBC. They have the ability to spread connections across a large IP address range and switch out addresses that do get blocked. So fear not, BBC iPlayer VPN 2018 is still working fine as long as you pick a decent one like Identity Cloaker.
In fact it’s just not limited to the BBC, if you have a decent VPN then you can effectively watch UK TV abroad free on most devices. You can even access subscription channels which are normally only available in the UK try for instance you can watch Sky Go abroad anywhere.
Remember you can even use your Identity Cloaker account to connect to the servers on other devices too. It’s simple to establish a VPN connection from tablets, android and iPhones and lots of other smart devices. Here’s an illustration of how to get the BBC on an iPad abroad but it’s a fairly similar process on most other devices. You just set up the VPN connection to different country servers and then enable them whenever you want access.
Give it a try and watch the BBC iPlayer from Anywhere