BBC iPlayer VPN (Verified in 2018) – One-touch Access to iPlayer from Outside UK

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BBC iPlayer is a free online streaming service that users in the UK can use to watch TV shows and programs. Unfortunately, the geographical availability of the service is only confined to the UK.

You can make iPlayer globally available through the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. If you are unsure about which VPNs are capable of bypassing geo-restrictions and grant you access to the iPlayer from anywhere in the world, read on below to find out! 



Why You Need a VPN on BBC iPlayer? 

There are numerous places to watch best shows from UK, but nothing beats the BBC iPlayer. Its illustrious content library extends deep into popular TV shows, movies, cartoons, sports, and much more

Unfortunately, the iPlayer app is not your run of the mill media streaming service – it has a fine print. Due to copyright agreements, content on iPlayer is only accessible from the UK.

This means that you will only be able to access the service if you have a UK IP address. Otherwise, you will receive the following error:

BBC iPlayer VPN 2018

You might be wondering that this is a hopeless cause if you are living abroad, but you couldn’t be more wrong!


Because VPN services can give you IP address from anywhere in the world with a single click. VPNs operate a multitude of servers located across various countries that you users can connect to.

By doing so, your visible IP address on the Internet will turn to an IP from that country, giving you access to the Internet as a local resident from that location would experience.

So, you can use a VPN to acquire a UK IP and unblock iPlayer irrespective of what your actual location is.


5 Best BBC iPlayer VPNs in 2018

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK with the top 5 VPN services described as follows.

To watch the famous BBC player at your desired location, you need to juggle your IP address – something a VPN does by nature. Now, when it comes to selecting a VPN for iPlayer, make sure that it offers servers in the UK.

The same goes for PrimeWire since you can attain your unblocked objective with a VPN. Here are some of the best VPN services for accessing iPlayer content from anywhere:

RankProvidersPrice ($)DiscountMore Info
Editor's Choice
$1.32Per Month
88% Off
5 Years for $1.32/month
$2.99Per Month
75% Off
3 Years Plan
$1.99Per Month
83% Off
2 Years Deal
$3.50Per Month
73% Off
6 months Free
$8.32Per Month
35% OFF
No Exclusive Offer


1. PureVPN – The Fastest VPN App for Media Streaming


PureVPN outshines a large number of VPN providers available in the market. With a wide range of servers spread across the UK, PureVPN is a highly recommended VPN to watch BBC iPlayer abroad.

It allows access to iPlayer from anywhere in the world. At the moment, the service 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.

PureVPN is also the fastest VPN provider for streaming purpose, best to use with Netflix, Hulu and also BBC I-Player. You can read a full review of PureVPN to know more about the service.


  • Offers Internet Kill Switch and Nat Firewall
  • Up to 5 multiple logins
  • Accepts anonymous payments (Bitcoin, PayPal and much more)
  • Transparent zero activity log policy


  • The service does not offer free trial

Get PureVPN

Also, PureVPN servers support PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP protocols, ensuring elite streaming experience to on-demand entertainment enthusiasts.

Fortunately, you can access your desired streaming service even if you live outside the UK. This is because PureVPN offers 56 dedicated UK servers for better iPlayer streaming outside United Kingdom. You are just one click away from watching tons of unlimited entertainment instantly.



PureVPN Not Working Solution

If you are facing issues while using PureVPN to unblock iPlayer app outside the UK, you should connect to another UK server. PureVPN offers a comprehensive list of UK servers to its subscribers. Therefore, you can select any UK server of your choice to continue enjoying the BBC media coverage through iPlayer.


2. NordVPN – The Instant Unblocker


NordVPN is an excellent iPlayer unblocker. With an extensive range of features, NordVPN for iPlayer keeps users’ identity secure while offering one-touch access to BBC iPlayer from abroad.

