How To Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad [3 Steps Guide]


Thinking, can I use BBC iPlayer abroad? No, only UK citizens are allowed to use BBC iPlayer, which is supported by the country’s TV license.

Since BBC iPlayer is a geo-restricted platform, you will need a VPN to unblock and watch BBC iPlayer abroad. We recommend a premium VPN like ExpressVPN.

BBC iPlayer is a tremendous streaming service with some of the best content to offer to its audiences. The only issue is that it is subjected to copyrights and distribution laws which makes it inaccessible outside UK.

The current content of BBC iPlayer includes King Charles’s Coronation along with some latest sports events like Formula 1 from anywhere in the world.

So without any further delay, read our easy guide to unblock your favorite shows and movies on BBC iPlayer abroad.

How to watch BBC iPlayer Abroad? [2-minute Steps]

How can I watch BBC iPlayer abroad for free? Just follow these easy steps to smoothly unblock BBC iPlayer outside UK:

  1. Sign Up for a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to the UK server (Docklands is recommended).
  3. Voila! enjoy your streaming  BBC iPlayer abroad by just creating a free account.

To create a BBC account follow the steps to register for BBC iPlayer mentioned below.

Why Do I Need a VPN to Watch iPlayer Abroad?

You need a VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer outside UK without any interruptions because a VPN will provide you an IP address from the UK and trick iPlayer into letting you watch from abroad. The majority of media websites around the world operate similarly, typically limiting access to their home audiences.

So whenever you access BBC iPlayer from abroad, you will see the following error message;

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


VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, basically, a VPN masks your real IP address and encrypts all the internet traffic by connecting your device to a server in the UK.

It’s crucial to understand that streaming services, such as the BBC, make a lot of effort to disable VPNs. The VPN providers engage in a game of cat and mouse to block and get around those blocks since it doesn’t want people watching from outside UK.

It’s a good idea to use a VPN app that has a solid track record of being able to unblock iPlayer because not all VPN apps will be able to do so. The good news is there is no cost for BBC iPlayer, it is a free streaming service for all. Just register for the account and avail yourself of its free trial as a viewer in the UK.

A premium VPN like ExpressVPN ensures that you stream securely by protecting your IP and DNS. It also lets you watch other streaming platforms like BFI Player, and NOW TV outside UK.

How do Sign Up for BBC iPlayer from Abroad?

Don’t worry if you don’t already have an iPlayer account; creating one outside UK is simple. Just keep in mind to have a valid UK TV license.

  • Subscribe to a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  • Connect to a server in the UK. The recommended server is the Docklands server.
  • Open the BBC iPlayer application.
  • Press the Sign In button.tap-sign-in-for-bbc-iplayer-outside-uk
  • Click on the Register Now option at the bottom to subscribe to BBC iPlayer.tap-don't-have-a-bbc-account-outside-uk
  • Select your age group and date of birth to BBC iPlayer.
  • You must provide an email address and create a password for your account. A country and postal code are also required. Several postal codes can be found online. For Example, SW1W 0NY, PO16 7GZ, or GU16 7HF.register-to-bbciplayer-to-watch-bbc-iplayer-outside-uk
  • When you’ve finished filling in the fields, click the Register button and get an email with a verification code. Now can watch BBC iPlayer content easily!

Note: You do not have to worry about the TV license. You might see a warning or notice that you need a TV license to watch BBC iPlayer. However, the platform will not block your access or stop you from streaming for not having the license.

BBC iPlayer Login with ExpressVPN30-Day Money Back Guarantee

What are the Best VPNs to Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad?

Finding the VPNs that work with BBC iPlayer is a difficult task. But don’t worry. We have tested 20+ best VPNs for iPlayer services in terms of security, speed, unblocking abilities, server count, and privacy.

We have listed the best VPN to let you watch all the amazing BBC content hitting the platform all the time.

ExpressVPN: Best VPN to Watch iPlayer Abroad

Key features:

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. This VPN is the top service provider and is well known for its blazing-fast speed. On our 100 Mbps base connection, this VPN provided an incredible 89.42 Mbps downloading speed, which was great for 4K streaming.

ExpressVPN has a large network of 3000+ servers in 94+ countries. including 4 server locations in Wembley, London, and Docklands.

