• BBC iPlayer
iPlayer Help Troubleshooting Why does BBC iPlayer think I'm outside the UK?

Why does BBC iPlayer think I'm outside the UK?

Due to rights reasons, you cannot stream programmes in BBC iPlayer outside the UK, even on holiday. 

What if you are in the UK?

There are several reasons why iPlayer thinks you're outside the UK; the most common are either: 

  • Your IP address, which is the address websites use to determine where in the world you are, not being registered in the UK
  • You are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), proxy, or similar service which masks your IP address

But you can do something about it. 

This page will explain what can be done and will also list other possible reasons why this could be happening and what to do. 

  • Using a VPN or proxy? Try disabling it.

If you are using a VPN or proxy service and are in the UK, try disabling it to see if that helps. If we detect that you might be using a VPN, you'll be unable to play programmes. This is because we need to be confident you're in the UK, and if you're using a VPN or proxy, we can't detect reliably where you are. 

If you're able to supply details of your VPN provider we might be able to contact them on your behalf to see if we can find a solution to this problem. If so, we might be able to allow you to play programmes while still using your VPN.

  • Maybe your IP address isn't registered in the UK

If your ISP (Internet Service Provider) has supplied you with a recently created or newly sourced IP address, it may be that it hasn't been registered correctly or sometimes it may just take a few weeks for the various databases across the internet and our own database to be updated to recognise the IP address as being located within the UK. 

You should check with your ISP whether this could be the case before deciding to contact iPlayer Support. 

  • Check your IP address yourself

While not definitive, there are various IP checking websites, such as www.whatismyip.com or whatismyipaddress.com for example, that will list your IP address, where it believes your are, and what ISP the address is registered with. 

If those details are different to what you believe are correct, contact your ISP as it's possible the IP address has been recently obtained by your ISP, or it may not be registered correctly, or is awaiting certain databases to be added, which could take a few weeks. 

If you are going to contact iPlayer Support, please include your ISP details. 

  • Web accelerator

If you're using a web accelerator, try disabling it to see if that helps. 

  • Work computer

Some companies and organisations might have an internal network which routes data outside the UK. It's worth checking with your company's IT support to confirm. 

  • Tor Network

If you are using or participating in the Tor network, be aware that only Tor relay nodes are able to play programmes on BBC iPlayer. 

  • Using a mobile device? 

In addition to the above guidance, check whether any data reduction features are set in your browser settings as some mobile browsers route data outside the UK when data reduction features are used.

Chrome may refer to this as ‘Reduce data usage’ in Bandwidth Management and Opera may refer to this as ‘off road’ or ‘Turbo mode’ depending on your browser version. And remember to check your browser is up to date! You can also try another browser.

Also, data compression apps may route data outside the UK, so try disabling them.

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