How to Watch BBC Iplayer Abroad on Ipad From Outside the UK

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 –

  1. Select Settings
  2. Select General
  3. Select Networks
  4. Select VPN

This should bring you to this screen –

how to watch bbc iplayer abroad on ipad

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.

Identity Cloaker ipad

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)

  1. Description – Give it a name like UK VPN, US VPN then you can select quickly which country you need
  2. Server – Get the enabled VPN server names from the members area.
  3. Account Name – Your IDC Username
  4. RSA SecurID – Ignore this
  5. Password – Your IDC password.
  6. Secret – Get the VPN Secret Name from the members area.
That’s the tricky bit over with, next click Save from the top right hand corner.  The next step is to enable your VPN connection.
Connecting to the UK VPN
To do this you simply select whichever VPN configuration that you need, so if you’re in the US and want to watch the BBC then create and enable a UK VPN.  In this screen just select enable and it will turn on your VPN – this will route your connection through the UK VPN servers.
The status will change to connected and in the top left hand side of your Ipad it will show that the VPN is connected like this.
UK VPN Connected
When this VPN is connected, all your traffic is encrypted and routed through whichever server you are connected to.  It’s best to disconnect after watching unless you want all your browsing routed through the UK.
Be careful when you’re choosing a service to use on your iPad, if you search online you’ll see many posts about a BBC iPlayer VPN not working.   This is because most of these services have been blocked by the BBC and other channels so you won’t be able to watch any UK TV abroad on iPad if you use these.  Pick a proper security service like Identity Cloaker not one the TV streaming vpns, they’re easy to detect and don’t work anymore.
If you haven’t got Identity Cloaker yet – I can definitely recommend it, it’s probably best to try the . to see how you get on with it.  They have a very professional set up and the servers can cope with streaming video without any issues .  They have many UK and US servers plus ones in France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Sweden, Australia to name but a few – all included in the subscription.  It’s also one of the few services which allows you to watch Sky Go abroad too, but you’ll need a valid subscription first.
Here’s the link for Identity Cloaker – I can recommend the 10 day trial subscription here to try it out first.
This method may work with other VPN providers who have set their servers up properly though – just ask them.   I have just discovered another interesting alternative for those of us looking on how to watch bbc iplayer abroad on ipad. It’s called Smart DNS, it’s arguably easier that using a VPN especially on devices like iPads.  It’s called Smart DNS and only takes two minutes to set up, if you follow the instructions – what’s more they have a free trial which you can test here – ..

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85 Responses

  1. Benton Shibles says:

    So I can have multiple VPNs setup on my ipad and still use it on my PC is that correct?

    • says:

      Yes that’s right. I have a US, UK and French VPN set up on my tablet which I use when travelling but mostly use it on my laptop. There’s no restriction on how many devices you can install it on except you can’t use them at the same time.

  2. Mickey Panarella says:

    Hi I heard that all these VPN were being blocked now by the BBC – is this still working?

    • says:

      It’s true BBC blocked quite a few VPNs last Summer. This one still works though, they’re deliberately low key and rotate the server addresses very often. Just used it today 22nd January 2017 to watch Match of the Day on BBC iPlayer 🙂

  3. sergio says:

    Thanks this works perfectly, though it might be hard to set up but your instructions are great. They do work better for Identity Cloaker obviously but the general steps are the same for other VPN services which support this sort of manual connection.

    Thanks Bud !!!

  4. sol says:

    I am genuinely pleased to read this website
    posts which carries plenty of useful data, thanks
    for providing these statistics.

  5. Alice BUckland says:

    Thanks for this, sounds great, I’m from Australia but travel a lot. Would this allow me access to Netflix on the road – I’ve heard that every VPN provider has been blocked now? Long shot – does Identity Cloaker work with Netflix?

    • says:

      Hi, You’re right Netflix has waged war on all the VPN/proxy services and almost all of them don’t work now. Identity Cloaker have got a solution for the Netflix VPN blocks and it works perfectly 🙂
      However at the moment it only work directly through the software client, so this method of manually creating the VPN won’t help with Netflix yet. You can use this on a laptop and it should work on the manual VPN method soon. I should mention that it’s only set up for the US Netflix version at the moment.

