How to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in 2023

Mikaela Bray
Mikaela Bray | Contributing Writer
Last updated: September 28, 2022
Watch BBC from US with a VPN
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Everyone knows of the UK-based BBC. It’s responsible for creating various world-renowned TV series, such as Doctor Who, Top Gear, BBC Earth, and many more. Unsurprisingly, people want easy access to quality content produced by this company.

Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer, the website that distributes BBC content, is geographically restricted to the UK. As such, viewers outside the United Kingdom have no way of watching anything on it.

Luckily, geo-blocks aren’t an issue when you have a premium VPN. It can redirect your internet connection through remote servers worldwide, circumventing geographical limitations in the process. This article will show you the necessary steps to watch BBC iPlayer from the US and abroad.

How to watch BBC iPlayer in the US in 2023

No need to get UK citizenship to watch British content in the US. Simply get a reliable VPN and follow these steps:

  1. Choose a premium VPN with servers in the UK. Our top choice is NordVPN, currently available for 57% off!
  2. Install the VPN on your preferred device and connect to any server in the United Kingdom
  3. Visit the BBC iPlayer website and create a new account
  4. Watch anything from the UK-based channel!

Choose the best VPN for BBC

Why do you need a VPN to watch BBC in 2023?

BBC iPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK and is unreachable from anywhere else. This is because of distribution rights and is a common occurrence among streaming services. Therefore, content connoisseurs are forced to use a VPN to change their location to access a wider variety of TV shows and movies.

Luckily, a VPN does so much more than just altering your region. It covers up your internet traffic with military-grade encryption, rendering it unreadable to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and other nefarious onlookers. Plus, your actual IP address is masked and replaced with the server’s information.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for BBC iPlayer
2. Surfshark VPN – BBC iPlayer VPN with unlimited connections
3. Atlas VPN – BBC iPlayer VPN with a free version

For additional information about the benefits of each VPN, head on over to our best BBC iPlayer VPN page to find out more.

How to watch BBC iPlayer on your device

Nowadays, most people own more than just a PC and a mobile phone for content viewing. Specialized streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV make home entertainment a convenient and hassle-free experience.

Watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN

However, geographical restrictions are still rampant even when using such peripherals. Thankfully, the best VPN providers aren’t slacking off and creating reliable workarounds to get a VPN connection on practically any platform. Below, you’ll find detailed walkthroughs for all major devices.

How to watch BBC iPlayer on Windows and Mac

So far, the PC is still the reigning champion of at-home streaming devices. And luckily for us, getting a BBC iPlayer VPN on Windows, Mac, or Linux is a piece of cake.

  1. Choose a well-performing VPN service. Our go-to choice is NordVPN, the #1 VPN provider
  2. Download the VPN for your operating system and connect to any server in the United Kingdom
  3. Visit the official BBC iPlayer website
  4. Log in or create a new account
  5. Access the extensive British television library!

How to watch BBC iPlayer on Android and iOS

Mobile devices will inevitably become the most popular content-consuming platform, thanks to their convenience. However, their built-in GPS tracking makes it difficult to get a VPN up and running properly. Not only do you need an exceptional VPN service with geo-spoofing capabilities, but you’ll also have to change your account settings with a new location. The specifics depend on your phone manufacturer and OS, but the general steps to take are:

  1. Pick a VPN with GPS spoofing on mobile devices. Our top recommendation is NordVPN, currently available for 57% off!
  2. Install the VPN software and connect to a UK server
  3. Modify your account settings or create a new one with the UK as its home location
  4. Go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store
  5. Download the BBC iPlayer app
  6. Sign in and watch your favorite shows on the go!

Get a British IP Address for BBC iPlayer

How to watch BBC iPlayer on Roku

Unfortunately, Roku devices do not support VPN software natively. Therefore, you’ll need to set up your home router with a VPN and connect your streaming device to that network. Only then will you be able to unblock BBC iPlayer and other geo-restricted content. Here’s what that looks like:

  1. Reset your Roku
  2. Manually configure your router with a UK VPN connection. We suggest picking NordVPN, the fastest VPN provider
  3. Plug in your Roku and add it to the router network
  4. Log in with a UK-based account and search for BBC iPlayer on the Roku Channel Store
  5. Install the app and sit back with some quality content!

Grab the best BBC iPlayer VPN for Roku

How to watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV

Sadly, Apple has imposed restrictions on developing VPN software for the Apple TV. As such, users with this particular streaming device need to set up a router with a VPN to get around geographical limitations:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN that supports router configuration. Our top pick NordVPN, available with a 57% discount
  2. Setup the VPN on your home router and connect Apple TV to it
  3. Search for BBC iPlayer on the Apple App Store
  4. Install the application and log in
  5. Watch the best shows BBC iPlayer has to offer!

