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How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland Live in 2023 — Easy Guide

BBC iPlayer is unavailable in Ireland due to broadcasting restrictions and licensing rights. You need a UK IP address to access your account and watch BBC TV channels while abroad. Luckily, there's a reliable solution to this problem.

You can watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland with a VPN. It’s a piece of technology that can virtually change your IP address to a UK one, making it seem like you're in the country. That way, you can stream Doctor Who, Killing Eve, or Peaky Blinders on BBC iPlayer without issues.

After testing 30+ VPNs, my top choice for unblocking BBC iPlayer is ExpressVPN because it has plenty of UK servers and lightning-fast streaming speeds. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free.

Start Watching BBC iPlayer Today

Quick Guide: How to Watch BBC iPlayer From Ireland in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend using ExpressVPN because it has a huge server network in the UK (and worldwide), superfast speeds for streaming, and powerful unblocking capabilities.
  2. Connect to a server in the UK. To get a UK IP address and access exclusive BBC content, choose a server in the UK.
  3. Start watching BBC iPlayer. Enjoy streaming your favorite British TV shows and movies.

Why You Need a VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland

BBC iPlayer is blocked in Ireland to comply with its broadcasting and licensing rights. The platform uses complex geoblocking technology to prevent access to its content library outside the UK. As a result, when you try accessing BBC iPlayer from Ireland, you get an error message like this:

BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry it’s due to rights issues.

BBC can determine your location through your IP address, a unique number that identifies your device on the internet. The best way to get around this problem is to use a VPN. VPNs hide your real IP address and replace it with a temporary UK one, making it seem like you're accessing BBC iPlayer from within the country.

However, not all VPNs can successfully unblock BBC iPlayer. The platform has started using sophisticated VPN-blocking technology in recent years to prevent users outside the UK from gaining access. Most VPNs have a limited number of servers in the UK, so the same IP can be assigned to thousands of users, which gets them quickly identified and blocked.

With the right VPN, you can easily access BBC iPlayer from Ireland without compromising your speeds. As an added benefit, it also encrypts your data to protect you against various online threats.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

Best VPNs to Watch BBC iPlayer From Ireland in 2023

All the VPNs on my list have servers in the UK, which is crucial to minimizing overcrowding and blacklisted IPs. I personally tested all of them to ensure they can successfully unblock BBC iPlayer from Ireland. Additionally, all the VPNs enjoy fast speeds for streaming without buffering in UHD quality.

Best of all, they come with trustworthy money-back guarantees, so you can test them completely risk-free.

1.ExpressVPN — Plenty of UK Servers to Access BBC iPlayer Anywhere

  • UK (and global) obfuscated servers to bypass BBC iPlayer’s geoblocks
  • MediaStreamer to stream British TV on all of your devices
  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries to access international streaming platforms
  • Can unblock: BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, ITV Hub, Channel 5, Netflix UK, BT Sport, BritBox, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers, Amazon Fire Stick, and more
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With ExpressVPN, you can easily access BBC iPlayer on the first try. Its unblocking capabilities are this good because it has servers in various UK locations and uses advanced obfuscation technology, which masks the fact that you’re using a VPN. This allows it to slip past the stubborn VPN-blocking tech that BBC uses. However, you can only use obfuscated servers when your protocol is set to automatic. During testing, I also noticed that Docklands servers work the best, so I recommend connecting to them from Ireland.

A screenshot of ExpressVPN's Docklands server unblocking Doctor Who on BBC iPlayerYou can easily stream Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer from Ireland with ExpressVPN

Its connection speeds are equally impressive. My baseline speed without a VPN was 212 Mbps. I tested servers in London, East London, Wembley, and Docklands, and my speeds averaged around 199 Mbps, which means my speed loss was only 6%. With such an insignificant speed reduction, you can stream Doctor Who (and other popular British TV shows) in full HD quality with zero buffering — you only need 25 Mbps for UHD quality viewing.

A screenshot of the speed test results for ExpressVPN's London, East London, Docklands, and Wembley serversYou can stream BBC iPlayer in full HD quality with these speeds

I also found ExpressVPN super easy to set up. It has native apps for all major platforms and takes less than 2 minutes to install them. It even has a dedicated router app, enabling you to use the VPN on all devices connected to your home WiFi. This way, you’re no longer limited to 5 simultaneous device connections. You can even get a router through FlashRouters with ExpressVPN already pre-configured.

