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The BBC iPlayer is the digital streaming platform for the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC. As the BBC is funded by British TV licenses, it limits the content is provides to other countries. As always, if you want to get your Brit TV fix, there are ways around that. This list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer provides that way around.
You can access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK but you don’t get to see a lot of content and it depends entirely on where you are. Some countries cannot access it at all while others have a limited catalog of content to watch. The usual way around this is to use Britbox, a joint venture by the BBC and other UK TV channel ITV. Britbox is a subscription service and if you don’t want to pay, using a VPN to provide secure surfing while also offering access to geoblocked content offers much better value.
If you want to keep up with Doctor Who, Killing Eve or Line of Duty, want a Doctor Foster hit or something different, you can access these shows and more using a VPN. This article will list some VPNs you might like to consider.
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BBC and VPNs
Like Netflix, Hulu, DirecTV and other streaming services, the BBC actively tries to block VPNs. Any VPN provider in this list works around these blocks wherever possible. They either change the IP addresses or ranges of their VPN servers of try to hide them. Access is not guaranteed but using one of these services stands the best chance of accessing iPlayer.
Ways to Mitigate VPN Detection and Blocking
As to be expected, content providers must remain both vigilant and up-to-date when blocking access from unlawful access. After all, they agree to multi-million dollar contracts to provide the content that they do in certain locations only.
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Connect to a Different VPN
If you’re being blocked on one IP address from a VPN provider, then try another. Based upon experience, sometimes one might have to attempt up to three different IP addresses before finding one that works for some time.
When the IP is detected as a possible VPN, simply connect to a different one to circumvent the detection.
Deselect the Additional Security Settings
Often times, a VPN server is detected less by its output of packets, but more by its lack thereof. For many security reasons, a VPN server is often configured to not respond to certain requests and packets. However, this can often lead to detection because many traditional networks aren’t configured to respond in such a way to request and protocols.
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For this reason, disabling the additional security protocols included with a VPN can sometimes allow one to access content that might otherwise be restricted.
There are many VPN providers out there to choose from, but you should definitely consider ExpressVPN when making your choice. Many people use a VPN to access content that might otherwise be limited or denied to them based upon geolocation, i.e. continent, country, state, or city. With thousands of servers in 94 countries, you have a lot of options to choose from when selecting a VPN server from them
NordVPN actively fights VPN blacklisting and offers thousands of servers across the world so you can access local content wherever you are as well as content from home or BBC iPlayer. The provider currently has more than 5,200 servers in 60 countries, built-in ad blocking, and the ability to double jump VPN servers for those times when you really don’t want to be identified. It isn’t the cheapest option but it is fast and reliable.
PureVPN is another worthy contender for the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer. It is also fast and reliable and works to keep geo-blocked content available. They have over 6,500 servers across the world in more than 140 countries and 24/7 customer support. It also has a neat feature where you can divide your internet traffic, part over VPN and part in the clear. It’s a neat feature that allows access to local content while allowing access to geo-blocked content. Some testers found that PureVPN didn’t work for them but it worked fine in my tests so perhaps they have updated their server list.
CyberGhost is another reliable VPN provider and a regular on our best VPN lists. It is fast, reliable and offers good value. Like these others, the service actively tries to keep geo-blocked content available. They have over 7,200 servers in 91 countries, including the US so you should be able to watch iPlayer while at home. The app is simple to use and works on most devices so there’s no excuse to not get your Brit TV fix.
Hotspot Shield is another VPN for BBC iPlayer. It works well, is fast, reliable and seems to keep geo-blocked content available for the majority of the time. They feature more than 3,200 servers in over 80 countries across the world, including the US. The app is easy to use, uses 256-bit encryption and offers a 45-day moneyback guarantee.
VyprVPN is my final suggestion for a VPN that allows access to BBC iPlayer. It is fast, reliable and has more than 700 servers across the world. Where VyprVPN stands out is in its Chameleon technology that hides the VPN servers from network scans so they are less likely to be blocked. The company also owns the servers it uses rather than rents them but this doesn’t affect iPlayer. You do have to pay extra for Chameleon though.
VPNs and Accessing BBC iPlayer Content
There are some notable absences from this list of VPNs for BBC iPlayer. Some are known to not work with the iPlayer while others didn’t work during my testing. That doesn’t mean they never work or will never work but these VPN pieces are snapshots of performance at that particular time.
Most VPN providers will switch servers or IP address ranges as soon as they detect or are notified of a block. As IP addressing is dynamic, that can take less than an hour to do and to propagate across the internet. So, if your existing VPN provider doesn’t work with iPlayer, if they actively work to provide access to geo-blocked content, it’s likely just a matter of time.
If you use a different VPN that does work with BBC iPlayer, don’t hesitate to suggest it below. The more options we have the merrier!