How to watch Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada

Excited to watch Blue Planet 2 but live outside the UK? Your best bet is to use BBC iPlayer to find out what Sir David Attenborough got up to in the popular second season of Blue Planet. However, BBC iPlayer is unavailable in the US or Canada. So if you want to watch Blue Planet 2 you’ll need the help of a VPN.

If you’ve tried to watch Blue Planet 2 from the US, Canada, Australia or other countries outside the UK, you may have encountered this message: “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

BBC iPlayer geo-restriction

This means that you need a VPN with servers in the UK. By connecting to a server in the UK, you’ll be assigned a UK IP address. Your device’s traffic will be encrypted and routed through one of the VPN’s servers, making it seem like you’re browsing from the UK. Not only does this help you unblock geo-restricted content such as Blue Planet 2 on BBC iPlayer, it can also improve your online privacy in the process.

How to watch Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada with a VPN

In order to watch Blue Planet 2 abroad, you’ll need a VPN with servers in the UK. Don’t worry, the process is quick and easy, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.

Here’s how to watch Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada with a VPN:

  1. Register with one of the VPN services listed below – we particularly recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Download the VPN software for your operating system. You’ll likely have a choice between apps for desktop and mobile or perhaps even a browser extension.
  3. Open the VPN app or browser extension and connect to a server in the UK.
  4. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies before reloading BBC iPlayer. This ensures that your previous IP address and location is forgotten.
  5. Open BBC iPlayer and select a Blue Planet 2 video which should now be unblocked.

Note that you’ll also need a BBC iPlayer account – it’s free to register but does require you to enter a UK postcode (any will work). You’ll also need a UK TV license, although the iPlayer doesn’t actually verify this.

Choosing the best VPNs for streaming Blue Planet 2 abroad

Choosing a VPN takes time, particularly when you consider that not all VPNs work with BBC iPlayer. We’ve explored the options and narrowed it down to 5 VPNs that meet the following criteria:

Criteria for selecting the best VPNs

  • Able to unblock BBC iPlayer
  • Fast servers in the UK for streaming Blue Planet 2
  • High level of security with encryption and no-logs policy
  • Easy to use service with user-friendly apps
  • Customer support with a live chat feature
  • Includes a risk-free money-back guarantee

In case you don’t have time to read the reviews, here’s a quick summary of the best VPNs for watching Blue Planet 2 on BBC iPlayer:

Best VPNs to watch Blue Planet 2 on BBC iPlayer

  1. ExpressVPN: Our #1 choice. Unblocks BBC player and has fast servers for streaming Blue Planet 2. Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Also unblocks Netflix. User-friendly apps, 24/7 customer support, and packed with security features including encryption.
  2. NordVPN: Best budget VPN. 660 servers in the UK and able to unblock BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Connect up to 6 devices. Features 24/7 live chat support, easy-to-use apps, and strong security with specialty servers.
  3. CyberGhost: Fast and reliable servers, over 300 of which are in the UK. Secure up to 7 devices simultaneously. Variety of apps including for Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick. Safe to use with encryption and a strict no-logs policy.
  4. PrivateVPN: High-speed service for watching Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada. Use on up to 6 devices. Unblocks BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Apps for desktop and mobile. Security features include encryption and kill switch.
  5. Surfshark: Lets you watch Blue Planet 2 by unblocking BBC iPlayer. Unblocks most streaming services including Netflix. Allows unlimited connections. No-logs policy and 24/7 live chat support.

Best VPNs to watch Blue Planet 2 online

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPNOct 2019unblocks bbciplayerTested Oct 2019

ExpressVPN works very well with BBC iPlayer, making it ideal for watching Blue Planet 2.  Its UK servers are as reliable as they are fast, allowing for smooth streaming without any noticeable lag or buffering. This service has a network of more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries and is very good at unblocking geo-restricted content. For example, ExpressVPN can also unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Sky Go.

