Does BBC iPlayer Ireland Work ?

For a weekend trip to Dublin when the FA CUP is on, this is a crucial question –  does BBC iPlayer work in Ireland! or outside the UK! Now the corporation may have lost most of the premium football games, but they still have the FA Cup, Match of the Day and regional football broadcasts. So although it’s great to watch some top of the table Premiership clash on Sky, for the average football fan like me who unfortunately supports a team outside the Football league the BBC channels are a lifeline.

BBC Iplayer Ireland

How to Get BBC Iplayer Ireland

My favorite Saturday would be a trip to the wonderful city of Dublin, a few quiet beers and retiring and watching BBC, perhaps Match of the Day followed by the BBC News at my hotel. Which should be easily accomplished using the BBC website, except it doesn’t work in Ireland at all. In this post-Brexit, border building world – for some reason Ireland is considered a foreign country and BBC license payers are blocked from watching British TV from there. If you took a TV and a powerful aerial, perhaps you could watch it on the roof of your hotel and get most of the BBC channels but the convenience of streaming BBC iPlayer Ireland is inaccessible.

It’s something to do with licensing I suppose which you can confirm if you search the BBC site for information, however I think a little slack should have been applied to our closest neighbour. I can’t really see the harm in allowing BBC iPlayer Ireland access, although interestingly, you can’t watch RTE’s (Ireland’s national broadcaster) web content from the UK either. Fortunately it’s only blocked by the tediously annoying IP addressing region locking which seems to be used all over the web.

That is if you don’t have a UK IP address then you can’t access BBC iPlayer and the live streams. I should point out that this restriction doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland where you can watch BBC iPlayer without restriction. For everywhere else you just have to pretend you’ve got a UK address and you’ll be fine – here’s how it’s done:

The video will show you how you will be able to access BBC iPlayer in Ireland or any other country outside the UK for that matter.  The technique is fairly straight forward, you just relay your internet connection through a UK proxy based server. This fools the BBC site into thinking you’re in the UK and everything works fine.   This also means that you can watch UK TV abroad free wherever you go.  Unfortunately the server needs to be really fast and configured securely so that it can’t be detected but there is a growing industry in VPN service providers who can supply these.

It’s worth getting a VPN service that has servers in other countries too, because you’ll find this irritating behaviour happening all over the place especially in the popular online media sites. It’s certainly not restricted to the British Broadcasting Corporation and you’ll notice that it’s also incredibly common on sites like YouTube aswell where videos can be specified to play only in certain countries. Be aware that many of the iPlayer videos that suggest using simple proxies are out of date, they no longer work in 2017. You must use a VPN to access BBC on demand in Ireland.

So that’s it, you can travel and enjoy British TV online just use a VPN connection service to trick them. It’s not illegal, or breaching copyright as European rules state that streaming media is not the same as buying or downloading it. Needless to say the BBC don’t like the idea of a global iPlayer much and do block loads of these services regularly but if you choose a decent secure one like IDC then you’ll be fine and it will always be available to watch.

Free Trial of BBC iPlayer VPN Service

For many years it has been relatively simple to bypass the Region locking operated by the BBC iPlayer application. Although technically the BBC has restricted access to people located in the United Kingdom, in practice it was quite simple to use a simply proxy or VPN program to change your location. So for example if you wanted to watch the BBC in Australia you’d simply find a free proxy and use that to hide your location. Early in 2016, the BBC stopped this practice and blocked all proxy access and many of the VPN services from accessing the site.

There are still a few VPN services which work and fortunately there are also some Smart DNS services you can use too. Here’s a free 14 day trial of one of the best – Smart DNS Proxy which you can use to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK.

Now it’s not one I use all the time, but I’ve had a few subscriptions over the years and it’s always worked well especially with the BBC. The reason I mention this one is because it’s one of the few VPN services which offer a proper free trial and also it’s reputedly got very good speeds from Australia to their UK based servers unfortunately not something I can verify from Europe.

For anyone just needing a solution for a couple of weeks, perhaps travelling abroad or maybe just want to listen to the cricket on Test Match Special the free trial will be perfect for this and accessing BBC iPlayer outside UK  for a short time.

There are two services included in the free trial, the basic Smart DNS solution which works by intercepting requests for specific blocked sites like the BBC and Hulu then routing part of the connection through a proxy in the specified country.  This is basically the ‘lite’ solution it provides no security, encryption but should allow access to most region locked content, it only works with specified sites although the list is comprehensive and works with the majority of big media sites which aren’t available normally in Australia like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV hub and so on.

