The BBC blocks access to iPlayer everywhere outside of the UK. It does this to comply with licensing contracts it has entered with copyright holders. This can be a real problem for people wanting to access their favorite BBC content from back home while on vacation. Because of these blocks, it is necessary to use a VPN to stream iPlayer outside of Britain.
Not all VPNs have a valid British IP address that you can use to watch iPlayer while traveling abroad. PrivateVPN is one of the few VPNs that consistently provides access to British TV platforms from abroad. That said, there are various reasons why you could be experiencing problems.
In this guide, we will help you out by explaining how to fix PrivateVPN with BBC iPlayer. We will discuss why PrivateVPN might not be working with iPlayer, and we will provide troubleshooting tips to get you streaming your favorite BBC shows abroad.
Why isn’t PrivateVPN working with BBC iPlayer?
The BBC knows that consumers try to watch iPlayer from outside of the UK. This is why it tracks each visitor’s IP address. The simple solution to this problem when traveling abroad is to use a VPN. However, the BBC has become wise to this trick and now spends a huge amount of time and effort blocking VPNs. As a result, very few VPNs still work to stream iPlayer abroad.
The good news is that PrivateVPN knows how to stay one step ahead of the BBC’s proxy blocks. Despite this, it is possible that the BBC may block one of PrivateVPN’s servers from time to time.
Here is a list of reasons why iPlayer may not be working with PrivateVPN:
- The PrivateVPN server you are using has been blocked by iPlayer.
- Your device’s GPS location and IP address do not match.
- iPlayer has stored cookies on your device that is giving away your real location
- Your real IP address is leaking and the VPN is failing to conceal your actual location.
- The PrivateVPN IP address you’re using is not compatible with the BBC website.
How to use PrivateVPN to watch iPlayer abroad?
If you are new to VPNs, you may simply not know how to unblock iPlayer using PrivateVPN (or any other compatible VPN service). To help you out, we will provide the steps below:
- Choose a VPN that works to watch iPlayer abroad. PrivateVPN is excellent, but our top recommendation is NordVPN. Alternatively, Surfshark is the best cheap VPN for iPlayer.
- Use the links above to head over to the VPN’s website. Our link will automatically apply a discount coupon, which means you will get the VPN at the lowest possible cost.
- Subscribe to the VPN and download the app for your device. Our recommendations have apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. This will let you stream iPlayer on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
- Install the VPN app and log in using your credentials from sign up.
- Pick a server in the UK that has been optimized for watching iPlayer.
As soon as the VPN connection is established, you are ready to start watching iPlayer abroad. If you experience any issues whatsoever, then use this guide to get it working on any device.
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What kind of problems can iPlayer cause with PrivateVPN?
In this section, we have included a list of common problems that people experience using iPlayer with PrivateVPN. This should help you to identify your specific problem. We will provide fixes for each of these problems later in the guide.
- The VPN is causing low-quality video playback and large amounts of buffering.
- You are getting an incorrect password message when trying to log in to iPlayer with PrivateVPN.
- iPlayer gives you a location error message or tells you that you’re using a VPN.
- iPlayer will not load or play any videos while connected to PrivateVPN.
How to fix PrivateVPN with iPlayer
If you are experiencing any of the issues described above, we have got you covered. We will explain how to fix every single one of these problems below. Work your way through each of our troubleshooting tips to start watching iPlayer from anywhere!
PrivateVPN is causing bad quality video or buffering on iPlayer
If you are managing to load iPlayer while abroad, but you are experiencing a lot of buffering or bad quality video playback, it is possible that you need to subscribe to a faster VPN.
PrivateVPN is known to be pretty good when it comes to speeds. However, it does not have as many servers as the very best VPNs for iPlayer. It also does not provide the popular WireGuard protocol, which can help to give you better speeds.
That said, we had no problems watching iPlayer outside of the UK using PrivateVPN. So if you do not want to switch VPNs, we strongly recommend trying the steps below to see if it helps to improve your streaming experience when watching iPlayer:
- Ask PrivateVPN which UK server is optimized for streaming iPlayer.
