Do you want to unblock BBC iPlayer abroad, to watch iPlayer outside of the UK? With a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for iPlayer, you can watch BBC channels from anywhere in the world. iPlayer is blocked outside of the UK, so you need to use a VPN to pretend to be in Britain.
All the reliable iPlayer VPNs in this guide provide privacy thanks to military grade encryption. The result is that you can watch BBC iPlayer in privacy, without anybody knowing that you’re doing so. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about using a BBC iPlayer VPN. We also carefully explain the differences between the five best VPNs for iPlayer.
What’s the Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in 2018?
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- Seven Super Fast UK servers: stream iPlayer in HD
- Servers in 100+ countries
- Outstanding encryption
- Easy to use and reliable
- 24/7 live chat support
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- Some connection logs for internal use (aggregated only)
When it comes to unblocking iPlayer, our review found ExpressVPN to be the outright winner. ExpressVPN can be used on three simultaneous connections, allowing users to stream BBC programs on any of their devices.
In addition, ExpressVPN has extremely reliable servers located in 94 countries. That will allow you to unblock geo-restricted streams from all over the world! Movies, TV streams, and sports competitions are all easily available. Peer-to-peer (BitTorrenting) is also permitted on this fantastic VPN for iPlayer.
Finally, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to allow you to test the service risk-free. Without a doubt the best VPN for iPlayer in 2017.
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- Awesome for streaming in HD
- Insane value for money
- Very secure features and encryption
- Zero logs
- Great customer care
- Can get a bit slow if you use double encryption
NordVPN is superb when it comes to unblocking BBC iPlayer. The VPN is also awesome when it comes to security, with military grade encryption and a zero logs policy. We love this iPlayer VPN because it has a choice of servers in the UK, and all those servers provide fantastic speeds for watching TV streams in HD.
Although it can’t quite keep up with ExpressVPN, considering the price difference it is very close. For this reason, this may well be many people’s favorite choice for watching iPlayer online. All in all, NordVPN has many excellent security features, great customer care and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to let you test the service. Truly awesome value for money.
- Fast for streaming
- Easy to use
- No usage logs
- Servers in 45+ countries
- Outstanding 24/7 live chat support
- Bit pricey but worth it
With fast servers in 45+ countries, streaming in HD is no problem with this VPN. Finally it has the best customer care in the industry (24/7 live chat) and a 30-day money-back guarantee. An excellent VPN for iPlayer.
- Lightning fast for streaming iPlayer
- Servers in over 60 countries
- Secure and private with zero logs
- Lots of features and easy to use
- Trusted and reliable
- Customer service could be better
IPVanish is perfect for watching BBC iPlayer online because it has lightning fast servers. It is based in the US. However, don’t let that put you off because it has an excellent zero logs policy. The software is fully featured and very easy to use. Plus encryption is military grade OpenVPN protocol. This VPN isn’t pricey, and it really is amazing for unblocking streams in all of the 60+ countries that it has servers. Finally it has a seven-day money-back guarantee.
- Servers in over 70 countries
- Lightning fast - great for streaming
- Strong encryption
- Fully featured for security
- Keeps unblocking Netflix
- Minimal connection logs kept (for 90 days)
VyprVPN is an outstanding iPlayer VPN. It boasts strong encryption and has all the best VPN security features for privacy. These include military grade OpenVPN encryption. Servers are lightning fast and located in over 70 countries including the UK.
The software is easy to use, and available for all popular platforms, making it perfect for accessing iPlayer on Android or iOS. Customer care is good, but not 24/7 live chat. A reliable and trustworthy VPN for iPlayer with a three-day free trial.
Best BBC iPlayer VPNs: Side-by-Side comparison
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How we found the Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
Here at BestVPN.com we are fortunate to number some of the VPN industry’s foremost experts as staff members.
Based on our detailed VPN reviews and data collected as part of our BestVPN Awards process, we carefully considered a range of factors that go into making a great all-round VPN.
These top VPN picks are a consensus choice made after much careful deliberation by the BestVPN.com staff.
BBC iPlayer VPN Guide 2018
Looking for more information on using iPlayer with a VPN? Our handy guide has you covered. Simply click the link most relevant to your query in the table of contents below to jump straight to the answer!
- The Best BBC iPlayer VPNs
- How we Choose the Best iPlayer VPNs
- What is a BBC iPlayer VPN?
- Why do I need an iPlayer VPN?
- How does the BBC Block Content?
- Choosing the Right VPN to Unblock BBC iPlayer
- How to Setup a VPN for BBC iPlayer
- How to Test Your VPN for BBC iPlayer
- Why is my VPN not Working to Unblock iPlayer?
- Are iPlayer VPNs Safe & Legal?
