Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is a way of establishing an encrypted connection to the internet through a remote server. Whether you’re a resident in the UK permanently, here for a holiday, or living here temporarily for work or school, a VPN could be a huge asset to you.

But why? If you’re new to VPNs, you may be wondering what the benefits are. We think the biggest ones can be summed up in two main points:

1. You can watch geo-blocked shows and movies

If you’ve ever tried to watch TV shows, movies, and other videos from foreign websites like ESPN and ABC, you’re probably no stranger to the frustrating “This Content Is Not Available In Your Country” error message. A VPN can solve that problem for you, masking your IP address by connecting you to a server anywhere in the world. This tricks websites into thinking you’re located outside the UK, giving you a UK IP address and allowing you to watch all the overseas video content you want.

2. You can browse the web anonymously & securely

With the government cracking down on internet privacy and hackers growing in power, more and more people in the UK are worried about being spied on when they use the web. With a VPN, all your browsing data is encrypted and hidden, allowing you to use the internet without being seen by anyone—internet providers and identity thieves.

If you like the sound of watching foreign content and using the web privately, it’s time to find the right VPN for you. Of course, this is easier said than done. Nowadays, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of VPN providers out there all claiming to be the best VPN for the UK. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together our own list based on three simple criteria:

  • How affordable the VPN is compared to its price
  • How well it keeps you anonymous and secure
  • Whether it’s located in a country that’s part of the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes surveillance alliances

Best VPN for the UK: our analysis

ExpressVPN

  • Location: British Virgin Islands (not a member of the Eyes)
  • Pricing: starts at $8.32 per month
  • Features:
  1. Over 2,000 servers in 94 countries
  2. Great connection speeds
  3. No logging policy, kill switch, and military-grade encryption
  4. Live chat support available 24/7/365
  5. Allows torrenting

ExpressVPN logoTo start off our search for the best VPN for the UK, we’re looking at ExpressVPN. A very popular provider, ExpressVPN starts off on the right foot with its location: the British Virgin Islands, outside the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes.

If staying private and secure is your top concern, ExpressVPN has you covered. Alongside using military-grade encryption, they never store any of your sensitive data like IP addresses or traffic logs (this is known as a no logging policy). ExpressVPN also excels at keeping your data from leaking to third parties. We found that none of their servers leaked DNS or IP addresses, and their kill switch feature ensures your internet connection will terminate if your VPN disconnects from its server. If you’re more interested in using a VPN to access overseas websites, ExpressVPN excels there too. They have Netflix UK and US compatible servers (a rarity in today’s VPN world) and their fast speeds are ideal for streaming in HD.

The only real downside to ExpressVPN is that you can only connect 3 devices simultaneously per account. Some also see the high price as a downside, but the features available more than justify what you pay for this VPN.

Read our full ExpressVPN review

VyprVPN

  • Location: Switzerland (not a member of the Eyes)
  • Pricing: starts at $3.75 per month
  • Features:
  1. Over 700 servers in 72 countries
  2. Great EU connection speeds
  3. Kill switch and military-grade encryption
  4. Easy to use

VyprVPN logoNext up is VyprVPN. This mid-priced VPN is based in Switzerland, a country with favourable privacy laws. However, while Switzerland isn’t part of the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes, keep in mind that the country has been known to cooperate with surveillance alliances in the past.

VyprVPN’s best feature is its high speeds. This provider’s EU servers are particularly fast, exceeding many of the competitors. Plus, the VyprVPN apps are some of the easiest-to-use VPN clients available, making it a great choice for newbies.

On the privacy side, we found VyprVPN to be leakproof. However, it doesn’t have a zero logs policy; the company tracks and stores your IP address as well as some other sensitive details. On top of that, while VyprVPN claim they allow torrenting on their platform, they’ve been known to suspend accounts that torrent copyrighted content. As a result, this provider isn’t the best VPN for the UK if you care more about staying anonymous than bypassing geo-blocks.

Read our full VyprVPN review

NordVPN

  • Location: Panama (not a member of the Eyes)
  • Pricing: starts at $2.99 per month
  • Features:
  1. Over 5,000 servers in 62 countries
  2. Great connection speeds
  3. No logging policy, kill switch, and military-grade encryption
  4. Unique features like DoubleVPN and SmartPlay

NordVPN logoNordVPN is another solid contender for best VPN for the UK. Located in sunny Panama, NordVPN isn’t subject to surveillance from the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes, giving it a good foundation for keeping you private.

NordVPN continues its commitment to privacy by offering unique anonymity features. This VPN has two types of kill-switch and a DoubleVPN option that can route your connection through a second server if you ever need twice the privacy. It’s also a great choice for unblocking region-locked content. NordVPN’s specialized SmartPlay technology gives you access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and hundreds of other streaming platforms.

Unfortunately, it’s not ideal for torrenting. Only 10% of their servers can be used with P2P software like uTorrent. That means that if you want to use a VPN for browsing and torrenting, you’ll be stuck with a limited range of server countries, or you’ll have to switch servers constantly.

