How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Canada (2024)

Saturday, July 13, 2024


The BBC’s online streaming and catch-up service, BBC iPlayer, has all the shows and films produced by BBC you know and love, as well as their regular live TV broadcasts.

Unfortunately, the service can only be accessed from within the UK. The only way to watch BBC iPlayer in Canada is with the help of a reliable VPN and by connecting to the UK server.

Exclusive: BBC iPlayer is the official broadcaster of the Women’s FIFA World Cup 2023. Read more details.

If you don’t use a VPN, you would be allowed to access its website but not its free content. You will be greeted with the following error message:

“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues”


Anyone can sign up with BBC iPlayer for free with a VPN. The only thing you will need while registering with BBC iPlayer is a random UK postal code that you can look over on the internet.

If you want to get straight to unblocking BBC iPlayer, head over to our quick step guide. If you’d like to know more about what it has to offer, keep reading below.

Our Recommended VPN – ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN is our recommended choice when it comes to unblocking BBC iPlayer in Canada as it easily bypasses its geo-restrictions and keeps your online identity safe while streaming.

Get yourself ExpressVPN today and enjoy 3 extra months for free. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee so use all of its features risk-free for 30-days.

Try ExpressVPN

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Canada using a VPN

Now you know that if you want to watch BBC iPlayer VPN is needed, but you don’t know how to proceed. Not to worry, because you can follow these quick and easy steps to get it set up:

Step 1: Subscribe to a reliable VPN (ExpressVPN is our recommended choice)

Step 2: Download the ExpressVPN app and install it on your device

Step 3: Open the VPN app and connect to the UK server i.e. Docklands


Step 4: Open BBC iPlayer and click the Sign In option


Step 5: Click Register Now


Step 6: Select your age option


Step 7: Enter your Date of Birth


Step 8: Enter Email/Password and click Register


Step 9: Select a show to watch


Step 10: Choose Episode


Step 11: Click Play


Step 12: Start streaming!


Try ExpressVPN

Which are the Best VPNs to Unblock BBC iPlayer in Canada?

So, Canucks, now that you know how to unblock BBC iPlayer, you might be wondering which VPN is the best for doing so.

After testing multiple different VPNs with BBC iPlayer, we found that ExpressVPN works the best when unblocking the service in Canada.

Here is a list of best VPNs to unblock BBC iPlayer:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. Surfshark
  3. NordVPN
  4. CyberGhost
  5. IPVanish
  6. Hotspot Shield
  7. PrivateVPN

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN provides a 15-months plan worth $6.67/month (i.e. 12 Months + 3 Months Free), complete with the usual 30-day money-back guarantee. This short subscription is great for those that don’t want a long commitment.

This VPN has over 3000 servers across 94 countries, and 4 of its locations are in the UK.

ExpressVPN comes with a very convenient built-in speed test feature, which lets you know which servers are currently the best for when you want to watch BBC iPlayer shows.

If you aren’t convinced that ExpressVPN is the VPN for you, then you can check out some of the other premium VPNs we recommend below.

Try ExpressVPN

2. Surfshark

Surfshark currently offers the cheapest subscription plan amongst all the other premium VPNs on this list, providing a 2-year subscription worth just $2.49/month.

With a subscription to the VPN, you get access to it across an unlimited number of devices, letting you use Surfshark on your home computers and laptops, simultaneously.

Surfshark has UK servers spanning 3 cities, of a total of 3,200+ servers across 63 different countries, so you have quite a few options to ensure you can view BBC iPlayer in Canada.

Some features of the VPN include a camouflage mode, disguising you from your internet provider, and a white-lister, which allows you to select which programs can bypass the VPN.

3. NordVPN

With a 2-year subscription plan worth $3.29/month, NordVPN stacks up fairly well against Surfshark in terms of value for money.

Though a bit more expensive than Surfshark, it has 400 UK servers, out of a total of 5402 servers across 59 countries, which can be accessed on 6 devices simultaneously.

What this means is that you’ll have an easier time finding a backup to your VPN connection in case the one you’re using fails, so your BBC iPlayer experience isn’t ruined.

NordVPN also has features like double-protection, allowing you to change your IP address twice, and CyberSec, preventing you from accessing malicious content and adware.

Just like money other VPNs on this list, NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test out how the service works with BBC iPlayer before you commit.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a fairly simple and straightforward VPN, and the second cheapest one on this list, offering an 18-month subscription plan worth $2.75/mo.

What’s great for those of you that are still iffy about VPNs, CyberGhost has an even longer ‘trial period’, offering a 45-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost provides a clean, easily accessible UI; offers protection from the dangers of the internet; and also contains a kill-switch, preventing potential harm in case the VPN disconnects.

The VPN comes with a perfect feature for BBC iPlayer browsing: servers specifically meant for streaming, ensuring you get the best experience while you watch your favorite show.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish may be an underdog in comparison to all the titanic VPNs, but its 1-year plan worth $6.49/mo, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, is just as good as any others.

What really makes this tiny VPN special is its 250GBs of cloud storage at SugarSync, offered at no extra cost – secured with IPVanish’s encryption – something which no other VPN provides.

With this subscription, you get access to 1500+ servers across 75+ locations. 105 of these are  UK servers and will easily grant you access to BBC iPlayer.

6. Hotspot Shield

An old player in the VPN game, Hotspot Shield is highly renowned. Its current yearly plan is worth $7.99/mo and offers a 45-day money-back guarantee just like CyberGhost.

