Looking for a way to watch BBC iPlayer in USA so you can watch top trending shows like “I May Destroy You”, “Doctor Who”, “His Dark Materials”, “Fleabag”, or more?
Below, I am going to tell you how to watch BBC iPlayer in America for free with the help of a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
BBC iPlayer is a top-notch English streaming service, where you can watch all the BBC content, including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, and other channels. However, there is a catch! Only UK residents can access BBC iPlayer service because of content geo-restriction and copyrights agreements. This means if you are living outside the UK such as in the USA, you can’t stream BBC content.
This is why, if you try to access the BBC in USA or from anywhere outside the UK, instead of getting an option to stream your favorite content, the following geo-location error will appear on your screen:
But thankfully, you can watch BBC iPlayer in the USA for free if you change your IP location to the UK through a VPN. Besides providing online privacy by encrypting your data, a VPN or Virtual Private Network can change your IP local IP address with US IP to trick iPlayer since streaming services provide content based on your IP location. In this way, you can simply access all the geo-blocked content from anywhere by connecting to the appropriate VPN server.
However, not all VPNs work with BBC to unblock it outside the UK. If you don’t know which VPN to use with BBC, here is a quick overview of the best VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA:
Best VPNs for Watching BBC in the US:
- ExpressVPN is the top-rated VPN to stream BBC in the USA. Offers 200+ fastest UK servers which makes it the best choice for streaming BBC in America. It includes 24/7 live chat support, five simultaneous connection, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark is a low-cost VPN to access BBC in the US. Offer 300+ UK servers that unblock BBC iPlayer outside the UK at the most affordable price. It comes with 24/7 live chat support, unlimited simultaneous connections, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- NordVPN is a reliable VPN for watching BBC iPlayer in the USA. Offers 450+ fast and reliable UK servers to access English streaming services like BBC in the USA or anywhere. Also includes 24/7 live chat support, ten simultaneous connections, and a 31-day money-back guarantee.
If you don’t know how to sign up for BBC iPlayer –> Jump straight to the steps mentioned-below
BBC iPlayer USA working with a VPN – Testing Video
Best VPNs to Watch BBC iPlayer in the USA (In-Depth Analysis)
ScreenBinge tested around 15 renowned VPN providers who claim to unblock BBC iPlayer in USA and found out these three providers as the best VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA in 2021:
1. ExpressVPN – Top-Rated VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in USA
It offers the fastest 3000+ servers in 90+ countries including 100+ UK servers to access BBC iPlayer in the USA. Though this provider is expensive but based on our testing, it is the fastest VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer in USA and other popular services such as American Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and HBO Max.
I highly recommend this provider to those users who want to watch BBC iPlayer in USA on Smart TV and Apple TV as it offers MediaStreamer, aka smart DNS to setup VPN on devices that do not support VPN. With ExpressVPN, you will get five simultaneous connections along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. Surfshark – Low-Cost VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in USA
This provider offers 3200+ servers in 60+ countries, including 200+ optimized servers in UK to watch BBC iPlayer USA. Based on our testing, it can unblock BBC iPlayer on all the major streaming devices including Windows, iOS, Android and macOS. With Surfshark, you will get unlimited simultaneous connections.
This means you don’t have to worry about sharing your Surfshark account with your friends and family members. And, incase you don’t satisfy with the service, you can opt for a full refund as the service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. NordVPN – Reliable VPN to watch BBC Player in the USA
It offers 5,500+ servers in 59 countries including 450+ UK servers to watch BBC iPlayer in the US or anywhere. According to ScreenBinge testing, it can unblock UK Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer in HD without any buffering issues from anywhere abroad.
It supports all the major devices including, Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. This provider also offers Smart DNS to watch BBCiPlayer on all the devices that do not support VPN directly, such as Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV, PS4, and Xbox One. With NordVPN, you can connect up to six devices simultaneously, and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Criteria to Choose the Best VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer in the USA
To find the best VPN to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA, we tested 15 popular VPN providers based on the following criteria:
- Consistently unblocks BBC iPlayer USA and other popular geo-streaming services.
- It provides optimum speed connections for streaming.
- It offers strong encryption protocols to protect users’ data with no-log policy.
