What Is The Best VPN for Norway in 2018?
NordVPN offers the best protection for users who are planning to access the internet while visiting or residing in Norway.
The reasonably-priced provider supplies the fastest connections around, covers their users’ privacy needs and also offers all-around support when needed.
Internet Freedom in Norway
The overall freedom status in Norway is “free.” While Norway isn’t a member state of the European Union, the citizens there are subject to many of the EU’s laws, and the Norwegian government implements EU directives.
In recent years, the following internet-related developments took place in Norway:
Although Freedom House has not awarded Norway an online freedom score, they do rank the overall freedom status in the country as “free.”
Why You Need a VPN in Norway
Internet freedom in Norway is considered high, and authorities there do not engage in widespread monitoring, blocking or filtering of online content. There are also no credible reports of email or chat room monitoring by the government.
In this part of my article, I’ll share information about what types of content are blocked, what types are allowed, and what types of criminal or civil liabilities users might face if they attempt to access blocked content.
Other than websites hosting illegal copyrighted content or illegal types of pornography, the government in Norway doesn’t attempt to block any websites or other types of content.
Voice Over IP
Using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology is allowed in Norway. As an internet-based technology, VoIP is subject to the same privacy and security-related issues as any other internet service.
Social media sites are popular in Norway, and access to the services is wide open. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the three most popular social networks in the country. 50% of the Norwegian population is on Facebook.
The Norwegian government can order ISPs to block file sharing sites after copyright holders confirm there is copyrighted material being illegally shared by the site. The site at the top of the blocking list was (you get three guesses, and the first two don’t count) The Pirate Bay.
In September 2016, Norway approved a proposal by the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) to monitor all online communications taking place between that country and other countries. The NIS argued the law would help Norway to protect itself from terrorism and cybercrime.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country must store logs of users’ internet activities for six months, but not more than two years. Access to the information is not limited to the investigations of serious crimes, and a warrant isn’t required for access.
YouTube and other popular streaming video services are widely available in Norway.
Netflix is locally available in Norway, streaming content licensed for viewing in that country. Therefore, the available movies and television shows will differ from that of other countries.
Access to the Hulu streaming service is restricted to the U.S. and Japan. BBC iPlayer content is restricted to United Kingdom residents.
Legality of VPNs
Use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is perfectly legal in Norway. However, using a VPN in the commission of a crime is frowned upon. (DUH!)
Online gambling is allowed in Norway, but only state-owned gambling services are legally allowed to offer online wagering to gamblers. However, a number of offshore gambling companies happily accept wagers from Norwegians.
While the government could detect your visits to an offshore online casino, they don’t usually fine citizens, preferring instead to penalize the unlicensed operators.
How a VPN Protects Your Internet Usage in Norway
Norwegian internet users can easily protect their online travels, as well as their personal and financial information, from snoopy peepers by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN protects a user’s internet connection and its accompanying activities by covering the connection in a layer of encryption.
A VPN can also open up a world of online streaming, gaming, and other types of content and services by making it appear a user’s connection is originating from another country. This allows the user to detour any roadblocks that might be keeping them from successfully accessing the content.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Norway
When you’re investigating available VPN providers for use in Norway, look for a provider that offers total privacy protection and fast connection speeds, which we’ll cover here. Also check a provider’s global server coverage, customer support and pricing.
Here, I’ll discuss the important categories, explain why they are critical and tell you how well each provider performs in that category.
Privacy is one of the most important considerations when deciding on a VPN provider, no matter where you’re going to be using it.
When you’re considering its use in a country like Norway, where ISP logs are open to the eyes of law enforcement and other government agencies, it becomes even more important.
Look for a VPN that is based in a country where the government respects its citizens’ privacy, and remember that any VPN provider you consider shouldn’t keep logs of any kind.
Plus, the provider should help protect your payment information by accepting Bitcoin or other types of privacy-friendly payment methods.
If there is one VPN service category that has a direct, real-time effect on your satisfaction with your online experience, it’s the speed of your internet connection. Activities like streaming, gaming or even just browsing the web are all made more enjoyable with a fast connection.
When testing a VPN provider’s connection speeds, I first test the speed of the connection provided by my ISP. Then, I connect to the VPN service and test the speed again. I repeat the process on multiple days, at various times of the day.
To come up with the average VPN connection speeds, as shown in the table below, I compare the ISP and VPN speeds to perform the calculation.
(All speed testing is performed using Speedtest.net.)
