How to Watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland

It’s not so far away, but unfortunately when you are in Ireland, many great UK TV web sites become unavailable. Fire up the BBC home page from Dublin for instance and you won’t see the normal UK version, but the ‘International BBC home page’.  At first it appears that it’s not possible to watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland however there are ways and they are quite simple!

BBC iPlayer from Ireland

On the international version, there are two, obvious differences – firstly adverts appear on the site and on the TV page instead of being able to watch live streams from all the BBC channels, you just get information on programmes and channels. Also you won’t be able to find the link for BBC iPlayer if you’re in Ireland.

Basically all the best parts of the site are disabled, no live channels and no wonderful BBC iPlayer if you try and stream anything you will simply get a message about the BBC not being available. A similar experience awaits anyone visiting the other UK TV channels – ITV, Channel 4 and 5 will all have blocks against viewing if you’re outside the UK.

It’s called Geo-Blocking and it operates on all the world’s big media sites. Basically the web site looks up the location of your IP address when you connect, then either allows access or blocks/redirects depending on where you are. Fortunately it’s fairly easy to bypass if you hide your IP address using a proxy service – here’s how I watched from Dublin.

How do I Watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland ?

The process is exactly the same for using ITV hub so if you’ve figured out how to access BBC iPlayer outside UK then you’ve got the solution for all British TV channels.  If you try and access the site without a UK IP address, you’ll get a similar warning screen like this –

ITV Player Ireland

To bypass this block you do exactly the same, although just like the BBC in 2017 you will need to register a user account.  Don’t worry about this all you need to do is enable the UK proxy iplayer connection before creating your ITV hub account.  It will ask you for a UK postcode, but use any valid UK one and you’ll be fine.   All the ITV content will work perfectly and if you want to watch without adverts you can even subscribe to the premium subscription, just make sure your UK VPN connection is enabled before you use it.

The software sits in your task bar and you just click to change your location, you can also use your account on other devices like iPads, phones and tablets, just look for the guides in the members area. There are also versions which work with Android and Mac OS X, all included in the subscription – use one or all of them on all your devices.  Use this service to unlock virtually any web site anywhere in the world – simply select the correct location and you’ll get access.

You may have heard some reports about various BBC iPlayer VPN not working and this is in fact true to some extent.  The BBC started to block many of these services during 2017, mainly by manually blocking IP address ranges.   Fortunately the market leaders like Identity Cloaker have large server infrastructures with hundreds of IP addresses so have largely been unaffected.  So you can still use it to access BBC on demand in Ireland and in fact any UK service for example to watch Sky Go abroad too.

As always – try the short trial first to see if it works for you –

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To use on iPad see here

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12 Comments

  1. Robert
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    This looks simple, couple of questions will it work for all UK TV channels like Channel 4, Sky etc? If I used a US server could I access Hulu and HBO?

  2. uktv
    Posted July 8, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Yep works with them all, but you’ll need a subscription for Sky. Yes just select any of the US servers and Hulu and HBO work fine. I also use it to switch between versions of Netflix – US Netflix is so much better than the UK one !!

  3. Wiley wolf
    Posted August 29, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this article, found it crazy that I can’t watch BBC or ITV from Ireland. Will this affect my internet speed at all.

  4. Ian H.
    Posted October 2, 2015 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    It’s silly that I need a vpn to watch bbc because I pay my license fees. Arcvpn.com is working ok so far. But it’s so stupid.

  5. uktv
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    No it shouldn’t unless you have a very fast internet connection. Obviously there is a slight impact as the traffic is being relayed through another server, although with the BBC iPlayer you can disconnect after the programme has started streaming.

  6. Lindsey
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    So if I understand I can use the software on my laptop and then set up the VPN on my tablet too? Does that work on the same subscription or do I need an additional one?

  7. uktv
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Yes that’s right Lindsey, just follow the instructions for your tablet – it only takes a minute. No you don’t need an additional subscription – I use mine when I go to Ireland on my phone, laptop and tablet without a problem.

  8. uktv
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I agree Ian, there was some discussion about BBC allowing access with some sort of code for license fee payers but I think they decided it was too complicated.

  9. Hassie
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi does this still work? No comments for a while? I want to watch British TV on my computer and if possible on my tablet too – I’m in Dublin.

  10. uktv
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Hassie, Yes it still works, I watched the BBC last week (May-2017) using Identity Cloaker when I was staying in Dublin. I was in this hotel – http://deandublin.ie/ – The Dean and used their Wifi. Been using it for years.

  11. George
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Can I use this for gambling sites, say placing bets on sites blocked in certain countries??

  12. uktv
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Would have to know the exact site to check. But usually yes, much easier if you’ve already got an account set up then use the VPN to just access it though. I use my betfair account all over the world to lose loads of money !

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