HTTP & SOCKS Rotating & Static Proxy
- 72 million IPs for all purposes
- Worldwide locations
- 3 day moneyback guarantee
Can I use BBC iPlayer when I’m outside of the UK?
Due to rights agreements, you need to be in the UK to stream and download programmes or watch BBC TV channels on BBC iPlayer.
Want to watch an on-demand programme while you’re travelling? If you download a programme on BBC iPlayer when you’re in the UK, you can watch it anywhere in the world. You can download programmes on your computer, or on your mobile or tablet using the BBC iPlayer app. Find out more in our How can I watch programmes when I’m offline? page.
There are still BBC services you can use outside of the UK, including:
BBC Three YouTube channel
Please note that some content may not be available outside the UK.
While we are interested in being able to allow UK licence fee payers to access BBC iPlayer when they are abroad, there are complex technical issues to resolve which we are investigating, and it will be dependent on what legislation is in effect in the UK in the future.
If you’re in the UK and you get a message saying you’re not, have a look at our Why does BBC iPlayer think I’m outside the UK? FAQ.
- No logs
- Kill Switch
- 6 devices
- Monthly price: $4.92
8 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer to Watch Abroad (Working in 2021)
We explain how to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad (outside the UK) with a VPN and the best VPNs to use. With BBC iPlayer detecting and blocking more VPNs, we’ve updated this article for 2021 with the latest working VPNs.
@pabischoff UPDATED: July 27, 2021
BBC iPlayer is a popular streaming service that lets viewers watch some of the best free and legal content on the web, ranging from TV shows and movies to live sports like the Euro 2020 Championship. Much of that content, however, can only be streamed on devices with a UK IP address. This means a workaround is needed if you want to watch BBC iPlayer outside of the UK. Due to content licensing restrictions, certain videos are restricted by geography. This applies to viewing on the iPlayer website as well as through the iPlayer app.
The simple solution is to employ a VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer which will allow you to watch as normal from the USA or anywhere else abroad. However, not all VPNs work with BBC iPlayer.
We’ll cover eight BBC iPlayer VPNs in detail, but for those of you looking for a quick answer, our testing showed these to be the best options.
We found these to be the 8 best VPNs for BBC iPlayer:
NordVPN Best option for accessing BBC iPlayer from anywhere. Extremely fast and secure, with a large selection of servers and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark Our top budget pick. Speedy VPN with no connection limit that unblocks various streaming services including BBC iPlayer.
CyberGhost Works well with BBC iPlayer and other streaming services. Easy to use.
PrivateVPN Good up-and-coming VPN that works well with BBC iPlayer and other streaming services.
Hotspot Shield A solid budget option that offers fast speeds and unblocks BBC iPlayer and other services.
ExpressVPN Stream geo-blocked content from anywhere in the world with no restrictions. Veteran provider with excellent security credentials.
Private Internet Access Works well with BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
VyprVPN Unblocked BBC iPlayer in our tests.
GET A 30 DAY FREE TRIAL OF NORDVPNNordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for BBC iPlayer for a month, without restriction. As such, it’s ideal for anyone looking to binge their favorite shows as they travel.
There are no hidden terms—just let support know within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you and you’ll receive a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Short for virtual private network, a VPN service encrypts a device’s internet traffic before routing it through an intermediary server in a location of the user’s choosing. In the case of BBC iPlayer, the user just needs to pick a British server. They’ll be assigned a UK IP address to make it appear that’s where they’re located.
But this workaround is getting less effective by the day as BBC iPlayer starts cracking down on the circumvention software and detecting when a VPN is used. The site has followed in the footsteps of Netflix when it comes to banning VPN users. For this reason, it’s important to subscribe to a VPN service that bypasses iPlayer’s firewall and will actively work to fix the problem if it gets blocked.
Often only some servers from a specific VPN service can accomplish this, so if one VPN server is blocked for you then just try another or ask customer service which ones work.
We’ve curated the following list of the best VPN providers for watching BBC iPlayer outside the UK based on the following key criteria:
Servers in the UK – to be able to watch BBC iPlayer you need a UK IP address which you can get by connecting to a server in the UK.
Works with iPlayer – it might sound obvious but due to BBC iPlayer’s region blocking not every VPN always works with iPlayer so we will keep this list up to date with working options.
Fast connection speeds – there’s nothing worse than your connection dropping mid-stream or not loading in the first place. Fast and reliable connection speeds are key for a quality streaming experience.
