Update October 2020 – So the Question remains can you get Identity Cloaker for Mac computers and Apple Devices? Well yes, sort of ! The MAC version of Identity Cloaker was released in 2011 in beta. You can download the demo version for OS X here – IdentityCloaker com free download. This is fully functional but only allows you access specific sites, so it’s great for testing functionality. In truth I’m not sure how well it works, there has been little news on updates and developments on this version over the least few years. I have always used the manual VPN connection method on my devices which is detailed below.
Identity Cloaker for Mac
There is no doubt that Identity Cloaker is a great piece of software – I’ve been using it on my laptop for nearly thirteen years now. This small company from the Czech Republic was actually one of the very first companies to sell an affordable internet privacy protection service. It has an extensive server infrastructure and operates much lower contention levels (less connections per server) than most of it’s competitors. This means you get almost minimal speed loss and there are very few problems with the proxy servers and IP addresses being blocked by large media sites like BBC iPlayer.
However in truth there’s been very little development on the OS X versions since it’s initial release and very few updates. I would suggest that if you want to use the Identity Cloaker servers on a Mac or any other Apple device then you should use the manual connection method illustrated below (it’s virtually identical on the Mac/iPhone as the iPad). If you do it’s best to set up multiple connections, for example a UK VPN, US VPN connection and so on. You can just enable these individually.
However although this method works perfectly well, you do lose all the other functionality of the software itself in this case. Your internet privacy is still protected by the VPN but if you want to use SSH tunnelling or modify the ports for the data transmission path then you’re out of luck. If you just want to bypass geo targeting to watch something like BBC iPlayer on your iPad it works just fine and in fact better than the vast majority of overcrowded VPN services. However without the software it’s not really a fully featured anonymity protection service.
If you want an alternative, I can definitely recommend NordVPN who are one of the biggest VPN providers in the world. It’s all on a much larger scale than Identity Cloaker but with that you get a larger infrastructure with more servers and 24/7 support teams. Their client application is easy to use and just involves clicking on the map to select a country, easy enough for even the biggest computer newbie. The VPN servers are fast and secured with the same military grade encryption as Identity Cloaker.
Importantly they have fully supported versions for virtually every device you can think of including iPads and Macs.
Here’s the link to their latest discount pages –
Watching BBC iPlayer on my iPad
I’ve started to leave my laptop at home nowadays in preference to the wonderful iPad I bought last year. After I got used to the fear of dropping it, it’s become an essential companion – much easier to carry than a laptop, starts up immediately and is basically just a joy for a traveller.
Of course there are limitations, including the well documented Flash problem. However one of my main issues was the fact when I travelled to the USA, lots of my UK sites like BBC Iplayer and ITV just wouldn’t work. Now this isn’t a problem with the iPad specifically but it’s due to the fact that most of the UK media sites block access to anyone outside Great Britain. So I had to figure out how to change my IP address to a UK one by using proxies or VPNs to bypass these blocks.
Watching BBC iPlayer using an IPad VPN
Now I work in IT Security and one of my favorite tools is Identity Cloaker which I also use to bypass all these location blocks. It works great on my laptop and PC but the software wasn’t currently available for the Mac OS or iPpad. However fortunately all of their servers including the US ones are VPN enabled – so all I needed to do was connect to one of those.
Anyway here’s the steps I followed to watch BBC Iplayer from the US –
All being well – you’ll be at this screen
So in this screen you can already see one VPN already set up – this one is for the US. But I need to add a UK one so –
Click – Add VPN Configuration
You should then find yourself in this screen –
Looks a little confusing but it’s not actually that difficult. Now two pieces of information are not published by Identity Cloaker for security reasons – but these are in the members area when you log in or email and ask for help if needed.
Here’s how you fill the fields in –
Description – Give it a descriptive name – usually country name is best.
Server – This is in the member area for Identity Cloaker users- UK VPN server names
Account Name – Your Identity Cloaker Username
RSA SecurID – Ignore this
Password – Your IDC password.
Secret – This is in members area for Identity Cloaker users under – VPN Secret Name
That’s all there is to it – just remember to Save the VPN configuration before you exit. It is there ready for you to use, whenever you need a UK address then you just enable the VPN as follows.
So to enable the VPN just turn it on from this screen, switch the slider to on. In this situation we would turn the British one on so we can watch BBC Iplayer outside the UK. Remember when you enable the VPN all data is routed through that server down an encrypted tunnel. You may want to disconnect to do your normal browsing after – although you should use it for secure browsing – online banking etc. It’s great for switching between versions of Netflix to personally I always change to the US version of Netflix.
