In addition to all that's been written thus far, I will try to offer a simple guide from someone who's done the following and happily using iPlayer, so you don't have to wade through a multitude of previous posts and get bogged down in the mire.
Based on my own experience, as follows:
- using Firefox browser - Chrome should be fine, too; I.E. (last time I tried), blocked the download for no determinable reason
- OS of Windows7
- installing/using free service of Expat Shield VPN to assign UK IP address (other subscription VPNs are available)
The following looks a lot of text, but a few eventualities are covered and some details explained ..... IT REALLY IS EASY
Download Expat Shield from here: http://www.expatshield.com/
and run installation. Be aware, before clicking on INSTALL in the pop-up window, there will be an option to include their toolbar - the default setting is already confirmation ticked. I don't have this or think more clutter is required on my browser, so unticked it - your choice, but the application can be run from desktop shortcut icon (also default ticked) and/or taskbar.
Once installed it will launch (also a check box on the installation pop-up) in a new tab on your browser, and will take a moment to assign a UK IP address, then once connected will load one of a couple of different ad. pages that it displays - now you can go to iPlayer (on the same tab), here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/
When Expat Shield is launched (and runs) there appears a small shield in the bottom right taskbar, as follows:
- red for disconnected
- yellow for connecting/assigning IP address
- green for connected.
I suggest that you keep this icon permanently displayed on the taskbar for ease of future connectivity: for W7, click on little triangle/arrow on taskbar > customise > scroll down to the relevant line and select: Show icon and notifications
from dropdown selection > OK. By clicking on the taskbar icon reveals connect and disconnect options.
I also recommend that you only connect to, and stay connected with, Expat Shield for only those times when using iPlayer, because by "having" a UK IP address can effect other programs and applications: eg Zattoo offers a much reduced selection for UK viewers; if this happens disconnect from Exp. Shld and log off from Zattoo and re-log on.
As Expat Shield is free it relies on advertising for it's revenue, which appear on all web pages, when connected, which is considerably annoying. A browser ad. blocker should be used.
In Firefox click Tools from top menu bar > Add-ons > Get Add-ons (from left) > in top right search box type AdBlock Plus
> search > from results, select and install Adblock Plus 2.1.2 (red stop sign with ABP in middle). Follow minimal instructions to complete installation.
In other browsers search for equivalent ad. blocker
When using iPlayer, the majority (but not all) programs offer downloads for later viewing - but only after the program has aired.
Select Download/Download options from required program and choose iPlayer Desktop
. For first time you will be prompted to download and install (including shortcut icon). After that, you can download any available program to here. You can only download and view programs from here when connected to Expat Shield.
Unfortunately downloaded programs are not permanent and each has an expiry date, and is automatically removed when expiration date is reached.
Finally, very occasionally, having connected with Expat Shield, the iPlayer message may appear "Not available in your location". Close the window/tab, disconnect from Exp. Shld fully, then re-connect (a new IP address will be assigned) and re-select iPlayer. The new IP address should have resolved the problem. Always fully connect with Exp. Shld before opening iPlayer site or iPlayer Desktop.