If you have a friend who has a Linux/Unix server in the UK, and he is happy for you to have an account on the server, then here is a completely free way to get access to the full BBC content. This assumes , you are using Linux or OSX as your client in France. It is possible to do the same with Windows , if you use putty, and there will be a link later for that.

Basically we are going to set up a SOCKS5 proxy using ssh - if you don't know what these are , it doesn't really matter, as you don't need to understand them to get this to work.

Step 1. Login in to the remote servers like this.

ssh -D 9003 yourname@friends.server.com

Once you have logged into the remote server, we need to set-up firefox to connect on the TCP port 9003
Leave this window open, as it is the link that our Internet traffic is going to travel along when we connect to a website using Firefox.

Step 2 Open up the firefox preferences, go to Advanced and then networking and select manual proxy settings. Configure like this.

Once this is done, go to the BBC website , and you will immediately notice you have the UK version and not the international version, and all the video links will now be offered for you to view.

Click on iPlayer and fill your boots ;-)

If you don't have friend with a server in the UK, then you can get many deals offering virtual servers in the UK from around 4.99 a month. If a few people get together, this is not going to break the bank. The performance is fine with a virtual server, as I have been using one for years to do just this.

If you have Windows, the process is a little more complicated - first download and install a little program called putty - it's free.

Once you have that installed, follow the instructions below to get it working for you.
Windows ssh tunnel with Putty

Give it a go, and let me know how you get on. Happy surfing ;-)



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Replies to This Discussion

Many thanks for this. Works very well here. Sadly our big TV is not connected to a pc only Freesat box and network/server. Any tips for this scenario would be appreciated!
Grant, I have a small PC next to the TV, connected to the Internet via a standard Ethernet cable, I had the electrician run them through the house. I use this for all my multimedia content, and for surfing the web and watching iPlayer when needed. This is running Ubuntu, but I have been tempted to install Mythtv or XBMC, but it works so well there is not a lot of pressure to change anything.

If only I could get 20MB broadband in rural France I would be a very happy chap. 2MB is OK, but can get a little choppy during peak usage hours.
Do you know anyone with a Linux server in the UK that can give me an account? ;)
Hi James, I have Linus servers in the UK. I'll check with my techies to see what the implications are, bandwidth issues etc and let you know asap.
Thanks Grant
As an addendum, here is a link to a blog post on how to set up OSX to use a socks proxy.

setup socks proxy in OSX


Another method if you don't mind spending a few pounds a month to get full access to UK internet content, then foxyproxy - a Firefox browser add on, lets you very easily set up a proxy for £5.00 per month, if you take out a 6 month or more contract.

The beauty of this service, is that you can also get a USA proxy, which will allow you to get American content from some the TV and news channels which get's blocked otherwise. Unfortunatley I doubt you will be able to use Netflix , as I suspect you will need a USA address and payment method, but that needs further investigation.

Foxyproxy proxy service.


Just trying this now, thanks for the link Nick, the other VPN service I'm using is getting worse by the week.
I would like to point out James that Nick's recently found enthusiasm for this topic is directly connected to him working in Berlin, where our apartment doesn't have Brit TV.
I have requested this service for the house for some time, but it fell on deaf ears :-(
Oh dear! Well I've just installed it and I'm going to watch a film on the new film 4 On demand service tonight, I'll let you know how it goes. I can call you and talk you through the setup if you like ;)

Keep it up James - I am sure between the two of us we can goad the Codfather into sorting it out for me!!
Get him to call me if he's having any trouble with the technical aspect, I know it can be tricky ;)


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