Reading Time: 7 minutes

BBC iPlayer is the UK’s very own streaming service that locals can use to watch movies, shows, sports, and a whole lot of other programs. Unfortunately, all content on BBC iPlayer is geo-restricted outside of the UK. For example, if you are located in Greece and wish to access BBC iPlayer, then unless you are changing your IP address with one of the best VPN for Greece, you can not access it.

You can only gain access to this streaming service with a UK IP address, and for that, you need a VPN service. However, not all VPNs are able to unblock BBC iPlayer because BBC tends to use a firewall to filter traffic associated with VPNs.

Here’s a quick summary of the 6 best BBC iPlayer VPNs that still work:

  1. ExpressVPN – The best VPN having Fast servers for seamless BBC iPlayer streaming.
  2. Surfshark – The most budget-friendly VPN to bypass restrictions on BBC iPlayer.
  3. NordVPN – delivers great value with widespread servers and streaming capability for BBC iPlayer
  4. PureVPN – BBC iPlayer, proving the excellent unblocking capabilities and speed.
  5. CyberGhost – Good overall service that unblocks BBC iPlayer abroad. Read on below for a more detailed discussion.
  6. Ivacy – Efficient for bypassing geo-restrictions on BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world.

6 Best BBC iPlayer VPNs working in 2021

There are hundreds of VPN providers in the market today. Only a few Best VPN services, however, have the capability to bypass the BBC iPlayer firewall.

iPlayer VPN Selection Criteria:

  1. Number of Servers in the UK.
  2. Fast Servers for a seamless streaming experience.
  3. Servers that are not blocked by BBC iPlayer.
  4. Number of Simultaneous connections (to enjoy BBC iPlayer on more than one device).

1. ExpressVPN – Best BBC iPlayer VPN

Servers: 3,000+  |  Speed: 27.17 Mbps    |   Pricing: $6.67/mo


ExpressVPN is the best VPN for BBC iPlayer with excellent unblocking ability and speed.

Barring the factor of pricing, ExpressVPN is an extremely reliable VPN that offers consistently fast speeds on its sizable network of 3,000+ servers in 94 countries including 4 servers in the UK. With ExpressVPN, you can even unblock BBC iPlayer in China. 

The fast speeds and stable server infrastructure allows for a seamless streaming VPN experience no matter where you are in the world.

In addition, the privacy-oriented logging policy and safe jurisdiction (British Virgin Island) also make this VPN a great choice for users offering 5 Multi-login to cater to more devices to watch BBC iPlayer abroad. You can also check out our ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer guide for more details on servers that work best with this British streaming service.

2. Surfshark

Servers: 3200+  |  Speed: 24.91 Mbps  |  Pricing: $2.49/mo


Surfshark is a British Virgin Islands based provider that is extremely effective for watching iPlayer abroad.

It is the fastest VPN service with a network of 3200+ servers in 65+ countries including 3 servers in the UK and comes with a wide range of excellent security features.

But what makes this VPN stand out from others is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections and is available for the surprisingly low cost of $2.49/mo.

With Surfshark, you can easily gain access to BBC iPlayer by connecting to one of its UK servers. The user-friendly logging policy ensures that you can do so without the knowledge of your ISP.

3. NordVPN

Servers: 5,500+  |  Speed: 27.91 Mbps    |   Pricing: $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE)


NordVPN has a huge number of servers, which is ideal for unblocking streaming services. In the UK alone, NordVPN offers more than 645 servers.

This makes it an extremely powerful service accessing BBC iPlayer on 6 devices at the same time from anywhere in the world. It is also one of the best VPN in Canada for watching BBC iPlayer.

Other than its outstanding server infrastructure, NordVPN is also known for its excellent logging policies and extra features that boost user security.

With a price tag $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE), NordVPN for BBC iPlayer is well worth its salt. To see which NordVPN server works best with BBC iPlayer, check out our NordVPN BBC iPlayer guide


4. PureVPN

Servers: 6500+ |  Speed: 26.01 Mbps  |  Pricing: $3.33/mo


PureVPN outshines a large number of VPN providers available in the market. It has faster server speeds and the power necessary to unblock BBC iPlayer.

With 168 fast servers spread across the UK, PureVPN is the recommended choice to watch BBC iPlayer abroad.

Just select a UK server, and you’re all set to access the streaming service on a click.

PureVPN also offers a 31-day money-back guarantee and 10 Multi-Login which means you can watch BBC iPlayer abroad on 5 devices at the same time.