- Supports all major devices including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Smart TV, etc.
- Offers at least 5 simultaneous connections on a single subscription.
Why Do You Need a VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer in the USA?
Your internet connection has your local IP address. And streaming services like BBC iPlayer use an IP tracking system to block the users who try to stream their content outside the UK.
Therefore, when you try to access BBC iPlayer in the USA or anywhere except the UK, not even in Ireland which is though part of Great Britain. The service tracks your local IP and immediately restricts you to access the content.
But if you use a VPN, it will allow you to change your local IP with UK IP address. This will trick the service that you are residing somewhere in the UK and allows you to stream its content from anywhere.
Can I Watch BBC iPlayer in the USA with a Free VPN?
Free VPN services are always tempting especially for binge-watchers like me. However, I would never recommend you to use a free VPN service after what I experienced to watch BBC iPlayer abroad.
First, these free VPNs offer terrible speed to stream BBC in the USA or any other geo-blocked services as they have limited servers and a large number of users.
Second, if you surprisingly find any free VPN that can unblock BBC iPlayer, you will face serious buffering issues and poor video quality because these Free VPNs offer restricted data limits.
Third, the BBC regularly updates its tracking system to block VPN servers. And since these free VPNs providers have limited servers to offer, there is a high probability that they won’t able to unblock iPlayer and other geo-streaming services for you.
Lasty, according to recent studies, 18% of free VPNs use no encryption protocols, almost 40% contained malicious malware, and 84% are vulnerable to IPv6 leaks. In short, there is no free VPN for BBC iPlayer that I would recommend you for watching in the USA.
Because of all these facts, using a trusted VPN service with strong privacy features is the best way to stream BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming channels.
Note: While start watching something on BBC iPlayer, there is a possibility that you get a notification that asks you if you have a TV license since according to British law, you must have a TV license to watch BBC iPlayer.
However, there is no check and balance by BBC iPlayer whether you have a TV license or not. This means if you click the “Yes” option, it will allow you to access the content on an immediate basis without inquiring about further information.
How do I download BBC iPlayer App in USA?
For Android Users
- First sign in to Google Play Store with two or more different accounts on your Android device.
- Now close the Google Play Store and open the VPN app (I highly recommend ExpressVPN) and connect to any british server.
- Now go back to the Google Play Store app and search for BBC iPlayer with the existing account you are already logged in. It won’t show you BBC iPlayer app but don’t panic.
- Without closing the Google Play Store, switch to another account.
- Now search again for BBC iPlayer app and this time the app will appear on the screen.
- Download and install the iPlayer app and start watching in the USA.
For iOS Users (iPhone and iPad)
- Go to “Settings” on your iOS device and then click on your Apple ID profile.
- Now tap on “Media and Purchases” option > select “Country/Region” > tap “Change Country or Region” > select “United Kingdom” and then on the “Terms and Conditions” page tap “Agree”.
- Now enter all the required details and for UK address or phone number, you can provide any address and number from the internet since Apple does not verify it.
- Once your region change to the UK, head to App Store and search for the BBC iPlayer app.
- Now download the app and start watching BBC in the USA.
Compatible Devices to Watch BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer or iPlayer is a free British online streaming, TV, radio, and catch-up service. This popular UK based service is a direct competition to other popular platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, CBC TV, and more.
It offers a large variety of HQ shows, radio shows, movies free of advertisement, and also available on all major devices including:
- Windows via browser
- Mac OS via a browser
- iOS (iPhone and iPad) via official iPlayer app
- Android via official iPlayer app
- Apple TV
- PS3 and PS4
- Xbox 360 and Xbox One
- Android Smart TV (for specific brand support check the full list from here)
How to Watch BBC iPlayer in the USA on Roku?
BBC iPlayer Roku app is available in Channel Store. However, to watch BBC on Roku in US, you will require a UK account first. Follow these steps once you create a Roku UK account.
- First, reset your Roku device.
- Now, set up a VPN on your router device and connect to UK server (We recommend ExpressVPN for Roku users).
- Connect your Roku device with your TV and sign-up with your UK account.
- Now go to Channel Store, search for iPlayer, and install it.
