Do you pay for a VPN to unblock CBC Gem – and other streaming services – from around the world? It’s frustrating when it doesn’t work, right? In this article, I’ll explain why your VPN has stopped working with CBC Gem, and also, how you can fix that.
Before we go any further, the first thing you should do is check which VPN you’re using. Why? Because VPNs vary massively regarding performance, security and ability to unblock streaming sites such as CBC Gem. If you’re not using a VPN that’s featured below, then you’re using a sub-standard VPN. And this, unfortunately, is something you might not be able to fix regarding watching CBC Gem from outside of Canada.
Note: If you want to stream CBC Gem – or US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO Max, et al – I recommend going with ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) as it’s the best service on the market by a long way.
Why has my VPN stopped working with CBC Gem?
If your VPN was working with CBC Gem and it’s stopped all of a sudden it means the (VPN) server you were using has been blacklisted by CBC. More specifically, the IP address your VPN server was rerouting your internet traffic through has been blacklisted.
CBC Gem, like all major streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, et al.) doesn’t allow connections from VPNs. The reason for this is fair enough. Users’ real locations are untraceable behind a VPN, meaning CBC Gem cannot verify if a connection is coming from inside Canada. And as CBC Gem only owns the broadcasting license for Canada, a blanket VPN ban is necessary.
The good news is that some VPNs are able to beat this ban. As I said above, CBC Gem (and other streaming services) only actually block your VPN server’s IP address. Meaning you need to connect via an unblackisted VPN server IP address if you want to beat the ban.
More good news: the 5 VPNs I’ve featured below are industry leaders at beating CBC Gem’s blacklist.
How does CBC Gem detect VPNs?
It doesn’t. CBC Gem doesn’t actually know when you’re connecting via a VPN. The only (relevant) information CBC Gem receives about its users is their IP address. And as you can probably guess, good VPNs only buy/use local IP addresses that look no different from other local IP addresses. This makes it impossible for streaming services, such as CBC Gem, to detect a VPN connection.
However, there is sometimes a big giveaway that an IP address belongs to VPN providers. And it’s all to do with the volume of users. The average household IP address will have 2-6 users connected to the internet. IP addresses that belong to VPNs sometimes have a lot more users accessing the (Canadian) internet via its IPs. When the number of connections from the same IP address gets too high, CBC Gem investigates the offending IP address. Then, if it suspects the IP address belongs to a VPN – rather than a local office or public wifi hotspot – it will blacklists the IP address.
How do some VPNs beat CBC Gem’s ban?
The way the VPNs below beat CBC Gem’s VPN ban is pretty simple. The unofficial industry term for the strategy used is “cat and mouse”. This, as the name suggests, is when VPNs create new (undetected) IP addresses when their older IPs get blacklisted by steaming services.
How to fix CBC Gem VPN (Proxy) error!
If you’re VPN isn’t featured below, I suggest you upgrade your VPN. Below I’ve listed the five best VPNs that, from my experience, are the best at unblocking streaming sites from around the world.
That said, there are still a few things you can try if your VPN has stopped working with CBC Gem that might work.
CBC Gem not working with VPN: Quick guide
Time needed: 3 minutes.
If you just want a quick fix, and don’t want to learn why HBO Max might not be working with your VPN, follow these steps.
- Connect to a different server (in Canada)
CBC Gem blocks IP addresses, not VPNs. If deleting cookies didn’t work, then connecting to a different server in the Canada, with a different IP address, is the next thing you should try.
- Delete your cookies
Cookies (sometimes) store information that websites use to determine your location. If HBO Max not working with your VPN is a one-off, deleting your cookies is the first thing you should try.
- Upgrade your VPN
If steps 1 and 2 don’t work it means HBO Max has managed to blacklist all of your current VPN’s server IP addresses. If this is the case, then you only have one option left: you need to upgrade your VPN.
I recommend upgrading to ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) if you can afford it, or Private Internet Access ($2.85/month) if you want to spend a bit less. Both offer 30-day money work with HBO Max and are industry-leaders at unblocking streaming services.
Best VPNs for CBC Gem (2020)
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 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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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