Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in 2021

BBC iPlayer is the online streaming platform from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). This video streaming service allows users to catch up on TV shows and films that were broadcast on the network. Many popular shows such as Killing Eve, Doctor Who, and The Graham Norton Show can be viewed on BBC iPlayer.

However, BBC iPlayer is only available for UK residents who have paid a TV license fee. This license fee is commonplace in the UK and is compulsory for British residents who wish to have access to the BBC and all of the original programming it offers.

Many fans of the BBC live outside of the UK and have no way to watch their favorite British TV shows. An easy method that allows people to access BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world is to use a VPN.

Using a VPN changes your IP address and geo-location, making it appear as though you are in the UK. By doing this, you’ll be able to watch BBC iPlayer streaming content from the US or elsewhere.

Below we’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2021. Read on to learn more about our top picks and why we’ve chosen them. Show more

The Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer

There are many VPNs that claim to help people watch BBC iPlayer abroad. However, this is no easy feat since the BBC iPlayer employs advanced technology to detect and block VPN IP addresses. Due to this, many VPNs don’t work with BBC iPlayer.

All of the VPN services listed can successfully unblock BBC iPlayer. As well as this, the VPNs on our list can also provide access to many other streaming services and offer excellent security features for enhanced online privacy.

#1

VPN Service: Surfshark VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: Unlimited
Number of Netflix Libraries: 15
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
Macbook Pro VPN
  • proiconFull 15 Netflix Libraries
  • proiconTons of server locations
  • proiconGreat deal on 24 months
  • coniconNo Apple Pay Payment Option
  • coniconVery expensive monthly
  • coniconAllows P2P from all servers

Surfshark VPN

Surfshark is undoubtedly one of the best VPNs if you want unlimited access to streaming services. The provider can bypass restrictions on many video streaming platforms worldwide, including BBC iPlayer.

  • More than 3200 VPN servers across 65 countries
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Fast server speeds

The best BBC iPlayer VPN option is Surfshark. With this VPN, you can unblock BBC iPlayer from outside the UK since the provider operates servers across 3 British locations. Surfshark can bypass BBC iPlayer’s VPN firewall thanks to the obfuscation it employs on all of its servers; this makes VPN traffic look like normal HTTPS traffic, hiding your VPN use from websites and other third parties.

You’ll enjoy super-fast speeds with Surfshark, which makes it perfect for watching BBC iPlayer. There will be no dreaded buffering, and you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows in crystal-clear HD quality. AES-256 bit encryption not only hides your activity from prying eyes but stops your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from seeing your streaming activity and throttling your bandwidth.

Surfshark isn’t just a great BBC iPlayer VPN. The VPN provider can also provide access to many other popular streaming sites; this includes 15 Netflix libraries, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and YouTube. With Surfshark, you get an all-in-one streaming VPN service.

Many people like to watch BBC iPlayer and other video streaming sites on their smartphones. Surfshark offers support for many streaming devices, including iOS and Android smartphones, macOS and Windows PCs, and Amazon Firestick and Apple TV devices. Each Surfshark plan comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can use the service on each and every single device you own.

The Surfshark app is extremely easy to use. All you need to do to connect to a UK server is launch the app and scroll through the server list before tapping a UK server. In the app, you can also edit security and connection settings.

If you’re paranoid about data logging, you needn’t be with Surfshark. The provider operates a zero-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t monitor or store any of your browsing data. This means that if you watch BBC iPlayer abroad, this activity won’t be logged anywhere.

A 30-day money-back guarantee accompanies all Surfshark subscription plans, and there is 24/7 live chat support to assist you should you run into issues with the VPN when watching BBC iPlayer.

