The Best Free UK VPN in 2023: Completely Free VPNs for the United Kingdom
A free U.K. VPN can help you access geoblocked content and secure your internet connection, but make sure you don’t pay with your privacy and security. We discuss five of the best free VPNs in this guide that you can trust.
Brits are no strangers to Big Brother, so it’s not surprising that more than 40% of the population use a VPN. However, if you’re on a budget, then you’re probably looking for the best free VPN provider. Stick with us as we list the best free U.K. VPN options that protect your online activity and offer strong security.
- A free VPN can help you acquire another country’s IP address, access geoblocked content and secure your connection for free.
- Not all free VPNs are secure and reliable, and some are even dangerous. In this guide, we talk about five of the best free VPNs for the U.K.
- Windscribe is your best bet. However, Hide.me and TunnelBear are good free VPN providers and have their own strengths.
If you’re looking for a free VPN service, we’ll help you select the best free U.K. VPN, but let’s talk about why you need one in the first place. While Freedom House categorizes the internet in the U.K. as “free,” there are still many reasons to use a VPN.
The U.K. is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, with five countries (the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand) as member countries. The countries share intelligence information collected via their surveillance technology to cooperate on security.
Regardless of these laws, your information is still prone to theft when you’re connected to a public WiFi network. You need to protect your information, especially during sensitive tasks like online banking, and that’s where a free British VPN can help.
Windscribe, Hide.me and TunnelBear have a U.K. server on their free versions. All of them are excellent choices with their own strengths and weaknesses. However, if you don’t want to spend time on research, we recommend Windscribe — it’s the best free VPN for the U.K.
You can get a U.K. IP address for free with a VPN that has a free U.K.-based server. Windscribe and TunnelBear are great VPNs that have a free server in the U.K. Just download the VPN app, launch it on your computer and connect to a U.K. server to acquire a U.K. IP address.
Yes, but most reputable free VPNs reserve at least something for premium users to incentivize them to upgrade. For example, Windscribe offers limited data. ProtonVPN offers unlimited data, but limits the number of accessible server locations.
The Top Free VPNs for the U.K.
Average speedDownload Speed93 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms$5.75 / month(save 36%)(All Plans) 3-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
$2.64 / month(save 73%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 10
$3.33 / month(save 66%)(All Plans)
- : Credit card
- : 5
$5 / month(save 66%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 5
$4.99 / month(save 37%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, Coinbase, SEPA, Discover
- : 10
What Makes the Best Free UK VPN?
A VPN that offers a good combination of features and performance typically makes the best free U.K. VPN. However, free VPNs aren’t always as secure or fast as their paid counterparts. Fortunately, the following few are exceptions to this rule and are your best bet for a free U.K. VPN:
- Windscribe — Free U.K. VPN with excellent speed, features and U.K. servers
- Hide.me — Access to almost all features on the free plan, including U.K. servers
- TunnelBear — Offers over 40 servers for free, including U.K. servers
- PrivadoVPN — Free VPN that unblocks all popular streaming services
- ProtonVPN — Great free VPN, though it lacks servers in the U.K.
We dive deeper into each of these free VPN services below. Before we do that, here are things you should be looking for when selecting from the list of free VPNs.
Security and Privacy
The most common reasons for using VPNs are security and privacy. A VPN connection is encrypted, ensuring that no one can intercept your internet traffic. However, a free VPN typically lacks in terms of security compared to a premium VPN — see our list of the most secure VPNs to find the best one.
The best free VPNs offer secure encryption protocols like OpenVPN or the new WireGuard. You should also ensure the free VPN isn’t headquartered in a country that’s a member of the Five, Nine or 14 Eyes alliances.
Ability to Unblock Streaming Services
Another common use case for a VPN is to access geoblocked streaming websites. When you access Netflix in the U.K., you’ll automatically get access to the U.K. Netflix library. However, if you want to access Netflix U.S., you’ll need to use a VPN service and connect to a U.S. server to acquire a U.S. IP address.
However, not all VPNs can get past the Netflix VPN ban. Other popular streaming sites like Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and Hulu also proactively ban VPNs.
That’s why you need a free VPN that can effectively get past geoblocks. Plus, if you’re traveling, you’ll need a VPN with U.K. servers, so you can access BBC iPlayer and other U.K. streaming platforms.
Even when you have another country’s IP address and access to geoblocked content, you won’t enjoy viewing the content if it keeps buffering. A VPN connection is typically slower, except in cases where the ISP was throttling your bandwidth.
However, the best VPNs ensure that the reduction in speed is minimal, allowing you to enjoy a buffer-free streaming experience.
Free UK Servers
Not all VPN providers offer a U.K. server on the free plan. While you won’t need to connect to a server in the U.K. for streaming geoblocked content since you’re physically located there, you might still need it to secure your connection when using services available only in the U.K.
