5 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in UK: Updated 2022

Last updated: January 20, 2023
William Sams

William Sams

BBC iPlayer works on and off with different VPN services. I last connected on July 2022 from abroad to watch the famous “Peaky Blinders.” I used ExpressVPN to unblock the VoD service!

In this guide, we’ll tell you how you can be able to watch BBC iPlayer using the best VPN for BBC iPlayer streaming in no time from UK!

As we all know, the BBC iPlayer is UK based streaming platform that has imposed geo-restrictions and can only be accessed with a UK IP address in UK. So whether you’re a British ex-pat living overseas or simply want to watch your favorite show from home, you need to use a VPN to unblock its services.

When reviewing the best VPN for BBC iPlayer in UK, we reviewed over 50 VPNs. Out of them, only a few have been able to unblock this streaming content and maintain high-quality video performance.

ExpressVPN has always been the best VPN for streaming in UK due to its extensive server network, great unblocking skills, and flawless speeds so that you can enjoy iPlayer streaming without buffering. You can try also ExpressVPN free trial for 30 days.

Moreover, the other 4 best VPN services also unlock access to other well-known streaming sites in UK like US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN, and many others. It also boasts top-notch speeds, offers a wide variety of server options, and high-end encryption to keep your real location anonymous.

Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in 2022: Quick Summary

For those of you searching for a quick review, our testing revealed that these were the top 5 BBC iPlayer VPNs. We’ll go through all 5 in depth later.

  1. ExpressVPN: Best VPN for 4K streaming on BBC iPlayer. 440+ Seamless streaming and fast speeds servers in the UK. Best Price GBP 5.47/mo ($6.67/mo).
  2. NordVPN: Most secure VPN to bypass BBC iPlayer restrictions. 440+ servers available in the UK to unblock BBC iPlayer Best Price. GBP 2.68/mo ($3.99/mo).
  3. Surfshark: Affordable VPN to unblocks BBC iPlayer. Working London, Manchester, and Glasgow servers. Best Price GBP 2.04/mo ($2.49/mo).
  4. CyberGhost: Dedicated servers are available for BBC iPlayer. 600 UK-based Servers for Streaming. Best Price GBP 1.88/mo ($2.29/mo).
  5. PureVPN: Offers reliable servers in the UK to access BBC iPlayer. Offers fast and secure servers in the UK for streaming. Best Price GBP 1.64/mo ($1.99/mo).

Learn how to set up a VPN for BBC iPlayer in 4 quick steps.

Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in UK (2022): In-depth Analysis

Check out these 5 VPNs that work smoothly with BBC iPlayer in UK, described in detail after comparing their costs, Trustpilot ratings, and streaming features:

1. ExpressVPN: Best VPN for 4K Streaming on BBC iPlayer in UK


Country Origin British Virgin Island
Total Servers 3000+
Countries 94+
No.of Connected Devices 5 Devices
Price GBP 5.47/mo ($6.67/mo)
Money-back Guarantee 30- days
Live Chat Service Available 24/7
Compatible Devices Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, routers, Firestick, Xbox, PS4, etc
Unblocks streaming Platforms US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, My4, My5, Sky Go, ITV Hub, Disney+, HBO Max
Trustpilot rating 4.7
ExpressVPN is incredibly apt at unblocking all kinds of geo-restricted sites across the world. For my testing, I connected to 5 different servers: UK – Berkshire, London, Berkshire 2, East London, and Kent.

All servers successfully unblocked the BBC iPlayer streaming platform in UK, including other VoDs like Disney Plus, Netflix UK, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more – thanks to the strong AES-256-GCM encryption and leak-free connection.

Apart from this, ExpressVPN offers multiple protocol support, over 3000 global servers that deliver speedy performance, 24/7 live chat support, and much more.

ExpressVPN offers its own router firmware, which users can either download and install for free if they want to watch BBC iPlayer on a streaming device that doesn’t natively support VPNs in UK.

