What Is The Best VPN for Ireland in 2018?

NordVPN is the best way to protect your internet activities while visiting or living in the Republic of Ireland. The provider offers top-notch privacy protection, fast connection speeds and industry-standard customer support - not to mention comprehensive global server coverage.

NordVPN Logo
  • Top-Notch Privacy Protections
  • Speedy Connections
  • Tops in Customer Service
  • hashtag
    Comprehensive Global Server Coverage

The provider is the best way to protect your personal and business-related information from hackers who would love to steal that information from you while you use the open Wi-Fi hotspots found in coffees shops, hotels and other public areas.

Internet Freedom in Ireland

As of 2016, household internet penetration in Ireland was at 87% of all households. 

70% of Irish citizens used the internet on a daily basis. 91% of users between the ages of 25 and 34 accessed the internet daily, and 72% of all citizens reported that they used social networks on a regular basis.

In recent years, the following key internet-related developments occurred in Ireland:

  • In October 2017, U.S. intelligence whistleblower, Edward Snowden, expressed concerns over Ireland’s data retention laws.
  • In July 2013, in response to calls for blocking and filtering, the ISP Association of Ireland issued a statement stating that the government should not expect ISPs to be censors.

Freedom House has not rated Ireland’s internet freedom. However, they rate the country’s freedom of the press status as “Free,” with an overall score of score of 18/100. (0 = Most Free, 100 = Least Free).

Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Ireland


Provider

Price

Link

1

NordVPN Logo

$6.99

per month

2

Vypr VPN

$5.00

per month

3

PureVPN Logo

$4.95

per month

4

PrivateInternetAccess Logo

$3.33

per month

5

HideMyAss VPN

$6.99

per month

Why Do You Need a VPN in Ireland?

1

Outlawed Content

Other than the blocking of file-sharing sites that the Irish Recorded Music Association pushed, Ireland doesn’t censor or restrict the internet access of their citizens. 

In 2010, the Irish government held secret discussions about whether to introduce internet filtering. However, there was no decision to implement a blocking policy.

2

Voice Over IP

Voice over IP (VoIP) service is legal in Ireland. 

However, be warned that VoIP is subject to the same types of security issues that any other online service is, and governments or other third parties could monitor any communication.

3

Social Media

All major social networks are available in Ireland, with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram ranking in as the top 5 most popular networks at the beginning of 2016.

4

Torrenting

Torrenting copyrighted materials in Ireland is illegal. 

In January 2018, authorities ordered several Internet Service Providers in Ireland to block access to 8 popular pirate file-sharing websites. The Pirate Bay has been blocked in the country since 2009.

5

Government Surveillance

In October 2017, U.S. intelligence whistleblower, Edward Snowden, expressed concerns over Ireland’s data retention laws

The Irish government requires Internet Service Providers and telecom providers to store logs of their customers’ online activities for up to two years.

6

Streaming Sites

The Netflix streaming service is available to viewers in Ireland. 

However, the content available on the Irish version of the service is limited to 537 TV series and 2,412 films. (By comparison, Netflix in the U.S. offers 1,326 TV series and 4,339 movies.)

Hulu is only available in the U.S. and Japan, while Ireland-based BBC lovers will find that BBC iPlayer is unavailable inside Irish borders.

7

Legality of VPNs

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in Ireland is completely legal.

8

Other

Online betting action is legal and readily available in Ireland, with gambling sites hosted both inside and outside Irish borders.

How a VPN Protects Your Internet Usage in Ireland

In addition to an ISP logging your web travels, you also need to be aware that hackers are continually on the prowl for users that leave their internet activities exposed due to using unsecured open Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels, coffee shops and other public locations.

Hackers can easily monitor hotspot connections to steal banking, credit card, shopping and other information, including users’ login information and account numbers.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts a user’s internet connection, keeping their online activities safe from prying eyes. It prevents ISPs from tracking a user’s online travels and also prevents hackers from harvesting a user’s personal and business information.

In addition, a VPN allows users to make it appear that they are connecting to the internet from a location other than their actual physical location. A “spoofed” location can appear to be coming from the other side of the city or from the other side of the globe.

This allows users to access geographically-blocked content, such as streaming music and video content, as well as gaming servers that are located in and restricted to certain countries.

Choosing the Best VPN for Use in Ireland

When you’re trying to find just the right VPN to use while visiting or living in Ireland, you’ll want to make sure to consider several important features.

