A VPN can be used to protect your privacy online, and as an added bonus can grant access to content that may be blocked in your region. This is particularly handy if you are traveling abroad and want to continue watching your favourite shows on BBC iPlayer, like Doctor Who for example. Here, we recommend our top six VPNs for BBC iPlayer.
We should first point out that watching BBC iPlayer outside of the UK is technically breaking the rights agreement reached between rights holder and broadcaster.
That said, you could argue that as a resident of the UK that pays your TV Licence (see: do I need a TV Licence?), you are at least morally in the right. But when it comes down to it, it’s still not technically how you’re meant to be using the service, so proceed at your own risk.
A VPN will open up access to BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world if you connect to a UK server. It tricks iPlayer into thinking you are currently in the UK by giving you a virtual IP address. This works in the same way for accessing American Netflix and Hulu from outside the US, but in that instance you’ll be required to connect to a server located in the US.
Visit our in-depth article for more details about how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad, or read on for our pick of the best VPNs for iPlayer.
If you're simply looking for a VPN at a great price, visit our round-up of the best VPN deals available right now or our pick of the best streaming VPNs if you want to watch a wider range of streaming services.
Best VPN for BBC iPlayer
NordVPN is our top pick in our overall VPN chart, offering speed, extra features and an easy-to-use app at a great price. It can allow you to connect to UK servers for access to BBC iPlayer, but also has thousands of servers across 62 additional countries for further use.
You’ll get a built-in ad-blocker and malware protection feature, as well as the ability to install and use the NordVPN app on any of your devices. Browser extensions are available too (for more, see best browser VPN).
NordVPN is available for as little as £2.29/US$2.99 if you take advantage of its three year deal. Alternatively there are two year, one year, six months and one month plans available.
Read more in our NordVPN review.
ExpressVPN is also a great option. It’s simple and speedy, but the downside is that it’s more expensive than many of its rivals.
There is currently a deal that offers 15 months for the price of 12, though, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee available.
ExpressVPN is reliable, has great customer support and thousands of servers across the globe available to connect to. It promises not to keep any logs so you can trust that your data is kept safe, and there’s a kill switch in place in the unlikely event that your VPN connection drops out.
ExpressVPN browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox, too.
Read more in our ExpressVPN review.
PureVPN is a great all-rounder, and is reasonably cheap if you opt for the one year deal at £2.60/$3.33 per month.
There are more than 2,000 servers available across a whopping 140 countries, and they’re easy to connect to thanks to the simple app interface.
Read more in our PureVPN review.
Ideal for use with BBC iPlayer thanks to its selection of servers optimised for popular video streaming services, CyberGhost is newbie-friendly with an easy-to-use interface.
It offers more than 4,000 servers across 55 countries, up to seven simultaneous connections, mobile apps, browser extensions and a kill switch.
It's priced well, starting at £2.10/$2.75 per month for the three year deal.
Sign up for CyberGhost on its website.
Read our CyberGhost review.
This slick and simple VPN service is very competitively priced so well worth considering.
With 800 servers across 50 countries, it works with BBC iPlayer as well as Netflix and other streaming services. You'll get unlimited simultaneous connections, a kill switch, mobile apps and browser extensions.
There's a MultiHop feature for added privacy, as well as an ad-blocker tool built-in.
Starting at £1.53/$1.94 per month it's one of the cheapest VPNs around. See all of the price plans on the Surfshark website.
Read our Surfshark review.
Another of the best VPNs for UK services is Hidden24. Unlike some of the other VPNs mentioned here, it only offers servers in the UK and the US for now, so is solely designed for connecting to UK or US IP addresses securely.
Hidden24 uses your operating system’s own VPN capability to tunnel your traffic to its own UK-based server farm. This means it’ll work on any device, and also offers minimalist protection that doesn’t require the need to install an app.
Its lack of an app interface may put some beginners off, but there are step-by-step instructions available to help you set up the VPN, and we think you’ll find it simple to use.
You can get the first three months of Hidden24 for £3.33 per month thanks to an exclusive deal with Tech Advisor, after which there is a 1-month option, 3-month option and 12-month option for £4.99, £13.47 and and £47.88 respectively.
You can read more in our full Hidden24 review.