How to Access the BBC from France

It’s only a few miles across the Channel, but for thousands of UK Expats – it means the difference between watching UK TV and getting blocked. All the British TV Stations have invested heavily in their websites and they rebroadcast most of their programmes on these sites for several weeks. There are some slight restrictions, often films and US shows are subject to strict licensing agreements so they will normally be excluded.

The reason that you will get blocked from the BBC and all the UK Television channels in France is down to something called geo-blocking. This is the practice of checking the IP address of any visitor to the site and then using that to determine what access they are allowed. The BBC is funded by the UK TV License so, it assumes that anyone outside the UK hasn’t actually bought one, which is of course often not true.

BBC IPlayer with French IP Address

This is what happens if you try and access a show from France or anywhere outside the United Kingdom. The BBC looks up your location, detects the French IP address and then blocks access to the media streamer. The site has no way of determining whether the visitor does actually pay for a UK TV license, so UK holidaymakers and travellers are similarly blocked. These restrictions are expected to change in the long term though as the European Union is trying to create a single European digital market which allows products to be transferred across boundaries within the EU.

Fortunately this is the internet and of course, there are a few simple workarounds to allow anyone to access the BBC from France, Germany or anywhere else for that matter. This video demonstrates how you can access using something called a proxy server to hide your location –

So What’s Happening?

Well this method simply involves hiding your real location by routing your internet connection through something called a proxy server. All this server does is forward and receive internet requests, but effectively hides your real location from the website you are using. This means that as long as the proxy server is based in the United Kingdom, then the website will think you are in the UK too so it will all word. If you have a selection of servers strategically placed in various different locations then you can effectively bypass all these various blocks and access whatever you like irrespective of your location.

Needless to say many of these sites are not very happy about this practice and over the years lots of them have implemented systems to detect and block the use of proxy servers. They still work on a few sites but that number is slowly dwindling, fortunately there is another very similar option which is much harder to detect called a Virtual Private Network.

A VPN operates in much the same way as a proxy server except there the communication takes place over a secure, encrypted channel – most web sites are currently unable to detect the use of a VPN. So if you want to watch the UK TV channels such as the BBC from France then investing in a British VPN like this one is probably your best option.

An Alternative to a UK IP Proxy

Proxies have been the ‘must have’ tool for anyone who wants unrestricted and unfettered access to the internet for years.  In July 2007, the BBC launched the iPlayer application on to the internet as a ‘free catch up service’ for UK TV license payers.  A few days later thousands were already accessing the service from all over the planet, many who had never even heard of a TV license fee never mind paid it.

To be fair, the BBC has always been fairly laid back about blocking access to it’s TV services.  The official line has been that you can’t access without a) a TV license and b) being located in the UK, however this is rarely the case with no millions watching from all over the world – making the BBC a hugely important global media giant.  A very simple proxy is all you ever needed until recently to access the BBC iPlayer service.   In fact you only ever needed it until the programme started streaming to your computer, switching off the proxy was perfectly possible after the initial location checks had taken place.

Advancements have led to more sophisticated VPN based services like this one, which open up global media even more allowing you to switch your connection through a long list of different locations as you require.  However there has always been one issue, the fact that all these services have been much easier to use on a computer. The fact is that we no longer all sit at a powerful PC to access the online world, now we use all sorts of different devices like phones, games consoles and a myriad of other gadgets.  These devices can be difficult to use a VPN or proxy on, indeed some are deliberately locked down to prevent their use.

So there are now newer technologies which you can use to access blocked content.  If you want to watch the BBC iPLayer from your Spanish residence then you no longer need to try ad configure a UK IP proxy on your Smart TV you can use this –

As you can see from this video, there is no requirement here for a proxy or connection to a VPn server based somewhere. This technology is called Smart DNS and is explained on this site, but it basically works by only routing the location based queries through an intermediary proxy server everything else just streams directly.

There are numerous advantages to this method, for one it’s cheaper as the bandwidth costs are significantly reduced. However the major advantage in this world of internet connected devices is that it’s much easier to configure on things like media streamers, smart TVs and games consoles. The reason is that it doesn’t require any client based software like a VPN, and configuration needs only a change of DNS servers. At the moment this network configuration is openly accessible on most devices and modification requires no technical knowledge at all.

It’s too early to say that Smart DNS will see the demise of proxies and VPNs certainly in the media blocking world. Certainly there are restrictions, Smart DNS provides no layer of security and it could be that it is ultimately much easier to block from the media companies themselves. We’ll have updates on the developments at thenewproxies.com though so watch this space.

