Watch top BBC shows even outside the UK with iPlayer

VPN BBC iPlayer

If you are not in the UK, you will not have access to BBC iPlayer. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to watch your favourite BBC series and movies, no matter where you are. That’s how it’s done:

  1. Sign up for a good VPN, like NordVPN, for example, and create an account.
  2. Download the VPN software on your device.
  3. Access the VPN software.
  4. Choose a UK VPN server and enable VPN.
  5. Visit the BBC iPlayer website – enjoy watching!

For more information on why BBC iPlayer is blocked, how VPNs work and which VPNs work with BBC iPlayer, read our full article below.

Watching BBC iPlayer from outside the UK can be quite tricky. If you want to watch a BBC series or program online, you may find that you don’t have access to BBC iPlayer. Fortunately, there is an easy way to access BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. 

Watch your favourite series, documentaries and newspapers while protecting your internet and redirecting your online traffic with a VPN. In this article, we will explain exactly how you should do it.

Watch BBC iPlayer from outside the UK with a VPN

BBC iPlayer logo

The acronym VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPNs create a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. That way, no one will find out where you are and which sites you’ve visited. If you configure the VPN correctly, which is quite easy to do, BBC iPlayer will not be able to identify that you are outside the UK, allowing you to easily access it.

VPNs offer more security, privacy and freedom online. Regarding BBC iPlayer, freedom is the most important factor. VPNs give you the freedom to watch your favourite shows from anywhere in the world. This is possible because VPNs hide your IP address. Instead of your IP address, you will use the IP of the chosen VPN server.

This makes it easy to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world with a VPN connection. All you need to do is subscribe to a good and reliable VPN with servers in Great Britain. VPN providers often work with simple apps and software that make your internet connection anonymous. Most VPNs have software that you can use on your devices, from Mac to Windows, iPhone to Android. With a good VPN, you will be able to watch BBC iPlayer whenever you want.

Watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN: Step-by-Step Guide

Want to start watching BBC iPlayer now, even when you’re outside the UK? You will need a VPN. Below you will find the step-by-step guide to get free access in just a few minutes.

  1. Sign up with a good VPN provider and  create an account. We recommend NordVPN. You can also check out our list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer or jump right into our top 5 best VPNs right now.
  2. Download the VPN software on the device you want to watch BBC iPlayer on. It could be on your Mac or Windows computer, but it could also be on your Android smartphone or iPhone.
  3. Access the VPN software with the account created in the first step. Generally, all you need to do is enter your username and password.
  4. Choose a UK VPN server and connect to the VPN. Usually, just click on the server location. Most of the time, you need to click the “on” button in the VPN software.
  5. Go to the BBC iPlayer website and watch your favourite shows!

Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer

Not all VPN providers are ideal for watching BBC iPlayer. First, you need a VPN with servers in the UK. Also, you would definitely like a VPN that offers good speeds, so you don’t have to wait for your show to load while you watch. Finally, it is important that the VPN you choose has software compatible with your operating system, Windows and Mac, for example.

Here is a list of VPN providers we recommend for watching BBC iPlayer.

ExpressVPN: Fast streaming and no waiting to load

ExpressVPN is undoubtedly the best VPN for watching BBC iPlayer. They offer servers in various locations across the UK, so you can easily switch servers in case one is down. Not only do they offer tons of options to choose from, all their servers are also very fast: ExpressVPN was the absolute winner in our speed tests. 

Its speed makes ExpressVPN a great provider for streaming in general, not just BBC iPlayer. Also, streaming with Kodi, for example, is super easy with ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, you can use the service on up to 5 devices simultaneously.

NordVPN: Dedicated Servers for BBC iPlayer

The NordVPN has hundreds of servers, including several in the UK. Not all of these servers work with BBC iPlayer, but they are always adding new servers. So maybe looking around a bit, you’ll always find servers that work, even with BBC iPlayer blocking some. In addition, NordVPN offers exclusive servers that you can use to enable BBC iPlayer’s download function. 

