The Best VPN Services for UK Users – 2019

These days, online security is paramount. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are one of the most effective tools for safe browsing. In the past, VPN services were a rare commodity reserved for only the most tech-savvy web users. However, that has changed quite a bit in recent years. VPN service providers have made their products much more user-friendly. As a result, they’re more accessible than ever.

There are a lot of misconceptions about online security and privacy. It’s not enough to have a strong password or incognito browsing modes. Every single time you establish an Internet connection, whether it’s at home or on a public hotspot, you put yourself at risk. Hacking and identity theft is more common than people think. VPNs help to keep you protected. Furthermore, they can help you browse anonymously and explore all the Internet has to offer without restrictions.

Despite the freedoms that exist in the UK, there is surveillance going on behind the scenes. The Investigatory Powers Act was passed in 2016. Essentially, it gives the UK government the right to monitor all kinds of communications, including Internet activity. In the on-going battle for privacy, VPNs are the tool to help you retain your anonymity on the web.

There are many different VPN options out there. Not all of them will offer the same level of service or features. To help you find the right VPN for your needs, here’s a selection of some of the best VPN service providers for UK users and some useful information you need to know.

UK VPN Basics

When you use the Internet without a VPN, your IP address is logged at every website or streaming service you visit. The information within your IP shows who you are and where you’re from. As a result, everything you do on the Internet can be traced back to you. A VPN works to hide your IP address make your browsing activity private.

It does this by creating a secure network tunnel. When you visit a website, view digital content, or download files, your data is encrypted through this tunnel first. On secure VPNs, not even your Internet service provider will be able to see what you’ve been doing online.

This opens up a world of possibilities. In addition to keeping you safe from hackers, VPNs offer a slew of additional benefits. They let you download files safely, bypass content restrictions from popular streaming services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer, and overcome bandwidth throttling from your ISP. These are just a few great perks that VPNs providers. Truth is, your entire Internet experience will change once you decide to invest in a VPN. You’ll be able to browse unencumbered by rules and restrictions.

How to Choose the Best VPN Service For UK Users

If you’re not familiar with the technology that VPNs use, it can be tough to sort through all that technical jargon and find the best VPN for you. Luckily, the services and features a VPN offers is pretty easy to understand once you get a good grasp on a few basic terms. Here are some things to look for.

Security Protocols

The security protocol a VPN uses refers to the method in which it hides your data and identity. Most VPNs offer a couple of different forms of encryption. The most common is OpenVPN. It’s regarded as the most secure protocol out there. You may also come across some VPNs that offer SSTP and PPTP. These are a bit older, but they’re suitable for light use as well. LT2P/IPsec are protocols that are used for mobile platforms. When you’re searching for a suitable VPN, it’s always a good idea to go with options that offer multiple security protocols. Having extra options can ensure that your activity is always safe.

Speed and Bandwidth

While you’re probably familiar with the speed and bandwidth that your ISP provides, you’ll need to consider the VPN’s capabilities as well. Remember, these services push your data through a secure virtual network before it goes out to the World Wide Web. Due to how they operate, there will be a change in the Internet speeds you’re used to. If the network is not able to handle a ton of traffic, you may experience slower speeds than usual during peak hours.

Some VPN providers also have bandwidth caps. Bandwidth refers to how much data passes through the virtual network. Luckily, most paid plans offer unlimited bandwidth. However, you may see caps on low-tier or free plans.

Number of Servers

One of the biggest benefits of a VPN is the ability to overcome geographical restrictions. Streaming services, such as Netflix, have content licenses for different countries around the world. That’s why the American Netflix library is much larger than the one made for British audiences. You can access the American platform with a great VPN for Netflix. They trick the website or service into thinking that you’re living in an entirely different country.

This is done by connecting you through a server in that country. It’s important to pay attention to the number of servers a VPN has and where those servers are located. Depending on the provider, you may have access to thousands of unique servers. Some even select servers for you based on the type of content you’re trying to view.

Logging Policy

The whole point of a VPN is to stay anonymous on the web. While service providers will shield your identity to the Internet at large, that doesn’t always mean that you’re completely anonymous. VPN companies may log your information each time you connect to the network. The types of data they collect vary from company to company.

If privacy is your main priority, you need to delve into the fine print. Figure out what types of information the VPN provider collects and how long they keep it. Some of the best VPN companies have a true no-logs policy for complete privacy. It’s important to note that logging policies are often dictated by the jurisdiction of where the VPN company is based. Countries with lax privacy laws, such as Switzerland or Hong Kong, are preferred.

