High quality online media streaming isn’t limited to Netflix and Amazon. BBC iPlayer has been offering a mixture of live and catch-up programming via the BBC website since 2008.

Considering it’s totally free to use, the breadth and quality of the shows and movies, not to mention sports, on offer is unparalleled. There’s just one catch: it’s only available to UK viewers.

Not only that, but beginning this year it’s now required for all viewers to have a near-$200 UK Television License to use the service. Previously, this had only been required for watching live programming. If you’re planning on watching BBC iPlayer using a VPN from outside the UK this shouldn’t have too much effect as the BBC currently employs a trust system to police the new licensing laws.


Using a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer from Outside the UK

So, you love shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock and EastEnders but you live outside the UK and don’t want to wait to watch them on US streaming sites? That’s where a VPN can help.

That, however, can easily be resolved by choosing the right VPN. Not all VPNs work with BBC, because like Netflix, since late 2015 they have done their best to block all UK-based VPN servers. But we found that many great VPN services can still be used to access BBC’s iPlayer and watch all of the great shows.

However, given the current state of affairs we can’t guarantee that the VPN providers that we recommend will always unblock iPlayer without any issues. In truth, we’ve found that access can sometimes be a little hit-and-miss, so you should consider carefully if you plan on investing in a VPN purely to watch BBC shows.



ExpressVPN review - Top 5 Best VPNA top-quality VPN company that sets the standard with a sleek, professional offering. It’s not cheap but you get what you pay for, including high speed servers that make streaming HD content a breeze. The 30-day money-back guarantee means that you don’t need to worry about wasted money if you find iPlayer access problematic.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.



NordVPN Review - Top 5 Best VPNWith hundreds of servers around the world, including a good selection in the United Kingdom, we think NordVPN offers an exceptional service for the price. Especially with that Top5 exclusive 67% off code. On top of that, Nord offers a whole range of features, including ‘kill switch’, double data encryption, and a strict no-logs policy.

Read our full NordVPN review.


Check back soon for more BBC iPlayer VPN recommendations, or check out our latest rankings on our TV & Movies VPN listing

Andrew Marsden
Andrew is an experienced IT consultant who specializes in internet security. Despite being much in demand by corporations across the globe, his passion for discussing the latest technology means Top 5 VPN users get the benefit of his vast knowledge and experience.
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