Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
If you love quirky British humor or just need your regular dose of Storyville, the British Broadcasting Corporation, better known as the BBC, is probably exactly your cup of tea. Thanks to diverse programming ranging from creative drama to world news, the BBC ranks as one of the most popular television networks today.
BBC launched its iPlayer service in 2007 as more and more people moved to streaming content over the Internet. There are now apps for smartphones, tablets, computers and smart TVs that let users to watch BBC programming no matter the device. The big problem with BBC iPlayer is that it’s region-locked.
The way you will be able to view your shows is to connect to a VPN service with server locations in the United Kingdom. After connecting to a VPN and obtaining a new UK IP address BBC iPlayer will see you in the UK. As far as choices in VPN services, there are many options that can be confusing. However, we have some great recommendations that will help to simplify your decision. Our selections have custom clients, so getting access and viewing your shows is as simple as selecting a country, and connecting to it. Don’t miss a minute of your favorite BBC shows.
1. VPN Area
VPNArea has servers in over 70 different countries, including the UK. Each location has multiple servers. With VPNArea’s built-in load monitor, you can make sure you’re connecting to a server that isn’t overwhelmed with other users.
BBC iPlayer users will find performance to be more than adequate for streaming. Additionally, VPNArea has all of the best security features and total privacy with a no-log system. The company is headquartered in Bulgaria, which adds an extra layer of comfort due to the country’s privacy-friendly legal system.
VPNArea has a 7-day free trial to help you get a feel for it. VPNArea is known for its multi-platform integration, allowing users to access Netflix from different devices. It also has an easy and appealing UI, and very responsive customer support.
2. Nord VPN
NordVPN is another provider known for its great track record with BBC iPlayer. Over 400 available UK servers make this VPN very resourceful. Recent network improvements have also drastically increased speeds (although ExpressVPN is still marginally faster).
NordVPN provides an arsenal of advanced features, too — one of them is a dedicated IP address. This is great for hassle-free content unblocking, but unfortunately doesn’t come standard, so you’ll have to pay extra.
What does come standard is professional 24/7 live support, 6 simultaneous connections (as opposed to ExpressVPN’s 3), and a no-buts money-back guarantee for 30 days. Coupled with a strict no-logging policy and amazing encryption, this makes NordVPN a fast, secure, and reliable sidekick for streaming any geoblocked content — including BBC iPlayer.
3. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost used to have major issues with content unblocking in the past, but after a major overhaul, it quickly rose through the ranks. Nowadays, it’s one of the most capable VPNs for BBC iPlayer.
Despite the overall phantom-like theme, what you see is what you get with CyberGhost. And you get a lot — 150+ servers in the UK, zero traffic or connection logs stored, live chat support, and up to 5 connected devices are just some of the great extras.
What really sets apart this VPN, however, is the custom (and dead-simple to use) profiles. With just a couple of clicks, you can set the client in “unblocking” mode, with settings especially for BBC iPlayer.
If you run into a problem, the responsive dedicated customer support is ready to help you out at any time.
Overall, CyberGhost is a super dependable VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer. This provider makes it up with both a money-back guarantee and a 7-day trial — you can use the latter to test performance before you commit, which is a huge bonus.
VyprVPN’s very own Chameleon protocol works wonders for bypassing the intricate VPN blocks found on Netflix, Hulu, and — of course — BBC iPlayer. A modified version of the OpenVPN protocol, one of its perks is dealing with deep packet inspection, which is often the culprit for a VPN’s failure to access a service with some serious detection in place.
Aside from this handy feature, you get very good speeds and a whole cluster of servers in the UK. If you’re looking to use a VPN for more than just unblocking iPlayer, VyprVPN is a great choice with a global server network totaling at 200,000+ IP addresses.
VyprVPN owns the code, hardware, and network it uses, so everything is at an arm’s reach, figuratively speaking. The cherry on top is the zero-logs policy — while some miscellaneous data is collected, you’ll be binging away in complete privacy.
That said, there are some cons to consider. For one, VyprVPN is a bit on the expensive side. There is no money-back guarantee, either — the provider operates under a no-refunds policy. The good news is you get a trial period, but at only 3 days long, you’ll have to prepare beforehand if you want extensive testing.
