With data retention laws becoming a more prominent news story, it’s more important than ever for Brits to arm their computers with the best security and privacy protections. There are many options for online security, however, unlike anti-virus software or password services, only virtual private networks can offer the benefit of anonymity.
So what is the best UK VPN?
There are obvious benefits to free VPNs vs. paid services. Here, we’re recommending the best VPN providers in both categories.
Economical VPN Providers
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Number of UK Servers: 48
Number of Other European Servers: 186
Price: Varies from $4.87 to $7.50 monthly
IPVanish is our top choice for several reasons. First, their servers span over 60 countries, so you’re bound to find a location that works for you. They’re also a tier-1 network – meaning they own all their infrastructure, so security breaches are next to impossible.
What makes them a good choice for the UK: If the servers and price aren’t enough of a reason to try them, the kill switch offered on select systems and 256bit encryption will be helpful should those pesky data laws come to fruition. Don’t just take our word for it – try it for yourself with a 7 day money back guarantee.Visit IPVanish VPN
2. Hide My Ass
Number of UK Servers: 10
Number of Other European Servers: 300
Price: Varies from $4.99 to $9.99 monthly
If you’re looking to CYA, you might want to test HMA. All VPN providers claim to be the ‘best’ or the ‘top’, but when it comes to location choice, 190 countries is a nice option to have. Our main gripe is that those servers are almost everywhere, but not necessarily in the most popular locations. Though the initial 190 locations may seem high, when you actually look at the availability in the UK and surrounding countries (not the listed number), and the pricing for comparable services, you’ll see why we ranked HMA number 2. Only 10 UK servers appear to be active of the 93 listed, and the same goes for the rest of Europe.
Let’s not dwell on the negatives, though. They’re a top choice because of their wide array of IP addresses, offering more than 40,000 to date surrounding the UK and European countries alone. In addition, they offer an anonymous email service, which is helpful no matter what country you’re located in. The 30 day money back guarantee is also a nice option if you don’t find what you’re looking for. Cover your ass now!Visit HideMyAss!
Number of UK Servers: 4
Number of Other European Servers: 32
Price: Varies from $3.12 to $7.46 monthly
If you’re looking for the best provider in any country, it’s always best to choose one close by. That’s one reason why OverPlay made the list – their UK location is a bonus for Brits looking for a VPN service close to home. Another benefit is the SmartDNS service, in addition to the VPN. While VPN is not a stand alone option, if you’re looking to expand your entertainment horizons, you’ll want to consider a service like OverPlay that also offers SmartDNS, which is frequently speedier (though not as secure) as VPNs. Just take a look at their channels page and start drooling over your next bingewatching marathon.
So why isn’t OverPlay ranked #1? While we love all the new channel additions, the server selection is smaller, with only 48 worldwide though to be fair, a majority of them are in convenient European locations. In addition, we’d love to see a standalone VPN option for those of us specifically looking for online security. Give OverPlay VPN with SmartDNS service a shot!Visit OverPlay
Free VPN Providers
Number of UK Servers: 1
Number of Other European Servers: 22
Price: Free Limited Plan – $10 monthly
While they don’t have a large number of server locations, Vypr’s claim that they’re the fastest VPN service worldwide is impressive. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, however, beggars can’t be choosers if you’re looking for a free service.
Free has its limits, of course. If you’re an online streamer, 500 MB of monthly data usage won’t get you far. Neither will the first payment level, Vypr Basic, with only 1 PPTP connection allowed, though that does provide for unlimited data usage. Give their free Limited plan a try now.Visit VyprVPN
Number of UK Servers: 0
Number of Other European Servers: 2
Price: Free 99
Full of catches here, but of course free these days really never means free. Here’s what you get as a Ghostie: a free proxy that is available for web browsers only, that will stream videos on selected platforms, does not allow torrenting, but does have some decent speed, and a small handful of servers.
Wait, what? You got it – if you’re looking for a free, easy way to browse the Internet, perhaps teaching grandma VPN 101, this is a decent choice. With the data retention policies on the horizon, it’s a good time to educate some not so tech savvy users how to Internet. Just hope granny wasn’t hoping to share your Netflix account without throwing some additional money in your birthday card. Become a Ghostie.Visit CyberGhost
Number of UK Servers: ?
Number of Other European Servers: ?
Price: Free for individual users on the peer-to-peer plan
*DISCLAIMER* We do not advise using a peer to peer network in general. With the main feature of a virtual private network being the security the connection offers, opening open your device to shared traffic could be asking for trouble. That being said, if you’re looking for a free service, depending on the benefits you’re looking for, Hola may work for you.
Security is obviously not the main benefit of a VPN service like Hola – as you’re sharing your bandwidth with other users, which is great for streaming speeds if you’re looking for that for some reason (::cough cough torrenting cough::). Scroll down the main page of their website and you’ll see exactly why most users would choose Hola – we’ll give you another hint: look for Big Buck. In addition to content benefits, Hola is available on a variety of devices and browsers – even Internet Explorer – we know.Visit Hola