In this article I’ll show you the simplest way to get BBC iPlayer on the US app store.
If you’re living abroad and you want to download BBC iPlayer on your Apple device, you’ll notice that it’s not available on the app store. This can be frustrating if you’re trying to watch your favourite British shows away from home.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to get around this. All you need is a UK iTunes account and a reliable VPN and you’ll be able to download BBC iPlayer on your Apple device in the US or anywhere in the world.
- BBC iPlayer not working with VPN? Here’s how I FIXED that!
- How to listen to BBC Radio abroad
- How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad
How to get BBC iPlayer on the US App Store: Step by step guide
The first thing you’re going to need to do is set up a UK Apple ID account. Note that once you have BBC iPlayer downloaded on your device, you can change back to your normal region and use the app.
Total Time: 7 minutes
Go into your device settings and tap on your name
This will take you into your Apple ID options.
Tap Media and Purchases
If prompted login to your current Apple ID after tapping Media and Purchases
Sign out of your account
Sign out of your current Apple ID. You’ll need a new one to get BBC iPlayer on the US app store.
Create a new UK Apple ID
Make sure you have a spare email address you can use because you’ll have to verify your email.
Make sure that you change your country/region to the United Kingdom
After you’ve setup your account details, you’ll be asked to select your country/region. In order to get BBC iPlayer this needs to be set to the United Kingdom. You’ll also be asked for an address and a postcode. You can simply google a UK address and use that.
Download BBC iPlayer on the app store
Note that once you have downloaded BBC iPlayer, you can change back to your original account and use the app.
Download NordVPN ($3.49/month)
NordVPN has three different plans that you can choose. Pick one that suits you.
Connect to a UK server
You need a UK IP address in order to watch BBC iPlayer outside of the UK. NordVPN has reliable UK servers that allow you to do this.
Watch BBC iPlayer on your Apple device in the US
You can now watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world on your Apple device.
Why do I need a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer on the US app store?
The BBC doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content in the US. It only has broadcast rights in the UK.
To avoid licensing and copyright issues, the BBC blocks users from accessing its content outside of the UK. This is why BBC iPlayer isn’t available on the US app store and even if you were able to download BBC iPlayer on the US app store, the content will be blocked. You’ll run into errors saying “this content is only available in the UK.”
How does the BBC block my connection?
The way the BBC blocks your connection when you’re outside of the UK is all to do with your IP address.
Whenever you connect to the internet your device is allocated a unique IP address. This IP contains information about where you are located when you go online. (Similar to an area code on a landline phone.)
When you connect to BBC iPlayer outside of the UK, the BBC can see you are outside its broadcast zone and it subsequently blocks you from accessing its content.
To get around this you need to fool the BBC into thinking you’re based in the UK. You need a UK IP address and the easiest way to do that is with a good VPN like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)
Will any VPN work?
No, not every VPN will work with BBC iPlayer. This is because the BBC uses blocking techniques that prevent VPNs from accessing its service.
The BBC blocks VPNs by monitoring for an abnormal (more than your average household) amount of connections coming from the same IP address. For lesser VPNs, this can be an issue.
Nearly all VPNs have more customers than IP addresses and this can result in customers sharing IP’s. When the BBC sees hundreds of connections coming from the same IP, it knows it’s an IP address that has been provided by a VPN and it blocks it.
Lesser VPNs don’t have measures in place to get around these blocks and eventually the BBC is able to identify all of the IP’s provided by these VPNs and block them.
NordVPN ($3.49/month) and Ivacy ($1.33/month) these providers will close that IP and open a new one. This cat and mouse game ensures that they stay one step ahead of the BBC’s blocks and it allows you to reliably use BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world.
The Best VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer in the US
The BEST VPN of 2021Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And its easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations. Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunnelling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.
SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 70%!
(30-day money-back guarantee
The BEST low-cost VPNNumber of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option. This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease. The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer. For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.
7-DAY TRIAL – $0.99
(30-day money-back guarantee)
A very reliable and fast VPNNumber of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes ExpressVPN is still one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites. Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered. The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently. With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
SPECIAL OFFER – 3-MONTHS FREE!
(30-day money-back guarantee)
SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 82%!
(30-day money-back guarantee)
5. CyberGhostNumber of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well. From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed. That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either. Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.
SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL
(30-day money-back guarantee)