5 Best BBC iPlayer VPNs To Watch Abroad Online (Only These Work)
If you’re reading this, there are two possible scenarios: you’re looking for a reliable way of unblocking the popular BBC iPlayer abroad, or your current method no longer gets the job done.
Either way, we can help you out — between the BBC’s tighter control on VPNs and proxies and the various features required to bypass the block, it can be hard to find a dependable provider.
Well, your search might just be over.
We tested the best-performing VPNs on the scene and came up with the conclusive list of VPN powerhouses that will grant you smooth access to BBC iPlayer — and many other services (like Netflix) — no matter where you are. We’ll also tell you which VPNs to stay away from – VPNs that just don’t work with BBC iPlayer.
Take a look at our top 5 VPN picks for BBC iPlayer below.
VPNs that Work with BBC iPlayer
- NordVPN has more than 700 servers in the UK, making it our #1 recommendation
- ExpressVPN boasts lightning-fast speeds for seamless streaming
- CyberGhost offers dedicated UK servers for streaming BBC iPlayer
- Surfshark has servers in London and Manchester and a growing reputation
- PrivateVPN has multiple UK servers that can access BBC iPlayer
6 VPNs that Work with BBC iPlayer
- Over 700 UK servers for guaranteed access to BBC iPlayer
- Variety in features — Double VPN, Dedicated IP, Anti DDoS, and more
- Connect up to 6 devices at the same time
- Ask live chat for help at any hour
- 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans
NordVPN is a provider known for its great track record with BBC iPlayer. Over 400 available UK servers make this VPN very resourceful. Recent network improvements have also drastically increased speeds (although ExpressVPN is still marginally faster).
NordVPN provides an arsenal of advanced features, too — one of them is a dedicated IP address. This is great for hassle-free content unblocking, but unfortunately doesn’t come standard, so you’ll have to pay extra.
What does come standard is professional 24/7 live support, 6 simultaneous connections (as opposed to ExpressVPN’s 3), and a no-buts money-back guarantee for 30 days. Coupled with a strict no-logging policy and amazing encryption, this makes NordVPN a fast, secure, and reliable sidekick for streaming any geoblocked content — including BBC iPlayer.
Users are extremely happy with how NordVPN bypasses the VPN blocks so they can watch the BBC iPlayer.
NordVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV.
- Yes, P2P specialty servers available.
NordVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers.
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- Test after test found it to be the the fastest VPN out there, so you can enjoy high quality streaming with zero buffering or lag
- Split tunneling allows you to filter VPN traffic
- Streaming-optimized UK servers with OpenVPN support
- Round-the-clock customer support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
What makes a solid VPN for iPlayer? A blend of high-speed UK servers, helpful customer support, and superb privacy is what you should be looking for — and ExpressVPN checks all these boxes.
With UK servers supporting OpenVPN (both UDP and TCP) and a tight zero-logs policy, ExpressVPN is one of the safest VPNs currently available. It’s also the fastest according to our tests, so you can enjoy full HD streaming without any hiccups.
The BBC has some serious detection tools in place — they’re up there with the likes of Netflix and Hulu — so your current server may suddenly stop unblocking the service. Luckily, ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat support can hook you up with a new server and resolve the issue in no time.
So, with excellent UK server variety and lightning speeds to match, this VPN out of the British Virgin Islands is one of the most dedicated to providing the ultimate BBC iPlayer experience for fans abroad. If you end up disappointed, don’t worry — make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee!
One of the most popular VPNs – read why users love it so much here
ExpressVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity.
ExpressVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It also offers an app for use with certain routers.
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- 150+ UK servers
- Dedicated profiles — unblock iPlayer in a matter of seconds
- Attentive customer support
- 45-day money-back guarantee AND 1-day trial
CyberGhost used to have major issues with content unblocking in the past, but after a major overhaul, it quickly rose through the ranks. Nowadays, it’s one of the most capable VPNs for BBC iPlayer.
Despite the overall phantom-like theme, what you see is what you get with CyberGhost. And you get a lot — 150+ servers in the UK, zero traffic or connection logs stored, live chat support, and up to 7 connected devices are just some of the great extras.
