How to get BBC iPlayer working abroad

Posted: Sun 4th Jan 2009@18:19

I live in Ireland, I pay for and get BBC channels with my Cable subscription, and was a licence payer in the UK when I lived there, but want to watch some of the online material that BBC iPlayer provides, and found that I was not able to access it from my location.

I have access to a server in the UK, and figured I could use it as a proxy serve, but found an easier way to do it using an SSH tunnel.

You will need an account on a server in the UK that supports SSH connections. (See here)

For Windows you will need - PuTTY (easiest bet is to download the windows installer), and a web browser that supports proxies, for this example, firefox.

Open putty, and put the address of your remote server (e.g, then click on Connection->SSH->Tunnels, where you should add '1080' in source port (it can be any unused port number you like, but remember which one as you will need this later), then select 'Dynamic' from the radio buttons below and click 'ADD'. You can then save the session if you like, then/or just click open. Optionally you can also select 'Local ports accept connections from other hosts'.

You will then be connected to your SSH server where you will need to login. Keep the putty window open for as long as you want to use it.

This sets up an SSH tunnel connection to the server, which can be accessed using local port number '1080'. This means that you can connect to the local port and make it act like a local proxy server, making any host/site you connect to think that you are connecting from your server.

In Firefox, select Tools->Options->Advanced->Network->(Connection) Settings, then select manual proxy configuration, under SOCKS add localhost, and port number '1080', then 'OK', 'OK'.

In Chrome, go to spanner icon->Options->Under The Bonnet Tab->Change proxy settings (under network)->Connections Tab->LAN Settings

You may need to de-select Automatically detect settings. Select Use proxy server for your LAN...
Click Advanced. Where it says 'Socks' put localhost, or and put port 1080 in (or whichever port you used).

You should now be able to access BBC iPlayer!

For linux, to open an SSH tunnel, you simply need to run the following command in a terminal.

ssh -D 1080

If you want to get a UK SSH account (at a very reasonable rate! around £5 per month) please See here.

Last edited: Tue 3rd Sep 2013@20:43

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