Latest on ITVX Abroad Problem – Is ITVX Not Working with VPN Services in 2024 ?

ITVX VPN  Not Working in 2024? Here’s the Fix!

Well as of the beginning of 2023, there’s a good chance that your VPN has stopped working with ITV. Just to recap this is using a standard VPN to hide your IP address and so bypass the country restrictions on the ITV Hub/Player web site. Some of the most popular like ExpressVPN are just not working well with ITV Hub at the moment.

VPN that Works

Although for a short period it even seemed like even Nord VPN had stopped working with ITV Hub thankfully that’s not the case now. If you use the servers optimized for the BBC then you should be fine as they rotate the IP addresses regularly and ensure they’re not blocked.  Any of the following should work fine – UK# 1840-1847, 1850-1863, 1865, 1869, 1873, 1875-1878, 1880-1881, 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919-1920. 

 Stay away from the -‘auto-connect’ feature though, as these servers are the least likely to work with the BBC and ITV Hub and is why people have trouble using NordVPN for ITV.

Previously Virtually Any VPN Connection Would Do

Literally thousands of us have been doing this for years, if you’re outside the UK just use the VPN to make it look like you are! The ITV Hub site has 7 live channels which stream all day and also a huge archive of TV shows, documentaries and dramas which you can enjoy anytime. Some of it’s most famous shows are dramas like Downton Abbey, Coronation Street and Sherlock Holmes. Although there are lots of other type of programmes including lots of news, documentaries, comedies and films too.

Anyway using a VPN has been pretty straight forward for accessing ITV Hub from abroad for the last few years.  They have previously made a huge effort to try and block connections made from VPNs and proxies but not for a little while. However the last few days something has changed and many people have found they’re getting error messages when trying to stream live or through the archive.

Read on for more details but if you’re getting fed up with ExpressVPN or any of the others not working with the ITV player for solutions that still work.

So What’s Happening with my VPN Service and ITV ?

Here’s a screenshot of the typical problem users are getting when trying to access ITV from abroad using a VPN currently –

itv hub not working with vpn

It doesn’t mention anything about proxies and VPNs, or similar error messages but it’s directly related to their use. I’ve tested a range of VPNs which normally are very reliable with accessing ITV Hub from abroad and they’re all having this issue. It seems that ITV are running some sort of purge on viewers from abroad. I’m not sure why? It could be political or economic and possibly related to the expansion of their new commercial collaboration with the BBC and Britbox.

The block doesn’t seem anything to do with your computer, or it’s regional settings as I’ve tested this. It does appear to be directly related to the Virtual Private Network or more specifically the specific IP address that it’s using.  This is the common method for media sites to block access to remote users.  It’s almost impossible to detect the VPN directly, as long as it’s set up correctly however they can use the IP address itself.


Using NordVPN to Watch ITVX (Tested 2024 from Ireland)

So if you are having problems with ITV hub not working with vpn services you’ve tried.  Here’s how NordVPN have got around this  block – it seems to work pretty well!

Why Your VPN May Have Stopped Working with ITV Hub Abroad

The usual methods are either to check for too many concurrent connections or the classification of the IP addresses itself.

Detecting Concurrent Connections from your VPN

Mostly we expect to see only one or two connections from each individual IP address. An IP address is unique on the internet, so you’d think it would be one user per each address. In practice this doesn’t happen, mainly because many people connect through coffee shops, shared WiFi, central routers in apartment blocks and so on. All these situations would make multiple users share the same unique IP address.

However it’s often a matter of scale, although a few users could share an IP address it wouldn’t be an enormous number. Potentially thousands of users could be sharing the same IP address of a popular VPN service particularly if they’re using one to access a specific site like the BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub.

Most of the larger VPNs with lots of servers tend to try and monitor this and rotate the IP addresses as much as possible. I’m hoping this is the current issue as my favorite NordVPN should be able to solve this quite easily as they have the largest infrastructure of any VPN provider.

IP Address Classification

This is the other option as to why your VPN may not be working currently with ITV Hub/Player at the moment. This is actually much harder to solve and I’m hoping that it’s not the case in this situation!

Basically any IP address as well as a location is also classified by type. You have addresses registered for a variety of uses such commercial, educational, residential and even military. It’s possible to look up these classifications and even block them automatically.  Virtually all VPN services have commercial IP addresses registered to their servers.

