How to Watch the BBC iPlayer in Canada – Media Guide – Watching BBC iPlayer and UK TV Abroad

Last Updated on October 6, 2023

How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer in Canada

Well, I’m in Canada, for the first time in my life – visiting a friend in wonderful Quebec. So, I thought this would be a good time to put a quick post up on this site on how to access BBC iPlayer from Canada. I’m going to use my laptop, but the method works for smartphones, tablets and Macs too.

I wanted to watch the final episode of a ghost story called Remember Me, which screened on BBC 1 on Sunday night. This is what happened when I tried to access the show on iPlayer from Canada.

BBC iPlayer Canada

As you can see, the iPlayer application could see my IP address was a Canadian one and denied me access to watch. It’s the same the world over, your physical location increasingly determines what you can access online, and it’s getting worse! For example, the Canadian media sites are exactly the same, try and access from outside Canada and they won’t work either. There are some wonderful media sites in the US and all of them are now region blocked too, including sites like Hulu, HBO and the awesome Pandora. That dreaded ‘not available in your location’ message is becoming a fact of life for many people especially in the less connected countries.

BBC iPlayer Canada – the Solution in 2023

So, here’s how you fix it – this method uses a program called Identity Cloaker, which I have been using for many years now.

As you can see, the program sits in your task bar and allows you to connect to any of their servers in about 20 different countries. For the BBC and all the British TV channels you simply select a UK based server, if you want to watch US only sites, then choose one of the USA servers. It’s that simple and all of the serves are extremely fast, super secure and accessible at all times.

It’s quite simple to use and the BBC iPlayer VPN workaround is actually used by millions across the world. It’s very popular with expats too and the same solution will show you how to watch ITV Hub in Spain, Canada and other places outside the UK too.

During the opening of the 2018 World Cup over three million people watched England’s first match from outside the UK using the site.  Pretty surprising seeing as it is rumoured that BBC iPlayer detecting VPN system was put in place in early 2017.

Identity Cloaker VPN Service

There are lots of services which offer similar functionality, most of them cost about the same. Identity Cloaker is the best one I’ve found for a variety of reasons –

  1. Proper support – the servers are well looked after which means they are always up and fast.
  2. Security Software – access from your task bar and connect whenever you need to.
  3. Low Key – it’s important that the software does not advertise TV watching functionality, simply because the TV stations block the servers of those that do.
  4. Works on tablets, Macs, iPod and smart phones – there are options for all these devices in the members area.
  5. Honest subscription – your subscription is non-recurring, and you don’t have to battle to get out of some sneaky contract like many companies try and lock you into.
  6. All countries are included in the standard subscription – watch content from USA, France, Europe and even Australia.
  7. No Bandwidth limit (normally found in the small print of some services)

It’s without doubt the most reliable proxy/vpn service available –

Try the 10 day trial account for Yourself

FAQ – BBC Page Updated March 2023

This page is nearly a decade old now and my first Canadian holiday was a long time ago now! However this page still gets a lot of traffic so I update it occasionally to ensure it’s still accurate and doesn’t mislead anyone. The questions below are mostly received from comments and emails to the site although a couple are just mine.

Do You Still Recommend Identity Cloaker – you suggest using NordVPN on this site too?

Identity Cloaker was the first VPN service I ever used many years ago to bypass the ever growing number of restrictions on media sites. It still works perfectly and is extremely reliable because it’s quite low key with a small number of users plus has a super helpful support department with many year experience in getting it to work with the BBC!

Unfortunately it’s quite old now and has is beginning to show it’s age. Although you can get it to work on most platforms, there’s no simple app to install on mobile devices and it’s really best suited to Windows laptops and PCs. If you want to just use on your computer then there’s nothing more reliable, it almost never gets blocked by the BBC and has extremely fast servers.  However if you want something a little bit more up to date, with apps for your mobile devices then check out this page – BBC iPlayer in Canada.

Can You Get BBC iPlayer in Canada on Mobile Devices with another VPN?

If you want to access the BBC in Canada on other devices then it’s worth checking out NordVPN. It’s probably the biggest VPN provider and supports all the major platforms so you can stream the BBC from virtually any device. There are apps to install and the user interface is extremely simple to use, you can see a picture of it below.

UK VPN connections - from canada

In most senses it works in exactly the same way as Identity Cloaker, just select a UK server before you start your browser. They have developed a series of BBC optimized servers too, this makes it easier to ensure access to the BBC is maintained. These are the server numbers you should use for watching the BBC if you subscribe to NordVPN – UK# 1840-1847, 1850-1863, 1865, 1869, 1873, 1875-1878, 1880-1881, 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919-1920.

