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5 Best VPNs for the UK in 2021 for Privacy, Streaming & Speed

The UK is not exactly the most privacy-friendly country in the world. British telecommunications companies are required to store user data, which the authorities can then access anytime without a court order.

Furthermore, the UK’s Digital Economy Act allows ISPs to monitor your connection and throttle your speed or prevent you from accessing certain websites. That’s not to mention the increasing threat of cybercrime.

A VPN can help you secure your data and protect your online privacy. The best VPNs can even help you access content in other countries. So you can use online services in your home country when visiting the UK (or unblock UK content when abroad).

My team and I tested 83 VPNs and found only a few good enough for the UK. The VPNs I shortlisted have the most innovative security features, plus a global network.

ExpressVPN is my top recommendation. It keeps you safe and anonymous online with its military-grade encryption and no-logs policy. The VPN also has servers in multiple locations in the UK to watch BBC and BT Sports while traveling.

Try ExpressVPN risk-free as it comes with a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can request a refund if you’re not fully satisfied.

Get The Best VPN For the UK Now!

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for the UK in October 2021

  1. ExpressVPN — My #1 VPN for keeping your data private with thousands of secure servers worldwide. Plus, you can access content in and outside the UK without delays. Try ExpressVPN for yourself (it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee).
  2. IPVanish — Secure connections on Unlimited devices simultaneously without speed drops.
  3. CyberGhost — Optimized servers in 90 countries to easily unblock content, but expensive one-month deals.
  4. Private Internet Access — Customizable features to secure your data in any situation, but based in the US (part of the 5 Eyes Alliance).
  5. PrivateVPN — Two display modes (simple and advanced) for beginners and experienced users, but a small server network.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

The Best VPNs for the UK — Full Analysis (Updated in 2021)

A high-quality VPN encrypts your traffic, protecting you from hackers and snoops.

If you’re visiting the UK, a VPN with a global network can also help you access your local bank account and watch TV shows from your home country as usual.

All the VPNs on my list also have servers in the UK, allowing you to access UK sites and services if you’re a Brit traveling abroad.

Of all the VPNs my team and I tested, the ones on this list won’t compromise your speed for security. Plus, they’re easy to use and can be installed on most devices. The best part is, each VPN comes with trustworthy refund policies so that you can try them without risk.

1. ExpressVPN — High-Level Security Features to Safeguard Your Data

  • Server speed and location: The fastest VPN I tested for the UK. 3,000 servers in 90 countries, including the UK (London, East London, Docklands, and Wembley)
  • Security capability: Military-grade encryption and Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • Data privacy: No-logs policy and TrustedServer technology
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, ITV, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and more
ExpressVPN’s latest deal October 2021: Get 3 months completely free on your annual subscription with this current offer! It’s not for certain when this deal will end so it’s best to check the deals page to see if it’s still available.

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for security and anonymity. It uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, multiple security protocols (Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec), and SHA-521 HMAC authentication to ensure highly secure data transfers. So, you know your identity and online activity will remain confidential.

While testing ExpressVPN, I didn’t detect any leaks, meaning that the VPN’s DNS leak protection works well. Plus, its kill switch (Network Lock) automatically blocks your internet traffic if your VPN connection drops. This protects your real IP from accidental exposure.

With its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands and a strict no-logs policy, the VPN will never log or share your sensitive data. I also found that you can pay with Bitcoin and sign up with a burner email for an additional layer of anonymity.

I was impressed with ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology, which runs RAM-only servers. The memory is cleared with every reboot, leaving no traces behind.

Torrenting is supported on every server with unlimited bandwidth. You can even use the Split Tunneling feature to send your torrenting data through the VPN and use your real IP for the rest of your traffic. This spared me a lot of time, as I didn’t need to verify my identity whenever I connected to a new location.

I experienced ultra-fast connections with ExpressVPN. I didn’t even notice the VPN was connected while watching Premier League in HD. There’s also a Smart Location feature that automatically connects you to the fastest server, so you can just click and surf.