Price Starting At: 1.85 $ / monthly 49.93 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + No money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 1040+
#2

VPN Service: NordVPN

Max Speed: 115000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 6
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
Using VPN on Smartphone
  • proiconUltra-fast connection
  • proiconNo-logs policy
  • proicon5400 servers in 54 countries
  • coniconLimited payment options
  • coniconNo Split Tunneling on desktop
  • coniconOnly 6 simultaneous connection

NordVPN

You can watch BBC iPlayer abroad with NordVPN thanks to the provider’s excellent unblocking abilities. NordVPN also offers excellent security to ensure users are safe when using the VPN service.

  • More than 5400 VPN servers worldwide
  • Over 440 servers in the UK
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Zero-logs policy

NordVPN can unblock BBC iPlayer amongst many other streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and many others. The VPN service has more than 440 servers in the UK alone but also offers server locations across the world, meaning you can enjoy access to a global catalog of content on video streaming platforms.

Connection speeds are excellent with NordVPN. We ran speed tests whilst testing the provider’s ability to unblock BBC iPlayer, and were pleasantly surprised to achieve an average download speed of 37Mbps in the UK. This is extremely fast and guarantees that users can watch BBC iPlayer shows in HD.

The fast speeds bode well for other data-heavy activities, including torrenting and gaming. Luckily, NordVPN doesn’t just unblock iPlayer; it supports P2P networking on over 4000 servers and can be connected to your router to protect gaming consoles.

If you want to hide the fact that you’re watching BBC iPlayer and other streaming services, then NordVPN is a great option. The provider is big on user privacy, employing advanced encryption, excellent protocols, DNS leak protection, and a host of other security tools like a kill switch to hide your browsing data.

A no-logging policy is also in place to protect users’ privacy. NordVPN doesn’t monitor, collect, or share any data relating to your VPN usage. Moreover, it is based in Panama and enjoys the jurisdiction’s lax data-retention laws, a fact which bodes well for Nord customers.

There are 6 simultaneous connections per NordVPN plan and support for many devices, including Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. This means you can stream BBC iPlayer on your device of choice and Netflix on another.

Customer support is first-rate with NordVPN; there is 24/7 live chat support, a support section full of useful information, and a ticketed email system. A 30-day money-back guarantee accompanies all plans, which are cheaper the longer you sign up for.

Price Starting At: 3.15 $ / monthly 50.15 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 5400+
#3

VPN Service: ExpressVPN

Max Speed: 58000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows
VPN on Macbook
  • proiconTons of payment options
  • proicon24-hour live chat suppot
  • proicon30-day money back guarantee
  • coniconMore expensive than competitors
  • coniconOnly 5 simultaneous connections
  • coniconNo servers in Russia

ExpressVPN

Can ExpressVPN unblock BBC iPlayer? Yes! However, ExpressVPN doesn’t just help users watch BBC iPlayer abroad; it can also provide access to many geo-blocked websites.

  • Over 3000 VPN servers in 94 countries
  • UK server options
  • Works on many streaming platforms
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

If you’re looking for a VPN that can access BBC iPlayer as well as many other restricted sites, then ExpressVPN may be the answer. The provider can help you surf the web undetected whilst providing access to sites that have strong VPN firewalls in place, such as BBC iPlayer.

You’ll be able to unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and many other streaming services with ExpressVPN, regardless of your real location. As well as this, you can bypass geo-restrictions on social media sites and also access VoIP services if they are blocked in your region.

The MediaStreamer feature is ExpressVPN’s DNS tool that enables users to access content from any country via any service. Although this feature doesn’t provide encryption and privacy, it can easily be connected to your Smart TV and provides good speeds.

Speaking of speeds, like the other providers on this list, ExpressVPN won’t slow down your internet connection; in fact, using its very own Lightway protocol to establish a VPN connection will give you faster speeds than using any of its other protocol options would.

Even though ExpressVPN only offers 5 simultaneous connections, it provides support for the most-used operating systems; these include Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Smart TVs. There is also the option to purchase a router with ExpressVPN pre-configured on it, allowing users to extend the VPN protection and advantages to all devices on their home networks.

