BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) considers being as one of the most popular televisions in the world. Later on, in 2007, when it became popular streaming television over the internet, BBC has launched an internet streaming application iPlayer. Today, BBC iPlayer is available for all common devices: TV, PC, Tablets, and Smartphones. Here you can watch for free news, various types of movies, music concerts, and other entertainment content.
For those who rush, there is a summary of a decent and reliable VPN service which works fine with BBC iPlayer.
- ExpressVPN – It is one of the fastest and most secure VPN in a field. It can unblock various streaming platforms, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more.
- NordVPN – This VPN also is capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer and other online streaming video platforms. Moreover, it is famous for its double VPN encryption algorithm and fast internet connection.
- CyberGhost – Most valuable service for the lowest price. Stream videos from almost any platform. The excellent user interface lets the user easy to navigate the software. It works excellent with BBC iPlayer.
BBC provides 12 channels which are categorized by different content: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, Radio 1, CBBC, CBeebies, Scotland, News, Parliament, Alba, and C4S.
BBC programs are categorized by Arts, Comedy, Documentaries, Drama & Soaps, Entertainment, Films, Food, History, Lifestyle, Music, News, Science & Nature, Sport, From the Archive, Audio and other.
The main problem is that BBC iPlayer is available only in the United Kingdom. If you will try to connect to an iPlayer from the outside of the UK, you will get the error: “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues”.
If you want to watch the BBC you must use a VPN that has servers in the UK. In this case, you will spoof your virtual location and trick geo-blocking algorithms.
What VPN is?
We will try to explain what is VPN shortly. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a service that makes a connection via another server located in other countries. In this case, we recommend VPN services that have many servers in the United Kingdom. Additionally, VPN encrypts your browsing data so it won’t be readable for hackers, Internet service providers or even government agencies. VPN are widely used around the world to increase internet privacy, security and change the IP address. Also, it is a great service for those people who travels a lot and wants to watch their favorite internet streaming services from abroad.
Some time ago, it was super easy to access the BBC with the help of a VPN. Today, things get complicated. BBC has developed a VPN detection system, which helps to fight with the VPN users. Despite that, there are still many VPN service provider which works well with iPlayer.
In this article, we are going to provide you the information about the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer.
Why the BBC doesn’t want you to watch their content from the outside of the UK?
BBC as many other internet streaming companies are using a geo-blocking algorithm, which can identify your location and block the content for certain geographical locations. For example, you cannot watch American Netflix from Canada. The same situation is with BBC iPlayer as you cannot watch it outside the United Kingdom.
Those restrictions are made to protect the content from being watched from specific locations. It is because of the agreements with content providers, which are regulated by copyrights, licenses or even governmental internet censorship.
To keep the agreement with content providers, BBC iPlayer and other streaming companies are regulating where and who can watch the streamed content. In case BBC iPlayer would break the agreements, they could be fined with the huge fines. This might cause a drop in its reputation and lead the company to a huge financial loss.
It was a public secret, that if you want to use iPlayer, you should acquire a VPN and you can watch from any point of the world. As was mentioned before, things became more complicated and now BBC fights with the VPN providers and users by blocking them.
BBC fights with the VPN providers and users by blocking them.
It is another reason for that. The citizens of the United Kingdom must pay a mandatory fee for a TV license. The part of the gathered funds goes to the BBC and other TV providers. By the statistics, there are more than 50 million users around the world who are watching the BBC by using VPNs. Just imagine how many resources are required to keep all the systems stable and uptime. Besides that, those users from the outside of the UK don’t pay any TV fees. That also means the BBC do not get any profit for that.
So it is logical, that BBC must fight with those unwanted users who are not bringing any profits and uses technical resources. As you see, there are some important reasons why BBC iPlayer is blocking foreign and VPN users. That’s why, today, many VPN services don’t work with BBC iPlayer anymore.
How BBC iPlayer can detect the usage of a VPN?
From now on, you already know that BBC iPlayer is working hard to keep you out of watching its content if you do not live in the UK. The VPN detection system is not a new thing in this market. Almost every bigger video streaming company is using it (Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Amazon prime).
