3 Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer – Tested in 2019

Finding a proper VPN service to stream BBC iPlayer abroad is pretty hard. Because of the continuous embargo updates, not many VPNs can bypass the BBC ban. That makes it even harder for the working ones.

Keeping this problem in mind, I have listed the best 3 VPNs for BBC iPlayer. These providers are not randomly picked. After reviewing more than 20 top players in the market, and testing them one by one with BBC, here are the best three options to choose from.

VPN features

  • BBC iPlayer servers
  • User friendly software
  • Stability
  • Streaming quality
  • Bandwidth limitation
  • Further investment

CyberGhost

2.75$/ Month
2.75$/ Month
  • Super stable
  • HD
  • 80 GB/Month

SaferVPN

2.5$/ Month
2.5$/ Month
  • Super stable
  • HD
  • Unlimited
  • -

SurfShark

1.94$/ Month
1.94$/ Month
  • Stable
  • HD
  • Unlimited*Fair usage applies

How I evaluated the list

Choosing a VPN for BBC iPlayer is not easy. There are several criteria to be met. According to my personal long term experience, a BBC iPlayer VPN should have most of the following features:

  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • Easy to use software
  • Stable and fast servers for “HD” streaming
  • Reasonable bandwidth
  • Further investment

At some point, a dedicated UK streaming server would be enough for us. However, if the VPN server is not stable and we experience stability issues, it will kill our streaming experience.

Nobody wants to see the buffering sign over and over again, right?

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Best 3 VPNs to for streaming BBC iPlayer abroad

1. CyberGhost

It is quite possible to see CyberGhost as our top pick for several categories. For the streaming purposes, it takes the lead as well.

Finding a dedicated BBC iPlayer serve could be quite irritating if the provider does not point out the proper one. Keeping this problem in mind, CyberGhost leads its users to the best BBC iPlayer server under the “For streaming” menu. It will not take more than ten seconds to connect to the iPlayer server and start streaming BBC programs.

Thanks to the latest update of CyberGhost v7, Cyberghost has gone minimal making it possible to find what we actually need with fewer clicks. Servers are categorized by their usage type and users can easily access to them within seconds.

Furthermore, the latest update did not only bring easy to use a design but also stability and server improvements. My latest P2P test can be seen as proof of this speed performance. Increasing download speed with the least ups/downs, CyberGhost proves the power of its stable servers. This will help us enjoy BBC iPlayer with the best streaming quality possible.

cyberghost bbc iplayer experience was amazing with high quality streaming.

Leaving the shinny CyberGhost features back, there is a drawback worth mentioning. As we will be streaming videos online, it will cause extensive bandwidth usage. CyberGhost warn its user for fair usage limit, Terms, and Conditions.

1. 5 Transfer volumes state:

  • “CyberGhost VPN includes a fair use transfer volume of 80 GB per invoicing month, which comprises the entire ingoing and outgoing data traffic. If the transfer volume is exceeded, CyberGhost is entitled to block the transfer of files until the end of the pending invoicing month or to limit the bandwidth.” 
  • “Currently, the traffic volume is not measured. However, CyberGhost VPN reserves the right to install corresponding tracking systems and to prevent unfair use in case of an unusually high utilization degree of the entire network.”

There is nothing to worry about at the moment. However, for the future, we have to do the math. According to AndroidCentral article, streaming 720p quality video will use up 0.9Gb/hour bandwidth. With extensive usage, you can stream around 3 one hour program per day.

Besides the technical point of view, we also need to check CyberGhost’s further investment in the future. First of all, we got to understand how Cyberghost handles the BBC ban and what further improvement they are to apply in the future.

Seeking answers to these questions, here is CyberGhost answer:

  • Still waiting for a response…

2. SaferVPN

Israeli based provider, SaferVPN offers comprehensive BBC iPlayer experience with its UK servers. Our review places SaferVPN in one of the fastest providers in the market. The 23.42 Mbps download speed will help us stream any video up to 4k quality.

The speed value is even better than CyberGhost, however, SaferVPN software is not as user-friendly as CyberGhost’s. It has one and the only server dedicated to the UK and we have to use it. This option will lead us to the best options, yet, in case of any blocking issue, we are helpless. Rather than switching to other options, we have to wait for the tech team to fix the problem.

Now that we learned the problem we might face, it is time to comment about the stability of the servers!

Similar to CyberGhost, SaferVPN also offers pretty stable servers for its users. According to our torrent download test, SaferVPN had steady progress until the end of the download progress. Furthermore, there were only a few ups/downs meaning that we can enjoy non-stop BBC iPlayer streaming. Yet, is it unlimited?

There are two important notes I have to point out. SaferVPN states:

  1. No Speed Loss: Connecting to SaferVPN causes no discernible decrease in your download/upload speed. We rigorously test and optimize our global network of servers to ensure you receive the highest speeds possible.
  2. No Bandwidth or Download Caps: With SaferVPN, unlimited really means unlimited. Download as much as you want and never worry that you’re streaming too much.

