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The Best Free & Paid VPNs to Get a UK IP Address

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Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
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Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

The best UK VPNs will connect you to a UK VPN server and assign you a UK IP address, encrypting your web traffic and providing reliable access to British TV from overseas.

72% of US and UK VPN users choose to use a free VPN over a paid one – most of which aren’t safe. Free VPN services often harvest and sell your data, and they aren’t usually very good at unblocking UK TV from abroad.

After thousands of hours of testing, we’ve identified three safe and completely free VPNs that work reliably to get a UK IP address.

The three best free VPNs for connecting into the UK are:

  1. Windscribe: The best free VPN for the UK, optimized for British streaming. Read summary or visit Windscribe.
  2. ZoogVPN: The safest free VPN for the UK, with one UK server and 10GB of free data. Read summary or visit ZoogVPN.
  3. TunnelBear: A free VPN for beginners and casual users, limited by a 500MB data restriction. Read summary or visit TunnelBear.

If you want to get a UK IP address for free, these free VPNs are the best we’ve tested and reviewed.

However, if you’re looking for the best UK VPN overall, we recommend subscribing to a premium VPN service for faster speeds and better streaming capabilities.

The best VPNs for getting a UK IP address overall are:

  1. NordVPN: The highest rated VPN for UK connections, great for UK streaming services. Read Summary or Visit NordVPN.
  2. ExpressVPN: The fastest VPN for US to UK connection speeds. Read Summary or Visit ExpressVPN.
  3. Surfshark: A budget VPN with 200 UK servers and a safe privacy policy. Read Summary or Visit Surfshark.

The free and paid VPNs above are trustworthy, relatively fast on long-distance connections, and come with UK servers. They can also stream BBC iPlayer, All 4, and ITV Hub from outside the UK.

Inevitably, free VPNs come with limitations such as data caps, slower speeds, server restrictions, and less consistent streaming access. But the ones we recommend are safe and 100% free.

Why trust us? Our VPN tests by the numbers:

  • VPN services reviewed: 68
  • Total hours testing VPNs for the UK: 30,000+
  • British streaming services tested weekly: 4
  • Weekly US to UK speeds tests: 5,772

The Best Free & Paid UK VPNs Compared

Use the table below to compare the top 10 best UK VPNs on price, average US to UK speeds, number of UK servers, and other UK-specific criteria.

Free & Paid VPNs for the UK: Performance Ratings

Use the below table to compare how the best UK VPNs perform in each key testing category:

The Best Free VPNs for the UK

  1. 1. Windscribe: The Best Free VPN for UK

    Two UK servers, 10GB data allowance, and reliable access to British streaming services.

    Ranked #1 out of 70 VPNs for the UK
    Windscribe mobile screenshots
     100% 
    (3 user reviews)
    Visit Windscribe

    Pros

    • Completely free VPN service
    • Unlocks BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub & UK Netflix
    • The fastest free VPN connecting to the UK
    • 2 London servers available
    • Safe logging policy & security suite
    • Additional security preferences & customization

    Cons

    • 10GB data limit
    • No access to premium WindFlix servers
    • Canada jurisdiction
    • Live chat is only a bot
    • No logging policy audit
    • Unable to use Edinburgh & Manchester servers

    Windscribe is easily the best free VPN for the UK. It has the most free UK servers, it has the fastest speed connecting into the UK from abroad, and it unblocks the most British streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and UK Netflix.

    It’s ad-free and comes with a generous 10GB monthly data limit. This is restrictive compared to paid VPN services, but you won’t find a safe free VPN for the UK offering more data or features than Windscribe Free.

    UK ServersUndisclosed
    Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    54Mbps
    Cheapest PriceFree
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionCanada (Five Eyes Member)
    TorrentingPermitted
    Data LeaksNo
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMac OS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. linuxLinux
    SupportEmail & Online Resources Only

    Very good for streaming UK TV & movies

    Windscribe is the only free VPN that manages to access UK Netflix from outside the UK. It also unblocks all the major British streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, All 4, and ITV Hub wherever you are in the world, despite VPN crackdowns from British broadcasters.

    This means that expats and fans overseas will be able to stream shows like The Great British Bake-Off, Peaky Blinders, and Strictly Come Dancing without hassle or intrusive pop-up ads.

    Even without the WindFlix servers, which are reserved for paying customers, Windscribe Free unblocks nine more Netflix libraries. If you’re in the US looking to stream Star on the UK’s Disney Plus you can also use Windscribe Free.

