The BBC is a world-class broadcaster and its programming is respected and enjoyed in every corner of the globe. These days, the BBC makes absolutely all of its content available via its online streaming service – BBC iPlayer. While anyone in the UK can access this content with relative ease, it is not available in other regions due to licensing restrictions.
The good news is that with a VPN for iPlayer, anybody anywhere can stream the full catalog of BBC content!
Our experts have reviewed over 150 VPNs in the last five years. We have found the following VPNs are consistently reliable when streaming iPlayer. So, let’s take a look at who made our list!
The 5 best iPlayer VPNs: Side-by-side comparison
For a side-by-side look at our top 5 providers, see the table below. For more details about each of the VPNs scroll down.
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What is 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)
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 2018.
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- Fast for HD streaming
- Easy to use
- No logs
- Servers in 45+ countries
- Outstanding 24/7 live chat support
- A bit pricey (but works excellently)
With fast servers in 45+ countries, streaming in HD is no problem with this VPN. Finally it has one of the best customer care in the industry (24/7 live chat) and a 30-day money-back guarantee. An excellent VPN for iPlayer for those that don't mond paying for the best.
- 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 tht comes very close to our number one choice. 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. This VPN is the best choice for those who want an outstanding service at a cheaper price point.
- Loved by consumers
- Super fast for streaming iPlayer
- Zero logs
- Fully featured for security and privacy
- Fantastic customer care
- Domain Name System (DNS) setting needs to be set up using a guide
PrivateVPN is a stunning service from Sweden that users praise regularly for its ability to unblock iPlayer and other streaming services. It is fast, efficient, easy to use, and extremely reliable. It is a pleasure to use, and has all the important security features you would hope for.
Encryption is military grade and this VPN keeps zero logs. Amazingly, considering it compares very well with the VPNs above - this fantastic VPN is also really cheap. An up and coming VPN that is really starting to blow other VPNs out of the water. Why not try the 30-day money-back guarantee to see just why everyone is going nuts for this provider?
- Servers in over 90 countries
- Super fast for streaming
- No usage logs
- Android Smart TV app
- 24/7 customer care is VERY helpful
- Some connection logs
This cheap VPN has proven for some time now that it is a spectacular VPN for streaming. Anybody that doubts its ability to unblock something - hasn't got a clue. PureVPN unblocks everything that it is possible to unblock including iPlayer. In fact, if there is something you want to unblock that you can't access all you need to do is go to their website's 24/7 live chat and tell them. Do this, and they will provide you with a temporary dedicated IP address to get the job done at no extra cost!
When it comes to privacy, this VPN is pretty good - it keeps no usage logs and only minimal connection logs. However, it can be said that this VPN is amazing for streaming but only adequate for privacy. It has been known to have the odd DNS leak. Insanely cheap and perfect for those who only care about unblocking streaming content. This VPN is fast!
How to set up a VPN for BBC iPlayer
Setting up a VPN to watch iPlayer from overseas is extremely easy. Follow the steps below to get your VPN working:
- Choose a VPN. To unblock iPlayer, we recommend ExpressVPN because it is secure, fast, and has excellent UK servers. However, if you need something that works well – but is a bit cheaper – PureVPN is a fantastic option.
- Download and install the VPN software. Remember to get the right app for your device.
- Run the software and select OpenVPN encryption (our recommended protocol).
- Select a UK server and click Connect.
- Use Google to find a UK postcode, decide on a fake name, and get a spare email address (if you don’t want to use your real email).
- Navigate to http://bbc.co.uk/iplayer, subscribe with your fake details, and click on “Yes I have a TV license.”
- That’s it! Your VPN workaround is set up and you are ready to watch iPlayer online!
BBC iPlayer VPN: FAQs
What is an iPlayer VPN?
A VPN is a service that creates a private, secure network over the internet. One of the most notable benefits to this is that users can appear to be in a different location. This is called geo-spoofing, and it means that regional restrictions can be completely bypassed. By choosing a server in the UK, users can stream BBC content from anywhere in the world.
In addition to geo-spoofing, a reliable VPN provides privacy thanks to encryption. This stops internet service providers (ISPs), governments, workplaces, and any other snoopers from knowing what you do online.
If you are a beginner in the world of VPNs, we recommend that you check out our beginners’ guide to VPNs.
Why do I need a VPN to watch iPlayer?
The BBC – like almost every other TV broadcaster – blocks overseas access to its services because of copyright licensing restrictions. Programs made for BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies, BBC News, and BBC Parliament – are not licensed for markets outside the UK.
For this reason, the BBC checks your IP address (location) and blocks the service if you aren’t in the UK. An VPN gives the impression that you are in the UK. Not every VPN service has IP addresses that are capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer. That is why we have tested hundreds of VPNs in search of the best for each application.
If you are looking for a VPN services with servers all over the world, our Best VPN Services list is a great place to start.
Why do some VPNs not work with iPlayer?
The BBC knows that VPNs exist and tries to block any IP addresses that are discovered to belong to a VPN. By monitoring how many people log onto BBC sites from a specific IP address, the BBC can figure out who is using a VPN.
Luckily for you, the better VPN providers have found a way to keep tricking the BBC. Our recommended services all get around the BBC’s VPN blocks.
Can I unblock iPlayer for free?
We don’t recommend free VPN services for unblocking premium services. This is because they are too slow to enjoy streaming. Free VPNs have usage limits and bandwidth limits, which means that quality of service will suffer. If you want to unblock BBC content and you don’t have much of a budget, then please opt for one of the cheaper VPNs in this list. Otherwise, you will get stuck with a VPN that does not work!
Are iPlayer VPNs safe and legal?
Yes. In most locations, using a VPN is perfectly legal. Unblocking content is usually a breach of the provider’s terms of service can be a breach of copyright law. The best thing to do is check the copyright legislation in your region. All the VPNs in this article provide top notch privacy.
At the end of the day, it depends on your threat model. We have never heard of anybody getting in trouble for streaming iPlayer with a VPN – and hundreds of thousands of people worldwide use a VPN to stream this type of content. The BBC’s official line is this:
Will the BBC check my name and address is on the TV license register?
This is a possibility, yes. In the UK, it is against the law to watch the BBC (including on iPlayer) without a TV license. The BBC has recently started requiring that all its users sign up in order to watch online content.
Unblocking iPlayer on iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices
All of the VPN services that we have recommended have apps for Android and iOS devices.
In fact, the VPNs in this article permit subscribers to use the VPN on three (or more) devices simultaneously. This means that you can stream BBC content on a smartphone, tablet, and laptop – all at the same time!
How to choose the best VPN
Speed performance is of vital importance for streaming video content. A VPN that can unblock iPlayer – but is too slow to stream video – is useless. That is why we have only recommended the fastest VPNs that can also unblock BBC services. All of these VPNs are fast, however, some are faster than others. Check out our in depth reviews for more details information on performance.
If privacy is a concern, why not check out our Most Secure VPNs list?
Other ranking factors
Finally, we took into account the price of the service and whether they have a free trial or a money-back guarantee. We understand that most people want the best and the cheapest VPN. When it comes to unblocking iPlayer, any of these VPNs will do, so if you want a cheaper option, we recommend clicking through to have a quick look at the prices. The very best VPNs do tend to cost a bit more.
However, there isn’t a bad VPN on this list! So, if cost is important to you, feel free to go for one of the cheaper options – rest assured they will all work!
The iPlayer VPNs in this article have been carefully chosen because they are reliable and provide lightning fast connections for streaming iPlayer in HD. No matter which BBC channel or show you want to stream online, the VPNs in this article will let you do so in absolute privacy.