Here’s How to Access Japanese Netflix from Anywhere

This month saw the global expansion of Netflix move into potentially one of it’s biggest markets – yes Japanese Netflix has arrived. It’s often surprised people who have been watching Netflix for years when they touch down in Tokyo that the Netflix button on their phone or media device stops working. After all the Japanese love movies and TV, there’s a fast internet infrastructure across most of the country and a high disposable income.

Why has it taken so long? Well many point to the struggles of Hulu who tried to enter the Japanese market about four years ago and never really got started. The fact is that Japanese viewing habits are actually quite dated, with some reluctance to pay for online entertainment services. Japan has several high quality national broadcasting channels(similar to the BBC) run by NHK and quite a few funded by direct advertising.

Also in Japan, people still rent much of their entertainment on DVDs and BluRay unlike places like the USA and Europe. It is perhaps why Netflix has been biding their time and building up enough Japanese content to support the new service. Well it looks encouraging, and for those outside Japan the majority of Netflix is still in English, some title with subtitles but there appears to be lots of new Japanese content and of course the anime section is packed to bursting.

How to Access Japanese Netflix

It’s probably going to change a lot over the next few years but looks good value for Japanese subscribers at something like $5 a month.   For those of us who subscribe to Netflix in another country, there is a way to check out the Japanese Netflix if you want to see what’s there.  I am hoping to discover a treasure trove of those wonderful old Japanese science fiction/monster movies which I love to watch.

So how to connect to Japanese Netflix if you’re not actually in Japan? Well of course, Japanese Netflix as usual is geo-restricted – that is locked to those people with a Japanese IP address.  However many of us have discovered how to change country on Netflix account simply by switching the location of their registered IP address. It’s not so difficult and here’s a video demonstrating one method of watching Japan Netflix from anywhere in the world.

As you can see, it’s not even necessary to change your IP address completely to a Japanese one (which saves redirect your browsing to downtown Tokyo at the same time). Using a Smart DNS proxy server like the one offered by Overplay you can simply redirect through their control panel to whichever version of Netflix you want. I have’t investigated fully what different stuff is on the Japanese Netflix but I’ll bet there’s some hidden gems there even for English speakers.

Give it a try.

Why Should I Need to Change My IP Online

Well it’s a valid question and for many people they won’t see the point.  Your IP address is your unique address on the internet, which is required to allow you access.   It is completely unique and nobody else on the net will have the same IP address as you at a single point in time.  Which is why if you decide to go and start posting threats, requests for illegal activities or ordering explosives online you may very well find someone at your door with a search warrant shortly afterwards.

Many people argue this is a good thing, after all if everyone could do or say anything online without the slightest risk of repercussion then it would be even more chaotic than it is now.  The dark web is something nearer this position (although complete anonymity there is still difficult), and you’ll see bizarre ad listings for credit card scanners, hit men and illegal drugs all over the place.  Of course what many fail to realise is that they may order twenty kilos of illicit narcotics anonymously but it still has to be delivered somewhere!

For other people, it’s more a matter of a) privacy and b) being blocked because of your address, both of which can really affect your online experience.  Privacy is important, people pay bills, manage their finances and conduct all sorts of personal stuff online.   Do you want everything you do online instantly accessible to those with the means to check?  Well currently this is the situation as sitting in your ISP are logs of everything you do online, every web site, every video watch or movie downloaded.  Combine that with the logs on all the web servers you visit and the endless harvesting of all this data by data marketers and it’s like having a crowd of people with notebooks standing behind you when you’re online.

So the second point is being blocked, filtered from TV stations, movie sites or music downloads because your IP address is from the wrong country.  Your IP address is used to determine your physical location and used to determine all sorts of things, including varying the price of goods you buy.  People in different countries often end up paying vastly differing amounts depending on their location – sounds unfair doesn’t it.  Well here’s how to change it –

This doesn’t solve all the issues, but it makes your internet connection much more secure and if you ensure you use an encrypted VPN like the one in the video then all your ISP logs will be unreadable too. Being able to rotate your IP to a US, UK or European one will also ensure that you are rarely blocked access to the best online sites and prevents filtering conducted by certain countries who feel to dictate what is allowable online.

There are other options for avoiding blocks, for example if you just trying to circumvent the geo-filtering conducted by most media sites then s simple Smart DNS service may suffice although remember it certainly doesn’t hide your IP address from anyone if privacy is a concern.

Is Smart DNS the VPN Killer?

