- BBC Iplayer is quite aggressive when it comes to blocking VPN users and that's not an uncommon practice among major players in the streaming services market.
- Don't give up on hope just yet - we have compiled a few tested solutions for you.
- Check out more useful info on our dedicated BBC iPlayer page.
- Looking for more tips on how to view your favorite content? Check out our Unblocking VPNs Hub.
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 the BBC is actively stopping unauthorized users from accessing the content.
To resolve the VPN blocked by BBC issue, try the solutions below.
Has BBC blocked VPN? Here’s how to unblock it
- Preliminary checks
- Change your VPN
- Download the latest version of 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. Change your VPN
For guaranteed access, go for a VPN that is optimized for streaming such as Private Internet Access.
When it comes to fighting online censorship, PIA is unmatched. What’s more, this world-leading VPN provider has made it its mission, according to its own statement, to liberate the internet for you, as it was always intended.
With unlimited bandwidth and the highest download speeds, PIA is your best bet to unblock BBC content and enjoy all your favorite shows buffering-free and without worrying about ISP throttling.
In addition, all the servers composing PIA’s impressive network of worldwide gateways are streaming and P2P sharing compatible, which takes out the question of having to blindly search for a server location that is not blocked by the BBC.
Simply activate your VPN, choose the server closest to you to rule out proximity-related issues, and enjoy a smooth, reliable, and stable connection for as long as you want.
Private Internet Access
VPN got blocked by iPlayer? BBC's not to blame, it's your VPN. Get PIA instead and take censorship out of the web experience for good.
3. 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 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
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 the 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 220.127.116.11; Alternate DNS server 18.104.22.168
- If Google DNS is blocked, try the following: Neustar DNS Advantage (22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199) enter and press OK; Level3 DNS (188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206) 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 the 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.
FAQ: Learn more about BBC iPlayer and VPNs
- Why does BBC iPlayer not work with VPN?
As all major streaming services, BBC Iplayer practices blacklisting and standard or free VPN solutions may take a while to update your allocated address in their databases. Other reasons may be conflicts between your IP address and your DNS, network issues, server location, or VPN protocol-related issues.
- How do I use a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer abroad?
When traveling, a VPN solution is ideal for BBC streaming. Simply install the software of your choice from the official page and choose to connect to a server located in the UK. Then, open the iPlayer app and enter your credentials.
- How do I bypass BBC iPlayer restrictions?
Use a streaming optimized VPN tool like Private Internet Access that provides a sufficient number of server options, preferably with global coverage to enable you to bypass BBC imposed restrictions and unblock geo-limited content.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.