VPN detection system works in three common ways:
Shared IP detection
It is not a secret, that a simple VPN service shares one IP per server for a certain number of users. Let’s imagine that 50 users from the same IP are making connections to the BBC iPlayer’s server. This indication would be a great example of abnormal iPlayer usage.
It would be logical, that 2-5 users from the same IP are connecting to the BBC iPlayer and watches different movies (family use), but if there are a hundred of users connected at the same time, it looks like a VPN server. In many cases, it would be blocked automatically and blacklisted forever. Every day, one by one the IP addresses are being blacklisted and one day all VPN services might be banned. Or maybe not.
Moreover, almost all well-known free VPN services are already blocked. We did test it several times, so don’t waste your time doing that again.
Also, it is worth to mention that poor quality and cheap VPN services most likely won’t work as well. That’s why you need a decent VPN service that has a serious algorithm for user number/IP manipulations.
Finally, if you don’t want to get banned by BBC iPlayer’s VPN detection system, order the VPN with a dedicated IP address. In this case, there is no chance to be blocked. Your dedicated IP address won't be shared with anybody else, so it will not trigger the security algorithms. Some extra costs will give you 100% comfort without any blocks. Here you can visit our list of the best-dedicated IP VPN section.
The database of blacklisted IP
BBC iPlayer as every other online video streaming company, which fights with the VPN users, is gathering, aggregating and keeping the database of blacklisted IP addresses. If you will buy a poor quality VPN service, and you will try to watch BBC iPlayer, there are many chances that the whole range of your VPN vendor’s IPs has already been blocked.
We did not found on the internet to buy a list of IP addresses that belongs to the VPNs, but we do believe, that online video streaming companies are sharing their gathered and blacklisted IP addresses. That’s why it is getting harder and harder to bypass geo-blocking bans.
it is getting harder and harder to bypass geo-blocking bans.
Decent VPN service providers must buy hundreds or even thousands of new IP blocks to fight the geo-blocking affected services like BBC iPlayer or Netflix. That’s why, we do not offer you to use free, cheap or untested VPNs.
Deep Packet Inspection
Deep packet inspection (DPI) is a method used by many US government agencies to secure their computers from hackers’ attacks. The algorithm of DPI is inspecting traffic which comes inside and outside the network. This Automatic Deep Data Inspection Algorithm analyzes data and can easily determine if they come from a VPN server. Because VPN servers use certain data processing technologies, they can leave some traces in traveling data packets that are detected by DPI.
Smaller VPN service providers can't afford thousands of new IPs
So as you can see from the VPN detection methods, BBC iPlayer took it seriously. Many VPN companies got tired of playing a cat-and-mouse game with BBC iPlayer and refused it.
It is quite expensive to buy thousands of new IP addresses to allow your clients to watch programs on BBC iPlayer. Smaller VPN service providers simply can't afford it, or because of too few users, it's not worth it.
How to start watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN?
This is a short manual on how to proceed with the registration to BBC iPlayer from the outside the UK. If you will not follow the instructions, it will not work. So, please read carefully and follow the instructions.
- First of all, what you need to do, is to clear your browser's cache and cookies. It is mandatory if you tried to open BBC iPlayer before.
- Only after that turn on your VPN, select location “United Kingdom” and connect.
- Next, go to the official BBC iPlayer’s website and register a new account.
- Open the website: https://account.bbc.com/register
- It says “Let’s start. This account is for someone who is…” press the button “13 or over”
- Enter your date of birth. You can input and fake date of birth, just you must be sure, that your age appears to be 18+.
- Enter your email and password and there is a tricky place “country”. You must select “United Kingdom”. Otherwise, it will not work from the beginning.
- Due to the UK TV License law, you will be asked to enter the UK postcode. You can generate a postcode here: https://www.doogal.co.uk/PostcodeGenerator.php
- After that, you will get the message “OK you’re signed in. Now, want to keep up to date?”. Just select “yes” or “no”.
- Verify your email by opening an email account and press the link in the message you did get from the BBC.
- That is it, now you can freely watch BBC iPlayer from any point in the world.