Its prices are on the more expensive side, starting at $6.67/month. However, ExpressVPN regularly offers generous discounts on its long-term plans that can lower your subscription costs by 49%. With its current offer, I also got 3 months of using the VPN for free.

ExpressVPN also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can ask for a refund if you aren’t 100% happy with it. I contacted customer support via the company’s 24/7 live chat feature to confirm its refund policy. The support agent was delightful and didn’t pressure me to stay. My refund was approved immediately, no questions asked, and I got my money back in my bank account within 3 days.

Watch BBC iPlayer With ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — BBC iPlayer Optimized Servers for Easy Streaming

  • Dedicated servers for BBC iPlayer to easily unblock your account in Ireland
  • 9,758 servers in 91 countries to access your streaming accounts when traveling
  • User-friendly apps that are perfect for beginners
  • Can unblock: BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, ITV Hub, Channel 5, Netflix UK, BT Sport, BritBox, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers, Amazon Fire Stick, and more
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CyberGhost has optimized streaming servers for BBC iPlayer, which can help you watch staple BBC shows like Killing Eve with ease. These dedicated servers are tested regularly to ensure that you can always unblock iPlayer. You can quickly find these servers under the “For streaming” category. I also love that you can mark them as Favorites by clicking the star icon, so you can access them immediately when you launch the app.

A screenshot of CyberGhost's app showing streaming optimized servers for BBC iPlayer and other UK platformsI could stream UK TV easily with all these CyberGhost’s dedicated servers

Similarly to ExpressVPN, its speeds are superfast. When I tested Berkshire and Manchester servers, my speed averaged around 178 Mbps, resulting in a minimal speed loss (only 16%). To put things into perspective, you only need 5 Mbps to stream in HD. I experienced no buffering while watching EastEnders on BBC iPlayer.

CyberGhost can also provide you with your own dedicated IP address in the UK for a small extra fee. Since you’re not sharing your IP with other users, it’s unlikely that iPlayer will flag it because it belongs to a VPN. That way, you can enjoy BBC content without worrying that your address will be blocked.

CyberGhost’s monthly cost is a bit expensive and only provides a 14-day money-back guarantee. However, its long-term plans are budget-friendly at $2.19/month. I recommend the 3-year option as it has the same great features as more expensive plans and a longer money-back guarantee.

You can try CyberGhost free for 45 days, and if it doesn’t fit your needs, you can request your money back. I wanted to see how well its refund process works, so I contacted its support team via the 24/7 live chat. After asking me only one troubleshooting question, they agreed to refund me — the whole experience was hassle-free. I received the full amount on my Paypal account after only 4 days.

Watch BBC iPlayer With CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access — A Vast Server Network to Watch BBC iPlayer Buffer-Free

  • 29,650+ servers worldwide, many throughout the UK, to reduce overcrowding and enhance speeds
  • Dedicated IP address to prevent your IP getting blocked by BBC iPlayer
  • 24/7 live chat to quickly contact its customer support if you need assistance
  • Can unblock: BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, ITV Hub, Channel 5, Netflix UK, BT Sport, BritBox, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers, Amazon Fire Stick, and more
January 2023 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

PIA’s large server network in the UK is ideal for flawless streaming. In fact, it has servers in London, Manchester, and Southampton. With so many UK servers at your disposal, you can easily find a server offering the best speeds and won’t have to worry about overcrowding. It also has London-Streaming servers, which are optimized for watching content in the UK. I watched the live stream of BBC Two without interruption.

A screenshot of PIA's UK London-Streaming server unblocking a live stream of BBC Two on BBC iPlayerI could stream BBC Two with ease thanks to PIA

I tested PIA’s Manchester servers, and my average download speed was 161.82 Mbps. As I’m thousands of miles from the UK, a 24% speed reduction is a great result. You’ll experience no patchiness or buffering with these speeds.

It also allows for 10 simultaneous device connections. I wanted to see how well it performs when the maximum number of devices are connected. After installing it on my Windows PC, several smartphones, and an iPad, I noticed no differences in speed or video quality with all these simultaneous connections.

The only downside is that PIA’s apps aren’t the most beginner-friendly. This is because it provides many customization options to balance speed with security. However, the good news is that the app comes pre-configured for streaming, so you can connect to a UK server and watch BBC iPlayer almost immediately.

Its long-term subscription costs only $2.19/month. Short-term options are more expensive despite no additional features, so I went with the 2-year plan.

