Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

July 12, 2018

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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.

Just like the Hollywood studios, the BBC gets big wads of money by licensing its content exclusively in different territories; but the reality is that the days of locking content down are over. Distributing content evenly leads to better quality, reduces piracy, creates more jobs and boosts economic growth. Our team of in-house experts review VPNs on a daily basis to ensure they unlock restrictions put in place by content providers. BestVPN.com has been around since the dawn of the consumer VPN industry. We know every provider and every trick in the book. If you want to unlock BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve got two options for you. If you’d like to understand why these providers made the list and find out more about how to use a VPN to access iPlayer, keep reading. For those who want to unblock iPlayer straight away, we’ve summarized our findings in a table further down the page.

First up, here’s our official list of Best VPNs for iPlayer in 2018:

In-depth: What’s the best VPN for BBC iPlayer?

We’ve reviewed well over 150 VPNs over the past five years, but we don’t simply write a review and forget about it. We test and retest VPNs on daily basis to ensure they unblock the content you want to watch. It goes without saying that all of the VPNs in our top five consistently unblock iPlayer in any region, but what makes them special? What makes them the cream of the crop? Let’s take a look…

9.8/10.0

A great iPlayer VPN with consistently fast speeds

A great iPlayer VPN with consistently fast speeds

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 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
  • Special Deal: Save 49% Today
CONS:
  • Some connection logs for internal use (aggregated only)
  • Only 3 simultaneuous connections (could be more generous)

Key information
Server locations: 148 | Server number: 1500+ | Simultaneous connections: 3 |
IP addresses: 30000+ | Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands | Average speed: 57.42 Mbit/s

Works with
BBC iPlayer: Yes | Netflix: Yes | Hulu: Yes | Amazon Video: Yes | Torrenting: Yes

Available for
Windows: Yes | Mac: Yes | Linux: Yes | Android: Yes | iOS: Yes

Our thoughts
ExpressVPN takes our top spot thanks to its blazing download speeds, reliable servers and ability to consistently unblock the world's most in demand content.

The VPN can be used on three devices simultaneously and while this isn't as many as some other providers, is usually more than adequate for most streaming needs.

When it comes to privacy, ExpressVPN leads the pack thanks to military grade encryption, and a watertight privacy policy.

Subscription options
12 month plan (3 months free) - $6.67 per month (billed $99.95 every year)
6 month plan - $9.99 per month (billed $59.95 every 6 months)
1 month plan - $12.95 per month (billed $12.95 every month)


Information updated: 16 July 2018

Get the best VPN for iPlayer now!

Visit ExpressVPN »30-day money-back guarantee!

9.4/10.0

Everything you need in an iPlayer VPN at a great price

Everything you need in an iPlayer VPN at a great price

NordVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off today!
  • Plenty of security features
  • Fast Tier 1 network of servers
  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in over 62 countries (including US for Netflix)
  • Great value for money
CONS:
  • Two Mac clients is confusing (new one lacks features)
  • No Linux client

Key information
Server locations: 62+ | Server number: 4500+ | Simultaneous connections: 6 |
IP addresses: 3500+ | Jurisdiction: Panama | Average speed: 56.48 Mbit/s

Works with
BBC iPlayer: Yes | Netflix: Yes | Hulu: Yes | Amazon Video: Yes | Torrenting: Yes

Available for
Windows: Yes | Mac: Yes | Linux: No | Android: Yes | iOS: Yes

our thoughts
NordVPN is one of our top choices for watching BBC iPlayer because it offers fantastic value for money! Speeds are fast enough to let you enjoy HD shows and you can use the VPN on an incredible six devices at the same time.

The software is streamlined and intuitive, which means you can be streaming your favorite content in seconds. With clients available on all popular platforms, NordVPN is a cost-effective solution for streaming BBC iPlayer on the go.

