BBC iPlayer is a popular British streaming service. Unfortunately, its content is available only for people in the UK. So, to enjoy it, you’ll need to get an IP address located in the UK. You’ll need a UK account as well. Obviously, that’s not physically possible for residents of any other country.
There is some good news, though. Thanks to VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), people can now watch BBC iPlayer in the USA and abroad (outside the UK). All you have to do is set up a VPN on your router or computer, connect to British servers, create an account on BBC iPlayer, and then enjoy your shows.
To unblock BBC iPlayer in the USA, you’ll have to use a VPN, which is not at all complicated. If you haven’t used one before, follow the steps listed below.
How to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA with a VPN
- Choose a VPN to overcome BBC iPlayer’s geo-restrictions. We recommend NordVPN, now 68% OFF! We used it to watch BBC iPlayer and and it worked perfectly.
- Install and set up the VPN service on your device.
- Choose a British server and connect to it.
- Go to BBC iPlayer’s website and create an account.
- Grab your favorite snacks and enjoy BBC iPlayer.
Why do you need a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer?
BBC iPlayer use is restricted to UK residents, meaning that you can watch it only as long as you have a UK IP address. So, if you live anywhere outside the UK, the content on BBC iPlayer will not be available to you.
For instance, if you visit BBC iPlayer from anywhere else than the UK and click on a title, this message will pop up at the top of your screen:
“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”
Fortunately, there is a way for you to bypass this BBC iPlayer error by installing a VPN. The VPN will change your IP address and BBC iPlayer will see that your device is actually located in the UK.
Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
Looking for the best VPN services for BBC iPlayer may be difficult considering that there are so many options to filter through. However, there are a few characteristics that you should always go for in a decent VPN provider.
Here’s what you should look for in a VPN:
- Unblocks BBC iPlayer and other streaming services
- Uses innovative technology that ensures high Internet connection speed
- Provides reliable security features, such as a kill switch
- Doesn’t keep logs of your browsing activities
- Compatibility with all major operating systems
- Usable on multiple devices at once
While there are multiple VPN services that meet the criteria listed above, I recommend these three BBC iPlayer VPNs:
- NordVPN is the best VPN service for watching BBC iPlayer in the US. It gives you light-fast speeds, top-notch suite of security, and has a risk-free month of trial.
- Surfshark is a reliable VPN that offers unlimited simultaneous connections for a budget-friendly price. With it, your BBC iPlayer experience will be rather splendid.
- Atlas VPN is an affordable and easy-to-use BBC iPlayer VPN that covers all essential features for comfortable streaming and browsing.
- PrivateVPN unblocks BBC iPlayer in the US and allows to you enjoy high-quality videos.
- PureVPN is a security-oriented VPN that successfully bypasses BBC iPlayer geo-restrictions and performs great at delivering good-quality images.
1. NordVPN – best VPN for BBC iPlayer
|🖥️Servers/countries:||5500+ servers in 59 countries|
|🔥Coupons:||NordVPN coupon 68% OFF|
With over 5500 servers in 59 countries, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA and abroad. It unblocks virtually all streaming services. Thanks to its innovative technology called NordLynx, you should still enjoy fast internet speed.
NordVPN can be used on six devices simultaneously, and it supports all major devices, such as Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, and iOS. If you cannot install a VPN directly on your device, you can use NordVPN’s Smart DNS feature. The prices start at $3.09/month, and the purchase comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more, read our full NordVPN review.
- Excellent speeds for streaming
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Wide range of servers and locations
- SmartPlay technology
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Free 7-day trial
- No free version
2. Surfshark – cheapest BBC iPlayer VPN
|🌎Based in:||The Netherlands|
|🖥️Servers/countries:||3200+ servers in 99 countries|
|🔥Coupons:||Surfshark coupon 82% OFF|
Suppose you’re looking for a more affordable VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA. In that case, Surfshark might be precisely what you’re looking for. It has approximately 3200 servers in more than 99 countries, and the prices start at just $2.30/month.
