Best Free VPNs for BBC iPlayer (to Watch Outside UK)

You can say that the BBC iPlayer is to the UK, what Hulu is to the US. It’s the streaming arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation. With BBC iPlayer access, you can watch all episodes of Showtrial, Doctor Who: Flux, Top Gear, The Outlaws, sports, and BBC channels. 

Unfortunately, you cannot stream on the BBC iPlayer outside the UK. This is because this streaming service only has the right to distribute content within the UK. BBC iPlayer can detect you’re abroad through your IP address. So, if you want to access BBC iPlayer’s content, you’ll need a VPN. 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help you ditch your foreign IP address. You can then swap it with a UK IP address and watch BBC iPlayer content like you never left the country. This review shows you the best free VPNs with which you can unblock BBC iPlayer outside the UK.

Best Risk-Free VPNs for BBC iPlayer

Before learning about the free VPNs for BBC iPlayer, it’ll be best to know that you have risk-free options. Risk-free VPNs are those that allow you to use the VPN free for a short period after paying the subscription fee. However, you can always cancel your subscription within that money-back window and get a full refund. The advantage of these risk-free options is that they usually have better features and are more reliable than the absolutely free options.

Below, we review the two best risk-free VPNs for watching BBC iPlayer abroad.

ExpressVPN

Overall best in our tests

ExpressVPN devices
  • Super-fast servers
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Supports private protocol, Lightway
  • Money-back guarantee

If you want the best risk-free VPN for watching BBC iPlayer outside the UK, then you should choose ExpressVPN. This VPN has around 3,000 servers in 160 VPN locations across 94 countries. Notably, too, ExpressVPN has servers in about four UK locations. These include Docklands, East London, London, and Wembley. So, you can easily get a UK IP address for unblocking BBC iPlayer.

With ExpressVPN, you’re guaranteed security as you watch BBC iPlayer abroad. This is because you’ll be safe behind its AES 256-bit encryption. In addition, you can rest assured that your BBC iPlayer streaming is anonymous. Your privacy is certain because ExpressVPN has a reliable no-log policy. This feature ensures that the VPN doesn’t store or share your online connection logs.

ExpresVPN knows that you can watch BBC iPlayer on several gadgets. That’s why it has apps for most devices and operating systems. These include Android, Windows, Apple, Mac, and Linux gadgets. Furthermore, you can also simultaneously connect five of these devices on a single subscription plan. 

Some people shy away from ExpressVPN because of its cost. This risk-free VPN ranks amongst the costliest VPNs available. However, considering its stellar features, this is neither shocking nor unreasonable. ExpressVPN has monthly, 6-month, and annual subscriptions with discounts for more extended payment plans. In addition, its 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to use its service risk-free for thirty days. 

Best offer: $6.67/month (Save 49% + 3 months free)

NordVPN

Definitely the fastest in our tests

NordVPN devices
  • Incredibly fast servers
  • Great security features
  • Verified no-logs policy
  • Unblocks streaming platforms

Our second risk-free VPN recommendation for watching BBC iPlayer is NordVPN. Being second on this list doesn’t mean that NordVPN offers poorer services. On the contrary, NordVPN has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide. For BBC iPlayer, you can connect to any of NordVPN’s 440+ servers in the UK. 

All these servers offer the best speeds, so they’re excellent for streaming risk-free on BBC iPlayer. In addition, some are obfuscated servers, meaning that BBC iPlayer cannot detect that you’re connecting abroad. With NordVPN, you also get to escape all the online threats while streaming on BBC iPlayer. This is because you’ll enjoy its AES 256-bit encryption. 

Furthermore, NordVPN also has a reliable zero-logging policy. This policy ensures that this VPN doesn’t store or leak your internet connection data. This means that nothing you do on the BBC iPlayer can link back to you. There’s more. NordVPN also has native apps for most gadgets and operating systems with which you can watch BBC iPlayer. So, you can unblock this streaming platform on most devices. 

