Want the best VPN to use in the UK? We’ve got a complete ranking of the best UK VPNs for you…
In the past, VPNs were a requirement on laptops dished out by the IT department at your work …but now, these fiendishly clever apps are commonplace on streaming set-top boxes, smartphones, tablets, and PCs at home. That’s because VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, unlock a number of benefits when heading online. First of all, VPNs ensure all of your web traffic is encrypted – keeping it safe from bad actors looking to steal your data as well as preventing your broadband provider and advertisers from keeping tabs on your habits online.
But more excitingly, VPNs allow you to manually change your IP address, which is allocated to your device when you connect to the internet and includes data about your current location. If you’re in the UK, that’ll allow you to pick an IP address abroad – so you can watch unblocked Netflix, sports fixtures, HBO Max, and websites that are not currently available in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Likewise, if you’re away from home and want to appear as if you are in the UK, a good VPN can do that for you too.
When it comes to the best UK VPN, look no further than NordVPN.
This service has incredibly easy-to-use apps for all of your devices – iPhone, Android, iPad, Amazon Fire TV, Windows PC, and even your Wi-Fi router, bundles some advanced features – like split-tunnelling, a dedicated IP address, built-in malware protection, but still has an affordable monthly cost compared to some of its rivals.
If you want more information on how UK users can benefit from a VPN as well as some of the other prominent providers on the market, scroll down to read our comprehensive guide on the best VPN in the UK. If not, you can sign-up for NordVPN with the latest deal below.
Will A VPN Work In The UK?
In a nutshell – yes, it will. There are a number of countries that outright ban the use of Virtual Private Networks, including China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, and the UAE. Meanwhile, other nations, including Belarus, Iraq, North Korea, Oman, and Turkmenistan, have passed specific laws that ban the use of VPNs entirely.
Fortunately, as you can see from the list above, the United Kingdom isn’t included in either of these categories. As such, you’ll be able to sign-up, download and install almost any VPN when living in the UK. Once installed, activating your new VPN will create a secure, encrypted tunnel for all of your online traffic – protecting every website you visit, the amount of time you spend online, the files that you download – from everyone, including your broadband provider.
This encryption will also shield you from man-in-the-middle attacks, which allow bad actors on the same Wi-Fi network as you to intercept your online traffic and steal crucial information – like payment details. These cyber-attacks are particularly prevalent on free public Wi-Fi networks, like those available in coffee shops or airport terminals. It’s the reason the IT department at your work likely forces you to connect via a VPN when you’re travelling with work.
Using a VPN in the UK will allow you to spoof your IP address to make it appear as if you’re logging on from another location on the planet. This could allow you to access different content on your favourite streaming service, sports fixtures that don’t air in the UK, websites that might be blocked, and more.
Best UK VPNs (April 2022)
If you’re looking for the ultimate Virtual Private Network to allow you to use from the UK, scroll down to find our complete list of options. Our top pick is NordVPN, which also topped the ranking in our Best VPN guide too. We’ve got more information on NordVPN and why we’ve been so impressed with its software below.
NordVPN: A Brilliant VPN For UK Users
The ever-impressive NordVPN has topped our list as the best UK VPN service
Whether you’re new to VPNs or not, NordVPN is a great place to start. That’s because this provider has some of the most beautifully-designed apps on the market. Available on a wide range of platforms, NordVPN makes it super simple to connect to a server from around the world and change your location from the UK to elsewhere. Your most frequently-visited countries will be listed at the top of the user interface, so you can jump back to your recent servers with a single tap.
The NordVPN app will proactively monitor the Dark Web to make sure that none of your login credentials has leaked online. That includes your email addresses and passwords. If your details have been leaked on forums on the Dark Web, NordVPN will warn you so you can quickly change your login credentials to keep-out cyber crooks from your online accounts. This isn’t something that is unique to NordVPN, a number of password managers – like 1Password and LastPass – offer similar monitoring. However, if you don’t want multiple subscriptions, NordVPN will handle this for you.
NordVPN allows subscribers to sign-in to their account on 6 different devices at the same time. That’s very generous, especially compared with some of its closest rivals. And there’s no shortage of apps to download with your VPN subscription.
NordVPN has apps for almost every device you could think of, including smartphones, from tablets, games consoles, Chromebooks, to Fire TV Stick dongles, Windows and macOS. You can even install NordVPN directly on your Wi-Fi router, so that every device that connects to your home Wi-Fi network in the UK will be automatically routed via the VPN and shielded by encryption, or (if you want) re-routed via a different country to appear as if you’re abroad.
