Close to 77% of Israeli citizens enjoy broadband internet service, ranking it at 7th in the world for broadband internet penetration.
While Israelis enjoy mostly free access to the internet, there are a few restrictions, as social media posts deemed to be inciting or hateful are subject to censoring by the government, and military censors have the authority to restrict press freedoms.
In the past, legislators have discussed blocking sites containing pornography by default, requiring adult users to enter a keycode to access materials, allowing the government to keep a list of users who access such sites.
Plus, there’s content around the globe that internet users in the country don’t have access to due to geo-blocking of content, including content from streaming providers such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and many other services.
In addition, Israelis traveling outside of their homeland face restrictions on sites and services they may want to access that is located inside Israeli borders.
Arguably, the best way to ensure your internet freedom, both inside and outside of Israeli borders, is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN allows users to avoid censorship and geo-blocking of content by both encrypting a user’s internet connection to prevent observation and restrictions, and by making it appear as if the user is connecting from another region of the world.
In this article, I’ll tell you about the 5 best VPNs for ensuring your internet freedoms while in Israel, which also offer Israelis the best access to content in their home country while they’re traveling abroad.
Best VPNs for Israel
After rounds of rigorous testing, the 5 VPNs listed below proved to offer the best protection for users in Israel. Here’s a quick summary, in case you’re short on time:
- ExpressVPN: The #1 provider on this list, ExpressVPN offers the best unblocking power thanks to an extensive network of servers around the globe (including servers in Israel), while also delivering super fast download speeds.
- NordVPN: The budget-priced VPN selection on this list, NordVPN offers excellent blockade-busting access to content around the globe thanks to its Israel-inclusive selection of servers.
- CyberGhost: This provider is an excellent option for internet users who have little to no experience with VPN apps. The provider’s easy-to-use apps connect to a global server network that includes options inside Israeli borders.
- IPVanish: This provider offers an extra layer of privacy thanks to its self-owned and -operated global network, which includes Israel-based server options. The provider’s proprietary “scramble” protection option helps disguise your VPN activity.
- VyprVPN: This provider also offers a self-owned and -operated server network, providing data protection from third-party operators. It has servers in Israel and also plenty of options around the globe. Sadly, no Bitcoin payment option is available.
I evaluated the top VPNs for Israel using the following criteria:
- Total privacy protection
- Total security protection
- Fast connection speeds
- Wide-ranging global server coverage (with servers in Israel)
- Comprehensive multi-platform support
- Optimal customer support
Here’s my list of the top 5 VPNs to protect and enhance your internet use in Israel.
ExpressVPN is the best choice for a VPN to protect and enhance users’ online activities, both inside and outside Israeli borders.
Privacy is also well served thanks to the provider’s total no-logs policy. If you want total anonymity, it’s available by using a disposable email address with the provider’s handy Bitcoin anonymous payment option.
ExpressVPN’s download speeds were the fastest of any provider in my most recent round of testing, providing more than enough speed for streaming video, gaming, sharing files and conducting just about any other online activity you might engage in. No data caps or bandwidth limitations are ever imposed.
ExpressVPN boasts a global server network of 3,000+ VPN servers in 94 countries, including Israel. Those servers do an excellent job of opening access to blocked sites, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and others.
The VPN provider’s app selection includes native apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Nook, Linux and Chromebook devices. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available.
Users with other devices, or who need to connect more than 5 devices at once, can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s extensive router support.
If you ever need assistance, fear not. Around-the-clock live support chat, a support ticket system, email support and a searchable knowledge base are all available to assist you.
- Excellent privacy and security protections
- Comprehensive server coverage
- Offers access to Israel-based materials
- Top-notch multi-platform support
- Fast download speeds
- More expensive than some other VPNs
BEST VPN FOR INSIDE AND OUTSIDE ISRAEL:ExpressVPN is the best VPN available to protect and enhance your online activities from inside of Israel and internationally. The provider delivers super fast connection speeds and covers the globe with its servers. Optimal security and privacy protections are the standard. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is our budget-priced VPN option, providing excellent online protections and privacy at a quite reasonable price.
Banking-grade encryption protects NordVPN users’ connections from prying eyes, while kill switch, DNS leak and IPv6 leak protections prevent your online travels from accidental exposure. A “Double VPN” option routes your activity through two VPN servers, providing double encryption.
The provider never saves any server logs, and using a throwaway email address and paying by Bitcoin will keep your payment info anonymous.
The provider’s connection speeds are far from being the fastest on this list, but they still offer more than enough speed for streaming, gaming and other online enjoyments.
Over 5,500 servers are located in 60 countries, Israel included, providing excellent access to blocked services around the globe.
