How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK

If you’re outside the UK and want to watch BBC iPlayer, you’ll need a BBC iPlayer account.

If you don’t have one, this can be tricky as you won’t be able to access the streaming service while abroad.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to make a BBC iPlayer account anywhere in the world. All you need to do is trick BBC iPlayer into thinking you’re in the UK.

This article will explain how to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK so you can access the streaming service and watch all your favourite BBC content anywhere in the world.

How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK: Quick Guide

To make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK, you need a few things.

First, you need a reliable VPN that works with BBC iPlayer. Second, you need a valid email address, and lastly, you need a UK address.

Simply follow these steps to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK. Alternatively below, you’ll find a video guide explaining how to do this.

  1. Download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and connect to a UK server

    How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK

    To make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK, the first thing you need to do is gain access to the streaming service.

    If you’re outside the UK, BBC iPlayer will block you from accessing the platform.

    That’s where a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) comes in. ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) will allow you to trick BBC iPlayer into thinking you’re accessing it from within the UK so you can make an account.

  2. Visit BBC iPlayer and select “Register Now”

    How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK 2

    Once you’re connected to a UK server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month), you’ll now have access to BBC iPlayer.

    From here, you’ll need to click “Sign In”, and where it says “Don’t have a BBC account?” select register now.

  3. Input your information

    How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK

    BBC iPlayer will ask you for your age and also your birthdate.

    Input this information.

  4. Make sure you set the location to the UK

    How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK

    Where it asks for your location, confirm you’re connected to a UK server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and set it to the UK.

    It will ask you for a postcode. You can get one here.

  5. You’ll now have a BBC iPlayer account

    How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK

How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK: Video Guide

Which VPNs work with BBC iPlayer?

ExpressVPNNordVPNPIAIvacyCyberGhost
BBC iPlayer
Download Speed79 Mbps71 Mbps27 Mbps31 Mbps41 Mbps
Throttling79%71%27%31%41%
Stream quality⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Price per month$6.66$3.79$2.03$1.00$2.19

We regularly check which VPNs are working with BBC iPlayer. Our last test was on 8th December 2023.

How to download the BBC iPlayer app outside the UK

If you’re outside the UK you won’t be able to find the BBC iPlayer app on the Apple or Google app stores.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to get around this:

Apple

  1. Download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and connect to a UK server
  2. Create a new iCloud account for free
  3. Login to your new iCloud account
  4. Open your account
  5. Select Media and Purchases
  6. Select View Account
  7. Tap Country/Region and select the UK
  8. You’ll now have access to the UK version of the App Store
  9. Download BBC iPlayer

Android

  1. Create a new Google Play account and login to it on the Google Play store
  2. Download and install ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) on your Android phone
  3. Connect to a UK server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)
  4. Open up your Google Play Account
  5. Click Settings
  6. Click General
  7. Click account and device preferences
  8. Change your location to the UK
  9. Put in your credit card details
  10. Close Google Play and open it again
  11. You’ll now be on the UK version of the Google Play Store
  12. Download and install BBC iPlayer

Can you watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK?

Officially, you can’t watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK because BBC iPlayer is a UK-based streaming service only for UK-based customers.

Fortunately, there’s a way to trick BBC iPlayer into thinking you’re in the UK when accessing the service. All you need is a VPN that’s compatible with BBC iPlayer. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month).

When you go online, these VPNs can make it look like you’re in the UK and give you access to BBC iPlayer. This will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world. 

For a more detailed guide, you can read our article How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad.

How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK

Why do I need a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK?

BBC iPlayer only has the rights to broadcast its content in the UK. It doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content around the world.

Because of this, BBC iPlayer blocks anyone outside the UK from accessing its service. If you try and access BBC iPlayer outside the UK, it won’t work. You’ll run into errors like “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

The reason you need a VPN like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month) is because these VPNs work with BBC iPlayer and will allow you to trick the streaming service into thinking you’re in the UK.

This will allow you to get around BBC iPlayer’s blocks and will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world. 

VPN not working with BBC iPlayer?

If you have a VPN and it’s not working with BBC iPlayer, your VPN will have been blocked by the streaming service.

BBC iPlayer is constantly trying to block VPNs from accessing its service. It does this because a customer using a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK could result in the streaming service being found guilty of breaching copyright and licensing regulations.

