Since the inception of our website we have helped many users around the world achieve some pretty wonderful things with the use of a VPN, through our years of experience we have written many guides and articles that have enabled users to access content not available in their own country, bypass restrictions by repressive government regimes and generally open up new avenues for users to explore on the internet. One of the most regular questions we receive and visitors looking to the answer for is, what is the best VPN for the UK?
The question in itself is very broad and vast and with this article we hope to be able to give you a selection of good providers that are useful for a range of services. Most VPN providers are suitable for UK use, although not all are as good as each other and some are more useful for UK users than others, it can be a minefield of considerations. The first question to ask yourself is, what do I intend to use a VPN to achieve? Check out the headings of this article as some may answer your use, if not, take a look at the summary as this gives a general overview for all uses.
Privacy and Encryption
Over recent years and more so in recent months UK users have opened up to the realisation that not everything they do online can be considered private any more, for those of you who haven’t taken a huge interest there have been revelations that both the US and UK government agencies are collecting data on a wide range of citizens for the purpose of because they can, even if you’re not under suspicion of anything your personal emails, calls, online history and more can be recorded without your knowledge.
One of the basic rights that we as UK citizens have is privacy, we have great laws to protect ourselves from others finding out information about us without our consent. Take for example any time you have phoned an institution on someone else’s behalf and found it nearly impossible to be of assistance for them because of Data Protection Laws or other such security measures.
These are all fantastic regulations that make our country great and we feel privileged to be part of when compared to other locations around the world. However it appears as if this privacy in the online world is somewhat being eroded and this is where your concern for Privacy will of increased.
First and foremost any VPN will encrypt your communication to the VPN server but there are one or two considerations to put in place before diving on to the first UK server and considering your privacy secure. Firstly, the type of encryption offered is paramount, a provider is only as good as the encryption they offer, so something with overly average encryption should be a priority.
The second consideration is server locations. Being a UK citizen for privacy reasons you want to ensure you’re connecting to a server that isn’t in the UK itself, any such server will be governed under the same laws as yourself, obviously as you and the server are both in the UK. So you want to look for a provider that offers a good range of servers and from a legal perspective one that includes a server or two outside of the EU.
As the EU regulates a lot of the laws that its member countries abide by, that means that any close neighbouring countries such as France, the Netherlands etc. will all have similar EU wide laws. For this purpose you should consider a service that has access to servers in either Switzerland or Iceland. They are close enough as so speed loss won’t be an issue and also put your internet activities outside the EU thus spreading your use through another non-EU jurisdiction.
An EU country may be able to request or log data within the EU, but now you’re outside, is it as easy for them to do the same to a country that doesn’t play ball the same?
VPN Privacy & Encryption Suggestions
If privacy and encryption are one of your main concerns then we suggest IPVanish. Not only do they have servers both in Switzerland and Iceland plus a huge mass of other countries, they’re also no-log VPN provider AND they own and operate their whole infrastructure meaning no one outside the company has access to any of their servers, or more importantly, your data!
A good second choice is VPN.ac who are a Romanian registered company. Although this puts the company within the EU, Romania has more pressing issues and topics regarding cyber laws take a back seat. This is great because the capability of government laws to spy on its users are far from political minds, coupled with the fact that Romania has a history of being part of a dictatorship means their citizens are vocal in their preservation of freedoms and privacy. VPN.ac offer servers in a smaller range of locations but include good privacy locations such as Switzerland which is fast and accessible from the UK.
The word “torrents” has in the past few years etched on the minds of many general internet user in the UK. No longer the playground for the technically minded, everyone from adults to teenagers and younger are interested in torrents. While the majority of people associate torrents with illegal activity there are a wide range of totally legal uses. One of the issues with using torrents is how do always stay on the right side of the law?
