Are you watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN and constantly coming across slowdowns? Don’t panic. There’s a number of fixes you can try to resolve this issue.
To fix BBC iPlayer buffering with VPN, follow the steps below.
If one method doesn’t work, move onto the next one until you can watch BBC iPlayer without slowdowns.
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BBC iPlayer buffering with VPN: Fixes
The first thing you should do is determine whether or not it’s your VPN that’s causing the issue. BBC iPlayer may be running slowly because of your internet speed.
To stream BBC iPlayer, the recommended speeds are 3Mbps for standard definition content and 7Mbps for high definition content.
To test your internet speed, turn off your VPN and visit Speedtest by Ookla – The Global Broadband Speed Test. This will show you your current internet speed. If it’s below the BBC iPlayer recommendations, call your internet service provider.
If your internet speed is fine, follow the steps below to resolve BBC iPlayer running slow with your VPN:
Total Time: 3 minutes
Change to a different UK server
The location of the server you use with your VPN can affect your connection speeds.
The further away a VPN server is from your location, the higher your latency. Latency is the delay between a user’s action and a web application’s response to that action. It’s the amount of time it takes for data to travel from your device, through your VPN server to BBC iPlayer and back to your device.
Changing to a different UK server closer to your location may resolve the slowdown issues you’re coming across when streaming BBC iPlayer with your VPN.
Change between TCP/UDP
If your VPN allows it, go into the app’s settings and try switching between TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol).
These are VPN protocols. They’re a set of rules used when your VPN is communicating with its server.
They have different ways of moving your data. Usually, UDP is a faster protocol. However, it can’t retransmit data packets lost during transmission (TCP can.)
Either of these protocols could be causing the slowdowns with BBC iPlayer, and switching from one to the other may resolve this issue.
Restart your device
In order to make sure you have an anonymous internet connection, VPNs use complex encryption algorithms.
Sometimes the complexity of this encryption can interfere with your device’s operating system. This will result in slowdowns when watching BBC iPlayer.
Restarting your device could resolve that conflict and prevent these slowdowns from happening.
Restart your router
Obviously, this step is only possible if you have access to your router.
Similar to restarting your device, your VPN’s encryption algorithms may be interfering with your router.
Restarting it will allow your VPN to continue with a new set of data which could resolve this conflict.
Upgrade to a better VPN
If the above fixes don’t work, your VPN doesn’t have a protocol fast enough to stream BBC iPlayer without issues.
You need to upgrade to a VPN that has a fast, secure protocol that works well with BBC iPlayer. We recommend NordVPN ($3.49/month).
This VPN uses its own NordLynx protocol that’s fast, secure, and lightweight, meaning you won’t run into buffering issues with BBC iPlayer.
Are all VPNs the same speed?
No, they’re not. It depends on the VPN protocol they use.
A VPN protocol is a set of rules a VPN uses to communicate between the VPN client and the VPN server. It’s basically the method of how a VPN works.
There are many different protocols out there, and they’re designed differently. Some of them prioritise security over speed, while others prioritise speed over security.
Most VPNs use either OpenVPN, IKEv2 or Wireguard protocols. OpenVPN and IKEv2 prioritise security while Wireguard prioritises speed.
All of these protocols have their weaknesses that could cause slowdowns with BBC iPlayer.
What VPNs prevent buffering with BBC iPlayer?
The VPNs that work best with BBC iPlayer are the ones that prioritise both speed and security.
NordVPN ($3.49/month) has designed its own protocol, NordLynx, based on the Wireguard protocol. The difference is, NordLynx improves on Wireguards security weaknesses.
NordVPN ($3.49/month) modified Wireguard by introducing a double NAT (Network Address Translation) system to create the NordLynx protocol.
Not only is it fast, but it’s also very secure.
The NordLynx protocol makes NordVPN ($3.49/month) one of the fastest and most secure VPNs on the market. This VPN will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer without any buffering issues, and it will reliably let you achieve an anonymous internet connection.
Below is a list of VPNs that work well with BBC iPlayer and will prevent any slowdowns from happening when streaming the service with a VPN.
The best VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer
The BEST VPN of 2021Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And its easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations. Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunnelling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.
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The BEST low-cost VPNNumber of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option. This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease. The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer. For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.
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A very reliable and fast VPNNumber of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes ExpressVPN is still one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites. Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered. The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently. With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
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5. CyberGhostNumber of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well. From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed. That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either. Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.
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