Want to watch iPlayer from abroad? BBC iPlayer remains the biggest streaming service in the UK and is entirely free for those inside the UK. But iPlayer is currently blocked when you’re abroad. Discover how to stream BBC iPlayer content when you’re outside the UK Use a VPN service like TunnelBear to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad.
What’s the best way to watch iPlayer from outside the UK?
BBC iPlayer is UK’s premier streaming service, offering a range of high-quality television and radio shows, plus movies, direct from the BBC, entirely free from advertising. The shame is that BBC iPlayer is limited to UK viewers, and – in principle – you can only watch it from inside the UK. Funded by a licence fee, UK television-set owners pay for the BBC; so it makes sense to limit BBC iPlayer to UK viewers. But what about holidaymakers and those with homes in two countries? If you’ve paid for it, then you should clearly be able to watch BBC iPlayer when overseas.
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That’s what this feature is about: discovering how to access BBC iPlayer from overseas. This tip is ideal for when you’re on holiday and want to catch up with the latest shows, or those living abroad. Read on to find out how to access, stream and watch iPlayer TV and film content when you’re abroad, on your iPhone, iPad and Mac.
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How to use iPlayer abroad: How does the BBC know where I am?
Just as Netflix dominates US traffic, BBC iPlayer dominates in the UK, with up to 6 per cent of all our internet traffic going the BBC. So you lot apparently love it. But you can’t watch the BBC while you’re overseas.
When you open the BBC iPlayer app on your iOS device or log on to BBC iPlayer on your Mac or PC, it checks your public IP (Internet Protocol) address. This address is a four-digit number, such as 220.127.116.11 (a quick way to find yours is by typing “IP Address” into Google).
This figure relates to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or cellular connection, linked to the server that is sending you data. Enter the digits into IP Location and you’ll find where the server is located as well as the host.
If this location isn’t in the UK, then BBC iPlayer will refuse to show you content.How to use iPlayer abroad: How to use BBC iPlayer when abroad
To use BBC iPlayer abroad, you need to convince the BBC that you’re using an IP address based in the UK. Don’t worry – this is a lot easier than you think, thanks to VPNs (or virtual private networks). Instead of connecting directly to the BBC, you log into the VPN, and that connects to the BBC and sends you the video.
Sounds dodgy, but it isn’t. You can set up a VPN directly from your home computer if you want, but it’s quite complicated; most people just use one of the many VPN services around.
Here are the two best VPN services, in our experience:
TunnelBear. This is the service we’ve used the most on both Mac and iOS. TunnelBear is super-simple to set up, and is available from the iOS App Store; alternatively click here to download it for Mac or PC. It walks you through the process on both devices. You get 500MB of data for free each month, and can get more by tweeting about it (or buy unlimited data for a month for £2.99). It’s a real holiday investment.
WiTopia. This is a slightly more efficient option and provides security as well as online privacy. It’s a popular choice in countries that censor content and hides the fact that you’re using a VPN. WiTopia can make you appear from countries all around the world. Monthly plans start from $5.99.
If all you want is to watch BBC iPlayer when you’re on holiday, then TunnelBear is the one to buy. It’s reasonably cheap and available on the App Store, and you can watch a fair amount for free. (A £2.99 in-app purchase lasts a month.)
How to use iPlayer abroad: Listening to BBC Radio abroad
If you want to listen to BBC Radio, rather than watch television, then don’t worry about VPNs. While you can’t access BBC Radio from the apps on your mobile phone, you can access shows directly on the BBC radio website.
Top Software Recommended for Sync BBC iPlayer Videos on iPlayer abroad, on iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC
Pavtube ChewTune to help break the DRM protection and also recorder downloaded BBC iPlayer Videos MP4 to M4V format as the most compatible format on Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC with lossless quality and amazing fast speed. Read why choose >> this top DRM removal program.
Meanwhile the playback of the converted videos is as decent as possible as original. Now download the program and follow the guide below to transfer and put BBC iPlayer WMV files on Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC for smoothly playing.
Free Download this Required DRM removal tool: