The UK’s BBC (British Broadcasting Company) is known around the world for the quality of its programming. They provide a large selection of content, completely free of charge to those in the UK. Fortunately, you can use a VPN for BBC iPlayer to get quick and easy access.
Like so many other streaming websites in today’s world, access to BBC iPlayer content is geo-blocked. BBC iPlayer uses geo-blocking technology to ensure that their content is only available to viewers located in the UK, or those with a UK IP address (wherever you are located). Fortunately, you can access geo-blocked iPlayer content, without having to physically travel to the UK with a good VPN service.
UPDATE: Our latest tests show that most VPNs are blocked by BBC iPlayer and will simply not work (see specific examples further below). Even some industry veterans are not working well with BBC iPlayer at this time. Therefore we are only recommending these three VPNs that still work for accessing BBC iPlayer based on our latest tests:
- NordVPN – This is the best VPN that consistently unblocks BBC iPlayer from anywhere, with extremely fast speeds and premium streaming apps for all devices. 67% off coupon here >
- Surfshark – Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN service with good apps and fast speeds that consistently works with BBC iPlayer.
- ExpressVPN – This VPN is a fast and reliable VPN for access to BBC iPlayer, but it is also a bit more expensive.
When you use one of these three VPNs, you will be able to virtually appear to be in the UK, even when you are on another continent. This gets you around the BBC geo-blocking and gives you instant access to the service. We’ll explain this more in our FAQ section below.
Here are the topics we’ll cover in this guide:
- The best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
- VPNs that do NOT work well for BBC iPlayer
- BBC iPlayer VPN FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Conclusion and discounts
Note: While iPlayer content is available to people who are (or appear to be) in the UK, since late 2016, users must also have a UK television license and be able to enter a valid postcode to get full access to the streaming media on the site. But as of right now, there is no verification process for having a UK television license, and you can enter any UK postal code to get instant access.
Ranking the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
Here are the criteria to join our list of the best VPNs for accessing BBC iPlayer, wherever you are located:
- The ability to evade BBC iPlayer geo-blocking (and not get blocked).
- Connection speeds that are sufficient for HD video streaming.
- A large network of fast, reliable servers with many locations in the UK.
- Apps for computers, mobile devices, and other systems so you can access BBC iPlayer wherever is convenient for you.
- Consistent, reliable performance across all supported devices and all the VPN servers in the network.
- 24/7 technical support to quickly help you with any VPN or streaming issues.
- Extra credit if the VPN can get around the geo-blocking on other top streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Using the criteria listed above, here are the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer:
NordVPN – Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in 2024
NordVPN continues to stand out as the best VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer. This may have something to do with the fact that NordVPN has over 400 servers spread across 4 cities in the UK, meaning you have many options for breaking past any obstacle BBC iPlayer puts in your way. Below I am using NordVPN to watch BBC iPlayer with a UK server:
All in all, NordVPN runs an enormous network of 6,000 fast VPN servers, strategically located in 60 countries. We know that NordVPN can unblock BBC iPlayer, but is their server network fast enough to stream HD video?
Without a doubt. This is the fastest VPN network we have ever tested. In one of our recent speed tests for the NordVPN vs PIA comparison, we saw a download speed of 755 Mbps on our 1,000 Mbps speed testing connection. This makes NordVPN the fastest VPN we have tested to date.
That’s more than enough speed for streaming, torrenting, gaming, videoconferencing, or pretty much anything you might want to do. This level of performance is great if you need a fast VPN for torrenting or any other high-bandwidth activities.
Speaking of bandwidth, the company is installing 10Gbps servers in key areas of their network. Initially available in Seattle, Atlanta, London, and Tokyo the upgrade will allow the network to securely data faster than ever. This greater capacity will become ever more important as the world adopts 5G phone technology.
NordVPN also has apps for specialty streaming devices. It is a great VPN for Firestick with a dedicated app in the Amazon Store. NordVPN also works well with Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and all other standard apps, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, plus Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.
NordVPN has a big edge in network performance over the competition. They offer the NordLynx protocol in all of their VPN clients. NordLynx is a custom implementation of the highly-regarded, highly-secure, and high-speed WireGuard VPN protocol. NordVPN’s network is entirely composed of RAM-disk servers (no hard drives), which ensures no logs can ever be stored on the server.
NordVPN is also busily deploying self-owned (colocated) servers in all locations. Their personnel will manage and maintain the servers, adding another layer of security to the network. They will replace all rental servers, which is what most other VPNs still use.
Beyond all that, NordVPN is one of the best VPN services, period. They are a no-logs service based in Panama, which is a great jurisdiction for privacy with no data retention issues. The server network and security have been audited by Versprite. Additionally, NordVPN has passed a no-logs audit that was conducted by PWC AG, which has now audited both NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
NordVPN security and privacy features
While we are on the subject of privacy and security, you should know that NordVPN offers some of the most advanced VPN capabilities, including:
- Threat Protection – A feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware along with scanning downloaded documents for malicious code. Can even protect traffic that doesn’t pass through a VPN server.
- Split tunneling – Control which traffic passes through the VPN tunnel and which goes direct to the internet.
- Double-VPN servers – Encrypt your internet traffic twice by passing it through two NordVPN servers one after the other, providing perhaps the tightest security in the VPN industry.
- Tor-over-VPN servers – Send your encrypted NordVPN traffic through the Tor network to make it extra difficult to track your online activities.
- P2P servers – Optimized for torrenting and other P2P activities, these servers are very fast and very secure.
- Obfuscated servers – Make your VPN traffic look like boring old HTTPS encrypted traffic so snoops or censors won’t even know you are using a VPN. And don’t worry, your traffic remains encrypted, it is simply packaged to look innocuous and conceal the VPN. This feature can come in handy if you need VPN for UAE, or a VPN for China.
- Dedicated IP servers – If you need a dedicated IP address with a VPN, NordVPN has you covered.
- Meshnet – A free service that allows anyone to create a secure, private network of trusted devices.
- SmartDNS – Automatically switches DNS servers when necessary, without losing the security and privacy of the VPN connection.