BritBox not working with VPN 2

If Britbox has stopped working with your VPN, don’t worry; there are a few easy fixes you can try.

Your VPN has stopped working with BritBox because it has identified the IP address that your VPN has given you and blocked it.

In this article, I will show you how to resolve this issue, so you can resume watching BritBox from anywhere in the world.

See also:

BritBox not working with VPN: Fixes

Total Time: 3 minutes

  1. Delete Cookies

    VRV not working with VPN 1

    When you go online, sometimes you’re asked to accept cookies. These are not malicious files. They’re designed to enhance your online experience.

    To do that, cookies contain information about your location. Whether you’re using a VPN or not, BritBox can access this information, and if it finds you’re outside of its broadcast zones (United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa) it will block your connection.

    A good place to start when trying to fix BritBox not working with your VPN is to delete your cookies.

  2. Change to a different server

    How to watch Channel 5 Outside UK - NordVPN

    A potential reason your VPN is not working with BritBox is that the streaming service has been able to identify and block the IP address you’re VPN has given you.

    This doesn’t mean that BritBox has been able to block all of the IP addresses that your VPN can provide.

    Changing to a different server (from one of the countries where BritBox is available) will give you a different IP address. And if BritBox hasn’t blocked this IP, your VPN will work again.

  3. Change protocol

    Protocols

    Check to see if your VPN supports multiple protocols and change between them.

    Protocols are a set of rules that define how your VPN reroutes your data through its servers.

    Some protocols are faster than others, some are more secure, but they’re all different.

    BritBox might not be working with your VPN because the protocol you’re using is no longer compatible with the streaming service.

    Try changing protocol to see if that fixes the issue.

  4. Update your VPN

    VPN update

    Always ensure you’re updated to the latest version of your VPN.

    Chances are your VPN knows about an error or bug that might be preventing it from working with BritBox. When this happens, it will probably release an update with fixes to these problems.

    To ensure you’ve downloaded these fixes, update your VPN to its latest version.

  5. Upgrade to a VPN that works with BritBox

    ExpressVPN Rank

    If the above fixes haven’t worked, unfortunately, BritBox has been able to identify all of the IP addresses that your VPN can provide and has blocked them.

    You can wait for your VPN to get new IP addresses that haven’t been blocked; however, IP addresses are expensive, and getting new ones could take a long time.

    The best way to get around this issue is to upgrade to a better VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month).

Does BritBox work with a VPN?

Yes, BritBox works with a VPN but it’s important to know that the streaming service constantly tries to block VPNs from accessing its platform.

This can make it hard for lesser VPNs to function reliably with BritBox and you’ll need to ensure you’re using a VPN that has measures in place to get around BritBox’s VPN blocking methods. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month).

Why does BritBox block VPNs?

The reason BritBox blocks VPNs is all to do with broadcasting rights.

BritBox only has the rights to broadcast its content in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. It does not have international broadcasting rights.

BritBox blocks anybody outside of these countries from accessing its content to protect itself from potential copyright and licensing issues.

VPNs are a well-known way to get around these blocks. Which again could result in serious licensing or copyright infringement issues. To prevent that from happening, BritBox tries to block VPNs from connecting to its service.

BritBox not working with VPN 1

How does BritBox block VPNs?

BritBox blocks VPNs by monitoring for an abnormal amount of connections coming from the same IP address. Generally, only a household of devices uses the same IP address. This is deemed as a normal amount of connections.

In order for VPNs to be profitable, they need to have more customers than IP addresses. BritBox knows this, and it uses it to its advantage.

Because of this business model, VPN customers are often forced to share IPs. When Britbox sees hundreds or thousands of connections coming from the same IP address, it deems this as an abnormal amount of connections. It knows this is an IP that has been provided by a VPN, and it blocks it.

Do VPNs still work with BritBox?

The VPNs that work with BritBox are the ones that have measures to get around its VPN blocking techniques.

Lesser VPNs, especially free ones, don’t have measures in place to get around these blocks. Because of this, eventually, BritBox is able to identify all of the IP addresses these VPNs can provide and block them. This is probably what happened to you with your VPN.

