Updated in August 2020
For many years people have been using proxy servers to stream the BBC in the USA. The numbers are not certain but it is estimated that millions of people regularly watch the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 from all over the world using the internet. Since it’s creation the BBC have restricted access to the iPlayer application to a specific market:
- Physically located in the UK
- Purchased a TV license
So to learn how to watch BBC One in America, you just need to use a proxy or VPN to hide your real IP address. The BBC don’t ask you to prove you have a license other than asking you!
The license check is little more than a confirmation before you access the site, however the location check is a little more sophisticated. When you connect to the BBC , the site looks up your physical location based on your IP. If you’re in the UK you go direct to the site, however all other users are redirected to the ‘International Version’ of the BBC website. This version does not contain live streams or access to the BBC iPlayer merely a few small clips of shows and the main news site. Basically it’s a different site – BBC USA is a cut down version without all the TV streaming capability.
Most global media sites do the same, they run domestic sites which contain all their live streams, videos and a cut down international versions for everyone else. It can get frustrating but fortunately there is a workaround which involves hiding your real location. Proxy servers where the simple solution for most, an intermediate server which hid your real location – a proxy based in the UK would allow you access to British TV, a US one for all the American sites and so on. Better still some proxies used to be available for free online, so you didn’t even have to pay to bypass the restrictions.
How to Stream BBC in USA
This video shows how you can use NordVPN iPlayer to access the BBC from the USA.
Unfortunately this has changed over the last few years, proxies have not worked for many years. In fact the only site that didn’t block them was the BBC however they stopped allowing them about five years ago. Nowadays the free proxies are next to useless for bypassing geo-blocks, every media site can detect their presence without difficulty. The same goes for the commercial ‘free proxies’ like expat shield which won’t work anymore.
There’s no safe way to watch BBC iplayer USA free of charge unfortunately however a decent VPN doesn’t cost much.
Fear not though you aren’t stuck with BBC America you can still watch the BBC live! There is an alternative to the BBC iPlayer proxy technique and that’s to use a VPN server which acts in a similar way, except the connection is encrypted and almost impossible to detect. Most people across the world now use VPNs routinely to either access these blocked sites or to bypass restrictions in their home countries like China and Turkey, both of whom heavily censor what you can access.
BBC 1 Live Stream Outside the UK Doesn’t Need to Cost Much
So now only secure encrypted VPNs like Nord VPN will work with the BBC iPlayer app, in fact you’ll be hard pressed to find any commercial proxy services that work anymore. Although plenty claim they will allow you to get a BBC One stream working, unfortunately it’s not really true. You can still use proxies for things like internet marketing and other purposes. The video above demonstrates how easy it is on a computer, simply pick the country you need (i.e. the one which matches the service) and then you should have full functionality. Sites like the BBC will work perfectly with a UK server, although you’ll need a subscription to watch commercial stations like Sky Go.
There’ also apps available for all your devices including Smart Phones and tablets like the iPad. So make sure you install on all your gadgets, you can use one subscription and install on six different devices.
If you try another VPN service make sure you check with a trial account or email them first as lot of them are starting to get blocked or withdrawn to legal action. You may see information online about how BBC iPlayer VPN not working, however a proper secure VPN won’t be blocked. In 2019 it still works fine as long as you pick the right service. VPNs cannot easily be detected however media sites can ban individual IP addresses and they also target any web site that openly advertises the facility to access them. All the best VPN sites never mention media sites like Hulu or the BBC at all and only advertise their specific service.
So it’s 2020 and if you want to watch the BBC iPlayer in USA free of expensive cable subscriptions then a VPN will work perfectly. We suggest that you try Nord VPN as they have hundreds of UK server addresses available to provide a fast connection to all British TV.
Check out what’s on BBC iPlayer and then try out both the BBC’s streaming service plus all the other great UK TV channels too.
Check Out the Great Deals on NordVPN and see for yourself, never get blocked again and surf the web in complete privacy.