ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer

Are you a fan of Planet Earth, The Apprentice, or EastEnders? What about Sherlock, Doctor Who, or some good old BBC News? Then read on to discover the best VPN for BBC iPlayer!

These shows and tons of other award-winning content are regularly available on BBC iPlayer, the online streaming arm of the BBC. Scheduled programming on UK television is also regularly broadcast live on iPlayer, making it an excellent way of staying up to date with UK television.

Unfortunately, due to geo-restrictions, BBC iPlayer is only available to residents of the UK. This limitation sadly means that any UK resident spending time abroad will be unable to access the iPlayer service.

best vpn for bbc iplayer

Luckily, there is a way to bypass these silly geo-restrictions and enjoy iPlayer’s excellent content: a VPN! A VPN allows you tunnel into a country of your choosing, making it seem that your device is physically in that location.

Sound good? Keep scrolling to see how to use a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer!

Unblock iPlayer Using a VPN!

Let’s go through the step-by-step process of how to unblock iPlayer using a VPN. Keep in mind that you still need a relatively decent internet connection (DSL and up) to stream HD content on iPlayer.

  • Select a VPN from the list below or head over to my top recommendation, ExpressVPN.
  • Sign up to the VPN you have chosen and install the relevant software on your device.
  • Find and connect to a VPN server in the UK.
  • Open your browser and navigate to BBC iPlayer.
  • Assuming you are still connected to the UK VPN, iPlayer should be unblocked and ready to stream!
  • Make sure you are always connected to a VPN when accessing BBC iPlayer abroad.

Note: the BBC is changing its policy regarding iPlayer. Starting on 1 January 2017 you will need to register for an iPlayer account with a UK postcode. You can read more about this upcoming change here.

Best VPN for BBC iPlayer: Summary

Disclosure: compensated affiliate: click here for more information

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

NordVPN Logo
Read Review9/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

3

IPVanish Logo
Read Review8/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

4

Buffered Logo
Read Review7/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea Logo
Read Review6/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

ExpressVPN

5/5

Best VPN for BBC iPlayer

  • ProsPROS
  • Excellent speeds for streaming
  • Apps and support for multiple devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Impressive customer service
  • ConsCONS
  • Connection logs are kept

ExpressVPN is the clear choice when it comes to finding the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. Excellent speeds and your choice of seven UK servers makes ExpressVPN great for streaming. You can also set up ExpressVPN on a number of different devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and even Blackberry.

ExpressVPN is a great overall service that won’t leave you feeling disappointed. Check them out by using the link below!

Try out the best VPN for BBC iPlayer!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30-day money-back guarantee

2nd place

NordVPN

4.5/5

NordVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • 60 countries covered
  • Three-day free trial
  • Double encryption feature
  • ConsCONS
  • Prices are a bit high month-to-month

NordVPN is another excellent choice if you are looking to unblock BBC iPlayer. Lots of server locations to choose from and a smooth general interface make NordVPN a solid, all-around service. NordVPN also has a “double encryption” feature for those looking for increased online security. I don’t recommend using this feature when streaming, however, as it can slow down your connection.

NordVPN also has a three-day free trial in place for you to properly test and see if the service is right for you. Give them a try today!

Visit NordVPN »


3rd place

IPVanish

4/5

IPVanish

  • ProsPROS
  • Up to five simultaneous connections
  • Zero logs kept
  • 500+ locations
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in US

IPVanish is another great VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer, allowing you to choose from an impressive 47 locations in the UK. IPVanish is also great if you want to unblock iPlayer for a group of friends or an entire household, as up to five simultaneous connections are supported.

Being based in the US is the one real drawback of IPVanish, as compliance with US authorities is not ideal. Nonetheless, IPVanish is a solid VPN for unblocking and streaming BBC iPlayer. Sign up using the link below!

Visit IPVanish »


4th place

Buffered

3.5/5

Buffered

  • ProsPROS
  • Impressive software
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Strong encryption
  • ConsCONS
  • A bit pricey

When it comes to streaming content over the internet, it is hard to beat Buffered’s commitment to speed. Buffered also does a great job of regularly updating the software and technology to deal with any bans or blocks.

This Hungarian VPN might be a newcomer to the scene, but it gets a lot right when it comes to the service. Check Buffered out for yourself by taking advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee!

Visit Buffered »


5th place

VPNArea

3/5

VPNArea

  • ProsPROS
  • Internet kill switch
  • Up to six simultaneous connections
  • Dedicated IPs
  • ConsCONS
  • Nothing I can think of!

VPNArea is the last pick on this list if you are looking to unblock BBC iPlayer and enjoy content such as Planet Earth, EastEnders, and more. With up to six connections allowed simultaneously, VPNArea is also a great option if you are looking to share a VPN account to watch iPlayer abroad.

VPNArea consistently ranks as one of our most highly rated VPN services. Try the service out for yourself with a worry-free, seven-day money-back guarantee!

Visit VPNArea »


Best VPN for BBC iPlayer: Considerations

Do I Need a UK TV License to Watch BBC iPlayer?

On 1 September 2016 the BBC updated the iPlayer Terms of Service, requiring everyone watching iPlayer to now own a UK TV license. The change caused quite a stir, but in reality the enforcement of it is a big joke. Simply clicking “I have a TV license” will allow you to access iPlayer without any issues! This really isn’t that far off from the laughable age checks on porn and other websites.

iPlayer licence check

That being said, the BBC also recently announced that iPlayer subscriptions will be mandatory, beginning on 1 January 2017. This subscription will require a new user to submit a valid UK postcode, which the BBC hopes will stop unauthorized viewers in their tracks. Luckily, you can evade this new change by finding and using a UK postcode.

I’ve used this random UK postcode generator several times before. The tool allows you to generate a UK postcode and is a great resource for those looking to unblock iPlayer when abroad.

random-uk-postcode

Of course, I’m not specifically advising you to break the law or cheat your way to a free iPlayer subscription. I’ve merely provided some helpful tips on how one might go about doing so! Proceed at your own risk.

VPNs and iPlayer: an Ongoing Battle

Much like Netflix, the BBC is actively trying to ban those looking to circumvent geo-restrictions on streaming services. For VPNs, this usually means banning IP addresses that are being used to stream iPlayer abroad. While this might sound threatening, the VPNs I’ve listed above are constantly updating and recycling servers and IP addresses as a way of reactively dealing with these bans.

I’ve personally tested and used the VPNs mentioned above, and all five were working with BBC iPlayer at the time of writing. If you do connect to a server that is blocked by the BBC, usually trying another location or contacting the VPN customer service team should give you a quick fix. That being said, the above list is not exclusive and doesn’t cover all the VPNs offering access to BBC iPlayer, just five of the best.

If you have any questions regarding online streaming or the best VPN for BBC iPlayer, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Best VPN for BBC iPlayer: Summary

Disclosure: compensated affiliate: click here for more information

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

NordVPN Logo
Read Review9/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

3

IPVanish Logo
Read Review8/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

4

Buffered Logo
Read Review7/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea Logo
Read Review6/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

Thomas Ujj Born in Canada, raised in the U.S, yet somehow living in Hungary. I have a passion for anything technology related, gaming, freedom and privacy, food and Italian football team AS Roma.

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