5 Best VPNs to Watch BBC iPlayer 2017 - Unblock Content - BestVPN.com

5 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2017 – Blocked Content Workarounds & Solutions

Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

August 31, 2017

Do you want to unblock BBC iPlayer and watch its top quality shows? If so, the good news is that with an iPlayer Virtual Private Network (VPN) you can watch BBC channels from anywhere. iPlayer is blocked outside the UK, so you need to use a VPN for iPlayer to pretend to be in Britain. With the right VPN, you can access iPlayer and watch Eastenders, Doctor Who, BBC News, Strictly Come Dancing – or anything else you fancy!

Quick Links to our best 5 VPNs for BBC iPlayer

  1. Buffered
  2. ExpressVPN Special Deal: Save 49% Today!
  3. IPVanish
  4. NordVPN
  5. PrivateVPN

BBC iPlayer shows live and catch up TV programming from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, and CBeebies. With an iPlayer VPN, anybody can pretend to be in the UK. However, it’s worth noting that the BBC does require people to also sign up with an email and UK postcode. That means you’ll need to Google a UK address and think of a suitable fake name (more on this later).

The good news is that all the reliable VPNs for iPlayer in this guide provide military grade encryption. This means that a trusted VPN will not only conceal your real IP address – and allow you to pretend to be in the UK – but will also provide privacy so that nobody will be able to tell what you’ve been doing online.

In this article, we cover what a BBC iPlayer VPN is and how it works. We tell you why some VPNs work perfectly to unblock iPlayer, and why others are useless. We also provide a walkthrough guide on how to set up an iPlayer VPN and unblock BBC online. Finally, we tell you what else you can do with a VPN for iPlayer.

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
Buffered Homepage
  • Fast for streaming
  • Easy to use
  • No usage logs
  • Servers in 34 countries
  • Outstanding 24/7 live chat support
  • Bit pricey but worth it

When it comes to unblocking iPlayer, our review found Buffered to be the outright winner. Lightning fast connection speeds and strong UK servers make Buffered an outstanding way to stream iPlayer. It is particularly good on Windows and Mac OS X, though it will work superbly on smartphones using the third party connect software too. Encryption is military grade and the privacy policy is superb. What’s more, this fantastic VPN has a great reputation for providing privacy.

With fast servers in 34 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.

Get the best VPN for iPlayer now!

Visit Buffered »30-day money-back guarantee!

5 Best iPlayer VPN services: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Homepage
  • Special Deal: Save 49% 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
  • 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.

When it comes to privacy, this VPN is strong thanks to military grade encryption, all the necessary security features, and a watertight privacy policy. The VPN will keep you secure both at home and on public WiFi. Customer care is available 24/7 via live chat, meaning you can ask questions at any time.

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.

Special Deal: Save 49% Today!

Visit ExpressVPN »

5 Best iPlayer VPN services: IPVanish

IPVanish Homepage
  • 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.

5 Best iPlayer VPN services: NordVPN

NordVPN Homepage
  • 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.

5 Best iPlayer VPN services: PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Homepage
  • 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, 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?

What Is a VPN for BBC iPlayer?

A Virtual Private Network 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, you’ll need to pretend to be in the UK.

Secondly, a reliable VPN also provides military grade encryption. This securely scrambles all the data coming and going from your PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. The result is unrivaled levels of digital privacy. This combination of tight digital privacy and the ability to pretend to be in a different country is perfect. It means that you can go ahead and unblock BBC iPlayer – or anything else for that matter – without fear that you might get caught.

Can I Get an iPlayer VPN for Free?

Yes, there are free VPNs on the market. However, the vast majority of those do not 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 we can recommend, it is worth noting that 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 user 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. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you to stay away from untrustworthy VPNs. If you must use a free service, please stick to one of our recommended providers.

Why Is One VPN for BBC iPlayer Better than Another?

When selecting the best VPNs for iPlayer, we took into account a number of factors. Firstly, of course, it is essential the the provider has a VPN server in the UK that can unblock BBC iPlayer. Many VPNs nowadays fail to successfully unblock iPlayer. However, all of our recommended VPNs have been tested and do unblock BBC programs.

Next, it’s important that those UK servers provide fast connections. It’s no good if a VPN unblocks iPlayer, but provides connections that are so slow that the video buffers and lags. Our five best VPNs are ideal for unblocking iPlayer because they provide lightning fast connections that allow you to watch iPlayer online in HD quality.

With fast connections guaranteed, the only other things to worry about are privacy and security. The BBC doesn’t want people located outside of the UK to watch iPlayer. Doing so is technically in breach of copyright laws. In most countries, it’s highly unlikely that watching BBC iPlayer online would ever get you in trouble. However, some governments are very strict about copyright control and about the type of content that you watch.

Thankfully, no matter where you live, all of the iPlayer VPNs in this guide have you covered. These VPNs all provide well implemented military grade encryption that securely protects all the data coming and going from your machine. This means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the government cannot tell what you are doing online. This gives you the freedom to visit any websites you like without fear of being snooped on.

Unblocking BBC iPlayer: Do I Need a UK TV Licence?

People in the UK have to pay for a TV licence. This also applies if you want to watch iPlayer online. For this reason, when you go on the BBC iPlayer website, you’re required to click and accept on: “I have a TV licence.”

In addition, from 2017 people must sign up to use BBC iPlayer with a name, email address, and UK postcode. For VPN users who don’t live in the UK, this requires a bit of research. You’ll need a fake name and a “burner” email address (not the one that you use regularly).

There are two way of doing this. You can either use Google Maps to find a street in the UK and look up the postcode by typing the address into Google, or use this random UK postcode generator.

Either will work, but I suggest the first method, as then you’ll have the whole address should you need it.

The BBC is Working Hard to Block VPNs

Sadly for people outside the UK, the BBC is working hard to block IP addresses that belong to VPNs. This has resulted in fewer VPNs being able to unblock iPlayer. The good news is that the VPNs in this guide do a great 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 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 (or near impossible) for the BBC to ascertain that it isn’t a real UK residence (as opposed to a VPN IP).

Will the BBC Check My Name and Address Against the TV Licence Register?

This is a fair question, and it’s certainly possible. However, remember that (like everywhere else) people do house share in the UK. In shared, rented houses, landlords often pay the TV licence. That means that all those living in the house aren’t named on the licence but can watch BBC iPlayer. That’s why using a fake name and postcode works.

BBC iPlayer Proxy Error

Not that long ago, it was possible for people to unblock iPlayer with a proxy. Now, however, the BBC has a proxy blocker. Thus doing so is no longer possible. Those who used to use a proxy with iPlayer now need to use a VPN. 

BBC iPlayer Detecting VPN Use

If you have a VPN and it isn’t working, it’s likely that the BBC is detecting the 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.

BBC iPlayer VPN Workaround

Primarily, you must be careful about which VPN you decide to use. The VPNs on this list have all been tested, and we regularly communicate with the providers to make sure that everything is working well and running smoothly.

“ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer Not Working”

If at any point ExpressVPN (or any of the other VPNs in this list) stop 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 starting up new IP addresses.

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 for you. Do let BestVPN.com know as well. 

How to Set up a VPN to Watch iPlayer Online

Using a VPN to unblock iPlayer really isn’t difficult. To help you out, here’s a quick guide:

  1. 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.
  2. Click through to the website and subscribe to your favorite iPlayer VPN.
  3. Download and install the VPN software. Remember to get the right version for your platform.
  4. Run the software and select your preferred settings (OpenVPN encryption is recommended).
  5. Select a server in the UK and click Connect.
  6. 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).
  7. Navigate to BBC iPlayer, subscribe using your details, and click on “Yes I have a TV licence.”
  8. That’s it! You’re now ready to watch iPlayer online!

Remember: As soon as you connect to the VPN, you appear to be in the UK. You’re are also protected by the VPN’s encryption, which gives you unprecedented levels of online privacy.

What Else Can I Do with a VPN?

The VPNs in this guide have servers all over the world. That means you can pretend to be in many different countries. Every country has geo-restricted content. By pretending to be in those countries, you can access their TV streams and other services.

VPNs are also useful for using geo-restricted websites in your own country when you go away on vacation. Simply connect to a server back home and your internet banking and so forth will work like usual.

Many people also like to use a VPN to unblock the US Netflix catalog. However, please be aware that not all VPNs unblock NetflixFor TV addicts, a VPN is ideal. It allows you to pretend to be in the US to watch US cable TV. The best way to do this is using Sling TV and a US VPN server.

Finally, sports fans also love VPNs. A VPN allows you to join geo-restricted streams to watch foreign sports competitions. For example, you can watch the BBC coverage of Wimbledon, as well as sports from all over the world.

At the end of the day, there are no limits to what you can do online with a VPN. If your employer blocks content, a VPN will allow you to access it as if you were at home. If your government is censoring content, a VPN will allow you to overcome those restrictions.

A VPN also protects your passwords and credit card details from hackers when you use public WiFi. Thus a VPN is an important personal cybersecurity service for people who regularly use public WiFi.

BBC iPlayer VPN: Conclusion

When it comes to unblocking iPlayer, a VPN is the only solution. The VPNs in this guide have been selected because they are trusted, reliable, and provide fast enough connections to stream iPlayer online in HD quality. No matter which BBC show you want to watch online, with the VPNs in this guide you will be safe.

All of the VPNs in this guide unblock BBC iPlayer, so you can opt for any one of them. 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!

Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer: Side-by-Side Comparison

Ray Walsh

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

11 responses to “5 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2017 – Blocked Content Workarounds & Solutions

  1. As of the end of the summer 2017, BBC iPlayer (video) now REQUIRES that you REGISTER and logon to use the player, and it now blocks any one using a vpn.

    Doesnt matter if you use uk postcode. apparently it is now checking your email against the tv license list and thus you are blocked.

    its a sad day

    BBC is missing out on a huge income stream for those who would pay for their programming.

    1. Hi Southern gal,

      The BBC is requiring that you register for iPlayer, but it is not checking your email against a license list. It has, in fact, promised that it will not do this, which makes sense as most households have a number of family members – each of is supposed to register. iPlayer has been attempting to block VPNs for some time now, but in our tests most still work fine. We are currently working on a system to keep up-to-date with which services work for iPlayer, US Netflix (and maybe some others), so watch this space!

    1. Hi Michael,

      We are currently working on a system to keep up-to-date with which services work for iPlayer, US Netflix (and maybe some others). Watch this space!

  2. NordVPN had some minor issues in the middle of the month but so now it’s working without any issues. Also it works for Netflix on all US servers what I’ve found useful as you could connect to the nearest server

    1. Thanks for the update, I have flagged this up with our team for further investigation. Have you tried using various UK servers? The BBC now requires you to also log in, so you will need to create a fake account with a UK address to use iPlayer from now on.

  3. Yeah…I have have had Buffered for the past 12 months and after about 1 month BBC was on to the fact I was using a VPN and denied access so, while I can’t speak for other VPN’s, Buffered shouldn’t be on your list of products that will get around that issue.


    1. Hi Stew,

      My colleague has this to say: “I use buffered for iplayer every week… you need to clear cookies because BBC stores a cookie about you using a VPN once and then doesn’t let you in again.”

  4. This wouldn’t be my preferred choice as its Media streamer DNS, that you can apply to your router, can only work for US streaming services, so those who want UK services are left out. Express VPN told me this is their only downside and they are hoping to make it available to other regions soon. That is what I love about Unlocator as its Media DNS can be applied to many regions. It seems this website may be getting commission from this company as it’s certainly not the best VPN service out there as it’s very America-centric.

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