If you’re going out of the country any time soon, you might be fearing missing out on episodes of your favorite soaps. But using a good VPN gives you instant access to BBC iPlayer from anywhere. After testing dozens of popular VPNs, I picked the best 5 for unblocking BBC iPlayer. ExpressVPN is my #1 choice because of its superior unblocking capabilities and blazing-fast speeds. You can try ExpressVPN with BBC iPlayer risk-free as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Stream BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN

Quick Guide: Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2023

Access BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN

The Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer (Tested in January 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — Lightning-Fast Speeds for Streaming BBC iPlayer Without Interruptions

Key Features: ExpressVPN has superfast speeds for streaming BBC iPlayer from anywhere. It delivered excellent speeds on both nearby and distant servers. I averaged more than 300 Mbps, 12 times the amount needed for even Ultra HD viewing. This ensures that you can enjoy every second of drama without any buffering or lag spoiling the action.

It has 4 server locations in the UK so ExpressVPN can help you access your BBC iPlayer account within seconds. My team and I tested its Docklands, London, and Manchester servers and streamed BBC iPlayer in the UK for hours without any sign of congestion, such as stuttering or connection drops.

The proprietary Lightway Protocol ensures that you maintain great speeds but keep a high level of security, unlike many protocols that favor one or the other. Other military-grade security features that come with each server include:

256-bit encryption, to ensure your data can’t be deciphered by hackers An instant kill switch that cuts your internet connection in the event the VPN fails, maintaining your anonymity A strict no-log policy, so none of your browsing or personal data is stored Trusted Server Technology means that each of ExpressVPN’s RAM-based servers is wiped clean every day

While ExpressVPN is my go-to VPN, there’s a small catch — its premium price might make some budget-conscious users uncomfortable. But it’s still great value for money, especially if you subscribe to its 1-year + 3 months plan to save 49% and get all of ExpressVPN’s outstanding features for just $6.67 per month. All plans are backed by a 30 money-back guarantee so that you can buy ExpressVPN for BBC iPlayer in confidence — just claim a full refund if you’re unsatisfied. To test its policy I asked for a refund via the live chat function. The representative didn’t try to make me keep my subscription and processed my refund with no questions asked. I got my money back in just 3 days. Stream BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — Streaming-Optimized Servers for Lag-Free BBC iPlayer Streaming

Key Features: CyberGhost has hundreds of UK server locations so you can access your BBC iPlayer account from anywhere. It has a streaming-optimized server location in the UK specifically designed for users who want to watch BBC iPlayer, to get fast and uninterrupted access to your favorite shows. Using CyberGhost’s streaming-optimized servers reduces your latency and frequency of speed drops no matter how far away you are from the server. While it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN, throughout my streaming tests, CyberGhost gave me excellent speeds on both nearby and mid-range servers, with average speed drops of just 12%. I tried a number of its UK locations and got speeds of around 90 Mbps. You only need 5 Mbps to stream without lag, so you’ll get uninterrupted BBC iPlayer viewing with this VPN.

You can use CyberGhost on up to 7 devices at a time, letting you watch BBC iPlayer on all your household platforms. I installed it on my Windows PC, laptop, Macbook, Android phone, and iPad to secure myself at home and when I’m connected to public WiFi. During testing, I didn’t encounter any quality drops despite the number of devices I had streaming simultaneously. One con of CyberGhost is that it offers a shorter refund period on its expensive monthly plan. However, the best discounts and a generous money-back period come with its longer-term plans. I suggest going with the 2-year + 2 months plan because it offers the best discount of 83%. Enjoy the benefits of CyberGhost for just $2.19/month. Take advantage of CyberGhost’s generous 45-day money-back guarantee on its long-term plans to try it out first before committing. You can get a full refund if you aren’t satisfied. I submitted my refund request via its 24/7 live chat and, after a brief conversation, got my money back in 5 business days. Stream BBC iPlayer with CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access — Extensive Server Network to Seamlessly Access BBC iPlayer From Anywhere

