The best BBC iPlayer VPN 2024

Best BBC iPlayer VPN - quick menu

BBC iPlayer—the BBC's award-winning streaming service—is home to brilliant TV shows, movies, news, live sports, and more. It's free to use with a valid TV license, but if you find yourself outside the UK, you'll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass the BBC's stringent geo-restrictions, unblock iPlayer, and enjoy all that it has to offer. 

You won't get away with picking any old VPN, though. You'll need one of the best BBC iPlayer VPNs for the job. Luckily, I've been putting VPNs through their paces for years—and some of them just aren't worth your hard-earned cash. Metrics such as speed and security are core to my review process, but I also spent a considerable amount of time identifying the best streaming VPNs, so you can watch UK TV from abroad without breaking a sweat.

Below, I've compiled a definitive shortlist of the 5 best VPNs for watching BBC iPlayer. Each pick wowed me with its unblocking capabilities, not to mention its security and privacy credentials—so let's jump right in.

Written by
River Hart Tech Software Editor
Written by
River Hart

River helps take care of cybersecurity content on TechRadar—ranging from breaking news pieces, reviews, and buying guides.

The three best VPNs at a glance

Just want to get up and running? Here's a quick glance at the top 3 BBC iPlayer VPNs.

1. NordVPN: the very best BBC iPlayer VPN

1. NordVPN: the very best BBC iPlayer VPN
NordVPN is a streaming skeleton key, capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more. Plus, it's the quickest service I've used in a long time, so you can count on uninterrupted HD streams.

You'll also get access to handy ad-blocking and malware-protection tools that'll keep digital nasties at bay. It's well worth taking NordVPN for a spin with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. ExpressVPN: a great pick for beginners

2. ExpressVPN: a great pick for beginners
ExpressVPN unblocks BBC iPlayer like a charm—and can help you check out content from other streaming platforms, too. The VPN is super-speedy, full of features, and incredibly easy to set up (even if you're new to VPNs).

Although it's more expensive than my other picks, you can get an extra 3 months free if you pick up a 1-year ExpressVPN plan. You'll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee to put the service through its paces before committing.

3. Surfshark: a budget-friendly choice

3. Surfshark: a budget-friendly choice
On the hunt for a bargain? Surfshark is well worth checking out. It proves that a rock-solid VPN doesn't have to break the bank. Surfshark is lightning-fast, unblocks all of your BBC iPlayer favorites, and apps that are a joy to use.

Surfshark also allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, which means you'll be able to secure all of your devices with just one plan. Check it out today with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Recent updates

Our latest VPN test results continued to place NordVPN as the top BBC iPlayer VPN choice. Its impressive unblocking capabilities, continually high speeds, and array of security features ensure it retains the top spot with relative ease, even if some of the alternatives aren't far off the mark.  

The best BBC iPlayer VPN in 2024:

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Here's how my top iPlayer VPN picks compare, as well as each VPN's key features, test results, what I liked best about each service, and any reasons you might be better off avoiding them.

The best iPlayer VPN overall

(Image credit: Future)

1. NordVPN

Unblocking power that just can't be beat

Unblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | UK servers:: 440+ | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, ITVX, All 4, 9Now, 10Play | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 10

The fastest VPN on the market
Fully audited no-log claims
Good live chat support
Free Meshnet functionality
Unblocks BBC iPlayer and UK Netflix
Map interface can be fiddly
Fewer server locations than ExpressVPN
Subscribe if:

✔️ Speed is everything. In my most recent tests, NordVPN leapt to the top of our fastest VPN rankings.

✔️ You're an avid streamer. In addition to BBC iPlayer, NordVPN can unblock in-demand platforms like Netflix and Prime Video.

✔️ You want affordable quality. NordVPN strikes the perfect balance of features, performance, and security at wallet-friendly prices.

Don't subscribe if:

You're looking for a simple interface. NordVPN's map-style interface is fun, but Surfshark's UI is a lot more straightforward.

You need servers everywhere. Servers in 60 locations is pretty impressive, but NordVPN is more limited than ExpressVPN.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 NordVPN is an awesome all-rounder that won't break the bank. You'll get access to BBC iPlayer, as well as a ton of Netflix libraries, and lightning-fast speeds that'll ensure your streams are HD and buffer-free. Try NordVPN risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more?

