Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in 2021

Ethan Payne
Ethan Payne | Writer
Last updated: June 29, 2021

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What is life if you can’t watch EastEnders or London Kills? If you’re in the UK, these shows are available for free on the BBC iPlayer. Fortunately for everyone else, our recommended VPNs for BBC iPlayer will let you stream all your favorite shows from anywhere in the world.

A good quality VPN can bypass BBC iPlayer geo-blocking, so you can watch British TV for free.

All the services recommended here will bring you the BBC in the best, clearest quality and highest speed possible.

No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:

Leading VPN for BBC iPlayer
Cheap and powerful
Cheapest VPN for BBC iPlayer
Prioritizes privacy and security
Good at nearly everything

1. NordVPN

Top VPN provider
Number of servers
Number of servers:
Smart DNS
Smart DNS:
Yes (SmartPlay)
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
1,252 Mbit/s
  • Plenty of servers in the UK
  • Fastest VPN service
  • Best VPN for streaming
  • Lacks router app

If you want the best VPN for BBC iPlayer, NordVPN is one of the best choices.

It has an excellent server count, and almost 700 of its servers are in the UK. This is an impressive number and it’s also crucial in this case – BBC iPlayer works hard to stop any unauthorized access.

Moreover, NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, meaning your streaming experience will be smooth and uninterrupted. And the best part is that being fast doesn’t stop it from being safe – it has all the necessary features to keep you secure and anonymous online.

This is a highly affordable VPN that has a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get 3 years of NordVPN at $3.30/month now, including extra months as a gift.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN

Top VPN provider
Number of servers
Number of servers:
Smart DNS
Smart DNS:
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
549 Mbit/s
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Very fast
  • Low prices
  • Weak knowledgebase

Surfshark is another excellent option for accessing content on BBC iPlayer. It has plenty of servers – the ones in London, Manchester and Glasgow will help you access BBC iPlayer with no problem.

There is just one caveat to remember: you will have to use browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox), rather than the desktop or mobile apps.

Surfshark is a great choice for BBC iPlayer or streaming in general because it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. If you’re living in a shared apartment or with a big family, this feature will often make your day.

To put the cherry on top – this VPN provider is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market today. For example, by getting Surfshark now you will save 81%.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. PrivateVPN

Number of servers
Number of servers:
Smart DNS
Smart DNS:
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
115 Mbit/s
  • Very cheap
  • Great for streaming
  • 7-day free trial
  • macOS and iOS apps have fewer features

Despite its moderate size, PrivateVPN is a top quality BBC iPlayer VPN.

PrivateVPN has fewer worldwide servers, but they do have a good number in the UK to ensure that you are able to have the BBC programming you want. The speeds are also pretty awesome.

6 simultaneous connections will enhance the streaming experience for the entire household – no more fighting over what to watch next!

When it comes to security, PrivateVPN doesn’t log any of your data to ensure your safety, privacy and anonymity, which gives us peace of mind when using it.

This service is reasonably priced in comparison to some of the others and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Check for deals on the PrivateVPN website.

For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.

4. VyprVPN

Number of servers
Number of servers:
Smart DNS
Smart DNS:
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
70 Mbit/s
  • Excellent security
  • Unblocks Netflix and other platforms
  • Router app
  • No way to pay anonymously

The Swiss-made VyprVPN is a solid choice for the BBC iPlayer. It’s easy to use and has great apps even the less-tech-savvy people will love.

VyprVPN has a great UK server count, ensuring you can access the platform from anywhere. Moreover, its speeds are great, and the service has some of the most realiable connections – a great plus if you don’t want your streams interrupted.

One thing to note – we highly recommend the Premium version which gives users access to their Chameleon Protocol, but it’s not really necessary if you just want it for streaming.

To get an idea on the different available deals, check the VyprVPN website.

For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.

5. IPVanish

Number of servers
Number of servers:
Smart DNS
Smart DNS:
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
112 Mbit/s
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Apps for major platforms, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Chromebook, and routers
  • Above-average speeds
  • No anonymous payment options

IPVanish VPN has a proven track record when it comes to being super fast, therefore, it’s a great choice for your BBC iPlayer streaming.

It is also compatible to use with Fire TV Stick, making it easier to get iPlayer on your TV. Not to mention it offers 10 simultaneous connections – one of the highest numbers out there.

If you encounter any issues, their live chat support is excellent and available 24/7. If you get IPVanish and you don’t like it, there’s always the 7-Day Money-Back Guarantee to fall back on.

For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.

6. CyberGhost

Number of servers
Number of servers:
Smart DNS
Smart DNS:
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
68 Mbit/s
  • Free trial
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Mostly privacy-friendly
  • Owner Kape Technologies has poor reputation

CyberGhost has managed to climb the ranks as a trustworthy VPN for the BBC iPlayer, as it has more than 150 UK servers.

Moreover, many of its users claim that BBC iPlayer programming comes in clearly even as far away as Southern India.

