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BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN in 2024? 8 easy fixes


BBC iPlayer is one of the best UK streaming platforms, packed with loads of fantastic content. Unfortunately, its availability is limited to the UK, leading many users to attempt accessing it from the US, only to be blocked by ineffective VPNs.

BBC iPlayer employs some of the most advanced VPN detection mechanisms and blocks IP addresses associated with VPN usage. Thus, many VPNs fail to bypass detection because they lack certain features or their IP addresses are too easily recognized.

However, there's still a solution to access BBC iPlayer from the US. By using a reliable VPN service, you can easily circumvent geo-blocks and avoid detection. Here’s which of the VPNs works best:

VPNs that work with BBC iPlayerVPNs that do not work with BBC iPlayer
NordVPN❌ TunnelBear
Surfshark❌ PIA
IPVanish❌ HMA

NordVPN stands out as a top choice, offering robust security features and a large network of servers optimized specially for streaming. Otherwise, for those encountering difficulties with premium VPNs, we listed 8 quick fixes to make BBC iPlayer work with VPN.

Why is BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN?

It can occasionally happen that your BBC iPlayer is not working with a VPN. If you try to access it without a reliable VPN outside the UK, you will most likely encounter the following message: “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

bbc iplayer error message

Choosing a weak VPN service is one reason why BBC iPlayer may not be working with a VPN, but there are a few more. Therefore, we put up a detailed list with all of the possible reasons:

  • BBC iPlayer detects your VPN usage. BBC iPlayer implements robust VPN detection technologies. You may have chosen a VPN with weaker security features; therefore, the platform has detected your real IP address and blocked you. Always go for a provider with obfuscated servers that will hide your VPN usage.
  • VPN’s servers have been blacklisted. Usually, VPNs grant the same IP address to more users. Due to this, BBC iPlayer potentially managed to put up a blacklist of VPN servers, restricting your access to its content. Luckily, top-notch providers come with dedicated IP addresses for each user. If not, it’s important for a VPN to have thousands of servers, so it will be difficult for the platform to understand if the IP address is being allocated to multiple users.
  • Lack of VPN unblocking resources. Some VPN clients have weaker unblocking abilities. In other words, they don’t have the sufficient resources to bypass geo-blocks. That’s why you need a VPN with robust unblocking capabilities.
  • You’ve chosen the wrong server. BBC iPlayer is available only in the UK. So, if it is not working, you may have selected a server elsewhere, which won’t grant you access to the platform’s TV shows and movies.
  • The device’s GPS location and IP address do not match. Besides getting a new IP address, you should change the location on your device. This is because BBC iPlayer can potentially detect mismatches when it comes to location and block your access.
  • Browser cookies reveal your location. Your browser always stores cookies and cache. BBC iPlayer can detect this and prevent you from watching the content. Therefore, we advise you to delete your browser’s cookies and cache before accessing the streaming platform.
  • IP and DNS leaks. One of the main factors that reveal your actual location is IP and DNS leaks. Luckily, a reliable VPN has features that prevent this, providing you with unrestricted access to BBC iPlayer.

VPNs that still work with BBC iPlayer in 2024

If BBC iPlayer is not working with your VPN, don’t worry! We tested some of the best VPN providers to help you make an informed decision and choose the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. We thoroughly checked 42 VPNs for their unblocking capabilities, security features, and speed and selected the top 3 so you can avoid such issues. The best part is that BBC iPlayer didn’t detect any of them. Based on our tests, here are the best VPNs that still work with BBC iPlayer:

Quick fixes for BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN

If BBC iPlayer is not working with a VPN, there is no place for worry. Below are the eight quick fixes that will grant you access to the platform in no time.