You can wait for your VPN to release additional IP addresses that haven’t been blocked. However, the very fact that you’ve run into these problems in the first place means that your VPN doesn’t have measures in place. And it will just be a matter of time before the new IP addresses are blocked by BritBox as well.

The best VPNs for watching BritBox are the ones that can stay one step ahead of BritBox. VPNs like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) play a game of cat and mouse with BritBox. When an IP address provided by one of these VPNs is identified and blocked ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) will close that IP and open a new one.

This simple measure allows you to watch BritBox reliably from anywhere in the world, and it will also prevent you from running into the errors you’re running into with your current VPN.

BritBox not working with VPN 3

The best VPNs to watch BritBox

1. ExpressVPN 🥇

Why You Should Use ExpressVPN? It’s the fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2023

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
Best VPN list - ExpressVPN

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Get 3 extra months free when you sign up for a 12-month ExpressVPN plan. That’s 15 months in total for the price of 12.

Number 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

  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites. 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 prevents its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN 🥈

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ No logs
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 6-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store
Best VPN list - NordVPN

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $3.49/month for 2 years
  • $6.99/month for 1 year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s 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 a 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 tunneling 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.

Read our NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access

The BEST low-cost VPN for streaming!

Best VPN list - PIA

Pros

  • ✅ Fast and reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Only 48 server locations
Best VPN list - PIA

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speed: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.03/month for 3 years
  • $7.50/month for 6 months
  • $11.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1-million paying customers.

This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends.

If – for whatever reason – you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

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4. Ivacy

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ Dedicated streaming servers
  • ✅ 5-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat

Cons

  • ❌ Only 5 devices
  • ❌ Sometimes runs slow
  • ❌ Occasionally block by streaming sites for several days
Best VPN - Ivacy on Mac

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for Ivacy and enjoy a 7-day trial with no strings attached

Number 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

  • $1.16/month for 5 years
  • $3.50/month for 1 year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

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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5. CyberGhost

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ 1-day free trial
  • ✅ Reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 7-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
  • ❌ Average speed scores
CyberGhost
CyberGhost

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Number 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

  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 1 year
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

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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What is BritBox?

BritBox is an online video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV.

Focused on British television shows and movies, BritBox has one of the biggest collection of British box sets available.

BritBox Features popular British soaps and dramas like Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks and it broadcasts these shows within hours of their UK showing. It also includes a large archive of older programs like Doctor Who.

BritBox now has 500,000 subscribers as of April 2021.

Is watching BritBox with a VPN legal?

Yes, watching BritBox is legal however it may go against the streaming service’s terms and conditions.

When you sign up to BritBox, you automatically agree to the terms of service. This is a contractual agreement that outlines the conditions and rights you have when using BritBox and explains what you are allowed and are not allowed to do with the streaming service.

If you breach these terms of service, BritBox has the right to block and or ban your account. The terms of service state “You expressly agree not to engage in any use or activity that: Removes, alters or circumvents any digital rights management technology, content protection or access control used by BritBox or its licensors to protect the Services or the Content, including any geo-fencing mechanisms.”

Basically, what this means is if you use a VPN to access BritBox outside a country where it is officially available, BritBox may ban your account.

With that said, given the wide-spread use of VPNs, plus the many legitimate and legal use cases for VPNs, it’s fair to suggest that banning customers for using a VPN would be an extremely costly policy for BritBox to enforce.

In theory, if you’re trying to watch BritBox in a region where it does not traditionally operate, you risk having your account banned. However, as the best VPNs use military-grade encryption, it’s impossible for streaming services to trace where you’re physically accessing its content from. Also, BritBox has never banned anyone for using a VPN to access its service.

It’s also important to know that if you’re using a VPN in one of these countries: China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Seychelles, Suriname, Namibia, Slovenia, Nicaragua and Tajikistan, it’s illegal and you may face punishments for doing so.

For more information you can check out our article answering Is streaming with a VPN legal?

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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