Thursday, 21 April 2016

Watch UK TV overseas securely using DNS & VPN hacks

The British are spoilt for choice when it comes to the range of television entertainment they have on their screens. Is it any wonder when many flee to new shores that they don’t want to take the weather with them but certainly want to keep their TV?
Thankfully, in the connected world, there’s ways to access British television abroad. Most Brits access online streaming services from the mainstays of the terrestrial networks. BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and Five all have online services offering live and on-demand TV. But accessing that overseas is not possible due to geographically based IP detection.
But thanks to a few clever bods in the techy world, that problem is a thing of the past.
Here’s the run down on the two most common and simplest ways to get access to the best of British television entertainment:

DNS Settings
A DNS (Domain Name Server) is effectively your digital address, which is tied to your actual location. If you move abroad, the device on which you watch TV remembers it and restricts you from watching TV - since you are located elsewhere than the UK. Now if you want to make watching UK TV possible abroad, you have to change your DNS settings.
Your DNS holds a primary and secondary number. And these are your network settings tied to the device you are watching TV on. Whether it's a laptop, tablet or phone, if you want to watch UK TV when traveling, you need to manually configure all of the settings and enter the primary and secondary DNS numbers from scratch. Sounds daunting but its actually quite simple.

Basically, with this technique - what you are doing is adding a false DNS number combination. And if you are wondering where to find them, the Internet is full of such combinations - although they change regularly. The good thing about this is that the work is done in minutes, but the bad thing is that there are DNS numbers that can be slow and used for promotional activities. So, where do you look for DNS number combinations?

PC Support's Free and Public List will come handy to you at all times. It basically lists all the free and public DNS servers. The list is updated with new DNS servers regularly and also has instructions on how to change them. Aside from this directory, you can use PublicDNS.info or SmartDNSProxy.com to find some good DNS servers.

Secure VPN
A VPN Virtual Private Nework) is a service that runs under SSL and enables you to mimic your actual location and trick your mobile into thinking that you are located in another country. Now, if you don't usually carry a laptop when traveling abroad - but still want to watch UK TV live - you can do it on your smartphone and tablet instead!
VPN clients for watching TV will save you a lot of hassle and a great example is CyberGhost - an app that exists in both the PlayStore (Android) and the App Store (iOS). The iOS version requires a £25 yearly subscription - but the Android version is completely FREE to use. Another great VPN service to watch UK TV live on your smartphone or tablet is Tunnelbear. This app works for iPhone and iPad owners only, running in the background of your device and mimicking your location.

What the Future Holds
As you may know, there are many digital services for watching UK TV overseas across all devices. However, there are also regulations when it comes to watching your native TV programs freely. Although the Internet disrupts this industry with its power and a little bit of tweaking based on your skills, the future will bring some blue skies.
In other words, we must be free to watch UK TV from anywhere we want - without using any extensions, browsers, plugins or services. Fortunately, in May 2015, the EU stated that they want to see as many content providers (including Sky, BBC and more) to allow consumers to watch their programs regardless of their location. This can be a win-win situation for both users and companies, so it is being considered just as the minimal roaming costs for mobile subscribers across the EU.
So in the end, a technical and legislative procedure will fortunately greet us soon - making watching UK TV entirely possible for every remote user. Until then, it is up to us to take the time and explore the endless ways and watch UK TV live and free of charge.

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