The best iPlayer VPN 2020

Access UK content from all over the world with an iPlayer VPN

best iPlayer VPN
(Image credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)

BBC iPlayer is a great source of online entertainment, providing access to iconic British television shows like EastEnders, Doctor Who, Gavin and Stacey, The Vicar of Dibley, The Royle Family, and so much more. 

The issue is that you can only watch TV shows and movies on BBC iPlayer if you’re based in the UK. So, if you go on holiday abroad, travel to a different country for work, or simply reside in another part of the world, you won’t be able to use BBC iPlayer – unless you use an iPlayer VPN.

That's thanks to the fact that if you try accessing iPlayer outside the UK, the BBC will know instantly that you live in another location because it’ll detect that your IP address is from a different country. When this happens, you’ll see a message that says something like: “This content is not available in your location.”

However, you can fix this annoying issue by downloading an iPlayer VPN. With one of these services, it’s possible to obtain a UK-based IP address and unblock BBC iPlayer in any part of the world. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best iPlayer VPN services. Topping the list is NordVPN, but there are a number of other providers that are worthy competition – all you need to do is pick from one of the five below.

1. NordVPN – the best iPlayer VPN  
NordVPN is not only a household name, but it lives up to its reputation thanks to a large global server network, fast speeds, user-friendly apps, access to major streaming services like BBC iPlayer, excellent security features, and lots more. Now, you can bag it for as little as £2.86/$3.71 per month, plus get three months free. View Deal

2. Surfshark – excellent streaming VPN for those on a budget
Surfshark just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a fortune for a feature-packed iPlayer VPN service. Starting at just £1.65/$2.21 per month, it provides unlimited connections, 3,200 VPN servers, fast speeds, the ability to unblock BBC iPlayer and other streaming platforms, alongside impressive security and privacy, plus 24/7 support.View Deal

3. Hotspot Shield– a fast VPN for unblocking iPlayer
If you want a super fast gaming and streaming experience, you’ll need an iPlayer VPN service that offers impressive speeds. And Hotspot Shield certainly doesn’t disappoint there, offering access to some of the fastest servers we’ve seen on a VPN service. Premium subscriptions start at just $2.99 per month.View Deal

The best iPlayer VPN services in 2020:

NordVPN best iplayer vpn

(Image credit: NordVPN)

1. NordVPN

The best overall iPlayer VPN

Number of servers: 5,400+
Server locations: 59
Maximum devices supported: 6
Other streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Loads of servers+Fast speeds+Excellent streaming performance
Reasons to avoid
-Only six connections 

You've likely seen a NordVPN advert show up on your television at some point, as the firm has invested a lot of cash in marketing over the years. But Nord is not only one of the most known VPN companies; it's also the best overall BBC iPlayer VPN on the market,

What makes NordVPN the best iPlayer VPN is that it offers more than 440 UK-based servers, meaning you’ll never struggle to find a server to unblock the British streaming service. 

On top of a ton of UK servers, NordVPN also provides users with access to a large global network of over 5,400 VPN connections. You’ll be able to use them to unblock a wide variety of popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+. There are also apps for a range of operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. 

NordVPN’s servers offer incredible speeds of over 300Mbps, and you'll also get unlimited bandwidth, so you should experience a buffer-free streaming experience. In terms of other features, NordVPN offers a no-logging policy, double VPN, malware protection, an ad blocker, Onion over VPN, a DNS leak test, 24/7 support, and lots more. 

The only downside is that you can only use your NordVPN subscription on six devices, but compared to the competition, there's not another provider available that delivers such a well-rounded iPlayer VPN experience.

Surfshark best iPlayer VPN

(Image credit: Future)

2. Surfshark

The best value iPlayer VPN on the market

Number of servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 100+
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Other streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Unlimited connections+Very cheap+Easy-to-use apps
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most in-depth service

Surfshark is a well-known and reputable VPN provider that won’t break the bank, with premium subscriptions costing well under £2 per month. However, it’s also one of the best iPlayer VPN services available, no matter where you're based.

Central to this service is a newly upgraded network of over 3,200 VPN servers globally, many of which are located in the UK. Using WireGuard, you can achieve UK speeds of 150Mbps, which is fast enough to enjoy great streaming on BBC iPlayer. 

Unlike NordVPN and many other providers, Surfshark enables users to install its VPN apps on an unlimited number of devices, which means you can cover just about every device you own, and then share your plan with those you live with, too. It also offers apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and many other platforms. 

Another excellent feature offered by Surfshark is CleanWeb, which offers protection from unwanted adverts, web trackers, malware, and phishing. Other features include a no-logging policy, a built-in kill switch, private DNS and leak protection, a camouflage mode, 256-bit encryption, and various protocols. 

