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Does PrivateVPN Work With BBC iPlayer?

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Yes, PrivateVPN works perfectly with BBC iPlayer.

People streaming movies and soaps like Eastenders with a device in the UK will have no issues connecting to the service, as they’ll typically pay a UK TV license fee.

However, for those connecting from outside the UK, the only way to access BBC iPlayer is by using a VPN.

In the same way that streaming services like Netflix attempt to block users accessing streams with a VPN, BBC iPlayer blocks those connecting from outside the UK with an error like the one below.

Fortunately, PrivateVPN is among the providers with zero issues accessing the BBC iPlayer app abroad.

bbc iplayer page

If you want to find out how to watch BBC iPlayer with PrivateVPN, some alternative VPNs that work with iPlayer, and some troubleshooting steps if iPlayer isn’t working, keep reading.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer With PrivateVPN?

Watching BBC iPlayer with PrivateVPN is effortless, even if you’ve never used a VPN.

Our step-by-step guide is based on the setup process for Windows 10, so it may differ somewhat depending on your device.

  1. Sign up for a PrivateVPN account.
  2. Download the PrivateVPN application for your chosen device.
privatevpn download
  1. Once the download finishes, open the installation file and you won’t even need to complete a setup wizard – it will install automatically!
privatevpn installing
  1. The app should start after the installation, but if not, you can open it manually by navigating to Start > PrivateVPN.
privatevpn windows
  1. Click Log In and enter your username (usually your email) and the password you set during the registration process. Then click the “Log In” button.
privatevpn app log in
  1. You’ll now see a screen with your fastest server. We’ll avoid this and click the change option beneath the server section.
privatevpn app
  1. Scroll down the list of servers to find a UK server. Double-click on either the London or Manchester server to connect.
privatevpn all servers
  1. You should now see a success message showing VPN is ON.
privatevpn on
  1. Now, open a web browser and head to BBC iPlayer.
  2. Select a stream of your choice and hit Play.
streaming bbc iplayer with privatevpn

You should now be streaming BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world!

BBC iPlayer Not Working With PrivateVPN? Read This!

Although we rarely have issues with PrivateVPN and BBC iPlayer, some users have reported problems when streaming content.

If that sounds like you, try the tried and tested solutions below to see if they help.

Are You Connected to a UK Server?

BBC iPlayer only works from devices connecting from the UK or connected to a UK VPN server.

If you’re connected to any other PrivateVPN server other than the UK, your connection will not work.

Switch Servers

We’ve tested both the London and Manchester UK PrivateVPN servers and can confirm both worked flawlessly at unblocking BBC iPlayer.

However, that’s not to say they’re 100% perfect.

If you’re connected to the London server and experiencing issues, try switching to the Manchester server to see if it resolves your issue.

No Error Message but Lots of Buffering? Check Your Connection

If you aren’t getting any error messages, but streams take ages to load, it may not be PrivateVPN causing the issue.

First, test your speed at Ookla with a direct connection (without the VPN enabled) and take a note of your speed.

Next, connect to a PrivateVPN server and test the speed, comparing the speed with the VPN disabled.

If there’s a major difference, try switching to a different protocol.

Make sure you’re not connected to a PrivateVPN server, click Advanced View, and look for Protocols.

Switch to PPTP or L2TP and test your speeds (and BBC iPlayer) again.

privatevpn connection types

If you’re using Wifi to connect, this could also impact your connection to BBC iPlayer due to interference or sharing bandwidth with other devices on your network.

If that’s the case, it’s advisable to connect to a cabled connection via ethernet.

If you still have an issue, we recommend contacting PrivateVPN support to see if they can help.

Other VPNs That Work With BBC iPlayer

We think PrivateVPN does a superb job of unblocking BBC iPlayer content from abroad, but its pricing and available servers might not be for everyone.

We’ve listed some of our tried and tested VPN providers that bypass BBC iPlayer restrictions with ease to give you a little more flexibility.

NordVPN blasts through BBC iPlayer restrictions without a fuss by offering over 440 servers in the UK alone.

It operates a zero logs policy meaning your streams, web browsing, and download tracks are never recorded.

Surfshark is a VPN for budget-conscious users looking to stream BBC iPlayer from abroad on an infinite number of devices simultaneously.

ExpressVPN bypasses the geo-restrictions set by BBC iPlayer within seconds of connecting to a UK server.

ExpressVPN uses military-grade encryption and includes DNS leak protection to ensure your online activity stays within the limits of your VPN and is never exposed to the outside world.

CyberGhost offers BBC iPlayer-beating servers and includes specialty servers explicitly optimized for an effortless streaming experience.

Interesting Reads:


Is It Illegal to Watch BBC iPlayer With PrivateVPN?

No, it’s not illegal to watch BBC iPlayer with PrivateVPN.

Although it is illegal for UK residents to watch BBC iPlayer without a TV license, the same rules don’t apply to those living outside of the country.

Accessing BBC iPlayer with PrivateVPN may go against the website’s terms of service (hence blocking VPNs where possible), but due to the robust encryption with PrivateVPN, it’s unlikely to be traced back to you.

Using a VPN like PrivateVPN isn’t illegal in most territories, but some regions such as China impose strict censorship controls on internet usage.

Although you’re unlikely to get in any trouble for using a VPN, it’s worth checking the country’s rules you’re connecting from to ensure you don’t get into any trouble.


PrivateVPN is an excellent choice for watching BBC iPlayer from abroad.

It bypasses geo-restrictions set by the website and provides a smooth and reliable streaming experience.

If you’re considering an alternative to PrivateVPN that unblocks BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world, our top recommendation is NordVPN.

You can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously with NordVPN, streams rarely buffer thanks to lightning-fast servers, and you’ll get the highest-grade encryption available.

Start watching BBC iPlayer with PrivateVPN today.

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