A virtual private network has a ton of benefits, including greater online privacy and more internet freedom. One of the other benefits that many people tend to take advantage of it that you can unblock a number of sites with them. This is because, when using a VPN, you essentially spoof your locations and can pretend to be somewhere else (tricking the website). This is useful for a number of reasons, especially when it comes to watching your favorite shows and programs on BBC IPlayer.
Through using a VPN, you can connect to a British server and pretend to be located in Britain. This, as a result, can give you access to the shows and programs listed on BBC IPlayer, like Doctor Who and EastEnders. This platform is restricted to UK use and is not available anywhere else, so getting access to it is a luxury.
What is BBC IPlayer?
BBC IPlayer is a playback platform that allows you to re-watch your favorite British TV shows and soap operas. It is a platform that any UK resident can access and allows them to as much as they like, for free. This is all well and good until you find out that the platform is exclusively given to UK residents because if the TV license rules. In the UK, in order to watch TV, you need a TV license which you pay monthly for. As UK residents pay the license, only they get access to it. So, if you’re in the States and want to catch up with Doctor Who, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.
The 5 Best VPNs That Can Access BBC IPlayer
BBC IPlayer, unfortunately, works the same way as Netflix. They have invested heavily into preventing VPNs and proxy networks from accessing their platform, meaning that not all (if most) of the VPN services work when it comes to unblocking. In order to have access to IPlayer, a VPN service has to have a large number of resources, as it will require them to change their IP.
We have done some searching and have put together the 5 best VPNs when it comes to unblocking BBC IPlayer. To this day, these services still work and can successfully get you access to the platform from anywhere in the world. Of course, you’ll need a UK address but this won’t be much of a problem.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services on the market that gives its users premium access to a number of high-profile websites. These include Netflix as well as BBC IPlayer, meaning you can watch all your favorite British shows on repeat. They have hundreds of servers spread out over 94+ countries and have stealth servers to evade deep package searches.
As well as have a detailed server network that is kept up-to-date, they also have a number of other interesting features. They offer some of the best customer support I’ve ever come across and give users a rock-solid encryption. When using their VPN, you’ll be protected by 256-bit encryptions with OpenVPN security protocols, which is the best in the business. They also have a fantastically simple client, allow 5 simultaneous connections and a 30-day money back guarantee. You can use this guarantee to try it out risk-free.
Buffered is a personal favorite of mine because of its lightning-fast connection speeds and its open port discovery features. As well as these features, Buffered is one of the few VPN providers that unblock Netflix and BBC IPlayer. They have a vast array of servers which are fine-tuned and up-to-date to give you the best connection and allow you to stream British TV from any country you can think of.
In total, they have servers in 34 different countries and offer some unique features. As I have already mentioned it, I will explain what their open port discovery feature does. Basically, it detects open ports (or connections) in locked Wi-Fi hotspots, like hotel rooms. Through doing this, it can successfully push your connection through this port and give you access without paying. In addition to this, Buffered also has a 30-day money back guarantee, allowing you to try this risk-free.
This has to be my favorite VPN when it comes to security and features. NordVPN is well-known for their security-conscious mindset and they are favored by many people all over the world. They are also one of the few providers that can unblock BBC IPlayer. You can connect to one of the many servers in the UK and happily watch IPlayer without any disturbances. Although their speeds are not as tip-top as Buffered or ExpressVPN, this is still a worthwhile choice.
In addition to their IPlayer capabilities, NordVPN also has some other things to offer. As already mentioned, they provide customers with an excellent experience when it comes to security. They offer a 256-bit AES encryption with an OpenVPN protocol. Furthermore, you can also double encrypt your network or send the VPN through Tor. This is an interesting VPN and with a low price and a 30-day money back guarantee! We recommend you give it a spin.
IPVanish is a common household name in the world of VPNs. They are used by millions of people worldwide and are trusted for their speeds and security. In addition, they are also able to unblock IPlayer, which many services can’t. They look after their network which resides in 60+ countries and this service is a cheaper than Express and Buffered.
In addition to these unblocking abilities, IPVanish also has a rock solid encryption with an OpenVPN security protocol protecting you when you’re streaming online. IPVanish also has very good speeds which are necessary when you’re streaming, as buffering is the last thing you want. The only issue I have with this service is the fact it sits in hostile territory in the US, meaning it is under the watchful eyes of the NSA. However, they have an excellent logs policy so I wouldn’t worry too much.
This is a smaller service and is well-known for being a value-fueled, cheap VPN for beginners. In addition to having this great title, PrivateVPN is also able to unblock BBC IPlayer which is why it sits on this list. You can watch anything from Doctor Who to Strictly Come Dancing and never have an issue if you happen to miss them.
PrivateVPN also has a number of other attractive features which is why it’s on this list. This VPN service is small but mighty with incredibly fast connection speeds, rock solid encryptions, and excellent customer support. They can protect you with 256-bit encryptions with OpenVPN protocols (like others on this list) and are very affordable if you’re on a budget. They are also based in Sweden so they’re out of reach from the Five Eyes. This VPN comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and we suggest you try it out today.
How to Set Up BBC IPlayer
Setting up BBC IPlayer is incredibly easy and requires a few clicks of your mouse (as well as some fake addresses). Of course, you will require a VPN (otherwise this article would be pointless). Simply choose one of the services above and download/install their software. Once you have done that, you’re ready to go.
- Once you’ve successfully downloaded the VPN, go to your server choices and select the UK. It doesn’t matter which server you choose within the UK, they all work the same.
- Connect to the UK server with your VPN.
- Once that’s all set, head over to the BBC IPlayer website and sign up. When signing up, create a fake UK address through Google Maps, a fake name and use a new email address.
- After adding all the details, confirm that you have a TV license and you’re done!
The VPN will tell the site you’re in the UK and will give you access to all the shows available. The process is simple and signing up is also easy. Just follow the above steps you will be fine.
Do I Need a License to Watch BBC IPlayer?
As you may have noticed in the above paragraph, I told you that you will need to confirm you have a license. This is because UK residents pay for their TV and, in order to get access to BBC and their channels, a yearly fee needs to be paid. Obviously, if you’re coming from another country, there is almost no way that you’ll have a TV license which asks the question: how do you get access to IPlayer then?
Well, you don’t need to show specific credentials to prove you have a TV license when entering IPlayer. The reason behind this is because not everyone in the household will pay the TV license (children, etc.) and it would be stupid to presume everyone had a TV license. So to make things easier, IPlayer just asks you to confirm whether someone in the house has one, which I think is pointless because nobody’s going to press “no” unless they’re very honest.
Do Free VPNs Work with IPlayer?
Simply put, no. In order to get access to BBC IPlayer on a VPN you will have to pay for their premium service and even then you still might be able to access it. Free services restrict a lot of access because they don’t want to be abused. Many people will penny-pinch and won’t buy the premium versions so service limit their free versions to only a few servers and features. One such feature that is limited is their unblocking ability. So if you’re desperately trying to get access to IPlayer, do the honorable thing and buy the VPN.
BBC IPlayer is a great platform that allows you to playback British TV on demand. Many people enjoy British TV, especially popular shows like Doctor Who and hate that they can’t get access if they miss an episode. With a premium VPN like the ones discussed above, unblocking IPlayer becomes a viable option. I already live in the UK, so getting access is not an issue (mwahaha) but if you live in the US or anywhere else, I heavily suggest you take a look at the above services.