BBC iPlayer Ireland – How Anyone Can Watch in 2024

Last Updated on January 26, 2024

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland

If you’re not interested in the background and latest state of play in watching the BBC from Ireland and just want to watch. Then here’s a quick summary –

  1. Sign up to a VPN service with lots of fast UK servers (we suggest NordVPN)
  2. Install the software on all your devices
  3. Connect to one of their (BBC Optimized) UK servers (list at bottom of page)
  4. Sign up for a free BBC iPlayer account (put in any UK postcode)
  5. Confirm you have a UK TV licence (there’s no actual check)
  6. Stream all 11 BBC channels and watch old episodes from the archive (see video below)
  7. Plus you can sign up to ITV Hub, Channel 4 and Channel 5 for loads more live UK TV channels free of charge.
  8. Disconnect VPN to return to Irish based browsing

streaming BBC TV from Ireland

Accessing the BBC app and all the other UK TV catch up services has become slightly more challenging in later years. For many years, none of the British media sites were very bothered about people using proxies and VPNs to bypass the geo-blocks they implemented. The BBC in particular seemed happy to allow people to use all these workarounds and most ex-pats watched every day without a problem.

BBC Block Most VPNs to Ireland

It’s true you used to be able to grab any old proxy or VPN, even the free ones worked (although they were very slow).  Not any more, in the last few years the BBC has been quite aggressive in detecting and blocking VPNs and proxies. They have unfortunately been extremely successful and now only a very few services will work reliably.

Why Your VPN Probably Stopped Working

It’s not particularly the technology which has changed but rather the increasing effort that all these streaming services are using in blocking multiple connections.  Nobody can reliably detect and block a single secured VPN connection including the BBC. People still use VPNs to bypass the Great Firewall of China and you can imagine the resources they use to block them!

What they can do is to look at how many concurrent connections are originating on individual IP addresses. Normally these should only be a small number but if the IP address is assigned to a proxy or VPN then it could be thousands. If an IP address has thousands of individual connections to the BBC web site it’s almost certainly a VPN or proxy of some sort. The BBC can easily identify these and block access automatically. Their only caveat is to ensure they don’t block normal proxies from UK workplaces, where many people watch things like the news on their lunch.

Finding a VPN to Watch BBC Streams and UK TV Channels in Ireland

The only real way to combat this is by maintaining a low user ratio on the servers, switching IP addresses and of course having lots of server locations. It’s time consuming and expensive which is why many of the cut price VPNs and proxy services simply don’t work anymore especially if you want to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland or anywhere outside the UK.

Nature Documentaries on the BBC

I’ve just checked performance of streaming iPlayer against some of the biggest VPN services. It’s surprising how many don’t work very well at the moment. One of the best is still NordVPN who’s servers are easily the fastest service for accessing UK sites. What’s more they work very hard to stay off their IP block list, so you won’t get constant error messages when using iPlayer.

Optimized Servers to Watch BBC 1, BBC2 and ITV etc.

Most of the biggest VPN services have hundreds of IP addresses on UK servers. However trying to maintain unfettered access to sites like the BBC is extremely difficult on all of them. So what tends to happen is that you have a large percentage which end up being blocked.

Which is why you’ll see so many comments online and on social media that different VPNs don’t work. In reality some of the servers and addresses do still work. However if 90% of your IP addresses are blocked then it’s extremely tedious to search for the 10% that do.

What NordVPN have done is to only try and maintain access to the BBC and other UK TV channels on specific servers. By reducing the number it’s much easier to manage the number of users and rotate the UK IP addresses routinely.

Here’s the BBC Optimized Servers you should use if you try NordVPN.

UK# 1840-1847, 1850-1863, 1865, 1869, 1873, 1875-1878, 1880-1881, 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919-1920.

When you connect search for one of these instead of using Nord’s auto-connect feature. You can save them in your favourites if they work well for watching the BBC.

If you want a VPN specifically for watching the great TV series and shows available from BBC anywhere in the world on a computer then this one is hard to beat. So many of the VPNs are so overloaded that their servers are blocked all the time by iPlayer.

Watch the BBC on Demand in Ireland today.

If you want to read more about the issue and see a video of a VPN being used to bypass the BBC’s geo-blocks then please read on.

Why you Need a VPN to Stream BBC One and iPlayer in Ireland

It seems crazy, that a few miles over from the British mainland you can’t access watch the iPlayer app online or indeed anywhere outside the UK. That’s right, despite being linked in so many ways, just try to watch – BBC iPlayer Ireland and you’ll get a little message like this one.

BBC iPlayer Ireland

What actually happens is that when you connect from any place, the BBC web site looks up the IP that you are connecting with. So in this case I happen to be in Dublin so the address assigned to me is registered in Ireland.

The BBC Detects your Location from your IP Address

Using that information means that the BBC will not display any of the great content on iPlayer abroad and also blocks the live BBC TV stream as well. In fact the only part of the site you can see is the Radio section (now named BBC Sounds) where the content is nearly all accessible, apart from the local radio stations for some reason.  Which is great if you just want the Archers but not so great to get that great detective series you’ve been watching on your TV at home.