    A 10GB monthly data allowance

    Windscribe Free’s main downside is that it limits your data usage to 10GB of data a month. That means you’ll have to ration your streaming and downloading.

    This is actually one of the more generous data allowances from a free service. Other popular free VPNs like TunnelBear and Avira Phantom have a data cap of only 500MB per month, so you’re protected for much longer with Windscribe.

    The fastest free VPN for the UK

    Windscribe has two free UK servers. Both are in London, listed as ‘Crumpets’ and ‘Custard’. This is twice as many free UK servers as any other free VPN.

    As the leader in UK servers, Windscribe spreads user load to avoid congestion, meaning you can get a UK IP address and avoid CAPTCHAs and lag.

    Windscribe records the fastest international speeds of any free VPN on this list.

    Windscribe’s average speeds from US (New York) to UK (London):

    • Download: 75Mbps
    • Upload: 25Mbps
    • Ping time: 76ms

    These are extremely fast speeds for a free VPN service (we tested them using a 100Mbps dedicated connection). You’ll experience no issues streaming or performing any other online activity on a UK server.

    Windscribe lets you connect to VPN servers in nine other locations, too. These are:

    • Canada
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hong Kong
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Romania
    • Switzerland
    • USA

    You can always select ‘Best Location’ to connect to an optimal server.

    No payment details are required

    Windscribe also has a free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge. This is useful for light browsing of the web. There’s no sign-up necessary. You can install it without an account, it has one free UK server, and it’s limited to 2GB per month.

    Windscribe is by far the best free VPN for the UK. It’s safe to use and lets you stream British TV. Torrenting is allowed, encryption is via AES-256 cipher, and its logging policy is very private.

    Sign up is simple enough too – you just have to head to the website and create an account. No payment details are required.

  2. 2. ZoogVPN: Safest Free VPN for UK

    One UK server, 10GB of free data & access to major UK streaming services.

    Two screenshots of ZoogVPN's iOS app
     80% 
    (3 user reviews)
    Visit Zoog VPN

    Pros

    • Free UK server
    • Unblocks BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub
    • 10GB of data per month
    • No payment details required
    • Robust privacy policy
    • DNS leak protection & obfuscation technology

    Cons

    • No UK Netflix access
    • Poor international speeds
    • Inferior 128-bit encryption
    • Server restrictions
    • One device limit

    ZoogVPN has a free version that comes with a free UK server and 10GB of data per month. It’s very easy to install and use, making it extremely useful to those looking to get a UK IP address.

    ZoogVPN Free is very good at unblocking UK streaming sites. In our most recent tests, it worked to access BBC iPlayer, All 4, and ITV Hub. It’s not quite as good as Windscribe, though, as it does not unblock UK Netflix. It’s also not as fast for long-distance connections into the UK.

    Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    90Mbps
    Cheapest PriceFree
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionGreece (EU Member)
    TorrentingPermitted
    Data LeaksNo
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMac OS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. linuxLinux
    SupportLive Chat

    Free UK VPN server

    If you want a UK IP address, you can easily get one by installing ZoogVPN Free and connecting to its free UK server. There is no complicated signup and payment details aren’t needed.

    Although ZoogVPN lists its UK server location as London, we performed IP checks and found our fake location to be listed in Lancashire, Northern England. It reconnected us to the same IP address each time too, so it doesn’t offer multiple UK cities. Only Windscribe does.

    ZoogVPN Free Server List

    ZoogVPN Free offers a UK – London IP address.

    A single IP address runs the risk of server congestion, as well as UK streaming blocks. If many ZoogVPN free users are connecting to the same IP, performance will be affected, and streaming sites can more easily identify and blacklist that IP address.

    Watch UK TV on 10GB of data

    British broadcasters haven’t yet blacklisted any of ZoogVPN’s UK IP addresses as it manages to unblock all the major streaming sites except UK Netflix. We had success accessing BBC iPlayer, All 4, and ITV Hub on the free UK server. UK Disney+ is available, too, so those in the US can access Star content.

    As with Windscribe, the problem lies in the 10GB data cap that ZoogVPN imposes. It’s a generous data allowance, but it prevents limitless streaming.

    We like that there’s a progress bar on the home screen of the app, allowing you to keep track of how much data you’ve used. The app is functional and extremely easy to understand overall, so novice users shouldn’t be put off.