Snatch NordVPN for Apple TV

How to watch BBC iPlayer on Samsung Smart TV

While it doesn’t have native VPN support, you can still protect and watch BBC iPlayer on Samsung Smart TV by setting up a VPN on your router. You’ll have to take a few easy steps:

  1. Pick a reliable router VPN. Your best bet is NordVPN
  2. Configure a router with a VPN and connect your Samsung Smart TV to it
  3. Get the BBC iPlayer app from Google Play Store
  4. Create an account and log in
  5. Binge your favorite British shows and movies!

Get the ultimate Samsung TV VPN

How to watch BBC iPlayer on Amazon Fire Stick

Thankfully, Amazon FireOS devices are based on the Android operating system and are compatible with most VPN services. In fact, most even have dedicated apps for Fire Stick. Here’s how to unblock BBC iPlayer on such devices:

  1. Choose a VPN provider that’s compatible with Amazon Fire TV Stick. Our favorite option is NordVPN
  2. Connect the Fire Stick to any TV monitor with an HDMI port
  3. Search for your provider’s VPN app on the App Store or install it directly
  4. Connect to any server in the United Kingdom
  5. Go to the app store and search for the BBC iPlayer
  6. Launch the app and enjoy!

Watch BBC iPlayer on Fire Stick with a VPN

How to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK

Just to reassure you: you won’t have to move to the UK to watch your favorite British shows. With a reliable streaming VPN at your disposal, BBC iPlayer becomes accessible from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re on holiday from the UK or a die-hard Doctor Who fan from abroad – there are no limits.

How to watch BBC iPlayer in Canada

Canuck viewers will have no problems enjoying David Attenborough’s soothing voice on BBC iPlayer with a VPN. All you have to do is:

  1. Choose a top-notch Canadian VPN provider
  2. Clear any trace of your actual location and delete your browser’s cookies
  3. Find a UK server with great connectivity
  4. Create a BBC iPlayer account and find a show you want to watch
  5. Stream BBC iPlayer with a VPN without paying a loonie!

Get the greatest VPN for Canada

How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad

Suppose you’re exploring the globe and don’t want to miss the newest episode of your beloved show. In that case, a VPN will help you access any BBC iPlayer content outside the UK. To do so, you have to:

  1. Get a VPN with solid geo-block avoiding skills, such as Surfshark VPN
  2. Eradicate any cookies or cache that might reveal your actual location
  3. Join a British server to access BBC iPlayer
  4. Create an account on the streaming platform
  5. Enjoy Top Gear, Doctor Who, or any other show from anywhere in the world!

Grab the a first-class international VPN

Do you need a TV license for BBC iPlayer?

When you create a BBC iPlayer account, you might get a notification informing you about the TV license. If you live in the UK, a TV license is mandatory to watch British television. However, there is a workaround.

According to Reddit users, you won’t need a TV license with a VPN. When you register for the first time, simply make sure your VPN is on, set the UK as your location, add a random British postcode, and press “I have a TV license.”

Watch BBC iPlayer Without TV License

So, whether you live in the UK or abroad, you can enjoy your favorite BBC iPlayer shows with a VPN without getting fined and absolutely free. If you are worried about getting blocked, we recommend grabbing the best VPN with a dedicated IP address add-on. It will make it almost impossible for anyone to tell that you are using a VPN. Therefore, bypassing cruel geo-blocks is going to be easy.

Can’t access BBC iPlayer with a VPN?

We don’t live in a perfect world, and VPNs can sometimes fail us. One of the most common problems you can run into is an error message saying that “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK.” Meaning that your VPN is not working correctly, and you’re still logged into your local server. Some other issues you may encounter are blacklisted servers and IP and DNS leaks.

If you’re having trouble watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN, try some of these quick fixes:

  • Check for IP and DNS leaks
  • If you’re on a browser, clear the cookies and cache
  • Try connecting to another server
  • Switch tunneling protocols

Worst case scenario, you’ll have to reach out to your VPN provider’s customer service. But if you made the right choice, support will be available 24/7 via live chat.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer for free?

Unless you live in the UK, it’s doubtful that you’ll get the chance to watch BBC iPlayer entirely for free. Even though there are plenty of free VPN services available, most don’t offer servers in the United Kingdom. Besides that, they have other downsides, such as:

  • Abysmal connection speeds
  • Outdated security with vulnerabilities
  • Monthly data caps
  • High likelihood of data logging and selling
  • Ineptitude to bypass geographical restrictions

But there is still a way to watch BBC iPlayer overseas. You can find premium VPN providers with free trial versions. If a week is not enough, most services offer 30-day money-back guarantees. So, you can enjoy the platform and top security features for a month without paying a dime.

To save your precious time, we suggest grabbing NordVPN. The provider offers loads of servers in the UK, impressive speeds, and geo-blocking circumvention capabilities.

What to watch on BBC iPlayer

If you’re looking for a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer, you probably already have some specific show in mind. But if you need more suggestions, here are a few recommendations:

BBC One (live Stream)Top Gear
BBC TwoDoctor Who
BBC FourThe Green Planet
CBBCRuPaul’s Drag Race UK
CbeebiesPeaky Blinders
BBC NewsThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Unblock BBC iPlayer content with NordVPN

Bottom line

Accessing top-quality shows on BBC iPlayer is a walk in Hyde park with the right VPN by your side. Just make sure that it has servers in the UK, swift tunneling protocols, and apps for your preferred streaming device. Alternatively, configure your home router with a virtual private network and curb geo-restrictions for the whole family.

