Best UK VPN Access for iPlayer

Which is the best UK VPN Access provider with British based servers for BBC iPlayer?  It’s a difficult question, simply down to the huge choice that is available now online.  Years ago, I was involved in a project to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) client on thousands of laptops in a large multinational company.  The laptops consisted of wide variety of hardware, lots of different language builds and each had different software installed (even some VPN client software which needed to be removed first).   One thing I did learn throughout this project is that VPN client software can cause all sorts of problems mainly concerned with network connectivity if it doesn’t work properly.

best vpn for UK TV abroad

Reliable Software is Important

This is why, choosing a reliable VPN service is so important. For most of us, an internet connection is why we use our computers, using a poor service will at best slow down your connection and at worse completely break it. A VPN needs to be well configured, maintained and supported both at the client and the server side to work quickly, securely and seamlessly.

In fact seamlessly is an important point, because the better a service is, the less impact it will have on your connection.  If your internet speeds plummet to a slow crawl as soon as you enable the connection then it’s going to be fairly worthless.

Most people need a VPN for the following reasons:

  • Secure their connection and personal details.
  • Access blocked websites like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ABC and others.
  • Privacy

There are other reasons, but it’s mainly to bypass blocks and ensure security, any well run VPN should be able to supply both of these.  If you’re interested in a accessing a particular service like British TV online then a fast UK connection is the priority.  This is an important point, the best VPN or Smart DNS service will actually allow you access to a network of VPN servers in different countries. However it is the speed of the specific servers that you connect to which will ultimately determine how it performs.

For example, many services offer a server in a few different countries, which is great if you are not concerned about which country you connect to.  However if you want to watch and access the BBC online then you will have to select a UK one to change your IP address, unfortunately so will many others.   Which is why for so many companies popular servers will be completely overloaded.

Identity Cloaker monitor their servers 24/7 and because they are one of the oldest and safest UK VPN Access providers on the internet they have a wealth of expertise in maintaining fast, accessible servers.  They also have deployed servers based on demand – their network has dozens of UK and US servers with huge, available bandwidth to be used for the popular media sites like the BBC and Hulu, but less servers based in other countries.

Which means their UK VPN servers are fast, very fast especially when used with the compression algorithm in the client software.

The reality is that the service is one of the best because it has been around for so long and been actively developed.  The software is sophisticated and robust, the servers have been optimized over the years to provide the fastest and most effective service.

Here’s a great example, although Identity Cloaker was originally available using the client software which redirected through a UK BBC proxy for British addresses but it was becoming apparent that demand was moving towards different devices.  For example many people were starting to stream video directly onto Smart TVs, tablets or media devices.  Making different versions of the VPN client software was almost impossible for many of these devices, how do you install software onto your Smart TV for example?

Which is why all the Identity Cloaker servers were modified to allow direct VPN connections from other devices.  Basically it was possible now to set up your VPN connection manually on tablets, ipads and phones.  You can even connect directly from your router to effectively switch every device to use the VPN even things like Smart TVs – watch this video.

This won’t be suitable for everyone of course, because by default it does effect every device connected to that router.  However it’s a marvelous fix for situations where you can’t get access to the network configuration settings and still need the a good VPN you can get access to.   Most modern routers will have this facility, although unfortunately in the UK there is a tendency for ISPs to supply heavily restricted devices.  BT have removed the majority of the connection settings in it’s Home Hub device including much of the VPN functionality.  The overriding advantage of this message though is that the IP address is classed as a residential one, a valuable asset that you’d normally pay for from a residential IP provider !

However for speed, security and reliability then I can thoroughly recommend Identity Cloaker which you can try out for 10 days using their . .

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20 Responses

  1. trang says:

    Will this work ok through hotel wifi and free access points? Want to watch stuff when I’m travelling. Not sure if it needs your own network.

    • says:

      Sure, you connect anywhere from just about anything although the video above is via your router. For travelling just connect to the internet as normal and then start up the Identity Cloaker software. In fact you should always do this to protect your connection, as soon as you fire up Identity Cloaker all your data is encrypted so you can safely check online banking or webmail through any Wifi. To access UK stuff like the BBC just make sure you choose a UK based server.

  2. Richard says:

    Will this let me watch the Olympic coverage on the BBC?

    • says:

      Yes Olivia, BBC are doing loads of coverage and it all works fine with Identity Cloaker abroad. You can either access BBC iPlayer or watch it live from the BBC website. Just connect to a UK server before connecting. If you’re a sports fan though, some good coverage on the US and Canadian TV stations too, just pick a US or Canadian server first if you want to try them. Good luck.