A few years ago Netflix blocked access to all ‘commercially registered’ IP address and many e-commerce and media sites did the same. This means that your connection is essentially flagged as you connect if you’re using a VPN address. They can’t see who you are or where you’re really located but they can block your IP address automatically.

Blacklisted IP Addresses

It’s kind of surprising but there are plenty of IP addresses which are basically useless for most tasks. These are usually addresses which have been used extensively for all sorts of dubious purposes. Mostly these are linked to cyber crime, spamming or other anti-social online behaviour on a large scale. If an IP address has been used to send millions of spam messages and clog up mail servers across the world then there’s a big chance it will end up being blacklisted.

You’re normally fairly safe against ending up with a blacklisted IP address in normal circumstances. Most ISPs and access points won’t allocate these addresses out because of the issues they cause. However if you’re using a cheap VPN which has thousands of low quality IP addresses then there’s a much greater chance you’ll end up using one.

Basically you’ll have issues when using any blacklisted IP address for any purpose and crucially you’ll often find yourself blocked for no apparent reason from media streaming sites like ITV Hub. Nearly all major websites will be able to look up these blacklisted IP addresses and block them automatically.

Anti VPN Measures Going Forward

It’s too early to say which of these anti-VPN measures are being taken. It may of course be something completely different too. ITV have in the past put some quite stringent measures including checking your computer localisation settings. It doesn’t seem to be have anything computer related implemented at the moment though.

The escalation in anti-VPN measures seems to come in waves periodically. At the time of this update July 2022, there seems to be some sort of truce. The majority of VPN services are still blocked by the BBC and ITV but no additional blocks seem to have been implemented. It’s likely if this continues that many of the better resourced companies will upgrade their networks to restore access to ITV Hub and BBC.

Future Solution – Residential IP Addresses

I think restricting access to only residential IP address will inevitably be the next step in the anti-VPN measures implemented by major media sites. Unless they’re going to sort out a global copyright and rights distribution system which seems unlikely. As mentioned in the section above regarding IP address classification – Netflix have already trialled a system automatically blocking IP addresses from datacenters and it was very effective. There were obviously some problems as they’re rolled back the changes but while implemented it basically blocked 99% of all VPNs from working with Netflix.

Does this mean we’ll all be blocked and no VPN service will work at all? Well no, but how these VPNs are configured will have to change drastically. A couple of years ago it was very difficult (and very expensive) to get access to these IP addresses. They were only released to ISP (Internet Service Providers) and therefore VPN and proxy providers couldn’t gain access.

ISP Proxies

These restrictions seem to have changed as now residential IP addresses have started to appear in the proxy market. Most of the major proxy providers, some of whom also have VPN products, have started to supply something called ISP proxies. These are basically standard proxy servers with residential IP addresses which can be used to hide your identity.

Residential IP addresses are almost undetectable and are extremely difficult to block as 99% of home users use them. If the availability of residential IP addresses has increased then there’s little to stop them being used with VPN services too. The only potential issue is that VPN services using these addresses are likely to be more expensive than ones which use datacentre IP addresses.

Residential VPN Services

You can get these already, however they’re currently not essential for things like streaming from media sites like BBC iPlayer. Many of the popular proxy sites like IPBurger will supply you with a free VPN client with which you can rent a residential IP address to use with it.

These will definitely work with sites like BBC iPlayer as long as they’re located in the United Kingdom of course.

NordVPN – Best Value VPN Access to ITVX

Our favorite (and best value) VPN service – NordVPN is still working with all the other UK TV channels online and has been a little intermittent with ITV Hub during 2022.    This seems to be have been fixed now and ITV Hub seems to be working fine in 2023. All the other channels work OK too so you can enjoy all the best of  UK channels.

Additional FAQs

Here’s a few additional questions we’ve received over the years.   Hopefully they might help someone with similar issues.

Is ITV Hub Not Working with ExpressVPN Anymore?

ITV Hub is no more, it has been replaced by the new platform ITVX.  It has been reported from a few sources that when ITVX was released at the beginning of 2023 they upgraded the geo-location technology too.   ITVX definitely blocks more VPNs than ITV Hub did so it’s possible that ExpressVPN is one of the casualties.  I’ve not used it for a while as it’s quite expensive in my opinion, but if you have a subscription and are having problems then it’s worth just switching to a different IP address.   It’s unlikely all ExpressVPNs servers have been blocked, although it is possible, try ones in different UK cities if possible.


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