While Italy has terrific food and fascinating history, unfortunately, it also upholds less than great digital rights for citizens and visitors. The country encourages ISP eavesdropping, sets rigid copyright laws, and happily shares information with Fourteen Eyes alliance members.
Can you escape the monitoring?
Yes, and virtual private networks (VPNs) are a great way to do it. They protect your privacy on the internet and help keep your information safe. As a nice bonus, they also let you unlock geo-blocked content, both in Italy and abroad.
So, which then is the ultimate VPN for Italy? Read on to find out.
Best VPNs for Italy: In Short
If you’re strapped for time (aren’t we all), here’s a quick round-up of the best VPNs for Italy:
NordVPN is a provider that does it all, and then some. It offers excellent privacy and security, has an extensive server network, and delivers blazing-fast performance. Their ability to access geo-blocked content is second to none.
A VPN that offers every feature you’ll ever need for a low price no other provider can match. Security and privacy are top-notch, the client is easy to use, and Surfshark even allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
A well-established VPN with a good-sized server network. Fast performance, excellent access to geo-blocked streaming services, and zero logging for ultimate privacy, all at a very low cost.
A no-logging policy, excellent performance, and an impressive server list are what CyberGhost brings to the table. A great value, the provider also offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee – the longest of all premium VPNs.
ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted VPNs in the market for privacy and security. You can expect fast speeds, an intuitive client, and the best-rated customer support team in the business from ExpressVPN.
Why Use a VPN in Italy?
VPNs are a powerful tool for protecting your online privacy, accessing geo-blocked content, and sharing files over P2P without fear of threatening letters of fines (among many other uses).
Here’s a list of the top reasons why you should at least consider using a VPN in Italy:
Watch Italian TV Abroad
Are you an Italian expat? Maybe you’re a frequent traveler? Or perhaps you’re trying to learn the language? The right VPN can unlock Italian streaming services for your viewing pleasure.
No matter where you are, access to Italy-only content is as simple as connecting your device to an Italian VPN server. The streaming platform then sees your traffic coming from inside the country and removes all geo-restrictions.
Binge Italian TV without ever seeing a “Content not available in your location” error message again!
Access Geo-Blocked Content
Do you want to watch the latest season of your favorite anime? Netflix Japan has it. What about UK exclusives on the BBC iPlayer or shows on US-only Hulu?
With a VPN, you can access them all without ever leaving Italy.
VPNs replace your device’s original IP address by routing data through one of their servers. What IP do you get? One from the country where the VPN server is located.
This makes you look just like a regular internet user inside said country and lets you watch every streaming service there – just like a local.
There is, however, a catch (isn’t that always the case).
Platforms like Netflix try to block traffic from known VPNs to stop us from getting around their geographical restrictions. Only a handful of providers have the resources to stay one step ahead (I talk about which a little further down). So, we need to pick wisely.
Hide From Fourteen Eyes
Remember Edward Snowden?
His 2013 information leak showed the world just how far surveillance goes. Major world powers run global surveillance programs and share information through intelligence agreements.
The US and UK were the first to form a spying allegiance. Then, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand joined in to create the Five Eyes. From there, the network grew to Nine and, ultimately, Fourteen Eyes.
And yes, you guessed it – Italy is a part of the Fourteen Eyes.
Any surveillance information collected by one country is available to all of them.
How do you keep yourself out of this? VPNs can hide your digital activity. They encrypt and reroute your traffic, masking your original IP address, the sites you visit, and the information you exchange.
Choose a VPN based outside the Fourteen Eyes countries and one with a strict no-logs policy, and your information will be out of reach.
Internet Service Providers Collect Your Data
Italy forces internet service providers (ISPs) to collect information about their clients. Yes, you read that right!
Telecoms have to keep logs of your communications, even if you cancel the service. Italian law mandates them to retain traffic data for 72 months under the guise of detecting and suppressing crime.
The obvious problem with this is: What does crime suppression even mean?
Is it to solve crimes? Or, to spy on people who might be criminals?
The Italian government was rather shady about passing these policies, too. Parliament voted mandatory data retention as an amendment to an unrelated law about lift safety.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to change these laws. But you can take steps to protect yourself online – in Italy and everywhere else in the world. A VPN gives you precisely that.
