Whenever you read about VPNs, they always go on about how many endpoints they have so that you can route your traffic through almost any country, from Albania to Vietnam. These services can be very useful, it can affect the prices of services, or the ability to view certain content.
However, for day to day use, they provide little value, you are much better off using a UK VPN endpoint which means your traffic is not being sent around the world before coming back to you.
For example, me being back in Blackpool, it makes much more sense to send my traffic through one of the Surfshark servers in Manchester, this will massively reduce latency and pings allowing my internet connection to perform at its full potential.
Why use a UK VPN?
You may wonder why bother using a local VPN at all? All the security benefits of a VPN still apply here, no one will know your exact IP address, it can remove various blocks applied by your ISP, for example, torrents, it can also block the filters used by adult sites avoiding the need to apply for age verification.
And if you need a good reason to keep your data private how about all the laws Facebook, Google and others break on a regular basis including:
- The Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 saw 87-million people have their data illegally accessed
- In September 2018, Facebook announced that an attack on its computer network exposed the personal data of over 50 million users.
- Judges in Belgium ruling twice (2015,2018) that Facebook privacy laws by deploying technology such as cookies and social plug-ins to track internet users across the web with fines up to €250,000 per day
- iPhone users could receive £750 compensation from Google illegally tracking data, including race, health, politics and sexuality (2018)
- In 2017 it was claimed that illegally gathered information on users from June 2011 to February 2012.
- In 2018, BA was fine £183 million by the UK’s data protection authority, the ICO, after the Magecart group used card skimming scripts to harvest the personal and payment data of up to 500,00 customers over a two-week period.
- In 2016 ride-hailing app Uber had 600,000 drivers and 57 million user accounts breached. Instead of reporting the incident, the company paid the perpetrator $100,000 to keep the hack under wraps
- In 2013 Yahoo suffered a massive security breach that affected its entire database, about 3 billion accounts — almost the entire population of the web. The company, however, didn’t disclose this information for three years.
Is It Legal to Use VPNs in the UK?
There is not a single UK law which would forbid or prevent you from doing so. You’re well within your rights. However, you should not use a VPN to break the law as international laws still apply.
Most VPN apps, including Surfshark, offer various features to improve your security further, not only will they hide your IP but they can complete block ads, trackers, malware and phishing attempts.
For me, I always have my VPN auto-start and login when I boot up my PC, and have it selected a UK VPN, so my data is always secure. Furthermore, as I travel a lot for press trips, when I go to Europe, I am still able to access all UK content such as BBC and All4
How much does a VPN cost?
I have been using Surfshark recently, and a 24-month account is just £38.16 which equates to £1.59 – this includes over a thousand servers across 61 countries, as well as apps to cover almost any device you could possibly want to use a VPN on.