Alex Williams
Alex Williams  —

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top free vpn ukBad news: if you’re looking for the best free VPN in the UK, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Good news is you’ve potentially saved yourself lots of trouble by visiting this guide.

Content Guide 📜

The Top 10 List:

  1. Surfshark - Top VPN For the UK: Free As They Come 
  2. NordVPN - Heavyweight Support
  3. ExpressVPN - Stealthy Speed
  4. VyprVPN - Security Specialist
  5. Windscribe - Ad-Blocking
  6. TunnelBear - Best for Streaming UK & Abroad Netflix 
  7. ProtonVPN - Developer-Run
  8. Trust.Zone - Solid
  9. Private Tunnel - Multi-Devices
  10. Vanished VPN - Also Good For NetFlix

Paid vs. Free VPNs

Be Seriously Warned ⚠️

For a VPN product to come to fruition:

  • ☑️ Developers will have been hired
  • ☑️ Proxy servers paid for
  • ☑️ & Bandwidth costs factored in

Free VPNs make their money back by selling off your data (yes, the exact opposite of what the product should do.) Just a few examples: 

  • ☑️ A CSIRO study found 33% of free VPNs (Android stores) contain malware
  • ☑️ More disturbingly, most use trackers and try to grab your private information including SMS messages
  • ☑️ Apple made new rules to stop these VPNs selling off user data (even now, researchers say 60% are Chinese-owned, having “quietly cornered the market”).

TLDR; You won't regret spending a few pounds. But there’s a good chance you will regret a free VPN, if the numbers are anything to go by: Surfshark is your best solution for budgeting without the risk. NordVPN, for added speed.


10 Top Free VPNs in 2020 (UK 🇬🇧)

Your True Golden Tickets to Online Privacy 🎟️

Instead of VPNs that will sell your private information, we've only listed secure VPNs for UK users. Most give no-charge trials or money-backs.

> Don’t confuse VPNs for VPS hosts. One is for surfing, the other gets your site online!)


1. Surfshark: Top “Free” VPN UK

Safe, Yet Powerful Encryptions 🕵🏽
Key Specifications
  • Protects Against WebRTC & DNS Leaks
  • Military-Grade Security & Encryption
  • Kill-Switch Option
  • 256-Bit AES Encryption
  • 2048-bit DHE-RSA Key Exchange
  • SHA12 Authentication Hash
PROS
  • Great VPN For Torrenting
  • No logging of Your Personal Data
  • No Tracking
  • 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
CONS
  • Variable Speeds Depending on Server
  • New Infrastructures

Surshark offers you the best security protocol when it comes to IPv6 streaming. This is very rare that so short, as a result, gets blocked from streaming sites like Netflix.

  • ☑️ Use it to torrent/peer-to-peer file-share, unlike some VPNs
  • ☑️ Get on this app long-term for $2.49/month (2-year contract)
  • ☑️ Accepts wide payment types, including crypto

This name may be unfamiliar to you, because Surfshark is relatively new - actually, the newest on this whole list. We've been very impressed with them. To us, it looks like Surfshark will go on to dominate the VPN world.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 🆓

Grab a 30-day money-back guarantee. While there's no trial period - meaning you have to pay upfront - if you don't like it, just shoot a message at the support team and get reimbursement.

The above introductory coupon has been around for a long time, but that doesn't mean it will be there forever. Give it a click and see if you can get an 81% discount. Also try “sharkspecial.”

Who is Surfshark’s Ideal User? 🧕

This is an “Everyman's” solution. If you can make a two-year commitment, you can get incredible VPN UK deals, for a secure streaming solution. For those who want to remain completely anonymous during the whole process, there’s an option to pay with cryptocurrency.


2. NordVPN: Heavyweight with Great Customer Support & Firewalls

The People’s Champion 👋
Key Specifications
  • Use for P2P Downloads
  • Killswitch Option
  • Dedicated IPs
  • SOCKS5 Proxies
  • Fantastic Customer Support
  • CyberSec, for Malicious-Site-Blocking
PROS
  • No Ads
  • More Than 5,000 Servers Worldwide
  • Connect 6 Devices & Use Netflix
CONS
  • 3-Year Commitment for Best Price

This is one of the most popular tools around. NordVPN has a great reputation for being extremely secure, with an immense infrastructure and affordability. They offer FBI-level protection against cyber-intrusions.

Grab peer-to-peer capabilities - this is also a fantastic VPN for torrenting - and superb customer support for any issues that crop up with configuring your VPN - get the best out of it.