The pricing plans currently offered By ExpressVPN in UK include:

  1. Monthly: GBP 12.95 ($12.95)
  2. 6-Months: GBP 8.65/mo ($9.99/mo.) (billed GBP 51.92 ($59.95))
  3. 12-Months: GBP 5.47/mo ($6.67/mo) (billed GBP 86.55 ($99.95))

ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer UK


  • Verified “no-logs” policy
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
  • UK servers unblock BBC iPlayer
  • Multi-logins on 5 devices
  • 30-day refund policy


  • Prices are a bit too steep

Get ExpressVPN30 Days Money Back Guarantee

1. NordVPN: Most Secure VPN to Bypass BBC iPlayer Restrictions in UK


Country Origin Panama
Total Servers 5600+
Countries 59+
No.of Connected Devices 6 Devices
Price GBP 2.68/mo ($3.99/mo)
Money-back Guarantee 30- days
Live Chat Service Available 24/7
Compatible Devices  Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Firestick, Kodi, etc
Unblocks streaming Platforms  BBC iPlayer, UK Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Showtime, & more
Trustpilot rating 4.4
NordVPN is the best secure VPN to access with BBC iPlayer. With over 5600+servers 59+ placed worldwide, NordVPN BBC iPlayer VPN has been providing exemplary unblocking facilities to users in UK.
For the UK alone, they have a whopping 700+ exclusive servers for its users to unblock the BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other streaming services as well, like Netflix and more.

The UK server list at NordVPN is comprehensive, and it even informs you about the current server usage and overload notifications. If one of them is not working, just switch and connect to the next one on the list.

You shouldn’t have any trouble streaming in HD or even 4K because his service had one of the best results in our speed test. Strong encryption and a rigorous zero-logs policy provide great security and the confidentiality of your personal information, including your IP address in UK.

For me, it took two to three server switches to connect to BBC iPlayer, despite selecting those with a high server load already.

Plans available by NordVPN in UK include:

NordVPN offers a 7-day trial for iOS and Android users and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its subscription plans.

NordVPN BBC iPlayer UK


  • Based in Panama
  • Double VPN available
  • Onion over VPN available
  • UK Servers unblock BBC iPlayer
  • Over 5,200+ Servers worldwide


  • No-Port Forwarding.

Get NordVPN30 Days Money Back Guarantee

2. Surfshark: Affordable VPN to Use BBC iPlayer in UK

Surfshark Ranks 2nd

Country Origin British Virgin Island
Total Servers 3200+
Countries 65+
No.of Connected Devices Unlimited  Devices
Price GBP 2.04/mo ($2.49/mo)
Money-back Guarantee 30- days
Live Chat Service Available 24/7
Compatible Devices Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS,
Unblocks streaming Platforms Netflix, Disney Plus Hotstar, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more.
Trustpilot rating 4.5

The reason why I list Surfshark second is because of its affordability which makes it the best budget VPN.  The price is unmatched in the marketplace of VPNs in UK. Despite this, it goes head-to-head against top names like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

I tested the provider for unblocking BBC iPlayer in UK. 3 out of the 7 UK servers I connected to successfully managed to unblock the streaming platform while delivering good speeds.

Just make sure to switch the protocol from the outdated IKEv2 to the OpenVPN (TCP) protocol after installing Surfshark. Otherwise, you will encounter the “proxy” error.

Best VPN deals available by Surfshark in UK:

  1. Monthly: GBP 10.35 ($11.95)
  2. 1-Year: GBP 5.19/mo ($5.99/mo.) (billed GBP 62.25 ($71.88))
  3. 2-Years: GBP 2.04/mo ($2.49/mo) (billed GBP 47.76 ($47.76))

Surfshark BBC iPlayer UK


  • Headquartered in BVI
  • Unlimited multi-logins
  • Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
  • AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM
  • UK servers unblock BBC iPlayer


  • No Free Trial Available

Get Surfshark30 Days Money Back Guarantee

4. CyberGhostDedicated servers are available for BBC iPlayer in UK

CyberGhost Ranks 4th

Country Origin Romania
Total Servers 6000+
Countries 88
No.of Connected Devices 7 Devices
Price GBP 1.88/mo ($2.29/mo)
Money-back Guarantee 45- days
Live Chat Service Available 24/7
Compatible Devices Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, routers
Unblocks streaming Platforms Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO max, Fox TV, and more
Trustpilot rating 4.6

CyberGhost is another popular VPN service that has added the capability not just to unblock BBC iPlayer outside the UK but also to deliver fast and high-quality streaming. The method of bypassing the restrictions is quite simple too.

