Disclaimer: Partnerships & affiliate links help us create better content. Learn how.
The United Kingdom is well known for its intrusive surveillance laws and online censorship thanks to its Investigatory Powers Act – or more commonly known as the Snooper’s Charter – passed in 2016. From it, the UK government has the authority to mass monitor and surveil any and all electronic communications of its citizens. No questions asked.
From a user standpoint, this should alarm you. If you live in the UK or wish to access any content from the country, we highly recommend using a VPN to safeguard your personal data.
The best UK VPN will provide verified no-logs policies, anonymous UK IP addresses, and a proven track record of unblocking streaming services and websites abroad. Looking for the safest options, we tested 30+ VPNs to identify the five best VPNs for UK users in 2021.
Top 5 VPNs for the UK
#1 UK VPN with over 610 UK servers & a foolproof app Read More
Reliable VPN with a verified no-logs policy & over 440 fast UK servers Read More
Best UK VPN for Android, Kodi & Firestick Read More
Security-focused VPN with fantastic speeds & dedicated streaming servers Read More
Affordable VPN with unlimited connections & fast servers in 3 UK cities Read More
All-in-one solution with a massive server networkVisit CyberGhost
- Fast, secure and easy to use
- Top pick for streaming
- Allows Torrenting/P2P
- Logs some anonymous data
- Doesn’t work with Chromebook
CyberGhost is arguably the best VPN for UK users. It’s affordable, easy to use, and offers a vast server network that’s ideal for privacy and streaming content. CyberGhost delivers fast speeds on dedicated streaming servers located in Berkshire, London, and Manchester.
In testing, CyberGhost scored well for its unblocking capabilities as it was able to access multiple streaming platforms outside the UK including Netflix US and Disney. You can connect to more than 7,300 servers around the world, reassured by CyberGhost’s no-logs policy and NoSpy servers that evade government surveillance and ISP data collections.
The CyberGhost app is one of the most user-friendly services available and is optimized for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and even routers. Beginners and experienced users alike can appreciate this.
It’s also one of the cheapest VPNs with a 3 Years + 3 Months plan for only $2.25 per month that doesn’t skimp on security. You can get up to 7 device connections with your single subscription and request a full refund with CyberGhost’s generous 45-day money-back guarantee if needed.
For more in-depth information, read our CyberGhost VPN Review.
Feature-rich VPN with strong privacy practicesVisit NordVPN
- Slick UI, making it exceedingly easy to use
- Vast array of security features
- Massive list of high speed U.S. servers
- One of the pricier VPNs
- Replaced free trial with money-back guarantee
Based in Panama, NordVPN is a very trustworthy UK VPN. It provides a proven zero-logs policy, AES 256-bit encryption, and a security feature called DoubleVPN that reroutes your data through encrypted channels twice for added protection from intrusive UK surveillance.
NordVPN offers a very simple app that’s easy to configure, making it great for users of all experience levels. In the UK, NordVPN provides over 440 servers located in London and delivers fast speeds suitable for streaming and torrenting.
You get up to 6 device connections per subscription and compatibility with most devices, platforms, and even a few routers. If you’re not happy with the service, NordVPN offers all customers a refund if they cancel before their first 30 days are up.
For more in-depth information, read our NordVPN Review.
A fast, affordable VPN with advanced security featuresVisit IPVanish
- Supports torrenting & P2P
- No IP address/DNS/IPV6 leaks
- Unlimited device connections
- Cluttered interface
- Under 5 Eyes surveillance
- Doesn’t work in China
IPVanish is a privacy-focused VPN that offers a lot in the way of security and anonymity. It employs military-grade encryption, offers bonus features like split tunneling and a kill switch, and safely hides your IP address from online snoopers.
Based in Orlando, Florida, IPVanish may not be the first VPN to come to mind when looking for a trustworthy VPN. After all, the US and the UK are active members of the Five Eyes Alliance that exchanges intelligence information on its own citizens. However, we feel comfortable recommending IPVanish as a top UK VPN due to its strict no-logs policy and the fact that it controls and manages its own server network.
You will want to consider IPVanish if torrenting matters to you. Its app is actually tailor-made for devices and platforms like Android, Firestick, and Kodi, and it supports torrenting on all of its 110+ UK servers. Unfortunately, streaming is hit and miss with IPVanish. We were able to unblock both Netflix US and Netflix UK after several tries on different servers, but BBC iPlayer stayed blocked.
You can use the IPVanish app on 10 devices at once and pay just $2.40 per month on its cheapest plan. IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee in case it isn’t for you. However, if privacy is your main focus, we don’t see that happening.