- Best VPN Protocols for Unblocking iPlayer
- Will a Free VPN for iPlayer work?
- BBC iPlayer Proxy to Unblock Content
- Fastest VPNs for iPlayer
- Unblocking iPlayer on iOS and Android Tablets and Phones
What Is a BBC iPlayer VPN?
A VPN is a versatile online service that does two important things. Firstly, it allows you to connect to a remote VPN server. Doing so conceals your real IP address and allows you to appear to be in a remote location. In the case of watching BBC iPlayer abroad, you’ll need to pretend to be in the UK.
Secondly, a reliable VPN provides military grade encryption. This securely scrambles all the data coming and going from your PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Thus you can watch iPlayer in private. For a full run-down of how VPNs work, please check out our beginners’ guide.
Why Do I Need an iPlayer VPN?
If you want to watch channels like BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies, BBC News, and BBC Parliament from outside the UK, you’ll need a VPN. Watching BBC iPlayer from outside of the UK is not allowed. The service is geo-restricted to prevent people doing so. However, with a VPN you can easily pretend to be in the UK to unblock iPlayer.
How Does the BBC Block Content?
The BBC blocks content by restricting the use of the service to people who have a UK IP address. An IP address allows anybody to know where you are. A VPN for iPlayer allows anybody, anywhere to conceal their real IP address with the IP address of a VPN server. By connecting to a VPN server in the UK, you appear to really be there and can thus use BBC iPlayer.
Choosing the Right VPN to Unblock BBC iPlayer
In addition, some VPN services throw in a free Smart DNS service. Smart DNS is an excellent feature for unblocking content like BBC iPlayer. ExpressVPN has an outstanding Smart DNS service, which adds plenty of value to the platform.
How to Set up a VPN for BBC iPlayer
Setting up a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer abroad is very easy. Just follow these simple steps to get your VPN workaround up and running:
- Select a VPN for iPlayer. To unblock iPlayer, we recommend ExpressVPN because it’s secure, fast, and has excellent UK servers. If you need a cheaper option, NordVPN is also superb.
- Click through to the website and subscribe to your favorite iPlayer VPN.
- Download and install the VPN software. Remember to get the right version for your platform.
- Run the software and select your preferred settings (OpenVPN encryption is recommended).
- Select a UK server and click Connect.
- Use Google to find a UK postcode, think of a fake name, and get a spare email address (if you don’t want to use your real email).
- Navigate to BBC iPlayer, subscribe, and click on “Yes I have a TV licence.” (TV licensing is the law in the UK – more details below).
- That’s it! Your VPN workaround is set up and you are ready to watch iPlayer online!
When you connect, you’re also protected by the VPN’s encryption, which gives you unprecedented levels of online privacy.
How to Test Your VPN for BBC iPlayer
If you want to make sure that your chosen VPN is working correctly, simply head over to ipleak.net. When the VPN is connected, the website should only detect the VPN’s IP address and Domain Name System (DNS) address. Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) detection should also not show an IP address belonging to your ISP. The VPNs in this guide have been thoroughly tested, so they won’t give you any leaks.
To test your VPN’s performance, head over to testmy.net. Remember to check your internet speeds with and without the VPN to get a sense of your connection speeds. To test them, select a test server close to you and run the ‘combined’ test.
Why Is My VPN Not Working to Unblock iPlayer?
If you already have a VPN, but it isn’t unblocking iPlayer abroad, it’s because the BBC is cracking down on IP addresses that it knows belong to VPNs. This has resulted in fewer VPNs being able to unblock iPlayer. Thankfully, the VPNs in this guide do an outstanding job of playing cat and mouse with the BBC. However, this is a fluid situation. As such, if the server you’re using to watch iPlayer fails, then it’s likely that the BBC has discovered that particular BBC VPN IP address and cut it off.
If this happens, don’t panic! Simply contact your VPN, as it will likely have already prepared another IP address to continue unblocking BBC iPlayer.
In addition, it’s possible to get a “dedicated IP address.” This is a VPN IP address that is for your use only. Due to the fact that only you use it (instead of hundreds of people), it’s very hard (near impossible) for the BBC to ascertain that it isn’t a real UK residence (as opposed to a VPN IP).
Are iPlayer VPNs Safe and Legal?
Yes. In most places, using a VPN is perfectly legal. Even in Russia and China, where VPNs are prohibited, using a VPN won’t actually result in a prosecution. However, in places like Iran, China, Russia, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, VPN users are advised to use ‘stealth mode’ technology. This is an added layer of privacy that makes it hard for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to detect VPN use.
Will the BBC Check My Name and Address Against the TV Licence Register?
