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4 Best (REALLY FREE) VPNs For BBC iPlayer — Works in 2021

It’s not easy to find a free VPN that actually unblocks BBC iPlayer. Most free VPNs have severe limitations such as data caps, small server networks, and slow speeds — making it almost impossible to stream. Even worse, they can put your safety at risk by exposing you to malware or selling your data to third parties.

To save you time and prevent the risk of encountering any shady VPN apps, I tested 30 VPNs and shortlisted the best ones for BBC iPlayer. Of all the VPNs tested, I found a handful of free options that work reliably, but most of them come with some limitations.

ExpressVPN is my top recommendation. It has no data caps, UK servers that bypass BBC iPlayer’s geoblocks effortlessly, and speeds fast enough to watch in Ultra HD. It’s only limitation is that it’s not 100% free. However, it comes with a money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN with BBC iPlayer risk-free. If you don’t like it, then you can claim a full refund within 30 days. I tested the guarantee myself to make sure it’s trustworthy and they stood by it — getting my money back was no hassle.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free VPNs for BBC iPlayer in December 2021

  1. ExpressVPN — Lightning-fast with unlimited data for uninterrupted streaming, plus tons of UK servers for reliable access to BBC iPlayer (and you can test it risk-free for 30 days).
  2. CyberGhost — Streaming optimized servers that unblock BBC iPlayer without hassle. Superfast UK speeds for lag-free streaming, but slightly slower long-distance servers.
  3. TunnelBear — GhostBear disguises your VPN traffic so you can unblock BBC iPlayer with ease. Consistent speeds to stream without buffering, but only 500 MB of data per month.
  4. Speedify — Extensive UK server network for dependable access to BBC iPlayer. Unique protocols to boost streaming speeds. However, data is limited to 2 GB monthly.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

Best Free VPNs For BBC iPlayer — Full Analysis (Updated December 2021)

1. ExpressVPN — Superfast Speeds to Enjoy BBC iPlayer Without Lag

  • Lightning-fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth to stream BBC iPlayer without buffering
  • 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, including 4 UK locations to access BBC iPlayer from anywhere
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Browsers, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, routers, and more
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get ExpressVPN now at 49% off + 3 months completely free!

ExpressVPN’s ultra-fast speeds are perfect for high-quality streaming on BBC iPlayer. During my tests, I connected to 4 of its UK servers to see how well they performed. I was impressed to see an average of 54 Mbps, which is more than double what you need to watch in Ultra HD. I didn’t experience any lag whatsoever as I watched 3 episodes of EastEnders.

With servers in 4 UK locations, it’s easy to find a reliable connection to unblock BBC iPlayer. If one location isn’t the fastest, you can simply switch to another server. I tested its Wembley, London, East London, and Docklands servers — BBC iPlayer worked with all of them. I also found it helpful that you can save your favorite UK server for quick access. For instance, I saved London since it gave me the best speeds.

Screenshot showing ExpressVPN streaming The Missing on BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN got straight past the geoblocks, as if they weren’t even there

The MediaStreamer feature allows you to unblock content on devices that normally don’t support VPNs. This includes game consoles and smart TVs. Following a short tutorial, I set up ExpressVPN on my PS4. Even though it only works with US streaming, I was happy to access US Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max directly on my big screen. You can still unblock BBC iPlayer on these devices, but you’ll need to set it up on your router. I was happy to have this capability since most free VPNs don’t support routers.

Although it’s not really free, ExpressVPN does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. With this, you get unlimited data and speeds, and access to its full network of servers. This way, you’ll be able to test ExpressVPN with BBC iPlayer risk-free. If you’re not happy with it, you can easily get a refund. When I tested this policy, the process was simple. I used the 24/7 live chat feature to make my request. The agent asked me a few user-experience related questions, then quickly processed my refund. I saw the money in my account 2 days later.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

2. CyberGhost — Specialty Servers to Access BBC iPlayer With Ease

  • Superfast speeds and unlimited bandwidth to watch BBC iPlayer with zero buffering
  • 7,410+ servers in 90+ countries, including 4 UK locations to enjoy BBC iPlayer from any location
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Browsers, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, routers, and more
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get CyberGhost now at 83% off! You'll pay only $2.17/month! 

CyberGhost’s 24-hour free trial offers streaming-optimized servers that ensure you’ll always have a reliable connection for BBC iPlayer. I found these easily within the app when I clicked “For Streaming”. After connecting, BBC iPlayer loaded up in about 7 seconds.

