5 Best VPNs for the UK

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The best VPN for the UK is a good value VPN with good UK server coverage and verified privacy features. It should also let you stream British and foreign content and share P2P files privately.

I tested several VPN providers to see which VPN that is and found that the best VPN for the UK is Surfshark. With its 9 server locations across the UK, this Dutch provider comes at a reasonable price, protects your privacy with its server structure, and allows seamless streaming and torrenting.

CyberGhost also has my vote for its server coverage and streaming capabilities. Likewise, NordVPN is another great VPN provider for the UK, thanks to its great privacy features and P2P-optimized servers.

Want to know how I reached these conclusions? Keep reading to find out!

I tested the VPN providers by connecting them to UK servers and running speed, data consumption, and DNS leak tests. I also read through their no-logs policies and audit reports where available to see whether their privacy claims ring true.

In addition, I checked their streaming capabilities on BBC iPlayer, Netflix, ITV, and Channel 4 to make sure the VPNs can help British citizens enjoy those streaming services abroad.

And finally, I assessed the VPN providers’ affordability for UK users.

Keep reading to find out what I learned about the best VPNs for the UK!

How Do These VPN Providers Stand Out?

Here’s why I think these five VPN providers with UK servers are the best VPN services for the UK:

  • Surfshark (9 UK servers) – Best Overall Choice for UK
  • CyberGhost (686 UK servers) – Best for Streaming & Server Coverage
  • NordVPN (over UK 500 servers) – Best for Privacy & P2P File Sharing
  • ExpressVPN (4 UK servers) – Best for Verified Security Features
  • OVPN (1 UK server) – Offers Excellent Speed & Data Consumption

5 Best VPNs for the UK

These five VPN services are the best VPNs for the UK.

They all have UK servers, robust privacy features, and many other capabilities.

Here’s why they’re the best:

Surfshark - Best Overall

The Netherlands-based provider Surfshark has 9 UK servers in London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, and I consider it the best VPN for the United Kingdom.

Why? Find out below!

servers for surfshark

Surfshark Privacy

I performed a DNS leak test whilst connected to a Surfshark server in the UK, using IPLeak.net. It confirmed that my real IP wasn’t leaking.

Additionally, Surfshark’s no-logging policy stipulates that it doesn’t store “visited IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, connection time stamps, network traffic or any other similar information.”

This means the activities of UK users aren’t recorded anywhere.

no logging policy for surfshark

In addition, the RAM-only server structure ensures that even if any data were retained, it’s deleted at every reboot. This ensures the UK authorities can’t use the Investigative Powers Act to seize data – because there’s no data to seize.

This server architecture was validated by an independent audit by Cure53. It confirmed that the server network “relied on good defaults,” and no serious issues were detected.

Such an audit gives additional reassurance to UK users concerned about their privacy and the UK sharing their data with other members of 5/9/14 eyes. It’s an important reason why I recommend Surfshark as an excellent VPN for the UK for security and privacy.

Surfshark Speed & Data Usage Test

I ran a speed test on Surfshark using the SpeedTest website.

Then I ran a data consumption test using the GlassWire app by measuring the amount of data consumed in five minutes with and without a Surfshark VPN connection.

I ran the same tests on all other providers on the list.

Here’s what I found.

Baseline speed:

Speed when connected to a UK Surfshark server in Edinburgh:

The speed reduction was just over 22%, but the ping was quite high, which can cause lags in games. However, if you’re just browsing, such a small speed reduction shouldn’t affect your UX too much.

Baseline data consumption, 5 minutes:

surfshark baseline data consumption

Data consumption when connected to a UK Surfshark server in Edinburgh:

surfshark data consumption in uk

Surfshark’s IKEv2 protocol does consume a lot of data.

That’s why I recommend only using it on WiFi to avoid high roaming charges and exceeding your contract, whether you’re on O2, Vodafone, or another UK CSP.

Torrenting With Surfshark

Surfshark may not have dedicated P2P servers like NordVPN or CyberGhost, but it still works with all torrenting clients. All UK servers are optimized for torrenting. However, it doesn’t allow seeding.