All these features are available for $3.33/mo making PureVPN the cheapest VPN service of the time.

5. CyberGhost

Servers: 6600+  |  Speed: 17.1 Mbps   |   Pricing: $2.25/mo


CyberGhost is an all-around good VPN service that is useful for watching BBC iPlayer outside the UK.

This is a VPN service that has improved considerably over time in terms of features offered and speed.

It has over 6600 servers in 89+ countries including 444 servers in the UK and also offers dedicated servers for streaming.

Moreover, it comes at highly reasonable price of $2.25/mo and offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee with 7 multi-login.

As such, CyberGhost is a pretty good option as BBC iPlayer VPN.

6. Ivacy


Servers: 3455+  |  Speed: 18.71 Mbps    |   Pricing: $1/mo

Ivacy has an excellent track record when it comes to unblocking streaming services like BBC iPlayer. Ranking at #1 in our best VPN for torrenting blog, it offers 3455+ servers in 100+ countries including 58 servers in the UK and almost 0% server downtime, this VPN can allow you to stream all iPlayer content anywhere in the world with minimal buffering.

The provider also comes equipped with efficient privacy-enhancing features like DNS secure, IPv6 protection, and killswitch. In addition, it is quite affordable, priced at $1/mo

With a 30-day money-back guarantee and support for 5 simultaneous connections, Ivacy is one an excellent choice to bypass BBC iPlayer VPN Block.

Best free VPNs for BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is a free service, but using a VPN that can actually unblock this streaming platform is unfortunately not free.

Unfortunately, there are no free VPN for UK that have servers with unblocking capabilities to work with BBC iPlayer. Therefore, we don’t recommend using a free VPN for BBC iPlayer because it will not be able to bypass geo-restrictions and give you access to the British streaming service.

However, there is a way to watch BBC iPlayer without paying for a premium VPN.

It involves using a Chrome extension by the name of Telly which allows you to unblock the iPlayer no matter where you live in God’s green earth!


Although it is basically a proxy service, it actually works better than the proxy websites for iPlayer that you see on Google’s first page.

Just click on the icon on the top right of Chrome and it will immediately direct you to BBC iPlayer.

The difference is, this time you won’t see the “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK” error message.

I actually personally tested it to watch The Revenant again:


Pretty smooth, right?

I’d recommend using Telly if you’re looking for a free solution. Avoid the ad and possibly malware-ridden proxy websites at all costs.

They can do more harm than good.

But keep in mind this only works for desktops. Smartphones do not support Chrome extensions as of yet.

Why you need a VPN for iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is a video and radio streaming service that only has the license to work within the UK.

Any IP address that doesn’t belong to UK and tries to visit the iPlayer website is immediately denied access. For example, if you try to access BBC iPlayer from Nigeria, it will detect your real location from your IP address and block you from accessing the content. Therefore, you will need the services of one of the best Nigerian VPNs to grant you access to BBC iPlayer in Nigeria.

The easiest way to get an IP address that iPlayer can recognize and grant passage to is by using a VPN service.

But just as VPNs are getting more sophisticated with time, BBC’s VPN detection mechanism is also getting more advanced.

This is why you can’t trust just any random VPN out there because many of these no longer work with iPlayer.

The VPNs listed above have been tested and are thus working solutions for BBC streaming. Meaning, you can easily avoid the BBC iPlayer proxy error with a VPN in Austria, Denmark, Malaysia, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and any other location and watch it for free.

Steps to Unblock BBC iPlayer abroad with a VPN

Once you have chosen a VPN service, you are all set to watch your favorite BBC shows on iPlayer. Here is a step by step guide to help you out.

Note: We used ExpressVPN for this demonstration. The process is similar in all Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer listed above.

  1. Launch the ExpressVPN application on your preferred device.
  2. Connect to UK Server from the list of servers.
  3. After a successful connection, you should be connected to a UK IP.
  4. Now, clear your browser cache and cookies.
  5. Launch iPlayer and access your favorite show. You will be shown the following prompt. Just select ‘I have a TV License’ and you’re good to go

Important: Don’t give location permission to VPN apps on your smartphone. This may affect its ability to pass through BBC iPlayer undetected. Also, if you still encounter the BBC iPlayer error message, just try disconnection and reconnecting a couple of times till you’re assigned a white list IP address.

If you follow these steps correctly, you should be able to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA or anywhere else in the world.

BBC iPlayer detecting VPN? Here is what you should do

The BBC iPlayer suspects that a VPN is being used if too many users visit the website from the same server using shared IP addresses.

