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5 Best VPNs for Ireland in 2022

Whether you live and work in Ireland, or are just passing through for a holiday, it's important to lock down your data and protect your privacy with a VPN for Ireland.

Ireland's internet infrastructure and data regulations can be a little deceptive. There's a lot happening under the surface that isn't readily apparent to most users. Believe it or not, Reporters Without Borders ranked Ireland 9th out of 180 countries in its 2016 index, meaning that it was the 9th most liberal country in terms of information access and lack of censorship. However, there's a lot that you likely don't know, and, contrary to the old adage, what you don't know can hurt you.

To help you stay safe and secure, I'm going to take a closer look at the best VPNs for Ireland and discuss Ireland's internet nuances in greater detail.

What are the best VPNs for Ireland?

You'll find our top 5 VPN picks for Ireland in the table below. If you'd like more information about any of these hand-selected services, or the features that they offer, keep scrolling or head on over to our detailed VPN reviews.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for Ireland. It has fast servers in Ireland, strong encryption, and unblocks everything. With a 30-day money-back guarantee!
  2. NordVPN - The best mid-range Ireland VPN. It has lightning-fast servers, apps for all platforms, and a 30-day money-back guarantee!
  3. Private Internet Access - A secure VPN option for Ireland. It's quick, has a proven no logs policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee!
  4. PrivateVPN - The best cheap VPN for Ireland. With robust encryption, a kill-switch, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  5. Surfshark - The best value VPN for Ireland. It's packed with features including stealth servers, and a 30-day money-back guarantee!

Before a VPN claims a spot in our top 5, it first has to meet a few vital criteria – and here's what we were looking for in our Ireland VPNs:

Best Ireland VPNs – In-depth Analysis

All our top Ireland VPNs can keep you both safe and entertained, but each one has its nuances, from padded feature sets to streamlined interfaces and value for money. Read on to find out which one suits you best.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Ireland. It combines security with unblocking power, and has Irish VPN servers. Also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee!

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Easily unblocks a wide range of streaming services
    • Explicit support for RTÉ Player
    • Great connectivity for HD streaming
    • OpenVPN encryption prevents snooping and hackers
    • Fresh-feeling apps for all platforms
  • Cons

    • One of the most expensive on our list
    • Only supports five devices at a time
    • No port forwarding – an issue for torrenters
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo
ExpressVPN Demo


Express service worldwide


ExpressVPN has staked out its place at the top of the VPN market thanks to a huge network of servers in 94 countries (including Ireland) and incredible speeds. With Express, you’ll be able to wave goodbye to buffering issues and bypass any ISP throttling. What’s more, the whole family can check out the world’s most in-demand streaming services, with 5 simultaneous connections. ExpressVPN is easy to install, and apps are available for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers.


Watch your favourites with Express


Express explicitly supports connections to RTÉ Player from Ireland servers, allowing you to watch your favourite HD content with speedy and consistent connections wherever you are in the world. Never get homesick again! RTÉ gives you access to over 200 hours of Irish shows, as well as international content. With Express, everything is available to you: football, kids’ shows, news, sitcoms, and anything else you could want on RTÉ Player.


Stellar support


Strong AES-256 encryption pairs with the OpenVPN protocol to keep your sessions secure, and Express abides by a no-logs policy that has been independently audited. If you need help, customer service is available 24/7 via live chat or email, and you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee to put Express through its paces.

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

NordVPN is the best mid-range VPN for Ireland. It offers a secure and fast VPN with servers in Ireland and 59 other countries worldwide. Give their 30-day money-back guarantee a shot!

  • Pricing

    • NordVPN Special Deal - 24 months: $3.29/mth
      73% OFF
    • 24 months: $3.99/mth
      67% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Great if you're on a budget but need advanced features
    • Constantly updating to bring you the widest set of streaming services
    • Plenty of servers in Ireland (and elsewhere!)
    • Tough OpenVPN encryption
  • Cons

    • Intermittent slowdowns
    • Lacks port forwarding
    • Only six simultaneous connections
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Nord Demo

Nord Demo
Nord Demo


No Logs? No Worries!


