The BBC has one of the most popular websites in the world. If you’ve ever browsed the programmes that are on it then you’ll not be surprised – world class news, comedy, drama, sports and current affairs shows broadcast live directly to the site and then archived for thirty days after. In any month you can easily watch hundreds of dollars of content all for nothing. Remember shows like Blue Planet 2 took years to complete and millions to produce and you could watch it all for nothing on the BBC website.
All nine of the BBC’s TV channels broadcast online indeed one of the BBC four is only available online now anyway. Here’s the list of what’s broadcasting live at the moment –
That’s nine channels mostly broadcasting twenty four hours a day, packed with fantastic programmes for anyone to enjoy. In reality if you like British TV, you can forget Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu – the BBC has everything you need online anyway for nothing.
Unfortunately though there is an issue if you’re based outside of the UK – simply put, you won’t be able to access any of these shows due to a system called geo-blocking. This is the rather mean concept of blocking access based on their physical location. Which in effect means that the BBC website will restrict access to anyone who is trying to access from anywhere outside the UK. Indeed if you try and visit the BBC website from another country, you’ll actually see a completely different version of the site one created specifically for international audiences (but without all the video and TV streaming functionality).
Here’s what it look likes, the international versions of the BBC:
The site is similar but has more internationally based news content however crucially you’ll also notice that the BBC iPlayer and the ‘TV’ link are both missing from the top of the menu bar. There is no online media streaming facilities available on the international version at all. Basically it’s nowhere near as good as the domestic site, yet this is the version you will find yourself at if your IP address is registered in any country other than the UK.
Which is why people have been using various services to hide their real IP address and location for many years. By pretending to be in the UK then you can get full access to the BBC website including BBC iPlayer irrespective of their real location. The basic method involves routing your internet connection through something called a VPN (virtual private network) server based in the United Kingdom. When you connect to the BBC it only sees the IP address of the BBC and therefore everything works perfectly.
What’s the Best VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer ?
Although there are lots of these secure VPN services around which you can use to access the BBC from anywhere, there are a couple of important points to consider. Firstly during 2016/2017 the BBC has clamped down on the use of these services and started to block the most obvious and badly configured of these. The ones which openly advertised or flooded their servers with too many users where easy to detect and the BBC blocked hundreds of them. So obviously it’s important to choose a service that still works! Here’s one of them in action.
As you can see it’s not actually difficult to use particularly on a PC or laptop. You basically just click on the country you need, e.g. UK for the BBC, which then routes all your internet traffic through that server. While you are connected to the UK VPN then you will appear to every website as a UK based internet user. Which means that you can also access all the other UK websites which are also normally blocked like ITV, Channels 4 and 5 plus Sky if you have an active subscription. Indeed people also use these VPN services to access other sites while travelling – for example you can access betting sites like Betfair which are normally restricted to the UK too.
The second most important factor for any VPN service if you’re going to use it for watching TV online is not surprisingly speed. In fact this is one of the biggest variants between the decent VPN services and all the others. There are many really cheap VPN providers who keep their prices low by overloading their servers with thousands of concurrent users. Not only does this make them more likely to be blocked by companies like the BBC it also make streaming video a very painful process indeed.
What happens if the VPN server is too slow is that the video stream will constantly buffer, that is stall while it tries to download the next frames. It’s incredibly irritating to watch and you should steer clear of these cheap VPN services unless you’re prepared to download all the shows you need and watch them offline later. This is of course one option if you’re prepared to plan your viewing in advance, be careful though that not all the BBC programmes are available for offline viewing and the other UK TV channels don’t currently offer this facility.
In our experience over the last decade, then there’s one VPN service which offers speed, security and works perfectly with all online UK TV channels plus it doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s called Identity Cloaker. In our opinion it’s the best VPN to watch BBC iPlayer so if you want to watch UK TV channels from anywhere in the world then give it a try.
It’s best to try the short trial first to see if it works well for you.
Click here to try the cheap trial of Identity Cloaker
There’s no contract or sneaky recurring subscription and it’s perfect for using on a short holiday or business trip. I’m confident you’ll love it, I’ve used it for nearly a decade in countries all across the world.