In addition, you can try PIA risk-free using the 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested its refund policy by contacting support via email and got a response within an hour. The process was painless. After a few quick questions, the rep granted my request, and I received my money back on my credit card after 5 days.

Watch BBC iPlayer With PIA

How to Sign Up for BBC iPlayer From Ireland

BBC iPlayer is free to use, but just remember that if you’re streaming on your phone, your mobile operator may charge you for data usage. You can sign up for BBC iPlayer from Ireland following these simple steps:

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it has plenty of lightning-fast servers in the UK.
  2. Connect to a UK server. I suggest connecting to ExpressVPN’s Docklands servers since they reliably work with iPlayer.
  3. Go to Click on the “Sign in” option. Since you need to create an account, select “Register Now”. You’ll need to choose whether the account is for someone “Under 16” or “16 or over”. I assume this is for parental control purposes.
  4. Fill out the requested information, including your age, date of birth, email, password, gender, and postal code. You can use NE1 1DG, NE4 9LU, or NE5 5AN for a postal code. Please note that your content may be regionalized slightly based on the postal code you enter.

    A screenshot of instructions on how to sign up for BBC iPlayerI found the sign-up process for BBC iPlayer to be straightforward

  5. Click on the “Register” button, and verify your email.
  6. Select what you want to watch, and confirm that you have a UK TV license. The BBC doesn’t ask for proof of license, so your confirmation is enough.

    A screenshot of a pop-up window asking if you have a TV license that shows up on BBC iPlayer before you stream contentBBC iPlayer is freely available to UK residents

  7. Enjoy all the BBC content you want.

You can find the BBC iPlayer app for Android devices in Ireland’s Google Play store. Your device needs to be running on Android 5.0 or above to be able to use the app. BBC iPlayer is also compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Fire Stick, PS3, PS4, and Smart TVs.

However, you might need to watch iPlayer through your web browser because the app doesn’t always work. These browsers reliably work with BBC iPlayer: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free

How to Watch BBC iPlayer on Firestick Outside the UK

You can watch BBC iPlayer on Fire TV Stick (Fire OS 5 and above) by following these easy steps:

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend using ExpressVPN because it has a native app for Fire TV Stick and blazing-fast speeds, and plenty of servers in the UK.
  2. Download the VPN app on your Fire TV Stick. You can find the app for ExpressVPN on the Amazon App store.
  3. Connect to a UK server. I recommend ExpressVPN’s Docklands servers because they consistently unblock the BBC iPlayer app.
  4. Open the BBC iPlayer app and choose what you want to watch.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer on Kodi From Ireland

You can also stream BBC iPlayer on Kodi by downloading the iPlayer WWW addon from the official Kodi repository.

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN as it’s compatible with Kodi and offers fast speeds for uninterrupted streaming.
  2. Connect to a server in the UK. I suggest connecting to a Docklands server to reliably unblock BBC iPlayer.
  3. Open Kodi and go to Addons. Click on the “package” icon in the top left corner of the screen.
  4. Choose “Install from repository” from the list. Select the Kodi Addon repository, and then go to Video addons.
  5. Find the iPlayer WWW addon and click the “Install” icon at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Launch the BBC iPlayer app from the Kodi home screen.
  7. Enjoy streaming your favorite BBC programming.

Watch BBC iPlayer on Any Device Now

FAQs on Watching BBC iPlayer in Ireland With a VPN

How do I get BBC iPlayer on Sky in Ireland?

Unfortunately, the BBC iPlayer app is unavailable on Sky Ireland, but you can still watch BBC channels and on-demand shows through it. Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay for a costly monthly Sky TV subscription, you can access BBC iPlayer in Ireland with a VPN.

VPNs can provide you with a temporary UK IP address to access iPlayer directly as if you were in the UK. That way, you can access all the unique iPlayer features, such as downloading the shows for offline viewing.

Why is BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN?

It’s probably not working because BBC iPlayer's sophisticated VPN-blocking technology has detected you using a VPN. You can fix this by disconnecting from your current UK server and reconnecting to another to get a new UK IP address. That’s why you might want to choose a VPN that has plenty of UK servers.

If this doesn’t work, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. The final step should be contacting your VPN’s customer support. The support team can help you identify the issue and provide a list of servers that can reliably unblock the BBC iPlayer.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland for free?

Technically, yes. While BBC iPlayer is blocked in Ireland, it is available in the UK for free. All you need is a VPN with plenty of UK servers and strong unblocking capabilities to access iPlayer in Ireland.

