A British IP address is the only thing separating us from watching top shows like The Great British Baking Show, Peaky Blinders and Luther. There are other reasons why you might need a United Kingdom IP address, too, which we’ll get into in a minute. What you really want to know, though, is how to get a UK IP address, and we’ll show you how to do that in this article.
There are multiple streaming opportunities in the UK, including news channels, Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer and UK sports like Premier League football. You might also need a British IP address to access a UK bank account. Although there are a couple of ways you can change your IP address, the safest and most reliable way to do it is with a reliable virtual private network (VPN).
- With a UK IP address, you can watch British content like Netflix UK, as well as access UK services and websites, such as your bank account.
- The most reliable and safest way of connecting with a British IP is through a VPN service — just make sure you use a reputable one, such as ExpressVPN.
- The VPN needs to have UK servers; otherwise, you won’t be able to get an IP address in the United Kingdom.
It doesn’t matter what your physical location is, you just need to connect to a UK VPN server, and the VPN will assign you a UK IP address. In this article, we’ll show you the steps on how to get a British IP address and which VPN providers are up to the task. For a quick answer, though, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for all of your UK binge-watching desires.
When you connect to the internet, you’re assigned an IP address. That tells the websites and services that you connect to where you are, as well as some other information. A UK IP comes from a server based in the UK, so by connecting with one, you’ll appear to be in the UK when you access websites and services.
Simply subscribe to a VPN service, such as ExpressVPN, and connect to a UK server. Once connected, a United Kingdom IP address will mask your real IP address, allowing you to surf or watch content as if you’re physically in the country.
While you can get a free UK VPN, you should make sure that you only do so with a trusted VPN provider. Many free VPNs are not secure and don’t honor your privacy. Windscribe is a reputable VPN service that has a decent free plan with UK servers. Plus, plenty of other VPNs offer a free trial period and money-back guarantees, so you can make sure you like them.
No, it is not illegal to use a VPN to get a UK IP address. Keep in mind, though, that using a VPN with a streaming service to access another country’s content may be against the service’s terms. If you’re caught, your account could be terminated — though that’s unlikely.
Step by Step: How to Get a UK IP Address
- Sign Up With a VPN Service Provider
First, sign up for a VPN service, such as ExpressVPN, and download the app for your device.
- Launch the VPN App and Sign In
Open the VPN app and sign in. With ExpressVPN, you’ll need to enter the activation code you received. It’s a good idea to clear your cookies before you connect so that there’s no information stored regarding your true location — especially if you plan on accessing Netflix UK.
- Find a UK Server and Connect to It
Find a server based in the United Kingdom — there will generally be an in-app search function that will help you find one. Connect to the UK server and access British content.
What to Look for in the Best UK VPN?
The most important feature for a UK-compatible VPN is for it to have servers based in the UK. Without that, you can’t get UK IP addresses and won’t be able to access British content or websites. All of the services below have servers in the UK.
- ExpressVPN — Fastest speeds, best for streaming, secure, four UK server locations
- NordVPN — More than 400 UK servers, fast, secure, unlimited data, inexpensive
- Windscribe — Best free VPN for the UK, limited plan with two UK server locations, good speeds
- Surfshark — Inexpensive, unlimited devices, three UK server locations, average speeds
- ProtonVPN — Up to 36 UK servers with the paid plan, inexpensive, can be slow
There are a few features that can be important when choosing a VPN service, depending on your use case. For instance, if you plan on streaming, you should make sure the VPN can get into the desired streaming service, such as BBC iPlayer, and is capable of getting past the Netflix proxy error code. The VPN should also have fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth.
If you need to access your bank account or other sensitive information, you need a VPN that has strong security. We also recommend a no-logs policy so that your internet activities are kept private.
The Best VPNs to Get a British IP Address
In this section, we’ll recommend the top five VPNs for getting UK IP addresses, starting with our best VPN for the UK, ExpressVPN.
- Fastest speeds
- Gets into all streaming services easily
- Servers in four UK locations
ExpressVPN is the top VPN in many of our articles, and for good reason. It provides a top-quality service that stands up to even the most demanding tasks. ExpressVPN has a huge server network, including servers in four UK locations. It’s also our best VPN for streaming because it can get into pretty much any streaming service, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.
It comes with unlimited bandwidth and has the fastest VPN speeds around. Plus, ExpressVPN provides a reliable and strong connection and keeps your data safe behind a military-grade encryption protocol — AES 256-bit being the default standard. Our ExpressVPN review goes into more detail.
ExpressVPN’s pricing is expensive, though, which is a downside. However, if you skip the monthly plan and go straight for its 12-month plan, you can save some money. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in place in case you change your mind.
- More than 400 UK servers
- Accesses all streaming platforms
- Mostly fast speeds
- Slow on some servers
Leading the way in online privacy and security, NordVPN lets you get UK IP addresses without fuss. In terms of the sheer number of servers offered, NordVPN surpasses ExpressVPN but doesn’t cover as many countries. That said, NordVPN has more than 400 UK servers available, giving you plenty of options.
NordVPN is mostly fast, but as you can read in our NordVPN review, some of its servers are slow. So, if you connect to a slow server, just try another one. Plus, NordVPN can get into all streaming services easily and has no bandwidth limit. It’s also one of the safest VPNs to use, protecting you with AES 256-bit encryption and holding a strict no-logs policy.