Head over to our NordVPN review to see why this super-speedy service is also our #1 Netflix VPN.

NordVPN continues to lead the way in our VPN testing—though, to be fair, the VPN always impresses. I had no trouble unblocking BBC iPlayer with NordVPN's help (and its sleek and stylish apps), and getting set up only takes a second. So, you'll spend less time scrolling through settings and more time catching up on your favorite British content.

Currently, NordVPN has a broad network of more than 6,400 servers, and 440 of them are based in the UK. This is great news for folks looking to appear as though they're in ol' Blighty and access BBC iPlayer, ITVX, All 4, and other British streaming services. That's not all, though—NordVPN has no trouble unblocking Disney Plus and Prime Video. Where Netflix is concerned, I think NordVPN is one of the best Netflix VPNs out there, reliably unblocking catalogs in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. NordVPN could even provide a solution to the Netflix password sharing ban.

Try NordVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Currently, NordVPN is sitting among 2024's quickest VPNs, though it no longer tops the list. While the speeds are no longer the fastest, they are still among the most reliable, meaning you can count on an awesome performance even during peak times. NordVPN is fast enough that you can leave it running in the background, and go about your day-to-day browsing, without noticing any major slowdown. That's not something all of today's top dogs can claim.

NordVPN can get serious, too—and packs a ton of features into a subscription. A kill switch ensures that you don't leak information in the event of a VPN dropout, and P2P support makes NordVPN a top choice for folks on the hunt for a torrenting VPN. I'm particularly impressed by the fact that NordVPN has undertaken four independent security audits—and it's something I'd like to see other services emulate.

One of my only quibbles is that the map interface is somewhat glitchy. Admittedly, this is a fairly superficial qualm, but if you're using NordVPN on a device with a smaller screen, it could be a bit annoying. It's also worth noting that you'll only get 6 simultaneous connections, which might not be enough to cover a whole household.

If any problems arise, or if you need help accessing your BBC iPlayer favorites, the live-chat support is happy to help. You can also reach out via email, or do your own troubleshooting with the help of a well-stocked library of support articles and tutorials.

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NordVPN test results:
DesignA fun and fresh design that can feel a little busy⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive apps for all devices, although the map interface could be easier to use⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceAmong the fastest VPNs available, especially using WireGuard.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and a ton of British staples⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyBuilt-in antivirus, a kill switch, and reliable leak protection⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportLive chat is ready to help tackle questions and concerns⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceFair prices and excellent value⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best VPN for beginners

ExpressVPN across deviceseditor's choice award logo

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

2. ExpressVPN

Easy-to-use apps and speeds that don't disappoint

Unblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | UK servers:: Docklands, East London, London, Wembley | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, ITVX, All 4, 9Now, 10Play | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 8

Apps are well-designed and intuitive
Servers in more than 94 countries
Unblocks tons of content
Great 24/7 tech support
Super simple to use
On the pricey side
Not as fast as NordVPN
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want access to international content: Whether it's BBC iPlayer, Netflix, or Amazon Prime, ExpressVPN has no trouble unblocking your favorite shows.

✔️ You need a trustworthy service: ExpressVPN proves its commitment to privacy with regular audits and a no-logs policy.

✔️ You stream on multiple devices: All of ExpressVPN's apps are easy to install and use, so you can check out BBC iPlayer on desktop and mobile.

Don't subscribe if:

You're sticking to a budget: ExpressVPN is a pricey provider, so you might want to check out Surfshark if you're looking for a bargain.

You want a full security suite: While ExpressVPN is my number one pick for unblocking BBC iPlayer, it doesn't come with built-in antivirus capabilities like NordVPN.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ExpressVPN is the total package, with sleek, stylish apps for all your devices and tons of security features. Plus, the VPN can unblock virtually all in-demand streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, and you can try it for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more?

Visit our full ExpressVPN review for a more in-depth look at this premium provider and its suite of features.

ExpressVPN is one of my go-to services for unlocking streaming content—and it's particularly adept at accessing BBC iPlayer content. I didn't run into any hiccups during my testing, and I'm confident that total VPN newbies will have an easy time of it, too.

