What is a UK IP address?
A UK IP address is an internet protocol (IP) attributed to a device and allocated to a server in the United Kingdom. Typically, your IP depends on your geo-location and is provided by your internet service provider (ISP). By changing your IP address through a VPN server, you can gain more privacy and control over what websites and other entities online know about you.
Why would you want a UK IP address?
A UK IP address allows you to browse the internet as if you were in the United Kingdom. It can enhance your privacy and security, improve your shopping experience, provide seamless online access, and even allow you to bypass internet censorship abroad. Let’s look deeper into the benefits of using UK servers:
- Access your content while abroad. If you’re a UK resident who’s temporarily abroad, having access to a UK server will help you securely access the content you subscribe to as if you were at home. This means you can access UK-based services and many other UK sites without any hassle.
- Online banking and shopping. If you have a UK bank account, using a UK IP address may be necessary to access your account due to the strict security measures of some British banks. Some UK online retailers may also require you to have an IP in the United Kingdom to access their services, which can be frustrating. Obtaining a UK IP address will ensure a seamless and secure online experience while you complete your banking errands and shopping.
- Compare prices. Unfortunately, websites are allowed to offer different prices depending on where the customer is based. If you use a UK IP address, you can trick the website into giving you the same prices offered to UK residents. This means you can use a UK IP to check the prices of flights, hotels, or car rentals and compare them to the prices in your home country to get the best deal.
- Privacy and security concerns. An IP coming from the UK spoofs your real IP address and can protect your online activities from prying eyes. No one will be able to tell where you’re virtually located or what you are doing online when you use a masked IP address, boosting your privacy online.
How to get a UK IP address
To get a UK IP address, you’d need to use either a VPN, a proxy server, or a Tor browser. All three options will give you an IP from the UK as your device’s identifier. However,you should consider certain factors before making your choice. So let’s look closer at what each of the three services offers.
Use a VPN
A VPN is likely the most effective, convenient, and safe tool to connect to British servers. When a VPN is at work, it routes your traffic through VPN servers and encrypts both the traffic and domain name system (DNS) queries. This multiple encryption is important because some websites may check your IP as well as where your DNS request comes from and block your access if they don’t match. That’s why many respectable VPNs reroute your DNS requests through the same remote VPN server as an IP address and use DNS leak protection.
Reliable VPNs provide unlimited bandwidth, which results in fast speeds when browsing or streaming the British content you’re subscribed to securely. When you use a VPN, your ISP can no longer see your online activity, it cannot throttle your internet connection based on your online traffic.
Many VPNs also provide easy connections to multiple devices via designated VPN apps. For instance, after installing the NordVPN app, you can change your IP to a British IP following these steps:
- Create or log in to your account.
- Once set, you’ll see a list of countries and servers you can choose from.
- Click on the United Kingdom, and you will be connected to the recommended server. Alternatively, you can choose a preferred city from the dropdown or the map.
Though a VPN service has many advantages, it literally comes at some cost: Trustworthy VPN providers usually charge users for their services. You can also find a number of free VPNs online, but they tend to throttle your bandwidth because of the small number of servers they have. Free VPNs are usually heavy on ads or may sell your personal data to marketing companies.
Bellow you will find the pros and cons of using a VPN to get a UK IP address:
|Reliable VPNs are paid
|High number of servers abroad
|Free VPNs can log and sell your data
|Can be used on many devices
|Banned in some countries
|Robust encryption for high-level security online
Use a proxy server
You can gain a British IP address through UK proxy servers. A proxy is an intermediary that acts as a bridge between the user and the internet. In a way similar to a VPN, a user’s request first goes through the proxy server, which then forwards the request to the destination server on behalf of the user.
Follow these steps to get a UK IP with a proxy:
- Get the proxy server’s IP address and port number from a vendor or free proxy provider online.
- Input this information into your device or browser’s proxy settings to activate.
Though you can connect to a free proxy server in the United Kingdom, you can also use a VPN proxy extension for browsers offered by providers like NordVPN. It’s a safer and more reliable way to get a proxy because free services can track your online activity or sell your personal data. However, the main difference between a proxy and a VPN is that proxies don’t provide full VPN functionality — they change your IP but don’t encrypt your internet traffic. This can make you susceptible to monitoring by third parties or your ISP. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of users may connect to one proxy server at one time, which can slow your connection and cause buffering.
Here are the pros and cons of using a proxy:
|Hides your real IP address
|Offers no encryption for web traffic
|Easily configure on many devices
|Proxy servers usually slow your internet speed
|Have free options
Use a Tor browser
The Tor network allows users to browse the internet anonymously. It encrypts and randomly routes your network through multiple relays, making tracing the communication’s origin difficult. It’s also free for all users worldwide. Typically, the Tor browser picks a random country when it changes your IP address, but it can be configured to use an IP address from a particular country.
Here is how to use the Tor network to get a UK IP address:
- Find your Tor browser installation folder and navigate to “Browser” > “TorBrowser” > “Data” > “Tor.”
- Open the file named “torrc” with a text editor.
- Add the following text to make the Tor browser use a UK IP address: “ExitNodes (uk) StrictNodes 1.” (Note: You can also command Tor to use IP addresses from a list of countries. Always use https://www.iban.com/country-codes for the country you want. Here is an example for the UK, US, China, and Russia: “ExitNodes (uk), (us), (cn), (ru) StrictNodes 1”)
- Save your modifications and restart the Tor browser.
As you can see, changing your IP address to the UK with Tor is the most complicated option. However, some VPNs, including NordVPN, offer Onion Over VPN as one of its features, making this connection hassle free.
The Tor browser’s major drawback is significantly reduced online traffic speed. The speed drops due to multi-layer, sophisticated encryption that increases your privacy online. You should also be aware that you cannot expect complete security when using Tor, as its main goal is to increase your anonymity. The Tor network is also banned in some countries.
Below, find the advantages and disadvantages of the Tor network:
|Traffic encrypted through multiple layers
|Can be blocked by specific services
|Is free for users worldwide
|Significantly reduced network speed
Get a dedicated UK IP address
To have a dedicated UK IP address means that a unique IP from the United Kingdom is assigned to your device and is not shared with anyone else. A dedicated UK IP address will help you to bypass blocks by websites that have already figured out which IPs are used by more than one user. Dedicated IPs are also ideal for those who want to skip identity verification every time they connect.
For instance, with NordVPN’s dedicated IP address in London, you will not raise ISPs’ suspicion while making your online payments or connecting to servers in other countries for work-related reasons. With a static IP, you’ll also get access to IP-restricted resources and enjoy smooth surfing online with fewer CAPCHAs and other distracting pop-ups.
The best VPN for getting a UK IP address
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs to get your UK IP from. It operates around 600 servers in the UK and even lets you choose from them depending on the location, server load, and speed. NordVPN also allows users to choose how they prefer to access the web — via a foreign server, a dedicated IP, Tor, or a proxy.
NordVPN offers one of the strongest possible encryptions, the 256-bit AES protocol, approved and recommended by many cybersecurity experts. The company also has an app-specific Kill Switch and a no-logs policy, which keeps your digital footprint hidden even from Nord Security itself. Moreover, NordVPN has introduced an additional web safety measure — Threat Protection. It saves your devices from malware and blocks trackers and intrusive ads for a smooth operation.
NordVPN has introduced a number of features to improve your online presence. The company is working hard to maintain its security and performance standards and gain users’ trust with reliable services.