Freeview Play not working with VPN

If you’ve been trying to watch Freeview Play outside the UK with a VPN and it’s not working, Freeview has managed to block the IP address your VPN has given you.

This has happened because Freeview Play constantly tries to block VPNs from accessing its service, and your VPN obviously doesn’t have measures in place to prevent this from happening, or the measures it does have are no longer working.

Although frustrating, there’s no need to panic. There are a number of fixes you can try to resolve Freeview Play not working with VPN.

This article will explain how to fix Freeview Play not working with VPN, and if you read to the end, we’ll explain how you can prevent these sorts of issues from happening again in the future.

See also:

Freeview Play not working with VPN: Fixes

Below is a list of fixes you can try to resolve Freeview Play not working with VPN.

Try these fixes in order. If one doesn’t work, move on to the next one until you can watch Freeview Play with a VPN again.

  1. Delete Cookies

    Cookies 1

    Cookies are small files stored on your device. They’re not dangerous or malicious files. They’re intended to streamline your online experience and can sometimes be downloaded inadvertently.

    The problem with these Cookies is there’s a possibility they can interfere with the connection made between your VPN and Freeview Play.

    For a Cookie to enhance your online experience, it sometimes contains data regarding your actual location. If this location is different to the location you’re selecting on your VPN, Freeview Play can potentially see this discrepancy.

    If this happens, Freeview Play knows you’re using a VPN and blocks the connection.

    Try deleting your Cookies to see if that resolves the problem.

  2. Change to a different UK server

    Windscribe UK Servers

    Because VPNs are a well-known way to watch Freeview Play outside of its broadcast zone, it tries to block VPNs.

    Your VPN is potentially not working with Freeview Play because the streaming service has been able to identify and block the IP address that your VPN has given you.

    Freeview Play does not have the capability to block a VPN in its entirety. It can only block the IP addresses your VPN provides. 

    Just because it’s blocked your current IP address, it doesn’t mean it has blocked all of your VPNs’ IP addresses.

    Changing to a different UK server will give you a different IP address, and if Freeview Play hasn’t blocked that one, you’ll be able to watch its content with your VPN again.

  3. Change to a different 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 Freeview Play not working with VPN.

  4. Update/reinstall your VPN

    VPN update

    Always ensure you’re updated to the latest version of your VPN.

    Chances are your VPN knows about an error or bug that might be preventing it from working with Freeview Play. When this happens, it will probably release an update with fixes to these problems.

    To ensure you’ve downloaded these fixes, update your VPN to its latest version.

  5. Upgrade to a VPN that’s compatible with Freeview Player

    ExpressVPN Rank

    If you’ve made it this far on the list, then Freeview Play has managed to block all of your VPNs’ IP addresses.

    From here, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you can wait for your VPN to release new IP addresses that Freeview Play hasn’t blocked. However, there’s no telling how long this will take. Also, seeing as you’ve run into this problem already, your VPN doesn’t have measures in place to stay ahead of Freeview Play’s blocks. And inevitably, the new IPs will get blocked as well. 

    The best way to fix Freeview Play not working with VPN is to upgrade to a VPN that’s still compatible with the streaming service. 
    ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) works well with Freeview Play because it plays a game of cat and mouse with the streaming service.

    If Freeview Play identifies an IP address provided by ExpressVPN ($6.67/month), this VPN will close that IP address and open a new one that hasn’t been blocked.

    This will prevent you from running into the issues you’ve come across with your current VPN, and it will allow you to watch Freeview Play reliably anywhere in the world.

Why has my VPN stopped working with Freeview Play?

If you were using a VPN with Freeview Play and it suddenly stopped working, the streaming service has managed to identify you’re using a VPN and has blocked the IP address the VPN gave you.

If the problem persists, then your VPN doesn’t have measures in place to allow you to get around Freeview Play’s VPN blocks.

When a VPN doesn’t have these sorts of measures, it’s easy for Freeview Play to identify and block all the IP addresses the VPN currently has available for you to use.

Your VPN has stopped working with Freeview Play because the streaming service has managed to block all of its IP addresses.

Freeview Play not working with VPN

How does Freeview Play block VPNs?

Freeview Play technically cannot block a VPN entirely, but it can block the IP addresses a VPN provides. It does this by monitoring every IP address that connects to its servers.

The reason Freeview Play monitors every IP address is because it’s looking for an abnormal number of connections coming from the same IP address.

See, most of the time, only a household of devices will connect to Freeview Play via the same IP address. This is around 8 – 10 connections.

Because VPNs have more customers than IP addresses, more often than not, they force customers to share IP addresses. This means that there can potentially be hundreds or thousands of people connecting to Freeview Play via the same IP address.

This is substantially more than the 8 – 10 connections from a household, and it’s an immediate indicator that the IP address is being provided by a VPN.

When Freeview Play sees this, it will block the connection.

Why does Freeview Play block VPNs?

VPNs are becoming increasingly popular, and Freeview Play is aware that customers can potentially use a VPN to watch the streaming service in a location where it isn’t available.

Freeview Play is officially only available in the UK. It isn’t available in any other country because it doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content in those countries.

A customer using a VPN to watch Freeview Play could be seen as Freeview Play making itself available in a location where it doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content.

This could be deemed as a copyright and licensing breach, and more often than not, it will be met with severe financial repercussions. To stop this from happening, Freeview Play blocks VPNs from accessing the platform.

Freeview Play not working with VPN

Does Freeview Play work with a VPN?

Yes, Freeview Play works with VPNs; however, you need to use a VPN that has the ability to work reliably with the streaming service, i.e. you need a VPN that can get around Freeview Play’s VPN blocking techniques explained above.

Lesser VPNs, especially free VPNs, struggle to get around these blocks; however, there are some VPNs that have the infrastructure and financial backing to ensure they will work reliably with Freeview Play. These are ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month).

ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month) work well with Freeview Play because they both have fast UK-based servers, they’re both incredibly secure, and most importantly, they have measures in place to ensure they work reliably with Freeview Play.

It’s almost impossible for a VPN to prevent all of its IP addresses from being identified by Freeview Play. The key differentiator between a good VPN and a bad VPN is what it does if an IP address gets blocked by Freeview Play. ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month) play a game of cat and mouse with the streaming service. If an IP address gets blocked by Freeview Play, both ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month) will close that IP address and open a new one. 

This will allow you to watch Freeview Play anywhere in the world without running into the same issues you’ve come across with your VPN.

The best VPNs for Freeview Play

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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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
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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

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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
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  • 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

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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!

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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

  • $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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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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