A couple of years ago I spent a small fortune on a French Language course issued by the BBC for my eldest son. He was struggling with French at school so I bought this course which was based on the adventures of some cartoon character called Muzzy. It was pretty boring in French and English and my son hardly watched it at all, much to my annoyance ! What I should have done though is introduced him to the wonderful media channel based in Paris called M6 Replay.
If you live outside France you’ve probably never tried it as you need a French proxy to access it. However it’s a wonderful site and has all the top US and European shows as well as some French stuff. On it you can find the shows like the Simpsons that teenagers actually like but they are all dubbed into French.
It’s a great way to practice and learn your vocabulary and it’s way more interesting that the frankly rather boring BBC character Muzzy – pictured here. The site is really slick and well designed and just really features all the shows and films that the channel broadcasts throughout France.
Getting Access to M6 Replay Through a French Proxy Server
So if you do try and access the media site from anywhere outside France you’re going to get blocked by default. The site looks up your IP address when you connect and if it’s in France you’re ok but if you are not then you’ll get the following warning.
Which in case you’re interested says something like - “This video is unavailable. Please try and access it later”
But it’s not worth it as you’ll always get blocked as long as you are connecting from a Non-French IP address. However as we have seen with lots of other media sites across the planet – this is relatively easy to bypass as long as you have access to a proxy or VPN server that is based in France.
Now you can find these online if you search hard enough, but the problem with the free ones is that they’re not very safe and most of them are so overloaded that it’s impossible to stream video across them. So if you want to access M6 replay or any French sites often then it would make sense to invest in a a private proxy service. There’s a few with French servers but make sure you check first before subscribing to any of them.
To illustrate I’m going to show you how I use my copy of the security software Identity Cloaker to access m6 Replay. It has a selection of different proxy servers included in the subscription there are UK, US, European and Australian proxies including some French proxies too.
You can see in this graphic the user screen of Identity Cloaker, all you need to do is to scroll down the list and select one the French servers and then press connect. As soon as you do this you’ll be connected through a secure SSH tunnel to one of the companies Paris based servers. Identity Cloaker is primarily security software which also encrypts your connection – if you’re just watching video then you should turn the encryption off at the bottom of the screen.
Now when you go to the M6 Replay site instead of seeing your IP address they will see the address of the Identity Cloaker proxy server. As long as you have selected one of the French servers the site will think you are based in France and not block access to any of the content.
As I mentioned it is possible to find French proxy servers which you can connect manually too, unfortunately it’s fairly difficult to find suitable ones. If you want to try have a look at this site which lists open proxies by country – http://proxy.org/proxies_sorted.shtml they change by the hour though so keep checking back.
Just put a video up showing this process on YouTube – it’s entitled – French TV Online. Here’s the video with a step by step guide to accessing the M6 Replay site.
For those who don’t have hours to spend searching there are lots of commercial alternative which offer fast, secure and safe proxies in a variety of countries. Here’s the service I recommend - Identity Cloaker, it’s inexpensive and extremely easy to use – the program sits in your task bar and you can switch proxy servers at the click of the button. Try the 10 day trial first to see if you like it – you’ll find it opens up so many possibilities with proxies all across the world including a French Proxy !
Updated – Just checking – August 2nd, 2013 – still working for M6 Replay