BBC iPlayer is one of the world’s most popular video-on-demand services in the UK. Sadly, a lot of the platform’s TV channels are unavailable abroad since its global version closed in 2015.
The only way for you to access all of BBC iPlayer’s content is to use a VPN. The problem is that selecting the right BBC iPlayer VPN is easier said than done due to the market being flooded with countless options.
In this article, we’ll have an in-depth discussion about the best BBC iPlayer VPNs. Moreover, we shall also talk about why you’d need a VPN for the streaming service. Following that, we’re going to talk about everything else that is necessary to know regarding the subject.
What Are The Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer In 2021?
Streaming Capabilities: Few providers have streaming capabilities that can match those of NordVPN’s. Needless to say, this fact shouldn’t surprise you. After all, NordVPN has a large server network that is made up of more than 5500 servers. Many of which are located in the United Kingdom and can grant full access to BBC iPlayer.
Now for those wondering, the servers of NordVPN are very quick. Some even claim that they’re the fastest VPN servers around. While we don’t think this is true, we do agree that NordVPN’s network isn’t slow. While paired to it, you’ll surely have a buttery-smooth streaming session.
Privacy & Security: A few years ago, a lone attacker was able to infiltrate a rented NordVPN server and steal information necessary to establish a fake server. Fortunately, no private user info managed to get lost during the incident. In addition, the attacker was almost immediately caught. Therefore, the only real damage done was to NordVPN’s reputation.
To regain public trust, NordVPN has started making the move to RAM-disk servers. It has also started a global bug bounty program. Last but not least, the service has established NordLynx, which is basically a slightly modified version of WireGuard made to be optimized for NordVPN.
Aside from NordLynx, users of NordVPN can also utilize all the OpenVPN and IPSec protocols that are available. And yes, NordVPN makes use of AES 256-bit encryption. This is the same type of encryption that’s employed by many of the world’s militaries and financial institutions.
The applications of NordVPN are user-friendly and highly configurable. Each of them comes with an ad & malware blocker that makes browsing seamless. Besides that, every NordVPN native app has an automatic kill switch feature that prevents unwanted accidental exposure.
Pricing: Affordability wasn’t something that NordVPN was known for in the recent past. All that changed when the provider tweaked its pricing schemes earlier this year. Today, you may get it for a low price of $11.95 per month. This price gets even lower if you opt for one of the service’s more long-term subscription plans.
Streaming Capabilities: Surfshark is the favored VPN solution of many BBC iPlayer users from across the world. That’s because the provider has many servers in the UK. Many of them have no difficulty circumventing the BBC iPlayer’s restrictions. With Surfshark’s help, you will most certainly not have problems with accessing the content that you want when you want to.
Something else to be aware of is that many of Surfshark’s server locations are blazingly fast. As a matter of fact, even the furthest ones barely make an impact on my internet speeds. Some even manage to improve my connection by eliminating ISP-imposed bandwidth throttling.
Privacy & Security: Surfshark is a leading VPN due in large part to its ability to keep its users safe. Quite recently, the provider upgraded its network to one that’s 100% RAM-based. Due to that, it is now completely unable to track, gather, store, then disclose your private logging info.
Another way Surfshark proves its trustworthiness is by having itself audited annually by Cure53, which is a world-famous online security firm. Now if you haven’t already guessed, each audit conducted on Surfshark to date has come up with positive results.
Spec-wise, Surfshark uses AES-256 military-grade encryption. Together with that, the provider has support for every leading VPN protocol there currently is. I’d have to say that this is great because you’ll be able to tweak the VPN provider to meet your exact needs for BBC iPlayer.
There’s a Surfshark app for every major operating system. All of the provider’s apps come with a kill switch and ad & malware blocker. In addition to that, they’ve also got split tunneling.
One final thing to know about Surfshark is that it supports unlimited simultaneous connections. As a result, with a single subscription for the VPN provider, you’ll be able to safeguard every person that you know whenever they browse the internet. If anything, this is excellent news.
Pricing: Surfshark is rather pricey with it charging $12.95 for a 1-month subscription. With that said, I believe that every cent of that $12.95 is worth it. That’s because Surfshark is a premium VPN that doesn’t have a limit when it comes to simultaneous device connections.
Streaming Capabilities: ExpressVPN is most definitely worthy of consideration if you’re looking for a go-to for BBC iPlayer. The VPN does not have any trouble when it comes to accessing all of the streaming platform’s content while you’re outside of the United Kingdom.
If connectivity is your primary concern, then there’s no need to worry when you’re subscribed to ExpressVPN. After all, it has a very large server network that’s got 3000+ locations in operation.
Now when it comes to speed, it’s guaranteed that ExpressVPN will impress. My tests prove that the provider is one of the fastest there is. Even its furthest servers have a negligible impact on my connection speeds. Moreover, some of its servers make my internet faster by eliminating any bandwidth throttling that may be imposed by my internet service provider.
