Being an UK expat has it’s perks. Working abroad, you get to know new cultures “mostly better weather overseas :)” and normally better pay. However, one of the downside is that you do loose access to your favourite TV channels such as BBC Iplayer, ITV,Sky, 4oD, Netflix UK and Demand5. This guide will explain how to bypass geolocation restrictions that prevent you from enjoying your favorite UK TV Channels and Soap Operas. I did create this guide based on a user request from Spain asking for help to unblock UK Channels. However, it is valid for UK expats in Dubai, UAE, Saudi, Canada, Australia or anywhere else on the globe.
Watch UK TV Channels to Watch For Expats living overseas
Watch UK TV Channels Abroad – Intro
As an expat, you will get all kinds of location errors when trying to access “BBC Iplayer, ITV,Sky, 4oD, Netflix UK and Demand5” and the likes abroad. In order to get these channels to work you have to trick the TV channels that your devices are actually not connecting from overseas, but locally from whithin the UK. In order to achieve that you have to choices, either VPN or Smart DNS Proxies. Both of these two solutions have their unique set of perks. So please see the explanations below.
Watch UK TV Channels Overseas : Use VPN
If you are very security aware and prefer to stay anonymous online VPN “Virtual Private Network” is your thing. VPN takes all your traffic and in this case, tunnels it through a UK VPN server. As a result you will end up being able to access all UK TV channels from abroad. There is no perfect solution though, VPN has a few limitations, as does Smart DNS. VPN does not work on Smart TVs for example or on Apple TVs “unless you have a VPN enabled router”. I personally use a VPN provider called ExpressVPN which features the following :
- Easy to use apps for Iphone, Ipad, Ipod , Android, Mac and PC. It takes a few minutes from Signup to Watching UK TV channels from abroad.
- Best industry level encryption.
- All traffic is encrypted and sent to through UK servers “make sure you choose a UK server from dropdown in app when you connect to VPN” thus ALL UK content is unblocked from overseas.
- If you want to watch US channels, all you have to do is choose a US VPN server from the VPN app.
- If you want to connect your TV set or Smart TV you will need a VPN enabled router.
In order to watch UK TV channels outside UK, use any of these VPN services.
Watch UK TV Channels as an Expat : Use Smart DNS
Smart DNS is for the ones of you who care more about flexibility, ease of use and setup than being anonymous. Smart DNS gains it’s flexibility and speed through the fact that it only re-routes the geo location aware parts of your traffic. Thus unblocking UK TV channels from overseas. The rest of your traffic is not affected, and local channels will still work. Unlike VPN not ALL UK TV content channels are unblocked. It really depends on your Smart DNS Provider what is unblocked. I have been using Unlocator for over a year. They do provide the following UK channels “BBC Iplayer, ITV,Sky, 4oD, Netflix UK and Demand5” on ALL supported devices. See a few more notes below :
- All devices are supported, all it takes is to get a Free trial and then setup DNS either on your router for all devices from Smart TV to PC to be supported, or change DNS individually on each device. See Video and Picture guides for device setup here
- If you are using Vodafone Spain, it is highly likely that Smart DNS wont work for you due to DNS Hijacking, in that case you need VPN.
- Unlocator provides access to over 85 channels. So you can watch American Netflix, Fox and BBC UK at the same time.
- While you dont get encryption with Smart DNS, you gain more speed due to less encryption and less traffic routing.
UK TV Channels unblocked – DNS or VPN that is the question
I would love to hear from you. Did you choose VPN or Smart DNS Proxies ? Are there certain channels or devices it did not work on ? Please have your opinion heard. Thanks for reading !.