how to beat UK porn ban VPN

Update: plans for the UK porn ban have officially been dropped. However, the fact that this was even considered highlights the fact that governments don’t always give your digital privacy the respect it deserves. For this reason, it’s still a good idea to make your traffic as secure as possible using a VPN. 

The British government had previously planned to require internet users to provide identification before accessing porn sites. An unfortunate consequence of this legislation is that millions of consenting adults would have been forced to share personal details with adult sites. With data breaches all too common these days, it was only a matter of time before these personal and highly sensitive details fell into the wrong hands and were used for nefarious means. Luckily, this kind of blocking, had it been implemented, is fairly easy to bypass with the use of a VPN.

When you connect to a VPN, your data is encrypted and routed through one of the VPN provider’s servers. Connecting to a server in another country will provide you with a different IP address. This makes it appear as if you’re browsing outside the UK, bypassing the UK porn block entirely. The best VPNs can also be used to securely access other geo-restricted content, including streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Furthermore, a VPN can protect your online privacy because it prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the UK government from snooping on your internet activity.

In this article, we’ll talk you through the best VPN to use to beat the UK porn ban, how to use them, and also answer some common VPN questions.

How to beat the UK porn ban with a VPN

Beating the UK porn block is surprisingly quick and easy. just follow the step-by-step guide below, and you’ll have access to your favorite sites in no time.

Here’s how to beat the UK porn ban with a VPN: 

  1. Choose a VPN service with servers outside the UK – we particularly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Select and download the appropriate software for your operating system. The best VPNs offer apps for desktops and mobile, some also offer browser extensions, so be sure to pick the correct format for your device.
  3. Clear the cookies and cache in your browser. This ensures that the site you’re trying to access forgets your UK IP address.
  4. Open the VPN app or browser extension and connect to a server outside the UK, i.e. connecting to a server in the US will give you a US IP address and bypass the UK porn ban restrictions.
  5. You will now be able to access adult content without restriction!

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We’ll discuss all the best VPNs in more detail later on in this article, but if you’re short on time? Don’t worry! Here’s a quick summary of the best VPNs to bypass the UK porn ban:

  1. NordVPN: Our top VPN pick to beat the UK porn ban. Unblock porn sites and stream securely. Over 5,000 superfast servers worldwide. Features live chat support and specialty servers, including Double VPN. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: Top budget choice for bypassing the UK porn ban. Excellent unblocking abilities and provides apps for all the most popular platforms. Keeps no logs and packs plenty of security features.
  3. ExpressVPN: Fast and reliable servers in 94 countries. Bypass the UK porn block and access most geo-restricted content. Excellent apps, 24/7 customer support, and strong security with encryption.
  4. CyberGhost: Beat the UK porn ban with CyberGhost. Over 9,000 servers in 90+ countries. Offers fast streaming with unlimited bandwidth. Connect up to 7 devices. User-friendly and secure with a strict no-logs policy.
  5. IPVanish: Reliable VPN for browsing and streaming. Use on all of your devices simultaneously. Quick and easy to use and protects your privacy with a no-logs policy.
  6. PrivateVPN: Fast servers in dozens of countries for streaming adult content. Apps are easy to use for beginners. Strong security, including encryption and a kill switch.
  7. Private Internet Access: Military-grade encryption, servers in over 80 locations, includes a kill switch, and allows you to connect 10 devices simultaneously.

Best VPNs to beat the UK porn ban

While many VPNs will be able to beat the UK porn ban, not all are fast and secure. The VPNs we’ve chosen all offer the following:

  • Fast and consistent connections for streaming
  • Servers in dozens of countries worldwide
  • Highest level of security with encryption
  • Strict no-logs policy, protecting your privacy
  • Customer support available via live chat
  • User-friendly apps for a variety of operating systems

If you want to know more about how we test and rank the VPNs that we recommend, we go into more detail further on in this article. But for now, let’s take a closer look at the ones that made our list.

