Regardless of whether you live in the UK, or are just planning a trip there, using a VPN is absolutely crucial.
Without one you’ll be both subject to the intrusive Snoopers’ Charter, and at the mercy of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) which will monitor and log all the websites you visit.
We’ve tested 99 VPN services and the five below are the best VPNs we recommend for the UK. These VPNs will keep you safe online and the will unblock BBC iPlayer, which currently blocks most VPNs from accessing its service.
The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for the UK
- Multiple server options in the UK
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Fast, reliable speeds in the UK
- Useful privacy features
- Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
- Well-designed and easy to use apps
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Read More Information on the Top 5 Best VPN Services for the UK
How We Picked the Best VPN for the UK
Speed and privacy are the two most important factors whenever we look for an ideal VPN, and it’s no exception when picking a provider for the UK.
We’ve chosen providers with lots of server choice in the country – a guaranteed nearby connection means minimal wait times and flying speeds.
Do I Need a VPN in the UK?
While the UK may not be a nation under censorship, it’s actually one of the most heavily surveyed in the world – online privacy is decreasing by the day.
Not only does the law permit blanket surveillance of all citizens’ communications, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies are also forced to log all web browsing history along with details of emails, text messages and phone calls to make them available to the government.
Internet users in the UK also rely heavily on public WiFi hotspots when out and about and, although these can be practical, they’re also incredibly unsafe, exposing all of your online activity to potential hackers.
Using a VPN is the only way to protect yourself whether you’re at home or in public.
How to Choose a VPN for the UK: 8 Tips
Physical proximity to a server makes a big difference to speed and latency even more so. In a densely populated country as the UK, it’s well worth checking that there are servers in suitable locations, especially if you don’t live near London.
More servers tends to mean less congestion and therefore improved speeds, however this isn’t always the case. Check out our independent speed test results to get the best idea of what performance is like in specific locations. We test connections from the UK to the most popular global destinations so you can actually see which VPN is fastest for your needs.
Enjoy watching Netflix and iPlayer? Not every provider will work with these apps, especially since the recent VPN crackdowns. We’re constantly testing whether each provider is working with Netflix and other popular sites, and we share these results with you in our VPN reviews.
Nearly all VPN providers will claim to be ‘zero logs’, however this is rarely the case. In order to maintain a high level of performance across a global server network, most providers will need to collect at least some basic connection metadata from their customers.
We look through all the privacy policies so you don’t have to, and summarize them in plain English in the logging policy section of our VPN reviews.
If there’s anything being logged that shouldn’t, we make sure that you’ll know about it.
Almost all VPN software will work on Windows, Mac and Linux machines, along with iOS and Android mobile devices. However, some VPN services are also compatible with other internet-connected items, such as routers, games consoles and streaming devices, such as the Amazon Fire Stick.
Do you want to protect your family’s devices as well as your own? Look for as many connections as you are likely to use at the same time (most providers will allow around 3-5 simultaneously).
No-one likes a clunky, confusing app. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, simple and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it all the time.
We share the results of our extensive hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review.
Even the most expensive VPN plans can be made affordable by taking out a longer subscription.
Don’t bother with a one-month plan – 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing one with a long refund period.
We’d advise a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee – they essentially act as a free trial period.
Make the right choice, though, and you hopefully won’t be thinking about a refund at all.