Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK

How to Watch BBC iPlayer outside UK [Quick Guide 2024]


BBC iPlayer is a premier British streaming platform with award-winning TV Shows and acclaimed movies. However, the streaming platform is geo-restricted outside UK because of the broadcasting contracts. To watch BBC iPlayer outside UK you must use a premium iPlayer VPN.

As a highly renowned streaming platform in the UK, BBC iPlayer is a video-on-demand service owned by the BBC. Offering critically acclaimed and globally popular content that includes movies, TV shows, documentaries, live programming, and everything from the UK’s largest broadcaster, BBC iPlayer shows everything to the viewers without commercial breaks.

Unfortunately, the content is only accessible to UK viewers. So if you’re traveling outside the UK or if you want to access BBC iPlayer from another non-UK country, then you should have a VPN connection ready to override the virtual geo-barriers.

Ensure that the VPN you choose for this is capable enough to bypass geo-restrictions, which are super strong because it’s the BBC we’re talking about. A good VPN setup ensures a quality streaming session so you can stream without buffering.

This extensive and detailed guide will teach you how to access BBC iPlayer if you’re not in the UK. Let us start the journey:

How to Watch BBC iPlayer from Abroad?

To stream BBC iPlayer internationally, you must reroute your IP address. It sounds like a demanding task but with a reliable VPN, you can easily swap your digital location on your streaming device. These are the easy instructions to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere with a VPN:

  1. Get a subscription to a trusted VPN, such as ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Register or sign in with your credentials for the VPN.
  4. Select a British server from the list.
  5. Now, go to BBC iPlayer’s official website and sign up for the service. It’s free!

Why Do You Need a VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer Internationally?

BBC iPlayer is a geo-restricted service, meaning it’s available to those who are in the United Kingdom. Even in the UK, the viewers are supposed to pay for a TV license and then register for BBC iPlayer. For those living outside the UK and if they wish to access BBC iPlayer, then they must use a Virtual Private Network (AKA a VPN) to bypass geo-restrictions, otherwise, they will get this error:

“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

BBC iPlayer Geo-restrictions Error
BBC iPlayer Geo-restrictions Error

Don’t be too worried about it, because you now know that a premium VPN can grant you the access that the platform itself doesn’t. How? A VPN will simply mask your original IP and paste over it a new IP address from the UK. All you’d have to do is to change your server to the UK-based one and you’re good to go.

VPNs that Work with BBC iPlayer [Quick Overview May 2024]

These are the top 3 VPNs you can use to access BBC iPlayer while you’re traveling outside the UK:

ExpressVPN Deal

This VPN offers 3000+ maintained servers globally and 5 highly optimized UK-based servers. ExpressVPN is the main VPN choice because it is the best VPN to access BBC iPlayer outside the UK. Costs $6.67/month for a yearly plan + three months of free service and a 30-day money-back warranty without logging any of your activity. With extraordinary speed and pioneering data-comprehensive technology, ExpressVPN is the safest choice for you.

NordVPN Deal

With a large number of VPNs, NordVPN comes with 5,200+ servers in 80+ areas across 59 countries and 440+ highly optimized UK servers. You can purchase the subscription at 72% off for $3.79/month with its 2-year plan and connect up to 6 devices concurrently. Avail the 3-month free trial and a 30-day return guarantee to make sure you enjoy your streaming time on BBC iPlayer.

Surfshark Deal

Surfshark is your economical VPN alternative with an awesome service to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere. Featuring 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries and 600+ UK servers in 4 cities, Surfshark is your go-to VPN. Costing a 2-year subscription plan for just $1.99/month so you can avail of the 4 months free feature, enhancing your protection.

How to Subscribe to BBC iPlayer?

Previously you learned how to watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN. Those instructions continue here leading to the final step when you’re signed up to BBC iPlayer while not in the UK:

  1. Initially, make sure you’re connected to a credible VPN.
  2. Download and configure the VPN app on your device.
  3. From the list of servers, select UK.
  4. Go to BBC iPlayer’s official app or website on your device.
  5. Select the “Sign in” option in the upper left corner.
  6. Click on “Register now,” it is underlined in blue.
  7. Then you fill out the personal information like your birthday and all.
  8. Then it asks for the postal code. You can use any from the UK, like SW1A 1AA for London.
  9. Once you’re done giving the information, select the “Register” option, and verify your email.
  10. That’s it! You’ve now registered yourself as a BBC iPlayer viewer.