On the subject of servers, there are more than 3,000 to choose from, scattered across 106 countries, and a decent selection of UK locations in London, the Docklands, and the Midlands. These UK servers come in handy for unblocking BBC iPlayer and other on-demand platforms, like ITVX and All 4. During my tests, I was able to access a huge library of content without any roadblocks. The VPN also claims to unblock other Brit favorites, including BT Sports and Now, and international staples like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus.

Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You shouldn't run into any issues, but if you do struggle to unblock BBC iPlayer (and if the Smart Location server feature isn't fixing the problem), live chat support is available 24/7. ExpressVPN's agents are always happy to help, and can point out exactly which server you should use to continue your journey through the BBC's extensive collection of entertainment.

ExpressVPN has some of my favorite apps—they're incredibly easy to use, regardless of the device you install them on, and have a fresh, fun design. It's a little disappointing that the VPN only gives users eight simultaneous connections to play with, especially when Surfshark supports unlimited devices, but this is usually more than enough to cover the important gadgets in your house.

Admittedly, ExpressVPN isn't the fastest service on my shortlist—that honor goes to Surfshark. That doesn't mean ExpressVPN moves at a snail's pace, even if its speeds have dropped again to 410 Mbps. These results place it somewhat below average for performance, but you'll still easily be able to stream, torrent, and game online.

The ExpressVPN price point is on the steeper side, that's undeniable, but you're getting a premium provider stuffed with features, and proven security, as well as reliable access to BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming platforms.

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ExpressVPN test results:
DesignA stylish (and clutter-free) design that stands out from its competitors⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useNewbies and VPN veterans will have no trouble tweaking settings or finding UK servers⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceNot the quickest VPN, but still ideal for 4K streaming⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks BBC iPlayer and other UK staples⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyTop-notch encryption and an audited no-logs policy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 live chat support can handle even the most techy questions⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceOn the expensive side, but the quality speaks for itself⭐⭐⭐

The best cheap iPlayer VPN

Surfshark interface across devices

(Image credit: Future)

3. Surfshark

Budget-friendly and fully featured

Unblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | UK servers: London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester | Also unlocks: Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, ITVX, All 4, 9Now, 10Play | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited

Low prices packed with value
A huge network of servers
Impressive speeds
Unblocks all streaming platforms
Unlimited simultaneous connections
Windows kill switch issues
Virtual server locations could be clearer
Subscribe if:

✔️ You're on a strict budget. Surfshark is the best cheap VPN out there, and manages to cram a ton of features into low-cost subscriptions.

✔️ You want a cheap security suite. Like NordVPN, Surfshark has its own set of built-in security tools to keep your browsing private.

✔️ Speed is a priority. Surfshark managed to max out my connection speeds at over 950 Mbps, making it ideal for HD streaming.

Don't subscribe if:

You rely on your kill switch. I managed to break the kill switch during testing, so stick with NordVPN to avoid IP leaks.

You're looking for unbeatable antivirus. Surfshark has plenty of tools, but you'll need one of the best antivirus solutions for guaranteed protection.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Surfshark always manages to blow me away with just how affordable it is—and how much you get in exchange for a minuscule monthly fee. It's a great companion for avid streamers, and its speeds make online gaming and video calls nice and easy, too.

Want to know more?

Visit our detailed Surfshark review to see why this feature-packed service is also our #1 budget pick.

Don’t be fooled by the dirt cheap price—Surfshark is one of my favorite providers and has just as much to offer as many of its pricier rivals. You'll get a full toolkit of security features, well above average speeds (in fact, it's one of the fastest), and unlimited simultaneous connections to play with, which is some serious value for money.

Surfshark knocks it out of the park when it comes to unblocking streaming platforms—and with more than 3,200 servers spread over 100 countries, it's easy to see why. You'll have reliable access to UK staples like BBC iPlayer, as well as Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu. Basically, you'll never run out of box sets and movies.

Try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you're looking for the perfect streaming companion, Surfshark's speeds put it top of the list. The VPN prevailed in my latest batch of testing, hitting peaks of 950 Mbps which makes it the quickest VPN around. In short? With Surfshark in your arsenal, you probably won't even notice you're connected to a VPN, even when streaming in 4K.