Where ExpressVPN stands out is in its well designed apps which are very quick and easy to navigate. You should have no problems connecting to a server or adjusting the settings but there is 24/7 live chat customer support if you need it. The customer service provided by ExpressVPN is fast, friendly and arguably the best of any VPN service.

This VPN service is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands where it isn’t subject to any data retention laws. Regardless, ExpressVPN states that it doesn’t keep any logs that could identify its users. Aside from this, ExpressVPN secures your data with 256-bit AES encryption, split tunneling functionality,  a kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks, making ExpressVPN one of the safest VPNs available today.

ExpressVPN apps are available for desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux), mobile, (Android and iOS) and for routers. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available.

Pros:

  • Lets you watch Blue Planet 2 by unblocking BBC iPlayer
  • Servers are fast and consistent for lag-free streaming
  • Secure with encryption and a kill switch feature
  • Also unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Sky Go
  • User-friendly apps and browser extensions
  • Live chat support is available 24/7

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricier than the other VPNs on this list

BEST VPN TO WATCH BLUE PLANET:ExpressVPN is our top recommendation. It has fast servers in the UK for streaming Blue Planet 2. Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. Servers in 94 countries. 24/7 support and secure with encryption. Try it risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPNunblocks bbciplayerTested Oct 2019

NordVPN has 660 servers in the UK at the time of writing, and some 5,000 in total across 60 countries. It allows you to watch Blue Planet 2 with ease and not only does it unblock the BBC iPlayer, it also works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Go. NordVPN offers specialty servers such as double VPN and dedicated IP, making it a great value option, particularly when you consider you can use it to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously.

Connecting to a NordVPN server is easy thanks to the availability of both user-friendly apps and browser extensions. NordVPN also offers an impressive commitment to your online security. Based in Panama, this VPN has the advantage of being in a country with no mandatory data retention laws. It protects your privacy with its strict no-logs policy and advanced security features including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a customizable kill switch.

You can use NordVPN via the apps which are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV. There’s also the option of browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. However, routers require manual configuration.

Pros:

  • Over 600 UK servers for watching Blue Planet 2 on BBC iPlayer
  • Unblock streaming services including Netflix and HBO Go
  • Plenty of security features including specialty servers
  • Use on up to 6 devices
  • Features 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Speed and consistency of servers can vary

GREAT VALUE VPN:NordVPN offers excellent value with some 660 servers in the UK. It lets you watch Blue Planet 2 by unblocking BBC iPlayer. Also unblocks Netflix. Use on up to 6 devices. 24/7 support, user-friendly apps, and excellent security with a no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost

Cyberghostunblocks bbciplayerTested Oct 2019

CyberGhost is a fast and secure VPN that unblocks BBC iPlayer, allowing you to stream Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada. It has over 300 servers in the UK which offer fast and consistent connections for streaming without performance issues. At the time of writing, CyberGhost has more than 3,700 servers in a total of 59 countries, allowing you to unblock geo-restricted content worldwide. What’s more, you can use it to simultaneously secure up to 7 devices.

This VPN service is well worth trying as it comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee (most VPNs only offer up to 30 days). CyberGhost’s selection of apps means you can stream Blue Planet 2 via BBC iPlayer on desktop, mobile, and Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick. CyberGhost also offers customer support via a live chat feature. In terms of security, CyberGhost provides strong security with 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection from DNS leaks. There’s also a no-logs policy which ensures your privacy remains intact.

You can use CyberGhost via the apps for Window, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Manual setup is required for Linux and routers.

Pros:

  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer for streaming Blue Planet 2
  • Fast servers with over 300 in the UK and 3,700 worldwide
  • Keeps you secure online with encryption and no-logs policy
  • Simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices
  • Includes a 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Inconsistent at unblocking some streaming services

SPEED AND SECURITY:CyberGhost is a great all-round VPN, offering secure, high speed servers in the UK. Connect up to 7 devices. Variety of apps including for Amazon Fire TV. Essential security features include encryption and kill switch. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPNunblocks bbciplayerTested Oct 2019

PrivateVPN allows for seamless streaming of Blue Planet 2 in the US, Canada or anywhere else in the world. Able to unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, PrivateVPN is great for streaming. With fast servers in Manchester and London, PrivateVPN is able to stream content in 1080p with no buffering or lag. You can use PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices simultaneously, allowing you to secure everything from your desktop computer to your mobile.

