How to watch BBC abroad to catch up on Strictly, Boiling Point and more

It's where you can find all your favourite TV shows and movies.

by Jack Barrell |
Published on

BBC is the proud face of British television, it’s literally in the name. The TV catalogue spans multiple channels, sub-channels, and an online streaming service. Since BBC is British media, you can only watch it in the UK, through British TV. The same thing goes for BBC iPlayer, which is BBC’s on-demand platform. If you missed the latest episode of Strictly and want to stream iPlayer, you need to be on UK internet servers. Don’t freak out if you’re not in the UK though, because you can just use a VPN and then you’ll watch all your worries disappear.

What is a VPN?

VPN is just short for Virtual Private Network, it’s an online privacy service that can make your internet experience loads better. A VPN sits in the background of your online devices and keeps them safe.

How can a VPN help you watch BBC abroad?

The whole idea of a VPN is to protect your online information, but it does let you access regional content that you wouldn’t be able to without one. Most VPNs have servers all around the world, the better the provider the more choice you’ll have.

What this means, is that you’ll be able tune into streaming services from your sofa to the daybeds. Like BBC iPlayer, every other UK streaming service can only be accessed on UK internet servers, ITVX and All4 to name a few more.

This is fab news if you’re a UK resident that’s overseas and you don’t want to miss a second of your favourite shows. This is also a perfect chance for fans of UK TV from all around the world, you can keep up to date with absolutely everything as long as you have an internet connection and a VPN.

How to watch BBC abroad

The process is way easier than you might suspect and as soon as you’ve done it once, you’ll struggle to forget. To get started, you’ll obviously need to sign up to your chosen VPN and install it’s app onto your device(s). Don’t forget to also download the BBC iPlayer app or have the site within easy reach. Then all you need to do is:

• Open your VPN app and login.
• Choose a UK server from the list of countries available.
• Now load up the BBC iPlayer app if you are on a tablet or smartphone. If you are using a laptop or PC, open your internet browser and head to the BBC iPlayer website.
• Sign into your BBC iPlayer account and get watching.

Other benefits of using a VPN abroad

1. It hides your online activity from everyone else, making it near impossible for them to see what you're doing or where you are. This is great for privacy.
2. It locks up your info so hackers can't steal it when you're on unstable Wi-Fi.
3. It can help you visit websites and apps that might be blocked in your area. 
4. A VPN makes sure your private info stays private if you're working or shopping online.
5. It helps you use public Wi-Fi without worrying about hackers grabbing your info.

The answer is yes, using a VPN to protect your personal information or to access region-specific content is completely ay-okay. There’re only two times where you’d be walking the line when it comes to VPNs. The first is if VPNs are illegal in the country you want to use it in, or if the country only permits government-approved providers. Secondly and the most obvious instance is you’re using the internet unlawfully while using a VPN to disguise your actions.

Other VPNs to consider:

• NordVPN from £2.39 p/m View offer on NordVPN
• Surfshark from £1.83 p/m View offer on Surfshark
• CyberGhost from £1.85 p/m View offer on CyberGhost
• Private Internet Access from £1.63 p/m View offer on PIA

All prices correct at time of writing.

How to use a VPN

VPNs can definitely sound a bit much sometimes. Luckily for us, the best ones make them a breeze to wrap your head around.

After you've subscribed to a service, download the app, like ExpressVPN, you can then log in to your account.

When you're in, you’ll get a list of countries which have servers you can connect to. Select the one you want (UK for watching BBC), and the app will do the rest.

Once the VPN has connected, you can use the internet and internet services as you normally would.

A few VPN quirks to look out for

You might have to log in to accounts that you'd otherwise be automatically logged into.

Your internet speed might not be as fast as usual. This is normal with a VPN, but it’s important to do your research for the best VPN possible so your experience can be as seamless as possible.

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