Key Features: Private Internet Access (PIA) has 3 servers in the UK for streaming BBC iPlayer. This is great because if you happen to choose a server that isn’t performing well, you can switch to a different location for seamless BBC iPlayer streaming. I tested its Manchester and Southampton servers, and both of them connected quickly and had steady streams. Its Next Generation Network provides consistently fast speeds for buffer-free BBC iPlayer streaming. These upgraded servers use 10GB network cards with Gen4 technology, reducing latency. You can even boost your speeds further by going to the “Advanced Settings” area and activating its “Use Small Packets” feature. This cuts down the amount of data being sent through its tunnels, freeing up more speeds for better overall streaming performance.

You can use PIA on up to 10 devices, and it’s compatible with most operating systems. I found this a valuable feature while traveling as I could connect all my devices (Windows laptop, Macbook, phones, and tablets) to secure my internet traffic from prying eyes when connected to a public network. Like with ExpressVPN, it’s possible to set the VPN up on your router and connect your home network for access on usually incompatible devices, such as smart TVs. If you’re unsure about committing just yet, you can test PIA with BBC iPlayer to your satisfaction with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with its performance, submit a refund request to get your money back. The live chat agent was friendly and helpful and I received my refund after 5 business days. Stream BBC iPlayer with PIA

4. PrivateVPN — User-Friendly Interface for Seamless Access to BBC iPlayer

Key Features: PrivateVPN is one of the most user-friendly VPNs to enjoy BBC iPlayer quickly and easily. You don’t need any tech background to use it — just use PrivateVPN’s “simple” mode, which displays your connection status, a drop-down server list, and a “connect” button. This makes accessing BBC iPlayer easy as you don’t have to fiddle with advanced, technical configurations. However, if you enjoy getting hands-on with your tech, there is a customizable “Advanced Features” area, allowing you to adjust your settings to your preference. It has a relatively small server network of 200+ servers in 63 countries, but PrivateVPN has 2 reliable servers in the UK to watch BBC iPlayer. Our tests confirmed that having fewer servers than the other providers on this list didn’t impact its unblocking capabilities at all. If you do run into trouble, you can contact PrivateVPN’s developers directly.

It comes with Public WiFi protection on all its servers, so you can trust PrivateVPN to keep your data safe while you travel. As well as WiFi protection, its security features include:

256-bit encryption which would take a hundred years for a hacker to decode and read your information A kill switch to prevent your real data from leaking in the event the VPN dropped out A no-log policy prohibits the storing of any of your personal or browsing data

Although PrivateVPN accepts various payment methods (including cryptocurrency), it doesn’t accept Google Pay. However, you can still use your credit card or PayPal to buy its plans, so there are plenty of other options. Being one of the best monthly VPNs, PrivateVPN offers 3 plans to choose from — the 1-month, 3-month, or 3-year plan. I suggest getting its 3-year plan because it offers the best discount of 85%. This means you’re able to get all of PrivateVPN’s great features for just $2.00/month. While it’s not worthwhile to invest in a long-term plan without knowing if it’s right for you, you can test PrivateVPN with BBC iPlayer using its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with your purchase, just request a refund. I tested its refund guarantee by emailing support and, after a couple of emails back and forth, I got my money back within 6 days. Stream BBC iPlayer with PrivateVPN

5. IPVanish — Unlimited Device Connections to Stream BBC iPlayer on All Your Devices

Key Features: IPVanish lets you protect unlimited devices under 1 subscription, which gives me complete peace of mind while traveling. I connected all my devices, including my iPhone, Android tablet, and Windows laptop, so I knew my data and personal information was secure while I used public WiFi. When I returned home, I even hooked it up to my router so I can enjoy BBC iPlayer on my smart TV. One of the major advantages of IPVanish for BBC iPlayer streamers is that it hosts over 100 servers in the UK alone. That gives plenty of choices to try out different servers in case a couple of them aren’t working properly or become congested. Moreover, you can organize servers by latency, connect to the fastest ones, and use IPVanish to watch BBC iPlayer at home and abroad.

