Are you having difficulties watching BBC iPlayer on your FireStick using a VPN? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a known problem with VPN providers. Luckily, there’s a really simple fix. Keep reading to find out what you need to do when BBC iPlayer is not working with a VPN on a FireStick.
iPlayer not working on FireStick (with a VPN)?
Step one: Make sure you have a VPN that works…
Why? In short: Both ExpressVPN and Ivacy have hundreds of servers in the UK. And, more importantly, dedicated technical teams that monitor their server’s connections to BBC iPlayer (…and ITV Hub, US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc).
This is important, as it enables these VPNs to win the game of Cat and Mouse against the broadcasters (who try to block VPN servers). Having a 24/7 technical team means the VPN can constantly monitor, and fix, blacklisted servers.
Step two: Download the Firefox browser on your FireStick
Use the free Firefox browser on your FireStick instead.
It’s as simple as that. It takes seconds to download and, once installed, it provides you with flawless access to the iPlayer website.
Do this, with a good VPN, and you’ll be able to stream BBC iPlayer on your FireStick again.
How to watch iPlayer on a FireStick with a VPN
- Get ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)
- Install VPN and connect to UK server
- Download Firefox browser
- Go to www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer and sign in to your BBC account
- Watch BBC iPlayer again
- That’s it
How does BBC iPlayer block VPNs?
BBC iPlayer began blocking VPNs in 2016 and hasn’t looked back since. The way the Beeb blocks VPNs is simple but really effective. It’s basically a numbers game from the BBC’s perspective.
iPlayer is enjoyed by millions of people living in the UK and this gives the BBC a ton of data which it can use to make informed decisions.
The BBC, therefore, has huge amounts of data on how many simultaneous iPlayer connections come from regular residential IP addresses. And this data set alone makes it super easy for iPlayer to blacklist any IP address that supports an abnormal number of connections.
Which is bad news for the majority of VPNs as their business model is built upon sharing a small number of servers and IP addresses with a much larger number of paying customers.
This is why it’s really important you choose the right VPN. Especially if you’re planning on using it to stream another regions’ online content. You need to use a VPN that is alive to the problem and has workarounds in place. Take a look at our article Which VPNs still work with BBC iPlayer to find out more.
My two favourite VPNs are ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) and Ivacy ($1.33/month). Both of these providers keep the number of connections on their servers below the BBC’s abnormal threshold. They also play a game of Cat and Mouse with iPlayer – when one of their IPs is blacklisted by the BBC they respond by closing that address and create a fresh one.
Read next: How to listen to BBC iPlayer Radio abroad.