I have tried to watch BBC iPlayer using many VPNs but in vain. This is because the BBC uses geoblocking technology to identify traffic from overseas IPs and block them. However, in my endeavor, I came across a few VPNs that work with the BBC iPlayer in 2021.
I’ll walk you through each of them shortly. But I was impressed with NordVPN because of its lightning-fast speeds, robust security, and huge server list. Besides, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee to test the VPN with BBC iPlayer risk-free.
How to unblock the BBC iPlayer outside the UK in 3 easy steps
- Download and install a VPN. I recommend NordVPN because of fast streaming speeds without buffering
- Connect to a UK server, and go to BBC iPlayer
- Start watching your favorite shows from anywhere!
Why you need a VPN to stream BBC iPlayer abroad
When you travel outside the UK, you cannot access BBC iPlayer even if you have a subscription. The only best solution is to use a VPN service to help you change your IP address to spoof your location and access the service from UK. However, not every VPN will work with iPlayer. It would be best if you had a quality VPN because the streaming service applies the geoblock technology, a robust geo-blocking algorithm that frustrates even premium VPNs. It restricts you based on your IP, ping, and profile information. If you’re wondering which is the best VPN to watch the BBC iPlayer from overseas, continue reading for the reveal and complete analysis of each of them. All the services that I recommend here allow a 30-day money-back guarantee, an excellent opportunity to test risk-free.
Best VPNs for unblocking BBC iPlayer outside the UK
A VPN is a simple technology that you can use to secure your privacy on the internet. It creates a tunnel and encrypts your network traffic to prevent any malicious third party from seeing your online activities. When looking for the best VPN for the BBC iPlayer, you should consider the ability to unblock content, servers in the UK, and streaming speeds.
Without much hesitation, here are the 5 best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
1. NordVPN-best VPN for BBC iPlayer
- Lightning fast-speeds
- 5200+ servers in 62 countries (440 servers in the UK)
- Six simultaneous connections
- Works with BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky Go, and many others
- Kill switch
- 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN has a vast server list consisting of 5200+ servers in 62 countries with 440 servers in the UK, giving you an excellent opportunity for unblocking BBC iPlayer. It offers strong encryption and makes streaming geoblocked content an easy job. Apart from BBC, NordVPN also works with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Sky Go, ESPN, and many other streaming platforms. Furthermore, it can help with bypassing restrictions in high-censorship countries like China.
NordVPN uses robust AES-256-CBC encryption and supports Perfect Forward Secrecy to secure your online data against hackers. It keeps changing your encryption keys to avoid compromises. Combining the 256-bit encryption with a 2048-bit DH key and SHA2-384 authentications to encrypt your data keeps hackers at bay.
Additionally, NordVPN offers the IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN UDP/TCP protocols. Recently, it launched LordLynx, its proprietary WireGuard protocol that increases streaming speeds. Hence, it’s the most ideal for streaming BBC iPlayer.
The VPN offers a kill switch to help protect your traffic should the VPN disconnect. It automatically shuts your traffic in case of a connection compromise. The kill switch ensures your IP address does not leak to your ISP and other malicious third parties. I like that the VPN allows you to choose the apps to protect with a Kill-switch so you can continue using your other apps without interruption. The Kill switch is available for mobile and desktop apps.
Other impressive features include Split tunneling to help you choose the apps to secure with the VPN, and CyberSec suite, an ad and malware blocker.
2. ExpressVPN-excellent speeds for streaming
- Excellent HD streaming speeds
- 3000 servers in 92 countries
- Five simultaneous connections
- Works with BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and many more
- Kill switch
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is among the best VPNs for unblocking BBC iPlayer outside the UK. It offers excellent HD streaming speeds with zero buffering. The VPN has consistently impressed us with its ability to bypass geoblocks and unblock streaming websites, including iPlayer, Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many others. Indeed, it’s among the few services that still work with China. Its vast server list comprising more than 3000 servers in 94 countries provides you with the ability to bypass censorship blocks worldwide to watch your desired content from virtually anywhere. The VPN allows up to 5 simultaneous device connections with a single license and has the best customer support, including 24/7 live chat support.
ExpressVPN encrypts your data using the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, the kind that’s used with the military and security agents worldwide. Protocols on offer include OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP security protocols. OpenVPN UDP is excellent for HD streaming. ExpressVPN recently unveiled its proprietary Lightway protocol that provides blazing fast speeds, security, and reliability. Additionally, the service offers the Perfect Forward Secrecy feature, which assigns you a secret key each time you connect and replaces the key every 60 minutes. You also get a Kill switch, DNS/IPv6 protection, and the Split Tunneling feature that allows you to choose some of your apps to pass through the VPN while the rest access the internet directly.
You can use ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service with BBC iPlayer risk-free.