You can easily watch BT Sports and Sky TV while traveling outside the UK, as the VPN offers servers in 4 UK locations. There are also 3,000 servers in 90 countries, so you’ll have no issues accessing content from your home country when traveling.

The apps I tested had a simple and user-friendly interface. You get 5 simultaneous connections, but I installed the VPN on my router, too — so every device connected to my WiFi was protected.

Try ExpressVPN for yourself. If you’re not 100% convinced it’s the right fit for you, you have up to 30 days to request a full refund. After using the VPN for an entire month, I canceled via the live chat support (available 24/7), and my bank account was refunded within a few days.

Try ExpressVPN Today!

2. IPVanish — Unlimited Device Connections, Great For Small Businesses

  • Server speed and location: Lightning-fast 1,900 servers in 70 countries, including the UK (London, East London, Docklands, and Wembley)
  • Security capability: Multiple security protocols and Scramble feature
  • Data privacy: No-logs policy and a kill switch
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, ITV, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Chrome, and more
IPVanish Deal October 2021: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 71% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

IPVanish helps you protect multiple devices. It allows Unlimited simultaneous connections under one subscription and offers apps for all major operating systems and devices, including routers.

My team and I tested IPVanish on 14 devices at once and didn’t experience any dropped connections. Overall, my speeds were fast enough for most online activities. You also get unlimited bandwidth, so no need to worry about data caps or any limitations.

I had no issues using uTorrent, Vuze, or Deluge, with IPVanish’s dedicated SOCKS5 proxy servers and unlimited P2P traffic. The VPN prevents deep packet inspection to make sure your ISP won’t spy on your torrenting activity.

I was able to access my streaming accounts in the UK with no buffering. IPVanish is also capable of unblocking Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in several regions, depending on which streaming services you’ve paid for.

Although it’s based in the US, IPVanish has a strict no-logs policy and won’t share your data with anyone, so you’re safe from monitoring. I was surprised to find that this is one of few VPNs that runs its entire network of 1,900 servers in 70 countries with no outsourced servers. This means that there are no third parties who could gain access to your sensitive data.

AES 256-bit encryption and secure protocols protect your connection. Plus, whenever my PC went into sleep mode, the VPN’s kill switch automatically terminated my network connection to prevent data leaks.

I was impressed with the VPN’s user-friendly apps and device compatibility. I found that it even has an app specifically designed for Fire Stick, which enables complete remote control and is super easy to use.

Feel free to test all IPVanish features yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee. You can claim a refund directly on the website or contact the VPN’s 24/7 live chat support. Customer service is also available via phone in 6 countries (the UK included) if you’d rather talk than type.

I canceled my subscription on the website, and the money was refunded to my bank account in 5 days.

Try IPVanish Today!

3. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Unblocking Restricted Content

  • Server speed and location: Impressive speeds on 7,190 servers in 90 countries, including the UK (London, Manchester, and Berkshire)
  • Security capability: Advanced security protocols and AES 256-bit encryption
  • Data privacy: Privacy-friendly headquarters and DNS leak protection
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, ITV, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and more
October 2021 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 83% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost has optimized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. Each one was listed and labeled in my app according to which service or activity it was optimized for. I could watch my favorite Netflix series in UHD without buffering while traveling outside the country.

The network of 7,190 servers in 90 countries includes 630+ servers physically located throughout 3 cities in the UK. So you can access British sites and services from anywhere too.

While testing CyberGhost’s speed, I could torrent while streaming a live football game in HD at the same time. I didn’t notice any connection slowdown. The VPN also doesn’t have any bandwidth limits, so you can use it without restrictions.

I had no worries about my traffic being shared with anyone either. CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy and headquarters in Romania. It also uses the most advanced security protocols, high-grade 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection.

While looking through the settings, I found you can activate the “Block content” feature to block DNS domains used for ads, trackers, and malware. Plus, you can enable WiFi protection to automatically start the VPN when you connect to an unsecured WiFi.

