Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2017

Last Updated 16th April 2017: 

Summary: If you live in the UK you know that the BBC iPlayer is one of the most popular on-demand streaming services. To watch shows on the BBC iPlayer you will need to have a UK-based IP address, though.

If you live outside of the UK but still want to gain access to its shows you’ll need to connect to the service through a VPN provider that allows you to use a UK-based IP address.

If you want to be able to watch BBC iPlayer, then get Express VPN now.

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Why Can’t I Access BBC iPlayer?

For people in the UK, the BBC iPlayer is one of the must-have streaming services. It shows up to date TV programs every day and has a large collection of on demand services.

The problem is that a lot of people who want to watch the iPlayer can’t because they need an IP address in the UK to do so.

Your IP address is what internet servers use to determine what geo-location you’re logging in from. In other words, if your server says you’re in any other country but the UK, iPlayer will block you.

By using a VPN you can be assigned a new IP address in minutes. It also helps to protect your identity and personal information online by encrypting your data.

How to Watch the BBC iPlayer with a VPN

When you connect to the internet via a VPN, you are re-routing your connection through another server.

This means that whatever website or content you are trying to access will see your location as being where that server is situated.

So if you want to watch the BBC iPlayer all you need to do is choose a UK-based server and this will give you a UK-based IP address.

Instead of seeing an error message saying that this content is blocked in your region, you’ll have full access to the service because you’re routed through your VPN.

Using a VPN will also boost your privacy by scrambling your data so that no one can spy on your activity and it protects you from cyber crimes like identity theft.


Best BBC iPlayer VPN

We understand how frustrating it can be when you’re trying to access your favorite TV shows only to find out that BBC has blocked you from watching them.

The main reason we have written this article is to show you how easy it is to gain access to those TV shows, secure your online connection, and to show which VPNs provide the best service.

Listed below are the three VPN providers that we recommend you use if you’re trying to connect to the BBC iPlayer when you live or are located outside of the UK.


#1 Express VPN – 9.5/10 best VPN for watching the BBC iPlayer with UK servers and a reliable connection

There are not many VPNs that work well with streaming services. However, Express VPN is the best choice if you want to watch the BBC iPlayer online.

Not only can it handle the huge bandwidth that streaming this service in good quality requires, but it is also safe to use and doesn’t cause your internet speed to drop.

Express VPN has been designed so that users can stream content regardless of where they are in the world.

It allows you to connect to a UK-based VPN, which is necessary to watch the BBC iPlayer online, and you can do this with just a few clicks.

Even the most inexperienced of users can use Express VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in just three easy steps. Express VPN is straightforward and simple to use even for those who are new to VPNs.

Some VPNs can interrupt your streaming or cause your internet speed to slow down. Another major bonus of using Express VPN is that they are incredibly reliable. Your connection will stay strong.

If you use Express VPN then your internet speed and connection stay steady and consistent, which is a big advantage when you are streaming shows online.

If you ever encounter any issues or problems when using their service, the customer service staff at Express VPN are the best in the business.

They will respond to any problems you have and get them resolved, usually in less than 60 minutes, which is far better than any other VPN service that is available.

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Express VPN has 256-bit encryption to keep your information safe. They offer a 30-day money back guarantee and never log your activity, which protects your privacy.

They are so sure of their service, that if you refer a friend who signs up, then you BOTH get a month of free service! There is no better VPN at the minute for watching the BBC iPlayer on your devices.
Express VPN works across all platforms, including Apple. You can even use it on more than one device at a time.

If you want to watch the BBC iPlayer safely, quickly and reliably online, then get Express VPN now.


#2 – IPVanish – 7 / 10 – not as fast and reliable as ExpressVPN for watching the BBC iPlayer

During our testing, IPVanish made a path to the top of the list of my recommended VPN services for watching the BBC iPlayer.

It came in the second spot because the connection speed wasn’t nearly as fast as ExpressVPN and was unreliable at times.

The service itself doesn’t seem to be equipped to handle the high speeds required for streaming TV shows when you’re across the globe.

