UK Proxy Online – Watching UK TV Abroad

If you’re in the same situation as me and spend a large part of your year outside the UK then this post may be worth reading.   Perhaps you travel with work or have just retired in the sun, and you too miss UK TV stations.  Well I certainly did although I’m not a big telly fan when I left I certainly missed British TV.

But when I am abroad the BBC news means a lot to me – so this post contains some of the options for using a UK proxy online and other methods to watch UK Television abroad easily.

British TV Abroad

So here’s my view of a summer evening in small town in South Western Turkey.  Sipping a cool beer watching the sun going down I felt pretty lucky.  However I really did miss my UK routine of watching the news each evening and although I get some English speaking Turkish channels it’s not quite the same as the BBC.  Fortunately there are a few methods of bringing British TV Online to either your laptop, tablet, PC or TV.

How to Watch British Television Abroad

It’s not actually very hard to do, but it does involve some effort and you’ll probably come across the term UK online proxy if you’ve investigated this.   Most people will have  tried to  watch something like the BBC Iplayer and found it gets blocked due to your location.   The issue is that many, many of the best sites on the internet are restricting access to specific countries – the BBC is no exception.

But don’t worry it’s easy to circumvent, and one of the most common is to use an online British proxy to hide your real location.
The reason we can’t use the internet to watch British TV stations like the BBC is because they all use something called geotargeting. This means that when you go to the BBC website for instance, it looks up your location from your IP address. The site will then decide what you are allowed to access based on your location – so for non-UK locations you cannot use BBC Iplayer or the ITV, Channel 4 equivalents.

bbcfromabroad

Well of course it didn’t take long for people to figure out that if you can hide your real IP address then you’d be able to watch whatever you liked. People initially started doing this by using something called a proxy server, which is a computer which sits between you and the site you’re trying to access. If this server is based in the UK then your location would also be logged as being in the UK.

AND IT WORKED !!!

Well up until 2016 it did,  although it was always difficult to find a free UK TV proxy to use.  You did have to search for hours to find a good one and then restart the search every time you needed access.  The free ones were usually overloaded in a few hours and usually unusable for streaming videos. Most people gave up on this method unless they happened to know the administrator of a UK proxy server.

Here’s a handy link for checking out the location of whichever proxy server you find – Geo-IP Checker, remember the IP address of the proxy must correspond to the country you need.  So for the BBC and all the UK TV stations you need a British IP address.

Using this method, you had to input the proxy settings manually into your browser  – under IE they’re under Tools/Internet Options/Connections/LAN settings, this is the screen you’ll need –

Configuring UK Proxy

Click the ‘use a proxy’ box and then input the IP address of the proxy server you’ve found, then simply restart IE and browse to the BBC Iplayer site.  As long as the proxy server you’ve found is based in the UK it should work.  IF you do use a free UK proxy online then ITS VERY IMPORTANT -to remove these settings after you’ve finished watching the BBC.  Make sure you never use these proxies to do anything else as many are hacked and monitored by identity thieves and hackers looking to steal passwords and account details.

******UPDATE 2017 – Unfortunately this no longer works for any of the main UK TV channels, the BBC was the last to automatically block proxies in 2016.  So unfortunately both paid and free proxies are of little use in bypassing these region locks now.********* 

Use Identity Cloaker

Nowadays you have less options although this was always far superior.  It is to use a commercial VPN service,  these used to be very scarce but nowadays there are hundreds of them all with different options and services. The one I’ve always used is called Identity Cloaker, you can see a demonstration here on a PC.  However you can also use it on tablets, smart phones, laptops, Smart TVs and a host of others.  In fact if you configure the connection on your router it will affect everything on your network.

It also gives you a UK IP address, but because it’s a VPN your internet connection is encrypted and cannot be detected.  Using a VPN instead of a UK proxy online means that you have complete anonymity when connecting to any website.  You can also connect to a different country and unlock websites in those countries too, choose a US server to watch US TV or go through Dublin and watch RTE in Ireland.

As I said there are loads of others but the reasons I use this program is it’s owned and run by a legitimate company who’ve been in existence many years (I’ve used it for 9 years!). The software is really easy to use and gives you access to lots of servers from your taskbar.

Try the short trial first to see if it works for you – 10 day trial of Identity Cloaker , it’s only a few euros and there are no recurring subscriptions or anything sneaky like that!

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