How to Use BBC iPlayer Download Outside UK – Use the iPlayer Downloader to Watch Offline

Last Updated on December 15, 2023

It’s Easy to Use BBC iPlayer Download Outside UK

Don’t you just hate the technology that’s increasingly used online to block and control access when you’re online ! We’re stopped watching videos, films and clips on YouTube and media sites. TV channels we used to enjoy are blocked simply because of where we happen to be. Loads of websites even charge different prices for the same service depending on our location. Well there is a way to STOP all of this and take back control including neat features like the BBC iPlayer downloader.

Can I Watch Downloaded iPlayer Programmes Abroad

Although most people when they want to watch Channel 4 in US using an internet connection.  For accessing the BBC iPlayer when they’re outside the UK, there are other options available too. . The BBC iPlayer has a great feature which allows you to download programs from their site instead of streaming them.  This means you can store them on any device and watch them whenever you like. What’s more you don’t need an internet connection to watch them like this. It’s especially useful for people who have access to a fast internet connection at some locations but often spend time with no internet access.  It’s ideal for downloading before business trips, holidays and travel and saves a fortune on data costs too.

How to Use BBC Download Abroad

Use the iPlayer App to Download

It’s very easy to do, although please don’t consider that you can just download these files and start copying them to DVDs as this won’t work.  You also can’t watch them forever either, the files will expire eventually following the same restrictions as online. In addition you cannot transfer them or convert them into other formats unfortunately, although there are some workarounds to this.

However most of these programmes downloaded are now valid for 12 months from initial broadcast so there’s plenty of time to download and watch your favourite shows offline. Remember again to enable a VPN and connect to a UK server before you download BBC iPlayer app outside UK borders.

Downloaded BBC Programmes Still Have Location Check

Using the downloader is not a simple way to bypass the BBC’s blocks on access outside of the UK either. The same geo-restrictions apply to the download program as does the standard BBC iPlayer streaming service. That is you have to have a UK IP address in order to access and download anything. This is of course, rather difficult for anyone outside the United Kingdom – but there is a way.

Can I Download and Watch BBC iPlayer When Abroad

Basically you use exactly the same technique as works for all UK TV streaming sites, you just need a decent VPN service with a UK server. This method will give you access to watching iPlayer abroad using the standard method (streaming online) plus the ability to download programmes from the BBC site too. If you’re virtual private network connects through the UK then you’ll be able to access BBC iPlayer abroad including the download options without any restrictions.

Downloading from BBC iPlayer Using a VPN

This video shows how anyone can use the BBC iPlayer downloader abroad –  as mentioned all you need is a simple VPN program to connect through.

VPN Hides Your Location

Using the VPN to connect to the BBC means that your true location is not visible. As long as the VPN server is situated in the UK, then both streaming and downloading services will be available. It sounds complicated but it’s not really, the VPN acts as a middle man forwarding your internet connection and keeping you completely anonymous.

Any web site will only see the location of the VPN server so as long as you use a UK one everything will work fine.  The vast majority of streaming services work like this, and you can use VPN services like NordVPN to access any of them. Usually the only decision you have to make is to select the right country to connect from, obviously for the BBC it’s the United Kingdom. However if you wanted to access Hulu or NBC then you’d need to connect to a US server instead.

watch the BBC abroad

Create a BBC iPlayer Account Outside UK

The BBC does require an account, but there completely free and are used primarily to keep track of what you’ve watched and suggest new programmes.

Here’s the link if you don’t have an account – . Remember to enable your VPN connection and connect to a UK server before visiting the page though. You’ll be asked if you’re over 13, your account will be age restricted if you answer No.

Registration for BBC iPlayer

You will also need a valid email address, there’s no check on this so anyone will do. You must have access to it though to click on the confirmation link. The registration process will also ask you if you have a TV licence , but you can just answer YES as there’s no further checks.

UK Postcode for BBC iPlayer

The other piece of information you will be asked about when creating your iPlayer account is a UK Postcode. This is a standard postal address identifier similar to the US Zip code. Although it’s mandatory, this step is nothing to worry about.


BBC iplayer postcode

Insert any UK Postcode

There’s no proper address check and as long the UK Postal code is valid then everything will work fine. Any postcode will do, just find any British address online and grab the postcode from the end of the address. The BBC iPlayer will use this address to set the region when you watch. The majority is identical – but if you put in a London address you’ll get London local news for example.

Remember to always enable the VPN connection before accessing the BBC site and downloading anything. It’s advisable to use one of the Nord VPN servers which are optimized for BBC access listed below. This is important because occasionally specific IP addresses are blocked from the BBC if they’re used too much.

Do VPNs Still Work with BBC iPlayer ?

Around 2019, the BBC started to try and stop this VPN workaround. They had obviously checked and seen that literally millions of people were watching from outside the UK using this method. Previously they’d kind of looked the other way when people where using both VPNs and even simple proxies to bypass their geo-blocks.

This all changed though and they took very aggressive action to identify and block all inbound connections from VPN services. They weren’t alone either as it became increasingly difficult to watch the other UK TV channels too especially ITV and Channel 4 online. In fact a large proportion of VPN services are still blocked in 2022 and many companies have given up trying to maintain access for their customers.

BBC Identified VPN Access Footprints

Although a VPN connection itself is virtually undetectable there is a much easier way to identify one. All the media companies need to do is to look out for IP addresses making lots of individual connections from their VPN servers. This is a huge indicator of a VPN connection – especially if there are thousands of streaming requests from the same IP address. It’s a simple process to block these addresses too, this is how the BBC detected VPN connections mainly.

NordVPN BBC Optimized Servers

NordVPN monitor certain proxies and ensure that their IP addresses are all available for BBC access.  Use these NordVPN servers for the BBC and you should have no issues.

The current ones are listed below, but they may change so contact customer support and ask one of their helpful tech advisor people is you have any issues.

UK: #764, #977, #1025, #1388, #1512, #1515 K #836, #1043, #1057, #1320, #1483, #1513 #1448 #1325 #1347.

To Download BBC Programmes Anywhere

Check out NordVPN Latest Discounts 

Additional Questions – BBC iPlayer

We’ve had a few questions on this site in comments and messages about this post since it was created.  Here’s some of the ones which might help other people.

Can I Download BBC iPlayer App Outside UK?

Yes, but you have to change your IP address to a UK one beforehand.  To use the BBC downloader app then sign on to your chosen UK VPN server and then visit this site –  You can install the downloaded app from this site and watch programmes offline.

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