  3. shelley says:

    Thanks for this, so I can either use the software on my computer or make direct connections through the router – is that correct? Also could I use this from Spain to watch UK TV and then switch to using the US version of Netflix? Hope that makes sense 🙂

    • says:

      HI Shelley, yes that’s correct most people use it with the software – but its’ very flexible and you can use it directly on other devices. I use on various games consoles, my router, ipad, smart phone and my laptop.

      Yes use a UK VPN connection for British TV and then use a US one before you start Netflix. It’s easier to use the software if you want to switch frequently.

  4. Sheldon says:

    I want to use this UK VPN service when travelling and on a variety of computers and laptops – is it easy to install and uninstall?

    • says:

      Hi, You’d be best using the portable version of Identity Cloaker which is just a single executable. Copy it onto a USB drive and just run it directly when you want to use the VPN. Then you just need to type in your username and password to connect. There’s no installation at all and no record on your machine, I use it on my works laptop as they don’t like you installing programs. It’s in the members areas when you subscribe.

  5. meagan says:

    I’ve tried a couple of the bigger VPn providers mainly to watch British TV and some Irish channels and they keep getting blocked. Do you know what’s happening and are they all like this?

    • says:

      It’s usually just the TV channels individually blocking IP addresses. One of the problems with many of the VPN companies is they’re deliberately advertising their services for watching blocked TV stations. Years ago it was done rather more discretely and the media channels pretty much ignored it.

      Now they are under pressure from the copyright owners to restrict access to these services. They nearly always target the biggest and most visible companies, either pursuing them legally (when this happens they usually just disappear overnight) or just blocking that company’s specific IP address ranges. It’s why it’s best to pick a low key company that only advertises VPN and security services not the ability to watch TV stations!

    • says:

      Yep BBC are blocking loads of VPN services at the moment. Unfortunately as they are blocking UK VPN services, you could get blocked in the UK if you are using a VPN (which plenty do for security and encryption). They will target the biggest VPN services, so don’t sign up for any long subscriptions and look for discrete services – anyone high profile who advertises accessing the BBC openly should be avoided. Identity Cloaker UK servers are all active at the moment and work for the BBC iPlayer, but keep it quiet 😉

  6. caridad says:

    Someone told me that for some stations you can disconnect after the initial check has been done? Is this correct and how do you do this.

    • says:

      Yes you can for some TV stations but this varies. For example after you start streaming from the BBC iPlayer you can disconnect your UK VPN and watch directly from the site, they only check at the beginning of each programme.

      You need a service like Identity Cloaker which allows you to turn off the VPN in the background for it to work. Or in this example, you’d have a browser window open on your router admin and then disconnect after the programme had started.

      However it doesn’t work with services like Netflix which check periodically.

  7. rhona says:

    I’ve tried two VPn solutions and both don’t work with BBC iPlayer. Last one was IP Vanish and they said they’d issue a solution but haven’t yet. Any suggestions?

  8. Jane says:

    Do most routers have this facility? I have one from my ISP British Telecom and I don’t seem to be able to find many settings I can change?

    • says:

      Unfortunately, the BT supplied routers (the BT Home Hubs) are severely restricted. BT have locked them down and removed most of the user settings. Not sure on their motivation for this, but it’s very annoying. So I’m afraid you won’t be able to set up a client VPN connection, in fact you can do virtually nothing on these routers.

      You can replace the Home Hub with another router if you wish, but be careful as some routers don’t work well with IPTV and multicast, you need for BT Youview.

  9. Phil Doyle says:

    So I can use the software on my computer to use the VPNs as needed and then set them up manually on my router as well for other devices?
    This is ok with one subscription? Some of the services only seem to give you one country and charge for the others.


    • says:

      Hi Phil,

      Yes that’s correct – just to illustrate I have a single subscription with Identity Cloaker and use the following.

      1. Software on my PC
      2. Software on my Laptop
      3. US, UK and French VPNs on my iPhone
      4. US, UK VPNs on my Tablet
      5. Portable version of Identity Cloaker on a USB Key for travelling.

      I could use the other countries but I don’t have any real need for them at the moment. Although there are a lot of music videos on Youtube which are restricted to German IP addresses so might set one of those up too. Hope this helps.

  10. Byron the Painter says:

    Ok so if I did this on my router here in Spain. I would be able to access the BBC, ITV, and my SKy account on all my devices without a problem?

    • says:

      Yep Byron, if you set up a VPN to a UK server, then everything that connected using that router would be able to access any UK website or service. But please remember when it’s enabled you won’t be able to access Spanish only websites.

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