(Image credit: Hotspot Shield)

3. Hotspot Shield

A high-speed VPN for unblocking iPlayer

Number of servers: 1,800
Server locations: 80+
Maximum devices supported: 5
Other streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Incredible speeds+Easy to use+Pleasant apps
Reasons to avoid
-A little more logging than we'd like

As a powerful VPN service with a good range of servers in the UK, Hotspot Shield is a great option for anyone who loves watching TV shows and movies on BBC iPlayer.

Where Hotspot Shield really impresses is performance. In our testing it returned speeds of over 400Mbps, which also earned it top spot on our fast VPN guide. That’s more than enough power to stream content on BBC iPlayer without your experience being disrupted by buffering.

Are there any other great features? Hotspot Shield wouldn't place so highly if there weren't. These include military-grade encryption, 1,800 servers in over 80 countries globally, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, and a 45-day money-back guarantee. Hotspot Shield will also enable you to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and many other notable streaming services. 

What's more, Hotspot Shield provides easy-to-use apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and many other devices. True privacy devotees might question the logging that Hotspot Shield has to undertake to allow the service to provide its free VPN, but as an iPlayer VPN, there's very little we can complain about.

CyberGhost best iPlayer vpn

(Image credit: CyberGhost)

4. Cyberghost

A powerful iPlayer VPN

Number of servers: 6,800+
Server locations: 111
Maximum devices supported: 7
Other streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Fast speeds+6,800 servers+Highly secure
Reasons to avoid
-Apps aren't quite as polish as market leaders

With a network of 320+ UK-based servers, Cyberghost is another excellent VPN service for accessing BBC iPlayer. And it also offers lots of functionality on top of this. 

As well as offering British VPN servers, CyberGhost also provides fast UK speeds. When we tested out this provider ourselves, it hit speeds of 160-180Mbps on a UK-based connection. 

But CyberGhost doesn’t just operate loads of servers in the UK; it also has more than 6,800 servers worldwide. You’re not only able to just unblock BBC iPlayer, but also other streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. 

CyberGhost has lots of other great features, including 256-bit encryption, DNS and IP leak protection, a built-in kill switch, unlimited bandwidth, a no-logging policy, several VPN protocols, 24/7 support, the ability to connect 7 devices, and 24/7 customer support. 

VyprVPN best iplayer VPN

(Image credit: VyprVPN)

5. VyprVPN

A highly popular BBC iPlayer VPN

Number of servers: 1,500+
Server locations: 75
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Other streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Trusted by over two million people+Fast speeds on certain protocols+Super secure
Reasons to avoid
-Small server network

Considering that over two million people use VyprVPN, it’s definitely a popular and reputable VPN provider that you should consider. What’s more, you’re able to use it to unblock BBC iPlayer. 

If you connect to a server with the WireGuard protocol, you can experience speeds between 140 and 180Mbps on a UK connection. But speeds are extremely lacklustre when using the OpenVPN protocol; they only reached 30Mbps. 

VyprVPN provides more than 700 VPN servers globally, which is noticeably less than many other providers in this list. However, they’ll let you easily unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and many other streaming services.

VyprVPN offers Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux apps, you’re usually limited to only using them on up to five devices via one subscription (although certain promotions ramp this up to a massive 30). As for other features, it offers strong encryption, an independently reviewed no-logging policy, a NAT firewall, 24/7 support, and more. 

Want the ideal VPN for your mobile phone? Then check out guides to the best iPhone VPN and Android VPN.

Best iPlayer VPN FAQ

What makes a good iPlayer VPN?

If you want to access the BBC iPlayer from a different country, you’ll need to download a VPN service that will let you unblock this streaming service and that offers UK-based servers. 

For a great streaming experience, you’ll also want access to fast server speeds, unlimited bandwidth, apps for a range of operating systems, and the ability to use the VPN service on as many devices as possible. 

The best VPNs don’t just allow users to unblock streaming services, though. They’ll also provide servers across the globe, strong encryption, kill switches, a range of VPN protocols, 24/7 support, easy-to-use VPN software, subscriptions for all needs and budgets, and many other features. 

Do I really need an iPlayer VPN?

Unless you download and use one of the best VPN services, you can’t access BBC iPlayer outside the UK. That means people who travel abroad or live in a different country won’t be able to watch their favorite British TV shows and movies through the BBC’s official streaming platform. 

A VPN will not only allow you to circumvent geo-restrictions and access BBC iPlayer right around the world, but will ensure that your streaming experience isn’t slowed down by bandwidth throttling and will secure your internet connection. 

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