If you’ve been watching BBC iPlayer with Surfshark and it’s no longer working, all of Surfshark’s IP addresses have been blocked by the BBC.
Don’t panic though. There are some easy fixes you can try to resolve this problem.
This article will explain how to fix Surfshark not working with BBC iPlayer so you can watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN again, anywhere in the world.
- BBC iPlayer buffering with VPN? Try these EASY fixes! (August 2021)
- How to watch BBC iPlayer while travelling: It works anywhere in the world! (August 2021)
- BBC iPlayer not working with VPN (Updated August 2021): Here’s how I FIXED that!
Surfshark not working with BBC iPlayer: Fixes
Try each fix in order. If one doesn’t work, move on to the next until you can watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN again.
Whether you’re using Surfshark or not, the BBC might be accessing information stored on Cookies to determine your location.
Cookies are small, non-malicious files used to make your online experience better. The problem is, in order to do this, they contain information about your location.
If BBC iPlayer accesses this location information and sees that you’re not based in the UK, Surfshark won’t work with BBC iPlayer.
To fix this delete your Cookies.
Change to a different server
The reason Surfshark has stopped working with BBC iPlayer is because the BBC has blocked the IP address you’ve been given.
Fortunately, BBC iPlayer isn’t able to block Surfshark entirely, only the IP addresses it provides.
Changing to a different Surfshark server will give you a new IP address. And if BBC iPlayer hasn’t blocked this IP, Surfshark will work with the streaming service again.
Upgrade to a better VPN
If both steps one and two don’t fix Surfshark not working with BBC iPlayer, all of the IP addresses the VPN can provide have been identified and blocked by BBC iPlayer.
BBC iPlayer has been able to do this because Surfshark doesn’t have measures in place to stay ahead of BBC iPlayer’s VPN blocking techniques.
You could wait for Surfshark to release new IPs that BBC iPlayer hasn’t blocked, however seeing as it doesn’t have processes in place to stay ahead of BBC iPlayer’s blocks, it will only be a matter of time before those ones are blocked as well.
I recommend using a high-end streaming VPN such as ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) as it has the best setup for unblocking major streaming services like BBC iPlayer.
ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) has numerous servers and IP addresses for you to use, and it plays a game of Cat and Mouse with major streaming services, where it replaces any blacklisted IP addresses with fresh, undetected IPs – therefore allowing users to stay one step ahead of streaming sites’ IP blocks
There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee with ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and it has an excellent support network so that you can be comfortable upgrading to their service.
Why does BBC iPlayer block Surfshark?
The reason BBC iPlayer blocks Surfshark is all to do with broadcast rights.
BBC iPlayer doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content internationally. The copyright and licensing agreements it has with its content partners state that BBC iPlayer can only broadcast its content in the UK.
If BBC iPlayer breached these agreements, it could face severe financial punishments.
Because Surfshark is a well-known way of watching BBC iPlayer outside the UK, it could mean BBC iPlayer breaches these agreements.
To prevent this from happening, BBC iPlayer tries to block Surfshark users from accessing its service.
How does BBC iPlayer block Surfshark?
BBC iPlayer blocks Surfshark by monitoring for an abnormal amount of connections coming from the same IP.
Surfshark is a popular VPN, and because of that, it has more customers than IP addresses. This results in customers having to share IPs.
Usually, only a household of devices (8-10) uses the same IP address to connect to BBC iPlayer.
When a large amount of Surfshark customers connect to BBC iPlayer using the same IP address, BBC iPlayer knows it’s a Surfshark IP address, and it blocks it.
Does BBC iPlayer still work with VPNs?
Yes, BBC iPlayer still works with VPNs, but you need a VPN that is still compatible.
You need a VPN with a lot of IP addresses, fast servers, and stay ahead of BBC iPlayer’s blocking techniques.
The VPNs that meet all three criteria are ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.49/month). Both these VPNs have fast servers all over the world, they have a significant amount of IP addresses, so there’s less chance you’ll be forced to share with another customer, and they both play a game of cat and mouse with BBC iPlayer.
When BBC iPlayer blocks an IP address provided by these VPNs, ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.49/month) will close that IP address and open a new one. This allows you to stay one step ahead of BBC iPlayer’s blocks so you can watch your favourite shows without issues anywhere in the world.
The fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2022Number 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 the best VPN. 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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A very quick and trustworthy VPNNumber 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 great low-cost VPN optionNumber 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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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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