Best VPN for BBC iPlayer 2019
We’ve all been down this road before, craving to watch our favourite British TV show, maybe even considering an all-night bingeing marathon, and then…
The BBC, Britain’s premier broadcasting service, has been the source of some of the most celebrated pieces of television and film worldwide.
Whether you’re a fan of the time-travelling adventures of Doctor Who or prefer discovering the wonders of the world to the soothing drawl of David Attenborough narrating Planet Earth II, the BBC has something of the highest quality for everyone.
However, due to the nature of Britain’s broadcasting regulations, it used to be incredibly hard to access these shows from outside the UK.
Every British citizen that wants to watch ‘the telly’ has to pay a yearly licensing fee. This tax pays, in part, for the BBC’s content. This makes the BBC a semi-nationalized institution and is why the BBC is reluctant to allow non-British citizens access to their online streaming service BBC iPlayer.
Don't panic Whovians, we have the solution for you
Securing a VPN is the best way to resolve the issue of watching the BBC iPlayer online outside of the UK. This essentially allows you to mask your true location by rerouting your data through VPN servers located elsewhere. For example, if I am located in Berlin, Germany, and I connect via a VPN based on a server in the UK, then the BBC iPlayer will identify me as a UK-based viewer/user.
What To Look For In A VPN For BBC iPlayer
For streaming BBC iPlayer there are a couple of key attributes your VPN should have:
Multiple UK servers location
The absolute key feature you need to worry about for using BBC iPlayer is if your VPN service will have servers that are in the United Kingdom.
Some VPNs are frustratingly unspecific with their selection of servers in their descriptions. Others come with the continent their servers are based in but won’t always specify which country within it that the server is actually being rerouted to.
BBC iPlayer is region locked absolutely to the UK so any VPN without a UK specific server will not do.
Streaming Optimized Servers
Second most important is you will want a VPN optimized for streaming. By this, we mean that the VPN has one of the lower impacts on your internet speeds. You can read about our recommendations for 2019’s fastest VPNs here.
Any VPN service with multiple client servers in the UK will be the prime option. Generally the more servers the faster the service will be. This is because the internet speeds aren’t choked by all the VPN’s users relying on the same few ports.
Top 3 Recommended VPNs For BBC iPlayer
With this in mind, here are the top three recommended VPNs for watching BBC iPlayer.
NordVPN has well over 4,000 servers online with 698 of them being based in the UK. This gives a veritable smorgasbord of options to get your time-travelling TV taste.
NordVPN also excels in its security provisions. Based in Panama, it’s outside the remit of many suspect jurisdictions. It features double-encrypted tunnels, never creates logs, and has a dedicated Kill-Switch.
- Plenty of UK servers
- Fast streaming speeds
- Excellent security
- Reasonably priced
- Can be slow to connect to servers
- Unfriendly OpenVPN configuration
Another VPN with a plethora of servers in the UK, CyberGhost has recently added 44 new servers to a total of 401 UK specific options. Offering up to 7 simultaneous connections, they have a strict no logging policy and come with DNS and IP leak protection.
- 7 simultaneous connections
- many UK servers
- Not the fastest
ExpressVPN is consistently an overall top VPN recommendation. This is for a reason. If you want an all-rounder VPN that is incredibly good on security, speeds, and server options; then this is the option.
Regarding the specifics of using a VPN for BBC iPlayer, ExpressVPN has a choice of 8 different UK servers. Although that’s less than the other two, ExpressVPN is known for its incredible speeds. And while the VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, it is outside of the jurisdiction of the UK’s data retention laws.
- Some of the best security of any VPN
- Very fast
- The least UK servers
- log timestamps and bandwidth
- only 3 simultaneous connections
UK based servers are a must for enjoying the BBC iPlayer features. Speed is also a crucial component for your needs as streaming takes a lot of bandwidth so keep both in mind when choosing the right VPN for you.