A hand holding the UK flag with a geolocation icon above it

So, you’re wondering how to get a British IP address. Wonder no more — your answer is here! In short, you can get an IP (Internet Protocol) address from the United Kingdom using the Tor browser, a VPN, or a proxy server. Let’s dig deeper and see what they are, how they work, and when you should use them.

Table of contents

    Why would you need a UK IP address?

    Having a UK IP address lets you access your favorite British streaming platforms if you’re a UK resident traveling abroad (Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, All 4, Channel 5, and Sky Sports).

    You also need a UK IP to access specific sites and online British banking platforms because some allow access only from a local IP.

    3 ways to get a British IP 

    You can get a UK IP address using the Tor browser, a proxy server, or a VPN. However, most proxies don’t encrypt your traffic, and Tor connection speeds are considerably slower, while a VPN is the optimal choice for getting a UK IP address since it balances security and convenience the best.

    All three options are considered location changers, but they change your virtual location (IP address) in different ways.

    Install and browse with Tor

    Tor (the onion router) is a free, open-source browser that encrypts and routes web traffic through several Tor servers. It uses a worldwide network of over seven thousand volunteer-run servers called relays or nodes (computers belonging to Tor’s users). Most use it to access the dark web.

    Once you start using Tor, you need to select a country you connect to, essentially changing your IP to that country’s. But how does that happen? 

    How Tor works:

    It encrypts your data multiple times and sends it through a set of servers. Each relay decrypts a layer of encryption to uncover the routing instructions and then forwards the data to the next relay.

    The first relay knows your real IP, while the last relay knows the data’s destination. No single node knows both the data’s origin and destination, keeping your activities and location private. You get assigned the last relay’s (the exit node’s) IP address.

    When using Tor helps:

    Tor is best used for maintaining online anonymity thanks to the multi-layered encryption and decryption and rerouting processes. Tor is also useful for surfing the dark and unindexed part of the World Wide Web.

    The downside of Tor:

    Tor considerably slows down speeds because of the journey the user’s data has to make. It’s hard to maintain speed because each node’s capabilities depend on the person’s hardware. Tor isn’t used for casual web browsing. Also, some websites block traffic coming from Tor’s exit nodes.

    Final takeaway: Tor is a viable option for getting a UK IP address, but it has limitations — we don’t recommend it for streaming or any other activity that requires fast speed or a lot of bandwidth.

    Use a proxy server

    A proxy server is the middleman between your device and the internet — your online traffic is sent over to that server, and your traffic is assigned that server’s IP address.

    How a proxy server works:

    It acts as a gateway with its very own IP address. When you enter a website’s address, you send a request to the internet, which goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then forwards your request to the website’s server. After the web server responds, the proxy server sends the data back to your browser.

    When using a proxy server helps:

    Use a proxy server when you only need to reroute your traffic via an external server and change your IP to the proxy server’s.

    The downside of proxy servers:

    There is a privacy issue — all proxy servers reroute traffic, but only a few encrypt it. Limited bandwidth is a common issue — the most used proxies host countless people on one server, which lessens an individual user’s bandwidth.

    Also, many people are tempted to go for free proxies, but many free proxies gather user data and sell it to third parties.

    Final takeaway: You can use a proxy server to get a UK IP, but expect increased buffering, lack of privacy, and no encryption.

    Get a VPN

    VPNs are the best choice when you want to securely access online British services that require a UK IP address.

    How VPNs work:

    VPNs encrypt your DNS queries and online traffic and then reroute it through VPN servers, where they get decrypted. Encrypting both your DNS requests and traffic is essential because if the DNS queries and your IP don’t match, you may be locked out of UK-based content.

    Once the data is decrypted, it is assigned the VPN server’s IP address and continues to its original destination. And all it takes is a click of a button.

    When to use a VPN:

    You should use a VPN when you need security and privacy to access online content. A VPN makes this process a bit more convenient.

    The downside of VPNs:

    Some VPNs don’t use the fastest protocols, have poor infrastructure which results in a slow internet service. Free VPNs limit data usage, some may sell your data or even worse — infect your device with malware.

    Key takeaway: Premium VPNs are the best way to get a UK IP address. VPNs are the middle option between convenience and online safety, although free VPNs tarnish their name.

    Get a UK IP address with Surfshark

    If you settled on getting a VPN, try Surfshark. It’s easy to set up and use:

    1. Subscribe

    Pick a subscription plan that suits you the best and create an account.

    1. Get the VPN app

    Download the Surfshark app and install it on your device.

    1. Choose a UK server

    Run the app before you browse, stream, or play, then type United Kingdom into the location search bar.

    Why we recommend using Surfshark for getting a UK IP address:

    Surfshark has 212 servers in 4 UK locations — London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. 

    Surfshark supports all major platforms, and allows unlimited simultaneous connections.

    Surfshark is a great privacy-oriented VPN because it uses obfuscated servers, which hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all. And for an additional cost, you can get a dedicated IP feature.

    Why dedicated IP should be important for those seeking a UK IP:

    Some services are sensitive to IP address changes, and if they see your account being logged into from different IP addresses, it may get blocked. VPNs change your IP every time you turn it on (or during a session, if the VPN service uses an IP rotator).

    So, to avoid accidental account blocks, you can join a static server and get a static IP that you share with others, or get a dedicated IP. Dedicated IP is an address meant only for you, and it doesn’t change every time you connect to a VPN.

    Dedicated IP is a great option to secure your streaming and gaming without getting banned or being locked out of your account just because your IP changed.

    Final thoughts on getting a British IP address

    Getting a UK IP address is just a question of balancing security and convenience. Proxies are good but lack encryption; Tor is among the best anonymizing tools but lacks speed. This leaves VPNs as the winners with a caveat — good ones cost money.

    Let us make that commitment easier — when you subscribe using our website, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee, which gives enough time for you to test if we’re the best at providing a UK IP address.

    Get a UK IP
    To safely access the British side of the online pond


    How can I get a UK IP address without a VPN?

    Apart from connecting to a network in the UK, you can get a UK IP address in two ways:

    • Use Tor to connect to a UK location;
    • Connect to a proxy server located in the UK;

    How do I get a UK VPN in the US?

    Get a UK IP address by connecting from wherever:

    1. Download a VPN, install it, and open it.
    2. Type United Kingdom in the location bar.
    3. Click on it.
    4. Start browsing.

    How can I get a UK IP address on my phone?

    Find a VPN with smartphone support to get a UK IP address on your phone. Surfshark has apps for Android and iPhone.

    Can I get a UK IP address by changing my DNS server?

    A DNS server alone will not change your IP address or grant you a UK IP address. But changing your DNS server may help when you have a UK IP address and can’t access UK-based websites.

    Websites check your IP address and DNS queries when you access websites. If there’s a mismatch and the DNS requests come from a different address than your IP, the website may block access. 

    Changing your DNS server may help resolve the issue.

    Are VPNs legal in the UK?

    VPNs are legal in the UK, as well as in most countries. However, there are some that limit VPN use, like China, Russia, Belarus, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).