    A trustworthy, no logs VPN service

    ZoogVPN has the best privacy policy on this list. It only knows about your total aggregated download and upload data. It’s very private and protects you from mass monitoring. There’s a warrant canary, too, to let users know about any legal requests for data.

    Although the WireGuard protocol isn’t available, OpenVPN is, and the rest of its security suite is industry-standard. This includes a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and the inclusion of obfuscation technology called ‘ZoogVPN Shadowing’.

    Underperforming speeds

    Our tests showed ZoogVPN’s international speeds are underwhelming and inconsistent. Download speeds often swing from respectable, fast results to drastically low speeds within minutes.

    ZoogVPN’s average US (New York) to UK (London) speed:

    • Download: 35Mbps
    • Upload: 15Mbps
    • Ping time: 168ms

    This is the slowest free VPN for connecting to the UK on this list. However, it’s still capable of providing lag-free streaming and smooth browsing. If speed is your top priority, choose Windscribe Free.

  3. 3. TunnelBear: Best Free UK VPN for Beginners

    A trustworthy VPN with a free London server & access to major British streaming services.

    TunnelBear VPN
     100% 
    (2 user reviews)
    Visit TunnelBear

    Pros

    • Free London IP address
    • Unblocks BBC iPlayer, All 4 & ITV Hub
    • Trustworthy and private
    • Unused data continues into next month
    • No server or feature restrictions

    Cons

    • 500MB data cap is very restrictive
    • No UK Netflix
    • Based in Canada

    TunnelBear isn’t as good as Windscribe and ZoogVPN, but its user-friendly interface and design might win you over. With a free VPN server in London and a simple signup process, you can use it to get a UK IP address within minutes

    The free version of TunnelBear is limited to 500MB of data per month. This is very restrictive, so we only recommend TunnelBear Free to those who want to do some light web browsing. Although it unblocks British streaming sites, we don’t recommend TunnelBear as a VPN for British TV – you won’t be able to stream for very long before hitting that data cap.

    Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    92Mbps
    Cheapest PriceN/A See all plans
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionCanada (Five-Eyes Member)
    TorrentingPermitted
    Data LeaksNo
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMac OS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. linuxLinux
    SupportEmail & Online Resources Only

    Same as premium version, except for data cap

    TunnelBear Free is the same as the premium version of TunnelBear in almost every way, with 41 server locations across the globe, first-party DNS servers, and the ‘GhostBear’ obfuscation tool designed to get around censorship.

    TunnelBear is a scandal-free, trustworthy VPN with a safe logging policy and it commissions independent audits to earn user trust.

    The one critical difference between the paid and free version is the data cap. TunnelBear Free imposes a meager data cap of 500MB of data per month, which is extremely limiting. For this reason, we can only recommend TunnelBear’s free version for light casual use, such as visiting UK websites or protecting yourself when travelling and using public WiFi.

    TunnelBear Free UK Server

    TunnelBear has a free UK server.

    On the plus side, as opposed to some other free VPNs that renew their data caps each month, TunnelBear doesn’t wipe your unused data – it allows you to transfer data over to the next month. You can also tweet about TunnelBear to get an additional 1GB of data.

    You can use TunnelBear Free on up to five devices but the data limit is spread throughout one account.

    Accesses major UK streaming sites

    Our most recent tests show that TunnelBear Free unblocks all the major British streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, All 4, and ITV Hub.

    But unless you manage to accumulate months of free data, we don’t recommend TunnelBear for streaming British TV shows and movies. The 500MB data cap means you will barely be able to get through a single episode without reaching the limit. 

    Good US to UK speeds

    Your usual Internet speeds will drop by about 50% when using TunnelBear to connect into the UK from overseas. This is based on an average New York to London connection speed, which you can see the results of here:

    • Download: 48Mbps
    • Upload: 14Mbps
    • Ping time: 142ms

    While 50% speed loss may sound terrible, it’s not so bad when considering the physical distance. Still, it’s another reason why we only recommend TunnelBear Free if you want to perform quick online searches safely, like accessing a UK website or accessing airport WiFi when traveling.

The Best Paid VPNs for the UK

  1. 1. NordVPN: Best Paid VPN for the UK

    Hundreds of UK servers that provide reliable access to all the major British streaming services.