We don’t endorse using a VPN – Surfshark or otherwise – to download copyrighted materials. However, Surfshark’s IP obfuscation can protect you from a common practice of copyright trolls (more on them below).

Even if you’re not engaging in illegal downloading, someone in your household or nearby might be, which is why you should use a VPN to protect your household.

And I recommend Surfshark as the VPN for P2P sharing in the UK, thanks to its independently verified privacy features.

Streaming With Surfshark

Surfshark can unlock BBC iPlayer from abroad – all you need is an account and a UK-based address. Connect to one of the 4 Surfshark UK server locations and enjoy shows like “Gavin & Stacey” to your heart’s content!

Surfshark also works with UK TV channels like ITV – as with BBC iPlayer, you need an account and a UK address. So, if you want to stream British shows like “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” whilst traveling abroad, I recommend Surfshark.

Surfshark Value for Money

Surfshark is the second cheapest provider on the list, only slightly behind CyberGhost. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

However, considering it offers unlimited simultaneous connections to CyberGhost’s seven, I recommend Surfshark as the better value VPN.

Since an entire UK household can benefit from unlimited connections, Surfshark’s the VPN for you if you live in a shared house with several people to save money.

Want to try it for yourself? Grab this amazing Surfshark deal today!

Pros

Cons

CyberGhost - Best for Server Coverage & Streaming

For great streaming options and huge server coverage across the UK, I recommend Romanian-based CyberGhost with its 686 UK servers in Berkshire, London, and Manchester.

live help for cyberghost

CyberGhost Privacy

I ran a DNS leak test on CyberGhost to confirm that my IP address was protected. The test confirmed that CyberGhost wasn’t leaking my IP.

Like Surfshark and other listed providers, CyberGhost’s servers are RAM-only, ensuring no data can be provided to the UK authorities.

The provider also has a clear-cut no-logging policy.

clear cut no logging privacy for cyberghost

However, unlike other VPNs on this list, CyberGhost’s privacy and security features haven’t been independently verified.

Since the UK is a 5-eyes country, privacy-conscious users might want more reassurance that such verification can provide.

cyberghost live help assist

CyberGhost Speed & Data Usage

Like with Surfshark, I ran a speed test and a data usage test on CyberGhost, comparing it with baseline data. Here’s what I got:

Baseline speed:

baseline speedtest result

Speed when connected to a UK CyberGhost server in Berkshire:

UK CyberGhost speed server in Berkshire

The speed reduction was about 25%. But that could easily be because my Internet connection speed is quite slow.

Moreover, the ping is the lowest on this list, which means CyberGhost is the best in terms of latency, allowing UK VPN users a decent gaming experience.

Baseline data consumption, 5 minutes:

cyberghost baseline data consumption

Data consumption when connected to a UK CyberGhost server in Berkshire:

Data consumption when connected to a UK CyberGhost server in Berkshire

CyberGhost does consume a lot of data, albeit less than NordVPN. Therefore, like with NordVPN, it’s better to use it on WiFi.

Torrenting & Streaming With CyberGhost

CyberGhost allows users to watch UK TV online.

It has servers optimized for streaming BBC iPlayer, ITV, Netflix UK, Amazon Prime, and Channel 4.

I tested them and can confirm:

  1. CyberGhost works with BBC iPlayer. You need to choose the “Optimized for BBC iPlayer” server when connecting to the service. Then you can enjoy iPlayer shows like “His Dark Materials.”
iplayer using cyberghost
  1. CyberGhost works equally well with ITV. Similar to iPlayer, you need to connect to the UK server titled “Optimized for ITV.” Then go to ITV’s website, log in with your account, and choose a show you want to watch – like “Agatha Christie’s Marple.”
itv using cyberghost
  1. CyberGhost works with Netflix. Choose one of the Netflix-optimized servers from the server list (“Netflix UK”, “Netflix UK Firestick or Netflix UK Android TV”) and enjoy your favorite shows like “Marcella.”
netflix using cyberghost

If you’re in the UK and want to enjoy foreign content, like the US Netflix library, you can also use the relevant CyberGhost streaming server.

