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How to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand

If (like me) you’re an ex-pat living in NZ, you probably miss watching BBC iPlayer. Well, don’t worry. In this article, I’m going to show you the best way to seamlessly watch iPlayer, just as if you were back in Blighty. Here’s how to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand.

How to watch iPlayer in NZ: Quick guide

Below, I go into detail about the hows and whys of watching BBC iPlayer in New Zealand. But if you’re just looking for a quick fix, follow these four steps and you’ll be watching BBC iPlayer in about four minutes flat.

  1. Get NordVPN ($3.99/month)
  2. Download and install the NordVPN app
  3. Open the app and connect to a server in the UK
  4. Watch BBC iPlayer from New Zealand!

How to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand

The first thing you need to know about BBC iPlayer is that it will only work if you’re connecting from a UK IP address (see below). This may sound a little bit complicated, but it really isn’t.

The best way, to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand (or anywhere outside the UK) is to spoof your IP address. And the easiest (and only practical) way to do this is to use a VPN.

VPNs aren’t expensive. You can pick a good one up for a few dollars a month and share your login with up to five friend – providing your VPN allows simultaneous connections.

I’ve been using NordVPN ($3.99/month) to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand since March and haven’t had a problem with the service to date. It’s easy-to-use and works with US Netflix, 4oD and ITV Player too. See below for more info.

When you have bought and downloaded your VPN all you need to do is connect to a server in the UK. This will spoof your IP address, allowing you to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world.

Note: Not all VPNs work with BBC iPlayer. This is because iPlayer has started blocking some services for abnormal usage reasons. Take a look at our BBC iPlayer detecting VPN article to find out more.

IP Addresses: What you NEED to know

Your IP address is a lot like your physical address or landline telephone number. Even though you probably have no idea what your current IP address is – websites can use it to work out where you’re connecting to the internet from as your IP address is given to you from your local ISP.

Why don’t all VPNs work?

Until recently, you could buy any old VPN and use it to connect to any server in the UK then start streaming BBC iPlayer immediately.

But since late in 2017, the BBC started to actively blacklist VPNs from using iPlayer. And the reason for this was fair enough. People from any country in the world could pay a VPN provider a couple dollars a month and gain unlimited access to BBC iPlayer. Hardly fair on the licence payers back home.

The BBC continues to blacklist and block VPNs to this day.

When you take a closer look at how the BBC blacklists VPNs you start to understand how you can work around the ban.

How BBC iPlayer blacklists VPNs?

How to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand - body

The way the Beeb blacklists a VPN is pretty simple. It now actively looks and blocks IP addresses that stream/download abnormal amounts of content from BBC iPlayer.

This is a problem for VPNs as they share a relatively small number of servers (and IP addresses) with thousands of customers.

At present, VPN servers are getting blacklisted (by the BBC) faster than they can create new servers. The end result is users of VPNs being unable to access BBC iPlayer on an increasingly regular basis. Any of you who have been using a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer will have experienced this (since late 2017).

See also: How to listen to TMS abroad.

The workaround(s)

The best way to combat this new strategy from the BBC is to buy a VPN that replaces its IP addresses as soon as they’re blacklisted – like NordVPN.

NordVPN ($2.99/month) is the best for this with over 385 different servers in the UK. NordVPN also frequently changes its UK servers’ IP addresses – engaging in a game of Cat and Mouse with the BBC to combat its blacklisting strategy.

The alternative is to go for a provider that offers dedicated IPs. Buying a dedicated IP means that you, and up to five family members, are the only ones who have access to that IP address. This means your iPlayer download levels should never reach levels that the BBC considers abnormal – as you’re not sharing it with thousands of other customers like a regular VPN IP address.

I’ve been using PureVPN ($2.49/month) for the past couple of months and have enjoyed access to BBC iPlayer, BT Sport, 4oD and ITV Player with no interruptions. You can get PureVPN (with a dedicated IP) for as little as $4.97/month when you sign up for a 12-month contract.

See also: The 6 Best VPNs for New Zealand.

Best VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand

Note: Take a look at our Which VPNs still work with BBC iPlayer article to find out more.

1. NordVPN

How to watch BBC iPlayer in NZ - NordVPN

Price: $3.99 per month

  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Automatic killswitch
  • Connect up to 6 devices simultaneously
  • No logs
  • Dedicated Android; iOS; Windows; and Mac apps
  • 1535 servers in 61 countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth

NordVPN is the best, and best priced, VPN for unlocking BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. It also one of the more established and respected VPN providers.

This VPN is one of the best on the market at playing Cat and Mouse with BBC iPlayer and US Netflix etc. If/when one of its servers gets blacklisted, it reacts by replacing the IP address immediately. This is the best feature you can look for from a VPN provider if you want to watch TV from another country.

It’s a service that has performed well in VPN tests for several years. Today it’s competitively priced and has all the features you want from a VPN. Android and iOS apps are available directly on the respective app stores and you can run up to six devices simultaneously. There are multiple price options too.

Click here to save 66% and get NordVPN for $3.99/month


2. PureVPN (with dedicated IP)

Price: $2.49/month

How to watch BBC iPlayer in NZ - PureVPN

  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Automatic killswitch
  • Connect up to 5 devices simultaneously
  • No logs
  • Dedicated Android; iOS; Windows; and Mac apps
  • 750 Servers in 140+ Countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth

PureVPN ranks a close second thanks to its fast servers and the option to buy a dedicated IP. This feature costs an extra $1.99/month but buys you sole access to an IP address in the country of your choice. This is important because late last year, online streaming services such as BBC iPlayer started detecting and blacklisting known VPN IP addressed. Buying your own dedicated IP sidesteps this. If you’re not interested in the dedicated IP feature, then PureVPN is still one of the best-priced VPNs on the market, boasting a sever selection in over 140 countries.

Click here to buy PureVPN (with dedicated IP) for $4.47/month


3. ExpressVPN

How to watch BBC iPlayer in New Zealand- ExpressVPN

Price: $6.66 per month

  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • 5 simultaneous connections on multiple devices
  • No logs
  • Dedicated Android; iOS; Windows; and Mac apps
  • Unlimited bandwidth

ExpressVPN is as respected as any VPN. It’s operated as an excellent VPN service for several years and boasts a huge network of fast servers in 60+ countries. The product has all the features you’d want from a modern VPN and its priced well. You won’t regret using ExpressVPN as your main VPN.

If you’re willing to pay the extra couple of dollars, ExpressVPN is a good choice. It’s a fast VPN that always has servers open with the biggest online TV servers. Like NordVPN and PureVPN it works with BBC iPlayer and is one of the best VPNs at playing Cat and Mouse with TV sites that blacklist its IP addresses.

Click here to buy ExpressVPN and get 3 months FREE


Read next: How to listen to BBC Radio abroad.