Easy Way to Watch UK TV Online from Abroad

I love British TV, and for years spent a fortune on DVDs like Poirot, Sherlock and all the great BBC detective shows that were available.  However there’s no real need now as there’s so  much available online, from free and even some paid sources.   From the BBC there’s a dozen channels with lots of new programmes every week, usually including many of my favorite genre – detective, mysteries and crime.  There are also lots of other free channels available, including ITV Hub, Channels 4 and 5 probably another thirty or so channels packed full of programmes you can watch anytime.

At the moment I’ve been enjoying reruns of the 1990’s version of an Agatha Christie classic which are currently being aired on these free to air channels – Poirot.  Currently there are over thirty of these wonderful shows available on the ITV Hub and more are added quite frequently.  If you do run out, there’s lots of Miss Marple shows there too, another great period detective drama produced by the UK’s largest commercial channel.   All of these are completely free although you can pay for premium access on ITV which skips the adverts.

Watch UK TV Online

All the major UK TV stations broadcast online, including BBC, ITV, Sky and Channels 4 and 5.  In fact when  you have access to the full range of British TV online, there’s little need to invest in cable or satellite subscriptions unless you’re after certain sporting events.  However much of these are also covered, ITV had full broadcasting rights to the Rugby World Cup and the BBC often has similar rights to lots of great sports shows.  One of my favorite is the oldest football (soccer for our US readers) show – Match of the Day on iPlayer is part of my essential Saturday night viewing, so it great that it’s available online as well.

This is all great and if you haven’t checked out the online channels, I urge you to investigate them – remember you can watch all the programmes live when they broadcast too. Unfortunately although these are all freely available from the UK, they are normally inaccessible outside Britain.  Due to various issues, primarily copyright and profit maximizing, all the online TV channels are restricted outside the domestic market.  This includes them all, so you’ll get blocked from the BBC and also have trouble if you try and watch ITV player abroad.

The reason you can’t watch the BBC iPlayer and all the other channels abroad is due to your IP address. It’s something most of us find out fairly quickly when we move or travel abroad. What basically happens is that the websites look up your address when you connect and check which country you appear to be in, before allowing access. Anything outside the United Kingdom and you’ll get a polite message informing you it’s not accessible.  Oddly even paid services are including in this block, so instance despite paying a huge subscription fee then you can’t watch Sky Go abroad either!

So Can I Watch UK TV Online like the BBC Outside the United Kingdom?

Fortunately you can and it’s relatively straight forward.

Just to summarize – here you’re basically connecting to the BBC iPlayer but using a different IP address to allow you access.   The same method works with Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 etc indeed all the live TV streaming sites in the UK too -what’s more it’s quick and easy to do.  Unfortunately there is currently in 2019 no practical free method to doing this, in theory you can search for free proxy servers but in practice these are so overloaded and riddled with viruses that they very rarely work.

Try These To Watch British TV Abroad

There are lots of services available for hiding your real address and letting you watch UK TV online, be careful though many simply don’t work.   After trying many, many  of these, here are my two picks if you want to watch British TV abroad over the internet.

1) Identity Cloaker – This is the program used in the above video.  It’s a  security program that has been around many years and has a large selection of servers in most European countries, plus USA, Canada, Australia and a few others.  These are useful if you want to watch channels from other countries, or access different version of media sites like Netflix (the US one is much better than the UK one for example).

The technology is much more sophisticated than other sites which are mainly just basic proxy servers.  This has software which allows you to encrypt, switch countries and even speeds up your connection in many cases.   The network of servers are fast, support is responsive and all subscriptions are non-recurring.   A huge advantage is that the ability to watch TV stations is not included on the site anywhere.  This is important, the sites that advertise openly about accessing BBC iPlayer frequently get closed down – taking your subscription with them.  If  you want the highest reliability and security then Identity Cloaker is without doubt the safest choice.

As always – try the short trial first to see if it works for you – Identity Cloaker Trial

 2) Smart DNS Proxy – This is my second pick and also represents great value for money.  Like Identity Cloaker, your subscription gives you access to every one on of their servers.  They have by far the biggest spread geographically with lots of servers in countries all across the planet.  If you just want to watch British TV then these probably aren’t needed but they’re useful to have when surfing the internet and keeping your privacy.

They also have a completely free trial which you can try out first – free trial here.

4 thoughts on “Easy Way to Watch UK TV Online from Abroad”

  1. Hello, I noticed that you mentioned that this could be used for all the ITV Hub channels too? I’m quite keen as I love their period dramas especially Downton. I tried VPNs a few years ago and they got quite annoying as often they wouldn’t work – have things changed?????

    • Hi Janice, yes it works perfectly with ITV Hub. Just make sure the UK VPN is enabled before you create your account and every time you want to watch something. Yes many VPNs are extremely unreliable it’s true. The problem is that they try and maximise profits by loading too many people on to their servers. It does mean they can lower price but also means they are easily detected and will frequently be blocked. I’ve tried using cheaper VPN programs but they’re generally hopeless for watching British TV sites. Identity Cloaker is not the cheapest but that’s because they don’t overload the servers. It’s way more reliable than something like Nord or Express VPN for watching TV and is definitely the best choice for UK TV channels like ITV and BBC.

    • Don’t worry there’s no location information that can be linked with an email address directly. The BBC don’t check anyway, just register an account it’s just used to personalize your viewing. The only thing you have to do is remember to put a UK based postcode in when registering – any valid one will do.

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