BBC iPlayer not working with ExpressVPN

If you’re watching BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN and it suddenly stops working, the streaming service has been able to identify and block all of the IP addresses ExpressVPN can provide.

This is obviously frustrating, as what was once working now doesn’t work. However, there is an easy way to fix this issue.

To fix ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer, you may need another reliable VPN that works with BBC iPlayer. However, you can also try follow the simple steps below and read on to find out how you can prevent this issue from happening again.

Which VPNs work with BBC iPlayer?

ExpressVPNNordVPNPIAIvacyCyberGhost
BBC iPlayer
Download Speed79 Mbps71 Mbps27 Mbps31 Mbps41 Mbps
Throttling79%71%27%31%41%
Stream quality⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Price per month$6.66$3.79$2.03$1.00$2.19

BBC iPlayer not working with ExpressVPN: Checklist

  1. Check if BBC iPlayer works with your VPN on another device
  2. Connect to a UK Server with a low user count (if possible)
  3. Clear Cookies and Cache: Remove old location data from your browser/device
  4. Verify VPN IP Address: Use whatismyip.com to check you have a UK IP
  5. Disable GPS and/or location services on mobile devices
  6. VPN Software Update: Make sure your VPN software is the latest version. Try uninstalling and reinstalling
  7. Switch VPN protocols
  8. Reach out to your VPN’s customer service for iPlayer-specific recommendations
  9. Upgrade VPN: If all else fails, consider switching to a known BBC iPlayer-friendly VPN
  10. I recommend using a good VPN for BBC iPlayer, such as NordVPN ($3.79/month)

Tip: Sometimes, simply restarting your VPN or changing the server can resolve access issues. If consistent problems arise, it may be time to consider a more reliable VPN service.

Remember, this checklist will only work if BBC iPlayer hasn’t blacklisted your VPN’s IP addresses. And if you’re not using ExpressVPN or NordVPN, there’s a good chance that BBC iPlayer is not working with your VPN because its IP addresses have been blacklisted.

Unfortunately, the BBC doesn’t publish a list of the VPNs it has successfully banned. But, if you’re seeing one of these messages – “This content is not available in your location.” | “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.” | “This content doesn’t seem to be working.” – there’s a strong chance BBC iPlayer has blocked your VPN.

However, BBC iPlayer works with a VPN, and you can find out how to watch BBC iPlayer without any hiccups below.

BBC iPlayer not working with ExpressVPN: Fixes

Use the fixes below to get past BBC iPlayer’s VPN blocks:

Total Time: 5 minutes

  1. Check if your VPN works on another device

    ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

    This is the easiest thing you can do to figure out what you need to do next. If ExpressVPN works on your smartphone, but not your computer, then you know ExpressVPN isn’t the problem. If ExpressVPN does work on one device, jump to Step 3 below.

  2. Contact your VPNs live chat service

    ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

    This is another easy one. Find ExpressVPN’s Live Chat feature and ask for a specific server number that works with BBC iPlayer. This is the single most effective way to diagnose if ExpressVPN is the problem or not. If they can’t point you towards a server that works with BBC iPlayer then you know, without doubt, that ExpressVPN is having issues with BBC iPlayer.

  3. Delete your cookies

    ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

    Deleting your cookies can potentially fix ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer issues. Accumulated or corrupted cookies in a browser might interfere with the way websites and online services function, especially when using a VPN. Clearing these cookies removes any old or problematic data, thereby ensuring a cleaner slate for your VPN connection to operate. This can help in establishing a more stable connection and resolving conflicts between ExpresVPN and certain web services like BBC iPlayer.

  4. Connect to a different server

    ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

    If ExpressVPN has suddenly stopped working with BBC iPlayer, it might be because the IP address your VPN has given you has been identified and blocked by the streaming service. Changing to a different server in the UK will give you a different IP address, and if that one hasn’t been blocked, ExpressVPN will work with BBC iPlayer again.

  5. Reinstall or update your VPN

    ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

    Think of this as the classic “turn it on and off again” tactic. Removing ExpressVPN, and its settings, from your device and starting again is a good way to get the most up-to-date settings configured on your devices without much effort. If you don’t want to reinstall the software, you can always check to see if there’s an update available to download any fixes your service may have introduced.

  6. Switch VPN protocols

    ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

    VPN protocols are the beating heart of a VPN. They determine how the VPN works. When you use a VPN the protocol is responsible for hiding your data and rerouting it via VPN servers. If BBC iPlayer isn’t working with ExpressVPN, it might be because the protocol you’re using is no longer working with the service. ExpressVPN has three protocols, try changing to a different one to see if that fixes the issue. Take a look at our VPN protocols article to discover more about which technology might be best for you.

  7. Upgrade your VPN

    ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

    If all of the above fails, you should consider upgrading to a high-end VPN. I recommend NordVPN for BBC iPlayer when ExpressVPN isn’t working. For more information, check out our VPN list below to see which VPN suits your needs and budget.

How does the BBC block ExpressVPN?

There are pros and cons of using a VPN with BBC iPlayer, and one of the latter is having to put up with blocks. Even though you may have been reliably using BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN, which is usually the best VPN for this streaming service, the BBC has been trying to block VPNs from connecting to its service for a long time.

Much like other streaming services, like Britbox, Sky Go and Amazon Prime, the BBC uses specific VPN blocking techniques to prevent VPNs from connecting to its service in order to protect its licensing agreements.