For example, your bank may not allow a foreign IP address to access the online banking website. If you want to use your bank account online with a secure VPN connection, you’ll need to use a VPN server based in the U.K.
The 5 Best Free UK VPN Choices
We found five free U.K. VPN services that fit the bill as per the points mentioned in the previous section.
More details about Windscribe:
- Pricing: Free, $5.75 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: windscribe.com
- Fast connection speeds
- Unblocks popular streaming apps
- Excellent security
- 3-day money-back guarantee
Windscribe is the best free VPN service for the U.K. because it offers service similar to paid VPNs on its generous free plan. For example, Windscribe gets into most streaming websites like Netflix easily. It’s also one of the fastest VPNs — beating some premium VPNs like CyberGhost.
The feature set includes everything you get with a premium VPN. For example, you get a kill switch (called “firewall”) to avoid transmitting unencrypted internet traffic when the VPN connection drops abruptly.
You can also use Windscribe’s split tunneling to route internet traffic for different apps via different tunnels — where one is encrypted and the other is unencrypted for better speed.
Great Free Plan With UK Servers
The free plan offers up to 15GB of data per month once you confirm your email address and tweet about Windscribe. You can access servers across 10 countries — including a few in the U.K. — using the free plan.
Additionally, you get limited access to R.O.B.E.R.T., which is a powerful ad blocker from Windscribe. Learn more about R.O.B.E.R.T. and Windscribe in our Windscribe review.
Should you want access to more servers or more data, you can use the build-a-plan option. The flexible pricing plan has a minimum $3 per month checkout value. You can get three server locations for $1 each per month, or combine two server locations with access to R.O.B.E.R.T. and unlimited data for another $1.
To get access to all servers, you’d be better off with one of Windscribe’s pre-built plans. The best value plan costs $5.75 per month annually, but you get unlimited simultaneous connections. Also, you can try out Windscribe before you commit, using its three-day money-back guarantee or the free service.
- Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- Unlimited GB
More details about Hide.me:
- Pricing: Free, $5 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: hide.me
- Most features on free plan
- 10GB of free data per month
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix
Hide.me offers 10GB of free data, though the free version only offers servers in eight countries — Germany, Canada, France, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, U.K. and the U.S.
What Hide.me does differently than Windscribe is that it doesn’t cut off your connection after you’ve used up the free quota. You can continue using the service, but you don’t get to choose a server location.
Hide.me also offers access to more premium features on the free plan. For example, you can use the Hide.me browser extension to avoid WebRTC leaks and more encryption protocols, including SoftEtherVPN — Hide.me’s proprietary protocol. However, you don’t get WireGuard on the free version. Learn more about the VPN in our Hide.me review.
Free VPN United Kingdom: Free UK Servers
Although Hide.me could unblock UK streaming platforms, including the BBC iPlayer, it is not a good option for Netflix, Hulu or Disney Plus. However, with the British IP address via the U.K. server, you will likely be able to stream British TV with British streaming services.
Keep in mind the data limit, though, as 10GB will go fast.
Hide.me also offers inexpensive paid plans in addition to the free plan.
The best value plan is its two-year plan, costing $5 per month. However, if you’re looking for a paid VPN in the same or lower price range, Surfshark and CyberGhost might offer superior performance. If you want to test Hide.me’s paid version, you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 5 servers
- The 3-year plan comes with 3 extra months free.
- Unlimited GB
More details about TunnelBear:
- Pricing: $3.33 per month (three-year plan)
- Provider website: tunnelbear.com
- Servers in 40 countries
- Gets into sites like Netflix
- Features GhostBear
- Subpar streaming performance
TunnelBear is a beginner-friendly VPN that offers access to more free servers than almost any other VPN service. The interface is fairly straightforward, with little to no learning curve. Launch the app, select a server from the dropdown menu and that’s pretty much it.
The minimalist interface houses all the essential features like a kill switch (which goes by VigilantBear on the app) and GhostBear — a feature that hides the fact that you’re using a VPN, allowing you to access blocked content in censorship-heavy countries. You also get split tunneling (or SplitBear), though SplitBear is only available on Android and iOS devices.
The free VPN service uses OpenVPN and commits to a no-logs policy. However, free users get a meager data allowance of 500MB per month — though you can raise the cap to 1GB by tweeting about TunnelBear.
Learn more about TunnelBear’s feature set and performance in our TunnelBear review.
Access to Over 40 Servers
All of TunnelBear’sservers are available on the free plan. If you want to be able to acquire IP addresses of more countries (including the U.K.), perhaps to access geoblocked content in those countries, TunnelBear might be worth considering. Few free VPNs other than TunnelBear offer servers in countries like Latvia and Moldova.
TunnelBear’s best value plan is its three-year plan, which costs $3.33 per month. The likes of Surfshark offer more features for less money, but TunnelBear makes more sense if you like keeping things simple.
