How To Get A U.K. IP Address

Getting a U.K. IP address from anywhere in the world is simpler than you might think with the methods we'll share today.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jul 26, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Jul 26, 2021

They say that the grass is always greener on the other side, and that holds true when it comes to Netflix content. We mean, why do the people of the U.K. get to enjoy The Office (U.S.) on Netflix, but we don’t in the U.S? Well, fortunately, you don’t need to move to the U.K. to watch the series, among other great shows exclusively available on Netflix U.K., BBC iPlayer, or All 4. Rather, you could simply get a U.K. IP address, which we’ll show you how to do right now. And take note, these methods will also let you fool search engines and websites into thinking you’re in the U.K. Now let’s get rolling.

NordVPN App
NordVPN App

How To Get A U.K. IP Address

There are currently 116,399,169 IP addresses assigned to the U.K.1 However, you can’t just pick one and claim it. Although it’s easy to change a device’s IP address, you need a unique IP address to serve as your device’s identifier, so choosing an existing one won’t work. In order to obtain a U.K. IP address, you’ll need to use a VPN, Tor, or proxy servers.

VPN

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a service that encrypts its users’ web traffic, along with their IP addresses, for privacy. As a rather useful side-effect, the websites you visit will only see the VPN server’s IP address and not your device’s. Therefore, if you connect through a U.K. server, it would appear as if you’re in the U.K. Not all VPNs have U.K. servers, however, and not all those that have one are good enough. For your reference, we’ve put together a review of the best VPNs in terms of cost, performance, server count, features, privacy, and more. We tested all the VPNs in that review and they all had several U.K. servers. Please note that the use of many premium VPNs comes with a cost. However, you can still get a U.K. IP address for free. There are free VPNs that offer reduced bandwidth or slower speeds, or VPN trials that are only usable for a limited time.

VyprVPN Mac Servers
VyprVPN Mac Servers

Tor

Tor is a free software that, in some ways, is like a VPN. It encrypts your web traffic and data by relaying it through several encrypted Tor servers. As a result, websites will only see the IP address of the last server (a.k.a. the exit node). However, the Tor network relies on an overlay network of volunteer servers and computers (i.e. its very own users). This setup yields inconsistent speeds, making Tor a bad option for streaming. On top of that, many streaming services, including Netflix, block Tor access.

That being said, here’s how you can obtain a U.K. IP address using Tor on your computer:

  1. Download and install the Tor browser for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
  2. Run Tor at least once. Doing so will create a “torrc” file in the installation folder, which you’ll need for the next step.
  3. Search for the “torrc” file, then open it using a text editor (like Notepad or TextEdit). Simply add the line “ExitNodes {uk}”, then save the file. This will ensure that you’ll get an exit node in the U.K. whenever you run Tor.

Tor Browser in a nutshell: The Tor browser package is easy to install. It’s a Firefox-based browser already configured to protect your online anonymity right off the bat. However, Tor will only work on that specific browser and will not work on other apps installed on your computer.

Proxy Servers

The use of proxy servers is yet another method that puts an intermediary between you and the internet. Unlike VPN servers, however, most proxy servers won’t encrypt your data. They will simply change your IP address. There are thousands of free proxy servers in the U.K., but tread lightly as they can use their networks to gather data from users. Please read the company’s privacy policy before getting a free proxy server from them.

Setting up a proxy server on your computer or mobile device depends on how the server is configured. In most cases, though, here is what you need to do:

  1. Get the server’s IP address and port number (usually 8080) from the vendor or administrator.
  2. Input this information into your device or browser’s proxy settings to activate.

Why Would I Want A U.K. IP Address?