Unlike other providers, SaferVPN does not limit us with its service. That means unlimited BBC iPlayer streaming for us.

Here are their answers:

  • Still waiting for a response…

3. SurfShark

A newcomer to our list, SurfShark is a privacy-oriented VPN provider. It also works perfectly with BBC iPlayer. Even if Surfshark does not have a dedicated streaming server, any UK server will help you bypass BBC ban. Speed is our biggest bonus tough! According to our recent performance test, SurfShark hit 25.48 Mbps download speed. That is good enough to stream BBC iPlayer programs with the best quality possible.

I do like the speed, yet, Surfshark does not have a user-friendly software. Currently, it does have three UK server. Each of them will work fine with BBC iPlayer. However, in case of a block, you might need to contact customer support to find the proper one. Rather than having such a bureaucracy, a dedicated as well as indicated server would be much appreciated!

Stability is a must, yet, I do have some doubts about SurfShark servers. According to our stability test, I experienced several ups/downs -which is a bad sign for streamers. Either it was a temporary P2P server issue or that specific Germany server was not properly optimized. On the other hand, when connected to the UK server, the streaming quality was pretty amazing!

surfshark can easily bypass bbc iplayer ban!

So! For how long can we enjoy this quality streaming experience?

Surfshark offers unlimited bandwidth usage with fair usage limit applied! This is both for a single person exploiting the server usage or taking precautions against the number of so many simultaneously connected devices. The company explains the fair usage limits with this quote:

  • Our Fair Usage Policy manages inappropriate use of our Services and guarantees that the Services can be used fairly by everyone. Under the Fair Usage Policy, we reserve the right to enable limits of an immoderate number of simultaneously connected devices in our network maintenance system in order to make sure that none of our users are affected by potentially deteriorated quality of the Services.

If you are a single person using Surfshark for streaming purposes, all is well. If you happen to share your account with other people (it is prohibited by terms of service policy), Surfshark may limit you because of excessive data usage!

Lastly!

How does your company handle BBC iPlayer embargo?

  • There are a lot of nuances in making this service accessible for our users outside the UK, but Surfshark has dedicated people working specifically on making it available. Thus, we rarely have downtimes. The general principle is that we are continually looking for new unblocked servers, testing them, and changing to new ones if some get blocked. Surfshark is doing this because there are a lot of people from the UK who travel frequently, are living elsewhere as expats or studying abroad, but they cannot access their beloved content. Therefore, we provide them with an opportunity to enjoy their right to stream the content they like from anywhere in the world.

Can you tell us more about your company’s investment into streaming servers (BBC iPlayer)?

  • Although we are not willing to reveal even the approximate costs on making it possible, the maintenance of it is one of the most expensive if compared to other services. Still, as we have so many users who keep on asking for such availability, we will keep on investing in our network in the UK to make this available as long as it is technically possible.
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Accessing BBC iPlayer outside of the UK with a VPN

Now that we picked a proper VPN, it is time to unblock BBC iPlayer. If you are not familiar with the VPN usage, you can either follow the instructions or check out four simple steps below:

  1. Register a BBC account,
  2. Download and install a compatible app to your desired device,
  3. Connect to dedicated BBC iPlayer server,
  4. Refresh the BBC website and start streaming your favorite iPlayer programs.
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Problems you might face

Earlier, we discussed the BBC’s taking action against VPN providers. Since 2015, BBC updates its server to blocks VPN access to its programs. In other words, the providers above might also be blocked by BBC iPlayer.

According to my long term experience, not many providers can fix the issue ASAP. However, CyberGhost, SaferVPN as well as SurfShark take immediate action to bypass the blockage.

Still, if you keep on experience streaming problems, try these quick fixes:

  • Try other UK servers other than dedicated servers,
  • Contact customer support and learn the proper server if available,
  • Still helpless? Try other providers such as ExpressVPN, Hidemyass, PrivateVPN

Summing up!

Choosing the best VPN for BBC iPlayer is not easy. Yet, I got your back. I have reviewed more than 20 VPN services in the market and tested them one by one for BBC iPlayer abroad streaming. Some did work, some did not. Even some of the providers stopped working because of the strict BBC iPlayer embargo.

Bearing the problems in mind, and knowing what we actually need, I have handpicked top 3 providers according to several criteria: special streaming servers, user-friendly software, stable server performance, reasonable bandwidth, and future server investment.

While most of the VPN providers fail many of our criteria, our top picks will meet our expectations and help us stream BBC iPlayer abroad with the finest video quality.

For the last time check the chart below and make the right decision to access iPlayer programs.

VPN features

  • BBC iPlayer servers
  • User friendly software
  • Stability
  • Streaming quality
  • Bandwidth limitation
  • Further investment

CyberGhost

2.75$/ Month
2.75$/ Month
  • Super stable
  • HD
  • 80 GB/Month

SaferVPN

2.5$/ Month
2.5$/ Month
  • Super stable
  • HD
  • Unlimited
  • -

SurfShark

1.94$/ Month
1.94$/ Month
  • Stable
  • HD
  • Unlimited*Fair usage applies

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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