Best VPN for Ireland in 2019
Recently, Ireland has started passing legislation that allows some form of censorship of internet content on its shores. The reason being, is that it passed a law that was aimed at limiting the ability of the site Pirate Bay that allows peer to peer file sharing or torrenting.
Music companies were starting to become outraged by the site’s ability to infringe upon copyright laws are were threatening legal action unless something was done by the Irish government. The result has been the passing of a law stopping Irish internet users from being able to access Pirate Bay the website.
However, the wording surrounding the law for this censorship has been extremely vague. There is, therefore, some worry that the Irish government could manipulate the current law that has already been passed for its own doing and start a much heavier-handed approach to citizen surveillance of online activity.
Irish citizens can use a VPN to stop any Irish internet service providers from being able to log and keep an eye on their movements online. Plus, a VPN also provides an Irish citizen with the ability to work around geoblocking restrictions like the one that has been put in place on Pirate Bay.
The Best VPNs for Ireland
#1: ExpressVPN – SPECIAL DEAL
Using ExpressVPN is always a good idea, whether you are looking for a VPN for general use around the world or more specifically for use when in Ireland. The company simply provides exactly what a VPN company should offer: a highly reliable and consistent VPN connection that gives customers a great deal of assurance when it comes to their online privacy. However, it also comes with many other fantastic features that makes it a market leader. They are:
- Special Deal – Secure Thoughts readers get 3 months free (49% savings) when they sign up for the annual plan!
- Uncapped bandwidth – One of the main reasons that users employ a VPN is to access restricted video content which quickly eats up data allowances that some VPN providers offer as standard. ExpressVPN is different however and does not set a certain amount of data each month so that those in Ireland who are downloading lots of geo blocked content, can be confident that they will be able to watch a film or show in its entirety.
- Large and Vast Network – Unblocking geo restrictions is only possible if your VPN provider has a server in a country where that content actually is allowed to be viewed. As such, for a VPN to be able to unblock as much content that is blocked around the world as possible, it needs to have a large network that is dotted around many locations in the world. ExpressVPN has such a network so that Irish users know that they can unblock whatever content they need.
- Market Leading Customer Support Service – Even the best VPN providers may have problems from time to time and as such should have a customer service team that is competent to help answer customer queries. For Irish ExpressVPN users, they can be confident of such a service that will happily respond to your queries through live chat, telephone or email. Plus it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so even if you are travelling, you’ll be able to contact them when you require.
- Simple and Straightforward – The technology behind a VPN is not easy to understand, however, ExpressVPN has made its interface and set up so simple and straightforward to use that even novices can use ExpressVPN with ease.
- Will Work With All Any Operating Software – Irish users may well have different devices that run on different operating systems. Luckily, ExpressVPN works on all operating systems, like Android or iOS for instance, but also allows for three simultaneous connections under one subscription plan.
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Despite all these added features, you may still not like ExpressVPN or you may find that you simply do not use it enough to justify the price. While this is unlikely in our view, it is still reassuring to know that you can get your money back with no questions asked if you notify the company with 30 days of your initial subscription.
Check out our Full ExpressVPN review.
If you’re looking for a high-speed connection with a user-friendly interface, but aren’t too keen on having all those confusing advanced settings, TunnelBear is the right VPN for you. These guys take on a minimalistic approach in comparison to competing VPN companies, making it possibly the easiest VPN to use on the market.
You can enjoy a fantastic secure VPN connection all at an affordable price when you sign up with TunnelBear on their yearly plan with savings of up to 50%. The only downfall we found is that TunnelBear doesn’t offer live chat customer service like other VPNs do. You can always sign up for their free plan to see if you like their service as they still have some great features available.
- Auditing Service – This is another rare feature TunnelBear has put into practice. Due to the fact that over the past couple of years there have been reports of various VPN companies leaking user data to third parties and law enforcement agencies, TunnelBear has decided to provide a regular audit of their services. You can see the published reports found on the TunnelBear website which proves to its customers that TunnelBear cares greatly about its customers’ digital privacy building trust with users.
