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A virtual private network (VPN) provides excellent online privacy and digital security by hiding your true IP address to keep your online identity anonymous, encrypting your internet traffic and securing your connection. It also enables you to choose another IP address and location from a VPN servers list, bypass geo-restrictions, and access content that may be blocked in your country.
This makes it possible for someone to use a VPN to make it look like they're located at any of the British addresses in the United Kingdom and access U.K.-only content that’s currently unavailable.
Continue reading to learn more about using a VPN to get a U.K. IP address.
Alternative ways to get a UK IP address
Best VPNs for UK IP addresses
Reasons to use a UK IP address
UK IP address FAQs
Get a VPN
Follow these step-by-step instructions to get a VPN and use it to obtain a U.K. IP address:
- Choose a reputable VPN service provider that offers servers in the U.K.. Various VPN service providers are available, making it easy to find one that meets your needs and budget.
- Download and install the VPN software on your computer or mobile device. Most VPN service providers have apps available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
- Open the VPN software and sign in with your account information.
- Connect to a server located in the U.K. The VPN software should display a list of servers, and you can select one located in a U.K. city like London.
- Your device will appear to have a British IP address once connected, enabling you to access U.K.-only content.
- If you want to disconnect from the VPN, simply click on the disconnect button in your VPN software. Repeat steps 3 through 6 as necessary.
For more security, you may want to consider a VPN that offers dynamic IP addresses. These are IP addresses that change constantly, rather than a static IP address that remains the same.
Learn more about the differences between static IP addresses and dynamic IP addresses.
Alternative ways to get a UK IP address
A VPN is likely your best bet for getting a UK IP address — most are easy to set up and also offer additional security. But if you're looking for alternate ways to get a UK IP address, these solutions could help:
Use the Tor Browser
Like a VPN, The Onion Router (or Tor, for short) conceals your IP address and location, encrypts your internet traffic, and lets you bypass internet censorship to access blocked websites. It does this by routing internet traffic through a network of volunteer-run servers called the Tor network.
You can use the Tor Browser as an alternative to a VPN to obtain a U.K. IP address and browse the internet or dark web anonymously. Most VPN subscriptions cost money, but free U.K. VPN services are available. Tor is free and open-source software, but it is slower and less secure than a VPN.
Here’s how to use the Tor Browser for a U.K. IP address:
- Download the Tor Browser. Go to torproject.org to install it.
- Launch the Tor Browser and begin browsing.
- Configure the browser to use an entry node in the U.K. to access the internet with a U.K. IP address. The entry node is where network traffic enters the Tor network.
Use a proxy server
A proxy server is a computer or software system that acts as an intermediary between a user's device and the internet. It receives requests from the user's device, forwards them to the internet, and sends the responses back to the user's device. Users can utilize a proxy server to improve online security, increase browsing speed, and bypass geographical restrictions. It isn’t as secure as a VPN, and using it for illegal activities is not permitted.
Follow these three steps to use a proxy server to obtain a U.K. IP address:
- Find a proxy server located in the U.K. Many websites and online tools provide lists of proxy servers, or you can search for "U.K. proxy server" on a search engine.
- Once you have found a proxy server, configure your device's network settings to use the proxy server. This process may vary depending on your device and operating system.
- Once connected, your device will appear to have a U.K. IP address and you can access content that is restricted to the U.K.
Best VPNs for UK IP addresses
When choosing a VPN to use a U.K. IP address, ensure that the VPN service has servers in the U.K. This will let you connect to a U.K. IP address and access U.K.-only content. Ensure it has a strict no-logs policy and uses strong encryption like AES-256 to protect your data and maintain your online privacy and digital security. Other factors to consider include speed, unlimited bandwidth, device compatibility, and cost.
Here are some recommended VPNs to consider:
- ExpressVPN: Offers fast speeds and successfully unblocks Netflix U.K.
- NordVPN: One of our top-recommended VPN providers, Nord also offers anti-malware and security features with some of its plans.
- Surfshark: Another speedy U.K. VPN, Surfshark lets you have an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
- CyberGhost: You may need to swap CyberGhost servers to successfully get a United Kingdom IP address and unblock Netflix, but this is a budget-friendly VPN solution.