Supported Platforms

How many web-capable devices do you have? Chances are, you have more than one. VPNs aren’t just limited to your computer. Many providers offer unique platforms for mobile devices, gaming consoles, and even smart TVs. Consider this when you’re searching for the right service. See if they offer a dedicated application for your system and operating system. If it’s possible, also check out to see how the particular VPN client operates. Some software is easier to use than others. A complicated connection process could ruin your Internet experience, so see if the client is user-friendly and quick.

You should also see how many connections the VPN allows per account. It’s always better to have multiple simultaneous connections so that all of your devices are protected. In addition to staying protected at home, you can rest easy knowing that your personal information is safe whenever you connect to public Wi-Fi.

Must-Have Features

In addition to the basics, there are a few different features that could provide you with even more peace of mind. One example is a Kill Switch. Kill switches are essential because they can prevent your information from ever being compromised. Say, for example, that you’re surfing the web and the virtual network you’re connected to goes down. Without a kill switch, your IP address would be suddenly revealed and logged by the website you’re visiting. Kill switches act as a fail-safe to provide complete anonymity.

DNS leak protection is also important. Even if you’re on a secure VPN, DNS queries can be sent on unsecured connections. This effectively eliminates that shield of privacy, as your IP address is leaked in the process. DNS leak protection makes sure that even the DNS queries are sent through the VPN tunnel.

Another good feature to have is a money-back guarantee. VPN services require an ongoing subscription to use. Companies typically offer month-to-month subscriptions as well as bulk-options that let you pay for as much as two years in advance. The last thing you is to pay for a service only to discover that it doesn’t meet your needs. A money-back guarantee will give that extra reassurance. Of course, always read the fine print! Some VPNs may have strict qualifications that limit the guarantee if you’ve used the service too much.

Best VPN Services for UK Users

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most trusted names in the industry because of its great policies and technology. The company is based in Panama. They’re not subjected to the strict logging regulations that are found in other countries. They have a zero-logs policy to keep your activity private.

When it comes to security, NordVPN does a very good job. The VPN utilizes military-grade encryption. They also offer DNS-leak protection, which offers an additional layer of protection to the standard protocols.

The great thing about NordVPN is that its fine-tuned for streaming. The service has specific servers that are built for platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. These servers are located in traffic-heavy locations, such as numerous locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, China, and more. In total, NordVPN has over 5,000 servers across the world. They’re located in over 60 countries, so you can access just about any website or service.

NordVPN offers some great added perks as well. They have two dedicated kill switches, built-in ad-blockers, and flexible subscription plans. With the standard plan, up to six devices can be connected to the VPN at once. The service provider offers dedicated clients for a wide range of devices, so you’ll have no problem browsing safely from anywhere.

Pros:

  • True no-logging policy
  • Over 5,000 servers
  • Curated streaming servers
  • Two kill switches
  • DNS leak protection
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Multiple security protocols
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Flexible pricing and year plans

Cons:

  • Website may be overwhelming to novice VPN users
  • Connection speeds vary widely from server to server

CyberGhost

With its user-friendly design, it’s evident that CyberGhost cares about your online privacy. The company offers software clients for a wide range of devices. With a subscription, you can have up to 7 different devices connected to a network at the same time. The clients are very easy to use, even for those who don’t have a lot of tech experience. With just a single click, you’re establishing a connection to the VPN and launching your preferred browser.

CyberGhost VPN uses the OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, and PPTP security protocols. 256-bit encryption is used as well. Thanks to the multiple forms of protection, you can stay safe whether you’re using an open-sourced Linux computer system or an ever-popular iPhone. Added security measures like a kill switch and DNS leak protection are added as well.

Cyberghost has over 3,700 servers in more than 60 countries. They have a strict no-logs policy and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. The VPN service can also be customized to your desired use. For example, the software can find the right server based on the restricted content you want you to use. They also allow p2p downloading.

Pros:

  • No-log policy
  • Over 3,700 servers
  • Easy to operate
  • Kill switch and DNS leak protection
  • Accessible on a wide range of devices
  • Multiple security protocols
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 7 simultaneous connections at once

Cons:

  • Complicated support site
  • Short trial period

Express VPN

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. However, they have thousands of VPN servers in over 94 countries around the globe. This service provider is one of the most trusted among UK users because of the technologies they utilize to keep you anonymous and safe. Three different protocols are used. They include OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. The VPN applications automatically choose which protocol is right for you. However, you can also customize settings based on your preferences.