When the VPN is enabled properly then you should see this in the top left corner of your Ipad.
This method will probably work with other proxy/VPN subscription services as long as their servers are set up for VPN access – just ask them for the information you need. To get access on a laptop or PC then check out this other post – BBC Iplayer outside UK.
One of the biggest things that many of us have to get used to in the USA is the number of adverts on television. If you’ve come from the UK for instance and are used to British TV, they can come as something of a shock although many European countries actually have more adverts. Later in this article we’ll show you how to watch British TV in USA without problems.
However, first of all, you should remember that the advertising is what actually pays for US TV shows, so if the level drops it’s likely the quality of programming would to.
However for anyone who has seen the quantity of adverts rise over the last few decades it can be quite surprising. Even BBC America, which is one of the US based cable channels which carries some of the BBC’s content has adverts which seems strange to anyone used to watching BBC One. Of course, there is advertising on the UK’s commercial TV stations like the ITV Hub and Channel 4, it’s still arguably less intrusive.
Of course, most US citizens have grown up with adverts on all their TV network so it’s likely they don’t find them as intrusive. Also bear in mind if you offered the UK model of TV – paying $200+ for a license which removed the need for them – most would probably be completely horrified. This is based on an extensive straw poll of five people I asked about British TV streaming in my office today! I found that extremely surprising as it’s a cost I’d be happy to pay. I don’t know about you, but that cut to adverts just at a crucial time in the plotline in a TV series drives me crazy ! I do get frustrated watching shows which suddenly stop for breaks several times an hour – although obviously today’s technology which allows you to record and playback helps a lot.
The number of adverts is also increasing, the approximate proportion of advertising in US TV in 1952 was about 13%, that’s about 8 minutes an hour. However research has shown that in 2020 that has now risen to something like 32% which is nearly a third of the airtime (20 minutes an hour). These figures are an average though and some popular or expensive shows will be much higher than this figure as well.
This figure also doesn’t include the increasing use of product placement advertising where you’ll see some character waving around a soft drink or other product. This can also be very distracting when you start looking for it, although I’m assured by a Spanish friend and one in New Zealand that this practice is increasing in TV channels across the world.
If you can’t get use to the adverts of course you do have some options. The obvious one and a tactic used by many Americans is simply to not watch any of the shows live or streamed through another platform like Pluto TV. There’s also plenty of media players which have hard disks – Tivo Style and even games consoles which can record shows and streaming content. Then you can replay and skip through each advertising break without having to actually watch them. However it’s still a break and it’s still rather annoying to have to skim through the adverts even at super fast speed. You can also select your favorite shows on UK TV and buy the box sets directly although this can get expensive.
Expand Your Choice of Television Shows by Looking Online
However there’s another option to watch British TV which is particularly attractive and that’s to start looking online. Virtually every major media channel in existence broadcast lots of their shows online. You don’t have to just use a cable company, satellite or the outdated TV aerial in order to receive TV channels. If you’ve got an internet enabled TV, a laptop, or tablet or even games consoles and a decent internet connection then you’ve got the potential to watch unlimited TV programmes online and streamed to your TV screen.
You don’t even need to pay for many of them, look passed the standard subscription channels like Amazon Prime and Netflix and you’ll find many other options. There’s all you need from current affairs, documentaries, soap operas, crime drama, radio shows and even free movies available if you know where to look. Indeed many of the best dramas are co productions between different broadcasters, that Prime Original may be available somewhere else for free at the same time.
One of the best sites by far is of course the BBC iPlayer which along with the other British TV stations ITV Hub and All 4 bring you the ability to watch UK TV free of charge.
Here’s one of the BBC’s latest nature shows, critically acclaimed through the world and available on BBC iPlayer for free !
In fact it’s an option that millions already use including lots of expats and anglophiles. A great place to start for free online TV of world class quality is to check out the UK television you can find streaming online. The first channel to look at is the BBC who have probably the best streaming platform on the internet – BBC iPlayer. It’s packed full of great British television which doesn’t have any advertisements or breaks at all. That’s not quite true, it does do a very small number of promotional clips for other BBC programmes you might like but they’re never in the middle of anything and they’re easily skipped if you like.
What’s more the BBC is only the start and you can actually find lots of other television shows online too. Even from the United Kingdom every single one of the major broadcasters streams all their content online. The BBC is the only channel which doesn’t include advertisements but even then it’s a small price to pay for world class entertainment streamed in high definition to your TV set across the internet.
