How to access BBC iPlayer from Germany

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Now that there is an BBC iPlayer, how can I access it in Germany? Is there a proxy server I can use? Or some other workaround? I did the full download, and registration, then when I tried to download..sorry, you are not in the UK. Honestly, if they just instituted a minimal charge as on iTunes, they might make some extra moola. Thanks in advance for your help; I am not able to get satellite due to lack of the right exposure.

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I'd really like to get the BBC iPlayer as well, but they figure that since you're not paying the tax for the BBC like residents do, you can't see it. I don't know why they just don't set up an iTunes-like subscription either. Hundreds of millions of potential customers that way.

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Click Here - Link

Find a site and a working server in the UK.

Configure your browsers proxy settings to use the remote proxy server.

If it doesn't work, then try a different one until you find one that works.

Enjoy your BBC..

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Yeah, heard about proxy servers. Clicking on one of the links on that page brought up this:

 

If someone is offering a free proxy service, there is a catch somewhere. Considering the cost of bandwidth and machine maintenance, a free proxy service is simply not feasible. If you are using a free proxy service or one of the many open proxy lists, you could be trusting your data, email messages, passwords or other personal information to a teenager that setup a proxy on the local school network. While thinking that using such a service has made you more secure, you have probably already become a victim.

 

So how to choose an honest proxy service?

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Using anonymous proxy is clearly risky, but so long as you only use it for transferring your BBC video, who cares if a spotty teenager steals it? Firefox has a range of extensions to facilitate proxy management (and even has one to load in anonymous lists so you can work through a range until you find one that's usable), so you only switch them on when you need them. There's no such thing as an honest, free proxy, as by their very nature someone has to pay for it.

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Open proxies are not only a potential security risk but I doubt you will find any suitable for iPlayer, 4oD or the upcoming ITV catch-up service. Here are the problems as I see it:

 

1) Security – Mentioned above.

 

2) IP validation – The proxy has to expose a UK based IP address, and hide your (German) IP address. The vast majority of open proxies are based outside of the UK. Remember it’s not anonymity you’re after, it’s a UK disguise! Also the use of a proxy server can be detected if it’s not configured carefully. The BBC already performs this check.

 

3) HTTP or web proxies will not work. Both the iPlayer and 4oD (not sure about ITV) use P2P technology that has nothing to do with accessing an http server. What you need is a UK based proxy server that supports SOCKS.

 

4) Speed – Most proxies will struggle to handle the bandwidth for audio, let alone video.

 

5) Reliability – Proxies come and go. Chasing slow, intermittent and potentially untrustworthy servers are not my idea of relaxing in front of the box!

 

Anyway, the solutions as I see it are:

 

1) You have a friend based in the UK who is willing to install a proxy server and open up the proxy port in all firewalls they have. They will probably need to be a cable or SDSL subscriber because their upload speed will become your download speed! They will need to be willing to power on their computer whenever you need access, and won’t mind that you’re stealing a lot of their bandwidth and usage allowance. Congratulations if you a have friend this nice!

 

2) Hire a UK based dedicated server. You will have complete remote control over the server and can install and configure a proxy server. These servers are intended for commercial use and therefore have excellent internet connections. However at £49 per month this would be more expensive than basic Sky!

 

3) Find a group of people who are willing to share the cost of a dedicated server. I would guess a server could easily handle 15-20 users. The price then becomes sensible and everyone benefits from an effective UK based IP address! If there’s a level of trust between the members there shouldn’t be a security risk, and in any case, you can switch off the proxy easily from your browser. However, if someone chooses to use the proxy and turns out to have the surfing habits of Gary Glitter, the subscriber will have a lot of explaining to do!

 

Technically I know #1 and #2 will work. However, in practice I’m not sure what happens when multiple users are using iPlayer or 4oD through the same SOCKS server. The only way to find out is to try it. I’d be tempted to find out myself but the servers tend to have a minimum 12 month contract. :(

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For all that, I think I'll stick to good books, podcasting and writing.

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Yup. For BBC iPlayer, ITV CatchUp, 4OD On Demand – the lot, a VPN is the way to go (as opposed to using a "browser proxy").

 

http://www.flote.tv

 

I have been watching tvcatchup.co.uk daily from Germany! I think it is is near-live (ie delayed for a few minutes) of almost all regular FreeView UK channels.

 

WK

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@williamk - I'm not for one minute suggesting that you're a paid employee of, or work in a consultancy capacity with, Flote - but on the off chance that you might have links to some reviews of the Flote product, if you could post those it would be much appreciated. Not that you work for them or anything. Natch. No way. Never, oh no.

 

:ph34r:

 

K

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Well. I could also tell you where to find great mature cheddar, if you like ;-p just trying to be helpful. WK

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Maybe it's ok but I can't help but be sceptical.

 

With VPN technology, Flotte themselves can access your computer if I understand this correctly. (VPN is equivalent to connecting a network cable to a network so is a 2 way thing)

Flotte only allow Paypal payment suggesting they are not operating professionally.

Flotte dont even disclose who they are, i.e. where's their business address/ who is running the show. They could just as easily be the Mafia on a scam to get peoples credit card details.

 

Its all a little shady if you ask me.

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@exquitius - thanks for capturing what I was thinking.

 

Can't find a single review of this service anywhere on t'Intertoobs.

 

K

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Never seen Nigerian 419 scammers go to so much trouble, over a few Quid. It's usually U$D 3 million minimum ;-p

 

OK. OK. I give in. Yes, I am an expat studying in Germany, and yes, Flote is my side-project. Heck if you live in Berlin I'll even pop over and set it up for you ;-) just send me a private message. And naturally one can never have enough security, so you should be running a personal firewall as well - even if you don't use a VPN.

 

WK.

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I'd still like some sort of independent verification / review (from a computer magazine / web site / respected tech blog for example) regarding the security / reliability / underlying technology of this system - particularly with regards to the "host's" ability to snoop on one's PC / home network.

 

K

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Great FAQ question ;-p.

 

Well, the short answer is that your home PC won't be more or less secure than without the VPN connection if you havn't secured your home PC in the first place (which you should be doing if you are connected to the net anyway). Setup a firewall on your home PCs to block access to shared files/folders, or encrypt your drive, for example. And in theory, yes some one could connect your your computer for that time while are using any VPN (even a corporate one). But only if the let them!

Basic security advice is not have any user accounts on the PC with blank or weak passwords. Disable any guest account(s), and have sharing enabled on your PC only if you need to share files/printers amongst the computers in your home. A quick Google search will provide you with more VPN security practices like connecting to the VPN with a separate user account on your PC, or even more radical solutions like installing a Virtual Machine etc.

 

I'm actually taking this as a challenge, and am investigating other hardware solutions (like the 70 Euro NetGear Prosafe FVS114 VPN firewall router for example), which could be used to strengthen a home network when using a VPN.

 

WK

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