How to Get a Fake UK IP Address to Watch the BBC iPlayer for Free
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.
Well this post explains all of this – but if you’re just looking for a quick solution then the answer lies below. NordVPN is an affordable VPN service which supplies hundreds of fake UK IP addresses which work well with all major platforms like the BBC.
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 re-join a forum -the answer is here.
Why So Many People Use a Fake UK IP Address
There are two main issues concerning IP addresses – privacy and accessibility. Your IP address is a unique network number assigned to your internet connection when you go online. Because it’s unique it can also be used to determine who you are, what you are doing and where your connected from. If you’re surfing from home then it will be linked to your broadband provider or ISP (Internet Service Provider). If you’re out and about it will be linked to who ever is providing you with internet access – work, cafe, library etc.
You obviously have a little more privacy when using someone else’s internet connection than you do at home. Simply because your name will not be directly linked to it. However your location and device will still be monitored and logged. If you’ve visited the site before you’ll be even more identifiable using cookies from your previous visit too.
Geo-Targeting Controls Your Internet Access
One of the biggest practical problems linked with people tracking your IP address is something called geo-targeting. It’s a technology used by an increasing number of the world’s biggest websites including the UK’s large media sites – BBC, ITV and Channel Four. 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.
Search from a US IP Address
Here’s a very simple example â€“ this is 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 â€“ the same search yields quite different web addresses.
Search from a UK IP Address
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. If you want to search in a location other than your present one then you’ll need to add some location terms to your search query.
Geo-Targeting Can Be Good
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. Some sites will even automatically switch the language you view when visiting the site too. Browsing to a company based across the world and having the website displayed in your native language is obviously handy. You might think all customization is beneficial to the visitor but in truth it’s often the other way.
Many of us have got use to this technology simply because it normally makes our life a little easier by giving you information relevant to your physical location.
Your IP Address is Also Used to Control
Unfortunately more often it’s a case of blocking or filtering access rather than customising your content. For instance every large media site does this – Hulu, NBC, BBC, ITV, M6 Replay etc. The main reason is that they will often only have broadcasting rights to a specific country usually their home location. So the vast majority of large media sites broadcast only to their domestic customers and block access to visitors from other countries.
So the BBC will only allow people located in the UK to access the incredible BBC iPlayer. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a UK TV license holder on holiday. You have to be physically located in the UK. The exact same thing will happen if you try and watch a US media stream like NBC or ABC or indeed any other country in the world.
Your experience may also be ‘modified’ without your knowledge too. It’s not uncommon for websites to actually charge different prices depending on your location too. This is extremely common in travel based sites like airlines, car hire and accommodation providers. Although lots of other online retailers do the same thing too, the games portal – STEAM has completely different prices depending on your physical location. Often you can be charged much more for the same product downloaded in another location, although obviously you can be lucky and it works the other way around.
Generally though it fits in with profit maximisation techniques – companies charging the maximum amount the local market will allow.
So how do these websites determine where you are? How do they use an IP address to determine your location?
How The Web Site Determines Your Location from Your IP Address
Itâ€™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. All these sites have access to a complete UK IP address list so it’s a simple check, 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.
Media Site IP Address Requirements
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 –
- BBC Iplayer – UK Address
- Hulu – US Address
- Pandora – US Address
- CTV – Canadian Address
- RTE – Irish Address
- M6 Replay – French IP Address
There are obviously many more, almost every media site of any size operates these sort of restrictions. One of the problems is many of the people who are blocked are actually just travelling, working abroad or ex-pats who just miss their home TV stations.
The Workaround using a VPN Service !
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 visible so you could use a UK proxy for the BBC and a US proxy for sites like NBC and Hulu. In the early days (up until about 2005) you could even find and use a UK proxy online, for no charge at all although there was still a significant risk of malware and viruses using them. Nice to get the option of using a UK proxy free of charge though, as some would be happy to risk it.
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 how to use a VPN to provide a fake UK IP addresses. If you need something for commercial purposes in 2022, you may need something more specialised which uses residential addresses too. However for most purposes including access to media sites then using an inexpensive VPN service like NORDVPN will work just fine. Watch the video below for a demonstration on how simple it is to use a UK VPN.
Using a UK VPN server to Hide Location
As you can see it’s very simple to use, all you need to do to hide your location is select the country you need. SO if you establish a connection to a French server then you will appear to be in France. Choose a UK server and you’ll appear to be in the UK and so on. Your real IP address will not be visible only the address of the VPN server you’ve connected to.
This is all you need for bypassing the majority of geo-targeting blocks and filters. Simply connect to a UK server every time you want a UK IP address.
Can I use a Free Web Proxy for a Random IP Address?
A few years ago, it was possible to get a UK IP address or similar just by connecting to one of the free proxies you can find online. Unfortunately this doesn’t really work very well any more for a few reasons.
