BBC iPlayer Not Working With a VPN? Try This 3 Minute Fix …
You don’t expect to see BBC iPlayer’s annoying error message with your VPN switched on, do you? But the BBC’s geoblocks are some of the toughest around and it’s getting better at detecting VPNs. Once it knows you’re using a VPN, you’re blocked by this error: BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.
Does this mean you need a new VPN? Not if you’re using a leading service like ExpressVPN that flies past BBC iPlayer’s geo-restrictions with ease. And I have some other tricks you can try that’ll get BBC iPlayer working in just minutes.
Unblock BBC iPlayer With ExpressVPN!
How to Fix VPN Problems with BBC iPlayer
It’s tough to bypass BBC iPlayer’s geo-blocks. Before you try any of my tricks, make sure you’ve followed these steps first.
Easiest Hack to Solve VPN Problems With BBC iPlayer
Make sure you’re using a premium VPN like ExpressVPN, that’s guaranteed to unblock BBC iPlayer.
Disconnect and reconnect to a different UK server.
If step 2 didn’t work, disconnect from the VPN, clear your browser history, and reconnect to a UK server.
If you’re still geoblocked, check my troubleshooting guide below.
Still not working? Follow these steps one at a time to troubleshoot the problem and see why your VPN isn’t working. Then check to see if the problem is resolved. If not, move on to the next step.
1. Switch Servers
Open up your VPN’s server selection menu and connect to a new UK server. If it still doesn’t work, try at least one more server.
Can’t select another UK server? Some VPN providers don’t allow that and only let you choose your desired virtual country location. Reach out to the vendor’s customer service and ask if they can recommend a better server.
2. Clear Your Tracking Cookies
Open your browser settings. For most browsers, you can find the settings menu by clicking on the three dots or lines in the upper right-hand corner of your browser screen.
Navigate to your cookies settings. You can usually find this under a settings tab labeled something like “Privacy & Security” (Firefox and Chrome), “Clear Browsing Data” (Edge), or “Manage Website Data, ” (Safari). Select the option to clear all cookies.
3. Restart Your Browser
Try fully closing your browser, then reopen it and check access to BBC iPlayer again.
4. Enable Leak Protection
Open your VPN app and navigate to its settings. If available, enable the setting called “leak protection” or “IPv6 leak protection. ”
5. Switch Time Zones
Go into your device settings and find the option to set your time zone. Change your time zone to match the UK rather than your real location; If these are different, it might indicate your true location.
The UK uses Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) or British Summer Time (UTC+1), depending on the time of year.
6. Switch Devices
Are you trying to watch BBC iPlayer on a phone, tablet, or Smart TV? This can create some extra geo-spoofing challenges. You might have more success with a desktop PC or laptop. Try installing your VPN on a computer and then load BBC iPlayer on your desktop browser.
7. Get a Dedicated IP Address
A dedicated IP address is simply a virtual IP address given to you by your VPN provider that only you can use.
Not all VPNs offer dedicated IP addresses and those that do typically charge a small extra fee for the service. When multiple users connect to BBC iPlayer with the same IP address, that IP address is often flagged and blocked. Since you’re the only one with access to the dedicated IP address, it’s unlikely to be blacklisted.
Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer — 2021 Update
To unlock your favorite British TV shows, you need a fast, reliable VPN that’s guaranteed to bypass geoblocks. I’ve rounded up the five best services for BBC iPlayer that do just that.
1. ExpressVPN — MediaStreamer Lets You Watch on Any Device
3, 000 high-speed VPN servers around the world, with 3 UK locations
Unlimited data and bandwidth for unrestricted, fast streaming
Connect on up to 5 devices simultaneously
30-day money-back guarantee
24/7 live chat support
Works with: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, CBC, NBC
Compatible with: Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Chrome, Linux, Firefox, routers, games consoles
There are lots of reasons to choose ExpressVPN. From its lightning-fast speeds to its Media Streamer app for your games console, it’s a great choice.
This VPN offers impressive speeds and unlimited data on its worldwide network of 3, 000 servers, which includes three locations in the UK: Docklands, East London, and London.
During my tests, ExpressVPN’s customer service team quickly recommended to me the best server location to use with BBC iPlayer. I was able to start streaming right away without error messages or buffering delays.
All three locations unblock BBC iPlayer, but I liked the London server best for performance.
