How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad? [Updated: November 2022]

Would you like to watch BBC iPlayer abroad? Maybe you would like to watch a match in the FIFA World Cup, or maybe you want to watch one of your favorite TV shows. How can you get rid of the error message that tells you that BBC is only to people in the UK and watch BBC live streams and programs for free online

BBC is one of the leading TV channels in the world, and they have a lot of great programs available to viewers online. Not only can you watch TV series, but you can also watch live streams from the different BBC channels. So, how does this work? What can you do?

A quick solution for those who want to watch BBC iPlayer abroad – ExpressVPN!
– It is very easy to use, and they have applications for all the big operating systems and platforms.
– If you regret purchasing a subscription, they have a 30-day full refund policy that actually works!
– It works with BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Netflix in the UK, and lots of other streaming services worldwide.
– You can use one subscription on five devices simultaneously.
– Click the button below, purchase a subscription, install the VPN app, connect to a server in the UK, and you are ready to watch BBC iPlayer!

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If you click the button above and purchase a 12-month plan, you will get three additional months for free.

We are not located in the UK, and as a result, we are not able to watch BBC abroad. Whenever we try to watch BBC outside the UK, we see an error message that looks something like this. Maybe you are suffering from the same error? Is there a way to get rid of the error message which will make us all able to stream BBC iPlayer abroad? Yes!

BBC iPlayer only works in the UK
BBC iPlayer only works in the UK
BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. You can see the error message once again in the picture above.
BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. You can see the error message once again in the picture above.

To eliminate such error messages, you better make the BBC homepage believe that you reside in the United Kingdom. But, that is not enough. BBC knows that many people use so-called VPN services and proxy providers to watch the BBC live streams and TV series outside the United Kingdom. That is why they are blocking the IP addresses provided by such programs and services. What is the solution?

Just like it is hard to find a VPN that will help you watch ITVX abroad, it is fairly hard to find a VPN that will help you watch BBC iPlayer abroad as well. But it isn’t impossible, and here I will tell you which VPN to use if you want to watch BBC abroad.

Watch BBC using a VPN – But which VPN should you use?

There are lots of VPN providers that have servers in the United Kingdom. If you purchase a subscription to any of those, they will let you surf the Internet with an IP address in the United Kingdom. But that isn’t enough, since 95% of those are blocked by BBC iPlayer. Whenever you click the play button on some content, you will see an error like the one in the image above. There are a few other typical error messages you might see as well.

I have tested lots of VPN providers, and there are a few that you can use to watch BBC online. Which are those?

ExpressVPN is the safest bet!

ExpressVPN is a fantastic VPN provider, and it is maybe the best on the market. The minus with ExpressVPN is that it is one of the most expensive VPN services simultaneously. But why is it worth the money?

One of the biggest advantages of ExpressVPN is that it is fast. As a result, you will not experience big delays or buffering as you use ExpressVPN to watch BBC iPlayer or other streaming services. During some of the speed tests I have made, I actually had download speeds exceeding 200 Mbps with ExpressVPN. Those are quite phenomenal speeds!

Besides that, ExpressVPN is awesome for many other streaming services, and most importantly, it is great for ITVX. If you want to watch BBC iPlayer abroad, you are most likely interested in ITVX as well. And if it is hard to find a VPN that gives access to BBC iPlayer, it is even harder to find a VPN that works with ITVX. The fact that you can use ExpressVPN with both ITVX and BBC iPlayer is a big plus. You can even use it to watch content on Netflix in the United Kingdom.

Visit the website ofExpressVPN

Click the button above to get three months of ExpressVPN for free if you purchase a one-year plan.

  • ExpressVPN protects you with its money-back guarantee. If you don’t like the service, or if it doesn’t work for you, cancel your subscription and ask for a refund (within thirty days) and you will get all your money in return.
  • You can connect to all their servers (in nearly 100 countries). There are no bandwidth limitations. You can even use the same subscription on five devices simultaneously.
  • Would you like to use ExpressVPN on your phone or tablet? ExpressVPN has apps for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, FireTV, Linux, Windows, and macOS. I almost forgot to say that the applications are very easy to use.
  • Do you need help? ExpressVPN has live support available at its website. As a result, you can receive help and support immediately every single minute of the day (if it is needed).

How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad with ExpressVPN?

Here I will show you step-by-step how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad with ExpressVPN.

expressvpn and bbc
  • Download the ExpressVPN application to your computer, phone, tablet, and/or TV. You can find all download links on your membership pages at the ExpressVPN website.
  • Start the ExpressVPN application and connect to a server in the United Kingdom. This will give you an IP address in the United Kingdom.
expressvpn uk server
Here I am connected to an ExpressVPN server in the United Kingdom which also allows me to watch the content on Netflix in the United Kingdom.
  • Now it is time to visit the BBC iPlayer website. If you use a mobile device (tablet/phone), follow the instructions further down in the article.
  • Register a new user at the BBC website (if you haven’t registered a user yet). You must register your user with a ZIP code in the UK (ex: L3 9RE or L1 4LN).
  • You are now ready to watch BBC iPlayer on your computer using ExpressVPN.
watching bbc iplayer
Here you can see that I can stream content on BBC iPlayer using ExpressVPN.

If your only reason for using a VPN is to watch BBC iPlayer, then you can also install the ExpressVPN browser extension, which is available for Firefox, Chrome, and Edge directly in your browser. This will only encrypt the data of your browser. All other traffic on your computer will run as normal, while your browser traffic will use the VPN and run its traffic through the ExpressVPN server in the United Kingdom.