Subscription options
2 year plan - $3.29 per month (billed $79.00 every 2 years)
1 year plan - $5.75 per month (billed $69.00 every year)
1 month plan - $11.95 per month (billed $11.95 every month)


Information updated: 16 July 2018

9.0/10.0

An easy to use BBC iPlayer VPN for beginners

An easy to use BBC iPlayer VPN for beginners

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Loved by consumers
  • Super fast servers for streaming iPlayer
  • Zero logs
  • Fully featured for security and privacy
  • Fantastic customer care
CONS:
  • No stealth mode (for people in China)
  • Younger firm (with a fantastic track record so far)

Key information
Server locations: 50+ | Server number: 100+ | Simultaneous connections: 6 |
IP addresses: 7000 | Jurisdiction: Sweden | Average speed: 52.09 Mbit/s

Works with
BBC iPlayer: Yes | Netflix: Yes | Hulu: Yes | Amazon Video: Yes | Torrenting: Yes

Available for
Windows: Yes | Mac: Yes | Linux: Yes | Android: Yes | iOS: Yes

Our thoughts
PrivateVPN is a regularly praised as great all-rounder. The provider has proven itself to be good at unblock a wide range of content, including iPlayer. It is fast, efficient and offers an extremely reliable service. It is a pleasure to use the software, and has all the important security features you would hope for.

Private has a robust zero logs policy and, considering polished the product is, comes in at a really attractive price. Why not make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee and see what all the fuss is about.

Subscription options
19 month plan (7 months free) - $2.73 per month (billed $51.84 every year)
3 month plan - $4.50 per month (billed $13.50 every 3 months)
1 month plan - $7.12 per month (billed $7.12 every month)


Information updated: 16 July 2018

8.8/10.0

A great all-rounder that unblocks iPlayer and more

A great all-rounder that unblocks iPlayer and more

CyberGhost Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off 1-year plan!
  • Unblock iPlayer and much more
  • Consitently appears on fastest VPNs page
  • Strong encryption for privacy
  • Easy to use
  • Fanstastic customer care
CONS:
  • Support could have more knowledge
  • No stealth mode

Key information
Server locations: 61 | Server number: 2000+ | Simultaneous connections: 5 |
IP addresses: 3500+ | Jurisdiction: Romania | Average speed: 65.96 Mbit/s

Works with
BBC iPlayer: Yes | Netflix: Yes | Hulu: Yes | Amazon Video: Yes | Torrenting: Yes

Available for
Windows: Yes | Mac: Yes | Linux: No | Android: Yes | iOS: Yes

Our thoughts
Cyberghost has taken the industry by storm in a short space of time by offering a great product at a great price. Cyberghost is a superb VPN for unblocking UK content. It has a choice of fast UK servers that are capable of unblocking iPlayer and are up to the task of streaming in HD.
Software is available for all major platforms and is very easy to and the VPN is secure thanks to military-grade encryption. With a 30-day money back guarantee, an attractive price and a robust offering, Cyberghost is certainly one worth considering.

Subscription options
1 year plan - $2.75 per month (billed $33.00 first year then $66.00 every year)
6 month plan - $4.99 per month (billed $29.94 first 6 months then $59.95 every 6 months)
1 month plan - $11.99 per month (billed $11.99 every month)


Information updated: 16 July 2018

8.4/10.0

Offers excellent UK servers for BBC iPlayer

Offers excellent UK servers for BBC iPlayer

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Servers in over 70 countries
  • Lightning fast - great for streaming
  • Strong encryption
  • Fully featured for security
  • Keeps unblocking Netflix
CONS:
  • Some connection logs kept (for 90 days)
  • Customer care could be better

Key information
Server locations: 73 | Server number: 700+ | Simultaneous connections: 3 |
IP addresses: N/A | Jurisdiction: Switzerland | Average speed: 55.26 Mbit/s

Works with
BBC iPlayer: Yes | Netflix: Yes | Hulu: Yes | Amazon Video: Yes | Torrenting: Yes

Available for
Windows: Yes | Mac: Yes | Linux: No | Android: Yes | iOS: Yes

Our thoughts
VyprVPN is another outstanding iPlayer VPN that continues to impress us here at BestVPN. It boasts strong encryption, the lightning fast servers are located in over 70 countries, including the UK.