I used ExpressVPN’s Media Streamer to stream Peaky Blinders from my PlayStation 5 easily. This feature is designed specifically for games consoles, meaning you can download the app to your device and bypass geoblocks without any manual configuration—that’s not something I see very often.
ExpressVPN also offers split tunneling, which allows you to pick and choose which apps you want to route through the VPN. This means you can send BBC iPlayer through the tunnel, while leaving all your other apps out. It’s great for giving you more flexibility, as I was able to shop online locally while streaming.
Split tunneling can also give your speeds a boost. Mine spiked by 3. 65% by leaving all other apps out of the VPN. Though ExpressVPN’s speeds are super-fast wherever you connect. Just check out my results.
Ping – ms
Download Speed – Mbps
Upload Speed – Mbps
Starting speed from the US
Quick connect UK server
Manual connect UK server
I maintained a super-fast speed of 44. 83 Mbps, which meant I could stream in HD with zero interruptions.
You’ve 5 simultaneous connections, which means you can tune in from more of your devices at once.
The mobile app is a personal favorite of mine, since it still offers split tunneling and all the other features you often have to compromise with other services. And it’s quick to connect too. All of ExpressVPN’s apps are incredibly easy to use, though, so you shouldn’t run into any issues.
ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat support is always there to help if you have any problems or concerns. It offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions, so you can try it out risk-free.
Want to know more? Explore our ExpressVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
Watch BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN!
2. CyberGhost — Fast Speeds and a Dedicated iPlayer Server
520+ UK servers
Optimized streaming servers for BBC iPlayer
Easy-to-use apps and quick connections
Unlimited bandwidth and reliable speeds for streaming in HD
7 simultaneous connections ideal for multi-device users
Works with: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV
Compatible with: Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Chrome, Linux, Firefox, routers
When it comes to finding a VPN that’s easy to set up and use, CyberGhost has it covered. And it also offers reliable connections, fast speeds, and a dedicated streaming profile.
CyberGhost has a huge global network of 7, 290 servers, which is the highest I’ve seen. In the UK alone, there are upwards of 520 servers to choose from, so you’re guaranteed to find plenty that work with BBC iPlayer. Not that I ran into any geoblocks—I tested 334 servers with no issues.
CyberGhost even has servers optimized for different streaming platforms, which includes BBC iPlayer. Not only does it take away the hassle of finding a manual server, but it can increase your performance too since these servers generally provide faster speeds.
My speeds increased from 20. 61 Mbps to 36. 98 Mbps using the BBC iPlayer server, so I’d stick with these if you want the best viewing quality.
Optimized BBC iPlayer server
It’s not the fastest of services, but I still maintained a steady download speed of between 10. 18 Mbps and 20. 61 Mbps so I could stream with little buffering. Some episodes took between 10-20 seconds to load, though.
CyberGhost’s apps took seconds to install and only a minute to set up. I tried the app on my Android cell phone, Windows laptop, and iPad, and I loved each one. They’re really easy to navigate and incredibly intuitive, but if you need any help, just use the 24/7 live chat.
Something else I discovered during testing is that CyberGhost has a data compression feature in the apps. This compresses images and other elements on the page so that they load faster. Once I turned this on, it cut episode loading times on BBC iPlayer in half.
Your subscription comes with 7 simultaneous connections, so it’s ideal for larger households with multiple devices.
You’re protected by a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. I read the small print, though, and it’s only available if you sign up for longer than 6 months. If you don’t, you only have 14 days to test it risk-free.
Want to know more? Explore our CyberGhost review to see the full results of our research and testing.
100 servers, including 6 in the UK
Unlimited data and bandwidth for unrestricted streaming
6 simultaneous connections
Remote installation makes for easy set up
Works with: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, SHOWTIME
PrivateVPN isn’t as big as some of the other services in this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less reliable. We like PrivateVPN because it’s easy to use, compact, and it’s really secure.
I was able to fly past BBC iPlayer’s geoblocks with any of PrivateVPN’s 6 UK servers. There are 100 servers worldwide if you want to connect elsewhere in the world and unblock other streaming sites, too. It regularly refreshes its IP address so it’s rare you’ll ever be blocked.
Your subscription includes unlimited data and bandwidth, which means there are no limits on your speed or how many episodes you can stream. You’re also safe from any bandwidth throttling.
Its speeds are steady and even over a distance of 6, 800+ kilometers, I maintained a fast speed of 33. 68 Mbps.
