All 4 not working with VPN

If you’ve been watching Channel 4 with a VPN and it’s suddenly stopped working, your VPN is no longer staying ahead of Channel 4’s VPN-blocking technology.

This can be annoying, especially as it’s not a fault that you’ve caused. Fortunately, though, there are a few fixes you can try to resolve the problem.

This article will run you through how you can try to fix Channel 4 not working with VPN.

Channel 4 not working with VPN: Quick guide

Channel 4 detecting VPN? Follow these steps!

Total Time: 4 minutes

  1. Delete Cookies

    Cookies 1 1

    A good place to start when trying to fix Channel 4 not working with VPN, is deleting your Cookies.

    Cookies aren’t malicious or dangerous files, they’re small files used to streamline your online experience.

    The problem with Cookies is they contain information about your physical location.

    If the location you’re selecting on your VPN differs from the location stored on your Cookies, Channel 4 is able to see that and it will block your VPN.

    Even if you don’t remember accepting Cookies, it’s important you delete them when trying to fix Channel 4 not working with VPN.

  2. Change to a different UK server

    Windscribe UK Servers

    Channel 4 is constantly trying to block VPNs from accessing its content.

    While it doesn’t have the ability to block a VPN entirely, it does have the ability to block the IP addresses a VPN provides.

    This is what has probably happened to your VPN; the IP address you’ve been given has been identified and blocked.

    Changing to a different server will give you a different IP address and if that one hasn’t been blocked by Channel 4, your VPN will work with the streaming service again.

  3. Upgrade to a better VPN

    NordVPN review

    If you’ve tried the above fixes and Channel 4 still isn’t working with VPN. Unfortunately, all the IP addresses your VPN can provide have been blocked by Channel 4.

    This has happened because your current VPN isn’t good enough, or doesn’t have the infrastructure to ensure you can get around Channel 4’s blocks consistently.

    In this instance you’ll need to upgrade to a VPN that does have measures to get around Channel 4’s blocks.

    We recommend NordVPN (Β’3.19/month) – it has fast servers all over the world, and most importantly it has measures in place to ensure you’ll be able to consistently watch Channel 4 anywhere in the world.

Why does Channel 4 block VPNs?

Licensing. That’s the one-word answer. Channel 4 doesn’t own global licenses for all of the content it broadcasts via its online Channel 4 platform. It only holds UK licenses. So it needs to protect its borders to avoid paying for global content licenses.

What about the content Channel 4 makes? This is a problem too. Amazingly, broadcasters from other countries buy the rights to air Channel 4’s homegrown content in their region. Which complicates things further.

Charging broadcasters a premium for the rights to air The Inbetweens (for example) in their territory would be undermined if Channel 4 allowed any internet user with a cheap VPN access to its content.

Fighting back against VPNs is, therefore, a necessary business exercise for Channel 4. And every other medium-sized broadcaster.

This is why it’s so important you use the right VPN.

Channel 4 not working with VPN 23124

How does Channel 4 block VPNs?

Channel 4 isn’t doing anything particularly clever. It’s following the lead taken by Netflix and BBC iPlayer with regards to its VPN-blocking methodology.

Detecting a VPN just by looking at its IP address is near-impossible. However, when broadcasters start to monitor the average usage from the IP addresses that accessing its servers, the IPs that belong VPNs become a lot easier to detect.

Normal IP address: This would be an average domestic internet connection in the UK. Which means there would be anywhere between 1-8 internet users online at any given time. And it’s unlikely all internet users would be connected to Channel 4 at the same time. 1-2 simultaneous connections to Channel 4 is much more likely.

VPN IP address: VPNs share a relatively small number of IPs with a much larger number of users. Having 10+ users connected to the same server isn’t unusual with cheaper VPN services. The problem here is that lots of users connect to VPNs solely to stream geoblocked content. So the risk of more than 1-2 simultaneous connections to Channel 4 is a lot higher.

When the number of connections from the same IP address becomes abnormal, Channel 4 responds by blacklisted the offending IP address.

This is why you can’t watch Channel 4 with your VPN anymore.

Channel 4 not working with VPN: The EASY workaround

The good news is that the workaround is really easy. All you need to do is use a good VPN and they will do all the hard work for you.

