Watch BBC iPlayer in the US? It’s Easier Than You Think
Netflix has been constantly losing great shows like The Office to the myriad of sub-based streaming sites that have been popping up. It’s unfortunate, and it leaves you wondering what else is about to leave the platform. No need to worry about paying more subscriptions than needed, though. You can basically watch BBC iPlayer in the US (or anywhere outside the UK) without technically paying for it.
How? It’s detailed right here in ProPrivacy’s BBC iPlayer guide. But first, here’s what that “technically” is all about.
Do You Need a TV License to Watch BBC iPlayer?
The BBC gets some of its funding through a TV license that UK residents have to pay. That’s one of the reasons Britons are allowed to watch BBC iPlayer, and not the rest of the world. The other being “licensing issues”, which you’ll see mentioned on any streaming site that’s unavailable in your area.
In the meantime, we bet you’re wondering if you have to pay for a license, too. Well, not exactly. It’s a legal grey area, but the BBC has reported that their platform gets over 65 million international viewers. And that was in 2015. That number has only grown since then – yet there have been no reports of anyone getting in trouble because they watch UK shows for free.
So how do they do it? By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), of course.
Watch BBC iPlayer in the US with a VPN
A VPN lets you bypass geo-restrictions by masking your IP address and giving you a new one based on the location of the VPN server. In this case, you’d gain a UK IP address, allowing you to watch BBC shows from the US or any other area.
Moreover, a VPN encrypts your traffic – essentially, turning it to gibberish to outside viewers – allowing you a decent degree of online anonymity. That’s one reason why such an impressive number of people can watch the BBC’s service without getting in trouble.
Naturally, the broadcasting company doesn’t really approve of this practice. It is constantly on the lookout for VPN IP addresses to block, as well as using other methods to detect VPN traffic. This is why it’s important to pick the right provider if you plan on unblocking the service effectively.
Why Your Choice of VPN Is Important?
While you don’t have to pay the exorbitant TV license tax to watch BBC iPlayer in the US, you can’t exactly use a free VPN either. Since free providers don’t have a regular income source like subscription-based ones, they can’t keep up with how fast the BBC can block their servers.
Paid providers manage to do so by constantly acquiring new IP addresses, as well as figuring out new ways to bypass geo-blocks. On a related note, they can also afford to keep some decent customer support on the payroll. Have any problems with unblocking a service or other technical issues? Then you know you can count on somebody for troubleshooting.
More importantly, you can always try out their services for free before making a decision. Paid providers offer several days’ worth of free trials, along with money-back guarantees of 30 days (or more, depending on the provider).
Do keep in mind that the free trials may come with limitations, usually in the form of data or hourly usage caps. Make sure to read their refund policies carefully as well, just in case those limitations apply. For the most part, you will have a headache-free experience with any decent VPN provider. Even if you didn’t enjoy their service from a technical standpoint, you can safely try out a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer.
Photos courtesy of gettyimages.com