NordVPN offers 578 servers in the UK alone. Also, a three-day trial offered by Nord allows subscribers to take a test drive service before final subscription. This is why the VPN is definitely worth considering if you want to access iPlayer from broad.

NordVPN UK Servers

For further details, view our NordVPN Review guide of 2018.


  • The provider is based at Panama
  • The service has more than 5,000 servers 
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Allows P2P


  • The users may experience connectivity issues during peak hours

Get NordVPN


3. SurfShark


Surfshark is a British Virgin Islands based provider that has recently made entry into the VPN industry. Do not be fooled, however, because the service is already performing extremely well in terms of both security and ability to bypass geo-restrictions.

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.

You can find out more about this service in our latest Surfshark review.


  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Uses AES 256 encryption
  • No-logging policy
  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and other streaming services


  • No dedicated apps for Linux and Mac

Get SurfShark


4. CyberGhost


CyberGhost sets itself apart from other VPNs by its ability to unblock streaming sites with ease. This is a VPN service that has improved considerably over time in terms of features offered and speed. It has over 3,000 servers worldwide with almost 350 of them located in the UK and offers dedicated servers for unblocking BBC iPlayer.

To learn more about the service, check out our CyberGhost review.


  • BBC iPlayer dedicated servers
  • Up to 7 multi-logins allowed simultaneously
  • Supports torrenting
  • Based in Romania (privacy-friendly region)


  • Limited security features

Get CyberGhost


5. ExpressVPN – Multiple Servers in the UK to Access iPlayer

ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer VPN

ExpressVPN is a pioneer in VPN industry. Although Express doesn’t offer dedicated IP address, it provides instant access to iPlayer live streaming to the fans around the world. The fast speeds and stable server infrastructure allows for a seamless streaming experience no matter where you are in the world.

For further details, view our ExpressVPN Review guide of 2018.


  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer
  • Fast server speeds
  • More than 2,000 servers all over the world
  • Excellent privacy policy


  • Users have to deal with the higher pricing plans

Get ExpressVPN

Following are some more advantages about using Express VPN for iPlayer.

• Available across multiple platforms
• Offers L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN and SSTP
• Up to 3 simultaneous connections
• 24/7 live tech support

ExpressVPN provides its servers in the UK that allow the BBC iPlayer fans to enjoy the service outside the UK. Thus, you can connect to any UK server of your choice to start watching your favorite TV show from anywhere straightaway.



ExpressVPN Not Working Solution

If you are facing the Express VPN not working on your devices, you should not worry. Try a different UK server and then open BBC iPlayer again. If that still doesn’t work, you can play around with protocol settings.

Change protocol to SSTP or PPTP and try accessing BBC iPlayer. This should work in most cases. If not, contact customer support for assistance.


How to Choose the Right VPN for BBC iPlayer?

While choosing a VPN service many factors have to be taken into account. These are:

  • Number of servers
  • Protection of personal data
  • Encryption protocols
  • Privacy policy


VPNs that do not work with BBC iPlayer

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

  • Private Internet Access (PIA)
  • HideMyAss
  • Betternet
  • LeVPN
  • SuperVPN
  • VPNBook
  • VPNTunnel
  • AnonymousVPN
  • EarthVPN

Even though the above mentioned providers may not be able to unblock BBC iPlayer for you but they may prove to be very beneficial for other online activities.


What if you don’t have a UK TV License?

Luckily the BBC iPlayer works on the honor system, which means it will only ask if you have a TV license rather than actually verifying if you actually do have one. However, you do need to provide a valid UK post code, which again is not verified.


What to Do If Your VPN Stops Working?

One thing that you can consider doing is getting a dedicated VPN IP address. For the IPlayer, which should be in the UK.

A dedicated IP address means you will no longer be sharing one with hundreds of other people, meaning better performance as well.

While BBC is trying its best to block VPNs, there are some that still work, try different services. Once you choose the right service and understand how to use it, then watching the BBC iPlayer over a VPN works smoothly.