This VPN service is particularly suitable for beginners thanks to the user-friendly design of its apps. One available feature is the stealth VPN which disguises the VPN traffic as regular traffic, providing even greater privacy and allowing you to use the service on networks where VPNs are usually blocked. Headquartered in Sweden, PrivateVPN is a no-logs VPN service which uses 256-bit AES encryption, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch to protect your data.

PrivateVPN is available via apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Linux and routers require manual setup.

Pros:

  • Fast servers for watching Blue Planet 2 on BBC iPlayer
  • Also unblocks Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • Uses encryption and a kill switch to secure your data
  • Connect up to 6 devices

Cons:

  • Small network of around 100 servers
  • No browser extensions on offer

IDEAL FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN has high speed servers in the UK for streaming Blue Planet 2. Unblocks most streaming services including BBC iPlayer and can be used on up to 6 devices simultaneously. Encryption and no-logs policy secures your data. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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5. Surfshark

SurfShark VPNunblocks bbciplayerTested Oct 2019

Surfshark has over 800 servers in 50 countries, including the UK. It works well in unblocking BBC iPlayer as well as the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Servers offer respectable and reliable speeds that are more than sufficient for streaming content in high definition. However, arguably the standout feature of Surfshark is that it allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices, making this a great option for families.

Another advantage of Surfshark is that it’s easy to use. Connecting to a server only takes a few seconds and there’s 24/7 live chat support in the unlikely event that you encounter any issues. Other features include an ad blocker and a whitelister for choosing which websites and apps can bypass the VPN. Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. It uses 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and no-logs policy to ensure your data stays secure at all times.

Surfshark offers apps for the following: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available. Linux and routers require manual configuration.

Pros:

  • Unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer for Blue Planet 2
  • Connect an unlimited number of devices
  • Uses encryption and a no-logs policy to ensure your security
  • 24/7 support via live chat and email

Cons:

  • Some servers have relatively slow speeds
  • Smaller server network than the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN

UNLIMITED DEVICES:Surfshark is perfect for families as it allows you to connect as many devices as you want. Unblocks Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as well as BBC iPlayer for Blue Planet 2. Offers 24/7 live chat support and a no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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Can I use a free VPN to watch Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada?

Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to use a free VPN to watch Blue Planet 2 in the US or Canada. That’s because most free VPNs simply don’t work with BBC iPlayer. Even if you’re lucky enough to find a free VPN that works with BBC iPlayer, you’ll likely also find that the performance is very poor. This is down to free VPNs having too many users and too few servers, resulting in high server load, limited bandwidth and lots of lag and buffering!

Another area in which free VPNs fall far behind the best paid VPNs for Blue Planet 2 is security. Some free VPNs log your activity and sell the data to third parties. Even those that don’t do this still lack fundamental security features such as 256-bit encryption and a kill switch. In contrast, a quality paid VPN offers fast servers and strong security with a no-logs policy.

What else can I watch on BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is home to a wide range of BBC content which is available live, catch-up or on-demand. This includes content from the following TV and radio channels:

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • Radio 1
  • BBC Three
  • BBC Four
  • CBBC
  • BBC Scotland
  • BBC News
  • CBeebies
  • BBC Parliament
  • BBC Alba
  • S4C

Using a VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer allows you to watch Blue Planet 2 and many other TV programs, including the following:

  • Frozen Planet
  • Line of Duty
  • This Country
  • White Gold
  • Luther
  • EastEnders
  • The Missing
  • Bodies
  • Match of the Day
  • The Graham Norton Show