How To Watch BBC Channels While Travelling

The BBC’s iPlayer is an on-demand service that allows you to watch live TV and programs that are only available on BBC channels. Viewers must pay a licence fee, despite the lack of a subscription.

Can I watch iPlayer abroad?

Viewers who pay their licence fee in advance can watch shows without any restrictions, wherever they reside. They may even download programmes to view offline anywhere in the world. But, there’s a catch. If you live outside the UK and try to watch Doctor Who, Line of Duty, or Vigil on BBC iPlayer, you’ll be greeted with a message that says you can’t.

So, what if you’re travelling before the next episode of your favourite show is aired? You won’t be able to download it, so you’ll have to wait till you get back.

However, as long as you can get your internet connection through a UK server, you may watch it: just make sure the reallocation of your computer is hidden from iPlayer and it thinks it’s delivering to an audience in the United Kingdom.

How can I get past this?

A VPN is the solution that will take care of this for you. Proxy servers were previously available, but the BBC has cracked down on them and will simply prohibit any attempts to utilise one. All you have to do is set up a VPN on your device, connect to a UK server, and Bob’s your uncle. You can now watch anything you want, whenever you choose.

With a VPN, you just need to download the software on your phone, tablet, or PC and connect to a server. Don’t worry – there’s even a VPN for Android, meaning no one gets left behind. Once connected, you can watch BBC iPlayer and other blocked content from anywhere in the world.

Final notes

You might have thought that viewing iPlayer from outside the UK would be costly, but for a few pounds, dollars, euros, or any other currency you use each month, you can watch as much as you like.


If a VPN service does not unblock iPlayer, it is because its UK servers have been discovered by the broadcaster. If something goes wrong, contact the VPN’s customer assistance staff and they’ll usually point you to a different server or another solution.



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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography