Our NordVPN review has consistently rated these guys as a top VPN provider year after year. The reason being that it is a highly secure service that is packed with security features such as DNS leak protection, stealth mode, a killswitch, double-hop and VPN into Tor.
Add to that a zero-logs policy and well implemented OpenVPN encryption (military grade) and you start to understand why. In the past, NordVPN had at times suffered from erratic connection speed issues. However, more recently this superb VPN appears to have managed to really iron those issues out. The result is a reliable and trustworthy VPN that is good enough to do even the most data intensive of tasks (such as streaming in HD). With NordVPN you get freedom and digital privacy, and users are free to do anything they wish (including torrenting). Admittedly, ExpressVPN is slightly faster and does have more servers, but for the added price the difference is negligible.
Finally, this VPN has a 30-day money back guarantee, so that you can test it without risking your hard earned cash, win!
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.
Server Locations 45
Average Speed 22.66 Mbit/s
Simultaneous Connections 5
Fast, reliable and secure
Unblocks Netflix US and BBC iPlayer
Peer-to-peer (P2P) is permitted
Excellent website with guides and 24/7 live chat support
Excellent software for Windows and Mac
Rather expensive if you subscribe for one month only (but better value if purchased yearly)
The VPN is helpful and answers questions quickly. The software is easy to use and available for most platforms. Although it isn't as fully featured as some of the others on this list, GooseVPN is perfect for unblocking iPlayer and US Netflix.
Asus RT-AC66U, Asus RT-N16/RT-N18U/RT-AC68U/RT-AC87U/RT-AC3200, TomatoUSB firmware, Netgear (L2TP mode), D-Link 600 (D-Link series with L2TP/PPtP support), Setup GOOSE VPN via OpenVPN protocol for DD-WRT routers
Cyberghost is a superb VPN for unblocking iPlayer. It has a choice of fast UK servers that are perfect for streaming. It is fully featured with all the most important security settings. In addition, it is available for all platforms and is very easy to use. The leaps and bounds that this VPN has made in the last few years are truly remarkable: it has really become a force to be reckoned with.
The VPN is secure thanks to military-grade encryption, and it has an excellent no logs policy. With a 30-day money back guarantee you can test this VPN hassle free. This VPN is cheap and will unblock iPlayer and content from all over the world. Definitely worth a try!
Server Locations 60
Average Speed 61.97 Mbit/s
Simultaneous Connections 7
Private: Great logs policy
Based in Romania so no government spying!
Good looking and easy-to-use software: Seven simultaneous connections
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.
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.
As a general rule, we don't recommend free VPNs, as they are often only good for general browsing and their services often fall short when trying data-intensive tasks, such as streaming. However, if you want to try a free service for yourself, we urge you to try one of the providers listed on our free VPNs page.
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, PureVPN 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 license.” (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!
Remember: As soon as you connect to the UK server, you appear to be in the UK. Don't forget that people are allowed to watch iPlayer in Ireland - so you can connect to a server there too!
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.
Quick tip: people are allowed to watch iPlayer in Ireland - so you may want to test an Irish server too if one fails.
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.
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 iPhone 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.
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!