If you are looking for the best VPN for UK to combat the recent proposals for regulation and censorship in the UK like the Online Harms White Paper and the Snoopers’ Charter that may put free speech under the thumb of the government, then you have arrived at the right place.
In fact, the UK government has an extensive history of steering unlawful mass surveillance operations against its citizens. Needless to say, the most effective way to counter censorship, surveillance, and protect your online privacy while gaining access to various geo-blocked content is to use a VPN in UK.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) would spoof your location and also let you unblock streaming services like Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime US, Disney+ US, and more from the UK without letting you get blocked.
So, stick around till the end as we reveal to you the 6 best VPNs for the UK in this article that we shortlisted after testing 150+ VPNs.
The Best UK VPN Services Today (July 2021 Tested)
We tested 150+ VPNs against features like servers, protocols, simultaneous connections, zero-logging, internet kill switch, and UK servers on Android, iOS, PC, and on other mainstream operating systems. The test disclosed ExpressVPN as the best UK VPN. The following best UK VPNs are some of the services that are highly competent in maintaining user privacy and can unblocking geo-restrictions in seconds:
1. The best VPN for UK – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for the UK that offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries. Among these servers, 4 are present in the UK located in Docklands, East London, Wembley, and London. With its average speed of 86 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection, you access anything you like within the UK easily.
If you’re vacationing outside the UK and miss your favorite streaming channels and shows, then you can always use these UK servers to access UK-based services outside the country like BBC iPlayer, UKTV Play, Channel 4, Sky Go, BT Sport, etc.
Speaking of which, ExpressVPN offers some great speeds on its UK servers. We conducted a speed test for all its UK servers to check out its speeds:
|ExpressVPN Recommended UK Servers||Speed Result|
|East London||84.5 Mbps|
And it’s not just the UK. ExpressVPN also offers speedy servers globally. Our ExpressVPN speed tests can confirm this. You can use its 3000+ servers across the world and enjoy any streaming service you like including Netflix US, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, etc. in HD from the UK.
While you’re accessing some geo-restricted content, ExpressVPN protects you over the internet by offering AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocols among other protocols. It also offers some top-notch security features like a kill switch that disconnects you from the internet once your VPN connection drops, and a strict no-logs policy ensuring that it won’t collect any user’s logs.
An added advantage is ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature that can unblock almost all streaming sites without encrypting your online traffic and without burdening your connection with encryption.
ExpressVPN’s fantastic service comes at a price of $6.67/mo only. If you’re into testing its service first, then you can get its 30-day money-back guarantee. You can always cancel your ExpressVPN subscription if you believe the service isn’t for you, which won’t be the case as it’s undoubtedly the best.
Overall, ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can get in the UK. It is worth the money if you’re serious about strengthening your online privacy and attain better internet accessibility, as noted in our ExpressVPN review.
2. Fastest VPN for UK – Surfshark
Surfshark is one of the fastest VPNs for the UK with 3200+ servers in the world including 3 in the UK. These UK servers are located in London, Manchester, and Glasgow. Overall, the server network is strong enough to unblock websites both within and outside the UK.
Using Surfshark, you can unblock some popular UK-based streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, BT Sport, Sky Go, etc., and enjoy some exclusive movies and TV shows on them.
While ExpressVPN’s, speeds cannot be matched, Surfshark still offers some great speeds. You can check out its speeds on the UK servers below:
|Surfshark Recommended UK Servers||Speed Result|
If you live within the UK, then you can use Surfshark to access any geo-restricted service you like across the world. These include Amazon Prime, Hulu, NBC, YouTube TV, and Peacock TV in HD.
You can enjoy these services on any device you like as Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections to users along with compatibility with all major devices including iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Fire Stick, and more.
While using Surfshark, you won’t have to worry about your browsing activity being monitored at all as this VPN comes with tons of features like a kill switch, MultiHop, AES-256 encryption, and CleanWeb to keep you safe and sound.
Not only that, Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and doesn’t keep any logs. Surfshark’s cheapest plan only costs $2.49/mo along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark’s cheap prices and unlimited multi-logins make it the best VPN service in the UK. You can actually share your Surfshark account with your friends and family so they can enjoy its services too. You can learn more about this service in our detailed Surfshark review.
