The BBC iPlayer is one of the best online sources for streaming TV shows, sports, news, and more directly from the UK. With a huge variety of programming and an easy-to-use web interface, it’s incredibly popular in the United Kingdom.
But if you’re outside of the UK, you’ll find that the BBC iPlayer is geo-locked. Or in other words, it can’t be accessed without an IP address located in the United Kingdom.
However, it’s not too difficult to learn how to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA in 2017. Using a VPN, you can make it appear that you’re connected to the BBC iPlayer from a legitimate, UK-based IP address.
This allows you to access streaming digital content directly on the BBC iPlayer site, regardless of your own geographical location.
Disclaimer: This guide is intended to help readers access content they already have purchased the rights to access, but are for whatever reason unable to access either temporarily, or permanently. Flixed.io does not support software piracy, and bears no responsibility for what you decide to do with the contents of this article. Furthermore, please note that Flixed.io in no way hosts, develops, or produces any of the software mentioned within this article. For more information, please see our full disclaimer here.
In this short guide, we’ll walk you through how to sign up for a BBC iPlayer account. Then, we’ll take you through the process of creating a VPN account and connecting to the BBC iPlayer website. With these helpful tips and instructions, you’ll be enjoying free content from the BBC in minutes.
StrongVPN – Our Choice for Watching BBC iPlayer
When it comes to watching BBC iPlayer in the USA, our top choice is StrongVPN. StrongVPN has a comprehensive no logs policy, incorporates data obfuscation and has a large selection of high-quality, UK based servers.
Best of all, they offer a 5-day money back guarantee. This allows you to sign up for StrongVPN and try it out. There’s no commitment if you don’t like the service.
How to Watch BBC iPlayer in the USA in 2017
If you’re in the UK, watching BBC iPlayer is as easy as logging onto the BBC website, signing in and streaming your choice of media. You can even use the Kodi BBC iPlayer add-on to watch in the UK. However, if you’re in the United States or elsewhere, the process is a bit more involved.
Let’s take a look at each step you’ll need to take in order to watch BBC iPlayer in the USA in 2017.
Step 1: Sign Up for StrongVPN
Because of StrongVPN’s advanced obfuscation features, it’s the best VPN for accessing geo-locked sites. Head over to StrongVPN to get started and sign up for a membership. After you’ve signed up, head over to the Setup page to download and install the StrongVPN client.
Step 2: Download and Install the StrongVPN Client
- StrongVPN’s client is super easy to install. Just log into StrongVPN, then download the installer to your hard drive.
- Select the installer file (StrongVPN_Win-latest.exe) and press Run to begin installation.
- Set the setup language as English and press OK.
- On the next page, accept the StrongVPN license agreement by selecting I accept the agreement.
- Next, select the installation folder. In this case, we’ll be installing the StrongVPN client on drive D:
- Continue through the menus, selecting Next, until you reach Install. This will install the StrongVPN client on your PC.
- After installation has completed, you’ll be prompted to run the StrongVPN client on your PC, as seen in the below screenshot. Select Finish to complete setup and launch the client.
Step 3: Login to StrongVPN and Connect to a UK-Based Server
- Next, you’ll be prompted for your StrongVPN credentials. Enter the appropriate credentials, and feel free to leave Save Login checked. This will make it easier to log into StrongVPN in the future.
- To connect to BBC iPlayer, we will need to change our connecting server to a UK-based IP. We’ll go over the steps to do so now.
- To change your connection to a UK-based IP, select Change Location on the left-hand side of the window.
- A window will pop up with two options: By country (Automatic, Recommended) and By server (manual). Select the second option, as indicated in the below screenshot.
- Next, use the drop-down menus in StrongVPN to select Country: United Kingdom. This will provide you with access to several UK-based servers.
- Any UK server will do for our purposes. However, you can test them for speed and responsiveness before you connect if you want.
- After testing and selecting your preferred server, press Next > to continue, as seen below.
- Select Switch on the next screen to confirm that you’re switching servers.
- You’ll see a message saying Your account has been updated successfully. Click OK to continue.
- Now head back to the main StrongVPN client by selecting Connect.
- After a few moments, you’ll be connected to your selected server. Your IP in the upper left should change to reflect your new location and your VPN status should show as Connected. Note that your server may look different depending on the UK-based city you selected as your preferred location.