The CyberGhost apps allow you to select a dedicated server based on the streaming platform you wish to unblock in UK. Open the app and click on the streaming option will display a long selection of well-known streaming services, including BBC iPlayer. To connect, simply select that option, and the app will connect you to the iPlayer server.

Fast speeds from CyberGhost should be more than enough for high-definition video streaming. For secure streaming in UK. It uses high-level encryption with perfect forward secrecy automated kill switch.

Apart from this, CyberGhost offers up to 7 simultaneous connections, dedicated client apps, OpenVPN protocol support, live chat support, and over 6000+ servers 88 worldwide, with 600 of them situated in the United Kingdom.
CyberGhost subscriptions in UK include the following plans:

CyberGhost BBC iPlayer UK


  • Dedicated Servers for BBC iPlayer UK
  • Multi-logins on 7 devices
  • Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
  • 6,500+ servers in 90 countries
  • Up to 7 simultaneous connections


  • Basic security features in UK

Get Cyberghost45 Days Money Back Guarantee

5. PureVPN: Offers reliable servers in the UK to access BBC iPlayer


Country Origin British Virgin Island
Total Servers 6500+
Countries 78
No.of Connected Devices 10 Devices
Price GBP 1.64/mo ($1.99/mo)
Money-back Guarantee 31- days
Live Chat Service Available 24/7
Compatible Devices Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, routers, etc
Unblocks streaming Platforms Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Sling TV, etc.
Trustpilot rating 4.7
With over 6500+ servers placed worldwide, PureVPN has been providing exemplary unblocking facilities to users a in New Zealand. For the UK alone, they have a whopping 600+ exclusive servers for its users to unblock the BBC iPlayer.

If you click on the “Streaming” tab, on the left corner of the app, you will find a list of channels available to unblock. Simply click on “BBC iPlayer” and wait a few seconds for the UK version of the website to open up on your browser.

You can even unblock BBC iPlayer through manual server switches. For me, it took two to three server switches to connect to BBC iPlayer in New Zealand, despite going for those with a high server load already. Plans available by PureVPN in New Zealand include:

  1. Monthly: GBP 9.48/mo ($10.95./mo).
  2. 1-Year: GBP 2.81/mo ($3.24/mo.) (billed GBP 33.67 ($38.88))
  3. 2-Years: GBP 1.64/mo ($1.99/mo) (billed GBP 41.36 ($47.76))

Ivacy BBC iPlayer UK


  • Unblock the BBC iPlayer option available
  • 1,000+ servers in 100 locations
  • Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
  • AES-256-CBC encryption
  • 58 servers located in the UK


  • Slow support response times

Get PureVPN31 Days Money Back Guarantee

Why Do You Need VPN for BBC Player in UK?

The iPlayer was BBC’s attempt to make its programming more accessible to viewers by allowing them to stream it online. However, just like Netflix, it encounters licensing issues that lead to geo-restricting licensed content in UK.

It is because of these licensing issues from production houses of different movies/documentaries/TV shows that users are forced to seek other means of accessing the complete BBC iPlayer content in UK.

That is why you need a BBC iPlayer VPN to access this streaming service from anywhere in the world, despite the platform imposing a ban on VPNs in UK.


How to Choose the Best VPN for iPlayer in UK?

I made sure each VPN I tested for BBC iPlayer in UK had the capabilities you’d need for quick, dependable access to the website. Consider these factors before choosing the best VPN for BBC iPlayer for you in UK.