A no-logs policy protects your privacy, and the use of RAM servers ensures that any saved data is immediately wiped upon the VPN’s servers being switched off. There is also a kill switch, ‘The Network Lock,’ which is automatically activated upon installing the VPN to your device.

If you’re a first-time ExpressVPN customer, then you can enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customer support is always at hand through the form of a live chat service, an email support system, and information available on the provider’s website.

Price Starting At: 8.32 $ / monthly 99.95 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 3000+
#4

VPN Service: Cyberghost VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 7
Number of Netflix Libraries: 4
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
using vpn
  • proiconServers in unusual countries
  • proiconGreat support options
  • proiconGreat blog and guide universe
  • coniconLimited payment options
  • coniconPoor press area for affiliates
  • coniconFew Netflix libraries

CyberGhost VPN

If you want to access BBC iPlayer with a VPN, then CyberGhost is a viable option. Not only does the provider offer many UK server options, but its vast server network provides access to streaming sites worldwide.

  • More than 7000 servers in 90+ countries
  • 641 UK servers
  • NoSpy server network
  • Round-the-clock support

CyberGhost is the best option if you’re looking for a reasonably-priced VPN that can help you stream BBC iPlayer outside of the UK. The provider operates a large number of UK-based servers, meaning that users have many British IP address options to choose from.

With CyberGhost, you can enjoy content on many other streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu; the VPN service doesn’t only work with BBC iPlayer! You can also bypass geo-restrictions on news sites and social media platforms from around the world with CyberGhost.

If internet privacy is an important issue for you (and it should be), then CyberGhost can assist in this area too. The provider operates a NoSpy network of servers in Romania. What this means is that users can connect to a server in this network and know that it is managed end-to-end by the CyberGhost team. Furthermore, since the servers are based in Romania, your data will be transferred via a privacy-friendly and safe country.

On top of offering an extra secure network of servers, CyberGhost also has a no-logging policy. The provider doesn’t store any data related to how you use the VPN, meaning that identifiable information such as your real IP address and location won’t be at risk of exposure. This is good news for people who stream BBC iPlayer from abroad and may not want to get caught breaking the broadcaster’s Terms of Service.

CyberGhost offers 7 simultaneous connections, and its dedicated app can be downloaded on many platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. Customer support is impeccable; there is a live chat option on the website, a help section full of guides and answers to FAQs, and an email service.

Plans are cheaper the longer time you sign up for. A 45-day money-back guarantee, which is 15 days longer than the average refund policy, comes with every plan, allowing you to try out the service but still request a refund if necessary.

Price Starting At: 2.25 $ / monthly 29.25 $ / annually
For New Users: 45 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 7200+
#5

VPN Service: Hotspot Shield VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Dynamic
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: 13
Information sharing: 14 Eyes Member
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
  • proiconLightning fast VPN
  • proiconOptimized for streaming
  • proiconPayPal payment option
  • coniconPoor support
  • conicon14-eyes VPN
  • coniconOnly 5 devices

Hotspot Shield VPN

Although Hotspot Shield offers a free VPN service, only its Premium plan can unblock iPlayer. However, the paid subscriptions provide access to a whole host of excellent features, including fast speeds.

  • More than 3200 VPN servers in 70 locations
  • No-logging policy
  • Hydra protocol for fast speeds
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Hotspot Shield offers two plans; its free and Premium service. If you want access to 1 server in the US and a limit of data per month, then the free plan may be sufficient. However, to access BBC iPlayer, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid plan.

Fortunately, the Premium version doesn’t just unblock iPlayer; it can help users bypass firewalls on many streaming services, including Netflix in the UK and the US. As well as this, Hotspot Shield can get around restrictions on VoIP services and other social media platforms.

Hotspot employs the Catapult Hydra protocol for extra fast speeds on its network. This means that you’ll enjoy picture-perfect quality when you stream BBC iPlayer without any buffering.

You can connect Hotspot Shield VPN to 5 devices simultaneously, which, although the industry standard, is not as much as some other providers offer. However, like the other VPNs on this list, there is support for operating systems including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers. You can also connect the VPN to your Smart TV and access the BBC iPlayer app there.

