How to Watch BBC iPlayer in USA – Unblock outside UK

“Can I get BBC iPlayer outside the UK?” It’s a question we get asked a lot by our British readers who work abroad or are spending their hard-earned vacation overseas.

Unfortunately, iPlayer’s exquisite lineup of series, movies, and documentaries is geo-blocked outside the UK due to copyright issues.

Therefore, if you’re living or traveling abroad, you’re going to miss out on a lot. However, there are a couple of tools you can use to bypass geo-restrictions.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to unblock BBC iPlayer and stream your favorite shows no matter where you are with a VPN and a Smart DNS proxy.

BBC iPlayer Abroad – Quick Guide

Time needed: 5 minutes

Follow these instructions to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world:

  1. Choose a top VPN service

    You first need to subscribe to a VPN service. Keep in mind that BBC iPlayer started banning VPN IP addresses. That is why you have to subscribe to a premium provider like ExpressVPN.

  2. Next, you must install the VPN application on your device.

    So head over to your app store and download it. VPNs are compatible with every major platform, including iOS, Android, FireStick, PC, and Mac.

  3. Once the app is successfully installed, open it and log in.

  4. Connect to a British VPN server.

    Once you open the app, you will be presented with a list of VPN servers from around the world. Choose a UK server to connect to it.

  5. Get a UK IP address.

    When the UK VPN connection is established, you will be granted a British IP address. You will now be able to surf the web as if you were in the UK.

  6. Create a BBC iPlayer account.

    If you haven’t done so already, head over to the iPlayer website and create an account. Otherwise, you will not be able to access any of the live or on-demand programs.

  7. Watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere.

    Finally, sign in to the BBC iPlayer app using the account you’ve just created. We’ve included additional steps below on how to get the BBC iPlayer on any device while abroad as well.

If the geo-error message persists, (BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues), try connecting to another UK server.

If you still can’t access the channel, then you have to choose another VPN provider.

Get ExpressVPN

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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 Error 2 New
  • “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”
    BBC iPlayer Blocked
  • “This content doesn’t seem to be working.”
    BBC iPlayer Error 3
  • “This content is not currently available.”
    BBC iPlayer Error 4

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.

VPN Provider
Best VPN
  • Best for streaming and privacy
  • High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
  • Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
  • 24/7/ live chat support
  • 3 extra months free on annual plan
Visit ExpressVPN Try risk-free for 30 days Read our review
Second Best VPN
  • UltraHD streaming
  • Free Smart DNS proxy
  • Unblocks all major streaming services
  • Limited Time 72% Discount
Third Best VPN
  • Unlimited VPN connections
  • Over 1000 servers
  • Ad-blocking feature available
  • User-friendly application
  • Exclusive Smart VPN feature
  • Standalone Smart DNS subscription available
  • Extra security features
  • Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
  • Split-tunneling available

How to Get BBC iPlayer in USA, Canada, or Australia with Proxies

BBC iPlayer Unblocked with VPN in USA, Australia, Canada

You can also use a Smart DNS proxy service such as Unlocator to unblock and watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK. If you prefer this method to get British TV overseas, follow these steps.

  1. Sign up with a Smart DNS proxy service that actually works with BBC iPlayer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. Head over to the BBC iPlayer registration page.
  2. Enter your date of birth and click ‘Next‘.
  3. Now, enter your email address and your desired password. We strongly suggest using a temporary email address instead of your real email. You can get one at Guerrilla or Airmail.
  4. For ‘country,’ choose the United Kingdom.
  5. For ‘Postcode,’ enter WC1X 0AA
  6. Under ‘Want email updates about more things you’ll love?’ choose your preferred choice.
  7. Finally, click on ‘Register‘.
  8. That’s it. You’ll soon receive an email from BBC that will allow you to verify your email address and finish the registration.

VPN vs Smart DNS Proxies

Smart DNS providers such as Unlocator Smart DNS proxy are easy to set up and can get you up and running in seconds. All you have to do is sign up and add the DNS servers to your router or device.

  • The two downsides are that you will only get the UK channels that are supported.
  • Only the relevant part of your traffic is piped to the UK which speeds up the connection but does not encrypt all your traffic. Thus, your privacy is not ensured.
  • You’ll have to use a VPN if your ISP applies DNS Hijacking or Transparent proxies as Smart DNS proxies won’t work for you.
  • See Video and Picture guides for DNS setup here. Unlocator does support around 220 sites the last time I checked their channels page and they do have a free 7-day trial period.

VPN providers such as ExpressVPN Service allow you to choose from 160 different VPN locations covering almost all countries globally, including the UK of course.

  • All your traffic will be encrypted.
  • 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.

You can easily install British apps on your iPhone or iPad overseas. You simply need to switch your App Store region to the UK first.

As is the case for iPhones and iPads, you have to change your Apple ID’s country to the UK. Otherwise, you cannot download BBC iPlayer to your Apple TV.

Essentially, you have to change your Google Play Store region to the UK. This will enable you to install British apps on your smartphone or tablet.

You’ll need a British credit card and address to set up a UK Amazon account. Then, sign in to your new account and add whatever UK-restricted channel you want on your Fire TV Stick.

Alternatively, you can sideload the BBC app to your FireStick instead.

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.

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
  • PS3
  • PS4
  • Xbox
  • PC
  • Mac
  • Roku
  • Now TV
  • Apple TV 4
  • Chromecast
  • 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?

Is it illegal to watch BBCiPlayer abroad?

How Does BBC iPlayer Detect My Location?

What VPNs Work with BBC iPlayer?

Why Can’t I Watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN?

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!


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