Best VPN UK for 2021

The final VPN battle will soon take place. All contenders have gathered in the ring. Which one will win the title of the best VPN UK for 2021? A slick Caribbean shark? An elusive Romanian ghost? A Swiss nuclear particle? One common British donkey? To find out, grab your popcorn and keep scrolling.

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Best VPN UK for 2021

1. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark makes for a good swimmer in the waters of VPN technology. Besides offering an affordable two-year subscription plan to its users, it uses all the major security protocols available and has a modern, RAM-disk server infrastructure with torrenting support. Full Review

  • Affordable
  • Unlimited connections
  • Modern server infrastructure
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Surfshark makes for a good swimmer in the waters of VPN technology. Besides offering an affordable two-year subscription plan to its users, it uses all the major security protocols available and has a modern, RAM-disk server infrastructure with torrenting support. Full Review

Servers and Server Locations

Over 3200 servers located in 65 countries

Available Platforms

Netflix, HBO Max and HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock TV

Supported Operating Systems

macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Mozilla, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV

Maximum Devices

Unlimited

2. NordVPN

NordVPN has been among the best VPN services for years now. This quality VPN is oriented toward providing a reliable service that covers what most users are looking for. NordVPN gives you an optimised streaming experience, dedicated torrenting servers and a distinctive safety protocol built around the latest of all VPN protocols — WireGuard. Full Review

  • Abundant servers
  • Seamless streaming
  • Popular among gamers
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NordVPN has been among the best VPN services for years now. This quality VPN is oriented toward providing a reliable service that covers what most users are looking for. NordVPN gives you an optimised streaming experience, dedicated torrenting servers and a distinctive safety protocol built around the latest of all VPN protocols — WireGuard. Full Review

Servers and Server Locations

5400 servers spread over 59 countries

Available Platforms

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+

Supported Operating Systems

Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, smart TVs

Maximum Devices

Six

3. CyberGhost VPN

More than 30 million people trust CyberGhost VPN for good reasons. Its home, Romania, isn’t in any of the infamous surveillance alliances. Its vast network and numerous servers regularly place it among top-rated VPNs. Its steady live support and extended money-back period give users peace of mind when exploring the many privacy features the paid VPN version offers. Full Review

  • Immense server network
  • Seven simultaneous connections
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
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More than 30 million people trust CyberGhost VPN for good reasons. Its home, Romania, isn’t in any of the infamous surveillance alliances. Its vast network and numerous servers regularly place it among top-rated VPNs. Its steady live support and extended money-back period give users peace of mind when exploring the many privacy features the paid VPN version offers. Full Review

Servers and Server Locations

7,000 VPN servers in 113 locations, spread over 91 countries

Available Platforms

Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer

Supported Operating Systems

Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, Chrome, Mozilla, smart TVs, consoles and routers

Maximum Devices

Seven

4. ProtonVPN

Initiated by CERN scientists in 2014, this highly secure VPN takes a firm stand on personal privacy. Their ethic is unquestionable, and their price plans are customisable to the subatomic particle. Full Review

  • Highly secure
  • Limited to 10 connections
  • Encrypted email service

Initiated by CERN scientists in 2014, this highly secure VPN takes a firm stand on personal privacy. Their ethic is unquestionable, and their price plans are customisable to the subatomic particle. Full Review

5. IPVanish VPN

Not limiting the number of devices one can use it from, this VPN provider gives people an opportunity to access the internet using their computers, mobiles and smart TVs. IPVanish VPN users never worry about running out of data or if their activity is logged. Full Review

  • No limit on devices with VPN installed
  • Optional secure online storage
  • Live chat, email and phone support

Not limiting the number of devices one can use it from, this VPN provider gives people an opportunity to access the internet using their computers, mobiles and smart TVs. IPVanish VPN users never worry about running out of data or if their activity is logged. Full Review

6. ExpressVPN

Users of this safe VPN service can connect up to five devices simultaneously, stream Netflix and many other platforms, share files on a P2P network with commendable speeds and never worry about their activity being logged. It’s also able to bypass the Great Firewall of China. Full Review

  • Fast and stable VPN
  • Wide range of supported devices
  • Maximum of five connections
Best Offer

Users of this safe VPN service can connect up to five devices simultaneously, stream Netflix and many other platforms, share files on a P2P network with commendable speeds and never worry about their activity being logged. It’s also able to bypass the Great Firewall of China. Full Review

7. TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN is the talk of the town. What makes it stand out besides the furry tunnel-crawling mascot? The dedication to keeping their customers’ data private, as depicted in their privacy policy, and an app designed for the mobile user’s maximum pleasure. Full Review

  • Free 500 MB every month
  • Parallel connections limited to five
  • Multitude of features

TunnelBear VPN is the talk of the town. What makes it stand out besides the furry tunnel-crawling mascot? The dedication to keeping their customers’ data private, as depicted in their privacy policy, and an app designed for the mobile user’s maximum pleasure. Full Review

8. VPN Unlimited

Born and raised in New York, KeepSolid’s VPN Unlimited can settle your needs for a quality VPN service once and for all, as it’s among the very few companies with a lifetime VPN subscription on offer. It also strikes a perfect balance between being budget-friendly and offering decent speeds. Full Review

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Proprietary Wise protocol
  • Five-device maximum

