How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad – Simple VPN solution

BBC is the most popular TV in the UK. It has a huge catalog appealing to millions of viewers in many different categories and engaging programs. While quality content makes the BBC iPlayer attractive, it is quite disappointing that the content is only available to UK residents. This puts both the UK people who have gone abroad and those who want to watch programs into a tough situation.

Basically, we cannot watch BBC iPlayer when residing outside of the UK. However, there are some online tools to turn our present (non-UK) IP address into UK one – VPN services! Before moving forward to the unblocking steps, I would like to point out why we cannot watch BBC iPlayer abroad…

Why can’t I access BBC iPlayer when I am outside of the UK?

BBC offers a different version of their sites. This is why you are being redirected to bbc.com instead of bbc.co.uk when trying to browse the site outside of the UK.

BBC’s explanation for this:

  • “Some content on our sites is available in the UK but not internationally; notably, certain rights restricted video. In order to ensure that people in the UK do not see advertising we have to use GeoIP.”

To put this short, restricted video right and advertising options cause the core problem for us.

Furthermore, as mentioned in the quote above, the BBC applies GeoIP-blocking system to figure out where the visitors come from. That way, the technology will restrict you from watching BBC iPlayer when trying to access it from outside of the UK.

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How can I access BBC iPlayer abroad?

We’ve detected the problem:

  • “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues. In the UK? Here’s some advice.” 

It is now time to fix it!

No matter how hard BBC iPlayer tries to keep the shows available to UK residents, anyone outside of the UK can also enjoy them. They just need a VPN service. Such services are used both to encrypt our online data and change our IP address. Hence, we will be using one.

In the following four steps tutorial, I will walk you through the necessary actions we got to take to fix the streaming problem.

Step 1 – Registering a BBC account

BBC made it a must to have an account to stream shows. Therefore, visit the BBC now and create your account.

Step 2 – Register a VPN account and install the VPN app

In order to change our local IP address to the UK, we do need a VPN service.

First of all, not many services can bypass BBC iPlayer GeoIP-Blocking technology. In that sense, we should be going after a decent and working solution: NordVPN…

  • Visit NordVPN and choose the desired plan
  • Complete your purchase with the payment options available
  • Download NordVPN app compatible with your device
  • Once you are done with the download, install the app and sign with your credentials

Step 3 – Choosing the right VPN server

The final step is to choose the right VPN server. In order to change our IP address to the UK, search “United Kingdom” in the search bar and double click to connect to it.

Once the connection is established with the VPN server, your new IP address will be assigned as UK IP.

Refresh the BBC iPlayer page. Stream any video you like!

If you are getting the “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK or cannot load the video properly” error. It might be because the BBC blocked that VPN server IP. For a faster solution, you should contact to NordVPN customer support and learn the working BBC iPlayer streaming server number.

Search the number upper left side of the software, and connect to the working server. This will solve your problem!

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Problems you might face while using a VPN

So far everything looks super fine. We got a problem and fixed it with a VPN service. However, things might change in a way you may not like it. Because of the copyright issues, BBC iPlayer started a war against VPN services and blocked many of them. Related with the cut-off, BBC says:

  • …blockade to deter pirates from ripping off its dramas, comedies, documentaries and other programs, which are funded by TV license-fee payers in Blighty.

In other words, BBC is taking cautions to keep its streaming service running only to TV license-fee payers.

The news follows:

  • Now the corporation is putting a stop to all that, or at least it’s trying to. If you try to watch iPlayer via a VPN, you’ll get this simple error message instead: “BBC iPlayer TV programs are available to play in the UK only.”

BBC looks pretty determined about blocking outside access to iPlayer programs and it adds up:

  • “We regularly make updates to our technology to help prevent access to BBC iPlayer from outside the UK, which breaks our terms of use…”

Here is the problem we might face…

As concluded from the last quote, the BBC will implement new updates to its system to block VPN providers from time to time. It is a super irritating yet a common problem while accessing BBC iPlayer abroad. One day you wake up, it might see that the UK server of the VPN provider is not unblocking the BBC iPlayer embargo.

Still, we are not out off options!

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3 alternative VPNs to stream BBC iPlayer outside of UK

In case of a VPN block, I would like to introduce you to some other VPN providers for BBC iPlayer. These handpicked providers are also capable of bypassing BBC iPlayer VPN ban and they will help you fix the problems with the highest quality possible.

1. CyberGhost

Romania based VPN provider, CyberGhost has a dedicated BBC iPlayer streaming server. With the help of the latest 3.0v update, you can easily pick the UK streaming server and start watching your favorite programs.

cyberghost bbc iplayer experience was amazing with high quality streaming.

Above, you can see my experience. According to our review, CyberGhost is capable of bypassing BBC iPlayer ban and provide full HD streaming quality for us.

Starting from 2.75$, you can have an amazing BBC iPlayer streaming experience. Yet, keep this in mind: each Cyberghost user is bound to a fair usage limit of 80GB/Month.

2. SaferVPN

One of the fastest providers in the market, SaferVPN has also dedicated streaming servers for BBC iPlayer. Instead of trying to find the proper server for streaming, SaferVPN software will guide you to the best option and help you stream your favorite shows.

According to our test and streaming experience, SaferVPN could be one of your top choices. Easy to use the software, lighting fast streaming servers, and friendly customer support is always there to enhance your online streaming experience.

There is no monthly cap. Stream as many programs as you want. Plus, all these start from 2.50$.

3. Surfshark

A newcomer to our list, SurfShark is an offshore based VPN provider focusing greatly on user privacy. Besides being an amazing no-log VPN service, it can also help us stream BBC iPlayer abroad.

surfshark can easily bypass bbc iplayer ban!

First of all, Surfshark does not have a dedicated streaming server. Yet, my first try with the United Kingdom – London server was a success.

The streaming video quality was as good as SaferVPN and I did not have any stability issues. But! You have to make sure to disable “CleanWeb” feature to play videos. Otherwise, the CleanWeb feature will block the background JavaScript files and make the streaming impossible.

Apart from this tiny problem, you can enjoy full HD streaming with Surfshark starting from 1. 94$.

Summing up

It can become quite irritating not being able to stream your favorite shows abroad. Because of the harsh restrictions taken by providers, unfortunately, it is not quite possible to access streaming platforms outside of certain locations. One of the biggest problem causing such problem to us is BBC iPlayer.

Because of the Geo-IP blocking, BBC iPlayer offers its programs only to UK resident. In other words, any IP range other than the UK will be blocked!

Bearing this problem in mind, a VPN solution becomes handy to bypass BBC iPlayer block as it can change your IP address to any country you want.

In that sense, I offered you an amazing VPN service: NordVPN to have a UK IP address and watch BBC iPlayer abroad. With NordVPN’s dedicated streaming services, you can enjoy streaming any TV show you want. Unlimited bandwidth cap is another bonus as well.

Knowing the fact that any BBC can block the VPN services from time to time, make sure to try other alternatives: CyberGhost, SaferVPN, and Surfshark.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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