Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK Instantly in 5 Simple Steps

Published 2016-11-30 By: Aazim Akhtar

If you access BBC iPlayer, you will notice the illustrious content is offers. From stellar TV shows to popular reality shows, sports events, and entertainment series, BBC iPlayer has got you covered.

But, don’t get too happy because BBC iPlayer is not your run of the mill media streaming website – there is a fine print.Viewers cannot access BBC iPlayer outside UK due to the imposed geo-restrictions on its international streaming. Here is the message we got when we tried to access the service from USA:

watch-bbc-iplayer-outside-uk

 

In addition, BBC recently changed its TV licensing policy. This requires UK viewers to pay £145.50 licensing fee for watching content on BBC iPlayer, whether it is live, catch up or on demand.

However, tests show that more than 60 million people continue to unblock BBC iPlayer outside UK with the top ranking VPN services (such as those short-listed below) and are easily able to negate TV licensing issue.

Top VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK

In order to watch BBC iPlayer online, you need to juggle your IP address– something a VPN does by nature. Now, when it comes to selecting a VPN, make sure that it offers servers in the UK. Here are some of the best VPNs you can use for watching BBC iPlayer from anywhere:

Can You Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad?

Like Netflix and other popular on-demand entertainment services, BBC iPlayer is region-restricted. That said, streaming of BBC iPlayer is exclusive to the UK only.  It puts overseas fans into mere frustrations when they face above geo-restriction error when they watch BBC iPlayer abroad. To bypass geo-restrictions on coverage of BBC iPlayer abroad, fans find VPN as the most effective, safe and economical solution.

In addition, the VPN services in table above offer hundreds of servers spread across various regions of the world. They deliver high-speed streaming of BBC iPlayer abroad, along with 24/7 live tech support and zero activity logging policy.

A VPN unblocks BBC iPlayer by changing your virtual location (IP address). Your IP address is as unique, personalized and traceable as your telephone number when you are on the internet. Servers that interact with your computer over the world wide web identify you and your location by your geo-traceable IP address.

The IP address plays the role of your pass-key and grants you access to content based on your geographical location – a VPN will give you the IP from the location you need to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK.

How to Access BBC iPlayer From Abroad

Once you have selected a VPN, 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 PureVPN for our demonstration as it offers multiple servers in the UK.

  • Launch PureVPN application or VPN software on your chosen device

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  • Connect to a server located in the UK

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  • After successful connection, you should get an UK based IP address

after-establishing-connection-you-can-get-a-uk-ip

  • Now, launch BBC 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

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  • Enjoy unlimited streaming on BBC iPlayer outside UK

now-you-can-watch-bbc-iplayer-outside-uk

Can You Listen To Radio 4 Abroad?

BBC iPlayer Radio or Radio 4 serves as a mainstream app that transform access to BBC Radio offerings globally. Initially launched across UK in 2012, BBC iPlayer Radio serves subscribers with diverse range of media including sports, news, culture, weather, travel and much more.

However, like other BBC services, iPlayer Radio app was exclusive to the UK only until 2016. Today BBC iPlayer is available around every country of the world.

You can freely download the BBC iPlayer Radio app on your iOS & android devices  through App Store and Playstore. Also, desktop users can listen to live stream of BBC iPlayer Radio 4 abroad through official site of BBC iPlayer Radio.

Can you get BBC iPlayer in Ireland?

Being located at just few miles away from British mainland, the Irish people cannot access BBC iPlayer from within Ireland. With that said, various fans from Dublin have inquired on internet about a suitable solution to stream BBC iPlayer abroad.

Considering the imposed geo-restrictions on BBC iPlayer, a VPN is the perfect solution to achieve one-click access to BBC iPlayer abroad and stream exclusive shows, movies and great media from within Ireland and other countries.

Defeats BBC iPlayer New Rules with a VPN

On 1st September 2016, BBC changed the rule for iPlayer. According to the new rule, users have to pay £145.50 licensing fee. This fee applies to all the content you download or stream on BBC iPlayer, even if you are watching on-demand or catch up shows.

bbc-iplayer-tv-licencing-rules

However, you can easily defeat this restrictions using a VPN. As a VPN hides your true location and changes your virtual location, BBC won’t be able to trace your whereabouts and enforce the new rule. When you are shown the prompt about TV license, just click ‘I have a TV license.’

How a VPN Helps to Enjoy BBC iPlayer After Unblocking

If you don’t have the steam it will not let you stream! That is the way the BBC iPlayer train rolls. I’ve reviewed a number of streaming websites and the BBC iPlayer is one of the best streaming services there is. However, you will need a good bandwidth to stream content on BBC iPlayer.

