How to Watch BBC from Abroad with BBC iPlayer

Updated on: 13 February 2019
Updated on: 13 February 2019

If you are a UK native and enjoy watching BBC iPlayer, you will find it almost impossible to access the service when you travel, vacation, or live abroad. While there are plenty of other options for content services you can use while overseas, for many, there is nothing the same as watching their home TV shows from the BBC on the iPlayer platform.

1. Why Is My Access to BBC iPlayer Blocked?

One of the types of technology that is used in order to prevent those from outside of the U gaining access to the BBC iPlayer service is called geo-blocking. Essentially, this is a location-based tracking technology that can detect where in the world the request to access their site is coming from.

This is done by taking your IP address, which is usually unique to your device, and tracing its exact location. If you are trying to access BBC iPlayer from outside of the allowed region, then you will get a message to say that access to the site has been blocked.

So, in order to access BBC iPlayer from outside of the countries in which it is allowed, you need to use VPN service that will provide you with a different IP address. This will need to be an IP address that is registered to one of the accepted countries.

Access to BBC iPlayer is made easy with a VPN, regardless of where you are located and what device you are using.

2. Can You Use a Free VPN for Watching the BBC Abroad?

Yes. But you shouldn’t.

Finding a VPN that is free of charge is easy. Finding a trustworthy VPN is another matter entirely.

If you are trying to watch the BBC from abroad with BBC iPlayer, then you will want to make sure that your personally identifiable information is kept out of the public realm. When you access any site, your IP address is what gets used to identify your location. It is a unique address that is linked to your computer.

With a free VPN, there are no assurances that this is kept private. In fact, many free VPN providers have been known to make their money by releasing the activity logs of their users and selling the contents of that data to the marketing and research firms.

Another equally important point is security. Free VPNs do not encrypt the traffic that is sent over their network. Not only does this mean that your data it at genuine risk of being intercepted; it can also result in your private information, such as login details, account numbers, and passwords being logged and tracked.

Once your passwords and personal identity is leaked out online, or sold online, this can leave you at serious risk of identity theft which as we all know, can be a very costly matter.

In terms of wanting to watch the BBC from abroad with BBC iPlayer, you will want a stable connection that can support users who want to stream media online. In order to watch media without interruption and without it dropping off, buffering or lagging; you need a reliable VPN with a robust infrastructure.

With a free VPN, they simply cannot afford the same scale of operations nor can they pay for the volume of servers that are needed to withstand a high-demand on their service. During peak times, the connections are slow at best and will require users to continually need to log in each and every time their service is cut off.

With a paid for VPN service, there are thousands of servers running around the globe to support content and media streaming.

If you are using VPNs for the first time then you are going to want a VPN that is easy to use, compatible with any device or operating system, is easy to install and quick to set-up.

With a free VPN, you do not get the same level of expertise where the user experience is concerned; this also means that getting started is slower and in many cases, you will find their software out of date or not compatible with newer devices or updating operating systems.

3. Using a VPN to Watch the BBC Outside of the UK

Watching the BBC abroad is easy with a VPN. The best VPNs start from as little as $3 per month equivalent and require no technical expertise whatsoever to set-up or use.

If you are wondering how easy it is to use a VPN, then let’s begin by going through the process.

Once you choose a VPN provider for the purpose, you simply need to purchase and download their software. This takes a matter of minutes and is a very straightforward point and click process.

Once you have the VPN in place, you simply open the VPN, choose the country you wish to connect from (which in this case would probably be the UK).

Then, you just type in the website address for which you want to visit and click ‘go.’

That’s it. It really is this easy to use a VPN.

If you want to use the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer, choose either Nord VPN or Express VPN. These are both highly-rated as the best VPNs in the world and deliver exceptional products, great customer support, elite levels of security through encryption and other features, along with offering great value for money.

Both of these VPNs give you the option to choose if you pay monthly, quarterly or annually for their service and they are each compatible with a huge range of devices and operating systems.

It goes without saying that neither requires any technical knowledge and both products are support extensively by a comprehensive infrastructure and a broad network of servers located in many countries worldwide.

So, if you are looking to get access to the BBC from outside of the UK, the quickest and easiest way to do this is by getting a VPN service from either Nord VPN or Express VPN.

Written by: Elizabeth March

Advanced ITSEC Specialist Based in Cambridge, England, Elizabeth has held notable positions for a range of high-profile vendors and clients in the European IT Security and Communications Sector. As a former IT Trainer, Technical Specialist, and Product Manager; she transitioned into the role of an expert IT Copywriter in 2015. Since then, her works have been published globally, and she continues to help people easily decipher complex technical challenges and make informed decisions about their digital lives.

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