Best VPNs For Streaming BBC iPlayer 2021

From Louis Theroux’s wonderfully weird documentaries to gritty TV dramas such as Luther and Dracula, BBC iPlayer is home to a massive selection of binge-worthy content, and most of it’s exclusive to BBC, so you won’t find it on Amazon Prime Video or Netflix.

Written By: Adam Dagan Cyber security & Privacy expert

BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK, but you can use a VPN to change your network location and trick the broadcaster into thinking that you’re located in the UK. BBC iPlayer does have some of the strictest VPN detection tools, though, so if you’re using a VPN to access the platform, you need to make sure it’s been fully tested to work with BBC iPlayer. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to waste your time doing hours of research. We’ve done that for you to bring you a selection of the ten best VPNs for streaming BBC iPlayer in 2021. Let’s start with our five top picks.

Short on time? Here are the Top 5 VPN Picks Quick Rundown

  • Fast, stable, and encrypted connections
  • Multi-device security for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
  • Proxy extensions for web browsers Chrome and Firefox
  • Up to 6 simultaneously connected devices
NordVPN
$3.71/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
163ms Avg.
42.71Mbps Avg.
9.23Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 56.23 Mbps 11.71 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 49.83 Mbps 10.75 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 46.73 Mbps 10.64 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 148 ms 45.79 Mbps 11.11 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 241 ms 32.01 Mbps 10.85 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 84 ms 49.99 Mbps 11.28 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 361 ms 23.14 Mbps 1.69 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 434 ms 37.97 Mbps 5.84 Mbps
VPN locations:
80 Servers in
VPN locations: 59 Countries
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Chile
  • South Africa
  • India
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Israel
  • Turkey
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Finland
  • Serbia
  • Austria
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Bulgaria
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Luxembourg
  • Ukraine
  • Greece
  • Estonia
  • Iceland
  • Albania
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Moldova
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • North Macedonia

While NordVPN didn’t quite manage to make our number one spot, it’s an excellent VPN with a long list of security features and server locations that provide phenomenal value.

Visit NordVPN
  • Excellent speeds - no slow down experience
  • Zero latency – smooth gaming experience
  • Ease of use - set up in a couple of minutes
  • No-logs policy - Your data is 100% untraceable.
  • Impressive security – military grade encryption
ExpressVPN
$8.32/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
107ms Avg.
45.09Mbps Avg.
9.29Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 8 ms 58.56 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 54.52 Mbps 11.85 Mbps
Manual connect US server 12 ms 53.22 Mbps 11.12 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 140 ms 42.85 Mbps 6.69 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 133 ms 37.64 Mbps 9.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 82 ms 40.41 Mbps 11.09 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 180 ms 38.42 Mbps 6.01 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 291 ms 35.11 Mbps 6.09 Mbps
VPN locations:
145 Servers in
VPN locations: 92 Countries
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Kenya
  • South Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • North Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar [Burma]
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

The fastest VPN in the world is our #1 best-rated VPN for its outstanding security, consistent speed and reliability

Visit ExpressVPN
  • No limits: you can connect as many devices to your account as you want
  • No logs: like many VPNs, Surfshark advertises a strict no-log policy
  • Security audit: its privacy and security features have been verified by third-party analysts
Surfshark
$2.49/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
28.5ms Avg.
67Mbps Avg.
28.5Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 34 ms 78 Mbps 23 Mbps
Quick connect US server 23 ms 56 Mbps 34 Mbps
VPN locations:
62 Servers in
VPN locations: 63 Countries
  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Paraguay
  • United States
  • Israel
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Surfshark is a great VPN that offers a wide range of unique features. It is easy to use, and has an impressive array of over 3,200 servers in 65 countries.

Visit Surfshark
PrivateVPN
30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
0ms Avg.
0Mbps Avg.
0Mbps Avg.
VPN locations:
0 Servers in
VPN locations: 0 Countries

Visit PrivateVPN
  • No limits - unlimited bandwidth available
  • No logs - the official CyberGhost policy is to have zero usage logs, keeping your information totally safe
  • Max protection - DNS and IP leak prevention features
CyberGhost
$2.25/mo 45 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
39.5ms Avg.
73Mbps Avg.
61.5Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 45 ms 79 Mbps 67 Mbps
Quick connect US server 34 ms 67 Mbps 55.99 Mbps
VPN locations:
6466 Servers in
VPN locations: 88 Countries
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • North Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

With a massive selection of over 6300 servers to choose from in over 110 locations, CyberGhost has one of the most impressive networks for a VPN.

Visit CyberGhost
Best VPNs By Streaming Service

Popcorn Time

Plex

Torrenting

Hulu

Netflix

Apple TV

Amazon Prime

What is a VPN and Why Do You Need One for BBC iPlayer? 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to create a secure connection through an encrypted tunnel to private servers located all over the world. All of the information that you’re transferring while you’re connected to a VPN is fully encrypted, and because you’re connected through a private server, you’ll also be anonymous and your internet activity will be completely hidden from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). 

Normally, you’d need to live in the UK to watch BBC iPlayer, but you can use a VPN to stream a massive selection of British TV series, films, and documentaries from anywhere in the world. Simply use your VPN to connect to a British server that works with BBC iPlayer and you’ll be able to watch the likes of Line of Duty, The Bridge, Waterloo Road, Gavin and Stacey, and loads more. 

 

Speed is Important – Will a VPN Slow My Connection Down While I’m Streaming BBC iPlayer? 

It’s normal to notice a slight dip in speed when you’re connected to a VPN, but it shouldn’t be anything major. With most VPNs, you’ll never experience a slow down of more than 5%, but this can change depending on your location – especially with UK servers when you’re streaming BBC iPlayer. The further away you are from the server that you’re trying to connect to, the more likely it is that your connection speed will drop. 

There are lots of other things that factor into the speed of your connection too, such as the quality of its server network, whether or not its servers are optimized for streaming, and the strength of your default internet connection. 

 

Which VPN is Fastest for BBC iPlayer? 

We’ve tested all of the VPNs that work with BBC iPlayer and found that NordVPN offers the fastest connection speeds. It was a close call between NordVPN and ExpressVPN as they’re both highly regarded for their ultra-fast speeds, but on this occasion, 600 British server locations helped crown the Nordic giant as the fastest for streaming BBC iPlayer. 

 

What to Consider When You’re Choosing a VPN for Streaming BBC iPlayer 

There are lots of VPNs out there and not all of them work with BBC iPlayer, so it helps to know what features you should be looking out for. 

 

UK Servers That Work with BBC iPlayer 

Your VPN will only work with BBC iPlayer if it has servers that are located in the UK. More importantly, these servers need to have been tested to fully work with the British streaming provider. The BBC has its own algorithms and technology that can detect certain IPs associated with VPNs, so it’s important to choose one that has a quality selection of servers that are strong enough to avoid detection! 

 

Optimized Servers for HD Streaming 

Streaming in HD eats up a lot of data quickly, so it helps if your VPN can offer servers that’ve been optimized for streaming. Some of the VPNs we’ve featured in this list, such as NordVPN and PrivateVPN, even have servers that have been specifically optimized for BBC iPlayer to guarantee an uncompromised viewing experience. 

 

App Compatibility 

Whether you’re a Mac fanatic or a die-hard PC warrior, you should consider what native app support your VPN is able to offer you. The larger VPNs, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN, offer bespoke apps for every major platform, making it possible to stream BBC iPlayer from whatever device you’re using. You should prioritize the ones that offer quality app support for the devices that you know you’ll be streaming BBC iPlayer from the most. 

 

Security Features 

As your connection is fully encrypted when you’re using a VPN, they’re fantastic for security, but there are plenty of providers that offer additional security features to help boost your online privacy. Keep an eye out for features such as a killswitch, DNS leak protection, military-grade encryption, malware detection, and ad-blocking – especially if you’re streaming BBC iPlayer through your desktop browser. There are some countries where using a VPN is illegal, so additional security features should provide the reassurance you need when it comes to keeping your online identity fully anonymous.

The 10 Best VPNs : Full Overview

Written By: Adam Dagan Cyber security & Privacy expert

1. NordVPN

You won’t find a better VPN for streaming BBC iPlayer than NordVPN. Accessing the very best British boxsets couldn’t be any easier thanks to NordVPN’s amazing SmartPlay feature, which you can use to instantly connect to UK servers that are guaranteed to work with BBC iPlayer. While many providers fall foul of BBC’s algorithm updates and end up getting blocked by the provider as a result, you can remain confident you won’t experience this issue while you’re using NordVPN, as there are over 690 UK servers to connect to. 