Check out our full TunnelBear review.
Another one of our favorite choices for online protection in Ireland is ProtonVPN. This service provides over 450 servers worldwide in 33 countries and counting. One thing that makes this VPN stand out from the crowd is that it offers servers in countries like Hong Kong and even Africa, which are usually poorly covered by other companies. There are a number of reasons as to why this might be an appealing choice for the Irish including:
- Leak-Free Connection – DNS leaks can be a problem and will often expose your true IP address, which is caused by things like connection conflicts allowing third parties, governments, your ISP and hackers to find out where you are located. ProtonVPN has no DNS leaks which means you will be covered at all times. You also have military-grade protection as well as a kill switch, IPSec, IKEV2 and OpenVPN protocols all keeping your connection secure.
- Strict No Logging Policy – When you read privacy policies from various VPN companies it’s easy to get confused with the language used, but ProtonVPN makes things clear as day stating, “ProtonVPN respects its users’ privacy and enforces a No Logs policy. This means your VPN connections remain private and we do not store information about your connections or the websites you visit. For the purpose of securing your account and making sure it’s you who is signing in, we store a single timestamp of your account’s most recent login. Again, we do not store any information about where you signed in from or how long you were logged in.”
- Free Seven Day Trial – You have an option of signing up with the free version of ProtonVPN which has unlimited bandwidth and access to three locations around the world including the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. Within that, you will be offered a free seven day trial of the ProtonVPN Plus plan which will allow you to acclimate with their simple to use service.
Check out our full ProtonVPN review.
Privacy Laws and Regulations for Online Content in Ireland
VPN usage confuses some people. It causes a great deal of us to wonder what is legal and what is not – especially those of us who travel a great deal. The reason being that in most countries, having a VPN installed on your computer, laptop or mobile is not illegal. Even in countries like China where the censorship laws are that much stronger than the ones in Ireland, it is still deemed legal to have a VPN installed.
However, what is illegal, which is where the grey area and confusion arises from, is the fact that what you get up to whilst connected to a VPN is still subject to the same laws of the land as without a VPN. The fact of the matter is, while a VPN makes your online activity difficult to trace and see, if that activity is still illegal in the country you are residing in, you are still breaking the law. A VPN will not protect you in court if you have been charged with a crime.
With respect to Ireland in particular therefore, if you use a VPN to access Pirate Bay and continue to share files that have copyright laws placed upon them, if you are caught doing so, you are subject to the rules and punishments of Ireland’s judicial system.
Using A VPN to Access Irish Streaming Services
If you are Irish, and you have downloaded ExpressVPN, it’s good to know that you can use your new VPN to access RTE Player or iPlayer which are both streaming services that put restrictions on their content when you leave the UK and Ireland. This is great news as it means that you do not have to miss out on your favorite shows even when you are travelling outside of the country. This is because ExpressVPN will be able to provide you with a new IP address each time you connect to one of its UK or Irish based servers.
This gives you the illusion of actually being in the UK or Ireland which is what the streaming services require for you to watch their content.
The Bottom Line
While Ireland does not have strict censorship laws at present, it certainly has set the wheels in motion for the country to have more internet surveillance powers than one would have thought for a Western European country.
A VPN is good to have installed on your computer therefore as well as your mobile device as a precautionary measure so that your internet service provider cannot keep tabs on you and your online activity. It also gives you that little bit more freedom whilst online now that Ireland is implementing blocks on a great deal of online content.
Finally, a VPN keeps you anonymous while also safe from cyber criminals hacking into your system and stealing your sensitive data. They’re a good idea to have even in countries where the censorship laws are null and nonexistent.
We highly rate ExpressVPN as the VPN provider to answer all questions that the Irish government has posed when it comes to internet usage. ExpressVPN is simply the most consistent and capable VPN provider out there that offers users a safe and secure connection each and every time they sign in.