Last year there was an incident that threatened to destroy thousands of tranquil expat retirements in the sun. I remember it well as I happened to be spending a couple of weeks in the Spanish sun, what happened was the talk of the expat community for weeks.
You see one of the luxuries that people used to have to forgo when retiring abroad was British Television. However much we moan about it when in the UK, it’s only when you see other country’s TV stations that you start to realise how good the BBC really is. If you can’t speak the language this is of course even worse, swapping the BBC for a Spanish network you don’t understand is quite a loss.
Yet of course for many years there was a solution to this, the BBC started the wonderful iPlayer application followed by live streaming of all it’s channels online. There was a slight issue in that they blocked access from outside the UK, yet most of the expat communities soon found a workaround by using a VPN or proxy server to hide their location. Laptops, tablets and Smart TVs were soon rigged up with VPN connections and the BBC was streamed through to expat homes, bars and meeting places all across the world.
Then the unthinkable happened suddenly people found that their BBC iPlayer VPN Not Working, and they were not alone –
The nice, friendly BBC who had never appeared that bothered about people accessing their site from abroad – suddenly started a full blown war on VPNs. Proxies were completely blown away – 100% of them are not detected and blocked. VPNs are more difficult to stop because they are not easily detected, yet they started to block a huge amount of them.
The attack was two pronged, firstly ranges of IP addresses used by the VPN services were blocked. Whilst the legal departments of the BBC started to target VPN providers who openly advertised the use of VPNs and used BBC logos on their sites. A huge number of these services were blocked like this and now only the most advanced (and discrete remain) – here’s one:
BBC iPlayer VPN – Current State
The onslaught on the VPN services seems to have lapsed slightly now although lots have been blocked completely. It’s definitely thinned out some of the VPN services, however you have to be careful as many still advertise access with the BBC even though they don’t work. No one is quite sure why the BBC suddenly changed to this aggressive stance on bypassing region locks yet it is probably financial.
The reality is that the main methods of blocking these VPN services is by identifying them individually and then blocking each IP address. This is actually extremely time consuming and presumably very expensive, until the BBC iPlayer detecting VPN services automatically it’s unlikely they’ll be as aggressive in the future. Also they are very aware that the longer standing companies like idc are able to switch from a pool of thousands of IP addresses whenever they are blocked.
So it’s always likely that there will be a BBC iPlayer VPN workaround available as long as you look in the right places. In the end, if you can switch your IP address to a UK one by whatever method then you’ll be able to watch the BBC iPlayer without issues. There is no reason why you can’t use a BBC iPlayer VPN 2017 as long as you pick the right companies.
Don’t worry about the recent upgrade where the BBC requires a registration, you can use BBC iPlayer sign in VPN to create your account and login afterwards. The account is only required to track your viewing and create a personalized environment although it could be used to enforce a license based sign on in the future.
There are still working BBC VPN services out there’ but make sure you check before you invest in a long subscriptions. The software we use is called Identity Cloaker and it’s been all around the world with me for the last decade. Don’t worry that it doesn’t advertise the TV watching side of the functionality – that’s deliberate to keep a low profile, you’ll get plenty of support if you need it. Indeed many times you hear that a BBC iPlayer VPN has stopped working it’s normally due to the company being careless and advertising the functionality directly.
Try out the trial here to see how well it works for only a few Euros.