Whenever we had to submit support requests because of technical issues or the reliability problems I encountered, it took between two to three hours to receive a response.

They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you happen to see the same issues we faced you can easily get your money back.

IPVanish does provide you with an alternative solution, though its service isn’t nearly as polished as ExpressVPN’s.

You can learn more about IPVanish by clicking here.


#3 – HideMyAss VPN – 5 / 10 – OK choice if Buffered VPN and IPVanish aren’t an option

HideMyAss is our third choice for accessing the BBC iPlayer when you’re not currently located inside of the UK and are facing the imposed content restrictions.

The software was harder to install and configure than Buffered VPN’s software, and slightly more complicated than getting IPVanish configured and working properly.

Connecting through HideMyAss left us looking for increased speed, less lagging, and less buffering than we experienced even with IPVanish.

HideMyAss underperformed a bit in terms of customer service, though, taking nearly 24 hours to respond to my requests for support. Compare this to Buffered VPN and it’s a lengthy amount of time to wait to receive help for support requests.

They do offer a money-back guarantee, so if you happen to be as unhappy with the service as we were, you can receive a full refund on your purchase.

HideMyAss can be accessed by clicking here.



Conclusion: use ExpressVPN for fast streaming of BBC iPlayer

Enjoying your favorite content on the BBC iPlayer when you live or are traveling outside of the UK can be a frustrating process because of the blocks that BBC has put in place.

By routing your connection through a VPN, you can trick their servers into believing that you’re actually located inside of the UK, and gain access to their full library of TV shows.

After extensive testing, we came to the conclusion that ExpressVPN  is the number one solution for bypassing the geo-location restrictions that the BBC has implemented.

Buffered VPN offers fast and reliable connection speeds, unlimited bandwidth, great customer support, a large number of servers located inside of the UK, and a great money-back guarantee.

If you want to use the best VPN to connect to the BBC iPlayer, download and install ExpressVPN today.

Lyndon Seitz News maker and gatherer. Editor-in-Chief of Secure Thoughts.

  1. Reply'
    December 28, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Nope – none of this because
    BBC . If we detect you might be using a VPN, you’ll be unable to play programmes. This is because we’re unable to detect the end point of your private network; we need to be confident you’re in the UK.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      December 30, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Hey Jen – nice name 🙂
      You are right – due to piracy concerns, as of October 2015, VPN users have been blocked from using the BBc iPlayer.
      At least we can still catch a lot of those shows on Netflix and Hulu
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Reply'
    May 3, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    BBC Iplayer dose not work – don’t buy it

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      May 9, 2016 at 8:53 am


      Can you describe how BBC Iplayer isn’t working for you ?

  3. Reply'
    David Young
    May 15, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I tried to access and download BBC iPlayer last week using BufferedVPN from South Africa. Despite trying all of their locations within the UK, BBC iPlayer is blocked. This article explains why

    It’s time that BufferedVPN acknowledged that the BBC has them stumped, so they should stop advertising their UK VPN’s because it causes a huge amount of frustration!

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      May 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

      Thanks David,

      We have updated our recommendation to BufferedVPN, their servers don’t seem to be getting blocked by BBC. It is a bit of a hit and miss situation at the moment where things are fluid and changing daily. Give them a try and let me know how it goes.

      Thanks for the update.

  4. Reply'
    M Davison
    June 8, 2016 at 7:26 am

    A UK VPN IP number is no longer sufficient to access iPlayer. It’s fraudulent to suggest to people that they should pay for a VPN so that they can get iPlayer; when the BBC are blocking all recognised VPNs ‘and’ requiring browsers to have geo-location enabled…. which is an additional layer of geo-information that the user needs to be able to spoof.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      June 20, 2016 at 10:12 am

      M Davison,

      We have tested the Buffered VPN after you made this comment from the USA and we were able to access BBC player. Have you tested this yourself or are you just saying that ? We tested this 24th of June 2016.