Far from being a basic VPN, Surfshark offers great security with its private DNS on each server, and a double-hop ability to further obfuscate your location to ensure ultimate privacy. Add to this P2P support, split tunneling, and more, and you’ve got a premium package. The recent (and welcome) addition of Dedicated IP should result in fewer CAPTCHA checks, too.

The Surfshark apps are nice and simple to use, even if you're totally new to the world of VPNs, and work well on just about any device you can imagine. There's even a dedicated Linux GUI—which makes a nice change from the bog-standard command-line interface you'll see most other providers offering.

You shouldn't run into too many hiccups with Surfshark, but if you do need a bit of expert advice (about which server or protocol to use, for example), you can reach out to the customer service team via live chat.

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Surfshark test results:
DesignSimple and straightforward⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useAll features are clearly signposted⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceA super-fast service ideal for streaming in HD⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks pretty much all platforms in the UK and beyond⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyFull of features, including a kill switch and ad-blocking⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportLive chat support is quick and resourceful⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceAn affordable option packed with value⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Other VPNs I've tested and recommend

Proton VPN across devices including desktop and smartphone

(Image credit: Proton VPN)

4. Proton VPN

A speedy, and secure, unblocking machine

Unblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: No | Money back guarantee: 30 days pro rata | UK servers: London, Manchester | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, ITVX, All 4, 9Now, 10Play | Streaming devices: Chromecast, Android TV | Maximum devices supported: 10

Super secure and open-source
Fast WireGuard speeds mean less buffering
Unblocks top streaming platforms
Great mobile apps
Free plan with unlimited bandwidth
Not compatible with Apple TV
Other providers are cheaper
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a service that prioritizes privacy. Proton VPN's apps are open-source and independently audited, so you can rest assured your information is in safe hands.

✔️ You're a Linux user. Proton VPN is one of only a handful of services to offer a full Linux GUI.

✔️ You want an unlimited free VPN. There are no bandwidth caps or monthly usage limits to worry about with Proton VPN's free plan.

Don't subscribe if:

You need the fastest OpenVPN speeds. While Proton VPN's connection speeds have improved. Surfshark is the better option for those wanting the fastest OpenVPN protocol.

You want tons of servers. Proton VPN's network has improved, but it still falls short compared to Surfshark, particularly on its free plan.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Proton VPN has earned its reputation for airtight security and unblocking power over the years, and has undergone a transformative makeover more recently. Plus, with its awesome free plan, you have all the time you need to take the VPN for a test drive.

Want to know more?

Check out our Proton VPN review for all the details on how this well-established service has upped its game.

Whether it’s a journey through time and space with the Time Lord in Doctor Who or strutting on the mainstage of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, Proton VPN makes light work of unblocking BBC iPlayer's extensive library no matter where you find yourself. Whether you’re outside of the UK, or in an office or school where access to BBC iPlayer is blocked, hop onto one of Proton’s UK servers and you’ll be able to stream content as if you were at home.

Alongside that, it does a great job of unblocking other popular services like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. In my most recent tests, I also tried out other UK services, ITVX and All 4, as well as Aussie on-demand channels 9Now and 10Play, and Proton VPN only failed to unblock 10Play. That's an impressive and near-perfect score, and Proton VPN even plans to release an Amazon Fire TV Stick VPN app this year.

Try Proton VPN's unlimited free plan.

Proton VPN's speeds have seen an impressive level of improvement, rising from 510 Mbps to over 950 Mbps when using its WireGuard protocol. These speeds put Proton among the fastest VPN providers currently available, perfect for streaming your favorite shows. Plus, with OpenVPN speeds of around 400 Mbps, you won't find faster speeds on this protocol aside from Surfshark and Mullvad plans, a serious feat of speed. 

Alongside its deteriorating speeds and no sign of 24/7 live chat, there are a few drawbacks that put Proton VPN lower down in my recommendations. What's more, it can be pretty complex—both in terms of its apps and their usability, and when it comes to navigating the online support site.

The new browser extension for Chrome and Firefox sounds promising, however. It claims to let users connect to different servers in different browsers, which means you could browse BBC iPlayer in the UK and Netflix in the US without having to switch IP addresses.