We used the Docklands server for watching iPlayer abroad and experienced no buffering while streaming.


BBC iPlayer smoothly unblocked by ExpressVPN

In the speed tests we conducted, ExpressVPN offered a download speed of 89.42 Mbps and an upload speed of 84.64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.


On a 100 Mbps base connection, ExpressVPN provided incredibly fast results.

It offers 5 simultaneous logins so you can share them with your friends and family. In addition, all its servers have AES 256-bit military-grade encryption and follow a strict no-logs policy, allowing you to watch BBC iPlayer on Firestick with ExpressVPN.

Recommended Servers: Docklands and London

It also offers other features like Split Tunnelling and Kill Switch. With ExpressVPN Media Streamer, you can easily watch geo-restricted content on devices that do not support VPN. With this VPN, you can also watch Sky Sports and Eurosport outside UK.

ExpressVPN also has apps for Windows, Android, iOSRoku, Apple TV, Mac, and more. You can also watch An Irish Goodbye with such powerful features of this VPN.

ExpressVPN costs are GB£ 5.39 /mo (US$ 6.67 /mo ) - Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan, and you can try this service with a 30-day back money guarantee. It also offers 24/7 live chat support.


  1. You can pay with Bitcoin
  2. You can play HD video with it
  3. Suitable for streaming
  4. Maintains compatibility with all widely in-use OS as well as devices


  1. Sometimes not unable to unblock BBC iPlayer

Surfshark: Affordable VPN to Watch iPlayer Abroad

Key features:

  • Surfshark Location: The British Virgin Island
  • Servers: 3200+ in 65+ countries
  • Supporting devices: iOS, FireStick, Smart TVs, Android
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption
  • 7-day free trial on iOS and Android
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Best Deal: GB£ 1.86 /mo (US$ 2.30 /mo ) - 82% Off on 2 Years Plan

Surfshark is a budget-friendly service and ideal for those new to the world of VPNs. You can get Surfshark’s for GB£ 1.86 /mo (US$ 2.30 /mo ) - 82% Off on 2 Years Plan as it is the lowest price available in the industry. With Surfshark, you can share your account with as many people as possible because of its unlimited multi-login feature.

It enables all security features by default and has a powerful unblocking ability. Overall, it has 4 server locations in the UK and 3200+ servers in 65+ countries

We have connected to a server in London. Its London and Glasgow servers are the most optimal servers for unblocking BBC iPlayer.


Surfshark unblocked BBC iPlayer in a second

It offers a download speed of 88.48 Mbps and an upload speed of 79.42 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.


Surfshark offers optimal speed for streaming.

Surfshark has impressive security and privacy features like a kill button, 256-bit AES encryption, and a no-logs policy. In addition, you can use this VPN service to watch streaming platforms like BT Sports channel and Channel 4 outside UK.

Recommended servers: London and Glasgow

You can use this VPN service on devices like iPhones, Firestick, Roku, Smart TVs, and Apple TVs. It also has apps for Android, macOS, Windows, and iOS.

Surfshark comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and also offers 24/7 live chat support for assistance.


  • Unblocks all UK streaming platforms
  • All security features, such as Split Tunneling and Kill Switch
  • HD Streaming
  • No limit on device connections


  • Some slow-speed servers

NordVPN: Largest Server Network VPN to Watch iPlayer Abroad

Key Features:

NordVPN has the largest server network to unblock and stream BBC iPlayer. With NordVPN, the user can bypass the geo-blocking measures and stream BBC in the USA.

It has more than 5543+ servers in 94+ countries, and also it has 440+ servers in the UK.

We used the UK server #2398 and enjoyed streaming without facing any buffering or lagging issues.


NordVPN successfully unblocked BBC iPlayer outside UK

It offers a great download speed of 86.49 Mbps and an upload speed of 79.42 Mbps when tested on a 100 Mbps connection.


NordVPN servers are capable of delivering fast speed for streaming.

All of the servers of NordVPN are protected by AES 256-bit encryption and have no issues with IP or DNS leaks. You can use this VPN service to watch streaming platforms like the Sky Go channel and ITV  in the UK.

Recommended servers: #2398, #9878

You can use NordVPN on iPhone, Windows, Android, Roku, Firestick, and Apple TVs. It allows 6 simultaneous connections. You can also watch Dog Days on BBC iPlayer with Surfshark.