I first came across Smart DNS about three years ago when it was relatively unknown, the concept was good to hide your real location by just masking specific parts of your connection and routing it through a specific server. The idea being that an intelligent DNS server could just hide your location without rerouting your entire connection. This had numerous benefits including price because only small portions of a connection where routed through a proxy there weren’t huge bandwidth charges to be paid.

Other benefits included speed, again due to your connection being mostly direct with the server you were trying to access. Also configuration was simpler, just change your DNS settings to point to a smart DNS server like this would then allow you to access different sites across a whole host of countries irrespective of your location. This means that suddenly you are not restricted to watching on computers but potentially on any internet device, without the need to support a UK IP proxy, just watch this video.

As you can see if you can access the network settings on a device then you can enable a Smart DNS server. Where as a VPN needs client software to enable it to work either proprietary or from within the devices operating system (such as Windows or linux). Suddenly devices like Roku’s, Smart phones and even Smart TVs can be Smart DNS enabled without a problem. The device itself is irrelevant, only the accessibility of it’s network settings – surely the VPN didn’t stand a chance?

Certainly the VPn is superior in as far as security is concerned simply because Smart DNS simply doesn’t supply any identity protection or encryption, however that’s largely by design to limit costs and improve simplicity. The ability to enable it on any device is also a huge advantage in a world where there are so many ways to access media online. So why hasn’t the Smart DNS application killed off proxies and VPNs?

Well there’s obviously the marketing aspect, the big players in the VPN market are all well established and companies like HMA have a huge internet footprint. Search online for queries on how to watch US netflix or BBC iPlayer then you’ll likely find yourself at a VPN solution provider somewhere on the web. However there is another problem in that Smart DNS is easier to block than a traditional VPN. Earlier this year Smart DNS stopped working on many devices – this article explains more – Broken Smart DNS for Netflix, and indeed explains a fix (albeit a rather technical one).

The problem was that although it’s relatively simple to change the DNS settings on most devices, it’s also very simple to code that an application or device must use a specific DNS server. What happened was anyone trying to access Netflix found that their DNS settings were ignored as the interface used public DNS servers like 8.8.8.8 from Google. This meant that the ‘location switching’ technology from the Smart DNS servers never got chance to work as the servers were ignored. The big media sites obviously started putting pressure on other companies as modifying basic DNS settings on all sorts of devices got harder and harder. The result was that for many people Smart DNS just stopped working for a couple of weeks until there seemed to be something of a pull back. It is surmised that the owners of these public DNS servers like Google were probably not impressed with this huge upsurge in requests for an effectively free service and the providers back tracked.

At the moment Smart DNS works relatively well on most platforms but this could change at any time, Netflix could easily block these through the code in their interface and most expect this to happen. Blocking a VPN is much more difficult though as it well configured service is almost impossible to detect, companies like Hulu have been trying for years. As such VPNs remain the ‘safe choice’ for watching things like BBC iPlayer abroad, as this – if Smart DNS is still working in a year or so then this might change.

Watching TV3 From Outside Ireland

TV3 is an irish broadcaster with quite a significant online presence, with much of their programmes rebroadcast over the web using it’s media player 3Player. However some people may stumble across this page looking for another channel as there are TV3 Channels in many different countries including New Zealand and across Asia, the information here though will be applicable to these other stations too.

My favorite programme at the moment is called Whiskey Business, it’s about two brothers who are trying to set up the first new Whiskey distillery in Ireland for 125 years. It’s a great programme and you cans till catch it on TV3 for a few weeks, if you can get access. Of course, with most of these online broadcasters it’s a matter of being able to watch them from outside their home country, TV3 and 3 Player is no exception – anyone outside Ireland will get the following message.

tv3playerabroad

When you connect to the 3Player website, it checks your IP address and looks up where you are located. If you are in the Republic of Ireland, then you’ll be fine but anyone else will get blocked and refused access. Exactly the same thing happens on the other major broadcaster in Ireland – RTE, outside Ireland you won’t get access normally. In order to access these sites and indeed anything on the internet that blocks based on your location, you simply need to hide your IP address and present an address that is based in the location required. So in this video you can see, that connecting through an Ireland proxy server will gain you access to the 3Player content.

This video entitled Watch TV3 Online, actually runs through how you can route your connection through an Irish VPN server and watch anything in Ireland. The software demonstrated is called Identity Cloaker and works on most platforms although the software version demonstrated is running on a Windows PC. It actually allows access to a network of servers all across the world, this means that you can switch country when you need. So for example, if you were based in Spain you could connect through a British server to watch UK TV, then use an Irish server to access RTE and 3Player.