Don’t worry about any potential problems you might have heard about like needing a TV license, geo restrictions or other things to stop people outside the UK accessing these live stream goldmines – they’re no real problem for anyone. Just read on and you’ll find out not only how to watch all the British TV you want free of charge but unlimited shows from all over the world – even for the English speaking world there’s stations from Australia, Canada, US and the UK. If you’re lucky enough to speak another language there’s even more options available too.
How to Get British TV Channels like BBC One Online in the USA
Now as mentioned virtually every large media site in the world broadcasts their streaming services over the internet. Indeed, most of the UK ones broadcast all their programmes live then archive them so you can watch them later too. Sites like the BBC iPlayer archive have literally thousands of top quality shows which you can watch online or even download to watch later. You can watch any of the shows live while they’re broadcast on any of the channels plus from the archive where most are available for twelve months too.
Here’s a quick list of the channels available from the BBC –
BBC One – the original and primary BBC channel
BBC Two – more for current affairs and sport coverage
BBC Three – Digital channel with light entertainment such as comedies, videos and documentaries
BBC Four – Serious shows and documentaries
CBBC – children over the age of 6
CBeebies – children under age of 6
BBC Scotland – Scottish focused channel
BBC Alba – Gaelic Language channel
BBC News – 24/7 international news channel
BBC Parliament – coverage of UK politics
S4C – Welsh language channel
However there is a catch, all these shows, all this free TV is only available to the domestic market and it’s not actually directly accessible in the USA or anywhere outside the UK. Although it should be pointed out that the same happens in reverse as US online TV stations like Hulu and HBO are not available outside the US also.
Using a VPN or Proxy Services to Access Streaming Platforms like the BBC
Yet there is a work around, and it’s one that millions of people all over the world use every day on their laptops and smart TV units. To watch British TV online or indeed any domestic streaming service from the USA you simply need to hide your IP address and present a UK one instead. It’s not difficult and anyone can do it from whatever device they prefer, indeed millions enjoy the excellent streaming technology of the BBC worldwide using this exact same method.
Here’s how anyone can watch TV abroad including UK TV in USA –
What happens is by using a VPN or proxy server then you can effectively hide your true location and bypass this geo blocking. So when you visit the BBC website for example, it will see the IP address of the server not your real address. So as long as you ensure you click on a UK server then everything in the UK will work perfectly irrespective of where you actually are. Your location is completely hidden by your VPN providers and so you can watch whatever you like from all the British TV channels. This includes all the major channels like BBC, ITV and Channels 4 and 5 all of whom have TV streaming services which includes most of their shows online.
Basically you get virtually all UK TV shows completely free of charge by just pretending to be in the UK. The amount of content like film and music is incredible, even if you just watch BBC iPlayer itself. You’ll certainly have access to many, many more shows than a BBC America channel for example. All of the popular UK TV channels are available to stream live so you can pick what you want to watch. However it’s all archived too, so that latest Dr Who series for example is available for twelve months after it’s initial broadcast too, just access BBC iPlayer when you want to watch it.
A VPN service (virtual private network) is without doubt a must have tool for anyone (not just TV fans) who spends a lot of time online especially if they travel a lot. Not only does it secure your internet connection allowing you to safely access things like email, banking and payment sites when you’re using insecure Wifi at hotels, cafes and airports. It also allows you to change your location and watch iPlayer or perhaps even sites you can usually use but you’re locked out of because you’re travelling. It’s way better value than subscribing to expensive satellite channels like Sky Go for example.
I used to get locked out of several payment portals when I worked abroad. I’d try and pay my taxes or water rates over the internet and get blocked because I was in a different country – very annoying! Of course, now I know I just need to use a VPN to change my country using their UK servers, unfortunately I didn’t know that then.
So remember, you’re not restricted to a specific country. Choose a server in a different country then you can unlock the channels there too using that VPN ip address. So for example if you pick an Irish one you can enjoy the Irish National broadcaster RTE or perhaps choose some Canadian or French channels too. Remember though while you are connected to another country then US sites will start blocking you, so remember to disconnect or choose a US server for those. A couple of years ago I watched the entire Premiership (UK football) season by using a VPN based in India to watch on a channel called Star TV absolutely free. I think you now have to pay for their subscription service but it’s still a fraction of what it costs in other countries. Just connect to an Indian VPN before you sign up so that you get charged Indian prices !
The possibilities are as endless as your IP addresses, but even if you only use your VPN services to watch the BBC worldwide then it will bring you some of the best TV programs available. Just fire up your connection, connect to a UK VPN server and click ‘yes’ when they ask you if you have a TV license and you’ll be enjoying the BBC with over 60 million other people. Our recommendation for a low cost, reliable VPN provider is NordVPN.