  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer: A VPN should have reliable UK servers if you want constant access to BBC iPlayer. Even better, it needs to offer multiple UK connections in case one is difficult to use or slow due to congestion. All of the VPNs on this list have a minimum of 5 UK servers respectively.
  • High-Speed: The maximum resolution of BBC iPlayer is 1080HD, which requires download speeds of at least 5 Mbps. I speed-tested each VPN on this list to make sure it can handle HD streaming. You can enjoy unlimited streaming because they all offer limitless data.
  • Device Compatibility: All the VPNs in UK I suggested were compatible with the most widely used platforms, including Linux, Windows, Android, and iOS. Additionally, I made sure the apps were simple to use and install. Each VPN supports simultaneous use on several devices in UK.
  • Efficient Customer service: Your VPN in UK should have quick and effective customer care to solve your queries on time. A 24/7 live chat option is much better for getting responses immediately via live chat or email forms.  These suggested VPNs offer dependable customer service with prompt responses.
  • Money-back Policy: Any quality VPN in UK includes a money-back guarantee option on their subscription plans for users to try their service capabilities risk-free.

How to Setup VPN for BBC iPlayer in UK?

Follow these easy steps, and you will be watching your favorite show on BBC iPlayer in UK in no time:

  1. Subscribe to a reliable VPN service like ExpressVPN.
  2. Install it on its compatible device.
  3. Connect to the UK servers.
  4. Visit BBC iPlayer and watch any TV show without interruption.

Note: If you find difficulties in unblocking BBC iPlayer while using a VPN. Check these solutions to fix VPN problems with BBC iPlayer.

Get The Best VPN For iPlayer30 Days Money Back Guarantee

How to Fix VPN Problems with BBC iPlayer in UK

When the iPlayer has got enough data to suggest a VPN in UK is in action, it moves to ban it from accessing the site and app altogether. Here are some great ways to fix BBC iPlayer in UK from detecting your service:

Fix Your DNS Cache

Ever heard of cookies? No, I am not talking about the ones that you dip in warm milk. I am referring to the log files stored by your browser in UK, which include important data like your location.

If you have not cleared your cookies, BBC iPlayer will instantly be able to discern that you are using a VPN or proxy. Simply clear the cache and cookies each time you want to unblock the streaming platform in UK.

You can also flush your DNS cache on Windows. Launch “CMD” and run the following command “ipconfig /flushdns” by typing it in and pressing enter.

Get a Dedicated IP Address

As we have mentioned here before, iPlayer detects VPNs in UK when there are too many connections being routed through a single server or a group of similar IP addresses in UK.

Acquiring a dedicated IP VPN in UK will surely help you never face this problem as the iPlayer won’t be singling you out for a suspicious connection ever.

Switch Servers

The best way to get around the iPlayer VPN detection problem in UK is to try switching to a new server down the list. Many top VPNs offer multiple UK servers allowing you to do this quite easily.

ExpressVPN has secure UK servers, so if one is not working, select another from the list. You can also ask your VPN’s live chat support team for their best UK servers to unblock BBC iPlayer in UK, as I did for CyberGhost


BBC iPlayer Got a TV License

The VPNs That Can’t Stream BBC iPlayer in UK

Many paid and free VPNs for BBC iPlayer may help in unblocking websites overall but fail to unblock sites in UK like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more. This means you need to test each service before making a decision to sign up with them.


Released in 2011 and based in Canada, TunnelBear is one of the most famous names in the FREE VPNs marketplace.

We connected to a server in the UK but suffered instant disconnection upon playing a video. A few seconds after, we received the “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK” error.


Founded in 2018, Windscribe is another Canadian-based VPN service.

We connected to a UK server from their limited number of locations, and though we were successful in accessing the website from the in UK, we faced tremendous trouble in getting a video to run on BBC iPlayer in UK.


Established in 2014, ZenMate is a Berlin-based provider that has three plans available with a provider with the inclusion of a free subscription. Regardless, the service was unable to connect to BBC iPlayer successfully in UK, displaying the error.