We manually connected to 50 of these UK servers and only one of them didn’t work with BBC iPlayer. When we used the SmartPlay feature, which matches you to the best server depending on your requirements, we were able to stream BBC iPlayer at lightning-fast speeds of nearly 50 Mbps, so you shouldn’t have any issues streaming in HD.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers: SmartPlay feature connects you to optimized servers
Available On Compatible routers, browsers, Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Kindle Fire.
Data logging Strict no-logging policy (fully verified)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 5000
Top download speed reached 91Mbps
VPN locations Over 80 in 59 countries
Maximum devices supported Up to 6
Plans one month, one year, two year, and three-year plans.
24/7 live chat Yes

With over 600 UK servers, NordVPN is the fastest and most reliable way to stream BBC iPlayer

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 56.23 Mbps 11.71 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 49.83 Mbps 10.75 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 46.73 Mbps 10.64 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 148 ms 45.79 Mbps 11.11 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 241 ms 32.01 Mbps 10.85 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 84 ms 49.99 Mbps 11.28 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 361 ms 23.14 Mbps 1.69 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 434 ms 37.97 Mbps 5.84 Mbps

Not Recommended for... It’s a little bit more expensive than other VPNs, but honestly, other than that, there’s nothing else we can fault this Nordic giant for. 

Bottom Line 

If you’re looking for the easiest and fastest way to unblock BBC iPlayer, NordVPN is the best provider out there, with lightning-fast connection speeds and fantastic app support for a massive selection of devices. The SmartPlay feature means you won’t have to waste your time looking for the best server to stream BBC iPlayer and in addition to being a fantastic VPN for streaming, it’s also got some top-class security features that’ll keep you safe online. 

Read NordVPN Full Review

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is widely regarded as one of the most user-friendly VPNs out there, with ultra-fast speeds that are perfect for streaming. When it comes to streaming BBC iPlayer, there are three UK servers that you can connect to, and we tested all of these to check they work with the British broadcaster. Speeds were fast enough to support streaming in HD, and we didn’t experience any issues with lag or disconnections. 

While NordVPN came out on top for streaming BBC iPlayer, ExpressVPN has a unique selling point in the form of MediaStreamer, which lets you run the provider through devices that don’t usually support VPNs. We followed the ExpressVPN set-up video to connect to the VPN on our PlayStation 4, change our location to the UK, and install BBC iPlayer. This is a great way of streaming the latest British films and TV shows directly through your PS4 or Xbox One console.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers All servers have been optimized for streaming
Available On Compatible routers, browsers, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Data logging Strict no-logging policy (fully verified)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 3000
Top download speed reached 88Mbps
VPN locations 160 locations in 94 countries
Maximum devices supported Up to 5
Plans Monthly / 6 Months / Yearly
24/7 live chat Yes

An ultra-fast VPN that’s also one of the easiest to use. 

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 8 ms 58.56 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 54.52 Mbps 11.85 Mbps
Manual connect US server 12 ms 53.22 Mbps 11.12 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 140 ms 42.85 Mbps 6.69 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 133 ms 37.64 Mbps 9.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 82 ms 40.41 Mbps 11.09 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 180 ms 38.42 Mbps 6.01 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 291 ms 35.11 Mbps 6.09 Mbps

Not Recommended for... ExpressVPN carries a premium price tag, resulting in monthly subscription plans that cost double, sometimes triple, that of its competitors. 

Bottom Line 

ExpressVPN is a great choice if you’re used to streaming films and TV shows directly from apps on your video game consoles because you can use it to do the same with BBC iPlayer. The provider’s ultra-fast speeds will always guarantee HD streaming and while there are only three UK servers to connect to, ExpressVPN is widely regarded as one of the best VPNs for unblocking websites and streaming platforms, so we’re confident it’s strong enough – and fast enough – to continue dodging BBC iPlayer’s attempts at blocking VPNs. 

Read ExpressVPN Full Review

3. Surfshark VPN

Your Surfshark subscription supports an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, making it a fantastic VPN for not only unblocking BBC iPlayer but for connecting to a variety of different streaming platforms in large households. Speeds are ultra-fast for streaming in HD and while there are only three UK servers to connect to, all of them worked with BBC iPlayer when our VPN experts tested them. 

