How to Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad

BBC iPlayer has been around since 2007 and is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s offering in the UK and a limited number of other countries.

Going for nearly 100 years since 1922, the BBC is synonymous with broadcasting worldwide as a trusted source of unbiased news and entertainment. The BBC is unique because it is state-owned and paid for by subscription from UK license holder who pays an annual “TV License”

Since iPlayer was released it has been widely successful, processing over 3 billion requests per year.

Why is BBC iPlayer Geo-Restricted?

As the BBC is essentially funded by British citizens, iPlayer is only available to UK based IP addresses. 

You are also asked to make an account and confirm whether you have a TV License. In the UK being caught watching TV without a TV license can make you liable for a fine.

This means that if your IP is not based in the UK, you will be unable to access BBC iPlayer.

What Content is Available?

BCC Blue Planet BBC London Kills

The BBC has a long history of producing world-famous shows, many of which were later syndicated by US cable channels for the American market.

Recent years have seen massive hits in the form of Sherlock Holmes, Killing Eve, Luther, Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, Call the Midwife.

American continues to be the biggest market for UK shows, with many American’s finding British TV offering a different type of show to the ones they are used to in the United States.

BBC iPlayer offers an enormous range of shows and boxsets. Some show only stay on the platform for 30 days due to licensing rights, but because the BBC is so old it has a library rivaling Netflix due to the fact it has been around for much longer.

You could watch the famous Blue Planet series by David Attenborough. Check-in with some sport from Wimbledon. Or watch the hundreds of soaps and crime dramas that the British public love from the world-famous EastEnders to Holby City and London Kills.

Crack Down Efforts?

In recent years due to BBC iPlayer’s growing popularity abroad, the BBC have followed Netflix by making it increasingly difficult for their service to be accessed outside of the UK.

In part because if you can show their servers that you reside within the UK then the service is essentially free as it assumes you are a TV license payer.

iPlayer is very popular in the US, as US Cables threatened to pull BBC America if the BBC released iPlayer in the US so they relented.

iPlayer is felt to be almost as difficult as Netflix when trying to connect from a VPN. In part, because the BBC employers over 20,000 people and has significant resources at their disposal to make it harder for people to connect to iPlayer outside of the country.

So, having a VPN is no longer enough to connect to BBC iPlayer, choose from one of our top VPN’s to get your latest fix of British TV.

Top 5 VPN’s for BBC iPlayer

All of the providers below have been tested and work comprehensively with BBC iPlayer, the same I also true for Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon Prime Video.

To connect to BBC iPlayer, simply join one of our Top 5 providers and connect to one of their UK servers, then navigate to BBC iPlayer’s website to access the site, as your IP is now shown to be coming from within the UK.


IPVanish Logo

IPVanish offers 40,000+ IP’s across 1,300+ servers and 75+ countries. They offer consistent fast speeds, a number of super-fast servers in the UK. As well as Tier 1 architecture meaning they own all their own DNS servers. Ideal for avoiding DNS leaks and making sure your data is secure.

IPVanish had no problem connecting to BBC iPlayer on any of its UK servers.

Prices for their annual plan start from as low as $6.49 per month with a 7-day money-back guarantee. You get unlimited data and bandwidth and can connect a massive 10 devices simultaneously. Which means all of your family’s devices can be connected at the same time with multiple people streaming from different locations

They have a trustworthy zero logs policy. This means that none of your browsing or location data is kept on file 

They offer top of the line military-grade security. IPVanish uses 256-bit AES encryption, making your connection unbreakable. You also have the choice of a wide selection of security protocols like OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec.

IPVanish also has great customer service.  Lodge a support ticket, speak to someone on live chat or call their toll-free number. Meaning any problems connecting to BBC iPlayer you can contact them directly to be directed to the best working server.

Visit IPVansih


Express VPN Logo

ExpressVPN has been consistent as a market leader in the VPN industry for many years. It has also proven to be effective in accessing region-restricted content and also circumventing censorship restrictions in countries like China. You know if a company can be utilized in China they will have no problem getting past BBC iPlayer.

