This page is for all of those who get really fed up that the minute we step outside the UK all the online UK TV sites stop working. Especially of course the BBC iPlayer, which many of us use everyday! If you want to watch BBC Iplayer on a PC/Laptop – Try this post first – How to Use a Proxy to access Iplayer – below follows step by step instructions on using BBC iPlayer abroad on your iPad.
I’ve been using the VPN function of Identity Cloaker for several years to access the BBC abroad on my computer. However I often get emails about whether you can use it on different devices to watch BBC, ITV and other online TV players. Well you can use it on most devices, including Smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Anyway here’s simply how to set up Identity Cloaker on the iPad, the steps for an iPhone, Mac or Android Device are pretty similar too- details if you’re using Identity Cloaker are in the members area.
Accessing the BBC Iplayer (and ITV player) is actually pretty simple to do. The reason is that the vast majority of their security servers are VPN enabled. That means all you have to do is set a simple VPN connection on your IPad to a specific server and then you can enable it when required. The functionality is built into the iPad so nothing too difficult is required – let’s show an example for accessing the BBC Iplayer channels abroad.
So How Can You Watch BBC Iplayer Abroad? Even From the US on Your IPad?
Right, so most of us have discovered that if you happen to be outside the UK, then the BBC Iplayer won’t work properly. When you connect to the IPlayer site it checks your IP address to see where you are located. If it discovers that you are connecting from outside the United Kingdom then you won’t be able to watch anything ! To be fair, BBC Iplayer is not the only media site to do this. Hulu blocks all non-US access – the same goes for ABC, NBC and Pandora too. The great little media player from the French broadcaster M6Replay is also limited to access within France (if you know someone learning French get them to check it out – it’s great practice watching the Simpsons in French!)
The solution on the PC is very simple, you just use something like Identity Cloaker to conceal your true IP address and present one from the correct country. The solution is actually similar on the IPad (you can use the same technique on the Mac/Iphone/Ipod as well) – you just need to connect to a server based in the UK (or which ever country you need).
For this all you need to do is to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to the country in question, for the BBC it’s obviously the UK. This video shows the steps needed, it’s called Setting up a VPN on an iPad
How to Enable a VPN on your Ipad from Neil Greenhoff.
If you prefer pictures, then here’s how you set up the VPN on the iPad it takes about a minute if you have the information to hand. Just set it up, enable the VPN and you’ll be watching the BBC Player outside UK borders in no time at all.
On your iPad –
- Select Settings
- Select General
- Select Networks
- Select VPN
This should bring you to this screen –
You can see in this screen I’ve already set up a US VPN which I use for Hulu and Pandora. Here you just need to select Add VPN Configuration and you should reach this screen.
It looks complicated but honestly it’s not.
You just need to leave it set to L2TP at the top and then put the following details in. You’ll need to get the details from Identity Cloaker for section 2 and 6 which you can find in their members area. If you’re using a different VPN provider it’s likely you’ll have to do the same (although a couple publish the information I think)
- Description – Give it a name like UK VPN, US VPN then you can select quickly which country you need
- Server – Get the enabled VPN server names from the members area.
- Account Name – Your IDC Username
- RSA SecurID – Ignore this
- Password – Your IDC password.
- Secret – Get the VPN Secret Name from the members area.