Use P2P Services Safely
With peer-to-peer services, every downloader is also an uploader, making file sharing faster and more efficient.
But here’s the catch (I know, again with the pitfalls):
On a P2P network, other members can see your IP address. That’s how P2P works, and you can’t escape it. You can, however, use a VPN to cover up your tracks – it hides your IP, remember.
Of course, not every BitTorrent download is a copyright infringement – far from it. But why take chances? Especially considering Italy has notoriously harsh piracy laws with fines per item downloaded.
So far, end-users rarely get in trouble, but that could change at any time. Italian courts have already blocked Pirate Bay and other large P2P sites, and they only seem to be tightening their restrictions.
VPNs give you fast downloads, reliable connections, and hide your activity to keep you safe. Win-win-win!
Are VPNs Legal in Italy?
Since Italy seems to be pretty keen on watching you online, does its government allow VPNs?
The answer is yes, VPNs are legal in Italy. That said, if you use one to hide illegal activity, you can still get in trouble with law enforcement agencies.
Take piracy as an example. The crime isn’t masking your activity – it’s stealing content from the copyright owner.
Online privacy is a very good thing, and we all deserve to have it. But, don’t use it – and by extension, VPNs – to commit crimes. Breaking the law is still breaking the law.
How To Choose an Italian VPN
Are you ready to become anonymous on a truly unrestricted internet? Here’s how to pick the best VPN for Italy.
VPN Servers in Italy
First and foremost, double-check the VPN provider runs servers in Italy – most, though not all, do.
Italian servers are a must to watch restricted content available only in Italy. You won’t be fooling anyone into thinking you’re a local with an IP address from another country.
Also, one Italian server is not enough. The more the provider has, the better.
From time to time, streaming content providers block VPN IPs from accessing their service. The better VPN services fix this quickly enough, but it’s always good to have multiple options.
A decent number of servers also help maintain good performance. The more there are, the fewer users each has to handle, the better the speeds.
Servers in Other Countries
If you want to access foreign content, you need a server in the target county. For instance, to watch British TV from Italy, you have to connect through the UK.
High-quality VPN providers run thousands of servers across the world. Armed with one, you can virtually travel to just about any country.
Connecting to a VPN will slow down your connection – there’s no way around that. But the performance drop should be negligible.
That said, not all VPNs are speed daemons. You want one that can give you consistently fast speeds no matter where you connect to. If a provider’s connection speed test results are not up to par, move on to a different one.
Strong Encryption Standards
When you connect to a VPN, your data is encrypted, making it completely useless to anyone who intercepts it (hackers, IPSs, governments, etc.) The top VPNs use military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, and that’s what we should aim for.
What does 256-bit encryption mean? It means that with the computers we have today, it would take billions of years to break the code and make your data readable. In other words, impossible.
Your VPN shouldn’t track your activity, period.
The best no-log VPN providers not only say they won’t log your data, but also confirm those claims with independent third-party audits. Top-rated NordVPN, for example, is officially verified as a “no-log service” by an independent PWC audit.
Do you use file-sharing sites? Make sure your VPN service both allows them (not all do) and can handle them.
P2P-friendly services have servers optimized for torrenting and other peer networks. And they won’t throttle or limit your bandwidth either.
Many of us don’t give good customer support much thought. But what if you run into a problem with the VPN? You want a responsive, easy-to-reach company that will actually resolve the issue.
Always double-check what the customer service is like. Do they have a phone line? Chat? Is it 24/7? What are other users saying?
If you have a problem, you’ll be glad you chose a company with reliable support.
Best VPNs for Italy: Comprehensive Ranking
Not sure where to start picking your VPN? Allow me to make a few suggestions.
Above I covered several things to look for in a VPN that’s a good choice for Italy. The providers listed below are the best of the best that meet the criteria. Privacy, lots of servers, fast speeds, access to geo-blocked streaming, P2P-friendly – you got it! And none of these VPNs will break the bank, either.
My current go-to provider, NordVPN, is also my top recommendation for Italy. Simply put, it’s a VPN that checks all the boxes.
NordVPN’s server network includes over 5400 servers in 60 countries, with 60 of those in Italy.
You’ll always find a server that works for your favorite streaming services, too. And thanks to best-in-class performance, expect nothing but a smooth no-buffering connection.