Privacy & Security: ExpressVPN excels at protecting its users. No matter what platform you’re on, you can rest assured that you’ll be protected. Of course, this shouldn’t be surprising by any stretch of the word. After all, ExpressVPN was the first major VPN to have RAM-disk servers.
Besides RAM-based servers, ExpressVPN also maintains a concrete no-logs policy. Along with that, it has itself regularly subjected to independent audits. With that in mind, there should absolutely be no reason to doubt that the provider can keep your data protected.
One area of improvement that ExpressVPN needs to work on is features. You see, the service’s apps don’t have an automatic kill switch. On top of that, its native iOS application doesn’t have any automatic kill switch. Moreover, there are no exclusive features that are currently offered.
Last but not least, you should be aware of the fact that ExpressVPN has a limit of 5 same-time device pairings. Therefore, one subscription may not be enough to protect your entire family.
Pricing: ExpressVPN’s rates are similar to Surfshark’s. Like the latter, it also charges $12.95 for a monthly subscription. I think that this is rather unfortunate given that ExpressVPN provides less value for money as it doesn’t allow for unlimited simultaneous device connections.
Streaming Capabilities: CyberGhost is a VPN that’s optimized for streaming. It has by far the largest network of any VPN. Using its 7500+ servers, it’s able to grant you full access to each one of BBC iPlayer channels while you’re not in the UK.
The desktop applications of CyberGhost make it super easy to select the right server to use for unblocking BBC iPlayer. That’s because they allow you to choose from a list of servers that are optimized for streaming. In fact, they even state what particular service they’re able to unblock.
Now don’t think that CyberGhost has sacrificed speed in the name of connectivity. You should know that the service is quite fast. Although it doesn’t measure up to the likes of ExpressVPN and Surfshark, it will certainly meet all your BBC iPlayer streaming needs. When paired to its network, you can expect to not encounter buffering and sudden quality drops as you stream.
Sadly though, despite the massive size of its network, CyberGhost cannot bypass censorship systems like the Great Firewall of China. As such, it’s not the best travel companion to have.
Privacy & Security: CyberGhost takes your online privacy and security very seriously. It uses standard military-grade AES-256 encryption. Along with that, the VPN service supports a wide assortment of VPN protocols. It has recently adopted WireGuard support on every one of the platforms that it’s compatible with.
The apps of CyberGhost are loaded with useful features. In addition to your usual automatic kill switch and ad & malware blocker, there are several exclusive offerings. One prime example of this is a secret photo value that’s available only on the VPN provider’s application for iOS.
Unfortunately, the server network of CyberGhost isn’t RAM-based yet. Furthermore, the provider has yet to have itself independently audited. Therefore, the only thing that guarantees that it won’t store your private information is its zero-logs policy.
Pricing: CyberGhost was once heralded as the budget king of VPNs. Sadly, this is no longer the case because the service provider has recently increased its prices. As of writing, a basic monthly subscription will now cost you a hefty $12.99. Of course, you can get the service for lower if you choose one of its other subscription plans.
Streaming Capabilities: PrivateVPN is an underdog in the VPN industry. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, it’s actually a great choice for BBC iPlayer. With its assistance, you will be able to get access the full platform whenever and wherever you want to. If anything, this is rather surprising as the network of PrivateVPN is made up of just a little more than a hundred servers.
Another thing to be aware of is that PrivateVPN can be used to freely surf the internet in places such as China. Every one of our testers in the country has reported that they’ve successfully been able to access BBC iPlayer. More importantly, they’ve been able to do so consistently.
When it comes to speed, PrivateVPN doesn’t disappoint. Many of its servers hardly made much of an impact on my base connection speeds. As a matter of fact, they have sometimes even improved it by eliminating the bandwidth limitations that were secretly imposed by my ISP.
Privacy & Security: PrivateVPN is a secure VPN service. Like all the providers that we talked about earlier, it utilized AES 256-bit encryption. On top of that, it supports a wide range of VPN protocols. Sadly though, it has yet to adopt support for WireGuard.
The applications of PrivateVPN come equipped with an automatic kill switch. This is great news as the feature is very useful for avid users of BBC iPlayer and other streaming sites.
Given its position in the VPN industry, it shouldn’t be surprising that PrivateVPN doesn’t have a server network that’s RAM-based. At the moment, the only thing it has is a no-logs policy. Thus, there’s really no way to determine if it truly doesn’t store any of your private logging information.
Pricing: PrivateVPN is the most affordable VPN service provider in this article. Its current rate for a 1-month subscription is $8.99. Moreover, you can avail of even lower prices if you opt for one of the provider’s other subscriptions which are more long-term.
Why Use A VPN For BBC iPlayer?
Streaming: BBC iPlayer plays host to a wide selection of content. Unfortunately, you cannot simply access all of the streaming platform’s content while you’re outside of the UK. That’s because it doesn’t have the rights to show some of its TV channels in other countries.
