How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Singapore (and your other favourite shows)
Living away from your home country, many expats miss their favourite TV shows from back home – BBC, US Netflix, ITV, ABC etc. Whilst one can watch some content on Mio and StarHub TV, the choice is limited and the most recent shows are rarely available, not to mention it is not on demand!
You have no doubt heard of many people talking about solutions – VPNs, DNS, Chromecast, AppleTV, Set-top boxes etc. If this all sounds like jargon to you and you are perplexed about what solution is right for you, don’t fret, Sarah and Bo from Tekkie Help are here to explain it all!
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
One of the most common ways to work around regional restrictions and watch international content is to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which lets you connect through a third-party server and makes it look, to the external world, like your computer is actually located in the UK, Australia or indeed anywhere in the world that you choose. When you want to watch something, you just connect through the VPN and start downloading. You can either watch on your computer or you can use an AppleTV or Chromecast to stream the content to your TV.
If you have a SMART TV or AppleTV you may wish to connect it to the VPN – in order to do this the VPN needs to be configured on the router or the device. One of the downsides of watching through a VPN tunnel are that there are often bottlenecks in the streaming path (which result in buffering or reduced picture quality), for this reason we advise against configuring the main household router with a VPN and instead recommend investing in a dedicated VPN router and connect the devices to it.
There are a number of VPN services available, some are better than others and the cost per month can vary quite a lot from free to around $10 per month.
Domain Name System (DNS)
An alternative to a VPN is to subscribe to a DNS (Domain Name System) service, such as GetFlix (which we highly recommend). After set-up, when you access sites with geo-blocks it automatically bypasses the blocks by providing you with a local IP address. A DNS service offers a more seamless viewing experience as streaming speed is generally higher. The benefit of a DNS is that it can be configured directly on computers, as well as AppleTV, without any impact on performance and this negates the need to connect every time you wish to watch anything. As AppleTV can be configured with a DNS, it means that you are able to access the region-specific apps i.e. BBCiPlayer, directly on your TV.
AmazonFirestick, AppleTV and Roku
You may well have heard these buzz words going around but are confused about what they actually do. They are basically devices that have content apps pre-loaded. Access will be dependent on the region of your account and location the device was purchased. They also need to be used in conjunction with a DNS or VPN service. They can also be used to stream content on your computer to your TV. We find AppleTV to be the most stable and reliable option.
So which solution for me?
In summary, there are lots of ways to get your fix of BBCiPlayer and other popular content such as US Netflix, EPL, ABC, BBC News. The solution you choose will ultimately depend on what you want to see and what equipment you have. It may be that you use a combination of methods to let all the family get their TV fix!
Tekkie Help is able to provide tailored advice and set up a solution for you. This sort of set up usually takes around 1 hour (our charges are $160 for the first hour and $120 for each subsequent hour.) As a special promotion for Expat Living readers, mention Expat Living to get 10% discount on our hourly rate