If you’re a British expat or if you like to watch British TV content, then you are likely to be in need of a British IP address. An IP address is assigned to your device when you go online and contains information about your current location. This IP address is then used to determine which content you will be able to access online.
Most sites allow anyone to access them, although they may have localised versions like amazon.co.uk instead of amazon.com. But some others sites have what is called region locking. This means that you can only access the content if you are looking at the site from a particular country. The site will read your IP address and will only serve you the content if you are accessing it from an allowed location.
This happens with sites like the BBC iPlayer or Channel 4. You can use these sites to watch British TV shows for free, but the videos only play if you access them using a British IP address. This is why users who live outside the UK might want a British IP address, so that they can still access the content they want to watch. In this article we’ll explain how this process works then recommend you methods for how to get a UK IP address from anywhere.
What Is An IP Address?
An IP address stands for Internet Protocol and refers to a unique string of numbers which is assigned to your device whenever you connect to a network. The IP address allows data from the websites you visit to be sent to your device in particular, and not any other device on the network. So when you type google.com into your phone’s web browser, the Google home page data will be sent to your phone and not your tablet or your neighbour’s computer. An IP address is like a mailing address for your device.
Your IP address is assigned to you by the network that you join, and the address contains information about your geographic location. This is because there are specific ranges of numbers which are assigned to particular countries. For example, any IP address in the range 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52 is in the UK.
This means that when you visit a site, the site can read your IP address and work out where you are located. This is often used for helpful reasons like providing the website in your local language, or redirecting you to a local version of the site. When you are based in the UK and visit google.com, for example, you’ll be redirected to google.co.uk so you can get more relevant search results. But this location data can also be used to restrict your access to some sites. If you visit the BBC iPlayer site from outside of the UK and try to watch a video, you’ll see an error message and you won’t be able to play the video.
How To Get A UK IP Address Using a VPN
If you want to watch British content and access the British version of websites from outside of the UK, then you need a VPN. This is a piece of software which you install onto your device and which encrypts all of the data that your device sends over the internet. This encrypted data is sent to a server which is run by your VPN provider, where it is decrypted and sent on its way. This improves your security as it stops other people from viewing or intercepting your web traffic.
This process also allows you to get an IP address from another country. Your VPN will have a list of servers available in different locations, and you can choose which server to connect to. When you connect to a server in another country, all of your data is routed via this server. This means that it appears as if you are browsing from the server location instead of your actual location.
If you have a VPN provider who offers servers in the UK, you can connect to one of these servers from anywhere in the world and you’ll be assigned a UK IP address. Then you can access British versions of websites and watch content on sites like BBC iPlayer or Channel 4.
More Reasons To Use A VPN
In addition to getting you a UK IP address, there are other reasons to use a VPN too
- Improve your online security. A VPN encrypts your data so that it can’t be intercepted by others, making you less vulnerable to hacking – especially on public wifi networks like those you find in coffee shops or airports. Using a VPN also makes you less vulnerable to phishing and other related scams.
- Hide your real IP address. When you go online, it’s easy for others to see your IP address. If someone can see your real IP address, they can perform cyber attacks like DDoS attacks on you. Using a VPN hides your real IP address so that it can’t be targeted by attacks.
- Download in safety. If you like to download files, especially if you like to use torrents, then you’ll know that there is a risk you’ll be prosecuted for copyright infringement. Using a VPN means hat all of your data is encrypted, so no one can see what you’re doing online or whether you’re downloading files – not even the police or your ISP.
- Protect your privacy. With all the revelations recently about government surveillance of online activities, it’s wise for everyone to take steps to keep their data private. Using a VPN will make it impossible for the government to see your online activities or to read messages that you send via IM or email.
How To Choose A VPN Provider
There are lots of different VPNs out there, so you should look carefully at their features before choosing one. You should especially stay away from free VPN services which can actually make you less safe. Instead, you should choose a reputable and trustworthy VPN service that has all of the features that you need.
Here are the key factors that we consider when recommending a VPN provider:
- Many servers in different countries, including the UK, so that you can easily get a UK IP address and access any British sites that you want.