Express VPN operates servers in six locations across the UK alone, over 90 countries, each optimized for maximum speed. It bypassed the geo-block to watch an episode of Blue Planet II with no issues. ExpressVPN is probably the most reliable when it comes to speed, consistently scoring among the fastest. If you want to watch iPlayer on a device that doesn’t natively support VPNs, ExpressVPN makes its own router firmware which customers can either download install free of charge or purchase with a pre-flashed router on the website. ExpressVPN logs no identifying information and uses best-in-class security standards.
It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and claims thousands of customers use their service to watch iPlayer content. Live chat support is available on the website 24 hours per day, so be sure to ping them in the event you have any issues.
SaferVPN boasts dedicated streaming servers for the US and UK. The UK streaming option unblocks BBC iPlayer content without breaking a sweat. The US streaming server unblocks Netflix and Amazon Prime, among others. These servers are separated from the rest of the UK and US non-streaming servers, which makes them easy to find without the need to guess or get help from customer support. That being said, live chat support is available around the clock.
Speeds are fast enough to stream in high definition. The app is extremely easy to use, even for a complete novice. Encryption is strong but SaferVPN lacks perfect forward secrecy at this time. The company stores no logs of users’ activity and won’t record your IP address.
7. IPVanish VPN
IPVanish has a loyal following majorly because of their high server speeds, and this is essential especially if you plan on streaming news, live broadcasts or sporting events from BBC iPlayer. The high server speeds also make downloads happen faster, and mind you this is despite the high levels of security put in place by the service. The software that users get to enjoy is top notch, as it contains support for all the most used platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux. Their server network is also quite impressive, with more than 850 of them located in over 60 countries. IPVanish users are also promised that none of their browsing history will be stored by the service, and this is exemplified through their no-logs policy. In terms of security, IPVanish offer PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN as its chosen protocols, all backed up by a 256-bit AES encryption. One aspect that sets them apart from other providers is that they only offer 7 free days of use for prospective customers to decide whether or not this is the service to go with.
8. TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear is a smaller VPN provider that promises a great balance of security, usability, and price. They also have a free version with limited monthly data that can be a great way to get your toes wet with VPNs and see if this is the right product for you. TunnelBear is also a no-log service, which will put to rest almost all privacy concerns while online. Along with top of the line security, TunnelBear gives as much anonymity as VPNs are currently capable of providing.
The downside of TunnelBear, as with many newer and smaller companies, is a more limited selection of servers. Currently, there are only server locations in 20 countries. While this adequately covers most of North America, Europe, and Asia, users who live in or heavily travel to places in Africa and the Middle East may want to look to a different provider. For content streaming, also note that you will not be able to access content that is restricted to only these areas.
TunnelBear is still adding new features, allows up to 5 simultaneous connections, and has a great ad-blocker plug in and mobile app. For the right user, who plans on sticking around the supported region, TunnelBear is an exciting new VPN.
With a compact server network and a relatively low profile, PrivateVPN is one of the smaller providers on the scene. That doesn’t stop it from offering excellent unblocking at a very affordable price point.
Out of PrivateVPN’s 80-something servers, 5 are located in the UK. That isn’t a whole lot, but so far it’s done the trick — a wide array of geoblocked streaming services can be accessed with this VPN, including the coveted BBC iPlayer.
As for privacy, PrivateVPN lives up to its name — the combination of a pristine zero-logs policy and full control of the infrastructure’s data center guarantee secure sessions, despite the VPN’s overall unfavorable location (Sweden).
There is but one thing we’d like to see improved — live chat isn’t available 24/7, although that’s understandable, given the size of this provider. On the upside, the contact form won’t have you waiting too long.
PrivateVPN performs more than well for what it costs, and the 30-day money-back guarantee will take care of the refund. You can even get a free trial by contacting support — go ahead and test this VPN yourself!
10. Goose VPN
Goose VPN is a fast, easy-to-use option that we’d also recommend for watching BBC iPlayer. It works with US Netflix from the UK, too.
There aren’t as many servers available at Goose VPN as there are at NordVPN and ExpressVPN, but the UK is there which is all you’ll need for iPlayer.
A 30 day trial is available, with the cheapest option after that priced at £2.99/$4.17. The downside to that is you only get 50GB to your disposal, and that’s unlikely to be enough for most people.
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