Online IP Changer – Switching your IP Address

It’s a tool that a few years ago, nobody had any use for – after all why would anyone want an online IP changer ?  The reality is that the internet of a decade ago was a very different place, and although the internet has expanded over the last few years, so to has the filtering and restrictions that are placed upon it.   Most of us probably realise that internet access in places like Iran and Turkey are not quite as open as in most of the European and North American democracies.  However consider also that German internet surfers for example are blocked from lots of YouTube music sites due to ongoing copyright discussions, or the fact that nobody can watch the wonderful Hulu website from outside the USA.

online ip changer

Everything we do online is increasingly being controlled based on this unique address, before you rush off onto the command prompt or the control panel to modify your address don’t waste your time – it won’t work.  Unfortunately the local IP address that we can change is pretty much irrelevant and has zero impact on your internet experience.   This is because it’s not visible to anyone else anyway so can’t be used to determine your location.  In reality millions of us share identical local addresses – the range of 192.168.1.xx is extremely common being the general default for most network devices to assign to connected devices.

Using an Online IP Changer

So if you can’t change your actual address, how do people bypass these blocks all the time and get a new IP now?  Perhaps more importantly how to change IP to different country to access all those blocked films and videos.   We’ve all seen the laptop streaming the BBC in Spanish airports, or watching a film on Hulu in a cafe in London – of course it’s possible.  Here’s a little demonstration of an online IP proxy changer in action –

So as you can see it’s perfectly possible to control your web browsing, not by changing your IP address but hiding the real one using some IP changer software. Which is why you need proxies, vpns and secure servers to act as an intermediary, to buffer your real location and identity from the websites that you visit.  If set up correctly and using very fast servers the process is almost seamless, the server receives your request and forwards it to the web site which replies based on the location of the server’s ip address not yours.   Expand this network to contain servers all across the world and theoretically you’ll never got blocked anywhere again.  So ever wondered how to change IP address to USA for Netflix well this is the answer.

It works well for 99% of websites out there, everything from Hulu to BBC can be access from anywhere using a well configured VPN server based in the relevant country.  There are as always exceptions though, some sites in the UK will block any IP ranges which are not from ISP’s and data warehouses.   One big Canadian TV site online – CTV, requires you input your Cable account number before accessing so just hiding your location isn’t enough.  These solutions currently work extremely well, however we’ll have to see how the filtering and blocking technology adapts over the years to come.  Fortunately most of the older companies have extremely advanced interfaces and extensive infrastructure meaning that they can adapt their IP address changer software as required.

Over the last few months of 2016, Netflix have developed a new system of blocking the use of online IP changers and VPNs. They are restricting access only to residential IP addresses, that is those assigned primarily to domestic connections from their Internet service providers. This has effectively blocked the vast majority of VPNs from being able to access Netflix. Fortunately some providers like Identity Cloaker have managed to incorporate these ‘residential IP addresses’ into their server infrastructure which means they are not blocked. Others will probably follow, however these IP addresses are in short supply and cost significantly more than commercial addresses so the costs may start to rise.

Further Reading on residential Ips.

Access TV3 Player Using an Irish Proxy Server

Anyone who’s spent any time in Ireland and come to love some of the domestic TV channels there will be very impressed with the updated 3 Player application. 3 Player is the on demand video service which is provided by Ireland’s TV3 broadcaster. It provides access to the vast majority of programmes broadcast on both TV3 and 3E, both within the Republic of Ireland. There are a few limitations, many films and licensed shows from other broadcasters are not usually available but it is always worth checking.

The service is a few years old now, and was launched in October 2011, which replaced the original TV3 Catch up Service. I must admit I never had much luck with the TV3 Catch up player which always seemed to crash or stutter when watching any programmes irrespective of how fast my internet connection was.

3 Player is much better and well worth checking out, it is basically a catch up service which usually holds shows for 28 days after they’re broadcast. Don’t rely on this though as sometimes they can be slightly less than this, lots of shows from ITV the UK commercial broadcaster are only one for seven days for example. 3 Player is unusual though that it includes pretty much everything broadcast for free although there are quite lengthy commercials.

The main issue for anyone outside the Republic is that you’ll get blocked when you try and access anything because of your location. What you need to do is hide your real location by using an Irish proxy server like this video demonstrates –

This method simply bounces your connection through a server located in Ireland which hides your real IP address and allows you to watch the shows as if you has an Irish IP address. It does require a subscription to Identity Cloaker, although this does give access to lots more servers across the globe and it will allow you access to other Irish restricted services like RTE player.