- Try connecting to a British server that is located physically closer to you.
- Try changing the VPN protocol in your VPN application. PrivateVPN provides OpenVPN UDP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and PPTP. We recommend OpenVPN UDP, however, if streaming iPlayer is your only requirement it may be worth trying PPTP as this can provide very good speeds (but is not good in terms of security).
PrivateVPN not working with iPlayer
If the severity of your problem is more serious, and you can’t watch iPlayer at all when connected to the VPN, we recommend that you follow the steps below. These tricks should help you to get the VPN working, but if you still experience problems, it is a good idea to contact PrivateVPN’s live chat support.
Here’s how to fix PrivateVPN not working with iPlayer:
- Restart your computer, restart the PrivateVPN application, and relaunch your browser.
- Try re-installing PrivateVPN to ensure it is up-to-date.
- Clear the cookies and cache in your browser.
- Choose a different UK server location
- Try a different browser.
- Ask PrivateVPN which UK server is optimized for iPlayer.
- Check that DNS leak protection is enabled. You can check for DNS leaks using our tool.
- Try using a different VPN protocol. We recommend OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2, or PPTP to watch iPlayer abroad.
- Switch to streaming on a desktop PC or laptop rather than a mobile device.
- Disable GPS in your browser and on your device.
Which VPNs still work with BBC iPlayer?
PrivateVPN is 4th on our list of the best VPNs to watch iPlayer abroad. This means that there are several VPNs we consider to be better for unblocking iPlayer. To help you out we have included the full list below:
Best VPNs to watch iPlayer abroad:
- NordVPN: #1 best VPN for iPlayer. Fantastic reliability. Fast servers in 59+ countries, including the UK. Works with iPlayer, ITV Hub, BT Sport, Now TV, Channel 4, and more. 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Best cheap VPN for BBC iPlayer. Strong encryption. Apps for all devices. Can unblock a choice of British TV platforms.
- CyberGhost: Easy to use for beginners. Has fast servers in 89+ countries, including the UK to watch iPlayer. Secure apps with malware filtering.
- PrivateVPN: Secure and reliable. Based in Sweden. Great for torrenting, streaming, and more. Works with iPlayer, ITV, My5, and more.
- Atlas VPN: A relatively new VPN. Easy to use. Fast WireGuard protocol. Allows unlimited connections with a single account.
- ExpressVPN: A little pricey but it is secure and fast. Works to access most British TV platforms. Has apps for all major operating systems.
- Private Internet Access: Works well with BBC iPlayer, ITV, and Netflix. Lots of customizability options. Secure apps for all devices.
Can I use a free VPN to watch iPlayer abroad?
No. Although there are some free VPNs available on the market, these are not suitable for watching iPlayer abroad. Free VPNs have very few servers, and they are very easy to spot and block. As a result, we have yet to find any free VPNs that work with British TV platforms like iPlayer. Free VPNs are also extremely sluggish, which means that they will cause buffering issues when you try to stream, play games, or make video calls.
In addition to these performance issues, free VPNs cause many privacy and security concerns. Free VPNs have invasive privacy policies that allow them to track users for profiling purposes. This means that free VPNs will monitor what you do online and sell that information to third parties.
Studies have also revealed that free VPNs often lie about the level of protection they provide, they lack encryption, they suffer from IP and DNS leaks, they have app and server vulnerabilities, and they even contain spyware in their apps. This makes those VPNs a huge risk to the safety of your devices and your online privacy.
What else can I watch with PrivateVPN?
When you connect to a British VPN server, you will get a valid UK IP address. This means that you can unlock any region-locked TV platforms and streaming services. Follow the links below to find out more about streaming those platforms abroad:
In addition to these British services, PrivateVPN has servers in 63+ countries around the world. This allows you to access international services from around the globe, including US services like Hulu, HBO Max, and DirecTV STREAM.