Having Difficulty with BBC iPlayer On Your VPN?Try These Fixes

8 min read

bbc iplayer

There are many reasons why your VPN might not be working with BBC iPlayer. We will help you learn why your BBC iPlayer is not working, types of VPNs you can try to stream BBC iPlayer, and how to fix any problems.  


BBC iPlayer is widely used because it allows you to stream popular TV shows in the UK like Killing Eve and Poldark. BBC iPlayer is based only in the UK and is, unfortunately, region blocked.  The BBC service has become better at detecting and blocking VPNs with strict detection functions which makes unblocking VPN abroad would be exceedingly difficult.  

It is likely that if you try using VPN to watch BBC iPlayer you will encounter one of the following error messages: 

“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it is due to rights issues” Or “This content does not seem to be working” Or  “This content is not available in your location” 

If you get these error messages, you do not have to worry because there are still ways that you can use paid VPN to access BBC iPlayer.  

We will focus on a few VPNs which can unblock BBC iPlayer. We will also give you some suggestions on how to fix any issues you might have watching BBC iPlayer on your computer. 

How to Use BBC iPlayer with VPN 

Just follow the below steps to unblock BBC iPlayer geo-blocked content abroad: 

  1. Sign up for best VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN and NordVPN as the best options to unblock BBC iPlayer.  
  1. Download and install VPN application and get the appropriate version for your device 
  1. Connect to a VPN British server, preferably in London 
  1. Create a BBC iPlayer account. Try to put a UK postal code if you are asked for one 
  1. Clear your browser’s cookies and cache and reload the page 
  1. Finally, try streaming a video from BBC iPlayer  

Reasons why your VPN might not work with BBC iPlayer 

BBC is one of the UK’s principal broadcasting services, which has devoted a lot of time and money in making sure that users from other countries cannot easily access BBC iPlayer. BBC wants their product to be chiefly available to the British people and do not promote viewing through VPNs.  

Some reasons why your VPN does not work with BCC iPlayer are: 

  • BBC has blacklisted VPN servers that you are using 
  • The GPS and IP address location of your device is different from the ones that are compatible with BBC iPlayer 
  • Your real IP address can be seen by third party websites and has blocked the service 
  • BBC iPlayer can see your VPN’s actual server location 
  • BBC iPlayer has detected that you are not in the UK and has stored a cookie on your device  
  • The VPN server you are using is unable to unblock BBC iPlayer  

These are some of the main reasons why BBC iPlayer might not be working on your device. For this reason, we suggest you buy the best VPN service available such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, which are proven to work well and unblock BBC iPlayer.  

Best VPNs which can unblock BBC iPlayer in 2020 

We will explain 4 best VPNs that are the most reliable at working with BBC iPlayer 

1. ExpressVPN 

ExpressVPN is our best choice for viewing BBC iPlayer and it is also the most consistent in making sure that your VPN service does not get blocked. ExpressVPN offers good speeds and unlimited data with a worldwide network of 3,000 servers including regions in the UK.   

If you run into any problems in viewing BBC iPlayer, ExpressVPN customer service will recommend the best server location to use to unblock BBC iPlayer and you can start watching the shows without getting any error messages or buffering delays.  

Keep in mind that you can mostly unblock BBC iPlayer in three locations in the UK which are Docklands, East London, and London. ExpressVPN also has servers in 94 countries and can be used to unblock BBC iPlayer in any of these locations. ExpressVPN also offers a split tunneling option where you can choose the apps you want to route through the VPN.  

If you are specific about BBC iPlayer, you can send the iPlayer through the tunnel while keeping all the other apps out. You can also unblock other platforms like Netflix, ITV Hub, and All 4. ExpressVPN also has a trial period and 30 days money-back guarantee if you are not happy with their service. 

2.  NordVPN 

NordVPN is one of the top choices for streaming BBC iPlayer on your device. NordVPN offers substantial global networks, high speeds, and can break through tough geolocation blocks.  

NordVPN has over 690 UK servers which makes it great to watch BBC iPlayer on NordVPN because of the range of servers available. NordVPN also has 5,390 servers in 62 countries worldwide. SmartPlay and Smart DNS technology make it simple to bypass geolocation blocks that are often confronted with BBC iPlayer with other VPN services. NordVPN’s dedicated IP addresses can also boost your speeds and with unlimited data, you cannot ask for a better VPN for streaming marathons.  

You should ideally have no trouble unblocking BBC iPlayer on any of NordVPN’s UK servers. NordVPN is known to work well in most major streaming services abroad.  Crowded servers do not seem to be an issue with NordVPN because of its large UK network and are also one of the fastest VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer. It is quite easy to set up BBC iPlayer through NordVPN, particularly through the quick connect features which work to find you the best UK server for iPlayer. 

If you run into any problems, NordVPN has the option of contacting their support team with a 24/7 live chat. Similar to ExpressVPN, NordVPN also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and they offer the best price in the market for the range services that they offer. 

 3. CyberGhost  

CyberGhost is easy to set up and quick to use a VPN that comes with many remarkable features. It also offers reliable connections and fast speeds. You should not have any issues with streaming BBC iPlayer with CyberGhost because it has an impressive global network of 6,400 servers and they have more than 520 servers to choose from in the UK.  