Nord’s unique CyberSec feature automatically shields you against harmful websites, in essence doubling-up as a firewall as well as a VPN.

With their 5000 servers internationally, you’re almost guaranteed to find an optimally-located server to your own, to boost speeds.

Also, with a single subscription, you can connect up to 6 devices, and this a top VPN for streaming UK and abroad Netflix.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 🏧

Get started for less than £3/month. You need to commit to three years, to grab this price. If you go for a monthly plan, it’s much pricier.

You have three options for choosing a contract:

  • ☑️ £9.67/month
  • ☑️ £5.66/month (one-year contract)
  • ☑️ £4.99/month (two-year contract)
  • ☑️ £2.82/month (three-year contract)

Not quite as good as Surfshark’s £1.61/month (2-year contract), but - in each case - if you change your mind within 30 days, you’re given a full refund.

Top Tip 🌟

If you’re a student, grab a 15% discount. Also have a look for promotional offers, as there's usually something going around.

Congrats. There he is! You didn’t have to scroll far, to spot our ‘GOLDEN Underdog VPN’ stamp-of-approval… Simply, NordVPN gives you all the security for a great price.

The next-best thing to finding a great, free VPN UK… Once again, free VPNs aren’t like other products. Awesome free web hosts exist. Not the same with VPNs.

Open the chocolate gates.

Who is NordVPN’s Ideal User? 🧡

If you can commit to a three-year contract, this one's right up your alley. Don't worry about online protection issues, for the next three years. And rest safe knowing you’re with a heavyweight VPN provider who will continue to provide updates as the landscape changes.

Related Read: NordVPN Review


3.  ExpressVPN: Speed & Stealth

The Navy Seals of VPNs 🆘
Key Specifications
  • Servers in 94 Countries
  • 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Split-Tunneling
  • Speed Test
  • Access to Kodi
PROS
  • No Legal Commitment to Share Data
  • Great Device Integration & Apps
  • A “No-Logging” Policy
CONS
  • Pricy
  • Only 3 Connections At Once

ExpressVPN offers you servers in almost 100 countries. In other words, you're bound to find one in your country - if not city - which is partly why they have such great performance levels.

This premium provider offers lightning-fast VPN UK speeds, with stable networks. They’re also very reputable, having earned the trust of more than 10 million customers.

Grab unlimited data, with great infrastructures such as 24/7, 365 customer support. The user interface is also lovely and intuitive.

Access Kodi via ExpressVPN. Kodi is a free application that lets you organize your media files, such as music, photos, movies, and hosted podcasts. This is not the same thing as streaming services like Hulu or Netflix. It deals with private collections.

Located in the British Virgin Islands, there are no laws forcing ExpressVPN to share your data with governments.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 🆓

They’re a more expensive choice than the first two options. However, ExpressVPN offers a premium service with awesome anonymity.

You can try them out for 30 days, money-back-guarantee. After that, they offer a three-month free trial, which really is one of their best selling-points in terms of budgeting.

After the three-month free trial, the cost will be £10.48/month (one-year contract). What’s really awesome is that they have an updated page for the latest promotional offers.

Who is ExpressVPN’s Ideal User? ❌ 🐢

It’s an ideal choice for those who do not mind paying for a premium performance level. If you want speed, ExpressVPN is your choice.


4. VyprVPN – Specialist Security Tools

The Assassin’s VPN 🐱‍👤
Key Specifications
  • In-Built NAT Firewall
  • Proprietary Chameleon protocol
  • Major Protocols e.g. L2TP
  • 2048-bit DHE-RSA Key Exchange
  • 256-Bit AES Encryption
  • Split Tunneling
PROS
  • 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Encrypted Messaging Service
  • Great Free Features
CONS
  • Possibly Blocked By Netflix
  • Only 2 Connections

Like grabbing a top dedicated host, VyprVPN has a great selection of advanced, tailored security protocols, with its very own encrypted-messaging application tool. Use these protocols:

  • ☑️ L2TP
  • ☑️ IPsec
  • ☑️ OpenVPN
  • ☑️ PPTP
  • ☑️ & Vypr’s proprietary Chameleon protocol - which has extremely good-looking scores

Just name a few.

There’s also an in-built firewall that protects you against any incoming traffic that you did not request, while connected to the VPN.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 🖱️

Find a lot of promo offers, with a good selection of payment methods, although cryptocurrencies are not included. You get a 30-day money-back guarantee. The first three days are completely free, with a good selection of features unlocked, such as the NAT Firewall.

Who is VyprVPN’s Ideal User? 🏝️

Once again this is a VPN of choice for those who want specialist security capabilities, though there have been issues with Netflix in the past.