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for beating the UK porn ban:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Dec 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website: www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top pick for unblocking UK porn sites as well as other restricted content and popular streaming services. It has some of the fastest speeds in our testing and one of the largest server networks of any VPN (over 5,500 servers in total). NordVPN offers excellent 24/7 live chat support and is able to securely access the likes of Netflix and BBC iPlayer. You can use NordVPN on up to 6 devices simultaneously.

Having tried out NordVPN’s various apps and browser extensions, we can say that they’re easy for anyone to use. In particular, connecting to a server takes a matter of seconds. NordVPN has impressive security offerings, Aside from 256-bit AES encryption and DNS leak protection, it offers specialty servers, including Double VPN and Onion Over VPN. Headquartered in Panama, NordVPN provides peace of mind with a strict no-logs policy.

You can download NordVPN apps for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android TV. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Manual setup is required for Linux.

Pros:

  • Fastest speeds we’ve seen
  • Huge network of over 5,500 servers to bypass the UK porn ban
  • Also able to access the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Protects your privacy with encryption and no logs policy
  • Use on up to 6 devices simultaneously

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer an app for routers

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN TO BEAT THE UK PORN BAN:NordVPN is our top choice. It has over 5,500 servers and allows you to access most adult content. Use on up to 6 devices. 24/7 live chat support and lots of security features, including specialty servers. A 30-day money-back guarantee makes it risk-free.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a low-cost provider that has been busy building a solid reputation in the VPN industry. This service is adept at unblocking pretty much any content you want from anywhere in the world. For example, it easily bypasses restrictions imposed by ITV Hub, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Surfshark has been expanding its server network (it now operates more than 3,200 in an impressive 100+ countries) and is continuously striving to provide faster, more reliable connections.

Privacy is at the forefront for this provider, which keeps no logs whatsoever. There’s a huge suite of security features, including 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, and a kill switch. Extras include split tunneling, obfuscated servers, and multi-hop VPN. Plus, Surfshark sets no limit on the number of devices you can connect to under one account.

Apps are available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Bypasses UK porn ban restrictions and accesses popular streaming platforms
  • Strict no logs policy
  • Allows unlimited connections
  • Accepts three kinds of cryptocurrency
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Customer support could be refined

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

TOP BUDGET CHOICE:Surfshark is excellent at unblocking restricted sites and has no limit on the number of devices you can connect. Large server network in around 100 countries. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of Surfshark here.

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3. ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, making it ideal for beating governmental snooping. Known for its fast and reliable servers, it’s another great option if you want seamless streaming with no lag or buffering. Aside from porn sites, ExpressVPN is excellent for streaming and works with services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. It offers unlimited bandwidth with no throttling, which is evident in its strong performance.

One of the main reasons we recommend ExpressVPN is that its apps and browser extensions are very accessible and easy to navigate. We’re also impressed with the fast and efficient live chat support offered, available 24/7. ExpressVPN is as secure as it is fast, with 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. This VPN service is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and states it doesn’t keep any identifying logs of its users.

ExpressVPN apps are available for the following: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, and routers. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also offered.

Pros:

  • Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Fast and consistent connections for streaming in high definition
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands (greater privacy and anonymity)
  • Works with streaming services such as Netflix
  • Customer support available 24/7 via live chat

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than most VPNs on the market
  • Streaming servers aren’t labeled

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST AND RELIABLE VPN:ExpressVPN unblocks most restricted content including porn sites in the UK. It’s fast and offers a variety of apps as well as 24/7 support. Strong security with encryption and a kill switch. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is a fast and secure VPN service that has more than 9,000 servers in 90+ countries allowing you to bypass the porn restriction in the UK with no problems. Offering unlimited bandwidth and traffic, CyberGhost allows for stress-free streaming in high definition. What’s more, you can secure up to 7 devices simultaneously via a single CyberGhost account.

CyberGhost is perfect for those new to VPNs. It features user-friendly apps and browser extensions that are quick and easy to use. Selecting a server is simple, and you also have the option of activating various features, including an ad blocker. On the off-chance that you encounter an issue with CyberGhost, you can contact customer support via live chat 24/7.

