Watch Cbeebies in the US

CBeebies offers a wealth of great kids shows on BBC iPlayer, but the streaming service is only available in the UK. That’s a problem if you’re abroad in the US and want to keep the little ones entertained with their favourite shows.

It’s a problem we’ve come across while travelling, but we’ve found a simple way to get past this issue: with a VPN.

By getting a UK IP address, we were able to watch CBeebies on BBC iPlayer no matter where we were in the world. Thing is, it only works if you have the right VPN.

This guide will help you find out how to watch CBeebies in the US easily by using the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer.

How to watch CBeebies in the US: Fix

The key to watch CBeebies in the US is to have a UK IP address. To get one, you’ll need to have a reliable VPN.

Here’s how to get it all set up:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN

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    Register for an account with ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or NordVPN ($3.79/month). These are the best VPNs on the market for reliably streaming content.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are renowned for their reliable and fast connections, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without buffering or interruptions. You can get 3 months of an ExpressVPN subscription for free here. And similarly, you can get 3 months of a NordVPN subscription for free here.

    Prefer a different VPN option? Pick another and simply continue following the steps below.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    ExpressVPN not working on Firestick

    Once you’ve signed up for a VPN, you can install it on nearly any device.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are available on Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Kindle, Amazon Fire Stick/TV, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Android TV and more. BBC iPlayer is also available on majority of these devices.

  3. Open your VPN and connect to a UK server

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    When you open the app, you’ll need to log in with the credentials you created.

    Once logged in, select a server located in the UK, since BBC iPlayer requires a UK IP address. This will make it look like you’re connecting to the internet from within the country.

    Since BBC iPlayer checks your IP address to determine your location, you’ll need to have a UK IP address.

  4. Log in or create a BBC iPlayer account

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    Visit the BBC iPlayer website or app. If you already have an account, log in with your credentials.

    BBC iPlayer is a free streaming service in the UK, so you won’t need to pay for a subscription. However, you will need a UK postcode and pay for a TV license.

  5. Watch CBeebies on BBC iPlayer in the US

    How to watch CBeebies abroad

    Connected to a UK server with your VPN and all signed in? Great! You’ll now be able to watch CBeebies on BBC iPlayer and stream all of its kid-friendly shows.

Why doesn’t CBeebies work in the US?

CBeebies is a British television network owned and operated by the BBC. While some CBeebies content may be available internationally through various streaming platforms or licensing agreements, the network itself is primarily targeted towards British audiences.

The main reason CBeebies may not work in the US is due to licensing and distribution rights. The content on CBeebies may be subject to regional restrictions and licensing agreements that prevent it from being broadcast or streamed in certain countries, including the United States.

So, the reason CBeebies doesn’t work in the US is because the BBC is blocking your internet connection when you go on BBC iPlayer. If the BBC allowed you to watch CBeebies outside the UK, it would be breaching its content agreements and would be severely punished with massive fines.

That’s why you may see a “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry. It’s due to rights issues” error, as it’s blocking your connection outside the UK.

How does my BBC iPlayer connection get blocked?

There are many ways the BBC blocks your connection, but its primarily due to the streaming service scanning your IP address. If it isn’t a UK IP address (or a known VPN IP address), it will restrict access.

Here’s a few ways it does this:

  • Geolocation: When you connect to the internet, your device is assigned an IP address by your internet service provider (ISP). This IP address contains information about your geographical location. BBC iPlayer uses this information to determine whether you’re located in the UK or not. If your IP address indicates that you’re outside the UK, BBC iPlayer blocks your connection.
  • VPN and proxy detection: BBC iPlayer actively monitors IP addresses known to belong to VPN and proxy services. When you attempt to access BBC iPlayer through one of these services, BBC iPlayer recognizes the IP address and blocks the connection. This is because VPNs and proxies can be used to mask your actual location and make it appear as though you’re accessing the service from the UK, even if you’re not.
  • Blacklisting: BBC iPlayer maintains a list of IP addresses associated with suspicious or unauthorized activity, such as multiple failed login attempts, excessive streaming, or other forms of abuse. If your IP address is flagged for any reason, BBC iPlayer may block your connection to prevent further access.