Proton VPN's drawbacks may or may not be a dealbreaker depending on what you need from the service. With its own free VPN, though, prospective customers can give it a try to see if it's worth upgrading to a paid account. Be warned, however, that the unblocking features are reserved for paying customers, so you won't be able to watch BBC iPlayer unless you subscribe to one of its premium plans.

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Proton VPN test results:
DesignThe dark mode interface is an awesome standout⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useGreat mobile apps, but the desktop version can be fiddly⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceRecent improvements in speed have seen Proton VPN jump up our rankings, especially using WireGuard.⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingOnly paid accounts get access to unblocking features, which are solid⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyLots of security add-ons, audited apps, and strong encryption⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportGetting through to an agent can be tricky⭐⭐⭐
PricePremium plans are pretty pricey, but there's a great free option⭐⭐⭐⭐

(Image credit: CyberGhost)

5. CyberGhost

A feature-packed BBC iPlayer VPN

Unblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 45 days | UK servers: Berkshire, London, Manchester | Also unlocks: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, ITVX, All 4, 9Now | Streaming devices: Android, iOS | Maximum devices supported: 7

Huge network of 9,200+ servers
Powerful mobile apps
Speedy live chat support
45-day money-back guarantee
Impressive WireGuard speeds
Have to register/remove devices
Support site could be improved
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want specialized servers. CyberGhost has dedicated servers for all sorts of platforms, including BBC iPlayer, making it that much easier to catch new content.

✔️ You're a VPN newbie. CyberGhost's apps are clutter-free and intuitive, so you'll have no trouble getting connected.

✔️ You want plenty of time to test it. Enjoy a generous 45-day money-back guarantee when you pick up a CyberGhost subscription.

Don't subscribe if:

You'll be relying on support. CyberGhost's support team offer quick and thorough advice, but the support pages could be more detailed.

You're looking for a consistent experience. Unfortunately, CyberGhost apps have a number of peculiar differences from platform to platform, and lack some more standard notifications around your VPN connection. 

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 CyberGhost is a popular VPN that's a great pick for streamers, thanks to its specialized servers and huge network. A lengthy 45-day money-back gives you heaps of time to try it for yourself, too.

Want to know more?

Check out our detailed CyberGhost review to find out why this service remains one of the industry's best-loved options.

One of the first things you'll notice about CyberGhost is its sprawling server network. There are more than 9,200 servers dotted across 91 countries, and over 700 of those are in the UK, in London, Manchester, and Berkshire. With their help, you'll be able to unblock BBC iPlayer, even if the first UK server you connect to doesn't work.

I also like that CyberGhost has a roster of specialized servers for specific streaming platforms. Connect to the BBC iPlayer server for more reliable access to your UK favorites, or switch things up and check out the Netflix and Amazon Prime libraries. It is worth noting, however, that the service struggles to unblock Disney+ and 10Play, which is a little disappointing.

Try CyberGhost VPN with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

The overall performance is more encouraging—CyberGhost's speeds are consistently quick, achieving peaks of 760 Mbps when I last put it to the test. That's a slight improvement from its previous 730 Mbps speeds and keeps it comfortably above ExpressVPN in terms of speeds.

There are a ton of handy features to check out, including an auto-connect feature, although I would like to see CyberGhost implement notifications when it connects or disconnects. The CyberGhost apps themselves are fantastic, too. They're sleek, intuitive, and easy to navigate, even if you're using your smartphone.

In even better news, CyberGhost has begun to address some of my previous security concerns by undergoing a zero-logs audit, carried out by Deloitte. That's a great start, and now I'd like to see a deeper dive into its apps and overall security to really cement its place as a reliable and robust service.

The CyberGhost support site could use some TLC, too—I'd like to see more in-depth articles and tutorials that'll help users troubleshoot issues if they crop up. However, the live chat support is excellent, and has always been quick to help me tackle techy queries.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CyberGhost VPN test results:
DesignEasy to customize and navigate⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useBeginners will appreciate the clutter-free layout⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceMiddle-of-the-pack speeds that can handle streaming and torrenting⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingDedicated streaming servers come in handy⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyAn audited no-logs service with a few hiccups⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportGreat live chat support, but support articles aren't as useful⭐⭐⭐
PriceA low-cost provider packed with value⭐⭐⭐⭐

How to choose a VPN

Not all VPNs are made equal, and BBC iPlayer has proven to be one of the tricker streaming services to crack. So, what makes the best BBC iPlayer VPN?