My speeds dropped by 52% during peak times when servers were more congested, causing a small amount of lag. But I was able to stream in high quality the rest of the time. Stick with the quick connect servers if you want best performance as this finds the fastest server for you.
I enjoyed PrivateVPN’s easy-to-use apps and it even offers remote installation support where an agent takes over your device to configure the app for you. This is great if you’re new to VPNs and aren’t sure where to start.
You have 6 simultaneous connections so you and your family members can watch BBC iPlayer at the same time. It worked perfectly with four connections, but the fifth simultaneous stream lowered my picture quality.
You’re also protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Want to know more? Explore our PrivateVPN review to see the full results of our testing.
Save 75% for a limited time!
Watch BBC iPlayer With PrivateVPN!
Why Doesn’t My VPN Work with BBC iPlayer?
BBC got better at blocking VPNs using advanced tracking, active scans, and other tools for hunting VPNs. Many VPNs no longer work, and ones that do need a small tweak. BBC iPlayer can detect VPNs for a variety of reasons and most of them have to do with your true location, including:
Your VPN isn’t masking your IP address well enough. Some VPNs only mask your IPv4 address but leave your IPv6 address exposed.
Your VPN uses virtual servers that may leak your real location. Rather than investing in physical servers in each location, some VPNs rely on virtual servers to cut costs.
Your device is displaying your real GPS location. This directly conflicts with your virtual location in the UK, and is easy to spot.
You have cookies stored on your device that are giving away your true location to BBC iPlayer.
Your VPN’s servers have been blacklisted by BBC iPlayer. This is more common if your VPN has a small server network. It’s much harder for BBC iPlayer to block VPNs with a large server network.
Your VPN lacks the resources to keep up with BBC iPlayer’s geoblocks, which are always evolving.
The tips and tricks I’ve showed you solve some of these problems, but ultimately it’s also up to your VPN provider to give you a VPN service that’s strong enough to bypass geo-restrictions. If you’ve tried all my tips and you’re still seeing the error message, the problem is your VPN.
I recommend you try streaming BBC iPlayer risk-free with my top choice, ExpressVPN. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, offers lightning fast speeds, and has a huge network, including plenty of servers in the UK that can access BBC iPlayer.
Is it safe to watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN?
Yes, if you choose a trustworthy provider like those in this list. All of my recommended VPNs offer tight security measures designed to keep you safe while you’re streaming, so you’re never exposed. The same can’t be said for every VPN though, which is why it’s important to choose one that’s really safe. As long as you do, you can stream without worry.
Can I use a free VPN with BBC iPlayer?
There’s nothing stopping you using a free VPN, but finding one that works with BBC iPlayer and keeps you safe is tricky. Most free VPNs limit your security measures, which could put you at risk online. And they also come with other restrictions like smaller server networks, limited data, and throttled speeds—the exact opposite of what you need for fast, high-quality streaming.
After testing hundreds of free VPNs, I’ve only found three that actually work with BBC iPlayer. They’re all reliable, but you should be prepared for some limitations, like slow speeds and limited data. My advice? Stick with an affordable, premium vendor instead.
How does BBC iPlayer know I’m using a VPN?
Streaming services like BBC iPlayer have got much smarter at detecting VPNs. When you connect to a VPN server, you’re assigned an IP address. This IP address is visible to BBC iPlayer.
While this isn’t a problem if you’re just a usual internet user, if other people have the same idea and the same IP address pops up thousands more times, it’s easy for BBC iPlayer to detect your IP address as belonging to a VPN.
You can easily get around these restrictions with a powerful VPN though, especially one that updates its server addresses regularly. This reduces the risk of BBC iPlayer recognizing an IP address, because it’s been changed before there’s time to detect it.
Which is the best VPN for BBC iPlayer?
Any of the three on this list are great choices for BBC iPlayer, and we know they work because I’ve tested them again and again. But when it comes to the #1 for BBC iPlayer, it has to be ExpressVPN. It’s easy to use, and super-fast which means you can always stream in high-quality. You won’t even know you’re using a VPN.
Is BBC iPlayer free to stream?
Yes, BBC iPlayer is completely free. To stream, you only need to enter a valid UK postcode when you sign up. Try SW1A 1AA for Buckingham Palace and you’re good to go!
Can I watch BBC iPlayer on my mobile?
Yes, as long as you choose a VPN that offers mobile apps. All of the VPNs on this list offer easy-to-use mobile apps that I’ve tested with BBC iPlayer, so you can stream on-the-go too.
