How To Access The BBC iPlayer From Outside The UK

Non-US users frequently encounter the annoyance of geo-blocked content when trying to access popular sites like Hulu, but every now and then the burn is felt even in the States too. Reader hengehog details how to access BBC's iPlayer from outside the UK.

hengehog was kind enough to create a Google Wave gallery highlighting this process, but since not everyone's got access to Wave just yet, we've republished his all-image step-by-steps (for both Firefox and Chrome) below.

How to Access the BBC iPlayer from Outside the UK with Firefox

How to Access the BBC iPlayer from Outside the UK with Chrome

In a nutshell, he details how to set up a proxy using FoxyProxy with Firefox or an extension called Proxy Switchy! with Chrome. In each case, he sets up the extension in use with a proxy located in the U.K. ( to access the iPlayer.

All in all, it's a good primer for using proxy extensions inside Firefox and Chrome, whether or not you want to access the BBC iPlayer. The same basic steps, with a different proxy substituted depending on where you wanted to access content, should work almost anywhere, as the author points out:

If you want to access this to get in to Hulu or another site that only lets you in if you are in a certain geographical area you just need to search google for [insert target country here]proxies. Then put the IP address and port number in the correct places.

Thanks hengehog!


    Just note that these sites know about proxy servers and often block them.

      i find using a VPN is the best solution and fastest. I use a VPN called VPN Authority - setup in less than 30 seconds... Just make sure you connect to their UK server. :) It's super easy and the customer service is phenomenal!!! highly recommended.

        you (and they) forgot to mention that the free trial only lets you watch for 5 minutes before they disconnect you! This is not told till after you sign on. I cancelled immediately - because a 2 day trial was a reasonable trial and limiting to 5 minute bites reflected a poor attitude.

          Recently, I traveled to Australia for holidays so I took a VPN to stream BBC I player, because BBC I player is geographical restricted and VPN is the only option to stream it in other countries, it secures your network activities and allows you to bypass restriction. I would recommend you to choose ExpressVPN and stream BBC I player with secure connection.

          Last edited 07/02/17 9:30 pm

      I always use a VPN service whenever I am away from UK so that I can access my BBC iPlayer account outside the US. I use ExpressVPN
      the UK-Berkshire server works well for me with fast speed

      Last edited 20/02/17 3:32 am

    Also known as the 'steps to defeat the australian internet filter' :)

    I've tried this a few times and the available proxies are either blocked by the BBC, blocked by the proxy owner or so over subscribed as to be treacle slow and useless. It looks like the only reliable way to do this is to pay for a UK based VPN account, this will also be useful for Australians for all sorts of things if the filter goes ahead.

    Can now watch shows, but still can't download any shows from iPlayer site. Any suggestions besides the obvious ...

      Hmmmm... Doesn't work for me. Am I doing something wrong?

    Is there a source for searching proxy addresses? Are new ones released regularly ?(to find some not yet blocked by BBC)

    Doesn't work. PAC not loading errors on every proxy I try,
    de- installing, waste of time.

    Yeah, it didn't work for me, either, kept getting that "PAC not loading" error, too. I tried searching for some other proxies, but it seems most of the free ones want you to go through their website, and the ones available as IP addresses are subscription. The few other free ones I could find as IP addresses didn't work, either.

    Pretty pointless really. Doesn't seem to work at all.

    Proxies are next to useless for this type of activity. The vast majority of them simply can't handle the bandwidth required to stream video. And the ones that can handle it only last about a day before they get swamped and disappear.

    Paid-for proxies such as HideMyIP are similarly useless - they don't suffer from the bandwidth problems but the limited bank of IP addresses gets blocked pretty quickly.

    The only reliable way I've found of accessing iPlayer or Hulu is via a good VPN connection. There are a few providers that supply solid connections but even they are susceptible to IP blocking by the content providers.

    As mark mentioned I find that using a UK based VPN is the best solution. I use a product called ClearVPN and the throughput and bandwidth have been fantastic. It really is the only option for me.

    You will tend to find the strain using any VPN when in Australia, as to pick up the BBC you need to go via a server on the other side of the world (UK VPN) so are best to go for a premium dedicated connection. I use in Perth for BBC & ITV

    Legal issues aside, if you are not afraid for roll up your sleeves and dive into Linux and The Cloud, this guide shows how to implement a solution to get around BBC iPlayer geo-restriction in Australia:

    Also, having a few friends share a solution like this is significantly cheaper than individually paying $5 a month for a commercial service.

    -- ab1

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now