Competent customer service – useful and speedy customer service from your VPN provider is necessary in case you have any issues with your VPN. There’s little point in paying for a service if you can’t get help when you need it.
If you would like to understand exactly how we analyze and rank VPNs you can find out more in our article on how we test VPNs.
Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
These 8 VPNs will work with BBC iPlayer outside the UK. Just connect to a suitable UK server and start streaming.
Unblocks iPlayerTested Oct 2021
NordVPN is a reliable service for watching BBC iPlayer abroad with plenty of UK servers to choose from. In fact, it operates almost 700 servers in the UK, and some of them are even optimized for streaming. Check the NordVPN website’s official knowledge base to find out which servers currently unblock BBC iPlayer content. Live chat support can be contacted 24/7.
This service scored one of the highest results in our speed test, so you shouldn’t have any issues streaming in HD or even 4K. Security is excellent thanks to strong encryption, and a strict zero-logs policy means your personal information (including your IP address) remains private. What’s more, public wifi users will love NordVPN’s automatic wifi protection feature. Servers are available in over 60 countries. NordVPN allows up to six concurrent internet connections on a single subscription, making it a great option for a small household or office.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
NordVPN speed test data
NordVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)111. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)122. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)112. 0 Mbps
Plenty of servers in the UK unblock iPlayer from almost anywhere in HD
Also great for unblocking a wide range of UK geo-blocked content
Strict no-logs policy and solid security on apps
Connect up to 6 devices at the same time
Live chat support 24/7
Desktop app can sometimes take a while to connect
BEST VPN FOR BBC IPLAYER ABROAD:NordVPN is our top choice. for an iPlayer VPN. Works reliably with BBC iPlayer and most popular streaming sites. Connects up to 6 devices simultaneously. App doesn’t offer server switching choice. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review here.
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unblocks iplayerTested Oct 2021
Surfshark currently has over 1, 700 servers in 60 countries, including the UK. It’s fast enough to stream live HD content with no noticeable buffering, and can reliably access major services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Netflix US. Best of all, though, Surfshark has no connection limit, meaning you can secure every one of your streaming devices simultaneously.
This service uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks to keep your online activities private at all times. There’s also a zero-logs policy and the option to block ads, trackers, and malware automatically. With 24/7 support available over live chat, you’re never more than a few seconds away from help with any problems
Surfshark offers apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. It can be manually installed on supported wireless routers.
Surfshark speed test data
SurfsharkAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)170 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)230 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)220 Mbps
Strong unblocking ability
Powerful security and online privacy features
Secure every device you own simultaneously
Has the occasional slow server
Doesn’t have the largest network
Read our full Surfshark review
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is our favorite low-cost option. It’s quick, versatile, and able to unblock a huge number of streaming services from abroad. Better still, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark CouponSAVE 81% on a 2-year planGet Deal >Discount applied automatically
CyberGhost makes unblocking geo-locked content easier than most other VPNs. Instead of contacting customer support or guessing at which server to connect to, CyberGhost’s apps let you choose a server based on the video site you want to unblock. Clicking the streaming option upon opening the app will bring up a lengthy list of popular streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer. Just click that option to get connected, and the app will even open iPlayer in your browser for you.
CyberGhost also boasts a strong security and privacy pedigree, which is perfect for security-conscious users. It keeps no logs and uses strong encryption with perfect forward secrecy. Leak protection and a kill switch ensure none of your internet traffic ever leaves the encrypted tunnel. CyberGhost boasts solid speeds that should be more than sufficient for streaming video in high quality.
A single plan allows up to seven simultaneous connections. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
CyberGhost speed test data
CyberGhostAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)78. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)54. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)39. 3 Mbps
No issues unblocking BBC iPlayer from various test locations
Operates a global network of more than 5, 900 servers in 90 countries
Low-cost option with beginner-friendly apps
Very good speeds
Doesn’t work reliably in UAE or China
May not be customizable enough for experienced users
easy-to-use apps:CyberGhost has a simple set up. CyberGhost has a simple set up and offers high speeds at a low cost. Good on privacy. Streams BBC iPlayer in HD video reliably and works with other popular streaming services. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
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PrivateVPN is a zero-logs VPN with a good track record for streaming BBC iPlayer, Netflix and other content. It makes short work of BBC iPlayer’s VPN firewall, and also works with other streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu. It boasts extremely high speeds and round-the-clock live chat support in case of any issues.