The website is bandwidth intensive and chooses to take the high road by refusing to stream for you if you are not equipped with the bandwidth to adequately stream and enjoy content.

There are two ways to go about if you fear running into this notification:

Option A – Ask your Internet Service Provider to upgrade your package

The old-school technique is to upgrade to a heavier and more expensive subscription. Clarify to your Internet Service Provider that the reason behind your shift in plan is to stream frequently. Your internet service provider may have some tips to help you boost internet speed without experiencing heavy additional costs.

Option B – Choose a VPN service provider that facilitates streaming fanatics

VPN service providers know that subjecting data traffic to the whole encrypt-tunnel-decrypt process can have a bit of a drag on speed/bandwidth. That is why most VPN providers choose to go the extra mile for streaming fanatics by providing add-ons – some for free, and others at low cost. Likewise, a VPN can also get rid of any bandwidth throttling conducted by your ISP.

Boosting Stream Quality for BBC iPlayer

You can use various add-ons offered by a VPN to enhance your streaming experience. Below listed additional features will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK without compromising streaming quality.

Split-Tunneling

A feature rapidly gaining popularity amongst the streaming-addicted VPN community is split-tunneling. Split-tunneling lets you tunnel data sending/receiving from specific applications instead of making all your data traffic run through your VPN.

Using split-tunneling on your internet browser will only tunnel the data that is being transmitted to-and-from your browser while you stream content from BBC iPlayer in your browser. All other traffic transmitting to-and-from your system will not be tunneled by your VPN.

Speed Boost

Some VPN service providers offer low-cost high-impact speed boosts. These speed boosts will pump up your speed significantly and allow you to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK without ever experiencing the discomfort of buffering lag.

These add-ons are rarely marketed on the home page and if you find a VPN service provider you like, but can’t find any details on additional speed boosts, don’t hesitate to ask customer support.

Contrary to popular belief, VPNs are not expensive. And, if you are a smart shopper, then you will make sure you save when you spend. You can save by making sure you buy the subscription package with the least monthly cost.

And, if you are a true shopaholic, then I suggest you wait a little until VPN service providers announce discount campaigns. Discount campaigns come out every summer, winter, boxing day, new year and, Christmas; so buying a 3, 4 or 6 month subscription should never be a problem.

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Why the World Loves BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is a treasure trove of entertainment. BBC iPlayer has a constantly updating media library and streams like the wind. If you think all of this sounds too good to be true without a catch; you are not mistaken my fellow Netizen.

BBC iPlayer has not beaten other streaming websites like YouTube in terms of popularity for two reasons:

  • It is region restricted and only available for streaming in the UK.
  • Unlike YouTube, you won’t find a video titled ‘Miley Cyrus twerk reactions’ on the BBC iPlayer website.

You get three options when you stream with BBC iPlayer

  • Switch to full screen mode
  • Pop-out – which opens out the player in a separate window so you don’t have to stick around on the website itself to stream content
  • Sub-titles – a never required but always welcome feature

You won’t get any of this on YouTube, Daily Motion, or any other online streaming website

Change DNS Settings & Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad

Changing DNS settings is one way to access BBC iPlayer abroad from different regions. But, this method isn’t preferred by security researchers and tech-geeks, as it doesn’t offers strong digital protection and encryption protocols. You can easily find a list of DNS servers on internet, but many of them may be targeted by hackers.

Considering the threat to viewers’ data privacy, we suggest users to choose from one of the recommended VPN services and stream BBC iPlayer abroad safely with robust data protection.

Like BBC iPlayer? Hurry!

So, interested in any of the programs currently available on BBC iPlayer? If you are nodding your head right now, then you need to hurry because programmes are normally only available on the website for a maximum of seven days, if not less.

There is a download feature in case you are short on time but that is also clocked. Once you download a file, you have a total of 30 days to play it; and once you play it, you have a total of 7 days to complete watching it.

bbc-iplayer-download-icon

This strategy might sound a little annoying, but it is perhaps the only way to fight redundancy (one of the internet’s never-ending plagues) and ensure that there is always fresh content available for your viewing pleasure.

Thankfully a VPN subscription and setup takes no more than a few minutes. Subscription plans offered by leading VPN service providers are two-stepped, support a wide variety of payment methods and come with money back guarantee you can count on. In addition, VPN service providers also offer free VPN software so that you have a dashboard to manage your VPN connection at all times. So, you can enjoy BBC iPlayer outside UK without any hurdles.

You are always using two IP addresses.