The full service includes the VPN client too, which provides a secure, encrypted tunnel to access anything and should work with all blocked and region locked sites including things like gambling sites and individual videos.  If  you’re travelling or away from home, you should use the VPN as it provides a layer of security which is important if you need to access things like webmail or online banking through unknown wifi connections for example.

At the worst it gives you a decent chance to test the service properly without paying out. I must confess I found Identity Cloaker quicker so their ten day trial is also worth checking out too.

How to Stream UK TV from Abroad

All the UK major TV stations broadcast online, however none of these are accessible when you’re outside the UK. Instead you’ll either get blocked or like the BBC you’ll get redirected to an ‘International’ version which has no video or live streams available.

Here’s the screen of the BBC International version:

You’ll notice several differences from the domestic BBC screen:

  • Redirected to BBC.COM
  • Different Design
  • No TV Link
  • No BBC iPlayer Link

It’s designed for a different audience, that is anyone connecting from outside the UK.  It’s still a great news site but unfortunately it’s missing the core of the BBC content i.e. all the Live TV, Radio and archived shows.   You can’t watch the  BBC stations live and also the stuff that has already been broadcast is missing too.

The BBC site determines your location based on a single piece of information – your IP address.  Every address is registered to a specific country and effectively determines where you are connecting from.  So a UK based IP address would get the full BBC site with access to all the programmes whilst any other address is redirected to the international version.

Fortunately there is a workaround and it involves using a piece of software which can effectively hide your real location from anyone.  It’s called a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and it gives you complete control over what you can access online – you can even watch the BBC from Australia without an issue.

This video shows how you can use one of these. Using a simple secure method for hiding your real location and keeping your connection details private. It’s a trick used by millions and you can see the VPN in action here controlling the location each web site sees when connecting. Using the program demonstrated effectively opens up all the UK Television stations online irrespective of your location.

So yes you can stream UK TV stations abroad directly to your computer whilst on holiday, travelling or simply because you prefer British TV stations to the local versions wherever you happen to be.

Watch BBC News Abroad Online

For many of us, the memories of our first foreign holidays were punctuated with a desperate search for newspapers in English. Even though you were only spending a couple of weeks on the Costa del Sol, it was easy to feel completely isolated from all the world and domestic news. Finding a copy of the Daily Mirror which was only a couple of days old and three times the cover price was about the best you could hope for.

Nowadays things have changed of course, most of us have access to the internet in our pockets but browsing the web for news is not quite the same as watching the BBC News abroad online. This you would think was simple however unfortunately all the BBC programmes including the BBC news live video are simply not available when you access the internet from outside the UK.

Watch BBC News Abroad

There are in fact two completely different versions of the BBC website dependant entirely on your location. Outside the UK you will receive the ‘International’ version which is fine but doesn’t contain any live TV, BBC iPlayer or the ability to access most radio stations.    The simple fact is that outside the UK (Germany for example)  the BBC is a commercial organisation called BBC Worldwide.

The domestic version which you can access from within the UK has all the features and you can watch any BBC programme either live or on ‘catch up’ for a few weeks after.  It’s an incredible resource and forms the basis of many people’s entertainment, remember all these programmes are completely free of advertising and commercial breaks.   You can even download the programmes to watch offline on any device you like.

How to Watch the BBC News Abroad

Fortunately there is an option to be able to watch the BBC News and all the other great programmes when you’re outside the UK  – here’s the video

With a little effort you can have access to all the BBC online channels including the BBC live stream and through the iPlayer application. All you need to do is convince the BBC website that you are in the UK by routing through a UK address and you can watch the BBC News live online irrespective of your location.

There was some hope that all this wouldn’t be necessary in the future, as the European Union were pressuring digital content providers like the BBC to supply their product to license fee payers across the European borders.  The expectation was that anyone who had paid the license fee would be allowed to access the full BBC site from Germany, France or anywhere in Europe, probably using some sort of code linked to their TV license.

Unfortunately it’s likely the BBC will probably quietly shelve these proposals due to the UK Brexit vote. So for travellers, expats and anyone who simply want’s to enjoy the BBC News headlines and all the UK televisions channels which are currently online then investing in a VPN service seems a sensible and inexpensive option.

This is our recommendation, a security programs that still actually work for to watch BBC News abroad, then can we suggest trying out – IDC, it’s been working with the BBC iPlayer for nearly ten years now and still works perfectly well.