In this article I will be showing you how to watch BBC Iplayer even when outside the United Kingdom. I will explain different methods and the ones that worked the best for me.
[THIS IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD ONLY BE ATTEMPTED BY UK TELEVISION LICENCE PAYERS]
If you are like me, a UK tax payer and have fallen in love with the BBC IPlayer you have probably already been on holiday abroad and tried to watch your favorite program only to be met by a screen telling you that you aren’t allowed to watch it because you’re abroad.
This is the message you have probably been met with.
But don’t loose despair. I have been working hard to find a solution and just the other night i nailed it! BBC Iplayer detects what country you are in by you’re IP Address. An IP (or Internet Protocol) address is a number given to every router where the Internet is used; (ie. Starbucks free Wi-Fi will have its own IP Address for each shop, At home your router will have its own IP address) basically any router that connects to the Internet has its own individual IP Address. Because each IP address
s is attached to your router which is fixed to your address, BBC Iplayer sees your IP address finds out where your router is connecting from and knows whether you are in the UK or not.
To get round this predicament we’re going to use something called a “Proxy Server”. A Proxy server is a server that you can use when you connect to the Internet to change you’re IP Address. Usually most people who use proxy servers are doing so to be anonymous on the Internet, But we’re going to use it to trick iplayer. The way a proxy server works is when you connect to your router instead of going directly to the
Internet it goes through a proxy server (ours will be in the UK) and then the Internet so if IPlayer looks back at your ip Address it will only see the proxy with the British IP Address.
an animated example of how a proxy server works.
We are now onto the hardest part. Finding a reliable, free, and fast UK Proxy is very hard. There are many different products available to purchase which makes this very easy indeed but this guide is aimed at people who don’t want to pay extra, so I’m going to go over the free options.
There are many different methods some easier than others for setting a proxy. I myself use Mozzilla Firefox to surf the web so i’m going to mostly be talking about that although i will post links to guides on setting proxy servers for other browsers.
First of all, we need to get a good proxy. there are many
different websites that offer free proxy lists but we want UK only ones. These are a few websites i used:
now once you find one you like the look of copy down the IP address of the Proxy and the port number.
now you need to set the proxy you’ve just chosen, to your browser.
If you use Internet explorer: go to “http://support.microsoft.com/kb/135982″
If you use Google Chrome: configure the proxy with Internet Explorer and Chrome will configure to it automatically.
If you use Opera: go to “http://www.opera.com/support/kb/view/332/”
but if you use Firefox like me you can set a proxy by:
- going to tools – options – Advanced – Network
- under where it says configuration click settings
- then select “Manual proxy configuration”
- and next to “http proxy” write the ip address of the proxy you want
- then next to that where it says port write the port of the proxy you want
all in all i find that a rather monotonous task if the proxy lists aren’t working very well which is why i use and would highly recommend firefox users get an addon called FoxyProxy. (if you use the xroxy.com proxy lists there is an icon next to every proxy that if you have FoxyProxy installed will automatically configure it so you don’t have to do any of the
copying and pasting malarkey). You can find FoxyProxy at “http://foxyproxy.mozdev.org/”
once you have configured your proxy you will want to verify its working to do this check your ip address at “http://www.whatsmyip.org/”. (you should check your IP Address before you use the proxy to know what your normal IP is) The proxy works well it should load up “http://www.whatsmyip.org/” and should show you the proxy’s IP. Next is the final ultimate test. go to whatever program you want to watch on BBC Iplayer and if it works then you can get watching if not just try another proxy.
iplayer working as if i were in the UK
- Sometimes Proxy servers (especially the free ones) can be very slow so it’s advisable once you’re program has started playing to disable the proxy (as iplayer only checks IP at the beginning) so the video will play more smoothly.