NordVPN has apps for most of your favourite gadgets, as well as your Wi-Fi router
When it comes to connecting to servers from around the world, NordVPN offers a pretty impressive selection – with a choice of 60 nations worldwide. That’s not quite as many as you’ll get from some of the other VPN providers in this list – like ExpressVPN, which boasts 94 possible countries. If you’re looking to subscribe to a VPN to change your UK IP address to somewhere much more exotic, you might want to look elsewhere.
That said, the most popular locations for UK users are all catered for – like the United States. For most UK subscribers, NordVPN will more than makes up for its shortfall in the number of countries with the dizzying number of servers worldwide (more than 5,000 available worldwide compared to just 160 for ExpressVPN), which ensures you’re always able to find a solid connection – even at peak times when some servers could become congested with a flood of users.
If you’re thinking of subscribing to a VPN to connect to new streaming services (or expand the catalogue of boxsets and blockbusters available from the service you’re already subscribed to), then NordVPN should only marginally impact download speeds. Without NordVPN enabled, we clocked up 130Mbps and a few moments later, with its VPN enabled and shielding our data, we recorded a download speed of 100Mbps. Sure, that’s a hit …but given that our data was beamed around to the other side of the planet, it’s an acceptable hit.
And that’s still more than enough bandwidth to stream in crisp 4K Ultra HD in multiple rooms around the house. And with features like split-tunnelling included with NordVPN, you only need to take the hit to your speeds on devices that need to be tapping into a server on the other side of the globe.
For those who don’t know, split-tunnelling allows you to pick multiple servers for your online traffic. So, while it might be an advantage for certain devices, like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, to think that it’s in the United States to unlock more boxsets, sports, and movies on streaming services, you might not want that for your iPhone, which needs to know your approximate location for Google Maps, for example.
Picking a server closer to home should also reduce the impact on your download speeds. So, it’s possible to stay connected via a Virtual Private Network in the UK, without sacrificing any download speed on devices where you don’t need to appear abroad.
Of course, a number of these features are available with the other VPNs included in this list. So, why have we ranked NordVPN above all others for UK subscribers? Well, it’s simple – NordVPN offers the best value for money.
While it has beautifully-designed software, apps for all of your favourite devices, advanced features like Dark Web monitoring and split-tunnelling, NordVPN has a comparatively low price compared to its biggest rival – ExpressVPN.
NordVPN offers a number of stellar deals, with prices regularly dropping below £3 a month for a subscription. It also offers a number of payment options for UK subscribers, including all major credit card providers (Mastercard, VISA, AMEX, and Discovery). PayPal and Amazon Pay are also accepted too. Unlike most of the other providers on this list, you can also pay for a subscription to NordVPN using Apple Pay and Google Pay. This will allow you to breeze through the checkout process, with your iPhone or Android device filling-in all of the payment details and keeping your credit card details private.
You can also subscribe to NordVPN using a number of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
ExpressVPN: A Great VPN For UK Users Who Want To Stream
ExpressVPN is a brilliant Virtual Private Network for customers in the UK
ExpressVPN could easily have become our top pick. However, it is NordVPN’s phenomenal deals that give it the advantage, but if you’re willing to pay a little more, ExpressVPN offers a brilliant experience for UK users looking to take advantage of the benefits of a Virtual Private Network.
ExpressVPN is well-honed for streaming, thanks to its marginal impact on download speeds. On top of that, ExpressVPN works hard to ensure that it has a steady stream of new servers coming online to escape Netflix’s recent crackdown on VPNs. So while some providers struggle to unlock the full catalogue available in the United States, ExpressVPN never runs into an issue. That’s the reason that ExpressVPN was named our Best VPN for streaming.
If you’ve got a bucketload of gadgets that you’d like to connect to your ExpressVPN subscription, the 5 device limit might put you off. However, like NordVPN, the Virtual Private Network offers software for home Wi-Fi routers, which ensures every device that connects to your wireless internet connection will be secured. That should ensure that you don’t fall afoul of the device limit. It also means you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of a VPN – like changing your IP address from the UK to abroad – on devices that don’t have a dedicated app from ExpressVPN, like some brands of Smart TVs which is helpful if you watch streaming services from the software included with your telly.
