If you’re interested in learning more about how your privacy is being breached, and you’d also like to know how to protect yourself, simply keep reading. We will talk about the censorship issues in the UK and the best VPN for the UK to avoid censorship concerns.
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UK Censorship And Government Surveillance
This is a very tough year for the UK internet users, and especially those who are interested in keeping their privacy private. One of the most extreme acts came into force at the very beginning of this year.
The Investigatory Powers Act, as they called it, is designed in order to allow the UK government to legally spy on pretty much all of their citizens. Texts, browsing, and even phone conversations are all being spied on.
And not only that, but the government also has the legal right to hack computers, and even demand that the companies weaken their own security.
They’ve also reserved the right to arrest and imprison anyone accused of being a whistleblower, and it’s enough to even attempt to warn the customers about this to be labeled as such.
But will all of the gathered info be kept private, and be only used as a last resort against criminals? Well, probably not, since the info is available to an enormous number of organizations connected to the government.
The list is pretty long, and it includes organizations like:
- HM Revenue and Customs
- NHS Ambulance Service Trust
- Department of Health
- Scottish Ambulance service Board
- Postal services Commission
Many more now have access to all of the mentioned info that the government has collected from the citizens of the UK.
They’ve even been proclaimed the most repressive state of the ‘free world’. And if they remain on this path, it’s believed that they might even get the title of the most repressive government in the entire world. This law will impact many and not just those within the UK. The future of online privacy doesn’t look bright at all.
That’s still not all since there’s also the Digital Economy Bill to talk about. This is one of the newest ideas of the UK government, and it’s supposed to force adults who wish to access pornographic content to use their credit card to sign in into the websites.
There’s pretty much no way of getting the more personal info that this, which means that the UK government is finally decided to do the ultimate privacy breach. What’s even more debatable is that pretty much all of the websites on which the users can find what’s deemed to be ‘non-conventional‘ sex acts will be blocked.
Doesn’t matter if it’s legal, it doesn’t even matter if the rest of the world is okay with it, the UK is blocking it.
And finally, when we talk about the censorship, we can’t pass on the chance to mention the acts of blocking and taking down torrenting websites.
With those included into the equation, it’s safe to say that no other country in the free world has blocked as much content as the UK.
With all of this in mind, we offer to teach you how to find your way out, and how to gain access to any sort of content, despite the fact that the UK has probably blocked it already. Here and now, we introduce the Virtual Private Networks, otherwise known as VPNs.
VPN – What Is It And Why Do You Need It
By now, most of the regular internet users have heard of the VPNs. Those are private networks that are being used a lot today, and their primary function is to help people when it comes to hiding their online presence, as well as their online actions.
Many have started believing that using VPNs is necessary, in order to protect their privacy, and that goes without saying for the citizens of the UK.
VPNs are made of their own servers, that are scattered in many countries across the world. What’s blocked in one country, might be perfectly legal and accessible in another, which allows you to access it simply by connecting to a server located in that country.
This goes for any sort of online content, including torrenting websites, video streaming services, and pretty much anything else that your country has deemed bad enough to block.
The main other feature of the VPN is the encryption of your data flow, which is sent through a secure tunnel between your device and the internet.
This encryption makes your data hidden from anyone who might want to spy on you, including the ISPs (Internet Service Providers), as well as the government agencies that might want to take a look for themselves.
Which VPN To Choose
As we mentioned earlier, the situations like the one in the UK, and a lot similar, but not yet so catastrophic situation in the US have made VPNs pretty popular these days.
That popularity has lead to quite a boost when it comes to the VPN industry, and many more providers have appeared, all wishing to take advantage of the situation.
This kind of response was to be expected, but the problem now is how to choose a good, quality VPN.
To answer this, we’ve conducted our own research, and finally managed to come up with a list of good, strong, quality VPNs that offer lots of features, and are still able to provide you with great speeds and pretty much unlimited access to anything online.
And now that we have their names, let’s see what can they offer.
First on the list is IPVanish. This VPN provides its users with a great number of amazing features, however, its speed alone could be enough for it to make our list.
IPVanish is one of the rare providers that actually own their own network, which allows them the increase their speeds far above everything that the majority of other VPNs have to offer.
The size of its network is amazing as well. With its servers located in over 60 countries, IPVanish can provide a total of 25,000 IP addresses. With a network like that, it’s one of the best solutions for the problems that the UK users are currently facing.
Other features that this provider offers include:
- Different protocols
- Strong encryption
- No logging policy
- Money back guarantee
- Unlimited bandwidth
Software is simple to use, and completely free, once the monthly fee is dealt with. You can have up to five connections at the same time, and many different devices and systems are compatible with this VPN.
Our next entry in the best UK VPN is ExpressVPN, which is also among the best providers in the industry. Its popularity keeps on growing, and its reputation remains flawless.
Just like the previous one, ExpressVPN offers low prices and an easy-to-use software. It provides its users with:
- An unlimited bandwidth
- Different protocols
- No logging policy
- 30-day money back guarantee
The encryption that it uses is among the strongest ones, and it also has servers in 77 countries. This also puts it on the list of providers with the largest networks, which is perfect if you’re having issues with online censorship.
