In this article, I’ll be discussing which Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are the best for use while residing in or visiting Ireland. But why would a user require a VPN while inside Emerald Isle borders? Let’s take a quick look at how Ireland fares when it comes to online freedom and access.
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 Irish government requires Internet Service Providers and telecom providers to store logs of their customers’ online activities for up to two years.
All major social networks are available in Ireland.
Netflix and other streaming services are available in Ireland. However, the content available on those services varies from that of other countries. Meanwhile, other services are only available in their home countries.
Luckily, all of the above drawbacks of online life in Ireland can be alleviated by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN encrypts your internet connection, protecting your online activities from being monitored by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the Irish government, or the nice-looking lad with the impressive laptop sitting the next table over at your favorite coffee shop.
A VPN can also temporarily “spoof” your device’s IP address, making it appear as if you are in another location, opening access to content that might normally be blocked in Ireland, such as certain streaming services, gaming services, and yes, Pirate Bay.
In this article, I’ll be providing information about the top 5 VPNs that can best protect and enhance your online activities while you’re inside Ireland.
How to Use a VPN From Inside Ireland
It’s easy to use a VPN inside Irish borders. Simply do the following:
- Subscribe to the VPN provider of your choice. (ExpressVPN is my VPN of choice.)
- Install the VPN provider’s app(s) on your electronic device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located outside of Ireland if you’re looking to access content located outside of the country, or a server inside Ireland if you’re desiring online protection or if you’re outside of Ireland and wish to access geo-blocked content from inside the Emerald Isle.
- Enjoy your protected and enhanced internet connection!
Best VPNs for Use in Ireland
The 5 VPN providers below have proven to be the best VPNs for use from inside of Ireland. The short and sweet version of things:
- ExpressVPN: This VPN scores the top ranking on this list thanks to its excellent online protections, fast connection speeds, top-notch device support and reliable access to geo-blocked content around the globe.
- NordVPN: Budget-minded online users will do well to take a closer look at this provider. Its low annual subscription rates belie its excellent VPN service, which offers excellent security and privacy protections, above-average app support and more.
- CyberGhost: This provider is the best choice on this list for new VPN users or novice computer users. The provider offers easy-to-use apps for a variety of devices. The provider also offers hassle-free streaming and file sharing-optimized VPN servers.
- VyprVPN: This provider offers reliable VPN service with HD-capable download speeds, good app support and a privacy protection no other VPN on this list can offer: self-owned and -operated server farms, which keep third-party contractors away from your personal data.
- Surfshark: This provider is rather new to the VPN scene, but it’s quickly making a good name for itself. While the provider offers a fast-growing global server network and fast connection speeds, its main attraction for some users will be its unlimited concurrent connections policy.
When ranking the providers on this list, I considered the following factors:
- Global server network (including servers in Ireland)
- Security and privacy protections
- Connection speeds
- App support
- Customer support
Note: While this article concentrates on the aspects of using a VPN from inside Ireland, I only included providers that have servers stationed inside the Emerald Isle so that you can access Ireland-only content when you’re outside of the country.
Here is my list of the 5 best VPNs for use inside of Ireland.
ExpressVPN is the #1 choice for a comprehensive VPN service for online protection while either inside or outside of Ireland.
The provider’s comprehensive global server coverage includes 3,000+ servers that are located in 94 countries around the globe. That includes a server farm located in Ireland.
Military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak prevention all protect your online activities from observation. A split-tunneling feature in the provider’s desktop apps allow users to designate which apps will use the VPN’s encrypted tunnel, if you don’t want all of them to use it.
On the privacy end of things, a no-server-logs-of-any-kind policy and a Bitcoin payment option have things covered.
ExpressVPN’s download speeds were the fastest in my most recent round of connection speed tests. The provider’s speeds were more than up to smoothly streaming 4K and HD video and easily handled both online gaming and sharing of large files. This provider has no data cap limitations of any kind.
Native app support is also a strong point with this provider thanks to apps for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows device platforms. Browser users can protect their online activity in Chrome and Firefox browsers.
Extensive router compatibility can be used to protect all of your connected devices. Up to 5 devices can connect simultaneously on the same account.
Customer support is an always-available thing at ExpressVPN thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket submission form and a searchable support database.