Born and raised in New York, KeepSolid’s VPN Unlimited can settle your needs for a quality VPN service once and for all, as it’s among the very few companies with a lifetime VPN subscription on offer. It also strikes a perfect balance between being budget-friendly and offering decent speeds. Full Review

9. VyprVPN

VyprVPN has been providing VPN protection to people for more than a decade now. Accessible customer support service and regular audits conducted by independent security experts show the lengths to which VyprVPN will go to ensure their customers reap the most benefits of no-log VPN technology. Full Review

  • 30 devices maximum
  • Specialised Chameleon protocol
  • 24/7 support

VyprVPN has been providing VPN protection to people for more than a decade now. Accessible customer support service and regular audits conducted by independent security experts show the lengths to which VyprVPN will go to ensure their customers reap the most benefits of no-log VPN technology. Full Review

10. Windscribe VPN

Windscribe VPN gives its users a chance to access the internet from unlimited devices and various platforms simultaneously. Netflix bingers might like its dedicated servers and customisable subscriptions that allow for cheap worldwide access to the popular streaming site. Full Review

  • Free 10 GB per month
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Custom plans on offer

Windscribe VPN gives its users a chance to access the internet from unlimited devices and various platforms simultaneously. Netflix bingers might like its dedicated servers and customisable subscriptions that allow for cheap worldwide access to the popular streaming site. Full Review

11. Bitdefender Premium VPN

A veteran in the cybersecurity field, Bitdefender has had customer satisfaction as its primary goal since 2001. An evolved network of services is here to make sure everyone can immediately share their concerns with those in the know. It has specialised offers for businesses and home users, and their VPN solution uses an acclaimed security protocol. Full Review

  • Catapult Hydra protocol
  • 24/7 support teams
  • Cyber-security suites available

A veteran in the cybersecurity field, Bitdefender has had customer satisfaction as its primary goal since 2001. An evolved network of services is here to make sure everyone can immediately share their concerns with those in the know. It has specialised offers for businesses and home users, and their VPN solution uses an acclaimed security protocol. Full Review

12. HideMyAss VPN

This VPN provider has a server network that covers more than 290 countries, making it one of the best VPN deals for those who need their VPN servers scattered around the globe as evenly as possible. Full Review

  • Widest server-network
  • All servers P2P-friendly
  • Five parallel connections

This VPN provider has a server network that covers more than 290 countries, making it one of the best VPN deals for those who need their VPN servers scattered around the globe as evenly as possible. Full Review

Detailed Reviews

SurfShark VPN
SurfShark VPN

Strict no-logs policy

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Best Choice
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • RAM-only and P2P-friendly servers
  • Cheap subscription
  • 24/7 live chat support
Servers and Server Locations

 

Another VPN provider headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark has over 3200 servers located in 65 countries, and they all support P2P traffic.

 

Available Platforms 

 

Website unblocking is what Surfshark VPN was made for – it lets you access streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max and HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock TV, plus many more.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

Most operating systems will run Surfshark without a problem, as it has clients for macOS, Windows and Linux, iOS and Android VPN apps, VPN extensions for Chrome and Mozilla, and can run on Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV as well.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

Users can employ Surfshark VPN on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.

 

Security Protocols

 

Surfshark uses the three most popular security protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard, with the addition of the Shadowsocks protocol that makes for the most secure browsing in countries with highly restrictive policies.

 

Pricing Plans

 

Surfshark offers three pricing plans:

  • One month – $12.95, per month (around £9.15)
  • Six months – $6.49 per month (around £4.60)
  • Two years – $2.49 per month (around £1.80)

Though no free trial is at the customer’s disposal, Surfshark offers a 30-day risk-free trial period.

Best Price
  • Proprietary NordLynx technology based on WireGuard
  • Maximum of six parallel connections
  • Numerous servers available
  • Excellent VPN for streaming
Servers and Server Locations

 

NordVPN’s fleet counts more than 5400 servers spread over 59 countries, with most VPN servers being in Europe. The Panama-based VPN service was founded in 2012.

 

Available Platforms 

 

Unblocking major streaming platforms comes easy with NordVPN, and its users avoid the nerve-racking experience of geo-blocked Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+  and other platforms

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

NordVPN adapted their software for Android and iOS devices, computers running Windows, macOS, and Linux, and popular browsers as well as smart TVs.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

There’s a limit to the number of parallel connections – no more than six devices can run NordVPN from the same account simultaneously.

 

Security Protocols

 

Besides supporting the industry’s leading OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, NordVPN has its NordLynx protocol based on WireGuard. All three security protocols are available on each of NordVPN’s servers.

 

Pricing Plans

 

NordVPN has three pricing plans available:

  • One month – £8.84 per month
  • One year – £4.87 per month
  • Two years – £3.62 per month

There is no free trial on offer, but those interested can try NordVPN’s extensive list of features for 30 days completely risk-free.

 

Distinctive Services and Features 

 

Besides their custom NordLynx protocol, NordVPN offers the special Onion Over VPN feature that allows you to route through the Onion network with just a click. Another neat feature dubbed Double VPN enables users to encrypt their connection twice, hiding behind two VPN servers.

 

Speed and Performance

 

With an average speed loss of about 25%, NordVPN might not be the cream of the crop, but it’s still among the fastest VPN services.