  1. The most common technique is all to do with the IP addresses ExpressVPN can provide. ExpressVPN more customers than IP addresses, and this results in customers having to share IPs. The BBC monitors for an abnormal amount (more than a standard household) of connections coming from the same IP address. When it sees hundreds or thousands of connections coming from the same IP, it knows that this is an ExpressVPN IP address, and it blocks it. 
  2. The BBC monitors for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks that can tip the service off you are using a VPN.
  3. The BBC teams up with GeoIP databases like Maxmind to identify IP addresses. If the IP address your VPN provides is on one of these databases, the BBC will be able to find out where in the world you are connecting to the internet from and it will block you.
ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer 4

Does BBC iPlayer still work with VPNs?

Yes, BBC iPlayer still works with VPNs, but not just any VPN will work with BBC iPlayer. You need a VPN that is still compatible with BBC iPlayer. We recommend NordVPN ($3.79/month) because this VPN works well with BBC iPlayer. It has plenty of UK IP addresses, fast UK servers, and most importantly, it is very good at getting around the BBC’s VPN blocking techniques.

When the BBC blocks an IP address provided b NordVPN, this VPN will close that IP address and open a new one. This cat and mouse game ensures that NordVPN stays one step ahead of the BBC’s blocks. This not only allows you to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world reliably, but it also prevents the same issues occurring as you have found with ExpressVPN.

Below is a list of VPNs that all work well with BBC iPlayer, and all play that cat and mouse game staying one step ahead of the BBC’s VPN blocking techniques. We test VPNs constantly to make sure they work.

Best VPN alternatives for BBC iPlayer

1. NordVPN $3.79/month

An excellent and affordable choice for streaming BBC iPlayer.

  • Optimized for BBC iPlayer streaming
  • 6 simultaneous devices
  • Dedicated UK servers
  • Fast NordLynx protocol
  • Excellent privacy policies
  • User-friendly apps
NordVPN Best VPN for BBC iPlayer image

NordVPN stands out as one of the most reliable VPNs for accessing BBC iPlayer from any location. With its vast server network and optimized streaming capabilities, it ensures a buffer-free iPlayer experience.

What sets it apart is NordVPN’s commitment to consistently bypass iPlayer’s geo-restrictions. They’ve a dedicated team ensuring continuous access to BBC iPlayer, along with other streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, and more.

Read our full NordVPN review to see how it excels in other areas too.

Special Offer for BBC iPlayer fans!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. Private Internet Access $2.03/month

A good choice for BBC iPlayer streaming

  • Exceptional performance with BBC iPlayer
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 chat support
  • 35,000 servers worldwide
  • MACE ad blocker included
  • Supports multiple protocols
Best VPN list - PIA

Private Internet Access is a preferred choice for BBC iPlayer enthusiasts, known for its consistent ability to bypass geoblocks.

This VPN not only excels at granting access to BBC iPlayer but also provides reliable connections with US Netflix, Hulu, MAX, Disney+ Amazon Prime, and many more.

With the bonus of allowing an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, it’s a great fit for households keen on UK shows.

Discover more in our comprehensive Private Internet Access review.

Exclusive Offer for BBC iPlayer viewers!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. Ivacy $1.00/month – For BBC iPlayer

An affordable VPN optimized for BBC iPlayer streaming.

  • 5700+ servers worldwide
  • 10 simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Optimized for BBC iPlayer streaming
  • Available on all major platforms
  • Competitive pricing
Ivacy Best VPN for BBC iPlayer image

Considering a VPN exclusively for BBC iPlayer? Ivacy ($1.00/month) could be your go-to option with its specialized servers.

While it stands as the fourth best in our list, Ivacy promises seamless BBC iPlayer streaming, no matter where you are. Moreover, its versatility lets you access US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, MAX, Amazon Prime, and many others without a hiccup.

For an in-depth look, here’s our comprehensive Ivacy review.

Exclusive BBC iPlayer Streaming Offer!

(Enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee)

4. CyberGhost $2.19/month – Great for BBC iPlayer

A decent choice for BBC iPlayer streaming.

  • Optimized servers for BBC iPlayer
  • Servers in 91 countries
  • 7 simultaneous devices
  • Deloitte verified no logs policy
  • Proprietary NoSpy servers
  • High-speed streaming
CyberGhost Best VPN for BBC iPlayer image

CyberGhost is a standout for accessing content on BBC iPlayer from abroad. It offers high-speed servers, ensuring seamless streaming of your favorite BBC shows.

With the added advantage of NoSpy servers, CyberGhost ensures that your streaming activities remain confidential.

Read our full CyberGhost review for its BBC iPlayer capabilities.

Special Offer for BBC iPlayer viewers!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

Is watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN legal?

There are only a handful of countries 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. Otherwise, using a VPN is legal.

It’s important to note that using a VPN with BBC iPlayer is legal. However, using a VPN with BBC iPlayer may breach the service’s terms of use. Still, it’s safe to use a VPN with BBC iPlayer.

In here it states: “You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or to watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer when you’re in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. If you’re outside these areas you need to check if your country has its own TV licensing scheme.”

What this means is if you’re accessing BBC iPlayer in a location that doesn’t have a TV licensing scheme with a VPN, then the BBC is within its rights to ban/block your connection or account.

However, with BBC iPlayer being a free streaming service that doesn’t require any sort of subscription, you aren’t obliged to accept a contractual agreement meaning there’s less restrictions when it comes to using a VPN with the streaming service.

This means, although BBC iPlayer will try and stop you from accessing its content with a VPN., it won’t ban your account for using one.

Also, BBC iPlayer has never banned anyone for using a VPN to access its service.

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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