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 state of internet freedom in the UK 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 the British citizens and expatriates alike. However, since many netizens find VPNs a bit heavy on their wallet, my focus will remain on free VPN services but anyone who would love to spend some money should read our best VPN for UK blog for anonymity and privacy.
Best Free VPN for 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 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:
Surfshark is the top free VPN for UK. Although not totally free of cost, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can utilize its refund period to access this VPN virtually for free for a limited time. If you do decide to purchase it after the trial, you’ll find this VPN quite affordable, costing $1.99/mo .
The provider has 1,040+ servers in over 60 countries, including the UK. It is excellent for watching shows on US Netflix, which has a larger library than UK Netflix. Moreover, the VPN is also quite effective for unblocking the popular British streaming service BBC iPlayer as well as American platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
Surfshark is also a p2p-friendly VPN that not only unblocks torrent websites but allows safe downloading of torrent files.
Finally, the provider has a strong logging policy that ensures users remain protected from surveillance within the UK. Along with some excellent privacy-boosting features like kill switch, MultiHop, Camouflage Mode, and CleanWeb, Surfshark can shield your privacy from trackers and spies that might be interested in exposing your information online.
For more information, see this Surfshark VPN review.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- UK-based servers
- Excellent for privacy
- Not entirely free
Windscribe is an excellent free VPN app for 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 websites abroad, though it is not so effective when it comes to bypassing restrictions on streaming services like BBC iPlayer.
The service imposes a 10 GB per month bandwidth cap, which can run out pretty quickly. Nonetheless, the AES-256 encryption and strong logging policy makes Winscribe great for privacy-conscious users in the UK.
Learn more about this service in our Windscribe VPN review.
- Free UK server
- Adlock, P2P, Firewall
- Good speed
- 10 GB data limitation
ProtonVPN is the best totally free yet unlimited VPN for UK. This free service imposes no bandwidth limit, so you can enjoy it without ever running.
The free service comes with three servers, which are located in Japan, Netherlands and the United States. Unfortunately, this VPN doesn’t support torrenting nor can it unblock streaming services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer in the free plan. Still, ProtonVPN boasts military-grade AES-256 encryption and a decent logging policy, making it pretty impressive for seekers of digital privacy.
For more information, see this ProtonVPN review.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Military grade encryption
- No logging
- No free VPN UK servers
- Slow speed
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 20 distinct locations.
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 is has 500 MB/month limit. So, if you have moderate to high VPN usage requirements, TunnelBear won’t be suited for you, but it works great for occasional use.
Read this TunnelBear review for more details.
- OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption
- Server from the UK
- User-friendly apps
- 500 MB per month data limit
UrbanVPN offers unlimited bandwidth and 20+ servers locations including the UK for free. In fact, it is one of the very few VPNs that are able to unblock Netflix and other streaming services.
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 Urban VPN review.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Works with Netflix
- Server in the UK
- p2p-style infrastructure
Why you need a VPN for UK
- State surveillance: In 2016, the British parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Act, which basically gives a legal cover to pervasive mass surveillance. Among other things, 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 your secure from spying agencies.
- Safe torrenting: The UK government has strict copyright laws and the perceived violators get shut down on a constant basis. The penalty for digital piracy through torrents was increased to a maximum of 10 years in 2017. As such, it is imperative for users to stay safe while downloading legal torrent and VPNs can be immensely helpful in this regard.
- Staying safe over public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi hotpspots 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.
The safe way to get an IP address from the UK is to use a VPN, as described below:
- Subscribe to Surfshark VPN.
- 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 fit the second description.
In the United Kingdom, there is no active ban on the 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 everywhere else.
As they say, with great VPN comes great responsibility. Hence, use your VPN wisely and with utmost care.
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. In spite of this, there are some reliable free UK VPNs that can save you from mass surveillance, the best among these being Surfshark.
If you’re looking for the perfect balance between affordability, unblocking power, and strong privacy in the UK, Surfshark is the best available choice that you can currently have.