How to Unblock and Watch the BBC iPlayer in Australia

Isa Aliu

By Isa Aliu . 23 January 2024

VPN Expert

Miklos Zoltan

Fact-Checked this


Despite Australia being a popular destination for British expats, BBC iPlayer doesn’t work there. As we all know, the streaming platform only works in the UK, and if you’re a UK expat living in Australia, that may be a huge blow.

Fortunately, there is a way around it.

Unblock the BBC iPlayer in Australian in just 5 minutes:

Tip: The above should almost always work. In case a VPN server does not unblock the BBC iPlayer you should connect to a different UK server. This is normal. It may take a few tries until you find one that works.

If you’re looking for a more detailed description of how to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to show you how to.

Summary: Although BBC iPlayer is restricted to the UK, British expatriates in Australia can still access it with a workaround.

Employing a VPN like ExpressVPN or Surfshark enables users to overcome geographical limitations and stream their preferred BBC iPlayer shows and movies.

It’s advisable to avoid free VPNs and proxies because they often fall short in terms of speed, security, and dependability. These geo-restrictions, while frustrating, are largely in place due to licensing agreements and content rights.

BBC iPlayer Australia

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Australia with a VPN

It’s no longer news that BBC iPlayer can only be accessed when you are in the UK. While that may be disappointing for Australians looking to steam UK content, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) offers an effective way past this.

If you’re interested in unblocking BBC iPlayer’s content using a VPN, below are the steps you need to follow:

  • Register with a VPN provider that has fast servers in the UK.
  • Download and install the application on your streaming device.
  • Launch the VPN application and sign in.
  • Find and connect to a UK server.
  • Visit BBC iPlayer to create a Free Account.
  • Now, open your BBC iPlayer app.
  • Sign in and start enjoying your favorite BBC iPlayer shows.

You can also use a VPN for tasks such as unblocking Hulu in Australia or accessing Hotstar Australia.

Best VPNs to Watch BBC iPlayer in Australia

Now that you know how to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia, it’s time to pick a VPN.

With the ever-expanding VPN market, choosing the best VPN for your needs is becoming increasingly difficult. It’s usually not because of a lack of options but rather an abundance.

We have reviewed the best options if searching for an ideal VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has super-fast servers in the UK, so it’s a great option for anyone looking to unblock BBC iPlayer in Australia. But apart from the servers, the provider also has remarkable privacy features and excellent customer support.

It’s a perfect choice to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia. The company has one of the largest server networks in the industry, with its 3000 servers spread across 94 countries worldwide.

It covers most countries, so it’s always a suitable option for bypassing geo-restrictions.

In terms of security, the provider uses the most secure encryption in the world – AES 256-bit encryption. This ensures that nobody is ever able to intercept or steal your data.

On top of that, the company’s strict no-logging policy also means no information that can be directly traced to you is ever collected. It’s certainly one of the market’s safest and most reliable options.

It’s also worth noting that ExpressVPN has many servers based in the UK, so if BBC iPlayer blocks one, you can find options. Thankfully, the support team is always on hand to help you find a new server that works.

ExpressVPN works with streaming services such as Netflix, ITV HUB, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Foxtel, and Amazon Firestick.

Check out our guide on on how to watch American Netflix in Australia for more information.

For an enhanced streaming experience with access to a wide range of international content on platforms like Netflix, ITV Hub, and more, consider choosing ExpressVPN as the best VPN for international Netflix from our recommended list, ensuring seamless access to your favorite shows and movies from anywhere in the world.

This VPN service also has an app for iPad, iPhone, smart TV, Apple TV, Android, and desktop.

If you are not pleased with the service, you can activate the 30-day money-back guarantee. While that’s not likely to happen, it’s good to know you have that option. Besides, the money-back guarantee lets you test the service for free.

2. Surfshark

Another great VPN provider you can count on to unblock BBC iPlayer is Surfshark. It’s a cheaper alternative than ExpressVPN and is just as effective in bypassing geo-restrictions.

The company has over 3200 servers spread over 64 countries, including the UK. And if you’re worried about your privacy, you will be glad to know that Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is a completely safe location for VPN companies.