Speeds are excellent despite the comparatively small network of servers. Security doesn’t fall short, either, sporting 256-bit and 128-bit encryption options guarded with perfect forward secrecy. PrivateVPN stores no logs of user activity and won’t record your IP address.
You can connect up to six devices on a single plan. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
PrivateVPN speed test data
PrivateVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)94 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)56. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)61. 7 Mbps
Unblocks BBC iPlayer at decent streaming speeds from abroad
A growing reputation for unblocking popular streaming sites from anywhere
Keeps no logs whatsoever
Privacy and security are high-grade
Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks many popular UK shows and allows up to 6 devices on the same account. Small network of servers but fast, encrypted connections. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
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5. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice for streaming. It works with BBC iPlayer and lots of other popular streaming platforms, including Netflix UK and US, ITV Hub, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Plus, it has blazing fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth so streaming HD video is no issue. Live chat is available 24/7 should you run into problems.
This service has a checkered privacy past but has improved its policy and doesn’t log any personally identifiable information past your session duration. It backs this up with strong security features, including military-grade encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch (in the Windows app). Additional security features include automatic wifi protection (in the mobile apps) and protection against DNS and WebRTC leaks.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS and you can connect five desktop or mobile devices at a time.
Hotspot Shield speed test data
Hotspot ShieldAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)48 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)49 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)48 Mbps
Large global network of servers
Very fast speeds for streaming HD content
Strong encryption and other security features
Allows 5 simultaneous connections
45-day money-back guarantee
Had past digital privacy issues
Doesn’t accept cryptocurrency payments
Great low-cost VPN:Hotspot Shield comes at a low price and its fast speeds and excellent unblocking abilities make it a great option for streaming content from BBC iPlayer and other platforms. It even comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review
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ExpressVPN has a good server choice with six locations in their server network across the UK alone. While it’s one of our favorite all round VPNs, ExpressVPN has been less reliable with BBC iPlayer recently. Its speeds remain exceptional, though, plus it offers live chat-based support 24 hours per day.
ExpressVPN logs no identifying personal information and boasts top-notch security standards. It operates servers in over 90 countries, each optimized for maximum speed. If you want to watch iPlayer on a streaming device that doesn’t natively support VPNs, ExpressVPN makes its own router firmware which customers can either download and install free of charge or purchase with a pre-flashed router on the website.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and certain wifi routers.
ExpressVPN speed test data
ExpressVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)135. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)134 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)136 Mbps
Servers in the UK are great for streaming in HD quality
Unblocks most popular streaming sites with ease
Best-in-class encryption makes for solid security and privacy
24/7 live chat support staff are on the ball
Not the cheapest choice on this list
Worth trying, but less reliable at avoiding the VPN ban than it once was
RELIABLE SPEEDS:ExpressVPN is fast and secure, making it perfect for unblocking popular services. Offers top-notch security, reliable download speeds, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN here.
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7. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access boasts dedicated streaming servers for the UK, and unblocks BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat. Speeds are fast enough for live HD streaming, and there are no bandwidth limits at all. Further, PIA has a generous 10-connection limit and offers live chat support around the clock.
This service offers plenty of security features, including adjustable encryption (up to 256-bits), a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and even support for the extremely fast Wireguard protocol. There’s a strict no-logs policy in place too, so your privacy is in good hands.
PIA apps are available for iOS, MacOS, Linux, Windows, and Android.
Private Internet Access speed test data
Private Internet AccessAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)116. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)50. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)38 Mbps
Generally fast connections with unlimited bandwidth
True no-logs policy
Works wide a wide range of streaming services
Streaming speeds can be inconsistent
SOLID ALL ROUNDER:Private Internet Access achieves decent speeds although they can be variable. Reliably unblocks geo-restricted content and has great digital privacy credentials. Lacks some popular features. Includes 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PIA review.
Private Internet Access CouponSave 83% on the 3 year planGet Deal >Discount applied automatically
VyprVPN has high-speed servers making it a great option for unblocking the BBC iPlayer streaming service. It also works to stream content from other popular sites, including Netflix. This VPN even works in China, where most of its rivals are blocked outright. As a bonus, plans include access to online storage and encrypted messaging apps.