Aside from being able to beat the UK porn block, CyberGhost can also keep you safe online. It secures your data with 256-bit AES encryption and protects you from DNS and IP leaks. There’s also a kill switch, ensuring your internet traffic is cut should the VPN connection drop. Finally, this Romania-based VPN service has a strict no-logs policy, so you’re protected from ISP and government monitoring.

CyberGhost offers apps for Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, and Android TV. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Linux and routers require manual setup.

Pros:

  • Thousands of fast servers outside of the UK
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic for high-quality streaming
  • Highly secure with encryption, kill switch, and no-logs policy
  • Connect up to 7 of your devices
  • Generous 45-day money-back guarentee

Cons:

  • Could offer more control over advanced tools
  • Doesn’t work reliably from China

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

VAST NETWORK OF SERVERS:CyberGhost is another solid choice. It’s highly secure, privacy-focused, and fast enough for high quality streaming, plus it allows up to seven simultaneous connections. Plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is a high-quality VPN with a growing network of servers. At the time of writing, it has around 2,000 servers in 75+ worldwide locations. Aside from adult content, this VPN lets you securely access geo-restricted content, including Netflix US and Sky Go. One of the standout features of this US-based service is that it allows any number of simultaneous connections.

You can use IPVanish on desktop and mobile thanks to the user-friendly apps on offer. There are various ways to search for servers, including via a map and filtering by region and latency. IPVanish secures your data with 256-bit AES encryption. Further security features include DNS leak protection and a kill switch. The VPN service also offers a no-logs policy, ensuring your personal information and online activity remains private to you.

IPVanish apps are available for desktop (Windows, Mac) and mobile (Android, iOS) as well as Amazon Fire TV. Manual configuration is required for both Linux and routers.

Pros:

  • Servers in dozens of countries outside the UK
  • No connection limit
  • Protects your privacy with its no-logs policy
  • Easy to use with the option of searching by server latency

Cons:

  • Based in the United States (a member of the Five Eyes alliance)
  • No option of browser extensions

Our score:

4 out of 5

NO DEVICE LIMIT:IPVanish is a good value VPN that allows you to beat the UK porn ban. Connect all of your devices simultaneously. Safe to use with encryption and a no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is another VPN service that is great for private browsing. What makes this a particularly attractive option is that it has very fast servers and owns all of them outright. While it only has a network of around 200 servers, these are spread across 60+ countries, allowing you to securely access geo-restricted services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer from anywhere. What’s more, PrivateVPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections.

You can connect to PrivateVPN via one of the service’s easy-to-use apps. The app interface couldn’t be simpler to navigate although there is an advanced menu should customisation be desired. PrivateVPN is a very secure service, keeping your activities private with 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and strict no-logs policy. For greater security, you can choose to sign up anonymously with a throwaway email address and cryptocurrency payments.

PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Manual setup is required in the case of Linux and routers.

Pros:

  • Fast servers for lag-free streaming of porn
  • Secure up to 10 devices via a single account
  • Option to sign up anonymously

Cons:

  • Limited number of servers
  • Live chat support isn’t available 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

UNINTERRUPTED STREAMING:PrivateVPN has fast servers for buffer-free streaming. Unblock porn in the UK or anywhere else. Beginner-friendly with the option of anonymous signup and payment. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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7. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website: www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN for getting around the UK porn ban. It offers almost 12,000 servers in over 80 locations across the globe that are capable of evading geo-restrictions that prevent access to porn sites in the United Kingdom. PIA has apps for desktop and mobile, and you can use it on up to 10 devices at the same time, allowing you to share the account with others.

PIA keeps your privacy watertight with 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. To ensure you enjoy the best online experience, it also offers an ad blocker and malware blocker. WireGuard support ensures you experience superfast speeds while streaming, and customizable encryption settings improve speeds even further.

When you need support, PIA is contactable 24/7, and if you’re on the fence about PIA, you can try it risk free for 30 days.