- Once the iPlayer installs on Roku > Open the app > Sign-in your account and enjoy it.
Note: After setup, a VPN on your router, make sure that your Roku device is connected to the same router connection. Otherwise, iPlayer will not allow you to access the content.
How to Watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV in the USA?
To watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV in the USA, you need to first change your App Store region from the USA to UK. This is because the BBC iPlayer Apple TV USA is not available and you can only download the app from UK region App Store because of content rights. To do so:
- Connect Apple TV with your TV.
- Now go to “Settings” on Apple TV -> Select “General” option -> Select “Region” option.
- Select UK as your region and enter all the required details.
- Once you switch to the UK region -> Go to “App Store” and search for the “BBC iPlayer tv app”, download it (You don’t need a VPN until this point).
- Now set up a VPN on your router (We recommend ExpressVPN).
- Once your Apple TV connected to a VPN via router -> Open BBC iPlayer > Sign-in to your account and enjoy.
How to Watch BBC iPlayer on Smart TV in the USA?
- First, You need to change your smart TV region to UK which you can find on an official brand website like Samsung, Sony, LG, Sharp, Panasonic, Toshiba, TCL, Hisense, etc. (see a full list of Smart TV supported by BBC iPlayer from here)
- Now, set up a VPN on your router and connect it to UK server (We recommend ExpressVPN). After that connect your smart TV with the same internet connection on which you set up a VPN.
- Search for the BBC iPlayer app and add it to your channel list.
- Now open BBC tv app > Log-in to your account or register it by visiting bbc.com/account.
- Open the app on your TV and sign in by clicking the icon on the top left menu and enjoy in USA or anywhere.
BBC iPlayer Not Working on Samsung Smart TV
According to BBC News, a software glitch is preventing the BBC’s iPlayer streaming service from running on many of Samsung’s smart TVs.
For this all you have to update your Samsung smart TV software and this will resolve the problem.
Follow these steps to update BBC iPlayer on my Smart TV:
- Select the Blue YV button on your remote control.
- Go to Settings and select “Device Management”.
- Select “Update on-demand players”.
- Hit “Check Now” to download and install the latest version (if not already installed).
Which BBC Channels and Shows to Watch
All iPlayer Channels
- BBC One (Live Stream)
- BBC Two
- BBC Four
- BBC News
- BBC Three
- BBC Scotland
- BBC Parliament
- BBC Alba
- Radio 1
Top BBC Network shows
- Death in Paradise
- The Serpent
- Doctor Who
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- Peaky Blinders
- Killing Eve
- I May Destroy You
- The Salisbury Poisonings
- Great British Bakeoff
- RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
BBC America vs BBC UK
BBC has different versions of its channels in different countries that is why BBC America and BBC UK is different in terms of content.
BBC UK receives funding from the British licensing fee that is the primary funding for BBC channels, it cannot fund any of its channels outside the UK.
On other hand, BBC America is a cable network that operates as a commercial-supported channel that generates revenue from traditional advertisement and subscription fees.
Is BBC iPlayer available in USA?
No, but you can watch BBC iPlayer in USA, if you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Though, most of the VPN providers don’t work with BBC as they get ban by the streaming service because of content distribution policies. But based on ScreenBinge testing, there are still few providers including ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN that can still unblock iPlayer in the USA without any buffering or poor video quality issues.
Is it illegal to watch BBC iPlayer abroad?
Watching BBC iPlayer abroad is only possible through a VPN that is not illegal by any means. However, to follow the geo-blocking policies and content copyrights agreements, BBC does not in favor of using a VPN to access their streaming service outside the UK.
Is BBC Available on DirectTV?
Yes, you can watch BBC America on DirectTV. However, BBC America is different from BBC UK, so you cannot watch BBC iPlayer on DirectTV.
Wrapping it Up
I hope after reading this blog, you must learn how to BBC iPlayer in USA on any of your favorite devices. With the use of one of the mentioned above VPNs and steps, now you can easily access BBC iPlayer outside the UK from anywhere.
Thought, If you still have any questions or want to ask something, you can do it by mentioning your comment below or post your query on my Reddit community. Happy Binging!