Best Free VPN for the UK in 2021 (for Streaming and Safety)
The United Kingdom has some of the most appealing privacy laws in the world. Due to privacy regulations, some of which were negotiated under the European Union, the authorities hardly infringe on citizens’ rights.
However, bad actors, hackers, and cybercriminals have no such inhibitions. Furthermore, cybercriminals have no geographical boundaries and are thus even in the United Kingdom. Therefore, best believe that they are on the lookout for any loophole to steal your data.
To stay safe, you need to beef up your security somehow. One of the most trusted means for that is using a VPN. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, creates a secure tunnel for your internet traffic. It keeps you out of the reach of anyone looking to spy or have access to your data.
Another benefit of a VPN is that it allows you to bypass geo-restrictions. For instance, if you are outside of the United Kingdom, you will not access BBC iPlayer or even Netflix UK. However, a VPN eliminates this challenge.
VPNs routinely require users to sign up and make some payment. However, some offer their services for free. This review looks at the latter category of VPN providers. In addition, we offer you insightful tips on how to select the best provider to suit your needs.
Best Risk-Free VPNs for the United Kingdom
Before we head over to totally free VPN providers, you may want to consider risk-free VPN providers. Risk-free providers require you to first sign up for their services and to pay. Then they offer an initial money-back window. Within this period, you will be able to use the service and then request a refund, no questions asked.
Risk-free providers are preferable because they offer better services. You get to use the provider’s full features potentially for free. Here are two formidable options to try out for the United Kingdom.
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
This takes the top spot in our ranking of the best risk-free VPN provider to consider for the United Kingdom. It provides all of the services you will need in a VPN. It also allows users to try out its reliable money-back guarantee window. You will surely have no regrets using ExpressVPN for any purpose.
This provider has about 3000 servers in 94 countries and 120 locations. Some of these servers are in the United Kingdom. Thus, whether you need a UK-specific IP address or the IP address of some other country, ExpressVPN has you covered. The provider is known for its speed. Thus, whether you want to stream, download content, or surf the internet, you can expect zero buffering while you do so.
This provider also prioritizes your security and privacy. It has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. This means that the UK authorities cannot compel it to share data. Even if they tried, this provider maintains a no-log policy, which means that no aspect of user data is stored on its website. Thus, your digital footprint is wiped clean after each VPN service you engage in. To top it off, ExpressVPN uses the AES 256-bit encryption model, supports excellent VPN protocols, and has a kill switch to boot.
This provider has apps for the major device types. Thus, whether you are using an Android, Linux, macOS, or Windows device, you will find an app compatible with your device. In addition, it allows 5 simultaneous device connections to one account and provides an excellent all-around service for the entire 30-days you use the service risk-free.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
Coming a close second to ExpressVPN is NordVPN. This provider makes sure you have only the best experience when you connect to any of its servers. In addition, the provider gives you a 30-day window to use its service and request a refund.
NordVPN’s server count is higher than ExpressVPN’s at 5000. However, the servers are stationed in only 59 countries. This list nonetheless includes the United Kingdom, where you find more than 440 servers. You can connect to any of those to have a UK IP address and access content meant exclusively for the region. The provider automatically connects you with the best server in your location, so you will not have to contemplate which is the best server.
Security is also NordVPN’s forte. It secures its servers with the highly acclaimed 256-bit encryption model. In addition, it supports other security protocols, including its proprietary creation known as NordLynx. The provider has other special features such as a kill switch, obfuscated servers, dedicated IP addresses, and the likes.
NordVPN is stationed in Panama, a privacy-friendly country that is outside of the influence of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it maintains a strict no-log policy which has even been audited and certified by PWC. In summary, NordVPN takes crucial steps to ensure that your security is given due consideration when you use its service.
NordVPN allows you to connect 6 different devices to one account. In addition, it provides apps for the major device apps and even extensions for popular browsers.
Best Completely Free VPNs for the United Kingdom
In this list, we look at some of the VPN services that give you some or all of the aspects of their services for free.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
Starting the list of the free VPN providers to consider for the United Kingdom is ProtonVPN. This provider is not new to the security space. It is a creation of the company that established ProtonMail, one of the most secure emailing platforms in the world. That means that you can use both your ProtonMail and ProtonVPN accounts together. Beyond that, this provider offers a completely free service you can use for the United Kingdom.
On its paid service, ProtonVPN has about 1000 servers in 55 locations and counting. These servers are super fast and able to deliver whatever you need within minutes. It is also equipped with stellar security features, amongst which is the AES 256-bit encryption model, superb protocols, and the likes.
However, on the free service, you will be able to access about 25 servers in 3 countries. Unfortunately, the United Kingdom isn’t one of those countries. Not to worry, though; you can still connect to a VPN in the United States, Japan or the Netherlands and stay protected the entire time. Additionally, connecting to a server in those locations allows you to access geo-restricted content of those locations.
Remarkably, the free service has no data or speed limits. You can use the service potentially forever as there is no need to renew your subscription or upgrade your account. The provider keeps ads away from you and does not log any of the activities you carry out on its service.