NordVPN also does an excellent job of keeping you safe and anonymous online. With a verified zero-logging policy, 256-bit encryption, and features like server obfuscation and double VPN, you’re in good hands.
But don’t just take my word for it. Thanks to NordVPN’s 30-day no-questions-asked refund guarantee, try them 100% risk-free.
A relatively new provider, Surfshark quickly became one of the top VPNs in the industry. They’re another excellent choice for Italy.
With servers in 96 countries, there are very few places where Surfshark won’t let you connect (and none that I can think of). Italian servers are, of course, present and accounted for and hosted in Milan and Rome.
A high-speed connection lets you stream in HD or 4K with no interruptions and ensures your P2P downloads arrive quickly.
Of all providers I mention on this page, Surfshark is also the only one that offers unlimited simultaneous connections. Have a large family with three devices each? Connect them all!
Another unique Surfshark feature is its price. Hands down, they’re the least expensive premium VPN around. Online privacy, security, and world-wide Netflix access don’t get any cheaper.
PureVPN’s focuses a lot on streaming geo-blocked content, but that doesn’t mean privacy or security fall by the wayside – far from it.
The provider recently took steps to turn zero-log and has a freshly minted third-party audit to prove it. And the security and encryption protocols they use have always been leading edge.
Being streaming-centric, PureVPN runs servers optimized explicitly for dozens of the world’s top content providers, including several in Italy. Lightning-fast server performance lets you take full advantage.
While we’re talking servers, PureVPN has a good-sized network. The list includes 93 locations in 74 countries.
When you take advantage of one of the provider’s affordable plans (you won’t regret it) you get a 31-day money-back guarantee backing up your investment. Be sure to take a look at their current discounts, too, for a bit of extra savings.
CyberGhost runs a total of 9787 servers. Of those, 210 call Italy home – no shortage of connection options here.
It’s easy to use the service too. Just click the “Best Server Location” button, and the VPN will connect you to a nearby high-speed, reliable server.
Upload and download speeds are excellent, and P2P is allowed across the board.
Similarly to PureVPN, CyberGhost also offers several servers optimized just for streaming. That makes them an excellent great choice for all your foreign and Italian programming needs.
Top it all off with the industry’s longest 45-day money-back guarantee, and you have a VPN provider you cannot go wrong with.
Last but certainly not least on this list of best VPNs for Italy is ExpressVPN – one of the most trusted providers in the market.
The company runs a very impressive network of 3000+ servers in 94 countries. Italian servers are located in the cities of Cosenza and Milan.
ExpressVPN has always been known for top security and privacy, and rightfully so. They’re a zero-log provider, use 256-bit AES encryption, and let you choose among multiple tough-as-nails security protocols.
Excellent performance means no buffer or pixelation while streaming and quick peer-to-peer downloads.
ExpressVPN is not the cheapest provider, far from it. But the price of entry is worth every cent – especially if there’s a coupon or sale you can take advantage of.
Can You Use a Free VPN for Italy?
It doesn’t get better than free, right? Not really.
To put it bluntly, free VPNs are unreliable and can’t be trusted. Before you connect using a free server, consider that:
- They aren’t safe. 38% of free VPNs are infected with malware – that’s more than one in three providers!
- You get zero privacy. The same analysis document referred above found 75% of free VPNs use third-party tracking libraries. Up to 84% have technical issues that expose your data to surveillance agencies and hackers.
- Want to watch Netflix? Think again. Free providers that work for streaming services are virtually (no pun intended) non-existent.
- Aggressive ads are everywhere. Free VPNs use advertising to pay their bills. Expect anything from annoying pop-ups to actively being redirected to secret servers.
Even if you get past these reasons, the free VPNs experience is usually pretty low-quality. They tend to run on over-crowded servers and limit your data. Some even sell your bandwidth.
You get what you pay for. And in this case, you’re not paying at all. When a top-reviewed provider like Surfshark costs less per month than a cup of coffee, is it worth taking a risk with a free service?
VPNs are some of our best allies against surveillance, online threats, and geo-blocked content. But they are not all created equal.
I strongly believe NordVPN is currently the best VPN for Italy among all the providers I mention above. The service comes with robust security, excellent privacy features, blazing-fast speeds across a large server network, and Netflix-unblocking superpowers.
And with their iron-clad 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try NordVPN for an entire month absolutely risk-free.