Just find the right one in the “For Streaming” list.

CyberGhost also has UK servers optimized for torrenting.

They allow UK users a seamless P2P file-sharing experience with all torrenting clients.

And since the DNS leak test has proven that CyberGhost was masking my IP, UK users don’t have to worry about copyright trolls getting wind of their torrenting activities!

Is CyberGhost Within Your Budget?

CyberGhost is the cheapest provider on this list and offers the longest money-back guarantee of 45 days.

Since it offers 7 simultaneous connections and excellent streaming options, I recommend CyberGhost as a good value VPN for UK TV fans.

Try CyberGhost for yourself with our amazing deal today!

Pros

Cons

NordVPN - Best for Privacy and P2P Sharing

Panama-based NordVPN has over 500 UK servers in London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. I recommend it for its excellent privacy and P2P sharing features.

nordvpn customer support

Private Browsing With NordVPN

Running a DNS leak test when connected to a NordVPN UK server has proven that NordVPN wasn’t leaking my IP address.

NordVPN, like other providers on the list, has a no-logging policy and RAM-only servers. The policy of not keeping logs was verified by an independent audit conducted by PwC.

The audit confirmed that NordVPN’s security measures (including P2P servers) were fully compliant with the policy.

nordvpn no logging policy and RAM only servers

The NordVPN apps were also audited independently by VerSprite.

This audit confirmed that UK users don’t have to worry about their confidential user data being breached.

For those reasons, I recommend NordVPN as a top-level VPN service for the UK in terms of privacy.

Speed & Data Consumption

Same as other providers, I tested NordVPN’s speed and data consumption when connected to UK servers. Here’s what I found.

Baseline speed:

baseline speedtest result

When connected to a NordVPN UK server:

nordvpn uk server speed

NordVPN’s speed reduction was very small – only 11%.

That means that UK users shouldn’t have many UX problems when browsing.

 Baseline data consumption:

nordvpn data baseline consumption

Data consumption when connected to a London NordVPN server:

london nordvpn data consumption

However, NordVPN does consume a lot of data.

For that reason, I recommend using it on Wi-Fi devices rather than mobile data.

Torrenting and Streaming With NordVPN

NordVPN allows torrenting. Like CyberGhost, it offers specialized P2P servers, over 500 of which are located in the UK.

nordvpn p2p servers

NordVPN also works with all torrenting clients and allows seeding.

To use the P2P-optimized servers when you’re in the UK, click on “P2P,” and it’ll automatically choose the best server in the UK.

If you’re abroad, you can do the same, and the tool will select the best server for torrenting in that country.

You can also use NordVPN with the SOCKS5 proxy.

The provider doesn’t have a UK server for that, but there’s a server in Ireland – dublin.ie.socks.nordhold.net.

In terms of accessing streaming services, I tested NordVPN with Netflix and Channel 4 by connecting to a UK server to see if it works.

I’m happy to report that NordVPN works fine with Netflix, like CyberGhost and Surfshark!

watch netflix using nordvpn

My test on Channel 4’s website has also proven to be fruitful – NordVPN works well with UK TV channels, so you can enjoy “Great British Bake-Off” abroad if you want.

watch netflix using nordvpn

I also tested NordVPN with Swedish and US Netflix.

As a result of the test, I’m happy to confirm that NordVPN also works with non-UK streaming services.

For instance, NordVPN allowed me to watch Canadian TV channel CTV just fine:

swedish and uk netflix using nordvpn

Therefore, if you’re looking for a VPN that would allow you to stream and share P2P files seamlessly, consider NordVPN.

NordVPN Pricing

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, like Surfshark.

However, it’s more expensive than Surfshark and CyberGhost.

Moreover, it only allows six simultaneous connections, unlike CyberGhost (7) and Surfshark (unlimited). For that reason, it loses out to those providers in terms of value.

Try this awesome NordVPN deal today to see its features for yourself!

