BT Sport not working with VPN

If you’ve been using a VPN to watch BT Sport outside the UK, and it’s suddenly stopped working, BT has identified your VPN and has blocked the IP address it has given you.

This has happened because BT Sport constantly tries to block VPNs from connecting to its service, and your VPN isn’t able to get around these blocks.

Don’t panic, though. There are a number of fixes you can try to resolve this problem.

In this article, we’ll explain how to fix BT Sport not working with VPN and how you can prevent this problem from arising again.

See also:

BT Sport not working with VPN: Fixes

  1. Delete Cookies

    Cookies 1

    Deleting your Cookies is a good place to start when trying to fix BT Sport not working with VPN.

    Cookies are small files stored on your device to improve your online experience. BT Sport uses Cookies all the time. A common one is it stores your login information, so you don’t have to input it every time you access the app.

    The problem with these Cookies is to streamline your online experience. They often contain information regarding your location.

    BT Sport can potentially scan this information and compare it to your selected location on your VPN. If there is a discrepancy in the locations, BT Sport will know you’re using a VPN and will block your IP address.

    To make sure this isn’t causing BT Sport not working with VPN, delete your Cookies.

  2. Change to a different UK server

    Windscribe UK Servers

    The most likely reason BT Sport is not working with your VPN is because the streaming service has identified and blocked the IP address your VPN has given you.

    Fortunately, BT Sport can only block the IP addresses your VPN provides. It can’t stop the VPN in its entirety.

    Changing to a different UK server will give you a different UK IP address. And if that one hasn’t been blocked, you’ll be able to use your VPN with BT Sport again.

  3. Change VPN protocol

    Protocols

    Check to see if your VPN supports multiple VPN protocols.

    VPN protocols are rules that determine how your VPN reroutes your online data through its server.

    How your data is transferred varies depending on what protocol you’re using. Some prioritise speed, while others prioritise security.

    If your VPN has multiple protocols, try one you haven’t used and see if that fixes BT Sport not working with VPN.

  4. Update your VPN

    UPdate/reinstalll VPN

    It always pays to keep your VPN updated to its latest version.

    Often when you come across problems like BT Sport not working with VPN, your VPN provider is aware of it and releases a fix in an update.

    You’ll only get this fix if you update to the latest version of your VPN software, so make sure you keep it up to date.

  5. Upgrade to a VPN that works with BT Sport

    ExpressVPN iOS

    If the fixes above haven’t resolved BT Sport not working with VPN, then unfortunately, your VPN isn’t good enough to work reliably with BT Sport.

    This has happened because your VPN doesn’t have measures in place to stay one step ahead of BT Sport’s VPN blocking techniques.

    The best way to fix this is to upgrade to a VPN with a good track record of compatibility with BT Sport and measures in place to get around its blocks.

    The very best VPN for this is ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) is an incredibly reliable VPN with super-fast servers all around the world. It has 24/7 technical support, and most importantly, it has measures in place to ensure it will consistently work with BT Sport. 

    If you want to watch BT Sport outside the UK and not have to worry about running into errors like you have with your current VPN, then ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) will solve all your issues. 

Can I watch BT Sports with VPN?

Yes, you can watch BT Sports with a VPN. I’ve been doing it from here in New Zealand for years.

But you need to make sure you’re using a VPN that’s compatible with the app and streaming service.

A lot of VPNs, especially free VPNs, don’t work with BT Sport, because BT uses VPN blocking techniques that they struggle to get around.

The VPNs that are most reliable and consistently work with BT Sport are ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month).

Why is BT Sport not working with VPN?

The reason BT Sport is not working with your VPN is because all of the IP addresses it provides have been identified and blocked by BT Sport.

For a VPN to work reliably with BT Sport, it needs to have measures in place to get around or beat BT Sport’s VPN blocking techniques.

If your VPN isn’t working, then it doesn’t have these sorts of measures in place, and BT Sports is able to block all of the IP addresses your VPN can provide.

BT Sport not working with VPN

How does BT Sport block VPNs?

BT Sports scans every IP address that connects to its service. It does this because it’s looking for an abnormal number of connections coming from the same IP address.

Usually, only a household of devices connects to BT Sport via the same IP address. This means if up to 10 devices connect to BT Sport using the same IP address, it is deemed as normal usage.

This poses a bit of a problem for lesser VPNs because free and lesser VPNs have a massive number of customers, but they don’t have enough IP addresses to keep up with the demand. In this sort of situation, VPNs force customers to share IP addresses.

No, when hundreds or even thousands of customers connect to BT Sport with the same IP address, BT knows it’s a VPN and blocks that IP address.

To get around this, you need to use a VPN that meets certain criteria (see below).

Which VPNs work with BT Sport?

The VPNs that work with BT Sport are the ones that meet three main criteria:

  1. Have fast servers all over the world
  2. Have a large number of IP addresses, so there’s less chance of sharing with other customers
  3. Have measures in place to get around BT Sport’s VPN-blocking techniques

 ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month) meet all three of these criteria.

When an IP address provided by ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month) gets blocked by BT Sport, these VPNs will close that IP address and open a new one, ensuring there’s always one available for you to use. This will allow you to watch BT Sport with a VPN worldwide reliably.

BT Sport not working with VPN

The best VPNs for BT Sport

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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Is watching BT Sport with a VPN legal?

Yes, using a VPN to watch streaming services like BT Sport is perfectly legal. That is unless you’re in a country where VPNs are banned.

The good news is there’s only a handful of countries where VPNs are restricted or prohibited, these are China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Seychelles, Suriname, Namibia, Slovenia, Nicaragua and Tajikistan.

With that said, using a VPN to watch BT Sport away from your home location, does go against the streaming service’s terms of use. In here it says “Any BT Sport content provided to you via TV Platforms and any recordings of such content should only be viewed at the private address you gave us when you ordered BT Sport.”

What this means is although it is legal to access BT Sport with a VPN, using a VPN to access the streaming service away from home goes against the streaming service’s terms of use and BT Sport is within its rights to block or ban your account for doing so.

However, 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 BT Sport to enforce.

In theory, if you’re trying to watch BT Sport 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.

There’s one final thing to note on the subject: BT Sport has never banned anyone for using a VPN to access its service.

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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