There are many reasons why one might want to get a U.K. IP address. According to our very own VPN usage study, most people use VPNs for personal rather than work use, like getting around content restrictions. As we’ve mentioned in the intro, a U.K. IP address will get you access to Netflix U.K., BBC iPlayer, and All 4, as well as Channel 5 and the British sports coverage of BT Sport. The use of an IP address from the U.K. is also required to access some sites, including online banking channels of British banks. If you’re traveling or living long-term outside of the U.K., you might find yourself unable to access your online bank account. That’s when getting a U.K. IP address becomes a necessity.

FYI: Most streaming websites, including Netflix, block Tor and proxy servers. Only VPNs can reliably bypass geographical restrictions that these websites set.

DNS Servers In The U.K.

What if you've successfully obtained a U.K. IP address but still can't access some British websites? One thing you could look into is your Domain Name System (DNS) server. The DNS is like a phonebook of the internet that matches domain names (like Security.org) to their corresponding IP addresses. Here's how the process looks like:
ExpressVPN DNS Leak Test
ExpressVPN DNS Leak Test

U.K. DNS Servers

  1. When you type in a website's domain name into the search bar, your computer sends it to a DNS server, which is most likely the one your ISP provided.
  2. The DNS server tracks down the domain name's IP address and forwards your request, including your IP address.
  3. The website sends back the requested web page to your IP address, displaying it on your computer screen.

If you already have a U.K. IP address and still can’t access some websites, it’s possible that those websites are tracking the location of your DNS server. If that’s the case, they are blocking you because the query came from a DNS server outside of the U.K. To check, you can change your device’s DNS server from the default one from your ISP to that of a public DNS server in the U.K.2

DNS 101: You can configure your computer to use the default DNS your ISP provided or a third-party public DNS Server such as Google Public DNS.

Can I Get A U.K. IP Address Without A VPN?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are other methods to get a U.K. IP address besides using a VPN, namely, Tor and proxy servers. Each has its pros and cons.

VPN

Pros
  • Encrypts your web activity data for extra privacy
  • Faster and more reliable speeds
  • Plenty of Netflix-friendly VPNs
Cons
  • Most options are not free
  • Some VPNs may log your data, especially if they’re free
  • Free VPNs from not-so-reputable companies may track your personal data

Tor

Pros
  • Free
  • Protects your online anonymity
  • User-friendly software
Cons
  • Slower speeds
  • Netflix and other streaming services block Tor
  • Illegal in some countries

Proxy Server

Pros
  • Provides anonymity by hiding your real IP address
  • Free and paid-for options
  • Good speed and reliable connection
Cons
  • No added encryption for web activity
  • Free proxies may be used to spy on you
  • More difficult to set up

Recap

Whatever your reasons are for getting an IP address in the U.K. and whichever method you choose, the most important thing is that you remain safe and secure online. That’s why we’ve tailored this how-to guide with digital security in mind. That said, we’ve come to the conclusion that the safest and most convenient way to obtain a U.K. IP address is through a VPN. Feel free to check out our VPN comparisons to see which one is best for you.

FAQs

Have questions about getting a U.K. IP address? Check out our answers below.

  • How do I get a U.K. IP address?

    You can get a U.K. IP address using a VPN, the Tor browser, or a proxy server. We recommend using a VPN as it is the most secure and easiest method. It’s also the best method for accessing restricted streaming content in the U.K.

  • What is the IP address for the U.K.?

    There are over 110 million IP addresses assigned to the U.K.; however, you can’t just pick any IP address. You’ll need to use a VPN, Tor, or a proxy server to successfully change your IP address.

  • What is the IP address for the BBC?

    The BBC owns IP addresses within the 212.58.246.0 to 212.58.246.255 range.

  • Are VPNs legal in the U.K.?

    VPNs are legal in the U.K., whether used for extra online security or to bypass simple geographical restrictions.

Citations
  1. IP2Location. (2021). United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland IP Address Ranges.
    lite.ip2location.com/united-kingdom-of-great-britain-and-northern-ireland-ip-address-ranges

  2. Public DNS Server List. (2021). DNS servers in United Kingdom.
    public-dns.info/nameserver/gb.html