External (Public) IP address:

Go to google.com and type in ‘what is my IP’. On hitting enter, you will be presented with a list of search results headed by a line stating your public IP address.

This is the IP address that the internet sees you are under. If you are sitting in a school, office or any setting in which multiple computers are connected to the internet through the same Internet Service Provider, then you are probably sharing this IP address with the rest of the people on your local network.

This is the IP address that BBC iPlayer will detect. If your IP address does not belong to the UK, you won’t be able to stream content from the website. But, when you connect to a UK based VPN server, BBC iPlayer will detect your IP address to be that of UK and will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere.

Internal IP Address:

Your internal IP address is used to enable communication between your computer and other computers on your local network. Every system has a unique internal IP address. To check your internal IP address, open command prompt, type in ‘ipconfig’ and hit ‘Enter’.

You will be presented with a brief listing of your current internal IP configuration. Your internal IP address is irrelevant to unblock BBC iPlayer and therefore VPNs will not tamper with it.

Conclusions

It is important to note that BBC iPlayer’s TV service is subjected to rigorous region-based restrictions. If you plan on using BBC iPlayer’s Radio service, you will be pleased to know that most of the content offered by the Radio service is not region restricted.

However, if you fancy using BBC iPlayer TV service, then make sure to strap on a VPN service provider to your internet session before you go out streaming. This way you will be able to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK and enjoy endless content from anywhere.

A privacy advocate by day and a binge-watcher by night, Aazim Akhtar loves to write about online security, internet freedom, and all the latest technological trends. Finding ways to secure any sensitive data and protect against existing and emerging cyber threats is his passion. Follow him on Twitter to stay in touch with his work!

16 Responses to Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK Instantly in 5 Simple Steps

  1. Albert says:

    Ipvanish becomes useless too :-/
    bBC has a easy job to find them because their domainnames are all with the word ipvanish in it!

  2. James Baker says:

    I am having the same problems that all folks are writing – no VPN will facilitate streaming of BBC iplayer any more, the BBC have shut them all down – a new solution is needed – and ideas please?!

  3. Sgoff says:

    I just cancelled my HMA subscription. BBC has been blocking HMA’s UK sites but I have been limping along with their virtual UK sites in Germany and France. BBC just shut these down too(Sept. 2016). I don’t think VPNs will work for BBC anymore no matter what company you use as their technologies are similar.

  4. Anne says:

    Entirely untrue – TotalVPN is useless for accessing BBC iPlayer, and it seems no VPN can currently do it, whatever they claim.

  5. Trim29 says:

    I have hidemyass vpn and expressvpn and as from today nither of them will work with bbc iplayer any suggestions out there ?

    • admin says:

      You may PureVPN or TotalVPN for accessing BBC iPlayer. Both of them work perfectly fine for unblocking the streaming service. Do let us know how was your experience or if you have any further queries. Cheers!

  6. Cz says:

    BBC IPLAYER not working on STRONG VPN from today? What is best alternative?

    • admin says:

      Give PureVPN or TotalVPN a try. Both of them are currently working fine with BBC iPlayer. Let us know if you require any further assistance.

  7. PH says:

    Is Pure VPN still able to provide a connection to iPlayer?

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your question PH. Yes, BBC iPlayer is working fine with Purevpn.
      Best of luck, and do tell us how the PureVPN experience turns out for you. Cheers!

  8. riyadhsd says:

    Does StrongVPN give access to bbc iplayer? I have been using it but this week I don’t seem to be able to watch iplayer anymore.

    • admin says:

      We recommend PureVPN or Hidemyass VPN for BBC iplayer. They both have best vpn servers in UK.

      Let me know if you need any further assistance.

      Kind Regards,
      VPNRanks.com

  9. Paul Paterson says:

    I have express vpn and i cant stream or download from iplayer now do you know of any that may be able to work

    • admin says:

      Hello Paul,

      You can easily stream BBC iplayer through PureVPN. We have done some practical and found it’s working with PureVPN.

      Hopefully it will help you out and address all your concerns.

      Kind Regards,
      VPNRanks.com

  10. Bordeauxm says:

    I am using Hideman Vpn that you connect manually to a UK ip, also i side loaded the BBC iplayer on my android device. I can open the app and look at what is on but when I am connected to the the UK and I try to play a program I am directed to the play store to download the app, then in the play store it says my region does not support the app. Seems I’ve done everything I am supposed to but no luck. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • VPNRanks says:

      Hello Bordeauxm,

      Have you tried some of the listed VPN services in this article? We only list best providers once we tested them with related channel.

      Try any one of them and let me know if you still facing the same issue. Though you won’t find it for sure.

      Best Regards,

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