For more in-depth information, read our IPVanish VPN Review.
Powerful VPN with diverse functionalityVisit ExpressVPN
- Safe, unrestricted torrenting/P2P
- Unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
- 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
- No kill switch on iOS
- More expensive price point
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for the UK thanks to its strong encryption measures and fantastic speeds on near and far servers. It’s also one of the few VPNs incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which bodes well for users bent on privacy. To take things even further, ExpressVPN recruited PwC to independently audit its service. We were happy to find it passed with flying colors, by the way.
Moreso, ExpressVPN is notorious for consistently delivering fast speeds and offers multiple UK IP addresses for torrenting and streaming. It boldly advertises a list of streaming websites it can unblock and covers up to 5 simultaneous connections. From our tests, we were able to successfully unblock content from popular sites like BBC iPlayer and Netflix US – the two most popular streaming sites for UK users at home and abroad.
While ExpresVPN charges a pretty penny compared to other top-rated VPNs, it’s worth the investment. You can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s 30-day refund guarantee or consider a longer plan at a discounted rate. It’s fairly flexible on term lengths and payment methods.
For more in-depth information, read our ExpressVPN Review.
Emerging VPN with a sleek UI and industry-low pricingVisit Surfshark
- Great value for the money
- Top pick for major streaming sites
- Unlimited device connections
- Barebones audit of logging policy
- Limited P2P servers with poor speeds
For those seeking a good balance between price and performance, Surfshark is a serious contender. It’s a super cheap and streaming-friendly VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth on fast servers (partly thanks to its ability to hide users from ISP monitoring and therefore speed throttling). This makes it ideal for gaming and streaming.
During testing, Surfshark was able to unblock Netflix libraries abroad – particularly Netflix US – which has recently cracked down on blocking VPN servers. It’s also a great option for users outside the UK who want to watch the British-based platform, BBC iPlayer. While Surfshark is only a few years young, its built an impressive server network that spans 63 countries. In the UK alone it offers VPN servers in three UK locations.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is one of the safest jurisdictions for a VPN company to incorporate for privacy issues. Doubling down though, Surfshark does not collect logs and offers unlimited connections on a single Surfshark subscription, so you can protect all your devices day and night. If this checks off boxes on your list, consider testing it out risk-free with Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
For more in-depth information, read our Surfshark VPN Review.
UK VPN FAQs
- Are VPNs legal in the UK?
- How do I watch US Netflix in the UK?
- Is a UK VPN safe?
- What is the Five Eyes Alliance?
1. Are VPNs legal in the UK?
Yes. It’s perfectly legal to use a VPN in the UK. VPNs are a popular online tool for users interested in streaming, torrenting, and protecting their personal data.
Keep in mind though, a VPN doesn’t shield you from illegal activities you may conduct while connected to one. For example, it’s still very much illegal to download copyrighted music without permission regardless of if your internet connection is VPN protected or not.
2. How do I watch US Netflix in the UK?
With the right VPN, it’s fairly easy to watch US Netflix in the UK. You’ll want to choose a provider that offers a US IP address that’s proven to bypass Netflix US in the past. Many VPNs will claim to have this ability but end up failing to do so. The best VPNs for streaming can also unblock Disney+ and Hulu from the UK with ease.
3. Is a UK VPN safe?
The UK is notoriously known for its invasive online laws and involvement in the Five Eyes Alliance. These governmental powers are likely to make any privacy-conscientious user avoid a VPN based in the UK.
The safest jurisdictions for a VPN are in the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Seychelles, and Switzerland. These countries are well known for their strict laws protecting personal data, both online and offline.
4. What is the Five Eyes Alliance?
In 1946, the 5-Eyes Alliance (FVEY) was formed between five countries and their security agencies that include Australia (ASD), Canada (CSEC), New Zealand (GCSB), the United Kingdom (GCHQ), and the United States (NSA).
The main purpose of this pact is to facilitate the sharing of intelligence information between all five countries. While it was initially created to improve communication between geopolitical partners, the powers that be eventually saw it as a great workaround to domestic data protection laws. Edward Snowden, for example, revealed that the US (NSA) was paying the UK (GCHQ) to spy on US citizens since it could not do it itself under the law.
This is why it’s important to only use a UK VPN with proven logging practices. If a UK court ever subpoenaed customer data, a VPN would be obligated by law to comply.
There are also two other extensions of FVEY: the 9-Eyes and 14-Eyes alliances. Any VPNs incorporated in countries tied to these groups should take extra precautions to protect customers’ privacy.