3. CyberGhost- easy to use VPN for BBC iPlayer
CyberGhost VPN highlights:
- Fast speeds ideal for streaming
- 5500 servers in 90 countries
- Robust encryption
- Malware and ad blocking
- 7 simultaneous connections
- One-day free trial and 45-day money-back guarantee
CyberGhost uses robust AES 256-bit encryption to protect all your online activities. It uses an automatic kill switch to safeguard your traffic against exposure in case your VPN connection drops. It also has some excellent advanced features, including an ad blocker, Split Tunneling, and HTTPS protection. You can use CyberGhost to bypass firewalls and geoblocks, but it’s not working with the Great Firewall of China.
You can make use of its 30-day money-back guarantee to test it risk-free. Its refund works fast.
4. SurfShark – best value fully-featured VPN for Unblocking BBC iPlayer
- Lightning-fast speeds for streaming without buffering
- Robust AES 256-bit encryption to protect your online activities from malicious third parties
- 117 UK servers, great for unblocking BBC iPlayer
- Camouflage Mode to hide your streaming activities from BBC iPlayer’s geoblock technology
Launched in 2018, Surfshark has become a favorite, especially among users who want to access geo-blocked content. The VPN offers strong encryption, and the software is user-friendly. While streaming content online, you want fast speeds, something Surfshark maintains by offering fantastic connection speeds ideal for HD streaming. We were able to stream BBC iPlayer with no lags and the annoying buffering.
Surfshark will reroute your IP address and make you appear in the Uk so you can easily stream content on BBC iPlayer from outside the United Kingdom. Its 117 servers in the country provide an excellent opportunity for unblocking BBC iPlayer. Thanks to the NoBorders and Camouflage Mode, even your ISP cannot see your online activity. This obfuscation is ideal for accessing geo-blocked websites like the BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Hulu. It keeps you anonymous and ensures no data about your location leaks to the geo-blocking algorithm.
Surfshark uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your information. Besides, the VPN encrypts your traffic through multiple servers, which hides your online activity even more. In addition to excellent data security, Surfshark offers a kill switch, which automatically cuts data streaming from your device when your VPN connection is compromised. It prevents network data leaks and ensures you’re not exposed to geo-blocking algorithms, allowing you to stream your favorite content on BBC iPlayer anonymously.
5. IPVanish – secure VPN with
IPVanish is the fifth on our list for the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer. The VPN service has 1300 servers in more than 60 countries across the world. And allow unlimited server switches with dynamic IP addresses. It is a favorite with lovers of American teams because of its ability to bypass blackouts. As regards speeds, IPVanish offers breakneck speeds ideal for HD streaming and gaming. The VPN is excellent at bypassing geo-restrictions. It also hides your online activities from ISPs to prevent them from throttling your connection traffic, allowing you to watch BBC iPlayer and many other streaming websites without lags or buffering.
IPVanish is among very few VPNs that allow unlimited device connection with a single license. It features easy-to-use apps and works on all devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. Also, you have the option of connecting it to a router to support more devices. Though IPVanish is based in the US (a 5 EYES jurisdiction), it embraces a strictly no-logs policy to frustrate third parties who might request your logs.
IPVanish uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption to secure your sensitive information against hackers and snoops. Its connection methods include OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP security protocols. IPVanish offers a 7-days money-back guarantee meaning you can test it risk-free for 7 days, and if you do not like it, you can get a full refund after seven days.
Do free VPNs unblock BBC iPlayer
While I’ve reviewed some pretty good free VPNs, most of them have data caps. Tunnelbear only allows upto 500MBs per month on its free version, while Hotsportshield caps data usage on its freemium plan too. Another shortcoming of free VPNs is that they do not offer a massive collection of servers, so that you might not even be lucky to find a server in the UK for unblocking BBC iPlayer. But also, you need to ask yourself how free VPNs manage to be afloat without income. Some of them do sell user data to marketers to finance their operations and make a profit. That’s why we do not generally recommend free VPNs.
When it comes to streaming content, free VPNs do not examine the speeds you get from premium services. For instance, NordVPN recently launched its proprietary NordLynx, a superior VPN protocol that increases streaming speeds. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, offers its new Proprietary Lightway protocol that improves speed, security, and reliability. You can’t get such a level of innovative products from free VPNs. So I won’t recommend free VPNs for unblocking BBC iPlayer or any other streaming geoblocked streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, YouTube, Sky Go, and many others. If you are down on budget, you can opt for a budget-friendly service like Surfshark.
Most importantly, you won’t get the best security features when you opt for free VPNs. Most free services don’t offer features like a kill switch that protects your data if the VPN connection fails. Features like DNS/IPv6 leak protection, Split Tunneling, ad, and malware protection usually come with a premium VPN service. In the worst-case scenario, some free VPNs could inject malware into your devices.
How to choose a VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer
When you search for how can I watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK,’ the standard advice is to use the best VPN for the UK. However, choosing the best VPN with servers in the UK is not child’s play. There are hundreds of providers, each claiming to be the best. S, how do you identify the best VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer overseas? Continue reading to find out how you can go about this sensitive issue.