NordVPN delivers native apps for the Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux and Android TV platforms. It also offers Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.
To protect other devices, or more devices than the 6 simultaneous connections limit allows, you can make use of the provider’s excellent router support.
24/7 live support chat, email support, a contact form and a searchable knowledge base are available in your time of need.
- No logs, no records, no way
- Double VPN protection
- Connection obfuscation features
- Slowest connection speeds on this list
BEST BUDGET OPTION:NordVPN’s low pricing is just one of the features that will appeal to budget-minded users. The provider’s Double VPN and connection obfuscation features will seal the deal. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost is an excellent VPN option for users who have little to no experience using VPN services. The provider’s easy-to-use, yet powerful apps are an excellent way to ensure comprehensive online protection.
The provider offers excellent online protection via its banking-grade encryption, IPv6 leak and DNS leak protections, and the ability to block ads, malicious websites and online trackers. The provider can also force websites to serve up secure versions of their web pages, if available.
The provider’s no-logs policy on its servers ensure no one can access records of your past online antics, and a Bitcoin option is available to keep your payment info totally incognito.
CyberGhost’s download speeds are some of the best around, providing more than enough oomph for most any online activity.
Global content access is almost guaranteed thanks to the provider’s 5,900+ strong server network, with servers in 90 countries around the world, including Israel. The provider offers streaming-optimized servers to offer access to numerous streaming services around the globe.
Native app support from CyberGhost includes apps for the iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Android TV and Amazon Fire platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions also make the list.
If you require protection for other devices, or require more than 7 simultaneous connections, you can use the service with a router.
Customer support is available in the form of live support chat, a support ticket tracking system and a searchable support library.
- Extensive global server coverage
- Easy-to-use apps for popular platforms
- Excellent connection speeds
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- No advanced options as available from other providers
BEST FOR VPN NEWBIES:CyberGhost is a valid option for users looking for an easy-to-use, yet powerful VPN provider. Quick one-click access to servers around the world and fast download speeds add up to a great VPN option for beginners. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish is one of two VPN providers that offer an additional layer of protection that most VPNs do not.
Military-level encryption protects all of your online travels from being observed or blocked. Meanwhile, their kill switch protection, DNS leak and IPv6 leak prevention, and proprietary connection “scramble” feature all prevent your activities from being inadvertently exposed.
IPVanish’s no-logs policy matches every other VPN provider on this list, then they add an additional layer of privacy by owning and operating all of their server farms, preventing third-party contractor access to your personal data.
The provider’s connection speeds are the 2nd-fastest on this list, providing all the speed you need for streaming, large file downloads and your other activities.
While IPVanish’s global server coverage (1,300+ servers in over 50 countries) is slightly lacking compared to many other providers, those numbers still provide reliable access to blocked content around the globe.
App support from this provider is comparable with their competitors, providing apps for Android, Linux, iOS, Windows, macOS and Amazon Fire devices. However, no browser extensions are available.
Up to 10 simultaneous device connections are allowed, but if that isn’t enough, or if you need to protect devices not on the above list, you can make use of the provider’s router features.
24/7 customer support is available, with live support chat (you’ll have to face a chatbot first, though). Searchable support and email are also available.
- Self-owned and -operated servers add layer of privacy
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Excellent connection and privacy protections
- Money-back guarantee only 7 days
- No cryptocurrency payment options
BEST FOR USERS WITH MULTIPLE DEVICES:IPVanish allows the largest simultaneous connections allowance on this list. Plus, its extra layer of privacy will be attractive to privacy-minded users. 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
VyprVPN also owns and operates its entire server network, providing a comparable layer of protection to that of IPVanish.
The provider’s servers are log-free, meaning there isn’t any evidence of your online travels. Unfortunately, no Bitcoin payment option is available.
VyprVPN’s connection speeds fall in the middle of the pack where this list is concerned, but it delivers enough speed for streaming, gaming and other fun stuff on the net.
With over 700 servers in 70+ countries, the provider has the globe covered. Plus, VyprVPN owns and operates all of its servers, providing end-to-end privacy.
App support is pretty standard, with apps for the macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Android TV and Amazon Fire device platforms. No browsers extensions are to be found here, however.
Only 3 devices can simultaneously connect to the provider via a single set of login credentials. If you require protection for additional devices, you can make use of the provider’s router capabilities.
24/7 live support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system, a searchable support library and a service status page all add up to solid customer support.
- Well-protected fast connections
- 24/7 customer support, with service status page
- Owns and operates entire server network
- Priced higher than many VPN services
- Limited to 3 simultaneous connections
ADDED SECURITY: VyprVPN’s proprietary server network provides an additional level of security for your personal data. The provider’s connection speeds can handle any of your online activities, and 24/7 customer service is there when you need it. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of VyprVPN.