This VPN service uses strong encryption and includes DNS leak protection and a kill switch. It does store some logs, including the user IP address which might be a turnoff to more privacy-conscious users. It scored well in our speed tests, so you should have no problem streaming the latest season of Peaky Blinders in HD.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
VyprVPN speed test data
VyprVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)41 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)44. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)47. 3 Mbps
Unblocks BBC iPlayer and plenty of other streaming sites
Operates servers in the UK
Great unblocking capabilities, even works well in China
Marginally more expensive than some VPNs
Lacking options for advanced configuration
No cryptocurrency payment options
EASY TO USE:VyprVPN is user friendly. A solid choice. Stores no logs, offers great security and unblocks most streaming services. More pricey than some. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full VyprVPN review.
VyprVPN CouponSAVE 87% on the three year planGet Deal >Discount applied automatically
No valueNordVPNSurfsharkCyberGhostPrivateVPNHotspot ShieldExpressVPNPrivate Internet AccessVyprVPNUnblocks BBC iPlayerimage/svg+xmlimage/svg+xmlimage/svg+xmlimage/svg+xmlimage/svg+xmlimage/svg+xmlimage/svg+xmlimage/svg+xmlReccomended for other streaming servicesHulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO MaxHulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO MaxHulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO MaxHulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO MaxAmazon PrimeNetflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO MaxHuluAverage speed (USA)111. 7 Mbps70. 3 Mbps78. 7 Mbps94 Mbps48 Mbps135. 7 Mbps43 Mbps41 MbpsSimultaneous connections6 devicesUnlimited7 devices6 devices5 devices5 devices10 devices3 devicesMoney-back Guarantee30 Days30 Days45 Days30 Days45 days30 Days30 Days30 DaysLowest monthly cost$3. 49$1. 99$2. 25$1. 89$2. 99$6. 67$2. 85$5. 00
VPNs to avoid using with BBC iPlayer
Our tests show that the following VPN providers do not unblock the BBC iPlayer, according to our tests.
Although many of the VPN providers in the above list may be excellent for other online activities, you would be wasting your money with them if your main aim is to get videos from the BBC iPlayer over the internet while abroad.
How to use a VPN with BBC iPlayer (video)
Getting a British IP address and unblocking BBC iPlayer is simple if your VPN supports doing so. Sign up with one of the recommended VPN providers above and follow these easy steps.
Here’s how to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK with a VPN.
Download and install the VPN for your device from your provider’s site or an official app store. We recommend NordVPN.
Run the app and choose a VPN server in the UK that works with iPlayer. If you’re not certain which to choose, consult your provider’s website or customer service.
Connect to the VPN.
You should now have a UK IP address (check here).
Clear your cookies and your browser cache. These can store location information from previous sessions.
Open BBC iPlayer and start watching!
If you encounter any issues, contact your VPN’s customer support. You might need to adjust some settings on your device.
What can I watch on BBC iPlayer?
Some of the most popular TV shows you can watch on BBC iPlayer with a VPN include:
His Dark Materials
The Graham Norton Show
A Suitable Boy
Inside No. 9
Best VPNs for ITV
Best VPNs for Sky Go
How to stream British TV abroad
VPN for BBC iPlayer FAQs
Will free VPNs work with BBC? We’ve yet to find a free VPN that works reliably with BBC iPlayer. VPN services invest considerable sums into keeping their services working with streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video so it’s unsurprising free ones are not up to the iPlayer not working with your VPN? Try thisNote that we can’t guarantee these VPNs will work on the iPlayer website or the iPlayer app. If you run into trouble, it’s often simply a case of disconnecting and trying a different VPN server. If that doesn’t work, there may be bigger issues.
If you’re using the BBC iPlayer app, you should know that apps for iOS, Android, streaming media boxes, smart TVs, and game consoles can force a device onto your internet service provider’s DNS servers instead of the VPN’s. One way to get around this is to set up the VPN on your home wifi router or a virtual router instead of using the VPN app. Check out our tutorials on how to configure VPN-enabled virtual routers using both PC laptops and Macbooks.
Even after you connect to a VPN server, BBC iPlayer might have stored your previous “location” in a cookie that’s still active. If you still see a warning that the streaming content is not available in your location, you might need to clear your cookies. You can do this either in your browser settings or using an extension like EditThisCookie.
Sometimes when using a VPN, the BBC iPlayer page might not load at all and instead return an error page. If this is happening to you, you might need to flush your DNS cache. On Windows, type “cmd” into your search bar and open Command Prompt. Type in the following command and hit enter: ipconfig /flushdns. For Mac users, find the instructions for your version of OSX here.
