Theshould always work well as a UK VPN, but no matter which you pick, it’ll be your first line of defence if you want to maintain true online privacy. With 2016’s Investigatory Powers Act – charmingly nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter – still alive and kicking, Brits wishing to stay anonymous online will need the assistance of a quality UK VPN.
While we won’t delve into the politics behind any legislation, it’s clear that the UK government has some of the most intrusive online powers in Europe, and a VPN is a great tool for staying safe and anonymous. However, that’s not all a UK VPN is good for.
on services like iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and more wherever you are.
- Anwill also work great in and outside the UK
What makes a great UK VPN?
You’ll want to seek out a UK VPN that’s got hard-as-nails security alongside great streaming performance and top connection speeds. List-topper ExpressVPN (read our fullfor more) ticks all the boxes above, and combines that with simple yet powerful apps that make it a doddle to stay protected on pretty much any device you own.
Having good security means that your ISP – and therefore anyone it divulges information to – will have no idea what you’re accessing online. Plus, a VPN for the UK with proven no-logging status won’t be able to spill the beans to any law enforcement should they want to investigate, because they’ll have nothing about you stored.
Great connection speeds and streaming power go hand in hand – there’s no point in being able to access overseas Netflix if it’s buffering every five seconds. Also, for Brits abroad, it’s definitely worth going for a service with a good selection of servers and locations to ensure you’ll have a backup or two, should one not perform as expected.
ExpressVPN can do it all – streaming, location spoofing, torrenting and keeping you anonymous online, but what makes it truly great is that it pulls together that power in a simple, intuitive package. Now available with three free months, it’s the only UK VPN you need.
You might recognise NordVPN from its TV ads and sports sponsorships, but it’s not all mouth and no trousers. With excellent encryption and features like Onion over VPN, it’s one of the very best ways to secure yourself online.
It might be priced like it, but Surfshark is no Poundland VPN. In fact, even without its tempting price tag it’d be one to consider, with unlimited connections on one plan, excellent speeds, and top-class content unblocking. The sub-£2-a-month cost is just the icing on the cake.
The best UK VPNs today
User friendly and excellent privacy
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Average UK speeds on 75Mbps line: 70Mbps | Simultaneous connections: 5 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160
ExpressVPN is the best UK VPN because it provides everything you need in a tidy package. You’ll have access to slick mobile apps as well as options for Windows PCs and Macs, and there’s excellent 24/7 support in case anything doesn’t work as it should
Privacy is a major priority for ExpressVPN, and with any plan you’ll be covered by military-grade 256-bit encryption. You’ll also have a fine selection of protocols to choose from, meaning you can choose to prioritise speed or security.
ExpressVPN is able to access just about any streaming service you can think of, ranging from BBC iPlayer Netflix, and just about everything else in between. No matter where you are in the world, you won’t have to miss out on a thing.
Backing all that up are excellent connection speeds. Connections are virtually unaffected when using UK servers, and remain swift even when connected to farther-flung ones. That’s great if you’re looking to stream in HD.
ExpressVPN is currently offering Tom’s Guide readers three free months – that’s 15 months for the price of 12. And, in the rare event that it’s not for you, you’ll also have a 30-day money-back guarantee keeping you safe. Not bad for the best UK VPN.
Great security-focused UK VPN
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Average UK speeds on 1Gbps line: 250-325Mbps | Simultaneous connections: 6 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of servers: 5,200+ | Server locations: 80+
Possibly the biggest name on the scene, NordVPN is a great choice for those looking for a security-focused UK VPN. Recentlyfor the second time by PwC, the provider has again proved itself to be reliably secure – you can read the fullfor more info.
Usability is good too, as Nord unblocks most streaming services, most importantly BBC iPlayer. Alongside that, you’ll also have over 5,500 servers worldwide to choose from, so no matter where you are – or where you want to appear to be – you’ll be able to find a good connection.