Surfshark is easy to use and even easier to set-up with fantastic app support for Windows, Mac, and browsers (to name just a few) and it works brilliantly on cell phones. One of Surfshark’s best selling points is its unique NoBorders mode, which was created to let people access the VPN in locations that normally block them. We got two of our VPN experts in China and Russia to try and access BBC iPlayer from their location and they didn’t have any problems.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers Yes and optimized for BBC iPlayer
Available On Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chromebook, browsers, and more.
Data logging No-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers 1700
Top download speed reached 82 Mbps
VPN locations Over 63 countries
Maximum devices supported Unlimited simultaneous connections
Plans one month, one year and two-year plans
24/7 live chat Yes

Stream BBC iPlayer with unlimited simultaneous connections 

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 34 ms 78 Mbps 23 Mbps
Quick connect US server 23 ms 56 Mbps 34 Mbps

Not Recommended for... Surfshark is fast enough but falls slightly behind ExpressVPN and NordVPN. 

Bottom Line 

With subscription plans starting from $1.99 per month, Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPNs out there and can offer its services without any significant compromise on speed or quality. If you’re working to a budget and want a quick and easy way of unblocking BBC iPlayer, you can’t go wrong with Surfshark. 

 

Read Surfshark Full Review

4. Private VPN

With just over 100 servers, PrivateVPN doesn’t have one of the largest server networks out there; size isn’t everything when it comes to streaming BBC iPlayer, as the Sweden-based provider proves. There are six UK servers to connect to – five in London and one in Manchester – and all of them can unblock BBC iPlayer without any issues. Better still, PrivateVPN has a private server in the UK that’s been specifically optimized for BBC iPlayer, offering impressive speeds that are fast enough to stream anything you want on BBC iPlayer in HD. 

We tried accessing BBC iPlayer from a variety of different locations in Russia, China, and the United States and didn’t experience any problems with lag or disconnections. In addition to being an easy way to instantly stream BBC iPlayer, PrivateVPN has some fantastic security features and with a seven-day free trial, you can give it a spin for yourself before you get tied into any monthly subscription plans.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers Yes and one server optimized for BBC iPlayer
Available On: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chromebook, browsers, and more.
Data logging Zero logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 100
Top download speed reached 74 Mbps
VPN locations 30+ countries
Maximum devices supported Up to 12 simultaneous connections
Plans one month plan and 12-month plan
24/7 live chat Yes

Its optimized server for BBC iPlayer won’t let you down

Speed

Not Recommended for... While it’s able to easily unblock BBC iPlayer, it does sometimes encounter hurdles with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video depending on where you’re connecting from. 

Bottom Line 

PrivateVPN may not have established itself as a major VPN player yet, but its UK servers and cheap monthly subscription plans make it one of the best choices for streaming BBC iPlayer. Speeds are impressive and there’s some great app support for a variety of different devices. If you want to give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose by testing it yourself using the seven-day free trial. 

Read PrivateVPN Full Review

5. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost has the largest server network out there, which means you can tap into over 400 private servers located in the UK, many of which have been optimized for streaming to provide the fastest possible speeds. We manually tested over 100 servers in the UK and only experienced issues with two servers. For an instant to a UK server that’s guaranteed to work with BBC iPlayer, just use the quick connect feature to access the BBC iPlayer optimized servers. 

Whether you’re a VPN newbie or a network expert, you won’t have any issues setting up and using CyberGhost, and there’s some great app support for Mac, Android, and iOS devices in particular. In addition to being a great VPN for streaming BBC iPlayer, CyberGhost’s massive network of servers makes it one of the best VPNs for bypassing geofilters in general. There’s certainly a lot to love about this provider, especially with its generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers Optimized streaming servers for BBC iPlayer
Available On Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, compatible routers, browsers, and more.
Data logging Clear no-logging policy (fully verified)
Money-back guarantee 45 days
Number of servers Over 6300
Top download speed reached 82 Mbps
VPN locations 110 locations in 89 countries
Maximum devices supported Up to 7
Plans one month, one year, two year and three-year plans
24/7 live chat Yes

Tap into the largest server network out there for unlimited HD streaming 

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 45 ms 79 Mbps 67 Mbps
Quick connect US server 34 ms 67 Mbps 55.99 Mbps

Not Recommended for... CyberGhost doesn’t work well in China or the UAE.