The tricks on this page can solve most problems that block you from watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN.
However, keep in mind that BBC iPlayer has some of the most challenging geo-restrictions of any streaming platform, so not every VPN is powerful enough to access its content.
If none of these tricks fixed your problem, it’s time to try a new VPN. There are only a few VPNs that can still successfully stream BBC iPlayer content.
When you stick with a high-quality provider like ExpressVPN, you’re guaranteed to be able to stream BBC iPlayer without problems. You can test it out risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Finished with BBC iPlayer but still want to stream? Take a look at our top VPN recommendations for Netflix.
To summarize, here are the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in 2021
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we’ve tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it’s currently offering 49% off.
The best BBC iPlayer VPN 2021 | TechRadar
(Image credit: BBC)
With more streaming services popping up than we can feasibly subscribe to, the BBC’s on-demand platform, BBC iPlayer, is a bit of an anomaly, offering thousands of TV shows and films to stream 100% for free. However, if you find yourself outside of the UK for whatever reason, you’re going to need a VPN to bypass the geo-restrictions implemented across the platform’s library of ing incredible British television like Line of Duty and Doctor Who, BBC iPlayer is also the place to watch Killing Eve and US imports like the new 2021 reboot of Gossip Girl. You’ll also want an iPlayer VPN to watch The Great British Bake Off, as well as Strictly Come how does it work? Well, with a VPN able to alter your IP address when connecting to a server based elsewhere, a working iPlayer VPN can make it so you appear as if you’re in the UK even when you’re abroad. Of course, you’ll also benefit from a number of other benefits of a VPN, including better online security and unblocking other streaming services like Netflix. A tough nut to crack, we’ve tried and tested the best iPlayer VPN so you don’t have to, with a selection of the top five best BBC iPlayer VPN in 2021:(Image credit: ExpressVPN)1. ExpressVPN The best overall VPN of them allUnblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 5Lightning-fast speeds for streamingGreat tech supportSuper simple to usePriced on the premium sideExpressVPN is our #1 VPN overall because it does everything a VPN needs to – and does it extremely ’s a vast selection of servers – including several options in the UK – and finding a perfect connection isn’t a hassle. However, if something’s not working properly, we’ve found the live-chat support to be quick and helpful (and available 24/7), and they should be able to get you accessing iPlayer in no time – even if the Smart Location server choice doesn’t let you get it working at VPN’s split tunnelling also allows you to choose which of your connections route through the VPN. This is perfect if you’re running apps that are significantly affected by VPN use but still want to use BBC iPlayer end of 2020 we experienced the odd issue unblocking iPlayer on any platform outside the service’s MediaStreamer tool. But it’s back working reliably again now so it returns to the top of our a little more expensive than some competitors, ExpressVPN combines great iPlayer access with a full suite of features. And if you’re not happy, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. (Image credit: Future)2. NordVPN Popular VPN with bonus security featuresUnblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 6P2P optimizedFully audited no-logging claimsGood live chat supportNot the cheapestNordVPN has long been a great option for watching iPlayer abroad, with swift connection speeds, plenty of servers and great security. NordVPN is also optimized for P2P, so if you’re a keen torrenter it’s a great torrenting VPN, too. With an effective kill switch, DNS leak protection and 2048-bit encryption, the security conscious will feel safe while streaming from BBC iPlayer with problems arise, the live-chat support will get you streaming in no time and, although some billing plans are a little pricey, NordVPN definitely earns its place on our top BBC iPlayer VPN list. (Image credit: Future)3. Surfshark Cheap and fully featured VPN making wavesUnblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: UnlimitedTempting pricePlenty of serversUnlimited connectionsNot quite as fast as Express or NordDon’t be fooled by the bargain-basement price – Surfshark is a top-notch VPN that offers just as much as many of its pricier rivals. Offering decent speeds which will be perfect for streaming as well as unlimited simultaneous connections, Surfshark is a wallet-friendly way to access BBC iPlayer. Far from being a basic VPN, Surfshark offers great security with its private DNS on each server, and a double-hop ability to further obfuscate your location to ensure ultimate privacy. Add to this P2P support, split tunnelling and more, and you’ve got a premium easy set-up, unlimited simultaneous connections and quick live-chat support make Surfshark the cheapest way to stream BBC iPlayer abroad with a VPN. (Image credit: Private Internet Access)4. Private