How to Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad (Updated Guide in 2024)

In case you’re here to learn how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to go over why you can’t do it naturally and how to bypass all the restrictions and watch BBC iPlayer outside UK. Let’s go!

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This article was last updated on 23 April 2024

Streaming Availability to Watch BBC iPlayer

TV rights have always been the biggest restrictions for viewers. Different content is licensed by different broadcasters. At the same time, broadcasters are in agreement with syndication. Breaching these contracts is a serious offense and no media company is willing to take the risk.

watch bbc iplayer abroad

The reason we’re mentioning this is to build up for the fact that UK TV is licensed by BBC TV productions to broadcast in the UK only. At least, the licensing fees are determined by the broadcasting zone. It means you can’t watch BBC iPlayer abroad free or with a subscription. You can only access the platform when your IP address is within the UK.

On the bright side, the streaming platform is completely free in the UK. It also works as the catch-up TV for all of BBC’s other channels.

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Streaming Outside of Availability Zone

You might be wondering, how can I watch BBC iPlayer abroad? As we already mentioned in the previous section, TV rights stop broadcasters from broadcasting in certain areas of the world. According to the UK TV license, it’s apparent that you can’t watch BCC iPlayer abroad.

How to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK

The way it works for streaming platforms is by restricting IP addresses. It’s known as geo-restriction. Essentially, the server is programmed to only allow a certain set of IP addresses to access the content. When your IP doesn’t match, your access gets blocked when you try to master how to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK.

This is where a VPN comes into play. If you’re asking can I watch iPlayer abroad, the answer is yes. The primary job of a VPN is to mask your original IP address and replace it with a pseudo one. For example, let’s say you’re connected to a UK server abroad. As a result, when you try to access BBC iPlayer, the servers see your IP from within the UK. As a result, you can watch BBC iPlayer abroad free!

How to Unblock BBC iPlayer with a VPN

Now I’ll explain to you how to stream BBC iPlayer outside the UK. This guide is very simple. And it should work with most VPNs.

  1. Pick a VPN for BBC iPlayer from the list above: ExpressVPN is our top recommended VPN.
  2. Click on the “Go to…” button to visit the VPN’s website.
  3. Sign up and select your plan to use the service.
  4. Install the software and launch it.
  5. In the client, select a server in the United Kingdom.
  6. Click on the “Connect” button.
  7. Go back to the BBC website or app, refresh the page.

And that’s it! Now you know how to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK. You will feel like you are at home again, catching up and enjoying the shows that you love most.

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Try ExpressVPN for Free

Your data will be safe if you use a VPN recommended on this website. Indeed this VPN software will never collect your data with its no-logging policies. And most of them were created with the goal to fight against government control and censorship online. So your privacy and security are evaluated.

This is why we highly recommend using ExpressVPN. It has been our trusted companion for a very long time. With strict no-logging policies and top-notch server quality, it’s hard to beat its services.

ExpressVPN also excels in coverage. The servers are spread out across 160 cities in 94 countries. It means no matter where in the world you go, you can watch BBC iPlayer abroad free!

If you’re worried about the subscription cost for ExpressVPN, we have a trick up our sleeves. The infamous 30-day money-back guarantee! It’s a satisfaction guarantee from the VPN provider that allows you to get a full refund if you cancel your subscription before 30 days!

The Best VPNs to Watch BBC iPlay Abroad

There are several criteria to determine how to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK. First of all, the simplicity because you may not be a geek and probably prefer easy launch-and-forget software. Not everyone has the time to dive into deep research, right?

That’s why we’ve taken the initiative into our hands. We’ve tested the following VPN providers for safety, reliability, and coverage area. If ExpressVPN is not doing it for you, perhaps one of these will.

Best All Round 1 ExpressVPN Review 2024: Is It Worth Trying?
2 Private Internet Access UK (PIA) Review 2024
3 CyberGhost Review 2024
4 IPVanish Review 2024
5 NordVPN Review 2024

The Benefits of VPNs

Can you watch iPlayer abroad? Yes, you can. What else can you do? Let’s find out!

bbc iplayer outside uk

  • Online Privacy: A VPN can work extremely well to safeguard your online privacy by blocking out any 3rd parties that might be tracking your digital footprint.
  • Bypass Geo-blocks: Get access to content and streaming platforms such as American Netflix, Hulu, and etc.

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What is the best VPN to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad?

In our humble opinion, ExpressVPN is the king of VPNs. But we’ve also listed other best VPN providers that you might want to check out.

Is it illegal to watch BBC iPlayer abroad?

On paper, it’s illegal to watch BBC iPlayer abroad because UK TV is only licensed to broadcast in the UK. But if you’ve read this post, you already know how to bypass the restriction with ExpressVPN. And using a VPN is not illegal.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer abroad with VPN?

By default, you can’t watch BBC iPlayer abroad free or even after paying for the subscription because it’s geo-restricted. The only way to learn how to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK is by using a VPN.

How to watch UK TV abroad?

Due to licensing reasons, you can’t watch BBC iPlayer abroad. In fact, no UK TV platforms are allowed. However, no jurisdiction is restricted when you have ExpressVPN. Read our guide on how to watch UK TV abroad here.


BBC iPlayer is exclusively available to UK residents. If you are traveling abroad, you will face geo-restriction. You will only be able to watch BBC iPlayer outside UK if you use a VPN. According to our tests and analysis, ExpressVPN is our top recommended VPN to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. Try a free VPN for BBC iPlayer for 30 days using ExpressVPN and you can get a full money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service.

Adam Rogers

Meet Adam, a highly knowledgeable webmaster individual with a Master's Degree in Cybersecurity and Privacy, who brings his expertise in Internet-related topics to make a significant contribution to this site, driven by a desire to give back to the community. With extensive experience in Internet and privacy matters, he remains up-to-date with the latest developments, ensuring the team is well-informed about privacy protection, legal, and regulatory issues. Adam's unwavering dedication fosters a safer digital environment while empowering others with his valuable insights. You are welcome to contact Adam by email:

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