Good VPNs – NordVPN, Ivacy, ExpressVPN, etc. – all play a Game of Cat and mouse with Channel 4 (and other mainstream broadcasters). This means if/when one of their server’s IP addresses is blocked by Channel 4, they react by closing that VPN down and creating a fresh (unblacklisted) IP.

This simple technique, along with keeping the number of users below a broadcaster’s “abnormal threshold”, is all that’s needed to keep VPNs working with Channel 4.

The bad news is that not all VPNs do this. And if you’ve already paid for access to a cheaper VPN that doesn’t use these methods, there’s nothing you can do.

Channel 4 not working with VPN 2024

Which VPNs still work with Channel 4?

1. NordVPN πŸ₯‡

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • βœ”Affordable pricing
  • βœ”Effective streaming access
  • βœ”Diverse server types
  • βœ”Solid speeds
  • βœ”Useful add-ons
  • βœ”Strong security
  • ❌Limited server locations
  • ❌No virtual servers
NordVPN review

Streaming: NordVPN is highly effective for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It has shown consistent success in connecting to various streaming services without noticeable issues.

Servers: NordVPN’s server network spans 60 countries. While this is below the average of 71 countries for the top 20 VPNs, its commitment to physical servers ensures faster and more reliable connections.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. ExpressVPN πŸ₯ˆ

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • βœ”Physical servers in 104 countries
  • βœ”Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • βœ”Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • βœ”Available on almost any device
  • βœ”Very secure
  • ❌Pricey
  • ❌Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • ❌No addons
ExpressVPN review

Streaming: ExpressVPN excels in unblocking geo-restricted content and works seamlessly with streaming services, even in countries where VPNs are banned. It consistently performed well in tests with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Servers: ExpressVPN has a robust network with servers in 104 countries, significantly above the 71-country average. Less than 3% of these servers are virtual, ensuring a reliable and fast physical network.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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3. PureVPN πŸ₯‰

A mid-range VPN that balances performance and price

  • βœ”Affordable
  • βœ”Unblocks major streaming services
  • βœ”Use on up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • βœ”Streamlined user interface
  • βœ”No log audit verified by KPMG
  • βœ”Several free add-ons
  • ❌Buffering on BBC iPlayer at peak times
  • ❌Past concerns with “no log” policy
PureVPN review

Streaming: PureVPN has shown improvement in its ability to unblock streaming services. While it initially struggled with BBC iPlayer, its performance improved during less busy times. PureVPN can unblock major streaming services, but it may encounter buffering issues during peak streaming periods.

Servers: PureVPN offers a wide range of servers around the world. Although specific numbers are not provided, PureVPN’s server offerings are robust, allowing users to access various international content.

Privacy: PureVPN has faced criticism in the past for its privacy policies. However, it has recently undergone a no-log audit verified by KPMG in the past 12 months, aiming to reassure users about its commitment to privacy.

Price: PureVPN offers three payment options: a 1-month plan at $10.95/month, a 1-year plan at $3.74/month, and a 2-year plan at $1.96/month. PureVPN accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and a variety of other digital payment options.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance you can expect when using PureVPN. The VPN has shown variable download speeds across different streaming servers, with some experiencing significant drop-offs during peak times.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN189.44139.82
PureVPN UK Server24.3198.99
PureVPN US Server49.83106.52

Read our full PureVPN review.

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4. Private Internet Access

Affordable and secure VPN with wide device compatibility

  • βœ”Affordable pricing plans
  • βœ”Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • βœ”Extra features like ad blocker and email protection
  • βœ”Verified no-log policy
  • βœ”Compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • ❌High use of virtual servers
  • ❌Not as fast as top-tier VPNs
  • ❌Lacks proprietary protocol options
Private Internet Access review

Streaming: Private Internet Access works well with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, although it initially faced some difficulties with BBC iPlayer, which were resolved after some fixes.

Servers: PIA has over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, which is above the average of 71 countries. However, 50% of these servers are virtual, impacting reliability compared to VPNs with more physical servers.

