The Winter Olympics are beginning on February 4th. In the UK, the BBC is broadcasting the games.

The good news is this means the Winter Olympics will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer. The bad news is BBC iPlayer doesn’t work outside the UK. You’ll run into an error saying, “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to get around this error. All you need to do is make BBC iPlayer think you’re accessing its content from within the UK.

To do that, follow the simple steps below, and you’ll be able to watch the BBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics anywhere in the world.

See also:

How to watch the Winter Olympics 2022 outside the UK: Quick Guide

To watch BBC iPlayer outside the US, you need to make the streaming service think you’re watching from within the UK.

To do that, you need a UK based IP address. To get one, follow these steps.

  1. Create a new account with NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month).
  2. Download and install the new VPN app
  3. Select a server in the UK
  4. Connect to BBC iPlayer
  5. Watch the Winter Olympics anywhere in the world

How to create a BBC iPlayer account outside the UK 

If you don’t already have a BBC iPlayer account, you’ll need to create one. It’s free, so you won’t have any issues with overseas payments.

The things you’ll need are a valid email address, a UK postcode and a reliable VPN. If you don’t live in the UK, you won’t be able to create an account unless you use a VPN like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month).

The first thing to do is connect to a UK server on NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), then you’ll need a UK postcode. If you don’t have one, simply Google “UK Postcode” and use one.

You’ll now be able to create a BBC iPlayer account. It’s important to use a valid email address as you’ll be sent a confirmation email when creating your BBC iPlayer account.

How to watch the Winter Olympics 2022 outside the UK:

Why is BBC iPlayer blocked outside the UK?

The reason BBC iPlayer doesn’t work outside the UK is all due to broadcast rights. The BBC doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content internationally. BBC iPlayer is a UK based streaming service only available in the UK.

If the BBC broadcast its content in countries where it doesn’t have the rights to do so, it would be severely financially punished.

To stop this from happening, the BBC blocks anyone outside of the UK from accessing its content.

This is why when you connect to BBC iPlayer outside the UK, you receive the “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.” error.

How does the BBC block my connection?

The way the BBC blocks your connection is all to do with your IP address.

When you go online, you’re allocated a unique IP address. This IP contains information about where in the world you’re located.

When you connect to BBC iPlayer, the BBC scans your IP address to determine where you’re connecting from.

After scanning your IP, if it finds you’re outside the UK, it will block your connection.

How do I get around the BBC’s blocks?

To get around these blocks, you need to make the iPlayer think you’re connecting from within the UK.

To do this, you need a UK IP address. And the easiest way to get one is with a reliable VPN.

We recommend NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month). These VPNs are very effective and will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world. 

How to watch the Winter Olympics 2022 outside the UK:

How do VPNs work?

The first thing a VPN does is it gives you an anonymous internet connection, so your location is hidden. Second, it will provide you with an IP address in a country of your choosing.

VPNs do this by encrypting and rerouting your online data. They do this using their servers based around the world.

When you download NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), they allow you to select a country. This country is where your online data will be rerouted, and this will give you an IP address based in that country.

All you have to do is download NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), connect to a UK server, and you’ll be able to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world.

Does BBC iPlayer block VPNs?

The BBC is constantly trying to block VPNs. It does this because customers using a VPN could result in the BBC breaching the licensing and copyright agreements it has with its content partners.

The BBC blocks VPNs by monitoring for an abnormal amount of connections coming from the same IP address.

Usually, only a household worth of devices will connect to BBC iPlayer via the same IP address. Anything more than this alerts the BBC that there’s an abnormal amount of connections coming from that specific IP address.

VPNs have a massive amount of customers. So much so they don’t have the capacity to give each customer their own individual IP address. This means customers are forced to share IP addresses.

When this happens, the BBC is able to easily identify the VPN IP address as abnormal and block it.

Fortunately, the best VPNs, NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month). have measures to get around this problem.

How to watch the Winter Olympics 2022 outside the UK:

What VPNs work with BBC iPlayer?

The VPNs that work with BBC iPlayer are the ones that can stay one step ahead of the BBC’s VPN blocking techniques.

NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) are very good at doing this. 

They have a lot of IP addresses, so you have less chance of sharing an IP address with another customer. They also have measures that allow you to consistently use them with BBC iPlayer. 

When the BBC blocks an IP address provided by these VPNs, NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) will close that IP address and open a new one. 

This allows you to stay one step ahead of the BBC’s blocks, and it means you can watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world reliably.

1. NordVPN

The BEST VPN of 2022

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pro

  • Fast servers
  • No logs
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 6-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store

SPECIAL OFFER – $3.49/month

Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $3.49/month for 2-years
  • $6.99/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • beIN SPORTS icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
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%!

Get NordVPN for $3.49/month

(30-day money-back guarantee

2. Ivacy

The BEST low-cost VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • 5-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 5 devices
  • Sometimes runs slow
  • Occasionally blocked by streaming sites

SPECIAL OFFER: 7-DAY TRIAL ($0.99)

Number 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
  • $1.16/month for 5-years
  • $3.50/month for 1-year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
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

Get Ivacy for $1.16/month

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. ExpressVPN

A very reliable and fast VPN

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive

SPECIAL OFFER – 3-MONTHS FREE!

Number 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
  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon
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!

Get ExpressVPN for $6.66/month

(30-day money-back guarantee)

4. Private Internet Access

The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Private Internet Access UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast and reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 48 server locations

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 82%!

30-day money-back guarantee

Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $2.19/month for 3-years
  • $3.33/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1-month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • NowTV icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon
Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1 million paying customers. This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends. If, for whatever reason, you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-days money-back guarantee. From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 82%!

Get Private Internet Access for $2.19/month

(30-day money-back guarantee)

5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • 1-day free trial
  • Reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 7-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average speed scores

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

30-day money-back guarantee

Number 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
  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • NowTV icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
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

Get CyberGhost for $2.75/month

(30-day money-back guarantee)