Well, at the top of the list is the ability to unblock BBC iPlayer and a selection of UK-based servers to get the job done. My top five picks can all circumvent geo-restrictions and access BBC iPlayer, as well as other popular UK TV channels' on-demand counterparts, such as ITVX and All 4.

Unblocking is integral, but you'll also want a provider that puts power behind its software—and we're talking about speed. Your VPN needs to maintain a strong connection, and that's doubly important if you're connecting to a server based in another country (and potentially halfway across the world)! If not, you might fall victim to endless buffering and less-than-ideal picture quality, and nobody wants that.

Security should also be of the utmost importance. While streaming may not initially seem like a privacy nightmare waiting to happen, consider the safety of your logins and payment details (more so regarding other services and websites you might use as iPlayer is, of course, free). If you happen to be streaming while traveling, you'll likely be using public networks with weak security. Don't leave yourself open to threats, and ensure you've got a VPN that walks the walk when it comes to safeguarding your digital privacy.

With networks stretching across the globe (including the UK), awesome speeds, and all-important security features, my shortlist of BBC iPlayer VPNs will ensure you have unfettered access to the very best British content.

The best VPN FAQs

How do I unblock BBC iPlayer with a VPN?

For those who haven’t used a VPN before, the process of rerouting your IP can sound like a daunting task—after all, you're just trying to watch some TV! Don’t be put off, though, as all of my picks feature in our overall best VPN guide and have user-friendly interfaces that'll allow anyone to access iPlayer.

Although your chosen VPN might have advice for accessing certain content, here’s my very straightforward four-step guide for unblocking iPlayer with a VPN:

1. Sign up for and install your chosen VPN
2. Pick the fastest available server in the UK and connect to it
3. Visit the iPlayer website—you’ll need to make an account if you haven’t got one already
4. Pick a show to watch and relax!

Want more info? You can also check out my guide on how to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad.

What is the best working BBC iPlayer VPN?

Right now, NordVPN tops my list of the best BBC iPlayer VPNs. It continues to provide a near-unrivaled experience for unblocking BBC iPlayer, thanks to a smart mix of speeds, security, and compatibility. With apps for almost any device, a wide array of security features, and some of the fastest WireGuard speeds available, you'll struggle to fault your experience using NordVPN with BBC iPlayer. 

Why would I need a VPN for BBC iPlayer?

With more streaming services popping up than we can feasibly subscribe to, the BBC's on-demand platform, BBC iPlayer, is a bit of an anomaly, offering thousands of TV shows and films to stream 100% for free. However, if you find yourself outside of the UK for whatever reason, you're going to need a VPN to bypass the geo-restrictions implemented across the platform's library of content.

Hosting incredible British television like Peaky Blinders, BBC iPlayer is also the place to watch Sally Rooney adaptations Normal People and Conversations with Friends, and US imports like the 2021 reboot of Gossip Girl. You'll also want an iPlayer VPN to watch Gavin and Stacey, Fleabag, and Strictly Come Dancing.

What else can a VPN do?

VPNs have become a handy way to watch your favorite shows when abroad and open up a whole world of content on BBC iPlayer and beyond—the amount of people using a VPN for Netflix is enormous. The same goes for Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and regular domestic stations, too.

The geo-spoofing nature of virtual private networks that makes them so useful for streaming also acts as the perfect tool for unblocking restricted websites and sidestepping country-wide internet restrictions. This is also why VPNs for use in China are so popular.

Their encrypted tunnels also make VPNs a kind of de facto antivirus companion. Using an unrelated IP address effectively makes you anonymous as you use the internet, and your data is shielded from prying eyes and cyber crooks.

If you fancy learning more, or just want to brush up on your VPN know-how, I've put together a guide that'll show you how to use a VPN.

Editted by
Andreas Theodorou Editor-in-Chief Tech Software
Editted by
Andreas Theodorou (MRes, BA)

As a digital privacy advocate and expert, he's spent the past four years leveraging his master's degree to research VPNs, cryptography, and other cybersecurity topics.


We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

River Hart