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Twenty years ago, nobody would have even considered being able to watch TV using the internet but now it’s commonplace. In fact frequently you’ll find that it’s often simpler and more reliable to stream TV channels live into your house rather than relying on it being transmitted through an aerial. There are a host of devices and technologies that are rapidly making TV over IP a pretty straightforward option.
There are in fact many benefits to using your internet connection to watch TV, although this obviously relies on fast, available broadband connections. Streaming your soaps through an unstable 2mb connection that you share with a family of four is not going to be a great experience! Yet many of us are now lucky enough to enjoy much better internet access and speeds, it makes sense to use that unused (but paid for) bandwidth for something.
However there are still drawbacks and indeed limitations which really are being imposed on us rather than actually necessary. Perhaps the most annoying is the fact that although internet feeds of virtually every major TV channel in the world are available online – most of them are restricted. So in theory a little streaming device which has access to all the world’s best TV channels is possible, in practice it’s rather more complicated.
It’s a situation that any traveler experiences routinely when they fire up their laptop in a hotel trying to watch their domestic news or home TV stations and find they’re not accessible. So for instance as soon as you cross the English channel you’ll find that all UK TV stations online are suddenly blocked.
Fortunately there is a solution, and a simple way to watch UK TV in France, Australia or anywhere else over the internet.
How to Watch UK TV in France using the Internet
The dilemma is simple, how do you bypass the location restrictions imposed by virtually every large TV station that broadcasts online? A situation mirrored when I try and stream M6 Replay at home to help my son with his French revision. Fortunately the solution is relatively straight forward to, you have to hide your location from the website you visit.
It’s done by masking your network or IP address from the website, and displaying one that will allow you access. So if you want to watch French TV then you must connect with a French IP address, UK TV needs a British address and so on. Sounds super technical but if you watch this brief video about watching UK TV in France then you’ll see that it really isn’t.
So there it is, the solution is called a VPN (Virtual Private Network) something that we talk about in great length on these pages. The software allows you to connect to servers all over the world and create a secure, encrypted tunnel with them. In addition to the extra security, it gives you the benefit of controlling which IP address the web site you visit sees. So in the example, instead of a French IP address the BBC iPlayer will see the UK address of the VPN server instead. Therefore everything will work perfectly without any interruption exactly the same as if you’re in the United Kingdom. It let me watch Match of the Day last Saturday from a Parisian hotel room with no problems at all.
Now eagle eyed viewers may have noticed in this example I’m using a different VPN the the one I use usually on this site for accessing British Television which is called Identity Cloaker. There’s a couple of reasons for this, firstly I’ve started watching a lot of TV on my portable devices and it’s a bit of a nuisance to set up Identity Cloaker on these devices. Whereas the one in the video is called Nord VPN which has different apps available for all sorts of platforms including my smart phone.
The second reasons is that I wanted to check out whether this VPN actually works for people who travel a lot. It’s one of the world’s most popular and the prices they offer on their longer deals are extremely cheap – I paid about £90 for three years access on five devices! However this is irrelevant if they don’t actually allow access to the various TV sites I use but in particular my favorite BBC iPlayer. There are quite a few rumors online that Nord VPN is actually blocked by the BBC which I wanted to check out.
Well the verdict is that it works perfectly well, however I can definitely see where the rumors have started. If you use any defaults like their ‘quick connect‘ feature then there’s a fair chance that you will get blocked by the BBC if you try and access. The reason is that too many people are using the same IP address concurrently to try and watch the BBC through Nord using this method. It’s actually not necessary as they have hundreds of UK based IP addresses and if you stay away from the ‘auto connect’ ones then they work every time.
So don’t worry about Nord VPN, it works perfectly with BBC iPlayer and all the major UK TV stations. Just test out a few UK servers first and add them to your favorites and you’ll be fine.
For UK TV access from France or anywhere in the world then – we’re happy to recommend them too –