  6. Wilf says:

    So I can watch the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage on my iPad by the pool in Spain using this technique???

    • says:

      Yes make your VPN connection to one of the UK servers for all BBC coverage. You’ll just have to restart your browser after connecting. Works great !!

  7. Piper says:

    Hi – would I be able to watch the Queen’s Christmas Speech (yes I know!) on iPlayer using Identity Cloaker like this?
    Thx Piper

    • says:

      Hi Piper, You don’t need BBc iPlayer for this. Connect up to a UK VPN like shown, then go to the main BBC site and select TV – you can then watch all BBC channels live. It probably goes on iPlayer after if you miss it too.

  8. Vonnie says:

    Would these VPNs allow me to access the different versions of Netflix. I have a Netflix account and I’m in Canada , the US version of Netflix has more movies I think !!

    • says:

      Yep it will Vonnie, just set up individual VPNs to the countries you need. If you enable the VPN before you connect to Netflix you’ll be redirected to that country. UK, US and Australian Netflix versions are good and if you speak French – set up a French VPN for their Netflix as well.

  9. Maina says:

    I have been using the VPN for UK successfully for some time all over the world on my ipad – but on macbook air, very often it is much much much slower, or doesn’t load BBC live or BBC iplayer at all.
    Is there any reason for this that you know about, and how to fix?

    • says:

      Hi Maina,

      Which VPN service are you using? If it’s Identity Cloaker, there should be no real difference in speed on different devices. Are you using the software on your Macbook or setting up the VPN manually? Personally I set up the VPN manually seems to work better, some of the VPN software out there doesn’t work too well with various versions of OSX.

  10. Willie says:

    Hi – not sure if I’m on the right page, but this is a serious question. I tried to access TMS (Test Match Special) on my ipad before and it didn’t work – I got some automated message about licences and stuff.

    Will this let me listen to TMS abroad ? Don’t care if it’s on a PC or tablet – I want to hear the Ashes!

    • says:

      Yes it will, I just checked and the TMS broadcasts are indeed blocked outside the UK. Either install the software or enable the VPN as per this post and you’ll get full access to the TMS special abroad. It’s best on the BBC 5 Live channel rather than long wave.

  11. Harris says:

    So I set up the VPN connections like this on my ipad, and I can still use it on my PC too?

    • says:

      Yep you can use it on all sorts of devices if you need. You don’t need separate subscriptions and they don’t auto-renew or anything. Be careful with some companies they make it very difficult to cancel these subscriptions.

  12. nick says:


    great advice…i am going to spain in a couple of weeks…if i onlu use the 10 day trial does it run out so that i cant use it afterwards or once its on and connected i will have the option on my ipad forever!!!! also i have followed the instructions but it doesnt connect to the uk vpn option..will it only do that once i have gone abroad or is there something wrong!!! cheers

    • nick says:

      it connects now…but still wondering if it will stop along with the trial after 10 days??

      • theninja says:

        Glad you got it working 🙂 , the VPNs can be used from anywhere – it’s best to set up all the ones you need and just enable them when you need. them. Anyone else struggling it’s usually a typo or setting not quite right – drop the support an email they’ll help you out..

        No I’m afraid it will stop working if your subscription expires – simply because they have to cover the costs of the servers, the bandwidth charges for all the data that is transferred, via the vpn and the support staff need paying, it’s impossible to provide this service for free.

        The 10 day trial is great for holidays though, just subscribe the first day you need it and then let it expire – there’s no sneaky auto-renew or anything like that.

        The companies that do offer free services, are usually less than honest. They don’t charge directly but inject adverts and malware onto your computer and some resell your internet connection to others (slowing it down) to pay for it.

        • nick says:

          i thought so about the going in 8 days for a week and bought a 10 day today…whoops!!!…can i buy another 10 day to top it up nearer the time or do i have to get the longer subscription..??