Finally, clear any cached data that might allow iPlayer to see your real location. You can clean out your entire browser cache in the settings, but usually it’s enough to hold CTRL and hit F5 to perform a “hard” even more troubleshooting tips see our guide on VPNs not working with BBC if I don’t have a UK TV license? When trying to access BBC iPlayer, you might get a notification informing you that a UK TV license is required to watch any program on the site. When prompted, many sources report you can simply click “I have a TV license”.
BBC apparently depends on the honor system to keep viewers honest and does not require actual proof that the user has a TV license. This message was added to iPlayer’s terms of service in September 2016.
Access to the BBC iPlayer streaming service now requires viewers to register a BBC account and input a valid UK postcode. The form does not seem to verify whether or not the registrant actually lives within the postal code they input, so as long as you have a UK IP address, you should be I watch Planet Earth II on BBC iPlayer? Yes, Planet Earth II and Blue Planet 2 are both on BBC iPlayer and available for free. It’s even in HD! Just make sure you have one of the VPNs above if you’re outside of the country. You’ll need plenty of bandwidth to watch the wildlife in stunning high I use a free proxy to access BBC iPlayer? Unlikely. BBC iPlayer is notoriously difficult to access with most VPNs and proxies. It will likely detect that you’re using a proxy and prevent you from watching the show. Stick with the VPNs recommended above for the most reliable access to BBC iPlayer from much Internet does BBC iPlayer use? BBC iPlayer can stream in different resolutions and will adjust quality according to your available bandwidth. The highest resolution is 720p, which requires at least 5 Mbps of available bandwidth. You will need a minimum of 3. 2 Mbps to watch TV shows without I Watch BBC iPlayer in Australia, Canada and USA? Yes! But without a VPN, you can only access the international version, which doesn’t include most of the on-demand TV shows and catch-up content. You can use one of the VPNs recommended above to access the full UK version by connecting to a server in the United Kingdom first. Make sure to clear your browser cookies and cache does BBC iPlayer detect and block me when I’m overseas? BBC iPlayer, like many other streaming services, users your IP address to determine your location. Your IP address is a unique sequence of numbers and decimals used to identify your device and its approximate location. A VPN hides your location by changing your public IP address to that of another country, such as the UK.
If you’ve attempted to access BBC iPlayer from abroad and failed, the site might store your blocked status in your web browser. If you’re using one of the VPNs above and still can’t access iPlayer, be sure to clear your browser cookies and web cache.
BBC iPlayer also prompts new users for a UK postal code in order to use the service. The code a user enters is not verified, though; it accepts any genuine UK postal do I stop my ISP from throttling BBC iPlayer? If you believe your internet service provider is specifically throttling BBC iPlayer, then a VPN can help. By encrypting the contents of your internet connection and routing it through an intermediary server, your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re doing online. In turn, it won’t be able to discriminate against a specific type or source of data, such as a BBC iPlayer stream.
However, if your ISP is throttling all your data and not just BBC iPlayer, then a VPN won’t help much. If you’ve reached your monthly data cap, for example, then throttling will be applied to all internet traffic whether it goes through a VPN or does BBC iPlayer Radio block some programs when I listen from outside the UK? Like TV shows and movies, radio content is also restricted according to your location. While most BBC Sounds content is available worldwide, some sports and music can’t be accessed from outside the UK without a VPN. This is usually due to licensing restrictions.
If BBC iPlayer blocks you from listening to radio content, you’ll hear one of two messages:
Live content: “This content is unavailable due to technical or rights reasons. ”
On-demand content: “Sorry, this content can only be played in the UK. ”
Has the BBC iPlayer blocked NordVPN? NordVPN works with BBC iPlayer as of time of writing. That being said, BBC iPlayer occasionally blocks connections from known VPN servers. This might result in BBC iPlayer being temporarily unavailable. This can happen to any VPN, however, and isn’t specific to NordVPN.
If you’re unable to access NordVPN through BBC iPlayer, you can contact customer service so they can start working on a fix. Access is usually restored within a day or ‘s new on BBC iPlayer? Below are just a few of the newest titles available on BBC iPlayer.