 

Customer Support

 

NordVPN’s official site has a support section full of subsections to go through if you’ve run into a hurdle and a chatbot that can either help you pin down your specific problem or get you in touch with support agents available 24/7.

  • Very adaptable software
  • 45-day money-back period
  • Great VPN for torrenting, streaming and gaming
  • Based in surveillance-free Romania
Servers and Server Locations

 

Though the exact number of servers often varies, CyberGhost’s fleet counts around 7,000 VPN servers in 113 locations, spread over 91 countries.

 

Available Platforms 

 

With servers optimised for streaming, CyberGhost users can carelessly browse different Netflix libraries and access all the streaming goodies: Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer… you name it.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

CyberGhost VPN did its best to ensure your different devices can run their software. Next to all the major computer and mobile operating systems supported, Mozilla and Chrome VPN extensions, methods to run it on your smart TVs, there are even ways to use them on your wifi routers and gaming consoles.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

Though the limit CyberGhost VPN sets on parallel connections is seven, installing it on a router gives all the devices using that wifi an encrypted connection to the internet. A handy little life hack, indeed.

 

Security Protocols

 

CyberGhost VPN supports the three most esteemed VPN protocols around today — OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard, with the use of the older L2TP protocol limited to few operating systems.

 

Pricing Plans

 

A CyberGhost free trial is only 24 hours long, but there are four distinct pricing plans with nice additions.

One month – £10.89

One year – £3.45 per month

Two years – £2.89 per month

Three years plus three months – £1.99 per month

The yearly plans come with a hefty 45-day money-back guarantee, and the one-month plan’s money-back period is 14 days long.

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

Next to its 45 days long money-back period and the VPN being suitable even for gaming consoles, the company has its CyberGhost browser that supports typical Chrome extensions. The VPN service also offers optional image and web data compression, useful when data is limited or comes with a price. 

 

Speed and Performance

 

As with any virtual private network, the more you involve yourself in choosing the right VPN server, the better the chances of connecting to one suitable for your application. With CyberGhost’s many servers designated for specific purposes, little room is left for lags in streaming and gaming, as many users will happily confirm.

 

Customer Support

 

CyberGhost shines when customer support is in question. Their live chat agents are well informed and always on-call. You can get through to them in an instant.

  • Protected by Swiss privacy laws
  • Highly customisable subscription plans
  • ProtonMail
  • Special servers on offer
Servers and Server Locations

 

Proton VPN’s current 1246 servers are located in 55 different countries

 

Available Platforms 

 

The Swiss VPN offers streaming through the world’s most popular platforms like Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, BBC’s iPlayer, Disney+ and others. On their official site is a list of streaming guides for all the supported platforms.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

A VPN client is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users, there are iOS and Android VPN apps, plus you can instal the VPN software on routers of different types.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

There’s a ten-device limit to the number of simultaneous connections.

 

Security Protocols

 

The older PPTP and L2TP security protocols were abandoned by ProtonVPN, and it now relies only on OpenVPN and IKEv2.

 

Pricing Plans

 

Next to the free plan that ProtonVPN offers, there are three paid VPN options: Basic, Plus and Visionary. The more you pay for a subscription, the more you get in terms of simultaneous connections, server number and other features. For their monthly plans, the prices are:

Basic – €5 (about £4.30) per month 

Plus – €10 (about £8.60) per month 

Visionary – €30 (about £25.75) per month.

Getting a yearly plan allows for a 20% discount, while a two-year deal will knock 33% out of your subscription.

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

Though the basic version of their ProtonMail email service is freely available to all, ProtonVPN’s Visionary package includes everything the Plus package does, plus all the features of their end-to-end encrypted email service. If that isn’t enough, then their latest addition of Netshield, a malware and advertisements blocking service, might seal the deal for some.

 

Speed and Performance

 

As with many other software products, the Free and Basic versions of ProtonVPN might leave you feeling like you’re dragging your cyber-heals. To avoid the low speeds that come from sharing a server with so many other cheapskates, you might want to consider upgrading to a Plus account — this gives access to servers with a lighter load, many of them with 10 Gbps bandwidth.

 

Customer Support

 

One can say ProtonVPN lacks most in customer support, as no 24/7 option is available and emails often don’t get answered for days on end.

IPVanish VPN
IPVanish VPN

Simultaneous connections

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  • Unlimited simultaneous connections with any plan
  • Well distributed servers
  • Optional 500 GB of secure online storage
  • 24/7 support via live chat
Servers and Server Locations

 

Based in Orlando, FL, IPVanish VPN provides VPN protection for nine years already. The company has a network of more than 40,000 IP addresses belonging to more than 1600 servers. The servers are spread over 75 different locations.

 

Available Platforms 

 

Though there is a good chance you’ll be able to stream your favourite sports events, use Kodi or Sling TV for your viewing pleasure. Moreover, you can access Prime, iPlayer and HBO Go. Regarding Netflix, fans should test IPVanish VPN thoroughly. The popular content provider was sometimes unavailable over many IPVanish VPN servers.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

IPVanish has desktop apps for Windows, macOS and Linux. In addition, there are VPN apps for Android, iOS, Kodi and Fire TV. Also, there’s a VPN for Chrome OS.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

One person can use IPVanish VPN on as many devices as they want at the same time.

