5 Best UK VPN Services for 2020 | Cheap, fast & secure picks to get a UK IP address

The UK has fast become one of the most surveilled states in the world thanks to the Investigatory Power Act (A.K.A. the Snoopers Charter). Thankfully, with a VPN, UK citizens can protect their online privacy when surfing the web and stop the snoopers in their tracks.

What's more, a VPN can also unblock content that isn't available in the United Kingdom, such as hulu or DAZN. VPNs can also provide you with a UK IP address so that if you're located outside of the UK, or you just go on holiday to another country, you can watch BBC iPlayer abroad, as well as other British TV channels.

If this has piqued your interest, read on to find out what the best UK VPN services are.

What are the Best VPNs for the UK?

If you're looking for a quick answer, we have provided a sneak-peek of our top VPN picks for the UK below. But, if you require additional information on any of the providers, please keep scrolling.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for the UK. ExpressVPN is Our #1 pick because it's fast and secure making it perfect for torrenting, streaming & gaming.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - A UK VPN that is packed with value. You get 7 simultaneous connections and slick mobile apps for Android & iOS.
  3. Private Internet Access - One of the most secure ways to get a UK IP. This VPN has a proven no logging policy and offers great privacy features.
  4. Surfshark - The Cheapest VPN for the UK on our list. For $1.94 you're able to unblock US Netflix & it works with games consoles & smart TVs.
  5. VyprVPN - A great all-round VPN choice for the UK. It offers proprietary servers which allow for fast speeds and improved levels of privacy.

When putting together our list of the best VPNs to use in the UK, we ask the following questions:

Now you know what to look for, let's check out which services made our list of the best VPNs for the UK.

What are the best VPNs for the UK?

The summaries below distilsthe differences between each VPN service and will allow you to get a thorough idea about which service is the best UK VPN for you.

Best VPN for the UK: ExpressVPN is our #1 pick. A premium service, with a premium price tag. They have been the leading VPN option in terms of speed, privacy and unblocking for years.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

ExpressVPN all devices


ExpressVPN is a veteran of the VPN industry and it has a massive user base located around the world. The software is top-of-the-range, and it is available for all popular platforms. Admittedly, ExpressVPN is a touch on the pricey side. And it only lets consumers install it on 3 devices simultaneously. However, for anybody who wants a premium VPN service that is exceptional, this VPN is hard to beat. ExpressVPN has a zero-logs policy, and it implements strong OpenVPN encryption. This will stop your ISP and the government tracking you and will protect from hackers on public WiFi. 


ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, and all those servers are lightning fast. This makes ExpressVPN perfect for gaming, HD streaming, and other data intensive tasks. ExpressVPN has a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and obfuscated servers. That means it has all the most premium VPN features you are likely to need. ExpressVPN also reliably unblocks Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. Worth testing with its 30-day money-back guarantee if you have money to spend on something extra-spesh.

CyberGhost offers great value if you want a VPN for the UK. It's super easy to use on Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS and it's packed full of features to make your life easier.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.75 - $12.99
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

Cyberghost all devices


CyberGhost VPN is a provider based in Romania that provides an excellent service at an affordable rate. The VPN keeps zero-logs, and it implements OpenVPN encryption, which means that your ISP will never be able to track you on behalf of the government. CyberGhost has servers in over 90 countries, and it provides access to important services such as Netflix US and iPlayer. However, compared to others on this list, it can be a little temperamental. Despite this, it is a terrific service that many UK residents subscribe to. 


The software is no-frills and it is ideal for beginners who do not need a lot of techy features. You can use this VPN on any device, and the VPN is extremely generous; permitting users to install and use it on up to 7 devices simultaneously. What’s more, you can test this VPN risk-free thanks to its whopping 45-day money-back guarantee. Well worth a free test run!

PIA is one of the most secure VPNs to use in the UK. It is serious about privacy, from a no logging policy to excellent levels of encryption & great privacy features.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.69 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

PIA on Windows


This US-based VPN company runs VPN servers London, Manchester, and Southampton, making it a great option for those needing a UK IP address. These should now all support unblocking BBC iPlayer.


Brits wanting to avoid government surveillance, on the other hand, will appreciate the fact that this privacy-friendly company runs servers in 45 countries and has the almost unique distinction of having its no logs claims proven in front of a court of law - not just once, but twice!


PIA also offers lots of bells-and-whistles for its asking price, including port forwarding (which is great for torrenting, which is allowed on all servers), split-tunneling, and DNS-based ad and malware blocking.


 

Surfshark is the cheapest VPN for getting a UK IP address. This is a new service, but they have quickly made a name for themselves thanks to their solid speeds and unblocking capabilities.

  • Pricing

    From  $1.94 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

SurfShark on all devices


For a low monthly cost, Surfshark offers a wealth of features useful to any VPN user. These include a full smart DNS service, static IP addresses, DNS ad-blocking, MultiHop VPN, and more.


