FIX: Channel 4 won’t play video when VPN is enabled

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Ever since Channel 4 put a lock on its content for viewers that don’t live in the UK, VPNs have become indispensable for accessing 4oD.
  • Nevertheless, issues can appear when you least expect. If you're unable to watch Channel 4 with VPN enabled, here's what you need to do.
  • Check out more handy solutions in our Streaming Hub or our VPN Software Hub.
  • Don't forget to review our VPN Guides as well.
British Channel 4 not working with VPN

One can say that the mainstream media isn’t exactly in it’s prime, taking into consideration the growth of the new-age alternatives. Nonetheless, there are some broadcasters that are fairly followed, no matter how much geo-restrictions they put on their content.

For example, Channel 4 imposed boundaries on viewers that don’t live in Great Britain. Viewers who live abroad use VPNs to mimic the UK-based IP addresses and access the content of the renowned media house. But, sometimes, even the VPN won’t work.

In order to address this, we prepared a few possible solutions which should resolve your issues with VPN and Channel 4. Hopefully, after trying them out, you’ll be able to access your favorite content without any difficulties whatsoever.

How can I watch British broadcaster Channel 4 with VPN?

  1. Clear browser cache
  2. Ditch current VPN and switch to a better alternative
  3. Switch servers
  4. Create an account and sign in with the legit UK address

1. Clear browser cache

Most of the sites use cookies in order to enrich users’ experience, but this can go both ways. Meaning that they can be used to track your activity and take some important information regarding your IP address and geo-location.

That way, a massive media provider (which British Channel 4 certainly is), can block your IP address or limit access to a range of similar IP addresses. Thus, negating VPN in the process.

They and other publishing media outlets are doing so for a long time, especially strictly after the VPN become a norm rather than an exception.

So, what we advise you to do is to use an incognito mode while accessing geo-restricted content. That way, you’ll prevent the service from acquiring your data.

2. Ditch current VPN and switch to a better alternative

If the current VPN won’t serve you justice in the sense that it can’t enable you to watch your favorite TV online, we can only recommend replacing it. Our recommendation, is to go for a premium VPN with headquarters positioned outside the UK such as PIA.

Install Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

PIA will let you access any geo-restricted content on British soil without any issues. And despite being a premium solution, you will find it highly affordable in comparison to its competitors.

Optimized for streaming, this trusted VPN has made it its mission to eliminate online censorship, which makes it perfect for you to access geo-restricted content and bypass national infringements regardless of your physical location.

Speaking about location (hence proximity to servers issues), you will be pleased to know that PIA provides an impressive network of gateways with global coverage, which makes it easy for you to switch between server locations until you find the one closest to you (or capable to mimic a UK location).

IP cloaking is also included to anonymize your browsing, thus keeping your online activities (be it streaming 4oD, torrenting, P2P sharing, or downloading content) strictly confidential.

In addition, there is also a zero-logs policy to guarantee that no records are stored anywhere on PIA’s servers, leaving your ISP (and other prying eyes) clueless.

Ultra-fast download speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and secure, reliable connections are inherent to PIA, making it your perfect choice for enjoying Channel 4 content from any location.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

You don't need to relocate to the UK to watch Channel 4 - let PIA handle geo-restrictions while you enjoy your favorite shows.
$2.85/mo. Buy it now!

3. Switch servers

In order to watch 4oD (Channel 4 on demand) videos when abroad or standard content, you just need to use a VPN or proxy. We’re all aware of that.

However, many users who are using VPN and choose UK-based servers have had a hard time streaming Channel 4 content. This basically implies that either the ghost IP your VPN provided you with is blocked or that it’s overcrowded.

The solution is rather simple: select another server or IP location and keep doing so until it works out. This is the first nuance detail that separates free and premium solutions.

The bandwidth speed (streaming takes a lot of data through buffering, thus slowing down connection substantially) and numerous servers in the UK is something you won’t get with the free-of-charge VPN solutions.

4. Create an account and sign in with the legit UK address

Certain users managed to resolve the issue and access Channel 4 online by using VPN and registering on the site. Have in mind that if you’re, say, using a London-based IP address, you’ll need to put London as your hometown.

Roam through the maps and add a real address to your registration credentials. After that, you should be able to access all content and stream it through the player without issues whatsoever.

Nonetheless, don’t switch servers throughout the streaming and make sure to stick with the same IP address later on. If the IP address isn’t identical to the one acquired during the registration, there’s a good chance you’ll get kicked out.


That should do it. In case you’re an avid follower of Channel 4, these steps should come in handy.

Furthermore, if you have a different approach or workaround, or maybe a question or two about the aforementioned steps, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about using VPNs with 4oD

  • How do I watch VPN on Channel 4?

Install and set up the VPN client of your choice, then launch the software and connect to a UK-based server from the pool of gateways provided. Afterward, access Channel 4 online.

  • Does 4oD work abroad?

It is possible to watch 4oD outside of British territory simply by using a tool that can mimic a UK IP address. Use a VPN or a proxy in that regard.

  • Which VPN is best for the UK?

Refer to this generous list of VPNs for streaming. The choices are based on the vast network of servers that allow you to stream UK-restricted content (among others) effortlessly.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.