Unlike NordVPN, Surfshark can be used on unlimited devices simultaneously. All major operating systems are supported, such as macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android. With its new tunneling protocol called WireGuard, Surfshark ensures fast internet connections. If you’re not satisfied with the services, this VPN provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more, read our in-depth Surshark VPN review.
- Optimal speeds
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Smart DNS
- Great price and value balance
- Free 7-day trial
- No dedicated IP
3. Atlas VPN – solid VPN choice for BBC iPlayer
|🌎Based in:||United States|
|🖥️Servers/countries:||750+ servers in 37 countries|
|🔥Coupons:||Atlas VPN coupon 81% OFF|
Atlas VPN is another neat VPN choice that allows you to access content on BBC iPlayer. And while the server choice isn’t the biggest, with over 750 servers in 37 countries, you’ll have more than enough to find your favorite shows.
Atlas VPN provides you with unlimited simultaneous connections, and supports the most popular platforms, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Youtube, and more. And since the implementation of the WireGuard protocol, its speeds are some of the best on the VPN market.
Take a look at our Atlas VPN review and explore its neat features in-depth.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Unblocks most streaming sites
- Excellent speeds
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Small server network
- The free version doesn’t work for streaming
4. PrivateVPN – speedy and secure VPN for BBC iPlayer
|🖥️Servers/countries:||200+ servers in 63 countries|
|🔥Coupons:||PrivateVPN coupon 85% OFF|
PrivateVPN has over 200 servers in 63 countries that gives you access to the full UK catalog of BBC iPlayer content. With it, you can also bypass geo-blocking on such platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and DAZN. And thanks to its solid speeds, you’ll be able to stream BBC shows without buffering issues.
PrivateVPN lets you connect 10 devices at the same time, conveniently letting you watch BBC iPlayer on your preferred device. What’s more, this VPN knocks down strict geo-restrictions, thanks to the Stealth VPN mode, an obfuscation tool, which also entirely hides the fact you’re using a VPN. To complement this, PrivateVPN offers a 7-day free trial.
To learn more, read our PrivateVPN review.
- Solid speeds
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Free 7-day trial
- Small server network
- Not many tunneling protocols
5. PureVPN – reliable VPN for BBC iPlayer
|🌎Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|🖥️Servers/countries:||6500+ servers in 78 countries|
|🔥Coupons:||PureVPN coupon 82% OFF|
Another neat VPN for a seamless streaming experience on BBC iPlayer and global content consumption on other platforms is PureVPN. It has a wide range of servers – over 6500 of them in 78 countries. Other than BBC iPlayer, this VPN unblocks streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, DAZN, and more.
Additionally, PureVPN supports 10 simultaneous connections and all of the major platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Thanks to the WireGuard protocol, this VPN also runs at great speeds. Besides, the prices start at only $1.99/month, making it one of the most affordable VPNs for BBC iPlayer.
We encourage you to go through our PureVPN review to learn more.
- Unblocks many streaming services
- Wide range of servers
- Favorable prices
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- Connection issues
How to download and watch BBC iPlayer on your device
The BBC iPlayer download and installation process is not at all challenging. However, it differs from one device to the other. Consequently, I’m going to share how to download and watch BBC iPlayer on the most popular devices:
- Watch BBC iPlayer on Windows & Mac
- Watch BBC iPlayer on Android
- Watch BBC iPlayer on iOS
- Watch BBC iPlayer on Roku
- Watch BBC iPlayer on Amazon Fire Stick
- Watch BBC iPlayer on Chromecast
- Watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV
- Watch BBC iPlayer on smart TVs
Note that if you're planning to enjoy BBC iPlayer on devices that don't support VPNs, you will need to check how to install a VPN on a router and use its protected shared network.
Watch BBC iPlayer on Windows & Mac
If you plan on watching shows on BBC iPlayer on a device that runs on Windows 10 or a Mac, you don’t have to install anything because you can use your browser. Here is how to watch BBC iPlayer on Windows 10 and Mac:
- Download a VPN on your computer. We think NordVPN is the best option
- Set up the VPN connection and choose a British server
- Go to bbc.co.uk
- Provide your email address and password to sign in
- Choose a title and enjoy
Watch BBC iPlayer on Android
Suppose you want to download and watch BBC iPlayer on an Android device. Here are the steps you must follow:
- Download a VPN and install it on your router or a laptop that can create a mobile hotspot. NordVPN works excellent on Androids.
