The digital laws in the United Kingdom are getting more intrusive by the day. In fact, according to Edward Snowden, the surveillance system in the country has even outdone the one imposed by the US.
As the UK’s state of internet freedom goes from bad to worst, the citizens have no choice but to employ a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
In this article, I will highlight the best VPN for British citizens and expatriates alike. ExpressVPN is still our top premium VPN in the industry. However, since many netizens find VPNs a bit heavy on their wallet, my focus will remain on totally free VPN services. Still, anyone who would love to spend some money should read our best VPN for UK blog anonymity and privacy.
Problems with free VPNs
Free VPNs are no doubt attractive as they cost nothing – but it also means that these “free VPN providers” make profits in some other ways. And that is mostly through logging user data and selling it to third-party advertisers and invasive advertising.
Free VPNs also limit speed and bandwidth which makes them impossible to use. As Daniel Markuson, Digital Privacy Expert at NordVPN says, “there is no such thing as a free lunch. If a user does not pay for a service, there must be an alternative price to be paid. And very often, it’s privacy.” Free VPNs also:
- Collect user logs and sell data to third party advertisers
- offers limited servers
- offers limited bandwidth and data
Premium VPNs on the other hand offer the best security features and fast-speed servers. So, before going for a free VPN, it’s worth knowing about paid, premium VPNs that won’t break your wallet and give you much better speed, security, and performance.
Quick Overview: Best Free VPN for the UK in 2021
Best Free VPN for the UK
Using a free VPN can be a bit risky. Sometimes a VPN that doesn’t charge you for the service makes you the product by selling your personal information. These services are the antithesis of what a VPN should do.
Thankfully, not all free VPNs engage in this dubious practice. Following are some free VPN that are also trustworthy and reliable:
Windscribe is an excellent free VPN app for the UK. The VPN boasts advanced security features such as Adblock and Firewall. Furthermore, it supports torrent websites, which is a rare ability among free VPNs.
Windscribe’s free plan includes 10 servers, including one from the United Kingdom. This server can be used to unblock geo-restricted British content abroad, though it is not effective for bypassing restrictions on streaming services like the BBC iPlayer. It can still grant you access to websites like ITV, Channel4, Britbox, Sky-Sports, and many others.
The service imposes a 10 GB per month bandwidth cap, which can run out pretty quickly. Nonetheless, the AES-256 encryption and strong no-log policy make Winscribe great for privacy-conscious users in the UK. You can receive an additional 5 GB of bandwidth for free. All you have to do is a post about Windscribe on Twitter, and you will get the extra 5 GB bandwidth.
Learn more about this service in our Windscribe VPN review.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Strict no-log policy
- P2P/Torrenting support
- Multiple devices compatibility
- Headquarter located in Canada
- No 24/7 Live Chat support
ProtonVPN is the best, totally free yet unlimited VPN for the UK. This free service imposes no bandwidth limit, so you can enjoy it without ever running.
The free service comes with three servers located in Japan, Netherlands, and the United States. No UK server is available with the free version. Combining unlimited bandwidth with specific P2P servers makes it one of the best free VPNs for torrenting. It can unblock popular streaming services such as US Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, NHK, and many others at a decent speed.
Still, ProtonVPN boasts military-grade AES-256 encryption and a decent logging policy, making it pretty impressive for seekers of digital privacy. ProtonVPN headquarter is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Therefore, it is not legally obliged to store the user logs or share them with any legal authorities.
For more information, see this ProtonVPN review.
- Headquartered location in Geneva
- AES-256 bit encryption
- No-log policy
- Internet Kill Switch and Split-Tunneling
- Limited Customer Support
- A bit expensive
TunnelBear is a popular free service that offers servers in the UK. It is a pretty capable VPN with cross-platform compatibility and a server network encompassing over 20distinct locations. It does support torrenting and offers an Internet Kill Switch for extra protection if your VPN connection drops during file-sharing, making it one of the best free VPNs for P2P.
In terms of privacy and security, TunnelBear is a great choice for UK users to have. Unfortunately, the greatest drawback of this VPN is that it only offers 500 MB of data per month. So, if you have moderate to high VPN usage requirements, TunnelBear won’t be suited for you, and you can go for a provider with unlimited bandwidth like ExpressVPN.
It supports a no-data retention policy, and if you tweet about them or refer them to a friend, you can receive a bonus of 1 GB bandwidth for free. It is probably one of the only few free VPN providers that have been audited by a third party, though it doesn’t offer any Live Chat support, which is a major drawback in our eyes.