    Ranked #1 out of 70 VPNs
    NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
     94% 
    (246 user reviews)
    Visit NordVPN

    Pros

    • Over 440 bare-metal UK servers available
    • The absolute best VPN for BBC iPlayer
    • Unblocks UK Netflix, All 4 & ITV Hub
    • Impressive US to UK connection speeds
    • Top security practices
    • No logs privacy policy

    Cons

    • Only one UK location (London)
    • Smart DNS tool not reliable for British streaming
    • Can’t subscribe via PayPal

    NordVPN has more UK servers than any other VPN on our list. This lets its users avoid server congestion, and experience optimal speeds when connecting from outside the UK. It’s ideal for effortless, lag-free streaming of British TV.

    Currently, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for UK streaming. It unblocks the UK version of Netflix alongside all local channels, like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and All 4 (Channel 4).

    We’d like to see more city locations, though. Currently all of NordVPN’s UK servers are in London.

    UK Servers440
    Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    93Mbps
    Cheapest Price$3.71/mo over 2 years See all plans
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionPanama (Privacy Haven)
    TorrentingPermitted
    Data LeaksNo
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMac OS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. linuxLinux
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Largest quantity of UK servers

    NordVPN has 440 secure servers based in London. That’s a lot. Only CyberGhost has more UK servers, but that VPN is not included in our recommendations as it’s much slower than NordVPN and less reliable for streaming.

    Although it doesn’t yet own all of its servers, all of NordVPN’s servers are bare-metal. Most other VPNs use virtual servers. This means NordVPN’s servers are physically located within the UK and its infrastructure is much safer.

    nord-vpn-uk-server-connection

    NordVPN has 440 servers in London, UK.

    It has also moved towards a totally diskless RAM server network, meaning that user data can never be seized. On top of that, regular infrastructure audits are commissioned.

    However, NordVPN doesn’t permit you to select other UK cities, regions, or countries. If you want an IP address in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, you’re out of luck.

    Best VPN for BBC iPlayer

    NordVPN’s UK IP addresses are regularly updated to avoid British streaming blocks and it is currently the best VPN for consistent access to BBC iPlayer. It also works with UK Netflix, All 4, ITV Hub, and Disney Plus UK.

    Unfortunately, NordVPN’s Smart DNS tool is only intended for accessing US streaming sites, and it’s not as useful for trying to watch British TV.

    Instead, you can use the NordVPN Fire TV Stick app if you want to stream UK content from your big screen device. Just be sure to set up a UK Amazon account to access the UK streaming apps.

    Excellent long-distance speeds

    Using NordVPN to connect to London from New York, you can expect to see average download speeds of 83Mbps.

    This is slightly slower than ExpressVPN, but only by a few megabits and still very fast. You won’t experience much buffering or loading time when connecting into the UK.

    NordVPN benefits from an affordable price tag – it only costs $3.71 per month. There’s a seven-day free trial available on mobile devices, too, and you can claim all of your money back within 30-days of subscribing, essentially giving you a free VPN for a month.

  2. 2. ExpressVPN: Fastest VPN for the UK

    Excellent speeds connecting to UK, unblocks UK streaming sites.

    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     96% 
    (1,777 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN

    Pros

    • Fastest US to UK speed connections
    • Access to BBC iPlayer, UK Netflix, All 4, ITV Hub
    • Best smart DNS for UK streaming
    • Safe, bare-metal UK servers
    • Audited privacy policy
    • Very easy to install & use

    Cons

    • London IP addresses only
    • Unknown number of total UK servers
    • Occasional BBC iPlayer blocks

    ExpressVPN is a close second thanks to its exceptional US to UK speeds. Our tests recorded an average New York to London download speed of 85Mbps. For such a long distance connection you cannot ask for more.

    It’s also a reliable alternative for UK streaming sites. ExpressVPN has an up-and-down history unblocking BBC iPlayer, but it’s currently working alongside all other UK streaming sites, such as All 4, UK Netflix, and UK Disney+ for access to Star.

    UK ServersUndisclosed
    Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    88Mbps
    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Data LeaksNo
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMac OS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. linuxLinux
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Exceptional New York to London speeds

    ExpressVPN isn’t transparent about how many UK servers and IP addresses it has as part of its server network, but we know they’re all based in London, listed as ‘London’, ‘Docklands’, and ‘East London’.

    express-vpn-uk-servers

    ExpressVPN has three London-based servers.

    This could be limiting if you live outside of London, but this isn’t reflected in ExpressVPN’s speed performance. It’s currently the fastest VPN for connecting into the UK from abroad, with average download speeds of 85Mbps.

