Over the years, the BBC website has developed to an incredible extent. In fact it’s one of the most popular sites on the internet and receives millions of visit every single day. As far as TV broadcasters sites go, it’s without doubt a world leader with an incredible depth of content and services – all completely unsullied by internet advertising too.
In fact the only drawback, is that the real BBC website is normally inaccessible from outside the United Kingdom even if you are a license fee payer. Yet fear not, there is an answer a way of having full access to the BBC wherever you are – it’s called a BBC Live VPN.
Now there are in fact two BBC websites, an international version and a domestic version. The international site is a decent enough news site with a world focus, but it’s nowhere near as good as the domestic site. The UK BBC website has live TV of all it’s channels, all the radio stations (national plus regional variations) plus one of the biggest media archives on the planet – the BBC iPlayer.
Live TV on the BBC Site
It’s no exaggeration to say that the BBC website is capable of supplying all the news, entertainment and information that anyone would need. The array of news, drama, documentaries, comedies and current affairs programmes is incredible – all available for nothing and free of advertising breaks. Which is why there’s a whole industry sprung up to allow people to access the domestic site from anywhere in the world using something called a VPN.
Using a BBC Live VPN
Although it sounds difficult, using a VPN to access the BBC is quite simple – my eighty year old mother uses one all the time! It’s simply a method of connecting through an intermediate server in order to hide your real location. If the VPN server is based in the UK then you will appear to be in the UK too. So when you visit the BBC through a VPN then you will have full access instead of being redirected or blocked.
Here’s a very simple demonstration of a VPN service being used to access the BBC from abroad.
When your computer is connected to the VPN it’s real location is invisible, all the BBC website can see is the VPN server. In fact you can use the BBC iPlayer VPN workaround on sites in other countries too, try the US or Canadian TV stations. There are some hidden gems like the RTE TV from Ireland which has some great documentaries and dramas. Often you can find sporting coverage from different countries too, although watching the Premiership on US TV and hearing the word ‘soccer’ all the time can be slightly distracting!
Beware though, the BBC has recently conducted a crackdown on these methods and some of the simplest VPN services have been blocked. The good news is that although the BBC iplayer blocking VPN services quite extensively completely blocking them is quite difficult and the best VPN systems still work. If you’re having problems with iPlayer not working it’s best to simply switch VPN providers.
Don’t be put off by all these reports that state that BBC iplayer VPN not working anymore, it’s not completely true. There’s plenty that still work but stay away from those that use the BBC logo or copyrighted material on their website, they won’t last long.
The software demonstrated is a BBC Live VPN called Identity Cloaker and just sits in your taskbar until you need it. You can also use your account on other devices like tablets, smartphones and iPads by connecting manually (instructions in the members area). No restrictions on downloads and you can use on a number of different devices at the same time.
To give you an example of how I personally use it –
- Installed on my Laptop for browsing and Using all UK only sites but mainly BBC, ITV Hub and Channel 4
- Installed on my iPad for UK websites especially Amazon and BBC.
- Installed on my iPhone primarily to access BBC radio, mainly Test Match Special abroad and the Local news broadcasts.
It’s very simple to use, but it’s always best to try out the short trial first to see how it works. You’ll be impressed and remember it enables all the other UK channels too like ITV, Channel 4 and 5. Even use it to watch Sky Go abroad and UK Netflix, although you’ll need subscriptions to those.
Try it here – IDC
Posted in: BBC, Channel 4, ITV, UK News | Tagged: bbc live stream vpn, bbc live video, bbc live video stream, BBC Live VPN, best vpn, iplayer not working
If like us, you travel the world for long periods of time and although you’re having the time of your life, you can’t help but miss certain things from home such as family, friends, fish and chips and a pint of proper beer. Another thing we miss is British television. We’ve travelled the globe extensively and yes we might be biased, but we think the UK produces some of the best TV in the world.
After we’ve been out all day exploring new cities, swimming in clear blue oceans, hiking up mountains or simply been working all day on our blog, we quite like spending the end of the day chilling out while catching up on the latest BBC drama, a groundbreaking Channel 4 documentary or trash out on Gogglebox and First Dates. Doing this also saves us money because without it we’d most likely be out a lot more while spending cash on numerous beers or coffees.