Congratulations! You’re now connecting from the UK and the BBC iPlayer should be available to you. However, we’re not quite done yet.
Step 4: Setting Up a BBC iPlayer Account
Connecting to a UK-based IP is just part of the puzzle. Since May 11th, 2017, iPlayer users have been required to register and sign up for a BBC iPlayer account in order to access iPlayer content.
But don’t worry. We’ll guide you through the process below.
- Navigate to the BBC iPlayer registration page. Enter your date of birth to get started, and select Next to continue.
- Enter an email address and your desired password. Leave your country as United Kingdom and click Register to continue.
- After you’ve set your initial country as the United Kingdom, you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll need to fill out further details. In the Postcode field, enter WC1X 0AA. Continue by pressing Register. Below is an example of how your screen should look.
- Press Continue on the following screen to complete the login and signup process.
- (Optional) After completing the registration process check the email that you supplied to confirm your BBC account, as seen below. This will make it easier to recover your account if you forget your password.
Step 5: Accessing the BBC iPlayer
- Now, open the BBC site and select iPlayer from the top navigation bar. Alternatively, you can enter https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer into your browser.
- You’ll see the following screen for the BBC iPlayer. From here, you can navigate through different Channels, Categories, shows and movies from A-Z, and other features like the TV Guide and My Programmes.
That’s it! You’ve now got full access to everything that the BBC iPlayer offers.
VPNs Vs. Proxy Servers – Which is the Better Choice?
If you’ve tried to access geo-blocked content in the past, you may know that there are several methods you can use to hide your IP address. The two most popular methods are VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and Proxy servers.
Web-based proxy servers are popular among some people because they’re free. However, they have some serious disadvantages that make them a poor choice for streaming BBC iPlayer in the USA.
Let’s discuss the details between each of these technologies now so that you can understand what the right choice is for you.
VPNs enable your computer to connect securely to another location. Your computer creates an encrypted “tunnel” directly to the VPN server.
All of your browsing and internet traffic is routed through this secure connection. VPNs use protected connections and encryption to prevent snooping from ISPs and other third parties.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful encryption – VPNs offer end-to-end encryption and data security. It’s nearly impossible for an ISP to monitor your traffic.
- Secures all web traffic – Unlike web-based proxies, VPNs can secure and encrypt web traffic from every web-connected application on your computer.
- Reliable, stable connection – Paid VPNs like StrongVPN offer powerful and reliable performance and a stable connection.
- May slow down performance – Because all web traffic must be encrypted and tunneled, VPNs can have a negative effect on overall network throughput.
- Good VPNs aren’t free – Free VPNs are slow, unreliable and may contain adware. Because of this, you’ll need to buy a VPN subscription.
VPNs may be more expensive than a free, public proxy server. Still, they’re well worth the investment. Only by using a VPN can you secure all of your web traffic and protect yourself from network monitoring.
VPNs are also very versatile. They allow you to do things like access restricted websites in China and Russia and view American Netflix in different countries. If you invest in a great VPN, you can enjoy all of these benefits.
Public Web Proxy Servers
Proxies are similar to VPNs, only they are far less secure and sometimes present security risks. Let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of proxy servers now.
Pros and Cons
- Public web-based proxies are free – This is the primary reason that some users prefer web-based proxies.
- Proxies can be very fast – Because traffic is usually not encrypted, web proxies have very little effect on the speed of a network.
- Proxies are easy to use – Most web proxies can be set up directly within a web browser. No installation or software is required.
- Public proxies may steal your data – Your data is unencrypted on most public proxies. This means that anyone running a public proxy has total access to your web traffic and can monitor your activities. This makes proxies much less secure than VPNs.
- Most free proxies are unreliable and unstable – You get what you pay for. Free, web-based public proxies are notoriously fickle.
As you can see, there are quite a few disadvantages to using a free, web-based proxy. Private proxies offer a better level of performance and security but are usually similar in price to a full-fledged VPN service. This makes them a poor choice compared to VPNs.
Enjoy All That the BBC iPlayer has to Offer Now!
Follow the steps outlined above and get started with StrongVPN today to enjoy top-quality streaming content in moments! Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment if you need help.