watch bbc in usa

Are you fed up not being able to watch BBC iPlayer from the USA? As fellow expats, we understand the frustration of being unable to access your favorite BBC shows while residing in the United States.

The key to unlocking BBC iPlayer from the USA lies in utilizing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). By harnessing the power of a VPN, you can enjoy BBC iPlayer’s extensive library for free, regardless of your geographical location. We will unveil the top VPN providers that excel in unblocking BBC iPlayer and walk you through the setup process, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.

VPNs encrypt your traffic, preventing your activities from being monitored by hackers, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), your employer, or the government. However, they have another major benefit: they allow you to change your IP address. As streaming platforms often rely on the user’s IP address to verify their location, accessing geo-blocked services abroad is as simple as connecting to a server in the appropriate country. So if you are a Brit traveling to the US and want to keep watching BBC, a VPN is the solution.

It’s important to note that the BBC invests substantial resources into improving its geo-restriction measures, making it challenging for most VPNs to bypass these restrictions. However, after thorough testing, we have identified a few VPNs that consistently deliver reliable access to BBC iPlayer in America. While we’ll delve into the detailed reviews of each VPN later in this article, we’ll provide you with a summary of each one upfront.

Prepare yourself to unlock a world of captivating British entertainment, as we guide you through the process of watching BBC iPlayer in the USA. Stay tuned as we reveal the VPN providers that will grant you unrestricted access to the best of the BBC.

We have found these to be the best VPNs for watching BBC in the US:

  1. NordVPN: Our top choice for watching the BBC in the USA. This service is faster than any other, with top-notch security features and a no-logs policy.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for BBC iPlayer.
  2. Surfshark: Best value VPN. A fast, security-conscious VPN that unblocks BBC iPlayer with ease and allows any number of connections. Excellent security.
  3. ExpressVPN: Fast, reliable, secure, and boasting excellent unblocking capability. Servers available in 94 countries worldwide, the UK included.
  4. CyberGhost: A budget, user-friendly service with pre-configured security options and strong unblocking ability, CyberGhost is ideal for beginners.
  5. IPVanish: Provides consistent access to BBC iPlayer and other free UK streaming services. Speedy servers available in four UK locations. Allows unlimited device connections.
  6. PrivateVPN: This VPN is secure, privacy-conscious, faster than most, and unblocks a wide range of popular streaming services. Strict no-logs policy.
  7. Private Internet AccessWorks with BBC iPlayer and offers consistent connections. Use it on 10 devices at once. Ad and malware blocking.
  8. PureVPN: The VPN is very secure and reliable despite costing less. Apps for all platforms include a no-logs policy.
  9. ProtonVPN: Works to get an IP address in the UK and 85 other countries. Ideal for secure torrenting. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best VPNs for watching BBC iPlayer in America – Our hands-on review

We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for iPlayer.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostIPVanishPrivateVPNPrivate Internet AccessPureVPNProton VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.comPrivateVPN.comPrivateInternetAccess.comPureVPN.comprotonvpn.com
Ranking for iPlayer123456789
Streaming servicesBBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Sky Go
ITV Hub
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Sky Go
ITV Hub
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Sky Go
ITV Hub
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
ITV Hub
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
ITV Hub
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Disney+
YouTube
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
ITV Hub
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
ITV Hub
Simultaneous Connections10Unlimited87Unlimited10Unlimited10Free: 1, VPN Plus: 10
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Chromebook, RoutersWindows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Chromebook
Avg Speed (UK)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps20 Mbps100+ Mbps324 Mbps100+ Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!
$1.99
SAVE 85% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan
$2.11
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
$3.59
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan

It’s actually very simple to bypass regional restrictions with a VPN. Below, we’ll explain how you can use BBC iPlayer and a VPN to stream the BBC live in the USA.

Here’s how to watch BBC iPlayer in USA:

  1. Sign up for one of the VPNs mentioned below (we recommend NordVPN).
  2. Download and install the app, making sure to get the right version for your device’s operating system.
  3. Connect to one of your VPN’s British servers.
  4. Sign in to BBC iPlayer and try loading a video. It should begin immediately, but you might have to clear your browser’s cookies and cache first. Once this is done, refresh the page and you should be able to stream freely.
  5. You can now access restricted content from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Four on iPlayer.

WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?

NordVPN offers a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for BBC iPlayer with no restrictions for a month. This is perfect for anyone hoping to watch British shows while traveling in the US.

There's no trick herejust contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

Criteria for the best BBC iPlayer VPNs

Each of the VPNs in this article have been subject to stringent testing. You can read more about our testing methodology later in this article. For now, here’s a brief look at some of the criteria we use for BBC VPNs:

  • A good selection of servers in the UK for a British IP address
  • The ability to bypass geo-blocks on BBC iPlayer
  • Advanced security and privacy features, including 256-bit encryption
  • Apps for many devices and platforms, including iOS and Android
  • A generous amount of simultaneous connections
  • Competitive pricing options and a money-back guarantee
  • Responsive customer support available via live chat

Best VPNs for watching BBC in the USA

Below, you’ll find our list of the best VPNs for watching the BBC in the USA:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jun 2024 Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN has more than 5,400 high-speed servers spread 60 countries, including 700+ in the UK alone. It works with a wide range of popular platforms, meaning you’ll be able to securely access services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix UK, and BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to protect all of your devices at once.

This service emphasizes security. Its features include 256-bit encryption, an app-specific kill switch, a malware scanner, an adblocker, and protection against DNS, IPv6, WebRTC, and port-forwarding leaks. Users can choose to access Tor over VPN or use multiple VPNs simultaneously for added protection. NordVPN has a strict no-logging policy, so your privacy is in good hands. Customer support is available 24/7 via live chat.

NordVPN has apps for Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Manual installation is required for use on home routers.

NordVPN speed test data

No valueNordVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)354 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)262 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)284 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE

Pros:

  • Major emphasis on security and privacy
  • Hundreds of British servers
  • Currently the fastest VPN on the market
  • Great low-cost alternative for streaming
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever

Cons:

  • Desktop apps can take slightly longer to connect

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR BBC IPLAYER:NordVPN is our first choice! It’s an extremely fast, privacy-oriented service that takes your security seriously. Better still, its plans include a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of NordVPN here

NordVPN Coupon
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
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2. Surfshark

Surfshark Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark has high-speed servers in over 60 countries, including the UK, making it ideal for accessing region-locked platforms abroad. In fact, as well as unblocking BBC iPlayer, Surfshark allows you to use other popular British streaming platforms like All 4 and ITV Hub. Better still, there’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect, so it’s perfect for those with families or lots of devices to protect.

This VPN takes your security seriously; it boasts 256-bit encryption, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch (in every version), and finally, automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning. Surfshark doesn’t log any information that could identify you, but if you’d like, you can pay in cryptocurrency for another layer of anonymity. Need help? You can reach customer support over live chat, 24/7.

Surfshark apps are available for Windows, Android, Linux, MacOS, and iOS. Manual configuration is required for use with network routers.

Surfshark speed test data

No valueSurfshark
WebsiteSurfshark.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)521 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)702 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)561 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free

Pros:

  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer, All 4, and ITV Hub
  • Connect as many devices as you like
  • Fast enough for HD live streaming
  • Strong on security and privacy

Cons:

  • Relatively small server network
  • Some slow speeds

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is a fantastic low-cost option as it boasts top-notch security features, solid speeds, and the ability to unblock plenty of popular streaming platforms (including BBC iPlayer). Plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of Surfshark here

Surfshark Coupon
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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is one of our favorite all-round VPNs so it had to make this list, but it has been less reliable with BBC iPlayer lately. It has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries worldwide, including the UK. This service can securely access streaming platforms that many other VPNs struggle with, including  ITV Hub, and Netflix UK. Best of all, it’s fast enough to stream live HD content with no noticeable stuttering or buffering whatsoever.

This VPN service includes 256-bit secure encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch (which halts all traffic whenever you disconnect unexpectedly), to keep your activities private at all times. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any data that could identify you, but it’s possible to register almost completely anonymously with Bitcoin and a throwaway email address for an additional layer of privacy. Support is available 24/7 over live chat in case of any issues.

ExpressVPN apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Plans include access to custom router firmware to make protecting all of your devices as easy as possible.

