Expat Shield

Expat Shield 2.25

Watch BBC and ITV outside of the UK

Expat Shield is a simple VPN software which allows you to access UK TV websites such as BBC iPlayer and ITV when outside of the UK. View full description


  • Watch UK TV such as BBC and ITV outside the UK
  • Free to use
  • Easy to install
  • Doesn't slow down surfing
  • Fast and stable streaming


  • Advertising banner at top of browser
  • Installation a bit lengthy
  • Tries to install toolbar
  • Some users report it reverts to a US VPN sometimes
  • Ads can be too invasive

Very good

Expat Shield is a simple VPN software which allows you to access UK TV websites such as BBC iPlayer and ITV when outside of the UK.

Normally, you can't do this because only users accessing these services within the UK are allowed to do so. However, Expat Shield routes your IP address via a UK IP address as if you were still in the UK wherever you are in the world.


The installation for Expat Shield is a bit lengthy and you're given the option whether you want to install the Expat Shield toolbar which you can easily reject if you want. When you run Expat Shield, your browser will be automatically opened with a message to indicate whether Expat Shield has connected correctly or not. It usually connects quickly and you're presented with a series of random TV links below which you can ignore.

How to use it

Enter the BBC website address in your browser and select the iPlayer. You should find that surfing is no slower than surfing normally without Expat Shield. Simply select the program you want to watch and the iPlayer starts playing as if you were in the UK. Streaming is fast and stable and you can skip and rewind instantly.

The great thing is, Expat Shield is completely free to use. The only thing you have to put up with is an advertising banner at the top of your browser. You can make this disappear by clicking the "X" box although as soon as you surf another page, the banner will appear again.

Expat Shield doesn't affect surfing of sites outside of the iPlayer but if you do want to deactivate it, you need to double click the shortcut again on your desktop and you'll be taken to the main panel in your browser where you can disconnect from the VPN.

Expat Shield also comes with the added bonus in that it helps to make your tracks anonymous on the internet. So for example, if you use the Google box in your browser to search, Expat Surfer will ask whether you want to enable or disable google tracking your search history and surfing.

There is very little to fault with Expat Shield except that some users have found it sometimes struggles to establish a UK IP address and ends-up assigning a US address (the developer AnchorFree is based in the US) instead although we didn't experience such problems in our tests.

If you want to watch UK TV including BBC and ITV outside of the UK, Expat Surfer is a brilliant free solution.

User reviews about Expat Shield

  • "Dont be fooled by the free download, can't use it for UK unless you pay for"

    Dont be fooled by the free download, can't use it for UK unless you pay for it. More.

    reviewed on November 14, 2015

  • koenig_cylinders

    by koenig_cylinders

    "Used to be great - now it gives a US IP address."

    Used to be great - now it gives a US IP address. Not sure why this is happening. Going to have to uninstall it now. More.

    reviewed on August 17, 2014

  • nobbycat

    by nobbycat

    "iplayer no longer works"

    Doesnt work for iPlayer. I was happy with the adverts but now they are trying to leverage the popularity of iplayer. Hol... More.

    reviewed on October 3, 2013

  • stef2811

    by stef2811

    "now they are charging me!"

    now they are charging me!. how can i get for free please? i have used for years. More.

    reviewed on September 26, 2013

  • peter.zandstra.3

    by peter.zandstra.3

    "Oops. I'll think a while about continuation for 30 USD a year..."

    No longer free (for BBC iPlayer) BBC iplayer had problems as it was (Adobe AIR update). More.

    reviewed on September 26, 2013

  • 100005325547068

    by 100005325547068

    "Expat Shield beaten hands down by Beebify"

    So hard to use, we wrote Beebify.com instead. Expat Shield was a pain to install, bombarded us with ads and spam, and m... More.

    reviewed on July 14, 2013