How To Unblock BBC iPlayer With NordVPN (the Easy Way)

Trying to unblock BBC iPlayer is a pain, but now you can with NordVPN.
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Are you an avid BBC iPlayer fan but bogged down by geo-blocking policies? Don't worry, there's a solution. We’ll explore how NordVPN can unblock BBC iPlayer and provide essential tips for an optimal streaming experience.

Whether you're a seasoned virtual private network (VPN) enthusiast or a newcomer, this guide will help you pick the right VPN for seamless access to BBC iPlayer, even outside the United Kingdom.

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On NordVPN's website

In this article
How to use NordVPN to watch BBC iPlayer
Reasons to use a VPN with BBC iPlayer
Reasons to use NordVPN with BBC iPlayer
Alternatives to NordVPN
Bottom line

How to use NordVPN to watch BBC iPlayer

A VPN is like a secret tunnel between your computer and a server that the VPN service connects you to. It hides your computer's address and lets you pick a U.K. IP address instead. When you use a VPN, you can bypass blocks on websites and firewalls while your online activity stays private, protected, and strong.

Not every VPN is compatible with BBC iPlayer. For this reason, we suggest NordVPN for your BBC iPlayer needs as it has an extensive server network and reliably unblocked multiple streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, in our testing. (See our NordVPN review for details.) Follow these easy steps to unblock BBC iPlayer:

  1. Install NordVPN: Download and install NordVPN on your device of choice. The straightforward and user-friendly process makes it accessible to VPN experts and beginners.
  2. Choose a NordVPN U.K. server: Launch the NordVPN app and select one of the NordVPN U.K. servers.
  3. Connect to the server: Click the Connect button to establish a secure connection to the U.K.-based server.
  4. Start BBC iPlayer: Once connected, visit the BBC iPlayer website or use the app to enjoy unrestricted streaming.

How does unblocking BBC iPlayer with NordVPN work?

VPNs work by hiding your IP address and therefore your location. Instead, the streaming service (or any other online content) you try to access thinks your physical location is the same as the location of the VPN server you connect to.

So connecting to a U.K. server with NordVPN gives you a U.K. IP address, which unblocks streaming content in the BBC iPlayer app since it now looks like you’re located in the U.K.

To ensure a seamless experience and troubleshoot any potential issues with streaming platforms, consider the following tips:

  • Clear your browser cache: Sometimes, cached data can interfere with your VPN connection. Clearing your cache can resolve these issues.
  • Keep NordVPN updated: VPN providers regularly update their software to enhance security and optimize performance. Make sure you have the latest version of NordVPN.
  • Contact NordVPN's customer support: Their support is available 24/7. You can email or press their live chat bubble in the bottom-right corner of their website.

Following these essential tips, you should have a smooth streaming experience.

Reasons to use a VPN with BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer blocks access to its content outside of the U.K. But with one of the best VPNs for the U.K., you can get around this and watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. VPNs are essential for international viewers or U.K. residents who may be traveling but still want to enjoy BBC iPlayer's content. They are also critical to use while on public Wi-Fi.

If you're using public Wi-Fi to stream, a VPN is essential for security. Public Wi-Fi networks are often less secure, making it easier for hackers to intercept your online activities and potentially steal sensitive data. By using a VPN, you can encrypt your internet connection and stay private while streaming, protecting yourself from these security risks and ensuring a safer online experience while enjoying BBC iPlayer's content.

When picking a VPN for BBC iPlayer, consider the following:

  • Server locations in the U.K.: Choose a VPN with many servers in the U.K., like NordVPN. NordVPN has over 440 servers in the U.K. alone. This increases your chances of accessing BBC iPlayer reliably.
  • Streaming speeds: Speed matters. To avoid buffering and lag while streaming, go with one of the best VPNs for streaming. NordVPN leverages NordLynx, built around the WireGuard protocol, to reduce its impact on your download speeds.
  • VPN provider's log policies: Protect your privacy using a VPN with a strict no-logs policy (like NordVPN). It keeps your online activities private and secure.

Regarding the BBC’s policies on VPN usage, they’ve made their stance loud and clear.

The BBC’s Terms and Conditions explicitly state, “Don’t mess with our services … [including] accessing content from outside the U.K. that you aren’t allowed to, or helping others do the same. For example, using a VPN service so you can watch BBC iPlayer when you're outside the U.K.”

Pro tip: While using a VPN to access geo-restricted content on BBC iPlayer is not actually illegal, BBC has the right to enforce its own terms of use under current English law. 

While a VPN might not violate the law, the BBC reserves the right to restrict your access or take action if they detect VPN use. Using a VPN can help you adhere to legal boundaries, but you should also consider the specific terms and policies of BBC iPlayer.

