BBC iPlayer is one of the most popular streaming sites in the UK. Users get access to a wide range of dramas, original shows, and much more on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs. BBC iPlayer is also ad free, which is a nice bonus that we’re sure everyone can appreciate.

The only catch is that if you’re travelling or not permanently based in the UK, BBC iPlayer will recognise that you’re not in its catchment area and immediately block you. To bypass this frustrating blockade, you will need to use a VPN. These cybersecurity services can hide your real IP address and connect you to a secure server in the UK, which tricks BBC iPlayer into thinking you are based in the country. This quick and easy process maintains access to everything that BBC iPlayer has to offer.

The key message is that if you want to keep up to speed with all your favourite shows on BBC iPlayer, you are going to need a VPN. But which VPN is the best for unblocking and watching BBC iPlayer? We’ll get to that after answering a few of the most important questions concerning the world of VPNs.

What is a VPN?

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are powerful security tools that provide protection for your identity and data by creating a private network that hides your real IP address. The best way to visualise a VPN is to think of it like an encrypted tunnel through which all of your online traffic passes through. Nobody can see into the tunnel, and everything inside is protected against online threats like hackers, viruses, and malware.

Do you need a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer?

You can continue to watch BBC content when you’re outside of the UK by downloading your favourite shows on the iPlayer app before you depart the country. This is a solid move for any movies or shows that have already been released in full. However, this method does not help with shows that are still being released or live sports.

To keep up with this kind of entertainment, your only option is to use a VPN.

Can you watch BBC iPlayer from abroad?

If you think accessing BBC iPlayer abroad is going to be tricky with a VPN, think again. It’s actually a really simple process that absolutely everyone can understand:

Sign up to a streaming-friendly VPN

Download the app to your device of choice (the best VPNs have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and more)

Open up the app and connect to a server in the UK

Log in to BBC iPlayer to watch live content and your favourite shows on demand

You could be anywhere in the world, but the process remains the same.

What is the best VPN for BBC iPlayer?

There are a lot of VPNs out there that can reliably access BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world, but which is the best service for you? To help you find something that ticks your boxes, we’ve handpicked a selection of the very best streaming-friendly services for everyone.

ExpressVPN can be found at the top of this roundup for a number of reasons: it has a streaming-friendly interface, security focused features, and strong connection speeds. All of this provides users with a straightforward and speedy streaming experience. That’s not to say that ExpressVPN will suit everyone best, and the likes of Surfshark, CyberGhost VPN, and NordVPN will appeal to many users.

These are the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2024.


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