Speaking of applications, ExpressVPN supports just about every device out there. There are dedicated clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linus. Smartphones, tablets, and even routers are supported as well. ExpressVPN also has browser extensions to help you make the most out of your subscription.

Additional features are included to keep your data and activity away from prying eyes. A subscription comes with a kill switch, robust encryption techniques, and leak protection. They also have split-tunneling, which allows you to establish VPN connections and standard connections at the same time.

Pros:

  • No-log policy
  • 160 server locations in over 94 countries
  • Impressive device support
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Multiple security protocols
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Fast connection speeds and no bandwidth caps
  • Speed and leak test tools

Cons:

  • Subscription allows for only 3 connected devices at a time

IPVanish

IPVanish is a great option for p2p file sharing. They have over 40,000 shared IPs, making it easy to download large files without any issues. When it comes to servers, IPVanish has over 1,300. Their server numbers have grown quite a bit in recent years and there seem to be no signs of a slow down. These servers are located in over 75 countries. One unique thing about this company is that they own and operate their own servers for optimal performance.

To ensure that you can download anonymously, the VPN service provider doesn’t log your traffic. They also offer unlimited bandwidth and unlimited p2p traffic. The available apps are great and easy to use. If you have a bit of experience with VPNs, you can easily configure the clients to meet your needs.

It’s worth noting that IPVanish is based in the United States. Like any other VPN, they do keep some user information. While they don’t log traffic, the company is required to comply with the United States privacy laws if any information is requested by law enforcement.

Pros:

  • Can connect up to 10 devices at one time
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Over 1,300 VPN servers
  • configurable device applications
  • Kill switch
  • Multiple security protocols
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Cons:

  • Only 7 days to claim money-back guarantee
  • No Free Trial
  • US-based

VyprVPN

VyprVPN is a true innovator in the world of online protection. They developed a unique piece of technology, called Chameleon, which is designed to get around tough VPN blocking techniques. As a result, it’s a great option for any user who needs to get around network limitations put in place by government entities, employers, or ISPs.

This VPN provider has over 700 servers located in more than 70 countries. Best of all, VyprVPN owns all of them. They own all the hardware, ensuring that networks aren’t subject to third-party interference. The company is based in Switzerland, which is praised for its privacy laws. VyprVPN keeps no logs of your Internet activity and is audited by an independent party for peace of mind.

A few different security protocols are used. They include OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and Chameleon. The company also provides NAT firewall protection and a zero-knowledge DNS for that added layer of protection.

Pros:

  • Proprietary Chameleon technology
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Over 700 VPN servers
  • Support for many different devices
  • Kill switch
  • Multiple security protocols
  • Unlimited data bandwidth
  • Simple plan pricing

Cons:

  • Can only connect 3 or 5 devices, depending on plan

TunnelBear

If you’re new to the world of VPN connections and want an easy-to-use service, TunnelBear may be for you. The service is very simple and definitely not for heavy users. However, this simplicity is what makes the service so great. There are no complicated settings to manipulate or technical lingo to learn. Simply download the client, connect to the VPN, and go.

The VPN provider has approximately 1,000 servers in 22 countries. TunnelBear is based in Canada and has a very strict no-logging policy. In fact, the company undergoes yearly security audits by an independent third party to ensure that your data is kept safe. AES 256-bit encryption is used as well. They also have their own proprietary technology, called GhostBear, which is meant to make the VPN even harder to block.

TunnelBear is all about simplicity. While this option doesn’t offer a ton of device support, the apps for the devices that are supported are very well-designed. For PC, MacOS, and Android devices, they utilize the OpenVPN protocol. For iOS, IPsec is used. Leak protection is also included through VigilantBear, which operates like a kill switch.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Annual security audits
  • GhostBear technology to get around VPN blocks
  • Kill switch
  • Offers limited free VPN service as a trial
  • Unlimited data bandwidth with paid subscription

Cons:

  • Connection speeds may be slower for distant servers
  • Limited device support

PureVPN

Based out of Hong Kong, PureVPN is not in a jurisdiction that has to comply with privacy regulations. As a result, the company doesn’t keep logs about your traffic or data. Not only that, but they do a pretty good job at keeping your information away from prying eyes. Their network is of over 2,000 servers is completely self-managed.

Five different security protocols are available based on your needs. These include OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2. While you can certainly choose which one is right for you, PureVPN’s numerous applications can select the protocol automatically. Over 20 different devices are supported, so you can stay protected no matter how you choose to connect.

