Best VPN Services of 2019 for the UK
There are numerous reasons why you would need a virtual private network (VPN) in the United Kingdom. The one you choose will depend on your privacy preferences, the price, whether you are traveling there or residing in the UK.
Although the UK offers a much safer online environment than most countries, a VPN is still a valuable tool for when you are using the internet.
Let’s see why.
For starters, privacy-conscious users that don’t want internet service providers to collect their valuable data could certainly use a good and trustworthy VPN. Let’s not forget that the United Kingdom is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance, which is not great for your online privacy. The 14 countries making up the surveillance alliance work together as one global entity with the intention to keep their citizens safe, by spying on them.
Moreover, a large portion of online content is geo-restricted, and VPNs open up an opportunity to bypass these imposed restrictions. That should be an attractive feature for travelers that don't just want local content, both UK citizens traveling in foreign countries, and tourists visiting the United Kingdom.
With all that being said, internet users in the UK could use a VPN service provider as much as anyone else, but how can you find a reliable VPN?
What To Look For in a VPN For The UK
Choosing a VPN in the UK very much depends on the user’s individual needs.
If you are prone to streaming or gaming, you will need a fast provider and perhaps one that offers dedicated IP addresses. Some VPNs, on the other hand, are optimized for torrenting, allowing you to download content no matter where you are.
All in all, it’s up to you. But let’s see what is essential when you are searching for a VPN service provider, particularly one for the UK.
Server Range and Speed
No matter where you are if you want to a VPN in order to bypass censorship and evade geo-restricted content, the server range and the servers’ speed is one of the most important things to keep an eye on.
If you are located in the UK, and you perhaps want to access US Netflix, you will need a powerful and advanced VPN with servers in the United States. If you are a UK citizen traveling abroad, you will require a VPN with servers somewhere within the UK, to be able to watch your favorite TV shows, movies or sports tournaments.
Privacy and Security
For everyone worried about their online privacy and security over the internet, it’s necessary to search for a VPN provider with advanced security features and a zero logs policy.
In other words, you would want to a VPN that offers the latest and most used security protocols in the industry, together with strong encryption. You could also search for a provider that won’t keep any usage logs on you, and preferably as little as possible connection logs.
Pricing is everything. There are so many overrated VPNs service providers on the market, in the same way as there are many which are over looked just because they have a premium price.
Friendly advice would be to avoid free VPNs, as they are not entirely reliable. Instead, you can find good offers with discounts, VPNs with free trials or good money-return policies.
Top 3 Recommended VPNs For The UK
We’ve made a list of providers that have all the needed features for a trustworthy and high-performance VPN, but they also have their unique advantages and benefits that depending on your requirements, you might find beneficial.
The following VPN service providers are our main suggestions, and they were reviewed with the intention to help you in your search for the best VPN for the UK
For users that want to save on money, but at the same time have a pleasant experience with a VPN provider without losing on performance, NordVPN is an attractive choice.
NordVPN is safe and privacy oriented. Additionally, the provider is very inexpensive, especially if you decide on one of its longer subscriptions. The VPN provider offers speedy server in many countries around the world, nicely arranged for optimizing your overall experience.
Overall, it’s one of the best choices on the market for privacy-conscious users that want to remain anonymous on the internet, as well as those on a tight budget.
Pros of NordVPN: fast; affordable; free trial; double security; no logging
Cons of NordVPN: Issues with some servers
IPVanish possesses some impressive features.
Considering everything it offers, it’s likely the best alternative for users that are interested in torrenting content. However, IPVanish is also an excellent choice for frequent travelers due to its vast number of servers and great server speeds.
Although at first, some might find IPVanish too expensive for their taste, one of the best features of this VPN is that it can be used by 10 devices at the same time, making it a perfect investment for protecting the whole family.
Pros of IPVanish: 10 simultaneous devices; strong encryption; optimized for torrenting;
Cons of IPVanish: no free trial
As the leader in the industry, ExpressVPN comes with a somewhat higher price. Nonetheless, it’s definitely worth the money you will be investing.
With ExpressVPN UK users will get excellent speeds for streaming and gaming, a large range of servers in over 90 countries around the world, and the ability to bypass advanced censorship and geo-restricted websites and apps.
ExpressVPN is an advanced provider, and we recommend it to users that want maximum protection of their online privacy, as well as those that want to bypass all kinds of geo-restrictions in the country and abroad.
Pros of ExpressVPN: user-friendly; advanced features; fast; 30-days money-return policy
Cons of ExpressVPN: Limited simultaneous connections
UK And Internet Freedom
Internet freedom is declining on a global level, but unlike many other countries in the world, the UK noticed a slow, yet visible development in this area.
According to the latest report by Freedom House, in 2018, the United Kingdom found itself on the list of free countries when it comes to internet freedom, which wasn’t really a surprise. With almost 95 percent internet penetration in the country and little to no censorship, it’s safe to say that internet users are enjoying their rights for unrestricted internet use.
However, a noticeable hurdle to internet freedom is the implementation of a "porn ban" that prevents users from accessing adult-oriented websites without proving their age.
Despite censorship not being as prevalent in the UK as it is in many other places around the world, users don’t exactly get to enjoy complete privacy on the internet.
Documents leaked by former CIA agent Edward Snowden back in 2013, revealed the severity of the issue. Namely, the UK is one of the 14 countries that formed an alliance that works as a single global surveillance system.
The UK mass surveillance regime has broken European Union laws many times. However, with the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act, the problem only intensified, and this was regarded as a significant step back for internet privacy. The Act allowed the authorities to “force” internet companies to cooperate in investigations, and even to remove protection from encrypted data or communications, where that was possible to do.
Later that year, the European Court of Human Rights, discovered that the regime was violating the European Convention of Human Rights, and the High Court demanded from the British Government to revise this legislation.
Accessing Geo-Blocked Content
Virtual private networks are an excellent solution for internet users that want to access content that is geo-restricted. Although other tools such as proxies can also have the same effect, when it comes to stronger restrictions, only an equally powerful VPN can help.
Geo-restriction works in a way that it blocks certain users from accessing the website, usually based on their IP address. The IP address you are using without connecting to a VPN is assigned to you by your ISP based on your real location. So internet users within the UK have a British IP address. But when you use a VPN you take on the IP address of the server you connect to.
Accessing Non-UK Content Within The UK
To access geo-blocked content within the UK mean that you need a VPN which has an extensive network of servers, nicely placed all around the world. That way you will be able to efficiently reach content from all over the world.
All you’ll have to do after installing and setting up your new virtual private network is to choose a server in the preferred country and watch the content you’ve been trying to access before but couldn’t. Not being able to access the full US movie library on Netflix will be a thing of the past.
Accessing UK Content Outside of the UK
On the other hand, for frequent travelers or UK citizens residing abroad, it can be a real hurdle not being able to access fine British comedies, important sporting events, and your favorite streaming services, like the BBC iPlayer, while traveling.
By connecting to your VPN and choosing a UK server from the list, you will have the exact same content as if you had never left.
Despite the obvious ups and downs, the UK is definitely a much safer place for internet users in comparison to many other countries in the world. They have a lot to work on in the near future, and hopefully, the UK will put an end to their mass internet surveillance once.
In the meantime, the safest thing you can do is use a trustworthy and reliable VPN every time you connect to the internet.
If you have any questions or want to share your expertise on the topic, make sure you leave a comment or a VPN review on our website.