Other VPN Services that Fail at Unblocking BBC iPlayer in UK

  • AvastVPN
  • PIA❌
  • IPVanish❌
  • ProtonVPN❌
  • HideMyAss❌
  • Hide.Me❌
  • LeVPN❌
  • VPNBook❌
  • VPNTunnel❌
  • TorVPN❌
  • VPN Master❌
  • OverPlay❌
  • iPredator❌
  • GooseVPN❌
  • EarthVPN❌
  • VPN4All❌
  • Proxy.sh❌
  • Perfect Privacy❌

How to Watch BBC iPlayer on Firestick Using VPN in UK

Firestick users around the world may be looking for solutions to unblock BBC iPlayer from outside UK. There are typically two methods available for using BBC iPlayer the free VPN for amazon fire tv.

The first involves the purchasing of a pre-configured DD-WRT Flash Router. You can check this link out for a complete listing of VPN routers available from prominent names in the industry.

The second option would be to get the best VPN for BBC iPlayer Firestick from the Firestick store. For both methods, you will have to simply connect to a UK IP address to spoof your online location and trick the VoD service.

You can then easily access the complete database of BBC iPlayer’s content and other UK channels like Channel 5, Channel 4, Now TV, Sky, ITV, and more. For more detailed steps, follow the instructions below:

  1. Download and install the BBC iPlayer app on your Firestick Device
  2. Get the Best VPN app for Firestick from the VPN providers mentioned above.
  3. Launch the VPN app and sign in using your login credentials
  4. Connect to a server in the UK and head to the iPlayer website
  5. Sign up for a UK account and enjoy streaming on iPlayer!

BBC iPlayer on Firestick

How to Watch BBC iPlayer on Android using a VPN in UK

The BBC iPlayer is available as an Android app in UK, which we have already described in detail above. Using the service on Android is not much different from the website.

And if you want to unblock BBC iPlayer on your Android, the 5 VPNs for BBC iPlayer in UK I listed above do offer Android apps. For clearer instructions, follow the steps below.

  • Subscribe to a Top VPN service in UK and pay for its pricing plans
  • Obtain user credentials for your VPN account via the confirmation email
  • Download the Android app of your VPN from Google Play Store
  • Let it install on your device and then login into it
  • Once the VPN is installed, connect to a UK server on it
  • Visit BBC.co.uk/iPlayer and sign up with the service
  • Enjoy live TV and your favorite shows on BBC iPlayer in UK!

BBC iPlayer on Android

How to Watch BBC iPlayer VPN via Chromecast in UK:

Chromecast is Google’s answer to popular streaming devices like Roku and Firestick. It is a device through which you can stream video content on large screen devices like your TV via your computer or mobile device in UK.

If you want to watch BBC abroad through your Chromecast, the best way to do it is through your computer in UK. You can also do it with your mobile and the steps to both are pretty similar and straightforward.

Through Your Laptop:

  • Your laptop needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast
  • Open the Chrome browser on your laptop and install the Chromecast extension.
  • Now open bbc.co.uk/iplayer and select the program you want to stream.
  • Click on an icon from the control bar known as “Cast.”
  • Your Chromecast will now stream to your device.

Through Your Smartphone:

  • Your smartphone needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast
  • Ensure that the iPlayer app you are using is updated to the latest version.
  • Open the app and click on the “Cast” icon in the top left corner.
  • If the icon is blue in color, you are successfully connected.
  • Simply play any video to stream to your TV/tablet.

BBC iPlayer on Chromecast

Note: if you are trying to watch BBC in UK, you will need to use the Best VPN for BBC iPlayer chrome in order to unblock the service and continue watching it via your Chromecast.

How is BBC iPlayer Blocking/Detecting VPN in UK?

VPN bans have become a standard industry practice across the streaming domain. Similar bans can be found on sites in UK like Netflix and Hulu. However, you can still bypass these VPN bans through a powerful service.