          • theninja says:

            Yes you can just buy the ten day trial again if you need. Although if you travel a bit or use it at home one of the longer ones might work out cheaper, none of them auto-renew.,

  13. Crystle says:

    can i watch Sky Go on my laptop or iPad abroad using this?

    thx Crystle

    • says:

      Hi Crystle,
      Yes it will let you use your Sky Go account abroad. Just use the software to connect to a UK server first on your laptop before you connect to Sky. Or use the VPN method above for an iPad.
      Works fine 🙂

  14. Baju Bob says:

    I’ve had a few VPN accounts over the years and all have disappeared or stopped working. Is Identity Cloaker ok to use? Bob

    • says:

      Bob – I’ve lost a few as well, the worst being a five year subscription 🙁

      The owners of Identity Cloaker won’t put anything on their website about watching TV or bypassing blocks (just check the site out), even though it works perfectly for this.

      It’s simply so that this service is safe and won’t be targeted by the media companies. They probably lose loads of sales but they don’t get blocked or monitored like all the TV watching VPN services which often disappear overnight. All the media companies have legal departments which roam the net looking for people offering these services and they either block access or threaten legal action.

      I’ve used this for 8 years now for watching TV sites across the world without a hitch on my tablets, iPhones and computers.

  15. Van the Man says:

    If the VPN is enabled on my iPad does that mean everything I do online is encrypted? Does this cover Safari, email etc?

    • says:

      Yes everything will go down the VPN so will be encrypted. So for example you could quickly enable it to check your webmail when using a free wifi spot. If you’re using it for security, just set up multiple VPNs in different countries then enable the one which is located nearest to you.

  16. theycallmesven says:

    I’ve set this up on my ipad and phone and it works great 🙂 🙂
    I’m working away from home over the next few weeks – is there anyway I can use Identity Cloaker on a pool laptop which I will be assigned? Problem is that I can’t really install anything on this laptop,

    • says:

      There is, just download the ‘portable version’ from the members area. You can run this directly from a USB or disk – it works without installation. I’ve used it a few times myself in similar situations – works great.

  17. Nolan says:

    I started using this and it works a treat on my iPad 🙂 Just a quick question can I use my account on a PC too or do I need an extra subscription?

    • says:

      No you can use it on all your devices using the same subscription. I’m not sure if there’s a limit to using simultaneously but I’ve definitely used it on three devices at the same time.

  18. Debra says:

    I’ve not much money but would love to be able to watch shows from the US and UK, are there really no free options?

    • says:

      HI Debra
      I’m sorry, moneys a bit tight. Yes there are free options, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend them as they are not safe. Take an example of the biggest company who provide ‘free proxies’ – Hola, they insert adverts in all your browsing and then put your PC into a commercial botnet - This is incredibly dangerous – imagine you could have a paedophile using your computer to send image across the internet!

      Unfortunately it costs money to run something like this, and anyone offering it for free will try and get paid somehow. It’s a bit tricky to use and very slow but I would suggest TOR and foxyproxy as a safer alternative. Other ways are downloading from Usenet (news groups) or torrent sites.

  19. Velda says:

    So this would let me use Sky Go on my ipad from Greece? Is that correct?

    • theninja says:

      Hi , yes it will let you use Sky Go from anywhere in the world., you will need an active Sky subscription of course. Just choose a UK based server from the list.

  20. Alexandra says:

    Would I be able to set this VPN up on my router so it works for all my devices?

    • theninja says:

      Yep of course, as long as your router can supports client VPN connections. Check out the video on this post –
      remember though if you enable the VPN connection on the router, whilst it is enabled it will affect all your devices (all will be routed through the VPN). It’s great for media streamers and Smart TVs where you can’t get at any network settings.

      Post if you need help 🙂

  21. Nate says:

    I use my ipad a lot when I travel and do get a bit worried about security when using public wifi hotspots. If I follow correctly, when I enable the VPN all my data is encrypted? Which country would I connect the VPN to, when I just want to secure my connection and not access any Tv channels or anything?

    • theninja says:

      It actually doesn’t matter really – all the VPNs are encrypted and will protect your accounts. However I’d generally use a nearby country simply because it will potentially be quicker- so select a French server when in France and so on. I generally use a UK VPN when travelling simply because it’s convenient but all the servers are fast.
      Hope that makes sense.

  22. Andy Esp says:

    So will this allow me to watch Sky Go when I’m outside the UK?

  23. Jamie says:

    Could I do this on an android phone too. I’ve got an iPad but would be good to set up on my phone as well.