It’s finally happened, after years of apparent indifference to the millions of ‘unofficial’ viewers, BBC iPlayer is now blocking VPN services that are being used to watch the BBC iPlayer from outside the UK. To recap, since the demise of the BBC International service the only way to watch the BBC from non-UK locations is to use a proxy or VPN to hide your real location. Therefore using a VPN became a common way for people to keep up with UK based TV when travelling or indeed for ex-pats living outside the United Kingdom.
Great Deal 2 Year Deal on a VPN that You Can Still Stream BBC iPlayer Abroad in 2020
What happens is that when you access the BBC website it looks up the location of your IP address, if it’s in the UK then everything works – if not then you get another version of the site with no live programmes and no BBC iPlayer. Fortunately it’s not that difficult to bypass these blocks, all you need (or needed) to do was to connect using an intermediate server which was based in the UK. This would make it appear that you were in the UK and hence everything would work fine. The BBC would assume that the IP address of the VPN server was yours and then allow you access, as long as the VPN server was in the UK.
So a simple VPN program was all you needed to watch BBC programmes online irrespective of your actual location. There were lots of them around and most were pretty simple to use, indeed thousands of pensioners on the Costa Del Sol were some of the first to embrace this new technology. As long as the VPN had a UK server you would be able to access BBC programs through it.
Here’s how it’s done – with my trusty VPN which I’ve been using for well over a decade.
As you can see it’s relatively simple, using NordVPN for example means you can change your location with a click of a button. Most of the decent VPN systems are like this, you install the software on your computer which is basically a VPN client. This then should allow you access to the VPN providers network. Most of the best VPN services will have plenty of servers all over the world. However if you’re main priority is watching iPlayer with a VPN then it’s only the servers in the UK that you should be interested in. Remember you’re using the IP address of the Virtual Private Network server to watch BBC iPlayer not your real one.
When picking a VPN to access the BBC iPlayer it’s important you focus on these UK servers to access streaming services. There’s little point paying for a huge global network of servers across the world if you mainly just want your VPN app to watch the BBC News. The other side to this is that any VPN service which intends to allows it’s VPN users to access BBC iPlayer needs lots of UK servers to work properly. If too many people are using the same servers then performance will be terrible and you’ll find they’ll become useless to unblock BBC iPlayer. When you find people complaining – BBC iPlayer not working then this is normally the reason.
This technique is not restricted to accessing BBC iPlayer either – certainly all the other UK sites like ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 streaming services are unblocked in exactly the same way. Again the common denominator is that you have to use UK VPN servers when using your connection. Although these services aren’t free, it’s easy and they’re not expensive either. A few Euros will effectively get you access to more UK television programmes than any expensive cable system will. A few minutes and you can watch BBC News from any sunny clime from around the world.
Over the years many different media services have waged war on these services. Proxies were the first to fall, almost all the big online media companies now block access through a proxy server automatically – although they still worked with the BBC iPlayer until this last update. Companies like Netflix and Hulu were particularly aggressive in blocking VPNs – also their legal departments were targeting the companies who openly marketed these services. The BBC however didn’t really seem that concerned occasionally closing down the odd provider but doing little technically to block these services.
How is BBC iPlayer Able to Block VPN Services ?
At the moment it’s fairly simplistic, but you might have discovered very effective -simply blocking the IP addresses of these services. All they need to do is to identify which IP addresses are being used by multiple users and block them from accessing the content. It’s not difficult to do, although it also will block legitimate UK users who use a VPN for security too.
It’s quite straight forward really and not very sophisticated but it makes perfect sense and explains why iPlayer not working for so many people. If the BBC support team detect thousands and thousands of connections on the same IP address then they can be pretty sure it’s a proxy or VPN. So all they need to do is to block access to that single address and suddenly the thousands lose access. There is a caveat to this method, sometimes people legitimately share the same address when connecting through businesses, shared internet connections, colleges etc so they don’t want to block these. Which is why as long as a VPN service is careful about distributing people across it’s UK addresses then it should be ok.
Basically it’s why the more UK addresses that a VPN has – the more likely that it will work fine with the BBC iPlayer. It generally means that the really low costs services which put too many people on each server don’t work anymore.
Once the IP address of a VPN provider is blocked it becomes useless for accessing any of the BBC iPlayer or live streaming programmes. Most of the biggest and widely marketed VPN services have been affected – my IpVanish account suffered the block although apparently they are working on a fix. Ultimately it can turn into a game of ‘Whack a Mole’ with the the UK server addresses being continually changed and then blocked by the BBC – usually someone gives up in the end. Fortunately there are some like Identity Cloaker which still work perfectly for streaming BBC which is probably largely due to the fact that the number of users per IP address is very limited and the company is very low key in advertising the TV watching functionality.