However, 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 Ethernet cable and try watching streams on the iPlayer again.

Another problem could be that you are using an outdated iPlayer app. If that is the case, download the updated BBC iPlayer from the following links:

You can check if there are pending updates which you have not followed through for your BBC iPlayer apps.

This is how:

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

If the BBC iPlayer continues to give you problems, check out more tips and tricks on our blog BBC iPlayer not working through VPN?


How to Watch iPlayer on Android?

To start with, you will first need to subscribe to and download a VPN service on your Android device. Follow the steps below to get one and access the large variety of shows available on the iPlayer:

  1. Download and Install a VPN service of your choice from the Play Store
  2. Open the app and sign up to subscribe
  3. After successfully subscribing, enter your login details in the app
  4. Now connect to a UK VPN server
  5. Minimize the app and gain access to iPlayer without restrictions

Just make sure you’re on your Wi-Fi, or you’ll be using up your mobile data pretty fast.


How to Watch iPlayer on iPhone/iOS?

Getting access to iPlayer through on iOS from outside the UK is a little trickier. This is because the iOS does not allow the use of any DNS other than the original one associated with the user.

As such, even if you turn on a VPN on iOS, you still won’t be able to access iPlayer because your DNS still belongs to your actual location. To get British streaming service working, you will need to access iPlayer through a Chrome using VPN extensions for the browser.

A Chrome VPN extension will only allow you to bypass geo-restrictions on site if you visit them through Chrome. So if you find yourself unable to watch streams through iPlayer app on iOS, try using a Chrome VPN and visiting the BBC iPlayer website through it.


How to Watch iPlayer on Chromecast?

Chromecast is a small media streaming device similar to Amazon Fire TV and Roku. Chromecast can be used to view videos on a TV, computer, or smartphone.

If you want to stream shows through Chromecast via your PC, follow these steps:

  • Connect your PC to the same Wi-Fi as your Chromecast
  • Open Chrome on your PC while having Chromecast extension installed on it
  • Visit BBC iPlayer official site and play the recorded stream of any show of your choice
  • Click “Cast” (The TV icon) on the control bar
  • Watch the stream on your TV

Make sure that you have a VPN running in the background or you won’t be able to access iPlayer from abroad.

Via Smartphone:

  • Ensure the Chromecast and Smartphone are connected to the same Wi-Fi
  • Launch a VPN service
  • Open the BBC iPlayer app and wait for it to detect Chromecast
  • When the icon turns blue, select a show of your choice
  • Watch stream on the TV the Chromecast is plugged into


How to Access iPlayer from Abroad Straightaway?

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 PureVPN as an iPlayer VPN for our demonstration as it offers multiple servers in the UK.

• Launch PureVPN application or any other 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 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

BBC iPlayer VPN


TV Shows Available on BBC iPlayer Until November 2018

Until November 1st

The Bank That Almost Broke Britain

Until November 3rd

Drowning in Plastic

Until November 11th

Beats, Bass and Bars – The Story of Grime

Until November 13th

No Activity

Until November 17th

Our Girl: Season 1 to 3

Until November 18th

Black Hollywood: “They’ve Gotta Have Us”

Until November 20th


Feud: Bette and Joan

Until November 25th

Bowie at Glastonbury

The Mash Report

Until November 27th

Inside No. 9 Live: Dead Line

Until November 28th

Black Earth Rising


Movies Available Until November 2018

Until November 3rd

The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Until November 4th


Until November 5th

Mr. Holmes

Until November 13th


Until November 21st

A Woman Captured

Until November 27th

The Borderlands


VPNs and iPlayer: an Ongoing Battle

British Broadcasting Corporation 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 the 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 to unblock iPlayer content. We tested each provider, and its UK servers have positively responded in accessing the streaming service. 


