Best VPNs for Italy

Whether you’re an Italian resident or you’re just visiting, VPNs for Italy offer a wide range of benefits. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing.

That means if you’re using public wifi at a cafe or hotel, a VPN can secure your connection from any hackers who may be snooping on the network. If you’re concerned about the European Union’s mass surveillance of the internet, VPNs protect you from that, too. If you want to watch a video that’s only available in another country, a VPN can change your perceived location and unblock the stream. And if you’re traveling outside of Italy but still want to keep up with Italian shows on RaiTV, you can unblock the Italy-only RaiPlay.

That’s just a few examples of what VPNs can do. VPNs are inexpensive and easy to use, but not all of them are worth your time and money. You’ll want something fast, secure, and with plenty of servers that can unblock content from around the world.

This article gets into detail on each of the VPNs we chose for this list, but if you are short of time, here’s a summary of our top picks:

Best VPNs for Italy:

  1. NordVPN Our top Italy VPN. Large network of fast servers including servers in Italy. Keep no logs. A reliable, private, and secure service. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark The best budget option for Italy. High speeds, a major focus on privacy, and the ability to protect every device you own simultaneously.
  3. ExpressVPN Great for accessing Italian content from abroad. Huge network of servers around the globe tuned for high-speed performance. Hard to beat on security and privacy.
  4. CyberGhost Budget choice that is preferred by beginners for their user-friendly apps that are easy to set up. Fast and secure.
  5. IPVanish Favoured by Kodi users for their simple to use apps and torrenters for their reliably fast and secure service.
  6. PrivateVPN Newest provider here with servers in Italy, good for accessing Italian content from abroad.

The best VPNs for Italy

We’ve curated our list of the best VPNs for Italy based on the following criteria:

  • Operates servers in Italy
  • Can unblock geo-locked content outside of Italy
  • Fast and reliable connections
  • Strong security and a no-logs policy
  • Bonus: an Italian-language website

Note that we also have articles specifically for Netflix Italy and Rai TV (RaiPlay) users, but this article will look at the best VPNs for Italy overall.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Dec 2020

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is a Panama-based provider with more than 5,200 servers in 60 countries. That includes a couple dozen in Italy, although the exact cities are not specified. NordVPN unblocks pretty much anything you can throw at it, including both the US and Italian versions of Netflix in the app and in a browser. You’ll have no problem accessing RaiPlay from abroad. NordVPN also unblocks Hulu, HBO, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer among others.

Connections are guarded by 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. NordVPN also has specialized servers set up for specific use cases. These include ultra-fast streaming, anti-DDoS, double VPN, and Tor over VPN. A single subscription allows you to connect up to six devices at the same time. NordVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Operates 50+ servers in Italy, easily unblocks RaiPlay and Netflix Italy from abroad
  • A trusted provider that makes no compromises on security and privacy
  • Unblocks all major streaming platforms like Hulu, HBO, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
  • Customer service available via 24/7 live chat
  • A fantastic option for streaming and torrenting

Cons:

  • Some servers take longer to connect to

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR ITALY:NordVPN is our first choice. With a large range of servers including a few in Italy, this is a good all-rounder option that unblocks Italian Netflix, RaiTV and most other streaming services. Great privacy and security credentials. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included so you can try it risk-free.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

SurfShark VPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark has a network of around 3,200 servers in 65 countries, Italy included. This low-cost VPN is generally very fast, and excels at unblocking stubborn streaming platforms like Netflix, so you shouldn’t have any issues watching Rai TV abroad. Best of all, it allows you to protect every device you own with a single account.

This VPN’s servers secure your traffic using 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. What’s more, they offer a NoBorders mode capable of bypassing even the strictest regional restrictions. Surfshark is a zero-logs provider and can’t reveal details of your activities under any circumstances. If you need any help, you can reach support staff 24/7 via live chat.

Apps are available for Android, Windows, Linux, MacOS, and iOS.

Pros:

  • Impressive unblocking abilities
  • Solid speeds
  • Great range of security features
  • No-logging policy
  • Secure as many devices as you like

Cons:

  • Some slow speeds

Our score:

4 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is our favorite low-cost option. It’s very fast, with powerful security and privacy features, and no connection limits. Also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN operates a huge network of more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. That includes two locations in Italy: Milan and Cosenza. Both unblock RaiPlay. ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix in the US, UK, and Canada, but you’ll have to ask customer service which exact location to connect to. That includes both the Netflix app for iOS and Android and in a web browser. ExpressVPN also unblocks Hulu, HBO, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer among others.

All servers are optimized for maximum speed so you can stream video and download large files without interruption. ExpressVPN uses the best security standards in the business, including 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. ExpressVPN only logs metadata that can’t identify the user; no real IP addresses or traffic contents are recorded.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and certain wifi routers.

Pros:

  • Operates superfast servers in Cosenza & Milan, great for streaming Italian shows abroad
  • Fast enough to play HD video without buffering
  • Hard to beat on privacy and security
  • Also works well with all major streaming sites, e.g. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and more

Cons:

  • Not as cheap as some other services
  • Doesn’t provide much control over advanced functionality

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST AND VERSATILE:ExpressVPN is a reputable provider that's optimized for high-speed connections. Excels at unblocking Italian geo-locked streaming sites. Hard to beat on privacy and security. There is a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee with every plan.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost Pro is the paid tier of CyberGhost, which also has a free version with limited servers and a waiting queue. The company underwent a change of hands earlier this year and has since expanded its unblocking capabilities. It can now unblock US Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. The app lets you select a server based on the popular streaming service you wish to unblock, so there’s no need to guess or contact customer support. RaiPlay viewers should have no problem unblocking the stream when connected to a CyberGhost server in Italy, of which there are about three dozen.

