How to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK for expats – My Experience
I remember when I was living in Qatar a lot of my UK expat friends used to talk about their favorite BBC soap operas, documentaries, and shows. For UK expats, it was not just about the shows. It was more about having a piece of home no matter where they were and about keeping up with local culture and news.
So I did sit together with my techie friends and looked into available solutions. We tested quite a bit of different setups and providers, but it was worth the effort as we all enjoyed BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, and CBeebies.
How to Unblock BBC iPlayer outside the UK with VPN
BBC iPlayer is a great choice to watch several programs and live events completely free of charge. However, the service is only available in the United Kingdom.
If you try to watch BBC iPlayer overseas, the channel will block your access almost instantly. The only outcome you’ll get is one of the following error messages:
“This content is not available in your location.”
“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”
“This content doesn’t seem to be working.”
“This content is not currently available.”
A VPN is short for virtual private network, a tool that can change your online location. It allows you to connect to any server of your choice, then reroutes your internet traffic through the one that you selected.
Next, it hides your original IP address and replaces it with another one from the region of the server that you selected. So if you connect to a server from the United Kingdom, you’ll get a UK IP address.
This whole procedure will make it appear as if you were inside merry England and BBC iPlayer will have no choice but to unlock its content. Yes, it’s all very simple and just a few clicks away.
Best VPN to Watch iPlayer outside the UK
Since BBC iPlayer is cracking down on most VPN services, you must stick to the ones that still work with the streaming channel. Those include paid providers like ExpressVPN, which has excellent features and can bypass geo-blocks from anywhere. I tried it myself when I was in Qatar and it worked perfectly.
Furthermore, the company offers a Smart DNS proxy service in case your device doesn’t have a VPN client. These include gaming consoles, smart TVs, and routers.
You can also try the other options from the below list. I assure you that all of them have no problem unblocking BBC iPlayer because I’ve tested them myself. And note that Hola VPN does not work with the streaming service, nor do most free VPNs.
Best for streaming and privacy
High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
You have to configure the Smart DNS manually on the streaming device you want to use because these proxies don’t have dedicated apps. You can use these setup guides and manuals to help you.
Now, head over to BBC iPlayer and stream your favorite shows live and on-demand outside the UK.
As with VPN, there are bound to be some Smart DNS proxies that do not work well with BBC iPlayer. I have been using Unlocator for a couple of years now to unblock this service abroad on all my streaming devices. This includes my Smart TV, Roku, PS4, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android, and iOS devices.
The best thing about Unlocator is that you can subscribe to a free one-week trial period to test their service, without the need to register your credit card.
How to Create BBC iPlayer Account outside UK?
Starting Thursday, May 11th, 2017, iPlayer users will be required to register and sign up for a BBC iPlayer account in order to watch live and catch-up content on BBC. Follow the instructions below to sign up for an account in the USA, Canada, Australia, or elsewhere outside the UK.
Your ISP will NOT be able to monitor your browsing and Internet activities.
Setup is easy as well thanks to VPN applications you can install on PC, iOS, Android, or Mac. The downside is that your device has to support VPN. This means that your Smart TV, for example, will not work, unless you have a router that does support VPN of course.
How to Get BBC iPlayer App Abroad?
Being able to download and install the iPlayer app while overseas can be a bit tricky. The steps you need to follow differ from one platform to another. Here’s how it’s done:
In order to install the BBC app on your Xbox One or Xbox Series X, you have to change your gaming console’s region to the UK first. Follow these instructions.
To install UK apps on your PlayStation console, you need to create a British PSN Account. Here’s how you can sign up for a UK Playstation Network account.
To add British channels on your Roku device, you have to create a UK Roku account. Don’t know how? Then follow this simple guide on your Roku streaming device.
First, you must switch your Samsung Smart TV region to the UK. Then, you’ll be able to install all the UK-restricted channels you want including BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4, BT Sport, and more.
BBC iPlayer Compatible Devices
You can get the BBC iPlayer app on almost all streaming platforms.
Apple TV 4
Samsung Smart TV
Sony Smart TV
Amazon Fire TV
LG Smart TV
BBC iPlayer Overseas FAQ
We’ve tried to make the guide above as comprehensive as possible. However, there are always some additional questions that need to be answered:
How Do I Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad for Free?
Unlocator offers a free 7-day trial you can take advantage of to access BBC iPlayer overseas with no need for a credit card.
Is it illegal to watch BBCiPlayer abroad?
No, you won’t get into any trouble with the law if you watch BBC iPlayer overseas. However, you might be breaching BBC’s ToS. As a result, your account might get banned. We personally have never experienced such drastic measures though.
How Does BBC iPlayer Detect My Location?
As is the case with other streaming services, BBC can figure out where you currently reside by looking at your public IP address.
What VPNs Work with BBC iPlayer?
The two most consistent VPNs are ExpressVPN and BulletVPN. Keep in mind that there might be instances where even these two might not work. In such a case, you might need to wait a day or two before things get back to normal.
Why Can’t I Watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN?
BBC periodically blacklists the IP addresses of UK VPN servers expats use to access the streaming service from abroad. It’s more of a game of cat and mouse. Simply make sure to sign up with a VPN that takes necessary adjustments when this happens.
How to Watch BBC iPlayer outside UK
In short, given the info above you should be able to get BBC iPlayer outside the UK using VPN or Smart DNS. if you can’t get it to work or need any more advice or help, hit the comment box below. I will reply!
A technical wizard of 10 year experience. Certified in Linux, Ethical Hacking and all sorts of technical stuff . I did work on projects around the world worth millions of dollars. My aim is to free you the reader from location restrictions and protect your privacy.