Watch BBC on Android devices abroad.

You can follow the exact same instructions to watch BBC iPlayer on your Android device. But you will also need to download the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Media Player to your device to get it to work. You will most likely find the BBC Media Player application in Google Play Store, but you will not find the BBC iPlayer application. If that is so, download the BBC iPlayer application manually from here and install it. When you install it, you might see an error first. To get rid of the error, you need to allow the installation of programs from unknown sources on your Android system (this means that you need to allow programs to be installed that aren’t downloaded from the Google Play Store).

After you have installed the BBC iPlayer application, feel free to turn off this option once again.

You are now ready to watch BBC on your Android device. Do not forget that you need to have ExpressVPN installed and remain connected to one of their servers in the UK all the time for this to work!

Watch the BBC online on your iOS device abroad.

If you own an iPad or an iPhone and want to stream BBC abroad, it might be a bit harder, but still not very hard. Download the ExpressVPN application after you have purchased a subscription. Connect to a server in the UK, and 30% of the job is done.

Now you need to create a brand new Apple ID registered in the UK. Use any random address in the UK during the process, and once your brand new ID in the UK has been made, use this ID as you visit the Apple Store. You will then find all the apps available to people in the UK, and you can download the BBC iPlayer application. When you have downloaded the needed applications, feel free to change your Apple Store ID back to your original Apple user again.

It is a little bit complicated, but if you are stubborn and really want to watch BBC iPlayer on your Apple device outside the United Kingdom, you can follow those instructions to do so.

fifa world cup on bbc iplayer
I am watching The Responder on BBC iPlayer.
I am watching The Responder with Martin Freeman on BBC iPlayer.
Doctor Who on BBC
Here we are watching Doctor Who on BBC

Do not forget that with this solution, you can watch programs available not only from the main BBC channel but also programs available on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, and quite some other channels also available from within the BBC IPlayer.

cbeebies online
You can watch lots of content for children on BBC iPlayer as well.

Would you like to see in detail how this works? Would you like to see it explain how you can use ExpressVPN to stream BBC from abroad? Look at the video below and follow the steps on your own computer.

Video explainer: Watch BBC from abroad with ExpressVPN

Do you get the BBC error message, even when using a VPN?

If you are using some other VPN, it is most likely because your VPN is blocked by BBC iPlayer. This is very normal as BBC blocks most of the VPN providers on the market. If you are stubborn and want to try more before purchasing an ExpressVPN subscription, do the following.

  • Install the browser extension of the VPN you use (if they have one).
  • Restart your browser.
  • Open an incognito window/private mode.
  • Connect to a server in the United Kingdom.
  • Try again!

These are steps that might help you, not only with BBC iPlayer but also with other streaming services.

Do like us and watch Richard Madden in Bodyguard on BBC online
Do like us and watch Richard Madden in Bodyguard on BBC online

If you have any further comments or questions about watching BBC from abroad, write them beneath, and we will do our best to help you as soon as possible!

10 thoughts on “How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad? [Updated: November 2022]

  1. Ana says:

    OMG. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I even had the problem with the VPN, it appears that they are getting serious when it comes to assure that only people from UK can get access to the BBC, but I did what you just said in the post.

  2. Player says:

    Doesn’t work for me. I’m using VPN Area and since two months BBC, Channel 4 and ITV have blocked all access. I’ve tried faking the geolocation using Chrome’s developer mode, tried changing time and time zone two the UK and I’ve tried opening an incognito tab. Nothing works. Is it really working with any other VPN provider?
    (I’ve tried all this from PC and iDevices such as an iPad.)

    • Thomas Stein says:

      Hello Player,
      VPN Area doesn’t help you, and neither will just any other VPN provider. That is why it is important to follow the instructions here, as we have tested these instructions regularly, and we do know that the VPN provider recommended in the article actually WORKS with BBC at this very moment! So, it is probably not working for you, simply because your VPN has been blocked. In other words, you need to change your VPN to the one recommended here for this to work!

  3. Thomas Stein says:

    I have just updated the article with some even more detailed instructions as more and more people get the error message from BBC as they try to stream the BBC iPlayer abroad, even when using our recommended VPN service. In the bottom of the article, you will find even more detailed instructions on how to unblock BBC with a VPN… Follow the instructions, and if you should need any more help, please write a comment and we will help you out!

  4. Joseph says:

    What’s up Thomas? Is it possible to watch the WInter Olympics from Pyeongchang on BBC? I haven’t seen it on the BBC schedule…

    • Thomas Stein says:

      Everything’s great! BBC will not air all the events, but you can stream all content at their website. So, visit the BBC Olympics website and stream the entire Winter Olympics 2018 there.

  5. Arthur says:

    I would like to watch BBC on my Android device. Is there a way in which I can do that abroad? How can I find the BBC application in the Google Play Store, and can I use ExpressVPN on my mobile device as well?

    • Thomas Stein says:

      Just gave this a try, and it is absolutely possible to watch BBC on your Android device, abroad as well. If you have a UK Google account, then head to the Google PLay Store and download the BBC Iplayer and the BBC Media Player. If you do not have a UK Google account, search for the BBC Media Player in your actual store. You should be able to download that. The BBC iPlayer is however harder, and you need to manually download it to your device. You can download the BBC iPlayer APK file from here: https://apkpure.com/bbc-iplayer/bbc.iplayer.android

      Once it is downloaded you need to install it. You might be warned against installing programs from unknown sources, but just go ahead and install. Once this is done, connect to a UK server with ExpressVPN, and you can stream all content on the BBC iPlayer on your Android device, no matter where you might be in the world.

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