Internet Access VPN with one of the biggest server networksUnblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus | Streaming devices: Android, iOS | Maximum devices supported: 1035, 000+ serversUnblocks major streaming servicesFeature packed clientsNo security auditDoesn’t offer the fastest speedsAfter a feature-packed iPlayer VPN with a large server network? Private Internet Access more than does the job, boasting an almost unfathomable 35, 000 servers across 78 countries. While to watch BBC iPlayer all you’ll need is a few situated in the UK, it’s good news if you want to go one step further and unblock the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus, too. Private Internet Access is able to slip between the gaps of any geo-restrictions and offer all the results of a streaming VPN, allowing you to watch all the most popular streaming platforms. What’s more, of our four iPlayer tests, performance was excellent for three out of four, with our third attempt still gaining us access, but running on the slower side of average. Considering it certainly isn’t the fastest in terms of speeds, we weren’t surprised and were still able to unblock iPlayer and watch BBC’s plethora of on-demand mittedly Private Internet Access doesn’t have clients for many streaming devices. That said, what it lacks in devices, it makes up not only in the up to 10 simultaneous connections, but also its feature-packed clients, especially its mobile apps, which we are big fans of. A clean interface across the board, a swipe up reveals a number of settings and features to toggle on/off and customize to better cater to your experience and what you want from your VPN. (Image credit: Hotspot Shield)5. Hotspot Shield One of the fastest services out thereUnblocks BBC iPlayer: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 45 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire | Maximum devices supported: UnlimitedSuper fast connectionsA dream to useLengthy trialNot as many streaming devices availableEditor’s note: In our latest round of BBC iPlayer VPN testing, we found that Hotspot Shield was not functioning correctly. We have left it in this guide for the time being, as Hotspot has previously been an effective option. If the issues persist, we will bring in a replacement you’re a little worried that connecting your VPN and iPlayer at the same time might lead to *shudder* buffering, then it may just be worth going for Hotspot Shield. It tops the lot when it comes to our fastest VPN list, largely thanks to its awesome proprietary Catapult Hydra speed isn’t everything – it also has some serious website and service unblocking chops. In addition to – of course – BBC iPlayer, we also got it working admirably with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Disney Plus. So if you’re a big streamer, then Hotspot is a fine ‘s really easy to use, too, especially on PCs and Macs. From download to actually streaming iPlayer shows, this VPN makes things really main quibble with Hotspot Shield is actually a direct result of that Catapult Hydra protocol we gushed about above. It works in such a fashion that you can only use Hotspot Shield via its official apps – so no router or DNS-based workarounds like you can get with the likes of ExpressVPN or Nord. If you were intending to stream BBC iPlayer shows on your games console, Kindle tablet, Kodi or non-Android Smart TV, then you can pretty much forget it with this also: How to watch and live stream the best sport and TV online from absolutely anywhereBBC iPlayer VPN FAQHow do I unblock BBC iPlayer with a VPN? For those who haven’t used a VPN before, the process of rerouting your IP can sound like a difficult task – after all, you’re just just trying to watch some TV! Don’t be put off, though, as all of our picks above all feature in our overall best VPN guide and all have user-friendly interfaces that will allow anyone to access iPlayer.
Although your chosen VPN might have advice for accessing certain content, here’s our very straightforward four-step guide for unblocking iPlayer by using a VPN:
1. Sign up for and install your chosen VPN
2. Pick the fastest available server in the UK and connect to it
3. Visit the iPlayer website – you’ll need to make an account if you haven’t got one already
4. Pick a show to watch and relax! What is the best working BBC iPlayer VPN? Right now, ExpressVPN tops our list of the best BBC iPlayer VPNs. It hasn’t always been, but right now it’s a really robust, reliable service that also boasts excellent speeds and a brilliantly easy-to-use interface on desktop, mobile, streaming devices, Smart TVs and more. It’s great for unblocking Netflix and Amazon Prime Video blocking, else can a VPN do? As we say, VPNs have become the way to watch your favourite shows when abroad and open up a whole world of new shows and films to watch on BBC iPlayer and beyond – the amount of people using a VPN for Netflix is enormous. And the same goes for Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and regular domestic stations, too.
The geo-spoofing nature of virtual private networks that make them so useful for streaming, also provides the perfect tool for unblocking restricted websites and sidestepping country-wide internet restriction, which is why VPNs for use in China are so popular.
