If you ever try to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia, you quickly find it throws up an error and tells you that you can only view any content if you reside in the UK.
While you are free to browse the site, as soon as you click on the play button, you see the message “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”
While this can be frustrating, there is an easy way to get around these restrictions and watch your favourite shows.
Here, you can learn all you need to know about how to watch BBC in Australia, and by the end, you will be able to have a BBC One live stream or watch any BBC catch up in high quality using the best VPN services there are.
Can I use BBC iPlayer in Australia?
In reality, there are two reasons why you find you can’t access any content on BBC iPlayer. First, as you sign up, you see the section regarding a TV license. The fees from these are in replace of advertising fees because the BBC isn’t ad-funded.
Second is the primary reason and to do with broadcasting rights. Some BBC 1 player shows already show on various Australian channels.
Live from the BBC iView on ABC a good example. Other shows either face delays or never arrive in Aussie TV if there is no licensing agreement. This side is more to do with money more than anything else is.
How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad?
To access the BBC iPlayer app, you have to be in the UK, or at least you need a virtual presence.
The only way you can do this is by using a premium VPN service that is capable of bypassing the restrictions and checks, the BBC iPlayer streaming service has in place.
If you attempt to connect to the streaming service from outside the UK, you will have a different IP address than those issues to homes in the UK.
Once the BBC iPlayer service sees you have an IP address that isn’t one from the UK allocation, you are denied access to what you want to watch.
The first step will be to find the best VPN for streaming from the BBC iPlayer. Our recommendations follow this section. Just remember to connect your VPN to a UK server before carrying out the sign-up procedure or trying to access any content on the iPlayer.
Here are the steps to create your BBC account.
- Navigate to the BBC iPlayer website
- Click the sign-in option at the top of the screen
- Select age 16 or over and enter your date of birth in the next box
- Enter your email address and create a password. Change the country to ‘United Kingdom.’
- Click Register
- Select ‘No, thanks’ to receive emails
- Check your email and verify your account
- When asked for UK postcode, enter one from friends or family. If you don’t have one. Find one on the internet. Select any postcode as there are no checks apart from the validity
- If asked to confirm you have a TV license, select ‘Yes.’ If you choose no, you won’t proceed any further.
Any time you wish to access the BBC iPlayer, make sure your VPN client or browser extension is running, and you set the server to one inside the UK
Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer
Well-known as the fastest VPN on the market, ExpressVPN provides a feature-rich experience for streaming BBC iPlayer Australia, or to any other country. ExpressVPN offers numerous servers in the UK, optimised for fast and stable connections to your favourite BBC programs.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN features a simple interface that serves VPN specialists and beginners alike, making it a favourite among users.
ExpressVPN is a high-performance combination of streaming features as well as top military-grade encryption. Security with 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, zero-logging policy, and headquarters in the BVI out of any jurisdiction.
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If you have a problem, you can use live 24/7 customer support. You can use it on a wide range of devices such as Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, Linux, and routers. You also have five device connections, and the possibility to install browser extensions for more comfortable use.
If you don’t know for sure if ExpressVPN is right for you, you can experience it risk-free by using the 30-day money-back guarantee, that comes with a no questions asked policy.
NordVPN has always been on top, with over 5,000 servers worldwide, NordVPN has covered a vast geographical area covering six continents, providing services to everyone requiring online security.
With its SmartPlay technology, most of the UK’s servers would have access to the BBC iPlayer and many other streaming services. It prevents buffering with fast connection speeds and unrestricted bandwidth. Perfect for accessing BBC iPlayer content in Australia or further afield.
The VPN comes with tight security, such as a strict no-log policy, kill switch, and Double VPN to encrypt traffic twice.
It’s easy to see why NordVPN is among the top VPN services in existence. With the 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try it without risk to unblock BBC iPlayer streaming service. (Read our NordVPN Reviews)
The VPN allows six simultaneous connections on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox.
It is also compatible with routers so you can use the app for BBC iPlayer through one connection for what you want to watch.
Surfshark has streaming-optimized servers in three different cities in the United Kingdom. Smaller than most of the other VPNs with 1,700 servers, Surfshark uses this benefit to be able to fly under the radar and circumvent the toughest geo-blocks of streaming services in the world.
Being smaller doesn’t necessarily imply that Surfshark lags behind its speedy competitors. The VPN guarantees reliable, non-buffering connections to the iPlayer BBC, even if you are on the coast of Australia.
Surfshark also has the CleanWeb function to get rid of ads and trackers that can ruin your BBC Australia viewing experience by consuming your bandwidth.
Besides, it keeps your anonymous identity and data secure, with military-grade 256-bit encryption, a strict no-log policy, and an automatic kill switch. To circumvent censorship, it has the No Borders and Camouflage mode to hide your IP address and identity further.
With all these fantastic features, Surfshark is a great option, and you can check everything it has on offer with its 30-day money-back guarantee and unlimited device connections.
How to Get the BBC App on iOS
When you wish to get the BBC iPlayer on your iOS device, make sure not to make any changes to your current iCloud account.
Following these few simple instructions means you can have multiple accounts. You will need a VPN running to make sure your device thinks you are in the UK.
- Sign out of your current iCloud account
- Create a new iCloud account tied to the UK
- Download the iPlayer app
How to Get the BBC Android App
- Make sure your VPN is set to a UK server.
- Open the Play Store and Tap on the three bars to the top left corner
- Select Account
- The Play Store allows you to toggle the location to another that is the same as the VPN
- Update your payment method
- Download the iPlayer app for Android
What about the UK TV license?
Any person accessing the iPlayer is supposed to purchase a TV licence to be legal. However, when signing up, it is a question about ownership more than a physical check.
Is BBC iPlayer free?
BBC iPlayer is free for any resident of the UK who holds a TV licence.
Do Free VPNs work with the BBC iPlayer?
You may find one or two free VPN’s that do work, although these services may not be safe to use as many harvest user data or can inject malware. Besides this, there may be data limits or slow speeds that make them unfeasible.
It may appear to be one of the most accessible streaming services to unblock, yet behind the scenes, the iPlayer’s restrictions are nearly as stringent as those on US Netflix are.
Luckily, the VPN’s here are the best to unblock BBC iPlayer easily, and luck would have it, they are ideal for Netflix also.
All come with the same 30-day money-back periods. However, start with the number one streaming VPN, and you not only have the best BBC experience, but you also have the best VPN for Australia.