The BBC iPlayer streaming service offers a wide selection of exclusive TV shows, but none of them are available outside the UK. With a VPN, you can stream everything from “Killing Eve” and “Doctor Who” to “Road to Mission” and “EastEnders” from overseas, and the selection of classic and contemporary movies keeps getting better and better. In this guide, we will help you find the most effective VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer.
Speed, number of servers and server location are your top priorities when choosing an iPlayer VPN. But no-log status and active tech support are also worth considering – the better VPNs offer lightning-fast connections and cutting-edge security so you can watch in comfort and without interruption. VPNs with free trials are useful if you want to try them out before you commit.
ExpressVPN has become one of the most popular and recognized names in the VPN world – and it’s understandable why. Lightning-fast download speeds, a large and reliable network of servers, and consistent unblocking of the world’s most popular streaming services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer are just a few of the reasons ExpressVPN tops our list. Express subscriptions are more expensive than the other services in this guide, but the VPN offers a sleek A premium service with real value that’s hard to find elsewhere.
NordVPN is a reliable service to watch BBC iPlayer abroad, with many UK servers to choose from. In fact, it operates almost 700 servers in the UK, some of which are even optimized for streaming. Check out the official knowledge base on the NordVPN website to see which servers are currently unlocking BBC iPlayer content. Live chat support is available 24 hours a day.
The service scored one of the best ratings in our speed tests, so you can enjoy a seamless streaming experience in HD or even 4K resolution. Security is excellent thanks to strong encryption technology, and a strict zero-logging policy means your personal data (including your IP address) remains private. Moreover, public Wi-Fi users will love NordVPN’s automatic Wi-Fi protection. With servers in over 60 countries, NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous Internet connections with a single subscription, making it a good choice for small homes or offices.
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux and Android operating systems.
Surfshark proves that you don’t have to break the bank to get a premium iPlayer VPN. If you’re willing to sign a long-term contract, this is easily one of the best low-cost VPN providers on the market today.
Fortunately, while Surfshark is cheap, it’s not without important VPN features. Your browsing data is safe thanks to 256-bit AES encryption and protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard – plus, the apps are incredibly easy to use no matter what platform you’re on, making iPlayer access super simple.
One of Surfshark’s main attractions is its unlimited connection policy – this is almost unheard of in the industry, and because it’s combined with such a low price, it offers excellent value for money. Overall, Surfshark can’t compete with ExpressVPN and NordVPN in terms of performance and configuration, but it’s a cheap iPlayer option that doesn’t skimp on quality – and if you don’t like the service, you have 30 days to request a refund.
When I tested PrivateVPN with BBC iPlayer, I achieved an excellent connection speed of 36.98 Mbps, which was far more than I needed to stream HD content. It even survived peak periods, as my speeds only dropped to 29.78 Mbps at night. Speeds only dropped 21% and I could still stream without buffering or lag.
Live chat is available 24 hours a day if you need further assistance, as is a handy setup guide. There’s also support for remote connections, which is great if you’re new to VPNs. I tried it out and had an agent set up the app for me remotely, so I didn’t have to do anything.
PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out for a month to experience the risk-free premium features.
TunnelBear is a smaller VPN provider that promises a good balance of security, availability, and price. They also have a free version with limited monthly data, which could be a good way to get to know the VPN and see if it’s the right product for you. TunnelBear is also a log-free service, which should eliminate almost any privacy concerns you might have when surfing the web. In addition to top-notch security, TunnelBear offers just as much anonymity as popular VPNs.
As with many newer and smaller companies, TunnelBear’s drawback is a limited selection of servers. Currently, there are only 20 countries with server locations. While this adequately covers most of North America, Europe, and Asia, users living in or traveling to Africa and the Middle East may need to find another provider. Also note that when streaming content, you won’t have access to content that is restricted to those regions.
TunnelBear is constantly adding new features, allows up to 5 simultaneous connections, and has a great ad blocker plugin and mobile app. TunnelBear is an exciting new VPN for the right user who plans to stay in a supported region.
How to use a VPN in BBC iPlayer
No matter where you are in the world, you can use a VPN to get a UK IP address and watch TV shows that are only accessible in the UK. First, make sure you choose a VPN that has servers in the UK. The VPNs listed above all have servers in London and elsewhere.
Here’s how to use a VPN to stream BBC iPlayer.
- Log in to the VPN service of your choice and follow the installation instructions to set up the VPN software on your device.
- Open the VPN app and enable leak protection, OpenVPN, and the VPN kill switch.
- Select a VPN server in the UK and click Connect.
- Use our IP information tool to check your IP address.
- If you already have a UK IP address, navigate to BBC iPlayer and log in.
Follow this process and you will be able to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad, no matter where you are in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is BBC iPlayer free to use?
Yes, BBC iPlayer is completely free to use.
Is BBC iPlayer available in India?
No, BBC iPlayer is not available in India without using a VPN. You can only get a UK IP address and then access BBC iPlayer in India by using the top VPNs for India listed below.
ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer does not work?
Although it should be easy for ExpressVPN to unblock BBC iPlayer, if you are having issues with ExpressVPN, you can try the following troubleshooting methods.
- Contact Customer Support
- Try disconnecting other devices connected to ExpressVPN at the same time.
- Visit the troubleshooting dashboard
- Switch to another server
Can I watch BBC iPlayer from abroad?
Yes, but not without a VPN. If you try to access BBC iPlayer outside the UK without a VPN, you will get an error message that says “BBC iPlayer TV shows are only available in the UK”. This is due to geographical restrictions.
How can you watch iPlayer abroad?
Well, it is quite simple. Since BBC iPlayer is a free VOD service, you don’t need to buy a subscription package. All you need is a reliable VPN with a variety of whitelisted IPs and servers in the UK.
Is BBC iPlayer available in Ireland?
Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer is geographically restricted for viewers in Ireland. The only way to access it from Ireland is to use one of the VPNs mentioned above.
The BBC offers some of the best entertainment you can find, and there’s no reason not to enjoy it no matter where you are.
With a VPN like ExpressVPN – which offers comprehensive global server coverage, fast connections and excellent privacy protection – you’ll be able to access BBC iPlayer content from anywhere in the world while protecting your other online activities.
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