3. Secure VPN for UK– NordVPN
NordVPN is the most secure VPN for the UK. This VPN offers 5200+ servers globally with 645+ in the UK. However, all these UK servers are located in London. NordVPN offers an average speed of 62 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection that may be less than the VPNs above, but are still good enough to stream content in HD quality in the UK.
With NordVPN’s UK servers, you can enjoy Sky Sports, BT Sport, and Sky Go, BBC iPlayer, and Channel 4 outside the country.
Let’s give you an overview of the speeds of NordVPN’s UK servers while unblocking a geo-blocked service.
|NordVPN Recommended UK Servers||Speed Test Results|
You can also check out the speeds of its worldwide servers in our NordVPN speed tests guide.
NordVPN’s global servers are great for accessing worldwide geo-restricted streaming services like Hulu, NBC, DAZN, Vudu, and Disney Plus and enjoy it in the UK.
NordVPN offers 6 simultaneous connections along with some effective security features to stay protected while bypassing geo-restrictions. It also offers great privacy features like a Nordlynx, kill switch, Double VPN, and IP leak protection combined with a super easy-to-use interface.
NordVPN also doesn’t log user data and since they operate from Panama, they’re free from most data retention laws. Therefore, you can also torrent with NordVPN without worrying about your activities being logged.
Other than that, NordVPN is super affordable as well, costing $3.30/mo . You can also avail its 30-day money-back guarantee before subscribing to any of its actual plans. You can check out the pros and cons of this VPN in our NordVPN review.
4. Best VPN for Streaming in UK – IPVanish
IPVanish is a reliable VPN for streaming in the UK with 1600+ servers in the world. This VPN offers 108 servers in the UK to be exact, located in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, London, and Maidenhead.
With these UK servers, you can enjoy unblocking Channel 4, BBC iPlayer, and BT Sport outside the UK using IPVanish. Similarly, its worldwide offers great services in unblocking streaming services like Disney Plus, Netflix US, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more in HD within the UK.
IPVanish’s servers are specifically optimized for streaming purposes, thereby making it the best one if focused solely on streaming. Let’s check out IPVanish’s speeds on its UK servers:
|IPVanish Recommended UK Servers||Speed-Test Results|
IPVanish offers features like a kill switch, split tunneling, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, full P2P support, and a whole slew of other privacy-oriented features. Coupled with its no-logging policy, IPVanish is a good choice to bypass geo-restrictions in the UK.
5. Optimized VPN for UK – CyberGhost
Cyberghost is a highly optimized VPN for the UK and offers 641 servers in Berkshire, London, and Manchester. On the whole, CyberGhost has a network of 7,000+ servers in 90 countries. Suffice it to say, getting over restrictions in British cyberspace is no problem with this VPN.
Using CyberGhost’s UK servers, you can access the UK streaming services you like including the most popular BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, BT Sports, Sky Sports, and more.
You’ll receive the following speeds while streaming any of the services above:
|CyberGhost Recommended UK Servers||Speed-Test Results|
Using CyberGhost’s global servers, you can access all services worldwide like Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar, in HD.
In terms of security features, CyberGhost comes packed with features like OpenVPN, DNS leak protection, location spoofing, and a kill switch, with all subscription plans.
The provider also doesn’t log user data as they operate from the data retention-free jurisdiction of Romania. This makes it beneficial for British users that want to evade the spying antics of their government.
6. Best Torrenting VPN for UK – PIA
PIA VPN is the best torrenting VPN for the UK. This VPN provider offers a torrent-friendly server network of 35,500+ servers. Out of these, 1878 servers in the UK are located in London, Manchester, and Southampton.
Expatriates can easily gain access to geo-restricted UK streaming services using these UK servers. These include BT Sport, Channel 4, BBC iPlayer, Sky Sports, and many more.
PIA is known to offer reasonable speeds on its UK servers. Below are the test results:
|Recommended Servers||Speed-Test Results|
With its extensive global server network, you can access any geo-restricted service across the world like American Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and NBC in HD within the UK. Many of the servers offered by PIA are torrent-friendly and are optimized for streaming.
The provider offers fast and stable connections that are particularly important to enable seamless streaming. Advanced features such as DNS secure, automatic kill switch, and IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection keep your identity hidden from UK government agencies.
You can get PIA for $2.08/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 10 simultaneous connections.
There are a few VPNs as valuable as PIA. This is one of the reasons that makes PIA highly rated among reviewers. Learn more about this VPN in our PIA review.