While reputable VPNs aren’t free, most of them come with a money-back guarantee, so you can try them without risk.

How can I watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland on my iPhone or iPad?

Yes, you can watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland on your iOS devices (iOS 12 or above) by following these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend using ExpressVPN because it has a huge server network in the UK, and its iOS app is super easy to use.
  2. Connect to a server in the UK. ExpressVPN’s Docklands servers have proven to work really well with BBC iPlayer.
  3. Open Settings on your iOS device, and click on your name.
  4. Go to the Media & Purchases category, and tap on the View Account option. You might need to sign in here.
  5. Click on the Country/Region option, and tap on Change Country or Region. Here you can select the UK. After that, you need to review the terms and conditions and agree to them.
  6. Enter your payment method and billing address. You can put any UK address here, as no proof is required.
  7. Download the BBC iPlayer app in the Apple App store. Open the app and enjoy watching the BBC on-demand content from Ireland.

Important. Any remaining ID balance on your Apple ID will be lost after you change your region. If you have any gift cards, don’t redeem them before changing the region. You might need to cancel your subscriptions and re-download your apps. Apple may also prevent you from changing your region more often than once per 90 days.

Can I use a free VPN to access BBC iPlayer from Ireland?

No, free VPNs can’t unblock BBC iPlayer. That’s because they limit server locations to save costs. I personally tested out a couple of them, and none were successful. A premium VPN with a money-back guarantee is a more reliable option. That way, you can try it risk-free.

Free VPN servers are also overcrowded, which negatively affects your speed and causes their IP addresses to be blacklisted at a higher rate. BBC iPlayer has most likely blocked all IPs belonging to free VPNs, and you can lose a lot of time trying to find a working one.

Plus, they limit the amount of data you can use. Unfortunately, those data caps can be as low as 500MB per month, which isn’t enough to finish streaming even a single episode of Doctor Who.

In addition, free VPNs are notoriously unsafe. Some can infect you with malware, and others contain tracking libraries embedded in them to collect your data and sell it to third parties.

Do I need a TV license to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland?

Yes, you do. The BBC provides iPlayer as a free service to UK residents, but TV license payments fund its operation. However, it doesn’t require proof that you have a TV license. You only need to confirm that you have one when the pop-up window appears.

Unfortunately, even if you are a UK citizen with a valid TV license, you won’t be able to watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland. You need to use a VPN to virtually change your location to a UK one to unblock the service.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer live from Ireland?

Yes, you can. Simply launch your VPN and connect to a UK server to get a British IP address. Then, you can watch the following BBC channels live:

  • BBC One, Two, Three, and Four
  • BBC Radio 1
  • CBBC
  • CBeebies
  • BBC Scotland
  • BBC News
  • BBC Parliament
  • BBC Alba
  • S4C

With live streams of these channels, you can keep up with various sports, including football, tennis, Formula 1, cricket, and rugby. Stream the Premier League, and the World Cup live and enjoy the best Wimbledon, Australia Open, French Open, and US Open matches. With BBC News, you can also keep up to date with the current affairs in the world.

Is it legal to watch BBC iPlayer from Ireland using a VPN?

VPN use is legal in Ireland and the UK, so you can freely use a VPN to access BBC iPlayer from Ireland. Just, launch your VPN and connect to a UK server to get a UK IP address. However, you can’t watch iPlayer if you don’t have a valid UK TV license. The BBC doesn’t ask for proof that you have one, but watching its content without one might go against its regulations. However, the national broadcaster hasn’t revealed if it plans to implement any detection methods.

Also, using a VPN to access BBC iPlayer, might be against the service’s T&Cs. Be sure to read through its policy to avoid accidentally breaking any rules.

Watch BBC iPlayer With ExpressVPN

Start Watching BBC iPlayer in Ireland Now

BBC iPlayer is unavailable outside the UK, but you can still watch it in Ireland with a VPN. However, only premium VPNs (like the ones on my list) can reliably unblock the service.

I recommend using ExpressVPN because of its vast server network in the UK and blazing-fast speeds for streaming British TV shows and movies. It’s also backed by a 30-day guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN risk-free. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with it, you can request a full refund.

To summarize, the best VPNs for watching BBC iPlayer in Ireland are…

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About the Author

Obren is a technology researcher and writer. He is a strong believer in online privacy and digital freedom.

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