ExpressVPN speed test data

No valueExpressVPN
WebsiteExpressVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)319 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)303 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)278 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free

Pros:

  • Suitable for streaming sites
  • Fast enough to play HD video without buffering
  • Solid privacy settings and security
  • Pay anonymously with Bitcoin

Cons:

  • May not offer enough flexibility for advanced users
  • Worth trying but sometimes struggles to unblock BBC iPlayer

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

PRIVATE STREAMING:ExpressVPN is a solid choice for streaming. It offers high-speed connections, powerful security and privacy features, and excellent streaming potential, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of ExpressVPN here

ExpressVPN Coupon
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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost offers access to 1,000+ British servers, and more than 10,000 others in a further 88 countries. This service is extremely user-friendly; each server shows its current load and the streaming service it’s designed to unblock. With high speeds and up to seven simultaneous connections, CyberGhost ensures you’re free to stream the BBC flawlessly at home or on the go.

This VPN makes it as easy as possible to stay safe online. It protects your data using 256-bit encryption, an always-on kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. That’s not all: it automatically blocks ads and scans for malware. CyberGhost logs no personally identifiable information but you can pay in Bitcoin for added anonymity. If you run into any issues, you can contact customer support over live chat, 24/7.

CyberGhost offers Windows, Android, MacOS, Linux, and iOS apps. It also supports network routers, but they require manual configuration.

CyberGhost speed test data

No valueCyberGhost
WebsiteCyberghost.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)449 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)269 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)167 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!

Pros:

  • Fast, reliable service
  • Works well with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • All security features enabled by default

Cons:

  • Not suitable for those that need control of advanced features
  • Doesn’t work in China

Easy-to-use apps:CyberGhost boasts high-speed connections, comprehensive security, and the ability to stream BBC iPlayer anywhere. It comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost here

CyberGhost Coupon
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5. IPVanish

IPVanish Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is a great-value provider that works consistently well with BBC iPlayer. Simply connect to one of its UK servers in Manchester, London, Glasgow, and Birmingham and BBC iPlayer will become accessible from the US.

The service also works with other free British streaming services we tested, including the content-rich C4OD and ITVX. Speeds are fast enough for streaming in 4K – provided you have a decent base connection speed.

IPVanish is a veteran provider that owns the majority of its server network. For users, this means improved security through a reduced risk of third-party tampering. The company has an audited no-logs policy, so you can be sure that your online activity is kept private.

Subscriptions are competitively priced and start at $2.19 per month for a two-year subscription. Each subscription allows you to use the service with as many devices as you want simultaneously. This is great if you live in a shared household and want to split the cost. IPVanish apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and FireTV.

If you have a smart TV or games console that you’d like to use with BBC iPlayer, it’s possible to configure IPVanish on your router. This enables you to change the virtual location of every device connected to the router – regardless of whether they support VPN apps natively.

IPVanish speed test data

No valueIPVanish
WebsiteIPVanish.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)277 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)237 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)352 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$1.99
SAVE 85% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

Pros:

  • Works with BBCiPlayer and other UK streaming services
  • Very fast
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Great value subscriptions

Cons:

  • Based in the US

Our score:

4 out of 5

STRONG UK PRESENCE:IPVanish provides impressively fast UK connections and works with popular free British streaming platforms. Subscriptions are competitively priced and include unlimited device connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

IPVanish Coupon
SAVE 85% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months
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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN has around 150 servers in 60 countries (including the UK), but it makes up for its smaller network by providing faster speeds than many similar services. Additionally, PrivateVPN reliably works with not just the BBC iPlayer, but also Netflix UK, ITV Hub, and All 4. This service allows six devices to be connected at once.

With 256-bit encryption, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch (Windows only), PrivateVPN guarantees your internet traffic is kept secure at all times. Your activities can’t be traced back to you (whether you pay in Bitcoin or not), thanks to this service’s zero-logs policy. Live chat is available for 22 hours each day (it’s offline from 1-3PM PST), and with your permission, the staff can remotely configure the software for you.

PrivateVPN has Windows, Android, MacOS, and iOS apps. It works on Linux-based platforms and wireless routers with manual configuration.

