Use SmartDNS to get access to the BBC Iplayer from abroad without the need for a VPN.
What is the BBC iPlayer?
The BBC iPlayer is a free UK based streaming service available on a wide range of devices, including mobile phones and tablets, personal computers, and smart televisions that is only available to UK based viewers. There is no way to access the BBC iPlayer outside the UK, at least, not officially. Be warned that this violates iPlayer's terms and conditions – you will not be sent to prison, but you could have your account suspended. In other words, follow these steps at your own peril.
How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad?
We need to use a proxy server to mask our location. Using this proxy service masks your true location, fooling BBC iPlayer into thinking you are in the UK. The proxy server allows you to unblock Geo-restricted (or Geo-Blocked) websites like Netflix, Hulu, WWE Newtork, BeInSports.net, BBC and many more popular websites which contain regional-restricted content.
The Smart DNS Proxy works by changing the DNS of your device when trying to access regional blocked content from websites such as Netflix and BBC. Your data is quickly re-routed through a dedicated proxy server which is conveniently located in the country where the website you are trying to access is based. This means that you will appear to be located within the country or region where viewing has been permitted when trying to watch Geo-blocked content from your home country.
You can sign up here.
I like SmartDNS because they are probably the only service that can provide proper BBC iPlayer access on any device like the Google Chromecast or Amazon Firestick. ITV and Channel4 are also very popular UK channels that work seamlessly with smart DNS, these channels are notorious for not working properly with traditional VPNs and that is why we use the DNS route instead.
If you are using a service like Pi-Hole then check out this article where I explain how to set up SmartDNS on there. SmartDNS it’s a service that allows you to unlock country-restricted content such as Hulu, Hulu Live, Netflix, HBO, HBO Max, Sling TV, NFL or BBC iPlayer for our use case here.
Personally, I use this with a MikroTik router, but you can configure the devices directly if you are not comfortable setting the DNS settings on your router. You can send me a tweet (@ErikThiart) with a picture of your router and then I will help you set it up.
Tip: If you are planning to use an iPhone with Smart DNS Proxy, I recommend that you configure your router, it also has the added benefit that all your devices will be working.
Android Phone DNS Configuration (version 4 and up)
iPhone DNS Configuration
Windows 10 Setup for Smart DNS Proxy
* You can select any of the other DNSs from their DNS Server List here
Once you configured SmartDNS, head to the BBC iPlayer website, log in, and start watching as normal. You should also be able to use the iPlayer mobile apps on Android and iOS.
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