To stop this from happening, you need to use a VPN that works consistently and reliably with BBC iPlayer. The best VPNs for BBC iPlayer have measures in place to prevent BBC iPlayer from being able to block them.

These VPNs will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world. If you use a VPN without these sorts of measures in place, chances are it won’t work with BBC iPlayer, and you could waste money on something that won’t work.

If you’re using a VPN and it isn’t working with BBC iPlayer, we have a guide on how to fix VPN not working with BBC iPlayer here.

How to make a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK

The VPN services we recommend for BBC iPlayer

The VPNs that work with BBC iPlayer are the ones that have fast UK-based servers, the ones that are 100% secure and the ones that have measures in place to ensure they can’t be blocked by BBC iPlayer.

1. ExpressVPN 🥇 $6.66/month

The fastest and most reliable streaming VPN

  • Optimized for HD streaming speed
  • Wide network with 160 locations across 94 countries
  • Split tunneling feature to select apps using VPN
  • TrustedServer technology for enhanced security
  • Limited to 5 simultaneous device connections
ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN is a robust option for accessing BBC iPlayer due to its extensive server network that includes numerous UK servers. With ExpressVPN, you can expect consistent and high-speed connections, which are crucial for uninterrupted streaming on BBC iPlayer.

Additionally, ExpressVPN’s strong emphasis on user privacy and security ensures that your online activities remain protected while enjoying content on BBC iPlayer. Its user-friendly apps make it easy to access BBC iPlayer on various devices.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. NordVPN $3.19/month

An incredibly fast and trustworthy VPN

  • Extra encryption with Double VPN
  • Over 5,500 servers in 59 countries
  • SmartPlay technology to unblock 400+ geo-restricted streaming services
  • CyberSec feature for ad and malware blocking
  • The interface can be complex for new users
NordVPN Best VPN image

NordVPN stands out as a reliable choice for BBC iPlayer due to its extensive network of servers in the UK. The service is equipped with SmartPlay technology, which automatically connects you to the best server for seamless streaming. NordVPN’s high-speed servers ensure a buffer-free streaming experience, while its robust security features, including military-grade encryption and a strict no-logs policy, guarantee your privacy and security.

Furthermore, NordVPN is compatible with various devices, making it convenient for accessing BBC iPlayer on your preferred platform.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access $2.03/month

An affordable, reliable VPN

  • Strong encryption for secure connections
  • Extensive server network enhancing connectivity
  • Built-in ad and malware blocking
  • Supports up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Can have slower speeds
Best VPN list - PIA

Private Internet Access is a strong contender for BBC iPlayer access because of its vast server network and dedicated UK servers. PIA’s servers are known for their high-speed performance, ensuring smooth streaming without interruptions. The VPN also boasts strong security features, such as encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch, providing peace of mind while streaming.

PIA’s user-friendly apps make it easy to connect to BBC iPlayer, whether you’re using a computer, smartphone, or streaming device.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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4. Ivacy $1.00/month

A trustworthy and affordable VPN

  • Cost-effective pricing
  • Servers optimized for P2P activities
  • Strict no browsing logs policy
  • Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • Smaller server network compared to others
Ivacy Best VPN image

Ivacy is a reliable VPN choice for accessing BBC iPlayer due to its dedicated UK servers and streaming-optimized features. Ivacy’s servers provide fast and stable connections, minimizing buffering and lag during streaming sessions.

The VPN offers strong security measures, including encryption and a no-logs policy, to safeguard your online activities. Ivacy’s apps are designed for ease of use, making it straightforward to access BBC iPlayer content on your preferred devices.

Read our full Ivacy review.

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(30-day money-back guarantee)

5. CyberGhost $2.19/month

A solid VPN package

  • Large server network with streaming-optimized servers
  • Strong encryption standards for security
  • Specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming
  • Generous 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Speed performance can be mixed
CyberGhost Best VPN image

CyberGhost is a dependable VPN for BBC iPlayer access, thanks to its wide range of UK servers and specialized streaming profiles. These profiles are tailored for popular streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, ensuring a seamless streaming experience. CyberGhost’s servers are known for their high speeds, ideal for HD streaming.

The VPN also offers robust security features, such as encryption and a strict no-logs policy, to protect your privacy. CyberGhost’s user-friendly apps make it convenient to connect to BBC iPlayer on a variety of devices.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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