- Connect your Android device to your wifi network or the mobile hotspot you created
- Change your IP address to a British IP address
- Go to your Google Play app
- Download and install the BBC iPlayer app
- Open the BBC iPlayer app and insert your login credentials
Note: it does not matter when you download and install the BBC iPlayer app – before or after installing a VPN. All that matters is that you watch your shows after you set up a reputable VPN.
Watch BBC iPlayer on iOS (iPad, iPhone)
The process of downloading and watching BBC iPlayer on iOS devices is similar to Android, except for a few things. The steps are as follows:
- Download and set up a VPN on your router or laptop. NordVPN has dedicated iOS apps.
- Choose a British IP address from the provided list
- Connect your iPad/iPhone to your router/mobile hotspot
- Go to App Store
- Download and install the BBC iPlayer
- Sign in and watch your favorite shows
Watch BBC iPlayer on Roku
To watch BBC iPlayer on Roku, you need the BBC iPlayer app. You can find it in Roku’s Channel Store. Keep in mind that you must have a Roku UK account as well.
Here are the steps you must follow to watch BBC iPlayer on Roku in the USA:
- Reset your Roku device
- Set up a VPN on your router. NordVPN is our top choice.
- Connect to a UK server
- Connect the Roku device to your TV and sign in to your account
- Access Roku’s Channel Store, find the BBC iPlayer player app, and install it
- After the installation is complete, open it and sign in using your BBC iPlayer credentials
Note: Once you set up a VPN on your router, make sure to connect Roku to that specific router. Otherwise, the BBC iPlayer will not give you access to its content.
Watch BBC iPlayer on Amazon Fire Stick
If you have an Amazon Fire Stick, know that you can watch BBC iPlayer in the USA. You can get the app directly from Amazon, and the installation process is straightforward.
Here’s what you have to do to watch BBC iPlayer on an Amazon Fire Stick:
- Turn on your Fire Stick and click on the Apps from Unknown Sources. Make sure that it’s on. The option is located under Settings > Device > Developer Options
- If you don’t have the Downloader app, you must download and install it.
- Download the VPN app of your choice. We choose recommend NordVPN.
- Open the VPN app and choose a UK server
- Restart the Amazon Fire Stick if you turned on the "Apps from Unknown Sources" setting
- Search the BBC iPlayer app and install it
- Launch the BBC iPlayer app and enter your login credentials
Note: you may need to create a UK Amazon account to watch BBC iPlayer on an Amazon Fire Stick. That’s not always the case, as some users claim, but it’s sometimes necessary. I recommend you do it right off the bat to avoid any inconveniences.
Watch BBC iPlayer on Chromecast
To cast BBC iPlayer shows to your Chromecast device, you can use the BBC iPlayer app on your Android or iOS device or the Chrome browser on a laptop or desktop on which you enabled the Chromecast extension.
Here is what you have to do to watch BBC iPlayer on Chromecast in the USA using an Android or iOS device:
- Download and set up a VPN. NordVPN is the one we trust for this.
- Choose a server in the UK
- Open the BBC iPlayer on your device
- Find a title, open it, and wait for the cast icon to appear
- Click on the cast icon, and you should be able to watch your show on your TV
Now, if you want to cast from a laptop or desktop computer, you need to do the following:
- Download and set up a VPN. We choose to use NordVPN.
- Choose a server in the UK
- Enable the Chromecast extension. If you don’t have it, download and install it
- Go to bbc.co.uk and sign in
- Choose a title and click on the cast icon
Note: Make sure that the device you use to cast BBC iPlayer and the Chromecast device are connected to the same router (on which you set a VPN connection up).
Watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV
When you want to watch BBC iPlayer on your Apple TV in the USA, you’re required to change the App Store region to the UK. That’s because the BBC iPlayer is not available for an Apple TV in the USA. As a result, you have to download the app from the UK.