Read our full NordVPN review

IPVanish

  • Location: USA (a 5 Eyes member country)
  • Pricing: starts at $6.49 per month
  • Features:
  1. Over 1,000 servers in 60 countries
  2. Great connection speeds
  3. No logging policy, kill switch, and military-grade encryption
  4. Up to 10 simultaneous connections

ipvanish logoThe next provider we looked at on our hunt for best VPN for the UK is IPVanish. The first thing you’ll notice about this provider is that they’re based in the USA, which is a 5 Eyes member country. Whether this is a deal-breaker for you will depend on whether you intend to use your VPN for actionable activities like torrenting.

IPVanish is great for speed-intensive activities like streaming HD video or downloading; we found that there was very little difference between IPVanish servers and our usual internet speeds. They also promise a strict no-logging policy and they allow torrenting on all their servers, making this provider a good allrounder.

However, it’s not without its problems. Their Canadian and European servers don’t appear to work with Netflix, and their support is much slower than the round-the-clock help they advertise. Unless you plan on making full use of this VPN by keeping 10 devices connected at once, there are better options for similar prices.

Read our full IPVanish review

CyberGhost

  • Location: Romania (not a member of the Eyes)
  • Pricing: starts at $2.5 per month
  • Features:
  1. Over 2,900 servers in 59 countries
  2. No logging policy, kill switch, and military-grade encryption
  3. Connect to up to 7 devices at once
  4. Easy to use

Cyberghost logoCyberGhost is our next candidate for best VPN for the UK. Like all the VPNs on our list, this provider has its ups and downs—the first ‘up’ being that it’s based in a country that’s not part of the 5, 9 or 14 Eyes (Romania).

CyberGhost carries on its privacy protection with a strict no logging policy, a kill switch, and no leaks. But where CyberGhost really excels is its ease of use. Anyone can get to grips with the apps in seconds thanks to the automatic functions that connect you to the right server for your needs, whether that’s simple browsing, torrenting, or geo-unblocking.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost isn’t as fast as its competitors. On some servers, speeds are barely above what you’d expect from a free VPN. If you plan to use it for Netflix and other HD video streaming, bear in mind that you may need to deal with buffering.

Read our full CyberGhost review

Windscribe VPN

  • Location: Canada (a 5 Eyes member country)
  • Pricing: starts at $1.00 per month
  • Features:
  1. Around 540+ servers in 55 countries
  2. Unlimited simultaneous connections
  3. No logging policy, kill switch, and military-grade encryption
  4. Port forwarding
  5. Special Netflix-compatible feature

Windscribe VPNIf you’ve looked for or used free VPNs before, you may have already come across Windscribe. While their best servers are reserved for their paid plans, they also have a free plan suitable for very light use or trialing the service. Unfortunately, Windscribe is based in Canada (part of the 5 Eyes), so it’s not the best VPN for the UK if government privacy is your main concern.

However, Windscribe does somewhat redeem itself on the privacy front with all the features you’d expect from a secure VPN: a zero logs policy, no DNS or IP leaks, a kill switch, and super strong encryption. If you want access to the Netflix US library specifically, Windscribe also has you covered there with their special Netflix-compatible server. Plus, its apps are all simple and newbie-friendly.

On the downside, Windscribe isn’t great when it comes to speed. Some servers only offer half your usual internet speed, which can lead to buffering and lag when trying to watch videos. Also, while torrenting is allowed, only certain servers are compatible, which can be a nuisance if you want to bypass geo-blocking restrictions and anonymously download files at the same time.

Read our full Windscribe VPN review

Perfect Privacy VPN

  • Location: Switzerland (not a member of the Eyes)
  • Pricing: starts at $8.95 per month
  • Features:
  1. Around servers in countries
  2. No logging policy, kill switch, and military-grade encryption

Perfect privacyOur search for the best VPN in the UK comes to a close with Perfect Privacy, another Switzerland-based provider. As the name suggests, this VPN does a great job of keeping your internet use anonymous.

Perfect Privacy definitely has a lot of strong points, including a no logging policy, no leaks, and all the other features you need to keep you anonymous and secure. They even offer a levelled kill switch that lets you decide when your internet connection should terminate if your VPN drops.

However, it’s hard to say that Perfect Privacy is worth its very high price tag. Speeds are consistently average or even slow compared to the competitors on this list. On top of that, they only allow torrenting on their premium (most expensive) servers, and we only found one server that worked with Netflix (a Netherlands server). Perhaps the worst downside for newbies is that Perfect Privacy only has apps for Windows and Linux; to use it on your phone or Mac computer, you’ll need to learn how to set it up manually.

Read our full Perfect Privacy VPN review

And the best VPN for the UK is… ExpressVPN!

ExpressVPN logoNo VPN is perfect, and every provider has its ups and downs. That being said, during our hunt for the best VPN for the UK, one VPN clearly came out on top: ExpressVPN. When it comes to both online privacy and bypassing geo-blocking, ExpressVPN can’t be faulted. It offers impeccable performance and plenty of features to adjust to your liking.

Of course, it does have flaws: namely, its price and its restriction of 3 maximum connections. If the price is particularly important to you, try NordVPN or CyberGhost. If you want to be able to connect more devices to one account, you might like Windscribe or Perfect Privacy better.

If you’re in the UK, which of these VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great VPNs for the UK? Let us know in the comments below.