Security features are excellent with Hotspot’s Premium plan. As well as offering a selection of tunneling protocols and advanced encryption, there is a no-logs policy. This guarantees that your use of the VPN service (such as watching BBC iPlayer and Netflix) won’t be logged and shared anywhere. Given that Hotspot Shield is based in the US, this is an important feature.

Not only does Hotspot Shield provide access to BBC iPlayer and many other services, but it can also protect your device from malware thanks to its built-in malware blocking feature. The provider offers an all-around service that protects your device entirely.

Like CyberGhost, Hotspot Shield offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. Users can try out the free VPN version first to see if they like it; however, this won’t provide access to BBC iPlayer, so we recommend utilizing the refund policy if you are on the fence but want to try out the service.

Price Starting At: 7.99 $ / monthly 95.88 $ / annually
For New Users: 45 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 3200+
#6

VPN Service: Private Internet Access VPN

Max Speed: 373000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 10
Number of Netflix Libraries: Not available
Information sharing: 5 Eyes Member
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows
  • proiconTons of servers
  • proiconDedicated IP option
  • proiconOne of the largest providers in US!
  • coniconOld interface
  • coniconAutogenerated locale languages
  • coniconNo free trial

Private Internet Access VPN

You’ll not be short of server location options with Private Internet Access (PIA), making this is great VPN for BBC iPlayer. The provider operates a vast network comprising more than 20,000 servers in 78 countries.

  • Over 20,000 VPN servers
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • WireGuard protocol
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

PIA can help users watch BBC iPlayer abroad since it operates many UK servers. By connecting to one of these servers, you’ll have a British IP address and be able to access many UK-based websites, including iPlayer and UK Netflix.

One of the best things about PIA is that it offers unlimited bandwidth, meaning there are no limits on the amount of streaming you can enjoy. As well as this, PIA offers fast speeds and performed well during our speed tests when we were connected to one of its UK servers.

Another feature that is great for streaming iPlayer is the SOCKS5 proxy that PIA offers. Connecting to this guarantees faster speeds, which is good for watching TV shows and films. The SOCKS5 proxy is also great for torrenting, something that PIA supports across its entire network.

PIA is also a good choice if you want a secure internet connection. There is the choice of AES-256 bit and AES-128 bit encryption and a selection of protocols, including WireGuard. WireGuard is an open-source protocol that provides excellent security without slowing down your connection.

Like Hotspot Shield, PIA is based in the USA, which is worrying. Fortunately, PIA operates a no-logging policy to reassure users that their use of the VPN to unblock content on iPlayer and other websites won’t be stored and shared.

Users can enjoy the service on 10 devices simultaneously. There is support for many operating systems, including Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Mozilla. The browser extensions are excellent since it means you can use the VPN solely in your browser to stream BBC iPlayer and tunnel the rest of your internet activity on apps via your regular network.

Prices are great with PIA, with plans starting from $2.69 per month. A 30-day money-back guarantee accompanies all plans for new customers, acting as a free trial for users who may be on the fence.

Price Starting At: 2.69 $ / monthly 40 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 24305+
#7

VPN Service: PrivateVPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: 6
Number of Netflix Libraries: 5
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows
  • proiconTorrenting friendly
  • proiconExcellent customer support
  • proiconCheap plans
  • coniconSmall server network
  • coniconNo split tunneling
  • coniconNo dedicated IPs

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN dubs itself “the fastest-growing VPN worldwide,” and it provides a promising service. As well as being able to unblock iPlayer outside the UK, it works with other streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

  • 100 servers in 63 countries
  • No speed or bandwidth limits
  • P2P friendly network
  • 24/7 tech support from developers

Although PrivateVPN has a tiny server network, it offers an overall excellent service. The provider offers UK servers in London and Manchester and is able to bypass restrictions on many websites, including BBC iPlayer. It’s extremely impressive that this small VPN provider has enough power to overcome the geo-restrictions on the iPlayer platform.