  5. Reply'
    Andy B
    June 24, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    From France connecting to the BBC iplayer using BufferedVPN and Firefox in Win10 does not work. I player is blocked.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      June 28, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Sorry to hear that Andy, unfortunately its a constant struggle of workarounds and blocks with these services. Hopefully BufferedVPN can fix the problem soon so people can enjoy the BBC iPlayer again.


  6. Reply'
    sam smith
    July 13, 2016 at 12:49 am

    BBC have blocked VPN access to iPlayer. Looks like some VPN providers have a fix for this already, hopefully Totalvpn will soon too

  7. Reply'
    September 17, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Ipvanish is not working anymore for BBC iPlayer… tested all locations but they see its VPN i guess its because of their domainnames of the servers… all ipvanish in it. Posted a question of their Facebook page.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      September 18, 2016 at 5:49 am

      Hey Alfred,

      Sorry to hear about this. Chances are it’ll be a constant back and forth here for quite a while. Let us know if you find out anything!


  8. Reply'
    Louise Clement
    September 23, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I just paid for Buffered VPN and it doesnt work with BBC iplayer 🙁
    How do I get my money back?

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      September 28, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Hello Louise,

      Sorry to hear about your issues, it seems to be a constant back and forth between content providers and VPN service providers. I would recommend contacting their customer service department to see if there is anything you can do.


  9. Reply'
    October 21, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I have been using MediaHint to watch BBC iPlayer. It worked fine until last week. Now I can’t get it to work at all.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      October 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Hello Carol,

      How odd. Have you tried contacting their customer service or support options to see if you can get an explanation from them?


  10. Reply'
    November 22, 2016 at 2:22 am

    The BBC is blocking VPN’s now, of course some vendors make it easy for them by making their IP’s easy to track.

    Sadly is one such sloppy network, I even used their hidden IP’s that are only available once connected but all seem to be banned. Hell even basic popular sites that do not need a VPN do not work with many PIA IP’s.

    Their support is a bit dire, rude staff on chat (when it is working) and a 4 hour response time on messages. They also refuse to help on geo issues around content (e.g. the BBC)

    I would take issue with you promoting HMA, based on your own criteria. HMA not only keep logs but they DO NOT SUPPORT torrents and will even terminate your service if they get a report from a content provider that you have used their service for that purpose.

    I have not heard of your headline deal called Buffered VPN, I will test it myself if it does indeed have a money back guarantee.

    I would also like to suggest some other criteria

    1. You should not have run your PC as an Admin to use the service (this is highly dangerous and exposes your PC to malware)

    2. They should openly support Torrents

    3. Not doing data logging is not enough, there needs to be no accessible customer records, it was bad enough when Russian authorities raided PIA and took all their servers but the US too gets injunctions. There has to be a chinese wall between the payment info and the customer name (which should always be anonymous).

    4. Ideally you should not need an App to use the service. PIA have a way to do this where you create an LL2P config in windows, they provide the LL2p login in their portal. Apps are OK I am just saying you should have a choice.

    5. The other thing that is needed is a huge number of servers in a lot of Countries. HMA wins with the sheer number of servers and Counties but a bit pointless if you can’t do torrents. PIA has not been bad for torrents, although from time to time the server connection crashes out exposing your real IP.

    Sadly a lot of sites are refusing to even work if they detect a VPN is in use, so we may be forced to use the dark web in future.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      November 28, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Hey David,

      Thank you so much for this information and feedback, I saw your other comment and I apologize for not getting back to this sooner, I didn’t check the comments over the holiday. I’m certain this will help other readers.


