Watching BBC Iplayer Abroad on the iPad

Changing the IP address of your iPad – for BBC, Hulu etc primarily for watching the BBC abroad.

So if you want to see how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad or indeed any British TV online using your computer or laptop then read this post which includes a video. However how to you access the  BBC Iplayer if you’re using a tablet device like the iPad for instance, well it’s still perfectly possible and these are the steps required.

You will find exactly the same problem on an iPad if you try and watch BBC Iplayer from outside the UK or a site like Hulu from anywhere but  the USA.  The site will look up your IP address when you connect and  then block you if you’re not in the correct region.  So if you’re using the iPad outside the UK, you’ll need to change your IP address to a British one for it to work.   The method is only slightly different from the PC and you can use the same service such as Identity Cloaker to watch UK TV abroad on iPad or any mobile device.

Here’s how you do this –

Watching BBC Iplayer abroad on the iPad

So all you need to do is to change the IP address of your iPad to a British one before you connect to the BBC website.  The simplest way to do this is to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network)  between you and a British server will will allow you to watch any UK TV online.  When this is enabled all your traffic is routed through the UK first so you are free to use UK only websites like the BBC, ITV or Channel 4.  Unfortunately these servers cost quite a bit of money to run and you won’t find a free one unless it’s supplied via your workplace.  Many international companies use VPNs to connect back to their home office, if you’ve got access to one of these then try it first.

For the rest of us, you need to subscribe to a service that provides VPN servers that you can use.  There are quite a few around but at a very minimum make sure you use one that provides UK and US servers as standard.  I have been using the service provided by Identity Cloaker for many years so will use this to demonstrate.

Using your iPad

  • Select Settings
  • Select General
  • Select Network
  • Select VPN

Which should bring you to the following screen –

iPlayer abroad on iPad - VPN


You can see from here, I’ve already set up one VPN, an American one to access Hulu and Pandora which I use a lot.  Anyway just press Add VPN Configuration to set up another connection and you should get this screen.

UK VPN Setup


It looks a little technical but it’s actually very simple.

Leave it set to L2TP and then complete the following details.   These you should get from your VPN provider, for Identity Cloaker users all the details you need are listed in the members area for security reasons.

  • Description  – Just use a descriptive name, especially if you’re setting up lots of different country connections.
  • Server – Name of the VPN server (members area)
  • Account Name – Your Identity Cloaker username (or other service)
  • RSA SecureID – Leave this blank
  • Password – Password for your account.
  • Secret – VPN Secret Name again from members area

When you’ve filled those fields in you’re finished, just remember to save the configuration before you exit and that’s it.  You should set up different VPNs for any country that you’ll need access to.  Identity Cloaker has about twenty different countries available but you can see I have just set up two for the UK and US VPN connections.

iPad Settings Page

To  enable the VPN you just need to turn on the slider to ON at the top of the screen.  Remember you’ll have to select the right country, so if you want to watch the BBC Iplayer abroad then turn on the UK VPN or the US one if you want to watch a US only site like Hulu.  It is the country you are connected to which is crucial, so for example to watch Sky Go abroad you need the UK server. The VPN ensures all your communication is encrypted so you should use these connections when travelling especially when using an unknown or potentially insecure network like a cafe or hotel Wifi.  It’s quite easy to turn the connection on and off just by using the slider.

You’ll notice when the VPN is enabled by seeing this in the top left hand corner of your screen.

BBC abroad

The method will be the same for whichever provider you select, make sure that their servers are enabled for VPN connections (not just simple proxy servers).  If you want to try  Identity Cloaker subscription – it’s best to try this  cheap ten day trial first to make sure you can get it working.

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