With servers in 2 UK cities, out of a total of 3200+ across 80+ countries, Hotspot shield offers a modest but reliable selection.

Hotspot Shield may not be as heavily equipped as the other VPNs, but it is trusted and offers military-grade encryption, so you can be certain that you’re safe while you watch BBC iPlayer.

7. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN offers servers in 2 UK cities, out of a total of 150+ in 60 countries. Its special offer on a 13-month plan is a steal, coming in at just $3.82/mo.

This VPN offers access to its servers across 6 devices simultaneously, so you can browse and stream BBC iPlayer whether you’re at home or on the go.

And of course, it comes with the standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

Why Use a Premium VPN when Using BBC iPlayer?

We’ve shown you how to unblock BBC iPlayer in Canada, but you might still be wondering why the service is blocked in the first place, and how VPNs work. We’ll try and clarify a bit.

As the service itself says, the restriction to the UK is due to rights issues. Certain companies own the rights to display particular content in certain regions.

Without proper license agreements with these companies, BBC iPlayer can’t show all the content they can otherwise show in the UK, which is why they simply restrict its accessibility.

There is also the issue with laws specific to regions regarding foreign content providers, which restrict foreign services from providing to certain localities.

That’s why you can’t watch BBC iPlayer abroad at all, and why a VPN is needed.

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) use special private servers to mimic a private network, allowing you to disguise your IP address, which is how you’re identified on the internet.

When you connect to a UK server using a VPN, you actually disguise your IP address to that of a UK one, so BBC iPlayer believes you’re accessing it from within the UK.

This disguise is what actually gives you access. So, it’s important that the service can’t tell the IP address is fake.

These private servers used by the VPN provider require money to maintain, which is why a ‘free’ service seems suspicious. There must necessarily be some revenue to keep servers running.

Though some free VPNs may just have limited options in terms of functionality and servers, most are hosts to malware and adware and should be avoided.

Some premium VPNs may not work with BBC iPlayer either, despite being good services, because the platform specifically blocks their servers.

The premium VPNs we’ve recommended, however, have been tested and have been found to work with BBC iPlayer in Canada.

What to Watch on BBC iPlayer?

The vast library of content that BBC iPlayer has to offer may be a bit daunting, and it can get a bit frustrating trying to decide on what to watch when you finally get it open.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with some of our personal recommendations, so you can sit back, relax, and just start binging.

For starters, we recommend giving BBC’s Sherlock a try if you’re interested in mystery, and the charm of Benedict Cumberbatch resting on the foundations of Sir Conan Doyle’s classics.

More interested in fast cars and witty banter? Check out the numerous on-demand seasons of Top Gear, showcasing humorous adventures, supercars, and celebrities.


Want a crime drama where the protagonist is a detective that befriends and solves crime with a murderer? Luther gives you just that.

If it’s a sci-fi­ superhero show you’re looking for, Heroes, a show made before the superhero media boom of the late 2000s, is sure to please.

Want to know what your favorite celebrities are up to? Check out the popular talk show The Graham Norton Show, where Graham Norton questions and entertains famous personalities.

If you want a contemplative documentary, turn on Extinction: The Facts, where Sir David Attenborough discusses the consequences of the loss of biodiversity.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer on Mobile Phone

Here is a list of steps that you need to follow if you want to watch BBC iPlayer on your Mobile Phone:

Step 1: Download the ExpressVPN app and install it on your device

Step 2: Connect ExpressVPN to the UK server i.e. Docklands


Step 3: Download BBC iPlayer APK from the link


Step 4: Select Install


Step 5: Once installed, open the BBC iPlayer app and click Sign In OR Create a FREE account


Step 6: Click Got it


Step 7: BBC iPlayer interface will pop up. Choose any show to stream i.e. Peaky Blinders


Step 8: Click on View Episode


Step 9: Click Play


Step 10: Select ‘I have a TV License’


Step 11: Click Play once again


Step 12: Start streaming!


Try ExpressVPN

FAQs – BBC iPlayer Canada

BBC Canada Shutting Down?

Yes. BBC Canada has been shut down since December 31st, 2020. The channel has ceased its broadcasting in the region so the only way to watch BBC One, Two, or Three, you will need a VPN.

Can I Watch BBC iPlayer in Northern Ireland?

Yes, you can watch BBC iPlayer in all of the UK regions including Northern Ireland. BBC iPlayer has a separate Northern Ireland section where you can watch Irish shows.

How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Abroad with Free VPN?

Though the BBC iPlayer service is free itself, if you want to watch it abroad there are no safe free VPNs options available. Premium paid VPNs are the best way to access this service as well as others.

Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Anywhere?

If by anywhere you mean to ask is it available on all devices? Yes, the service is available on both computers and mobile phones.

If you mean to ask if it’s available abroad. No, the service is restricted to use by UK-based users, and can only be accessed abroad with a VPN like ExpressVPN.

Watch More UK Channels/Services in Canada

Here is a list of other streaming services that are equally good as BBC iPlayer and you can watch it in Canada as well:

Closing Words

So now you know how VPNs can help give you access to BBC iPlayer in Canada. But they’re much more important than just being an unblocker for personal entertainment.

They’re pretty much necessary for personal safety in the world today, where so much of our lives are now linked to the internet.

With a VPN, not only can you browse the content that was restricted to you before, but you can do so knowing that your safety and data is being preserved.


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