The steps you need to follow to watch BBC iPlayer on an Apple TV in the USA are as follows:
- Connect your Apple TV to your TV
- Open the Region section in the device’s settings. Go to General > Region
- Select the UK and provide all the necessary details
- Go to the App Store, look for the BBC iPlayer app, and download it
- Download and set up a VPN on your router. We think NordVPN is the best option.
- Connect the Apple TV to the router on which you installed the VPN
- Open the BBC iPlayer app and sign in
Don't miss a chance to check our best VPN for Apple TV page to find provider that will meet your needs.
Watch BBC iPlayer on smart TVs
To watch BBC iPlayer on a smart TV in the USA, you have to do the following:
- Change the region of your smart TV from the USA to the UK. If you need instructions on how to do that, visit the official website of your TV’s brand.
- Download and set up a VPN connection on your router. NordVPN offers a dedicated feature for smart TVs.
- Connect your smart TV to the router on which you installed the VPN
- Look for the BBC iPlayer app and add it to your list of channels
- Open the BBC TV app, sign in, and enjoy your TV shows
How to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK
If you want to learn how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad the UK, you’ll find this section most helpful. People from all over the world want to have access to this streaming service. I’ll show you how to do that.
Watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere
With a VPN, BBC iPlayer is accessible anywhere. Whether you want to watch BBC iPlayer from Canada, Australia, or other countries in Europe, such as Germany, France, Spain, etc., all you have to do is follow these 4 simple steps:
- Choose a VPN provider and set the VPN connection up on your router or your computer. We recommend NordVPN.
- Open the VPN app on your device
- Choose a server from the UK from the provided list
- Open your BBC iPlayer app or go to bbc.co.uk to watch your favorite show.
Note: The process described above differs depending on the device on which you want to watch BBC iPlayer. Please refer to previous sections for more details.
How to sign up for BBC iPlayer
The BBC iPlayer signup process is as simple as with any other streaming service. Here is what you have to do to sign up for BBC iPlayer:
1. Go to BBC iPlayer’s website, and click on the Sign in button in the left top corner of the homepage.
2. Since you don’t have an account, you have to click on the Register Now button at the bottom.
3. Select your age group.
4. Provide BBC iPlayer with your date of birth.
5. You have to provide an email address and create a password for your account. Country and postal code are required as well. You can find postal codes online. I used the one for London.
6. Once you finish filling in the blanks, click on the Register button, and you’ll receive a verification email that you'll need to click on. You’re pretty much done by this point.
BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN
From time to time, you might encounter an error message when connecting to BBC iPlayer. If you’re already using a VPN and you still cannot watch BBC iPlayer in the USA, chances are that you need a better VPN provider for streaming, such as NordVPN, for instance.
There are several common problems that people encounter. First and foremost, if you get an error message telling you that BBC iPlayer only works in the UK, it means that your VPN is not working, and you’re still connected to a server in the USA. To fix this issue, check whether your VPN connection is established and make sure that you are not experiencing IP or DNS leaking.
Apart from the error message depicted above, here are some of the most common issues you can encounter while trying to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA:
- BBC blacklisted the servers used by your VPN
- The GPS location of your device and the IP address are not the same
- BBC iPlayer upgraded its geo-blocking protocols, and your VPN is not working anymore
- Your actual IP address is leaking
- You have BBC iPlayer cookies on your device that let BBC know you’re not in the UK
- The VPN you’re using is not capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer
Here are a few solutions to the issues listed above:
- Try a different browser and clear your cookies
- Contact your VPN provider's customer support and ask if the server you’re connected to unblocks the streaming services that you need
- Search your VPN’s leak protection setting and enable it
- If none of the above solutions work, you should change your VPN provider
How to watch BBC iPlayer for free?
While it is possible to watch BBC iPlayer for free, free VPNs are rarely a good choice. Completely free VPNs are questionable. Their funds come from selling tracked data and ads, and they slow down your Internet connection.
