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 open 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:
There are still working BBC VPN services out there’ but make sure you check before you invest in a long subscriptions.