All of its UK servers are lightning-fast. I tested each of these locations (London, Berkshire, and Manchester) and had an average speed of 44 Mbps. This is 9x what is required for HD streaming. I was able to watch Fort Salem on BBC iPlayer without any buffering. With these speeds, you can watch your favorite BBC iPlayer shows in high definition.

Its smart DNS feature helps you unblock BBC iPlayer on smart TVs and game consoles. There are easy-to-follow tutorials on CyberGhost’s website for setting it up. I tested this with my Apple TV — all I had to do was enter a code in the device’s settings. Immediately after, I could access BBC iPlayer.

Image of CyberGhost successfully unblocking BBC iPlayer

CyberGhost is fast enough so that you can watch shows in uninterrupted HD

You can try CyberGhost for free with its 24-hour trial — it’s not long, but it includes unlimited access to its features, data, and speeds. CyberGhost also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee when you sign up. However, unlike the trial, you have to pay for a plan upfront. That being said, this option gives you a lot more time to use the VPN with BBC iPlayer. I tested the refund policy and can confirm that it’s reliable. All I had to do was request the money back via live chat and answer some quick questions. Within 5 days, the payment was returned to my account.

Try CyberGhost Free Today!

3. TunnelBear — GhostBear Feature Unblocks BBC iPlayer Without Hassle

  • Fast speeds to enjoy BBC iPlayer without buffering with 500MB data per month
  • 2,600+ servers in 40+, including 1 UK location to access BBC iPlayer from anywhere
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, HBO Max, YouTube, Spotify, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, and more

TunnelBear gives you reliable access to BBC iPlayer with its GhostBear feature. This security setting makes it difficult for streaming platforms to detect that you’re using a VPN. During my tests, I enabled GhostBear with just one click in the app’s settings and had no problem accessing my BBC iPlayer account.

It’s also superfast so you can binge-watch your favorite content without interruptions. I tested the speeds of its UK location with an online tool, which gave me 32 Mbps. This let me load an episode of Master Chef within seconds. Even in high definition, I didn’t encounter any buffering while watching the show.

With its user-friendly app, it’s quick and easy to unblock BBC iPlayer. The TunnelBear app uses a world map feature. To test this, I just clicked the “tunnel” icon in the UK, and it automatically connected me. I found this to be much faster than manually selecting a server from the list.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear limits your data to just 500MB monthly. This only gives you about 30-40 minutes of regular-quality streaming. However, you can easily get an extra 1GB of data if you use your Twitter account to tweet the company.

Try TunnelBear Free Today!

4. Speedify — Dedicated Streaming Mode to Watch Shows in HD

  • Consistent speeds to stream BBC iPlayer without lag and 2GB of data per month
  • 50+ server locations in 30, including 1 UK location for reliable access to BBC iPlayer
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Spotify
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, and more

Speedify’s Bonding Mode gives your streaming speeds a boost. It sends your data over 2 or more internet connections at once to increase speeds. To enable this in the app, I selected “Streaming” under Bonding Mode. Afterwards, I noticed shows loaded much faster, and I didn’t get interrupted by any buffering. Unfortunately, this can use up your WiFi and cellular data quickly.

It offers 8 London servers for free, so you can choose the most reliable connection for watching BBC iPlayer. This is especially helpful if you encounter slow speeds or have trouble unblocking the site with one of them (just try another one). I tested all of these servers and initially had trouble finding one that worked with BBC iPlayer. Luckily, when I connected to its London #11 server, I had no problem accessing my account.

Navigating the app is hassle-free, making it a user-friendly option for BBC iPlayer. It even has a built-in speed testing tool. I used it to test its different London servers — this helped me determine which would give me the fastest streaming speeds.

Speedify offers 2GB of free data per month, which is only enough to stream in SD for about 3 hours. Still, it is a reliable choice if you just want to watch a sports match or a specific movie that’s only available on BBC iPlayer.

Try Speedify Free Today!

