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NordVPN Not Working With BBC iPlayer? Here’s How to Fix It

If your NordVPN suddenly isn’t working with BBC iPlayer – don't panic! This is usually an easy fix.

So, in this quick guide, we’ll show you the most common ways to solve technical glitches when connecting NordVPN to BBC iPlayer. And if those don't work, we'll recommend the best alternative VPNs you can try.

How to stream BBC iPlayer with NordVPN

To start, let’s make sure your NordVPN app is set up correctly for BBC iPlayer. 

NordVPN has apps for most devices that work with BBC iPlayer, including some smart TVs. The setup is usually the same for all:

  1. Sign up for NordVPN and get a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it risk-free. 
  2. Download the app to your device that works with BBC iPlayer.
  3. Connect to a server in the UK.
  4. Clear the cache and cookies in your browser or BBC iPlayer app.
  5. Open the BBC iPlayer app or sign in through your browser. 

That’s it!

Clearing your cache and cookies is important if BBC iPlayer remembers your location from a previous session. 

If you still can't access BBC iPlayer, try connecting to a different server in the UK. If NordVPN is still blocked, keep reading to find other VPNs that work well with BBC iPlayer. 

How well does NordVPN work with BBC iPlayer?

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer. It uses advanced technology to hide your IP address and bypass geo-blocks. NordVPN also has an extensive network of high-speed servers in the UK, so you can always find a fast and reliable connection. 

Our team has tested NordVPN’s UK servers from Europe, Asia, and Africa and could stream BBC iPlayer in 4K HD with minimum buffering. NordVPN uses advanced server technology and lightweight VPN protocols to ensure a smooth, reliable, and fast connection from any location. 

However, like any technology, NordVPN is not perfect. Sometimes, it can have technical problems that can prevent you from accessing BBC iPlayer. Let’s explore the most common problems.

Why isn’t NordVPN working with BBC iPlayer? 

BBC iPlayer is a streaming service only available in the UK. This is because BBC iPlayer has licensing agreements that prevent it from showing its content in other countries. As a result, access to its content is restricted to individuals inside the UK. 

BBC iPlayer also invests heavily in identifying and blocking VPN servers because many people use VPNs to try to watch its content outside the UK. If you’re in the UK and using NordVPN to improve your online privacy, BBC iPlayer will still block you. 

The best BBC iPlayer VPNs constantly find ways around these blocks, though it's a challenging process. They’re in a constant game of hide and seek with the streamer. 

However, NordVPN’s performance may occasionally stall due to software limitations and technical glitches. Here are the most common and their solutions:

1. BBC iPlayer is reading old location data from your browser or device. Your old location will conflict with your VPN servers – causing an error on the BBC iPlayer app. 

Solution: Clear your cache and cookies, and restart BBC iPlayer.

2. BBC iPlayer has identified and blocked your NordVPN server. It won’t accept connection requests from that server’s IP address. NordVPN has many UK servers, and you can switch to another easily in the app.

Solution: Switch to another server in the UK.

3. BBC iPlayer is using GPS to establish your location. Mobile apps often log your location by reading other GPS apps – like Google Maps. There is no way for NordVPN to hide this data. 

Solution: Access BBC iPlayer on your mobile device’s browser or use a GPS spoofing app. 

Best alternative VPNs for streaming BBC iPlayer

If you’ve tried all the solutions mentioned earlier and NordVPN still can’t connect to BBC iPlayer, you may want to consider using a different VPN.

Our team has tested many VPNs against BBC iPlayer and other streaming platforms. We found six VPNs that we are confident in.

You can read a brief review of these VPNs below or our comprehensive VPN reviews to learn more about their performance in streaming, privacy, security, value, and other aspects.

1. ExpressVPN
Editor's Choice | February 2024

ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for BBC iPlayer.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • 3,000+ servers in over 90 countries
    • Lightning-fast
    • Advanced security
    • Works with top streamers
    • Works in VPN-restricted countries like China and the UAE
  • Cons

    • Only five simultaneous device connections
    • Premium price
    • It doesn’t label servers optimized for streaming
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

It offers high-speed streaming, reliable connections worldwide, excellent privacy, and many other benefits. 


When it comes to streaming, ExpressVPN’s exclusive Lightway protocol ensures smooth, uninterrupted streams on BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and many other popular sites. It also delivers lag-free real-time streaming on Twitch and YouTube Gaming.


With servers across the UK, ExpressVPN provides ample options for accessing your favorite BBC shows. We tested its servers on three continents and were never blocked. 


We also commend ExpressVPN’s dedication to keeping you completely anonymous online. 


It uses RAM-only servers that are wiped clean after each session, ensuring no residual data remains. You also benefit from military-grade encryption, automatic kill-switches, and other advanced security features that shield your online presence, identity, activities, and data from exposure. 


You can test out ExpressVPN risk-free courtesy of its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark is the best budget VPN for BBC iPlayer.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.3/mth
      83% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
    • 3,200+ servers in over 100 countries
    • Advanced privacy tools and features
    • Reliable connection speeds
    • Works in China and the UAE
  • Cons

    • Expensive monthly plans
    • Far-away servers can be slow
    • Slow customer service support
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

It allows you to connect unlimited devices, has additional privacy features, and offers reliable and fast connections.


Surfshark is our top budget-friendly VPN for many reasons. 


First, Surfshark is fast enough to stream BBC iPlayer content in 4K HD quality from almost anywhere. 


Second, it comes full of advanced privacy tools that you usually don’t find in more expensive competitors. 


You get built-in malware and spam detection, an ad blocker, dark web monitoring, an IP address rotator, and more. Its stealth mode has some of the best obfuscation software available. These tools go beyond just letting you watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK – they also help keep you safe from tracking, viruses, and other online threats.


Finally, Surfshark allows you to connect unlimited devices on one subscription. So, your whole family can use it no matter how many devices they have.


If you’re new to Surfshark, try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost is a simple and affordable VPN that doesn’t compromise performance, speed, or security.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Beginner-friendly
    • Up to seven simultaneous device connections
    • 9,500+ servers in over 90 countries
    • Easy to configure across multiple devices
    • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Cons

    • Some servers are not optimized for streaming
    • No stealth mode or obfuscated servers
    • Limited torrenting support
    • No apps for routers
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

You’ll still enjoy access to your favorite BBC iPlayer shows without interruption.


CyberGhost has a large network of servers, including over 700 in the UK. 


You can use any server to access BBC iPlayer, but the streaming-dedicated servers offer the best experience. We accessed BBC iPlayer without interruptions during our tests – from around the world.


CyberGhost is designed to be user-friendly. Once installed on your first device, settings are automatically set up for all new installations. It has a consistent interface across devices, allowing quick setup on multiple devices. 


Just because it's easy to use doesn’t mean CyberGhost compromises security or privacy. It uses the latest VPN software to protect your data, location, identity, and online activities from snooping and tracking. 


You can try CyberGhost with its 45-day money-back guarantee. 

IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs on this list, and it streams BBC iPlayer without any problems.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.33/mth
      75% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Install on unlimited devices
    • Access most streaming sites
    • P2P and download-friendly
    • Airtight security
  • Cons

    • Slow support
    • Doesn’t work in China
    • Very expensive after one year
    • Can’t guarantee access to some popular streaming sites
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

If you’re trying to watch BBC iPlayer shows outside the UK, you’ll have access to IPVanish’s 100+ servers across the country. 


Testing revealed easy access to BBC iPlayer, Paramount+, and Hulu through several servers. However, IPVanish couldn’t access Amazon Prime Video and some non-streaming sites. While these sites don’t host BBC iPlayer content, it’s essential to consider if you plan to do more than streaming BBC iPlayer. 


IPVanish offers an array of security and privacy tools. Various VPN protocols strike the right balance between speed and security – alongside military-grade encryption, leak protections, and much more. Many of these features can be tailored to specific needs and adjusted quickly. 


You can install IPVanish on unlimited devices. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.

PrivateVPN has the smallest server network on this list (200 globally).

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2/mth
      84% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Pros

    • Install on unlimited devices
    • Access most streaming sites
    • P2P and download-friendly
    • Airtight security
  • Cons

    • Slow support
    • Doesn’t work in China
    • Very expensive after one year
    • Can’t guarantee access to some popular streaming sites
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Nonetheless, it can still stream BBC iPlayer content from any location.


Even though PrivateVPN only has six servers in the UK, you can still use it to enjoy BBC iPlayer from most places.


During our tests, we could stream content in HD on BBC iPlayer without a hitch. PrivateVPN consistently delivered good speeds.


PrivateVPN offers the same level of security and privacy as more prominent VPNs. It includes standard features like military-grade encryption, an automatic kill-switch, DNS/IP leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy. We tested these features, such as deliberately disconnecting our internet to see if the kill-switches activated, and they worked reliably.


PrivateVPN’s subscription allows you up to 10 devices at once, which is a great value. Plus, you can try it out with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

AtlasVPN, a relatively new VPN, has quickly gained a large user base due to its compelling blend of security, speed, and dependability.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $2.05/mth
      82% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.29/mth
      71% OFF
    • 1 month: $10.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Works with major streaming sites
    • Unlimited simultaneous devices
    • Built-in malware protection, ad blocker, and data breach monitoring
  • Cons

    • Smaller server network
    • Slow customer service
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Using AtlasVPN’s UK Server, we accessed content from BBC iPlayer and platforms like Hulu, Paramount+, and YouTube. Despite fewer servers in the UK, AtlasVPN maintained consistently fast and reliable connections during our tests, even enabling HD streaming.


Atlas VPN’s security features include AES 254-bit encryption, DNS, IPv6, WebRTC leak protection, an automatic kill-switch, and everything else you’d expect from a top VPN. 


However, it also offers some nice extras, such as a built-in adblocker, malware protection, and data breach monitoring. With a strict no-logs policy, AtlasVPN protects your personal information from third parties.


A standout feature of AtlasVPN is its unlimited device installations, making it an excellent choice for households, shared 


Additionally, you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee on new plans.

How we tested NordVPN and others with BBC iPlayer

We’ve tested hundreds (maybe thousands) of VPNs over the years. Each test involves rigorous benchmarks that cover a range of metrics, extending beyond simply streaming BBC iPlayer. Only a small number of VPNs ever make it through the process. 

You can use our criteria to decide on the right VPN for you, which include:

  • Server network: The best VPNs have thousands of servers in countries across the globe, including many locations in the UK. 
  • Connection speeds: We’ve only recommended VPNs fast enough to stream BBC iPlayer in HD, regardless of your location. 
  • Access to content: We checked every VPN against BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and other popular streamers. 
  • Security: Top VPNs use the latest cybersecurity to shield your data and device, including automatic kill-switches, 256-bit AES encryption, and DNS leak protections.
  • Privacy: Our top VPNs provide extra privacy tools like IP address masking, anti-tracking tools, and ad blockers that hide your location, activities, data, and identity. 
  • Value: The best VPNs offer affordable, fixed subscription plans with generous money-back guarantees to test them risk-free. 
  • Easy to use: Just because VPNs are a complicated technology, they shouldn’t be difficult to use. Our favorite VPNs are all very beginner-friendly. 
  • Customer support: Look for VPNs that offer 24/7 live chat, comprehensive video tutorials and troubleshooting guides, and active user communities. 

Read our complete VPN review process to see the full list of criteria and use it to guide you when choosing a VPN for BBC iPlayer – or anything else. 

Do free VPNs work with BBC iPlayer?

Free VPNs struggle to bypass BBC iPlayer restrictions due to their limited UK server capabilities. 

However, that’s just one of many reasons we don’t endorse free VPNs. There are many more, including: 

1. Limited server locations. Most only have servers in two to three countries that quickly get crowded with other free users and are detected by streamers. 

2. Too slow for BBC iPlayer. They either can’t deliver fast connections or throttle your steaming speeds, so you eventually upgrade to a paid plan. 

3. Bombard you with ads. They’re intrusive, irritating, and could be carrying malware.

4. Sell your information to advertisers and data brokers. Your privacy will be compromised, and you might get malware and trackers installed on your device.

5. Free VPNs are not secure. More than 40% of free VPN apps in the Google Play Store have been caught leaking private data from users

Plenty of cheap VPNs work with BBC iPlayer without compromising your safety or delivering a bad experience. 

Save yourself a lot of headaches and avoid free VPNs altogether. 

While it's not illegal to use NordVPN to watch BBC iPlayer, it does go against the platform's terms of service, which could lead to your account being suspended. Also, you're technically required to have a UK TV License to use iPlayer. So, while you won't face legal trouble for using NordVPN, you're slightly bending the rules.

NordVPN and BBC iPlayer FAQs

Conclusion

NordVPN is an excellent choice for watching BBC iPlayer but sometimes gets blocked by the streaming site.

If this happens, follow our simple process to fix any technical problems with your NordVPN app. 

If none of the steps we’ve suggested work, try another top BBC iPlayer VPN – like ExpressVPN or Surfshark – or read our VPN reviews to find the one that's right for you.

Remember, the best VPNs all have 30-day money-back guarantees, so there’s no risk in trying them out.

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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