If you are looking to stream BBC iPlayer or any other streaming service, you need to make sure that the VPN offers lightning-fast speeds. That’s the only way you can stream BBC iPlayer in HD quality without lags or buffering. I have tested all the services I recommend here, and both have excellent speeds for streaming any service.
Not every VPN service will unblock BBC iPlayer. The service is geolocked and can easily detect traffic from overseas. Hence, you need a service that can bypass the BBC block. Premium VPN services, including the ones I recommend, use stealth technology to bypass censorship. Obfuscated servers hide the VPN traffic by disguising it as regular traffic and evading detection by the BBC iPlayer firewalls.
- Security on offer
When you are connecting to BBC iPlayer from the outside UK, you want to do it anonymously. That’s why the kind of encryption a VPN offers should concern you. I’d recommend you only consider VPNs that use military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. Such robust encryption protects all your online data from hackers and snoops. Even your ISP won’t see your online activities and thus won’t throttle your traffic. Other security features to look out for including a kill switch, DNS/IPV6 protection, ads, and malware blockers.
Servers in the UK
The number of servers and the server locations a VPN offers should be among the top things to look out for. If you want to unblock BBC iPlayer, you will need servers in the UK. The same applies to other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and more. Hence a VPN like NordVPN or ExpressVPN with worldwide server locations offers more possibilities for unblocking streaming services across the world.
While most VPNs are available on Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Linux, you’ll find some that don’t support all platforms. If you are using devices running different software, you need to look for a provider that supports all the devices. Router compatibility is equally important.
The location of a VPN can affect your privacy. Some jurisdictions require VPNs to keep logs of all their users. Hence, it’s advisable to check the location of the service before you subscribe. NordVPN is in Panama, ExpressVPN in the British Virgin Islands, CyberGhost in Romania, and Surfshark in the British Virgin Islands. All those are VPN-friendly locations. IPVanish is based in the US (5 EYES members), not an excellent VPN location. However, like the rest services here, it uses a strictly no-logs service, meaning even if it’s under duress to release your logs, it won’t have any.
Number of devices allowed
How many devices do you wish to connect at the same time? The number of devices allowed differs from one provider to another. ExpressVPN allows up to 5 devices, NordVPN up to 6, CyberGhost up to 7, while IPVanish and Surfshark allow unlimited device connections with a single license.
Some VPNs are not easy to use, more so if you are not tech-savvy. There is no need to have a VPN if you cannot use it. If you’ve never used a VPN service, I’d recommend you go for CyberGhost. It is the easiest VPN to use, even if you are not tech-savvy.
Reliable Customer Service
This is crucial when choosing a VPN. You want a provider that will respond fast in case you get stuck using its service. A 24/7 knowledgeable customer support through live chat should be on your cards when choosing the best VPN.
Most premium VPN services offer a money-back guarantee. It is crucial as it allows you to test the service for a specific duration to find out if it’s the right fit. If you are unhappy with the VPN, you can request a full refund of your money after the period expires. All the services I recommend here offer a money-back guarantee.
BBC iPlayer is geoblocked and only accessible in the UK. The best solution for unblocking the service is using a VPN. NordVPN is our ideal service for unblocking BBC iPlayer. For breakneck speeds, ExpressVPN should be your choice. Looking for an easy-to-use service? CyberGhost will be the best option. If you are on a budget, Surfshark will come in handy.
How to unblock BBC iPlayer FAQs
Is BBC iPlayer free?
Yes, BBC iPlayer is a free service. However, your mobile network operator will charge you for the data you consume on its network. I’d advise you to find out its charges beforehand.
Can I use a free VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer?
Not at all. BBC iPlayer uses robust geo-blocks that frustrate even premium VPNs; hence you have no chance with free VPNs. Also, using a VPN comes with data restrictions so that you won’t even finish watching your favorite show before hitting the limit. Hence, I advise you stick to my recommended VPNs for fast connection speeds and high standards of encryption and privacy.
Can BBC establish if I use iPlayer?
Yes, they easily can. This is because BBC usually collects your data when you connect and use iPlayer. If you want to see the data it has on you, you can do so by signing in with your credentials and request your BBC account data.
Why is my TV not connecting to BBC iPlayer?
If you are struggling or cannot access iPlayer on your TV, check to ensure your TV’s firmware is up to date. You can also try a factory reset. The BBC iPlayer has comprehensive troubleshooting guides you can use to establish why your TV is not establishing a connection to iPlayer.
Why is BBC iPlayer not working on my phone?
Try clearing cache. You can do this by simply heading to Settings>Apps>BBC iPlayer and selecting the clear cache option. After that, sign back in and try playing your program.
How can I find a program on BBC iPlayer?
Simply search: BBC iPlayer has a search bar on the top right corner of its website, and connected TV app, and a magnifying glass search icon in its right corner app for mobile and tablets. Hence if you know the name of the program you want to watch, you can search for it.
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