Bottom Line 

With over 6300 private servers to connect to, 400 of which are located in the UK, you won’t have any problems unblocking BBC iPlayer. Speeds are ultra-fast to support HD streaming and our connection strength was always consistent, so we couldn’t recommend CyberGhost highly enough – as long as you don’t live in China or the UAE. 

 

Read CyberGhost Full Review

6. Vypr VPN

VyprVPN’s bespoke Chameleon protocol is capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer so you can stream the likes of Doctor Who, Downtown Abbey, and the hilarious Toast of London at some of the fastest speeds available. As its servers are located in London and privately owned, you won’t experience any disconnections, lag, or buffering when you’re watching the latest Brit flicks. 

While finding a UK server that works with BBC iPlayer is easy, it does take a while to initially establish the connection, especially if you’re planning on streaming shows directly from your cell phone. Outside of streaming, Vypr is one of the most secure VPNs out there as it supports every protocol going.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers No
Available On: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, compatible routers, browsers, and TVs.
Data logging Strict no-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 700
Top download speed reached 72 Mbps
VPN locations Over 70
Maximum devices supported Up to five simultaneous connections
Plans one month, 12-month and two-year plans
24/7 live chat Yes

Great companion for anyone interested in using a VPN for streaming. 

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 9 ms 55.13 Mbps 12.21 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 53.43 Mbps 11.42 Mbps
Manual connect US server 13 ms 45.82 Mbps 10.79 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 128 ms 46.99 Mbps 10.28 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 150 ms 40.99 Mbps 10.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 58 ms 48.29 Mbps 11.21 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 419 ms 36.29 Mbps 8.98 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 350 ms 29.42 Mbps 7.65 Mbps

Not Recommended for... Speeds aren’t the fastest, especially compared alongside NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

Bottom Line 

VyprVPN does everything that you could ever need it to when it comes to unblocking BBC iPlayer, and while its speeds aren’t as impressive as the top VPNs, they’re still fast enough to support HD streaming. As its no-logging policy is audited by a third-party company, you can be confident that VyprVPN cares about your privacy and security, making it a great choice for anyone with privacy concerns. 

 

Read VyprVPN Full Review

7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot may have just two servers located in the UK, but we put them to the test from a variety of different locations in Europe, China, and Russia to see if we could unblock BBC iPlayer and our VPN experts overseas didn’t have any issues at all. All of us were able to stream at impressive speeds that were fast enough to support HD streaming, with no annoying buffering or lag interruptions. 

While Hotspot Shield offers a free plan that’s great for internet users that are looking to improve their online security, you’ll need to take out a subscription to the premium plan to access BBC iPlayer. The provider has experienced some issues with compatibility in the past with BBC iPlayer, so it’s important to keep on top of your app updates to ensure you can always bypass the Beebs’ geoblocks.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers No
Available On Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and a browser extension for Chrome
Data logging Strict no-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 3200
Top download speed reached 84 Mbps
VPN locations 80+ countries
Maximum devices supported Up to five simultaneous connections
Plans Free plan or a monthly plan
24/7 live chat Yes

Strong encryption and privacy features at unbeatable prices 

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 59.25 Mbps 12.13 Mbps
Quick connect US server 13 ms 55.67 Mbps 11.43 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 52.11 Mbps 9.14 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 116 ms 45.13 Mbps 7.65 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 135 ms 42.23 Mbps 7.05 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 100 ms 44.27 Mbps 8.63 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 242 ms 37.93 Mbps 6.23 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 285 ms 32.41 Mbps 6.01 Mbps

Not Recommended for... Users have experienced issues with BBC iPlayer in the past, so choosing a provider like NordVPN or ExpressVPN might be a safer option. 

Bottom Line 

With unlimited bandwidth and a server network comprising over 3000 private servers, Hotspot Shield’s premium subscription plan has plenty to offer while providing fast-enough speeds to stream the biggest British hits in HD.

Read Hotspot Shield Full Review

8. SaferVPN

A subscription to PureVPN is cheap and will let you tap into a network of over 2000 servers in 140 countries. That’s more than enough to access Amazon Prime Video libraries in a variety of different locations. We had no issue connecting to a UK server to stream the latest season of Vikings and could easily connect to servers in Japan to watch Anime series that aren’t available on Crunchyroll or Netflix. 