The providers below are ranked according to average speed for their U.S. connections, fastest down to slowest.
Avg. DL Speed
Avg. DL Speed
The Best VPNs to Use in Norway
#1 - NordVPN
NordVPN is based in Panama, where they don’t require VPNs to keep logs related to their customers’ online shenanigans. The provider takes advantage of the country’s attitude toward online privacy, keeping no logs of any kind.
Extra privacy protection can be had by using Bitcoin to pay for your VPN subscription.
NordVPN is the fastest provider I’ve tested. Its protected connection speeds benchmark at 92% of the unprotected speeds delivered by my ISP.
This means you’ll have plenty of bandwidth for streaming video and audio content, gaming online, using VoIP or engaging in any other of your favorite online antics.
NordVPN’s customer support offerings are among the best in the VPN industry, providing live support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system and an easy-to-use support library to its customers.
I always received prompt replies from courteous support agents when I made use of the trouble ticket or live support chat options. The company’s support library makes a great way to find out a quick bit of non-critical information.
NordVPN’s reasonable asking price of $5.75 per month (payable at $69.00 annually) offers a respectable return on investment when you consider the high level of services provided by the company.
NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Global Server Coverage
A global server coverage count of 3,348 servers in 60 countries isn’t the best in the business, or even on this list, but it will offer plenty of content-unblocking power for most areas of the world.
This provider offers admirable multi-platform support, with native apps for the big 4 (macOS, Windows, iOS and Android) and support for using the service with DD-WRT-capable routers.
NordVPN also offers setup instructions for using the service with Raspberry Pi, Linux, Windows Phone and other platforms.
NordVPN was a cinch for the top spot this time around, easily outscoring their opponents due to the provider’s blazingly fast connections, excellent customer support, comprehensive privacy protections and above-average global server coverage.
Getting all of this for a reasonable monthly fee was just icing on the cake.
#2 - Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) will likely be the most attractive VPN on this list for users looking for a deal on a provider. PIA provides surprisingly speedy connections and top-notch privacy protections, all at a low price.
Better customer support and global server coverage would have seen PIA challenging for the top spot.
#3 - PureVPN
3rd-place finisher PureVPN has a lot to recommend, including comprehensive privacy protections, wide global server coverage (best on the list) and top-notch customer support.
Although the provider is attractively priced, faster connection speeds would have made it shine brighter.
#4 - IPVanish
IPVanish offers optimal privacy protections, speedy connections and above-average global server coverage.
The provider could improve their customer support, and the price is a bit high. However, users who opt for IPVanish probably won’t regret it.
#5 - ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN just made it into the top 5 this go-round thanks to its excellent global server coverage, top-notch customer support, comprehensive privacy protections and above-average connection speeds.
A lower price would make it a much more attractive option.
Optimizing Your VPN Connection in Norway
You’ve decided on a VPN provider, installed their app, entered your login info - you’re ready to go, right? Well, sure, but if you take a few moments to optimize your VPN connection, you’ll reap benefits down the road.
Step #1 - Use an Ethernet Cable (Optional)
While many users prefer the convenience of using Wi-Fi to connect to the local network and access the internet, a wired Ethernet connection will offer a more efficient, and usually faster, connection.
Many connected devices released in the last few years do not include an Ethernet port. Luckily, you can probably find one for your device at your local computer or electronics store, or online at Amazon or other online merchants.
Step #2 - Manually Select a VPN Server
While you can use your VPN app’s “best connection” feature to protect your connection for most purposes, take the time to select a server location if you’re planning to use the VPN’s content-unblocking abilities.
Selecting a VPN server located as close as possible to the blocked content you have your eye on will improve your chances of ramming through those virtual roadblocks.
Step #3 - Test Your Ping and Connection Speed
Visit the Speedtest website and run the convenient test found there. You’ll see your connection’s ping time and download/upload speeds, as well as your detected location.
Lower ping times benefit users who are looking to enjoy online gaming or even chat via services like Skype or FaceTime. Faster download and upload speeds benefit any online activity.
If the readings aren’t where you’d like them to be, disconnect from your VPN, reconnect and run the test again.
My Final Verdict
Any of the top 5 VPN providers I’ve covered in this article will do a serviceable job of protecting your online activities from inside of Norway. That said, there’s always one provider that stands taller than the rest.
NordVPN snagged the #1 spot this time around thanks to its speedy connections, dependable customer support, comprehensive privacy protection and above-average global server coverage. The provider’s reasonable pricing seals the deal.