The software is intuitive and available for all popular platforms, making it perfect for accessing iPlayer on mobile devices. Customer care is good and VyprVPN is one of only a handful of providers to offer a free trial. This VPN is the great choice for looking for a reliable service at an attractive price point.

Subscription options
Basic plan - $43.50 per year or $33.63 per month
Premium plan - $57.50 per year or $4.79 per month


Information updated: 16 July 2018

The best iPlayer VPNs: Quick View

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »

125 people looked
at this in the last hour

ExpressVPN review »
From
$6.67
/month

9.8

Our Score
Visit Site »

125 people looked
at this in the last hour

ExpressVPN review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2 NordVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

9.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
NordVPN review »
3 PrivateVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.73
/month

9.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
PrivateVPN review »
4 CyberGhost review »Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

8.8

Our Score
Visit Site »
CyberGhost review »
5 VyprVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

8.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
VyprVPN review »

Setting up a VPN for iPlayer

Setting up a VPN to watch iPlayer from overseas is extremely easy. Follow the steps below to get your VPN working:

  1. 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.
  2. Download and install the VPN software. Remember to get the right app for your device.
  3. Run the software and select OpenVPN encryption (our recommended protocol).
  4. Select a UK VPN server and click Connect.
  5. 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).
  6. Navigate to http://bbc.co.uk/iplayer, subscribe with your fake details, and click on “Yes I have a TV license.”
  7. 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 content provider – blocks overseas access to its services because of 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 is capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer. That is why we continue to test hundreds of VPNs in search of the best for each application.

If you are looking for a VPN service 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 leading VPN providers have found a way to keep one step ahead. Our recommended services all get around the BBC’s VPN blocks.

Can I unblock iPlayer for free?

Free VPNs have usage limits, bandwidth limits and are too slow for streaming. If you want to unblock BBC content and you don’t have much of a budget, then I would recommend that you 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 and 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.

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:

“We do not comment on individual cases regarding breaches of BBC iPlayer’s terms of use, but we take steps where appropriate to protect the intellectual property belonging to rights holders.”

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!

BestVPN.com does not condone copyright infringement. While we are aware that VPNs can be used to spoof your location to another country, and thus overcome geo-restrictions, their primary purpose is to provide you with online security and privacy. First and foremost, this is why we recommend using a VPN.

Choosing the best VPN

Connection speeds

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.

Digital privacy

Although it may not be your primary concern when unblocking video sites, it is worth noting that all of the VPNs in this article have also been meticulously selected because of their privacy policy and encryption implementation. These VPNs provide watertight privacy, which means that, in theory, nobody will know you unblocked iPlayer. This digital privacy is valuable for many reasons, and with these VPNs, you can unblock content and protect your digital privacy.

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!

Conclusion

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.

Ray Walsh
July 18th, 2018

Ray Walsh is one of BestVPN's resident VPN experts. Ray is currently ranked #2 VPN authority in the world by agilience.com. During his time at BestVPN.com Ray has reviewed some of the world's foremost VPNs. Ray is an advocate for digital privacy, with vast experience writing about the political and social aspects of infosec, cybersec, and data privacy. Find him @newsglug on Twitter.

23 responses to “The Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2018

    1. Hi Micheal,

      It is a cat and mouse game, but Express usually has at least one server that works with iPlayer.

  1. I cannot stream iPlayer outside UK as BBC recognize I am using VPN. How can I work around this to get it working?

    1. Hi Fevab,

      All the providers listed above should be able to stream iPlayer. If you have problems, contact your provider to see if there are any particular servers it suggests you use.

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