These days it’s useful to run a VPN on all your devices. It will protect you when you’re on free public Wi-Fi as well as allowing you to unblock websites and content when you’re in a different region or country.

For example, if you live in the UK but go abroad you’ll find you can’t access BBC iPlayer as it only works if it thinks you’re in the UK. But fire up your VPN app and connect to a UK server and you should be able to stream from iPlayer wherever you happen to be. Remember that you need a TV license in order to watch iPlayer.

Most VPN services have servers all around the world, so they’re not useful only for watching iPlayer. They’ll unblock all the popular streaming services, plus keep you anonymous and hide your activity.

1. NordVPN

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NordVPN is one of the biggest VPN services and also one of the best all-rounders. Naturally, it offers UK servers among the thousands it operates, and has easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android, Windows and macOS which makes it easy to connect to UK servers when you're abroad, no matter which device you have with you.

We found we could watch iPlayer with no issues, though don't take that as a guarantee you'll have the same experience the first time you try. As with all VPNs, you may have to try different UK servers, and try reconnecting if it doesn't work. 

  • More than 5,500 servers across 60 countries
  • Works with iPlayer & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions available

NordVPN is one of the cheapest services, too, starting from just $2.99 / £2.29 per month if you're willing to take out a three-year subscription.

Read our full NordVPN review

2. ExpressVPN

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Well known to be one of the more expensive VPN services, ExpressVPN nevertheless delivers on its promise: it's one of the fastest around. That makes it ideal for streaming video and, yes, it works with BBC iPlayer.

ExpressVPN has apps for all popular devices, including Amazon Fire TV, a gadget you might well pack in your suitcase (but don't forget the remote control!).

As well as servers in the UK, it runs over 3,000 other servers in 94 countries around the world and works with other streaming services including Netflix.

  • 3000+ servers across 94 countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile & router apps, plus browser extensions available

Check our ExpressVPN's current deals.

Read our full ExpressVPN review

3. PureVPN

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Like NordVPN, we're fans of PureVPN because it manages to balance speed, features and cost and offer great value.

Also like NordVPN - and ExpressVPN - PureVPN is based outside of the "14-Eyes", a group of countries which share information with each other. Plus, its policy of not keeping or recording any logs, it means your online activity is anonymous and private.

As well as simple access to Netflix, PureVPN unblocks iPlayer via its simple-to-use apps.

  • More than 2,000 severs across 141 countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions

Subscriptions aren't expensive, and the best current deal costs $3.33 / £2.60 per month and only ties you in for one year. We're also fans of the wide range of ways you can pay PureVPN, including gift cards. 

Read our full PureVPN review

4. CyberGhost

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This intuitive VPN is ideal for beginners. Based outside of the 14-eyes, it offers a good selection of servers across a wide range of countries, including the UK.

It's not the fastest of VPNs we've tried, but it's good value and has handy apps and extensions available for many devices.

  • More than 3,500 servers across 58 countries
  • Works with iPlayer & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions

See the latest CyberGhost deals and subscribe now on its website.

Read our full CyberGhost review

5. Surfshark

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Surfshark is a new name in the VPN industry, but it's growing rapidly thanks to its great price and sleek interface. Plus, it offers unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can use it on lots of devices at once.

  • 800 servers across 50 countries
  • Works with iPlayer & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions available

You can subscribe to Surfshark now for as little as £1.59/$1.99 per month on its website here.

Read our full Surfshark review

6. Hidden24

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Hidden24 is a Swedish-based VPN service which operates a little differently from other providers. Instead of developing apps for different devices it simply uses the VPN settings built into Windows, Android, iOS and other operating systems.

Once you have your account details, you just have to create a new VPN connection and tap in those details: Hidden24's website has step-by-step guides in case you need help. 

Currently there are servers in the UK, US, Germany, Italy, France and Spain so there's a more limited choice than other providers, but it's enough to give you access to iPlayer and Netflix. Hidden24 owns and operates its servers and is proud of the privacy and security that it offers its users.

  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • One connection at a time
  • No apps or browser extensions

Prices are reasonable, starting from £3.99 / $4.37 per month for a 12-month plan.

Read our full Hidden24 review