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Best VPN UK 2020 – Fastest and Cheapest Options

By Anton

Certified Awkward Tech Guy™

Last Updated 11 Aug 2020


When looking for a VPN these days, you want to make sure you are getting the best the market has to offer. There are so many options and so many VPN providers that claim to be offering the best deal. What is essential, however, is that you know how to evaluate these claims-- some VPN providers who call themselves "the best" are simply lying, while others might be the best in some countries, but not the "UK" best. VPN providers ought to be held to account. To do so, you have to know what the best VPNs offer, and how to determine the best from the rest.

A lot of people wonder why VPNs are becoming such a big deal. Well, the answers are pretty simple. VPNs are hugely popular with people who take online privacy and security seriously. Even more than this, people love to use a VPN so that they can access content from streaming services that is otherwise blocked or censored from their region-- sometimes you just want to watch a show on Australian Netflix, but you are way over in the UK-- with a VPN, this freedom is yours. Yes, VPNs are only getting more and more popular, which of course leads to a larger market with more variety. The consequence of this expanded market is not entirely positive, of course, because suddenly we are confronted with all sorts of horrible VPN services that are trying to trick you into subscribing to their service.

A VPN, or "Virtual Private Network," is a helpful tool for the privacy, security, and free access reasons already listed. Basically, it provides you with private internet access, creating an anonymous online presence for you. Using a VPN is basically giving you an IP address that allows you to go undercover. The best VPNs on the market, however, do this with considerable aptitude. Whereas some VPNs offer the core services but reduce your speed, fail to unblock essential streaming services, or sacrifice certain security measures, the best VPN providers always make sure that these are centered. More than this, any of the best VPN provider options will go above and beyond; it will be easy to use, offer perfect customer support, be available to multiple simultaneous connections, and hopefully cost a reasonable amount per month... These are the sorts of preferences that we use to inform our criteria in determining which VPN provider is best. Not to mention, a great VPN provider will have servers all over the world (as many as 94 countries for some providers), and also offer at least a 30-day money-back guarantee.

So, why should you be interested in signing up for a VPN service. Well, we think the benefits are easy to see:

  • Unrestricted access to blocked sites and restricted content from all sorts of sites and streaming services
  • Stream content from Netflix catalogues of other countries
  • Unlocks many streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and so many more
  • Ensures safety and privacy while doing these things with tightly guarded encryption and no logs of your online activity
  • Many have P2P sharing servers designated especially for torrenting

Now, with all of this in mind, it should be noted that certain VPN options prioritize elements of these services more than others. While some will always be on the ball in terms of making international streaming sites unblocked, others will specialize in making sure the VPN does not compromise the speed of your online activity. Some will not deliver at quite as exceptional as a level as these high-end counterparts, but are undoubtedly valuable in that they offer a whole lot of bang for not so much buck. Yes, every VPN provider on this list will be "the best" for some, while others won't satisfy the needs and preferences of certain people, but we think it is pretty clear that all 6 of these options can safely be considered "one of the best." And if you disagree with this evaluation, of course, you can utilize the money back guarantee and free trial that so many of the best VPNs uncompromisingly offer.

So, how about it? Are you convinced that you need a VPN? We would be surprised if you were not. Everybody in the UK will want one soon enough, we are sure of it. In the meantime, we are here to help anybody looking for the best VPN in the UK by providing a well-researched and comprehensive ranked account of the very best names in the game as far as providing a solid VPN. 

25pc's Top VPNs UK 2020

1. NordVPN

If you have started doing some research and looking into the top VPN service providers, you will likely have noticed that most reviewers, professionals and users have come to the conclusion that NordVPN is one of the best -- if not the very best -- VPN services in the game. Basically, they offer it all. Six simultaneous connections at once, really great customer support and service, a smooth and easy to use interface, and so much more. They have thousands of server locations in nearly 100 countries and their prices range from about $3.50 per month on a 3-year plan to $11.95 on a monthly plan. Of course, some will be less expensive than this, but if you don't think you are getting adequate value for your dollar you can always cash in on their 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN is totally optimized for mobile devices as well as desktop computers and works just as well on an Android, iOS, or Huawei device as it does on a Microsoft computer. In terms of speed, efficiency, and user experience, it does not slow anything down nor does it negatively impact online use in any conceivable way. Still, there are some slight bumps in user experience from time to time, and the company is plagued by some epic security fails in the past-- as pioneers in the VPN game, they had to be the prototype through which hackers learned to break. So it goes, right? Still, you can find NordVPN's servers all around the globe, making for safe, consistent, fast, and reliable access on an international level. Your data will be safe, US Netflix will be unblocked, and tons of device can be connected at once for a very reasonable rate per month, especially if you sign up for the 36 month plan.

