Technically, CBC Gem isn’t available outside of Canada. However, if you use a VPN, you can reroute your internet connection via a Canadian IP address, and watch CBC Gem from anywhere in the world.
How to watch CBC Gem outside of Canada
CBC Gem only works with Canadian IP addresses. If you want to watch CBC Gem from outside of Canada, you need to use a VPN. The Best VPNs let you spoof your local IP address to a Canadian one, unblocking CBC Gem from anywhere in the world.
Be careful though – the VPN industry is a slight shady one, and the quality of service from one provider to the next is wildly different. CBC Gem (and Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.) all try to block VPNs from accessing their content for global licensing reasons.
If you want to watch CBC Gem from outside of Canada, you need to use a VPN that monitors its network of IP addresses closely.
The majority of VPNs don’t provide their users with IP addresses that work with CBC Gem or other popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer.
The good news is that there is a handful of VPNs that recognise how popular borderless video streaming is, and have built products designed to unblock streaming sites.
The best at this is ExpressVPN ($6.66/month). It has the fastest servers and always has IP addresses that work with major streaming sites. It’s a little more pricey than its competition, but its speed and uptime with sites such as CBC, Netflix, BBC, et al., are the best on the market.
If you want to spend a little less, but still get a reliable service, I recommend using Private Internet Access ($2.85/month) or Ivacy ($1.16/month). Both of these VPNs represent great value for money and have deliberately built their networks to unblock streaming services.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a network of servers designed to let users hide – and spoof – their actual IP addresses (internet connections).
VPNs work by encrypting all internet data on a user’s device and rerouting it through the VPN servers. The encrypted data is then sent to an IP address in a location of the user’s choosing, where the data is unencrypted and relayed to a local ISP (internet service provider).
This simple combination of encryption and a global network of IP addresses gives users an anonymous internet connection.
It also has the added benefit of letting users browse the web from a “virtual” location of their choice. For example, a user in New Zealand could install a VPN on their device and – thanks to military-grade encryption – reroute all of their internet activity via a server and IP address in the US.
Meaning internet users in New Zealand can use a VPN to access US Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max just like Americans can (with their local internet connections).
How to fix CBC Gem not working with VPN
“The full Gem experience is not available outside of Canada.”
If you’re already using a VPN and you’re seeing the error message above then it means one thing: your VPN has been blocked by CBC Gem. More specifically, your VPN’s Canadian IP address(es) has been blacklisted by CBC Gem.
How does CBC Gem block VPNs?
The way CBC Gem detects IPs that belong to VPNs is pretty simple. VPNs give their users access to their shared network of servers, and because the number of users is much higher than the number of servers available, it sometimes creates an abnormal level of traffic coming from individual VPN server IP addresses.
CBC Gem knows this and monitors the number of accounts logging in from the same IP address. When this number of simultaneous connections gets too high – more than an average house, for example – the offending IP address gets blacklisted. This is why your VPN is no longer working with CBC Gem.
If CBC Gem is detecting your current VPN then there you have two options. The first is simple, try connecting to a different server in Canada. If you’re lucky, your VPN will only have one IP address that’s blacklisted by CBC Gem.
If connecting to a different server in Canada doesn’t work then the only option you have left is to upgrade to a better VPN provider. I’ve listed the five most reliable VPNs (for streaming) below.
Best VPNS for CBC Gem
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 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).
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.
7-DAY TRIAL – $0.99
(30-day money-back guarantee)
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.
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.