BBC iPlayer is a very popular streaming portal that allows residents of the United Kingdom to stream content ranging from TV series and movies to live sport. This is good news if you are located in the UK, but travel outside and you do not come across the content you expected, but a screen telling you content is unavailable. Therefore, what’s the answer to the question, how can I unblock and access BBC iPlayer abroad?
The good news is that there is a way to gain access to the content that you want to stream while away from home. This answer is to sign up with a Virtual Private Network service. One provider that we recommend due to their offering lightning fast servers is ExpressVPN. Alternatives are CyberGhost and NordVPN.
What is it with restrictions?
What is it with those annoying restrictions? Surely if you reside in the UK, have an account with BBC iPlayer and a TV license, you should be in a position to watch content. Well, sadly, this is not the case.
BBC iPlayer only allows streaming in the United Kingdom and it’s all down to licensing laws. Hence the need to find out how to stream BBC iPlayer outside of the UK.
How restrictions are enforced?
Ok, so licensing rights are why content cannot be shown outside of the country, but how are the restrictions enforced? Surely, the streaming portal cannot track you and know that you have moved outside of the country?
In actual fact, they can, and they do. It’s not too difficult to find out exactly where in the world you are located as it is all down to the IP address of the device you use to connect to the internet.
That IP address comes from a server and each address is specific to your device. Not only this, all countries have a specific range of IP addresses. This results in the question, how can I watch BBC iPlayer abroad?
How to beat restrictions
So, the IP address stops you from gaining access to the content you want to stream while away from home. Change it and you overcome the restriction. The easiest way to change your IP address is to sign up for a Virtual Private Network.
A VPN provides the tools that you need to be able to change your IP address to one of the range of the UK and you can do it with just one click. We are about to show you how to access BBC iPlayer abroad in easy steps. In this guide, we have chosen ExpressVPN but CyberGhost and NordVPN work well too.
By taking on an alternative IP address when connecting to a server based in the United Kingdom, the streaming portal believes you are located in that country. It allows you to sign in and stream content, even though you might actually be half way around the world. The good news is that this is legal and you cannot get into trouble for hiding your own IP and taking on a different one.
Now onto the steps needed to obtain a new IP address from the UK so you can stream your content while abroad.
Step 1 – Choosing a plan
The first step in learning how to unblock BBC iPlayer outside of the United Kingdom is to take out a plan with the provider.
ExpressVPN offer different plans so there should be something to meet the needs of everyone. If you take out a 12-month plan, there are terrific savings. This plan gives savings of 49% in comparison to paying monthly and you get three months added on free. So, choose your plan, go ahead, and sign up using the secure payment system.
Step 2 – Downloading
To be able to acquire a new IP address you need to install software from ExpressVPN onto your device. Software is available for a wide range of devices. Therefore, you are not restricted to just downloading and installing the client on one device.
In fact, you can use this guide to discover how to access BBC iPlayer abroad on any device that you use for streaming.
Step 3 – Install
After downloading the software, locate it on your device and go ahead, and install it. The installation will leave an icon. Click on the icon to open the software and gain access to the dashboard.
Step 4 – Change your IP
You have now done the hardest part and you are on the final step to be able to stream your favourite shows abroad.
So, going ahead choose a server from the UK to connect to, which in turn provides you with an IP address from that country. In turn, this answers your question, how can I unblock and access BBC iPlayer outside of the United Kingdom?
When you open the dashboard, you will see a drop down box and a button above this to connect. The key to overcoming restrictions of blocked content from the UK is choosing a server from that country. You will see many servers offered, but in this instance, as you want to stream from the United Kingdom, a server based in that country is needed.
You should now be able to login to the BBC iPlayer on your device, sign in, and stream all your shows wherever you are in the world.
The same principles for how to stream BBC iPlayer abroad will work on any restricted content from any country. All you have to remember is to choose a server from the country you want to stream from. For example, if you want to stream from HBO from the US, choose a server based in the United States.
Why Choose ExpressVPN?
There are numerous reasons and benefits to choosing ExpressVPN as your provider. These include the fact that they offer blazing fast servers, with all of them optimised and suitable for streaming HD content.
Another benefit of ExpressVPN is that it not only provides you with the answer to how can I unblock and access BBC iPlayer outside of the UK, it also works with most of the popular streaming services. If you’re looking for a VPN that can unblock Netflix, look no further !
Couple the above with the fact that the provider offers enhanced security via state of the art encryption and you can see why ExpressVPN is a popular choice. Oh, and we almost forgot to point out that there is a 30-day no-condition money back guarantee on all plans.
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Incredible speeds
- No-log policy
- Client support 24/7/365
- 30 days money-back guarantee
- Can also unblock Netflix or Amazon Prime Video
- A little bit expensive
CyberGhost is another popular choice for streaming content in HD, thanks to the provider offering unlimited bandwidth, which means no slowing down or stuttering.
The provider offers access to thousands of servers from around the world. Plus superb encryption technology to ensure you remain secure online, whether browsing, reading and replying to email or finding out how to unblock BBC iPlayer abroad.
- Value for money
- Dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting
- Client support 24/7/365
- 45 days money-back guarantee
- 7 simultaneous connections
- 1 month plan expensive
- Slow speeds from time to time
NordVPN also offers all that is needed in order to be able to stream blocked content. The provider also offers encryption to keep you safe online along with software to install on numerous devices.
- More than 5800 servers
- Double VPN
- Client support 24/7/365
- Strict no-log policy
- Cheap 3 years deal
- Not adapted to slow internet connection
- Sometimes struggle to connect
More VPN benefits
A Virtual Private Network is an excellent tool to use for streaming content that is geo-restricted. This is due to it providing you with an alternative IP address, therefore answering the question, how can I unblock and access BBC iPlayer outside of the UK.
However, along with this, with a VPN in place, you have enhanced and powerful additional security measures behind you. When connecting to the VPN a tunnel exists between your device and the internet.
Any information, such as banking details, credit card details and passwords are encrypted using powerful encryption methods.
Even if hackers managed to get to the information, they would be unable to read it. While this applies when you are at home on the internet, it becomes even more valuable when mobile or travelling and using internet cafes to connect to the internet.
As you can see, a Virtual Private Network provides so much more than just being the answer to how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad.
Finally, when considering your next trip abroad, you might be interested to hear that savings on such as airline tickets are possible. Airline operators offer different prices based on different countries. Therefore, if you take on the IP address of a country that has a low cost of living, you might be able to purchase cheaper tickets.
Alison has joined the team in the early stage because she wanted to share with us the experience she had while using VPNs over the last few years. As she’s travelled a lot, she tested many VPNs and wanted to share this with you. Alison cares about staying anonymous and not leaving any footprints on the internet. Therefore, you won’t have the chance to see her face ;).