So, what did we like about NordVPN?

  • 5,500 servers in roughly 60 countries
  • Serious protection of your privacy in the form of 2048-bit encryption
  • High watermark of the industry-standard 6 simultaneous connections
  • Fast, safe, reliable
  • SmartPlay feature easily unblocks US Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other georestricted web content
  • Decent value for your dollar on a monthly or yearly subscription, with a huge increase of value at the extremely affordable 3-year amount

That is a lot of praise for one VPN service provider, but that is also why everybody agrees that they are one of the best on the market.

In comparison, if we had to pick a bone or two with NordVPN, what would we say?

  • User experience can be a bit clunky
  • Has been hacked in the past (NordVPN has since re-upped their security measures, but this should still be mentioned)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee reaches the industry standard but does not exceed it
  • No free trial

Their no logging policy is also the best case scenario for your privacy and your data, we assure you. At the end of the day, NordVPN has a reputation for being the best, and we think it is well-deserved.

2. ExpressVPN

Almost every good thing we said about NordVPN also applies to ExpressVPN, except ExpressVPN is even faster! Yes, those who praise speed above all else will likely have ExpressVPN edge out NordVPN on their lists, and they are not wrong to do so. Even for us, on a holistic level, it was very hard to choose one or the other. At the end of the day, the main reason for choosing NordVPN over ExpressVPN is that the prices are just ever so slightly cheaper, but in practice they are just about as good as each other, with ExpressVPN taking the cake in terms of speed as well as server locations and, dare we say, their customer support might be just a tough more refined, as well. Look, if you are just realizing that you want or need a VPN, there is no reason not to go with one of the most trusted names in the industry. With 30,000 IP addresses to their name, 160 server locations, and over 3,000 servers, there is a lot to like with ExpressVPN.

They offer some pretty special extra features, too, such as customized firmware, router interface, and particular modes for streaming and torrenting that are highly customized and optimized for their tasks. Nonetheless, the service remains extremely user-friendly.

So, what are the perks with ExpressVPN?

  • Incredibly fast
  • High-end privacy and security, unsurmounted encryption
  • DNS leak protection to keep your data safe
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, and other streaming sites
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Mobile compatibility (Android, iOS, etc.)

And what doesn't work for us?

  • Fewer simultaneous connections that other high-end VPNs
  • No free trial
  • Cost per month is a bit high

Still, the ups outweigh the downs pretty significantly with the awesome VPN. Best in the business? Quite possibly, even if it only comes in at number 2 on our list.

3. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost is a pretty amazing VPN service provider that has really found a way to run with the big dogs. CyberGhost has some unique features, meets all the performance criteria of its contemporaries, makes an effort to appeal to those who do torrenting for their media fix, and so much more. Based out of Romania (and Germany, to an extent), CyberGhost has nearly 6,000 servers in well over 100 countries. The technology is compatible with any device, including your common mobile customers (Android, iOS, etc.). Of course, many people use CyberGhost to unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and much more. People in the UK are not going to find many VPNs that offer so many features, delivered so well, at such a great price-- if you sign up for 38 months, it is only $2.75 per month for this high-end VPN service. VPNs like this are hardly a dime a dozen, and we searched far and wide to find why such a great service was being made available so affordably.

What did we enjoy so much about CyberGhost?

  • Tons of great features like ad blockers, malware, ways to redirect HTTP, data compression
  • Incredibly low price per month
  • One of the most friendly and helpful customer service teams
  • 45-day Money back guarantee
  • Runs well on Android, iOS, etc.

Is it all sunshine and lollipops, though? Unfortunately, not quite:

  • It is detailed to a fault; sometimes it isn't exactly user-friendly, is quite complicated
  • UK speeds are fine, but long distance access to servers in some countries it isn't so fast or good

Still, this is a great VPN choice that goes above and beyond in so many ways, making your online experience more free than ever, protecting your data, and certainly carving itself out as one of the best options out there for privacy and utility.

