Home > How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Australia

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Australia

BBC iPlayer is a video service you may have heard of before. It competes with the likes of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.

how to watch bbc iplayer

Unfortunately, it is geo-blocked if you live outside the UK. However, you can by-pass the geo-block in Australia by using a VPN.

A virtual private network software (VPN) would hide your Australian IP, bouncing your connection to a British server of your choice.

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There are so many VPNs on the market that you might feel intimidated. From all of them, ExpressVPN works the best with BBC iPlayer. Below, we’ve discussed how you can access the video service with the software, and much more. Keep reading.

How Do You Access BBC iPlayer in Australia?

With ExpressVPN, how do you go about accessing iPlayer? It takes just 4 easy steps.

  1. First download ExpressVPN. You’ll have to install the program on your device. It can be downloaded on different types of devices, and handle a range of operating systems.
  2. Create an account. You’ll need to pay for a subscription to sign up for the virtual private network. There are three main plans to choose from. They aren’t that expensive.
  3. Connect to the UK. The VPN has thousands of servers across the globe. Connect to one in the UK.
  4. Open BBC iPlayer. Now that your IP has been bounced to the United Kingdom, you can create an account on the platform.

Why ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN isn’t just great for unblocking BBC iPlayer, it’s one of the most popular names in the game.  It’s strong enough to bypass China’s Great Fire Wall. It also comes with features that give its rivals a run for their money.


There are three plans you can choose from. The 1-month subscription will cost AUD 16.89 every 30 days, while the 6-month subscription will cost AUD 13.03 a month. The 15-month option will be AUD 8.70.

If you still think the prices are too high, know that the software regularly goes on sale. If you wait for the right time, you could get a good discount. The best deals are offered during the holidays.

Interested in a free trial? Express has got your back; it comes with a 30-day one. If you’re not happy with your subscription, there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee. Many people have noted that the process of getting their cash back was a breeze.

There are several ways you can pay for subscriptions. Not only can you use e-wallets, credit and debit cards, but also cryptocurrency like Bitcoins.


There are over 3,000 servers in 160 locations in 94 different countries. To access BBC iPlayer, you’ll need to connect to an IP in the United Kingdom. Although the program hasn’t made public the number of servers it has in the UK, there are around 150-200.

Express is a popular option, as it offers some of the most diverse server locations in the world. It has many IPs in South America and Africa, while its rivals do not.

Customer Service

ExpressVPN is also incredibly easy to use. If you’re not tech-savvy, there is no need to worry. If you want help setting it up, connect to BBC iPlayer. Its support team would be more than happy to help you out and are friendly and informative. You can contact them 24/7 through their live chat feature.

Security and Privacy

Virtual Private Networks aren’t just used to bypass geo-blocks. While bouncing your IP to other locations, they encrypt the data that is being passed through as well. This makes your connection highly secure.

Express makes use of a military lock, which prevents any outside party from compromising your connection. It doesn’t keep logs of your activity either – so your time online would be incognito.


As the video service is only available in the UK, you can imagine that it would be on the lookout for individuals trying to bypass its geo-blocks.

The VPN might accidentally disconnect while you’re accessing BBC iPlayer. The moment this happens, you’d go offline too. This prevents the streaming service from finding out that you were bouncing your IP, which would get you banned. This feature is called the kill switch.

The software is also secure. It lets you encrypt your connection twice instead of just once.

You can also connect 5 different devices to the network at any given time. This means that your whole family can enjoy iPlayer wherever they may be.

Do you Have to Pay for BBC iPlayer?

The answer is yes and no. Technically, it is a paid service. You’re required to purchase a UK TV license to watch shows. That being said, the platform doesn’t require proof of the purchase. You can use its services without any worry.

bbc iplayer Australia

Once in a while, you may be asked to confirm that you have a license. However, the confirmation would only pop up when you’re trying to view PG-rated content. When you click OK, the confirmation would disappear.

If you want to buy the license, you won’t be able to do so from Australia. A family member or friend in the United Kingdom would have to do it for you. Just know that it’ll cost quite a bit. It’s over 100 pounds a year.

Why Does BBC iPlayer Only Work in the UK?

If you’ve taken a look at the shows on the platform, you might have noticed that they’re solely made in the UK. Production companies in the country have only licensed their movies and shows for the United Kingdom, so copyright laws prevent them from being shown anywhere else.

You may wonder why they haven’t been licensed elsewhere. Well, this could be due to two reasons. The production houses may have assumed the content wouldn’t be well received abroad. Also, the licensing process is time-consuming and expensive, so this could be another factor.

If you have an iPlayer account and downloaded content while in the UK, you’ll be able to watch the shows even when you leave the region.

Is a VPN Legal in Australia?

Considering how virtual private networks work, it’s natural to question their legality. However, there is no need to worry as they’re completely legal in Australia.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull even commented on their legality. He mentioned that the Copyright Act protects the use of VPNs.

Does this mean that the software is legal everywhere in the world? Certainly not. Quite a few countries have restricted their use including China, Russia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, and the UAE.

Do Free VPNs Work with BBC iPlayer?

No, free alternatives don’t work with the video service. They don’t have the largest server pools, and they tend to share servers.

Streaming services like BBC iPlayer regularly go on the hunt for servers, blacklisting them. As free VPNs have common IP pools, none of them can bypass the iPlayer’s geo-blocks.

Working with free VPNs is generally not advised. Since they need to make cash through other means, they might log your activity online. The information gathered would be sold to third parties.

They may bombard you with ads too. A lot of the time, the adverts would be malicious or inappropriate.

As mentioned, ExpressVPN is strong enough to bypass major restrictions. This is true even for China’s Great Fire Wall. Free VPNs would not be able to do this.

What Devices Can You Watch BBC iPlayer On?

You can connect 5 different devices to the virtual private network at any given time. But what kind of devices does BBC iPlayer work on? Quite a few.

These are:

  • PC: Windows and Mac
  • Mobile: Android and iOS
  • Steaming devices and software: Roku, Amazon FireStick, Chromecast
  • Consoles: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Do you own a Samsung TV? Well, we have some bad news for you – iPlayer recently had a glitch and the service does not work with Samsung Smart TVs anymore. The issue is being resolved, but it has been a while since it first popped up.

BBC iPlayer is a highly popular streaming service, where you’ll find exclusive content that isn’t available on rival platforms. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the UK, so if you try and access it from another region, your IP would be blocked.

Keeping this in mind, a VPN would let you access the video service. Not all of them can unblock iPlayer, though. From these, ExpressVPN should be on the top of your list. It has hundreds of servers in the United Kingdom that you’d be able to bounce your IP.

The software is one of the most popular in the game thanks to the great security and privacy features it offers. What’s more, it’s not too expensive either. Apart from that, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the program.

Not only is it capable of unblocking iPlayer, but it can also bypass rival streaming services’ geoblocks. If you want to access Hulu or America’s Netflix library, you know which service to work with.

So, if you want to open a BBC iPlayer account, keep these tips in mind.