Every few weeks/month StrongVPN will stop working with BBC iPlayer. Why? BBC iPlayer is constantly trying to detect and block VPNs from connecting to its servers.
In this article, I’ll take you through how BBC iPlayer detects and blocks VPNs, and also list the things you need to do to beat BBC iPlayer’s VPN ban.
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StrongVPN not working with BBC iPlayer: Quick Guide
To fix StongVPN not working with BBC iPlayer, follow these simple steps. Go through them one by one and if one doesn’t work, move onto the next.
Total Time: 2 minutes
You may have noticed that some websites ask you to accept cookies when you visit them. Cookies aren’t malicious, they’re designed to make your online experience better.
The potential issue here is cookies can sometimes store information that discloses your location. BBC iPlayer can access this information and figure out you’re trying to watch its service from outside the UK. If you are, then your connection will be blocked.
A good place to start when trying to fix StrongVPN not working with BBC iPlayer is to delete your cookies.
Change to a different UK server
StrongVPN isn’t working because BBC iPlayer has been able to identify and block the IP address that StrongVPN has allocated to you.
If you change to a different server on StrongVPN, you’ll be provided with a different IP address. If the BBC hasn’t blocked this IP then the streaming service will work with StrongVPN again.
Upgrade to a better VPN
If steps one and two don’t work then, BBC iPlayer has managed to block all of the IP addresses StrongVPN can provide. This means that it won’t work with BBC iPlayer, and you need to upgrade to a better VPN. We recommend NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)
These VPNs work well with BBC iPlayer, and they have measures in place that prevent BBC iPlayer from blocking all of their IP addresses. StrongVPN doesn’t have these measures in place, this is why you’ve run into these issues.
When BBC iPlayer identifies an IP provided by NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) they close that IP address and open a new one. This allows you to watch BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world reliably. It also stops you from running into the same problems that you have with StrongVPN.
Why has BBC iPlayer blocked StrongVPN?
BBC iPlayer actively tries to block VPNs from connecting to its service. This isn’t new. Other streaming services like Netflix, BBC, Amazon Prime and Disney+ have been trying to block VPN connections for a long time. The reason the BBC tries to prevent VPNs from connecting is due to copyright and licensing issues.
The BBC only has the rights to broadcast its content in the UK. It does not have international broadcast rights. To avoid running into copyright and licensing issues, the BBC blocks users outside of the UK from accessing its content, you’ll run into an error like this, “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”
Because StrongVPN allows you to spoof your location when connecting to BBC iPlayer, the BBC blocks StrongVPN connections from accessing its service. These blocks are why StrongVPN is no longer working with BBC iPlayer.
How does the BBC block StrongVPN?
The BBC blocks StrongVPN by monitoring connections that connect to BBC iPlayer.
StrongVPN has mores customers than IP addresses and that results in customers having to share IPs. The BBC scans for an abnormal amount (more than an average household) of connections coming from the same IP address. When it sees hundreds or thousands of connections coming from the same IP address, the BBC knows that this is an IP that a VPN has provided, and it blocks it.
The BBC also uses two other techniques to block VPN connections:
- The BBC monitors for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks that can tip the service off you are using a VPN.
- 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.
This is a problem for StrongVPN because Strong doesn’t have measures in place to get around these blocks. Eventually, the BBC can identify all of the IP addresses StrongVPN can provide and block them, which results in StrongVPN no longer working with BBC iPlayer.
Does BBC iPlayer still work with VPNs?
To reliably watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN, you need a VPN that works well with the streaming service. Both NordVPN ($3.49/month) and Ivacy ($1.33/month) have fast UK based servers, they work well with BBC iPlayer and most importantly, they have measures in place to get around the BBC’s blocks. When the BBC identifies an IP address provided by NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), these VPNs close that IP address and open a new one. This cat and mouse game means you can watch BBC iPlayer reliably from anywhere in the world, and it also means you don’t run into issues as you have with StrongVPN.
How to fix StrongVPN not working with BBC iPlayer
To reliably watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN, you need a VPN that plays cat and mouse with iPlayer. You need a VPN like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month). These VPNs work very well with BBC iPlayer and they have measures in place that ensure you’ll never run into issues when streaming the service from outside the UK.
Below is a list of VPNs that work well with BBC iPlayer. All of these VPNs stay one step ahead of the BBC’s VPN blocking techniques and they all have servers around the world
The best VPNs to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK
The BEST VPN of 2021Number 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 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 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 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.
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The BEST low-cost VPNNumber 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.
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A very reliable and fast VPNNumber 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 still one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). 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.
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5. CyberGhostNumber 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.
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