Ultimately the best advice is to avoid any VPN company who openly markets themselves as a BBC iPlayer VPN service, these will definitely be prioritized and worse may be closed down completely. It has happened in the past and is relatively easy to achieve – usually a legal threat against the hosting companies does the trick. It is unlikely that the BBC would be able to block complete access, simply because they would have to be constantly updating it’s firewall tables with new IP addresses to keep up. Other companies have pretty much given up to – for example Amazon Prime.
Is it Safe to Access the BBC iPlayer from Abroad Like This
When you connect to the BBC iPlayer site then before you are able to watch any TV programme either live or from the archive you are asked if you have a UK TV License. This question will determine whether you get any further irrespective of your VPN access. Of course to watch you simply have to say yes, there’s no further checks or questions to validate your answer.
Understandably this worries some people and I get lots of questions on this site about the legality of using a VPN to use the iPlayer app like this. Well, here’s a quick rundown of the answers to these question that I receive regularly.
Are VPNs Legal ? Absolutely completely legal in all developed countries. Even in China where the Government actively try to block them they’re not currently illegal. Remember a VPN is a secure way to access the internet and most businesses who have people working remotely will always use VPNs all the time.
Am I Breaking the Law watching the BBC without a license? There’s no criminal law involved at all. At most you are breaking the terms and conditions of the BBC iPlayer site. It’s simply nothing to do with criminal law. Remember literally millions of people do this everyday.
Can I get Detected ? Although you do have to register a BBC iPlayer account now to watch BBC iPlayer – your actual location cannot be determined when using a VPN. It’s completely hidden and no trace can be made back to your real address.
How Can use on my Smart TV ? Well you can use a VPN on a Smart TV to access iPlayer but it’s not straightforward. If you want to install a workaround on any device with internet access like this then you’re better offer using an alternative technology called Smart DNS. Here you just modify your DNS servers to hide your location – it’s simple and as quick as the fastest VPN and works with Amazon Prime too.
Here’s the best value VPN that actually works with the BBC in 2020
It’s often a shock, after all why offer an online version of the BBC iPlayer and then proceed to block anyone who isn’t in the UK. But for many trying to access BBC iPlayer when they’re abroad becomes a bit of a challenge. You know it’s possible because lots of people seem to be doing it. However without the details it can seem fairly difficult . The search usually leads to things like VPNs and proxies, which for anyone living abroad are now essential. Not only do you get important privacy they also give you access to all the best media sites online. By using a VPN service you can relay your connection through servers in different countries across the world. You can surf and access sites irrespective of your location and IP address just by picking the appropriate country. So when the BBC, Hulu, ABC or M6 Replay checks where you are then it just sees the location of the VPN/proxy you’re connected to.
Try this program if you want quick access to the BBC using a super fast proxy – the longer deals are better value, but you can get a month for a few bucks too if you want to ensure it works well in your location. You can see a demonstration in the video below.
Tip – If you get a proxy error message then use these NordVPN UK servers which are all optimized for BBC access – UK: #764, #977, #1025, #1388, #1512, #1515 K #836, #1043, #1057, #1320, #1483, #1513 #1448 #1325 #1347.
For instance, I was recently in Spain with my work and got kind of bored staying in a hotel. So decided I want to watch some UK television online using my laptop. Unfortunately because I then had a Spanish IP address (from the hotels Wifi), I was now blocked from all the best UK websites like the BBC iPlayer and ITV etc. It’s not a problem though, I always make sure I have a valid subscription for at least one VPN to use in such situations.
Quick Clarification – the terms proxies and VPNs are often used interchangeably online. The reality is that they’re very similar, both relay your internet connection through a separate server. You will usually need some client software for the VPN whereas a proxy can be enabled through your browser settings. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) though also encrypts your internet connection making it completely secure too. Most commercial services for bypassing these geo restrictions are actually VPNs rather than proxies.
By the way if you don’t know why people are so keen to get access to BBC Iplayer – you should really check it out. It’s without doubt one of the best media resources available online, in fact I don’t think anything comes close although there are some excellent US sites like Hulu and Pandora for music. Anyway for those of us who either live or travel abroad a lot, having access to these sites is a godsend. You don’t have to sit watching TV shows in a language you don’t understand or some awful cable channel.
These media sites are all locked in some old fashioned licensing model where rights are assigned by location. It’s ridiculous that we develop a global communication medium where everything is open access, then lock it down again based on geographical restrictions.