PrivateVPN speed test data

No valuePrivateVPN
WebsitePrivateVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)94 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)57 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)62 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free

Pros:

  • Works with Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
  • Very fast speeds
  • Zero-logs provider

Cons:

  • Other providers have more server selection options
  • Live chat is not around the clock

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

STREAM BBC ANYWHERE:PrivateVPN keeps no logs, prioritizes your security, and offers fast, flawless streaming. It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of PrivateVPN here

PrivateVPN Coupon
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free
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7. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access operates a network spanning 80 countries including the UK. This makes it a viable choice for accessing geo-restricted content while traveling abroad. When you use it to stream BBC iPlayer (you can also access Netflix US), you’ll benefit from unlimited bandwidth and stable connections as a result. Another advantage of PIA is that it permits as many as 10 simultaneous connections per account.

With PIA, you can stream securely with 256-bit AES encryption and DNS leak protection. If you lose the VPN connection, a kill switch cuts your internet traffic and prevents your data from being exposed. There’s also ad and malware blocking and a no-logs policy. The lightweight apps are highly accessible even for beginners and should you have any trouble, 24/7 support is at hand.

To use Private Internet Access, download and install an app for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, or Amazon Fire TV. Browser extensions are even offered for Chrome and Firefox. Manual configuration is necessary to use it with a router.

Private Internet Access speed test data

No valuePrivate Internet Access
WebsitePrivateInternetAccess.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)93 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)58 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)200 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

Pros:

  • Servers in 80 countries including the UK for use with BBC iPlayer
  • Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections per account
  • Provides live chat and email support around the clock
  • Online security with encryption and ad and malware blocker

Cons:

  • Struggles with some other streaming services
  • One of many VPNs that doesn’t work in China

Our score:

4 out of 5

SERVERS IN 80 COUNTRIES:Private Internet Access has a global network of servers and won’t throttle your bandwidth. Use it to watch BBC iPlayer overseas and connect 10 devices at once. No identifying logs. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Private Internet Access review.

Private Internet Access Coupon
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan
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8. PureVPN

PureVPN Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PureVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS

PureVPN is a low-cost VPN based in the British Virgin Islands – a location that lacks invasive surveillance agencies and mandatory data retention directives that apply to VPNs. This makes it a highly secure provider with a fully audited no-logs policy you can trust to secure your privacy at all times.

The VPN has servers in 65+ countries, including the UK to watch BBC iPlayer abroad. It also works to watch Channel 4, ITVX, and Netflix UK and delivers super-fast speeds using its WireGuard protocol. In our tests, it also worked to watch US platforms like Netflix US, HBO Max, and Hulu, as well as international services in Germany, Japan, Canada, and France. This makes it an impressive all-rounder for the cost.

Despite its affordability, PureVPN doesn’t compromise on security, offering robust features such as AES encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and a strict no-logging policy. This ensures you can safely watch BBC iPlayer at work, in school, or while traveling.

Admittedly, the live chat support had slow response times when we tested it. This was the biggest downside – but it is a minor quibble considering how cheap this VPN is. You can test the VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in the US or anywhere else in the world thanks to its 31-day money-back guarantee.

PureVPN speed test data

No valuePureVPN
WebsitePureVPN.com
Avg Speed (US)628 Mbps
Avg Speed (UK)324 Mbps
Avg Speed (Asia)246 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.11
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months

Pros:

  • Great speeds using its WireGuard protocol
  • Works to watch British TV in America
  • Servers in 65+ countries
  • Easy to use
  • 31-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Support is a bit slow
  • Port forwarding costs extra

Our score:

4 out of 5

LOW COST:PureVPN makes it cheaper to watch BBC iPlayer and other British TV services while in the USA. The VPN is very secure and reliable despite costing less. Apps for all platforms include a no-logs policy, AES encryption, a killswitch, and DNS leak protection. Live chat support is available 24/7 and you can trial the VPN risk-free using its 31-day money-back guarantee.

Find out more in our PureVPN review.

PureVPN Coupon
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

9. ProtonVPN

Proton VPN Unblocks BBC in USATested Jun 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN is a premium VPN with top-notch security and excellent privacy features. It is based in Switzerland, a country that lacks mandatory data retention directives that apply to VPNs. It also has a fully audited no logs policy and fully verified apps.

