How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad

BBC iPlayer

In theory, BBC iPlayer is only available for use by BBC licence payers based in the UK. This means no overseas access, even for licence payers while they are on holiday.

Can you use BBC iPlayer abroad?

However, it is possible to work around the system by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Be aware that if you do this, you are in breach of iPlayer’s terms and conditions and there is a chance that the BBC may suspend your account.

Therefore, please note that if you follow the steps below, you are doing so at your own risk.

What do I have to do to watch BBC iPlayer abroad?

First off, you have to choose a VPN. This allows you to set up your own network within the internet. Businesses regularly take advantage of VPNs so that they can share information within the business without being at risk from hackers or rivals. Having a VPN actually masks your location, so it fools iPlayer into thinking that you are in the UK.

Access to a VPN can cost around £6 per month. There are many choices and sites competing to be the best VPN for streaming

When you have chosen your VPN, you need to set up an account and then download and install it. VPNs generally work on all platforms, including PC, Mac, iOS and Android, but make sure that yours is included before downloading.

You can use a mobile device or tablet for the benefit of portability, but a desktop will give you a larger screen. 

Once you have logged into your new VPN, you need to choose a server based in the UK, so that iPlayer thinks you are based in the UK and therefore allowed to watch

When you are connected to your VPN, simply go to the iPlayer website, login (or set up an account) and watch as normal, wherever in the world you are actually sitting.

Can iPlayer detect VPN?

The BBC are keen to detect VPNs to prevent foreign use of iPlayer. The VPNs have high numbers of customers, but only a handful of servers based in the UK. When too many VPN users connect to iPlayer at any one time, it is reasonably easy for the BBC to identify the IP addresses that are really VPN servers. The BBC respond to this by blacklisting the IP addresses.

Is it legal to use VPN in UK?

Using a VPN service isn’t illegal in the UK. As mentioned above, they are regularly used by businesses for legitimate purposes. However, As we have seen, they can be used to get around geo-restrictions which stop you from watching videos in certain countries. Therefore, using a VPN in this way is illegal and should not be done if you do not want to breach the restrictions.

Is BBC iPlayer free to use?

A BBC account is free and is required for using iPlayer. However, you do need to buy an annual TV licence fee, which currently costs £147 per year. A TV licence is currently mandatory to watch any TV in the UK, even if you never use the iPlayer, although the government is considering a radical overhaul of the TV licence system over the next few years.

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