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How to Watch BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN (EASY 2023)

BBC iPlayer is very rich in content but also incredibly harsh on VPNs. This means that if you want to watch it from outside the UK there are very few VPNs you can rely on. The best of the bunch, in my experience, is definitely ExpressVPN.

It has a huge server network of 3,000 servers in 94 countries, so I had an easy time getting a UK IP address. Plus, with the lightning-fast speeds of ExpressVPN’s new Lightway protocol and the convenience of its MediaStreamer feature, I didn’t experience issues while bingeing the last seasons of Bloodlands or EastEnders.

What truly makes it the best option for BBC iPlayer is that it has very little trouble getting through the platform’s geoblocks and firewalls; something almost all other VPNs struggle with.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t some problems that can occur while using ExpressVPN and we’ll address those below. If you’re still not certain, you can rest easy knowing its 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to purchase a plan risk-free.

Quick Guide: How to Watch BBC iPlayer With ExpressVPN in January 2023

  1. Subscribe to ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and install the app, and connect to a server in the UK.
  3. Go to BBC iPlayer and start watching.

Watch BBC iPlayer With ExpressVPN Now!

Already Have ExpressVPN but Can’t Access BBC iPlayer?

Not even the best VPN on the market is 100% immune to problems when it comes to the BBC iPlayer and other streaming platforms like it. The main reason is that platforms such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon are constantly innovating and updating their software to identify, block, and blacklist VPNs’ servers.

Add the risk of some minor issues or oversights on your end and it shouldn’t be surprising if your VPN stops working at a certain point. Fortunately, most of the possible problems have quick and easy solutions. I’ve covered most of them below in a simple and rookie-friendly way:

  • Disconnect and reconnect the VPN: VPNs are like any other software in that regard and turning them off and on again will solve most issues.
  • Clear your cache and cookies: Services like ExpressVPN work by hiding your location data from the sites you’re visiting and giving you temporary access to servers and IPs in any country so it looks like you’re actually there.
    That said, even the best premium VPN can’t hide all your data and sites like the BBC iPlayer are getting better and better at peaking through your browser’s cache. To avoid that problem, simply clear your browser history.
  • Use an Incognito browser window: Another way to stop the BBC iPlayer from peaking into your browser’s data is to use an incognito window. This is one area that even the best VPNs don’t cover but a good browser’s incognito mode can complement ExpressVPN very effectively.
  • Change the VPN’s protocols: ExpressVPN’s new Lightway protocol makes this the fastest VPN service on the market and is great for watching BBC iPlayer. However, depending on your server, circumstances, or a new update of the streaming platform, you may have to switch to a different protocol to avoid detection. The service has many protocols to choose from, including OpenVPN, WireGuard, PPTP, IKEv2, and others. Changing your VPN’s operating protocol is easy - just go to the app’s settings and pick a different one. Lightway is not the only protocol fast enough for streaming so try them all until you find one that works.
  • Switch to a different VPN server: Another possible issue is that BBC iPlayer has simply figured out that you’re using a VPN’s server and has blocked it. This is one of the main ways streaming platforms try to counter VPNs. ExpressVPN has a large enough server network so that you can always switch to a different server and the issue usually resolves itself.
  • Update the VPN: Keeping your VPN up to date is crucial if you want to reliably access platforms such as BBC iPlayer. That’s because streaming services are also constantly being updated to try and block VPNs.
  • Run a leak test: Our browsers are not the only place data can leak from, just the most common one. Another frequent culprit is the WiFi extender. To pinpoint the exact source of the leak, running a leak test is often a good idea.
  • Contact customer service: If none of the above seems to work, don’t hesitate to contact ExpressVPN’s 24/7 customer service. In my experience, they are very professional and experienced and will likely find out what your issue is.
  • Switching to a different VPN: This may end up being your only option. ExpressVPN is the best service for BBC iPlayer at the moment, however, so I’d suggest going through the above steps and contacting customer service before you start looking for alternatives. Two other VPNs I’d recommend are IPVanish and CyberGhost. IPVanish has a stable and fast server network as well as unlimited device connections per account. CyberGhost, on the other hand, is very user-friendly and has one of the best collections of privacy and security tools in the business.

Watch BBC iPlayer With ExpressVPN Now!

