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Best VPN for the UK

Simon Migliano
By Simon MiglianoUpdated
Illustration of the flag of the UK

Whether you live in the UK, are just planning a trip there, or are a UK expat living abroad, using a reliable VPN service is an absolute necessity.

Without a secure VPN, not only will your Internet Service Provider (ISP) be able to monitor and log everything you do online, you’ll also be subject to the intrusive Snoopers’ Charter.

We’ve tested 99 VPN services and the five below are our top VPN recommendations for the UK.

These VPNs will keep you safe online and the best will even work for BBC iPlayer, which currently blocks most VPN services from accessing its service.

The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for the UK

  1. Multiple server options in the UK
  2. Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  3. Fast, reliable speeds in the UK
  4. Useful privacy features
  5. Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
  6. 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

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for UK

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Incredibly fast UK server speeds
  2. Easy access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  3. Torrenting permitted on many servers
  4. Simple set-up on all devices
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
  1. Extra protocols require manual config
The Bottom Line

NordVPN is the overall best VPN service for the UK across all platforms.

Not only is NordVPN without doubt one of the three fastest VPNs in the UK, it also provides reliable access to popular UK streaming service BBC iPlayer.

Privacy features such as a VPN kill switch will keep you safe online, while NordVPN’s zero-logs policy ensures your personal data is protected.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for UK

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Consistently good speeds in the UK
  2. Reliable access to Netflix & iPlayer
  3. No restrictions on P2P traffic
  4. Very easy to use
  5. Minimal logging policy
  1. Expensive on shorter plans
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN isn’t the fastest VPN in the UK but it easily offers the most complete package, and only just missed out on the top spot.

Connecting to any of ExpressVPN’s UK servers will provide quick, reliable speeds, plenty fast enough for streaming or torrenting.

The ExpressVPN custom apps are simple yet powerful with a VPN kill switch, and we like its privacy-friendly minimal logging policy.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for UK

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Very fast UK download speeds
  2. Quick, easy access to Netflix
  3. Optimized servers for P2P use
  4. Simple set-up on popular devices
  5. Zero-logs policy
  1. Server network could be bigger
  2. Apps could be slicker
The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is an excellent budget VPN service for the UK, competing with our top two VPN picks on several key fronts.

Not only is CyberGhost very quick in the UK, it also provides optimized streaming servers that work well with BBC iPlayer.

A zero logs policy and first-party DNS servers make CyberGhost a top privacy pick for UK users, along with other useful extras.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for UK

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Impressive downloads on UK servers
  2. Currently working with Netflix
  3. P2P permitted on all servers
  4. Simple set-up on popular devices
  5. Zero-logs policy
  1. Apps not very user-friendly
  2. Short refund period (7 days)
  3. Blocked by BBC iPlayer
The Bottom Line

IPVanish is our top VPN pick for torrenting and Kodi in the UK thanks to its consistently impressive speeds.

IPVanish is also a totally zero-logs VPN, not even collecting connection metadata of its VPN users in the UK.

The custom IPVanish apps could be more user-friendly but come with powerful privacy features, including DNS leak protection and a VPN kill switch.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for UK

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Reliable UK speeds
  2. Easy access to Netflix & iPlayer
  3. All UK servers P2P-friendly
  4. User-friendly custom apps
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
  1. Small number of individual servers
The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is a reliable, cheap VPN service for the UK, even if it does lag behind our top picks when it comes to performance.

It’s still very quick, though – speeds on all of PrivateVPN’s UK servers are ideal for streaming, and it works with BBC iPlayer too.

PrivateVPN’s strict zero-logs policy and range of security extras will go a long way to keep your online activities private.

Do I Need a VPN in the UK?

While you may not think of the UK as a heavily censored nation, it’s actually got some of the most intrusive surveillance laws in the world – online privacy is decreasing day by day.

Not only are UK ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and telecoms companies forced to log all your private browsing history and make it available to the government, they also have the power to monitor the details of all your emails, text messages, and phone calls.

What’s more, internet users in the UK often rely on public WiFi hotspots when out and about, and, however practical these may be, they’re also very insecure, exposing all of your online activity to potential hackers or snoopers.

Using a reliable VPN service in the UK is the only way to protect yourself whether you’re at home or in public.

How Do I Get a UK VPN?

It’s incredibly easy to get a VPN in the UK. Simply choose a VPN service that provides VPN servers in the UK, sign up for a subscription of any length, and you’re good to go. All you need to do is then connect to a VPN server based in the UK, and you’ll appear to be connecting out from a UK IP address.

How We Picked the Best VPN for the UK

Speed and privacy are the two most important factors whenever we choose our top VPNs, and it’s no exception when picking the best VPN service for the UK.

We’ve chosen VPNs with lots of server choice in the UK – a nearby VPN server means super fast downloads and low ping times.

We regularly check speeds on UK servers to monitor VPN performance and we test VPN apps on all popular devices: PC, Mac, iPhone, Android smartphone, and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Advanced privacy features such as a VPN kill switch and protection against DNS leaks are added bonuses, along with servers optimized to unlock popular streaming sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

What Is The Best Free VPN in the UK?

If you want to try out a few VPN services before committing to a paid subscription, there are a handful of free VPNs that work well in the UK.

Our top pick for free VPNs in the UK is Windscribe, as not only does it offer two city-level VPN servers in the UK, it also has one of the most generous data caps we’ve seen from a free VPN service, at 10GB per month.

Other free VPN services we recommend for the UK are ProtonVPN, Hide.me, TunnelBear, and Avira Phantom.

For more information you can take a look at our top free VPNs for the UK.

Are VPNs Blocked in the UK?

No, VPNs are not blocked in the UK. The only potential issue you may have with your VPN service being blocked is if you attempt to access popular UK streaming site BBC iPlayer. This service is known for blocking VPN services with UK-based IP addresses, as users often attempt to access content from outside of the UK, which is against iPlayer’s ToS.

Other than that, you shouldn’t have any problems with UK websites blocking you because you’re using a VPN.

If you’re specifically looking for a VPN service that will allow you to access BBC iPlayer, take a look at our top VPN picks for iPlayer here.

Is It Illegal to Use a VPN in the UK?

It is completely legal to use a VPN service in the UK. Loads of UK citizens use VPNs on a daily basis to keep themselves safe online and stop the government spying on their browsing activity, and it is perfectly within their rights to do so.

Using a VPN doesn’t mean you’re exempt from UK laws, however, so you still need to make sure that everything you do while connected to the VPN is legal – this includes adhering to copyright restrictions, too.

Is Torrenting Illegal in the UK?

No, torrenting is not illegal in the UK. It is illegal, however, to torrent copyrighted material, no matter where you are in the world. This still applies if you use a VPN, so be aware that if your chosen VPN service keeps logs and you choose to ignore copyright restrictions, you could be faced with a DMCA notice.

What Is the Best UK VPN for TV?

All of our top VPN recommendations for the UK can be used to protect your smart TV, meaning you can stream all of your favorite shows over a secure, encrypted connection. Access to specific UK-based streaming sites varies from one VPN service to the next, but all of our top picks successfully unblock BBC iPlayer.

How to Choose a VPN for the UK: 8 Tips

Physical proximity to a VPN 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 your chosen VPN service provides servers in suitable locations, especially if you don’t live near London.

More VPN 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 BBC iPlayer? Not every VPN service will work with these apps, especially since the recent VPN crackdowns. We’re constantly testing whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other popular sites, and we share these results with you in our VPN reviews.

Nearly all VPN services will claim to be ‘zero logs’, however this is rarely the case. In order to maintain a high level of performance across a global VPN 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 VPN services 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 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.