Generally, weak VPNs are the most vulnerable to cannot make it through the ban, as they leak your WebRTC/DNS/IP and do not come equipped with features in UK like StealthVPN, a.k.a. obfuscation.

BBC iPlayer Detecting VPN

List of Channels Available on BBC iPlayer in UK

BBC iPlayer is not just your average media library but a comprehensive service that also offers live TV. The only catch of signing up with the provider in UK is that you only have BBC-specific content available, nothing else.

Channels offered by BBC iPlayer in UK at the moment include S4C, CCBC, Cheebies, BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC Alba, BBC News, BBC Radio, and BBC Parliament.

FAQs: Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in UK

Do You Need a UK TV License for Accessing BBC iPlayer?

Yes, you do, but that license will only be available to you if you live inside the UK. The BBC iPlayer sources its finances from TV licensing fees generated in the UK and by selling distribution rights of its programs to third-party buyers/channels.

IPlayer has placed a VPN detector tool on its site to prevent users who do not have a license from accessing its service. UK citizens know that in order to access any BBC-related service, they would need a TV license and the best UK VPN for BBC iPlayer to make their anonymous.

Why Doesn’t My VPN Work with BBC iPlayer in UK?

Over the years, BBC iPlayer in UK has become more proactive in blocking VPN services, utilizing active scans, IP blacklisting, advanced tracking, and other tools for identifying VPN traffic. This has resulted in iPlayer’s geographical restrictions becoming extremely tough to bypass.

Many VPNs will face trouble with streaming on the VoD, and those issues usually require small tweaks. To give you better information on how iPlayer detects VPNs in UK, consider addressing the following concerns:

  • Your VPN is failing at cloaking your IP address successfully in UK. Some services only hide your IPv4 address but forget to offer any security for the IPv6 address.
  • Your VPN may be using virtual servers with poor security protocols that result in the leaking of your real location. Avoid VPNs in UK that use virtual servers to reduce costs.
  • Your device is still displaying your real GPS location. This often happens when connecting from mobile data. There is a chance your GPS conflicts with the virtual server.
  • BBC iPlayer has blacklisted access to the VPN server you are using in UK. This is common for VPN services that have a small server network. Go for a VPN with a huge server list.
  • The cookies stored on your laptop or mobile device are giving away the true location to BBC iPlayer in UK, or your VPN simply lacks the resources to keep up with the geo-blocks.

How Does BBC iPlayer Know I’m Using a VPN in UK?

Similar to other streaming platforms in UK like Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Now, and Hotstar, BBC iPlayer utilizes VPN-detection technologies for blocking proxies/VPNs to prevent production houses from losing money!

Is It Illegal to Watch BBC iPlayer in UK?

Not really; you can watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in UK without facing any legal hassles. All you have to do for that is to connect to a UK server on the best VPN to unblock the geo-restricted BBC iPlayer site.

Does It Cost to Download BBC iPlayer in UK?

No, it does not cost you to download the BBC iPlayer apps in UK from either the iOS or Android app stores. However, it is necessary for you to have a subscription to BBC iPlayer to watch all the content available in their app.

Can I use a free VPN to Use BBC iPlayer in UK?

Perhaps yes, but free VPNs are typically not the best choices for streaming BBC iPlayer in UK. The BBC is very diligent in tracking down and restricting VPN-related IP addresses in UK. Free VPNs are the first to lose access since they are so simple to identify this is one of the many reasons for not using free VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer in UK.

How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad free without VPN in UK?

You can not watch BBC iPlayer without a VPN if you live outside the UK because of geo-restrictions.

Wrapping Things Up

This Best VPN for BBC iPlayer guide in UK was an exercise towards explaining the ways through which users who live in UK can also watch and enjoy all that streaming platform has to offer.

With every factor taken into consideration, ExpressVPN is the undisputed champion for useBBC iPlayer in UK. However, if you want a cheaper alternative, consider signing up with Surfshark.

If you face any issues or need to give better recommendations, feel free to comment below. Also, do share the guide with friends and family members who are looking for a “working” Best VPN for BBC iPlayer in UK.

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