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What can you use a UK VPN for?

What can you use a UK VPN for?
(Image credit: Maridav/Shutterstock)

From streaming geographically restricted content to avoiding government surveillance, a UK VPN can serve a lot of purposes. It used to be that only the most tech-savvy of people knew about VPNs, but not anymore.

With the introduction of unfair surveillance laws and the increased popularity of streaming services, more and more people are getting in on the best VPN. What can a VPN do for you in the UK? Let’s find out!

  • Setup a VPN for any device with our simple, comprehensive guide

Streaming your favorite shows

Did you know that streaming networks like Netflix and BBC iPlayer restrict the TV shows you can watch based on your location? Due to licensing restrictions imposed by individual programs and national governments, some shows may be unavailable to you if you live in the UK. Similarly, those travelling abroad from the UK may find that they can no longer watch their favorite TV from other countries.

Luckily, there’s a solution. With a Netflix VPN, you can fake your true location on streaming websites, allowing you to do things like watch Netflix US from the UK and BBC iPlayer from India.

Boosting your online privacy

With the introduction of the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016, UK government agencies can now compel your internet provider to reveal things like your browsing history and current location. ISPs can also use this information for more nefarious purposes, such as selling your confidential information to paying advertisers.

By using a secure VPN, you can reroute your internet connection through a private server to throw off any agency or provider that tries to track you. Government organizations will have a much harder time getting a hold of your online activities if you use a VPN.

Avoiding trackers from third-party websites

Tech companies like Google and Facebook use trackers to record your activity online. They then use this tracked data to optimize their algorithms, enabling them to show targeted ads to users.

You’ve probably noticed how reading about something like baby showers immediately floods you with advertisements of baby care products, and it persists even when you’ve moved on and are browsing for something else. Trackers are the reason why this happens. To eliminate trackers and prevent websites from spying on your online activities, there’s no tool like a VPN.

Encrypting public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is a cybersecurity disaster waiting to happen. Once you’re connected to the network, third-party hackers can listen in on your keystrokes or record your browsing history, allowing them to steal everything from credit card details to login credentials.

If you’ve ever used a coffee shop’s internet connection to access your business email, there’s a chance that you have already been compromised. Thankfully, VPN services can be used to encrypt such connections, essentially creating a private tunnel within the public network to securely redirect all your online activity.

Downloading torrent files

Torrenting allows internet users to download files from peer-to-peer networks instead of relying on a single server. The technology is often abused for piracy, but users can also use torrents for perfectly legal reasons like downloading open-source software.

 

Unfortunately, torrenting is not very safe. Torrent trackers can collect a wealth of data on you if you aren’t careful, which is why you need a torrenting VPN. VPN services allow you to anonymize your identity when downloading torrent files, making the process a lot safer.

Which VPN do we recommend for users in the UK?

Tom’s Guide readers can claim three months absolutely free

ExpressVPN stands out from the competition in terms of price, features, and value. With servers in nearly 100 countries, excellent censor-evading power, blazing connection speeds, and reliable access to multiple streaming services, ExpressVPN has everything that one would need from a VPN in the UK. 

While some users may prefer certain features of other top VPNs, it’s the best overall option for most users – and now Tom’s Guide readers can claim three months absolutely free.

Ritoban Mukherjee

Ritoban Mukherjee is a freelance journalist from West Bengal, India. His work has been published on Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Creative Bloq, IT Pro Portal, Gizmodo, Medium, and Mental Floss. Ritoban is also a member of the National Association of Science Writers.