BBC iPlayer content can be watched in UK only. I added this to torrc file:

ExitNodes {gb}
StrictNodes 1
GeoIPExcludeUnknown 1
AllowSingleHopCircuits 0

When I check my IP it always locates it in UK, but still I can't watch BBC iPlayer content - it says I'm not in UK. Can it be resolved?

  • same problem - any solution? All the free VPNs seem to have stopped working
    – user22054
    May 18, 2018 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


The BBC actively tracks incoming connections from Tor users by monitoring for IP addresses from known Tor (exit) relays.

The following is an excerpt of a response from BBC customer support. It's a year old, but if they were tracking and blocking things back then, it's highly likely they still will be now. (January 2016.)

Dear Mr ....

Reference ....

Thanks for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team. I'm sorry for the delay in replying.

Although it's been a while since you contacted us, I want to reassure you that we did read your contact shortly after it was received. We check all the contacts sent to iPlayer support every morning, and if we spot a potential fault we'll escalate for further investigation. We understand you are encountering issues accessing BBC iPlayer. We sent this across to our technical team for further investigation and they have stated that there is evidence this IP is a Tor. No changes will be made at this time to this IP. You will need to stop using a Tor network so we can verify that you are in the UK and you will then be able to access iPlayer services.


At present, Tor nodes are classed as proxies, regardless of whether or not they are an exit node. We are working to differentiating Tor exit nodes from non-exit relays, to allow us to block exit nodes only.

And... There are more recent news stories detailing how the BBC is blocking connections from any UK-based proxy, including VPNs, the aim being to ensure only people based in the UK who pay the licence fee (i.e. the money used to fund the BBC) can connect.

I believe the "You are not in the UK" message is the stock message they serve to people they believe are connecting from proxies.

  • "aim being to ensure only people based in the UK who pay the licence fee (i.e. the money used to fund the BBC) can connect." You don't have to pay the licence fee to watch iPlayer, Just be in the UK, you only need to pay the fee if you watch shows as their broadcast. A small (but IMHO important) difference.
    – user5416
    Jan 10, 2016 at 21:58
  • 1
    Yes, good point. Just looking through the iPlayer FAQs, it looks like it might be related to the BBC not necessarily having the rights to the programmes. I suppose if the programmes are made by external production companies then they retain the rights and final say where it can be broadcast. Perhaps they're also trying to sell the programmes overseas...? iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv/progs_avail Jan 10, 2016 at 22:03

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