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Secure VPNs: 2022's Best

Top Picks

Most flexible for frequent travellers

ExpressVPN Logo
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ExpressVPN has an impressive array of privacy-centric features and functionality, and it features more server options than much of the wider market. People on the move will find a lot to like here, but some might be put off by the pricing.

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Most secure premium VPN

NordVPN Logo
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NordVPN is one of the most robust digital privacy suites available today, with over 440 server options in London alone. For a slightly higher fee relative to the market, this is one of the most feature-complete options for privacy-minded UK users.

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Most robust privacy settings

Proton VPN Logo
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ProtonVPN has an excellent reputation as one of the best VPNs in the UK for privacy-centric users. There are 11 “basic” UK servers and 15 “plus” options to choose from, making it a compelling option for a VPN in 2022.

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VPN security is a topic that has become increasingly important over the past several years. Dozens of high-profile digital privacy cases have involved VPNs recently, and navigating the various features of popular VPNs can feel like a confusing prospect.

VPNExpressVPNNordVPNSurfsharkCyberGhostProtonVPN
Simultaneous Connections56Unlimited710
500+ Server OptionsYesYesNoNoYes
Server Locations160+ Countries60+ Countries100+ Countries91+ Countries60+ Countries
Free VersionNoNoNoNoYes
Ad-blockingNoYesYesYesYes

VPN security factors to consider

VPN security is often a difficult thing to evaluate when comparing between providers. We’ve taken an exhaustive approach to the issue and distilled it down to five essential elements to consider when choosing the most secure VPN in the UK.

It is vital to consider where the VPN parent company is based when evaluating how secure it is, as the local legislative situation will have a tangible impact on how the service itself is structured.

Encryption Protocols

Encryption Protocols refer to the systems in place to ensure that data transferred through a given VPN remains anonymised and unreadable by outside entities. Essentially, encryption works by taking regular data (“plaintext”) and turning it into “ciphertext,” a random assortment of alphanumeric characters.

No-log policy

An important and well-advertised component in most VPN service privacy policies today is what is commonly known as a “no-log” policy. This means that none of your online activities will be recorded by the company, so there is nothing to retrieve if a third party (like a government) comes knocking.

Server Architecture

Every VPN handles server configuration, optimisation and maintenance slightly differently, though some common threads emerge. The most secure VPN services now eliminate hard drive-based servers altogether for instance, opting instead to run entirely on random access memory, or RAM for short.

Also essential is the inclusion of a built-in network killswitch, which can instantly sever your connection if the VPN service is disrupted for any reason.

Company History

Historical precedents can tell you a great deal about a VPN provider. This is often overlooked by those researching VPN’s, but seeing how a service has behaved in the past when put in a position of potentially exposing customer data can help you determine whether or not to trust that service.

VPN Security Limitations

No matter how well-equipped a VPN service may be, there are still some practical limitations to be aware of. Although they can help you remain anonymous when browsing the web, advertisers and state actors have a wide variety of tools in use to track you and monitor your online habits, including things like browser fingerprinting and cookies.

DNS protection is also a component of many VPN services. Phishing scams and others can utilise DNS requests to snoop on your activities, and DNS resolution features attempt to provide a layer of security on top of things like Secure DNS.

Above and beyond VPNs, you can take advantage of dedicated security and anti-tracking features found in many web browsers, operating systems, and dedicated on-device security software solutions. VPNs aren’t a replacement for good digital security practices, such as using a password manager, multi-factor authentication, and antivirus solutions.

What is the best VPN option for privacy in the UK?

When it comes to the UK, finding a VPN with a solid number of local servers is key. Additionally, privacy-minded users will want to look for features such as multihop servers, Tor support, DNS protection, and a robust no-log policy. If you are seeing a VPN on this page, it is because it includes many of these features alongside a wide variety of UK servers.

Using a VPN to unblock content

One of the most common uses for VPNs today is to access region-blocked streaming content that isn’t available in your current country. As a general notice, this can sometimes be a violation of certain streaming platform terms of service, so keep this in mind.

Services like BBC’s iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, and others have a variety of content restrictions in place based on region. Not every VPN will be capable of unblocking every service, so be sure to keep this in mind.

UK Internet Privacy Concerns

The United Kingdom has a significant surveillance capability, much like the United States. Because of this, there is an argument to be made about using a VPN even when you live in the UK. The government has attempted to limit access to certain types of content in the past, making it all the more reasonable to turn to a VPN.

A word of caution to users in restrictive countries

As a general rule, CrimeRate does not make any specific recommendations about VPNs for bypassing government censorship or monitoring. The reason for this is simple; the real-world stakes can be incredibly high, and it isn’t a risk we are willing to take. Always use your best judgement if you are in one of these areas and wish to use a VPN online.