Testing Methodology: How we tested the best VPN UK
Before listing the 6 VPNs above as the best VPNs for the UK, we tested them on the following criteria:
VPN protocols are the most important aspect of any VPN service. After all, they are responsible for keeping your privacy intact. Some of the must-have VPN protocols are WireGuard, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and a few others. All the VPNs above offer highly secure and reliable OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols to keep user privacy intact.
We tested most UK and global servers of the VPNs above to check out their speeds. Our focus was also on the number of servers these services offer, thereby listing down the services that offer over a thousand effective servers in the world as well as in the UK.
3. Simultaneous connections:
Simultaneous connections are an absolute favorite feature of users when it comes to a VPN. Therefore, all the VPNs above offer multiple simultaneous connections to users. For example, ExpressVPN offers 5 multi-logins to users on a single account. Part of the reason why it is the best VPN for multiple devices.
4. Zero logging:
All premium VPNs offer a strict no-logs policy that ensures that the VPN service would not store any user data or activity in the UK. We thoroughly the privacy policies of all the VPNs above, ensuring that they do not collect any user logs.
5. Payment modes:
Payment modes are just as crucial as protocols or logging policies. All VPNs above offer multiple payment methods to users. VPNs like ExpressVPN also support anonymous payments like cryptocurrencies. After all, the less information you give out about yourself the safer you are.
6. Kill switch:
Yet another significant feature is a kill switch. As mentioned above, it syncs great with torrenting as it disconnects you off the internet if there is a drop in the VPN connection. So, if you’re torrenting any file using a VPN in UK and your VPN connection drops, then you don’t need to worry at all.
Free VPNs that are not safe to use in the UK
While free VPNs are known to offer unreliable services overall, there are a few free VPNs for the UK that are not safe to use in the UK at all. These are:
This Israel-based VPN lets users connect and use each other’s bandwidth connection as a part of a large P2P network. This enables illegal activities to take place using each other’s bandwidth. HolaVPN is also known to collect all user data and traffic and sell it to third parties which is scary to think about.
Yet another VPN that is known for collecting user’s data, collecting their cookies, and selling all of it to third parties is Betternet. It also targets you with personalized advertisements after collecting your data while you enjoy its services.
5 reasons why you need a VPN in the UK
The UK government has been giving several reasons for British citizens to gravitate towards VPN services. VPN is a great tool to prevent your ISP, government agencies, and websites from tracking your online activities. Here are 5 reasons why you need a VPN in UK:
1. Online Privacy and Anonymity
As I said earlier, the UK is now no longer a safe place for internet users. In fact, it is far from anything but safe. Ever since the United Kingdom passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 aka the Snoopers Charter, investigative agencies have been pounding down on unsuspecting internet users.
Well, unlike a routine investigation that requires a warrant, Snooper’s charter allows unprecedented access to all sorts of confidential data, all without the need for a warrant.
If you’re wondering about what information can the government track, then buckle up I’m gonna give you a rundown of just a few:
- Online Chats
- Browsing history
- Social media
- Online transactions
Now I don’t know about you guys but this seriously freaks me out every time I’m in the UK. And that’s not all, I have barely scratched the surface.
This is the biggest reason why we never travel without a VPN. Because who knows, who might be watching you right now?
2. Safe Torrenting
The UK has strict anti-piracy laws and many of these websites remain banned in the country. VPNs can help you gain access to multiple torrent websites. More importantly, VPNs can enhance your security and ensure that your identity remains hidden from authorities that might be snooping in on your online activities.
Using VPNs has become even more important considering the increasing penalties for piracy in the UK as those found guilty may be jailed in the worst-case scenario. Therefore, British citizens should use VPNs as an insurance policy against the possibility of running into legal troubles.
Disclaimer: We do not encourage nor condone the use of VPNs for illegal activities, including copyright infringement.
3. Unblocking websites and services
Even though the UK doesn’t block websites as aggressively as some middle eastern countries, there are actually quite a few websites and services blocked in the United Kingdom. In fact, all major ISPs like BT Group, EE, Sky Broadband, Talk Talk, and Virgin Media are constantly blocking websites, especially those associated with torrenting.
With a UK VPN, you can easily unblock multiple geo-restricted streaming services in the world including Netflix US, Hulu, YouTube TV, and more in the UK. Speaking of which, using any of the UK servers of the VPNs above, you can unblock local streaming channels of the UK like BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Bt Sport, etc. from abroad.
