The UK residents have a luxury of watching the major TV networks for free, including BBC channels and its online video service. If you prefer a computer or mobile device to a TV, you’ll surely benefit from BBC iPlayer platform that hosts hundreds of sought-after shows, programs, documentary, and movies. Despite huge popularity, this service is not available for those who live outside the UK. But don’t worry, we’ll show you how to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad. The only thing you’ll need is a trustworthy VPN.
How a VPN can help you?
BBC iPlayer recognizes UK based and foreign users by looking at their IP addresses. Those who have a UK IP address can watch it unrestrictedly, while others will get an error message. Luckily, an IP address is something you can change. VPNs are designed to hide users’ virtual locations by providing them with a new IP address in a chosen country. BBC iPlayer sees your IP address in the UK, it thinks you are the resident, and it gives you access.
On top of concealing IP addresses, VPNs are able to significantly improve online security through traffic encryption. You’ll also enjoy its anti-throttling ability important for a fast and smooth video streaming experience.
The best VPNs to watch iPlayer from abroad
Unfortunately, not all VPNs are good to watch BBC iPlayer. BBC followed the Netflix example and decided to prevent foreign viewers from using VPNs and other unblockers. Even if you are in the UK, iPlayer will be unavailable if it detects a VPN connection. Luckily, there are plenty of VPNs still working with BBC iPlayer due to large and ever-growing server networks. BBC can’t rapidly block all their servers meaning there are always locations suitable for streaming.
In a nutshell, a perfect VPN to use with iPlayer should have:
- Many server locations in the UK;
- Dedicated UK-based IP addresses;
- Great connection speed;
- Consistent performance;
- Apps for all types of devices;
- Industry-standard encryption;
- Fast and helpful support.
You don’t need to sort through dozens of providers to find those meeting the above criteria. We have already done all the research for you. Below, we present the best VPNs that will help you access BBC iPlayer from overseas:
Thanks to the biggest network in the VPN industry (totally, it has 5.800 servers, 820 of which are in the UK), NordVPN successfully bypasses geo-restrictions. The service also offers dedicated IP addresses that are unlikely to get blacklisted by BBC. Whichever option you go with, you are sure to get fast connection speed, and military-grade encryption. The service boasts many more useful security features, find out more about them from our NordVPN review.
NordVPN supplies straightforward apps for all kinds of devices. You can connect to a pre-selected server in literally one click or entrust the server selection to the SmartPlay feature. Alternatively, are able to pick the desired location by hand. Whenever you want to find out the best server to watch iPlayer with NordVPN, boldly contact the customer support, it is there for you 24/7.
With NordVPN, you get more than you pay for. You can choose from 1 month to 3 years subscription plan (keep in mind that the long-term options features up to 75% discount). Don’t miss your chance to get a reliable VPN, especially when you are covered with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Fast, well-performing, and secure, ExpressVPN is another top-notch VPN to watch iPlayer from abroad. The service boast highly-optimized network that delivers the best speeds no matter how far you are. Even though the provider doesn’t offer dedicated IPs, it has plenty of connection options to meet your streaming needs. Currently, there are 3.000 servers on its network including 6 servers in the UK.
The competent tech support is available at all times to help you choose a suitable server and solve other issues you might have along the way. However, you won’t have to contact them often since ExpressVPN is famous for smooth trouble-free operating. Security is another strong aspect of ExpressVPN. AES 256-bit encryption, a wide selection of VPN protocols, and foolproof zero-logs policy ensure a safe and anonymous connection. If you want to learn more then check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review.
The service delivers three subscription options including the 35%-discounted 1-year plan. Don’t hesitate to test it out and see if you like it, especially if there is a user-friendly 30-day refund policy in place.
Although IPVanish doesn’t lead the world in the server count (1.300 servers are available), its geographic coverage (75 countries) exceeds the industry average. With more than 80 servers in the UK, it is ideal to watch iPlayer from USA and abroad. Every server supports the strongest 256-bit AES encryption in combination with most secure connection protocols. IPVanish doesn’t register user logs to make your online sessions are private as they can be.
Thanks to the fact that IPVanish runs its own server network (for comparison, most other services rent equipment from the third-parties), it is in the top of the fastest VPNs. Its apps are stable as well no matter what device or OS you use. In case of any issues, friendly and fast customer support is available night and day. Want to learn more? Then make sure to check out this IPVanish review.
You can get IPVanish for as short as 1 month to test its functionality out and see if it satisfies your requirements. Don’t worry, the 7-day refund guarantee ensures you get your money back if something is not to your liking. If you are ready for a longer commitment, 3-month and 1-year plans are at your disposal (both are with nice discounts).
Here’s how to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad with a VPN
Follow the instructions below to change your IP address to the UK and unrestrictedly watch BBC iPlayer:
- Subscribe to one of the VPN providers you can see in this post.
- Download and Install the VPN client for a chosen device.
- Start the VPN and connect to a recommended server in the UK (ask your provider for the best location);
- Create an account with BBC iPlayer.
- When you are done, enjoy your shows!
If you did everything right but still have an error message, you can try to clear cookies and cache on your browser. Sometimes iOS or Android users run into troubles when they use a VPN app. Instead of running a VPN connection from the app, try to set up a VPN on a router and use a VPN-enhanced WiFi network to access iPlayer.
Things you need to know when using iPlayer abroad
Since BBC is constantly battling against overseas access, you will need to obtain a UK TV license and UK postcode on top of getting the best VPN for BBC iPlayer.
Luckily, BBC doesn’t really check information users provide. It means that it’s enough to choose the option “I have a TV license” and you’ll be good. As for a postcode, you can get one in the UK by using any postcode generator, like this one, for example. There is no validation for postcodes either, so as long as your geolocation looks British, you won’t face major problems accessing iPlayer.
A VPN is the only solution to bypass BBC iPlayer block from abroad. You need to pick your VPN carefully since not all the services are designed the same. The VPNs we recommend in this post have a respectable number of UK servers to overcome geo-restrictions while maintaining excellent speed and the highest security standards.
We hope this post contains all the useful information you’d like to know. If you still have questions, feel free to comment and ask our team about anything.