4. IPVanish

Landing just outside of the top 3, IPVanish is very good, but not quite in our top tier. One bonus is that IPVanish both manages as well as owns its own servers, so this is great for security and privacy reasons, leaving your data less at risk than with other VPNs in which this is not the case. We found that the customer service was excellent, the apps were top notch, the servers allow for great download speeds and huge amounts of data and bandwidth, and that there are very few downsides to this VPN in general. The price is a bit high, but its not an exorbitant amount compared to other VPNs, especially considering the quality of the servers and the quantity (1300 servers in at least 75 locations, with more than 40,000 IP addresses). Beyond the servers, everything is an optimum experience with IPVanish.

What works?

  • Amazing customer support
  • Lots of servers
  • Some servers designated for P2P sharing
  • They take security seriously and want you to have a secure, free open access to the web
  • Download speeds are top notch on most servers
  • A huge range of apps for mobile and desktop
  • Solid amount of simultaneous connections

But a few things, of course, were less than ideal:

  • Apps can be a little confusing, not necessarily free accessible; not the most user friendly VPN for newbies
  • Less substantial trial period (only a 7-day money-back guarantee)
  • Maybe it is a little too expensive

Still, if you want to be free to navigate the web with security and privacy, as well as gain access to all sorts of online streaming and torrenting resources, this is definitely a fine choice. The servers are reliable, your data will not be logged, and there is very little keeping IPVanish from being in our top 3 VPNs in the game today.

5. PureVPN

PureVPN is not as big a name as the others on this list, but there is reason to believe that this VPN service provider deserves as much respect as the others on this list. With five multiple simultaneous connections, a kill switch, and over 2000 servers in 140 countries, this is still a serious enterprise that you should consider for your VPN needs. They have been in the game for a long time now, and they do it well. They run a tight ship, even if they have been implicated in some sticky situations in the past.

Unfortunately, our biggest bone to pick with PureVPN is that they do not offer a free trial, but more significantly that they keep logs-- many believe that keeping logs is an unnecessary risk that makes the whole process of having VPN less secure and less private. Still, the price per month is reasonable, the refund policy of 31 days is fine, and there is a lot to like from this VPN operation out of Hong Kong. In the end, with PureVPN you will be free to navigate the web privately and securely for a good price per month, with no limits on bandwidth and data if you engage in downloading and file sharing-- in fact, the servers are quite well-suited for such use.

What's to like?

  • Five simultaneous connections at once
  • Decent price per month, especially on the two year plans
  • Well-earned reputation and lots of experience in the VPN market
  • Lots of servers in lots of places
  • Good download speeds
  • P2P servers, great for torrenting

What is not to like?

  • Having been around for a while, PureVPN has been caught up in some controversies over the years (though this has resulted in excellent security practices)
  • They keep logs of your data, which is not ideal
  • 5 is on the lower end of simultaneous connections (for the price range)
  • Supports many platforms
  • No iOS app
  • Customer support could be better-- they say they are free to be contacted 24/7, but we found this to not be entirely true

In the end, you are free to make your own decision, but we think the VPNs we have rated ahead of PureVPN are better for various reasons. We don't like the idea of data logs, even if they are secured. The servers and their location are good, the simultaneous connections capacity is only OK, and in the end we think there are simply better options on the market.

6. Private VPN

PrivateVPN calls itself the "fastest growing VPN worldwide" and it is hard to argue with this claim. Now, of course we suggest that you are free to move on and simply consider one of the top 5 servers we have listed (or another we haven't) but we do think that PrivateVPN is worth mentioning for several reasons.

Rather than going above and beyond its competitors, the Swedish company claims to do all the little things right, and then sells itself for a price that is quite low by comparison.

What did we like about Private VPN?

  • Strict no logs policy keeps your data and activity safe
  • Intense encryption, very secure
  • Torrenting P2P servers
  • Reliable and steady
  • Unblocks Netflix and other major streaming services, granting free access to worldwide media
  • Stealth-mode to ensure your privacy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 150 servers in 60 countries

Nonetheless, we found that a few things were less than ideal, as well:

  • For a VPN that boasts of its value, it could be cheaper (though the value is substantial if you sign up for a 24-month package)
  • Does nothing exceptionally

Now, there are definitely better VPNs out there, but this one still provides unlimited bandwidth and data for downloads, keeps your activity tightly secured, works reliably fast for streaming, unblocks your favourite programs, and does this all for under $2 a month. If you want "the best of the best" this might not be the VPN for you, but if you want something comparable to the best for better value for your dollar, there is likely not a better option for you than PrivateVPN. In terms of security, your data is protected with strong encryption and will always remain secure, even if your VPN connection dies momentarily. In terms of utility, it is basic and easy to use. And, in terms of price, it is the cheapest on this list by quite a bit.