Tokyo Olympics 2020
Baptiste Season 2
Mayans Season 3
Pretty Little Liars Season 1-7
4 Best (REALLY FREE) VPNs for BBC iPlayer in October 2021 – vpnMentor
It’s hard to find a free VPN that can bypass BBC iPlayer’s geoblocks so you can watch it from outside the UK. That’s where I come in. I put together a definitive list of the best free VPNs for BBC iPlayer that still work in 2021 so you can start watching His Dark Materials, Drag Race UK, and other great content for free.
I tested 39 free VPNs with BBC iPlayer and only found four that are powerful enough to bypass the site’s tough geo-restrictions. As expected, many of the free services I tested were poorly designed, slow, and unsafe to use.
But even the best free VPNs come with downsides. Small data allowances and limited server options stop you from streaming more than an episode or two – if they allow streaming at all.
Even worse, some free VPNs actually pose a threat to your safety and privacy with shady data collection practices, adware, or dangerous malware.
That’s why my top recommendation is a low-cost premium VPN service like ExpressVPN so you can safely binge-watch your favorite shows on BBC iPlayer with superb speeds and unlimited data.
Best Free VPNs for BBC iPlayer – Quick Guide
ExpressVPN – Enjoy unlimited streaming and superfast speeds on BBC iPlayer. You also get powerful security, easy-to-use apps, and several servers in the UK. You can try it out risk-free and claim a full refund if it’s not for you.
CyberGhost: With its 24-hour free trial, you’ll have a full day to explore its fast streaming speeds. It even has a server optimized for BBC iPlayer that’s continuously updated, so it will alway give you access.
Windscribe: Access BBC iPlayer with two free UK servers on Windscribe’s well-designed apps and secure browser extensions. You get 10GB of free data per month, which is enough to stream about six movies in SD.
Speedify: UK servers that can reliably access BBC iPlayer with decent speeds. But with only 2GB of free data per month, you won’t be able to stream more than a few episodes in SD.
Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now!
What’s the Catch With Free VPNs?
There’s a reason that the best VPNs come with a price tag. Running a good VPN network is expensive. Free VPNs cut costs by limiting you in some pretty significant ways.
Free VPNs rarely offer as many different apps as premium services. You’re better off with a low-cost premium service if you’re looking for a router-compatible VPN or want to watch BBC iPlayer on your Smart TV.
The scariest downside of using a free VPN is that you can’t always trust them to keep you safe online.
Free VPNs often limit your security features to convince you to upgrade. It’s also common for free VPNs to rely on money from third-party advertisers. They use adware and trackers that collect information about you and compromise your privacy.
Premium VPNs secure your private data with IP masking, bank-grade encryption, and advanced IP/DNS leak protection.
BBC iPlayer has some of the strictest geoblocks of any streaming site, so finding a free VPN that can unblock it is rare. It is particularly good at detecting and blocking VPN traffic.
It takes advanced obfuscation technology and a large server network to outsmart BBC iPlayer, and most free VPNs lack the resources to make that happen.
Almost all free VPNs limit how much data you can use. This might not be a big issue if you’re just browsing the web or updating your social media, but you won’t be able to do much streaming even if your free VPN can access BBC iPlayer.
For reference, 1GB of free data lets you stream about 1. 5 hours in SD. Most free VPNs only give you a few GB or less each month.
The Best Free VPNs for BBC Player (Updated October 2021)
I found four free VPNs that can reliably bypass BBC iPlayer’s tough geo-restrictions without putting your safety at risk.
1. ExpressVPN – Try Risk-Free With a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Superfast speeds for streaming
Reliable servers in the UK
30-day money-back guarantee
AES 256-bit encryption, automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection
30 simultaneous device connections
Works with: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
ExpressVPN will give you the best streaming experience with BBC iPlayer. Even though it’s a premium VPN, you can try it risk-free knowing it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with it, you can cancel your subscription and get a refund.
It has an extensive server network with 4 locations in the UK. Each of the cities unblocked BBC iPlayer with zero issues, so you’ll have no trouble accessing the platform.
Buffering isn’t an issue, even when traffic is high. I recorded an average speed of 56 Mbps with tests using its UK IPs. You only need 5 Mbps to stream in HD, so you’ll be able to stream live sports and shows completely lag-free.
This VPN gives you unlimited data and bandwidth, so you can watch BBC iPlayer in HD for as long as you want.