Besides, the company maintains a strict no-logging policy, so even if the government asks for users’ data, there will be nothing to give them.

In terms of security, your data is protected by failsafe encryption – AES 256-bit encryption and a kill switch, as well as double VPN and RAM-only VPN servers.

In addition, you have several security protocols to choose from, demonstrating the company’s willingness to offer you the most secure VPN experience possible.

Finally, Surfshark offers unlimited connections, allowing you and your family to enjoy the service with a single subscription.

Do free VPN Services Work with BBC iPlayer Australia?

In the past, free VPN services used to unblock BBC iPlayer, but that has recently changed. The company recently improved its geo-restrictions, making it harder for VPNs to bypass them.

Free VPNs don’t have the resources to break BBC’s sturdier walls.

However, even if you luckily find a free service that works, we wouldn’t recommend using it for several reasons.

The first reason is that free VPNs usually offer poor speed due to their limited number of servers. Every server is always congested, resulting in slower streaming speeds and, by extension, a terrible overall experience.

Besides, you will likely experience terrible video quality and annoying buffering issues, as free VPNs provide limited data limits.

Lastly, recent research shows that 18 percent of free VPNs don’t use encryption protocols, about 40 percent contain harmful malware, and 84 percent are susceptible to IPv6 leaks.

Put, watching BBC iPlayer using a free VPN is not advisable.

Some paid VPNs, such as Hotspot Shield and Cyberghost VPN, do not work with streaming BBC iPlayer.

VPN Alernative: Unblock BBC iPlayer with a Proxy

If you don’t need the privacy and security offered by VPNs, an alternate way to unblock BBC iPlayer is by using a proxy server.

Like a VPN server, a proxy server disguises your IP address to look like you are accessing BBC iPlayer from the location of your choice. Of course, it sounds great, but you’ll have to endure slower connection speeds.

Therefore, this may ruin your overall viewing experience. Free proxy servers are even worse, as they usually bombard users with ads.

It’s also worth noting that proxy servers are becoming increasingly difficult to unblock BBC iPlayer. While some still work, you may have difficulty finding them.

Another alternative is smart DNS.

Why is BBC iPlayer Blocked in Australia?

BBC iPlayer is blocked in Australia and everywhere outside the United Kingdom.

Despite that, there’s no denying the incredible amount of entertainment the platform promises, especially for sports lovers.

Each time you attempt to access BBC iPlayer outside of the UK, you will get an error message that says the platform only works in the UK. That can be frustrating, we know.

However, geo-restrictions are usually enforced for several valid reasons.

As it’s the case with every content provider, BBC iPlayer doesn’t own all the rights to all their content.

This means they can’t make an autonomous decision on where they want to make the content available.

Besides, licensing regulations may prevent them from making BBC iPlayer content available abroad.


Not many free streaming sites are as entertaining as BBC iPlayer. The platform is packed with all kinds of content, from live sports and films to exciting documentaries and shows.

But as great as the site is, there is a problem – it is only available in the UK, thanks to geo-restrictions.

Anyone accessing it outside the UK will promptly be met with an error message. Thankfully, a VPN offers a convenient way around geo-blocks.

So, whether you’re a UK ex-pat in Australia or just an Australian who loves British channels, subscribe to one of the best VPN services and start catching up with your favorite shows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some people found answers to these questions helpful

Can you watch BBC iPlayer on your phone?

Of course, you can watch BBC iPlayer on your smartphone. The platform offers compatible clients for the most popular platforms, which include iOS and Android.

Do I need a subscription to watch BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is a free service, so you don’t need a subscription to watch it. However, you must buy a VPN subscription to watch it in Australia.

Is watching BBC iPlayer in Australia illegal?

Since using a VPN is not illegal in Australia, then you are not likely to run into any legal troubles for watching BBC iPlayer in the country. However, the BBC frowns at using a VPN to unblock their service, which is understandable as it breaches the copyright agreements they have with content creators.

1 Comment

  • Helen

    October 6, 2022 12:16 pm

    Why doesn’t the BBC simply charge the same licence fee as it does to Uk residents? Problem solved and a good way of raising revenue for the BBC

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