In this blog post we’re going to discuss what a UK residential VPN is, why someone might use one and some potential sources of such a service. We’ll also give information on how much they cost and what sort of speeds they offer so that everyone can make an informed decision about whether or not getting one would be worthwhile for them.
A UK residential VPN is a service that allows people to browse the internet with an IP address allocated in the UK. If you are in another country, it will allow you to appear as if you are browsing from within the UK. This can be useful for several reasons – perhaps most notably, users may want to access content that is blocked by their own government and ISP.
What Exactly is a UK Residential VPN ?
A UK Residential VPN is a virtual private network that connects your computer to the internet and encrypts all the data coming and going from the device. Essentially, it’s a program on your PC that connects you through an encrypted connection to a VPN server based in the UK, which then routes internet traffic via this secure tunnel.
Any data sent from your PC is secured by military grade encryption before being transmitted over public networks like phone lines or WiFi. This ensures any sensitive information remains safe even if there are strangers with access points nearby (think libraries, airport lounges, conferences…)
This means you can use unsecured networks without worrying about people snooping around. It’s also great for businesses who need both privacy and remote access.
Important Points – UK and Residential
The above description could be used to describe any VPN connection to some extent. All VPNs provide encryption and protect your data, as long as they’re configured correctly. However this is not always enough for the majority of people because of how the connection is treated by the websites you visit.
As soon as you connect via a VPN your actual IP address is hidden, any server you connect to will only see the address of the VPN server. This can seriously impact what you have access to online. Any major website will look at the location and classification of this address to control what you have access to.
So if your VPN server sits in a Moscow basement on a server which is actively spamming the internet then you’re potentially going to have problems. It will be assumed you are indeed in the exact same location and have a similar occupation. Unsurprisingly this can affect how you’re treated, e-commerce sites, banking sites and most others won’t be that keen on a Russian hacker or spammer visiting their website.
The key is the IP address which can be used to determine your location and something called your classification. The classification refers to whether the address is registered as a commercial or residential connection, another important factor in how your connection is perceived.
So to summarise –
- Our Russian server would be described as a Russian Commercial VPN mainly due to the IP address it’s using.
- A UK Residential VPN would need an IP address registered in the UK for home users.
Why Do I Need an IP address from the UK
This depends but it can make a huge difference on what you can do online. Many British websites for example are focused on UK users, so you’ll probably able to access functionality that’s not accessible to IP addresses in other countries. For instance if you want to use any of the main media sites like the BBC, ITV or Channel 4 – a UK address is essential, they simply don’t work with IP addresses from elsewhere. Many UK based banks, advertising and e-commerce sites operate in the same way. Of course, this works the same in other countries too – a US IP address gets preferential treatment in the USA, French addresses work best in France and so on.
Using a VPN provides the security and encryption but the IP address provides functionality. However you’ll need a VPN with a British IP address registered to an ISP (residential address) to have the same access as a standard UK home user. This is why the VPN market is changing dramatically, because websites are increasingly analyzing your IP address and location. A cheap VPN based in a remote location often won’t be much use when you’re online.
If you want to look like a UK home user then you need a VPN which provides that identity too.
The Best VPNs for getting a UK IP Address
The market has changed dramatically in the last few years and the major players now deal with the location issue well. You can sign up for an inexpensive VPN with someone like NordVPN and have access to addresses all over the world. A click of a button and you can change from US to UK or to any of 60+ supported locations in their basic subscription.
This is extremely useful on many levels meaning that you can unlock websites and resources which might normally be blocked to you because of your location. By enabling a VPN in another country you can access a site wherever you are.
However there is one slight issue with these IP addresses that can cause some problems in certain situations – they’re pretty much all classified from commercial ranges. This is by no means a problem in all situations but it does mean that a website can detect that your connection is unlikely to be from a residential situation. Often this doesn’t matter, commercial IPs still work fine for lots of situations including crucially from most online media sites like the BBC and others.
They won’t work as well in other situations, you may have problems on e-commerce servers buying stuff. Many social media sites detect commercial addresses in order to stop abuse and extra accounts being run for profit. Places like Craigslist will routinely block these addresses too if you try and post adverts.
A commercial IP address is a strong indicator that a proxy or VPN is being used though so this situation might change in the futures. Having a residential address offers the ultimate in privacy and anonymity but of course this usually comes at a price.
I’ve Decided on a VPN. What DO I need to do Next?
The crucial questions are as follows –
- Which country/countries do I need access to?
- Does this VPN provide the right locations for my needs?
- Do I need a residential IP address?
Most of the standard VPN services now cover the majority of large countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas. However none of the ‘high street’ VPN services offer much support for residential addresses. This is because they’re much harder to obtain and hence cost much more to supply. Unfortunately though increasingly these addresses are necessary if only to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN or proxy service.
Situations where you should consider looking for a residential include the following –
- Internet marketers running multiple accounts – e.g for research, promotion on social media etc.
- Online Entrepreneurs – buying and selling on e-commerce servers usually requires a residential IP address.
- Research – if you’re researching anything customer based, you’ll need to ‘look’ like a customer for proper results.
- High level of access – repeated automated access to any resource using a commercial IP address will normally get blocked quickly.
They are going to be slightly more expensive, these residential addresses are usually only allocated through Internet Service Providers. However there are providers who do supply decent a US or UK residential VPNs at an affordable price.
Remember though if you just want a VPN for some security and to watch something like BBC iPlayer or other TV channel – a standard VPN should be enough currently.
Here’s a great value place to get a US or UK Residential VPN –
The prices here (they may have changed when you read this) are for one of the best residential VPN services you can buy, from a company called IPBurger. They’re similar to a standard VPN but remember these are for a single dedicated residential IP address in a specific location. You won’t get hundreds of shared IP addresses all over the world like standard VPNs. Great for e-commerce transactions – tickets, sneakers and protecting high value social media accounts.