In response, the service bans the servers associated with the VPN, leaving users unable to access the streaming platform.

So, what can you do if iPlayer is not working with a VPN? If your VPN has been blocked by BBC, you can try the following steps to fix the issue.

  1. Get a Dedicated UK IP Address
  2. Use a VPN Proven to Unblock iPlayer
  3. Use a Wired Connection to the Internet
  4. Update iPlayer App

1. Get a Dedicated UK IP Address

One thing that you can consider doing is getting a dedicated VPN IP address from situated in the UK.

The iPlayer suspects the use of VPNs to gain entry if multiple users are connected with the same IP address.

NordVPN is one of the VPNs that offers dedicated IP addresses from the UK.

2. Use a VPN Proven to Unblock iPlayer

While BBC is trying its best to block VPNs, there are some that still work, try different services.

The VPNs we mentioned above have all been tested with BBC iPlayer and are currently able to unblock it in any region.

You shouldn’t experience any problems if you are trying to access iPlayer through one of the VPNs described above. You can use ExpressVPN that works with BBC iPlayer.

3. Use a Wired Connection to the Internet

It is also possible that the problem is not with your VPN but with your Internet connection.

If you are trying to access it with Wi-Fi, connect to the Internet with an Ethernet cable and try watching streams on the app/website again.

4. Update iPlayer App

Another problem could be that you are using an outdated version of the app.

If that is the case, download the up-to-date app for your respective device:

You can check if there are pending updates that you may have not followed inside the app.

This is how:

  • Android Devices – Settings > About Device > Software Update
  • iOS Devices – Settings > General > Software Update

In a few cases, BBC iPlayer may continue to give you problems. If you have iPlayer not working through VPN,   may help you.

VPNs to Avoid for BBC iPlayer

As per the tests we conducted, the following VPN providers were not able to unblock BBC iPlayer:

  • Private Internet Access (PIA)
  • IPVanish BBC iPlayer
  • ProtonVPN
  • HideMyAss
  • Betternet
  • LeVPN
  • SuperVPN
  • VPNBook
  • VPNTunnel
  • AnonymousVPN
  • TunnelBear BBC iPlayer
  • EarthVPN

Even though the above-mentioned providers may not be able to unblock the popular streaming service in the UK, they may prove to be beneficial for other online activities.


Is it free to use BBC iPlayer?

Yes, BBC iPlayer is completely free.

Can I get BBC iPlayer in India?

No, you can not get BBC iPlayer in India without using a VPN. By only using one of these best VPNs for India, you can acquire a UK-based IP address and then access BBC iPlayer in India.

Which VPNs work with iPlayer?

These are some of the popular VPNs that work with iPlayer

  • ExpressVPN
  • NordVPN
  • Sufrshark
  • CyberGhost
  • PureVPN

ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer not working?

Although ExpressVPN should easily unblock BBC iPlayer, if you’re running into issues with ExpressVPN, you can try the following troubleshooting methods:

  • Contact customer support
  • Visit the troubleshooting dashboard
  • Update the ExpressVPN app
  • Try disconnecting other devices simultaneously connected to ExpressVPN
  • Switch to a different server

Can I watch BBC iPlayer abroad?

Yes, but not without a  VPN. If you try to access BBC iPlayer outside the UK without a VPN, you will be prompted to an error message saying “BBC iPlayer TV programs are available to play in the UK only.” You can thank geo-restrictions for that.

How to watch iPlayer abroad?

Well, it’s fairly simple. Since BBC iPlayer is a free VOD service, you don’t need to purchase any subscription plans. All you need is a reliable VPN with plenty of white list IPs and servers in the UK.

Can You Get BBC iPlayer in Ireland?

BBC iPlayer is unfortunately geo-restricted for viewers in Ireland. The only way to access it from Ireland is to use one of the VPNs I mentioned above.

Wrapping Up

The detection systems of streaming services are getting smarter by the day. This is a big concern for fans of geo-restricted streaming sites that are located outside of their domain of availability.

Thankfully, there are still a few working VPNs (such as ExpressVPN and Surfshark ) that will let you bypass the BBC iPlayer VPN block from anywhere in the world.

Make sure you choose one of the best VPN for BBC iPlayer mentioned in the list above and enjoy original shows and a whole lot of other content on the popular free streaming platform: the iPlayer.

Also, if you’re looking for discounts on VPNs, do check out our VPN deals to save your precious dollars.