ExpressVPN Not Working With BBC iPlayer? Here’s What to Do

ExpressVPN Not Working With BBC iPlayer? Here’s What to Do

September 8, 2023 privacy 0

Has your ExpressVPN app stopped working with BBC iPlayer? Worry not. It doesn’t necessarily mean the VPN is broken – it could be a simple technical glitch.

Worst case scenario, you might need a new VPN. 

In this quick guide, we’ll show you the most common solutions to problems that prevent you from accessing BBC iPlayer using ExpressVPN. And if those don’t work, we’ll recommend the best alternative VPNs to switch to.

How to stream BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN

First, we need to confirm your ExpressVPN app is configured correctly for BBC iPlayer. 

ExpressVPN has apps for many devices that work with BBC iPlayer, including some smart TVs. The setup process is generally the same for all of them:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN. You’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it risk-free. 
  2. Download the app onto your BBC iPlayer device.
  3. Connect to a server in the UK.
  4. Clear your browser or BBC iPlayer app cache and cookies.
  5. Sign in on your browser or the BBC iPlayer app.

That’s it!

Clearing your cache and cookies is vital, assuming BBC iPlayer logged your location in a previous session. 

Still can’t access BBC iPlayer? Try connecting to a different server in the UK. 

No luck? Keep reading to find alternate VPNs that work with BBC iPlayer.

How well does ExpressVPN work with BBC iPlayer?

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer, thanks to its extensive network of high-speed servers in the UK and advanced stealth technology.

In our tests, ExpressVPN’s streaming speeds averaged 91 Mbps – fast enough for 4K streaming even when connected to far-away servers. Its Lightway VPN protocol ensures a smooth, buffer-free connection while keeping your internet secure and your location hidden. It’s also lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about battery drain when streaming on mobile.

Despite being one of the most advanced VPNs, ExpressVPN can still experience some issues. Let’s examine why it might not be working with BBC iPlayer.

Why does ExpressVPN not work with BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is a UK-only streaming site. You’re not supposed to access its content outside the UK (mostly due to its broadcast licenses). BBC iPlayer actively blocks anyone outside the UK from accessing its content, even if you’re a UK citizen.

BBC iPlayer also invests heavily in detecting and blocking VPN servers, because they’re often used to access its content outside the UK. Even if you’re in the UK and using ExpressVPN to improve your online privacy or just leaving the UK for a few days, BBC iPlayer will still block you. 

The best BBC iPlayer VPNs constantly find ways to bypass these blocks, but it is an ongoing battle. 

However, software limitations and technical glitches in ExpressVPN can sometimes contribute. Here are the most common issues 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 ExpressVPN server. It won’t accept connection requests from that server’s IP address. ExpressVPN 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 apps using GPS – like Google Maps. There is no way for ExpressVPN 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 every solution above and ExpressVPN still can’t connect to BBC iPlayer, you could try a different VPN. 

We’ve tested many VPNs with BBC iPlayer and other streaming platforms and narrowed our recommendations to just five options (not including ExpressVPN). 

Take a quick look at them below, or read our complete VPN reviews, to see how each VPN performs in streaming, privacy, security, value, and much more. 

[[post-object type=”summary-section” pros-cons=”true” /]]

How we tested ExpressVPN and others with BBC iPlayer

We carefully tested each VPN on this list to see if it met our strict criteria. We switched between servers, contacted customer support, and binge-watched Pride and Prejudice to see if our location or data was leaked.

Most VPNs failed our tests outright. The ones that passed did so based on the following:

  • Extensive server network: We only recommended VPNs with lots of servers in the UK, as part of wider networks across the globe.
  • Access any content: The listed VPNs gave us access to BBC iPlayer and other websites that restrict access due to your location, including banks and personal tax portals.
  • Fast connections: We only included VPNs that have minimal impact on your speed and can deliver consistent connections anywhere in the world.
  • Excellent security: The best VPNs provide state-of-the-art security to stay hidden and safe online, including 256-bit AES encryption, IP leak protections, automatic kill-switches, and much more. We tested these features thoroughly for each VPN.
  • Easy to use: We have recommended VPNs with simple, user-friendly apps and easy configuration. 
  • Good value: The best thing about VPNs is how cheap they are – you will never have to spend more than a few dollars a month. 

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

Do free VPNs work with BBC iPlayer?

Most VPNs don’t work with BBC iPlayer because the streamer quickly catches their limited UK server networks. They also lack advanced VPN cloaking software and stealth modes. 

However, there are other reasons we don’t recommend free VPNs. They come with several user experience and security concerns, including: 

1. Free VPNs limit the number of locations you can access. Most have servers in two to three countries that quickly get crowded with other free users. 

2. Free VPNs are too slow for BBC iPlayer – or anything else. They either can’t deliver fast connections or throttle you, so you eventually upgrade to a paid plan. 

3. Free VPNs come bundled with ads. They’re intrusive, irritating, and could be loaded with malware.

4. Free VPNs sell your information to data brokers and advertisers. Your privacy will be compromised, and you can’t be sure what malware and trackers are installed on your device to track you.

5. Free VPNs have been caught hosting malware and hackers on their networks. This malware can then infect your devices or be used to steal your data. 

6. Free VPNs leak data. More than 40% of free VPN apps in the Google Play Store have been caught leaking private data from users.

Many affordable VPNs work with BBC iPlayer and don’t put your safety or service quality at risk. Avoid unnecessary problems – choose a reliable VPN and avoid free ones altogether.

ExpressVPN and BBC iPlayer FAQs

[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Why is ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer?” answer=”There are a few reasons why ExpressVPN might not be working with BBC iPlayer. One possibility is that BBC iPlayer has blocked the VPN’s IP addresses. Your VPN may also be configured incorrectly. Finally, there may also be a problem with the VPN’s servers.

If ExpressVPN has stopped working for you, follow the instructions in this guide. If you still can’t connect to BBC iPlayer, we suggest switching to a different VPN, such as Surfshark or NordVPN. 

” /]]

[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”How do I fix ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer?” answer=”

If ExpressVPN is not working with BBC iPlayer, then there are a few things that you can try to fix the problem:

  • Connect to a different server: If you are currently connected to a server in the UK, try another one located elsewhere in the country.
  • Make sure your VPN is configured correctly: Check the VPN’s settings to make sure that it is configured to connect to a server in the UK.
  • Contact ExpressVPN’s customer support: If you’ve tried the above steps and are still having problems, contact ExpressVPN’s customer support via 24/7 live chat for help.

” /]]

[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”How do I know if a VPN works with BBC iPlayer?” answer=”

The best way to know if a VPN works with BBC iPlayer is to try it out. However, there are a few things you can look for to increase your chances of finding a VPN that works:

  • Read reviews from other users: Read reviews from other users to see what they say about the VPN’s performance with BBC iPlayer.
  • Check the VPN’s website for a list of supported streaming services: Most VPNs list the streaming services they work with on their website and provide guides for each.
  • Contact the VPN’s customer support for help: If you’re still unsure whether a VPN will work with BBC iPlayer, ask their customer support agents.

” /]]


BBC iPlayer blocks every VPN sometimes – there’s no getting around it. But VPNs will keep finding ways around these efforts.

If ExpressVPN isn’t working on your BBC iPlayer account, try the quick fixes suggested in this guide. If you still can’t get access, try a different VPN for BBC iPlayer, such as Surfshark or NordVPN.

Or read our top VPN guide to determine which is best for you.

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