Best BBC iPlayer VPNs to Unblock the Streaming Channel Abroad

Do you want to know full details about our recommended VPNs? Here’s an extended analysis:

ExpressVPN – Topmost VPN for BBC iPlayer

  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN to stream BBC iPlayer internationally, especially because of the 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and enhanced speed that you get.
  • ExpressVPN is a very dedicated VPN to unblock the restrictions on BBC iPlayer globally because it is easy on the pocket.
  • Save 49% on a yearly subscription, for just $6.67/month + 3 months free, ensuring your digital life’s protection for as low as $0.22 a day.
  • With 3,000 servers around the world and 5 highly optimized UK servers. You can protect 5 devices with one membership.
  • Supports Tor browser and is equipped with great features such as a kill switch, with a strict no-logs policy, ExpressVPN ensures your online activities remain completely hidden from meddling eyes.
  • Highlighting the cutting-edge features of this VPN, including VPN split tunneling, Lightway Protocol, and threat management, ExpressVPN gives you the finest streaming session of BBC iPlayer from anywhere.

Watch BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN
Watch BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN


  • Strict logging policy.
  • Unlimited bandwidth.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • 24/7 customer service.


  • Costly than other competitor VPNs.
  • Limited simultaneous connections.

Recommended Servers: London and Wembley

NordVPN – A Dependable VPN for BBC iPlayer

  • Stream BBC iPlayer with NordVPN because it comes with 5,200+ servers in 80+ countries, including 440+ servers in the UK.
  • NordVPN is furnished with tunneling protocols including PPTP, SSTP, IPSec, and IKEv2 to patrol your digital life. You can also connect 6 devices under one subscription.
  • Offering so much, NordVPN is affordable as it costs $3.79/month for 2 years + 3 months free with a 30-day refund guarantee.
  • NordVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption and a rigid no-logs policy to ensure utter safety, along with a kill switch, a user-friendly UI, and a dedicated streaming mode.

Watch BBC iPlayer with NordVPN
Watch BBC iPlayer with NordVPN


  • Double the protection with a double VPN.
  • Connect 6 devices on many platform types.
  • Fast & stable speeds all around.


  • Slow app and server connections.
  • Torrenting is only supported on some servers.

Recommended Servers: Edinburgh, Glasgow, London

Surfshark – A Budget-Friendly VPN to Watch iPlayer Outside UK

  • Surfshark offers 3,200 servers from 100 countries and 600+ UK servers in 4 cities.
  • Using the unique WireGuard tunneling protocol to secure your data, Surfshark makes it a secure and trusted option to watch BBC iPlayer without any issues.
  • Surfshark is super affordable for the user, as it charges $1.99/month with its 2-year subscription + 2 months free, saving you 69% to stream on a budget with a 30-day return.
  • With a strong IP Rotator that can transform your IP every 10 minutes for protected browsing, Surfshark can protect unlimited screens at once.

Watch BBC iPlayer with Surfshark
Watch BBC iPlayer with Surfshark


  • Reasonable prices.
  • Smooth user experience.
  • Speedy and helpful live chat support.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.


  • Dodgy customer service.
  • Weak social media presence.
  • Kill switch windows stop working sometimes.

Recommended Servers: Edinburgh, London, Glasgow

Can I Use a Free VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK?

No, you shouldn’t use a free VPN to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK. The website of BBC iPlayer is so good at detecting free VPNs that it will refuse to show you any content.

Moreover, free VPNs are highly unreliable and not worth it. Firstly, if you use a free VPN for BBC iPlayer, the platform will still show that you’re not in the region of the UK. This is frustrating, because you may be thinking that a free VPN and a premium one do the same job. That’s where you’re wrong.

Free VPNs fail to encrypt the data passing to and from your device, whereas upscale VPNs are experts in this regard. Plus, free VPNs slow down your internet, while high-end VPNs do not, instead, enhance your streaming speed.

