Expat Shield – Access UK-Only TV and Radio from Everywhere

More and more people are getting their TV and radio through the internet these days, so a program like this one that essentially adds extra channels, is probably well worth looking into …

The Internet is a global village. It allows you to connect with users from all over the world in seconds. There are however services available that are only accessible by users from specific countries. Probably the most renowned services are the tv streaming site Hulu and the online radio Pandora, which are both only available for US users.

But services in other countries are sometimes restricted as well. For the UK it is for instance most contents offered by the BBC iPlayer which is only accessible if the user connecting to the service has a British IP address. This does block expats and Brits on holiday from accessing the contents online. While it is possible to get access to TV and radio contents by connecting to a virtual private network (vpn) that assigns UK IP addresses, it is usually considered to be complicated to setup and not free as well.

Expat Shield is a free service by the makers of HotSpot Shield that simplifies the process greatly. In its core, the software creates a vpn connection that assigns a UK IP to the computer system, thus allowing the user to access UK-only TV and Radio contents from all over the world.

It works with all UK based services, including BBC iPlayer TV (offering access to BBC One to Four) and Radio, ITV Player, Channel 4 and others. And since it is a VPN connection it means that access is available through all programs, including web browsers but also standalone applications.

Expat Shield Download and Installation

Expat Shield is offered as a free download at the official website. The program is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Actually, the program is not downloaded directly from the website. A download manager is downloaded first, that then downloads the application to the local computer system. The application includes a custom toolbar that does not need to be installed, so make sure you disable it if you do not want it to be installed.

The program places an icon in the system tray that offers controls to start and stop the service. Starting it actually means that the following window is shown in Internet Explorer that initiates the connection. It is probably possible to copy the url into another browser as well to initiate the VPN connection.

expat shield

From that moment on the system tray icon shows that the computer is connected to the VPN.

BBC iPlayer

Just visit the BBC iPlayer website and start watching the tv shows that you’d like to watch.

bbc iplayer

ITV Player

Visit the ITV homepage to watch all available tv shows online from any location in the world. Available are ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 for online viewing.

itv player

Expat Shield offers all the additional benefits of running a VPN connection, including protection from network snooping, encryption and a new IP address for increased privacy.

The quality of the VPN solution has been excellent during testing. All tv shows that we watched in the time streamed without interruptions or buffering issues. All in all, an excellent free solution to access British TV and Radio contents as well as other UK-only services and sites. (via, thanks Maik for the tip)

© Martin for gHacks Technology News, 2010. | Permalink | Add to del.icio.us, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote management equipment for data centers, laboratories and IT centers. Our comprehensive line of products includes Secure Console Server products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback systems.

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