How to Unblock and Watch the BBC iPlayer in Australia

Isa Aliu

By Isa Aliu . 1 March 2022

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 come as 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 on how to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to show you how to.

Related guide: How to unblock the BBC iPlayer from any country
Related guide: How to unblock Hotstar in Australia
Related guide: How to unblock HBO and HBO Max in Australia
Related guide: How to unblock YouTube TV in Australia
Related guide: How to unblock Hulu in Australia

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.

Related guide: How to unblock any website with a VPN

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, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to choose the right VPN for your needs. It’s usually not because of a lack of options, but rather due to an abundance of it.

If you’re in the search for an ideal VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer, we have reviewed the best options.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has super-fast servers in the UK, so it’s naturally 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 to boot.

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 that are 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 safest and most reliable options on the market.

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 any other streaming service such as Netflix, ITV HUB, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Foxtel and Amazon Firestick.

Related guide: How to watch American Netflix in Australia

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 compared to ExpressVPN, and it’s just as effective when it comes to bypassing geo-restrictions.

The company has more than 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 itself maintains a strict no-logging policy, so even if government asks for user’s data, there will be nothing to give to them. In terms of security, your data is protected by a 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, which demonstrates the company’s willingness to offer you the most secure VPN experience possible.

Finally, Surfshark offers an unlimited number of simultaneous 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 changed in recent times. The company recently improved its geo-restrictions, making it harder for VPNs to bypass them. Apparently, free VPNs don’t have the resources required to break BBC’s sturdier walls.

However, even if you luckily find a free service that works, we wouldn’t recommend you to use it for a number of reasons.

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

Besides, you are likely to 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 contained harmful malware, and 84 percent are susceptible to IPv6 leaks.

Source: The Verge

To put it simply, it’s not advisable at all to watch BBC iPlayer using a free VPN.

Some paid VPNs such as Hotspot Shield and Cyberghost VPN also 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.

Just 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 all sorts of ads.

It’s also worth noting that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for proxy servers to unblock BBC iPlayer. While there are some that still work, you may just have a hard time finding them.

Another alternative is smart DNS.

Why is BBC iPlayer Blocked in Australia?

BBC iPlayer is not only blocked in Australia – it’s blocked everywhere outside of the United Kingdom.

Despite that, there’s no denying the incredible amount of entertainment that 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 a number of 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 be preventing them from making BBC iPlayer content available abroad.


There are not many free streaming sites that are as entertaining as BBC iPlayer. From live sports, films, to exciting documentaries and shows, the platform is packed with all kinds of content. But as great as the site is, there is a problem – it is only available in the UK, thanks to geo-restrictions.

This means anyone who tries to access it outside of the UK will be promptly met with an error message. Thankfully, a VPN offers a convenient way around the geo-blocks.

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


Can you watch BBC iPlayer on your phone?

Of course, you can watch BBC iPlayer on your smartphone. The platform offers compatible clients for 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 will have to buy a VPN subscription if you intend 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 the use of a VPN to unblock their service, which is understandable as it breaches the copyright agreements that they have with content creators.

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