Will any VPN work with BBC iPlayer?

There are loads of VPNs out there, and not all of them will work with BBC iPlayer. The streaming service actively blocks known VPN IP addresses to enforce its regional restrictions and prevent users from bypassing geo-blocks. However, some VPN services invest in technologies and strategies to stay ahead of BBC iPlayer’s detection methods.

The VPNs that do work with BBC iPlayer are the ones that have fast servers and that have measures in place to get around the BBC’s VPN blocking techniques.

For lesser VPNs, especially free VPNs, it’s very hard to get around the BBC’s VPN blocking methods. Fortunately, the best VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN use a simple process that allows you to watch CBeebies reliably in the US.

When an IP address provided by ExpressVPN or NordVPN is blocked by BBC iPlayer, these VPN services will close that IP address and open a new one.

Looking for more VPNs to watch CBeebies in the US reliably? Check out our list below.

The best VPNs to watch CBeebies in the US 

1. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • Physical servers in 104 countries
  • Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • Available on almost any device
  • Very secure
  • Pricey
  • Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • No addons
ExpressVPN

Streaming: Streaming with ExpressVPN is a breeze, as it excels at unblocking geo-restricted content and works seamlessly with streaming services like BBC iPlayer so you can watch CBeebies. If you’re after even more shows, the good news is it consistently performs well with Netflix, Now TV, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Servers: If you’re after UK servers for BBC iPlayer, ExpressVPN delivers. With over 3,000 servers in 104 countries, there’s more than enough servers to get past BBC iPlayer’s blocks. Less than 3% of these servers are virtual, ensuring a reliable and fast physical network.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • Affordable pricing
  • Effective streaming access
  • Diverse server types
  • Solid speeds
  • Useful add-ons
  • Strong security
  • Limited server locations
  • No virtual servers
NordVPN

Streaming: With NordVPN, you can stream CBeebies on BBC iPlayer to your heart’s content. It is highly effective for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It has shown consistent success in connecting to various streaming services without noticeable issues.

Servers: NordVPN server network continues to grow, with over 6,000 servers spanning 60 countries. It has plenty of servers in the UK for BBC iPlayer, and its commitment to physical servers ensures faster and more reliable connections.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access

Affordable and secure VPN with wide device compatibility

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Extra features like ad blocker and email protection
  • Verified no-log policy
  • Compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • High use of virtual servers
  • Not as fast as top-tier VPNs
  • Lacks proprietary protocol options
PIA

Streaming: Private Internet Access is a streaming powerhouse, making it an ideal choice for watching CBeebies on BBC iPlayer. It also works well with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. Be warned: while it initially faced some difficulties with BBC iPlayer, it was easily resolved after some fixes.

Servers: PIA has over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, which goes beyond what’s needed for BBC iPlayer. However, 50% of these servers are virtual, impacting reliability compared to VPNs with more physical servers.

Privacy: PIA’s app is open-source, inviting third-party scrutiny and verification. It has also passed an independent no-log policy audit conducted by Deloitte, affirming its commitment to privacy.

Price: PIA offers three subscription options: 1-month at $11.95/month, 1-year at $3.33/month (upfront cost $39.95), and 3-year at $2.03/month (upfront fee $79). Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and Amazon payments.

Speeds: Speed tests for PIA showed significant drops in download speeds across various servers. While using WireGuard protocol, speeds were faster than OpenVPN but still slower compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN.

OpenVPN Download Speeds (Mbps)OpenVPN Upload Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Download Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off (New Zealand)930516
PIA US server238.527.17300.658.65
PIA UK server2453.77315.787.23
PIA Vietnam server4456.554898.24

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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4. Surfshark

Affordable and secure VPN with unlimited device policy of 2024

  • Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Robust security and privacy
  • 24/7 responsive chat support
  • Extensive server network in 100 countries
  • Has trouble with services like Hulu
  • Lacks a unique proprietary protocol
  • App can be overwhelming
  • Not the fastest among competitors
Surfshark

Streaming: Surfshark is a fantastic budget alternative for streaming, but still delivers an excellent way to bypass services like BBC iPlayer to watch CBeebies. It faced challenges with some, like Hulu, which could be drawback.