What’s your TV show and VPN combo for BBC iPlayer? Share your entertainment recipe in the comment section below!

You may also like to read:
How to watch ITV
How to watch NBC without cable
How to watch Hulu outside the US
Best UK VPN services
Best VPN for streaming
Best VPN for torrenting
Fastest VPN services


Can I watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN?

Yes, you most certainly can watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN from anywhere. You’ll simply need a reliable VPN with breakneck connectivity and plenty of servers in the UK. You can grab the top VPN from our list.

What’s the best VPN for BBC iPlayer?

The best VPN for BBC iPlayer is NordVPN. It’s exceptionally fast, has a vast server network, solid security features, and a reasonable price with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Potential customers can try out the service with a 7-day free trial available on the Google Play Store.

Can I use a free VPN for BBC iPlayer?

We don’t recommend using a free VPN for BBC iPlayer. Free services usually aren’t capable of getting around geographical restrictions and have poor connectivity. Thus, you won’t be able to enjoy BBC iPlayer shows.

How can I watch BBC iPlayer from the US?

The most convenient way to watch BBC iPlayer from the USA is to get the ultimate streaming VPN. We highly suggest NordVPN. After you get a subscription, connect to one of many British servers, create an account on BBC iPlayer, and finally enjoy world-famous UK TV shows and movies.

Is it illegal to use a VPN with BBC iPlayer?

No, watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN is absolutely legal. There are no laws against using a VPN to circumvent geographical restrictions. However, your account could get blocked if your actual IP address leaks while using BBC iPlayer. To prevent such mishaps, grab the top-drawer VPN for BBC iPlayer.

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  1. Lisbetta

    I’m a huge Doctor Who fan, but up until now, I’ve been forced to watch the episodes I want in random places that I could get access to in the USA. Now I’m all set to start streaming right from the source!

  2. PrickledPear

    The BBC has some of the best shows and comedians out there, and I’ve wanted to figure out how streaming overseas content works. Thanks for the info!

  3. Bob P

    Thanks for the guide, I didn’t even knew if it was possible to be watching the BBC abroad. I’m always watching BBC iplayer and I can’t imagine my mornings without it.

  4. Serena

    Can I use NordVpn for streaming BBC programs in USA? I’ve heard you can potentially unblock access to the BBC iPlayer as well? If a vpn can do this then I’d imagine everyone would want to use it because there are so many great programs on there.

    1. avatar
      Mikaela Bray Author

      Hi Serena,

      Yes, you absolutely can watch BBC iPlayer using NordVPN. Just connect to a server in the UK and you’re good to go.

  5. Marty

    WOW! 60 million people try to use VPNs to watch the BBC live?! That’s a lot of bandwidth. I’m in USA now and NordVPN does a great job at unlocking iPlayer from here. From what I’ve heard there’s not a country in the world where they don’t work well with BBC and considering their pricing plans they are probably the best option available right now. While ExpressVPN might be a bit better in some aspects, Nord has more servers in the UK so for watching BBC they are the best option. Also, streaming is great with Nord and I’ve never been disconnected or anything like that. And, it also works very well with unblocking Netflix which was a must for me.

    I’ve actually had to use EditThisCookie in this past because the BBC iPlayer managed to store a cookie somehow. I still don’t know how they did it but I managed to get right of it and all was well after that.

  6. Simons

    I have never seen or heard any of these programs listed above. Most chick flicks and TV series, and thrillers play on channels like HBO. But I am sure there are viewers who watch these BBC shows as well.

  7. Sarah Hansen

    This might sound like a stupid question but can these BBC programs be watched online? I have no idea, please enlighten me. Thank you!

  8. Demi H

    Thanks ! Some bbc programs can be watched from anywhere in the world, but not the tv in itself. I can’t believe I didn’t even know about VPNs before I read that ! Thanks again !

  9. thedoctorlovesrose

    I’ve done this! I used to use a VPN to watch Doctor Who as it came out on the BBC iPlayer. I don’t anymore, though, the Matt Smith seasons were way too much for me. I miss the ninth and tenth Doctors! They were my favorite. If you like watching BBC shows as they air from the US, this works really well though, I use NordVPN and it’s great.

  10. Oliver Bordeleau

    I’m in France so I got a Trial with the vpn hoping to watch BBC, but now they can trace that you’re maintaining a VPN and they do not let you benefit of iPlayer. From BBC-if we find that you might be maintaining a proxy VPN, you’ll be unable to watch. This is because we wonder to be clear you’re in the UK, and if you’re maintaining a VPN, we can’t understand reliably where you are. What should I do now?

    1. avatar
      Mikaela Bray Author

      Hi Oliver,

      First of all, try a different VPN server in the UK. If none work, try a different VPN service. The choices in the article are a good bet, particularly NordVPN.

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