For anyone living in Blighty, the best VPN can come in really handy (hey, we’d even bet you a fiver that the Queen is using a UK VPN right now to binge watch herself on Netflix's The Crown).
Firstly, the UK has built up a reputation for enforcing some of Europe’s most extreme internet snooping laws. So, if you want to prevent Boris from spying on your internet activity through the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act, you definitely need a UK VPN as it’ll encrypt your data and protect you from prying eyes.
The services are also great for streaming. Many Brits know how frustrating it is when you try to access Hulu, Peacock and other overseas streaming platforms, only to find out that they’re not available in the UK. And then there’s also the issue of trying to watch iPlayer when you’re outside of the UK. Well, a top-drawer UK VPN can fix these annoying problems.
But the VPN marketplace is very crowded, so it’s not the easiest task choosing a provider that ticks all the right boxes. And the last thing anyone wants is to sign up for a rubbish service (and there are plenty out there). Don’t worry, though, as here we’ve tested and rounded up the very best UK VPNs of 2021.
1. ExpressVPN – the best Fire Stick VPN on the market
ExpressVPN is the best UK VPN we could find. It provides great features, performance and security at a pretty decent price, and has excellent support should anything go awry. It has plenty of high-speed servers in the UK and offers access to the most popular UK broadcasters – and it can unblocked overseas content with ease, too.View Deal
2. Surfshark – excellent streaming on a shoestring budget
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is one of the best UK VPNs. But what gives it an edge over these two is that it’s just so cheap at just £2 per month. And you’re still getting loads of amazing features and great overall performance. View Deal
3. NordVPN – the biggest name is still one of the best
Out of all the best UK VPNs, NordVPN is one of the very best when it comes to security and privacy. Features like Double VPN will protect Brits from stringent online regulations such as Snooper’s Charter, and you'll also have access to its excellent streaming capabilities.View Deal
The best UK VPN options in 2021:
We’ve chosen ExpressVPN as our favourite UK VPN for 2020 as it delivers so much in terms of features, performance, security and price.
At the heart of ExpressVPN is its global network of more than 3,000 servers, which are easy to connect to and offer impressive speeds. For UK users specifically, the British Virgin Islands-based provider maintains servers across London, Wembley and the Docklands. Cracking VPN server selection, Gromit!
By connecting to one of these UK-based servers, you’ll be able to access national broadcasters such as BBC iPlayer, Sky, ITV Player and BT Sports as well as the British libraries of streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus.
ExpressVPN provides easy-to-use apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux and many other platforms. But you can only connect up to five devices, which is pretty much the only disappointment here. In terms of other features, there’s AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, private DNS, a strict no logs policy, a speed test, privacy guides and much more. Other handy additions are 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For many people, the price has to be right when signing up for an online service. And when it comes to affordability, Surfshark doesn’t disappoint as it’s the cheapest premium VPN.
While plans start at a super cheap £2 per month, Surfshark is still able to offer one of the best quality VPN services on the market. It has more than 1,700 servers across the world, with many of them based in the UK.
Surfshark is great for streaming, offering access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu and other platforms. What’s really handy is that you can connect an unlimited number of devices, and you can expect fast speeds on all your gizmos.
Security is an important area for any VPN provider, and Surfshark is a great example of how to get this right. Firstly, it'll protect users from malware, phishing, web trackers and adverts, but there’s also a no-logs policy, a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, security protocols, a camouflage mode and a private DNS for all servers.
If you want a great UK VPN that puts security and privacy before anything else, then NordVPN might be the service for you.
Not only has Nord had its strict no-logs policy reviewed by external auditors, but it also provides impressive security and privacy features like strong encryption for your data, malware protection, a DNS leak test and double VPN (which protects your data with two servers).
The company has over 5,400 servers worldwide, and more than 690 of these are based in the UK. On top of access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other major providers, you’ll be able to watch British shows on BBC iPlayer.
NordVPN also offers unlimited bandwidth and allows you to connect up to 6 devices, which should be ample for most people. What’s more, you can download the NordVPN app on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux. Round-the-clock support and a 30-day money-back guarantee are standard for all users.
Considering that more than 10 million people use CyberGhost globally, it’s clearly one of the best VPN services on the market. And what makes it so incredibly popular is the fact that there are more than 7,000 servers on offer, with over 1200 of them in the UK.
Using CyberGhost, you can stream TV shows and movies on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video - but we've had trouble with iPlayer recently. This shouldn't be an issue if you're staying in the UK, but if you're goind abroad and want access, a different provider might be a good idea.
Because you can connect up to 7 devices, you’ll be able to watch content on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, smart TV, games console and any other gadgets you have. Unlimited bandwidth and fast server speeds will accelerate the streaming experience, too.
What we also like about CyberGhost is that it has some great security and privacy features, including 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IP leak protection, different secure protocols and a no-logging policy. And if this isn’t for you, there’s a massive 45-day refund policy.
If speed is your biggest priority when choosing a UK VPN, then you can’t go wrong with Hotspot Shield because it’s capable of blazingly fast speeds. When we reviewed it on a 75mb UK line, we were able to experience speeds of 71Mb. That’s very impressive.
Thanks to these fast speeds, Hotspot Shield is great for streaming. In terms of UK content, you can access BBC iPlayer, Sky TV and Channel 5. And there’s also access to American streaming platforms like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu.
Something worth noting is that there’s a free version of Hotspot Shield, which is great if you want to give it a whirl before you pay for a premium plan. But sadly, you only get 500MB of free data every day, and speeds are capped at 2Mb. So you won’t be able to use this for streaming or gaming, realistically.
The premium version gives you access to nice features like “military-grade” encryption and unlimited bandwidth. And the apps are pretty easy to use, although they’re only available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux. What may also disappoint some is that devices are capped at 5.
What makes a good UK VPN?
When choosing a UK VPN, the most important things to look out for are whether the provider has plenty of British servers and whether it can unblock British streaming services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Channel 5, Sky Go and BT Sports.
More generally, you’ll also want a service that has a great variety of features and global connections. The best UK VPNs also provide fast speeds and take a firm stance on security and privacy.
Do I really need a VPN in the UK?
Yes, and for a number of reasons. The biggest is that the British government has implemented strict internet snooping powers over the years, and first and foremost, you’ll want to protect yourself from those.
The other reason is circumventing geo restrictions. Not all streaming platforms and websites are available in the UK, so if you want to watch a TV show or movie that is blocked in Blighty, the only way you can resolve this is by investing in one of the best UK VPNs. Finally, a VPN will enable you to watch your favourite British telly when you’re abroad.
More VPN guides you might fancy: