There’s a brilliant new drama that’s just been on the BBC and it’s had amazing reviews. The six part series is called The Bodyguard and it tells the story of a Police security officer who is given the task of guarding a controversial politician. It’s starts with a suicide bomber and has many exciting, dramatic scenes – this is not a slow burner. In the UK it’s proved a huge hit and has reached viewing figures almost unheard of for many years on UK television. It’s estimated that over 11 million people watched the last episode when it was screened live, much more than any other event this year. Indeed the figures are the highest since 2008 and it’s one of those shows that everyone is talking about especially the ending.
Anyway there’s more to the story obviously but I won’t spoil it for you here with my amateur film critique, but it’s fantastic television and well worth watching. Here’s the BBC trailer for the show –
So if you’ve missed it and you’re in the United Kingdom then no problem, just get yourself over to the BBC iPlayer where all six episodes are waiting for you. There quite long, about an hour each but they fly passed and of course no advertising breaks at all.
However if you’re outside the UK and you’re facing the perennial problem of not being able to access BBC iPlayer abroad because of your IP address then here’s the solution. Now one method is of course, use the ultra-reliable method of using our favorite VPN – Identity Cloaker. However if you’re just on holiday or only want to watch this series and have no real need for long term access then why not check this out as an option. It works perfectly and has a free 14 day trial too, so you can just watch it to binge watch the Bodyguard if you like!
It’s not a full VPN so don’t go expecting it to keep your email or internet connection secure because it doesn’t. What it does do however is act as a super simple method of bypassing these stupid region blocks like the one the BBC iPlayer uses and loads of other online TV stations. Now it doesn’t offer encryption but if you want to primarily just watch video and TV over it then that’s actually an advantage as the encryption can cause a slight overhead to the speed. Although it should be noted that Identity Cloaker offers you the ability to switch the encryption layer off if you so choose.
It’s usually called Smart DNS or Smart VPN, and the first thing you’ll notice about it is that it’s set up in a different way to a VPN. There’s no client software or connection setup, to enable it you just change your DNS servers to the ‘smart’ ones, enable your account (by authorizing your IP address) and that’s pretty much it. Nothing else needs to be done and the only time anything happens is when you try and visit one of these geo-restricted sites like the BBC.
When that happens, the DNS server will route your connection through an appropriate server before connecting. That means you’ll be routed through the UK for the BBC and British Television channels, through the US for things like Hulu and Netflix and so on. In all other ways nothing will be affected, unlike a VPN which will route every byte of your connection until you turn it off. Even with the restricted sites, after you’ve ‘fooled the initial check’ then all the data will be transmitted direct to your device. This can be important if you have a slower connection as it means there is no impact on your network speed at all.
Smart DNS isn’t really right for everyone, for travellers who need to secure their connection it does nothing at all. However it does have some advantages like speed and ease of set up. Indeed unlike a VPN you can install Smart DNS on virtually any device including things like media streamers and Smart TVs. Basically if you can get to the network settings to change the DNS servers you can normally get it to work fine, no complicated setup or client software is needed.
The company who run this trial are also one of the only companies which support the US version of Netflix too, which is also worth checking out too. If you have a Netflix subscription and you enable Smart DNS you can get it to route you through to the US version which is so much bigger and better than any other.
So give it a try, the trial subscription is completely free and lasts a generous fourteen days. If you’re off on holiday you can use it to keep in touch with all the British TV or if you’re outside the UK you can use it to try out the incredible BBC and the iPlayer archive. Don’t worry that the BBC wants you to create an account, it doesn’t do any checks on this but you should put in a valid UK postcode when asked (anyone will do).
Here’s the trial account, give it a try and enjoy the best of the Beeb !