CyberGhost Pro uses 256-bit AES encryption and keeps no logs of users’ activity nor IP address. It scored very well in our speed tests; streaming in HD should pose no issues. The app also has some extra features like ad and malware blocking and anti-fingerprinting to help keep your browsing private. Over 3,000 servers are available and that number is growing fast.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Operates 90+ servers throughout Italy and unblocks RaiPlay with no issues
  • Some of the fastest streaming servers we’ve tested
  • Keeps no user activity logs and provides strong encryption to bypass activity detection
  • Apps are great for beginners

Cons:

  • Does not unblock all Netflix localized libraries, only the Netflix US library
  • Few customizable settings

Our score:

4 out of 5

BEGINNERS' CHOICE:CyberGhost has a simple set up. Works well with RaiPlay. Good option if you are looking for a fast, reliable connection and an easy-to-use interface. Can struggle with unblocking some popular streaming sites. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish operates more than 1,100 servers in some 60 countries. It owns, rather than rents, its servers, meaning it has maximum control over the traffic that flows through its network and who can access it. If you have a Hulu or Netflix account, IPVanish can’t help you unblock those. But it works for pretty much everything else including RaiPlay. IPVanish is also a favorite among Kodi users and works with all Kodi add-ons we’ve tested thus far.

IPVanish uses future-proof security standards including 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy. It keeps no logs of usage, activity or identifying metadata. Speeds are fast enough to stream in HD without interruption on most servers. A normal plan allows you to simultaneously connect up to five devices.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Operates over a dozen fast servers in Milan
  • Unblocks RaiPlay and many other popular streaming sites
  • Works well with Kodi add-ons for remote control users

Cons:

  • No live customer support
  • Apps don’t work in China

Our score:

4 out of 5

NO DEVICE LIMITS:IPVanish has a large network of servers. Generally solid for RaiPlay streaming and folks who need the highest standard of privacy, but look elsewhere if you want to unblock Netflix or Hulu. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is the youngest VPN on this list but it isn’t making any rookie mistakes. While it’s server network is much smaller than its rivals, it offers extremely fast speeds and extensive unblocking capabilities. Both the Italian and American Netflix catalogs are accessible to PrivateVPN users, whether you prefer to watch in an app or web browser. RaiPlay, Hulu, HBO, Prime TV, and BBC iPlayer are also at your fingertips.

PrivateVPN doesn’t fall short when it comes to privacy or security, either. The company boasts a no-logs policy, uncrackable encryption, and perfect forward secrecy. Up to five devices can be simultaneously connected on a single account. DNS leak protection and a kill switch come baked in.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Operates servers in Arezzo and Milan that are geared for streaming
  • Speeds are good enough for high-quality streaming
  • Has an easy install wizard for apps

Cons:

  • Fewer servers to choose from than other providers higher on this list
  • Support staff are good, but only operate during European business hours
  • Apps lack some popular advanced features

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Speeds were surprisingly good at this end of the market. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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Can I use a free VPN for Italy?

Free VPNs are a dime a dozen these days, but the vast majority of them aren’t worth your time. They either won’t offer the functionality you need or simply can’t be trusted.

Supposedly “free” VPN services are still by-and-large for-profit ventures. In order to generate income, many of them mine your browsing traffic and inject tracking cookies into your browser in order to collect information that can be sold to advertisers. That defeats the privacy purpose of a VPN and should be avoided. Some VPNs even insert additional advertisements right into web pages.

Free VPN services also tend to be far more limited than their premium counterparts. Bandwidth limits and data caps are commonplace, as are waiting queues. Servers tend to be congested and restricted to a small handful of locations.

VPNs to avoid in Italy

It would be impossible to vet all of the hundreds of VPN providers out there, but here are a few that you might have come across in your search that should definitely be avoided in Italy.

PureVPN

PureVPN is being hammered in the press and on community boards lately since the arrest of one of its users. The man, charged with stalking, used PureVPN to try and hide his identity. But PureVPN, a Hong Kong-based company, handed over logs of IP addresses to US law enforcement that led to the man’s arrest. While we do not condone the man’s actions, PureVPN’s no logs policy is extremely misleading. Meanwhile, some critics have started questioning the integrity of PureVPN’s security.

AirVPN

AirVPN has earned a stellar reputation in the VPN community thanks to its strict zero-logs policy and superb security standards. Unfortunately, the company is incorporated in Italy, firmly within the jurisdiction of Italian authorities. In any other country, AirVPN would be a solid recommendation, but for people in Italy, it’s just a bit too close to home.

Italy data retention and mass surveillance laws

In 2006, the European Union adopted the Data Retention Directive, which requires internet service providers to collect certain information about subscribers. That information includes metadata such as source IP address, destination IP address, time, duration, device, and user location.

In Italy, ISPs retain all data for at least 12 months. While the law does not require storing the contents of internet communications, neither does it specify what traffic must be retained.

The Italian government is now considering increasing that time period from 12 months to six years. It could also allow for web monitoring without judicial review, meaning authorities or your ISP can see the actual contents of your browsing data and not just metadata.

The Senate voted on a new bill in March 2017 that regulates hacking for criminal investigations, but privacy groups raised concerns about the lack of adequate safeguards.

Is torrenting legal in Italy?

Torrenting copyrighted material without permission is illegal in Italy. Italian laws on torrenting are more or less in line with the rest of the European Union. Fines can be doled out on a per-item-downloaded basis.

In reality, these laws are rarely enforced.

On two occasions, Italian courts have ordered ISPs to block access to several torrent tracking websites, including ThePirateBay. These sites remain blocked it Italy but can be accessed with a VPN.

Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading copyrighted material without permission.