These are the UK servers: 481, 483, 717-720, 745-752, 757-764, 974-977, 1022-1025, 1044-1045. To choose one of these servers, go to the server location list in the NordVPN software and click on the three dots under “United Kingdom”.

NordVPN is a very fast VPN and works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux. In addition, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can use this guarantee to try the service for free before committing to a longer subscription.

Other providers: CyberGhost and Surfshark

Many other VPN providers are also trying to make access to BBC iPlayer available to their users. But when we tested, none of these worked for us. The IP addresses of VPN servers are constantly changing as providers are always adding new servers and replacing old ones. This means that there is a chance that all the providers listed below will be back up and running soon.

First, let’s talk about  CyberGhost. In the past, CyberGhost was known as the best free VPN service, but over time it has become a fully paid service. Still, CyberGhost is a good option. They offer specialized servers for all types of streaming services, including  American Netflix,  Disney Plus  and of course BBC iPlayer. While this VPN did not unlock BBC iPlayer in our tests, they are working to resolve this issue and should have a server available soon.

The second option that unfortunately didn’t work for us either at the moment is  Surfshark. Surfshark is a good and cheap alternative to more expensive VPNs like ExpressVPN. 

Overall, streaming is perfect for streaming. When it comes to Netflix, for example, this provider offers access to libraries from various places in the world. Hopefully, Surfshark will be able to unlock BBC iPlayer again soon.

Explaining BBC iPlayer restrictions

Maybe you’re wondering why you keep encountering those geo-restrictions when accessing BBC iPlayer. The truth is: The BBC owns the rights to broadcast certain series and films within the UK. If other people outside the UK try to watch these programmes, they will not have access to BBC iPlayer. In other parts of the world, television broadcasters own the rights to broadcast these series and films, so the BBC cannot show this content to you.

The BBC checks your IP address to find your location when you access iPlayer. If your IP address points to a location outside the UK, you will be denied access. This is where the VPN comes into play: it changes your IP address so that the BBC thinks you are in the UK. In other words, you’ll be able to bypass geo-blocking and access the content you want.


This doesn’t just work for BBC iPlayer. There are many online platforms, services and websites that can only be accessed from a certain location. Maybe the country you live in uses censorship to hide much of the internet. In these cases, VPNs can help you. You can use VPNs to  access Facebook, for example, or to  watch football matches from anywhere in the world. As we explained above, VPNs allow you to access a much larger Netflix library.

Final Thoughts: Watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN

Both  NordVPN  and  ExpressVPN  work perfectly for watching BBC iPlayer. By using one of these VPNs, you will be able to watch your favourite series, such as Eastenders, Masterchef and Peaky Blinders, on BBC iPlayer. Other providers such as  Surfshark  and  CyberGhost also promise access to BBC iPlayer, however these services did not work during our tests. 

Note that these VPNs may even provide access, but there is no guarantee that it will work. If you’d rather look for a good VPN to watch BBC content alone, check out our VPN reviews.

Watching BBC iPlayer from Anywhere: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any questions about how to watch BBC iPlayer from outside the UK? Check out our FAQs below and click on one to read your answer!

How do I watch BBC iPlayer when outside the UK?

BBC iPlayer is only available to IP addresses within the UK. If you live outside the UK, you can use a VPN to gain access. Just connect to a UK server through a VPN provider like NordVPN, and you’ll have access to BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world.

Why can’t I watch BBC iPlayer when I’m outside the UK?

Due to broadcasting rights, the BBC can only air its BBC iPlayer programming in the UK. They do not own the rights to air their series and programs in other countries. 

If you enter the BBC iPlayer website with an IP address from outside the UK, you will be denied access to the programmes. To gain access, you will have to use a VPN.

Which VPNs provide access to BBC iPlayer?

There are several very good VPN providers that try to give you access to BBC iPlayer, however, only a few actually succeed on a consistent basis. In our tests, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are by far the best VPNs for watching BBC iPlayer.