BBC network is home to many worldwide-loved TV shows including Sherlock, Poldark, Luther, Doctor Who, and many others. All these series are also available through BBC’s online streaming platform called iPlayer. Unfortunately, you can access it only if you are in the UK. But there is a simple trick to change your virtual location and pretend you are a UK resident. It is possible if you have a VPN. In this post, we review the best VPN for BBC iPlayer that will come in handy no matter where you live.
Why Do You Need a VPN for BBC iPlayer?
The most obvious answer is to watch iPlayer from abroad. Many people like its content but can’t access it unless they live or visit the UK. Even if you are a UK resident with a valid TV license, you will suffer from geo-restrictions when going to a different country. The solution is simple, get a VPN that offers UK servers, connect to one of them, and enjoy full access to the streaming platform.
Another problem a VPN can help with is bandwidth throttling. Some Internet providers use throttling as a means to stop excessive data usage. They figure out users who consume too much bandwidth and slow their connection down. It is done to maintain a good speed for other users of the same network. But if you experience slow-downs, you can’t really stream videos. What you can do to fix this situation is to enable a VPN. It is a powerful anti-throttling solution thanks to IP address masking and traffic encryption. Your ISP will still notice that somebody uses too much data but it wouldn’t be able to see who. Thus, it can’t ruin your streaming experience.
Last but not least, when on the web, your ISP can monitor what you do and which sites you visit. This information may become known to the third parties, including the government and advertisers. With a VPN, however, you can hide your activities from the prying eyes so that nobody can spy on you.
The Best VPN to Use for BBC iPlayer
The biggest challenge in choosing a VPN provider to watch iPlayer is that BBC bans tools used to bypass geo-blocking including VPNs. It is done to prevent foreign users from watching UK-intended content. It means that you won’t succeed with a mediocre service. You need a provider with an enormous server network across the UK that steadily grows every day. Only large-scale VPNs can ensure troubleproof access to BBC iPlayer despite the blocking attempts. It’s even better if you can get a VPN providing dedicated IP addresses in the UK.
Besides an extensive network, you should look for lightning-fast speeds, reliable security features, user-friendly apps for your streaming devices, and great customer support.
We analyzed dozens of providers and narrow down the list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer to these services:
NordVPN is arguably the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. It is because its vast server network (comprising of 5.800 servers in 60 countries, including over 800 servers in the UK) is constructed to bypass geo-restrictions. Unlike many other small-scale VPNs, there are always servers that are working with the streaming platform. However, if you want to make your experience more seamless, you can opt for a dedicated IP address in the UK.
NordVPN is a service that built a name on security. Respecting your privacy, it doesn’t record your activities or what you do online. Powerful encryption in combination with industry-standard protocols will protect your confidential information from hackers and data thieves. Every feature you require from a security-focused VPN (such as Kill Switch and DNS / IP leak protection) is in place with NordVPN.
The service is not only safe but also very convenient. Its simple apps are available for a wide range of operating systems and devices. Streaming enthusiasts will highly appreciate the trademark SmartPlay technology that automatically connects to speed-optimized servers. Here is our detailed NordVPN review to let you know about other useful features it has.
NordVPN offers 4 duration-based subscription options – from one month to 3-years featuring a staggering 70% discount. The 30-day money-back guarantee is available with any subscription, so you can try it out and see if you like it enough to go on.
ExpressVPN is much-loved by streaming enthusiasts all around the world thanks to its uncompromising quality, seamless performance, and blazing speed. Unlike many other providers, it delivers excellent speed across the entire range of servers, even if you choose far-away locations. Speaking of servers, its massive network including 3.000+ units spans across 94 countries. ExpressVPN makes sure there are always servers in the UK compatible with BBC iPlayer.
The service is one of the easiest VPNs to use. It supplies proprietary apps for a wide array of devices and operating systems. All these apps feature an intuitive interface and a number of solutions for an effortless automated connection. If you ever face any difficulties or issues, the helpful customer support works around the clock.
ExpressVPN is doing great when it comes to security, too. It provides AES 256-bit encryption and the best connection protocols. The service keeps no-logs to ensure complete web anonymity. There are many more features worthy of your attention, check them out in our ExpressVPN review.
To subscribe, you can opt for 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year. The annual plan is 35% cheaper than short-term options, so don’t miss it if you want to save some money. All the plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee to try them out risk-free. Get ExpressVPN today and enjoy your favourite shows on BBC iPlayer without interruptions!
IPVanish is an all-purpose VPN ideal for newbies and those who need a simple yet powerful VPN. It has everything for a great streaming experience: more than 1.300 servers in 75 countries (including the UK, of course), fast connection, and easy-to-use apps. Speaking of those, IPVanish VPN clients are available for literally every streaming device. With 10 simultaneous connections, you are sure to cover all the devices you have at hand.
Thanks to the log-free policy, the service hides your digital tracks completely. The 256-bit AES encryption meets the highest industry standards and is complete with strong OpenVPN, IKEv2, and some other protocols. The encryption-free anonymous connection is available as well through SOCKS5 proxy servers. DNS leak protection and Kill Switch are in place across the board. For more information about IPVanish’s functionality, make sure to take a look at our IPVanish review.
IPVanish offers various plans for those ready to subscribe. You can choose among 1 month, 3 months, and 12 months; the latter option will bring you a considerable discount. There’s a 7-day money-back guarantee, too, to see how the service fits your needs. With IPVanish, you really risk nothing, so why not give it a try?
Are Free VPNs Good to Watch BBC iPlayer?
Absolutely not! Only those providers that have large networks across the UK are able to support iPlayer. Free VPNs, unfortunately, are not among those. At best, they might have a few servers in the UK but they are easy targets for BBC blacklisting.
But let’s imagine an idealistic situation when BBC doesn’t block VPNs. Even in this case, free VPNs are not of much help due to slow connection speed, poor performance, and data caps. On top of that, your streaming experience will hit the rock bottom when dozens of annoying apps pop up on your screen.
Security standards are also low with such services – instead of protecting your privacy and anonymity, they collect data about your web activities and sell it to whoever is ready to pay. So, free VPNs are not only bad for watching BBC iPlayer, they are dangerous for users.
A VPN is the only solution to effectively unblock BBC iPlayer from abroad. Any of the services we recommend will give you an ultimate streaming experience while taking care of your security.
We will be glad to answer any questions you might have. Ask our experts in the comments and we’ll try our best to help.