Films represent such a captivating way to collect impressions, testimonies, images, sounds, words, and facts in between one or two hours of a roller coaster of feelings. They let us experience the world from an entirely different angle, often helping us get in touch with realities and situations we never thought were possible.
There is a romantic tone in people’s voices when they talk about the classics of British cinema. The country is such a fertile place for culture and creative manifestation of arts that it has provided the world with dozens of classics from all genres: when the best features of all time are discussed, a British production always manages to get in the conversation.
The British Film Institute was born in 1933 as a film and charitable institution with the firm intention of promoting and preserving filmmaking in the country. Among its responsibilities are encouraging the development of the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, promoting education about the industry, and supporting the appreciation of British cinema, among others.
The one and only BFI Player
In the recent months, the British Film Institute (often shortened as BFI) developed an online streaming platform, supposed to serve a similar purpose than that of Netflix and the BBC iPlayer. However, the scale is much smaller, as the “BFI Player” has a catalog of around 300 films.
It is often said that the BFI Player represents the Netflix of unique films. It has both British and international movies available for streaming. People with a subscription can enjoy some classic and cult British features.
The overall collection of titles from the BFI archives is attractive enough, and when you consider that you can access them for free, the offering gets much more exciting. You can also enjoy the BFI Player Plus, with more features at just £4.99 a month.
The BFI provides another way to enjoy online streaming of British content, away from the “corporate” interests of bigger companies such as Netflix and the BBC iPlayer, which often dismiss specific titles because of licensing agreements or disagreements, depending on the case.
Thanks to the BFI Player, the average streamer can get to watch rare films such as Suspiria, Love Exposure, or the A Northern Soul documentary, among many others. The platform provides a way to admire British artistic manifestations; from the most culturally rich to the low-budget productions that also have appeal.
The BFI Player and geo-blocking restrictions
Overall, the BFI Player represents a reliable alternative to some of the giants of the content streaming field. However, it functions under the same set of rules, which means that the content that it has available falls under geo-blocking restrictions.
Geo-blocking refers to the inability to access a particular service or site because it is supposed to show its content only to local audiences. It happens to the BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other platforms.
In the case of the BFI player, it is not possible to watch it abroad unless you implement outside help (more on that in a minute.) Since it is made in the British area for British people, you can only enjoy the service with a British IP address, which means that, if you don’t have a UK-based number (which would be the case if you are in any foreign country,) you won’t be able to access the feature.
However, there are ways to watch the BFI Player from abroad: for example, you could implement a Smart DNS service or a web proxy. They would work just fine, but if you opt for a VPN, you would be gaining access to a whole suite of security and privacy features, not to mention the ability to unblock content in other locations as well.
VPN technology as a life-saver
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VPN is the short version to refer to Virtual Private Networks, which are highly convenient data encryption and rerouting tools that can provide an extra layer of security and privacy to the person implementing it. For the present article, it needs to be said that VPNs are also excellent unblocking tools, and they can help you overcome the dreaded geo-blocking issue and watch the BFI Player from abroad.
The VPN technology uses protocols (such as L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and many more) to create a virtual tunnel for the user’s data and IP address (the element that shows the identity and location of the person associated with the Internet connection) to pass safely, away from potentially dangerous agents such as hackers, cybercriminals, malware developers, copyright trolls or crypto miners; and avoiding unwanted situations like geo-blocking, censorship, targeted advertising, and government surveillance.
VPN comes in the form of apps or clients offered by online security and privacy companies. The technology was developed in 1996 by a Microsoft engineer and has since reached worldwide status. By hiding the person’s IP address and hosting servers from many locations around the world, VPN apps represent the key to international content.
For example, if you are abroad and want to watch the BFI Player, all you need to do is hire a VPN service with servers in the UK area, connect to one of them, and done! You will appear online with a British IP address, which is all you need to accomplish your mission.
How to watch the BFI Player abroad with a VPN
- Select a speedy VPN service with servers in the UK area
- Go to that VPN’s website
- Pick your preferred plan
- Register for the VPN service, providing a payment method and the required personal information
- Create a username and a password
- Download and install the VPN app on your device
- Launch the VPN app
- Log in to your VPN account
- Connect to a UK server to earn a borrowed British IP address
- Watch the BFI Player from abroad just as if you were in the United Kingdom
TorGuard, the best VPN to watch the BFI Player from abroad
The best VPNs to watch the BFI Player from abroad are fast, compatible with multiple devices and operating systems, and with several servers in the UK area. Fortunately, TorGuard checks all the requirements and is among the top options you should consider.
TorGuard has some of the best speeds for content streaming, and its vast network of more than 3,000 servers in 55 nations (including the UK) is highly convenient. It is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and even routers, and you can set the connection in five simultaneous devices under the same account.
The service costs around $10 per month and it includes AES 256-bit encryption, a no-logging policy, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, a vast set of protocols (OpenVPN TCP and UDP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP, OpenConnect, STunnel, and Squid,) and a top-notch customer service staff.
In conclusion, the BFI Player is a streaming platform that projects the best classic films in UK history, as well as other content that isn’t necessarily considered “mainstream.” It provides a different angle to enjoy the film industry than that of Netflix or the BBC iPlayer. However, the service is geo-blocked to the British area, and to watch the BFI Player from abroad, you need a VPN.