The cost of this VPN service is GB£ 2.82 /mo (US$ 3.49 /mo ) - Save 60% on 2 Years Deal and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also use the 24/7 live chat support of this VPN service.


  • Biggest British server VPN
  • No logs policy
  • Fastest VPN
  • Secure and many security features


  • The desktop can sometimes take more time to connect

CyberGhost: A cheaper solution to watch iPlayer Abroad

Key Features:

CyberGhost is considered a cheaper solution to watching BBC iPlayer abroad for the price it comes at. As compared to the other VPNs in the market, CyberGhost offers a great deal at GB£ 1.8 /mo (US$ 2.23 /mo ) (3 Years + 4 Months).

It has a large server network, with 7700+ in 90+. It also has servers in the UK to get you BBC iPlayer from abroad hassle-free.


CyberGhost unblocks BBC iPlayer outside UK

It allows 7 simultaneous connections on a single account with multiple devices such as iPhones, iPads, PCs, laptops, Android smartphones, Smart TVs, and many others. It is also compatible with major operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux.

CyberGhost also offers 256 AES bit encryption along with IP/DNS leak protection and a kill switch to keep the communications secure and encrypted in every manner. This means you can watch Match of the Day and Blue Lights on BBC iPlayer securely.

When we tested CyberGhost it gave us amazing results. We received a download speed of 86.49 Mbps and an upload speed of 79.42 Mbps on a 100Mbps connection.


CyberGhost gave us satisfying speed results while streaming BBC iPlayer

The price of CyberGhost is simply unmatchable in comparison with the other VPNs. Other than unblocking BBC iPlayer, it is also known for unblocking major streaming platforms like Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, and Sky TV.


  • Dedicated servers for BBC iPlayer
  • The largest network of servers across the globe
  • Many security features
  • 24/7 customer support


  • Some servers are extremely slow

Quick Comparison: Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer Abroad

Here is a quick comparison of the VPNs that help how can I watch iPlayer abroad easily;

Top VPNs BBC iPlayer Streaming Price Server count Simultaneous Connections Streaming reliability Devices Supported
express-logo 1 GB£ 5.39 /mo (US$ 6.67 /mo ) - Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan 3000+ servers in 94+ countries 5 Excellent macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux
surfshark-logo 2 GB£ 1.86 /mo (US$ 2.30 /mo ) - 82% Off on 2 Years Plan 3200+ servers in 65+ countries Unlimited Good iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux
nord-logo 3 GB£ 2.82 /mo (US$ 3.49 /mo ) - Save 60% on 2 Years Deal 5543+ servers in 60+ countries 6 Good iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux
cyberghost-logo 4 GB£ 1.8 /mo (US$ 2.23 /mo ) (3 Years + 4 Months) 7700+ in 90+ 7 Good iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux

Can I Use Free VPNs to Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad – outside UK?

How can I watch iPlayer abroad for free? You can use free VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK but we do not recommend it, as it poses a risk to your security, due to which you will always remain scared of your DNS and IP address getting leaked.

Free VPN can sometimes bypass geo-restrictions, but it has fewer servers and poor security features. Moreover, it can leak your personal information to third parties.

Free VPN providers maintain user records and track user behavior. So, a premium VPN like ExpressVPN should always be used to watch BBC iPlayer content outside UK. Furthermore, ExpressVPN provides a free trial, so if you don’t like the service, you can get your refund within 30 days.

Methodology: How to Choose the Best VPN for BBC iPlayer Abroad?

Choosing a VPN provider might be challenging because there are so many of them claiming to be the best. We have evaluated the top VPNs on the market using a data-based testing process.

This enables us to compare services directly in order to identify the best VPNs for particular use instances, such as accessing iPlayer while traveling.

  • Works trustworthily with BBC iPlayer and comparable streaming services. We search for VPNs with reliable British servers that support popular services like online banking as well as iPlayer, All 4, and ITV Hub.
  • Offers connections that are always fast. Many VPNs utilize slow networks of low-cost servers and out-of-date protocols. WireGuard and other quick VPNs with recent protocols come highly recommended.
  • Uses robust encryption and has a number of additional security features. We only suggest VPNs with fully functional apps that are loaded with cutting-edge privacy and security features. We also check the VPN for a kill switch and test it for IP and DNS leaks.
  • Doesn’t record any data that could be used to identify you. For complete assurance that your browsing activities are always kept secret, we suggest VPNs with solid privacy practices.
  • Has applications for all of the widely used operating systems. To ensure you can stream iPlayer on all of your devices, we verify the VPN provides apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.