In this section of the article, I will take a look at each feature you should consider, explain why you should closely consider each feature and then rank my top 10 VPN providers best to worst, according to how well they perform in that particular category of service.

1

Connection Speed

No matter where you’re located, connection speed is an important consideration. The quality of your connection directly affects the level of satisfaction you’ll experience during your online travels.

Movie and music lovers don’t want to wait a long time for their favorite viewing or listening content to begin playing, and gamers require a fast connection to prevent lags during battles in their favorite gaming arenas.

The table below lists my favorite VPN providers, ranked according to the speeds of their protected connections, fastest to slowest. I did the following to determine their rankings:

Step #1 - I measured the speed of my ISP-provided, unprotected connection. (I used the Speedtest website to measure the speed.)

Step #2 - I then connected to each VPN and again visited the Speedtest website to measure the connection speed provided by the VPN.

Step #3 - I then calculated the speed percentage shown for each provider by comparing the two speed test results.

2

Privacy

No matter your intended use for a VPN connection, or where you’ll be using the VPN from, privacy protections are always an important consideration.

When I refer to privacy in this article, I’m talking about whether or not a provider keeps logs of your online activities, and how well the provider protects your subscription payment information.

When researching providers for use in Ireland, ask the following questions:

  • What country is the VPN provider based in? What are that country’s data retention requirements?
  • What types of logs (if any) does the VPN provider save in relation to their customers’ online travels?
  • Does the provider accept privacy-protecting payment methods, such as merchant gift cards or a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin?

The VPN providers below are listed in order of the privacy protections they offer, best level of protection to worst.

3

Global Server Coverage

A VPN provider’s global server coverage becomes important when you’re looking to access geographically-blocked streaming and gaming content or other geo-blocked content and services.

It is important to consider where a provider’s servers are located, as wide-spread coverage allows for better unblocking power when it comes to accessing content and services that might normally be blocked from your actual location.

The screenshot below illustrates favorable global server coverage.

VPN Global Server Coverage

The rankings below display the top 10 VPN providers, sorted according to their global server coverage, best to worst.

4

Other Factors to Consider

Customer Support

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May your VPN experience ever be trouble free. However, if you do have an issue, here’s hoping your VPN provider’s customer support staff is up to snuff.

Ideally, your VPN service of choice will offer 3 types of support: live chat support, a trouble ticket tracking system and an easy-to-search knowledge base. (None of the providers I’ve tested offer live phone support, likely in an effort to keep costs down.)

In the list below, the VPN services are ranked according to the types of support offered, and how well the provider’s support agents respond to submitted issues.

Price

Unless you’ve found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the price of a VPN subscription is probably something you’ll consider before making a buying decision.

When you’re researching a VPN provider’s subscription pricing, don’t fall into the old trap of believing that the cheapest provider is the best deal. Make sure the level of service offered by a bargain-basement provider is on par with their higher-priced competitors.

When pricing providers, be sure to check each company’s website for their current pricing. Many providers regularly offer special deals that can greatly reduce the price of a subscription. Be advised, though, that you may have to agree to a longer subscription period to benefit from such special pricing.

Users who are on a tight budget will be glad to know that they can also opt for a monthly subscription option, although they will pay more for that privilege over time.

*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)

The Best VPNs to Use in Ireland

#1 - NordVPN

NordVPN Site Features

PROS

  • check
    Top-Notch Privacy Protections
  • check
    Industry-Standard Customer Service

CONS

  • 2nd-Priciest VPN on This List
  • 2nd-Slowest Provider in the Top 5

1

Connection Speed

NordVPN’s connection speeds are only good enough to rank as 4th-best in this top 5, but their encrypted speeds are far from slow. 

The provider regularly delivered connection speeds that came within 10% of my ISP-delivered speeds, meaning they should be up to your streaming and gaming needs while you’re in Ireland - depending on the speed of your ISP or Wi-Fi hotspot, that is.

2

Privacy

NordVPN takes full advantage of its location in privacy-loving Panama. The country has no data retention requirements related to VPNs, allowing NordVPN to follow a total “no logs” policy. This means none of your online activities are recorded for posterity.

The provider adds an additional layer of privacy protection by accepting Bitcoin as payment for their services.

3

Global Server Coverage

This provider’s server coverage amounts to 3,500+ servers located in 61 countries around the globe. While those are far from the best coverage numbers in the business, the provider still offers a valid option for unblocking Notre Dame football games while you’re visiting Ireland.

4

Customer Support

Customer support is delivered at a high level from the NordVPN support personnel. The provider offers live support chat, a trouble ticket system and an easy-to-use support library.

The company’s support agents always offered prompt and informed replies to my support inquiries, and the support library is a great asset when you’re searching for answers solo.

5

Price

NordVPN’s subscription rate of $5.75 per month (payable at $69.00 per year) is not the cheapest in this roundup. However, the cost isn’t unreasonable considering the provider’s level of service.

This VPN service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6

Verdict

NordVPN snagged 1st place in this playoff due to its high scores in the customer support, global server coverage and privacy categories. While its connection speeds aren’t the fastest available, they still provide enough bandwidth for your streaming and gaming needs.


#2 - VyprVPN

VyprVPN Dashboard

PROS

  • check
    Speedy Connections
  • check
    Reasonable Pricing
  • check
    Decent Global Server Coverage

CONS

  • Privacy Protections Need Improvement

1

Connection Speed

VyprVPN’s encrypted connection speeds are good enough for 3rd place in this roundup, trailing only slightly behind Hide My Ass! and Private Internet Access. 

The provider regularly delivered speeds within 6% of my usual connection speeds, meaning it can handle just about anything you can throw at it.

2

Privacy

VyprVPN scores well in most of the categories we’re taking a look at in this article, but privacy protection isn’t one of its best traits.

Even though the VPN service is based in Switzerland, where there are no data retention requirements for VPN providers, they still save certain bits of information about a customer’s VPN session, keeping them for up to 30 days.

While the logs don’t include information about websites visited, files downloaded or services used, it does include the following information: the user’s real IP address, the VyprVPN-assigned IP address, the amount of data used during a session, and the start and stop times of the VPN session.

Bitcoin and merchant gift card payment options are also absent.

3

Global Server Coverage

This provider has over 700 servers stationed in 65 countries around the globe, making for quite acceptable global server coverage. VyprVPN’s servers should have an excellent chance of unlocking your blocked content of choice.

4

Customer Support

Customer support is delivered at an optimal level at VyprVPN, as the provider has you covered by offering a trouble ticket system, live text chat support and a searchable support library.

This provider’s support agents responded quickly and knowledgeably to my support questions, and the support library was easy to search and provided plenty of answers when I was flying solo.

5

Price

A subscription rate of $5.00 per month (payable at a yearly rate of $60.00) puts VyprVPN directly in the middle of the pricing rankings. The price of a shot of Ireland’s finest is an excellent price for VPN service this good.

VyprVPN offers buyers a 3-day money-back guarantee.

6

Verdict

VyprVPN sits securely in this top 5 list’s 2nd spot due to its fast connections, great customer support and reasonable pricing. It probably would have taken the top spot if it offered better privacy protections.


#3 - PureVPN

PureVPN

PROS

  • check
    Great Price
  • check
    Comprehensive Customer Support
  • check
    2nd-Best Global Server Coverage

CONS

  • Slowest Connection Speeds in the Top 5

1

Connection Speed

PureVPN’s encrypted connection speeds sit at the bottom of the top 5 rankings, with just 83% of the bandwidth supplied by my ISP. 

While it ranks as the slowest, this provider should still be able to power your favorite online activities - depending on your usual connection speeds, of course.

2

Privacy

PureVPN’s base of operations is located in Hong Kong, which is one of the more privacy-friendly countries in the world today.

Hong Kong doesn’t require VPNs to retain any logs related to their customers’ online antics, making it possible for the provider to follow a “no logs” policy. Please note that Hong Kong is a Chinese possession, so things could change at short notice.

PureVPN accepts the privacy-friendly Bitcoin cryptocurrency for its subscriptions, extending privacy protection to your payment info as well.

3

Global Server Coverage

PureVPN’s global server count of 750+ servers stationed in over 140 countries is good enough for 2nd place on this list. Trailing behind only Hide My Ass! in the global server coverage column, this provider is a content-unblocking machine.

4

Customer Support

Trouble ticket tracking, live support chat and a searchable support library all add up to great support from PureVPN’s support department.

The provider’s support folk usually responded quickly to my support questions...except for the one time I never heard back. I’m willing to write that off as a fluke, but it keeps me from feeling completely comfortable with giving this provider the highest rating in this category.