Pros

Cons

ExpressVPN - Best for Verified Security Features

For privacy features verified by audits and real-life examples, I recommend BVI-based ExpressVPN with its 4 servers in the UK in London.

expressvpn live chat

Staying Private With ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN DNS Leak Test has confirmed that my IP wasn’t leaking when connected to an ExpressVPN UK server.

Like NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN has commissioned several audits of its security features.

One audit done by PwC confirmed that no data, including IP addresses, ever leaves the RAM-only server structure and that it was fully compliant with the no-logs policy.

This was confirmed further by an audit of the ExpressVPN Windows application done by F-Secure.

On top of that, ExpressVPN’s no-logging policy was verified by a real-life incident, which confirmed that ExpressVPN had no logs to give to the authorities.

expressvpn no logs

Those verifications are why I recommend ExpressVPN as a great VPN for the UK in terms of validated security features.

Is ExpressVPN Fast?

Testing ExpressVPN speed and data consumption yielded the following results:

Baseline speed:

baseline speedtest result

When connected to ExpressVPN London server:

expressvpn speed london server

Baseline data consumption:

baseline data consumption

Data consumption when connected to a London ExpressVPN server:

expressvpn data consumption speed

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol doesn’t consume a lot of data.

For that reason, UK users can use it on both data and WiFi connections and avoid high charges.

Express VPN Streaming & P2P

ExpressVPN works very well with BBC iPlayer. Unlike CyberGhost, it doesn’t have dedicated streaming servers, but you can connect to any of the four UK servers to enjoy shows like “Gentleman Jack.”

expressvpn bbc iplayer

ExpressVPN also works with Netflix. By connecting to any of the four servers in London, you can stream the UK content from abroad.

Similarly, connecting to any other servers in different countries, you can stream content from them.

watch netflix using expressvpn

ExpressVPN, like Surfshark, doesn’t have dedicated P2P servers.

However, the IP obfuscation done by ExpressVPN can protect you from being exposed to your ISP and copyright trolls.

An ExpressVPN representative confirmed to me that its UK servers allow torrenting with all clients.

expressvpn p2p

ExpressVPN Value for Money

Out of all the providers on this list, ExpressVPN is the most expensive. Moreover, it only allows 5 simultaneous connections.

All other providers offer at least six, and Surfshark even offers unlimited connections for a much lower price. Therefore, I can’t recommend ExpressVPN to UK users looking to save money.

However, you can grab this great ExpressVPN deal today to test it out!

Pros

Cons

OVPN - Offers Excellent Speed & Data Consumption

https://www.ovpn.com/en

For UK users who value speed and privacy above all else and don’t care for streaming, I recommend the Swedish provider OVPN, which has 1 UK VPN server.

ovpn support message

Can OVPN Protect Your Privacy?

Like Surfshark, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN, OVPN had its no-logging policy and RAM-only servers independently verified. This was done in a court of law.

During the case, which OVPN won, the provider confirmed that it had no logs and no drivers on the servers, which was validated by the claimant’s expert.

I also ran a DNS leak test on OVPN, and it showed that my IP wasn’t leaking.

Those reasons are why I put OVPN on the same level as Surfshark and NordVPN in terms of privacy.

ovpn terms of privacy

Can You Stream With OVPN?

Unfortunately, OVPN doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer, which puts it behind the rest of the providers on this list. A representative of OVPN told me that they’re working on the issue.

ovpn on netflix

OVPN doesn’t work with UK Netflix, either.

However, if you want to enjoy content from the US, Germany, or Sweden, you can connect to one of the servers in each country.

It worked for me.

ovpn uk netflix

OVPN also loses out to other providers on this list like Surfshark and CyberGhost by not working with British TV.

ovpn london

Therefore, if you’re looking for a VPN that both keeps your data private and allows streaming options, consider another provider on this list.

OVPN Connection Speed & Data Usage

As with other providers, I tested OVPN’s speed and data usage.

Here are my results.

Baseline speed:

baseline speed 3

When connected to the OVPN UK server:

ovpn speed test uk

As you can see, there was no speed reduction with OVPN, which makes this VPN the best for the UK in terms of speed.