    • theninja says:

      Yes you can set it up on android phones too, there are instructions in the members area. Sorry I only have an iPhone so can’t test it for you. Basically you can use the software on PCs and Macs, then set up VPNs for all your tablets and phones. They are also working on a configuration for TVs and other network devices too,

  24. Velda says:

    This sounds what I need, but just to make sure 🙂
    I want to use it on my laptop, home pc and my Ipad.
    So I use the software on my laptop and pc, then set up the vpns on my ipad – is this correct? And it’s ok on one subscription?


    • theninja says:

      Heey Velda,

      Yep that’s right it’s easiest to use the software on Windows machines, and set up VPNs on the iPad/Mac or any smartphones you need to use. That’s fine on one subscription as long as they’re all your devices.

  25. film de baise says:

    Could I also set up a French VPN for M6 Player in France? Does that mean I need a different subscription? Thanks in advance.

    • theninja says:

      Yes you an set up a VPN to all the servers including the French ones if you like and just turn them on and off when you need. There’s only one subscription and you get access to all the servers.

  26. Guildford Joe says:

    Couple of quick questions if you don’t mind.

    1) Is there a limit on how many VPN connections you can set up. Is there an increased cost for running say 5 VPN connections.
    2) Will those VPN connections work anywhere or just on your Home network ?

    Thanks in advance Joe

    • theninja says:

      No problem Joe,

      1) No limit at all – for instance I have VPNs set up for the following countries –
      France – Learning French and helps to watch shows like the Simpsons on M6 Replay
      USA – Hulu, Pandora and HBO mainly
      UK – When I’m away for BBC mainly and some ITV, Channel 4
      Canada – I like CTV and it has some History Channel shows like Ice Truckers
      Ireland – Use to live there and enjoy watching RTE ocassionally
      But there’s nothing to stop me setting up VPNs to all the other countries included in the subscription.
      2) They’ll work anywhere where you have a connection to the internet, but I’d be careful enabling them without a wireless connection as streaming video on your phone through 3g/4g will count against your data allowance as normal.

  27. theninja says:

    Hi Ollie,
    Sorry for the late reply – possibly too late!
    Yes you are correct – you would then get an account name and password to create the VPN.

    When you go back you can either delete the VPN if you don’t want to use it, or simply don’t enable it.
    If the VPN is not turned on – then all your settings are the same.

    Hope that helps,

  28. Ollie says:

    So I’m in Germany right now but live in the UK.
    Am I correct in saying that in order to watch BBC iPlayer from my iPad4, I need to sign up for a ten day trial of Identity Coaker – they give me some user names and passwords, and this will then allow me to watch bbc?

    What about when I go home, how do I change my settings back to normal?


  29. charles says:

    Can it be done on an Android phone?

    • theninja says:

      HI Charles, Yes shouldn’t be a problem on Android either. Go to home/Menu/settings/Wireless and Network – then setup a VPN as above.

      However I haven’t tried this yet myself !! I’ll test it out and post here shortly.

  30. Panamajock says:

    I’m heading for panama to my casa in Chiriqui, will this work in central america

  31. Rob says:

    So are all the Identity Cloaker servers enabled for VPNs like this?

    • theninja says:

      Hi Rob,
      Yes all the Identity Cloaker servers are VPN enabled. If you’re using some other service you’ll have to check with them. Lots just use proxy servers which you can still set up, just use the browser settings for proxies and get the port name from your provider. Proxies still work for the BBC but not for lots of other services in many countries – VPNs work for pretty much everything at the moment.

  32. theninja says:

    Hi IphoneDev,

    No you can’t get into trouble 🙂 all you are doing is changing your IP address and connecting via a VPN, something millions of people do everyday to check emails, connect back to office, work remotely from home etc. Perhaps they may block this method one day – but it’s been working from day 1 for the BBC for example.

  33. Yes, I wana ask same, can this thing get us in trouble?

  34. theninja says:

    @Kirk – no it’s not a stupid question. Unfortunately it won’t count as your UK usage allowance. Personally I’d only use over a Wifi connection – streaming over 3G would cost a fortune and to be honest haven’t tried it.

    @Bob – No you can’t get in trouble with the police – simply because it’s not criminal. It does break the terms and conditions of many sites like BBC Iplayer for instance. But they’ve made no attempt to block people for many years despite literally whole communities across the world doing this.