And their encrypted tunnels also make VPNs a kind of de facto antivirus companion (or replacement). Using an unrelated IP address effectively makes you anonymous as you use the internet, and your data is shielded from prying eyes and cyber more:Learn more about free VPNs (and why they’re not good for streaming)The battle of the big boys: ExpressVPN vs NordVPNSpeed up your UK internet with today’s best broadband deals
Adam is the Editor-in-Chief of Subscriptions and Services at Future, meaning that he oversees many of the articles TechRadar produces about antivirus software, VPNs, TV streaming, broadband and mobile phone contracts – from buying guides and deals news, to industry interest pieces and reviews.
BBC iPlayer not working with VPN? Here’s the fix! – Comparitech
Is your VPN not working with BBC iPlayer? There are several reasons why this might be happening; below, we’ll explain why your VPN isn’t working with BBC iPlayer and how to fix the problem.
@IanGarland_ UPDATED: August 22, 2021
BBC iPlayer lets you stream popular TV shows like Killing Eve, Peaky Blinders, and Poldark online, but only if you’re in the UK. This service, like many others, is region-locked. Additionally, it has particularly strict VPN-detection features, meaning most VPNs can’t unblock BBC iPlayer abroad. If you try, you’ll see one of two errors:
“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues” or “This content is not available in your location” or “This content doesn’t seem to be working”.
Luckily, there are still a few VPNs that can unblock BBC iPlayer. Below, we’ll let you know which services work best, and how to fix any other issues you might encounter when trying to use BBC iPlayer abroad.
Why doesn’t my VPN work with BBC iPlayer?
As one of the UK’s largest broadcasters, the BBC has invested significant amounts of time and money into preventing users in other countries from using their service. As a result, it can be difficult to unblock BBC iPlayer with a VPN.
Here are the potential reasons your VPN doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer:
The VPN’s servers have been blacklisted by the BBC.
Your device’s GPS location and IP address location don’t match.
Your VPN doesn’t have the resources to keep finding workarounds when BBC iPlayer’s geo-blocking is upgraded.
BBC iPlayer has stored a cookie on your device telling its services that you’re not in the UK.
Your VPN is using virtual servers and BBC iPlayer can see the server’s actual location.
Your real IP address is leaking.
The server you’re using isn’t able to unblock BBC iPlayer.
How to fix VPN problems with BBC iPlayer
Below are the steps you can take to solve the problems above and stream BBC iPlayer live from anywhere. Try using BBC iPlayer after each step to see if it has worked. If not, move on to the next step.
Here’s how to fix your VPN not working with BBC iPlayer:
Clear your cookies or try a different browser.
Ask your VPN’s customer support team which server to use, since sometimes only a few can unblock the most popular streaming services.
Enable leak protection in your VPN’s settings menu to prevent BBC iPlayer from finding out your real location.
Try watching on a desktop PC instead of a mobile device. This way, GPS location data can’t be cross-referenced with your IP address.
If none of the above steps helped, it’s likely your VPN doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer. Instead, try using one of the VPNs below.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE? NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for BBC iPlayer without restriction for a month. Needless to say, this is great if you’re looking to binge British TV shows during a short trip abroad.
There are no hidden terms or conditions—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you and you’ll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
How to sign in to BBC iPlayer with a VPN
With the right VPN, it’s easy to watch geo-blocked content abroad. Just follow the steps below to get a UK IP address and stream BBC iPlayer from outside the UK.
Here’s how to use BBC iPlayer with a VPN:
First, sign up for a suitable VPN. We recommend NordVPN but Surfshark and CyberGhost are both great options too.
Download and install the VPN app, taking care to get the appropriate version for your device.
Connect to one of your VPN’s British servers (ideally in London or another major city).
Now, create a BBC iPlayer account. You’ll be asked for your postal code, but the BBC doesn’t actually check whether you live there or not, so any valid postal code will work.
Finally, try playing a video. If it doesn’t start right away, clear your browser’s cookies and cache, then reload the page. Still having trouble? Read on to find out how to fix some of the most common issues VPN users have with BBC iPlayer.
Which VPNs still work with BBC iPlayer?
We’ve found these VPNs to be the most consistent at working with BBC iPlayer:
NordVPN: Our top choice for streaming BBC iPlayer. Particularly fast, with a no-logs policy and excellent unblocking ability. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark: The best way to unblock BBC iPlayer on a budget. Quick and reliable, with a major privacy focus. Connect as many devices as you like.