IP Addresses are Blacklisted
Any free proxy will be abused by spammers shortly after it appears online. A little while later it will have been registered on the many IP address blacklists. This means that you will have problems accessing any resource using that IP address. All the major media sites block these addresses automatically as most large sites do too. You’re probably ok using them for basic research although please take note of the following caveats too.
Free Proxies are VERY SLOW
As you can imagine anything that is available free is going to become very popular and free proxies are no exception. The vast majority of free proxies will be extremely slow to use simply down to the number of people using them. If you don’t remember the early days of the internet and waiting minutes for a page to download via a 28.k modem then a free proxy is the way to experience some nostalgia ! They’re absolutely no use as video proxies for this reason I’m afraid.
Viruses, Trojans and Spyware
Stop and think why anyone would supply an expensive resource like a proxy server completely free of charge to complete strangers ? Can’t think of a motivation – well the usual one is to make money out of you and your internet connection. Many free proxies are put there simply to spread viruses and adware which infect your computer. Once installed all manner of nasty stuff can be installed. The most benign will be simply injecting adverts and spam into your browsing. The worst will be stealing your credentials and email passwords.
A UK IP Address from Servers with Speed and Privacy
In reality, the effectiveness of any VPN solution relies on the security of the VPN server and the actual IP addresses which it uses. In 2022 all IP addresses are no longer equal, some have been abused and ended up on blacklists. Using these is like using a fake postal address from a very bad side of town. It’s only going to cause you problems on sites you visit.
What are the trusted VPN solutions to View?
Most of the major VPN solutions will be perfectly fine on the important factors like security and speed. The major difference is perhaps how they work bypassing geo-targeted filters and blocks. For example, many people looking for a fake UK IP address simply want to use the wonderful British TV sites like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub.
BBC and ITV Block Many VPN UK IPs
This is where it can get more complicated simply because many VPN services have been identified and blocked by sites like the BBC in order to prevent this workaround. They do this by supplementing the available blacklists with network checks of their own.
These involve simple checks on the numbers of concurrent connections from the same IP. You’d never expect to see lots of streaming connections from the same IP address so it’s a simple way to identify a VPN or proxy being used. It means that your VPN can be detected if you’re sharing it with a large number of people all accessing the same site. The BBC iPlayer is so popular that it’s almost inevitable as millions stream from outside the UK using these VPN service.
The solution can be difficult, time consuming and drives up the cost. It basically involves monitoring how many use the servers and IPs to access the major media sites and rotating/switching the IP address routinely
In reality though, nowadays you do need something fairly sophisticated like NordVPN, which I consider probably the best UK VPN solution. Unfortunately using a simple UK web proxy isnâ€™t going to work anymore. Although it’s not that hard to find a free proxy with a UK IP address range, every major media site now blocks them automatically.
A VPN is a Global IP Generator for Any County
If you choose the right VPN you will effectively have access to a global network of fake IP addresses. If you spend any amount of time online, then It’s one of the most incredibly useful tools you can have. Whether for work, pleasure or a mixture of both a VPN can enhance both your privacy and unlock thousands of sites all over the world.
There are quite few decent VPNs to choose from now, most of the leading services all offer unrestricted access to a servers all over the world. If you find a company trying to charge extra for access to a UK Server or a US server then walk away. Unless you need specialised services (for example a dedicated IP address) then the main VPN services like IPVanish, NordVPN and ExpressVPn all offer access to their entire network in the basic subscription.
Random, Fake IPs for All Purposes
There are so many potential uses for VPNs that it’s difficult to cover them all. Primarily though people use them for security -i.e. keeping their data and identity secure and safe. The other main use is for bypassing the growing number of blocks that exist online. Some of these are geo-targeted i.e. based on your physical location others are enforced by the state or government agency.
For all these requirements though having access to a range of trusted IP addresses which can be accessed via a secure encrypted tunnel is pretty much all you need. If you need access to a specific website which is geo-locked then those IP addresses need to be in a specific country. For example, as mentioned to access the BBC iPlayer then you need a fake IP address if you’re outside the UK.
Pick the Right VPN with the Right Countries for Your Data Needs
If you do want to access a particular resource make sure it is accessible with your chosen VPN. If you’re buying a VPN to access UK content then it might not be important that your VPN has servers in countries like Japan, Australia etc. What will be important is that is has lots of UK IP addresses which are not blocked by the site you want to access.
Which is why so many people who want to access UK resources like the BBC iPlayer us NordVPN. It does have a large global network but more importantly for many of us it has a decent strategy for protecting its UK IP addresses and enabling access to the BBC iPlayer.
Plus the NordVPN software is very easy to use and they have support for most different devices including things like Smart TVs. The standard subscription is covers multiple devices and offers access to servers in about a sixty 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.
They’re always offering different discount plans – but you can find the latest ones here –
You’ll find the best deals with longer subscriptions but it’s worth trying out a short subscription first. Although they do offer a money back guarantee so you can always get a refund if you do have a problem initially.