How to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK



Chris has a passion for helping you watch your favourite TV abroad. When he isn't helping you he can be found watching football, browsing Netflix or watching a good documentary.

In this guide you’ll learn how to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK. This solution works in any country on many different types of devices.

BBC iPlayer is without a doubt one of the best online streaming services in the world.

Unfortunately, it’s only available in the UK and if you’re outside the UK abroad, then you’re blocked from watching.

It’s effortless to bypass that block and in this guide I’m going to show you the few steps you need to take so that you can watch iPlayer abroad.

How to watch iPlayer abroad

To watch BBC iPlayer abroad you’ll need a service called a VPN.

A VPN allows you to protect your online privacy by disguising your location and allowing you to change your online location.

To watch iPlayer abroad you should sign up to the VPN service from ExpressVPN which will cost you around US $5 – $10 per month depending on how long you subscribe for.

To watch iPlayer abroad follow the instructions below:

  1. Download the Windows, Mac, Android, iOS or Firestick app from the Products area of the ExpressVPN website.
  2. Install and Run it.
  3. On the app press Selected Location and select United Kingdom.
  4. Press Connect.
ExpressVPN app connecting to the UK.

Watch BBC iPlayer abroad using ExpressVPN.

Once the ExpressVPN software has connected, that’s all you need to do.

Now just visit the BBC iPlayer website and you’ll be able to watch both catch-up and live TV abroad.

Watch BBC iPlayer abroad now

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What is a VPN

A VPN is a service that protects your privacy online.

It jumbles up all of the information that you send over the internet using what is known as “encryption”.

A part of this privacy protection is it allows you to disguise your online location.

This privacy protection means any websites that you visit won’t know where you’re from and are unable to track what you do online.

As you can connect to any country and appear in that country, services like BBC iPlayer then assume you’re in the UK.

They then stream you the content you want to watch abroad anywhere in the world because to them they see you’re in the UK.

VPN services are entirely legal and are an excellent way to protect yourself while connected to the internet.

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Alternative VPN Services

Of course there are plenty of alternative VPN services available and you don’t need to pick ExpressVPN.

I’ve selected ExpressVPN because they provide the best possible service and through my testing I found them to offer the best speeds which reduced the chances of buffering.

If you’ve got time to shop about, then it’s worth checking out the following VPN providers as they all offer a good service too.

  1. NordVPN
  2. CyberGhost VPN
  3. VyprVPN

What if I don’t use a VPN service

If you visit the BBC iPlayer website abroad then rather than being able to stream live or catch-up TV you’ll be blocked from viewing.

You’ll see a block message similar to the one below.

iPlayer is not available outside the UK block screenshot

The reason you will be blocked is because of something known as your IP Address.

An IP Address is similar to a phone number. It’s a set of numbers that are unique to your internet connection.

An IP Address also gives away your location.

While it doesn’t pinpoint your exact address, it does let a website know what country you’re in and even what area of that country.

When you visit the BBC iPlayer website, it checks your IP Address and if it isn’t in the UK, then it blocks you.

A VPN service like the one from ExpressVPN allows you to alter your IP Address to one from another country. In the case of watching BBC iPlayer adjust it to an IP Address from the UK.

So thanks to a VPN you now know how to watch iPlayer abroad.

Watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK

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2 Responses

  1. Nigel Welch says:

    I followed your instructions and downloaded BBC iPlayer. How do I get round the problem of not having a BBC licence? You don’t mention this…

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