 

Security Protocols

 

IKEv2 is there for computer and mobile users. OpenVPN is not available on iOS but is on Android and operating systems for computers, plus you can install it on a router. IPVanish VPN uses the older L2TP and PPTP VPN protocols on some devices, too.

 

Pricing Plans

 

IPVanish VPN has monthly and yearly plans to which you can add 500 GB of storage. The prices are:

Monthly VPN – $3.49 (about £2.50) for the first month, $9.99 (about £7.10) thereafter.

Yearly VPN – $31.49 (about £22.25) for the first year, $89.99 (about £63.60) thereafter.

Monthly VPN + Storage – $3.84 (about £2.70) for the first month, $10.99 (about £7.80) thereafter.

Yearly VPN + Storage – $2.92 (about £2.05) for the first month, $99.99 (about £70.65) thereafter.

A free trial is not available. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, though it’s only for yearly subscribers. A 7-day trial used to be available to iOS users, but not anymore.

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

The optional 500 GB of SugarSync secure file storage makes IPVanish VPN stand out among its competitors. For more, you’ll have to go through SugarSync directly. 

 

Speed and Performance

 

With IPVanish, as with any other VPN, you’ll experience a drop in speed. How significant will it be? It depends on the strength of your connections, the devices you use and other factors. The overall impression with IPVanish VPN is that it’s not a top performer when VPN speed is the primary concern.

 

Customer Support

 

No matter the type of subscription you opt for, IPVanish VPN’s 24/7 customer service is in charge of resolving your issues. You can contact them over live chat, email and phone.

  • Exceptional speed
  • Dedicated 24/7 customer support
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • No user activity logs
Servers and Server Locations

 

Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN was founded back in 2009. Its network comprises more than 3000 servers. These span 160 locations in 94 countries, some being virtual server locations – though it says they’re in a certain country, physically, they’re in one with better connections available.

 

Available Platforms 

 

The elaborate system of servers this virtual private network has allows you full HD streaming of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, etc..

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

There are desktop clients for Windows, macOS and Linux, iOS and Android VPN apps, add-ons for Chrome, Mozilla and Edge. There’s an array of VPNs for smart TV systems, router solutions with ExpressVPN preinstalled and even a VPN for PS, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

Simultaneous connections are limited to five separate devices.

 

Security Protocols

 

Supported VPN protocols do depend on the server used, yet most servers support the tried and true OpenVPN, the younger and swifter IKEv2 and ExpressVPN’s very own Lightway protocol. A portion of servers also deals with the older L2TP and IPSec VPN protocols. The new and promising WireGuard currently isn’t supported by ExpressVPN.

 

Pricing Plans

 

No ExpressVPN free trial is available, and prices vary depending on subscription length:

  • One month – £9.33 per month
  • Six months – £8.61 per month
  • 15 months – £4.87 per month + 3 months for free

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN providers who can say they’re able to break through China’s Great Firewall

 

Speed and Performance

 

In terms of speed and connectivity, ExpressVPN stands out with an 8% loss — much less than the 30% VPN users should mentally prepare for in most cases. Many positive user reviews online support the notion of ExpressVPN being the fastest VPN.

 

Customer Support

 

ExpressVPN has an elaborate support system on their official website, allowing users to troubleshoot problems independently, browse the numerous setup guides dedicated to available devices or get in touch with a support agent over live chat.

  • 500 MB of free monthly data
  • Multiple free VPN extensions for Chrome
  • Personal and business plans
  • Five-device limit
Servers and Server Locations

 

No official server count is to be found on TunnelBear’s website. Some reviews claim it is around 3000. TunnelBear notes only the ever-expanding list of countries the servers are in, which comprises 41 countries as of now.

 

Available Platforms 

 

The Bear doesn’t bode well when streaming is concerned. It will unlock certain Netflix libraries, but many other streaming platforms might stay out of your reach. In one official article, they readily admit to being unable to circumvent copyrighted material on streaming sites.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

TunnelBear VPN is available on your Windows and macOS-running computers, iOS and Android mobile devices and browsers like Chrome, Mozilla and Opera.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

Five simultaneous connections to the internet via TunnelBear VPN are available for each licence. 

 

Security Protocols

 

In the Canadian VPN service’s official help section, there’s mention of OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols and the ports they require to function fully. It seems these two are the only VPN protocols the company uses.

 

Pricing Plans

 

TunnelBear VPN does offer free 500 MB per month to anyone. You just need to download the app and sign up with your email. If this isn’t enough data, there are two paid VPN solutions to choose from — the Unlimited plan for regular users and the Teams plan for businesses with two or more members.

The business plan’s rate is set at $5.75 or about £4.10 per user per month and comes with a seven-day long free trial. What subscribing to Unlimited will cost you depends on how long you’re willing to commit to it.

One month – $9.99 or about £7.05 per month

One year – $4.99 or about £3.50 per month

Three years – $3.33 or about £2.35 per month

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

In addition to the free VPN extension, TunnelBear gives Chrome users a chance to block ads and tracking attempts by using their TunnelBear Blocker extension, also for free. There’s their Trusted Network whitelister, VigilantBear kill switch, and the GhostBear feature devised to bypass network restrictions. The Bear’s Always On is there to let you carelessly switch public networks, always staying safely encrypted.