So Why Can’t you Watch the BBC from Ireland ? Here’s the BBC’s official line

Due to rights agreements, you need to be in the UK to stream and download programmes or watch BBC TV channels on BBC iPlayer. Want to watch an on-demand programme while you’re travelling? If you download a programme on BBC iPlayer when you’re in the UK, you can watch it anywhere in the world.

It doesn’t matter who you are or even if you have a UK TV license at home in your house, the decision is based purely on your location. This is not something you can directly control, although millions of people have learned that they can hide their location and hence discovered how to access BBC iPlayer and the other TV stations outside UK boundaries.

So is there an option? Can You Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland?

What can you do to access BBC iPlayer from some place outside the UK mainland? How to get BBC iPlayer in Ireland without complicated workarounds? Is there a way to keep access to all the British TV channels to keep enjoying your favorite series? Fortunately there are options for anyone outside the UK and here’s currently the most effective one for iPlayer-

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland

NordVPN Latest Discounts

This video demonstrates how you can access the BBC from Ireland or anywhere else, the process is exactly the same for any other site in the UK too such as ITV, Channel 4 and 5 for example. You are simply using a VPN server to hide your real IP/location and supply the one required- i.e. a British address.  So when you visit the BBC website instead of looking up your real IP address, it will only see the address of the computer you are connected to. As long as this server is based in the United Kingdom then you will have no problem at all with iPlayer not working!

It works seamlessly and after the initial check you can even disconnect the proxy server if you require. Remember though if you want to watch another show then you’ll need to reconnect the proxy again. The program I use is called NordVPN and you can grab a short subscription for a few Euros and try it out now.   Unfortunately the options for accessing BBC iPlayer Ireland free of charge are all pretty much gone now, the free proxies and VPNs are all blacklisted by the TV sites. The rule is simple just ensure that you pick the right country before you connect, so any UK server will allow you to watch BBC on demand in Ireland or TV from anywhere in the world.

watch UK TV

A Free BBC Subscription and all the Best UK TV Channels Online

The BBC iPlayer is a wonderful TV resource with one of the best user experience of any web site anywhere. Indeed many anglophiles and expats rarely watch TV anywhere else. You can watch all the main channels live 24/7 to keep up with the news, drama series or programmes like Match of the Day. The archive also contains thousands of TV shows and series including most of these programmes for a year after broadcast. It’s also stocked up with loads of older shows and series from the BBC’s history although some of this has now been moved to Britbox which you can also access with a VPN but requires a subscription fee. Yet there’s lots of TV series like Blue Planet and Doctor Who to enjoy entirely free of charge. Although unfortunately they’ve just removed my favorite Fawlty Towers but it should be back on soon.

It doesn’t stop there though, you can use any of the other servers located in other countries as well. So for example if you wanted to watch something on US TV like Hulu or NBC then simply select a server based in the USA instead. It also works with subscription channels too, although you will need a valid account to watch those shows. Many people use the same method to watch Sky Go abroad too when they’re travelling or on holiday.  There are now hundreds of thousands of people who access all UK TV stations every day from Ireland and all over the world who use this method.

Additional VPN Information on Where to Watch BBC Shows

You may have seen reports that all of the BBC iPlayer VPN service programs are not working on forums and social media. This refers to a crackdown instigated by the BBC way back in 2017, it actually resulted in many VPN and proxy services being blocked. Fortunately the well configured services like NordVPN still work perfectly to watch the BBC iPlayer with any internet connection from any place in the world. Plus don’t forget all the other TV and video on demand service sites in the UK like ITV Hub, Channel 4 and so on. It’s been working perfectly with all these TV sites from anywhere for over a decade now.

There of course, quite a few other services available, but so many of them are slow, unreliable and expensive. NordVPN have been round for many years and their software is used by many thousands across the world.  It has a neat little front end, is easy to install and also gives you access to a whole host of other servers in all different places too.  Lots of VPN services promise to work with UK TV channels abroad but lots don’t – NordVPN will let you watch all your favorite TV series and channels on iPlayer without interruptions.

The service can also be used to watch iPlayer channels on iPads, tablets, Smart Phones and lots of other devices, just check with their support.

You can use it simply as a security product to encrypt your connection wherever you are, or unlock all the major media site on the internet by switching your location at will.

 Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Click Here to Sign Up

You can be watching any the BBC or any UK TV channels or shows online in only a few minutes, it’s that easy.

2 thoughts on “BBC iPlayer Ireland – How Anyone Can Watch in 2024”

  1. Hi, I’ve been visiting your website a few times and decided to give you some positive feedback because I find it very useful. Do you know if there’s any plan to create the global iPlayer ? That is one we could access through some sort of service plan paid to the BBC? Perhaps a proper application that works abroad from the app store or Google Play store ?

    • Thanks Dion. It would make sense to have a business model which includes a Global iPLayer which people can access legitimately wouldn’t it? There have been attempts, there was something released some years ago – an international version of the iPlayer. Unfortunately it was nowhere near as good as the standard UK version and the cost was about the same as a decent VPN. So it wasn’t great value when you consider a UK VPN let you watch much more on the BBC iPlayer and all the other British channels too (although you did have to pretend you had a TV license of course.).
      At the moment with the BBC investing heavily in Britbox, I think it’s unlikely they will do anything like that in the near future though.


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