In addition, NordVPN allows six simultaneous connections on a single subscription. Notably too, NordVPN’s subscriptions aren’t costly. For example, you can watch BBC iPlayer risk-free for £3.15/monthly on a two-year plan. Finally, NordVPN’s risk-free period also lasts for thirty days. This means that you can quickly get a refund within this period.

Best offer: $2.93/month (Save 68% + 3 months for free)

Best Risk-Free VPNs for BBC iPlayer

If you still prefer an absolutely free VPN for BBC iPlayer, then you can check out our recommendations below. 

Hotspot Shield

VPN with the best servers

Hotspot Shield devices
  • Super-fast server speed
  • Remarkable unblocking ability
  • Intuitive user interface

Hotspot Shield is our top free VPN recommendation for watching BBC iPlayer. However, it isn’t an absolutely free VPN. Instead, Hotspot Shield is a paid VPN with a free option and a free trial period of seven days. Unfortunately, if you use Hotspot Shield for free, you cannot unblock BBC iPlayer. 

This is because the free plan only grants you access to one server location in the US. However, the 7-day free trial allows you to use all Hotspot Shield’s excellent features. These include its 3,200+ servers in 80+ countries and 35+ cities. Notably, Hotspot Shield has servers in two UK cities. 

You can thus quickly get a UK IP address for watching BBC iPlayer abroad. While watching BBC iPlayer, your connection will also be shielded from cybercriminals and data snoops. This is because Hotspot Shield uses reliable military-grade encryption. You can also trust that your internet connection logs aren’t stored on any Hotspot Shield servers. 

Furthermore, you can simultaneously use Hotspot Shield on five different gadgets. After Hotspot Shield’s free trial, you can upgrade to a paid plan or choose one of the risk-free VPNs above. Moreover, if you choose to pay for Hotspot Shield, you can watch BBC iPlayer risk-free for 45 days.

Best offer: $7.99/month (Save 38% + Free)

Trust.Zone

Best VPN with a free version

Trust.Zone devices
  • Offers dedicated IP addresses
  • Allows torrenting and P2P file sharing
  • Great pricing
  • Free version available

Second on our list for free VPNs for BBC iPlayer is Trust.Zone. Trust.Zone is a mid-tier VPN with just the right features for unblocking BBC iPlayer abroad. It has about 188 fast servers in 98 zones worldwide. Importantly, Trust.Zone has about four UK servers in London and Manchester. 

Despite this skeletal server structure, these UK servers are sufficient for unblocking BBC iPlayer from anywhere. However, Trust.Zone’s free plan does not go on indefinitely. Instead, you can use this VPN free for three days. This resembles Hotspot Shield’s free trial offer above. Notably, too, within these three days, you’ll enjoy all Trust.Zone features.

While using the UK servers, Trust.Zone will secure your connection with reliable military-grade encryption. In addition, you get to choose from some of the most reliable VPN protocols available – OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. BBC iPlayer will also be unable to detect that you’re streaming abroad from your internet data. This is because the VPN doesn’t store connection logs. 

You can register on Trust.Zone using your email address or social media accounts. Unfortunately, though, Trust.Zone has a data cap for this three-day free trial. Therefore, you can only enjoy 1GB of data for these three days. This data limit wouldn’t be an issue if you were only browsing the internet. But, streaming on BBC iPlayer costs a lot of data, so 1GB for three days will be insufficient. For better offers, you’ll have to buy a subscription. 

Best offer: €3/month (Save 67%)

Windscribe

VPN with the best no-log policy

Windscribe devices
  • Available in 60+ countries
  • Unblocks geo-restricted platforms
  • Offers a free version
  • Blocks ads and malware

Windscribe is our first absolutely free VPN for BBC iPlayer. This VPN has a paid and free option. Fortunately, though, on the free plan, you can access multiple UK servers. So, you can freely unblock BBC iPlayer abroad with this VPN. The multiple servers allow you to select the best UK server for an enjoyable streaming experience. 

In addition, Windscribe servers guarantee moderate speeds while using them free for BBC iPlayer. In addition, you can enjoy significant security from online threats with its AES 256-bit, SHA512 auth, and 4096-bit RSA encryption protocols. Windscribe also guarantees online privacy and anonymity, unlike many free VPNs. Therefore, you don’t have to bother about your internet connection details leaking to unscrupulous third parties. 