It is worth mentioning that a simple web based Irish proxy won’t work with these services anymore as they are normally blocked. You’ll need to ensure the server is secure and ideally the connection encrypted otherwise your location will be detected especially if the proxy/vpn server is not configured correctly.

Further Information
Source

How to Access RTE Player – Ireland’s National Broadcaster

If there’s one thing I love about national broadcasters, it’s that normally they have little or no advertising on their sites.  The joy of watching a one hour detective drama without four or five ad breaks is something that many of us miss when we travel abroad.  It’s one reason why these companies are worth bookmarking when you come across them, particularly when so many shows are networked across all these different companies.

irelandproxy

I first started using RTE player a few years ago after watching some news stories about the Dublin property boom.  I wanted to try and dissuade a good friend for spending a huge amount of money on a tiny little house on the outskirts of Dublin.   That’s a different story, however I noticed that RTE had lots of my favorite shows which I watched from my then location of Raleigh in North Carolina.

Unfortunately as is normal with most online media companies and broadcasters, the vast majority of their content is only accessible from their home country.  In the US it means that we can access some of the biggest sites of course like Hulu, HBO and ABC etc but we do get blocked from some great sites like the BBC and RTE.

The restriction is based on your IP address, the network ID that is assigned to you when you connect to the internet.  They are all grouped by physical location and your location can therefore be determined from this address.   There are two versions of RTE Player – a domestic one and an international one,  you can only access the domestic one from Ireland and the international version has very little stuff available on it.  If you try and get to the domestic site of RTE player from outside Ireland you’ll get this message.

ireland-ipaddress

Basically saying you can’t access RTE Player unless you’re based somewhere in Ireland.  All that’s happening is that when you visit the site it checks your IP address and where it’s located.  Fortunately it’s fairly simple to fool this procedure and gain access to the full RTE site by simply hiding your real IP address and using one based in Ireland.

This can be done by routing through an intermediary server which is based in Ireland.  You used to be able to use what’s called a proxy server but these are now detected and blocked, so you’ll need something a little bit more secure like a VPN service such as this Irish one here called Identity Cloaker – watch this video.

So using this service, when you visit the RTE player website – the only IP address visible is that of the Identity Cloaker one which as long as you select one of those based in Ireland (think they’re all in Dublin) will allow you access to the complete RTE player website and all the shows to download or stream.

Try it out, it’s very easy to use and you can also use it on smart TVs, phones, tablets and other devices too.  It means you can access any site wherever you are, I also use it to watch Game of Thrones on HBO when I’m travelling with my work.

Using a Poland Proxy to Watch TVN Player

Do you need to access a Polish only TV site? Where I live in the UK there’s a large Polish community, which was established in the second world war. Consequently I have lots of Polish friends and acquaintances, who live nearby. Wherever you go you’ll see specialized satellite dishes on houses which people use to access TV stations in Poland. However most of these stations are also available online also. Unfortunately there is a problem, just like the majority of media sites – most stations are only accessible online when you’re in the same country. So if you try and access TVN Player, a popular Polish TV station over the internet you’ll get blocked.

Using a Polish Proxy Server

Anyway it’s quite simple to circumvent this problem if you have the right tools! Here’s a video showing the process of bypassing TVN Player’s blocks by using a Polish proxy server.

What happens is that instead of the website seeing a British IP address when you use a Poland proxy server then you will have a Polish IP address instead. When you switch off the application you’ll revert to the UK (or whichever country you’re connecting from)

There’s much more to this tool, simply because it offers much more than access to a single Polish proxy site.  There are servers located all over the world so you can use any of these wherever you are, it opens up a lot more than just TVN player or the other major Polish sites.   You can use it to access lots of US only content, plus when travelling switch to a UK server to access the BBC and other UK TV channels.

As you can see it only takes seconds to switch your location using Identity Cloaker, which effectively frees up the internet from filters, blocks and restrictions. If you do use it, remember to turn on the encryption when using any unknown connection such as a hotel, airport or cafe wireless connection. It’s especially important when connecting to important sites like banking,paypal and webmail for example.

The servers are very fast and use a compression algorithm so it’s unlikely you’ll see much of a performance impact. If you do, try turning off the encryption as it does add a slight overhead and it’s not that important when you’re streaming video for security.

Further Reading
http://www.proxyusa.com/polish-proxy-server