At the heart of the British Broadcasting Corporation (or, the BBC) is BBC News, which endeavours to deliver unpartisan news on current affairs around the clock and across the globe. Available through three main streams, you can access BBC News through its website, as well as radio and TV broadcasts.
As a national broadcaster, it's funded through TV licence holders in the UK. That means for anyone outside of the country, you won't ordinarily be able to access BBC News streams through its on-demand service, BBC iPlayer. Luckily in our guide we'll explain how to watch BBC News live and access all its streams no matter where you are with the help of a VPN, allowing you to keep up-to-date while abroad and in countries where viewing such websites are restricted.
Why can't I watch BBC News abroad?
There are a number of reasons you may struggle to access BBC News broadcasts while abroad. Geo-restrictions mean content is locked to the UK where BBC iPlayer is concerned.
That means any live or catch-up content can only be viewed if you're within the country, otherwise you'll be faced with one of two message: This content is not available in your location on live broadcasts, or BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.
However, most live and on-demand content from BBC Sounds - where you will find its radio stations - is available to listen to around the world, including BBC World Service. The same goes for the BBC News website.
In some areas of the world, though, you may face a different kind of restrictions. In some countries, including China, news sites like the BBC are blocked by the government under their censorship laws.
Russia has added itself to the list, blocking access from its citizens to the likes of BBC and Voice of America websites after it deemed them anti-Russian in the wake of the country's invasion into Ukraine, as well as putting a stop to BBC World News broadcasts.
How to unblock BBC News with a VPN
If you're looking to access BBC News content online, regardless of whether it's a radio or TV broadcast, or reading articles on its website, the likes of a BBC iPlayer VPN can assist in bypassing any restrictions.
With content generally geo-locked, all you need to do is switch your IP address to make you appear as if you're somewhere else. In this case, you'll want to appear as if you're in the UK - and a VPN allows you to do just that.
Hosting hundreds, if not thousands, of servers based around the world, connecting to a UK server instantly conceals your IP address and spoofs your device into thinking you're elsewhere. Of course, a VPN is also fundamentally there to provide an extra layer of security, meaning your internet data goes through heavily encrypted channels and offers better online anonymity - ideal for users hoping to slip under the radar of their governing bodies.
Which are best VPNs for unblocking BBC News?
1. ExpressVPN - the best VPN for watching BBC News
There's a reason ExpressVPN finds itself at the top of most of our VPN buying guides, and that's because of its wealth of servers and security features. It's also the best when it comes to unblocking streaming services, including BBC on-demand service, BBC iPlayer. Try now and get 3 months free and a 30-day money-back guarantee on top.
2. NordVPN - a secure VPN with exceptional speeds
One of the most well-known providers on the market, NordVPN puts privacy at the forefront of its priorities. It's also one of the fastest VPNs and excellent for unblocking. Complete with a 30-day money back guarantee, this is a great choice unblocking BBC News from abroad.
3. Surfshark - affordable and feature-packed
If you're after something a bit more affordable, Surfshark is the VPN for you. Coming in at under $2.50 with its 2-year plan and still boasting one powerful little tool, it's no surprise it features high up in our best cheap VPN guide.. It also boasts unlimited connections and that added reassurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.
How to listen to BBC shortwave radio broadcasts
For those in Ukraine and Russia wanting to get BBC reporting since the block on British media outlets in the country, the BBC has reintroduced shortwave radio broadcasts in parts of the two countries.
There will be broadcasts daily for four hours, with the news delivered in English. These are available in Kyiv and parts of Russia.
You'll be able to locate the BBC shortwave broadcast at 15735KHz from 6pm to 8pm Ukraine time and 5875KHz 12am to 2am.
How else can I keep up to date on BBC World News?
As with most news sites, all their digital streams are also relayed across social media. On Twitter, the BBC has a number of pages including:
And on Facebook:
In the event you're in a country where these social media sites are blocked, a VPN will also allow you to circumvent such restrictions. Simply connect to a server where use of these sites isn't censored, like the US, UK, Canada, etc.
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Alice is eCommerce Editor at Future with a focus on streaming services, such as Disney Plus and HBO Max, and VPN. She predominantly writes buying and streaming service guides, as well as how to watch articles. Previously a Commercial Content Writer at Trusted Reviews, Alice has five years experience giving online buying advice, and over two years writing about consumer tech.