MediaStreamer helps you connect all of your devices, even if they don’t normally support VPNs. I used its easy-to-follow guide to set-up my router in a few minutes. This let me stream BBC iPlayer on my smartTV. With this feature, you’ll be able to watch the platform on any of your Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Obfuscated servers hide your traffic and keep your VPN use undetected. This will help you bypass censorship and access restricted sites at school, and work with less chance of getting caught and blocked.
Strong encryption technology, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection keep your data secure while you’re torrenting, checking emails, or streaming.
A strict no-logs policy ensures that nothing you do online while connected to ExpressVPN is recorded. Plus, its TrustedServer technology eliminates all of your sensitive information, including IP addresses, browsing history, and metadata, so it can never be shared with a third-party.
Check out our in-depth review to learn more about ExpressVPN’s features and performance.
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2. CyberGhost: 24-Hour Free Trial with Full Access to Premium Features
24 hours of unlimited free data
BBC iPlayer-optimized server
Great speeds for streaming
Military-grade encryption, kill switch, and leak protection
Strict no-logs policy
Located in privacy-friendly Romania
Works with: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Disney +Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and more
Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers, smart TVs, and more
CyberGhost gives you an entire day to test out its server specifically optimized to unblock BBC iPlayer. Every time anyone logs in, they’re given a different UK location. This makes it more difficult for BBC iPlayer to discover your VPN use and ban the IP address. Plus, if any of the addresses are ever banned, CyberGhost removes them from the rotation. This makes it one of the most reliable VPNs for accessing BBC iPlayer.
The optimized servers were a bit faster in my experience. However, there are 3 regular UK locations that I used to unblock BBC iPlayer as well. So, you’ll have several ways to unblock BBC iPlayer.
Speaking of speeds, CyberGhost impressed me with its download speeds. I had an average of 53 Mbps testing its UK locations. So, you’ll be able to stream without any annoying load times or lag.
You get access to all its premium features during the 24-hour free period. This means you’ll have unlimited bandwidth, so you can watch BBC iPlayer for as long as you want during the free trial.
No-Spy servers give you an added layer of security. These servers are housed at CyberGhost’s headquarters, so there’s no third-party involvement. This gives them added physical security and eliminates another way your data can be compromised.
CyberGhost keeps the No-Spy servers in its home country of Romania. This is outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance, an agreement between several governments to share data on their citizens. So, being located in Romania is great because it’s a privacy-friendly country that doesn’t spy on its citizens.
On top of that, CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy. It’s also extremely secure with military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and leak protection. You can read more about CyberGhost’s great security, speeds, and streaming capabilities here.
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3. Windscribe – 10GB Free Data Each Month
10GB of free data per month
Two free servers in the UK (including one with access to BBC iPlayer)
No ads with a free account
AES 256-bit encryption and IP masking
Connect an unlimited number of simultaneous devices
Works with: BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, YouTube, and Kodi
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox
Windscribe gives you a generous 10GB of free data per month. You can’t have multiple binge-watching sessions with 10GB, but you can stream about six movies in standard definition (SD) every month. Plus, you can get an extra 5GB free by tweeting the company, as well as an additional 1GB for every new user you refer to Windscribe.
You can choose from 10 free server locations, including two servers in the UK. The first server I tested couldn’t access BBC iPlayer, but I was able to consistently stream BBC iPlayer while connected to the London Tea server.
These free servers offer decent speeds. I experienced brief buffering delays when I tested the VPN during high-traffic periods, but overall, Windscribe offers much more reliable connections than most free VPNs.
You can also use Windscribe to ensure your privacy while you torrent. It has a strict no-logs policy and offers P2P support on multiple servers.
The free version of Windscribe comes with the same robust security features as the premium version. It protects your privacy and safety with IP masking and secure encryption. It even protects you from malware, trackers, adware, and other cyber threats.
Windscribe’s chatbot, Garry, can answer most questions, but you can also chat with a live customer service representative if your query is more complicated. Windscribe also has an online support ticket system.
Learn more about Windscribe by reading our full review. Get Windscribe for Free!
4. Speedify – 6 Free UK Servers to Access BBC iPlayer
2GB of free data per month
Six free servers in the UK (including two with access to BBC iPlayer)
Choose between AES- or ChaCha-based encryption for a balance of speed and security
Works with: BBC iPlayer, YouTube, HBO GO, and Kodi
Compatible with: Windows, macOS iOS, Android, and Linux
Speedify offers 2GB of free data per month, which is only enough to stream in SD for about three hours. Still, it is a reliable choice if you just want to watch a sports match or a specific movie that’s only available on BBC iPlayer.