- Comprehensive global server coverage, with servers inside Ireland
- Speedy downloads
- Reliable access to geo-blocked content
- Excellent privacy and security protections
- Top-notch app support
- More expensive than many other VPN services
BEST VPN FOR IRELAND:ExpressVPN is my top choice for users inside Ireland who are looking for reliable online security, excellent privacy, and access to geo-blocked content nearly anywhere around the globe. A 30-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN delivers champagne service at a beer-bottle price, making it an attractive option for VPN users looking to save a few Euros.
NordVPN’s 5,500+ server count compares well with its competitors, although it lacks a bit in the country count department (with 58 countries around the globe, Ireland included.)
Connection protection is well covered thanks to bank-grade encryption, a handy kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak prevention. The service also offers ad and malware blocking for a bit of extra protection.
The provider keeps no server logs of any type, and it accepts cryptocurrency in return for its services, so the privacy end of things is also well covered.
While this provider’s download speeds aren’t the fastest on this list, that doesn’t mean they offer slow connections. NordVPN’s protected connections can easily handle HD video streaming, online gaming, and the downloading and sharing of large files. No data caps ever spoil the fun.
Users of Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows devices will find protection for their devices. Chrome and Firefox users can install a NordVPN browser extension to protect their browser sessions.
Plus, you can use the provider’s excellent router features to protect all of your connected devices. Up to 6 devices can connect to the service at one time on a single set of login credentials.
Customer support is available 24/7 with around-the-clock live support chat, email support and a searchable support library.
- Servers in Ireland and 57 other countries
- Excellent privacy and security protections
- 24/7 customer support
- Low-price subscription offers
- Slowest connections of this top 5
BEST BARGAIN-PRICED VPN OPTION:NordVPN deserves a second look from budget-minded users who are looking for quality VPN service at a reasonable price. The provider’s top-notch online protection and other services provide a value higher than their asking price. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost is an attractive option for first-time VPN or device users. Newbies will appreciate the provider’s easy-to-use apps, as well as its streaming- and file sharing-optimized server options.
This provider’s global server network is one of the best in the industry thanks to 5,800+ servers located in 89 countries (Ireland included). Many of the provider’s servers are optimized for various streaming services, as well as for sharing files via BitTorrent.
Your internet connection will benefit from CyberGhost’s optimal protection, made up of banking-level encryption, ad and tracker blocking, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and the ability to force websites to serve up HTTPS versions of their pages if available.
Your privacy also benefits from optimal protection thanks to the provider’s strict no-logs policy and its acceptance of Bitcoin as payment for services rendered.
CyberGhost’s download speeds compare well with most other VPN providers and can easily handle HD and 4K video streaming, the downloading and sharing of large files, and no-stutter online gaming. Data caps are nowhere to be seen.
Those easy-to-use apps I mentioned earlier include offerings for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Chrome and Firefox extensions protect your browser sessions.
The service is also compatible with numerous router makes and models. Up to 7 devices can connect to the service simultaneously.
Around-the-clock customer support includes 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable knowledge base.
- Servers in 89 countries, Ireland included
- Speedy downloads
- Easy-to-use apps for all popular platforms
- Servers optimized for streaming and file sharing
- Advanced users might prefer extra options
BEST VPN FOR NEWBIE USERS:Beginner VPN users are strongly urged to take a close look at CyberGhost as a solution for their VPN protection. The provider has easy-to-use apps for most popular devices, and it provides easy access to streaming- and file sharing-optimized servers around the globe. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
VyprVPN does a good job of keeping up with most of the other VPNs on this list, and even offers an extra level of privacy protection.
While VyprVPN’s server count (5,500+) is quite comparable to its competitors’ numbers, it falls a bit short in the number of countries it covers (57).
That said, the provider owns and operates its entire server network, which is where that extra level of privacy I mentioned comes in. Since they own and operate all of their servers, that means third-party contractors never have access to your personal info.
Your privacy is also well protected thanks to a no-server-logs-ever policy and a cryptocurrency subscription payment option.
The provider’s download speeds are nowhere near the fastest in this lineup. However, they have no problem handling high-def video streams, online gaming and sharing of large files. No data caps to be found here.
VyprVPN makes apps available for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS and Windows platforms.
