The definition of a proxy server from Wikipedia is as follows;
In computer networks, a proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.
Not that exciting, I’m sure you’d agree so why do literally millions of people use UK proxies every single day. Well the clue is the intermediary part, because a proxy site actually sits between you and the website you visit. It effectively hides your location from the website you are visiting which only sees the location of the proxy server not you.
It does give you a higher level of privacy, however this is not the main reason people use proxies which is to evade region blocks and filters. As you may have discovered many of the best media web sites are only available in the country of their origin. So online you can only use the BBC iPlayer in the UK, NBC is only accessible in the US and so on. However there is a way around this, you can proxy BBC programs from any country, using a server based in the UK you can stream the broadcasts irrespective of your location.
Using a UK Proxy Server to Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad
Just watch this video for information on how to use a proxy server:
Simply explained it’s a proxy server which is physically located in the UK, and when you use it then you will appear to be in the UK too. Which is why for example, hundreds of thousands of Expats are able to watch the BBC News live from anywhere in the world from the Costa del Sol to Australia. They’re not in the UK but as long as the proxy server they use is then everything works perfectly.
It’s not just the BBC, all the UK Television stations are the same – from Channel 4 to the ITV Hub. Whenever you try and access any of these stations from outside the UK you’ll receive a little warning message.
Connect to a UK proxy server first however and the BBC and all the other stations will work perfectly. This is because the systems work by looking at where your IP address is registered to, which of course for a UK based proxy will be the United Kingdom. Your own IP address doesn’t actually change, however when using the virtual private network that address is invisible. All the video sites will only see the location of the VPN proxy and it will appear you live in the UK as far as the web site is concerned.
However in 2016 things changed a bit, particularly regarding the BBC. For some reason they decided to start restricting access to these servers and blocking them. Many servers became useless particularly the free proxy server list which all stopped working. However the best proxy server programs also operated as VPN services too and most of them still work fine.
There are no real issues about using them, the BBC does try and block many of them. However if you use a slightly more advanced system called a VPN there should be no issue. Many people use VPN servers routinely to keep their internet connection secure, they have taken over from the premium proxy programs which previously offered some protection.
Most of the commercially available services are very easy to use and you’ll find the best of them have servers in other countries included too which means you can watch TV and movies from those countries too. These proxy switchers allow you to change your IP address to match lots of different countries with a simple click enabling you to access blocked content in other countries.
Literally millions of people across the world use proxies and VPNs nowadays, hiding your real IP address just makes sense. More web sites across the words are limiting access based on your location for a variety of reasons. Many of the ones which broadcast tv online are concerned about copyright restrictions which are still assigned on a country by country basis. Whilst of course in other countries, the filters and blocks are assigned as a means of political and religious control such as Turkey and Iran for example.
Most of us though just don’t like to get blocked online, and these simple web proxies with unlimited data accounts basically bypass them all. Just like the BBC in the UK, there are media sites all over the world which restrict access based on your IP address. My favorite ones are generally the UK TV stations which I access using the UK proxy servers when travelling. However it’s worth checking out Canadian or US TV channels for some great documentaries and movies not available elsewhere for example.
At the time of writing, . is still working perfectly with the BBC iPlayer abroad and in fact all the major media sites.