A UK VPN server provides non-Brits with a UK IP address that successfully unblocks the world-famous BBC iPlayer service, while Brits will appreciate the fact that Surfshark is great at unblocking the full US Netflix catalog.


Streamers will also appreciate the included smart DNS service, which allows you to unblock a range of services on devices such as games consoles and smart TVs that don’t allow you to install a VPN client. 


 

VyprVPN is a great all-round UK-friendly VPN. You get a balance of privacy and speed thanks to their excellent privacy features & proprietary network of serves.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

VyprVPN on all devices


VyprVPN is a world-renowned VPN provider that has servers located in over 70 countries worldwide. This makes the service ideal for unblocking any content from the UK, or for bypassing geoblocks to access foreign content from within the UK itself. VyprVPN is known to unblock important UK services such as BBC iPlayer, Channel 4 OD, and UK Netflix - as a result this service is perfect for anybody who wants to access British content and services.


Where privacy is concerned, this VPN is strong. Not only does it provide military-grade OpenVPN encryption, but it also has market leading VPN features such as DNS leak protection, obfuscated servers (Chameleon), and a kill switch. What's more, this VPN recently underwent a third party audit of both its software and infrastructure, meaning that you can trust this VPN to work as advertised. We think this VPN is easy to use, and it has excellent apps for all platforms. In fact, it recently updated to VyprVPN 3.0 which adds even more control to the already exceptional platform. 


And, for anybody who is new to VPNs or is having setup or connection problems, VyprVPN has fantastic 24/7 live chat support to help you out. We also like this VPN's 5 simultaneous connection allowance, which means you can use it across all your devices at the same time. Finally, you can test this VPN risk free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

What are the fastest VPNs to use in the UK?

If you're planning on using your VPN while you're streaming or gaming, then you're going to want a fast VPN. To help you understand what sorts of speeds you can expect from the services we're recommending, we run daily speed tests on them all. You can see the results of these tests in the graph below:

Will a VPN improve my speeds?

No, a VPN cannot improve slow broadband speeds as this is not how they work. They can help stop ISP throttling of certain types of traffic, such as P2P. But if your broadband speeds are naturally slow, a VPN will not help.

Why do I need a VPN in the UK?

A VPN is a versatile online service that lets you access more content online. In the UK, ISPs are forced to restrict certain websites by the government. With a UK VPN, you can bypass this censorship. Furthermore, in the UK many employers block Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other useful services. With a VPN for the UK, you can regain access. A VPN is also the best personal digital privacy tools available. Below we have detailed why you need a VPN:

  1. Your ISP cannot see any of your data
    Stop your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from tracking your entire web history and communications metadata on behalf of the government, HMR, and around 50 other government agencies due to the Investigatory Powers Bill. The VPN server acts as proxy sitting between your ISP and the internet, which your ISP cannot see beyond.
  2. You can access US streaming services such as US Netflix, Hulu or HBO
    With the right VPN, you can access the US version of Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO and even NBC and ABC (both of which offer a lot of free content in the US). Note that you will still require a relevant subscription, and should check out our individual streaming pages to find our which services are not blocked.Netflix content by country
    See our Netflix VPN guide for more information about how you can access Netflix content currently restricted in your country.
  3. The UK government doesn’t know what you get up to online either
    The government knows what you do online because your ISP tells it (as it is required to by law). But if your ISP doesn’t know anything, then neither will the government.
  4. You can bypass all forms of censorship
    Bypass restriction notices on websites, YouTube videos, and other services.
  5. Hackers and dodgy WiFi hotspot operators can’t snoop on what you do online
    Avoid being hacked on public WiFi. Beware: Hackers can intercept your data and steal your credit card details if you don’t use a VPN on public WiFi.
  6. Torrent safely
    Not only does a VPN encrypt your data so your ISP can’t see what you download, but the VPN server blocks other torrent users (including copyright holders who monitor downloads of their intellectual property) from seeing your real IP address. Please see Best VPN for Torrenting page for more details.

If you're new to VPNs, we recommend getting up to speed with our helpful guides:

ISP blocks in the UK

The UK government actually censors a lot of online content. ISPs are forced to block access to “pirate” download and stream sites, which is a source of constant frustration for consumers.

UK ISPs also block many websites that have been decided to contain inappropriate content. Most people agree that the government is overreaching by blocking pornography and other materials. ISPs currently enforcing government blocks are as follows:

  • BT Group
  • Virgin Media
  • EE
  • Sky Broadband
  • Talk Talk

With a UK VPN you can completely get around these restrictions, to access all the content that the UK government has decided to block.

Is it safe to use a free VPN in the UK?

Yes, if you're careful! There are free VPNs available that we can recommend. However, these are only suitable for providing privacy on a day-to-day browsing basis. They would not be able to handle more data intensive tasks like streaming, gaming or torrenting. This is because they are often only used to give customers a flavour of what a VPN is about, in the hopes that they enjoy it so much they will upgrade to the premium service.