Why Use ExpressVPN to Watch BBC iPlayer?

ExpressVPN is the best VPNs for streaming today - not just for BBC iPlayer but for other platforms such as Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Showtime, and more. This is due to multiple factors such as ExpressVPN’s giant server network of 3,000 servers in 94 countries. This alone is something most other VPNs don’t have and it ensures that even if BBC iPlayer blocks some servers, you’ll always have a different server to fall back on.

ExpressVPN has some of the best unblocking tools in the business - this is crucial for getting access through BBC iPlayer’s geoblocks in the first place. Once you’re in, the new Lightway protocol ensures the fastest possible speeds for streaming in HD.

Its MediaStreamer feature lets you watch BBC iPlayer on almost any device, including ones that don’t typically support VPNs such as an LG TV or Apple TV. I’ve tested it myself and all I had to do was install the app on my router and I could watch anything on Apple TV.

ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. When I tested the refund policy, the money was back in my account two days later.

Watch BBC iPlayerWith ExpressVPN Now!

The Best ExpressVPN Servers to Watch Netflix

When it comes to streaming, not all servers are created equal and some offer faster speeds than others. Thanks to the Lightway protocol you should always get great video quality but if you want to optimize your BBC iPlayer experience even further I’d suggest trying the East London, London, or Wembley servers first.

If you want to connect to servers outside of the UK I’d also recommend Los Angeles 3, San Jose, and Tampa for the US, Montreal or Toronto for Canada, Paris 2 for France and Central Europe, and Tokyo 1 for Japan. I got speeds of ~60 Mbps with all of those even when I tried using them transcontinentally for BBC iPlayer.

Your experience may vary, of course, so don’t forget to use ExpressVPN’s built-in speed tests to find the best server for you. If this is your first time doing something like that, here’s a basic framework for what speeds you need for your preferred video quality:

  • 500 kbps to 1 Mbps speeds for 240p to 360p video quality.
  • 1.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps for ~480p video quality.
  • 5 Mbps for 720p HD video quality or better.
  • 25 Mbps for Ultra HD 1080p or better quality.

Watch Netflix With ExpressVPN Now!


What’s the best VPN for BBC iPlayer?

I’m yet to find a service that performs better with BBC iPlayer than ExpressVPN. The combination of a large and reliable server network, great unblocking tools, the fastest possible server speeds, and bonus features like MediaStreamer help ExpressVPN stand out from all other services on the market.

This VPN’s app is also smooth and intuitive to use, making it a good option even for first-time users.

Can I use a free VPN to watch BBC iPlayer?

There are many free VPNs out there but I’m yet to find one that’s good for watching BBC iPlayer or other streaming platforms. The reason is twofold - free VPNs neither have the server networks to give reliable access to such platforms nor do they offer fast enough speeds for an HD viewing experience.

Instead, the simpler and much more effective option is to get a premium service such as ExpressVPN. This way you can get the most out of BBC iPlayer while benefiting from a 30-day money-back guarantee to make sure you’re satisfied with the service.

Which VPN is the fastest?

A couple of VPNs usually switch places at the top in terms of speed but right now ExpressVPN is definitely the fastest VPN for streaming. The new Lightway protocol puts this service ahead of the competition. I watched two shows and several movies on BBC iPlayer buffer-free using ExpressVPN and the video quality never dropped.

How can I get a UK IP address?

Getting a British IP address with ExpressVPN takes seconds. All you need to do is log into the app, pick any of the VPN’s UK servers dedicated to streaming, and the app will automatically connect you to an IP address in the UK. This should be all you need to access all of BBC iPlayers’ content. If you want to switch to a different server or country, just repeat the process using another server.

Watch BBC iPlayer With ExpressVPN Today

Few VPNs offer a consistent and satisfying experience with platforms like BBC iPlayer but ExpressVPN is the best of the ones I’ve tested so far. With all other services I always find at least a couple of issues or sub-par features but everything I’ve seen from ExpressVPN is top-notch for streaming.

From the unblocking tools and large server base, to the impressive speeds and user-friendly apps and features, this VPN has everything I’m looking for when I want to watch something online.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

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

Yordan is a published Author and Marketing Major who strongly believes in the right to online anonymity. When he isn't writing about cybersecurity or penning his latest novel, he enjoys gaming and listening to audiobooks.

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