 

Speed and Performance

 

Next to ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield and other top-performers in terms of speed, TunnelBear is not the fastest VPN out there. Streaming is viable, but do expect a bumpy ride now and then. As for gaming, I doubt you will have a good time if you rely on TunnelBear.

 

Customer Support

 

The TunnelBear VPN customer support team works nine to five, seven days a week. No live chat is available, and it’s all “first come, first served”, more or less. They strive to answer user requests within 24 hours, and it took them much less to answer my questions.

 

  • Long trial period
  • Lifetime plan on offer
  • Many VPN protocols utilised
  • Additional security services available
Servers and Server Locations

 

VPN Unlimited’s network encompasses over 500 servers in over 80 worldwide locations.

 

Available Platforms 

 

Keep Solid promises VPN Unlimited users will be able to enjoy a variety of streaming platforms from anywhere in the world. HBO’s Max, Now and Go, US Hulu, Prime Video, iPlayer, US Netflix, ESPN+, Disney+, Channel 4 are just some of those covered.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

Windows, macOS and Linux users have VPN Unlimited clients available. Android and iOS users have a VPN Unlimited mobile VPN app. Many router types and models can be set up with VPN Unlimited. Also, there are VPN Unlimited Chrome, Mozilla, Opera and Edge extensions.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

Five simultaneous connections are the starting point with VPN Unlimited. For a total of 10, users have to pay $14.99 (about £10.60), $7.49 (almost £5.25) or $299.99 (about £212.00), depending on their plan.

 

Security Protocols

 

OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard and their very own KeepSolid Wise VPN protocol are used on most devices. The Linux client doesn’t support WireGuard, and for the sake of older macOS and iOS versions, IPSec is available. Finally, even though it’s technically not a VPN protocol, TLS encryption is used as a safe cryptographic solution for all VPN Unlimited browser extensions.

 

Pricing Plans

 

Three different pricing plans are offered by VPN unlimited:

One month – $9.99 (close to £7.05) per month 

One year – $4.99 (close to £3.55) per month 

Lifetime – $199.99 (about £141.35), billed once

You can test out VPN Unlimited for seven days with no data caps or bandwidth limits. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also there for all first-time subscriptions. This, in effect, gives you 37 days to try the VPN service.

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

VPN Unlimited users can add KeepSolid’s dedicated password manager, Passwarden, to each of the three subscriptions. The cost is $10.99 (roughly £7.80) for monthly subscribers, $69.99 (roughly £49.50) for a year’s worth of the service and $299.99 (roughly £212) for the lifetime plan. A private browser is also available for a third of Paswarden subscriptions.

 

Speed and Performance

 

Several VPN Unlimited users complained about throttled speed once an encrypted connection has been established on different online review sites, which seems like a thing you should test thoroughly before committing to a plan.

 

Customer Support

 

Next to the live chat, one can email VPN Unlimited’s customer service and expect a reply within an hour. Many online user reviews hail the agents for providing them with a quick and efficient solution to their different problems.

 

  • Swiss-based
  • 30 simultaneous connections
  • Specialised DNS service included
  • Live chat customer support
Servers and Server Locations

 

In VyprVPN’s network, there are over 700 servers that offer 300,000 different IP addresses for you to use. The 70 available VPN server locations are spread over six continents.

 

Available Platforms 

 

There are regional streaming options available to VyprVPN users, giving access to US, UK and Canadian Netflix libraries, letting users stream video on Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, specialised sport streaming platforms and similar.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

A dedicated VyprVPN app is available to Mac, Windows, Android and iOS users. There are also apps for Android TV and different router types.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

Though not unlimited, VyprVPN’s policy is generous, as you can use VyprVPN on 30 devices simultaneously.

 

Security Protocols

 

VyprVPN uses all the major encryption protocols, from the older PPTP and L2TP, the well-known and popular OpenVPN and IKEv2, to the still young but promising WireGuard. A unique feature of VyprVPN is their OpenVPN-based Chameleon protocol which allows open internet access even to users in countries with restrictive internet policies.

 

Pricing Plans

 

The subscriptions available on VyprVPN’s website are:

One month plus one month for free – £4.66 per month

One year plus six months for free – £1.83 per month

Two years plus 12 months for free – £1.25 per month

Though there is no free trial, you can purchase a monthly or yearly plan and test the VPN software risk-free. You can get your money back within 30 days after the account’s purchase. No questions asked.

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

Chameleon is remarkable on its own, but VyprVPN offers a couple more standout services. Dynamic server switching, for example, is there to automatically prevent attempts to connect to overloaded or unavailable VPN servers. Let’s also mention VyprDNS, a DNS service available only to VyprVPN users that allows for a more private and censorship-free surfing experience.

 

Speed and Performance

 

I can’t put a mark on VyprVPN’s speed, at least not a numeric one. As seen from the many customer reviews readily available online, customers were satisfied with the speed, even when other aspects of this Swiss VPN service heightened their blood pressure.

 

Customer Support

 

Should you run into an obstacle while exploring VyprVPN, a dedicated 24/7 support team is there for you. The English-speaking agents will even use Google Translate to get to the bottom of customers’ problems. Next to the live chat, there’s also an extensive knowledge base on their support page.