BBC iPlayer Ban on VPN (iPlayer App Detecting VPN)

VPN services are blocked by several media streaming sites, including iPlayer. As a result, on some occasions, users are unable to access BBC iPlayer even through a VPN.

However, it is only those VPNs that use weak and outdated protocols that are detected by iPlayer and subsequently banned. Leading premium services have the resources to maintain server functionality and use obfuscation technology to pass through BBC iPlayer without getting banned by the service.

This means that you should carefully select a VPN that performs reliably well when it comes to accessing BBC iPlayer. Consult the list of VPNs provided above to ensure you choose the right VPN.


How to Evade VPN Detection by BBC iPlayer?

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 deserted at the gates of the iPlayer.

If your VPN has been blocked by BBC, you can try the following steps:

Change Servers

One of the first things you should do if your VPN has been blocked from iPlayer is to switch servers. However, to be able to do that, having a VPN with multiple UK servers is the prerequisite. If you a VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, you can easily switch between servers within the UK and gain access to iPlayer.

Use Dedicated IPs

A dedicated VPN IP is assigned to only one user. The suspicion alarms of iPlayer are raised when it detects various users trying to gain access with the same or similar IPs. You can totally forget about that happening by using a dedicated IP VPN.


How a VPN Helps to Enjoy iPlayer Streaming After Unblocking?

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 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 the 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 a 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 an 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 VPN services for iPlayer choose to go the extra mile for streaming fanatics by providing add-ons – some for free, and others at low cost.


Boosting Stream Quality for 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 iPlayer content outside UK without compromising streaming quality.

1. Split-Tunneling

A feature rapidly gaining popularity amongst the streaming-addicted VPN community is split-tunneling. This feature allows users to control only their streaming traffic to pass through the VPN while other data travels through regular Internet. The upshot is that the VPN bandwidth is saved for streaming, enabling better performance.

2. 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 the UK without ever experiencing the discomfort of buffering lag.


3. BBC iPlayer Dedicated Servers

Some VPNs have servers specifically reserved for streaming on BBC iPlayer. These servers deliver great performance, since they are optimized for iPlayer. CyberGhost and ExressVPN are examples of providers that offer dedicated servers for BBC iPlayer.


Accessing BBCiPlayer with a Proxy?

There are various proxy websites that you can find by a single search through Google. However, most of these are insecure and are simply unable to pass the iPlayer website. Those that can bypass the block deliver poor performance with constant buffering and low quality.

Therefore, I don’t recommend using a proxy for accessing BBC iPlayer.


VPN for BBC iPlayer – Reddit Reviews

Reddit is one of the most popular interactive platforms that allow the users to get awareness about different stuff instantly. Fortunately, iPlayer has a huge fan following on Reddit that suggests the online streaming has grabbed the attention of the users worldwide. Still, the Reddit users differentiate between the iPlayer VPN and Reddit VPN to determine which one works best for them.

Here is the response of one Redditor indicating that he has been able to access blocked sites with a UK VPN:


Another user discusses how BBC iPlayer manages to block IP addresses:


One Reddit user recommends NordVPN particularly for unblocking iPlayer:


Popular Available Channels on BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer offers various channels for British users to enjoy. You can switch through these channels at your leisure, provided you have UK IP, which can be obtained with a VPN.

Here are some of the most popular channels on BBC iPlayer:

  1. BBC One
  2. BBC Two
  3. BBC Three
  4. BBC Four
  5. BBC Radio
  6. BBC News
  7. BBC Alba
  8. BBC Parliament
  9. CCBC
  10. S4C
  11. Cbeebies


Popular Alternatives for BBC iPlayer

Although BBC iPlayer is a great streaming service, it only has content from the UK, which limits the choice users have for the shows they can view. If you have gotten bored with BBC iPlayer, you can check out the following alternatives to access much wider libraries of video content:

  • Hulu
  • HBO
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime
  • PlayStation Vue
  • Kodi

However, most of these services are subscription-based, unlike BBC iPlayer which is completely free!