Tunnelbear is compatible with many devices and software. For example, if you’re looking for a VPN free for Ubuntu, try Tunnelbear.
Read this TunnelBear review for more details.
- P2P/File-Sharing supported
- Internet Kill Switch
- Vigilant Mode
- Strong Encryption
- No Live Chat support
- Headquarter located in Canada
Hotspot Shield is another great choice for the UK, especially for fans who love American shows. This free VPN offers only one server location for free users and that is the US. So, you can use its American servers to stream geo-restricted sites like Netflix US, Hulu, and more.
Unfortunately, its free version only offers 500 MB of free data per day, so you can only stream for about 30 minutes before running out of data. And then you will have to wait the next day to get 500 MB more. Similarly, another downside is that Hotspot Shield’s free version is supported by ads, so during streaming, you will experience frequent pop-ups and ads that becomes annoying.
- 500 MB free data per day
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Kill Switch
- Vigilant Mode
- no logs policy
- Great unblocking capability
- only one server location (the US)
- 1 device connection
- Annoying ads
UrbanVPN offers unlimited bandwidth and 80+ server locations, including the UK, for free. Its top locations include the United States, France, Canada, Belgium, and Argentina.
It offers Not only unlimited bandwidth but also unlimited simultaneous connections. It also lets you overcome any Internet Service Provider’s bandwidth throttling, which is a scarce feature to have among free VPN providers. Owned by “Urban Cybersecurity” and being operated from the US, this provider wouldn’t be your first choice when it comes to anonymity and user data protection.
The downside is that it has a shady logging policy and uses a P2P-style network architecture which further calls into question user privacy and security.
However, if you are willing to overlook the doubtful privacy in favor of its effectiveness for streaming services, UrbanVPN is a great VPN to get a free UK IP address.
Find out more about this VPN in the UrbanVPN review.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Servers in 81 countries
- Unblocks popular streaming services
- Defeats ISP throttling
- No Customer Support
- No compatibility for Mac and iOS
- Shady logging policy
Why you need a VPN for the UK
- State surveillance: In 2016, the British parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Act, which basically gives a legal cover to pervasive mass surveillance. This bill gives a free hand to institutions such as the GCHQ to snoop on British residents. VPNs can help enhance your privacy and keep you secure from spying agencies.
- Safe torrenting: The UK government has strict copyright laws, and the perceived violators get shut down constantly. The penalty for digital piracy through torrents was increased to a maximum of 10 years in 2017. As such, users must stay safe while downloading legal torrents, and VPNs can be beneficial in this regard.
- Staying safe over public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi hotspots are notoriously unsafe and are full of security holes that hackers can exploit. VPNs add strong encryption to your data over public Wi-Fi, ensuring your private information and activities remain secure from any unauthorized third-parties.
How to get a UK IP address for Free
You can get a UK IP address by using a free UK proxy server. However, we strictly discourage this method of changing your IP because proxy services are insecure, and the companies behind them can steal your data. Fortunately, you can try ExpressVPN free of cost with its extensive money-back guarantee and hundreds of UK servers.
The safe way to get an IP address from the UK is to use a VPN, as described below:
- Subscribe to ExpressVPN
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Launch the VPN and enter your login credentials.
- Connect to a UK server to get your desired IP address
Free VPN Services for Other Regions
Many VPN providers with the UK server offer a free trial. These trials usually last for 3-4 days, and the provider demands your credit card credentials. However, some VPNs can be used without any such requirements. These VPNs are available for free download and work immediately after you have finished installing them. The VPN I have mentioned fits the second description.
In the United Kingdom, there is no active ban on VPN. In fact, this is the case in most countries around the world. Nonetheless, using a VPN for illegal purposes can get you in trouble in the UK and elsewhere. As they say, with a great VPN comes great responsibility. Hence, use your VPN wisely and with utmost care.
Yes, you can stream Netflix with a free UK VPN. However, considering the bandwidth limit, very few servers, and constant slow speed issues that you will encounter with a free VPN, it would be best to opt for a premium VPN provider for streaming purposes.
A free VPN is something I do not personally recommend to anyone since many of these have been involved in stealing our data or fill up devices with malware, and many of them don’t even offer a UK server with their free version. Despite this, some reliable free UK VPNs can save you from mass surveillance, the best among these being ExpressVPN.
If you’re looking for the perfect balance between affordability, unblocking power, and strong privacy in the UK, ExpressVPN is the best available choice you can currently have with a 30-day money-back guarantee period.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?