Along with involvement in dubious activities, free VPNs are just not good enough for streaming on such a prominent site as BBC iPlayer. So, take our gentle suggestion when we endorse an elite-level VPN because they truly fit up to the standard.

How to Get the Best BBC iPlayer VPN?

With a ton of VPNs advocating for all sorts of things, it can be super confusing to simply pick one. Here’s a checklist for you to remember when you decide to get a premium VPN subscription.

The VPN should have:

  • Exceptional encryption and security features/protocols
  • Ability to bypass any digital restrictions
  • Maximum number of servers
  • Uncompromising zero log policy
  • Easy User Interface
  • Good device compatibility (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, etc.)
  • Helpful live chat support
  • Minimum of 2 simultaneous connections

How much is BBC iPlayer in 2024?

BBC iPlayer is absolutely free for its viewers. Yes, you don’t have to pay a penny for a subscription to BBC iPlayer in or outside the UK.

However, remember that you need to pay for a TV license which is £147/year to stream BBC iPlayer in the UK. This fee also covers the expenses for live TV as well.

Without paying the TV license fee, if anyone is caught watching or recording TV broadcasts from any UK broadcaster (including BBC and on-demand content), they will be labeled as a criminal because this offense is punishable and they may be sentenced to 10 years in jail.

What if I Don’t Have a UK TV License?

Well, if you’re in the UK, you absolutely need a TV License, that is if you don’t want to end up in prison. On the other hand, if you access BBC iPlayer beyond the UK borders, then you don’t need a TV license.

Instead, you can trick the platform by using a web anonymizer like a VPN. A VPN so strong that it doesn’t leave room for doubt with BBC iPlayer. If you need a suggestion for such a VPN, we recommend ExpressVPN, as it is the fastest VPN, both speed-wise and unblocking-wise.

Simply add a UK postal code (zip code) and click yes when it asks you about owning a TV license. Since you’re using a premium VPN and you’re using a valid email ID, they’ll never know your actual location.

BBC iPlayer Supported Devices

BBC iPlayer is compatible with a pretty long range of devices. For more information and to know about the range of devices, it’s better to visit BBC iPlayer’s website.

  • iOS (12.5. 5 or above)
  • Mac
  • Android (9 or above)
  • Windows (10 or above)
  • Apple TV (tvOS version 12.0 or above)
  • Xfinity TV
  • Smart TV
  • Amazon Fire TV/Stick (models released in and after 2015)
  • Xbox
  • Roku (models released in and after 2015)
  • PlayStation
  • Chromecast

What to Watch on BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is home to many acclaimed titles that you can stream with a trusted VPN. Here’s some of it:

Popular Channels

  • BBC Alba
  • BBC News
  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • BBC Four
  • BBC Scotland
  • BBC Parliament
  • CBeebies
  • cBBC
  • S4C
  • Radio 1
  • BBC America

All Time Favorite Movies

These are the fan-favorite movies on BBC iPlayer:

  • 1917
  • The Place Beyond the Pines
  • Halloween
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Before I Go to Sleep
  • Divergent
  • The Turning
  • 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
  • Ophelia
  • Woman in Gold
  • Lady Bird
  • Licorice Pizza
  • Toy Story
  • Testament of Youth
  • Don’t Look Now
  • The Omen
  • An Irish Goodbye
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
  • All The Beauty And The Bloodshed
  • The Exorcist
  • Poltergeist
  • Bringing up Baby

Popular TV Shows

These are some popular TV shows that you can watch on BBC iPlayer:

  • Dr Who
  • Killing Eve
  • Peaky Blinders
  • Fleabag
  • Gavin and Stacey
  • Normal People
  • His Dark Materials
  • Match of the Day
  • The Reckoning
  • Boiling Point
  • The Woman in the Wall
  • Tell Me Lies
  • London Kills
  • Annika
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Mayans M.C.
  • Happy Valley
  • World on Fire
  • The Traitors
  • Dragon Ball Super
  • The Next Step
  • Peppa
  • Bluey
  • Black Snow


Is BBC iPlayer Available Outside UK?

BBC iPlayer works in the UK region with a TV license. If you are outside the UK, you may not be able to stream BBC iPlayer on your device unless you use a VPN.

Can BBC iPlayer Detect VPN?

