Italy is full of architectural history, beauty, as well as tastefully done landscaping. In fact, according to Cosmopolitan, the country is 7th on the list of “Best Places to Travel in 2020.” Now, sightseeing in Italy is one thing, and site browsing is another. Internet use in Italy is one of the strictest and least available in all of Europe. The government bans several websites, limits freedom of speech, and filter media content.
Best VPN for Italy
A VPN helps Italian residents make use of the internet there to the fullest. No matter what kind of censorship is applied, a VPN can help break the internet limitation and allows users to join the rest of the world. But what’s the best VPN for Italy? Let’s find out in this review.
Virtual Private Networks are internet security tools that allow users to surf the web with enhanced security and privacy.
It shields their data with military-grade encryption and hides their IP address so that they can enjoy a free internet experience. The internet in Italy has become very strict over the years and the use of a VPN became very essential. Here’s why:
Channels around the world apply what we call geo-blocking. It’s a mechanism used to restrict user access based on their physical location – mainly due to copyright reasons.
These services and websites examine a user’s IP address to determine where he/she resides. If their location is not within their area of coverage, an instant block is inevitable.
For example, Hulu is a channel that only operates in the United States, which means it requires an American IP address. If the user is living abroad, a US IP address is exactly what he/she lacks, resulting in a block.
On the other hand, Italian ex-pats get to access the likes of Rai Play and Sky Italia while abroad. They don’t have to miss anything just because they don’t hold an Italian IP address anymore.
With a VPN, users can spoof their location by connecting to a server in the channel’s respective country. That way, they’ll receive a valid IP address in the region and direct access to restricted channels there.
However, not all VPN providers can get the job done as VPN blocking has advanced among streaming services. That’s why we performed a few tests before coming up with this review to ensure that the VPNs on our list today are good enough.
Freedom of Speech
Another reason is that fact that Italy is well known for its stringent policies that work against freedom of speech. Most of the news outlets there are barred from spreading any form of content that speaks against their government.
If anyone is found doing so, then they might face a jail term given without hearing. On the other hand, the media in Italy isn’t what everyone wants it to be.
In fact, the Italian television industry is widely considered to be overtly politicized, which lead to a poll done in December 2008. According to the poll, only 24% of Italians trust television, marking the country as one of the three regions where online sources are more credible than television.
Another example is the prosecution of an employee who was found out to have been defaming his employer on his Facebook case. Moreover, journalist Jannuzzi was sentenced to 29 months in prison because he called wrong and unjust sentences in articles that appeared in a local paper for which he was editor-in-chief.
Hate speech is something we do not tolerate, but posting your harmless opinion without worrying about precautions is something we all look for. With a VPN it’s easily done.
Also, if news websites are being filtered or blocked in the country, users can operate a VPN to hide their IP address and change their location. That way, they’ll have full access to such websites and they can do so with full anonymity.
Copyright and Internet Piracy Laws
The Italian government is also well known for its strict copyright and internet piracy laws. They’re known to keep an eye on such websites and close them down whenever the site owners don’t respond to their warnings.
The country doesn’t tolerate torrenting much and it does block almost all gambling websites. Torrenting will give users some trouble, even the Pirate Bay was blocked by the ISPs in Italy for copyright reasons.
A VPN hides a user’s identity while browsing the web. We all know that IP addresses are always compromised while downloading a torrent file. However, if a VPN is in place, the users hosting the same file will get to see the IP presented by the VPN, not the one that compromises your identity and location.
The VPN market is flooded with such a high number of VPN services to the point that it might be really difficult to decide which one to choose. We’ve gone ahead and performed a few tests on dozens of VPN providers.
According to the strict evaluation process we use, only 4 made it to the list today. With that said, here are the top VPNs for Italy:
For a long time now, ExpressVPN continues to dominate the number one spot since no other provider comes close to the quality of service and customer care that these guys offer
The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands and has been around since 2009. ExpressVPN has proved to be a credible VPN in China, which means that it can easily help users out in Italy.
We checked what ExpressVPN had to offer. Apparently, the provider delivers in every department:
Speed:ExpressVPN offers blazing fast speeds on all of its servers.Whether it’s distant or nearby, the speed remained in excellent condition despite the provider’s tough encryption.
Server Network: ExpressVPN has more than 2000 servers in 94 countries. So, if users are looking to bypass restrictions and access content abroad, they have a lot of options. Italians living abroad can also access regional content by using one of its servers in Cosenza or Milan.
Security: ExpressVPN applies 256-bit AES encryption and uses top-level security protocols. This makes it next to impossible for anyone to harvest your data or even make sense of what you’re sending or receiving.
Access Geo-restricted Content: US Netflix and Hulu are always an attraction no matter where the user resides. A lot of VPNs were unable to get around their blocking mechanism, but ExpressVPN did.
Extra privacy features include a kill switch, which terminates users’ internet in case a sudden drop in the VPN connection occurs. Also, there’s strict zero-logs policy and split-tunneling.
