In this article, I will explain how to fix TunnelBear not working with BBC iPlayer.

If TunnelBear isn’t, or has stopped, working with BBC iPlayer it means the Beeb has blacklisted all of TunnelBear’s IP addresses, and it will no longer work. This is obviously frustrating if you’ve paid for TunnelBear to specifically watch BBC iPlayer. Below I’ll go through your what you can try and do to fix the problem with TunnelBear and also what you need to do if TunnelBear still doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer.

See also:

TunnelBear not working with BBC iPlayer: Quick Guide

To fix TunnelBear not working with BBC iPlayer, there are three simple steps you can try. If a step doesn’t resolve the problem, move onto the next one and see if that fixes the issue of TunnelBear not working with BBC iPlayer.

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Delete Cookies

    Tunnelbear not working with BBC iPlayer 1

    When you go online, you may have noticed that some websites ask you to accept cookies. These are not malicious in any way. They actually aim to make your online experience better. However, they do sometimes retain information about your location.

    BBC iPlayer may use this information to figure out that you aren’t viewing the streaming service from within the UK, and if so, it will block your connection.

    A good place to start to fix TunnelBear not working with BBC iPlayer is by deleting your cookies.

  2. Connect to a different UK server

    Tunnelbear not working with bbc iPlayer 3

    The reason TunnelBear isn’t working with BBC iPlayer is because the BBC has been able to identify the IP address TunnelBear has allocated you as a VPN IP address, and it has blocked it.

    Just because this IP address has been blocked, it doesn’t mean all of TunnelBear’s IP’s have been. Changing to a different UK server will give you a new IP address that may not be blocked by the BBC. This will unblock the content, and TunnelBear will work with BBC iPlayer again.

  3. Upgrade to a better VPN

    Tunnelbear not working with BBC iPlayer 2

    If the first two steps haven’t worked, BBC iPlayer has managed to block all of TunnelBear’s IP addresses. To get around this, you need to upgrade to a better VPN.

    We recommend NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month). Both of these VPNs work well with BBC iPlayer, and more importantly, they both have measures in place that prevent all of their IP addresses from being blocked by the BBC. This means you won’t run into the same issue that you’ve come across with TunnelBear if you upgrade to NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)

Why does the BBC block TunnelBear?

The BBC doesn’t only block TunnelBear. It tries to block all VPN’s from connecting to its service. It does this because of international content licensing and copyright.

The BBC only has the rights to broadcast its content in the UK, and to avoid copyright and licensing issues it tries to prevent users outside of the UK from accessing its content.

These geo-restrictions block VPNs because they allow you to spoof your location to anywhere in the world, and to protect itself, the BBC will try and block any VPN connection from accessing its service.

How does the BBC block TunnelBear?

Although TunnelBear may have only recently stopped working with BBC iPlayer, streaming services blocking VPN connections isn’t new. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ and BBC iPlayer have been trying to block VPN connections for a long time.

The BBC blocks VPN connections by monitoring for an abnormal amount (more than an average household) of connections coming from the same IP address. TunnelBear has more customers than IP addresses, and this results in customers having to share IP’s. When the BBC iPlayer scans the connections to its service and it sees hundreds or thousands of connections coming from the same IP address, it knows this is an IP address that has been provided by a VPN, and it blocks it.

For TunnelBear, this is a problem because TunnelBear doesn’t have measures in place to get around these blocks. This is why it’s no longer working with BBC iPlayer. The good news is NordVPN ($3.49/month) and Ivacy ($1.33/month) do have measures in place to get around these blocks. 

tunnelbear not working with bbc iplayer

Does BBC iPlayer still work with VPNs?

Yes, BBC iPlayer still works with VPNs however you need to get a VPN that stays one step ahead of the BBC’s VPN blocking techniques. Basically, you need NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)

Both NordVPN ($3.49/month) and Ivacy ($1.33/month) play a game of cat and mouse with BBC iPlayer. When the BBC identifies and blocks an IP address that has been provided by NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), these VPNs will close that IP address and open a new one. This is something that TunnelBear doesn’t do and eventually, TunnelBear won’t work as you’ve found. 

This game of cat and mouse that NordVPN ($3.49/month) and Ivacy ($1.33/month) play with BBC iPlayer allows you to reliably watch the streaming service from anywhere in the world and it also means there is much less chance of you running into the same problems you have with TunnelBear.

How to fix TunnelBear not working with BBC iPlayer

The fix is simple, all you need is a VPN that plays a game of cat and mouse with the BBC, that is still compatible with BBC iPlayer and that has reliable UK servers. We recommend NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) and below you’ll find a list of VPNs that meet all of these criteria and will allow you to fix TunnelBear not working with BBC iPlayer.

Best VPNs for streaming BBC iPlayer

1. NordVPN

The best (& fastest) VPN of 2021!

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • No logs
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 6-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store

SPECIAL OFFER – $3.49/month

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

  • $3.49/month for 2-years
  • $6.99/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month

  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • beIN SPORTS icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon

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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2. Ivacy

The BEST low-cost VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • 5-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

 

Cons

  • Only 5 devices
  • Sometimes runs slow
  • Occasionally blocked by streaming sites

SPECIAL OFFER: 7-DAY TRIAL ($0.99)

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
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub 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.

 

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3. ExpressVPN

A very reliable and fast VPN

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive

SPECIAL OFFER – 3-MONTHS FREE!

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
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video 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

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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4. Private Internet Access

The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!

Private Internet Access UK screenshot

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

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 82%!

30-day money-back guarantee

Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.19/month for 3-years
  • $3.33/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1-month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • NowTV icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • CBC Gem 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-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).

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5. CyberGhost

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

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

30-day money-back guarantee

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

  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • NowTV icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem 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.

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