On the free plan, you can also watch BBC iPlayer on various gadgets and operating systems. These would include Windows, Android, and Apple gadgets. Unfortunately, you cannot stream on BBC iPlayer as you’d like with Windscribe. This is because this VPN has a 10GB monthly data cap. Although it seems large, 10GB wouldn’t last too long if you’re a heavy streamer. 

Finally, to use Windscribe for free, you have to join the Windscribe community by creating an account. 

Best offer: $4.08/month (Save )

ZenMate

Definitely has the best website interface

ZenMate devices
  • Cheap subscription offers
  • Average streaming speed
  • Supports OpenVPN, IKEv2 and L2TP

Finally, you can watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK with Zenmate. This VPN has subscription options, a 7-day free trial offer, and an absolutely free plan. Ordinarily, Zenmate has about 4,000 servers in 80+ countries worldwide. However, free users cannot use all these servers. Instead, they can only connect to Zenmate servers in four countries. 

Fortunately, Zenmate has a presence in the UK. Zenmate’s UK servers can help you unblock BBC iPlayer and watch your favorite content from any part of the world. Furthermore, as a free user, you can stream content at 2Mbs, which, although not too fast, can prevent long buffering periods. 

Sadly, though, you can only use Zenmate for BBC iPlayer on one personal device. If you want more connections, you have to purchase a subscription. Zenmate has a 100% no-log policy, though. In addition, it will encrypt your internet connection while watching BBC iPlayer. Another upside to Zenmate is that the free version has free Chrome, Firefox, and Edge extensions. So, you can choose to watch BBC iPlayer through these free browser extensions.

Best offer: €1.64/month (Save 86% + 3 months free)

How to Choose a Risk-Free or Free VPN for BBC iPlayer

Picking a suitable VPN for BBC iPlayer may be a daunting task if you’re not a techie. So, we’ve taken the liberty of analyzing the best features to look out for in a BBC iPlayer VPN. 

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Free VPNs for BBC iPlayer

Is it legal to unblock BBC iPlayer with a VPN?

Yes, it’s legal to watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN. This is because VPN usage is legal in most countries worldwide, including the UK. The BBC doesn’t encourage VPN usage. However, that doesn’t make this illegal. Notably, though, you must study the VPN laws of your resident country. If VPNs are unlawful there, you may have legal troubles for unblocking BBC iPlayer with a VPN. Fortunately, though, only a few countries ban or regulate VPN usage. 

How do I get a UK IP address?

Getting a UK IP address is a pretty straightforward process. You only have to subscribe to or register for a risk-free VPN with UK servers. Next, it’ll be best to download and install the VPN app onto your streaming device. When you log in, check the server section, then select and connect to a UK server. This step will grant you a UK IP address. With your new IP address, you can now log into BBC iPlayer and start streaming.

Can I watch BBC iPlayer for free with a free VPN?

Yes, you can freely watch BBC iPlayer with a free VPN. This is because BBC iPlayer doesn’t require a subscription, like other streaming platforms such as Netflix. Instead, you only need to unblock the streaming service abroad to watch your favorite programs. However, BBC iPlayer streaming will consume your mobile or WiFi data. But suppose you’re using any of the VPNs above. Then, you don’t have to worry about security while watching BBC iPlayer on a public WiFi network. 

Can I get a dedicated UK IP address?

Yes, you can get a unique IP address for watching BBC iPlayer outside the UK. This is different from the default shared IP addresses that VPNs offer. With a static IP address, you can now control your online reputation. Unfortunately, not all VPNs offer dedicated IP addresses. The few reliable options sometimes charge an extra fee for this feature.

Conclusion 

Like the BBC, BBC iPlayer has programs that you cannot watch on other streaming platforms. So, once you leave the UK, watching BBC iPlayer becomes difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to miss all your favorite shows, news, and sporting events just because you’re abroad. All you have to do is subscribe to any of the risk-free or free VPNs above, get a UK IP address, and start streaming content.