This is a fair question, and it is certainly possible. In the UK, TV licensing is the law, even if you don’t have a TV. That’s because the TV licensing laws also cover streaming of BBC channels online. The good news is that, like everywhere else, people in the UK often house-share. In shared, rented houses, landlords often pay the TV license. That means that all the people living in the house aren’t named on the license but can watch BBC iPlayer. That’s why using a fake name and postcode works.
The BBC Is Working Hard to Block VPNs
If you have a BBC VPN and it isn’t working, it’s likely that the BBC is detecting VPN use. Many VPNs don’t have the resources to update their servers and get new IP addresses for unblocking iPlayer every time one is blocked. All of the VPNs in this guide make it their mission to keep unblocking iPlayer, so you’re in good hands.
Remember: Using proxies used to work for unblocking iPlayer but it doesn’t work anymore because the BBC has a proxy blocker.
“ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer Not Working”
If at any point ExpressVPN (or any of the other VPNs in this list) stops unblocking iPlayer, it will only be a matter of time before it unblocks it again. VPNs do this by dumping IP addresses that have been blocked by the BBC and using new IP addresses instead.
As such, if anything happens to your ability to unblock iPlayer, please contact your VPN at once so that it can work quickly to rectify the situation. Please let us know here at BestVPN.com as well.
Best VPN Protocols for Unblocking iPlayer
If you want to access iPlayer abroad, we recommend that you use the most secure internet protocol: OpenVPN. However, for your information, here is a breakdown of all the encryption protocols that may be available to you:
- Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) – provides less security and privacy but is fast. We generally don’t recommend this protocol as it can be hacked.
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) – L2TP/IPsec is stronger than PPTP and is suitable for watching iPlayer.
- Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) – this is the most widely used protocol for iOS VPN clients. It is secure but not as strong as OpenVPN. It’s not usually used by Windows users (because they have other options), but you can use it on Windows if you want to.
- Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) – this is a fast and secure protocol that you can use to watch iPlayer online securely.
- OpenVPN – an open source and highly secure protocol. This protocol provides military grade encryption if implemented correctly. All of the VPNs for iPlayer in this article provide OpenVPN (implemented securely). OpenVPN Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the best for streaming so if you have the option of TCP or User Datagram Protocol (UDP), go for TCP.
Will a Free VPN for BBC iPlayer Work?
There are some free VPNs on the market that we can recommend to access iPlayer. However, the vast majority of free VPNs don’t provide access to BBC iPlayer. The reason for this is that (like Netflix) the BBC is very good at cracking down on VPNs. In addition, although there are some free services out there that are secure, the vast majority of free services are a massive security risk. Why? Because they have outdated encryption and dangerous privacy policies that allow them to sell your data to third parties.
A VPN is supposed to protect your privacy, not collect your data and sell it to third parties for a profit. That’s why we strongly recommend that you stay away from untrustworthy VPNs. If you must use a free service, please stick to one of our recommended providers.
BBC iPlayer Proxy Error
Not that long ago, it was possible to unblock iPlayer with a proxy. Now, however, the BBC has a proxy blocker, so using proxies is no longer an option. People who used to use a proxy with iPlayer now need to use a VPN: it’s the only way.
Fastest VPNs for iPlayer
To watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN, you need a VPN that provides fast connections to the UK. All of the VPNs in this guide have been carefully chosen because they have everything you need to stay secure and watch iPlayer. To make sure you get the best privacy, we recommend the OpenVPN encryption protocol. If your VPN has OpenVPN TCP and UDP, go for TCP as this will give you slightly better speeds for streaming iPlayer in HD.
Unblocking iPlayer on iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices
All of the VPNs in this guide are compatible with both Android and iOS devices. As such, you’ll have no problems watching iPlayer outside of the UK on your devices. What’s more, all of the VPNs in this article allow you to use the service on three or more devices at once. That means that you can unblock iPlayer on a smartphone, tablet, and laptop simultaneously.
To use a VPN on a mobile device, please be sure to download the right version from your VPN provider’s downloads page once you’ve subscribed.
BBC iPlayer VPN: Conclusion
No matter whether you’re an expat, a student learning English, or just a massive fan of UK TV, watching iPlayer outside the UK is possible!
However, when it comes to unblocking iPlayer, a VPN is the only solution; iPlayer proxy services no longer work (and result in a proxy error message). The VPNs in this guide have been selected because they are trustworthy, reliable, and provide fast enough connections to stream iPlayer online in HD quality. No matter which BBC show you want to watch online, the VPNs in this guide allow you to do it securely on any device.
All of the VPNs in this guide unblock BBC iPlayer, so you can subscribe to any of them to access BBC channels. The VPNs higher on the list do a better job and have slightly faster speeds.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us!