FAQ: Answering your comments, questions, and concerns about the best VPNs for online folks in the UK

What is the best VPN to use in the UK?

Luckily, as you surely realize, the UK is a global hotspot for matters of industry and business. As far as the VPN game goes, that is clearly in play here, as well. The number of servers in the UK in awesome, even though most companies base themselves in places that have more liberal laws regarding this type of activity, such as the British Virgin Islands. But when it comes to choosing the "best" for people in the UK, the debate really comes down to the same 2 big names that are typically selected as being the best in the entire world: Nord VPN and Express VPN. In terms of these two VPN providers, you really cannot go wrong with either. If we were to simply lay out and reduce the major difference between them, it would be that Nord VPN stands out as being equally proficient as it pertains to every element of being a VPN company: tons of server locations with high quality 000 servers, their extreme privacy and security measures ensure a free and safe online experience, they have excellent customer support and grant access to all the major things like US Netflix, unlimited bandwidth and data, and so on. In terms of ExpressVPN, all of this is true to a greater or lesser extent, but ExpressVPN is also the fastest VPN service on the market, as well.

Are VPN legal in UK?

Yes, of course they are. Now, that does not mean that all online activity that is performed while using a VPN is legal, and we do not encourage breaking the law or doing anything suspect or malicious while you use the internet or one of these VPNs. UK authorities are particularly wary of the internet and have really cracked down on their monitoring of citizen behaviour in the last few years, for better or for worse. Ironically, this is precisely what leads people to use VPNs in the first place. Nobody wants to be spied on by intelligence agencies, right? Whether you live in the UK or are just travelling through, it is totally understandable that you would want private internet access and that you would therefore consider using a VPN. To use a VPN, we suggest, is simply responsible for the sake of your own safety and security, while it is also fully legal. So, to answer the question bluntly, to use a VPN is definitely legal in the UK, as there is no legislation that pertains to restricting the use of such tools. It is your right to ensure your own free and open access to the internet. Although we do not encourage any illegal behaviour, we do feel it is import to stress that it is legal to use VPN services.

What is the best VPN in 2019?

2019 was a big year for VPNs, to be sure. Many new companies started breaking through the cracks and arriving on the scene, but none of them quite unsettle ExpressVPN and NordVPN at the top of the hill. Simply put, it takes a long time to develop an infrastructure of thousands of servers in as many as 94 countries, and these older, more established VPN service providers have been working at it for some time. One reason for hope in the industry, however, is that bright new names are challenging and disrupting by offering similar services for lower prices, or for specializing in one element at a time-- such as more intense privacy measures, more specified 000 servers, more IP address options, long free trial or money back guarantee terms, or even just specialized customer support measures. Here in the UK, we are seeing lots of innovation, and it might not be long before our top 2 or 3 sees a new name enter the fray.

Is a VPN worth it UK?

If you value privacy and security, a VPN is absolutely worth it in the UK. No matter where you are on the web in UK, whether it is through a public or private IP address, the government will have access to your online activity if they make a request. These authorities are hard to circumvent, and their orders generally must be obeyed. Even if you have nothing to hide, it is an invasion of privacy to have your online activity monitored and surveilled, and this can be avoided by the simple purchase of a VPN. VPN services are easy to use, practical, relatively affordable, and seriously protect your right to private internet access and free activity. On a more leisurely scale, many of us in the UK love Netflix and its catalogue, but grow envious of some of the programs available in countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia. With a VPN, not only can you access streaming services like Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer, but you can unblock Netflix so that regional content becomes available to you, no matter where you are, allowing you to access the entertainment you want. Do you NEED a VPN? Probably not. But if you value privacy, security, and wider access to entertainment, it is never unwise to purchase one. Basically, the authorities in the UK at many levels have the power to look into your activity. Any of the VPN service providers that we recommend on this blog, however, are ones that have strict no-logging policies. Even if your VPN is considered suspicious, it is not illegal, and this keeps your data private. At the end of the day, VPNs are legal and their benefits are there for you to capitalize on.

About the author

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

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