5. Windscribe – Great Ad-Blocker & Actually-Free Trial Period

Jump from Level-to-Level Online Without Ads 🏙️
Key Specifications
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Broad Payment Types
  • Free Trial Use in 11 Countries
  • 3-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • P2P Capabilities
  • Ad-Blocking & In-Built Firewall
PROS
  • No Logging
  • £3.30/month (Year Contract)
  • No Upfront Cost for Trial
CONS
  • Only 1 Connection At A Time
  • Under Canadian Legislation

This VPN got a lot of traction on Reddit from zealous fans, and for good reason. They allocate generous bandwidth, with an additional 5GB if you tweet to @ WindScribe.

Friendly stuff - kind of gives away that this is a Canadian company. The security is top-notch. And they accept a very wide range of payment options, including PayPal, in-app mobile purchases, and cryptocurrencies - if you want a totally anonymous subscription.

Design your website while remaining anonymous throughout the whole process.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 😀

In some ways, this is the closest to a free high-performance VPN for UK users, in that the trial period is totally free. At the end of it, choose whether to upgrade to a paid plan.

Note that this is only free if you reside in either Canada, US, Hong Kong, UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, or Romania.

You get great features on the free version of the tool, giving you what you need to really taste what they have on offer:

  • ☑️ Built-in firewall
  • ☑️Great ad-blocking
  • ☑️ P2P capabilities

If you’re not based in any of the 11 countries, try out the VPN - completely free - for three days, up to a limit of 10GB usage. That should give you an idea of the performance and speeds.

Who is Windscribe’s Ideal User? 💪🏻

If you want to try out an actually free VPN - as in, to not paying any upfront costs, while getting your feet wet - this is a good choice, with caveats...

Note: Because they reside in Canada, the Canadian government could request customer data, forcing Windscribe by law.


6. TunnelBear – Great for Streaming Netflix

Geo-Blocking Firepower 🔫
Key Specifications
  • 2048-bit DHE-RSA Key Exchange
  • Great for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc.
  • 500MB Free / Month
  • 900+ Servers
  • Accepts Cryptocurrency
  • Geo-Blocking Circumvention
PROS
  • Fast VPN UK Speeds on Close Servers
  • Free 1GB on Social Media
  • Great Promo Deals
CONS
  • Slow Speeds if Servers Far
  • Only 500MB / Month on Free Version
  • No Money-Back Guarantee or PayPal

This is the most social-media-savvy VPN on the list. They have a great marketing campaign - featuring an adorable, furious brown bear - as well as lots of promotional discounts on offer.

You get 1GB for free if you @ TunnelBear on social media. The cool-looking logo concept is enough reason to check them out.

There are over 900 servers to choose from. Speeds are fast - if you choose one nearby - and connections are reliable. Again … choosing an optimal server is important.

Crucially, TunnelBear is renowned for getting around geo-blocking issues. Stream Netflix, tune into BBC iPlayer, and watch your favorite Hulu programs - do this without having to worry about being flagged.

As with any top VPN, this company does not log your personal data or track you. For those who want to make competitive Wordpress-hosted websites without leaving a trace back to you, good option here.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 🕶️

Along with Windscribe, this is another actually free VPN, at least for the trial. Though it’s not a great deal, you get 500MB of data per month - to test out the service.

Get your feet wet without any upfront costs. And tune into TB’s social media accounts, to see the latest promos.

Who is TunnelBear’s Ideal User? 🛩️

This is the go-to tool for people who need to quickly get around geo-blocking restrictions. Do this for free and experience great performance levels - with the right server choice - with the highest level of security.


#7 ProtonVPN – The Baby of Harvard Scientists & Privacy Fans

Connected to a Network of Open-Source Developers🔌
Key Specifications
  • Stream Netflix
  • 256-Bit AES Encryption
  • Split Tunneling
  • Available on Android, Windows, Mac OS, & iOS
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Free Service in 3 Countries
PROS
  • Great Compatibility
  • 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Free Trial
CONS
  • No Ability to Torrent
  • Slow Speeds on Free Version

These are the same guys behind ProtonMAIL. The brainchild of Harvard scientists and extreme privacy fanatics, ProtonVPN is a solid solution for anonymous surfing.

Some of the smartest minds are behind this VPN client. They have a great compatibility with different operating systems: Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android.

Note: There's a command-line version of this ground-roots VPN for Linux - plus also router support. And there are some limitations, notably the lack of geo-blocking P2P capabilities, which means you won't be able to Torrent.