Reasons to use NordVPN with BBC iPlayer

NordVPN is a top-notch choice for streaming BBC iPlayer content. Here's why it stands out:

  • Reliable unblocking: NordVPN bypasses BBC iPlayer's geo-restrictions, granting seamless access to your favorite shows. NordVPN regularly updates its servers and technology to stay ahead of BBC iPlayer's efforts to block VPNs.
  • Impressive streaming speeds: Its vast server network helps distribute traffic efficiently, reducing congestion and optimizing performance. It also doesn't cap bandwidth, which adds to enhanced speed.
  • No-logs policy: Nord follows a strict no-logs policy, safeguarding your privacy while you enjoy BBC iPlayer. Your online activities remain private, giving you peace of mind while streaming.
  • Multi-device support: With NordVPN, you can connect up to six devices simultaneously, making it ideal for streaming enthusiasts. Whether you're on a laptop, smartphone, or smart TV, NordVPN has you covered.
  • Excellent security features: NordVPN has many features that we love for extra security. Kill switch, double VPN, split tunneling, WireGuard protocol, threat protection, smart DNS, AES encryption, and more.

While NordVPN is a fantastic choice for accessing BBC iPlayer, there are a couple of drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Slight decrease in streaming speeds: With any VPN, users may occasionally experience a slight decrease in streaming speeds due to server congestion, especially during peak hours.
  • Pricing: NordVPN's pricing tends to be slightly higher than other VPN providers — unless you opt for a longer subscription term.

Always consider your needs and budget when choosing a VPN provider so you can pick the right one for you.

Alternatives to NordVPN

NordVPN is a top-notch choice for accessing BBC iPlayer, but it's good to know that there are other options you can consider, too. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark consistently rank as among the best VPNs for Windows and best VPNs for Mac. If you have a PC or a Mac, any of the three reliable VPNs will deliver.

Remember that each VPN has its strengths, and the services you need will determine which VPN is right for you. Either way, you'll have no trouble watching all the great shows and movies on BBC iPlayer — no matter where you are.

These alternatives to NordVPN may suit your needs better, so let's take a closer look.


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On Surfshark's website

Surfshark VPN offers 212 servers in four U.K. cities, including London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.

Surfshark stands out because it's budget-friendly. It’s consistently the lowest-cost VPN out of this bunch. It doesn’t skimp on security, though, offering the same features as the other two VPNs, with two additional protocols for added security.

You can connect unlimited devices, and Surfshark supports Chrome, Firefox, iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, Linux, FireTV, and Edge. Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read Our Surfshark Review


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On ExpressVPN's website

ExpressVPN has U.K. servers in five locations, including Docklands, East London, London, Midlands, and Wembley. Unlike other VPNs, ExpressVPN only has one server per U.K. location, making it five in total.

BBC iPlayer is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, smart TVs, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV Stick, Samsung Smart TV, PlayStation, and Xbox. ExpressVPN provides user-friendly apps for many of these devices, allowing coverage for up to five devices simultaneously.

If you're not happy with ExpressVPN's service, you can get a full refund within 30 days, guaranteed.

Read Our ExpressVPN Review


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On CyberGhost's website

CyberGhost VPN has 724 servers across three cities (London, Manchester, and Berkshire), giving you many options when choosing a U.K. server.

CyberGhost allows you to connect up to seven devices simultaneously, and it's compatible with Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Android TV. CyberGhost VPN also comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read Our CyberGhost Review



Why can’t I access BBC iPlayer with NordVPN?

Occasionally, BBC iPlayer might have issues even with NordVPN. We recommend clearing the cache, updating your VPN, or switching to a different U.K. server.


Which VPNs work with BBC iPlayer?

Apart from NordVPN, other reliable choices for accessing BBC iPlayer include ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and SurfShark. These VPNs have a proven track record of successfully bypassing BBC iPlayer's geo-restrictions.


Can I get BBC iPlayer in the US?

Only if you use a VPN. BBC iPlayer is not available outside of the U.K., meaning you’d need to connect to a U.K. server to stream.


How much does BBC iPlayer cost in the US?

Even if you are in the U.K., you need a TV License to watch BBC content, and the same goes if you want to use a VPN to access BBC iPlayer. The current annual rate for a TV License is 159 euros, equivalent to about $200. Once you have the TV License, using BBC iPlayer is free.


Can I use a free VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer?

We don't normally recommend using free VPNs because they often come with security risks. This could include logging and selling your data (which defeats the purpose of a VPN) or even infecting your device with malware.

However, PrivadoVPN is a reputable free VPN that offers a server in the U.K. (along with 11 other locations). You can always give it a try for free and, if you need more servers or data, upgrade to one of Privado's paid plans.

Bottom line

Using NordVPN or any other reputable VPN with BBC iPlayer grants you access to content anywhere, regardless of where you are. Remember to follow these six simple steps to use BBC iPlayer outside of the U.K.:

  1. Turn on your VPN.
  2. Choose a U.K. server.
  3. Buy your TV License.
  4. Make your BBC account.
  5. Sign into BBC iPlayer.
  6. Stream your favorite shows.

Whether you're a die-hard BBC  fan or just beginning to explore its offerings, a well-chosen VPN with servers in the U.K. will be your ultimate ally in the quest for unrestricted British entertainment.

Limited-time deal: 2 years of NordVPN with 68% off + 3 extra months
Learn More
On NordVPN's website

Author Details
Cheyenne Lightfoot is a freelance content writer specializing in the intersection between identity and access management and user privacy. As an account executive, she has helped small-to-medium-sized businesses prevent data breaches, safeguard sensitive information, and achieve compliance with passwordless multi-factor authentication software.