This means with CyberGhost you will surely get to connect to a UK server that supports the streaming of BBC iPlayer. CyberGhost servers were tested by vpnmentor and they did not run into any problems, after testing 334 servers without running into any kind of geolocation blocks with the CyberGhost network connections.    

CyberGhost also has servers specifically attributed to streaming platforms including BBC iPlayer, which suggests that it would be easy to connect to the server that is streaming BBC iPlayer. It has steady download speeds although not as fast as NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Turning on the data compression feature should increase your BBC iPlayer streaming and loading time.  

The user interface is extremely easy to use even if you are a beginner in using VPNs, you can easily navigate through the service. They also have a 24 hours customer support service with live chat and a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you will not miss out on trying CyberGhost to stream BBC iPlayer.  

4. Surfshark  

Surfshark is another paid VPN service that provides all the facilities to stream and watch BBC iPlayer on your devices. They support unlimited simultaneous connections, suggesting you can stream BBC iPlayer on many devices at once, or watch it with friends and family. The speed is also very good with Surfshark while streaming BBC iPlayer.  

Surfshark has a good range of servers available with 1,040 servers in 3 UK locations which are in Glasgow, London, and Manchester. With this number of servers, you can easily unblock and view BBC iPlayer from abroad from one of the UK servers.  

Surfshark also has a NoBorders Mode which you can turn on to stream from restricted locations. The operators of vpnmentor had no problem streaming BBC iPlayer from Surfshark in different locations including China, Russia, and the UAE which are usually the targeted locations for VPN censorship.  Surfshark also has a split tunneling feature if you just want to focus on BBC iPlayer then you can rout and send it through the tunnel while pausing your other applications.  

Surfshark also has an easy user interface and its applications are simple to use. Surfshark also has a live chat available for 24 hours and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.  

Other VPNs which Unblock BBC iPlayer 

The 4 main VPNs we have described above are the best in the VPN industry and offer the major services required to unblock BBC iPlayer from abroad. However, many other VPNs are available to stream BBC iPlayer, although these might not be as reliable as the four main ones we’ve mentioned above.  

Some other VPNs we suggest that you look at to stream BBC iPlayer are Private VPN, Safer VPN, VyprVPN. It is very tricky to find a free VPN that supports BBC iPlayer especially with the various servers and speeds required to stream the portal. We recommend that you do not use a free VPN but rather pay for a VPN and stream BBC iPlayer comfortably without encountering any serious issues.   

Quick Guide to Fix VPN Problems with BBC iPlayer 

Some of the ways you can fix BBC iPlayer on your VPN are: 

  1. Switch Servers: Open your VPN’s server selection menu and try connecting to a new UK server. Make sure your VPN allows you to connect to different UK servers so that if one does not work, you can connect to another. If you still have problems, try reaching out to your VPN’s customer service operator who is there to guide you on how to unblock BBC iPlayer 
  2. Clear Tracking Cookies or Try a Different Browser:This can be found in your browser settings and it should be easy to clear your cookies. It is usually seen in the Privacy and Security features of Firefox and Chrome browsers.  
  1. Enable Leak Protection: Leak Protection can be enabled in your VPN settings. You should see the setting called “leak protection” or “IPv6 leak protection” and click on the enable button. This will protect you from BBC iPlayer from finding out your real location, especially if you are located outside the UK. 
  1. Try to get a dedicated IP address: Some VPNs allow you to have a dedicated IP address, that only you can use and no one else can detect what your IP address is or where you are located. Make sure you use a VPN that provides this service.  
  1. Switch Devices or Switch Time Zones: You can go to your device settings and switch your time zone to match a UK time zone so that your true location remains hidden. Switching devices can be useful especially if you are used to watching BBC iPlayer on your phone or tablet. You should have more success with a VPN if you use a PC or a laptop and ideally, you should have your VPN installed on your computer.  

Things You Can Watch on BBC iPlayer 

On BBC iPlayer you can stream up to 10 TV channels and one radio station for free and live online. You can also watch on-demand content from news, documentaries, and reality TV shows.  

This is a brief list of some of the content you can watch on BBC iPlayer with a VPN: 

Top 7 TV shows: 

  • Keeping Faith 
  • Peaky Blinders 
  • Poldark 
  • Would I Lie to You? 
  • Dragon’s Den 
  • Fleabag 
  • Our Girl 

Top 7 Live Streams 

  • BBC One 
  • BBC Two 
  • CBBC 
  • BBC News 
  • BBC Three 
  • BBC Scotland 
  • BBC Parliament 


The four VPNs we have suggested in this article should work best for unblocking BBC iPlayer. 

We suggest you use the best two VPNs covered in the list which are ExpressVPN and NordVPN. CyberGhost and Surfshark VPNs should also work well to unblock BBC iPlayer, but they might run into more problems or blocking errors than ExpressVPN and NordVPN. As we have suggested, we do not recommend using a free VPN to stream BBC iPlayer. 

You should keep in mind that BBC iPlayer works best with a UK server and even if you are not in the UK, you should get a VPN that provides a UK server.  

We have suggested some ways that you can try in fixing any issues that you encounter while unblocking BBC iPlayer such as error messages. We recommend you try these fixes and see if you have a better connection with your VPN in streaming BBC iPlayer.  

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