If you did follow all the steps, as it is written, you can access BBC iPlayer whenever you want from any country.
What to do if the VPN fails with BBC iPlayer?
Very often, even the best VPN providers are blocked by BBC iPlayer. If this happens, there are several things you can do. There's no need to panic and try to get your paid VPN service back. This happens all the time and this type of problem is fast enough to be resolved by the VPN vendor.
- All you have to do is sign out of your VPN account and sign in again. You will probably be given another IP address that has not yet been blocked.
- If you have the option, you can manually switch VPNs to another UK server. This way, your IP will be reassigned to another IP server and you will be able to use BBC Broadcasts again.
- In most cases, you don’t need to do anything. The VPN provider will assign a new IP address to that server and the BBC will resume operating as usual within a few days.
- As was already mentioned before, you can use a VPN with a dedicated IP address. It will give you the possibility to stay unblocked for much longer.
- Clean your browser’s temporary files, cache, and cookies. Try to connect again. It might be, that you have connected to BBC iPlayer without a VPN turned on.
- Perform a DNS leak test. Connect to your VPN and visit this website: https://www.dnsleaktest.com. If you will see that there is a problem, contact your VPN provider and report about that.
If you tried all the methods listed above and BBC iPlayer is still not working, it means that you should change your current VPN to one of our recommended VPN.
The list of tested VPN which are not working with BBC iPlayer
We have been testing VPN services for almost two years and we have found some VPNs that are not working with the BBC. So here is the list, that we would recommend you to use it. All the VPNs from this list are already blocked and there are no chances to stream BBC iPlayer with them.
|The list of VPNs which are not working with BBC iPlayer|
Private Internet Access (PIA)
We don’t want to discriminate all those VPN services listed above. They might work great for other purposes, but in this case, they are useless with BBC iPlayer.
Choosing the best VPN for BBC iPlayer?
We are testing many VPN services for many various reasons. In this case, we were choosing a VPN to watch movies on BBC iPlayer. There are several important factors worth to pay attention to before selecting the best VPN for the mentioned purpose.
- Connection speed – Many VPN services can slow your internet connection speed because of outdated data encryption algorithms and weak IT infrastructure. The high speed of internet connection is a must for streaming videos online. Otherwise, the quality of the picture will drop down or video will be freezing. Also you can check our fastest VPN section.
- UK based VPN servers – The number of servers in the United Kingdom is also a key factor for the best BBC iPlayer VPN. The more servers are based in the UK, the fewer chances to block them all by the BBC’s VPN detection algorithms.
- Dedicated IP option – Possibility to order the dedicated IP address is also a great option for those users who can spend extra money for greater guarantees not to get blocked. If you did read all the articles, you already know that sometimes even the best VPNs get blocked because of shared IPs. A VPN with dedicated IP address can guarantee that it won’t be blocked.
- DNS leak and Kill Switch – those two functions will encourage, that your VPN will not be compromised to the VPN detection system and you will not be get banned.
- Customer support – Customer support is another important factor while choosing a decent VPN for streaming videos online from providers like BBC iPlayer, Netflix or Hulu. During our journey in the world of VPNs, we have seen so many bad examples of customer support because know we know it is important. Fast and pleasant support will encourage your great video streaming experience from any point in the world.
- Price – Ant the last but not the least important factor is the price. We have seen very expensive VPN services which weren’t worth a penny. It is important to pay a reasonable price for a reasonable and quality service. We think, that our blog readers are smart and nobody wants to overpay for bad or the same quality services.
Overall, those mentioned factors are the most important if you want to watch BBC iPlayer from the outside of the UK.
TOP VPNs for BBC iPlayer
Our top selections list for the best VPN for BBC iPlayer are quite short. We put there only three of the best VPN providers. Of course, we could make a list of TEN or TWENTY services, but we believe that those three providers are the most worth to be on our top list.
ExpressVPN is an excellent selection for those who care about their privacy and want to overcome various geo-blocking restrictions. It can unblock multiple online video streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and BBC iPlayer.
This VPN vendor is located in the British Virgin Islands and is not regulated by international law. It means that they do not keep users’ browsing data.