Warning: Risks of Free VPNs

It’s nearly impossible to find a free VPN that can actually bypass BBC iPlayer’s tough geoblocks — plus, many of them come with legitimate safety risks. The safest way to access BBC iPlayer for free is to use a premium VPN that comes with a money-back guarantee. It’s best to stick to the VPNs in this list because we made sure they are safe to use. These are some of the risks associated with free VPNs:

  • Some free VPNs collect and sell your data. The data collected is often shared with various third parties, which may put your safety at risk. Before downloading a free VPN for BBC iPlayer, make sure you carefully read its privacy policy. There have been many cases when a free VPN sold its user data for profits.
  • Free VPNs often have poor security features. Usually, these free services are offered at the expense of your online safety. Meaning, they don’t provide critical security features such as leak protection and a kill switch to ensure you have safe and reliable access to BBC iPlayer.
  • Some free services come with viruses and malware. Even if not, most free VPNs are ad-supported, so they won’t block ads or pop-ups from bombarding you when you watch BBC iPlayer. Popups are not only annoying but can also contain malware.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for BBC iPlayer

I tested all the VPNs on my list for these key features. Here’s a rundown of what to look for, so you can make your own informed decision when choosing the right free VPN for BBC iPlayer:

  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer consistently. A large selection of UK servers will allow you to access BBC iPlayer more reliably. It will also ensure that you have plenty of additional servers in case you run into lag or overcrowding.
  • Really free. I ensured that the VPNs on my list are 100% free or come with a reliable money-back guarantee. There wasn’t any misleading information involving payment or hidden fees.
  • Fast speeds. The faster the speeds, the faster content will load and play back. For HD streaming on BBC iPlayer, 5 Mbps is required. I used a free online tool to test each VPN in this list to make sure it meets this requirement.
  • Easy to set up and use. All of the VPNs on this list are compatible with the most popular devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and more. I also made sure the apps are easy to use for unblocking BBC iPlayer.
  • Reliable customer support. I checked that the VPNs in this list offer dependable customer support, whether that’s by email, contact form, or a 24/7 live chat. This will help you deal with any issues that may arise in a timely manner.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

FAQs on Free VPNs for BBC iPlayer

Can I watch BBC iPlayer in Australia or the US?

Yes, you can with a VPN. A VPN with UK servers and strong security features can help you unblock the site from anywhere. All of the VPNs in this list offer several UK IP addresses to ensure you’ll always have a reliable connection. This will allow you to access your BBC iPlayer account while traveling abroad, whether to Australia, or the US.

What if BBC iPlayer doesn’t work with my VPN?

First, you should try changing your browser and disable GPS and IPv6 on your device. If this doesn’t work, you can try switching to a different UK server with your VPN. If none of this works, the VPN you’re using may be leaking your real location. To successfully mask your IP, you should use a VPN with strong security features like military-grade encryption and DNS/IP leak protection. All of the VPNs in my list offer these features — plus, they give you access to several UK servers. This way, if you have trouble unblocking BBC iPlayer, you have alternative connections to try.

Can I use a free proxy for BBC iPlayer?

You can, but I would not recommend it. Proxies do not give you the same level of protection as VPNs — they lack encryption and other key security features needed to keep you safe. This can also make them unreliable for unblocking BBC iPlayer since it’s easier to detect that you’re using a proxy. For reliable and safe access to BBC iPlayer, it’s best to use a free VPN that’s highly secure and effectively masks your location.

Do I need a UK TV license to watch BBC iPlayer abroad?

Technically yes, but it’s complicated. To watch BBC iPlayer from abroad, you’ll just need a BBC iPlayer account. The easiest way to sign up is to use a reliable VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer and register your account. Before you play a title, BBC iPlayer will ask if you have a UK TV license. You only have to click “I have a TV license. Watch Now.” to confirm, and you’ll be able to access the site’s content.

That being said, it does go against British law and BBC iPlayer’s terms and conditions to confirm that you have a UK TV license if you don’t. We don’t recommend breaking any laws, so please read up on the latest rules and regulations surrounding access to BBC iPlayer so you don’t break any rules.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

Start Watching BBC iPlayer Today

BBC iPlayer uses tough geoblocks that most free VPNs cannot get past. On top of this, there are several risks associated with free VPNs. They’ve been known to sell your data to third parties, target you with ads, and expose your device to malware. Luckily, my team and I found a few free VPNs that consistently access BBC iPlayer.

My top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has lightning-fast speeds and tons of UK servers, so you’ll always have a fast and reliable connection for streaming your favorite BBC content. While it’s not 100% free, it does offer a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee. This way, you can test it with BBC iPlayer risk-free. If you’re not happy with it, it’s easy to claim a refund.

Top VPNs You Can Try Risk-Free With Money-Back Guarantees…

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

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About the Author

Ernest is a long-life writer and a cybersecurity enthusiast. He enjoys dissecting bespoke tech and is a strong proponent of digital freedom.

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