📺 -- You should be able to use streaming sites like Netflix!

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 🤓

Proton accepts PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and Bitcoin. You can find coupons online. Get a 30-day money-back guarantee, with a free service that offers you lower speeds than the paid version - but only in limited countries.

Who is ProtonVPN’s Ideal User? ⛄

We recommend this as a short-term solution. Also if you want to try out a VPN for free, without any upfront payments.


#8 Trust.Zone – Pretty Good

Hard, No-Logging Policy 💻
Key Specifications
  • DNS-Leak Protection
  • Killswitch
  • 200 IP Addresses
  • In-Built Antivirus Protection
  • Supports Major Protocols Like L2TP
  • System-Wide Hardware Isolation
PROS
  • Strictly No Logs!
  • Great VPN For Torrenting
  • 3-day Free Trial
CONS
  • No Chat Support
  • Only 3 Connections On Paid Plans

This is a reliable VPN, with a strict no-logging policy. These really are the guys you can trust in terms of ensuring your information will not be sold-on. Learn more about VPN logging.

Completely free VPNs are renowned for selling off your data and having security risks, such as embedded malware, with totally free VPNs consider using the best malware scanner as well. With Trust.Zone, you can be sure you are using the highest level of encryption, with completely private mechanisms in place.

They have system-wide hardware-based isolations, which gives them a slight edge over the average paid VPN in some respects.

There are 200 dedicated IP addresses available. Use an automated killswitch, to eliminate “reconnection leaks,” as well as being a top VPN for torrenting, via geo-blocking-optimized P2P.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 🆓

Bitcoin is accepted. You get a free 3-day trial. Though this is not very long - and there is no money-back guarantee - it's a decent offer.

There is also a massive array of ways to pay, including the three major cryptocurrency types. No need to reveal your identity at any point in the process.

Who is Trust.Zone’s Ideal User? 🛡️

This is a very safe option, with strong security and DNS-leak protection. A very good way to try out a free VPN.


#9 Private Tunnel – Lots of Multiple Connections

Your Home Theatre 👨‍💻
Key Specifications
  • 128-bit AES GCM encryption
  • Canadian service
  • Up to 500GB
  • Native OpenVPN Technologies
  • Split Tunneling
PROS
  • Unrestricted Free Trial
  • Managed By OpenVPN
  • Great For PC
CONS
  • Apple Version Leaks
  • Under Canadian Law

Private Tunnel is actually owned by OpenVPN, one of the most secure and high-performing security protocols around - one that is embedded in virtually every top VPN.

Deals are affordable, climbing from 100 to 500GB limits. The encryption is 128-bit AES GCM. This is more than enough for what cyber security in 2020 requires.

That encryption level uses an efficient level of computational power with that highest 128-bit-based security-level available. You can (mostly) sleep safe, knowing you’re using experts in the security game, when choosing this VPN... Be wary of the Apple version.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 😁

Private Tunnel is a free VPN for 7 days, for those who are using it via PC. It seems to be unoptimized for Mac users. We haven't really heard of promotional deals for this VPN, but keep an eye out.

Who is Private Tunnel’s Ideal User? 💁

If you are a PC user, it’s reliable. Mac users, you're probably best off elsewhere.


#10 VanishedVPN – Your Netflix Specialist

All That’s Needed is a Sofa 🛋️
Key Specifications
  • Optimized Geo-Blocking
  • Access Netflix & Other Streams
  • Split Tunneling
  • High-grade Encryptions
  • Various Security VPN Protocols
  • No Logging
  • No Tracking
PROS
  • Great Cheap VPN UK Plans
  • Free Trial
  • Anonymity
CONS
  • Slow Speeds
  • Confusing Signup/Setup Process

If you want a guaranteed way to get access to Netflix, use this Australian VPN provider. This is particularly useful if you want to get entry into Netflix Libraries. Get access to streaming content regardless of your geolocation.

The geoblock optimizations are one of the best selling-points, but they also have great cheap VPN UK plans.

You will have to settle for slower streaming speeds, however. And the payment options do not extend to PayPal or cryptocurrency.

How To Save (And is There a Free Trial)? 💵

There's no money back guarantee, but you do get a free 3-day trial. As of now, we're not aware of promo offers.

Who is Vanished VPN’s Ideal User? 📺

Honestly, the first set of VPNs on our master list will give you access to Netflix and Netflix Libraries, regardless of your location.

Speeds are a little slower with Vanished VPN. But you do get a free trial period - and they are safe.