Privacy: PIA’s app is open-source, inviting third-party scrutiny and verification. It has also passed an independent no-log policy audit conducted by Deloitte, affirming its commitment to privacy.

Price: PIA offers three subscription options: 1-month at $11.95/month, 1-year at $3.33/month (upfront cost $39.95), and 3-year at $2.03/month (upfront fee $79). Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and Amazon payments.

Speeds: Speed tests for PIA showed significant drops in download speeds across various servers. While using WireGuard protocol, speeds were faster than OpenVPN but still slower compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN.

OpenVPN Download Speeds (Mbps)OpenVPN Upload Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Download Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off (New Zealand)930516
PIA US server238.527.17300.658.65
PIA UK server2453.77315.787.23
PIA Vietnam server4456.554898.24

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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5. Surfshark

Affordable and secure VPN with unlimited device policy of 2024

  • βœ”Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • βœ”Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • βœ”Robust security and privacy
  • βœ”24/7 responsive chat support
  • βœ”Extensive server network in 100 countries
  • ❌Has trouble with services like Hulu
  • ❌Lacks a unique proprietary protocol
  • ❌App can be overwhelming
  • ❌Not the fastest among competitors
Surfshark review

Streaming: Surfshark performs well with most streaming services but faces challenges with some, like Hulu. This could be a drawback for users who heavily rely on VPNs for streaming content from various regions.

Servers: Surfshark boasts a server network in 100 countries, which is well above the average and includes both physical and virtual servers, providing extensive geographic coverage.

Privacy: Surfshark emphasizes its commitment to privacy with successful DNS leak tests and independent security audits by Cure53, ensuring robust online security and privacy. You can find more about their security audits here.

Price: Surfshark offers a 1-month option costing $12.95/month, a 12-month option at $3.99/month, and a 24-month option at $2.49/month. It accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and various cryptocurrencies.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance when using Surfshark. From our tests, we observed decent speeds, suitable for general use, but not the fastest compared to some rivals.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)940.55520.24
Surfshark US server775.96.15
Surfshark UK server587.793.79

Read our full Surfshark review.

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(30-day money-back guarantee)

6. CyberGhost

Affordable and secure VPN with extensive server coverage

  • βœ”Features NoSpy servers, a Killswitch, and split tunnelling
  • βœ”Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • βœ”Over 9,000 servers in 91 countries
  • βœ”Independent audit confirms no-logs policy
  • βœ”7-device coverage
  • ❌Not optimal for streaming due to speed issues
  • ❌Majority of servers are virtual
  • ❌Lacks a proprietary protocol
CyberGhost review

Streaming: CyberGhost allows access to popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. However, users may face slow speeds, leading to buffering and resolution issues, which can be a significant downside for streaming.

Servers: CyberGhost boasts over 9,000 servers in 91 countries, offering a robust server network. However, it’s notable that 54% of these servers are virtual, a factor that can affect performance and reliability.

Privacy: CyberGhost has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited by Deloitte, ensuring user privacy and security. This audit confirms that CyberGhost does not keep records of users’ online activities while using the VPN.

Price: CyberGhost offers three payment options: a 1-month subscription at $12.99/month, a 6-month subscription at $6.99/month, and a 2-year subscription at $2.19/month, which includes an extra two months for free.

Speeds: Speed tests conducted in New Zealand showed significant drops in both download and upload speeds across various servers when using CyberGhost, indicating a performance issue in terms of speed.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)930516
CyberGhost US server192.292.63
CyberGhost UK server139.191.90
CyberGhost Vietnam server232.244.32

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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Is watching Channel 4 with a VPN legal?

There are only a handful of countries (spot the authoritarianism link) where using a VPN is illegal; these are China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Seychelles, Suriname, Namibia, Slovenia, Nicaragua and Tajikistan.

If you’re outside these countries and are using a VPN, you’re legally allowed to do so. However, it’s important to know that using a VPN with Channel 4 may breach the service’s terms of use.

Channel 4, being a free streaming service, doesn’t require any sort of subscription. This means you aren’t obliged to accept a contractual agreement with the streaming service, meaning there are fewer restrictions when it comes to using a VPN with the streaming service.

This means, Channel 4 will try and block your VPN, however it won’t ban your account for using one.

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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