The team behind Proton Mail developed the service, giving it a superb reputation. It boasts advanced features like AES encryption, a kill switch, multi-hop connections, obfuscation, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and built-in ad and tracker blocking. It also blocks access to known malicious websites.

Although it comes with a higher subscription cost due to its advanced capabilities, ProtonVPN performs incredibly well in watching British streaming services like BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, and British Netflix. It also works to access US platforms like Hulu, Netflix US, and HBO Max. This makes it well worth the cost.

Split tunneling and port forwarding features make this VPN an excellent option for torrenting safely. The VPN provides the modern WireGuard protocol, which makes it super speedy for streaming and gaming. It is also worth noting that the monthly plan is cheap – so if you only need a VPN for a vacation, Proton is perfect.

Live chat support is available, and ProtonVPN ensures a fantastic support experience for users. Beginners may find its advanced features overwhelming. However, learning them all in just a few days is easy. You can test it yourself to see whether you enjoy it on your devices by using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

ProtonVPN speed test data

No valueProton VPN
Websiteprotonvpn.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)390 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)306 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)295 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.59
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan

Pros:

  • Has servers in 65+ countries, including the UK to watch iPlayer
  • Works with Netflix and other US platforms
  • The Port forwarding feature is perfect for seeding torrents
  • AES-256 encryption and a no-logs policy
  • Has many advanced features

Cons:

  • A touch expensive
  • Advanced features may confuse beginners

Our score:

4 out of 5

SECURE AND PRIVATE:ProtonVPN is an advanced VPN based in Switzerland. It has a fully audited no-logging policy. Apps for all platforms provide AES encryption, a kill switch, and obfuscation. Works to get an IP address in the UK and 85 other countries. Ideal for secure torrenting. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Find out more in our ProtonVPN review

ProtonVPN Coupon
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan
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Watch iPlayer USA in America – Our VPN testing methodology

With so many VPN providers claiming to be the best, it can be difficult to decide which one to get. At Comparitech, we use a data-based VPN testing methodology to review market-leading VPNs. This allows us to compare services directly to find the best VPNs for specific use cases, including watching iPlayer abroad.

To find the best VPNs for streaming the BBC in the US, we found services that are fast, reliable, and have the features listed below:

  • Reliably works with BBC iPlayer and similar streaming platforms. We look for VPNs that have solid British servers that work with iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, and other popular services such as internet banking.
  • Offers consistently high-speed connections. Many VPNs run on outdated protocols and slow networks of cheap servers. We recommend fast VPNs that offer modern protocols, such as WireGuard.
  • Uses strong encryption and includes several other security features. We only recommend VPNs that have fully-featured apps with plenty of advanced privacy and security features. We also test for IP and DNS leaks and ensure the VPN has a kill switch.
  • Doesn’t log any information that could identify you. We recommend VPNs with watertight privacy policies you can rely on to ensure your browsing habits always remain private.
  • Has apps for all the most popular operating systems. We check the VPN, which has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, to ensure you can stream iPlayer on all your devices.
  • Offers good value for money. We only recommend VPNs for BBC in the USA that are fairly priced and give you plenty of bang for your buck. This includes discounts, free trials, and money-back guarantees. We also look at the number of simultaneous device connections supported when assessing value.
  • Has reliable customer support. We hope you never have to contact customer support, but if you do, it should be a quick and pleasant experience. We test the customer service experience with each of our recommended VPNs and only recommend the very best. We expect to see live chat options with flexible open hours and give extra points if it’s 24 hours and available in a variety of different languages.

Can I watch the BBC abroad with a free VPN?

Free VPN services can be tempting, but we advise against using one for several reasons. The first is their performance; free VPNs rarely have enough servers to support all their users, which manifests as slow speeds. Streaming is pretty data-intensive, particularly at higher resolutions, and as such, you’ll likely experience choppy playback, subpar video quality, long buffering times and data limits. Further, the BBC regularly updates its geo-blocking measures so there’s a good chance you won’t be able to access BBC iPlayer at all with a free VPN service.