This information is relevant for any media channel that is blocked. The only difference is that you have to choose the appropriate country to bypass these blocks. The subject of this article is using a proxy to watch the BBC iPlayer so here we need to pretend we’re in the UK. If you want to watch US only resources like NBC, then simply choose a US server instead, it’s really that easy. All the best VPN companies will include servers in most larger countries as part of their standard subscription. If you want something slightly more obscure then you may have to search around a bit.
So How’s it Done – Can You Use a Proxy for BBC iPlayer in USA
Basically the problem is your IP address, everyone is linked to a specific country and it’s very easy to look up. Many websites look your location up as soon as you access their site, they then tailor what you can see based on that information. It’s called Geotargeting and frankly it’s extremely annoying – you’ll normally get an error message like the image below.
Or perhaps this one if you try and access Pandora outside the US.
In both these scenarios, the website has looked up your location by checking where your IP address is registered to. They then make the appropriate filters and blocks, so for the BBC you’re blocked if you are anywhere outside the United Kingdom. Pandora will route you to an apology screen if you don’t have a US address.
How to Watch BBC iPlayer in the USA
The way around it is quite simple, you just have to make the website think your in a different country by using an address from the required country. Unfortunately you can’t modify your own address easily as this is assigned by your ISP. However you can connect via a proxy server based in the correct country and use it’s address instead. So you just need a BBC iPlayer proxy to gain access.
So for example to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK you’d connect through a UK proxy. If you wanted to watch Hulu from outside the US then you’d need a USA proxy, Pandora needs an American one too and so on.
It’s really that simple – the website sees the IP address of the proxy server and not your real one. This short video shows the steps of changing your IP address online –
As you can see it’s actually very simple to connect through a UK proxy and access whatever UK television you like. You just have to make sure you click on the right icon and connect through to a UK proxy and all UK stations that broadcast online will work perfectly. After you’ve finished you should either disconnect the VPN or connect to one in your current country. If you don’t other sites will continue to think you’re in the UK. For example you’ll get British search results when searching in Google, instead of where you actually are. None of the websites can determine your real location when you use a VPN, they’ll only be able to see the address of the server.
Where do I get a BBC iPlayer Proxy Server to Watch BBC in the USA and Elsewhere?
There’s a few options depending on time and budget. You can find some free ones online if you search – however it takes a long time to find one in the right country and fast enough to relay video through. In reality you’ll be best to settle on one of the many services that are available. A commercial service should be plenty fast enough and you know it will always be working when you want to watch something. The biggest problem at the moment is Netflix which has been actively blocking both proxies and VPNs based on the categorization of the IP address – you can read about it here – Netflix blocking proxies.
The BBC has however started implement it’s own restrictions which started around 2017. At first they gently started to block ordinary proxies which can actually be detected online in some cases. This generally didn’t affect many people who were by now using VPNs because of the increased security and the many VPN services which were available at a low cost.
In fact there were literally millions of people connecting to the BBC and other UK TV sites from all over the world. I’m not entirely sure why the BBC started blocking access to iPlayer so aggressively at this time. There was a lot of discussion though of how the BBC was funded in the UK which may have had an effect with the corporation trying to protect it’s overseas rights.
It was however a huge shock to people all over the world who used BBC iPlayer every single day. From ex-pats to anglophiles many people used the BBC as part of their daily lives and were very shocked when it suddenly stopped working. It even led to rumours which you can still see online that the BBC had discovered a way to block access from all VPNs and proxies – which it definitely hadn’t.
BBC Blocks Proxies, VPNs and other IP Hiding Tools
What the BBC had done was to make a concerted effort to try and block all these millions of inbound connections from outside the United Kingdom. They did this through a variety of means, including extensive legal cases and threats against a lot of VPN providers who were advertising openly a BBC circumvention service. This was especially effective as many of these companies had even used BBC logos on their site for advertising which left them on a very shaky legal ground. Many VPNs simply closed up under pressure from the BBC legal department, the simple proxy option was effectively closed.
The other main method was slightly more technical, they attempted to directly restrict access to the BBC iPlayer streaming service. Although the BBC couldn’t directly identify a VPN connection they could make a pretty good guess in many instances. By analysing individual connections from individual IP addresses they were able to isolate suspicious addresses. For example if there were 4000 streaming connections based from a single IP then there was a very good chance that this originated from either a proxy or VPN. There was a very high chance that this represented people who would watch iPlayer through a VPN server from abroad. It would be highly unlikely all these people were in the same location sharing the same address so it was almost certainly be a VPN server. The BBC would then block or blacklist that IP address either temporarily or permanently and it wouldn’t be able to use the streaming service from that point.