Do I Need an Account on BBC iPlayer ?

Yes, you do but there’s nothing to worry about and it’s completely free. The account is used to keep track of your viewing preferences, suggest programmes etc. You will need to connect to a UK server on your chosen VPN service and then go to the registration page here – You will be asked your date of birth, an email address and for your UK postcode. In this box all you need to do is input any valid UK postcode, it can be from any address and there’s no check at all.

You can see a more detailed explanation on this page – , where you’ll also find some postcodes to use. You will also be asked if you have a UK TV license. You won’t be able to buy one in Canada, but you must answer YES to this question or it won’t work – there’s no check or license number needed.

Can I Still Watch the BBC in Canada – I Heard they’d Blocked VPNs?

Although the BBC have blocked many VPNs, there’s still plenty that work properly. Both Identity Cloaker and NordVPN work perfectly and can b e used to stream BBC iPlayer and all the UK TV stations from Canada.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer for Free?

None of the free VPNs and proxies work anymore with BBC iPlayer as their IP addresses have been blacklisted and blocked. You can sometimes watch with TOR if you configure it to use a UK exit node but it’s usually too slow to buffer video. If you stick to SD quality then it might be suitable for you.  For most though you really need a VPN to watch UK TV from Canada.

IS BBC iPlayer available in the USA too?

If you find a VPN that is not blocked by the BBC then it should work in any country. As long as you connect to a UK server before connecting you can stream the BBC in the US using the exact same account.  It’s essentially the same question as asking – is BBC iPlayer available in Canada?

Can I Watch Other UK TV Channels Overseas from Canada ?

All the other UK TV channels are available using the exact same process of connecting to a UK VPN server first. You can watch ITVX , All 4 and Channel 5 online plus premium channels if you subscribe (you’ll need a UK form of payment for those though).

Can I Watch TV Channels in Other Countries?

Yes, it’s simple to do – just choose a server in the same country and you can watch TV channels from all over the world. Ironically the most difficult to watch are the Canadian TV stations as they usually check your location and ask for proof of your cable provider too. You will lose access to the Canadian channels if you travel outside the country as your IP address will have changed.

Can I Watch Premiership Football (Soccer) on the BBC?

The BBC doesn’t have any rights to live Premiership football currently. You can watch highlights on the wonderful Match of the Day which streams on a Saturday night (approx 10:30 GMT) and in the week too. They do have rights to some other competitions including the FA Cup which are shared with ITV. Most of the live matches are streamed on SKY which require an additional paid subscription – be careful though as you might also need a British Bank account or card to pay for it too.

IS it Illegal to Watch UK TV without a License?

It is a UK law that stipulates you have to buy a UK TV license to watch the BBC (and all live TV). They’re British laws and not applicable to people in Canada watching through a VPN and you cannot purchase a licence anyway. You are though breaking the terms and conditions of the BBC site and so your account could be blocked or removed.

What are the Best documentaries on the BBC ?

Here’s some of my favorites – you can usually find most of them on the BBC iPlayer although availability does vary. There are lots of great documentaries though and new ones appear all the time.

1. Blue Planet II

2. Planet Earth II

3. Seven Worlds, One Planet

4. Human Planet

5. Life

6. Africa

7. Frozen Planet

8. Natural World

How do the BBC iPlayer Block VPN Connections?

There’s a few methods but remember the BBC can’t directly detect a decent VPN. What they can do is look for multiple concurrent connections from the same IP address – this almost certainly indicates that a VPN or proxy is being used. If the VPN service can limit the number of users on each address then they are almost impossible to detect. It’s why Identity Cloaker works well with it’s small user base and NordVPN which only optimizes specific servers for viewing BBC on (listed above). This is also the reason that none of the free proxies or VPN work anymore as their IP addresses were detected and blocked years ago.

Can I Watch BBC 2 in Canada?

Yes by using a UK VPN service, all the live channels are available on BBC iPlayer including BBC 2. You can stream live or watch specific shows from the archive – there’s a great current affairs programme called Newsnight which is on every weekday at 10:30 which is worth watching.

Can I Use a Browser Extension to Watch the BBC?

Some of the better VPN services include a browser extension which allows you to hide your IP address and watch BBC iPlayer. NordVPN has extensions you can use for Chrome, Edge and Firefox. It works in the same way as the VPN application but only affects the browser. It’s especially useful if you don’t want other applications to be routed through the VPN like email, apps etc.

MY ISP is throttling my speeds from Certain Media Sites – will a VPN help?

Usually a VPN will help prevent throttling as it hides the URL you are visiting and encrypts your data connection. It’s best to double check or test it out before your money back guarantee runs out though (30 days on NordVPN).

Leave a Comment