When it comes to prices, this VPN is also pretty affordable, and it accepts multiple forms of payment, including PayPal, all of the major Credit Cards, and even Bitcoin.
Its compatibility is also noticeable, and it works on all major platforms. Also, it has a very quality customer support.
As one of the best VPNs that can be found on the market, HideMyAss has definitely earned its way to our list. This provider is among those with the greatest number of features.
It offers a no logging policy, strong encryptions, as well as several different protocols for you to choose from. In addition to that, it has over 860 servers in more than 190 countries around the world, with 110,000 IP addresses in total.
As you can see, this VPN provider grants its users the access to a huge network and amazing protection.
It also has other features, like great customer support that can be accessed via email, live chat, or phone. It offers a kill switch, DNS leak protection, great speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and more.
Its encryption is decent as well, and it even has a speed test tool.
Next best UK VPN is the NordVPN. Its deal is as good as any of the previously mentioned ones, and it’s a very well organized VPN provider.
It’s also the only one that we’ve found that offers double encryption, which increases your safety even more than the regular VPN could provide you with.
Other than that, it has fast connections and over 980 servers in 58 countries across the globe.
Their services are fast, and we mean really fast. It’s almost as fast as IPVanish.
Speed and double encryption aren’t the only quality it possesses since it also has a very simple software, which makes it perfect for new users, as well as the experienced one. It has a strict no logging policy, as well as a money back guarantee that lasts for 30 days.
In addition to the regular protection, NordVPN also offers a kill switch that immediately cuts your network connection in case of any flaws in the VPN, so that your real IP wouldn’t get recorded, or your privacy compromised.
Finally, the last entry of our best VPN for UK list is LeVPN. It’s a very trustworthy provider that was found by a team of online security experts 7 years ago.
These people are masters of their field, and they’ve made one of the best VPNs available. LeVPN offers a top encryption, keeps no logs, and has servers in 114 countries, and its network is still growing.
When it comes to the software, it’s very well organized and easy to use, whether you’re new or you already have experience with VPNs.
It also offers unlimited bandwidth, its speed is great, and ie even offers a mix of a regular VPN and Smart DNS. This mix is what LeVPN is mostly known for, and it’s called HybridVPN.
The offer also includes several different protocols, so that the users might choose the one that they’re most comfortable with. It can be used on two devices at once, and it’s compatible with pretty much anything that you can think of using it on.
Lastly, it has a money back guarantee, and one of the best customers supports that we’ve found.
Should You Use Free VPNs
We’re aware that free VPNs might sound like a good idea to you since nobody wants another thing that they have to pay for. The problem with free providers is that they aren’t nearly as good as the paid versions.
There are endless examples of bad protection, data leaks, IP address revealing, and all sorts of other problems. Of course, that’s only what you have to worry about in case that the free VPN doesn’t record and sell your data on purpose.
If you think about it, these providers need a source of income to be able to stay in business, and if their clients aren’t paying for the service, that can only mean that they are getting their money elsewhere.
Most of the time, they’re either recording your activities and selling them to advertisers, or they’ll bombard you with ads from their sponsors. Either way, you’re at the loss.
Are There Other Solutions?
The answer to this is yes, there are. However, none of them is good enough to actually replace a VPN, or at least not for longer periods of time.
There are Proxy services that you can use to mask your IP address, and they mostly work as shields that are hiding you from the websites that wish to scan your IP.
However, they don’t offer any sort of encryption, and if the ISPs or the government notice you, they can easily break the protection that proxy offers and see who you really are, and what you’re up to.
Another solution is a famous Tor browser, which is really a modified version of Firefox. This browser will keep you safe and protected, but its flaw is the very, very slow speed. It’s so slow, in fact, that you won’t be able to use it for downloading, or even online streaming.
It’s great when it comes to regular browsing, and we recommend it for that, but if you’re looking for a way to anonymously watch videos or download something, Tor browser isn’t going to be of much help.
Can VPNs Help With Torrenting
The answer to this is yes, and that’s just another thing that VPNs can do better than proxies or Tor browser. As we already mentioned, VPNs will cover your entire connection, which means that they include torrents as well.
Be warned though, not all of them do this, and you should be extra careful when choosing a VPN for yourself for that very reason. However, all of the ones that we’ve mentioned earlier will help you encrypt your torrent client, so you shouldn’t worry if you decide to go with any of them.
They can even unblock torrenting websites like The Pirate Bay, and if you remember, the UK government especially has a thing for this website as well as the similar ones.
The thing with the internet is that many believe that it should be free to access whatever you wish to access.
The content is there, and it’s not being forced onto anyone. This is why many believe that everything should be available so that the users themselves can choose what they will or won’t access.
Unfortunately, the reality of the situation differs a lot, and we are slowly being forced to accept that only some of the content is allowed and that the other simply can’t be reached. Most of it isn’t even illegal, only frowned upon enough for the government to provide a legal ban, so that you can’t access it.
However, if you get the best UK VPN, you’ll once again be the one that decides what you can and can’t access, which is why VPNs are constantly growing, as well as their popularity. The reality of the situation is that we simply don’t have a choice anymore and that we have to use them if we wish to keep our privacy and online freedom.