  11. Reply'
    January 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Found this article & comments interesting. Don’t understand enough technically to be able to grasp some of the comments, however thought I’d mention a couple of things re-VPNs I’ve recently encountered. I’ve tried several different VPN companies, & at present am using IPVanish. I’d been accessing BBC iplayer OK, when on holiday in Europe, then after 1st Oct it suddenly detected my VPN supplied UK IP address as not my actual geo location, even though I always have geo location off. What has proved interesting is that Channel 4’s All4 App sometimes, but not always, accepts or declines access to their programmes, and with IPVanish I’ve discovered that its mostly using one of their 30+ London based servers that allows them to detect my IP address as a VPN one, so I usually switch to another town location, usually with success.
    However………. since moving to France recently, I need much more frequent, regular access to BBC content on iplayer, and recently started buying Programmes from the relatively new BBC Store App. Bear with me here, as it has now become clear that since I started, as recently as Dec 2016, BUYING BBC Store programmes, which I can both download AND watch on BOTH the iplayer App AND BBC Store App, somehow Auntie Beeb’s iplayer App has determined that because I’ve bought the programmes, it ignores the VPN IP address and lets me download & watch them, BUT then if I try and download & watch an iplayer programme, unbought, it immediately refuse ps me access, saying I’m out of the UK! Go figure! What the BBC seems to be doing here is disallowing my VPN IP address to access ‘non bought’ programmes, but even though I’m still signed in using my BBC ID, it ignores my detectable VPN IP address if I purchase a programmes, even though it IS STILL a legal requirement only to both buy & download ALL BBC content while in the UK. It seems Auntie Beeb is not only playing clever at catching out VPNs but also playing ‘fast ‘n loose’ by ignoring them to allow one to both purchase & download programmes!
    Its looking like the headline should read …….”Public Service Broadcaster Cafe” offers an expensive crop of ‘rehashed meals’ on its Menu. Takeaway service at extra cost on request”

  12. Reply'
    John W
    March 26, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    As an expat Brit living in Canada I would love to get legal access to iplayer. I did briefly make it work with Hula but that stopped after a few weeks. I am puzzled as to why the BBC don’t sort out the licensing or copyright issues so I can purchase a monthly subscription through whatever source. There was a BBC subscription service on the Apple Store a couple of years ago but they shut that down after a year or so. I would gladly pay $15/month to get “auntie BBC” and then cut my cable connection. I installed an antenna last year which gives me more than enough local OTA TV channels. So come on BBC get with the program and earn some more revenue!

  13. Reply'
    Nick King
    May 17, 2017 at 8:03 am

    A few years back, I set up my own VPN (openVPN) server in my house in the UK hosted on a ‘RaspberryPi I was able to do this because 1) I have a good enough upload bit rate of 10MB/sec and 2) I know how to achieve this. I have. to say, it .has never let me down.

    More recently, I was keen to see how my little home grown set up worked compared to a VPN subscription with PIA VPN. I set it up on my Firestick using the ‘OpenVPN for Android’ client.

    As for the iplayer, it all seems fine but I know that the BBC are trying to stop folk from using a VPN and I guess it must be by learning IP address ranges owned by VPN servers (Looks like Netflicks have done just that). So, I would like to think that an ‘expat’ can ask a relation living in the UK to help by setting up a VPN server along with a Dynamic DNS. Also making sure they don’t watch things they shouldn’t!!!!

  14. Reply'
    John Griffiths
    August 23, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I v’e been using PIA now for 3 years all ok with BBCiplayer then on 21st Aug 2017 the BBC started blocking me (I was logged in from London or Southampton).
    Question now is “who does a VPN that can beat BBC?”

    • Reply'
      September 3, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      Hi John,
      We would suggest ExpressVPN or NordVPN for BBC iPlayer.
      Thank you! Ilana

  15. Reply'
    September 6, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Have you tried ExpressVPN or NordVPN today? Nearly all VPN with servers in the UK are geo-blocked from BBC iPlayer and in some cases “” is being rewritten as “” which indicates that the BBC assumes that the connection is being made from outside the UK. Given the new technology that the BBC is using I doubt that any VPN service will be able to access BBC iPlayer.

    Accessing BBC iplayer from outside the UK using VPN has come to an end.

    • Reply'
      September 7, 2017 at 12:46 am

      Hi Niemand,
      I was advised by customer service to try disconnecting and reconnecting to the VPN once or twice to try to watch iPlayer.
      Your feedback is always appreciated.

      Thank you,

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