If your VPN no longer provides a working connection with BT Sport, then I have some bad news for you. It’s likely that BT Sport has blacklisted its servers. But don’t worry. Just because BT Sport is detecting your VPN, it doesn’t mean all VPNs are blacklisted. In this article, I’ll show you what you need to do to get BT Sport working with a VPN again.
See also: How to watch BT Sport abroad.
BT Sport not working with VPN? Quick fix
- Create a new account with ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.85/month)
- Download and install the new VPN app
- Connect to a server in the UK
- Watch BT Sport
The reason BT Sport isn’t working with your VPN anymore is pretty simple. It’s because your VPN server’s IPs have been blacklisted (see below).
If you want to watch BT Sport via a VPN again, the solution is equally simple. You need a VPN that gives you access to IPs that aren’t blacklisted by BT Sport. See below for more information.
How does BT Sport detect that I’m using a VPN?
Online streaming services have been blacklisting VPNs since 2016. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Amazon Prime… they all do it. And they all use the same three methods to detect and block VPNs.
1. Online streaming services check for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks. This is a basic test that good VPNs such as NordVPN, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN don’t fail. However, if you’re using a cheap VPN there’s a chance your connection might not be fully watertight. Making it insecure.
2. GeoIP databases, such as MaxMind, verify the IP address you’re connecting from. If your VPN is using an IP address that’s on one of these lists you won’t be able to watch BT Sport
3. BT Sport also performs its own IP checks. If BT Sport detects an abnormal number of simultaneous connections, or internet traffic, coming from the same IP it will blacklist that address too.
Why does BT Sport block VPNs?
The problem with VPNs is that they’re so popular. Research suggests that nearly 1 in 3 Netflix users had used a VPN to access a different countries library. And while the problem is likely to be on a lot smaller scale for BT Sport. It’s still a real worry.
BT Sport is part of an industry that pays big money for the rights to broadcast live sporting events. In order for sports broadcasters to protect their investments, they first need to protect their borders.
Blocking VPNs an obvious place to start.
What to do when VPN is blocked by BT Sport?
If your VPN is being detected by BT Sport. Then your options are limited. The first thing you should try to do is check to see if a different server works. Failing that, check our List of VPNs blocked by BT Sport below. If your provider is on that list then you need to change VPNs.
It’s annoying if you’ve already paid for a long-term subscription to another service. But by choosing any of the VPNs featured below, you’re future-proofing yourself. Each VPN listed plays a game of Cat and Mouse with BT Sport (and other online TV broadcasters). This means that if/when one of the existing IPs gets blacklisted by BT Sport, they react by closing that IP and opening a new (unblacklisted) one.
5 Best VPNs for BT Sport
The BEST VPN of 2020!
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
ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can buy. If you can afford the extra few pounds/dollars a month, you won’t regret it.
The first thing you need to know about this VPN is that it’s fast. Really fast! It consistently tops our independent VPN speed tests, with blazingly fast download/upload speeds.
And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market 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 prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than the other VPNs. But if you want the most reliable VPN on the market, there’s only one choice. ExpressVPN is the best.
The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 48 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
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-days 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).
The BEST low-cost VPN
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
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.
7-DAY TRIAL – $0.99
(30-day money-back guarantee)
A solid all-round VPN option!
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
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 pretty reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. – but its record isn’t perfect. NordVPN claims that’s all changed now as a result of hiring full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and aggressive investment 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.
Number 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.
List of VPNs not working with BT Sport
- Hotspot Shield
- Hide My Ass!
Note for iOS/Android users
Watching BT Sport abroad on a mobile device is sometimes a little trickier. This is because the BT Sport app periodically requires access to location services to verify where you’re connecting from. It’s not a big problem though. You just to get the Fake GPS app. This is easy to download from Google Play or the App Store, just search for Fake GPS and go from there.
Read next: BBC detecting VPN? Here’s how to fix that!