Pros:

  • Has almost 10,000 servers globally
  • Adjustable encryption setting
  • 10 simultaneous device limit

Cons:

  • Unblocking of streaming platforms can be inconsistent
  • Based in a Five Eyes Alliance Country

Our score:

4 out of 5

SOLID SECURITY OFFERING:Private Internet Access protects your privacy with 256-bit encryption, lets you tweak your encryption for faster streaming, and has apps for all major platforms. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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How was the UK porn ban supposed to work?

The UK porn ban is off the table for now but was due to start on April 1, 2019. Introduced under the Digital Economy Act 2017, the automatic block was an attempt “to make the internet safer for children”, according to the UK government. It would have required porn sites to adopt a system through which all users had to verify their age and email address.

Porn sites will no longer be able to rely on tick box systems and general disclaimers. Indeed, failure by porn sites to comply with the new law would have resulted in a fine of up to £250,000 or a blanket block by all UK ISPs. Mindgeek, the company behind the likes of PornHub and YouPorn, had developed an age verification system called AgeID. Once a user verified their age using their passport, driver’s license, or credit card, they would have been able to log into any porn sites that have paid to use the AgeID system.

However, for anyone who wasn’t comfortable with handing over such sensitive information online, there would have also been the option of “porn passes”. The brainchild of Mindgeek and OCL, the passes – known as PortesCards – were slated to cost £4.99 and be available for purchase at PayPoint outlets across the UK. Buyers of the PortesCards would have been required to be visibly over 18 or prove their age using a valid form of ID.

Methodology: Finding the best VPNs for streaming porn safely in the UK

It’s harder than you think to find a VPN that’s suitable for securely watching porn in the UK. That’s because there are several key areas where it must excel in order to provide a seamless experience. We’ve listed these below and explained exactly what we looked for in each:

  • Speed: Streaming can be tricky. After all, the higher the resolution, the faster your connection has to be. We’ve speed-tested leading VPNs to ensure we only recommend the speediest, most consistent providers on the market.
  • Security: We require our top VPNs to provide 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. Naturally, we’d prefer to see additional security tools built in, but these three provide an excellent starting point.
  • Privacy: It’s vital that you choose a VPN with a no-logs policy. This way, even if the government requests info about your browsing habits, your provider can’t reveal any usable data. We’d like to see support for anonymous payment methods (like Bitcoin) too.
  • Streaming ability: At some point, you might want to securely access platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Disney Plus. We’ve extensively tested all of the VPNs above to make sure they provide access to as many streaming services as possible.

Looking to find out more about our process? We go into more detail in our full VPN testing methodology post.

Bypassing the UK’s porn ban with a VPN: FAQs

What’s the problem with the UK porn ban?

One of the main problems with the UK porn ban is that it had huge implications for your online privacy. The legislation dictated that porn sites verify your age, and must do this by requesting a form of ID. As we’ve seen in the past, with the Ashley Madison data breach, this could have serious consequences. Can we really trust the safe storage of such information?

Aside from being a risk to our privacy, the UK porn block was effectively impossible to enforce. After all, there are millions of porn sites online. While it makes sense to protect children from encountering adult content online, there is the argument that anyone who wants to get around such a ban will find ways to do so. This may even push minors to unsafe sites as a result.

Can I use a free VPN to beat the UK porn ban?

Some free VPNs may work for streaming porn in the UK. However, we strongly advise against using a free VPN to beat the UK porn ban. The main reason for this is that free VPNs aren’t very secure. Many free VPNs log your data and activity and sell it to third parties. If you want your porn viewing to remain private, a free VPN isn’t a good idea.

Aside from keeping logs of users, free VPNs often make money by spamming you with ads. These ads may be based on your online activity, which, if you’ve been watching porn, may make them inappropriate in nature. As if this wasn’t enough, some free VPNs are infected with malware that may be used to steal your credit card details or even your identity!

Security aside, free VPNs aren’t exactly known for good performance. In fact, many restrict your bandwidth, making your network speeds much slower. The reason for this is that free VPNs tend to have too many users and too few servers to meet demands. So if you’re planning on watching lengthy porn videos in HD, you’ll encounter a lot of buffering!