ProtonVPN not working with BBC iPlayer

Trying to watch the latest UK shows on BBC iPlayer using ProtonVPN, but it’s not working? Unfortunately, the BBC actively tries to block VPNs, meaning the streaming service has blocked all of of ProtonVPN’s IP addresses.

ProtonVPN can no longer get around BBC iPlayer’s VPN blocking techniques, which can be frustrating if it’s been working with the streaming service without any issues.

However, there are a few ways to get past BBC iPlayer’s VPN blocks. If all else fails, you’ll need a reliable VPN that works with BBC iPlayer (best VPNs for BBC iPlayer).

This guide will help you fix ProtonVPN not working with BBC iPlayer in just a few simple steps so you can continue to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK.

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 ProtonVPN: 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) or 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.

ProtonVPN not working with BBC iPlayer: Quick fixes

To make sure BBC iPlayer works with a VPN again, simply follow the steps below.

  1. Check if ProtonVPN works on another device
    the best free VPNs

    This is the easiest thing you can do to figure out what you need to do next. If ProtonVPN works with BBC iPlayer on your smartphone, but not your computer, then you know your VPN isn’t the problem.

  2. Delete Cookies
    How To Delete Cookies

    Deleting your cookies is a great place to start when trying to fix ProtonVPN not working with BBC iPlayer.

    When you go online, you may notice some websites and apps require you to accept Cookies. These are small files designed to make your online experience better. But in order to do that, they store information about your physical location. 

    Even if you’re using ProtonVPN to hide your location, BBC iPlayer can potentially access the location information stored on your Cookies.

    If your Cookies location is different to your VPN location, BBC iPlayer will know you’re using ProtonVPN, and it will block your connection.

  3. Change to a different server in the UK on ProtonVPN
    ProtonVPn servers

    BBC iPlayer has stopped working with ProtonVPN because the IP address you have been given has been identified and blocked by the streaming service.

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

  4. Upgrade to a more reliable VPN
    ExpressVPN rank

    If deleting your cookies and changing to a different server doesn’t fix ProtonVPN not working with BBC iPlayer, then BBC iPlayer has been able to block all of ProtonVPN’s current IP addresses, and you’ll have to wait for ProtonVPN to fix the issue.

    The quickest and most effective way to fix ProtonVPN not working with BBC iPlayer is to use a VPN that is compatible with BBC iPlayer. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)

    ExpressVPN has fast servers all over the world, and most importantly, it has measures in place that will stop all of its IP addresses from being blocked by BBC iPlayer.

    This will stop you from running into the same problems you’re coming across with ProtonVPN.

Why isn’t ProtonVPN working with BBC iPlayer?

ProtonVPN has limitations when it comes to accessing BBC iPlayer. While it works for many other purposes, BBC actively tries to block VPNs, and ProtonVPN may not have the resources to constantly keep up with their methods.

The streaming service does this to protect itself from potential licensing disputes that may arise when someone connects to BBC iPlayer using an IP address provided by ProtonVPN.

Usually, ProtonVPN can be a good VPN for BBC iPlayer. However, because ProtonVPN 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.

BBC iPlayer Website Screenshot

How does the BBC iPlayer block ProtonVPN?

BBC iPlayer employs various methods to detect and block VPN users, making it a battle between the platform and VPN providers. Here are some common techniques:

  • IP address blacklisting: The BBC maintains a list of known VPN server IP addresses and actively blocks them. ProtonVPN, though constantly adding new servers, might have some blacklisted, preventing access.
  • VPN signature detection: BBC iPlayer may analyze traffic patterns and data characteristics associated with VPN usage. While ProtonVPN strives to mask these signatures, it’s an ongoing arms race.
  • DNS leak detection: Leaks in DNS requests could reveal your true location even if your IP is masked. ProtonVPN offers leak protection, but occasional vulnerabilities might occur.
  • Browser fingerprinting: This technique gathers unique information about your device and browser configuration, potentially identifying VPN usage. Clearing cookies and using incognito mode can help mitigate this.
  • GPS location mismatch: If your device’s GPS location contradicts your VPN’s IP location, it raises suspicion. Disabling GPS or using a location spoofing app could be risky but might help.
  • Account verification: For new accounts, BBC iPlayer might require a UK postal address and payment method, creating hurdles for VPN users.

ProtonVPN is no longer working with BBC iPlayer because it isn’t able to get around these blocking techniques.

Does BBC iPlayer still work with VPNs?

You might be wondering: will any VPN work with BBC iPlaywer? Yes, BBC iPlayer works with a VPN, but the situation is a bit complex.

Not all VPNs are created equal when it comes to bypassing BBC iPlayer’s geo-restrictions. Some, like NordVPN ($3.79/month) or ExpressVPN ($6.66/month), are known to be more successful due to their large server networks, advanced obfuscation techniques, and regular updates to stay ahead of BBC’s detection methods. ProtonVPN, on the other hand, while strong in other areas, may struggle with BBC iPlayer specifically.

These VPNs 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 or NordVPN gets identified and blocked by the BBC, ExpressVPN and NordVPN 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 ProtonVPN.

While there are also an alternative to VPNs, we recommend trying out our list of the best VPNs below to you know how to watch BBC iPlayer no matter where you are in the world.

Disclaimer: Streaming services are getting better and better at identifying and blocking IP addresses provided by VPNs. The best practice for being able to watch BBC iPlayer reliably is to have multiple VPNs. Even the best VPNs get blocked by BBC iPlayer from time to time.

NordVPN not working with BBC iPlayer 0000 unnamed

Best VPN alternatives for 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. 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)

3. 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)

4. 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)

5. 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?

First of all, it’s good to know that it is safe to use a VPN with BBC iPlayer. Whether watching BBC iPlayer with a VPN is legal depends on two key factors:

Your Location:

  • Inside the UK: If you’re physically located in the UK and have a valid TV license, using a VPN doesn’t break any laws. However, it violates BBC iPlayer’s terms of service, which state you shouldn’t use VPNs to access the platform. While unlikely, violating the terms could lead to account suspension.
  • Outside the UK: Using a VPN to access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK violates both BBC iPlayer’s terms of service and potentially copyright laws. It’s important to understand the legal implications in your specific country before doing so.

Your Purpose:

  • Personal Viewing: If you’re accessing BBC iPlayer for personal non-commercial viewing and have a valid TV license (if within the UK), the legal risk is considered low. However, violating terms of service still stands.
  • Commercial Use: If you’re using BBC iPlayer for commercial purposes (e.g., streaming in a public space), even within the UK and with a valid license, it could be considered copyright infringement.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use a VPN with BBC iPlayer is a personal one. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential legal and ethical implications based on your location and intended use.

Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from the mischievous world of online security to washing machines designed for earbuds. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for laptops into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. When he's not checking out the latest devices and all things tech, he can be found swimming laps, watching terrible shark movies, and trying to find time to game.  Previous Editor at Laptop Mag and News Editor at Time Out Dubai, specialising in food culture, nightlife events, gaming, tech and entertainment.

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