VPNs are commonly used for security reasons as they provide the kind of privacy most people seek while online, through encrypted tunnels across the open internet architecture.
For people who travel a lot, and for long periods of time, VPNs come in handy both to keep data secure, while being able to access geo-restricted content whenever they want to watch their favorite shows on streaming media such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or Amazon Prime, among others.
The primary reason for using a VPN, however, is to bypass internet censorship, as well as country level filtering, where there are serious censorship regulations. VPNs do this by hiding your current location and IP address such that the website you visit only sees that of your VPN, and not your real one.
If you’re a BBC fan and you’d like to access the content from a different location other than the UK, sometimes you’ll find your VPN blocked by BBC, and there are reasons why this happens.
Among these reasons is that BBC blocks VPN connections from accessing the iPlayer application, though it is hard to completely block out VPN access, which can involve manual intervention, because a strong, well configured VPN can go undetected.
In fact, some reports have said that about 60 million people outside the UK are able to access BBC’s iPlayer via VPN connections or other unblocking tools, which is a bigger population compared to those living in the UK. This is probably why BBC is actively stopping unauthorized users from accessing the content.
To resolve the VPN blocked by BBC issue, try the solutions below.
FIX: VPN blocked by BBC
- Preliminary checks
- Download the latest version of your VPN
- Change your VPN
- Get a dedicated IP address
- Download the latest version of your VPN
- Flush the DNS
- Manually configure DNS settings
- Manually configure proxy settings
1. Preliminary checks
- Sometimes the VPN blocked by BBC issue happens because your VPN account may have expired so you’re unable to connect. Confirm if your account is still valid, or has expired.
- Check third-party app settings like your security software settings which sometimes block the PPTP and L2TP protocols, especially when your set higher than the normal level. Disable them and try connecting again, then, allow PPTP, L2TP and IPSec through your antivirus and firewall and reenable the security software.
- Check your router settings if you’re connected to a WiFi router
- Check for pass through options for PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec, under Router Firewall/Security tab and enable them. If these options don’t exist, disable the router firewall and try again then reenable the firewall.
- Check that you entered the correct user credentials – username and password for logins.
- If you get an error message saying: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy” or “You’ll need to disable your anonymizer”, contact your VPN tech support team for help.
- Check your IP address for information such as your city or region (country) next to the location you selected. If it shows a location near you, it means you’re not connected to a server location associated with your VPN, so try connecting again.
- Check your internet connection by first disconnecting from your VPN and trying to access websites normally. If you cannot access even when disconnected from the VPN, check your internet connection.
- Try connecting to a different UK VPN server
- Try switching the web browser you’re using
- Contact your VPN’s support team and see if they can help you bypass the VPN block.
2. Download the latest version of your VPN
Uninstall the VPN app you’re running, sign in to your VPN account and set up the VPN. Find the latest version for your device and then reconnect, then see if you can access BBC.
To set up the VPN in Windows 10, do the following:
- Right click Start and select Apps and Features
- Find your VPN from the list and select Uninstall
- Click Uninstall then click Close to exit
- Connect again to your VPN and see if you can access BBC
3. Change your VPN
Get a VPN that will replace IP addresses immediately they’re blacklisted by BBC. Time may lapse between when the IP address was banned and when the VPN provider changes it, so disconnect and then reconnect, and try until you find an IP and servers that work.
You can use good VPN options like CyberGhost, which has a large server network in many different locations so you can access BBC, whether blocked or not. It also has an Unblock Streaming feature so you can access BBC without having to manually test your servers. Other features include IP hiding, IP sharing for extra security, DNS Leak protection, and much more. Once connected, CyberGhost lets you know about the site you’re visiting, server location and status of your protection online.
4. Get a dedicated IP address
This may cost you a little bit more, but if you want uninterrupted streaming, go for one. A dedicated IP address is harder to blacklist because the shared ones are already on BBC’s radar, but with a dedicated IP, you won’t be sharing with many other people, just a few selected users, which makes you look like a regular household, compared to a big company.
5. Download the latest version of your VPN
Uninstall the VPN you’re running, then sign in to your VPN account and run the setup again. Find the latest version for your device and reconnect.
6. Flush the DNS
Flushing your DNS cache allows your computer to automatically access your VPN’s DNS for the proper/correct entries. To do this:
- Click Start
- Select All Apps
- Click Accessories
- Right click Start and select Command Prompt (Admin)
- Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter. A confirmation that says: Windows IP Configuration Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache will be displayed
7. Manually configure DNS settings
Configure your computer with your VPN’s DNS servers’ IP addresses so that it automatically connects to your VPN’s DNS servers. Manually configuring your computer with other DNS server addresses helps you access BBC, and enjoy faster connection speeds. To do this:
- Open Network Connections settings by right clicking Start and select Run
- Type ncpa.cpl and click OK
- In Network connections window, find your usual connection, either LAN or Wireless network connection.
- Right click the connection and select Properties
- Set the DNS server addresses by double clicking Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) or just Internet Protocol
- Select Use the following DNS server addresses
- Type these Google DNS server addresses: Preferred DNS server 188.8.131.52; Alternate DNS server 184.108.40.206
- If Google DNS is blocked, try the following: Neustar DNS Advantage (220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168) enter and press OK; Level3 DNS (22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199) enter and press OK
- Once configured, flush old DNS entries again as described in the previous solution.
8. Manually configure proxy settings
A proxy server hides your real location so you can access websites such as BBC. Ensure your browser is set to auto-detect proxy or no proxy, then use the instructions to manually configure proxy settings for your browser. To do this:
- Click Tools
- Select Internet Options
- Go to Connections tab
- Click LAN settings
- Uncheck all the options except Automatically detect settings and click OK for all
Let us know if any of these solutions helped fix VPN blocked by BBC error by leaving a comment in the section below.
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