It has VPN servers in 35+ locations across the globe, including six free UK servers. Two of these servers successfully unblocked BBC iPlayer during my tests. I was able to stream with minimal buffering, but it wasn’t fast enough to watch anything in high definition.
Speedify’s Channel Bonding technology sends your data over two or more internet connections at once to improve your connection speeds. The downside is that it can use up to twice as much of your WiFi and cellular data.
Speedify uses AES 128-GSM encryption to protect most modern devices. If you have an older device, Speedify’s ChaCha encryption cipher can dramatically improve your speed without compromising security.
The VPN’s effective IP masking hides your location from the websites you visit, while the strict no-logs policy ensures that your activity stays private.
You can use Speedify to effectively bypass censorship and access a wide range of geo-restricted content online.
Speedify supports torrenting on its Amsterdam server, which is available for free and is optimized for BitTorrent. However, you won’t be able to download large files with only 2GB.
Find out how Speedify performed in other areas by reading our full expert review. Get Speedify for Free!
What features should I look for in a VPN for BBC iPlayer?
Your VPN’s network should have multiple servers in the UK to increase the chances that you can find a server that’s able to unblock BBC iPlayer. A larger server network also improves your VPN connection speeds by reducing traffic and server crowding.
In addition to fast speeds, you need unlimited data and bandwidth so that you don’t run out of data right in the middle of an episode.
Other useful features to look out for are device compatibility so that you can watch BBC iPlayer on your favorite platforms, and responsive customer service to help you troubleshoot if you have trouble streaming content on BBC iPlayer.
How do I watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN?
It’s easy to watch BBC iPlayer with a high-quality VPN. After you download the VPN to your device, open the VPN app and, connect to a server in the UK. You should now be able to watch BBC iPlayer with no further steps.
If you still can’t access BBC iPlayer, try connecting to different UK servers in your VPN’s network until you find one that works.
Make sure you refresh BBC iPlayer after connecting to a new server. Depending on your browser settings, restarting your browser may also help.
Can I also use the VPNs on this list to watch Netflix?
If you are looking for a VPN that works with multiple streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer and Netflix, a premium VPN like ExpressVPN is your best option. CyberGhost works great with Netflix. Windscribe also works with Netflix, but only if you upgrade to a premium account. Speedify does not currently work with Netflix.
Are VPNs legal?
Generally yes, but it depends on where you live. VPNs are legal in most countries, but a select few restrict or completely ban the use of VPNs. To check if VPNs are legal where you live, you can read our complete guide here.
The free VPNs on this list can access BBC iPlayer, but you can only stream a limited amount because of their data limits.
BBC iPlayer is continuing to crack down on the use of free VPNs. There’s no guarantee that any free VPN will always be able to access the content you want in the future.
A premium VPN is your best option to have consistent, long-term access to BBC iPlayer. I recommend ExpressVPN because it offers top-notch security, a vast server network, blazing-fast speeds, and unlimited streaming.
With ExpressVPN, you can unblock all of your favorite streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix, HBO Max, and tons more. You can even test out ExpressVPN risk-free for 30-days with its money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, you can always ask for a refund.
Top VPNs for BBC iPlayer that you can try risk-free with money-back guarantees…
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Frequently Asked Questions about stream bbc iplayer outside uk
How can I watch BBC iPlayer outside UK?
8 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer that still work in 2021NordVPN Best option for accessing BBC iPlayer from anywhere. … Surfshark Our top budget pick. … CyberGhost Works well with BBC iPlayer and other streaming services. … PrivateVPN Good up-and-coming VPN that works well with BBC iPlayer and other streaming services.More items…•Jul 27, 2021
How can I watch BBC iPlayer abroad for free?
The Best Free VPNs for BBC Player (Updated October 2021)ExpressVPN – Try Risk-Free With a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Try ExpressVPN > … CyberGhost: 24-Hour Free Trial with Full Access to Premium Features. Try CyberGhost VPN > … Windscribe – 10GB Free Data Each Month. … Speedify – 6 Free UK Servers to Access BBC iPlayer.Aug 17, 2021
Can I access BBC iPlayer abroad?
If you download a programme on BBC iPlayer when you’re in the UK, you can watch it anywhere in the world. You can download programmes on your computer, or on your mobile or tablet using the BBC iPlayer app. … There are still BBC services you can use outside of the UK, including: BBC Sounds.