5 Paid and 5 Free VPN Apps for Italy
The practice planned by the Italian government dangerously resembles what is known as “soft censorship”, or "indirect government censorship", indicating an array of official actions intended to influence media output, while maintaining an appearance of media freedom
A reliable VPN app serves to unblock restricted websites and services in Italy in a matter of minutes. Besides, it makes you protected from monitoring.
Want to learn more?
Read this article and you’ll find out:
- Is there censorship in Italy?
- What websites undergo blocking there?
- What are the best VPNs for Italy to subscribe to?
- Can I use a free VPN in Italy?
- ExpressVPN: It is a perfect choice for Italy as it’s super-fast and secure.
- NordVPN: It provides its customers with easy-to-use apps and 24/7 support.
- Surfshark: It will allow you to unblock restricted websites in Italy safely.
- CyberGhost VPN: It uses robust protocols and military-grade encryption./span>
- PIA: It is cross-platform software available on all popular platforms.
- ProtonVPN: A top-notch VPN with a free plan to use without time limits.
- Windscribe: It offers a free package to unblock any service in Italy and be anonymous.
- Hide.me: A free VPN plan by hide.me that gives you 10GB of traffic limit per month.
- HotspotShield: A worthwhile VPN app with a free plan and a 500MB daily traffic limit.
- TunnelBear: One more VPN service to go round censorship in Italy.
Recommendation: Show preference to the VPN providers with diverse server parks, a strict no-logs policy, reliable AES 256-bit data ciphering, and an automatic kill switch. Paid VPNs possess these features. But if you cannot pay for service now, you can make use of VPNs with a free trial period.
In 2009 Wikileaks reported that Italy has banned about 300 sites. According to that report, censorship was based on “a secret, unaccountable list of site names”. For internet users in Italy, this means a serious lack of access to certain sites that do not contain any criminal material.
Even though Italy does NOT impose restrictions on social media or news websites use, there are some cases of restrictions concerned with a lack of facility to visit web services.
Wikipedia censorship in Italy
In 2001 administration of the Italian department of Wikipedia blocked access to the website, as the step of protest against the government's bill that was under discussion.
According to this new law, the administration of the website had to change the content of the articles within 48 hours in case Wikipedia pages contain deceitful information.
These measures were estimated as direct censorship imposed on Italian Wikipedia without court permission. Website administration commented this situation saying that it would destroy basic principles of Wikipedia:
Still, there always was a chance, using a VPN in Italy, to open the website changing an Italian IP address into an IP of a less restricted country.
TV censorship in Italy
As it’s widely believed, the Italian television industry is politicized both inside and outside the country.
According to the statistics, Italy has only 24% of TV news trusted programs, while, for instance, Britain has 38% out of this. It makes Italy only one of those examined countries, where online resources are considered to be more reliable to get information than television ones.
Italians often face the situation when movies or cartoons are changed while broadcasted nationally.
Although the whole situation shows that information taken from the Internet is more truthful, still it frequently happens that such data is inaccessible while browsing with Italian IP.
In this regard, it’s recommended to use a VPN for Italy to bypass such restrictions and find out true news.
The Italian government tends to restrict access to some sites, as they are stated to bring harm and danger to their users.
What websites undergo blocking in Italy?
As a rule, the services are blacklisted in Italy in case they contain:
- Materials with a political coloring
- Texts criticizing the activity of any organization
- Data that breach copyright law
- 18+ content
- Texts rising the theme of violations of rights and corruption
- Ads propagating the sale of drugs
- Social dangerous information
- Texts covering the idea of national security
- Content that contradicts economic interests
The arguments presented explain why Italy takes the 41st position in the RSF rating.
Censorship leaves nothing but a necessity to acquire a VPN provider for Italy to get freedom in internet space.
Freedom of speech in Italy
Not too long ago, the Italian government passed a set of internet censorship rules called the Levi-Prodi law.
Those laws strengthened the powers of the country’s internet regulator, AgCom. Under the new laws, AgCom has wide-ranging powers to take down sites that may violate copyright laws in the eyes of the bureaucrats.
If AgCom finds a “serious violation of the economic exploitation of the rights of a digital work”, it can take down a site in less than a fortnight. Critics have pointed out that the process is unfair, given the AgCom lacks copyright law specialists, and that it ultimately leads to a violation of freedom of expression for everyday Italians.
The abuse of user rights is pretty infrequent in Italy. Reporters on the Internet and users of social networks should be careful in speaking out because of the legislation about criminal defamation in this country. Especially, it is disputable dealing with the online sphere.
Comparison of VPN services for Italy
|Service||Speed, Mbps||Country selection||Number of servers||Price (monthly)|
A reliable VPN for Italy should possess strong security features to provide its subscribers with round-the-clock protection. Also, it should offer many servers located in different places in the world to go round local restrictions.
Besides, it would be pretty good to have a good discount.
And it’s possible! I’ve found the VPN providers that are very reliable, have servers worldwide, and offer attractive discounts when subscribing to long-term plans.
- Multi-platform compatibility
- Fast speeds
- Zero-knowledge DNS
- Automatic kill switch
I have no claims to the work of ExpressVPN. All services and sites I tried were opened when connected to servers in different countries located in 160 places in the world.