CyberGhost also encrypts your data to add to your security and has dedicated profiles allowing users to unblock iPlayer in seconds.

With 7 simultaneous connections, you’ll have everyone’s needs at your place met, as each of you would be able to stream anything to your liking!

If you’re unsure whether you would enjoy the product, no problem – it has a 45-day money-back guarantee. Get CyberGhost now, and you’ll receive 2 extra months for free.

For a deeper investigation of CyberGhost, read our CyberGhost review.

7. ExpressVPN

Number of servers
Number of servers:
Smart DNS
Smart DNS:
Yes (MediaStreamer)
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
159 Mbit/s
  • Great for streaming
  • Excellent security
  • App for routers
  • Very expensive

It has been conclusively proven that ExpressVPN is a real powerhouse for delivering the BBC programming you have been long waiting for. This is all thanks to the UK servers that are optimized for streaming using the OpenVPN protocol.

Furthermore, this service is top-notch when it comes to offering high-speed streaming allowing for the very best streaming experience.

Add excellent security features to keep you safe and private whether you’re streaming or not, and there you have another great VPN to enjoy the content on the BBC iPlayer.

Moreover, the support staff are always ready to answer your questions via their live chat that is available 24/7.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the product is its price – it’s one of the most expensive VPNs on the market today.

However, if you’re all for trying it out, go to ExpressVPN website and check the pricing out for yourself.

For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.

Why you need a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in US

If you’re wondering how to watch BBC iPlayer in US, it’s pretty straightforward – use a VPN. It is a sure way to bypass the geo-blocks, as the VPN hides your true IP address and provides you with a new one.

How to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad | watch TV channels outside UK

If you’re connecting with a UK server it looks like you’re accessing BBC iPlayer from UK. Therefore, you can watch all the content you wish to – from TV series to movies, or documentaries.

Moreover, using a strong VPN will enhance your overall security and anonymity online. And that will come in handy even when you’re done streaming.

Create BBC iPlayer account

To enjoy everything the BBC iPlayer has to offer you need to create an account. It’s pretty self-explanatory, however, you there are some things you should keep in mind:

  1. Connect to the UK server with your chosen VPN provider
  2. Go to BBC website to create your BBC iPlayer account
  3. Provide your information (choose the UK as your country)
  4. You would need to provide your UK postcode (go online, and use any from your chosen location. For instance, you can choose one from Oxford).
  5. Tick I have a TV License. Watch now (as the platform works on a trust principle, therefore it never checks whether you truly own one)
  6. Complete your registration

There you have it – you can start binge-watching anything you wish on the platform!

How good is BBC iPlayer at detecting VPN?

Let’s start by saying that BBC iPlayer can detect your VPN. Even more importantly, the platform is getting better at doing that each day.

Originally, BBC iPlayer was meant for the UK residents only. However, with the increasing VPNs’ usage, more and more people started accessing the platform – some studies claim that the number of foreign BBC iPlayer users is no less than 60 million people.

To conquer the issue and deal with unauthorized access, the BBC started taking action, therefore you started seeing messages that goes something like this BBC iPlayer programmes are available to play in the UK only.

For you to stop receiving them, you need a powerful VPN. We swear by all we mentioned above.

Your chosen BBC iPlayer VPN not working?

If you cannot access BBC iPlayer with your VPN, there can be several reasons behind that. Here are the most common ones:

  1. Your true IP address might be leaking
  2. Your VPN servers might be on the BBC’s black list
  3. The server you’re connected to is not able to unblock BBC iPlayer
  4. A cookie has been stored on your device by BBC iPlayer, therefore they are aware you’re outside the UK

There are some ways to solve these issues – try them out:

  1. Go to your VPN’s settings to enable leak protection so that BBC iPlayer wouldn’t know you’re not in the UK
  2. Contact your provider’s support team – they’ll tell you which servers can unblock BBC iPlayer
  3. Try different browsers out
  4. Clear your cookies

If none of the mentioned solutions works, we highly recommend looking for another provider. When it comes to unblocking BBC iPlayer, only the best on the market will be able to bypass those geo-blocks.

Channels available on BBC iPlayer

If you managed to access BBC iPlayer with a reliable VPN, congratulations! Now comes the best part – choosing your favorite channels, and the content on them!

The following are the channels that are currently available on BBC iPlayer:

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • BBC Four
  • Radio1
  • CBBC
  • CBeebies
  • BBC Scotland
  • BBC News
  • BBC Parliament
  • BBC Alba
  • S4C

Top shows on BBC iPlayer

The list of the top shows on BBC iPlayer changes regularly. However, some, like EastEnders stay in the first place for longer.

As of today, these are the most popular shows on the platform:

  1. EastEnders
  2. The Nest
  3. Our Girl
  4. London Kills
  5. Race Across the World
  6. MasterChef
  7. Dragon’s Den
  8. The Country
  9. Casualty
  10. In My Skin
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