- Private Internet Access: One of the cheapest VPNs available, PIA successfully hid our real IP address so we could watch Netflix U.K.
Please note that recommendations are based on our expert testing, but you should always do your own research and read reviews before choosing a VPN service.
Reasons to use a UK IP address
There are several benefits to using a U.K. IP address, including:
- Browse the web anonymously
- Bypass censorship
- Access websites and content that are only available in the U.K.
- Conceal your IP address and location
For example, let’s say you live outside the U.K. and want to watch a TV show on Netflix that’s only available in the U.K.. You can use a VPN with a U.K. IP address to access a geo-restricted TV show on Netflix or another streaming service.
On the contrary, here are some downsides of using a U.K. IP address:
- Net neutrality: The U.K. is part of the Five Eyes Alliance, a group of countries that have agreed to share intelligence and work together to monitor internet activities. This could put your online privacy and security at risk, and may be at odds with your principles of net neutrality.
- Legal issues: You may be breaking the law if you use a U.K. IP address to access restricted content in your country. Additionally, you may be committing copyright infringement if you use a U.K. IP address to access copyrighted content.
- Speed: Routing your internet traffic through a U.K. server may slow down your browsing speed, depending on your VPN service.
Consider your needs and goals before deciding whether to use a U.K. IP address. Also, be aware of the risks and legal implications of using one.
UK IP address FAQs
What is a UK IP address?
An IP address uses the internet protocol (IP). It is a number given to every device connected to the internet. This number is used to find the device on a network, send internet traffic to it, and restrict or provide access to certain content based on the location. It is composed of four numbers separated by periods, such as "192.168.1.1."
An IP address that starts with "2," "5,” or "46" is assigned to the U.K.. An example of a U.K. IP address is "220.127.116.11" or "18.104.22.168." A U.K. IP address makes the device appear like it’s located in the U.K..
Which streaming platforms can I use with a VPN?
You can use a VPN with many popular streaming platforms, including:
- Amazon Prime Video
- BBC iPlayer
- HBO Max
Be aware that streaming platforms may block VPNs to enforce geo-restrictions. Policies can also change over time, including content availability by region.
Can I use a free VPN to get a UK IP address?
You can use a free VPN to get a U.K. IP address, but you’ll need to start with a few crucial considerations related to speed and reliability, data limits, security, and privacy. You must also consider the presence of tracking ads and the lack of customer support. Furthermore, a paid VPN service may offer a free trial or money-back guarantee.
If you’re interested in using a free VPN, read our recommendations on the top 5 best free VPNs.
Are VPNs legal in the UK?
VPNs are legal in the U.K., and their use is not generally restricted. However, you must consider some pertinent things when using a VPN in the U.K..
- Internet censorship: You can use VPNs to bypass internet censorship and access blocked websites. However, accessing infringing content or engaging in criminal activities is not permitted.
- Copyright infringement: Using a VPN to access copyrighted material without permission is against the law in the U.K. and may result in legal action against you.
- Security and privacy: While you can use VPNs to improve online security and privacy, it’s important to choose a reputable VPN service and know the potential risks associated with using a VPN.
- Data retention laws: The U.K. has laws requiring certain types of data to be retained for a certain period, which some VPN services may not respect. Please check the data retention policy of the VPN service you choose.
Even though VPNs are legal in the U.K., you must use caution and avoid using them to conduct illegal activities.
If you live outside the U.K. but want to access websites and content that’s only available in the U.K. or appear as though you are in the U.K. for privacy reasons, you can do so by using a VPN service, the Tor Browser, or a proxy server that lets you use a U.K. IP address. Keep in mind that the Tor Browser or a proxy server may be slower or less secure than a VPN.
You must consider several factors when choosing a VPN, such as server locations, privacy and security, speed, and price. Also, consider why you may not want to use a VPN, such as net neutrality, the Five Eyes Alliance, and potential legal issues.
Lastly, research your options to make an informed decision. Choose a VPN service with a good reputation that will protect your privacy and security. Also, be aware of the possible risks of using a VPN, including the legalities surrounding it. The same applies to the Tor Browser or a proxy server.
For further reading, check out our guide on how to set up a VPN.
- High-quality VPN offering safety and speed
- Loads of servers for multiple connection options
- Works with popular streaming services, including Netflix
- Too many confusing plans