I found CyberGhost super-easy to install and use, plus it requires minimal configuration to run.

In my opinion, the VPN’s one-month subscription is a bit expensive. However, its longer-term are more cost-effective and give you a 45-day money-back guarantee — so you can try CyberGhost out for free. I tested the guarantee by asking the VPN’s live chat support for a refund. It only took a quick chat, and the money was back in my PayPal account in less than 7 days.

Try CyberGhost Today!

4. Private Internet Access — Customizable Settings to Ensure Maximum Protection in Any Situation

  • Server speed and location: 29,650 ultra-fast servers in 70 countries, including the UK (London, Manchester, and South Hampshire)
  • Security capability: Multiple security protocols and choice of encryption level
  • Data privacy: Strict no-logs policy and DNS/IP leak protection
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix UK, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, ITV, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and more
October 2021 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

Private Internet Access (PIA) has fully customizable settings so you can tailor it to your needs. Besides choosing between multiple security protocols (like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard), I could even select my encryption algorithm. PIA offers both AES 128-bit encryption (faster, but less secure) and AES 256-bit (more secure, but slower).

I ran multiple speed tests on PIA, and my speeds were impressive — my average download speed was 27 Mbps. All servers are even sorted by latency, so you’ll see the fastest one right away when you open the list.

The VPN allows P2P sharing on all 29,650 servers in 70 countries and gives you unlimited bandwidth, making torrenting easy.

Even though PIA is based in the US — the heart of the 5-Eyes Alliance — the VPN has a strong no-logs policy, ensuring that none of your information gets collected or shared. IP/DNS leak protection and a kill switch further protect you against accidental data exposure.

Although it has so many customizable options, PIA is still very easy to use. You can use the default settings if you’re a beginner. However, when using the VPN on your smartphone, I recommend enabling MACE — the VPN’s built-in ad, malware, and tracker blocker — to reduce battery consumption.

I was able to protect all my devices at once with 10 simultaneous connections. If you need more, you can install PIA on a compatible router and cover the devices connected to your home network.

I decided to use PIA’s 30-day money-back guarantee and see how the payback process works. My request was processed quickly by the live chat team, and I got my money back that same week.

Try Private Internet Access Today!

5. PrivateVPN — User-Friendly Interface Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Users

  • Server speed and location: Great speeds. 100 servers in 60 countries, including the UK (London and Manchester)
  • Security capability: High-grade encryption and Stealth mode
  • Data privacy: Zero-logs policy and a kill switch
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, ITV, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, and more

PrivateVPN has unique modes for beginners and advanced users. The simple mode allows you to get started right away with no configuration. The advanced mode gives you complete control over the VPN settings.

While testing PrivateVPN, I was particularly impressed with the remote setup service, which got my app working with no input from me. I was able to install PrivateVPN on as many devices as I wanted and use it on up to 6 devices simultaneously.

Although PrivateVPN has a smaller network of 100 servers in 60 countries, all the servers I tested were fast and reliable. There are servers in London and Manchester, so you can still watch The Great British Baking Show or Premier League football outside the UK.

The VPN has a strict no-logs policy to ensure that none of your sensitive information is collected or stored. While testing PrivateVPN’s IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection and automatic kill switch feature, I didn’t detect any leaks.

I was also impressed by PrivateVPN’s customer support. It consists of developers that will answer any technical question. There’s an extensive knowledge base on the website — including setup guides, troubleshooting advice, and numerous tutorials — if you like to learn more about the VPN.

Test all PrivateVPN’s features yourself risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee. After testing the VPN for 3 weeks, I requested a payback, and I received a refund on my PayPal account in a week.

Try PrivateVPN Today!

