What Is The Best VPN For BBC IPlayer In 2018?
VyprVPN is the best VPN for use with the BBC iPlayer. The provider offers high-speed connections that make it the top-rated option for unblocking the geographical restrictions the BBC places on its iPlayer content. It’s reliable and provides connection options from almost anywhere around the globe.
VyprVPN does a great job of unblocking any restrictions placed by the BBC or by your school or employer. In my humble opinion, VyprVPN is the best option for viewing BBC iPlayer, no matter where you are located.
About BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer is a free video- and audio-streaming service offered by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to allow viewers in the United Kingdom to catch up on the latest programs of the BBC network. The service is generally available only to viewers located in the U.K.
The BBC iPlayer provides a number of popular shows for viewing, including Doctor Who, Poldark, Cardinal, EastEnders, Mock the Week, The IT Crowd and many more. The BBC was established by a royal charter, and its work is principally funded by an annual television license fee, which is paid by all British households.
While the BBC makes much of its programming available to other countries, such as the United States, via the internet, cable and satellite offerings, there’s still a large amount of BBC content that is only available to those viewers residing in the U.K.
Luckily there are ways to get around the roadblock the BBC places on this section of the information superhighway. By making use of a VPN provider, viewers located in the United States and other countries can now appear to be located in the U.K., allowing them to access the fine programming supplied by the BBC.
In this article, I’ll take a look at what you should consider when deciding on a VPN for use with BBC iPlayer, which VPNs are the best ones for use when accessing iPlayer, and I’ll even offer some tips on how to best use your VPN of choice to view BBC iPlayer content.
Top 5 VPNs for BBC iPlayer
Why Do You Need a VPN to View BBC iPlayer Content?
While BBC iPlayer content is readily available for viewing to residents of the United Kingdom, the service is blocked to viewers who are located in other countries. Users outside the U.K. are met with a polite message informing them that iPlayer is only accessible from inside the U.K. due to rights issues.
While such blocking of content is well within the BBC’s rights and is not unusual for any streaming service - including Netflix, Hulu and others - it’s a bit of a bummer for those Doctor Who fans looking to catch up on the latest adventures of the good Doctor in his most recent form.
In addition to the BBC blocking the service to anyone outside the U.K., viewers that reside in the BBC-viewing area may also find that their employer or school is blocking the service to help them keep their mind on work. Why they can’t loosen things up a bit to allow access during breaks and lunch hours is beyond me, but that’s life in the big city.
A worthy VPN provider will offer users the ability to select a VPN server located in the U.K., which will make the user’s internet connection appear to be coming from inside the BBC iPlayer-viewing area, making it possible to access blocked content.
Worthy contenders will also provide protection for your internet connection while you go about your daily online activities. A VPN’s encrypted tunnel keeps your personal information safe from prying eyes. This includes your banking or bill-paying activities, as well as any online shopping you might do. (Your credit card information should be held in a sacred trust between yourself and Amazon. Well, unless Amazon gets hacked. But, at least you’ll be keeping your side of the bargain.)It should be noted that as of September 2016, the BBC iPlayer site has required viewers to have a U.K. television license. The site also requires a free login with a U.K. postcode. Luckily, once it appears you’re connecting from within the United Kingdom, you can simply click “I have a TV licence” when prompted. As for the postcode, you can easily Google those, or if you’re really lazy, use this U.K. postcode generator.
Choosing the Best VPN for BBC iPlayer
When making a decision on which VPN provider is the best one to unblock BBC iPlayer, you should consider a number of factors. While many users will simply want to consider the performance and availability of a provider, other users with a bit less disposable income will be looking for a reliable provider that offers value pricing. I will also consider the pricing factor for those users.
Any VPN provider you might be considering should offer fast connection speeds as well as low ping times. A good VPN will provide connection speeds close to those delivered by your unfettered connection from your Internet Service Provider.
Fast speeds are critical when accessing BBC iPlayer content, as well as that of other providers. A speedy connection means there is as short a wait as possible when you press play on the latest episode of the EastEnders.
BBC iPlayer supports popular desktop and mobile computing platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Your VPN provider of choice should always make available a version of their VPN app on all of the platforms you use every day.
Multi-platform support also comes in handy when you’re using a VPN for your day-to-day online activities. I use Windows, macOS and iOS devices daily, and find that a multi-platform provider like VyprVPN makes it a breeze to stay protected online, no matter which platform I’m using.
Privacy should rank high when considering any VPN provider. Always take a close look at what type of records they keep of your online activities, billing records, or any other type of records that could identify you or your actions.
If you’re really concerned with keeping your VPN-related activities under wraps, make sure the VPN provider you’re considering offers some type of anonymous method of paying for your subscription. Two methods I’m fond of are Bitcoin and merchant gift cards.
The VPN providers in the table below are ranked on a scale of 0 to 5, and listed according to the level of privacy they offer. I considered the vendor’s location, their logging policy, and whether they accept Bitcoin or other anonymous methods of payment
Other Factors to Consider
When considering a VPN provider for your needs, the price is an important element for many. However, when shopping for a new provider, always remember that the lowest priced provider isn’t necessarily the best bargain.
Note: VPN providers occasionally feature special deals, which in some cases can significantly reduce your subscription costs. Those users willing to subscribe for a longer period of time will find the savings are even greater. Visit the providers’ websites for their current pricing and offers.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
While connection speeds, multi-platform support and price may all be important factors when considering a new VPN provider, those all fade in importance when you’re stuck in a hotel room in a foreign country and can’t get connected to your VPN provider at 2 a.m.
In the table below, I have listed the rankings for the customer service departments of my top 10 VPN providers. They are ranked according to the types of support offered, how quickly they respond to support questions and the quality of their answers.
Note: Phone support is not offered by any of the VPN providers listed below.
Global Server Coverage
When considering a VPN, server availability is always an important consideration. VPN candidates should boast a large number of servers, located in as many locations around the world as is feasibly possible. While a VPN server located in the United Kingdom may suffice for unblocking BBC iPlayer, you should also consider other possible uses for a VPN connection.
VPN connections can be used to unblock geo-restricted content from Netflix, Hulu and other streaming providers. A VPN is also useful for online gaming, allowing gamers to play on servers previously unavailable to them, as well as unblocking downloadable content and achievements that might not normally be available in their area.
A large number of VPN servers sprinkled in locations around the globe also come in handy when accessing torrents, websites and other online services that might not be available where you are currently located.
Any VPN that is a good choice for BBC iPlayer will offer a “kill switch” feature. While at first this might sound like a bad thing, but a kill switch actually protects your connection. If your VPN connection fails, your actual IP address and location would be visible.
A kill switch monitors your VPN connection, and if it drops for any reason it kills your internet connection, so no one can monitor it or steal your data.
As this is a yes/no, binary question, the providers below are listed in alphabetical order.