How to Use a VPN in Israel
All 5 of the VPNs we’ve taken a look at provide optimal protection for your online activities while inside Israel, as well as access to Israeli-based content when outside of Israel.
VPN usage is legal in Israel. However, before entering any country in the Middle East, I strongly advise that you subscribe to, install and test your VPN provider of choice before entering the country, just in case access to a VPN’s website is blocked within the country.
To protect your online activities from being monitored while in Israel, do the following:
- Subscribe to the VPN provider that is the best fit for your needs.
- Install the VPN’s app(s) on your device(s).
- Log into the VPN’s network.
- Connect to a VPN server located anywhere outside of Israeli borders.
- Enjoy your internet freedom.
Is a Free VPN a Good Option for Use in Israel?
I simply don’t think that free VPNs are a good protection solution in any situation, and using one in Israel is no exception.
Arguably, the #1 reason to use a VPN is to protect your privacy. Freebie VPN providers do not do a good job of protecting you in this category.
Since “free” VPNs don’t directly charge their users for their VPN usage, they have to find another way to cover the bills. Many of these providers will monitor and log their users’ online activities, then sell that information to the highest bidder. Goodbye, privacy.
Freebie VPNs have also been known to insert unwanted advertisements and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions. (Those cookies stick around even after you disconnect from the VPN’s servers.)
In addition to security risks, free VPNs also have other disadvantages.
Some VPNs will force you to wait in a queue before being allowed to connect to their servers. Once you are allowed to connect, you’ll either be connected to a server of the provider’s choice, or you’ll find you have a limited number of server choices.
What if you’re outside of Israel and need to connect to content inside the country? Basically, you are SOL (simply out of luck).
Plus, once connected, you may find that the provider severely throttles your connection speeds or places daily or monthly data caps on your connections.
I don’t know about you, but none of this sounds appealing to me. VPN service is available for the price of a large cup of your favorite coffee shop drink. Why cut corners on an important thing like VPN protection?
Why Do You Need a VPN in Israel?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, while online freedom in Israel is much better than in other Middle Eastern countries, there is some censorship imposed in the country.
Using a VPN provides total protection for your online activities, keeping your travels safe from monitoring or restriction.
While most of the internet is available to Israeli users, there are restrictions in place. Social media posts that the government deems to be inciting or hateful are subject to censoring, and military censors have the authority to restrict press freedoms. (These include reports of military weapon testing and military campaigns.)
As far as torrenting goes, Israeli ISPs are said to be lax in enforcing any restrictions against file-sharing activity, and in 2013 the Israeli parliament even discussed making torrenting completely legal.
However, this still doesn’t protect against music and movie industry “honeypots” that are designed to lure in users to download files so they can bring lawsuits against the users for downloading copyrighted materials.
I strongly advise you to use a VPN when engaging in P2P activity, no matter which country you’re in.
How to Maximize Your Privacy While in Israel
When using a VPN, there are a number of “best practices” that can help better protect your online activities.
First, make sure your VPN app’s settings are configured in a way that best protects your online activities.
Use the OpenVPN protocol if available. Enable kill switch protection, auto-reconnect, any available obfuscation features (likely called “stealth,” “scrambling” or something similar) or any other security-enhancing feature.
If you’re not sure about a feature, ask your provider’s customer support folks for help.
In addition to optimizing your VPN app’s protection settings, there are other ways to maximize your anonymity. When at all possible, avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots, use an encrypted email provider and use a secure browser, like Tor.
Does a VPN Offer Any Additional Advantages?
While keeping your online activities undercover is arguably the most important feature for any VPN provider, there are other advantages to using a VPN.
A VPN is an excellent tool to use to gain access to content that might normally be unavailable in your region. This includes streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and numerous other streaming services.
It also opens access to online gaming arenas and other sites and services that might normally be blocked to you.
A VPN can also prevent your ISP from throttling your connection speeds simply because you’re engaging in “unapproved” activities, such as streaming from certain services or engaging in P2P file sharing.
A VPN’s encrypted connections don’t just prevent your ISP and government from monitoring your online activities. A VPN also prevents having your checking, credit card or other important personal info stolen by a hacker when you’re using the unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot at Starbucks.
No matter where you live or what countries you visit, a Virtual Private Network is the best available tool for protecting and enhancing your online activities.
A reliable VPN service – such as my #1 choice for use in Israel, ExpressVPN – provides the best protection against online monitoring and censorship.
ExpressVPN not only provides optimal online security and privacy protection, it also provides the most reliable access to websites and services that might normally be unavailable in your area. The provider’s extensive global server network and fast download speeds enhance all of your online activities.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.