What You Need to Know About VPNs (Technical Section)

How VPNs Protect You (Twice-Over) 🛡️

Virtual Private Networks or VPNs use virtual connections, routed through the Internet, while encrypting your data as it moves to and fro between your device and the network you’re connecting to (for example, web servers). 

Many of the networks / transfer protocols you use to surf already have encryption protocols in place, eg. SSH (Secure Shell), HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), and NTPS (Network News Transfer Protocol), and LDAPS (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). 

In other words, using a VPN to further secure these ports, means you’re - in many cases - encrypting your data twice over at least.

What Are VPN Endpoints? 🧵

‘Endpoints’ are simply where your VPN terminates. Rather than your VPN client running data from a router and then terminating on a specific device, such as your laptop or mobile phone, the connection terminates at another VPN endpoint (which your endpoint device can access by logging into the VPN itself).

Think of this as like a tunnel, where the only access point is through the VPN… Not even the network it’s routed through, such as your internet service provider, can see details about this data transfer taking place. 

Endpoint security is a new security space that has developed over the last few years as a way of setting defined compliance standards for devices which are connected remotely to corporate networks in particular. 

A VPN is a type of endpoint security protocol for your device, which could otherwise be an attack path for cybercriminals. It doesn’t necessarily protect the network, however.

Datacentres run antivirus and malware detection software on their servers, aimed at identifying and handling next-generation security threats. This includes data leak protection (DLP).

Related Read: Best Free Antivirus Software

IoT (Internet of Things) and Personal Endpoint Security 🎧

IoT (the Internet of Things) is a term describing devices that expand our internet connections beyond the usual range of devices (such as laptops, computers, smartphones, and so on). IoT devices integrate purely with high-definition technology, and this lets them access the internet seamlessly, even letting you control them remotely if needed. 

This graph shows you how iot products are becoming increasingly important, with more available then the number of humans on the planet. iot-products-graph

Examples of IoT devices: wireless headphones that connect to your phone network, Google’s Home Voice Controller, Amazon Echo, smart cams,  smart locks - and a whole range of smart ‘remote device’ technologies: from doorbells that you can used to answer your door, even when away, to devices that let you turn appliances on/off - wherever you are. 

With the growing number of endpoints, this also increases the number of security threat paths for cyber opportunists to exploit. Having a VPN that you can connect all of your many devices to is becoming an essential bit of personal endpoint security.

In the burning era of IoT device expansion, where the average person is expected to own 10 IoT devices in the not-too-distant future, an ambitious thief will no longer target your wallet in the street, but your personal internet connection at home. A VPN is the first step to robust security. 


FAQ

Is There Such A Thing As A Free VPN? 🙃

Once again, nope. New free VPNs turn up every single day, because it's a lucrative way to make money. They do this by selling-on your data. The best you can get is a free trial or a money-back guarantee.

Are VPNs Safe? 💂‍♂️

We recommend doing some testing on your choice, to check. If you go for a top VPN, then you are very safe. If you go for one on a random Android market, it's probably Chinese-owned and they make money selling your data.

Are VPNs Legal? 👮

Only in a few countries are they illegal, such as Iran and China. Tip: If you want to make a site anonymously, use a VPN for all stages, starting with finding a top domain registrar.

What is the Best VPN for Torrenting? 📥

Every VPN on this list will let you do torrenting (except ProtonVPN).

What is the Fastest VPN UK-wise? 💨

Paid VPNs always outrank free VPNs. And paying more unlocks better speeds.

Is There A Suitable VPN for UK Free Use? 🆓

Better luck finding the Abominable Snowman. Once again, a free VPN is not a good VPN. But the first two on our list of paid VPNs gives you the best solution, for great prices.

The Best Free VPN for Streaming UK and Foreign Netflix? 📺

Surfshark and NordVPN are your two top two choices here - the fastest VPN UK speeds.

-- Choose one of our top ten. All are well-designed VPNs for UK free of charge - “free as they come” - use. It will likely suit the biggest budgeters out there. Well worth the investment. --

See also: Top Password Managers


What Did You Choose?

Remember, it's always a bad idea to go with a free VPN. No matter how much you are dying to check out the new season of Tiger King on Netflix, you won't be getting what you think you will when you go for a random free tool.

If you're scratching your head with which one to go for, just choose one that has a trial period or money-back guarantee. There's no catch. Just set a reminder of when to cancel, on your phone. The best VPNs for UK users will give you good speeds and an intuitive user interface.

Our number one selection is Surfshark. If you want a great mixture of great affordable VPN UK plans with the ability to get a free trial, this has every feature you could need from a VPN.

After you decide on a service, you can learn how to test a VPN here.

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