It gave me fast speeds on nearby servers with no more than 20% speed drops, sufficient for streaming BBC iPlayer in HD without buffering. IPVanish uses the WireGuard protocol, which gives you great security and performance at the same time. It manages its servers itself to ensure consistently fast speeds in all locations. One issue with IPVanish is that it doesn’t always unblock all TV and movie sites. But it still worked with plenty of the most popular platforms during my team’s testing. These include Netflix, ITV Hub, Vudu, and more. To gain seamless access to a wide range of streaming platforms, try ExpressVPN risk-free. You can subscribe to IPVanish’s monthly, quarterly, or annual plan. I suggest you buy its 1 year  because it offers the highest discount of 66% at a competitive price of $3.99 per month. Besides offering a 30-day money-back guarantee, IPVanish has one of the easiest refund processes. You can try IPVanish out risk-free and, if you do decide it isn’t the VPN for you, simply cancel it from your dashboard. I liked this feature because it meant I didn’t have to contact the support team and I still got my money back in 7 days. Stream BBC iPlayer with IPVanish IPVanish also unblocks: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Showtime, Discovery+, Paramount+, ITV Hub, ESPN, Vudu, and more.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer With a VPN

Comparison Table: 2023’s Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer

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Why You Need a VPN for BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is geo-restricted to the UK because of content licensing restrictions. It can only be accessed by UK residents or anyone who has a UK-based IP address. An IP address is a string of characters that indicates a person’s location, and BBC iPlayer uses this information to keep non-UK users from accessing the platform. A VPN hides your real IP address behind a virtual one in the country the server is in. By doing this, it makes BBC iPlayer think you’re watching your account from the UK as usual. With a reputation as one of the hardest platforms to unblock, BBC iPlayer uses VPN detectors to prevent users from accessing the platform outside the UK. Because of this, only a premium VPN can continually bypass BBC iPlayer’s geo-blocks. ExpressVPN is the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. You can test ExpressVPN out with BBC iPlayer completely risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — if you don’t like it, simply claim a full refund. Get ExpressVPN for BBC iPlayer

Tips for Unblocking BBC iPlayer With a VPN

Using a VPN doesn’t guarantee access to your BBC iPlayer account. There may be several reasons for this, but the most common one is that the streaming platform has blacklisted servers of a particular VPN. Other reasons may include:

The IP address location and the device’s GPS location do not match. The VPN’s technology may not be powerful enough to get past BBC iPlayer’s geo-blocks. Its UK server(s) may not be able to unblock BBC iPlayer due to a technical error or lack of capability. BBC iPlayer has stored a cookie on your device through which it gets to know your true location via GPS settings. The IP address may be leaking if you’re using a sub-par VPN. Switch to a tried-and-tested VPN like ExpressVPN that’s proven to work with BBC iPlayer instead.

There are several ways to fix the issue of a VPN being unable to unblock BBC iPlayer. Follow this guide and try accessing BBC iPlayer after completing each step: Watch BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN Now

How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer

While testing the top VPNs in the market, I considered the following aspects when picking out the best 5 VPNs for streaming BBC iPlayer.

Server network — The best VPNs for BBC iPlayer have multiple servers in the UK. Speeds — Fast speeds mean no lag or buffering, so you can watch BBC iPlayer without any annoying interruptions. Device compatibility — I chose VPNs compatible with major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more. Security — The VPNs on my list use military-grade AES 256-bit encryption standards to keep your internet traffic anonymous at all times. Money-back guarantee — I personally tested each VPN’s refund policy and chose the ones that promptly returned my money. Customer support — In case you run into any issues, you need a VPN that gives you fast access to a knowledgeable and friendly support team.

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VPNs that Don’t Work With BBC iPlayer

Since BBC iPlayer uses top-of-the-line VPN detection technology, not every VPN is capable of getting past its strict geo-restrictions. Below are some of the VPNs that cannot unblock BBC iPlayer.