    Based on this, we can deduce that ExpressVPN maintains a large number of UK servers. We’ve never encountered any signs of server congestion, such as annoying CAPTCHAs, or connection issues.

    Unknown number of UK servers, but extremely safe

    Although ExpressVPN still uses a lot of virtual servers when compared to NordVPN, all of its UK servers are physically located in England.

    ExpressVPN actually runs zero-knowledge DNS servers, meaning when you connect to a UK website ExpressVPN will handle and encrypt your DNS request itself and stop a third-party doing it.

    It also has TrustedServer technology that stops your data ever being written onto hard drives, along with regular wipes of information stored on RAM only servers. ExpressVPN is a super safe option for UK connections.

    We’ve never seen a DNS or IP address leak using ExpressVPN, and its kill switch is 100% reliable, making it ideal for sensitive online searches as well as stopping British broadcasters from seeing your real IP.

    Unblocks British Streaming services

    ExpressVPN hasn’t always unblocked BBC iPlayer, so it’s not included in our list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer, but it is currently working well and we’ll continue to monitor it closely.

    You can use ExpressVPN to access Star (the UK’s version of Hulu) even if you’re in the US, and it will unblock other British on-demand channels, like ITV and Channel 4, ensuring you never miss an episode of your favorite shows.

    ExpressVPN’s smart DNS tool MediaStreamer enables you to trick BBC iPlayer into thinking that you’re in the UK without a VPN connection. It’s a great tool if you want to watch BBC content from your smart TV or Apple TV.

    The downside is that ExpressVPN is more expensive than NordVPN. It’s worth taking advantage of ExpressVPN’s seven-day free trial for mobile, or its 30-day, no questions asked money-back guarantee.

  3. 3. Surfshark: Budget VPN for the UK

    Fast long-distance connections on 200 UK servers in three cities, with IP addresses for BBC iPlayer, UK Netflix, and more.

    Surfshark app
     82% 
    (121 user reviews)
    Visit Surfshark

    Pros

    • Over 200 UK servers
    • UK IP addresses in Glasgow, London & Manchester
    • Accesses all major British streaming channels
    • Best for Star on UK Disney+
    • 77Mbps US to UK download speed
    • Safe privacy policy

    Cons

    • No logging policy audit
    • No IPv6 support
    • Smart DNS works for US streaming only

    Although it’s much cheaper than ExpressVPN and NordVPN, Surfshark still offers a robust package if you want a UK IP address. It comes with 200 UK servers across three British cities and it works to access all the major UK streaming services from abroad.

    It’s UK server technology isn’t quite as sophisticated as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, and it’s slower than both on long-distance connections, but it makes up for it through its private logging policy and affordable price tag.

    Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    85Mbps
    Cheapest Price$2.30/mo over 26 months See all plans
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionNetherlands (EU Member)
    TorrentingPermitted
    Data LeaksNo
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMac OS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. linuxLinux
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Over 200 servers across England and Scotland

    Surfshark allows you to connect between Glasgow in Scotland, Manchester in Northern England, and London in the South. These are all physical servers.

    Surfshark doesn’t list the exact number of UK servers it maintains, but it did inform us:

    “We cannot disclose the exact amount. But it’s over 200.”

    If correct, this is a substantial amount. It’s not as high as NordVPN, or CyberGhost, but it’s more than you’ll ever need for connecting to the UK.

    Fast speeds for smooth UK streaming

    Surfshark records average download speeds of 77Mbps when connecting from the US to the UK. This isn’t as fast as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but it’s more than good enough for Full HD streaming of British TV.

    Surfshark is a good streaming VPN as it gets around blocks for BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and it’s our number one recommendation for Disney+. If you want to access the UK’s Disney+ for Star content that you get on Hulu in the US at extra cost, it’s worth thinking about Surfshark.

    Only $2.30 per month

    If ExpressVPN and NordVPN are too expensive, go for Surfshark, which is one of the cheapest VPNs you can get. It costs $2.30 on its cheapest deal, which is excellent value for money.

    Surfshark also runs one of the best genuine VPN free trials, so you can even test it completely free. If you do subscribe to Surfshark, you’ll get another month free thanks to a no questions asked 30-day money back guarantee.

How to Get a UK IP Address with a VPN

Getting a UK IP address is very simple when using one of our top-rated free or paid UK VPNs.