Price-wise, NordVPN is inexpensive and gives you plenty for your money, especially if you choose a long-term subscription. It also comes with a reliable 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
- Excellent free plan & cheap build-a-plan option
- Dedicated streaming servers
- Up to five UK server locations
- Can be slow
- Three-day refund period
Windscribe is the best free VPN for getting a British IP address. It has a decent free plan that includes two UK servers in London — the paid plan includes an additional three UK locations.
Windscribe comes in three flavors: the paid plan, free plan and build-a-plan. With the paid plan, you get access to all of Windscribe’s servers and features, whereas the free plan is limited. The build-a-plan option is inexpensive, with VPN servers costing $1 each per month, and you can add unlimited bandwidth for $1 per month, too. You can ask for a refund within three days if you don’t like it.
- Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- Unlimited GB
- Three UK server locations
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Easy to use
- Slower speeds
- May need to try several servers to unblock streaming platforms
Surfshark is a decent VPN, though some of its features don’t match the quality of our top picks. It has servers in three UK locations and can access all major streaming platforms. That said, its speeds aren’t great, and you may have to switch servers a few times before you find one that works. It’s still a decent pick, though, and you can connect an unlimited number of devices at once.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, meaning it enjoys the region’s lax data retention laws. It comes with great security and will protect your privacy. So, with apps offered for every platform, this is an affordable option for a casual user who values online security and privacy. You can read more in our Surfshark review.
Surfshark is a decent VPN that will easily get you a UK IP address, but it isn’t the best option for streaming. However, its two-year plan is super cheap and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker.
- Unlimited GB
- Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias
- Unlimited GB
- Everything in One, plus Data removal
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited bandwidth on all plans
- Up to 36 UK servers available
- Accesses all major streaming platforms
- Slow speeds
- No UK servers included on the free plan
- Money-back guarantee may result in a partial refund
ProtonVPN has a great free plan, but it’s no good for obtaining a UK IP address. You can only access its 36 UK servers on the paid plans. Still, the features that come with a paid subscription make it worth the cost.
Aside from its great security and privacy, in general, ProtonVPN comes with many security features. That includes its secure core servers, which provide a double-hop connection for twice the encryption. Plus, it can get into all streaming services, and all of its plans include unlimited bandwidth. However, a downside is that ProtonVPN’s speeds are pretty slow. You can read our ProtonVPN review for more details.
ProtonVPN is inexpensive, though its paid plans aren’t the cheapest on the market. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, but its terms are a little different from other providers: the remaining unused period of your chosen plan determines your refund amount.
How to Safely Get a UK IP Address for Free
There are many free VPNs on the market, but you should avoid most of them — we’ll talk about the reasons for that in the next section. ProtonVPN and Windscribe are two of a few decent VPN services that offer a free plan. However, like many other free VPNs, ProtonVPN’s free plan doesn’t include servers in the UK.
Windscribe is an exception in the world of free VPNs, though. It’s a secure VPN, and its free plan includes UK-based servers. Yes, Windscribe has a bandwidth limit, but it’s your best chance at obtaining an IP for free in the United Kingdom and staying safe online, too.
Why You Should Avoid Most Free VPNs
Many free VPNs available can do more harm than good — check out our piece on the worst free VPN services out there. For example, the VPN provider might sell your data or could partake in other types of equally seedy behavior.
Some may invite malware or tracking software onto your computer, stealing resources and redirecting them to meet other ends. Your computer can be effectively taken over in a larger network of ne’er-do-wells, doing its evil bidding often without you even knowing it.
On top of that, some free VPNs are prone to leaks, meaning your true location and identity is available for anyone to see. Worse still, the VPN may make false claims about its security and not secure your connection at all. Then there’s the issue of logs: some VPNs do keep a log of your online activities.
If you’re totally strapped for cash and need a free VPN, make sure you use a reputable one like Windscribe.
Why You Should Avoid Most Proxies
While proxies can change your IP address and get around geoblocks, they do not anonymize your digital paper trail. Streaming services, as well as your internet service provider (ISP) and other potential eavesdroppers, will recognize your connection as being somewhere other than where you actually are, while your true location is traceable easily from the source.
We do not endorse lawbreaking, but if you’re in a high-risk country where using certain web services is a punishable offense, we don’t recommend using proxy servers. They aren’t totally secure, and you run the risk of getting caught. A virtual private network is the most secure way of getting a British IP address — read our VPN vs proxy vs Tor guide for more information.
Now you know how to get a British IP address and that using a VPN is by far the most reliable and secure way of getting one. Once you’re connected, you can access UK TV shows and movies as if you’re actually there. Plus, a VPN will keep you safe if you need to access a UK bank account.
ExpressVPN is the best contender here, and with good reason. It’s at the top of the heap for the quality service that it provides and offers a guaranteed net of safety that will allow you to browse and stream with confidence from anywhere in the world. You can also access Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming platforms easily. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
Have you used a VPN to get a British IP address? If so, which VPN did you use? Did you have any issues with accessing UK streaming content and websites? Let us know in the comments section and, as always, thank you for reading.