These services might be free to use, but they are businesses and as such, exist to make money. Most use an ad-supported model or offer perks like higher speeds for a monthly fee, but some resort to shadier practices. Some services store tracking cookies on your device to see which sites you visit, and sell the resulting consumer profile to advertisers. This takes control over who sees your data out of your hands, which is the exact opposite of what a VPN is supposed to do.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to even tell if you are using a safe VPN or not. Researchers recently tested 283 free VPN apps and found that almost 40% contained malware, 84% were vulnerable to IPv6 leaks, and 18% used no encryption whatsoever. Well-known services aren’t necessarily safer; in 2015, Hola was caught selling user bandwidth to help run a botnet.

Using a reputable VPN with a clear, customer-first privacy policy is the best way to stay safe online.

Can I watch BBC News with a VPN?

The BBC provides two news services. Its global program, focused on international affairs, is available to users via bbc.com. However, if you want to access the UK’s version of the 24-hour BBC News channel, you must access bbc.co.uk or BBC iPlayer.

You will find that if you are outside the UK, you will be redirected to https://bbc.com.

However, a VPN connected to a UK server allow you to access https://bbc.co.uk as well as BBC IPlayer. The news channel can be accessed directly via iPlayer, so you can keep up to date on the latest news and events in the UK.

How to sign up for BBC iPlayer

Creating a new BBC account is easy and only takes a few minutes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the login page and click Register Now
  2. You’ll be asked to enter details, including your date of birth, email address, and postal code.
  3. When you’re done, click Register and verify your email address.

British law requires you to have a TV license to watch anything on the BBC iPlayer. While this service sometimes shows a popup making you aware of this, it doesn’t appear every time you try to watch something, and as such, is easy to forget. The iPlayer doesn’t check whether you have a TV license and relies entirely on an honor system.

Alternatives to BBC iPlayer in the USA

Although BBC iPlayer provides a vast collection of British television shows, other options are available for viewers in the USA who want to enjoy UK programming. Here are some alternatives that allow you to watch British TV from the comfort of your living room.

  1. BritBox: A collaboration between the BBC and ITV, BritBox is a British TV lover’s dream come true. From classic Doctor Who episodes to the latest EastEnders seasons, it’s a one-stop-shop for all things British. Plus, there’s no need to fret about legality; it’s all above board.
  2. ITVX: Want more than just the BBC? ITV Hub offers a wide array of content from ITV’s channels. Whether you’re into dramas like Downton Abbey or reality shows like Love Island, ITV Hub has something for everyone.
  3. Sky Go: Sky Go can be a viable option for those with access to a UK Sky subscription. It offers live and on-demand content from Sky’s channels, including sports, movies, and series like Chernobyl.
  4. All 4: All 4’s content is supported by advertisements, which means you don’t need a TV license. You can watch popular shows like The Great British Bake Off and The Inbetweeners for free. It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore British TV without committing to a subscription.
  5. My5: My5 is the streaming platform from Channel 5 where you can watch content from the main channel, and places like 5STAR, 5USA, and 5SELECT. Some of the biggest titles include Only Fools and Horses, The Inheritance, and Police Interceptors.

How to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA FAQ

VPN not working with iPlayer?

There are a few reasons why your VPN might not be working with BBC iPlayer. Below, we’ll explain, step by step, what you can do to narrow down the cause of the issue.

  1. Firstly, make sure you’re connected to a British server, since iPlayer is only available in the UK.
  2. When you use the BBC iPlayer website or app, it stores your location. To have it forget your old location, simply clear your cookies. The next time you visit, this service will be forced to get your location again, and should hopefully allow you to watch.
  3. Still no luck? Turn off location services, as well as any ad-blockers you might be running. Note that some VPNs have ad-blockers built-in which are often accidentally overlooked.
  4. At this point, you may want to get in touch with your VPN’s support team. Staff may be able to tell you of a specific server capable of unblocking iPlayer. Alternatively, if the VPN no longer works with BBC iPlayer, at least you’ll know for sure.

How do I watch BBC iPlayer on a normal, not smart TV?

Because BBC iPlayer is such a popular service, it has apps for all kinds of devices. This means that you don’t necessarily need a Smart TV to watch it, provided you have another device capable of running the iPlayer app. 

For instance, if you have a PlayStation or Xbox games console, or an Amazon Fire Stick, all you have to do is connect these to your TV and they’ll effectively turn it into a Smart TV. All that’s left to do is install the BBC iPlayer app from the store and start streaming. 