The thing is unless we’re in the UK, which we never are these days, UK TV catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player won’t work. Sure we can browse the websites to see what TV programmes have been showing back home, but if we try to watch something we’ll get an error message saying something along the lines of “this program is not available in your country”.
Because the internet is clever and it knows where you are at all times. When your device is connected to the internet it’s assigned an Internet Protocol Address (IP Address). I’m not going to go into what an IP Address is because it gets complicated and to be honest, I’m not the best person to tell you because I don’t know the details. All you need to know is that when using the internet your service provider will have assigned your device with an IP Address so your location can be known. Try entering into Google ‘what’s my ip address’ and Google will tell you. See!
So How Do We Watch UK TV When Abroad?
We hide our IP Address! Yes, it’s easy to hide your IP Address which means you can be browsing the internet in one country but the internet thinks you’re in another. While the downside of this is that it can be used by shady characters doing illegal activities, one of the many upsides is that we can watch UK TV from almost anywhere in the world!
How To Hide Your IP Address
There are a handful of ways to hide your IP Address:
- Use a VPN Service
- Use Tor
- Use a Proxy Server
- Use Free/Public WiFi
But by far the most reliable and fastest way to do so is by using a decent VPN service.
What Is a VPN Service?
A VPN service is a Virtual Private Network that not only hides your IP Address, it also gives you a new one from many countries around the world. So for example, we could be in our apartment in Thailand, or in a hotel in Bali, but by using a VPN service and connecting to one of their servers in the UK, the internet thinks we are browsing from the UK.
So this means that UK TV catch-up services like the already mentioned BBC iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player also think we’re in the UK and allow us access to all their programmes!
We Can Recommend PureVPN
We’ve tried and tested a few VPN services while travelling and have found PureVPN to be the best for our needs of watching UK TV abroad plus a few other things.
We like PureVPN because it provides:
- High-speed bandwidth
- Easy to use
- Secure connection
- Private access to blocked sites
- Ability to choose the country and city where you appear to be
- The most amount of country options that we have come across from a VPN service
- Available for iPhone/Android phones, iPads/Android tablets and Mac/Windows computers
- Good pricing options
- Good support if needed
How Much is PureVPN
PureVPN has three very competitive pricing options. Below are the full price costs but they regularly offer deals at various times of the year so it’s best to check out their website for up to date pricing.
1 month – $9.95
6 months – $7.95 per month
2 years – $2.45 per month
PureVPN also offers a 7-day money back guarantee so if for whatever reason you are not happy with the service, they will give you a full refund.
Using PureVPN Is So Easy
Once you have chosen your subscription, paid, downloaded and installed the app, PureVPN is super easy to use.
All you need to do is:
- Open the app by clicking on the app logo on your device.
- Choose the mode. There are 5 to choose from but for watching TV hit ‘Streaming’.
- Choose the location you want to browse from. Choose United Kingdom if you want to watch UK TV.
In a few seconds, you’ll be browsing from your location of choice and you’ll be able to watch all the UK TV programmes you want!
PureVPN connecting to the UK from Thailand
When you no longer want to use PureVPN you can simply disconnect by a single click and you’ll be back browsing from your current destination. Simple!
Other Things We Use PureVPN For
We don’t only use PureVPN for watching UK TV while travelling.
Using a VPN service gives us extra security for when we’re using public networks in places like hotels and cafes. Clever criminals can access your data and passwords when sharing an IP address but we can make our connection secure by using PureVPN and changing our IP. This comes in very useful when doing things like online banking!
Some internet service providers also use dynamic IP addresses which means that although we are in the same location, our IP address is constantly changing. This is the case for our internet provider in our Thailand apartment and it causes us issues when using some email services. For security reasons, some email services will automatically log you out when the IP address is changed, this can be a real pain when we have several emails to send. By using PureVPN, we can stay logged in for as long as we want.
It really is as easy as we’ve made it out to be. If you’d like to keep up to date with your favourite UK TV programs while travelling the world, on a short holiday or business trip, PureVPN is the answer if you don’t mind spending just a few quid.
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This article was in partnership with PureVPN but all content and opinions are our own.