PureVPN supports unlimited server switching, so if you do connect to a server that doesn’t work with Amazon Prime Video, you can keep switching until you land on the right one. That said, you can always use the built-in Stream Mode to instantly connect to Amazon Prime Video servers. It may not be one of the fastest VPNs out there, but it supports up to ten connections and comes complete with a lot of useful security features that keep you safe if you’re streaming from an unsecured network.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers No
Available On Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, compatible routers and internet browsers
Data logging Strict no-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 31 days
Number of servers Over 1300
Top download speed reached 75Mbps
VPN locations 50+ countries
Maximum devices supported Up to five simultaneous connections
Plans one month, one year and three-year plans
24/7 live chat Yes

An easy way to streaming Amazon Prime Video US

Speed

Not Recommended for... We did encounter issues when we tested SaferVPN with Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, so if you want your VPN to also unblock other streaming providers, there might be safer options elsewhere.  

Bottom Line 

With support for multiple VPN protocols and the offer of unlimited bandwidth and server switching, SaferVPN lets you dive headfirst into a new world of amazing British documentaries and TV series thanks to its ability to easily unblock BBC iPlayer. It isn’t as fast as bigger providers, but there’s a lot here to love. 

 

Read SaferVPN Full Review

9. ZenMate VPN

ZenMate makes unblocking BBC iPlayer the stress-free experience it should be thanks to over 250 UK servers that’ve been optimized to guarantee the fastest connection speeds. There’s a useful ‘favorite’ tool that allows you to bookmark servers for instant connections next time – great if you’ve found a specific UK server that offers faster speeds than others. 

ZenMate’s speeds did fluctuate at peak times, but they were still fast enough to let us stream Luther and the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race in HD without any lag. In addition to unblocking BBC iPlayer, you can also use ZenMate to unblock Comedy Central, Fox Sport, and Crunchyroll from loads of different locations. 

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers Yes, with a dedicated server just for BBC iPlayer
Available On: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and desktop browsers
Data logging Strict no-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 3600
Top download speed reached 78 Mbps
VPN locations Over 74 countries
Maximum devices supported Unlimited simultaneous connections
Plans one month, six month and 12-month plans
24/7 live chat No

Great user interface and wide range of devices.

Speed

Not Recommended for... There’s no live chat support, which is disappointing considering it’s offered by most other providers as standard. 

Bottom Line 

ZenMate is one of the best VPNs out there if you’re looking for a chilled streaming experience, as it’s able to easily unblock many of the most popular streaming websites. Unfortunately, we did find it lacked in other areas such as customer support and flaky speeds, so if you need your VPN to do more than just unblock websites, it might be worth looking at other providers. 

 

Read ZenMate VPN Full Review

10. HMA VPN

HMA! VPN is compatible with a wide range of modern Windows, Android, iOS and Linux devices, but works particularly well on Macs. As its name suggests, your ass will be completely anonymized and no one will be able to see your internet traffic, making it a great way to unblock BBC iPlayer. This provider may not have the largest network of servers, but it does offer servers across one of the largest selection of countries, with over ten servers in the UK. 

We were able to easily unblock BBC iPlayer on every UK server that we tried, and our VPN experts at the other side of the world didn’t have any issues, either. Speeds weren’t the fastest, but perhaps more importantly, they were consistent – something that’s down to HMA! VPN capping its servers at 20Gbps. Servers are optimized for security as well as speed, and with a no-logging policy that’s independently audited by cyber-risk consultant firm VerSprite, you won’t have to worry about the mishandling of your personal information.

Works with

Key Features

Dedicated streaming servers Yes
Available On: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and desktop browsers
Data logging Strict no-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 3600
Top download speed reached 78 Mbps
VPN locations Over 74 countries
Maximum devices supported Unlimited simultaneous connections
Plans one month, six month and 12-month plans
24/7 live chat No

Great user interface and wide range of devices.

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US ms Mbps Mbps
Quick connect US server ms Mbps Mbps
Quick connect FR server ms Mbps Mbps

Not Recommended for... It isn’t one of the cheapest VPNs out there and we don’t feel its features justify the higher price tag, especially in comparison to smaller providers such as Surfshark. 

Bottom Line 

Owned by security giant Avast, you can trust HMA! VPN to truly hide your ass when you’re online. There are enough UK servers to choose from that you shouldn’t have to worry about the provider being blocked by BBC’s algorithm updates, but we did think more choice could be provided in terms of subscription plans. With no monthly subscription plan, just make sure you’re certain that HMA! is the right provider for you before you get tied into a 12-month contract. 