Can You Get BBC iPlayer in Ireland?

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

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

bbc iplayer



Yes, BBC iPlayer is completely free.

Not if you directly try to access it. You will need a VPN to first obtain a UK IP address and then you can access it from the US.

These are some of the popular VPNs that work with iPlayer

  • NordVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • Sufrshark
  • CyberGhost
  • PureVPN


Best VPN for BBC iPlayer: Conclusion

BBC iPlayer is a brilliant media streaming service for the UK, especially since it is available for free. It is a shame that users outside the UK are barred from accessing this great service. Thanks to the VPN, as you can unblock iPlayer and all your desired channels in any region just with a single click and entertain yourself to no end.


Related Articles

Mohid Moosani's Biography :

Mohid is a business school graduate, with an early born interest in writing and marketing. He stands for internet freedom and cyber security and strongly believes that the world is a global village that should be boundless.

24 Responses to BBC iPlayer VPN (Verified in 2018) – One-touch Access to iPlayer from Outside UK

  1. Simon Thorpe says:

    PureVPN worked great for me for four or more months and I was able to watch BBC programs. As an expat Brit living abroad, I would love to be able to simply pay the licence fee (even if it was twice as expensive for people not in the UK). Unfortunately, the BBC is apparently too stupid to want to take my money. As a last resort, I have therefore been using a range of VPN services to try and get round this ridiculous situation which I think should be attacked on the grounds that it is discrimination based on where you live.

    Most of them only work for a bit, until the BBC discovers their IP addresses. I had thought that maybe PureVPN was different.

    Unfortunately, my PureVPN connection has now also stopped working and I’ve just started getting the terrible “Iplayer is only available in the UK” message. It’s really extremely annoying. And so stupid. I should be paying money to the BBC, not to VPN networks…. 🙁

  2. Alex Newman says:

    I use Nordvpn when traveling to access BBC iplayer and never had any issues with it

  3. Jogan says:

    I understand that you will need a BBC account soon to use the iPlayer. Does that mean the end of VPN-based solutions for non-UK residents?

  4. B. Lodermeier says:

    Yesterday I was able to watch BBC TV iPlayer, but today I can’t access it. I use TunnelBear, SecurityKiss and Hola VPNs. It unblocks ITV and Channel4 but does not work on BBC. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    • Paul says:

      Here the same. Can’t get to the site anymore when my VPN connection is on. Tried everything also Hola is not working anymore, also not in Kodi. Someone else an idee?

  5. Frank Denis says:

    I am using tunnelbear from Canada to access BBC. However, at time their UK server is hard to connect. I don’t know why, but I face frequent disconnections, especially over the weekend. Any suggestions for a vpn that will well in Canada?

  6. emily says:

    I just followed the steps you illustrated to bypass the TV license rules implemented by BBC and it worked. Thanks for the informative post. But will I have to do this step every time I switch a VPN? Please respond? I am using NordVPN at the moment and the subscription ends this month. So if I change my vpn service, will I have to repeat this step?

  7. 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!

  8. 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?!

  9. 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.

  10. Anne says:

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

    • B. Lodermeier says:

      This is true and if they claim the vpn’s can unblock they are lying. I had to provide an email a city or suburb r where I lived, and they asked me if I had a tv license, and of course I said yes. They also asked me for a post code. But they can detect vpn’s now, and by your isp address on the vpn and if it doesn’t match the post code or city you say you are from they block you. Proxys still work okay, but for how long?

  11. Trim29 says:

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

    • VPNRanks says:

      You may PureVPN or TotalVPN as committing BBC iPlayer VPN that are working fine till date. 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!

  12. Cz says:

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

    • VPNRanks 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.

  13. PH says:

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

    • VPNRanks 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!

  14. 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.

    • VPNRanks 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,

  15. 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

    • VPNRanks 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,

  16. 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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