On desktop Nord’s apps are attractive and easy to use, and you’ll be able to change a number of settings to tailor your experience. For example, you’ll have a choice of protocols and a kill switch to protect you if your VPN connection drops.
Mobile apps are functional too, but the interface is a little clunky. While the map-based location picker works well on the larger screen of a computer, on mobile it can leave even the deftest swiper feeling fat-fingered. In practice, though, that’s not a huge issue, as you’ll usually just set and forget.
For those who want to both ensure their data is as safe as can be and have access to the world’s streaming media, NordVPN is a great choice as a UK VPN.
Head over to the to sign up
Super cheap and great for streaming
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Average UK speeds on 1Gbps line: 165-170Mbps | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 100+
In our, we found it to be a seriously good-value proposition for those seeking a good balance of price and performance, and available for less than £2 a month, it delivers unbeatable value for money while providing a fully-featured UK VPN service.
What stands out about Surfshark is its great streaming power. Unblocking BBC iPlayer along with Netflix and the rest, it performs better than a number of more expensive services. Also, this unlocking ability is clearly advertised on its website, meaning as a business Surfshark should be committed to maintaining users’ access to content.
Surfshark’s clients are also well thought out, with apps across all devices sharing a similar, stable interface that makes it easy to select your server. It’s also easy to find and change settings, which include different protocols and features like ‘Double Hop’, which routes your traffic through two servers to further obfuscate your location.
However, for the price it’s hard not to recommend Surfshark as a– especially if you’re after a UK VPN to help you stream what you want when you’re abroad.
Head over to the to sign up
4. Hotspot Shield
Seriously fast UK VPN
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: 5 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video | Number of servers: 1,800+ | Server locations: 130+
If you’re after the absolute fastest UK VPN, Hotspot Shield is a great option. In our testing for our, on our 600Mb UK line it delivered 210Mbps. However, tested on our US line it delivered a staggering 410Mbps – so, no matter where you are and what ISP you’re using, Hotspot Shield can keep up.
We’ll also note the Hotspot Shield offers a, but that comes with restrictions such as 500MB a day usage allowance and a 2Mbps speed limit. Compared with the figures above, that’s going to seem pretty useless.
However, while it’s unbelievably fast, Hotspot Shield does come with a couple of downsides. You won’t be able to cover any games consoles or Chromebooks, as device support is limited to Windows PC, Macs, Linux and mobile devices, plus a Chrome extension.
Also, while they’re fairly stable and easy to use, Hotspot Shield’s apps don’t offer much configuration. You’re only able to use the proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol, which is the reason for both the immense speeds and the limited device support, but unless you desperately want a VPN on your Xbox, that’s probably not much of a problem.
As a UK VPN for streaming and keeping you secure, Hotspot Shield is one of the fastest options available – just make sure you can live with its limitations
Head over to the website to sign up
Streaming-focused UK VPN
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: 7 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of servers: 6,200+ | Server locations: 110+
For streaming and torrenting fans, CyberGhost offers a specialised UK VPN that’s very useful, and is used by over 10 million people worldwide.
As you’ll discover in our, the Romania-based provider has a huge range of servers worldwide, virtually guaranteeing users a decent connection wherever they are.
However, one of our favourite features is CyberGhost’s filtering system. If you’re looking for a server that’s best suited to, say, streaming Netflix, you can filter servers to only display those that will deliver the best Netflix experience. Unfortunately, though, in our last round of testing CyberGhost failed to get access to iPlayer, which does make it less ideal for the UK that those above.
Also, CyberGhost’s support system isn’t nearly as good as ExpressVPN’s, and while you won’t be left in the lurch if something goes wrong, it’s possible it’ll take a little longer for any problems to be rectified.
All in all, though, CyberGhost is a great value UK VPN that’s good for streaming and only has a couple of minor downsides – it’s certainly one to keep in mind.
UK VPN FAQs
- Read about the best
- Explore our bestguide
- Check out the best