Servers: Surfshark boasts an impressive 3,300 server network in 100 countries, meaning you can stick with the UK for BBC iPlayer or explore other streaming services around the globe. Expect both physical and virtual servers for a reliable connection.

Privacy: Surfshark emphasizes its commitment to privacy with successful DNS leak tests and independent security audits by Cure53, ensuring robust online security and privacy. You can find more about their security audits here.

Price: Surfshark offers a 1-month option costing $12.95/month, a 12-month option at $3.99/month, and a 24-month option at $2.49/month. It accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and various cryptocurrencies.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance when using Surfshark. From our tests, we observed decent speeds, suitable for general use, but not the fastest compared to some rivals.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)940.55520.24
Surfshark US server775.96.15
Surfshark UK server587.793.79

Read our full Surfshark review.

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5. PureVPN

A mid-range VPN that balances performance and price

  • Affordable
  • Unblocks major streaming services
  • Use on up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Streamlined user interface
  • No log audit verified by KPMG
  • Several free add-ons
  • Buffering on BBC iPlayer at peak times
  • Past concerns with “no log” policy
PureVPN

Streaming: Since its release, PureVPN has shown improvement in its ability to unblock streaming services, and this includes BBC iPlayer. While it initially struggled with BBC iPlayer, its performance improved during less busy times, even when watching CBeebies. PureVPN can unblock major streaming services, but it may encounter buffering issues during peak streaming periods.

Servers: PureVPN brings over 6,000 servers in 65 countries, and many of these servers can be found in the UK – a must for BBC iPlayer. PureVPN’s server offerings are robust, allowing users to access various international content.

Privacy: PureVPN has faced criticism in the past for its privacy policies. However, it has recently undergone a no-log audit verified by KPMG in the past 12 months, aiming to reassure users about its commitment to privacy.

Price: PureVPN offers three payment options: a 1-month plan at $10.95/month, a 1-year plan at $3.74/month, and a 2-year plan at $1.96/month. PureVPN accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and a variety of other digital payment options.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance you can expect when using PureVPN. The VPN has shown variable download speeds across different streaming servers, with some experiencing significant drop-offs during peak times.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN189.44139.82
PureVPN UK Server24.3198.99
PureVPN US Server49.83106.52

Read our full PureVPN review.

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How to watch CBeebies in the US: FAQ

Q: Is watching CBeebies on BBC iPlayer with a VPN legal?

Answer: It’s perfectly legal to watch CBeebies on BBC iPlayer with a VPN. However, BBC iPlayer’s terms of service prohibit the use of VPNs to access their content from outside licensed regions. There’s also the issue of paying for a TV license. That said, it has never banned anyone from using a VPN to access the service.

Q: Is CBeebies on BBC iPlayer free to watch?

Answer: Since BBC iPlayer is a free UK streaming service, watching CBeebies and any other show on the platform is free. Although, the UK requires a TV license in order to watch its programs, which can cost up to £159 per year.

Q: What devices is BBC iPlayer available on?

Answer: BBC iPlayer is available on majority of devices, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, browsers, smart TVs, Amazon Fire Stick, and more, so you can watch CBeebies on BBC iPlayer on anything.

Q: What should I do if only one of my devices can’t access BBC iPlayer using the VPN?

Answer: If BBC iPlayer works on one device but not another, it likely means there’s a device configuration issue. Check VPN settings on the problematic device, clear its cache, and ensure location services are off (for mobile devices).

Q: Are there any VPNs that are known to work well with BBC iPlayer?

Answer: Some VPNs are known for their ability to bypass streaming service restrictions, including NordVPN and ExpressVPN. However, the effectiveness can vary over time as streaming services continually update their VPN detection mechanisms.

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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