Hundreds of VPN providers quit trying to support BBC iPlayer access at this point. This was because it became much more expensive to use many more UK IP addresses on their servers to spread the load so to speak. If you want a UK proxy to maintain access to the BBC iPlayer servers then it was important not too overload them to users. Profit margins fell and only the professional services who tended to limit the number of users for performance reasons were left.
It’s important to remember though that there are still loads of companies who offer BBC iPlayer access through their UK proxy servers. However you will have to ask as they definitely won’t advertise directly this functionality. The BBC still try and block but not as aggressively, they do ask if you have a TV license though there’s no check – so just say yes.
The one I use is NordVPN which has been around for many years – it’s way better than any of the TV watching services and does much more. Try it out and use the money back guarantee if you have a problem, it gives you access to all the top media sites in UK, USA, France, Canada and Germany to name only a few. It can also allow you access to subscription sites like HBO GO and Amazon Prime but you’ll still need a subscription with these services.
You can see it in action in the video above. There are versions for all sorts of platforms including mobile device like smartphones and tablets. It’s also very fast which is essential for streaming high definition video without slowing down your internet traffic.
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If I was only allowed to visit one website on the internet, there’s no doubt whatsoever which one I would pick – http://www.bbc.co.uk/. Not only is it packed full of the latest news, science, politics and current affairs but it comes with 12 live streaming TV channels too. These channels include BBC1, BBC2, plus lots of specialist channels – a 24 hour news one, BBC Parliament and even two great kids channels too. My children even revise off the BBC Bitesize educational pages, without me asking them too!
All that would probably be enough to push it into number one slot for me. However there’s even more – the BBC iPlayer is crammed full of archive material from documentaries, dramas, comedy shows, investigative reports and loads of other stuff. What’s more these are all top quality programmes, not cheap, generic shows made on a tiny budget !t
However there is a slight issue, and one which makes potentially my worry of losing access to the BBC’s website a reality. It’s called geo-blocking, the practice of blocking or filtering access based on your physical location. So when a person visits a website, their location is checked and then access either granted or denied based on that information.
Watch BBC Outside UK Online
For the BBC, they block access to all the online media content if you’re not based in the United Kingdom. More specifically, you’re blocked if you don’t have a UK registered IP address. This is a crucial distinction because it gives everyone the option of accessing the BBC through something called a VPN like this video demonstrates.
It’s actually very easy, although using a Virtual Private Network sounds like you’ll need a degree in computer science you really don’t. In fact it’s little more that clicking on a button to select the country you need. For the BBC you will obviously need to pick UK, for other services it’s generally their home country. So any US site that is blocked will be unblocked by using a US VPN connection. Sometimes it’s a little more confusing, for example many videos on YouTube have specific licenses which prevent playback in certain countries.
Lots of websites hate proxies, many block them but there’s only a few who spend a serious amount of resources banning them. Ticketmaster is one of those companies who spend an awful lot of time and effort stopping anyone accessing their site using a proxy. Indeed there’s hardly any company who is as aggressive as them, probably only Instagram who spend as much blocking, detecting and banning even dedicated proxies (excepting perhaps the Chinese Government).
Their public rationale is simple, they want only real users to buy tickets and then only a couple each for personal use. They say this is to protect customers and artists, but in reality it’s likely protecting their profits is the number one incentive. So they don’t want anyone to use a proxy service, because it removes that element of control they have from the marker and ticker resellers. Whatever the reasons, if you want to buy a few extra tickets or use a ticket Bot to purchase them for you – there’s only a small amount of Ticketmaster proxies that will actually work, here’s what to look for.
The Very Basics of Choosing the Very Best Ticketmaster Proxy
It certainly can get confusing but in reality it’s not that hard to learn how to buy proxies that work with Ticketmaster or other ticket websites. In fact for any task, it’s a matter of identifying your requirements, signing up for some sort of test or trial then see what works. Don’t worry about taking your time it’s not something you should try and rush. Practice with events that are not your main priority, but once you find high quality proxies that work for you then you should stick with them. As always it’s largely due to the quality and composition of the IP address ranges they use but there are other factors which will help you get tickets.
Free and Open proxies
First of all forget about using free proxies – they simply won’t work and definitely don’t try them as ticketing proxies. They are all listed in the Ticketmaster blacklist database and will be flagged (as will your accounts) the second you connect to the server. It’s easy for anyone to scrape the new proxies appearing too so you can be assured a company like Ticketmaster will get them instantly. I can guarantee that there are no decent ticketing proxies on any of these lists that will work with any of the ticket sites at all. It sucks paying for proxy services but if you don’t there’s no point in using them to try and buy tickets.