ExpressVPN might not be that cheap, but it does have a lot to offer. There’s always their 30-day refund policy in case the customer changes his/her mind.
High level of security.
Really fast speeds.
Always available 24/7 customer support.
Well-optimized & performance-oriented app.
Works well with Hulu, Netflix & other streaming services.
BulletVPN comes straight from Estonia, a region that has no data retention laws applied and has nothing to do with the Five Eyes Alliance.
Based on what we’ve seen, this VPN deserves this high spot as a candidate to be used in Italy. Here’s why:
Speed: The speeds were outstanding. The provider maintained excellent speeds on each and every server we connected to. Also, they have UltraHD Support, which does exactly what the name suggests. We were able to stream UltraHD content without any buffering issue.
Server Network: With 114+ servers in 51+ countries, BulletVPN gives several options for those who are looking to access geo-blocked content. As for Italian Expats, BulletVPN has 3 servers in Italy.
Security: Not only does BulletVPN apply military-grade encryption, but it’s also one of the few VPNs that offers 5 different security protocols.
Unblocking Restricted Content: The service managed to unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and DAZN from the first try.
With a kill switch and Bullet Shield, user data is always safe. Bullet Shield works by blocking you from accessing the internet if you’re not connected to Bullet VPN first.
This is very important as you stay protected from beginning to end. As for pricing, BulletVPN offers decent prices and is always bringing out great deals.
They have a 30-day refund policy and a 1-day free trial for Android users or those who contact customer support.
Unlocatoris a provider that recently joined the VPN industry. It first launched as a Smart DNS service, but now, it’s taking on the role of a full hybrid.
The service is based in Denmark, which raises some questions considering data retention laws as the country is part of the 9-Eyes – an extension to the Five Eyes Alliance.
So far, there have been no reports of Unlocator submitting data and they do adopt a strict no-logs policy. Other than that, Unlocator offers the following:
Speed: We found that Unlocator’s speed varies depending on the server we connect to. On some servers, we didn’t even notice the speed drop. However, on others, our connection suffered a 55% drop, which is considered to be a bit much.
Servers: The provider has around 41 servers across 37 countries, which is a good number, but pales in comparison to the variety the others on the list offer. It has servers in key countries, including Italy – Milan.
Security: Unlocator VPN protects its users with military-grade encryption. Also, it has a kill switch and Unlocator Shield, which doesn’t allow internet access if no VPN connection is established.
Access to Restricted Channels: Their Smart DNS has been unblocking channels ever since 2013. Their VPN service is no different as it got us to access all major streaming channels.
Unlocator is not expensive at all. In fact, if users are just looking to unblock content, it allows them to subscribe to its Smart DNS service as a standalone.
Furthermore, Unlocator has a 30-day money-back guarantee, which begins after their 7-day free trial ends.
256-bit AES encryption.
Live chat support.
Supports Hulu, Netflix & other streaming services.
The people in charge at NordVPN made a smart move by setting up their base in Panama since this is a country where data retention laws do not apply and user privacy restrictions are well respected.
This provider has always had a place in our top spots as it’s well known to have the largest server network in the industry. But that’s not enough to place it in this review. The following features are:
Speed: We had mixed emotions about NordVPN’s speed performance test. Some servers were fast, some were ok, while others were really slow, especially the ones we used with Double VPN.
Server Network: The number of servers is important and 5000 servers is a big number. However, NordVPN also covers 62 countries, which allows Italians to have several options to choose from.
Security: Compared to other providers, NordVPN has some unique security features. Aside from the military-grade encryption, there’s CyberSec – a technology that fends of any malicious software. Also, there’s their Double Encryption, that routes user traffic through two servers instead of one.
Unblocking Capability: We tried NordVPN with several channels, including Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. We got to watch all of them without a problem.
Aside from CyberSec and DoubleVPN, NordVPN adopts a strict no-log policy, which ensures that no user data is being collected or stored.
NordVPN comes with decent prices as well as a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.
24/7 customer support.
Unblocks Hulu, Netflix & other streaming services.
Servers in 62 countries.
30-day refund policy.
Six concurrent connections.
Very limited speeds.
No split tunneling.
4 of the Best Italian VPNs – Conclusion
If we’re being honest, you stand to gain a lot by subscribing to a VPN service that you can rely on, especially while residing in Italy. The 4 we’ve gone through above are all worth what they’re asking for, so we’re sure subscribing with them won’t lead to any frustrations going forward.
You’ll get to stream content from the likes of Hulu, Pandora, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, HBO, Crackle, and Netflix; all the channels you’re used to watching from home.
If you do decide to subscribe, let us know how good your experience with the providers we’ve mentioned was. We’d really appreciate hearing from you.
Description: ExpressVPN is a VPN service that allows you to browse the web anonymously and unblock geo-restricted sites.
Streaming gadgets geek. Interested in every little thing there is to know about bypassing regional restrictions. An avid believer in the right to protect online privacy. Charles has also reviewed plenty of VPN service providers and knows how to separate the good apples from the bad ones.