AnchorFree's Expat Shield targets iPlayer loving Brits abroad

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It’s a question I’ve been asked many times: How to watch UK television abroad over the Internet. Never mind the legal ramifications of accessing copyrighted content outside of its licensed jurisdiction, it can also be a technical kludge, involving setting up proxy servers and engaging in a cat and mouse game as the likes of the BBC’s iPlayer block access. As a result, it’s generally not for the feint-hearted.

Enter ‘Expat Shield‘ from US-based AnchorFree, maker of the popular HotSpot Shield. The updated version of the free and ad-supported software – Windows-only for now – offers the option to assign a UK IP address, providing an “at-home” web experience for Brits, says the company, coded talk for accessing sites such as iPlayer and, presumably, the full gamut of simulcasts and catch-up services provided by the major British broadcasters.

Specifically, AnchorFree says that Expat Shield enables UK residents abroad to remain private online, offering protection from the type of open WiFi exploit highlighted by Firesheep, while staying connected to sites including: Google, The Financial Times, CNN and the BBC; social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace; VOIP services like Skype (sometimes blocked in foreign regions); and BBC iPlayer and other sites that are unavailable from certain countries or outside of the UK.

It also appears that Expat Shield maintains support for a US IP address mode so that anyone can shop on e-commerce sites such as US eBay or Zappos and receive direct shipments to anywhere worldwide. Presumably, if a full US IP address is assigned in the same was as for the UK, sites such as video streaming site Hulu can also be accessed.

  • Michael

    Can’t have both the US and the UK installed on the computer at the same time =(

  • riad

    hot spot shield very slow,i cant open my email till closed hot spot shield?

  • ehab

    thanks for download program

    • Graham Belton

      well, i’ve been used a paid site for about 3 years and no problems for all uk broadcasters. Only 5 pounds a month

      • Eileenvanbooks

        I am in the us. Can i use this site and wat is the name of the site?

  • http://expatreview.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/here%e2%80%99s-how-to-watch-bbc-iplayer-abroad/ Here’s how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad « Expat Review

    […] popular technology blog, Techcrunch recently claimed that, ‘Expat Shield (also) maintains support for a US IP address mode so that […]

  • Pear63 6

    I have it for 2 months now I can’t access the iplayer. It seems to be directing me to the US, NOT the UK.

    • Thepatrolman

      Hi Pear63 6,
      dont know if its directing me to the US.
      BBC player keeps telling me. NOT AVAILABLE IS YOUR AREA.
      Was working fine until yesterday.

      • Chardonnay

        Me too, was working fine until 2 days ago and now assigning me a US IP address.

  • Abbotstoolhire

    Same here. Giving me USA servers – you can check where your ip address is located by using http://whatismyipaddress.com/

  • Ashy

    Is there a way you can control what IP address you can be assigned to? I’m getting US IP addresses and trying to work out how to change it to UK IP addresses that’s if you can…help please

  • S.D

    Mine worked fine till a few days ago, now ITV player saying not avaliable in your geographic loacation. Dont know if its assigning US IP but the opening page after hitting “start” is a US one. Very upsetting.

  • Heureux

    Same again. Been happily watching iPlayer for three months and as of yesterday it won’t let me in.

  • Heureux

    Same again. Been happily watching iPlayer for three months and as of yesterday it won’t let me in.

  • Leaanne Boyce

    Same here, worked fine until yesterday and now no access to UK shows..

  • argh

    hmm, same here. whatsmyip shows a us address!!

  • Marilynjhaines

    my expat sheild was great but cannot get any programs from bbc iplayer today? saying =not available in your area?

  • Mickypool

    mines the same, can’t access uk ip address anymore

  • Cracky Jack

    Yep, my Expat Shield is not working now, too. I checked the IP addresses assigned and they are all from the USA, which, of course, are worthless if to watch the iPlayer from outside the UK. A (non-responsive) response from Anchorfree support referenced only their HotSpot Shield, which is their USA IP proxy service. I hope they can figure out a work-around of their problem. I love and miss the BBC sooooo much! (BBC America just doesn’t cut it for me).

  • Leaanne

    mimssing me Corry and Eastenders soooooo bad…

  • http://expatreview.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/watch-bbc-iplayer-abroad/ Watch BBC iPlayer abroad « Expat Review

    […] popular technology blog, Techcrunch recently claimed that, ‘Expat Shield (also) maintains support for a US IP address mode so that […]

  • http://expatartsnetwork.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/watch-bbc-iplayer-abroad/ Watch BBC iPlayer abroad « Expat Arts Network

    […] popular technology blog, Techcrunch recently claimed that, ‘Expat Shield (also) maintains support for a US IP address mode so that […]

  • Slrxv01

    Does anyone know how to stop these blasted pop-ups and adverts?

  • Slrxv01

    Does anyone know how to stop these blasted pop-ups and adverts?

    • Guestrelations

      install peerblock and block http traffic.

  • Daceymathers

    Nice post!Thanks for the post.So expats shield is providing security for UK users and also supports
     US IP address mode so that anyone can shop on e-commerce sites such as
    US eBay or Zappos and receive direct shipments to anywhere worldwide.

  • David Helln

    You may already know or you may not know this, but according to my test, I found this serial of free VPN service are my best pick for US/CANADA/UK free VPN system:

    Free United States  Hotspot shield VPN service from  http://www.freevpn.tv
    Free Canda based    Hotspot shield VPN service from  http://www.freevpn.ca
    Free United Kingdom Hotspot shield VPN service from  http://www.ukfreevpn.com

    It’s pretty simple to use the service, they are all PPTP protocol based VPN, can be used by any OS or appliance which has PPTP client built-in. once setup the VPN a/c and get VPN connection, open a web site and it will prompt you to activate the free vpn session first, once you are done, you are free to use the internet for web browsing or anything, NO Ads, No Spamware, NO banner, Pure high speed VPN connection, really amazing!  Hopefully these service will last for ever :-)

  • Michael Eagle818

    Does Expat shield work with the Apple IPad

    • Wheeeeeew

      i think theres a iplayer global app for ipad

      • Guest

        It’s not released in the US yet. Made it to Canada, though.

  • http://profiles.google.com/daceymathers Dacey Mathers

    I don’t think that expat shield works with apple ipad.It is a kind of security shield that is only available for bbc iplayer

  • Michèl F. van den Brun

    Dear reader,

    I’ve used the software, and I could indeed look at the BBC iplayer.
    But recently, the same software was used for phising for my own IP adress.

    Not long afther wich, my IP adres was used for sending SPAM.

    Michel F. van den Brun
    Netherlands

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