How to watch BBC iPlayer in Japan
How to watch BBC iPlayer in Japan

The BBC is a bastion of British journalism and entertainment. It remains the go-to provider for Brits both at home and abroad for world news, quality original programming, comprehensive sports coverage, and its almost unheard-of zero advertising policy.

However, while it's relatively simple to access the BBC in the UK, you might run into problems if you're outside the country – even if you live in the UK and pay for your TV licence. So, here we'll explain exactly how to watch BBC iPlayer live in Japan.

How to watch BBC iPlayer in Japan using VPN

As a Britsih expat living in or traveling to Japan, you will find accessing BBC iPlayer there extremely hard. This is the message that you will probably encounter: “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

BBC iPlayer Geo-Error. Photo: Screenshot
BBC iPlayer Geo-Error. Photo: Screenshot

BBC iPlayer just like many other British online streaming services is only for UK viewers. Due to copyright issues and licensing agreements, the major streaming services prohibits users to access its services if they were not found on British grounds.

The VPN – which stands for Virtual Private Network – takes care of two things: data protection and modification. This tool creates a private network through which users’ data gets encrypted in with the protocols that the VPN applies. This process is initiated when the user connects to a server in the country of his/her choosing.

If the channel he/she wants to access is in the US, then he/she will pick a US server. Aside from encrypting the data, the VPN reroutes it through the server the user chose, making him/her appear to be connecting to the internet from there. Only then, the content provider / ISP will detect an IP address coming from a country where access is allowed. And that, my friends, is how you gain access to the content you want with a VPN. Here is a full layout of the steps:

  1. Obviously, you have to sign up for a VPN service.
  2. Once securing the connection, create a VPN account.
  3. Then, you have to download and install the app on the streaming device of your selection.
  4. Scan the app’s list of servers, and look for one in the UK.
  5. Connect to the UK server you found.
  6. Now, you’ll be provided with a British IP address that will make you look like you are in the UK.
  7. Stream what BBC iPlayer has to offer while you are in Japan.

Steps to watch BBC iPlayer From Japan

  1. At the moment BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK.
  2. To connect to the UK, you’ll have to download a VPN that will mask your current location.
  3. I prefer using NordVPN and in this guide also I’ll be using the same).
connect to NordVPN. Photo: Screenshot
connect to NordVPN. Photo: Screenshot

4. To download and install NordVPN, check out our guides for Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.

5. Now, Connect to UK Servers by searching United Kingdom.

Select United Kingdom. Photo: Screenshot
Select United Kingdom. Photo: Screenshot

6. Now open BBC iPlayer on your browser to land on the Home page.

7. Now you can stream BBC iPlayer in Japan.

Enjoy Catching up with Live TV, Sports, and many more on BBC iPlayer.

You can apply the same procedure in any of your devices like Android, iOS, Windows or any compatible device.

How to get BBC iPlayer Account for Free in Japan

Don’t have an account? Don’t worry. Enjoy all the streaming services for free with free signup filling some simple questions like Under 16 or 16 over, date-of-birth. Let me break down with this a guide, follow me.

  1. After landing on the BBC iPlayer Home page, click on any program that you wish to watch.
Step 1
BBC Home page. Photo: Screenshot

2. Click on the play button to get a prompt for registration, then click on register.

3. Now on the new screen, it will ask to under 16 or 16 or over.

Photo: Screenshot
Photo: Screenshot

4. Now it will ask for your date of birth, Enter details

BBC iPlayer registration date of birth. Photo: Screenshot
BBC iPlayer registration date of birth. Photo: Screenshot

5. Now register with your email and select the UK as country and enter UK postcode (can use PE10 9EG)

6. Now here select if you want to get updates on your email id or not.

7. It will ask if you’ve TV license or not. Select I have a TV Licence and continue

8. Now click on Play without PG Lock. And here we go, now you can play any series/movie.

Play without PG Lock. Photo: Screenshot
Play without PG Lock. Photo: Screenshot

Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in Japan

1. NordVPN: Best VPN for BBC iPlayer

NordVPN is one of the best VPN as it offers high-grade security. There will be no DNS/IPv6 leaks. If you are someone who needs more security this one also offers Onion over VPN. You will also get six simultaneous connections per subscription along with Netflix streaming ability.

NordVPN is considered an all-rounder with fast internet speeds. This VPN has a Simple UI so that even a beginner can understand it easily. This VPN is available at a competitive price. NordVPN is also a good choice for unblocking the geo-blocked content in different platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and other streaming Apps.

If we talk about its pricing then it comes with 3 options which cost $4.13/month in 2-Years Plan, $4.92/month in 1-year plan, and $11.95/month in the 1-Month plan, and if you check my discount links then can get even cheaper.

Also, they are offering 30 days of the money-back guarantee program. So you can try this without any risk. So, if you don’t like the app then you will get your full refund within 5 days. And if you need a VPN for 1-2 weeks only then can try NordVPN for free using its money-back program.

2. ExpressVPN: Decent VPN

Consider using ExpressVPN if you want high encryption along with security, this would be a great choice. Since this is based on the British Virgin Islands, which has no data retention laws. The company will not keep the data and no third-party users can request them.

ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN, Ikev2, and L2Tp-IPSec protocols, which are known as the most reliable security protocols. This VPN has 3000+ servers across 94 countries offering 100Mb/s internet speed. Even you can stream Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and mostly anything in Ultra HD quality.

They offer 30 days risk-free money-back program and 24/7 live chat support for all of your problems.

3. SurfShark: Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

Surfshark has more than 3200+ servers in 60+ countries to serve its users a lag-free streaming experience in HD quality. SurfShark is also a well-compatible Hulu VPN and ideal to unblock other streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and many more.

While there is a restriction on device connection in other VPNs there is no such thing here. SurfShark uses 256-bit encryption along with IPv6 leaks, DNS and WebRTC additionally. As a layer of anonymity, they also accept cryptocurrency for payment.

SurfShark App is available for all the platforms and also supported to install on routers. Compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.

How many users can use BBC iPlayer Simultaneously?

Using NordVPN you can stream in 6 devices simultaneously. But this should not be issue, in case you want unlimited connections then by using Surfshark VPN you can have unlimited devices.

Is it legal to Access BBC iPlayer with VPN?

Legality is up to the country in which you are residing as in some countries using VPN is completely legal. But it is always better to use a VPN that helps you in accessing geo-restricted content like BBC iPlayer.

Can I use free VPN?

It sounds exciting for many users to use anything for free. They might not have the UK Server and they will store your private data and sell it to third parties for money. So it is always recommended to use Premium VPNs like NordVPN.

Device Support

Using VPNs mentioned above you can unblock BBC iPlayer on the following devices:

  • iPhone/iPad
  • PC
  • Mac
  • Android Phone/Tablet
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Roku
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast

Streaming Platforms & Services you can unblock with a VPN:

There are some platforms that are geo-restricted and you can not access these for now. And using VPN you can successfully unblock various streaming platforms together with BBC iPlayer. Here are a few listed below.

  • Netflix
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Hulu
  • HBO
  • Disney+
  • Amazon Prime
  • Kodi
  • Sling TV
  • Showtime
  • UKTV
  • DAZN and ESPN+
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