How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland (2024)

Saturday, June 22, 2024


BBC iPlayer is a free-to-air online streaming service only available in the United Kingdom. It offers a wide variety of shows and movies produced originally by BBC. Not just that, but it also broadcasts Live shows and Northern Ireland content to its viewers.

But unfortunately, this service is exclusively accessible to UK residents. However, if you want to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland, you will need to use a VPN.

If you don’t connect to a VPN service, you will be allowed to access its website but not the content on it, and instead, you will get the following error message:

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


I was able to unblock BBC iPlayer while I was in Ireland by connecting to ExpressVPN and other VPN services I will be discussing later in the guide.

Our Recommended VPN – ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN is our recommended choice for streaming any geo-restricted services that are unavailable in Ireland OR it is used to stay anonymous over the internet for watching anything for free as it hides your streaming activity from the ISPs.

Subscribe to ExpressVPN today and enjoy 3 extra months for free. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try ExpressVPN

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland

Since BBC iPlayer is not accessible outside the United Kingdom and if you want to unblock it in Ireland you will need to connect to a VPN service. If you don’t know how to proceed, you don’t need to worry, because you can follow these steps to go ahead:

Step 1: Subscribe to your VPN of choice (We recommend ExpressVPN)

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

Step 3: Connect to a UK server, i.e Docklands

Step 4: Open the BBC iPlayer website, and click on “sign-in” at the top to log in


Step 5: You probably don’t have an account, so click on “register now”


Step 6: Select the option according to what age group you belong to


Step 7: Enter your date of birth


Step 8: Fill in with your email and password


Step 9: Select a show to watch


Step 10: Choose an episode


Step 11: Click on the ‘Play’ button


Step 12: Enjoy streaming


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What are the Best VPNs to Unblock BBC iPlayer?

After testing 35+ different VPNs to see whether they are able to unblock BBC iPlayer in Ireland, we found that only three VPNs were able to bypass BBC iPlayer geo-restrictions within the first attempt.

The 3 best VPNs are as follows:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. Surfshark
  3. NordVPN

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our recommended choice when it comes to unblocking BBC iPlayer in Ireland because it has UK servers in 4 different regions i.e. Docklands, East London, London, and Wembley. 

It is one of the fastest VPNs (89 Mbps out of 100 Mbps) and has a built-in speed test feature that helps you know which server has the fastest speed.

With its 256-bit AES encryption, ExpressVPN helps you encrypt your online information and data against malware, spies, and other online threats.

ExpressVPN offers a 15-month package for €6.42/month (i.e. 12 months + 3 months free), as well as the standard 30-day money-back guarantee. This brief subscription is ideal for people who don’t want to commit to a long period of time.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark VPN is also our recommended VPN in the list to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland because it has UK servers in 3 different cities i.e. London, Glasgow, and Manchester. 

Surfshark has several incredible features, such as a camouflage mode that hides you from your internet provider and a white-lister feature that lets you choose which apps can bypass the VPN.

It also offers a good speed while streaming BBC iPlayer (83 Mbps out of 100 Mbps) and offers 256-bit encryption that keeps all of your data safe and private.

Surfshark presently has the most affordable membership plan of all the premium VPNs on this list, with a 2-year subscription costing only $2.49/month.

A VPN membership grants you access to the service on an unlimited number of devices, allowing you to utilize Surfshark on all of them.

3. NordVPN

NordVPN is our third recommended VPN that happens to unblock BBC iPlayer in Ireland because of its massive 5,402 servers around the world and 400 servers in the UK alone.

The main reason NordVPN is on our list is due to its Double VPN, which encrypts your IP address not once but twice. Despite its strong security and encryption, it also has a fast speed for streaming (80 Mbps out of 100 Mbps) when tested. 

NordVPN is available for $4.13/month and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, you can connect NordVPN on 6 different devices with a single account.

Why Should You Use a VPN to Unblock BBC iPlayer in Ireland?

BBC iPlayer streaming service is only available in the United Kingdom because of licensing and copyright issues. If you try to access BBC iPlayer from the Ireland region, you will see an error message that says:

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

The only way to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland is by using a VPN service. A VPN will assign you a UK IP address and hide your original Irish IP address. That way, when you try to access the BBC iPlayer website, it will think that you’re from the UK and will grant you access. 

A VPN not only changes your IP address but also gives you complete online protection against online threats. Moreover, it keeps your online identity completely private while you browse the internet.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland on Mobile

Here is how you can stream shows on BBC iPlayer from your smartphone:

Step 1: Download and Install the ExpressVPN app

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


Step 3: Download BBC iPlayer APK from your browser


Step 4: Click Install


Step 5: Open the BBC iPlayer app once installed and click Sign In OR Register for FREE


Step 6: Click Got it


Step 7: This is the BBC iPlayer interface. Select any show to watch i.e. Peaky Blinders


Step 8: Click View Episode


Step 9: Click Play


Step 10: Select I have a TV License


Step 11: Click Play once again


Start 12: Start Streaming!


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What to Watch on BBC iPlayer?


The massive library of videos available on BBC iPlayer can be intimidating, and it can be stressful trying to select what to watch after you’ve got it open.

Don’t worry, we’ve listed down some of our favorite shows. You can just relax, and start binge-watching right away.

  • Peaky Blinders
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Normal People
  • Bad Education
  • Death in Paradise
  • Top Gear
  • Luther
  • Heroes
  • The Graham Norton show
  • Extinction: The Facts

How to Watch More UK Channels in Ireland

With the help of a VPN and connecting to the UK server, you can watch tons of UK channels and streaming services for free. Some of them are listed below:

FAQs – BBC iPlayer

Do I need to subscribe to watch BBC iPlayer?

No, you don’t need to subscribe to the BBC iPlayer service since it’s completely free to watch. However, you will need to create a free account to watch BBC iPlayer content.

Can you watch BBC iPlayer with a free VPN?

No, you cannot watch BBC iPlayer with a free VPN because free VPNs are easily detectable as they don’t fully disguise your original IP address. Not to mention they are a threat to your online privacy in the first place as they leak your data to third parties.

Can I Watch BBC iPlayer in Northern Ireland?

Yes, you can watch BBC iPlayer in Northern Ireland without having to use a VPN. However, people residing in Ireland can access Northern Ireland content on BBC iPlayer with a VPN.

Is it necessary to use a premium VPN service to unblock BBC iPlayer?

Yes, it is advised to use a premium VPN service because free VPNs are never reliable. You may lose your private data and there is no guarantee that you would be able to access every site.

Closing Words

Now you know the way to access BBC iPlayer in Ireland using a VPN. However, they serve a much larger purpose than simply unblocking personal amusement.

In today’s society, where so much of our life is now connected to the internet, they’re practically required for personal protection.

Not only can you access previously forbidden content with ExpressVPN, but you can also do so knowing that your privacy and data are protected.

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