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 proxies every single day. Well the clue is the intermediary part, because a proxy 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 you can online use the BBC iPlayer in the UK, NBC is only accessible in the US and so on. A proxy will allow you to appear in the same country as the proxy irrespective of your location.
What is a UK Proxy Server?
Just watch this video for information:
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.
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. 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 – check out Canadian TV channels for some great documentaries for instance.