Best BBC iPlayer VPN Services of 2019
Everyone has their favorite streaming service when it comes to sitting back and relaxing to your favorite TV shows. Where cable and satellite TV once held television audiences in a vice like a grip, streaming has become so ubiquitous that cheeky phrases like "Netflix and chill" have entered into everyone’s common parlance.
With the biggest range of content in the history of the world now available at the opening of a laptop, most streaming services are catering to global audiences in some way or another, aside from one major player, BBC iPlayer.
Why You Need A VPN For BBC iPlayer
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-traveling adventures in 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 high-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.
Not living on the British Isles but still, want to take advantage of their treasure trove of quality programming? A VPN is all you need.
What To Look For In A VPN For BBC iPlayer
One of the most common uses of VPNs is to place your IP address in an alternative country to the one you’re browsing from. Most global services like Netflix have different content depending on the country of the browser. A VPN can change your geolocation to wherever you want it, allowing you to stream as if you’re a legit cockney geezer from the comfort of your New York apartment.
For streaming BBC iPlayer there are a couple of other key attributes your VPN should have.
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 frustrating unspecific with their selection of servers in their descriptions. Others come with the continents 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 no 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 that in mind, here are the top three recommended VPNs for watching BBC iPlayer.
Our top recommendation for using streaming services like 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-traveling 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
Pros: Plenty of UK servers, fast streaming speeds, excellent security, reasonably priced
Cons: Can be slow to connect to servers, somewhat 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.
Pros: 7 simultaneous connections, many UK servers,
Cons: 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.
Pros: Some of the best security of any VPN, very fast, many servers globally
Cons: The least UK servers, expensive, does log timestamps and bandwidth, only 3 simultaneous connections
You no longer need to be a Brit to get access to the BBC iPlayer service. With a VPN you can bypass the iPlayer geo-restriction and catch up on all the BBC hits.