What really sets apart this VPN, however, is the custom (and dead-simple to use) profiles. With just a couple of clicks, you can set the client in “unblocking” mode, with settings especially for BBC iPlayer.
If you run into a problem, the responsive dedicated customer support is ready to help you out at any time.
Overall, CyberGhost is a super dependable VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer. While not as fast as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, this provider makes it up with both a money-back guarantee and a 1-day trial — you can use the latter to test performance before you commit, which is a huge bonus.
CyberGhost can unblock:
- Dedicated streaming profile with servers optimized for: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others.
- Yes; dedicated profile shows countries and number of users.
CyberGhost works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome.
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- Strict zero-logs policy
- Servers in London and Manchester
- Budget-friendly VPN for accessing geoblocked content
- 24/7 customer support
- 30-day money-back guarantee, plus a 7-day free trial for Android users
Although Surfshark is one of the smaller providers on the scene, it offers excellent security features and can access censored and geoblocked content worldwide.
It has two server locations in the UK. This isn’t a lot, but it does the trick. You can use Surfshark to unlock a variety of streaming services, including BBC iPlayer.
Surfshark combines a zero-logs policy, 256-bit encryption, and an automatic kill switch to protect your data. It also offers top-of-the-line leak protection, as well as a built-in ad and malware blocker.
Surfshark’s service is value for your money, and it is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. It also offers a 7-day free trial for Android users.
Users say that they don’t have any issues bypassing pesky VPN blocks. You can read more reviews here.
Surfshark can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and others.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity.
Surfshark works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, FireTV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox.
- Offers reliable speeds and connections
- 6 UK servers available between London and Manchester
- Fantastic prices on long term plans
- Excellent support available over LiveChat
PrivateVPN may not have as many servers as some of its competitors, but the Swedish-based service doesn’t let that block your access to BBC iPlayer. Its small size just improves the quality of service on offer. With one of the best pricing plans and easiest to use interfaces, streaming BBC content could hardly be simpler.
You’ll find more than 150 servers in over 60 countries when you sign up with PrivateVPN. Plus, its servers are reliably fast, so you won’t waste time waiting for your videos to load. If you’re looking to expand your library of UK content, PrivateVPN can also unblock ITV Hub programming.
With a strict no-logs policy, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, plus an automatic kill switch, you can be sure that your browser activity will stay private, even if your connection were to drop.
You can try PrivateVPN for 30 days and still get your money back, or you can email customer support to get a 7-day free trial. It’s easy to see why users rave about PrivateVPN.
PrivateVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity; list of P2P-optimized servers available through the app.
PrivateVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
VPNs That We Tested And Couldn’t Unblock BBC iPlayer
Below, we will talk about the VPNs we tested, and tell you which services to stay away from.
- TunnelBear: Although TunnelBear operates servers in the UK, it was not able to bypass BBC iPlayer’s geoblocks.
During our tests, we also found out that TunnelBear can’t unlock Netflix. Both iPlayer and Netflix detected that we were using a VPN, and immediately blocked us.
- PureVPN: PureVPN offers servers that are specifically designed to unblock BBC iPlayer. Unfortunately, they did not work during our tests.
- GooseVPN: GooseVPN’s UK servers could not unlock BBC iPlayer when we tested them. According to its website, they are optimized for P2P connections instead.
Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad With a VPN
Getting around the geoblocks and watching your favorite shows on iPlayer isn’t as simple as it used to be — but it’s still possible. A VPN is undoubtedly the most secure and most dependable way to keep watching the BBC’s iPlayer stream. Now you know which providers are worth checking out.
What If I don’t Have a UK TV License?
When you first access BBC iPlayer, you might receive a notice that a UK TV license is required to continue. Technically, you need a TV license to watch any program on iPlayer. However, this system is honor-based and you don’t actually need to provide evidence that you have a UK TV license.
When prompted, simply click ‘I have a TV license. Watch Now.’ This should be enough to access the site.
You may also be asked for a UK postcode to prove you live in the country. Again, pick any UK postcode from a list on Google and use that. As long as you are connected to a server showing a UK IP address, you should be given access to iPlayer.
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