- Fast connections, so that you don’t have to put up with slow internet or downloads that take forever.
- Excellent security to keep you safe, including the use of strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to protect your privacy.
- Software available for multiple platforms, so that you can protect all of your different devices using just one VPN subscription.
Our Recommended VPNs To Get A UK IP Address
We have trustworthy, reliable VPNs that we can recommend to you so that you can get a UK IP address:
ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted names in VPNs, thanks to its combination of fast connections, good security, and easy to use software. The number of servers available for users to connect to is massive, covering more than 1500 servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries. This includes a total of 7 servers at 6 locations in the UK, so you’ll have plenty of options to get a UK IP address and access all the content you want. See a full list of ExpressVPN’s servers at https://www.expressvpn.com/vpn-server
As you would expect from a reputable VPN company, the security offered is excellent. The security features include the use of strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy so you can be sure that your data will remain safe and private. Other security features include options for a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and an IP address checker. The connections available are lightning fast, so your VPN won’t slow down your browsing. The software can be installed on a range of platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android among others, and there are also browser extensions available for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.
Read our full ExpressVPN review here.
IPVanish is a super fast VPN that is perfect for users who want to browse quickly and download large files fast. The network of servers available is large, offering more than 1000 servers in 60 different countries. This includes a massive 85 servers at 5 locations in the UK, including many servers in London. This makes it dead easy to get a UK IP address and to find a super fast server. See the full list of servers available from IPVanish at https://www.ipvanish.com/servers/
The security features are strong, including the essential 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. Even better, within the software you’ll find advanced features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, periodic IP address so that your IP address changes regularly, and DNS configuration. The software is available for devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
Read our full IPVanish review here.
CyberGhost is a great choice for users who are new to the world of VPNs and are looking for simple, easy to use software. The clear graphical interface of the software gives you access to an impressive network of 1300 servers in 59 countries, including a bountiful 141 servers at 2 locations in the UK. So you’ll get your UK IP address through a friendly interface with no technical knowledge required. See the full list of CyberGhost servers at https://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_GB/vpn-server
This VPN still has the high level of security we look for, like the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The connections are fast and the software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.
Read our full CyberGhost review here.
NordVPN is the idea VPN for users who want advanced features and speciality server options. This means that they don’t only offer regular VPN servers, but also special servers with features like double VPN (where your data is encrypted twice for better security), P2P (for torrent users), onion over DPN, dedicated IP, and obfuscated servers to get around VPN blocks. The absolutely massive network of servers covers 3500 servers in more than 60 countries, including the UK. There are a total of 473 servers available in the UK, including specialist servers for double VPN, dedicated IP, obfuscated servers, and P2P. You can see a full list of available server locations and types at https://nordvpn.com/servers/
The non-specialist VPN servers still deliver the high security features we want to see, like the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The connections are fast so you can watch high definition video streaming with no problems. The software can be installed on devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, or Windows Phone.
Read our full NordVPN review here.
PureVPN is a great service for users who are looking for a whole bundle of security features included in their VPN. The VPN server network is smaller than others at more than 750 servers in 140 different countries, but this includes a substantial 56 servers at 4 locations with the UK, so you can access UK content with no problems. See the full list of servers at https://www.purevpn.com/server_location.php
As well as the basic VPN security features of strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, other features include anti virus and anti malware protection, plus an anti spam filter to keep your email inbox clean. The app filtering function allows you to pass the data from only selected apps through the VPN for best flexibility. There are also options for DDoS protection, a kill switch, dedicated IP, and a NAT firewall. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus browser extensions for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
With a UK IP address you can easily access UK-only content like watching videos on the great BBC iPlayer website from anywhere in the world. Using a VPN, you simply need to connect to a server in the UK then you’ll be able to browse the web as if you were located in Britain, even if you are actually located elsewhere. In addition, a VPN will improve your security and protect your privacy.
We’ve suggested five VPN providers that you can use to get a UK IP address. Have you ever tried out one of these VPN providers? What was your experience like when accessing UK content? Let us know about it in the comments below.