UltraVPN — Although it has servers in the UK, UltraVPN doesn’t offer good DNS leak protection. This means BBC iPlayer can detect a device’s real location and easily block you. Betternet — Betternet isn’t a safe VPN because it has inferior security features. Because of this — as well as being a risky choice — it fails to unblock BBC iPlayer. Mullvad VPN — Has many servers in the UK but none of them can unblock BBC iPlayer, or any of the other streaming sites I tried.

Try ExpressVPN with BBC iPlayer

Yes, it’s legal, but it’s complicated. Using a VPN may breach BBC iPlayer’s Terms and Conditions. You can use a reliable VPN to stay safe online and unblock BBC iPlayer, but keep in mind that not all VPNs can bypass BBC iPlayer’s blocks. It uses advanced anti-VPN detectors to ensure only UK residents can access the platform. The quality VPNs in this article successfully allowed my team to access their BBC iPlayer account for testing purposes, but note that we don’t condone using a VPN in ways that violate a platform’s Terms of Use.

Do I need a TV license to access BBC iPlayer?

Technically, yes. Due to content licensing, BBC iPlayer geo-restricts its shows to users in the UK. But a great VPN can help you get access to your account when you’re overseas. So, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite soaps while you travel.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer in the US, Germany, and Australia?

You can, but it’s only possible to access your account from abroad with a great quality VPN. Just connect to a VPN server in the UK to access your BBC iPlayer login from anywhere. Keep in mind that accessing BBC iPlayer from outside the UK may violate its terms and conditions, which my team and I don’t condone. Always check a platform’s terms before using a VPN to access it.

Is BBC iPlayer free?

Yes, BBC iPlayer is a free streaming service for UK residents who already pay a TV license. A reliable VPN like ExpressVPN can help you access your account when you travel out of the UK. Note that it’s against the platform’s Terms of Service to sign up to BBC iPlayer from outside the UK, so be sure to adhere to its rules before using a VPN with the service.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer on my Fire Stick, Android, and smart TVs?

How do I stop my ISP from throttling BBC iPlayer?

You can use a good VPN to stop your ISP from throttling BBC iPlayer. Connecting to one of the best VPNs hides your true IP address from your ISP, letting you bypass targeted throttling and other restrictions. Great VPNs also keep you safe online, shielding your data from hackers and prying eyes.

Is BBC iPlayer available in Ireland?

No, BBC iPlayer isn’t available in Ireland due to broadcasting restrictions. However, you can access your BBC iPlayer account while you travel in Ireland with a reliable VPN. A quality VPN lets you safely access one of its own UK servers, enabling you to log in to your BBC iPlayer account from any location.

What channels can I watch on BBC iPlayer?

You can stream multiple TV channels, recently played movies, and live radio stations on BBC iPlayer. If you’re traveling outside the UK, it’s possible to use a reliable VPN to help you access your BBC iPlayer account. It will give you instant access to channels including:

Can I use a free VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer?

Yes, but I don’t recommend using a free VPN. While there are some safe-to-use and reliable free VPNs, most of them store your logs, have weak privacy policies, lack a robust server network, and have poor unblocking capabilities. Worst of all, some free VPNs even sell your data to third parties to make up for lost fees. It’s better to stay safe and get a reliable VPN. Many premium VPNs have excellent deals on right now, so they may cost less than you think. I recommend ExpressVPN for BBC iPlayer. It has superfast speeds, letting you enjoy the latest dramas without interruptions. ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy in confidence. Stream BBC iPlayer with IPVanish

Start Watching BBC iPlayer With a Reliable VPN

Since BBC iPlayer is only available to those living in the UK, you can’t watch it while you’re traveling away from home. A VPN can help you access your personal BBC iPlayer account from anywhere and lets you keep up with the soaps and dramas you’re used to watching. After testing dozens of VPNs on the market, I found that ExpressVPN is the best for accessing BBC iPlayer. Its fast speeds and quality UK servers make it the best VPN to stream BBC iPlayer. You can test ExpressVPN with BBC iPlayer without risk as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — simply claim a refund if you aren’t satisfied.

Summary — Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2023