What is BBC iPlayer?
BBC UKTV iPlayer is a catchup service that lets you stream the quality programming – such as BBC EastEnders and Sherlock, as well as BBC news live streams, informative documentaries, radio shows and movies.
The only problem is that it is restricted to audiences in the UK only. Given the (now somewhat diminishing but nevertheless present) dearth of quality programming in Australia, and the fact that many of BBC’s programs are very topnotch, it is quite understandable to want to stream BBC iPlayer in the UK.
Why is it blocked in Australia?
The reason why you can’t watch BBC online in Australia is because the programming it features has already been licensed to other regional providers in Australia (or no one has the rights to broadcast them here, not even BBC iPlayer).
Either way the bottom line is that there is no BBC iPlayer global access. This is enforced by a geo-lock whereby the BBC iPlayer service monitors the IP address of the device requesting access to its library – if that IP is found to be from inside the UK, access is granted – but if it is found to be from somewhere else – case in point, Australia – it’s a no go.
Fortunately, there’s a way to bypass the geo-block:
How to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia?
In order to defeat the geo-block enforced by iPlayer, you’ll need to make it look like your device (computer, smartphone, smart TV etc.) is located in the UK, by giving it an external UK IP address. This can be achieved through either a SmartDNS service or a VPN software.
A VPN software uses a virtual tunnel to connect you to one of its servers in a different country (i.e. UK) and routes all your device’s traffic through this tunnel.
To the rest of the internet (including iPlayer’s servers) your IP appears to be same as that of the server at the end of the tunnel. Your traffic is thus identified to be from the UK, thereby granting you access to all of the contents of BBC iPlayer!
In addition to this, a VPN also encrypts your web traffic to secure it from hackers, and government agencies looking to spy on you and serve you a copyright notice.
I’d recommend using ExpressVPN if you want fast speeds and reliable performance. If you want stronger encryption and are fine with slightly reduced connection speeds, NordVPN can also be a good option.
Certain devices may not be able to run VPN software e.g. Smart TVs and old consoles, but they will most likely be able to use a Smart DNS proxy.
It doesn’t need any specialized software to run – rather it routes parts of your web traffic (the one communicating with iPlayer for instance) through its own DNS servers (that you supply in your device’s connection settings) to the same effect as a VPN.
Keep in mind that your traffic won’t be encrypted in the case of a Smart DNS proxy, but you’ll also not have to deal with reduced speeds.
A reliable, affordable Smart DNS solution is Unlocator – the service has detailed support pages to help you set it up on your favorite streaming device.