Shared Proxy and VPN Services
Mostly you’re wasting your time with these too as ticketing proxies. Although it does heavily depend on who and how many people you are sharing with them. Unfortunately it’s normally a large number of people who you have no idea of what they’re doing. If any of them are involved in buying tickets or worse using a Ticketmaster Bot badly then you’ve had it. Ticketmaster will probably already have these addresses logged and will be waiting to add you accounts to it’s blacklist too.
The problem is that irrespective of how careful you are there are more people sharing than with private proxies. Someone somewhere will have their ticket bots spamming these servers and will get each IP address of these proxies banned.
Static Dedicated Residential Proxies
Here we have more possibilities of success with some potentially private proxies but there are still risks. If you are allocated proxy servers with say twenty virgin IP addresses from a residential IP range (never used before with Ticketmaster) then you should be fine initially. The problem is how often you can use them especially if they’re not rotated regularly. Also dedicated residential proxies tend to come at a premium price so can be very expensive for what they are.
It really depends on scale whether this option is viable. If you refine your process, don’t overuse the proxies and can generate reliable income using your method then it’s a good option to use dedicated proxies like this. Remember this applies to proxies with residential addresses not datacentre ones (see later point).
Rotating Private Residential Proxies
Phew a long name for a very specific requirement, but probably the best option for those serious in bossing Ticketmaster. If you’ve made some investment in a Ticketmaster Bot (which is another wise move), then you should be looking at proper ticketing proxies like this.
Let’s just quickly break down the requirements of these potential the best Ticketmaster Proxies –
Rotating – unless you have a huge pool of dedicated addresses then you need the IP to rotate each time you make a transaction. How often they rotate can also be an issue, rotating in the middle of a purchase is never a good idea. Yet switching to a free unblocked address each time you try for another ticket is definitely the ideal for Ticketmaster proxies.
Private – the IP addresses of genuine private proxies cannot be shared with anyone else as mentioned above. However most of the best proxy companies share from a large pool of residential IP address ranges. Although you don’t have exclusive access, the key is not too have two people using the same address concurrently. So it’s ok to share but not at the exact same time and not with people trying to get tickets too. On the largest networks like Luminati then that’s not an issue as they have 40 million residential IPs. Although other companies segregate their addresses into different categories which are guaranteed to work with your chosen platform i.e. Exclusive Ticketmaster Proxies
Residential addresses – slowly the consensus is that residential addresses are pretty much essential for a Ticketmaster proxy. Most other addresses are registered in datacentres and are flagged as commercial origin. The problem is that this flag raises the likelihood that the IP address belongs to a proxy instantly. Which is exactly how Ticketmaster (and any similar sites) will view any connection originating directly from a datacentre registered address.
It does all seem kind of confusing and it’s not helped by people using different terms like elite, private or rotating in a variety of ways. Essentially though the people who succeed are the ones who’s proxies make each connection look like a completely new home user. Anything which adds to this is a plus e.g. residential address and anything which detracts is obviously a negative. Normally the better proxies will cost slightly more because the companies carefully curate the addresses and don’t overuse them. They will be more effective though and are also likely to reduce the captcha tests which is important if you want to automate properly.
Anything too cheap in the proxy market is normally because they’re blacklisted, spammed out IP address ranges which rarely work.
Our Recommendations of the Very Best Providers of Proxies Serving the Ticketing Community
So here’s a small set of recommendations of proxy providers, for those who want a decent Ticketmaster proxy that can actually work.
Rotating Proxies– of our suggestions, this is the newest IP proxies provider. It’s a great little proxy provider which offers rotating residential proxies with unmetered access which work very well with Ticketmaster. Try out the trial first, make sure you tell them you want to use dedicated proxies with Ticketmaster and you can test them for 48 hours for a small fee.
Luminati – the biggest, best of the proxy provider companies (but unfortunately also the most expensive). If you want something guaranteed to work then you need a proxy server from this network – over 40 million genuine residential IPs from anywhere in the world. You can configure pretty much every aspect of these in the Proxy Manager Dashboard and even switch between IP types to save money. They also have mobile IP addresses too – IP ranges which are assigned to mobile phone networks – these are great for imitating ordinary users too.
Storm Proxies– I love this company ! Storm Proxies have been around longer than anyone and for many years their proxies have been great for buying tickets. It’s one of the most genuine proxy provider companies around, just make sure to tell them you want ticketing proxies and they’ll sort you out. Their proxy pool has been created over many years and lots of people use these as their sole source of Ticketmaster proxies.
All the above companies have both residential and data center proxies, our suggestion is to stay with residential currently. However speak to the providers, things change very quickly and they will know when the big ticket resellers have started to use data center servers again.