But if you feel like you are on the edge of changing your mind and a premium VPN starts to seem attractive, then you can benefit from the free trials offered by the best VPNs on the market:
- NordVPN – NordVPN is a VPN service that flawlessly unblocks BBC iPlayer and other major streaming platforms with a guaranteed buffer-free experience. The pricing starts from $3.09/month and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
- Surfshark – with Surfshark you can effortlessly unblock BBC iPlayer on unlimited devices simultaneously and watch high-quality videos. You get a risk-free month of trial and plans costing as low as $2.30 per month.
- IPVanish – a reliable VPN service that wouldn’t let you down at bypassing BBC iPlayer geo-restrictions in the US. Plans pricing starts at $3.33/month and a 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
Best streaming service alternatives for BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer is a popular streaming service in the UK. If you don’t live there, the best streaming service alternatives for BBC iPlayer are Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and the list goes on.
Netflix is a streaming service accessible from all around the world. However, its library differs from one continent to another. For instance, the USA library is the most extensive. Even so, installing a VPN will let you access Netflix from anywhere in the world.
Hulu is yet another streaming service that geo-blocks its content. Only USA residents have access to it. Once again, you can access Hulu from anywhere as long as you set up a VPN.
HBO Max is the same as Hulu. It streams only in the USA. The only way to access HBO Max outside the USA is to download and set up a VPN.
What can you watch on BBC iPlayer?
BBC iPlayer is one of the most popular streaming platforms that includes multiple channels and dozens of great things to watch.
Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on BBC iPlayer:
|East Enders (1985 – present)||Drama|
|Conversations with Friends (2022)||Drama|
|The Great British Sewing Bee (2013 – present)||Entertainment|
|Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star (2019 – present)||Beauty|
|Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood (2022)||Documentary|
|Here We Go (2020 – present)||Comedy|
|Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars (2022)||Food|
|Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof (2022)||Entertainment|
|Inside No. 9 (2014 – present)||Comedy, drama|
BBC iPlayeris is constantly uploading fresh content to enjoy, so make sure you keep up with it by checking out BBC iPlayer website!
If you want to watch BBC iPlayer from outside the UK, you’ll need to use a really good VPN that hasn’t been blocked by the BBC. Unfortunately, streaming services are getting better at detecting VPNs, so it’s vital to find one that can unblock the content you want before you commit to a long-term payment plan.
Luckily, there are reliable VPNs, such as our favorite NordVPN, that are able to unblock BBC iPlayer outsite the UK and allow you to enjoy high-quality videos thanks to fast network connection.
Moreover, with a trustworthy VPN, not only you can access all major streaming services but you are also protected from online threats with next-gen security features.
Has this article answered all your burning questions about choosing a VPN for BBC iPlayer? Let us know in the comments below!
More VPN guides from CyberNews:
Can I watch BBC iPlayer abroad?
Yes, you can watch BBC iPlayer abroad. All you have to do is download and set up a VPN on your router or computer. We recommend NordVPN because it’s reliable and won’t slow down your Internet connection.
Is it illegal to use a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer?
No, it’s not illegal to use a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer. However, using a VPN is against BBC iPlayer’s Terms of Service. Even so, that doesn’t make it illegal. The worst that can happen is for BBC to suspend your account if you’re caught using a VPN.
How do I make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK?
Creating an account outside the UK is not at all complicated. Go to bbc.co.uk to sign up for a new account. However, make sure to insert the United Kingdom in the field where it says Country. You must also find a UK postal code online.
How can BBC iPlayer know I’m not in the UK?
BBC iPlayer knows you’re not in the UK because you don’t have a British IP address. IP addresses are tied to specific countries or locations, so if you set up a VPN and change your IP to a British IP, the problem goes away. BBC iPlayer won’t know you’re watching from another country.
Will BBC iPlayer know that I have a VPN?
BBC iPlayer invested many resources in avoiding VPN use and can sometimes detect it. If that happens, the servers are blacklisted, and the VPN can no longer unblock the content. However, BBC iPlayer cannot detect VPNs such as NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, etc.
Is BBC iPlayer free?
Yes, BBC iPlayer is free. However, if you want to watch BBC iPlayer from the USA, you need to purchase a VPN subscription. While there are free VPNs out there, chances are they won’t work or come with a data cap. So, we recommend using NordVPN.