For Expats and travellers across the globe, the internet was something that could help keep you in touch with home. When companies like the BBC, ITV in the UK and Hulu, ABC and Pandora in the US started putting most of their media content online it got even better. However as many have discovered it’s not quite that simple to watch BBC Iplayer whilst sitting in a hotel room in Sydney or watch a baseball game online whilst in Europe.
The difficulty is that most of these companies have blocked access to their content except to their own countries. Which is fine if you really would rather watch everything via your computer but pretty pointless for the rest of us. This is an example of what you’re likely to see – a nice polite warning saying you can’t watch this show on BBC Iplayer in Spain, for example.
Fortunately it’s actually quite easy to bypass if you know what’s going on.
BBC IPlayer Via Proxy
The reason you are blocked is down to your IP address, all these websites the BBC included check your location using this. They then decide what you can or can’t see, on the BBC site for instance a NON-UK Ip address would block you from most of the Iplayer content. Exactly the same thing happens on all the US media sites, in fact just about every big National broadcaster in the world does the same.
Fortunately it’s not that hard to solve this issue – you just need to hide your real IP address. To do this you can just use a proxy server, this is a server you can connect to which will then hide your real location. If the server is based in the UK then you will look like a UK web surfer for instance. So you just connect to a UK proxy and you’ll be able to access BBC Iplayer by proxy.
If you want to see a video demonstration of this happening using a real BBC Iplayer proxy then you can find one at this site – http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/2009/02/using-iplayer-abroad-viewing-bbc-via.html.