Its quite an impossible task and one area which could open you up to prosecution should you fall fowl of the law, even if you don’t know you’re at fault. While it is unlikely that you would be prosecuted for a crime as that is usually reserved for large scale money making operations it is entirely possible to be brought to justice through a civil case. The issue with torrent use is you are not always aware what your teenage children are downloading or even what a friend gets up to while they “just borrow your internet” but it is entirely possible that as the bill payer you will take that responsibility and with a recent study showing that nearly all BitTorrent traffic in the UK is monitored you really don’t want to put yourself at risk.
The obvious solution is to make use of a VPN service, just in case you accidentally download something that you didn’t realise was copyrighted material, even if you deleted it afterwards there is a possibility that the download has already been monitored. To make use of Torrents you again want to take your actions outside of the country which means connecting to a server outside the UK.
One of the most “torrent friendly” countries considered is the Netherlands. It would also make sense to use servers in countries such as the Ukraine. Making use of torrents in countries with laws that differ to your own will give you greater distortion between UK laws and the laws of the overseas country, the theory that it will protect you from any legal trouble is brought by the fact that the torrent download is being recorded as the VPN provider’s server and not linked to yourself.
VPN Torrent Access Suggestions
One provider that had stood out in the past due to the fact they actively research servers in locations that accept torrent use is LiquidVPN and as a UK user we highly recommend them should you wish to make use of torrents or other P2P networks.
Blocked Websites & Georestriction
The list of websites that are inaccessible in the UK is growing at an alarming rate and it set to continue in to the future. There are also a wide range of services such as Netflix and Hulu that are blocked to UK users and can be access via a VPN. Choosing the right VPN is critical for video services due to the speed concerns, choose a provider with little server choice and you could end up with slow and buffering video play back.
Two good providers are IPVanish and ExpressVPN which both have extensive world wide networks. This is useful for accessing websites that are blocked in the UK because it gives you a broad range of countries to choose from, if you find a service is blocked in another country then you have a huge list to select from with both providers.
For TV streaming services you’ll need a reliable and fast network otherwise your experience would be unpleasant and money wasted. Both of the two above suggested providers have well tested networks and in reviews carried out by ourselves are some of the top performing providers speed wise.
Cheapest UK VPN Yearly Package
With everyone trying to save money where possible finding the cheapest but most reliable VPN for UK use can be a burden. Through our months of research and many provider reviews we’ve been able to search through some of the best providers at the most affordable prices.
If you’re after a monthly service then one of the suggestions in the areas above in the article are fine but if you’re after a great saving on a yearly package at an unbelievably low price then we whole heartedly recommend PrivateInternetAccess which by clicking on their name and following our link will set you back only US$39.95 per year which in money we can understand is roughly £24.50, a truly mind blowing £2.05 per month! Not only do they come highly recommended all over the internet, we have also personally reviewed them and found them to offer a fast and decent service and at an amazing price. They are suitable for all UK VPN needs from encryption to privacy, torrents, unblocking restricted content such as Hulu and other services and make an all round good choice.
UK Based Company VPN Provider
If you’re after a VPN provider that is actually a UK company then a great choice and without doubt the most recommended is HideMyAss. These are one of, if not the largest consumer VPN provider in the world and they’re based right here in the good old United Kingdom. They have tons of satisfied customers and a huge range of servers all over the world. They are actually one of the most new user friendly providers and if you’re specific need is to support a British based company then you would be wise to check these out.
Choosing the right VPN for UK use is critical and depending on what service you’re likely to make use of the most might dictate which provider is most suitable to your needs. All of the providers listed throughout this article are suitable for every need but we’ve tailored each need slightly.
Don’t worry if you have two or three or even all of the needs listed above, as I said, each provider recommended is good for dual purposes and so they are all suitable for all needs, if you’re after a specific need only then we recommend you choose the provided listed under the relevant section to give you the best results.
Our SIX best VPN providers for UK use
| Rank|| Provider|| Lowest Price|| Review|| Link|
** Price per year.
Prices are conversions from the US$ price, correct as of 28/Dec/15
UK Map image courtesy of Ohmega1982 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Key in Lock image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
UK Pound Sign image courtesy of PinkBlue / FreeDigitalPhotos.net