Follow the instructions in the video below to change your IP address location to the UK. We’ve used the top-rated NordVPN to demonstrate:

Here’s how to get a UK IP Address:

  1. Download a VPN with UK IP addresses. Make sure it’s safe and comes with any additional features you need, such as British TV streaming support. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Run the installer and install the VPN software onto your chosen device.
  3. Open the VPN application and sign in with your account details.
  4. Once logged in, select a UK server via its server list and connect to it.
  5. With a connection established, you can now confirm that your IP address really has changed using our IP address checker tool.

How We Test Free & Paid VPNs for the UK

If you want a UK IP address, you’ll need a safe VPN that lets you stream British streaming services such as Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and All 4.

We’ve tested 70 VPNs by connecting into the UK and analysing them in five main categories, rating each out of 10. We then combine these five category ratings to calculate an overall ‘VPN for UK’ rating.

To find the best UK VPN, we test for:

  • VPN servers located in the UK.
  • Fast long-distance connection speeds connecting into the UK.
  • Works with UK Netflix, BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub and more.
  • An absolutely 100% free VPN service.
  • A generous or unlimited data allowance.
  • AES-256 cipher, OpenVPN encryption, and no data leaks.

To understand the science behind our rating system, read the below methodology. You’ll learn about each testing subcategory and how much it contributes to the overall UK rating.

1. Number of UK Servers: 30%

Minimum Requirement: Some servers in the UK.
We Recommend: An expansive and diverse server list within the UK.

In order to unblock UK streaming services and deliver the fastest UK speeds, a VPN needs to offer servers that are based in the UK.

We analyze each VPNs server network and count how many UK-based servers they offer to free and paid subscribers. The best VPNs for the UK will offer a choice of British server locations.

2. UK Streaming Services: 30%

Minimum Requirement: Unblocks BBC iPlayer.
We Recommend: Works with BBC iPlayer, UK Netflix, ITV Hub, and All 4.

Many VPN users want to unblock streaming content that is restricted in their location.

For UK VPNs, we regularly test each VPN’s ability to watch British streaming libraries from overseas. The platforms we test are:

  • All 4
  • BBC iPlayer
  • ITV Hub
  • UK Disney+ (Star)
  • UK Netflix

The more UK streaming services a VPN unblocks from outside the UK, and the more reliable streaming access is, the higher we score the VPN.

3. International Speeds (US to UK): 20%

Minimum Requirement: Long-distance download speeds no less than 40Mbps.
We Recommend: International speeds of 60Mbps or higher.

We test every VPN’s speeds in the UK by connecting to a UK VPN server from New York.

We then calculate the average speed loss when compared to our internet connection without a VPN. The smaller the speed loss, the higher we rate the VPN’s international speeds.

The best VPNs deliver speeds of over 60Mbps, which is faster than many premium VPN services.

4. Logging Policy: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Anonymized connection logs, no activity logs.
We Recommend: A strict, zero-logging policy and no data leaks.

Many VPNs fail to meet the basic standard for online privacy, either leaking data, logging your activity, or selling your information to advertisers.

We only recommend VPNs that are safe and private. We examine every VPN provider’s privacy policy in detail. We’re looking for policies that are as close to zero-logs as possible. That means no recording of activity logs..

We also investigate the company behind each free VPN. They should be transparent and trustworthy.

Are Free UK VPNs Safe?

People download free VPNs thinking they’re safe to use. Sadly, many free VPNs are designed to collect, store, and sell your data. Some even contain malware.the risks of free VPNs

The three free VPNs we recommend are certifiably safe. We’ve performed in-depth research into their effectiveness and performance. Windscribe, ZoogVPN, and TunnelBear have been developed by respected privacy companies.

There are other safe free VPNs like Hotspot Shield, ProtonVPN, and Avira Phantom Free. However, we can’t recommend them for the UK due to excessive data restrictions or lack of UK servers.

How To Watch British TV Using a VPN

British TV is one of the most popular reasons for getting a UK IP address. If you try and access BBC iPlayer from abroad without a VPN, you’ll encounter the error message:

BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.

A VPN gets around this by masking your true location. It allows you to use the internet as if you’re in the UK and stream BBC iPlayer, UK Netflix, All 4 (Channel 4), ITV Hub, and UK Disney+ (Star).