Baseline data consumption:

ovpn baseline speed

Data consumption when connected to a UK OVPN server:

ovpn data consumption

Like ExpressVPN, OVPN’s data usage test has shown that the VPN connection even reduces the data used by my device.

That’s why I recommend OVPN if you’re on Pay & Go and are using your mobile device as a hotspot for your computer to ensure that you don’t incur high data charges.

Is OVPN Expensive?

OVPN’s best deal is more expensive than NordVPN’s or CyberGhost’s but cheaper than ExpressVPN’s.

It offers the shortest money-back guarantee – only 10 days. Considering that it doesn’t offer streaming options, like the two providers I mentioned, I can’t recommend OVPN as a good value VPN.

However, if you would like to try out OVPN for yourself, grab this fantastic deal today!

Pros

Cons

UK VPN Speed Test Results & UK Servers

I’ve put together an overview of VPNs’ speed and data consumption test results, with percentages of speed reduction.

Provider name Baseline speed Ping, ms Download speed, Mbps Upload speed, Mbps Download speed reduction Servers in UK Price
OVPN
  • Ping 19
  • Download 11.56 Mbps
  • Upload 7.34 Mbps
77 11.96 6.83 0% 1 OVPN price
Surfshark
  • Ping 35
  • Download 22.8 Mbps
  • Upload 2.48 Mbps
104 17.6 2.14 22.8% 9 Surfshark price
CyberGhost
  • Ping 24
  • Download 10.74 Mbps
  • Upload 1.70 Mbps
67 8.03 3.04 25.2% 686 Cyberghost price
NordVPN
  • Ping 22
  • Download 32.6 Mbps
  • Upload 14.6 Mbps
77 29.0 14.4 11% Over 500 NordVPN price
ExpressVPN
  • Ping 23
  • Download 15.35 Mbps
  • Upload 1.24 Mbps
77 12.23 3.25 20.3% 4 ExpressVPN price

VPN Data Consumption Test Results

Provider name Baseline data usage Protocol Data usage when connected to VPN
OVPN
  • Total - 10.1 Mb
  • Incoming - 9.1 Mb
  • Outgoing - 990 Kb
OpenVPN
  • Total - 3.8 Mb
  • Incoming - 2.7 Mb
  • Outgoing - 1.1 Mb
Surfshark
  • Total - 2.8 Mb
  • Incoming - 2 Mb
  • Outgoing - 822 Kb
IKEv2
  • Total - 9.2 Mb
  • Incoming - 5.5 Mb
  • Outgoing - 3.7 Mb
CyberGhost
  • Total - 2.0 Mb
  • Incoming - 1.3 Mb
  • Outgoing - 755 Kb
OpenVPN
  • Total - 13.3 Mb
  • Incoming - 6.8 Mb
  • Outgoing - 6.5 Mb
NordVPN
  • Total - 6.4 Mb
  • Incoming - 5.3 Mb
  • Outgoing - 1.2 Mb
NordLynx
  • Total - 45.3 Mb
  • Incoming - 41.6 Mb
  • Outgoing - 3.7 Mb
ExpressVPN
  • Total - 6.1 Mb
  • Incoming - 5.8 Mb
  • Outgoing - 781 Kb
Lightway (UDP)
  • Total - 4.0 Mb
  • Incoming - 2.4 Mb
  • Outgoing - 1.5 Mb

What to Keep In Mind When Choosing a VPN for the UK?

Strong Privacy Features

The UK is a 5-eyes country with strong anti-privacy legislation like the Investigatory Powers Act. For that reason, you need a VPN that has a proven policy of not logging and storing your data.

You also need a VPN with RAM-only servers to ensure that no record of your data is kept for too long and strong encryption.

Server Coverage & Speed

Good server coverage in the UK is also important. The UK has many rural areas where Internet access isn’t the best.

Having a VPN with a decent number of servers around the country, good speed, and low data consumption can help mitigate the connection issues caused by a VPN.

Streaming & Torrenting

Going abroad can mean losing access to your favorite BBC iPlayer, ITV, and UK Netflix shows, such as “Great British Bake Off.”

Having a VPN that can work with those services and unblock UK-based resources like banks and governmental websites is important for UK-based travelers and British expats.