Does Smart DNS proxy work with BBC iPlayer?

If you’d like to live stream BBC iPlayer from abroad but can’t install a VPN, Smart DNS services are a good compromise. There are plenty of these capable of unblocking iPlayer (including Smart DNS proxy) but it’s important to bear in mind that they don’t usually encrypt your data the way a VPN would. Additionally, you’ll have to manually change your DNS settings any time you want to change location, whereas VPN apps let you switch region in just a few clicks. 

Is it legal to stream BBC iPlayer in USA?

You may be surprised to learn that it’s not illegal to watch BBC iPlayer in the US using a VPN. That said, it does go against section 7a of the BBC’s terms of use which forbids users from “accessing content from outside the UK that you aren’t allowed to.” 

So what does this actually mean, considering it’s not a crime to do so? Essentially, BBC iPlayer will attempt to stop you from streaming abroad with a series of advanced VPN-detection features. Even if it finds that you’re using a VPN, though, you’ll just be asked to turn it off — there are currently no reports of anyone having their account banned for watching via VPN. 

Why else might I need a VPN?

VPNs enable you to do more than just watch the BBC in the USA. Worried about having access to your RBS, Santander, or Halifax bank account limited because you logged in from another country? Just connect to a British VPN server first and it’s likely your bank’s automated system won’t even realize you’re actually somewhere else. You can also use this method to access betting sites like Ladbrokes and William Hill from outside of the UK.

As your traffic is often routed through a server in a completely different country, you can use a VPN to bypass any web filtering imposed by your workplace, or the government. Public wifi networks are often less secure than they should be, which means they’re a prime target for hackers. However, when connected to a VPN, you’ll know for certain that your activities are safe from prying eyes.

Which BBC channels and shows can I watch with a VPN?

The BBC offers a huge variety of content ranging from soap operas to gritty dramas. Below, we’ve listed the BBC channels you can stream live and some of the shows you can watch on the BBC iPlayer:

Channels:

  1. BBC One
  2. BBC Two
  3. CBBC
  4. BBC Four
  5. BBC News
  6. Cbeebies
  7. BBC Three
  8. BBC Scotland
  9. S4C
  10. BBC Parliament
  11. BBC Alba
  12. Radio 1

TV shows:

  • Line of Duty
  • Killing Eve
  • Eastenders
  • Top Gear
  • QI
  • Baptiste
  • Match of the Day
  • Casualty
  • White Gold
  • Bodyguard
  • Panorama
  • Blue Planet 2

Can I play BBC iPlayer downloads abroad?

Although BBC iPlayer won’t let you stream live or on-demand content from outside of the UK, it has no issue with you watching previously-downloaded shows abroad. In fact, it says as much in its website’s official support section.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer in the USA on Roku TV?

Unblocking BBC iPlayer on Roku is a little more complicated than on a different device, since the selection of apps is very limited, and no VPNs are supported. However, it’s not impossible to stream your favorite BBC shows from abroad on Roku. Just follow these steps:

  1. Install a VPN capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer on your PC or mobile device. 
  2. Connect to a British server (if in doubt, London servers are usually a safe bet). 
  3. Create a new wireless hotspot to share your encrypted connection with other devices. 
  4. Go into your Roku’s settings menu and connect to your newly-created hotspot. 
  5. Finally, simply open the BBC iPlayer app and try watching something. If you still can’t use the service, try a different VPN server or get in touch with your provider’s support team for more assistance.

Can I watch iPlayer on Firestick?

Yes, you can start watching BBC iPlayer on Firestick in a matter of minutes. There isn’t even any need to sideload anything, since the app is included in the Amazon app store. Just search for “BBC iPlayer”, install the app, and sign in.

How does BBC iPlayer know I am abroad?

When you visit the BBC iPlayer website, it can automatically detect your home IP address. This digital address instantly reveals your location, which tells the BBC whether you are in the UK.

If you are outside of Britain on vacation or traveling for work, the service will instantly be able to tell. As a result, it will assume that you are a foreigner attempting to watch its content in an unlicensed region.

With a VPN, you can get around this problem. Connecting to a UK VPN server that works with iPlayer gives you a valid UK IP address. This means you can login to your usual account and continue watching iPlayer while away.

Can I download the iPlayer app in the US?

Yes. Although the iPlayer app is only officially available in the UK, you can still access it on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store by connecting to a VPN. By connecting to a VPN server in Britain, you will appear to be back home in the UK, and the app store will list the iPlayer app and let you download it as usual.

Will a VPN for iPlayer slow down my internet connection?

You’ll almost always notice a small drop in speed when you connect to a VPN. After all, your data now has to take a slightly longer path around the world. That said, major providers have worked hard to make their networks as efficient as possible, so they tend to have a lower impact on your speed than they used to.

Even if your connection is extremely slow, you should still be able to watch BBC iPlayer. That’s because this service only requires a 5 Mbps connection for live streaming HD video. If you’re happy watching standard definition content, you can get away with having as little as 1.5 Mbps.

Why isn’t BBC iPlayer available in the USA?

With so much great content available live and on-demand, it’s unfortunate that BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK. BBC iPlayer isn’t available in the USA (or any other country besides the UK) because of existing rights agreements

BBC iPlayer doesn’t hold exclusive worldwide streaming rights for all of the content on its platform. Indeed, broadcasting rights are often shared by many broadcasters and streaming services from different countries. In order to respect licensing agreements, BBC iPlayer ensures that only UK IP addresses have access while those from abroad (such as the US) will find the content to be region-locked.

Do I need a TV license to watch BBC in the US?

As a US resident, there’s no need for a TV license to enjoy BBC content. However, in the UK, a TV license is essential for watching or recording live television broadcasts and accessing BBC iPlayer, which boasts live and on-demand content.

In the US, you can catch some BBC content through various streaming services, cable subscriptions, or BBC America – a channel dedicated to featuring a selection of BBC programs. However, remember that you might still need to pay for the relevant subscription or service to access this content stateside.

Here are a few ways to watch BBC programming in the US:

  1. BBC America: This cable channel is accessible through most cable and satellite providers in the US. It offers a curated selection of popular BBC shows, such as Doctor Who, Top Gear, and nature documentaries. You might need a specific cable or satellite package to access this channel.
  2. Streaming services: Well-known streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video offer a variety of BBC shows and series. The availability depends on the platform and region. These services usually require a monthly subscription fee.
  3. BBC iPlayer: Although primarily for UK viewers, you can access BBC iPlayer from the US using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Remember that using a VPN to bypass geographical restrictions might violate BBC iPlayer’s terms of service and could lead to limited access or a ban.
  4. PBS: The US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) sometimes airs BBC content, particularly high-profile dramas, and documentaries. While these broadcasts are generally free, you may need a membership or donation to access specific online content.
  5. BritBox: A joint venture between the BBC and ITV, BritBox offers an extensive range of British TV content, including many BBC programs. Available in the US, BritBox requires a monthly subscription fee.

Remember, even though a UK TV license isn’t necessary to watch BBC content in the US, you may still need to pay for a suitable subscription or service. Always take a moment to review the terms and conditions of any service you use to ensure compliance with their policies.

Which devices does BBC iPlayer work on?

BBC iPlayer is compatible with a wide range of devices, allowing you to enjoy your favorite content on various platforms. Here are some of the devices that support BBC iPlayer:

  • Computers: You can access BBC iPlayer through popular web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Smartphones and Tablets: BBC iPlayer has dedicated apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices. You can download these apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Smart TVs: Many Smart TVs, including models from Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, and Hisense, have built-in BBC iPlayer apps.
  • Streaming Devices: Streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV support BBC iPlayer.
  • Game Consoles: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S have dedicated BBC iPlayer apps available for download.
  • Set-top Boxes and Media Players: Devices such as Sky Q, Virgin Media TiVo, YouView, and BT TV also offer access to the BBC iPlayer app.
  • Blu-ray Players: Some Blu-ray players from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Sony come with pre-installed BBC iPlayer apps.

Can I watch BBC channels live on iPlayer?

You can watch BBC channels live on BBC iPlayer. This includes the likes of BBC One, BBC Two, and CBeebies. However, in order to watch any content on BBC iPlayer live or on-demand, you are required to have a valid TV license. Furthermore, BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK so you’ll also need to use a VPN to get a UK IP address to watch from overseas.