4. Usage of public Wi-Fi
Using public Wi-Fi poses multiple threats to users who use them without a VPN. This Wi-Fi is a vulnerable connection that can be used to hack or snoop into devices to steal user data. Therefore, a VPN is much needed on these networks. VPNs create an encrypted tunnel between a user and a website so no one can snoop in and track your data.
5. Preventing cyberattacks
Cyberattacks have become extremely common in the UK. According to IT Governance UK, during the year 2020, 1120 data breach attacks were reported in the United Kingdom. While the number of these cyberattacks doesn’t look too alarming, they leaked over 20.1 billion records of organizations.
That’s not it. Even though the number of leaked records looks quite petrifying, they doubled in the 2nd half of the year with a 50% rise in cyberattacks.
Therefore, you need to protect yourself from all data breaches in the UK, and a VPN is one effective way to do so.
Internet Freedom in the UK
The British have a bad history with privacy and internet freedom. In November 2016, the British parliament introduced the Investigatory Power Act, also known as the “Snooper Charter.” It basically grants the British intelligence agencies access to all user data and is “unmatched by any other country in western Europe or even the US,” says The Guardian.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden also tweeted: “The UK has just legalized the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies.” This act forces local Internet Service Providers and telecom firms to store user data including online activities and browsing histories and then hand over the data to the government agencies via a search engine called the request filter.
Intelligence agencies have complete access to this data without any judicial oversight – meaning that the government can target any particular group and it will not be subjected to scrutiny. But, that’s not it. The British intelligence agencies have been collecting user data unlawfully prior to this bill. The Snooper Charter in 2016 just legalized the process and granted far more access to agencies than before.
Therefore, to protect themselves against this Snooper Charter, users in the UK need to use a VPN. In light of this charter, you can say that there is no internet freedom in the UK, and with time we will see it dwindle in the years to come if this charter continues.
Although no service can guarantee complete anonymity, VPNs still are the most effective services to protect users’ online activity in the UK.
Is using a UK-based VPN a good option in the UK?
You must be wondering, “Are UK-based VPNs safe to use inside the UK?” Well, the answer to that question is no. If you value your online privacy, then using a UK-based VPN like VPNUK or WorldVPN is not a good option.
The United Kingdom is an active member of the 5 Eyes Alliance that dedicates ISPs as well as VPN services to log user’s online activity and store it for 12-months or more. This data is then handed over to the British intelligence agencies when requested. Therefore, UK-based VPNs store user’s online activity and that goes against the user’s right to privacy.
For this reason, you should avoid using UK-based VPNs at all costs. We have mentioned some great VPNs that are based in a safe jurisdiction which makes it a great VPN for the UK.
Yes, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN in the UK. You can use a VPN in the UK to protect your online privacy and security. VPNs like ExpressVPN are great when it comes to protecting your privacy. However, if you use a VPN to engage in illegal activities that we discourage like downloading copyright infringement then you may find yourself in trouble with the British authorities.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming in the UK. This VPN helps you bypass geo-restrictions within seconds and lets you access all of UK’s fantastic streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, ITV, UKTV Play, and Sky Sports in HD. It offers average speeds of 86 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection without any lags.
There are plenty of amazing VPNs on the market, however, not all VPNs offer apps for smartphones. ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that offer excellent apps for both Android and iOS devices. The ExpressVPN mobile apps are easy to set up and use. It only takes a few seconds to connect to a server and doesn’t take a lot of space on your phone.
The average cost of a Virtual Private Network in the UK is around $2- $5 USD which is around £1.45 – £3.63 per month. However, the cost varies from VPN to VPN and it also depends upon the extra features and protocols you want. For example, if you need a dedicated IP address, you will have to pay extra.
Similarly, VPNs offer various subscription plans ranging from monthly plans to yearly plans. Most of the time, the longer the plan, the cheaper it gets.
Best VPN for the UK: Wrapping Up!
If you want to avoid the UK’s rather authoritarian and intrusive online policies, then a reliable VPN is an absolute must. ExpressVPN is the best VPN for the UK as it protects users from spying agencies with its no-logging policy and strong encryption protocols.
It’s also great for bypassing geo-restrictions without being monitored over the internet. In short, well-equipped to deal with increasing surveillance in the UK.