Yes, BBC iPlayer can detect VPN usage. Be sure to use a VPN that is capable of swiftly and stealthily bypassing geo-restrictions.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK without a VPN?

Yes, if you can download your TV shows and movies before leaving UK, but you will be left with a limited content and won’t be able to stay updated to the ever-changing content library. We recommend you get a reliable VPN subscription so you can continue using BBC iPlayer even if you no longer live in the UK.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK For free?

BBC iPlayer is free, so you can use a trusted VPN to hack the location and stream BBC iPlayer outside UK for free.

How do I Get BBC iPlayer Outside UK?

You get BBC iPlayer outside UK with the aid of a premium and paid VPN.

How Can I Watch Programs When I’m Offline?

Download the content you want with you on the go before you leave the WiFi spot. This is how you can watch BBC iPlayer and its content when offline.

Where Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK?

BBC iPlayer is exclusively available to UK residents. If you want BBC iPlayer in regions other than the UK, you should opt for a good VPN.

Can You Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad Without VPN?

No, you can’t watch BBC iPlayer abroad without a VPN because the platform is geo-restricted everywhere other than the UK.

Will I Get Blocked By iPlayer For Using a VPN?

No, you will not be blocked by iPlayer for using a VPN. Rather, you will be denied access to any content. You should be good to go if you come back with a powerful VPN that is capable of bypassing geo-blocks.

How Does BBC iPlayer Detect and Block Me When I’m Overseas?

BBC iPlayer is no ordinary platform. It is equipped with a firewall that acts like a bouncer that only lets UK IP addresses pass its range. If it catches an IP that is not British (which free VPNs fail to encrypt) the platform will detect it and refuse you access. All in all, it does not block you. You can come back with a better VPN instead.

Is BBC iPlayer Free?

Yes, BBC iPlayer is free of cost. You only need to pay for the TV license fee, which is £147/year to watch any content by a British broadcaster. If you access it outside UK, you will just have to pay for a VPN.

Does BBC iPlayer Work Outside UK?

BBC iPlayer will not work outside UK, and if you’re planning to move or go on a trip, you should purchase a VPN subscription to access BBC iPlayer wherever you are. And no, it’s not illegal.

Can I Watch BBC Without the Internet?

Yes, you can watch BBC iPlayer without the Internet. Before you leave the internet zone, make sure you download the content you wish to watch on the go.

Is watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN illegal?

No, it’s not illegal to use a VPN and stream anything, let alone BBC iPlayer. Although BBC iPlayer does state that they don’t encourage the use of VPNs, but one with sturdy connection won’t let you get caught.

How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK?

You can watch BBC iPlayer outside UK if you have a VPN connection to hide your local IP.

Can I Watch BBC iPlayer in USA?

No, you cannot watch BBC iPlayer in USA. You will need a VPN before you can stream any content on BBC iPlayer.

Do I Need a VPN to Watch iPlayer Abroad?

Yes, you need a VPN to watch iPlayer abroad.

How do I Access BBC UK From Abroad?

You can access BBC iPlayer from abroad with a VPN connection. Ensure that you are connected to a UK server so it changes your IP to a UK one.

Is it Safe to Use a Free VPN For Accessing BBC iPlayer Outside UK?

No, it is not safe to use a free VPN to access BBC iPlayer outside UK. You must always use a VPN that stands by its promise and claims.

Is it Legal to Stream BBC iPlayer Outside UK With a VPN?

Yes, it is legal to stream BBC iPlayer outside UK with a VPN, as long as you’re using a top-notch VPN.

Wrapping Up

BBC iPlayer is a free streaming platform that any UK resident can watch with a TV license. However, accessing this service outside UK requires a little extra effort: purchasing a VPN subscription. With a trustworthy VPN, users can gain access to several other websites along with BBC iPlayer outside UK.

Our recommended VPN is ExpressVPN, because this VPN ensures the smooth unblocking of BBC iPlayer beyond the borders of the United Kingdom.

Happy binging!

Avatar of Arturo Goodwin

Arturo Goodwin is a binge-watching addict and a writer. He only loves two things, watching TV shows and movies and writing about them. During his leisure time, He loves to read books. He loves to read anything from fiction to non-fiction books, which includes everything under the sun!