Get a dedicated IP address

As you are aware, BBC iPlayer has a blacklist of IP addresses that more users use. Therefore, you need a VPN that will give you a dedicated IP address, which only you will use. This reduces the chances of revealing you because there are no other users connected to it. Here is how you can get a dedicated IP address:

  1. Find a reliable VPN that works with BBC iPlayer. We recommend NordVPN
  2. Click “+Add” next to the dedicated IP at the checkout NordVPN checkout + dedicated ip
  3. Download the VPN on your device
  4. Open the VPN app and log in
  5. Click on Dedicated IP and connect to a UK server Dedicated IP UK server
  6. You can now stream your favorite shows on BBC iPlayer from anywhere!

Switch to another server

While you may have a VPN that works with BBC iPlayer, your chosen server may not unblock it. This can be because a particular IP address has been blacklisted, so we recommend you try to switch to another UK server. To do this, you should open your VPN’s menu and connect to a different UK server.

Ensure there are no IP or DNS leaks

IP addresses and DNS requests contain information about your general whereabouts. In the case of IP or DNS leaks, BBC iPlayer will be aware of your actual location and won’t allow you to access the platform. Therefore, we advise you always to check that there are no IP or DNS leaks. You can do this on websites such as ipleak.net or dnsleaktest.com

You can prevent such leaks by activating your VPN’s kill switch feature, too. Just open your VPN’s settings and activate the feature. Then, tick the two boxes below.

NordVPN kill switch features

Clear the browser’s cookies and cache

Every browser stores cookies and cache. Unfortunately, they sometimes contain information about your location. So, it’s best if you clear your cache and cookies before accessing BBC iPlayer with a VPN. You can do this by following these five simple steps:

  1. Open your browser (in our case, Chrome) and click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner
  2. Click on More ToolsClear browsing data clear browsing data
  3. Click on the Advanced tab, and from the Time Range drop-down menu, select All Time
  4. Tick the boxes Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files (you can keep your passwords) clear cookies and cache
  5. Confirm by selecting Clear data

Try another browser

If clearing your cookies doesn’t work, the issue may be with your browser. Usually, Chrome always works for us. But, in some cases, we need to go for another browser, such as Firefox, Opera, or Microsoft Edge.

Change your device’s location

Even if you’ve got a VPN with a dedicated IP address, you may still be unable to bypass the BBC iPlayer geo-blocks. This is because your device’s location may cause trouble by revealing your actual one. Due to this, it is better if you change your device’s location to the UK and then connect to a UK VPN server.

Restart your device

Due to BBC iPlayer’s strong detection mechanisms, these fixes may not work immediately. That’s why it’s good if you first implement a fix that fits you best and then restart your device. After that, reconnect to your VPN, reload BBC iPlayer, and try again.

Upgrade to a reliable VPN provider

If no methods above work, it might be the case that your VPN is simply not capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer. Consider switching to a premium streaming VPN service known for robust BBC iPlayer unblocking capabilities. For this, we strongly recommend NordVPN.

Watch BBC iPlayer with NordVPN effortlessly
With thousands of servers across the world, including 440+ UK servers, you can be sure of seamless BBC iPlayer unblocking. NordVPN distinguishes itself from others with its robust unblocking and streaming capabilities, impressive speeds, and top-notch security features.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

How does BBC iPlayer detect VPN usage?

Your IP address and browser data include information about your geographical whereabouts, and the streaming platform checks it to determine whether to allow you to access it or not. Like any other platform, if BBC iPlayer notices that the same IP address is used by a few devices, it raises suspicion.

Then BBC iPlayer blacklists the IP address associated with VPN usage to prevent you from streaming content that is not available in your region. They could also be using databases of IP addresses that indicate which IPs belong to the VPN providers. Using these methods, streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, blacklist these IP addresses, thus blocking your access.

Final thoughts

There may be several reasons why BBC iPlayer is not working with a VPN, including blacklisted IP or cookies revealing your location. But most of the time, the main reason is a weak VPN. That is, not all VPNs are able to unblock BBC iPlayer, as it imposes strict VPN detection technologies. It’s best to opt for a robust VPN provider, like NordVPN, capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer in no time. It will not only get access to the platform, but will also add a layer of security to your online activities.


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