Just like the other Virtual Private Networks in this guide, Express VPN pledges to never collect identifying information about its UK customers, including IP address, online activity, traffic destination, or even the length of each session. Given that one of the main benefits of using a VPN is the boost to privacy, this is very reassuring.
Actions speak louder than words, and ExpressVPN has taken a number of steps to show its dedication to privacy. The company has based itself in the British Virgin Islands because there are no data retention laws there. That means ExpressVPN isn’t legally obliged to keep tabs on the browsing habits of its customers.
As one of the leading VPN brands, ExpressVPN charges a little more than its competition. If you’re looking for the lowest monthly bills, we wouldn’t recommend signing up with ExpressVPN. However, those who want to subscribe to this provider can secure a healthy discount by signing-up for longer contracts, which offer some huge savings compared to a monthly rolling contract. With one of these promotions, you’ll be able to drop your monthly bills under £6 a month.
ExpressVPN accepts a number of payment methods, including the biggest credit and debit card providers, like Mastercard, VISA, American Express, and Discover. Paypal and Bitcoin are also options. If you don’t want to pay everything upfront, there’s even Klarna support now – so you can break up the payment into smaller instalments (helpful if you want to buy a one-year subscription upfront to benefit from the biggest saving).
Unfortunately, unlike NordVPN, there’s no Google Pay or Apple Pay for a one-tap checkout.
CyberGhost VPN: A Great Service With The Best Money-Back Guarantee In The UK
CyberGhost VPN has a brilliant money-back guarantee offer for all UK customers
If you’re unsure whether a Virtual Private Network is quite right for you, CyberGhost is a great place to start. This provider has one of the best money-back guarantee policies of any of the VPNs available in the UK. Our top picks, NordVPN and ExpressVPN both offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who don’t get on with the subscription service. But CyberGhost betters that with its mammoth 45-day money-back guarantee for new customers.
That means you’ll be able to use a full-featured CyberGhost account for over a month, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be able to get a refund if the software doesn’t work as expected on your devices, you cannot connect to the correct servers, and more. Just like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, CyberGhost offers 24/7 live chat with its customer service team so no matter what time it is in the UK – you’ll be able to get your problem resolved.
CyberGhost also offers a free subscription tier, if you want to use that to dip your toes in the water, before signing-up to one of its best value bundles (these arrive with the 45-day money-back guarantee, while the more expensive one-month subscription only has a 14-day refund period).
But it’s not just the money-back guarantee that should tempt you about CyberGhost, it has a competitive list of features included with its subscription. UK subscribers will be able to manually change your location to around 91 different countries around the world – that’s the second-highest number, falling behind only ExpressVPN in our definitive list of VPNs. For UK customers who have to travel (digitally) to far-flung destinations, CyberGhost is a brilliant choice.
Just as you’d expect from a service that encrypts your online traffic and keeps your web browsing safe from prying eyes, CyberGhost makes some lofty promises about data security. “When using the CyberGhost VPN, we have no idea about your traffic data such as browsing history, traffic destination, data content, and search preferences. These are not monitored, recorded, logged or stored by us,” CyberGhost says.
Better yet, it doesn’t store your credit card information (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, and Discover are all supported), either. Everything is processed by a third-party payment processor. Of course, there are a number of other ways to pay for your VPN subscription, including PayPal, Bitcoin, and Apple Pay for a one-tap checkout process. Unfortunately, Android users lose out as there’s no support for Google Pay right now.
What Is Split-Tunnelling With A VPN?
Split-Tunnelling is a clever feature that solves one of the biggest headaches with VPNs. It allows you to pick and choose which websites and streaming apps are directed through the encrypted Virtual Private Network connection, while others are left out. It can also be used to direct some sites and streaming services via a specific server, one located in a far-flung location, while others remain connected to the VPN, but to servers that are located much closer to home in the UK.
This limits the impact on your download speeds only to those services that absolutely require you to be connected to a server on the other side of the planet, like a streaming service that offers a much bigger catalogue of boxsets and movies in other countries around the world. Everything else, like your inbox and social media, will load quickly and locate you in the correct location, the UK, because it’s connected to a server that’s not too far from home (while ensuring that you still benefit from the privacy benefits of a VPN).
Split-Tunnelling also ensures that services that might stop working if everything you do online is re-routed via an IP address on the other side of the planet, like BBC iPlayer or Sky Go, will continue to work as expected.
Our top pick, NordVPN, supports Split-Tunnelling in a number of its most popular apps, including iPhone, Android and Fire TV Stick.