  • R.O.B.E.R.T.
  • Free 10 GB of data per month
  • A multitude of operating systems supported
  • Unlimited number of parallel connections
Servers and Server Locations

 

Founded in Canada in 2015, Windscribe has a fleet of more than 500 servers in 63 countries. Users can choose one from a list of 110 cities.

 

Available Platforms 

 

With specialised streaming servers listed as separate locations in Windscribe VPN, users can freely access Netflix’s UK and US libraries. This isn’t to say you’re stuck with Netflix. Windscribe will unblock many other streaming sites, too.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

There are few operating systems for which Windscribe hasn’t devised a solution. The VPN software is remarkably accessible to computer and mobile users alike. Browser extensions? Blackberry app? Ditto. Smart TVs have been covered extensively. You can also instal Windscribe VPN on your router or buy one with the VPN preconfigured.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

Windscribe VPN doesn’t care how many devices use the one account you bought, as long as it’s done sensibly. The amount of data an account spends is monitored through their software. Using it within your immediate family and close friends shouldn’t raise anyone’s eyebrows.

 

Security Protocols

 

OpenVPN, both UDP and TCP, IKEv2, Websocket and Websocket Stealth — these are the security protocols used in Windscribe’s applications. WireGuard is also available, but only to Windows users.

 

Pricing Plans

 

Windscribe provides a free 2 GB per month plan to anyone. Those willing to share their email address with the VPN vendor will get 10 GB of encrypted traffic instead. To me, this makes it the best free VPN

As for the paid VPN service, there are a couple of subscriptions available:

One month – $9, that comes to around £6.35

One year – $4.08 (circa £2.90) per month

Custom plan – $1 (around 70 pence) per location per month

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

R.O.B.E.R.T. is one standout feature of Windscribe. It allows you to specify exactly what the VPN will do for you. Their custom plans are another peculiarity. Charging $1 per month for each location you choose and another buck for R.O.B.E.R.T. and unlimited data, Windscribe can supply you with a dedicated VPN for Netflix that’ll set you back by $2 or about £1.40 per month.

 

Speed and Performance

 

Many user reviews reveal that Windscribe VPN offers solid speeds. Our experience with their Windows client can corroborate this positive impression.

 

Customer Support

 

As for customer support, there’s much room for Windscribe to improve. Their chatbot Garry is more of a shortcut to their FAQ section than an actual aid, and their customer service might not respond to your email submissions in less than 48 hours.

Bitdefender Premium VPN
Bitdefender Premium VPN

VPN and antivirus combination

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  • Hydra protocol
  • Dedicated 24/7 customer support
  • Devices limited to ten
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans
Servers and Server Locations

 

Another VPN hailing from Dracula’s homeland, Bitdefender Premium VPN has 1300 servers in its network. These are located in over 25 countries.

 

Available Platforms 

 

Though accessing Netflix’s US library is something Bitdefender Premium VPN specialises in, there might be issues with unblocking access to some major streaming platforms. Hulu and BBC’s iPlayer seem to be easily accessed, but Disney+ and Primer Video not so much.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

Bitdefender Premium VPN’s Home solutions offer clients for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. If you want to use the VPN service on a Linux device, you’ll need a business solution.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

The VPN service is available on ten devices simultaneously.

 

Security Protocols

 

Romanian cyber-security company’s VPN solution is made in alliance with Hotspot Shield, so top-of-the-line Hydra protocol is in use in Bitdefender Premium VPN, too.

 

Pricing Plans

 

As for pricing, two plans are officially offered:

One month – £4.99 per month

One year – £2.49 per month

There’s a seven-day free trial for each available OS. Next to this, a 30-day money-back guarantee is part of their subscriptions, even the monthly ones.

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

Bitdefender specialises in security. Antivirus and cyber-security software packages are its primary products, VPNs — not as much. You’ll find ransomware protection, antivirus packages protection and other goodies in Bitdefender’s primary line of products, but not the VPN.

 

Speed and Performance

 

As it puts Hotspot Shields award-winning Catapult Hydra protocol to use in its VPN service, it’s no wonder Bitdefender provides speeds that are praised upon by so many reviewers next to yours truly.

 

Customer Support

 

Bitdefender’s website offers 24/7 customer support for all their products. Once you find the live chat support among the many options available, you can specify whether you need assistance with a technical issue, malware support or help with commercial issues. A dedicated agent will be with you shortly.

  • Best server distribution
  • Unlimited installations, limited connections
  • Many devices supported
  • 30-day money-back with all plans
Servers and Server Locations

 

This Avast-owned VPN company was founded in the UK back in 2005. There are over 290 HideMyAss VPN server locations in more than 210 countries. In addition, more than 1070 HMA servers support speeds of up to 20 Gbps.

 

Available Platforms 

 

What can the Donkey entice you with, streaming-wise? There are ultra-fast servers in 190 countries, HideMyAss VPN claims, that will give you access to different Netflix libraries, BBC’s iPlayer outside the UK, Amazon Prime Video from wherever. If you’re more of a sports type, HMA VPN will provide an easy way for you to stream sporting events that would otherwise be geo-restricted.

 

Supported Operating Systems

 

Next to the four most common operating systems — Windows, masOS, iOS and Android — being covered with appropriate HideMyAss apps, the VPN provider offers a Linux application, VPN for Apple TV and Android TV, Chrome and Mozilla VPN extensions and a VPN for Xbox and Playstation.