PureVPN offers some great perks to help you make the most out of your time on the web. To keep you safe from malware and hackers, NAT Firewall and DDoS protection are added. There’s also a kill switch, split-tunneling, and optional dedicated IPs for private Internet access.

Pros:

  • Five different security protocols
  • Zero-logs policy
  • over 2,000 self-managed servers
  • Available dedicated IPs
  • Kill switch, split tunneling, and NAT Firewall
  • Support for over 20 devices
  • 5 devices can be connected simultaneously

Cons:

  • No free trial
  • Must claim money-back guarantee within 7 days
  • User interface not as smooth as other options

Ivacy

Ivacy is an award-winning VPN service provider that’s based out of Hong Kong. Like the previous options, Ivacy doesn’t keep any logs about your time on the network. The company has over 1,000 servers in more than 100 locations worldwide. While that’s not as much as other VPN providers out there, Ivacy offers a slew of great benefits that can change the way you browse.

For one, this VPN has unlimited server switching. You can swap between servers on opposite sides of the globe without any restrictions. If you’re unsure about which server to go with, Ivacy has you covered as well.

A unique feature on the client will find a server for you based on a few questions. There are also optimized servers for streaming content and p2p sharing. If you need to download large files, you’ll be happy to know that Ivacy has unlimited data transfer. The service also includes IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, split-tunneling, and multiple security protocols.

Pros:

  • Zero-logs policy
  • over 1,000 servers
  • Optimized servers
  • Kill switch, split tunneling, and leak protection
  • Smart server selection
  • OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2 protocols
  • Apps for computers, mobile devices, television boxes, and consoles

Cons:

  • Must claim money-back guarantee within 7 days
  • Guarantee has restrictions
  • Mobile apps aren’t as high-quality as desktop version

HotSpot Shield

HotSpot Shield offers both a free VPN and a premium paid VPN. The free option is a great way to test out the waters and see if the service is right for you. With the paid VPN, you’re getting a lot of great features. It offers unlimited bandwidth and server switching between the provider’s more than 2,500 servers.

HotSpot Shield uses its own proprietary VPN technology. Called Catapult Hydra, this technology uses multiple server connections to provide you with the fastest download speeds possible. It’s very effective at doing its job. Whether you connect to UK servers or distant servers on the other side of the world, you can expect to achieve consistently fast speeds.

Other forms of protection are used as well. Military-grade encryption and an automatic kill switch keep your data safe. When it comes to device support, HotSpot Shield is pretty limited. It’s available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. There’s also a dedicated extension for Google Chrome browsers.

Pros:

  • Innovative Catapult Hydra VPN technology
  • Over 2,500 servers
  • No-logs policy
  • Kill switch and military-grade encryption
  • One of the fastest VPN providers for UK users
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free VPN service option

Cons:

  • Must claim money-back guarantee within 7 days
  • Limited device support

WindScribe

While most VPN providers have a strict limit on the number of devices that can be connected to the VPN at once, Windscribe does not. You can connect as many devices as you want under a single account. While the company previously had a bandwidth cap, their new paid subscription plan comes with unlimited data.

Like any good VPN, Windscribe doesn’t keep any identifying logs. The service also includes many different ways to keep you safe and anonymous on the web. For example, it randomly rotates your user agent to prevent any identifiable browsing patterns from being identified. Also, powerful encryption techniques are used.

An Internet kill switch is included, too. To keep you safe from some of the Internet’s most common pests, Windscribe has a domain blocking tool. It helps to improve browsing speeds, avoid malware infections, and blocks trackers from providing you with personalized ads.

Pros:

  • Unlimited connections
  • Unlimited data
  • No-logs policy
  • Servers in over 110 locations worldwide
  • Multiple security protocols
  • Ad blocking and malware protection
  • Limited free version
  • Support for a range of devices

Cons:

  • No 24/7 customer support team
  • Money-back guarantee expires after only 3 days

Conclusion

In our connected world, it’s easy to take your daily Internet usage for granted. Truth is, it’s not difficult for your data to be stolen, sold, or monitored. The best VPN can give back some of that protection and anonymity. As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of great options out there for UK users. Before you make a decision, consider all of your options and take your own personal Internet habits into account. Think about your online activities, what devices you use, and how private you want to be. From there, you can select a VPN service provider that will meet your needs and let you explore the Internet with peace of mind.

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Jamie

My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.

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