In addition, the UK ISPs track users’ torrenting activity, which the laws allow the authorities to access.

Plus, with the activities of copyright trolls in the country (companies that send threatening “speculative invoices” to households allegedly suspected of downloading copyright materials), it’s important to have a VPN that allows safe torrenting.

Value for Money

The UK’s high cost of living and tuition fees mean that consumers, especially students, would be looking for things with good value and discounts.

For that reason, having a VPN that offers good savings and a good money-back guarantee is important.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK?

Here’s how to access BBC iPlayer outside the UK using a VPN (CyberGhost):

  1. Launch CyberGhost on your device.
  2. Choose the server “United Kingdom – Optimized for BBC iPlayer.”
bbc iplayer uk expressvpn
  1. Connect to that server.
cyberghost streaming
  1. Go to BBC iPlayer and choose the program you want to watch, like “Dublin Murders.”
  2. Login if prompted and click on the video.
bbc iplayer on cyberghost
  1. Enjoy the content!

How to Watch ITV Outside the UK?

Similar to BBC iPlayer, you can connect to a VPN that works with ITV to watch the channel outside the UK. Here’s how to do it!

  1. Launch a VPN client on your device (I’ll be using Surfshark to demonstrate) and connect to a UK server.
  1. Go to ITV.com and log in.
  2. Choose the program you want to watch, like “D.I. Ray,” and click on it.
  1. Enjoy the show!

How to Get a UK IP Address?

If you need a UK IP address to access your favorite BBC iPlayer shows or government services that require you to be based in the UK, here’s how:

  1. Get a subscription to a VPN with servers in the UK – I recommend Surfshark.
  2. Connect to its UK server.
  3. Perform a DNS Leak Test – it must show that your IP is in the UK rather than where you are. If it does, you got a UK IP address.

How to Get a UK Student Discount on VPNs?

To save money as a UK student, you can take advantage of various student discounts offered by some VPNs. Here are some options:

  1. StudentBeans – search for “VPN” for all available discounts.
  2. My Uni Days – search for “VPN” to see which discounts are available.
  3. SaveTheStudent – currently offers a NordVPN discount.
  4. Software4Students – offers a NordVPN discount.
  5. Browse VPN websites’ pricing and discount pages – sometimes they offer student discounts.

FAQ

Using torrenting clients for permitted activities is legal in the UK.

However, it’s illegal to use torrents to share copyrighted files.

Not only could you become a target of copyright trolls demanding a bogus settlement, but you could also be penalized if your ISP shares your online activities with law enforcement.

For that reason, it’s always best to use a VPN when torrenting in the UK, even when sharing non-copyrighted files.

I don’t recommend getting a free VPN for the UK.

First, you risk having your data sold to third parties by using free cybersecurity services like VPNs, as that’s the easiest way for them to make money.

And there’s nothing stopping the UK government from using the Investigative Powers Act to request your data from such a third party.

Second, there are no free VPNs that have undergone security audits – simply because they cost money. And an audit is one of the best guarantees of a VPN delivering on your privacy.

The best VPN for FireStick in the UK is Surfshark. It’s one of the cheapest and most secure VPNs with top-level verified privacy and security features and the ability to unblock geo-restricted content. It also comes with a FireStick native app.

You can download Surfshark straight to your Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Yes, using a VPN is legal in the UK. It’s not a country heavy on censorship, but it’s always a good idea to protect your online activities, given that it’s a 5-eyes country.

However, using VPNs to perform unlawful activities such as sharing copyrighted materials is illegal.

Conclusion

My tests of five VPNs with UK servers for speed, data consumption, privacy, security, and streaming have led me to conclude that the best VPN for the UK is Surfshark.

CyberGhost and NordVPN aren’t too far behind, though.

All three providers have robust privacy features and allow seamless P2P file sharing and streaming.

However, not only have Surfshark’s privacy features been independently verified, but it’s also a lot cheaper than other providers and allows unlimited connections.

That’s why I recommend Surfshark as the best VPN for the UK.

Try Surfshark risk-free today!

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