Using an iPlayer Proxy to Watch BBC Abroad

If you’ve ever tried to access BBC abroad such as from France or indeed anywhere outside the United Kingdom, you’ll have found that you will get blocked. You’ll probably get some sort of message like this –

iPlayer proxy

The reason, is that whenever you connect to the BBC iPlayer site, it checks your location by using your IP address.  This address will be registered in whatever country you are connecting from.  It doesn’t matter where you are, where you live – just the location you are connecting from which determines whether you are allowed access or not.   If you’re not in the UK, you’ll only be allowed access to the radio programmes (bar some of the local ones).

It’s a very common practice nowadays, in fact virtually every large media site on the internet operates it.  Visit Hulu, ABC, Pandora, NBC or any of the big US media sites from outside the US and you’ll get a the same sort of message.   Try and access the Canadian broadcaster – CTV from anywhere but Canada and it will happen as well.   The same goes for all the UK and European broadcasters, you can access content only when you’re in that specific country.

How to Use an iPlayer Proxy to Watch BBC Abroad

Of course, the internet was once completely open to everyone, irrespective of your location.  However times have changed greatly in the last few years but fortunately all these blocks can be easily bypassed.  If you’re in France or anywhere outside the UK, and want to watch the BBC – simply watch this video about how to use a BBC abroad for the solution.

Here’s the software I’m using – NordVPN 


It’s that easy. Although it’s impossible to change your real IP address online, you can hide your real location with sophisticated software which makes it easy to use a UK proxy . You can use it to watch the BBC iPlayer from France or any other country. In fact you can use it to watch all the UK TV stations such as ITV, Channels 4 and 5 online on your computer quickly and easily.   You don’t need anything very technical or special knowledge and you can even use the same method to turn all your devices into a BBC media iplayer that works anywhere in the world.

Also with a click of a button you can switch your location to USA, France, Germany, UK or lots of other countries and instantly allow access to sites which are normally restricted. People use it for all sorts of reasons from watching TV anywhere in the world, to accessing blocked YouTube videos or using applications that are normally accessible. Many popular applications like Facebook and Skype are actually blocked in many countries across the world too.

Just think, from anywhere in the world you can quickly fire up your laptop, computer or tablet and enjoy the Rugby World Cup from the ITV or the Match of the Day stream online.  In fact for an English speaker, the various UK TV channels supply thousands of top quality programmes enough to rival any expensive cable package and all for nothing.

There are some caveats though, obviously all these channels don’t actually approve of people bypassing these blocks.  Although it’s estimated that three million of the people who watched the BBC’s coverage of England’s first world cup game weren’t actually in the UK!  They have taken measures to stop people doing this, and have targeted the so called BBC iPlayer VPN workaround.   Basically all the high profile, TV watching services were shut down by the BBC technical team who simply blocked access from their servers.  The other tactic was to to threaten the companies with legal action, which closed many down too.

They didn’t close them all down, but many VPN/proxy services disappeared.  So don’t believe the rumours about the BBC iPlayer not working through VPN anymore, it’s simply not true.  The remaining ones are those companies who don’t promote themselves as TV watching VPNs, instead just as legitimate security software.  This means that there are no legitimate legal ground to threaten the services with.  So make sure any VPN service you use doesn’t cover it’s website with BBC pictures or logos from other media companies.

To see what you’re missing, click here and give Nord VPN a quick try, it’s only a few Euros and there’s a money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied for any reason.  You don’t need to mess around with fiddly settings or use a chrome plugin, just install whichever version you need.  Then whenever you need to select a UK server e.g before the BBC iPlayer sign in and everything will work perfectly.

You can use it on all your devices just install the relevant application.

NordVPN Special Offer Page


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2 thoughts on “Using an iPlayer Proxy to Watch BBC Abroad

  1. Hey there. I’ve been looking at this for a while and have a couple of quick questions. Firstly am I right that this works from any country to access the BBC or UK stations. Next, seems to be a choice to be made between VPN and proxies – are there any advantages to either of these. Thx Evie

    1. Hi Evie,

      Good questions 🙂 First – yes it works from any country, except North Korea ! Yes it’s confusing, basically the VPN is more secure and encrypts your connection but can be slightly slower due to this overhead.

      In practical terms if you wanted to access some media sites, such as Hulu or Sky Go, a simple proxy would be detected but it works fine with BBC iPlayer. Identity Cloaker can operate as either but is probably nearer a VPN with the facility to switch off the encryption when you just want speed.

      Hope that helps.

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