BBC iPlayer is the perfect place to find the best shows from the UK. With stellar reality shows, entertainment series, sports events, animated shows and many more, BBC iPlayer delivers all round media for streaming.
Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer is not your run of the mill media streaming service – it has a fine print. Due to copyright agreements, content on BBC iPlayer is only accessible from the UK. Unless you use a BBC iPlayer VPN, you will see the following error message when you try to access the service 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 BBC iPlayer 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 BBC iPlayer VPN, make sure that it offers servers in the UK. Here are some of the best VPN for BBC iPlayer that you can use from anywhere:
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PureVPN – Fastest BBC iPlayer VPN
PureVPN outshines a large number of VPN providers available in market. With a wide range of servers spread across the UK, PureVPN is a recommended solution for accessing BBC iPlayer from anywhere. At the moment, PureVPN offers servers in the Manchester, Leicester, Maidenhead and Gosport. Subscribers can freely connect to one of these locations and stream iPlayer on Android, iOS, Mac or Windows devices.
In addition, PureVPN servers support PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP protocols, ensuring elite streaming experience to on-demand entertainment enthusiasts. Following are the key benefits of using PureVPN as BBC iPlayer VPN:
- Offers Internet Kill Switch and Nat Firewall
- Up to 5 multiple logins
- Accepts anonymous payments (Bitcoin, PayPal and many more)
- Transparent zero activity log policy
- Offers broad range of protocols (PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, OpenVPN and IKEv2)
NordVPN – Instant Unblocker for BBC iPlayer
NordVPN is a suitable iPlayer unblocker. With an extensive range of features, Nord VPN iPlayer keeps users’ identity secure while offering one-touch access to BBC iPlayer from abroad. NordVPN offers forty-nine standard VPN servers, one dedicated IP server and two double VPN servers in different regions of the UK. Also, a three-day trial offered by Nord allows subscribers to take a test drive service before final subscription.
That said, NordVPN BBC iPlayer is a suitable pick for those who need economical plans, with a bit compromise on speed. Here are the key features of NordVPN which make it a suitable VPN for iPlayer:
- Supports L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP and Socks5
- Zero data log policy
- Free trial offered
- Offers double encryption
Ivacy is a leading VPN provider with amazing unblocking features. Ivacy maintains its position as best BBC iPlayer VPN by offering streaming optimized servers in Maidenhead, UK. In addition, Ivacy supports a variety of secure encryption protocols including PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN. Interestingly, provider keeps on pushing regular updates to ensure optimum speed and censorship evasion on various sites.
Ivacy is a worth trying VPN with excellent fit between price and privacy features. Here’re some of the impressive features that make Ivacy the best VPN for BBC iPlayer:
- Unlimited bandwidth offered
- IPv6 and DNS leak protection
- Internet kill switch
- Split tunneling offered
- Up to 5 multi-logins
ExpressVPN is a pioneer in VPN industry. Although, Express doesn’t offers dedicated IP address, but it provides an instant access BBC iPlayer to streaming fans around the world. But, in the beginning of 2016, various users faced errors of Express VPN BBC iPlayer not working. However, the issue was soon fixed by ExpressVPN and subscribers can now freely access BBC iPlayer without any restrictions.
Following are the advantages you should consider before choosing Express as a BBC iPlayer VPN.
- Available across multiple platforms
- Offers L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN and SSTP
- Up to 3 simultaneous connections
- 24/7 live tech support
IPVanish stands as a preferred unblocking solution for BBC iPlayer fans. IPVanish offers high-speed streaming servers in 46+ locations in the UK including Belfast, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and many more. With handy features and one-click unblocking ability, IPVanish takes the edge over other providers and is claimed to be the best VPN for BBC iPlayer.
However, the only drawback of IPVanish is that it is headquartered in the US, and is subjected to mandatory data retention laws. But, a transparent zero activity logging policy overcomes the downside. Following are the impressive features offered by IPVanish:
- Offer 2 multi logins
- Supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP encryption protocols
- 24/7 live tech customer support
- 7-day money back guarantee
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 BBC iPlayer 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 BBC iPlayer VPN unblocks the streaming service 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 BBC iPlayer 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 for BBC iPlayer, 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 as a BBC iPlayer VPN for our demonstration as it offers multiple servers in the UK.
- Launch PureVPN application or any other BBC iPlayer VPN software on your chosen device
- Connect to a server located in the UK
- After successful connection, you should get an UK based IP address
- 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
- Enjoy unlimited streaming on BBC iPlayer outside UK
VPNs and BBC iPlayer: an Ongoing Battle
BBC iPlayer is following the footsteps of other popular streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, and has tried blocking VPN users. A VPN allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access content from any region you want. However, BBC doesn’t want anyone outside UK to access its content available on iPlayer.
That said, their attempts to block VPN users has not been successful so far. All the VPN providers we have mentioned in this post are working perfectly in unblocking BBC iPlayer. We tested each provider and its UK servers have positively responded in accessing the streaming service.
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 iPlayer, a BBC iPlayer 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 BBC iPlayer 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.
However, you can easily defeat this restrictions using a best VPN for BBC iPlayer. As a BBC iPlayer 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 BBC iPlayer 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 BBC iPlayer VPN service 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 BBC iPlayer VPN services choose to go the extra mile for streaming fanatics by providing add-ons – some for free, and others at low cost. Likewise, a best VPN for BBC iPlayer 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.
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.
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.
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
BBC iPlayer Not Working Issue. Fixed!
After release of BBC iPlayer’s streaming policy, many users have started facing problems while using BBC VPN for accessing iPlayer from abroad. In addition, users have inquired on different forums about BBC iPlayer VPN block, is BBC blocking VPN and why is BBC iPlayer not working with VPN? to end the frustration, we here by confirm that BBC iPlayer blocked servers of PIA VPN, resulting in blockage to BBC iPlayer. However, if you face similar error message then choose one of the VPN BBC iPlayer mentioned earlier in the table.
All the specified BBC iPlayer VPN workaround without any hassles in every country of the world. You can use one of the mentioned VPN iPlayer and enjoy seamless media streaming instantly.
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.
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.
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.