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ExpressVPN's Guide to VPN for the UK

The Investigatory Powers Bill and the UK government's history of mass data collection have caused many in Great Britain to turn to VPNs to hide their IP address and encrypt their Internet traffic.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to using VPN inside and outside the United Kingdom.

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England, Scotland, Northern Ireland VPN

Digital Privacy in the UK

Digital privacy issues in the UK

The Investigatory Powers Act

aka the Snoopers Charter

On November 29, 2016, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Investigatory Powers Bill into law. The Investigatory Powers Act, also known as the Snoopers Charter, legalizes the mass surveillance of people in the UK.

The Snoopers Charter requires all internet service providers (ISPs) and telecommunication companies in Britain to maintain logs of your internet connection records for up to one year. These logs include every domain you visit, every online service you use, the uniquely identifiable device you use to access the internet (i.e., a computer or phone), your IP address, and the times you connect to different websites and services.

Stand up to UK government surveillance and data collection with a VPN!

A VPN helps you defeat the Snooper’s Charter by hiding your internet activity from your ISP so it cannot log what you’re doing online. For an even stronger solution against snoops, get a VPN router to protect all your devices at home.

The Snoopers Charter gives intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and other government departments unprecedented access to your internet communication records—without a warrant. These agencies include the Department of Health, the Gambling Commission, and the Department of Transport.

These newly expanded surveillance powers deprive you of your right to privacy. Take back your privacy with a VPN.


Note: Though it maintains many secure UK VPN server locations, ExpressVPN is not a UK-based VPN. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and subject to BVI law.

ExpressVPN supports internet freedom

ExpressVPN is a proud financial supporter of nonprofit organizations that fight for your freedom on the internet, like:

The Best VPN for the UK Has Apps for Every Device

Are you looking for the best VPN for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales? ExpressVPN has intuitive, native VPN apps to keep everyone from the UK safe online.

Best UK VPN apps for every device

UK VPN users can connect to 145 VPN server locations in 94 countries around the world:

Americas

Bahamas

Canada

Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Ecuador

Guatemala

Peru

United States

Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, Seattle, Tampa, Washington DC

Uruguay

Venezuela

Asia Pacific

Australia

Melbourne, Sydney

Brunei

Cambodia

Laos

Macau

Mongolia

Myanmar

Nepal

Philippines

Sri Lanka

Vietnam

Europe

Albania

Andora

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Belarus

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Estonia

Finland

Georgia

Germany

Darmstadt, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt

Iceland

Isle of Man

Jersey

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Macedonia

Malta

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

Netherlands

Amsterdam, Rotterdam

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

United Kingdom

Berkshire, Chessington, Kent, London, Maidenhead
Africa, Middle East, & India

Algeria

Bangladesh

Bhutan

India

Chennai, Mumbai

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kyrgyzstan

Pakistan

Uzbekistan

How VPN Works

A VPN connection is a private tunnel between your device and the internet.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. That means a network of servers through which your computer (or mobile device) can connect to the internet privately. These servers encrypt all your internet traffic before it even gets to your ISP, so they can’t log or monitor your activity. Your IP address will be hidden and replaced with that of a secure VPN server.

What about DNS?

DNS, or Domain Name System, is how computers match up URLs to IP addresses, and exposed DNS requests are a common way for attackers to gain access to an otherwise protected connection. ExpressVPN runs its own DNS on every server, so your DNS requests never leave the encrypted VPN tunnel, making them both safer and faster.

ExpressVPN’s Top 3 Tips for Strong Online Privacy

Using a VPN is the fastest and most convenient way to add a layer of security when you're browsing the internet in the UK. But here are three more quick and easy ways to safeguard your privacy online:

Use 2-step verification

1. Use 2-step verification

Even the strongest passwords can get compromised. 2-step verification, or 2-factor authentication, solves that problem by letting you use your password and your phone to log into an online account. That way, even if someone steals your password, they still won’t be able to log into your account (unless they’ve somehow also stolen your phone).

Encrypt your smartphone

2. Encrypt your smartphone

London has experienced “epidemic” levels of smartphone theft in recent years. You can help curb the effectiveness of mobile theft by encrypting your smartphone. If you have a device with iOS 8 or later, enabling encryption is as easy as setting a passcode. Encrypting on an Android device is slightly less straightforward, but still advisable.

Use HTTPS whenever possible

3. Use HTTPS whenever possible

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. You can usually tell whether you’re connecting to a site through HTTPS by checking the address bar. But because even major websites sometimes link back to unencrypted HTTP, the EFF has developed a browser extension called HTTPS Everywhere that reroutes all requests to these sites to HTTPS.

The Best VPN for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales

With a VPN for the UK, you can...

  • Enjoy fast, throttle-free streaming
  • Browse the internet securely
  • Protect your digital privacy
  • Access censored sites on all your devices

Your VPN for the UK

How to Watch Football Online With a VPN

UK sports fans can use a VPN to stream football and other sports with privacy and security, without compromising on speed and video quality. ExpressVPN has guides to streaming:

Watch UK football online with a VPN

Visit the ExpressVPN Stream Sports Guide to learn more about watching your favourite football teams online.

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