User security is above all for the provider. That’s why it uses only diskless servers and doesn’t keep logs on user activity.
|1 month||6 months||1 year|
- Good streaming support
- A 7-day trial for Android
- Apps for any platform
- 5400+ servers
- 59 countries
- 30-day refund
- 7-day free trial (Android, iOS)
NordVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN thanks to its long-term packages. Its servers are fast enough to watch Netflix movies without buffering.
Split tunneling serves to route traffic of certain apps through a secure VPN channel.
|1 month||1 year||2 years|
- Automatic kill switch
- Obfuscation feature
- Custom DNS
- Camouflage mode
- Unlimited number of devices
Despite it’s the cheapest VPN on the list, it offers premium functions and a good server park. It’s also good at unblocking Kodi addons as well as other services.
Surfshark servers have shown good speed test results in Italy – about 10-20% speed drop.
Surfshark plans prices
|1 month||6 months||2 years|
- Suitable for torrenting
- Very secure
- Good for unblocking streaming services
- Over 6200 servers
- 80+ countries
- 1-day trial
- Up to 45-day money-back guarantee
It’s perfect for unblocking different services because it has special servers for Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, etc. The app is smart enough to choose the most suitable server for your location.
Torrenting becomes very attractive with CyberGhost VPN, as it makes you absolutely anonymous and serves to access any torrent site.
CyberGhost VPN prices
|1 month||1 year||2 years||3 years|
- Apps for Amazon Fire Stick and Android TVs
- 7 simultaneous connections
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Ads & malware blocker
- SOCKS5 Proxy
PIA offers the maximum number of simultaneous connections per subscription (after Surfshark of course) – 10. The connection is rather stable. Thanks to the automatic kill switch, your traffic stays secure when you switch between the servers.
|1 month||1 year||2 years|
- High-speed servers
- Different functions on different platforms
There’s another option – to use a free VPN. You can make use of this opportunity in case you don’t have money for a paid subscription.
The VPNs presented here are paid ones. But all of them have free packages.
Warning: Free plans of paid VPN services have lots of restrictions (speed, bandwidth, servers, etc).
ProtonVPN is the best among free VPNs. It provides premium service and guarantees privacy on the Internet. Although it doesn’t have traffic or bandwidth limits, it restricts its users to servers located only in 3 countries.
With the Windscribe free VPN package you can unblock any site in Italy. But be ready that your unlimited access to the Internet will be over when your traffic reaches 10GB (monthly).
Having chosen the hide.me free package, your monthly traffic will be only 10GB. But it’s enough to access necessary sites and watch a couple of movies or series. Besides, you’ll have a chance to connect to the servers in 5 locations.
Another free package by a premium VPN service offers 500MB of daily traffic (or 15GB per month), the US location, and speeds up to 2 Mbps.
This VPN offers its free plan with the strictest traffic limits – from 500MB to 1.5GB per month. However, you can connect to any server in 23 countries.
What about scrutiny, privacy, and anonymity in Italy?
Coming to Italy as a tourist one is to take into consideration some facts that may seem to be a norm for the local citizens. You might be wondering:
Monitoring in Italy is habitual
If you are in Italy, don’t worry about surveillance of your private phone conversations or chats on the net, because it is allowed to monitor private communications only if there is a warrant. Technical tracking is not widely-spread in the country.
NB: ISPs are obliged to keep data, for example, broadband internet info, net telephony, internet usage via mobile phone, and email activity. The data can be revealed just if there is a response from a judge or lawyer. Law enforcement agencies can ask for access to the data in case of criminal investigations. IPs turn to third-party services to encrypt and stock the data. (As it was mentioned above, they must retain the data up to 24 months).
Data on Italian netizens are stored
Besides, Italy’s expanded anti-terrorism laws allow the government to collect and store metadata of internet users. It’s highly unlikely that the digital rights of Italian citizens will improve soon. Until they do, users who access the internet from Italy can use a VPN to visit censored sites that are otherwise legitimate, and stream videos seemingly blocked because of copyright violations.
How to find the best VPN for Italy?
- First of all, it is necessary to study its characteristics such as the list of servers and their geographical locations, IP types, speed, bandwidth, additional features like automatic kill switch, and unlimited server switching.
- After one has found a VPN that allows accomplishing all desired activities on the Internet in Italy, it is necessary to check if it is compatible with the device.
- The next step on unlimited web surfing is the payment procedure. If one desires to be 100% anonymous and protected on the Internet, it is better to opt for payment with Bitcoin
Is it worth using a free VPN for Italy?
It should be mentioned that one can choose either a free or paid VPN provider. In this regard, some crucial points are to be taken into account:
- Paid VPNs provide their subscribers with security and anonymity of high quality when free VPNs barely make them safe online.
- Another difference is in service quality. Free VPN providers often lack professional live chat support.
- There are cases when free VPN recorded browser history and sold it to advertisers. Paid VPN guarantees your privacy while surfing the internet and follows a no-logging policy.
- Paid VPN provider ensures stable connection, unlike a free VPN that has an overwhelming flood of users. Thus, the connection can be lost while speed – reduced.
- An unlimited number of servers in various countries around the globe are at users’ disposal in case they have opted for paid VPN services for Italy.
These facts seem to confirm the idea that it is better not to entrust security to free VPNs in Italy.