A Fake UK IP Address

So why would anyone want to change their address to a fake IP address perhaps a UK one? There are a variety of reasons actually but the usual answer is either accessing TV or they’ve been blocked/banned from some forum somewhere and want to get back on with a fake IP online.  Anyway there is an answer for  people who want to watch the UK TV channels on the internet from anywhere in the world.  It also works if you’ve been banned from your favorite forum because some moderator just decided to ban you.

So whether it’s a pining for Match of the Day, the BBC News, documentaries or any of the wonderful UK TV channels that are only accessible to those who have a UK IP address, or disguising yourself so you can rejoin a forum – the answer is here.

The problem is that the BBC, ITV and Channel Four like most media companies online use something called geotargeting. It all sounds a bit geeky and technical but in fact is rather simple. It’s a shortened term for geographical targeting and is a simple way for a website to deliver different content to readers in different locations.

Here’s a very simple example – here’s a search conducted with a US IP address for an electrician –

You can see that the search engine has looked at the location based on my IP address and given me US based results.  However on the very same computer if I use a fake UK IP address – the same search yields quite different web addresses.

I now get results based on electricians in the UK rather than the USA.  Which is of course exactly what I need if I was in the United Kingdom at the time.   Google looks at your IP address when you connect and uses that information to tailor it’s results and adverts.

So in this situation geotargeting is actually quite useful and you’ll find nearly all big web sites will use this technique to some extent.   Unfortunately often it’s a case of blocking access rather than customising  your content.  For instance every large media site does this – Hulu, NBC, BBC, ITV, M6 Replay etc.

How The Web Site Determines Your Location from Your IP Address

It’s actually a very simple procedure, the moment you connect to a web site, your IP address is recorded.  It is then looked up in a Country directory or database.  It’s quite easy to do for your own websites too.

You can access one of these country databases from companies like Maxmind, download it and load it into a database or a spreadsheet. You can pay for a service or just run your own scripts to determine which country a particular IP address is registered to.

So this is what happens every time you get blocked from accessing a resource online because you have the ‘wrong’ IP address.  So for instance here’s what you need to use the following sites –

There are obviously many more.  One of the problems is many of the people who are blocked are just travelling, working abroad or Ex-Pats who just miss their home TV stations.

But of course it wasn’t long before people figured a way to bypass these restrictions.  Initially discovering that you could use proxy servers to sit between you and the website you were trying to access.   The proxy server IP address was the one that was checked so you could use a UK proxy for the BBC and a US proxy for sites like NBC and Hulu.

So now a mini industry has built up supplying proxies and VPNs to allow people to access the sites they wish.  The very best of them supply you with a huge list of servers in different countries so that you never need to get blocked again.   Many openly advertise themselves as TV proxy services but I’d be careful with those as they tend to get shut down. There’s some useful advice in this video about fake ip addresses and proxies.

Of course I use  Identity Cloaker whose software is easy to use and offers access to servers in about a dozen different countries (including USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and quite a few more).It works with just a click of a button and you can change your address to a US or a fake UK IP address or whatever you require. Their trial offer is here – . .  You can see it in action on this page – Watching BBC Iplayer – there’s a video towards the bottom of the page you can watch too.

There are loads of other services available though, but be careful as it’s easy to set up a proxy server and sling up a fancy TV web site.  The hard part is providing fast, secure servers especially important if you’re going to be streaming video from the like of Hulu and the BBC.

New post with video on UK proxy

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29 Responses

  1. Frankel says:

    Hi, My Netflix account has switched to the French one because I’m working in France, would this switch me back to the UK one?

    • says:

      Yep Frankel, choose a UK server and you’ll get the UK version of Netflix instead. You should check with their support if any problems as they often need to switch servers as Netflix sometimes block. I would suggest using a US server though and swap to the US version of Netflix – this all works automatically with Identity Cloaker and has loads more stuff than the UK version.

  2. martha says:

    Hey there! Would this work for all the UK TV stations – I’d like to watch the BBC and ITV online if possible? Is there anything else I need to do apart from using this?

    • says:

      Yes it works for all the UK stations, but you obviously need an account for Sky. You have to set up an account for ITV player now, it asks for a British postcode when you create it but just pick any UK one and you’ll be fine.

  3. augustus says:

    Hello, I spend three months a year in Turkey but when I’m there I can’t access my Netflix account. Would this help – I set up the account in the UK. thx

    • says:

      Yes it will, for UK Netflix just connect to a British server first so that you have a UK IP address beforehand. Your account will also work on all the other different countries – so if you want to try the US Netflix (load more films on this) then select a US server first. Australian and Canadian Netflix are worth a look too.