All of the servers we tested for ExpressVPN unlocked BBC iPlayer easily.

People love ExpressVPN because just like IPVanish it is a Tier 1 VPN provider owning all of its own architecture. Your connection will use their DNS servers which masks your traffic to look normal and secured. The reason why many VPN providers fail to access BBC iPlayer is that their firewall inspects the data packets and can see it is coming from a VPN.

As they own all their infrastructure they are also famous for speed. With 1,700+ servers in 94 countries, they offer truly global coverage and will allow you to access a fast connection wherever you want to watch BBC iPlayer. Even in South America and Asia.

They also have top of the line military-grade encryption and an application both mobile and web which is a simple one-click design that even the least tech-savvy user can get their head around

Their annual subscriptions start from $8.32 per month, and though you pay more than most other providers you will get quality. You can connect up to 5 devices at the same time and get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Visit Express VPN


NordVPN Logo

NordVPN alongside ExpressVPN and IPVanish are another Tier 1 VPN provider offering enormous value and ease of use. They have the biggest number of servers of any VPN provider with over 5,000 servers across 60+ countries. Making them unrivaled in the industry.

We have no problem connecting to BBC iPlayer with any of their servers.

NordVPN also offers some cool additional features some other providers don’t. Cybersec is their inbuilt adblocker and malware software which makes browsing the internet a dream. They also offer DoubleVPN which routes your connection through 2 VPN servers making it untraceable.

Many of their servers have been modified for streaming and P2P file transfer which means you can enjoy a super-fast connection anywhere around the world. They also have a great zero logs policy which has been tested in a criminal court.

Because Nord is so big they can offer all of this for one of the lowest prices in the industry, you can get a 3-year pass from $2.29 per month and the ability to connect 6 devices simultaneously. You also get 30 days to cool off and get your money back if NordVPN isn’t for you.

Visit NordVPN


CyberGhost Logo

Cyberghost has been around since 2011 and boasts over 30 million users. They consistently deliver great customer service. Reflected in regular updates and a great support team.

Cyberghost’s application is so easy to use. All you have to do is click on the BBC iPlayer tile and you will be connected to the best and fastest server. 

You can also enjoy super-fast speeds and continuous streaming. 1,000 of their 3,700+ servers have been specially adapted to allow for super-fast download and upload speeds.

As an added layer of protection, Cyberghost uses a similar system to IPVanish where your IP is shared amongst many different users. IP Pooling makes it impossible for anybody to discern who does what. They have a trusted zero logs policy and military-grade encryption offered by all of the other providers.

Just like NordVPN they are also incredibly competitive on price, with their 3-year package starting from $2.21 a month, allowing you to connect up to 7 devices at the same time. They also offer the longest money-back guarantee period of 45 days.

Visit Cyberghost VPN


SurfShark Logo

Our last entry is a newcomer to the VPN industry that is taking off. Surf Shark is one of the fastest-growing VPNs of 2019. Due to its great speeds, a growing number of servers, cheap prices, and great features.

Surf Shark also distinguishes itself by being able to consistently connect to both BBC iPlayer and Netflix with ease.

You get a host of additional features that rivals NordVPN. Including Clean Web, which is an inbuilt adblocker, as well as filtering out suspicious websites and preventing malware injections

You also get several proprietary security protocols. Camouflage Mode makes your traffic look normal by scrambling your metadata. No Borders Mode allows you to circumvent even the strictest firewall and deep packet inspections. You can also rout your connection through 2 neighboring countries using MultiHop

What people love most about Surfshark is the price. A 2-year plan starts from $2.99 a month offering unlimited connections. You can also get a 30-day free trial and then a 30-day money-back guarantee.

VisIt Surfshark VPN


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  • I’m glad you mention Surfshark as I just recently bought a subscription with them. So far so good but it’s still reassuring to see it included in the lists like this. Thanks.

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