BBC iPlayer VPN Not Working – Best Workaround

Can’t access BBC iPlayer with your VPN? Are you looking for a fix to watch BBC iPlayer while traveling abroad? British citizens love a good TV show and BBC certainly offers plenty of them. TV series like Top Gear, Peaky Blinders, Luther, Doctor Who, and EastEnders are just some of the top programs you get to stream on BBC iPlayer. There is one big problem though. If you’re a British expat currently living abroad, BBC is geo-blocked.

BBC iPlayer VPN Not Working - Best Workaround
BBC iPlayer VPN Not Working – Best Workaround

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BBC iPlayer Blocked Abroad

Trying to access BBC iPlayer from abroad would be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. In other words, it is impossible, unless you have a VPN or a Smart DNS proxy.

The streaming service is geo-blocked outside the United Kingdom due to copyright issues. So if you live in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA or anywhere else, the following error messages will display on your screen.

“This content doesn’t seem to be working. Please try again later.”

“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

“BBC iPlayer programmes are available to play in the UK only.”

BBC iPlayer GeoBlocked

How Does BBC Know I Am Using VPN?

You should note, however, that installing a VPN may not be the end of it. BBC iPlayer doesn’t like it when you play tricks, which is why it started banning VPN IP addresses. As a result, location error messages may still appear on your screen even if you use a VPN.

The ideal solution would be to switch to another server in the UK and try a new IP address. But if that doesn’t work, then I’m afraid you’ll have to subscribe to a new VPN service.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to waste your time searching for a new brand that may or not be compatible with BBC iPlayer. That’s because I compiled a list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer. 

Best VPN to Fix BBC iPlayer Block

I think it’s fair to say that it’s best that you use top VPN providers to unblock BBC iPlayer, especially with the VPN blacklist thing. Therefore, you must never subscribe to unknown brands or free VPNs because you’ll soon realize that they are not efficient and can’t actually deliver what they promise.

After testing out several VPN services, I recommend that you use ExpressVPN because it is the best one when it comes to bypassing geo-restricted online content. This means that you can access BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world, along with every other UK-restricted website.

Here’s a taste of what ExpressVPN provides:

  • Access to every UK channel from abroad, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, my5 BT Sport, Sky GO, etc.
  • User-friendly and easy-to-install apps for Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, and iOS devices. 
  • 24/7 customer support to help you with your queries.
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee policy.
  • Three simultaneous VPN connections under a single account.

BBC iPlayer UnblockedSo clearly, ExpressVPN is unmatched when it comes to features and benefits. Below, you can find a list of other premium services that I compared it with.

VPN Provider
Best VPN
  • Best for streaming and privacy
  • High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
  • Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
  • 24/7/ live chat support
  • 3 extra months free on annual plan
Visit ExpressVPN Try risk-free for 30 days Read our review
Second Best VPN
  • UltraHD streaming
  • Free Smart DNS proxy
  • Unblocks all major streaming services
  • Limited Time 72% Discount
Third Best VPN
  • Unlimited VPN connections
  • Over 1000 servers
  • Ad-blocking feature available
  • User-friendly application
  • Exclusive Smart VPN feature
  • Standalone Smart DNS subscription available
  • Extra security features
  • Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
  • Split-tunneling available

The Smart DNS Proxy Alternative for BBC iPlayer

You can also use another method to unblock BBC iPlayer: Smart DNS proxy. This tool only targets the URLs that reveal your location and reroutes them, which means you’ll still be able to bypass geo-blocks and access BBC iPlayer. However, if you live outside the UK and want to use a Smart DNS proxy, there’s a couple of things you should know first:

  • You can set up a Smart DNS service on any device. That includes Android, iOS, PC, Mac, PS3/PS4, Xbox, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Chromecast.
  • Smart DNS proxies don’t encrypt your traffic or change your IP address. Therefore, don’t expect any online anonymity.
  • They also don’t work well if your ISP uses transparent proxies or DNS hijacking.

If you still find the Smart DNS proxy way appealing, which many users do, I recommend you check out Unlocator. This provider has a big list of UK-supported channels, including BBC, ITV, Sky Go, and much more. It also gives clients the chance to test out the service with a 7-day trial period.

BBC iPlayer VPN Not Working – Extra Tips

If you can’t access BBC iPlayer with your VPN, try to make the following changes before you take any drastic measures like subscribing to another service.