What about the unlimited free VPNs I've seen?

This is where you need to be careful. We have been reviewing VPNs since 2013 and we can tell you we have never come across an unlimited free VPN that doesn't steal your bandwidth, or data and sell it to third parties. As you can imagine, this is the exact opposite of what a VPN is meant to do.

Can I get a UK VPN for mobile?

If you want a VPN for a smartphone or tablet, any of the VPNs in this guide will work. All of our recommendations have iOS and Android VPN apps. It is worth bearing in mind that the VPN encryption may differ on iOS VPN apps. You can find out more by checking individual summaries and comparing the services on this page to the best VPNs for iOS. 

All of our recommended VPNs for iOS provide privacy and unblocking capabilities for iPhones and iPads.

A UK VPN to combat surveillance

The UK is one of the most surveillance heavy nations in the world. GCHQ is the government’s intelligence agency and it constantly monitors and snoops on everybody. 

In addition, the government uses the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 to capture everybody’s data and web browsing histories from ISPs. In the UK, surveillance is completely pervasive and the only way to stop your entire online presence being tracked is with a VPN. 

If you value your privacy and the privacy of your loved ones, a VPN for the UK is highly recommended. If you do not use a VPN your ISP will collect the following data about you and store if for 12 months:

  • Your IP address
  • Your personal details (address, payment details, etc.)
  • A log of every website and the time you visited it. 
  • Your communications metadata (emails, messages, etc)

Surveillance in the UK is extreme, and it seems likely that once Brexit kicks-in it will get even worse. So be sure to prepare by getting a secure VPN. 

Conclusion

Now that we have covered everything you need to know about choosing and using a VPN in the UK, let's review our top picks:

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for the UK. ExpressVPN is Our #1 pick because it's fast and secure making it perfect for torrenting, streaming & gaming.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - A UK VPN that is packed with value. You get 7 simultaneous connections and slick mobile apps for Android & iOS.
  3. Private Internet Access - One of the most secure ways to get a UK IP. This VPN has a proven no logging policy and offers great privacy features.
  4. Surfshark - The Cheapest VPN for the UK on our list. For $1.94 you're able to unblock US Netflix & it works with games consoles & smart TVs.
  5. VyprVPN - A great all-round VPN choice for the UK. It offers proprietary servers which allow for fast speeds and improved levels of privacy.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

5 Comments

Pip
on May 5, 2020
Reply
I understand the value of a VPN but what’s the point of having one when it’s blocked by your ISP or is there a way around this. I’ve tried 2 and both were blocked and slow. Any recommendations are welcome. Thanks Pip
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Douglas Crawford replied to Pip
on May 6, 2020
Reply
Hi Pip. VPNs are very rarely blocked by ISPs - it only really happens in highly authentic counties such as China, Iran, and Egypt. If you do live in such a country then yes, there are often ways around ISP blocks. Please see your guide on How to Bypass VPN Blocks.
Francelino
on March 12, 2019
Reply
How I can logging my bet 365 my phone in Portugal
Diane Delaney
on November 4, 2017
Reply
I see that Express VPN is your top recommendation but being based in The British Virgin Islands does this mean it is under UK jurisdiction ? ie Five Eyes ?
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Douglas Crawford replied to Diane Delaney
on November 4, 2017
Reply
Hi Diane, I bring up this issue in my ExpressVPN Review (see Privacy section), and also asked about it in an interview I did with David Lang, Communications Manager at ExpressVPN... Q: ExpressVPN is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). I understand that the legal situation is very murky (at best!), and that the BVI regulates its own internal affairs and has no mandatory data retention laws. But it is a British overseas territory and therefore operates under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the UK government. It seems reasonable to me, then, to assume that the UK government, which is extremely hostile to privacy and is a key member of the NSA-led Five Eyes spying alliance, can put pressure on the BVI government and businesses. What are your thoughts on this? A: I would say the situation is very clear: Although BVI has the word “British” in it, the government of the BVI effectively operates with full sovereign powers and little oversight from the UK. BVI legislators are democratically elected by BVI citizens, and the judicial system is also independent from the UK. Unlike many countries which infringe on individuals’ right to privacy, the BVI is an offshore jurisdiction renowned for data protection laws. We carefully took our users’ privacy into consideration when we chose this jurisdiction. There are no data retention laws in the BVI and for us to consider a court order legally binding, it would need to come from a BVI court. The British Virgin Islands don’t have any foreign intelligence operations and therefore are also not part of the Five Eyes spying alliance. We also are aware of zero incidents of the UK government directly pressuring BVI companies to cough up data on their customers, as they simply lack jurisdiction for making such requests. A BVI company can produce records or evidence about its customers only if ordered to do so by the BVI High Court. And fortunately, because we don’t log or monitor traffic data on our VPN servers, we don’t possess information that would be useful for us to produce were such an order to be made.
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