- Number of servers: 1800+
- Server locations: 72 locations
- Maximum devices supported: 10
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Has free option
- No log policy
- Secure connection
- Not very cheap
Hide.me is also another totally free VPN provider we can recommend for use in the United Kingdom. The provider’s paid version allows you to connect to any of its 1900 servers in multiple locations. It also has superb security and streaming features on the service. The free version falls short when it comes to some of these benchmarks but will nonetheless suffice.
This provider allows you access to 5 server locations. These servers are in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, US West, and US East. Unfortunately, the United Kingdom isn’t one of the free locations. However, these servers provide a strong shield if you need an encrypted network while in the UK. More so, you will be able to access the premium content of whatever location you connect to.
Unfortunately, you can only expend 10GB of data monthly on the service. If you are quite careful about your data consumption, you can make this last for some time. Additionally, there is no cap on the number of times you can renew your subscription. You can keep getting 10GB of data monthly for as long as you wish.
You will not have to deal with ads or trackers on the service. More so, this provider does not keep logs of your activities on its platform. This means that even if the UK authorities requested your data, there would be nothing to share.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes, bitcoin
- Dedicated IP-adresses? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 5
- Locations: 28 countries
- Unlimited browsing
- Account manager
- Military grade encryption
- Free version allows only 500MB data
TunnelBear is a mid-tier VPN provider with affordable subscription plans. It provides the features you need to stay protected, and access restricted content on the internet. Beyond that, it gives users 500MB of data for free and secure browsing. This comes in handy if you are just traveling outside of the United Kingdom for a short while. In addition, you can tweet about the VPN service to get an extra 1GB of data to use.
The great thing about TunnealBear’s free offer is that you can access the full range of features the VPN provider has. Hence, you can connect to any of the servers in the 41 countries where its servers are stationed. You will be glad to know that a number of these servers are in the United Kingdom. The servers are speedy and deliver buffer-free content to you.
However, the server speed can be impacted by how close your physical location is to the server you connect to. You can activate the “Closest Tunnel” option to find the server closest to you.
This provider uses the AES 256-bit encryption model to secure its servers. In addition, it commits to a no-log policy. It even publishes a periodic transparency report to defend its no-log stance. You can connect 5 devices to one VPN account. Cross-platform compatibility will not be a challenge as this provider has apps for various device types.
- Complete anonymity? Yes
- Unblocking of all websites? Yes
- Pricing options: 4
- Servers: 164 in 80+ zones
- Free trial: Yes
- Military grade encryption
- Bitcoin accepted
- App for mobile devices
- Lesser known provider
Trust.Zone is another paid provider that gives a limited free offer. The paid service is a great option for those looking for a cheap VPN provider to secure their network. However, the free service also serves you well, especially if you need a VPN service to use for a short while.
On Trust.Zone, you get 1GB of free data. You also have 3 days for the use of that data. On the free service, you have access to 144 locations. These locations include the United Kingdom and other high-traffic countries. So whether you need to change your UK IP address or get one compatible with the country, you will find this provider more than capable.
Trust.Zone uses the AES 256-bit encryption model to secure its servers. This encryption prevents both your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the UK government from accessing your data. The provider has its headquarters in Seychelles. This is outside the control of the 14-eyes network. Thus, the UK authorities cannot compel Trust.Zone to give up your details.
Furthermore, the provider maintains a strict no-log policy. It requires only minimal details during sign up. The provider just requires your email address to subscribe to the service.
Are Free VPNs Any Good for Use in the United Kingdom?
Technically, yes. In fact, the attraction for free VPNs is understandable. However, you may not exactly get what you desire with a free VPN.
Firstly, these providers may be unable to unblock content in the United Kindom. Furthermore, free providers typically have subpar features that often fail to beat the encryption employed by the authorities. Hence, you could be wasting your time and resources.
On the off chance that they can unblock the restricted platforms, free providers give you a less-than-ideal experience. This is because they usually have more subscribers than they can cater for. Hence, their servers are almost always choked full. This, in turn, leads to slow speeds and lags.
Finally, free providers could expose you to security challenges. For example, some retain your data and sell the information to third parties. Others house malware such that when you download their apps, your device gets infected.
You should rather consider using any of the risk-free providers we have discussed above. Their money-back guarantees allow you to get a refund within the stipulated money-back window.
Frequently Asked Questions on VPNs for the UK
Why do I need a VPN for the UK?
The United Kingdom’s government does not have privacy-infringing laws per se. However, it is part of the 5-eyes network. This means that the authorities have an obligation to share citizens’ data with other nations. Thus, if you want to evade monitoring, you should consider using a VPN. Furthermore, a VPN protects you from hackers and every other bad actor.
Which is the best VPN provider for the UK?
From our list, we strongly recommend ProtonVPN. The provider gives you unlimited bandwidth and data to do what you want. However, a risk-free VPN trumps even the best free VPN. Thus, you may want to use ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee. The provider offers the best services of all the providers under review.
Can I get into trouble for using a VPN in the United Kingdom?
No. There are no rules prohibiting VPN use in the country. However, you should be careful what you use the VPN for. A VPN does not give you the license to carry out illegal activity. If you do so and are caught, you could go to jail for it.
There are many reasons why you should consider using a VPN for the United Kingdom. However, the cost might be hindering you from hopping on a VPN service. Not to worry, there are VPN providers whose services come at no cost. This article has discussed them in detail.