To watch UK TV online:

  1. Download a VPN with a UK IP address that hasn’t been blocked by your streaming service.
  2. Connect to a UK server. If there are any optimized servers for UK TV, select that.
  3. Visit the streaming website or open up the app.
  4. Start streaming your chosen show.

EXPERT TIP: Before you start streaming, clear your web browser cookies and cache first. To find out which VPNs work with iPlayer most reliably, read our list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer.

What Is the Best Free UK VPN for My Device?

Our recommended free UK VPNs are compatible with Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.

You can install the free versions of Windscribe, ZoogVPN, and TunnelBear on all the above devices.

Free VPNs can be used on other devices, too. Below are our recommendations specifically for other devices, operating systems and platforms.

VPN Browser Extensions

VPN browser extensions are useful for changing IP address directly from your web browser.
However, most VPN extensions are proxies, which lack the encryption that VPN software provides.

Windscribe has a very popular browser extension, up there with the best VPNs for Chrome and Firefox.

It’s a free proxy and ad blocker with free London servers available. You have to upgrade to access Manchester and Edinburgh servers.

Windscribe Free browser extension

Windscribe Free includes a browser extension for Chrome.

TunnelBear has a Chrome and Firefox browser extension for anonymous browsing, too, but you need an existing TunnelBear account and it uses the same free data.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Windscribe has the best Fire TV Stick app. In fact, it’s currently our top free Fire TV Stick VPN.

It’s easy to use, fast, and unblocks BBC iPlayer. It’s limited to 10GB per month of streaming, so we recommend streaming in SD.

Both ZoogVPN and TunnelBear don’t have native Fire TV Stick apps. PrivadoVPN Free has a Fire TV Stick app but it’s currently not working.

Hide.me also has a user-friendly Amazon Fire TV Stick app. It’s free to test and fast, which is good for streaming. Like Windscribe, it’s limited to 10GB, but there are no UK servers.

Kodi

ISPs can fine you for accessing Kodi streams, or block your Kodi traffic altogether. A VPN for Kodi prevents ISPs from viewing and logging your streaming activity.

Windscribe is the best free option for UK Kodi users. It has good speeds, free P2P servers, and strong security. It also has a Kodi-specific manual setup guide on its website. But with only 10GB of data available, you may run out quickly.

Hide.me free is another safe option for UK Kodi users. It has OpenELEC “Kodi” and LibreELEC “Kodi” installation options.

Linux

Windscribe free is up there with some of the best VPNs for Linux. Like most VPNs, it doesn’t have a GUI. But it does have a straightforward terminal CLI that’s easy to download and run.

Windscribe Free is available on Linux.

TunnelBear and ZoogVPN only offer limited support for Linux, with manual installation required.

UK VPN FAQ

Can I Use a Free VPN to Stream British TV?

There aren’t many free VPNs that can get around UK geo-restrictions and stream British TV. However, Windscribe, ZoogVPN, and TunnelBear all unlock major streaming sites.

The free version of Windscribe unlocks BBC iPlayer, BritBox, All 4, UK Netflix, and ITV Hub. This allows you to watch UK shows like The Great British Bake Off, Top Gear, Peaky Blinders, and Doctor Who from overseas.

However, Windscribe free limits you to 10GB of monthly data usage, which equates to roughly four hours of HD streaming.

Which UK VPNs Don’t Require Payment Information?

The less information a VPN requires from its users, the better – this also includes payment details.

The good thing is you don’t need to provide payment information to use the free versions of Windscribe, TunnelBear, or ZoogVPN.

Not having to submit payment details means you don’t have to remember to cancel, and you won’t be accidentally upgraded to a paid plan.

Which Free VPNs Should I Avoid?

You should avoid all free VPNs that don’t come from established companies.

Thousands of unchecked “VPNs” end up on the App Store and Google Play Store. They collect logs, sell your data, or just don’t work.

Below is a short list of some of the most popular unsafe free VPNs that you must not use:

  • Archie VPN
  • Earth VPN
  • Hola Free VPN
  • SuperVPN Free VPN Client
  • Thunder VPN
  • UFO VPN
  • VikingVPN
  • VPN Proxy Master

Are VPNs Legal in the UK?

It’s completely legal to use a VPN when you’re traveling to the UK. It’s also completely legal to use a VPN to connect to a UK IP address from most countries.

UK VPNs are popular mainly for streaming British TV from abroad.

Using a VPN doesn’t mean you’re exempt from UK laws, though, so make sure that everything you do when connected (and not) to a VPN is legal.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio