Freedom House gives Italy an overall 2019 Freedom Score of 75/100 (0 = least free, 100 = most free). Limits on content in the country are minimal. However, websites hosting copyright infringing material can be blocked without a warrant.
While politicians in the country continue to demand increased action against hate speech and fake news online, blocking and filtering is mostly limited to those containing content about child abuse, gambling, terrorism and copyright infringement.
Italy’s government is widely believed to be engaged in wiretapping, and the use of hacking by Italian law enforcement agencies has been documented. Italian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must keep users’ internet traffic records for 2 years.
Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo and other popular streaming video sites are widely available in Italy, but the available content can vary from what is available in other countries.
Luckily, Italian citizens and visitors need not worry about their online travels being monitored or restricted thanks to the benefits of using a Virtual Private network (VPN), which both protects and enhances any online activities initiated from inside Italian borders.
A VPN protects your online activities from prying eyes by encasing your internet connection in a protective tunnel of encryption, keeping your online travels undercover. This means that no one, whether it’s your ISP, the government, or the hacker at the next table over down at the coffee shop, can track you or monitor you while you’re online.
A VPN enhances your online activities by temporarily assigning a new IP address to your device, making it appear as if you’re connecting to the internet from another part of the world.
This opens access to geo-protected local content in the region, greatly expanding your online entertainment options. If you would like to access restricted content from another country, it’s easy to change your IP address with these VPN options.
In this article, we’ll be taking a close look at the top 5 VPNs to protect and enhance all of your online activities while inside of Italian borders.
How to Use a VPN in Italy
You can protect your Italian online activities in just a few short steps:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN provider. (ExpressVPN is my top choice.)
- Install the provider’s app(s) on your device(s).
- Sign into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server outside of Italy to access geo-blocked local content located outside of Italian borders, or select a server inside the boot if you’re looking to protect your Italian online travels. Those located outside of the country and looking for access to Italy-only content will select a VPN server based inside of Italy.
- Enjoy your newfound digital freedom!
Best VPNs for Use in Italy
The VPN services listed below are the top 5 best VPN service providers for protecting and enhancing your online activities while you’re inside of Italian borders.
- ExpressVPN: The #1 provider in this lineup provides top-shelf VPN protection in Italy and worldwide. It delivers speedy, well-protected connections, delivering comprehensive full access to geo-blocked content for all popular devices.
- NordVPN: Italians looking to save a few euros on quality VPN service will want to take a close look at NordVPN. The provider offers champagne service at a beer-bottle price, with comprehensive app support, excellent customer service and top-notch content-unblocking power.
- CyberGhost: If you’re new to the VPN scene, or if you’re simply looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful VPN service, this is the provider for you. The provider offers an extensive global server network that provides reliable access to content around the globe.
- IPVanish: This provider delivers VPN protection that’s comparable to most top-tier VPN providers, then takes its internet privacy protections to another level. IPVanish owns and operates its global server network, which means third-party contractors have no access to your personal information.
- Surfshark: If you require VPN protection for a large number of devices, you’ll appreciate this provider’s unlimited concurrent connections allowance. The provider also scores high marks in the connection speed and connection protection arenas.
When ranking these VPN service providers, I considered the following:
- Global server network (must have servers inside of Italy)
- Online security and privacy protections
- Download & connection speeds
- Multi-platform app support
- Customer support
Here is my list of the 5 top VPNs for Italian residents and visitors.
ExpressVPN provides the top VPN service for Italian users thanks to a wide-ranging global server network that offers fast connections to content everywhere.
The provider has a comprehensive network of VPN servers, with 3,000+ servers stationed in 93+ countries, including Italy.
Outsiders are prevented from tracking your online antics thanks to ExpressVPN’s banking-level encrypted protection, kill switch protection and IPv6/DNS leak prevention. A split tunneling feature allows users the flexibility to pick and choose which apps will use the ExpressVPN encrypted tunnel.
ExpressVPN’s download speeds are the fastest I’ve seen recently, and can easily handle whatever you throw at them, including online gaming, streaming HD video, sharing large files, or any other online pastime you might enjoy. The provider never applies any user data caps of any kind.
ExpressVPN offers excellent multi-platform support, providing app support for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows device platforms.
You’ll also find Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, and you can protect all of your devices by using the VPN on your router. Up to 5 devices can connect simultaneously on a single username.
24/7 customer support is available thanks to the provider’s around-the-clock live support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system, a searchable support knowledge base and email support.
- Servers around the globe
- Fast download & connection speeds
- Reliable internet access to geo-blocked local online content
- Top-notch online privacy and security protection
- Excellent multi-platform app support
- More expensive than many other VPNs
BEST VPN FOR ITALY:ExpressVPN offers the best overall online protection for internet users inside Italian borders. The provider’s comprehensive online security and digital privacy protections, super-fast download speeds and top-notch internet access to global content add up to the best bet for Italian VPN service. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is my recommended VPN option for Italians on a budget. The provider offers comprehensive VPN service that doesn’t take a huge chunk out of your bank account.
The provider has over 5,500 servers stationed in Italy and 58+ other countries. All of those servers offer optimal content-unblocking in the countries where they are available.
Online privacy is never an issue with NordVPN thanks to the provider’s proven no-server-logs-ever policy and a private cryptocurrency payment option.
While this provider may not deliver the fastest speeds in the top 5, its connections can’t be called slow. NordVPN provides speeds more than sufficient for streaming services, gaming and file sharing. Plus, the provider never inflicts data caps on its users.
NordVPN scores well in the app support arena, offering solutions for Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows devices.
The provider also offers Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, as well as router support. Up to 6 devices can connect simultaneously on the same login.
Always-available customer support includes 24/7 live chat, email support and plenty of searchable support information.
- Servers stationed in Italy and 58 other countries
- Excellent app support
- Low-priced multi-year subscription options
- Comprehensive privacy and online security
- Download speeds could use a bump
BEST VPN FOR BUDGET:NordVPN is my top pick for online users on a budget who require comprehensive VPN protection at a low price. The provider’s multi-year subscription rates are some of the cheapest in the industry, yet its services match up well with more expensive providers. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
This provider is the best option for online users who either have little experience with using a VPN, or who desire a VPN that provides easy-to-use yet reliable VPN protection.
With over 6,300 servers in 88+ countries, including Italy, CyberGhost’s global server coverage is some of the best in the VPN industry. Many of those servers are optimized for streaming, as well as file sharing.
Connection protection from CyberGhost is top-notch thanks to banking-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6/DNS leak protection. In addition, the provider offers ad and tracker blocking, as well as the ability to force websites to provide HTTPS versions of their pages, if available.
This provider’s privacy protections include a strict no-server-logs policy and a private Bitcoin payment option.
The provider also scores well in the download speeds department, with high speed connections that can easily handle video streaming in any popular resolution, fast-moving online games, and downloading large files. No worries about your fun being spoiled due to data caps, either.
App support is some of the best in the business, with easy-to-use offerings for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows device platforms.
Excellent router support protects all of your other devices, and Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available. Up to 7 devices can connect at once on a single set of login credentials.
Customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable knowledge base.
- Servers located around the globe
- Speedy downloads
- Supports all popular connected devices
- Streaming- and file sharing-ready servers
- Advanced users may expect more options
BEST VPN FOR NEWBIES:If you have little to no experience with VPNs or just want easy-to-use yet comprehensive VPN protection, check out CyberGhost. The easy-to-use service provides one-click access to a large global server network that includes streaming- and downloading-optimized servers. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish fares well when compared to the other providers on this list, and then provides an extra type of privacy that the others don’t offer.
With 1,400+ servers spread among Italy and 55+ other countries, the provider’s global server coverage can best be termed “average.”
However, there is something special about this provider’s network. IPVanish owns and operates its entire server network, which provides an extra layer of privacy by keeping third-party contractors away from your personal information.
All of IPVanish’s servers also “serve up” well-protected connections thanks to the provider’s use of government-grade encryption, a kill switch with auto-reconnect, and a proprietary “scramble” option that makes your VPN internet traffic look like normal browser usage.
IPVanish servers are also logs-free, meaning none of your usage information is ever saved to the server. It should be noted that the provider lacks a cryptocurrency payment option, so you’ll have to pay using PayPal or a credit/debit card.
IPVanish’s download speeds are easily up to handling HD streaming, file sharing and online games. Data caps are nowhere to be seen.
The provider’s app offerings support most of the popular device platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, ChromeOS and Amazon Fire. Setup instructions are offered for Linux devices.
Router support is also available, although no browser extensions are to be found. Up to 10 devices can concurrently connect to the service using a single login.
Customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live support chat, a searchable support library and email support.
- “Scramble” feature disguises VPN activity
- Keeps third-party contractors from your personal info
- Up to 10 devices can connect at once
- No browser extensions
- 1-month subscription prices are expensive
ADDITIONAL PRIVACY: IPVanish’s self-owned and -operated server network adds an additional layer of privacy by keeping outside contractors away from your personal data. The provider’s “scramble” function disguises your VPN activity, making it appear to be normal browsing traffic. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
Surfshark is a small but growing VPN service, whose most attractive feature is arguably its unlimited concurrent connections allowance.
Surfshark offers 1,700+ servers spread among 63+ countries, including Italy. While there is still plenty of room to grow, it should be noted that that server count is double what it was just a short time ago.
The provider doesn’t come up short at all in the online security department thanks to its military-grade encryption, kill switch and DNS leak protections. The provider also offers ad and tracking prevention, as well as an option to use “Multi-Hop” servers, which route your connection through two VPN servers, offering double encryption and anonymity.
No logs of any type are ever saved to Surfshark servers, and a Bitcoin subscription payment option adds to the privacy protection.
Surfshark connections are fast enough to provide smooth HD streaming, no-stutter online gaming, and fast downloading of large files. No data caps to worry about here.
Surfshark’s app selection includes options for the Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows and Amazon Fire device platforms.
The provider’s Chrome and Firefox extensions protect your browsing, while router features keep all of your connected devices protected. A somewhat unusual unlimited concurrent connections policy allows you to connect as many devices at once as you’d like using a single account.
Customer support is an always-available proposition, with 24/7 support chat, a support contact form and a searchable support library.
- “Multi-Hop” double-protection server option
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Fast download speeds
- Global server coverage is a bit low, but improving
- Monthly subscription options are a bit pricey
UNLIMITED VPN CONNECTIONS:Surfshark’s unlimited concurrent connection policy is unusual in the VPN industry, but it makes the provider an optimal option for users like owners of small businesses. The provider’s “Multi-Hop” server option provides double anonymity for your online travels. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Why Can’t I Use a Free VPN in Italy?
While there certainly are free VPNs that will work inside the boot that is Italy, you may find using one is much like getting a boot to the head instead of being a satisfactory experience. You’ll find free VPNs are lacking in convenience, performance and especially privacy.
As for inconvenience, that exposes itself early on, when you first attempt to connect to a free VPN’s servers. You’ll find you may be forced to cool your heels in a social distancing-safe virtual waiting room until a server slot opens up.
Once you’re allowed to connect, you then find that your server selection is greatly limited, and that’s only if you’re not automatically connected to a server of the provider’s choosing.
Now that you’re connected, check your connection speed, as there is a very good chance that your speeds have dropped precipitously. Free VPNs throttle their free users’ bandwidth to preserve it for use by their paying customers. You’ll also find that your usage is limited due to the provider’s daily or monthly user data caps.
As for privacy, free VPNs might as well be called VNs, because the privacy piece is missing. Your online activities aren’t kept private, as free VPNs keep their servers humming by monitoring your online activities, and then selling that valuable info to advertisers, governments or anyone else that’s willing to pay for it.
Free VPNs have also been caught inserting tracking cookies and ads into their users’ browser sessions. (And those cookies continue tracking you, even after you’ve disconnected from the VPN’s servers.)
If I were you, I’d go ahead and spend a few bucks per month for quality and actually private VPN protection, but that’s just me.
What Advantages Does a VPN Provide?
A Virtual Private Network is the best way to reliably protect all of your online activities, while increasing your internet access to geo-blocked local content worldwide.
A VPN encases your internet connection in a thick layer of encryption, which acts as a protective tunnel, hiding your online travels from the prying eyes of third parties.
Nosy types that would love to monitor your online activities include your ISP – as they can sell your usage info to advertisers; hackers – as they can steal your credit card and banking info; and the government – because, well, they’re the government.
I especially appreciate a VPN’s encrypted protection when I’m using an unprotected public WiFi hotspot, such as are offered in numerous public locations, such as coffee shops, hotels and airports.
Public WiFi hotspots are the favorite targets of hackers, as most are not password-protected and thus are not encrypted, leaving your online activities open to monitoring. A VPN prevents the bad guys from redirecting your connection, from spoofing websites, and from stealing important personal info, such as login info and credit card and bank account numbers.
A VPN improves your online entertainment options, thanks to its ability to make it appear as if you’re in another part of the world, opening up access to that region’s streaming services, gaming content, and other sites and services, which are not normally accessible from your part of the world.
A VPN does this by temporarily assigning a new IP address to your device, making it appear to the rest of the internet that you’re connecting from another region of the world. This fools streaming services, gaming servers and more into opening the gates to their content.
Encryption also prevents your ISP from throttling or blocking your internet connection simply because you’re engaging in what it feels are “unapproved” activities, like sharing files via BitTorrent or watching video from certain streaming services.
Italian citizens, as well as visitors to the country, can benefit greatly from using a Virtual Private Network to protect all of their online activities while inside Italian borders. A VPN also makes a handy tool for improving your online entertainment options.
My choice for top VPN for Italy is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN offers reliable protection for all of your online activities thanks to its global network of servers that deliver well-encrypted connections to content around the globe. The provider’s apps provide fast connections on most popular device platforms.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.
VPN for Italy FAQ
⭐Can I Use a VPN in Italy to Watch BBC iPlayer?
BBC iPlayer is a geo-restricted streaming service, meaning it can usually only be viewed from inside the United Kingdom. The streaming service does an efficient job of blocking most VPN users from viewing its content. However, there are still a few VPNs that can unblock BBC iPlayer. ExpressVPN is my recommended VPN for this purpose.
⭐Is It Legal to Use a VPN in Italy?
It’s legal to use a VPN in Italy. The Italian government does not view using a VPN as an illegal action. However, a VPN should not be used in the commission of illegal acts.
⭐Can I Watch U.S. Netflix From Italy?
U.S. Netflix is usually not available in Italy. This is due to the content contracts Netflix signs with film and television studios that restrict viewing of the content to certain regions of the world. Netflix is known to block VPN users from their content. However, there are still VPN services that provide reliable access to U.S. Netflix content, including my #1 pick, ExpressVPN.