Lets start this look at the best VPNs for the United Kingdom (UK) with why you might need a VPN in the first place. The UK is a country of approximately 64.5 million people. The revelations of Snowden about Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and its U.S. equivalent, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the massive amount of data they have been collecting on their citizen’s communications has brought home the need for every UK citizen to use a VPN to secure the privacy of their online communications. Having a VPN service will allow UK citizens to maintain private and secure Internet transactions and let them watch their favorite media content from anywhere in the world. We will discuss what a VPN is and how having access to one which has severs in the UK can help locals, expats, and anyone else who likes to watch many of the excellent TV shows and other media content or global news that is produced there, but first let us look at the best VPNs for the UK.
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What is a VPN and How Can It Help You
Now that we have looked at our list of the best VPNs for the UK, let us take a look at what a VPN is and why you might want one. First off, what is a VPN and how can you benefit from using one? A Virtul Private Network (VPN) is a private network that uses a form of secure transit (usually SSL) between you (the client) and the VPN server. We say that the VPN sets up a secure tunnel though which all Internet traffic between the client and VPN server flows. Additionally, all this data is encrypted before it is sent through the tunnel to the server. Finally, all transactions out to the so-called open Internet are handled by the VPN server so this is where all your traffic is seen to originate from.
With a VPN service, you can make secure VoIP calls. It can help make you more anonymous while you surf the Internet, thus helping you avoid geo-targeted advertising. Since all transactions to and from the open Internet appear to come from the VPN server location, it also lets you stream media from geo-restricted sources by appearing to be in a region that is not restricted. A VPN keeps you protected while using public wi-fi hotspots in airports and restaurants, or untrusted wired connections in hotels. You can use its service to bypass firewalls in universities and politically or religiously restrictive countries like China, Iran, and some Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia. This will let you access websites that are being blocked by them. Although you may not utilize all of these services, all are available to you when using a VPN.
How Can You Benefit From a UK VPN
In addition to securing their Internet communications, access to a good global VPN service will allow locals from Ireland and England to watch the larger streaming libraries of Netflix, Hulu, and others in the United States, and elsewhere in the world. It will also give them access to special live sporting events and entertainment that may not be available to them because of geographic restrictions. Finally, UK citizens can use a VPN to protect and secure all of their personal business and financial transactions. The anonymity provided by the VPN will also help to keep its users from being geo-targeted by advertisers since their activity will appear to have originated from the VPN server’s location. Having a VPN will also give those globe-hopping UK citizens access to their media services and breaking news from anywhere in the world.
Additionally, about 5 million British ex-patriots (expats) are scattered across the world in countries like Australia, the US, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and South Africa. Having a VPN service will allow these expats to maintain private and secure Internet transactions and let them watch their favorite UK media content from anywhere in the world. Expats can use a VPN to watch all of the UK shows that they have become addicted to like Dr. Who which is in its 50th year. They can also keep up with all of their local politics back home.
Additionally, the UK has some of the most sought after streaming media websites like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, and All 4 (previously 4oD). Having a VPN which has servers in the UK will allow anyone to access these excellent entertainment websites and watch long running shows like the most watched factual series, “Top Gear” which debuts in its new format in 2016. What is more, a VPN will let you watch these shows from anywhere in the world. Finally, having a VPN can let those in restrictive countries like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia keep up with world news and events by accessing UK sites like the Guardian and other websites that may be blocked by their governments for political or religious reasons.
Considerations When Choosing A UK VPN
When choosing a VPN for the UK, there are a few things that you need to consider to help you select the best one.
- First and most important consideration, can you trust that VPN with your information?
- How long have they been in the industry?
- Do they follow established security protocols for any personal data they keep?
- Do they have a good reputation?
- Second, ideally the VPN should have a no log policy.
- Third, it is probably a good idea to choose a VPN not headquartered in the UK.
- Given the current situation of the Cameron government trying to get legislation passed to allow more Internet surveillance of their citizen’s communications including encrypted ones.
- Fourth consideration, does the VPN provider have control over its own infrastructure including servers, software, and other resources?
- This gives the provider complete security over your data from the time it leaves your device to the time you receive a reply.
- Little or no third party dependence is preferable.
- Fifth, do they provide good data security?
- Do they support OpenVPN (UDP, TCP) which is generally considered the most secure of the available protocols?
- What other protocols do they support such as L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and others (stealth)?
- Do they use industry standard encryption algorithms AES-128, AES-256, Blowfish, etc?
- Sixth, your VPN service should have a global footprint with servers in many countries geographically distributed around the world.
- Seventh, does your VPN allow P2P file sharing if this is something you want?
- Eighth, do they use shared IPs to help anonymize your internet activity and provide more anonymous payment types such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and gift cards
- Ninth, they should have easy to use software that supports multiple platforms including desktops, mobile devices, and routers.
- Tenth, the service should also provide unlimited bandwidth, multiple connections, and fast and reliable connections so that you can access it at home or while traveling.
- Eleventh, it should also maintain good overall performance, no matter the task assigned to it.
- Twelfth, the VPN service should have good support and provide quick and accurate issue resolution.
- Thirteenth, they should have a well documented money-back guarantee so that you can test the service for yourself to see if it fits all of their needs.
- Fourteenth, does it provide other perks like NAT firewall, VPN kill switches, DNS leak protection, higher encryption levels, etc. not offered by most VPN services?
We looked at each of these, when deciding on which VPN services would be best for the UK. We also looked at all those who might be seeking a VPN with server locations in the UK and what their needs might be including locals, expats, and others outside the UK.
All of the recent revelations about government surveillance of online communications in the the UK have pointed out the need of all Brits to have a personal VPN service to protect the privacy of all their calls, texts, and other Internet transactions. All of the recommendations that we make for the best VPN for UK satisfy most if not all of the the above considerations. Many offer extra features that add value to their service that are not offered by most VPN providers. Additionally, all of the providers in our best VPNs for the UK list believe strongly that once you try their service you will want to subscribe to it. Consequently all offer money-back guarantees to let you test their service to make sure that it fits all of your needs.