British TV Online – Using a UK Proxy TV Site

If you’re in the same situation as me and spend a large part of your year outside the UK –  perhaps travelling, with work or have just retired in the sun, then this post is for you.  For me one of the main things I miss outside Britain is the TV,  although I wouldn’t consider myself a big telly fan.  But when I am abroad the British news means a lot to me – so this post contains some of the options you can use a UK proxy 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 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.

So, How to Watch British Television Abroad?

It’s not actually very hard to do, but it does involve some effort.   What many people first do is try to watch something like the BBC Iplayer on their laptop and find that they get blocked.   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 there are a few different methods you can use.  Which one is best depends on your circumstances really – here’s the most commonly used ones.

British TV Abroad Methods

Free UK Based Proxy Servers

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 decided 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.


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 your trying to access. If this server is based in the UK then your location would also be logged as being in the UK.


It still does, however the problem is finding a free UK based proxy to use.  It can take you hours to find a good one and you have to start the search every time you need access.  In my experience the free ones are overloaded in a few hours and unusable for streaming videos.   It’s up to you, it does work just takes hours of searching unless you know the administrator of a proxy server who will help you out.   If you do go this route you’ll need 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 proxy server from the internet 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

The final option you have is in my opinion the best and most used.  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.

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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