Why isn’t BBC iPlayer working when using a VPN?

Would you like to stream BBC abroad, but you haven’t really found a solution? Maybe you have read about using a VPN to watch BBC outside the UK, but after signing up for a VPN service and download their VPN client, you still get the error message? What is wrong? Why can’t you watch BBC iPlayer abroad using a VPN?

BBC is an awesome TV channel, and many of my favorite shows are produced and created for and by BBC. Currently, Line of Duty is one of my big favorites, and the fifth season of Line of Duty just got to an end on BBC. But, what can you do if you are abroad and eager to stream content on BBC iPlayer abroad? Maybe you have read about the fact that using a VPN is the solution, but after connecting to a VPN server in the UK, you still get the error message. What can you do about it?

How to watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN, without getting the error message

I just tried to stream BBC iPlayer using a VPN, and I got the following error message.

BBC iPlayer error message using a VPN
BBC iPlayer error message using a VPN

The error message doesn’t always look like this, because sometimes you will see the error message looking something like this instead.

BBC iPlayer only works in the UK - error message in the top of the image
BBC iPlayer only works in the UK – error message in the top of the image

Now, if you do not use a VPN, such error messages can be accepted. But, if you have paid for a VPN service, that doesn’t feel so good. So, what can you do?

Most important – Use a VPN that works with BBC

This is the most important of it all, that you use a VPN which actually works with BBC in England. Right now I will give you the name of two VPN providers that I know will let you stream BBC abroad, so make sure to sign up for one of those providers and have the VPN application installed on your computer or mobile device.

Watch BBC with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for unblocking streaming services worldwide. They have a 30-day money back guarantee and can be used on three devices at the same time. They are the best VPN for accessing different Netflix regions, and you can read even more about ExpressVPN in our review right here. If you sign up for ExpressVPN clicking the button above, you will get three months for free if you purchase their 12 months package.

Watch BBC with PureVPN

PureVPN has a 31-day money back guarantee, and they make it very easy to stream BBC abroad as their application has something called streaming mode. Here you can select BBC from the list, and you will automatically connect to a server in England working with BBC iPlayer. You can read more about PureVPN in this extensive review.

Once you have the VPN application installed

If you have the VPN application installed, connect to a server in England. If you use PureVPN, make sure to select the streaming mode and select BBC from the list. If you use ExpressVPN, connect to one of their servers in the UK, for example their East London server.

Now you would expect it to work at once, and it normally does. But, if you use a web browser like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox, you might still get the error message. How come? These browsers spy on you and they store cookies in your browser about your whereabouts and other stuff. As a result, they still know where you are, even though you use a VPN. To bypass these regulations and cookies, either delete your cookies from your browser or choose a much easier solution – open the browser in Privacy Mode.

If you use any of these browsers, select the “options” button (normally in the upper right corner), and then select open new Privacy window, new Incognito window, or open the InPrivate window in Microsoft Edge. This will open a new browser window which is running without any cookies, no remembrance of your browser history, and thus the VPN will work and let you watch all your favorite content on BBC iPlayer using either PureVPN or ExpressVPN.

Want to see how this works in practice?

If you want to see how I watch BBC iPlayer abroad with ExpressVPN like described earlier, take a look at the following video. Here I am using Google Chrome and opening the browser in the incognito mode after connecting to an ExpressVPN server in the UK, and thus I am able to stream BBC iPlayer abroad using a VPN, without getting the error messages.

I hope these instructions will help you watch BBC abroad using a VPN. I have used them a lot myself, and even though I do not have to use the privacy mode window all the time, I often do, and whenever BBC iPlayer doesn’t run in the normal browser window, I always just run the privacy window option instead, and it always works.

Did it work for you as well? Do you still have trouble watching BBC abroad? I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and questions… and if you have a question, I always try to answer as quickly as opssible!

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