However, no browser extensions are currently available. They do offer compatibility with various brands of routers, though. The provider’s basic subscription tier limits users to 3 simultaneous connections.
24/7 live support chat, a support request form, and a searchable knowledge base have your support needs covered around the clock.
- Owns and operates entire global server network
- Good app support
- Top-notch security and privacy
- Fast connection speeds
- No browser support
- Only 3 simultaneous connections with basic subscription level
EXTRA LAYER OF PRIVACY:VyprVPN offers an extra layer of privacy for users looking for that extra bit of privacy protection. Its fully proprietary server network means outsiders don’t get their paws on your data. HD-capable connection speeds and optimal online security are also attractive features. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of VyprVPN.
Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN industry when compared to the rest of the providers in this list. However, it has quickly gained a good reputation.
While this provider’s global server count is the lowest on this list, it should be noted that their current global server count of 1,000+ servers in over 59 countries is close to double the size it was last year at this time.
A strict ban on server logs, as well as a Bitcoin payment option, add up to optimal privacy protections.
Surfshark delivers what measures in as middle-of-the-pack connection speeds, easily handling video streaming, file sharing, online gaming and any other online activity you may enjoy. No data caps to spoil the fun.
Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Fire TV users will all find apps for their favorite devices, as well as browser extensions for the Chrome and Firefox platforms.
The service is compatible with a large number of routers. The provider has a somewhat unusual unlimited simultaneous connections policy, making it an excellent option for large groups of users.
Customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live support chat, a searchable support library, and a support request form.
- Fast-growing global server network
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Global server numbers still have a ways to go
- 1-month subscription is priced a bit high
PERFECT FOR LARGE GROUPS OF USERS:Surfshark is an excellent VPN option for users who need VPN protection for a large number of users. The provider’s unlimited simultaneous connections policy is somewhat unusual in today’s VPN industry. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Won’t a Free VPN Work in Ireland?
While you might be able to find a free VPN provider that works in Ireland, you likely will be disappointed with the service’s performance and protection.
A free VPN is inconvenient to use. You may find you’re forced to wait in a queue until an open slot is available on the free provider’s server network.
Once you’re allowed to connect, you’ll likely find you’re automatically connected to a server of the provider’s choice, or if you’re allowed to choose, your server choices are severely limited.
Once you do connect, you may find that your connection speeds slow to a crawl. Plus, you may be forced to deal with daily or monthly data caps. Do a little video streaming and you’ll find you’re quickly using up your data allotment.
Privacy and security protections from free VPNs are severely lacking. Even “free” VPNs need to pay the bills, so some no-cost VPN providers will track their users’ online activities, save the information in a log file, and then sell that info to advertisers and other Nosy Nellies.
Other VPN providers of the “free” type will inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions. Those tracking cookies keep tracking you, even after you’ve disconnected from the VPN’s servers.
Does any of this sound good? Wouldn’t you rather pay a few bucks a month for quality VPN service? I would.
What Can I Do With A VPN?
A Virtual Private Network delivers more than just encryption for your internet connection, it also protects and enhances your online activities in other ways.
A VPN opens access to geo-blocked content nearly anywhere around the globe.
It does this by temporarily assigning a new IP address to your connected device. Since IP addresses can be used to identify a device’s geographic location, that means you can appear to be located in another country, enabling access to that country’s online content.
Since a VPN’s encrypted connections protect your online activities from being monitored by third parties, that means it also protects against your ISP throttling or blocking your internet connection.
Some ISPs have been caught throttling or blocking their users’ connections if they’re observed viewing video from “unapproved” sources or if they’re sharing files. If your ISP can’t see your activities, they can’t block them.
That same encryption protects you when you use an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot at a hotel, coffee shop or other public location. Those hotspots usually lack encrypted protection, meaning your online activities are left open to being observed by other users on the hotspot. This can be quite important when you use a hotspot to pay bills, do your banking or shop online.
Irish citizens and visitors to Ireland are strongly advised to investigate the protection and enhancements a Virtual Private Network can offer.
ExpressVPN offers the best all-around VPN service of any of the providers on this top 5 list. The service offers well-protected and speedy connections, as well as access to geo-blocked content nearly anywhere around the globe. Its comprehensive app support and top-notch customer support provide an excellent way to protect and enhance your online activities.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.