ExpressVPN can offer you one of the fastest internet speed connection in the world. It is because of ultra-fast and new servers that are located in more than 90 countries. At this moment, ExpressVPN owns more than 3000 servers that are capable of covering the demand.
The good news is that you can share a VPN with your friends, colleagues, or family members. It is because ExpressVPN supports up to 5 devices connected at the same time. Watch BBC iPlayer together from any place in the world.
The developer team did a great job and made ExpressVPN compatible almost with every known smart device and operating software. The list of it is long: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux.
Besides, it also supports some open-source routers, BlackBerrys, Kindle Fire, Chromebooks, Barnes & Noble Nook tablets, Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Android TV box, and others.
Of course, it does not limit any bandwidth, which is essential for those users who want to watch online videos every day.
I am not sure how important is data encryption for video streaming fans, but it does it at the highest level. OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit AES encryption will encourage the unbeatable data privacy for you and your family (or friends).
The price of ExpressVPN is not the highest on the market, but it also not the cheapest one. We recommend ExpressVPN for those people who appreciate the highest service quality.
|Compatible with many devices and platforms||High price|
|High level of security||Configuration limits|
|24/7 customer service||No ad blocker|
|More information||NordVPN review|
Another excellent solution for watching BBC iPlayer from abroad is NordVPN. This product was developed in Panama and operated under offshore jurisdiction. That means it is not regulated by international law and does not keep user activity log files.
NordVPN is also one of the fastest VPN, similar to ExpressVPN. This provider has server’s more than 5000 servers, and they are located in 62 countries. It is also a sign of a trustworthy service provider.
One account of NordVPN can be used with six devices at once. It is also a great sign when you need to secure more devices. It could be valid for small business companies or families.
NordVPN supports cross-platforms like Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Linux.
Thanks to the excellent add-ons, you can use it with Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.
NordVPN encrypts data with 256-BIT AES algorithms and makes it super secure and private. Also, it has such features as
Automatic Kill Switch, DNS leak protection, and Onion over VPN. You can visit their website and check what these words mean.
What considers, the price; it can very law if you will sign up a contract for three years. Otherwise, the costs will regular compared to other VPN providers.
Wide geographical reaches
Performance hits and drop connections
Double VPN for twice the encryption
A monthly plan might seem expensive
User-friendly and pleasant interface
Not clear ownership
|More information||CyberGhost review|
And here the last leader for streaming BBC iPlayer from abroad – CyberGhostVPN. This VPN vendor is situated in Romania and operated almost 5500 servers. Moreover, you can choose from 95 countries to select a VPN location. Everybody will agree that this is quite a significant number.
The vast network of new servers ensures fast and fluent internet connection and speed. During our speed tests, CyberGhostVPN showed excellent results. We were streaming BBC iPlayer with it for two days, and none of the glitches were seen.
Seven supported devices per one time allow you to stream BBC iPlayer from seven different methods. Of course, this scenario is hardly realistic, but this VPN can do it.
Moreover, there is a wide selection of various add-ons and applications which make CyberGhostVPN cross-platform VPN. The owners of Android TVs love Cyber for the developed app and great possibilities streaming multiple blocked services like US Netflix, HBO GO, CBS, and others. For those who do not own an Android TV, it can be paired with the router.
The multi-level encryption of this service is also well known for security experts. It provides 256-BIT AES data encryption on PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec tunneling protocols.
The Cost of Cyber is really law if you sign-up for three years subscription.
Offering one of the widest geographical reaches
Performance hits and slowdowns
A very informative user interface
Not many personalized options
Easy setup and quick to start
Rough reviews by third-parties
There are many VPN in a field, but not all of them are capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer. Especially from the outside the United Kingdom. Out tested, reviewed, and recommended VPN works fine with it. Moreover, you will increase your privacy and security with a VPN, and your internet presence will invisible to hackers and internet service providers.
Below this paragraph, there is a short table with the data. You can easily compare all the VPN and select the one you like most. Besides, all the VPN provide a money-back guarantee for 30 days or more. So you can test it without any risk all the period.