How to watch BBC iPlayer on iPad abroad

What is BBC iPlayer?

BBCiPlayer is an internet streaming, catchup, television and radio service offered by the BBC. It is available on a large variety of devices, including mobile phones, televisions, PC and smart television. The best part about this service is that it is totally ad free so you can enjoy your favorite content without any hiccups.

It offers a huge variety of high quality content of all genres from action to comedy and thrillers. It also streams live sports events such as FIFA world cup 2018.However, the sad part is that the BBCiPlayer is only available in the United Kingdom due to rights issues.

Having said that, is there a way to use the service outside the UK? The short answer is yes. In this age the digital world has advanced so much that it is pretty much possible to do anything.

You might be a digital nomad enjoying your stay at an exotic location far away from the UK or a business person who has to travel from time to time, but that does not mean you will have to miss on your favorite shows and movies being broadcasted on the BBCiPlayer.

So how do you exactly access BBCiPlayer from abroad on your iPad? The simple answer is downloading a BBC iPlayer VPN.

Access BBC iPlayer on iPad with a VPN

For those unfamiliar with the term VPN, it is virtual private network that encrypts your data, this enables you to fool the websites about your actual location. This way you can be relaxing on one of the most exotic beaches in Thailand and the BBC website will think you’re in the UK.  

It should be kept in mind though that by doing so you will be breaking the terms and conditions of BBCiPlayer, which can result in the suspension of your account, but just that. You won’t be fined or arrested.

Firstly you will need a VPN services provider, but you have to be sure that the service you’re opting for is strong enough to be able to fool BBCs system. Not all VPN services are created equally and not all VPNs have the ability to fool the strong systems of BBCiPlayer, Netflix and the likes.

Some of the best VPN services that successfully enable you to access BBCiPlayer are NordVPN, PureVPN and ExpressVPN. Therefore, it is highly advised to use one of the mentioned services as they are the leaders in online security and privacy.

So, to begin with first and foremost you need a VPN service. Once you subscribe to a VPN service download its app on your iPad from the apple app store. Now that you have the app of your VPN service provider simply start it and login. After logging in the VPN service choose a server that is based in the United Kingdom upon successful connection browse to BBCiPlayer and login, you will now be able to access all the content of BBCiPlayer.

How does a VPN work?

The BBC iPlayer dominates the internet traffic in the United Kingdom with a total of 6%, so when you log on to BBC iPlayer it checks your public IP address, this tells it your location and if you’re not in the UK it will simply block you.

This is where the use of VPN comes in, instead of directly connecting to BBC, you first log in to the VPN and that connects to the BBC making it seem that you’re from the UK.

One small problem is that as per the laws of UK you need to have a TV license to view BBC iPlayer, so when you sign in BBC iPlayer it will ask you if you have a TV license. Fortunately the good part is that BBC depends on the honor system and does not ask for any actual proof of the license. So you can simply click “I have a TV license”. In addition to that registering for the iPlayer needs a valid UK post code, luckily again it does not actually verify if you live in the UK or not so as long as your IP shows that you’re located in the UK you should be fine.

BBC iPlayer not working even with a VPN?

It is possible that even after you connect to a VPN server, you might not be able to access BBC iPlayer. This might be because BBCiPlayer has stored your previous “location” in a cookie that’s still active.

If even after logging in via a VPN service you still see a warning that the content is not available in your location, you need to clear your cookies. You can do this simply by going to your browser settings and clearing cookies.

It might happen that despite using a VPN, the BBC iPlayer page might not load at all and instead return an error page. If this is happens you need to flush your DNS cache.

If you are using Windows, type “cmd” into your search bar and open Command Prompt. Type the following command and click enter: ipconfig /flushdns. 

In the end, clear any cached data that might allow iPlayer to view your real location. You can clean out your entire browser cache in the settings, but more than often it’s enough to hold control key and hit F5 to do a “hard” refresh.

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