  • As I mentioned earlier, BBC iPlayer started banning VPN IP addresses, so some of them may work while others may not. As a result, your first action must be to switch to another UK server in order to get a new IP address.
  • Sometimes, changing your web browser can help fix the problem in case you’re trying to access BBC iPlayer on your PC or Mac. FireFox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Edge are all good options.
  • You can also follow in my footsteps when this thing happened to me and ask your VPN provider for help. If someone has an answer, it’s them.
  • If you tried all the above steps and you still can’t unblock BBC iPlayer, then perhaps it’s best to part ways with your current VPN and subscribe to a new one that supports the streaming channel.

BBC iPlayer VPN Not Working – Best Workaround

Have you ever experienced any difficulties when watching BBC iPlayer from abroad using one of the VPNs that were mentioned in the article? Let us know by leaving a comment below. In case you are aware of any VPN that doesn’t actually work with BBC iPlayer, also please share your experience.

19 thoughts on “BBC iPlayer VPN Not Working – Best Workaround”

  1. IPVanishVPN def doesn’t work with BBCIplayer or ITV player on my IPAD. Paid for 2 years and it stopped working soon after. Waste of money. In Thailand for 5 weeks now and cant watch UK TV – what a bummer!

  2. Once again I have been having issues with BBC I-player. I am blocked. Also, I have been trying another method, using and app from my (highly successful) email filter app, Mailwasher from a Co in NZ. They have a beta app called Hideaway which acts as a site trace blocker, and has some features of VPN. They have an i-player option, but again it doesn’t work for me and neither does their Netflix in the US option. I have had various interaction with them and they are working on it.

  3. Just to say I use Nordvpn and whether you use them or another service you must remember to switch off “location services” under “settings” > “privacy” on Apple devices or similar on other devices!

  4. Express vpn will not access BBC iPlayer using my Samsung tab 2 tablet. I’ve spent hours trying the different UK areas, multiple connections /disconnection, checking that the up addy had changed each time but still getting the ‘This content us not available at this time….However, the chap sat next to me, using a first generation iPad mini had no problem, also using Express vpn (same settings as mine) I tried the support who didn’t fix the problem. I have the same problem if I use my Huawei m5 pro tablet too.

  5. None of these VPN review sites mention IVACY. It works well on my Windows and Android tablet. The CHROME add-on is easy to use. THe price is low. THe support team do reply to queries.

    However, I cannot get BBC IPLAYER DOWNLOADS to download videos. It always reports a failure. I do not know if this is an IVACY problem or something else. Do other VPN users have problems downloading?

    1. Yes. I have the same problem as well. I use NordVPN. Did work fine until about 3 weeks back. All of a sudden it stopped though. Location services are disabled on my MAC. Still hasn’t changed anything though. I can still stream, but it would appear to be getting worse. By this I mean, I have to generally try multiple servers before getting a connection, and normally after completion of a program, I am forced to try servers again. Becoming quite tedious all in all.

  6. I’m using Express VPN , I can get BBC on my Mac, but it has stopped working on my Roku which used to work fine. Frustrating, I have tried support but still not Fixed.

  7. I can’t access BBC Radio 3 in high definition sound from France, using Express VPN (showing Berkshire UK). Apparently blocked.

  8. Once again, even though I didn’t try Iplayer specifically, the East London node of ExpresssVPN was delivering the cricket on BBC Radio4 long wave at the end of last week.

    BTW, in reference to my post in Dec 2017, Express VPN fixed the problem then. It is interesting if sometimes frustrating to watch the cat and mouse game between Express and BBC.

  9. I contacted ExpressVPN yesterday and asked specifically about BBC Iplayer. They confirmed that they are currently having problems but are working on a solution.
    PureVPN and IBVPN also have issues.
    I’m currently having dialogue with NordVPN and trying different servers and settings, but still no luck.
    All my tests are with dd-wrt on a router.
    I can still get iPlayer on on a tablet using the IBVPN app which I can then send to the TV using Chromecast. This maybe the only workaround at the moment as the BBC seem determined to stop all VPNs

    1. Adrian Dawson

      I also contacted ExpressVPN today about the iPlayer & they said they were still having issues they are trying to fix, but no ETA.
      I ditched IPVanish for ExpressVPN as they constantly had iPlayer issues. Maybe I was a little hasty.

  10. I think I answered this already. I have tried to use Express VPN to access the BBC iPlayer a number of times and found it blocked. The Express helpdesk admitted defeat. However, recently, I have been accessing BBC radio to listen to the cricket commentary from Australia,successfully.
    OTOH I am using DNS workaround.

    1. Hi Barry. Just tested BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN and can confirm that it’s working. In case you’re trying to watch BBC iPlayer on a PC or Mac, try using a different browser.

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