    The BBC for instance do occasionally target the sites that sell ‘Watch UK TV/BBC” type services – they just send a letter to their hosting companies threatening legal action and they normally close down.

    You’ll find no mention on the Identity Cloaker site of any of this 😉 Not that you could ever be traced anyway as your identity is cloaked.

    @Bob – Just login as comment above – the secret name is in the ipad/Iphone link in the user section top left after you login.

    Hope this helps.

  35. theninja says:

    Sorry missed some comments caught in my Spam filter !!

    @Michelle – yep works fine from South Africa – they have many users from there.

    @Vicky – Just login here – you’ll be in the members area and click on the Ipad/Iphone page for all the details and instructions.

  36. Bob says:

    What is the secret name, I have looked and cannot find it can u please describe it

  37. Bob says:

    Is it illegal and if you did this could you get in trouble with the police?

  38. Kirk says:

    Probably a stupid question, but how is this reflected on your data usage if using 3G? Does the fact the prgramme thinks you are in uk mean it uses your uk allowance, or will it still know you are abroad from the phobe signal? Only ask as going to france but want to be able to use ipad cheaply 🙂

  39. Vicky says:

    Where do I find my IDC and how do I access the Members Area. I’m in Australia and I’m desperate for some English tv. Please help.

  40. Michelle says:

    Is it possible to do this in South Africa? I am just starting on this quest now . I lived in the UK for years and miss the BBC and the quality programmes.

  41. Jessi says:

    Will this work with a ipad4 just having wifi? Or do I need to have a phone server?

  42. theninja says:

    Hi Barry,

    Yes you can watch Sky Go using this, I use it to watch the cricket and football when I’m travelling. In fact you can actually turn off the VPN after starting to watch a program as well. Sky just checks at the initial connection.

  43. barry says:

    I am about to travel around the world for 8 months and this would be a great way of watching tv on the move on my iPad. ….I can view also Sky Go on my iPad at the moment as I have an account with Sky.
    Will I be able to see my Sky Go programmes using this system ?

  44. theninja says:

    Thanks for comment Jacquiline,

    There are a few more on this site – here’s one on accessing Australian sites using a proxy for example

  45. Jacquiline says:

    Thank you for posting this because my son has one of these and he was asking me how to view things like you are talking about here and I had no idea what to tell him. Now that I have read this I can pass it on to him and see if this is what he was looking for. Do you have other articles about these Ipad and Iplayer things?

  46. John says:

    BBC1’s daytime TV revamp has increased its popularity. Their ratings started spiking after it ditched afternoon children’s programs. That strategy has as expected led to increased viewing of the channel, with BBC2 and Channel 4 – the main ratings losers so far. I’m sure there are plenty of brits in the U.S. who will appreciate knowing this little black hat trick.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Call me a noob, but for a long time, I avoided downloading those freeware IP masking apps for fear of catching malware or spam. So I just gave up trying to improve my privacy. I do feel better about buying a program like this. That means many hours of good entertainment Tele.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Call me a noob, but for a long time, I was rather worried about all the freeware IP proxies and stuff. In the end I just stopped trying to improve my privacy. This program makes me feel better about buying a program like this. Oh and of course, I get to watch UK TV now as well!

  49. Jo says:

    I love the BBC. This network shows some of the best documentaries. And unless I am mistaken, The BBC also has a production company that has funded / produced some very good independent films. I was just on a trailer watching tangent recently and was surprised by how many films have the BBC logo in the opening credits. So they are a major contributor to quality entertainment.

  50. theninja says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Sorry perhaps it’s not that clear. You get the username and password from your Proxy/VPN provider, so in this case I used my subscription from Identity Cloaker – who give me my own login details. If you used a different service or perhaps one through work you’d use your username and password from them.

    Hope that helps.

  51. Jamie says:

    Sorry not sure where I get the username and password from.


  52. says:

    Yep absolutely, just set up a UK VPN as demonstrated.

  1. June 9, 2014

    So just to check ??? I can use this method to add a VPN on to my iPad and when I enable it I’ll be able to watch British TV from Adelaide?

    techno Plumber !

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