Are VPNs legal in the UK? Many UK residents and citizens seem to wonder about the legality VPNs. In general, VPNs are completely legal tools that you can use to ensure that your connection is secure and private. However, many Brits also use VPN to access geo-blocked sites and apps. So, are they legal and safe to use in the UK? Read on to find out.
Are VPNs Legal in the UK?
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice on any subject matter. You should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
Are VPNs Legal in the UK?
Yes, VPNs are completely legal in the UK. There are literally no rules or regulations that explicitly ban the use of VPNs in the United Kingdom.
I do get why you’d ask, though. The UK has some seriously scary laws that allow British police and intelligence agencies unprecedented access to your online activity and information. Because of those laws, many people don’t really know if they can legally use tools that stop that monitoring.
The truth of the matter is, however, that using a VPN is legal. Do not, however, confuse this with the legal use of a VPN. You can use VPNs to protect yourself online and access geo-blocked sites. However, you cannot use VPNs for illegal activities online.
What is a VPN?
Let me explain what a VPN is/does so you can understand why its legal to use.
First off, VPNs are cybersecurity tools. They have two basic functions that work together to secure your data and make sure your connection is private:
- Encrypting all of your data.
- Re-routing all of your traffic through their own secure servers.
Now, the second function allows VPN users to bypass geo-blocked sites, too. How? Well, when your traffic gets re-routed, your public IP address also changes. Websites and apps use IP bans to restrict access to their services based on location. Because you can select the VPN server you connect to, you can basically choose the public IP address you end up getting. This happens because your new IP address will reflect the location of the server you’re connected to.
So, while VPNs do give you an added ability to access geo-blocked content as well as sites banned by British ISPs, that’s not their primary function. There is nothing in a VPN’s functionality that is, by nature, illegal.
I do want to point out, again, that using a VPN to perform illegal activities is not acceptable, and is in no way supported by the member of the VPN Guru. As long as you’re using your VPN for legal purposes, then the VPN is legal in the UK.
What is a VPN Used for in the UK?
There are many reasons why you’d use a VPN in the UK, but here are the most popular ones:
- Gain access to geo-restricted content. Many VPN users in the UK enjoy benefiting from a VPN’s ability to spoof your IP. This way, they can access websites and apps that are geo-blocked in the UK.
- Stop third-parties from monitoring your connection. A VPN tunnels your traffic when it re-routes it. This makes it almost impossible for a third-party to monitor what you’re doing online, even if it’s your ISP.
- Protect your data at all times. When a VPN is active, it encrypts all of your data. This makes it difficult for hackers to gain access to your information, even if they’ve employed malicious means to get it.
- Mask an IP address. Changing your IP address doesn’t only give you access to geo-blocked content. It also helps you stay anonymous while online.
- Game better. VPNs can protect online gamers from the ever-present threat of a DDoS attack. Top-tier VPNs can also improve your server connection and decrease lag in-game.
Best VPNs for the UK
Our VPN expert, Charles, has already written a detailed review of the best VPNs for the UK. Here’s a quick summary of his top choice:
Charles picked ExpressVPN as his top choice for VPNs in the UK. It offers its users 2000+ servers in over 94 countries, military-grade encryptions and the latest VPN protocols, a free Smart DNS feature, a 5-star customer support team, and a 30-day money back guarantee. In other words, you can benefit from the guarantee and test out their service for a whole month before you decide to genuinely commit to it.
If you still feel like ExpressVPN isn’t your cup of tea, try out one of these top-tier providers instead:
Are VPNs Legal in the UK – Final Thoughts
Listen, I get it. VPNs are powerful enough to block out any kind of ISP or governmental monitoring, to the question of their legality is important. Rest assured that as long as you use your VPN connection for its legal and intended purposes, you’re 100% within your rights to do so. If you abuse a VPN’s features for illegal activities, though, then you run the risk of some serious rectifications.