CyberGhost: CyberGhost is highly versatile and very easy to use. It boasts 700+ British servers, powerful security features, and strong unblocking ability, as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN: PrivateVPN is a very fast service capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and ITV Hub without any issues. With a zero-logs policy, advanced security features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, PrivateVPN is ideal for streaming.
Hotspot Shield: A quick, reliable, and versatile VPN that’s more than a match for BBC iPlayer. Has a strong focus on security too. Offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN: Despite being one of our favorite services, it’s been slightly less reliable for BBC iPlayer lately. However, it’s still very fast and security-conscious, with servers in 94 countries. Unblocks various popular platforms including Netflix US, ITV Hub, and All 4.
Private Internet Access: PIA offers high speeds, decent unblocking ability, and a great set of security features. It has servers in 78 countries (including the UK), unblocks BBC iPlayer, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN: VyprVPN provides powerful security and privacy protections, fast speeds, and the ability to unblock BBC iPlayer from anywhere. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Note that every VPN is this last has at some point been blocked, for example our second choice service, NordVPN, has had some temporary downtime with BBC iPlayer at the time of writing, despite stellar past performance. We’ve listed them in order of preference so suggest starting with the VPN at the top of the list.
Why do streaming services region-lock their content?
Usually, streaming services don’t own exclusive worldwide broadcast rights for their shows, although there are some exceptions, such as with Netflix Originals. This means that, for instance, the BBC might have the rights to broadcast a particular title in the UK, while another network will show it in the US. As such, major streaming services often use region-locking to stick to their end of the bargain and prevent users in other countries from watching anything.
Of course, region-locking doesn’t help much if your broadcast schedule punishes the viewer for living outside of a certain country. Killing Eve season 2, for instance, had different release dates for the UK and the US, meaning British fans not only had to wait longer, but they also had to avoid spoilers for several months. To prevent having one of the UK’s biggest shows in recent years spoiled for them, many fans resorted to using VPNs to watch new episodes as they were released on American TV.
What can I watch on BBC iPlayer?
BBC iPlayer lets you stream 10 TV channels and one radio station live, for free, online. It also offers a wide range of on-demand content covering everything from news to documentaries to reality TV. Here’s a brief list of some of the content you can watch on BBC iPlayer with a VPN:
Nigella: At My Table
Would I Lie to You?
How does iPlayer know if I am using a VPN? Like most geo-blocked services, BBC iPlayer determines the user’s location by examining their IP address. If it points to anywhere outside of the UK, you simply won’t be able to use the service. Luckily, getting around this type of blocking is easy: just connect to a British VPN server to get an IP address from the UK and trick iPlayer into letting you watch from there any free VPNs that work with iPlayer? It’s possible you’ll be able to find a free VPN that unblocks BBC iPlayer, but not likely. This service has poured a huge amount of resources into its VPN-detection systems, to the point that many major providers still can’t access it.
Even if you find one that works, however, you’re likely to run into other issues. There’ll almost certainly be a monthly bandwidth cap preventing you from streaming regularly, for instance, and as most free VPNs tend to have small networks, your connection may not even be fast enough to watch at all.
How to watch ITV abroad
How to watch All 4 abroad (Channel 4)
How to watch Sky Go abroad
How to watch Now TV abroad
Frequently Asked Questions about bbc iplayer detecting vpn
Which VPN still works with BBC iPlayer?
What is the best working BBC iPlayer VPN? Right now, ExpressVPN tops our list of the best BBC iPlayer VPNs. It hasn’t always been, but right now it’s a really robust, reliable service that also boasts excellent speeds and a brilliantly easy-to-use interface on desktop, mobile, streaming devices, Smart TVs and more.Sep 22, 2021
Is using a VPN to watch iPlayer legal?
BBC iPlayer lets you stream popular TV shows like Killing Eve, Peaky Blinders, and Poldark online, but only if you’re in the UK. This service, like many others, is region-locked. Additionally, it has particularly strict VPN-detection features, meaning most VPNs can’t unblock BBC iPlayer abroad.Aug 22, 2021
How does BBC iPlayer know my location?
Your IP address and information about your device might be used to confirm your location. This is so that we can find out if you are accessing the services from inside or outside of the UK, and to make your experience more relevant to where you live.Aug 8, 2019