To unlock all of BBC iPlayer’s content, you’ll need a VPN. You see, the right service provider can work around the geoblocks and online censorship systems that are preventing you from accessing all of the streaming platform’s content. How so? By replacing your real IP address and fooling it into thinking that you’re watching from the UK.
Security: In addition, VPNs can also protect you while you’re watching content on BBC iPlayer. By hiding your real IP address, they ensure that you’ll remain anonymous. As a result, hackers will not be able to infiltrate your device or conduct unwanted and illegal surveillance.
Improve Internet Connection Speeds: One last reason to use a VPN for BBC iPlayer is to improve your viewing experience.
For those unaware, a handful of providers can actually increase your internet speeds. They do this by eliminating that bandwidth throttling that’s imposed by your ISP. Needless to say, using your VPN doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll have a better connection. Thus, it is best not to expect anything to avoid becoming disappointed when your internet doesn’t increase in speed.
How To Use A BBC iPlayer VPN
These are the steps necessary to make use of a BBC iPlayer VPN:
- Get Yourself A VPN With A UK Server
Get started by procuring a VPN with servers in the United Kingdom.
While there are many great choices out there, we recommend that you stick to one of the five providers that I talked about earlier. That’s because they’re sure not to let you down. Each one of them will be able to unblock all of BBC iPlayer’s content in every part of the world.
Although a free VPN may seem very enticing, it’s best that you stay away. The reason for that is because such providers often aren’t able to provide the same level of protection as their paid counterparts. Moreover, they almost always lack the necessary infrastructure to reliably circumvent online censorship systems and digital streaming platform geoblocks.
- Install It
Every virtual private network has to be controlled via an application that you must install on your device.
Now if you’re not tech-savvy, there’s no need to worry as VPN installation nowadays is very easy. It’s fully automatic on most modern operating systems. Thus, anyone can get it done without needing the assistance of customer service.
Please note that VPN router installation is usually a bit trickier to do. You will most likely need help to figure things out. This is especially true if you’re not well-versed with tech.
If manually setting up a VPN on your router is too much of a hassle, some of our top VPNs for BBC iPlayer sell pre-configured routers. These routers deliver an out-of-the-box experience that’s absolutely hassle-free. If anything, this is great for anyone who values convenience.
- Pair With A UK Server
Your next course of action is to pair with a UK server. If you ask me, the best city in the country to connect to is London. That’s because it’s often host to the most number of servers.
Another thing that’s important to know is that more distant servers tend to be slower. That is because proximity directly affects how much a VPN server alters your connection speeds.
- Open BBC iPlayer Then Start Watching
The final step is to open up BBC iPlayer then start watching. While doing so, make sure to stay connected to your VPN service provider. Disconnecting can immediately result in you being detected and then blocked by BBC iPlayer. In addition, it can leave you open to hackers.
How We Ranked These BBC iPlayer VPNs
Coming up with our rankings wasn’t that difficult. After doing research, we simply connected with BBC iPlayer VPN users to gain an insight as to which providers were the best for the streaming platform. Following that, we were able to narrow down each of our top picks.
Aside from performance, we also considered pricing and affordability when determining which provider was best for use with BBC iPlayer. If anything, this should not come as a surprise as these two factors are what people consider to be the most important when choosing a VPN.
Rounding Everything Up
Below is a direct comparison of each of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer:
|VPN||Why Is It Good for BBC iPlayer?||Prices (in USD)||Link|
|Superb unblocking capabilities,|
Large UK server network,
Comes with many features,
Extremely safe to use,
Has user-friendly apps and browser extensions,
|1 Month ($11.95/Month)|
1 Year ($4.92/Month)
2 Years ($3.30/Month)
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
|Provides limitless BBC iPlayer channels outside the UK,|
Allows for unlimited simultaneous connections,
All servers are P2P and RAM-disk enabled,
Has very easy to use apps
|1 Month ($12.95/Month)|
6 Months ($6.49/Month)
2 Years ($2.49/Month)
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
|Easily unblocks BBC iPlayer channels outside of the UK,|
Boasts excellent speed capabilities,
Has a RAM-based and P2P enabled network,
Maintains user-friendly apps and browser extensions
|1 Month ($12.95/Month)|
6 Months ($9.99/Month)
1 Year ($8.32/Month)
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
|Great unblocking capabilities,|
Supports up to 7 simultaneous device connections,
Most servers are fast and P2P enabled,
Easy to use apps come with lots of security features
|1 Month ($12.99/Month)|
14-Day Money-Back Guarantee
1 Year ($3.99/Month)
2 Years ($3.49/Month)
3 Years ($2.25/Month)
45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
|Decent unblocking capabilities,|
Fully enabled P2P network,
Simple native apps,
Very affordable prices
|1 Month ($8.99/Month)|
3 Months ($5.66/Month)
2 Years ($2.08/Month)
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions