Why can’t I use BBC iPlayer abroad

BBC iPlayer is one of the most popular media content streaming systems in the world. With both British users and growingly worldwide users wanting to access it. The BBC is a worldwide known brand and a wealth of quality programming leads to many users trying to watch BBC iPlayer abroad.

iPlayer is geo-restricted don’t you know

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Brit abroad or you’ve never been to the UK in your life. If you’ve tried to access BBC iPlayer outside of the United Kingdom then you’ll know all too well the disappointment of receiving a “BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only.”

BBC iPlayer blocked March 2015

I know many expat Brits and non-Brits who would love to access iPlayer but at the point of receiving such a restriction message many just give up on the mass of great content that is available online from the BBC.

Free methods to watch BBC iPlayer abroad

Many people want things for free in life and there is nothing wrong with that at all, I love a bargain myself and free is the ultimate bargain. Unfortunately very little in life in the way of content is accessible for free on the internet. BBC catch up programmes are free in the sense you don’t pay to access them but accessing from abroad is never free.

I see countless users searching for free proxies or methods to access iPlayer abroad without paying. The problem is streaming content especially in good quality such as HD requires considerable speed and free services just aren’t up to the job. A proxy is not suitable for accessing iPlayer because the site can tell you’re outside the UK and any other “free service” is likely to be too slow and clogged down with millions of other users trying to access freely.

Stuttering, buffering and programmes stopped half way through is not my idea of fun.

Real method to access iPlayer abroad

The solution to watching BBC iPlayer abroad is to sign up for a service called a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This encrypts your internet connection and also disguises your physical location. When accessing the BBC iPlayer website it checks your internet connection to see what country you’re in – this is how it blocks you.

When using a VPN you can appear as if you’re in any country you wish, for this case, the UK. Even though you may be in the US, Australia, France or even Outer Mongolia, this will work anywhere.

So you’re probably wondering where to get a VPN. Like anything in life there are good services and bad ones. One we strongly recommend on VPNCompare is IPVanish. We’ve recently reviewed them and found them to be fast and reliable. There are a ton of other good providers listed in our VPN Comparison Guide but in order we recommend the following three for iPlayer.

  1. IPVanish
  2. VyprVPN
  3. LiquidVPN

Is it difficult to set up

Surprisingly even though the name VPN sounds quite technical, it is extremely easy to connect. All three providers listed above supply software for both Windows and Mac and also apps for Android and iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. This software allows an easy one touch connection.

The following 4 easy steps are all it takes to watch iPlayer abroad on a Windows computer as an example.

  1. Download the VPN software from their website and install.
  2. Run the VPN software.
  3. Connect to their UK server.
  4. Visit the BBC iPlayer website.

Enjoy any TV show you want from anywhere in the world!

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