How to Watch Bbc Iplayer Abroad

Sat, May 1, 2010, by Scandal Daemon

Web Talk

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.


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 “″

If you use Google Chrome: configure the proxy with Internet Explorer and Chrome will configure to it automatically.

If you use Opera: go to “”

but if you use Firefox like me you can set a proxy by:

  1. going to tools – options – Advanced – Network
  2. under where it says configuration click settings
  3. then select “Manual proxy configuration”
  4. and next to “http proxy” write the ip address of the proxy you want
  5. 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 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 “”

once you have configured your proxy you will want to verify its working to do this check your ip address at “”. (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 “” 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.
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9 Comments For This Post
  1. neha80 Says:

    Interesting post, just today i know more about it. Good subject selection for writing articles. Thanks for sharing this good one.

  2. dan Says:

    Thanks it worked, but i cant download the video from bbc iplayer to my harddrive, how do i do that?

  3. Scandal Daemon Says:

    well dan, may i ask what the proxy is by any chance? and it should work if you activate the proxy then click the download button on the iplayer video you want to download(then you can disable the proxy so it downloads quicker) finally once you have the downloaded file activate the proxy FOR INTERNET EXPLORER (as Windows Media Player uses Internet Explorer to use proxy) then press play.

    (a tip i’ve found is that, once you’ve activated the proxy close Windows media player / IPlayer Desktop then after five or so minutes reload it and then when you click play it will work ;) )

    ps. hope this helped if you have any trouble please leave a comment below.

  4. Rusty Says:

    I have tried about 20 free UK proxies in Foxyproxy for BBC iplayer and none of them work.

    I can get iplayer site to load in (making sure I unchecked ‘disable javascript’) however the actual player doesn’t load.

  5. garry Says:

    all i keep getting is
    content does not seem to be working try again later

    what am i doing wrong

  6. astrid Says:

    I found the solution!
    Download Expat Shield, it is free and you can watch as much iPlayer as you want!

  7. Ivan Petrov Says:

    Just make sure if you use services like expat shield you don’t run any confidential information through them, you never know who may me looking at your traffic!

  8. Karl Says:

    You need a VPN for BBC if you`re outside the UK. Right now I use this UK VPN, streaming video on BBC iPlayer works great with it.

  9. Mark Ackley Says:

    Watch Bbc Iplayer anywhere in the world using Hotspot Shield Free VPN.

    Check it out here:

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