- Unlimited GB, five devices, priority customer service
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB, five devices per user, centralized billing, account manager, price per user per month
- Unlimited GB
More details about PrivadoVPN:
- Pricing: $4.99 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: privadovpn.com
- 10GB free data
- Unblocks major streaming sites
- Strict no-logs policy
- Lacks advanced features
PrivadoVPN performs surprisingly well when streaming.
It unblocks all major streaming services, including Netflix, Disney Plus and BBC iPlayer (for when you’re traveling). However, PrivadoVPN’s speeds are average at best. While it easily bypasses geoblocks, you might need to stream in standard definition for a buffer-free experience.
Excellent User Interface
The interface is another thing we like about PrivadoVPN. The detailed, easy-to-use desktop UI is reminiscent of CyberGhost’s desktop app. PrivadoVPN’s desktop app lets you sort servers in alphabetical order or by latency. PrivadoVPN’s app design, on the other hand, is similar to PIA.
It’s a docked window that closes when you click elsewhere.
PrivadoVPN isn’t the cheapest service around. The one-year plan — its best value — costs $4.99 per month. However, it does come with 10 simultaneous connections. You can also try it out using the 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Unlimited GB
5. Proton VPN
More details about Proton VPN:
- Pricing: Free, $4.99 per month (two-year plan)
- Provider website: protonvpn.com
- No data limit
- Great for unblocking streaming sites
- Easy to use
- Free users get slower servers
- No free U.K. VPN servers
- Only 3 locations on free plan
Proton VPN is one of the most secure VPNs on the market, developed by a team of scientists at CERN (famous for nearly creating a black hole in Geneva) and based in Switzerland. Get the details from our full Proton VPN review. Unfortunately, it lacks free servers in the U.K., though you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee to use it free for a month.
Besides having all the essentials, like a kill switch and split tunneling (only on Windows and Android, sadly), Proton VPN comes with a slew of advanced features. It comes with an ad and malware blocker that prevents you from accessing malicious sites, and it has multi-hop servers that route your connection through two VPN servers for extra security.
Other Free Proton Products
Before Proton VPN, its parent company was famous for creating Proton Mail — the first end-to-end encrypted email service. Proton Mail is also available free of charge. However, it comes with a few restrictions: only 1GB of storage, one email address and no more than 150 messages per day. It also comes with a free calendar app, as well as Proton Drive, which is a free cloud storage service with 1 GB of storage.
Proton VPN is a top-tier free VPN that has a paid plan as well. Paying users get access to the U.K. server location (and the whole 60-server list), 10 simultaneous connections and special features. Plus costs $9.99 per month, $5.99 per month ($71.88 total) for a year, or $4.99 per month ($119.75) for two years.
You can also get the Proton Unlimited bundle, which comes with extra Proton Drive storage and no limits to Proton Mail use. Proton unlimited costs $11.99 for one month, $9.99 per month for a yearly subscription ($119.88 total), or two years for $7.99 per month ($191.76 total).
- Unlimited GB
How to Get a UK IP Address Free
You can get a U.K. IP address for free using a free VPN (virtual private network) that offers a free U.K. server. You can choose one of the best free VPNs listed in this guide to acquire a U.K. IP address.
For example, say you select Windscribe. You download the app, install and launch it on your computer, connect to a U.K. server and that’s it — you’ll have a U.K. IP address.
Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs vs Proxies
Proxies and VPNs are different things. A proxy can spoof your location by hiding your real IP address, but it doesn’t encrypt your connection. Proxies are insecure, and that’s why you should use a VPN.
Why Do I Need a UK VPN?
While the U.K.’s internet isn’t nearly as restricted as countries like China, online privacy is still a concern for U.K. internet users. For example, FreedomHouse cites a March 2021 report that reveals that the Scottish government ordered two internet service providers (ISPs) to install surveillance technology for recording users’ web history in 2019.
VPNs can help you regardless of other factors, though. For example, you can secure your connection with a VPN when you’re using online banking services or downloading content via a torrent. They’re also helpful when you want to access content that’s geoblocked in the U.K., such as Netflix U.S.
What Are the Risks of Using a Free VPN in the United Kingdom?
Most free VPNs are insecure, unreliable and slow. In most cases, they do more harm than good (read our worst VPNs list to learn more about how free VPNs can be bad news).
However, a few services like Windscribe and TunnelBear are exceptions to the rule. These services also offer paid plans, and the free version is typically aimed at encouraging users to upgrade to take advantage of premium features. If you’re looking for a free VPN, stick to the reliable ones instead of a random service you find on Google.
Final Thoughts: Free VPN for UK
Windscribe is your best bet when looking for a free VPN for the U.K.. It offers a broad feature set and a flexible pricing option if you decide to upgrade later. TunnelBear is great if you want something no-fuss or access to more server locations.
Have you used any of the services in this list in the U.K.? How was your experience? Do you use a VPN when on U.K. public WiFi? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.