If try to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK, you’re met with the usual message about licensing issues. Seems unfair that you can’t watch your favorite British shows because of an outdated mindset, doesn’t it? It’s even worse for Britons stuck abroad who can’t even watch what they pay for back home. Don’t worry, though; unblocking BBC iPlayer abroad has never been easier.
A VPN can help you watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. The vast selection of providers that can unblock the UK streaming site only makes it easier for you. Here’s how it works.
How a VPN Can Unblock BBC iPlayer
You can only watch BBC shows if you’re in the UK, right? What if you just make them believe you’re in the country? Well, that’s exactly how a VPN operates. The BBC knows where you are at the moment because of your IP address, which reveals your geographical area. By connecting to a VPN server in the UK, your device switches to a UK IP address.
Yes, it’s as simple as that. Every online service you access will believe you’re in the UK, including BBC iPlayer. If you don’t already have one, all that’s left is to create an account using a UK postal code. You can find plenty of those online, just a google away.
On a related note, you’re not limited to just UK servers. Many VPN providers offer servers all around the world, letting you unlock entire new worlds of entertainment.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Unblock BBC iPlayer?
You can, but it’s unlikely that it will work. The BBC makes it very clear that you can’t use a VPN to watch their service. Sure enough, they constantly acquire known VPN IP addresses from specialized companies, and block them. Of course, paid VPN providers try to be one step ahead and acquire new IPs for their subscribers. Meanwhile, it’s highly unlikely for free VPNs to afford such expenses.
Moreover, there are very few free VPN services that are actually trustworthy. Not only will the majority sell your data to third parties, but many free VPNs on Android were found containing malware. This might allow cyber criminals to do some real damage, right up there with stealing your payment info and login data. That sounds way more expensive than a month’s subscription, if you ask us.
Fortunately, there’s still a way you can unblock BBC iPlayer for free – at least temporarily.
Try Before You Buy
VPN providers understand that not many people are willing to dive into a product they’re not familiar with. That’s why many offer free trials of their services, letting you become familiar with the benefits of having a VPN. Of course, free trial versions might be limited in features – such as having download caps and fewer server locations.
For the most part, providers that can unblock BBC iPlayer abroad will let you use their service without limits for a few days. An even better alternative is to choose VPN providers that have money-back guarantees, usually lasting between 7 and 45 days. If you’re not satisfied with the service for whatever reason, many VPNs will let you cancel and refund your money – no questions asked.
You can also get better deals on subscriptions if you buy in bulk. For example, your sub could go down from $12 per month to just $2 per month if you commit to a 2-year plan, which is something to keep in mind if you like the idea of unblocking any website, anywhere you go.
How Safe Is Unblocking BBC iPlayer Abroad?
We mentioned in the beginning that UK users pay for the service back home. That’s true – they need to pay a TV license in order to watch BBC shows. However, there’s no need to worry. There have been no reports of anyone getting fined or in trouble just because they want to watch a show they like. And if you’re actually a resident of the UK, that’s double the reason you should be able to access the platform.
In fact, in 2015 there were about 65 million people doing it with no consequence. To put it in perspective, that’s almost as much as the current population of the UK. Experts estimate that over half those viewers are from China.
The BBC used to have a Global iPlayer that worked in a few different countries. That is, before they shut it down in 2015. Why they cut off potential revenue streams is anyone’s guess. Suffice it to say, you won’t get in trouble for unblocking BBC iPlayer abroad.
Hopefully, the broadcasting company will make it easier for their international audiences to access the service in the future. Until then, using a VPN is your best bet.