 

Maximum Devices 

 

One HMA VPN account covers instals to an unlimited number of devices. The number of simultaneous connections is limited to five, though.

 

Security Protocols

 

HideMyAss VPN is using the OpenVPN security protocol by default. There’s no mention of other VPN protocols, which left me a little puzzled. WireGuard is not adopted as widely, but they indeed must be using IPSec, at least for their iOS devices, right?

 

Pricing Plans

 

HMA VPN pricing plans offer various discounts. The longer the plan, the more you save.

One month – €10.99, that comes to around £9.50

One year – €4.39 (save 60%), comes to around £3.80

Three years – €2.99 (save 73%), comes to around £2.60

A 30-day money-back guarantee is part of all these subscriptions. There’s a pre-authorised seven-day HideMyAss free trial one can look for that turns into a subscription if not cancelled.

 

Distinctive Services and Features

 

HideMyAss VPN’s servers support P2P connections, allowing you to share torrent files with a connection encrypted to safeguard your privacy. The 210 countries where one may find HMA VPN servers make for one of the most efficiently distributed VPN networks in the world today.

 

Speed and Performance

 

Even if you don’t experience HideMyAss VPN’s connection speed and stability as positively as the ones so many customers did before leaving a review, the multitude of servers and locations offer you to hop to other servers more appropriate for your specific purpose. 

 

Customer Support

 

Live chat was not to be found one day, then worked well the other. If you’re left with no agent on your side, you can always send an email to their team.

 

How to Choose the Best VPN UK (Buyer’s Guide)

 

Having delved into the strengths and weaknesses of VPN services most commonly considered, you’ll find another issue that needs addressing. How do I choose a VPN? Not a simple question. Luckily, we’ve broken down the train of thought into compartments, letting you choose the one most comfortable for your cyber-travelling needs.

 

Establish Your Needs

 

VPNs are usually multi-purpose tools. While one may solve all your specific needs, another might provide more buttons than you’d ever want to push. Take CyberGhost for instance. It offers operation simple enough for novices to use, with in-depth controls available for VPN veterans and those aspiring to become one.

 

What primarily motivated you to search for a service that encrypts your connections to the internet? Do you want to stream geo-blocked content, browse and torrent while on a restrictive network or make sure no outsiders can get even a glance at what you do online? 

 

Deciding what VPN you need should be informed primarily by the purpose you’ll have it fulfil. If the functions I’ve just mentioned are part of your daily activity, you’ll need a VPN that ticks all the boxes, like say ProtonVPN. 

 

On the other hand, if only one purpose is on your mind, a specialised VPN might cater to all your needs for a fraction of the most versatile VPN’s price.

 

Client Features, Devices and Systems Supported

 

Having joined us in our search for the best VPN of 2021, you might have noticed it yourself – different VPN services will have different clients available. Yes, most of them need to provide Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS software solutions, but what if you use Linux? What if you want a VPN so that you can solely watch content on your smart TV? 

 

Thinking about the type and number of devices you’ll use a VPN from most often will provide the best guidance in choosing which VPN services are most fitting to your needs. Those that offer more might still be welcome. Those that don’t are off the list.

 

Number of Servers and Locations

 

You might have a particular purpose in mind when looking for a VPN. Say you want to watch US Netflix, HBO Max or Hulu regardless of where you are — you’d favour a VPN provider that knows his American servers well, like Windscribe, PIA or PureVPN. 

 

Then again, you might want virtual access to countries with restricted internet — Turkey, Vietnam or China. In that case, your VPN would probably need to use virtual server locations – something few VPNs (ExpressVPN, CyberGhost…), can offer.

 

Simultaneous Connections

 

Are you a solo user? Would you share a VPN with your roommates or family members? If so, how many devices does each one of you have? These are the things you need to have in the very front of your mind when choosing a VPN since many of them limit the number of simultaneous connections, instals, or both.

 

Protocols

 

A couple of things to know about VPN protocols. Some are hands down obsolete and are used as legacy software for older devices, the likes of PPTP, L2TP and SSTP. OpenVPN, on the other hand, has been around for a while and still offers good protection. IKEv2 is newer and suitable for mobile connections, specifically. WireGuard is the latest and promises to be the best one. 

 

Protocol Speed Encryption  Stability
OpenVPN UDP High Strong Medium
OpenVPN TCP Medium Strong Good
IKEv2 High Strong Good
WireGuard High Strong Poor
L2TP Medium Medium Good
PPTP High Poor Medium

 

Which VPN protocol do I need? The more a VPN provider offers, the better for you, as you get to experiment and determine the combination that suits your different needs. 

 

A couple of proprietary VPN protocols in the game, VyprVPN’s Chameleon and Hotspot Shield’s Hydra, also show the massive potential of becoming an all-in-one solution. These are sometimes based on only one protocol and are hybrid solutions in other cases.

 

Privacy and Logging

 

What you’d ideally want is a VPN service that never logs identifiable data, has no data caps and is entirely free. But, reality had it planned another way.

 

If you choose a free VPN, there’s a higher chance those VPN companies will have some of your info stored or monetised. But, of course, not all VPN companies are money-obsessed-privacy-dementors and only want to entice you with a free plan on offer. So you’ll have to make your best guess about which is which. 