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a VPN for the UK

  1. Download a VPN with a tried and tested no-logs policy, high-grade security features, and servers in the UK. Try ExpressVPN risk-free (it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee).
  2. Connect to a server. Pick a server that can give you access to the content you need. For example, choose a server in the UK to access your BBC iPlayer account.
  3. Start browsing! You can now enjoy unrestricted content in privacy.

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for the UK

To find the best VPN for the UK, you need to set some very strict criteria. Make sure to pay special attention to the following:

  • Security and privacy. Choose a VPN with AES 256-bit encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch to stay safe online. All the VPNs on my list provide these advanced privacy features.
  • Servers all over the world, including the UK. To use the internet without restriction, you should pick a VPN with a global server network. This allows you to access content from your home country when traveling. Plus, a VPN with servers in the UK (like the ones I recommend) help you access your UK accounts.
  • Fast speeds. To prevent constant buffering while streaming or lag while gaming, you need a VPN with fast servers.
  • Ease of use. Choose a VPN with a straightforward interface so you don’t waste time searching for a specific setting. All the VPNs on my list can be installed and set up in less than 5 minutes.
  • Money-back guarantee. Make sure the VPN you’re considering offers a money-back guarantee so that you’re not stuck with it if it doesn’t meet your needs.

Try ExpressVPN For the UK Today!

FAQs on Using a VPN in the UK

Why should I use a VPN for the UK?

For such a democratic country, the UK is very privacy-invasive. ISPs are required to store your metadata, and the government can request it anytime, even without a court order. Plus, there’s been a significant rise in cybercrime.

A VPN can help you stay safe and anonymous online. VPNs encrypt your traffic and use advanced security features to protect you from snoops and cybercriminals.

You can also use a VPN to get an IP address from another country, so you can access geoblocked content. That means you can use your home services if you’re visiting the UK, or access UK services if you’re abroad.

A high-quality VPN like ExpressVPN can offer everything you’d need in a VPN for the UK — privacy, security, unblocking, and speed.

Can I use a free VPN for the UK?

Yes, but I don’t recommend it. Free VPNs can’t guarantee your privacy — some even share your information with third parties for a profit.

Additionally, free VPNs rarely have the resources to continuously improve their service and can’t reliably unblock geo-restricted content. Lots of them even deliberately restrict their services — including speed, bandwidth, data usage, and servers — so you get forced to upgrade to a paid version.

A much better (and safer) option would be to choose one of the VPNs from this list — they all come with a money-back guarantee, so you can try them out risk-free.

Is it legal to use a VPN in the UK?

Yes, using a VPN in the UK for legitimate reasons is okay — like staying protected against hackers when connecting to public WiFi.

With rising cybercrime and so many public WiFi areas, you should get a VPN with robust security features to keep your data safe online.

How can I get a UK IP address with a VPN?

Choose a VPN with servers in the UK. Then you can just connect to a UK server, and you’ll get a UK IP address.

ExpressVPN has many UK server locations. However, all of my VPN recommendations give you access to Sky, BT Sports, or BBC from anywhere.

Is it safe to use a UK VPN?

Choosing a VPN based in the UK might be risky. The UK has strict data retention laws that a UK-based VPN will be subject to.

It’s always a safer bet to choose a VPN based outside any intelligence-sharing alliances. If you still select a UK VPN, make sure it has a strict no-logs policy, so it has none of your data to share with authorities.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for the UK. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance) and has various advanced privacy features to make sure your personally identifiable information will stay hidden at all times.

The Bottom Line

When in the UK, make sure to get the best possible protection as the country is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance. Your online activity could be monitored and your metadata collected, which the authorities have the right to access at any time.

To retain your privacy, you need a solid VPN with the most advanced security and privacy features.

I recommend ExpressVPN, as it’s the most secure VPN of all the 83 providers I’ve tested. It also has servers in the UK and worldwide to access your streaming accounts and online services from anywhere. Even better, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can try ExpressVPN with confidence.

To summarize, here are the best VPNs for the UK

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Andjela is a writer and technology enthusiast with a special interest in cybersecurity and data protection.

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