Why is BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN?

It is not guaranteed that BBC iPlayer will definitely work with a VPN and before you cancel your BBC iPlayer subscription, here are some possible explanations for why BBC iPlayer won’t connect to your VPN:

  • The BBC has blocked the VPN’s servers.
  • The locations of your device’s IP address and GPS don’t line up.
  • Whenever the geo-blocking on BBC iPlayer is imposed, your VPN lacks the power to unblock it because of its slow servers.

What’s the best content to Watch on BBC iPlayer in 2023?

We have picked out the best TV shows, movies, and Documentaries to watch on BBC iPlayer abroad this year. Here is a list:

Top Shows on BBC iPlayer Top Movies on BBC iPlayer Sports on BBC iPlayer
Hairy Bikers Go Local Don’t Look Now Six Nations Rugby Championship 2023
Death in Paradise S12 The Omen NIFL Irish Premiership
Call The Midwife S12 The Exorcist Women’s Super League
Beyond Paradise King Kong FA Cup 2023
Happy Valley S3 The Ones Below Bellator
The Apprentice S17 The Railway Man Super Bowl LVII 2023
Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job Schindler’s List Scottish Championship 2022-23

What’s coming new on BBC iPlayer in May 2023?

The best upcoming BBC shows in April are as follows:

What Devices are compatible with BBC iPlayer Abroad?

You can watch the content of BBC iPlayer on a number of devices. Here is the list of devices on which you can watch the amazing content of BBC iPlayer UK.

How to Get BBC iPlayer Outside UK on iOS Devices?

If you want to watch BBC iPlayer on your iPhone, just follow the below-mentioned steps to watch BBC  iPlayer abroad

  1. Subscribe to a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Connect to a server in the UK. The recommended server is the Docklands server.
  4. Tap the App Store icon on the home screen.
  5. To find BBC iPlayer, select Search from the bottom menu.
  6. Select the app, then select BBC iPlayer Download. (At this point, the App Store could ask you to verify your Apple ID.)
  7. Once it has been downloaded, you can easily start streaming BBC iPlayer on your iOS device.

How to Get BBC iPlayer Outside UK on Android Devices?

You can watch BBC iPlayer on Android by following these easy steps:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Install the VPN app on your Android device.
  3. Connect to a server in the UK. The recommended server is the Docklands server.
  4. Launch the BBC iPlayer App and sign into your account.
  5. Start streaming on your Android device right away.

FAQs: BBC iPlayer Abroad

No, using a VPN to access BBC iPlayer is not illegal. The terms of service for BBC iPlayer prohibit the use of a VPN. However, that does not make it unlawful. If you’re detected using a VPN, the worst that may happen is that BBC will suspend your account.

Yes, you can watch BBC iPlayer without the internet. Download the programs from BBC iPlayer to watch anywhere on a PC, laptop, mobile phone within 30 days.

You can bypass BBC iPlayer location with a VPN. A VPN will connect you to a UK server and your IP address is instantly changed to UK. This gives you easy access to BBC iPlayer within seconds. 

BBC knows your location through the Internet Protocol address and other GPS information of your streaming device.

You cannot watch iPlayer without a valid UK TV license. It is a major requirement to register at BBC iPlayer to make sure that the audience is limited to UK only. 


We all are fans of British content, and BBC iPlayer UK is the one-stop to watch all your favorite British shows and movies like Inside No 9, Mood, and more.

The geo-restriction is the problem while accessing this streaming as BBC iPlayer can only be watched in the UK territory. By using a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN, you can easily access the exclusive content library and watch BBC iPlayer outside UK.

We’re sure in this guide you got the answers to all your questions like where can I watch BBC iPlayer or is there any subscription cost of it.

Chris Mack

Chris Mack

Chris is a technology and entertainment writer whose main interests revolve around the art of writing and expression. He loves writing research-based articles in different niches and translating his thoughts into words that inspire others.

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