Want to Watch British TV Overseas? Here’s a Simple Method

There are a few ways of being able to watch British TV overseas, but by far the simplest and cheapest is to access the online services of the main channels.  The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 all have excellent websites and stream the majority of their programmes online.  Indeed if you include the subscription channels like Sky Go, Netflix and BT then there’s really no need to deprive yourself of the best in British television.

The problem is that all these channels operate something called region locking which means that if you try and access from a ‘non-UK’ location then you’ll be blocked from streaming all the programmes. So if you try and visit the BBC website from a French internet connection for example you’ll be redirected to the international version of the BBC.  The focus on this version is more global news stories but there is another crucial difference – you can’t watch any TV programmes on it!  Here’s a screen shot of the BBC International page and you’ll see it’s missing the radio and TV buttons at the top of the pages.

British TV Overseas


Other TV channels simply block access to any of the videos when you try and play them which is perhaps even worse.  All the UK channels do this, even the subscription models i.e. you might pay Sky for your subscription but Sky GO won’t be accessible when you’re physically outside the UK.    It doesn’t matter which country you’re in, the block applies to any non-domestic internet connection – BBC iPlayer is not even accessible from Ireland.

Fortunately the technology that implements these restrictions is rather easy to bypass and simply involves hiding your real location.  You can do this by routing your internet connection through something called a VPN server.  When you do this the web site sees the IP address of the VPN server and not your real one.  If you ensure that this VPN server is based in the UK with a British IP address then everything will work perfectly.

How to Watch British TV Overseas

Here you can see how easy it is.  Simply ‘bounce’ your internet connection through a UK based VPN server and you’ll not only get complete privacy but also the ability to access any UK only based content.  You’ll have full access to all the delights of all the UK TV Channels such as the  BBC iPlayer including live TV and radio, BBC iPlayer archive and the ability to download programmes to watch offline.  As long as the VPN server is based in the UK and you have a reasonably fast internet connection then you won’t see any difference than connecting from the UK.

The same technique works with the ITV Hub and channels 4 and 5 online.  Also if you have an active Sky subscription then connecting to the UK VPN will allow you access to Sky GO also.  It’s also useful for controlling regional variations too, if you enable the UK connection before you access Netflix you’ll get the UK version instead of the local one.   This is worth the subscription cost on it’s own as the UK Netflix version is one of the better ones, although if you switch your VPN connection to a US one you can get even more films and TV shows on the US version of Netflix.

A VPN subscription opens up the internet and provides a valuable level of security for anyone especially when travelling.  If you use a VPN it’s actually safe to check your webmail or online banking from various Wifi access points across the world.   The VPN demonstrated in the video is called Identity Cloaker and has been providing this low key service for well over a decade now.   You can even connect the VPN from other devices like tablets and smartphones just follow the instructions in the members areas.

It’s very simple to use, but it’s always best to try out the short trial first to see how it works. You’ll be impressed and remember it enables all the other UK channels too like ITV, Channel 4 and 5. Even use it to watch Sky Go abroad and UK Netflix, although you’ll need subscriptions to those.

Try it here – IDC

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