One of the best things about PrivateVPN is that it doesn’t impose any bandwidth caps or speed limitations, which is excellent for streaming fans. You won’t experience buffering or any throttling when watching iPlayer or doing anything else that consumes a lot of data online.

Many streaming fans are also fans of torrenting; if you use P2P networks to watch BBC content, then you’ll be pleased to know that PrivateVPN provides users access to P2P-optimized servers in the UK and Sweden.

Each PrivateVPN user can enjoy the service on 6 devices simultaneously, and the user-intuitive app can be deployed on Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS. You can even configure the VPN to your router, although we only recommend doing this if you’re tech-savvy and your router supports the compatible firmware.

We really like that PrivateVPN offers constant technical support, and if you experience issues with the VPN, then you’ll receive support from the actual developers of the service. This is rare since many other VPNs employ a separate customer support team who may be less knowledgeable about the software; this is not the case with Private.

A final point to mention is that users can connect to the server network from China by using the L2TP protocol. This is good news for BBC fans in China, who are looking for a way to watch iPlayer with a VPN.

With PrivateVPN, you can enjoy a risk-free 7-day trial and then enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee once you have purchased a subscription. This is great and allows users to try out the VPN without committing fully.

Price Starting At: 2.5 $ / monthly 30 $ / annually
For New Users: 7 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 100+
Table of content

How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad?

There is a way to watch BBC iPlayer abroad by using a VPN. You can purchase and install a VPN onto your device and then connect to a UK server. Once you have connected to a UK-based server, then you’ll be surfing the web with a British IP address. This will trick the iPlayer into thinking you’re based in the UK, enabling you to stream BBC content.

You can also use a DNS proxy service or a community-powered VPN such as Hola to access BBC iPlayer. However, both of these options don’t offer VPN encryption, which you may wish to have if you are accessing BBC iPlayer from abroad.

If you are a UK resident and have purchased a TV license, then you are technically allowed to watch BBC content from wherever you are in the world. Therefore, using a VPN to bypass the geo-blocks on the iPlayer platform is not illegal since you have paid the license fee.

However, if you live outside of the UK and are simply using a VPN to enjoy BBC content free of charge, you are breaking the Terms of Service. If you use a VPN that doesn’t have a no-logging policy, then your use of a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer abroad may be linked back to your IP address, which could cause you problems. We advise that you take this into account before using a VPN to access iPlayer because it could get you into trouble if you are caught.

FAQs

Why Doesn't BBC iPlayer Work in My Country?

The reason why BBC iPlayer doesn't work in your country is due to licensing rights and agreements. If you're based outside of the UK, then your access to BBC iPlayer will be blocked since the service is only available for UK residents who pay a TV license fee to the corporation. This may be annoying for some UK residents who have purchased a TV license in the UK and are traveling abroad. However, BBC iPlayer will detect your IP address when you try to access the platform, and this IP reveals your actual location. Any location that isn't UK-based will be completely blocked.

How Do I Get a UK IP Address

To get a UK IP address, you need to install a VPN onto your device and then connect to a server in the UK. This will enable you to enjoy BBC iPlayer and other websites that are restricted to UK residents only. Most VPN providers, if not all, provide access to UK servers because it is a popular location. This bodes well for fans of British content and sites.

Is There a Free VPN that Unblocks BBC iPlayer?

There are many free VPN services that work with unblocking BBC iPlayer, such as Hola. However, free VPNs are a security risk and can put your privacy in danger. With VPNs such as Hola, you won't receive encryption, meaning your browsing data is exposed. Furthermore, all activity can be linked to your original IP address, and the VPN provider could store your data and share it with third parties without your knowledge.

Author Madeleine Hodson

I’m Madeleine and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet. I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wri...
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VPNSurfers » Best VPN in 2021 by VPNSurfers » Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in 2021
Last updated: October 4, 2021