 

Read HMA VPN Full Review

Additional Insights and FAQs

Why do some VPNs Not Work With BBC iPlayer?

There’s a long list of VPNs that used to work with BBC iPlayer but have now stopped working. Tunnelbear, IPVanish, and PureVPN are some of the most common ones, but there are a lot of VPNs that either don’t have servers located in the UK or aren’t strong enough to avoid their servers being picked up by the BBC’s algorithms. The BBC blocks IP addresses that are associated with several users, which is why many VPN servers end up getting blocked.

All streaming providers, including Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, are aware of people using VPNs to access their content libraries and proactively issue updates to try and prevent this from happening. It takes a lot of resources for VPNs to counter these attempts to block them, which is why it’s often the largest and most reputable providers such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN that have the least issues. Larger VPNs are also able to easily replace blocked IP addresses thanks to a large network of servers.

Why Don’t All VPNs Don’t Work with BBC iPlayer?

In addition to larger providers such as Tunnelbear, IPVanish, and PureVPN being blocked by BBC iPlayer, there’s a long list of VPNs that no longer work with the British streaming platform. However, it’s very much a hit-and-miss process using a VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer. As it blocks IP addresses that are associated with multiple users, it’s possible to access BBC iPlayer using very small VPNs that don’t have a lot of users – but this comes with its own risks.

It’d be difficult to provide a comprehensive list of all of the VPNs that are blocked by BBC iPlayer, but there aren’t many VPNs outside of the ones that we’ve mentioned in this article that will work in 2020.

What Countries is BBC iPlayer Available In?

Technically, BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK, which means your VPN will need to provide you with access to UK servers if you want to stream it. If your VPN doesn’t have UK servers, it’s likely that you won’t be able to stream BBC iPlayer.

Can BBC iPlayer Detect my VPN?

BBC iPlayer has banned a lot of IP addresses that are associated with VPNs, but unless a sudden influx of people suddenly jump onto your server while you’re streaming, it’s unlikely that you’ll be caught out while you’re in the middle of streaming. That said, it’s always best to use a VPN that offers a kill switch, just in case you suddenly lose your VPN connection.

Can You Trust Your VPN Provider?

Your privacy is important and you should always trust your VPN provider to handle your personal information sensitively and not share it with third parties. In countries with stricter internet censorship rules, this is even more important.

To check how trustworthy your provider is, make sure you’ve taken a long look at its privacy policy and check to make sure it’s got a strict no-logging policy. If you’re after extra reassurance, choose a VPN that has its privacy policy and no-logging policy independently audited by a third-party security company.

Is it Legal to Stream BBC iPlayer From Abroad?

Due to rights agreements, you need to be in the UK to stream anything from BBC iPlayer, which means you can’t legally stream it abroad. That said, it’s legal to download programs in the UK and then watch them abroad.

BBC iPlayer Suddenly Stopped Working?

If you find out your VPN has been suddenly blocked by BBC iPlayer, this could be for several different reasons, and there are lots of things you can do to try and address the issue before giving up.

The IP address of your server could’ve been blocked. Try switching to another UK-based server to see if you can access BBC iPlayer from a different IP address
When VPNs are blocked by streaming providers, they often update their platforms to try and overcome the blocks. Make sure you’ve installed the latest updates on your VPN apps
Consult your VPN directly as it’ll provide specific instructions on the next best steps to follow

What Can I Do If My VPN Isn’t Working With Amazon Prime Video?

One of the first things you should do is connect to a different server, as it’s likely your IP address has been flagged by Amazon Prime Video as being associated with a VPN.

If your VPN allows it, you should also try switching to a different protocol, as they all have different security and strength features that could affect whether your connection to Amazon Prime Video is successful or not.

Finally, you should make sure your VPN is always fully updated. You’ll be able to check if your software needs an update by heading into its settings.

Summary 

BBC iPlayer is notorious for blocking VPNs and just as notorious for being difficult to unblock. To access its massive library of British films, TV series, and documentaries, make sure you choose a provider that has a solid track record of unblocking BBC iPlayer. All of the VPNs we’ve featured in this article have been fully tested to work with BBC iPlayer in 2020, but for added reassurance, make sure you choose one of the heavy hitters like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, as these are the two VPNs you’re least likely to experience issues with.