Need a VPN for the UK? Here are the best choices
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Whether you live in the UK or want to use a VPN to access UK content, such as BBC iPlayer, these are the services to choose between.
What makes a good VPN is a combination of factors including speed, price, device support, features and more.
But if you’re picking a VPN specifically for the UK, then it’s worth choosing one with plenty of UK servers. This should mean quick connection times and fast connection speeds.
However, the best service will depend upon your priorities. Do you want a VPN specifically for unblocking iPlayer or are you after a fast VPN for general web browsing?
Is your budget very limited or is cost no object?
Whatever your requirements, you’ll find a suitable VPN service right here.
- Over 500 UK servers
- Unblocks iPlayer
- Excellent speeds
- Steep renewal pricing
- There are cheaper alternatives
NordVPN is one of the biggest VPN services and also one of the best all-rounders. Naturally, it offers UK servers among the thousands it operates, and has easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android, Windows and macOS.
It unblocks BBC iPlayer reliably, and also works with ITV, Sky Go and other UK-based TV services.
NordVPN won’t slow down your internet connection, and has 24/7 live chat support if you do run into any problems.
If you can afford more than the absolute cheapest VPN service, NordVPN is the one to go for.
Read our full NordVPN review
- Unblocks iPlayer and others
- No independent audit
- No split-tunnelling on Mac
Cyberghost is a well-known and long-running VPN which offers a good selection of servers across a wide range of countries, including the UK.
It offers easy-to-use apps for many devices, and unblocks iPlayer. In the app is a Streaming section which makes it easy to pick the right server that works with the service you want to watch.
If streaming isn’t the reason you want a VPN for the UK, that’s fine. Cyberghost says it has over 700 servers located in the UK, and we’ve seen great speeds from them.
Perhaps best of all, Cyberghost is affordable, undercutting the likes of NordVPN and Surfshark – so long as you don’t mind subscribing for two or three years.
Read our full CyberGhost review
- UK servers in London, Maidenhead and Manchester
- Unblocks iPlayer, ITV Hub and All4
- Interface and feature differences across apps
PureVPN offers a great balance of speed, features and price. It took its sweet time to roll our the fast WireGuard protocol, but this is now available in all of its apps.
From a privacy perspective, it’s great that PureVPN has been audited by a third party, which confirmed that it sticks by its no-logs policy.
But for those simply wanting a VPN to unblock UK streaming services, PureVPN let us watch shows from iPlayer, ITV and All4 when we last checked.
Subscriptions aren’t expensive, either, which makes PureVPN yet another good choice.
Read our full PureVPN review
- Great track record for unblocking iPlayer
- MediaStreamer works on smart TVs
- Good tech support
- Limits you to 5 devices
Well known to be one of the more expensive VPN services, ExpressVPN nevertheless delivers on its promise: it’s one of the fastest around. That makes it ideal for streaming video and, yes, it works with BBC iPlayer.
ExpressVPN has apps for all popular devices, including Amazon Firestick, a gadget you might well pack in your suitcase if you want to watch iPlayer from abroad (just don’t forget the remote control!).
As well as servers in the UK (three London-based locations), the company runs over 3,000 other servers in 94 countries around the world and works with other streaming services including Netflix.
If you need to use ExpressVPN on a games console or smart TV that doesn’t support VPNs, you can use its MediaStreamer DNS service instead, which can also unblock UK streaming services.
Its proprietary Lightway protocol is pretty speedy but you can have only five devices connected to ExpressVPN at the same time. Other VPNs are more generous, but not many people need to use even five devices at the same time.
Read our full ExpressVPN review
- Great all-round VPN service
- Unlimited connections
- Multi-Hop servers
- Expensive after discounted period
- No split-tunnelling on Mac or iOS
- No independent audit
Surfshark is now owned by Nord Security, the company that owns NordVPN. It used to be exceptionally cheap, but even though prices have risen, it’s still good value.
One reason for this is that it lets you connect as many devices as you like, with no limit.
Like NordVPN it offers servers in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and it’s also very fast thanks to its support for the WireGuard protocol.
Surfshark hasn’t unblocked BBC iPlayer every time we’ve checked, but it is generally good and unblocking streaming services and offers good live chat support.
Renewal pricing is the sting in Surfshark’s tail (if you’ll allow the metaphor) and was – when we checked – three times more expensive than the discounted initial subscription, so watch out.
Read our full Surfshark review