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8 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer that still work in 2021
BBC iPlayer is a popular streaming service that lets viewers watch some of the best free and legal content on the web, ranging from TV shows and movies to live sports. Much of that content, however, can only be streamed on devices with a UK IP address. This means a workaround is needed to watch the BBC in any country outside of the UK. Due to content licensing restrictions, certain videos are restricted by geography. This applies to viewing on the iPlayer website as well as through the iPlayer app.
The simple solution is to employ a VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer which will allow you to watch as normal from the USA or anywhere else abroad. However, not all VPNs work with BBC iPlayer.
We’ll cover eight VPNs in detail, but for those of you looking for a quick answer, our testing showed these to be the best options.
We found these to be the 8 best VPNs for BBC iPlayer:
- NordVPNBest option for accessing BBC iPlayer from anywhere. Extremely fast and secure, with a large selection of servers and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark Our top budget pick. Speedy VPN with no connection limit that unblocks various streaming services including BBC iPlayer.
- CyberGhost Works well with BBC iPlayer and other streaming services. Easy to use.
- PrivateVPN Good up-and-coming VPN that works well with BBC iPlayer and other streaming services.
- Hotspot Shield A solid budget option that offers fast speeds and unblocks BBC iPlayer and other services.
- ExpressVPN Stream geo-blocked content from anywhere in the world with no restrictions. Veteran provider with excellent security credentials.
- Private Internet Access Works well with BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
- VyprVPN Unblocked BBC iPlayer in our tests.
GET A 30 DAY FREE TRIAL OF NORDVPN
NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated # 1 for BBC iPlayer for a month, without restriction. As such, it's ideal for anyone looking to binge their favorite shows as they travel.
There are no hidden terms—just let support know within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll receive a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Short for virtual private network, a VPN service encrypts a device’s internet traffic before routing it through an intermediary server in a location of the user’s choosing. In the case of BBC iPlayer, the user just needs to pick a server location in the UK. They'll be assigned a UK IP address to make it appear that's where they're located.
But this workaround is getting less effective by the day as BBC iPlayer starts cracking down on the circumvention software and detecting when a VPN is used. The site has followed in the footsteps of Netflix when it comes to banning VPN users. For this reason, it's important to subscribe to a VPN service that bypasses iPlayer’s firewall and will actively work to fix the problem if it gets blocked.
Often only some servers from a specific VPN service can accomplish this, so if one VPN server is blocked for you then just try another or ask customer service which ones work.
We’ve curated the following list of the best VPN providers for BBC iPlayer based on the following criteria:
- Servers in the UK (the more the merrier!)
- Not blocked by iPlayer as of time of writing (we'll update this regularly)
- Fast connection speeds
- Fast and competent customer service
Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
Thesis 8 VPNs will work with BBC iPlayer from abroad (outside the UK). Just connect to a suitable UK server and start streaming.
May 2021 Unblocks iPlayerTested May 2021
NordVPN is a reliable service for watching BBC iPlayer abroad with plenty of UK servers to choose from. In fact, it operates almost 700 servers in the UK, and some of them are even optimized for streaming. Check the NordVPN website’s official knowledge base to find out which servers currently unblock BBC iPlayer content. Live chat support can be contacted 24/7.
This service scored one of the highest results in our speed test, so you shouldn't have any issues streaming in HD or even 4K. Security is excellent thanks to strong encryption, and a strict zero-logs policy means your personal information (including your IP address) remains private. What's more, public wifi users will love NordVPN’s automatic wifi protection feature. Servers are available in over 60 countries. NordVPN allows up to six concurrent internet connections on a single subscription, making it a great option for a small household or office.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
- Plenty of servers in the UK unblock iPlayer from almost anywhere in HD
- Also great for unblocking a wide range of UK geo-blocked content
- Strict no-logs policy and solid security on apps
- Connect up to 6 devices at the same time
- Live chat support 24/7
- Desktop app can sometimes take a while to connect
Read our full NordVPN review here.
unblocks iplayerTested May 2021
Surfshark currently has over 1,700 servers in 60 countries, including the UK. It's fast enough to stream live HD content with no noticeable buffering, and can reliably unblock major services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Netflix US. Best of all, though, Surfshark has no connection limit, meaning you can secure every one of your streaming devices simultaneously.
This service uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks to keep your online activities private at all times. There's also a zero-logs policy and the option to block ads, trackers, and malware automatically. With 24/7 support available over live chat, you're never more than a few seconds away from help with any problems
Surfshark offers apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. It can be manually installed on supported wireless routers.
- Decent speeds
- Strong unblocking ability
- Powerful security and online privacy features
- Secure every device you own simultaneously
- Very affordable
- Has the occasional slow server
- Doesn't have the largest network
Read our full Surfshark review
BEST BUDGET VPN: Surfshark is our favorite low-cost option. It's quick, versatile, and able to unblock a huge number of streaming services from abroad. Better still, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Unblocks iPlayerTested May 2021
CyberGhost makes unblocking geo-locked content easier than most other VPNs. Instead of contacting customer support or guessing at which server to connect to, CyberGhost’s apps let you choose a server based on the video site you want to unblock. Clicking the streaming option upon opening the app will bring up a lengthy list of popular streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer. Just click that option to get connected, and the app will even open iPlayer in your browser for you.
CyberGhost also boasts a strong security and privacy pedigree, which is perfect for security-conscious users. It keeps no logs and uses strong encryption with perfect forward secrecy. Leak protection and a kill switch ensure none of your internet traffic ever leaves the encrypted tunnel. CyberGhost boasts solid speeds that should be more than sufficient for streaming video in high quality.
A single plan allows up to seven simultaneous connections. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- No issues unblocking BBC iPlayer from various test locations
- Operates a global network of more than 5,900 servers in 90 countries
- Low-cost option with beginner-friendly apps
- Very good speeds
- Doesn’t work reliably in UAE or China
- May not be customizable enough for experienced users
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Unblocks iPlayerTested May 2021
PrivateVPN is a zero-logs VPN with a good track record for streaming BBC iPlayer, Netflix and other content. It makes short work of BBC iPlayer’s VPN firewall, and also works with other streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu. It boasts extremely high speeds and round-the-clock live chat support in case of any issues.
Speeds are excellent
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