  4. doreen says:

    This was really helpful, thanks. Can I just check that if I use this I can access my Pandora account on my computer when I’m travelling outside the US? It will give me a fake US IP address is that correct?

    • says:

      Hi Doreen,

      Yes, I love Pandora too, just select a US server and it will work perfectly – I’ve been using it for many years to listen to Pandora from Europe.

  5. Eppie says:

    I’ve seen a couple of free VPNs about – are they safe to use?

  6. Bola Boy says:

    Can I use this to change my location and buy games cheaper on Steam?

    • says:

      Although this would work, the problem is that I think Steam checks your location every time you play the games too. If you start buying games from one country IP then start playing in a different location then you’ll get flagged. I’m not sure they’ll delete your account but they might.

  7. Mitch says:

    Ok so if you’re supplying a fake IP address there’s no connection between you and the web site you visit? What about at your ISP?

    • says:

      No there’s no record of your connection or address at any web site you visit, and no logs are kept at Identity Cloaker about activity. As long as you use it in the encrypted mode, there are minimal details at the ISP as well. All that will be recorded there is encrypted traffic and the connection to the Identity Cloaker server.

  8. Carma says:

    This is just PC software right? Can I use it on my phone or iPad somehow?

  9. Karissa says:

    Hi – so does the site you are visiting know your real IP address at all?

    K

    • theninja says:

      Hi k, No they can’t detect your real address at all, or the fact you’re using a proxy server. That is as long as the proxy is configured correctly.

      However the sites are getting better at detecting these. For example ,you used to be able to use a simple free proxy to access Hulu, however none of these work now as it needs to be a secured connection.

  10. Elise at sunset art says:

    Somebody told me that a proxy server will not fool some sites e.g. Hulu. Can you tell me if Identity Cloaker is a proxy or a VPN, and can I watch Hulu with it from outside the US?

    Elise

    • says:

      Hi Elise,
      You’re right, some sites can detect proxies and you do need a VPN for many. Identity Cloaker is a VPN service, and is completely undetectable from media sites. I use it all the time to watch Hulu, HBO and Pandora from outside the US. BBC however works with the simplest of proxies.

  11. Zaubern lernen says:

    Hi if you change your address, won’t all your other browsing be affected – for instance have to use Google UK instead of our own version?

    Zaubern

    • theninja says:

      Hi Zaubern,

      Yes it will, you’ll get Google UK, redirected to Amazon UK, etc. You should just disconnect when you’re not using it and your normal settings will return.

  12. Kid James says:

    So if I follow? Your real IP address doesn’t actually change? The web sites just see one of Identity Cloaker’s proxies instead? Is that correct?

    thx jim

  13. Jackie says:

    Thank you for this, made it a bit clearer for me.. Cheers, Jacueline.

  14. theninja says:

    Hi Euge,
    Sorry for late reply. You just need to log into Identity Cloaker, select the country you need and then press connect, then use your browser as normal. You will then be routed through that specific country – so pick a British one for BBC for example or US for an American only site.

    Company firewalls can stop it working depending on how they are set up. However normally Identity Cloaker can bypass them as it uses a standard port which is used for other communications (SSL). Also all the communication is encrypted (if you select encrypted mode) so content filters can’t see any of your data.

    Also there are loads of settings which you can configure to suit your environment (normally you don’t need to touch these).

    One of the very useful ones is under settings/local proxy – where you can get IDC to connect via an internal proxy (sometimes a firewall will only allow a specific proxy access outside the web). There’s some really advanced stuff in the settings but they’re not needed in the majority of circumstances unless you want to configure the application very specifically.

    Hope this helps

  15. Euge says:

    Thanks! In Internet Explorer, do you need to enter the IP address of the proxy server in Internet Options/LAN/Proxy, or do you simply log into Identity Cloaker? I suppose that corporate firewalls and VPNs prevent Cloaker from working. Is that assumption correct?

  16. Hier says:

    Thank you for your great article on Ip addresses by country. I really appreciate your work on that one. Cheers, Jacueline.

  1. June 9, 2014

    Thanks for this, I kind of suspected this was the problem I had. For other readers the program mentioned really does work, I’ve been able to watch all the main UK TV stations and also have accessed some Canadian channels which had some good stuff too.

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