 

What may also significantly impact your purchasing decision is the country where a VPN provider is headquartered. Certain countries form surveillance alliances, the most notorious being the Five Eyes (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand). They can force companies to share their data to prevent crime. 

 

If a VPN server is RAM-operated, like NordVPN is, or if the hard-disk logs are regularly wiped clean, there’s less chance any data will be gathered. In any case, a VPN based in a private haven of a country (Switzerland, Romania, Caribbean states…) won’t have you worry about any of those things.

 

Speed

 

It’s not gratifying, grading a VPN’s speed. Too many factors influence the results of a speed test, and one day’s results might differ substantially from the next one’s. 

 

What one can do to diminish the risk of laggy connections is look for user reviews online, strive to get a VPN service with as many servers as possible and, most importantly, make the best use of any available trial periods to make sure her or his specific needs have indeed been met.

 

Price

 

It doesn’t necessarily mean that the more you pay for a VPN, the more you get from it. There are a few honest though limited free solutions. If you have found your luck with a VPN provider that charges for its services, it is always more sensible to enrol in a longer plan, as you’ll always get the best price that way.

 

Longer plans are usually charged in bulk, so if you start having second thoughts about keeping your subscription, you better make up your mind fast. If you don’t, you might get charged with a year’s worth of a service you didn’t intend to use at all. Ouch!

 

Payment options

 

As you’d expect with any digital service, most VPNs are paid for by card. PayPal and other services are also used. Mobile wallets even. What these do is connect your name to a VPN purchase. If that’s something you want to avoid, you might want to look for a VPN that offers payment in Bitcoin — like Surfshark and IPVanish do, for example.

 

If you weren’t given a chance to try a VPN out for free, plenty of them offer trials — look at Hotspot Shield, TunnelBear and Windscribe. With the comfortable money-back periods that many also offer, you can get to know a VPN inside out before making any payments.

Wrap up

 

That’s about all I have to share after searching diligently for the best VPN UK for 2021. The competition among the best VPN software companies is intense, and pricing plans often change overnight. 

 

A new user might benefit most from getting a service as affordable and comprehensive as possible. Only once familiar with the terminology, methods, and specific VPN performance can a person make a sound decision. 

 

Those in more of a hurry can see what we’ve deemed each of these VPNs best for. It will provide enough of a shortcut to their safe, stable and speedy surfing.

FAQ

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network or VPN is a service that allows its users to connect to the internet not purely through the IP address given by their internet service provider but through one from a network of VPN servers. Going through the VPN, a user’s connection gets encrypted, scrambled to the extent that no outsiders — their IPs, network administrators, governments, or hackers — can see their activity or interfere with it.

 

What is the best VPN UK for 2021?

That’s what we’re here to find out. Note that the overall best VPN service might still not be the thing you’re looking for, as certain VPNs shine in some domains, but might lack features in others. Look at our comprehensive list of best VPN UK for 2021 list to see what service suits your specific needs best.

 

Why do I need a VPN?

There are many benefits of a VPN. Perhaps you want to see what shows Netflix libraries for Brazil and Japan offer to its users? Or you want to bypass the travel agency’s tracking regime and see how much its cheapest tickets are? Maybe you’re in a dorm and the network administrator put a ban on your beloved torrenting? All these and many other situations give reason to use a virtual private network.

 

Is VPN legal?

This largely depends on regulations enforced by the country where one uses a VPN. Certain countries limit its use, others ban it completely.

 

Which VPN is the fastest?

Not easy to answer. As so often stated by VPN providers, customers, and reviews alike, the speed you get through a virtual private network can depend on the VPN server proximity, its load, your device, operating system, and so on. What you use it for makes for a psychological factor, too — a VPN too slow for gaming might be considered fast by someone interested only in skimming through Instagram. Some of the fastest VPN services out there today are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Hotspot Shield VPN.

 

Can VPN be tracked?

Hypothetically, yes. Otherwise, why would VPN providers even offer their specialized multiple-encryption services? Still, with DNS-leak prevention, modern VPN protocols and often millions of other users sharing the VPN server’s IP address you browse from, there isn’t much room for paranoia. Unless you’re Jason Bourne.

 

What VPN do pro gamers use?

Pewdiepie, for one, uses NordVPN, as seen on their official website. The biggest names in the VPN game, like ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost with their dedicated gaming servers, are also often mentioned by those concerned most with gaming.

 

Which VPN is trustworthy?

To know this, one would need to check the privacy policy of all individual providers and see if it’s in accordance with her or his own values. Third-party data sharing and being based in a country that’s part of a surveillance alliance might make a VPN seem less trustworthy. Audits carried out independently and RAM-disk servers are what ought to make a VPN provider more reputable.

 

Should I pay for a VPN?

Ideally, you should do whatever you want to, but your wife just might not understand what you need a fifth guitar for. When VPNs are in question, you’ll have to pay somehow. Free versions either come with data caps or bandwidth limits and can sell your data to other companies to make it worth their while. If it’s free, you’re probably the product.

 

What are the disadvantages of a VPN?

A VPN will most often degrade your speed. If you want to encrypt your connection more than once, the speed might drop significantly. Don’t forget that, if in countries that prohibit the use of virtual private networks, you also face being held legally responsible, whether a resident or not.