How To Access BBC iPlayer In New Zealand

So you want to watch or access BBC iPlayer in New Zealand but can't? Tried visiting the website and been hit with a 'not available in your region' error? 

It's annoying right! Given how much awesome content is on their platform. 


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What is a VPN? 

A virtual private network (VPN) is a piece of software that runs in the background on your device and replaces your normal IP address with an overseas one.

With one click you can change your IP address to any country in the world. This makes it possible to unlock local content you usually couldn't access, fast and safe. 

Additionally a VPN allows you to remain secure online, by protecting your real identity from prying eyes such as your ISP and local authorities. 

VPN's don't track your usage either, allowing you to do whatever you like online. 

There's many VPN providers out there, but we only recommend the best and most affordable for New Zealand residents and tourists. 


How To Access BBC iPlayer With A VPN

There is no way to access iPlayer in New Zealand without using a VPN or Smart DNS provider. Fortunately these are very affordable to purchase. 

Follow this simple five step process to watch iPlayer within minutes. 

1. Purchase Cheapest VPN Plan

Surfshark is one of the most affordable providers out there, with plans starting at $1.99USD per month. This works out to be around $3.15 per month in NZD. 

You can purchase with Paypal, VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Amazon Pay and Google Pay. A full 30 day money back guarantee is included. 

2. Download The Application

You'll receive an email with your login details. 

Additionally you'll be able to download their software for your device. 

They offer support for MacOS, Windows, Linux, FireTV, AppleTV, Android TV, iOS, Android, Xbox, Playstation, Google Chrome, Firefox and Roku. 

3. Login To Your VPN Account

Once the app is installed, you'll need to use the username and password to login. 

The app will remember your login details for future access. 

4. Activate & Choose UK Server

You'll be able to change locations in a matter of seconds. Click connect and once the Surfshark logo lights up green you'll be connected. 

If you want fast speeds then choosing the Optimal location will be your best option. 

This is the MacOS version. They have apps for every device!

Currently they offer over 63 countries across 6 continents to choose from. 

5. Signup & Start Watching

Ensure you're connected to a location where the app is based, i.e. United Kingdom. 

Then it's time to visit BBC.com/iPlayer and signup for your free account. Once you've verified your account, you'll be able to watch their content. Use any random UK address. 

You can then disconnect the VPN when you'e finished and reload again next time using the quick connect option. 


What is the BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is a free, online streaming service hosted by the BBC, encompassing a wide range of mediums such as movies, TV Shows and radio. 

Unlike many other streaming platforms that offer a wide array of content, BBC limit its media offerings exclusively to their own programs.

BBC iPlayer Shows 

Some of the most popular shows available for streaming on the service are EastEnders, Silent Witness, The Graham Norton Show and The Trial of Christine Keeler. 

The radio portion of the platform was previously known as the BBC ‘iPlayer Radio’, but since 2018 has been rebranded to ‘BBC Sounds’.

BBC Sounds hosts a large number of live radio segments, podcasts and music mixes.

History of the iPlayer 

BBC iPlayer was launched as far back as October 2005, which at the time was not a streaming service, but rather, an aggregation of certain BBC shows and programs intended for users to ‘catch up’ on shows and radio programs that they may have missed during the week.

Since then, following continued growth and investment into the platform by BBC, it has developed into one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world, full of its own original television shows, movies and radios, arguably keeping up with some of the biggest competitors in the market like Netflix and Amazon.

The service is rather unique in terms of what its access requirements are.

How To Use iPlayer

Unlike many other streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, BBC iPlayer does not require its users to pay a regular subscription, or in fact, any direct payment at all for that matter. 

Rather, users are required to have paid for a Television License. According to UK Law, any household that viewing live television transmissions is legally required to have paid for such a license, and ostensibly, this is also a requirement for viewing the BBC iPlayer.

However, BBC have openly admitted that this is not something they are actively enforcing.

Furthermore, most of the service is only available for viewing from within the UK, the exception being its radio content, which is generally available for global listening.

However, in 2015 it was reported that over 60 million users had viewed the service’s content from outside of the country by utilising Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to mask their location.

How To Stream BBC iPlayer Content

The service is available for viewing on an extensive array of devices, be it smart phones, smart televisions and gaming consoles.

Gaming consoles that the platform can be viewed on include, but are not limited to the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox and Wii-U.

Also included for support are more traditional mobile devices like the iPhone, Android devices and Blackberries, and smart TVs like the Apple TV and Android TV.

In order to use the service, users must login to the application on their particular device with a unique BBC account, which can be registered on the platform.

Users will also be compelled to agree that they do in fact have a Television License, however as mentioned previously, this is not an enforceable mechanism nor something users need to explicitly prove.


BBC iPlayer New Zealand FAQ's

1. Do you have to be in UK to access iPlayer?

In theory you must be in the UK to watch iPlayer, unless you use a VPN provider who offers a UK server, that will let you bypass geo-restrictions put in place. 

2. Is iPlayer available in NZ?

The iPlayer is not currently available in New Zealand. Currently you have to be located in the United States and it's territories. To watch iPlayer here, you need to use a VPN provider with UK servers to bypass geo-restrictions.

3. How much does iPlayer cost?

At the time of writing, this is a free service, funded by British TV license holders. Anyone in the UK who pays their TV license can access for free. 

However, those outside the UK can access with a VPN and tick the box saying they have a license as there is no checking. 

4. How do I get iPlayer on the TV?

If you've got a smart TV, download the VPN app and then choose relevant server. You'll then be able to find iPlayer in the app store.

If you can't you can always sideload the app onto your TV if it's supported. 

Additionally you can install the VPN app on your router, if it's supported and this will allow you to cast content from the iPlayer website on your laptop or smartphone to the TV. 

Chromecast does not work without a router VPN. 

5. Is iPlayer coming to NZ?

The BBC will never provide their iPlayer app to those in New Zealand due to local geo licensing.