NordVPN not working with BBC iPlayer

If you’ve been using NordVPN to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK and it’s stopped working, the BBC has been able to identify the IP address NordVPN has given you and block it.

This is happening because the measures the VPN service has in place to get around the BBC iPlayer’s VPN blocks are no longer working. Even if you have a BBC iPlayer account, you won’t be able to access the streaming service. Fortunately, there are a number of fixes you can try to resolve NordVPN not working with the streaming service.

This guide will help you fix NordVPN not working with BBC iPlayer and find a reliable VPN that works with BBC iPlayer (best VPNs for BBC iPlayer).

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 NordVPN: 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 ExpressVPN ($6.66/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, 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.

NordVPN not working with BBC iPlayer: Fixes

  1. Delete Cookies

    Cookies 1

    A good place to start when trying to fix NordVPN not working with BBC iPlayer is deleting your Cookies.

    Cookies are small files used by your device to streamline your online experience. While they’re not malicious files, they can
    interfere with NordVPN.

    In order for the Cookies to enhance your online activity, they contain information about your physical location.

    BBC iPlayer can potentially access this information, and if it’s different to the location you’re using with NordVPN, the BBC will know you’re using a VPN and will block the connection.

    Try deleting your Cookies to remedy this.

  2. Change to a different UK server

    How to watch Channel 5 Outside UK - NordVPN

    If NordVPN has suddenly stopped working with BBC iPlayer, it may be because the IP address you’ve been given has been identified and blocked by the BBC.

    Changing to a different UK server will give you a different IP address, and if that one hasn’t been blocked, NordVPN will work again.

  3. Change to a different protocol

    NordProtocols scaled

    NordVPN supports multiple protocols. These are the rules that determine how data is transferred through Nord’s servers.

    Some of these protocols are faster than others, and some are more secure, but they all work differently.

    NordVPN might have stopped working because the protocol you’re using is no longer compatible with BBC iPlayer.

    Try changing to a different protocol to see if that fixes the problem. We recommend, NordLynx.

  4. Upgrade to a VPN that works reliably with BBC iPlayer

    ExpressVPN Rank

    If the above fixes haven’t resolved the issue, then the BBC has managed to identify all of NordVPN’s IP addresses and blocked them.

    This has happened because NordVPN’s measures to ensure it works reliably with BBC iPlayer are no longer working.

    To get around this, you need to upgrade to a VPN that has measures that are working. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.66/month).

    ExpressVPN is an incredibly reliable VPN with servers all around the world. It’s fast, and most importantly, it works reliably with BBC iPlayer.

    If the BBC blocks an IP address provided by ExpressVPN, the VPN will close that IP and open a new one. This will give you fresh IP that hasn’t been blocked by the BBC and will allow you to watch iPlayer reliably anywhere in the world. 

Why isn’t NordVPN working with BBC iPlayer?

The reason you’re getting a BBC iPlayer not working with VPN issue is because the streaming service has blocked all the IP addresses NordVPN can provide.

It does this to protect itself from potential licensing disputes that may arise when someone connects to iPlayer using an IP address provided by NordVPN.

Because NordVPN allows customers to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK, the BBC tries to block it. It does this because the BBC only has the rights to broadcast its content in the UK. Using a VPN to watch it outside the UK could result in a breach of content licensing agreements, in which case the BBC would face severe fines.

Obviously, the BBC doesn’t want this, so it tries to block VPNs from accessing its service.

Usually, NordVPN works reliably with BBC iPlayer however, if it has stopped working, the BBC has managed to block all of NordVPN’s IP addresses, which is why it isn’t working.

NordVPN not working with BBC iPlayer

How does BBC iPlayer block NordVPN?

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 NordVPN, 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 NordVPN can provide. NordVPN 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 NordVPN 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.

Does BBC iPlayer still work with VPNs?

Yes, but not just any VPN will work with BBC iPlayer. You need to use a VPN that has measures in place to get around the blocks the BBC uses, along with one that has dedicated servers in the UK.

This means you need a VPN with fast UK-based servers that provides a secure, anonymous connection and, most importantly, has measures in place to stay ahead of the BBC.

A VPN we’ve used reliably with BBC iPlayer in New Zealand is ExpressVPN ($6.66/month). The VPN service is incredibly fast and secure, using its own lightweight protocol called Lightway. That’s already a big advantage over slow VPNs and free VPNs.

It also has effective measures in place to stay ahead of the BBC’s VPN blocking techniques. Although unlikely, if an IP address provided by ExpressVPN gets identified and blocked by the BBC, ExpressVPN will close that IP address and open a new one.

This will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world without running into the same issues you’re coming across with NordVPN.

Disclaimer: Streaming services are getting better at identifying and blocking IP addresses provided by VPNs. We test the best VPNs constantly to make sure they are able to get past BBC iPlayer’s blocks, but this may change depending on the user and time.

NordVPN not working with BBC iPlayer 0000 unnamed

Best VPN alternatives to watch BBC iPlayer

1. ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) 🥇

The best VPN choice for seamless BBC iPlayer streaming in 2024.

  • Specialized servers for BBC iPlayer
  • 5 simultaneous devices
  • Live chat support for streaming issues
  • Over 3,000 global servers
  • >80% connection speed
  • Unlimited bandwidth for uninterrupted viewing
ExpressVPN review - Top choice for BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) remains the top choice for streaming platforms, consistently bypassing restrictions for BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

Discover more in our detailed ExpressVPN review and see why it’s the favorite for BBC iPlayer enthusiasts.

Special Offer for BBC iPlayer fans!

(Enjoy a 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)

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

Special Offer for you!

Get 3 extra months free when you sign up for a 12-month ExpressVPN plan. That’s 15 months in total for the price of 12.

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
  • 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

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.

Special Offer for you

(30-day money-back guarantee)


2. 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

Special Offer for you!

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).

Special Offer – Save 83%

(30-day money-back guarantee)


3. 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!

Sign up for Ivacy and enjoy a 7-day trial with no strings attached

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.

Special Offer – 7-day FREE trial!

(30-day money-back guarantee)


4. 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

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

Take advantage of CyberGhost’s 1-day FREE TRIAL!

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.

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

(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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here