NordVPN is a no-logs VPN provider based in Panama that is extremely well-subscribed worldwide. It is a fast VPN with servers in 59 countries, including in Ireland to access regional services and TV shows available there. NordVPN has a no-logs policy, fantastic security features, and the ability to unblock content from around the globe. It works for watching more Netflix and can unblock US-services such as Sling TV. All of which makes it one of the best VPN choices out there.


Constantly updated service


RTÉ Player is notorious for blocking VPN access to their streaming service, especially for Northern viewers who often encounter geoblocking from being routed through UK services. NordVPN allows you to sidestep this geoblocking, allowing you access to a variety of content and sports streams that would otherwise be much more troublesome to access. Although it's a constant battle between service providers and VPN vendors, NordVPN keeps a constantly updated server list to ensure you can get access to the services you want, even while abroad.


Advanced feature set


NordVPN has advanced features such as double VPN, obfuscated servers, VPN over Tor, DNS-based malware protection, Smart DNS, and more. All at a very reasonable cost. Plus, it has live chat support to help you when you most need it. An excellent VPN with servers in Ireland, well worth trialing using its risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Sam Dawson

Tested by Sam Dawson

Private Internet Access is a secure VPN for Ireland. Praised by security communities, has proven in court it doesn't keep logs, and unblocks everything. Try the 30-day money-back guarantee!

  • Pricing

    • 26 months + 2 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      82% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.33/mth
      72% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Huge selection of servers to choose from
    • Ten simultaneous connections
    • A proven no-logs policy
  • Cons

    • Not ideal for OSX users
    • Customizable settings could be too techy for new users
    • Based in the US
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PIA Demo

PIA Demo
PIA Demo


Buy yearly and reap the rewards


Considering how budget-friendly Private Internet Access (PIA) is, particularly when bought yearly, it packs a veritable punch. All of its 2,000+ servers are quick with unlimited bandwidth, and Irish users will enjoy 10 servers within the country. PIA can be installed on 10 devices simultaneously, and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android - as well as routers!


Rock solid encryption


You’ll be able to combine PIA’s military-standard AES-256 encryption with several protocols, depending on your need, including OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec. PIA also comes with a wide range of advanced features: Performance graphs, quick connections, a VPN kill-switch to keep your traffic only on the VPN, MACE servers to cut through ads and malware, port forwarding, a VPN snooze function if you need to connect to work from 9 to 5... the list goes on! Don’t fret if you’re new to VPNs - PIA comes with instant setup, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and professional staff on hand to field any questions.

Tested by Danka Delić

Tested by Danka Delić

PrivateVPN is a cheap VPN for Ireland. It unblocks RTÉ from outside of Ireland, an impressive feat from a small, but promising, provider. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 12 months FREE: $2.49/mth
      79% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Pros

    • Guaranteed RTÉ support
    • No advance payment required
    • Unblocks in-demand streaming services with ease
  • Cons

    • Middle of the road speeds compared to the top VPNs
    • No independent audit
    • A relatively small pool of servers to choose from
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN Demo
PrivateVPN Demo


Unblock RTÉ with PrivateVPN


PrivateVPN easily secures a spot in our top 5 for a number of reasons – one of the most impressive of which being that it can unblock RTÉ player from anywhere in the world. Obviously, this is a huge plus, because it has previously been fiendishly difficult to access RTÉ content. In addition to RTÉ, PrivateVPN seamlessly unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime and more. If you're looking for a VPN that guarantees a great streaming experience, look no further than PrivateVPN.


Keep your browsing private


Whilst we're not thrilled that PrivateVPN makes its home in Sweden (a county with data retention laws), we're considerably more pleased about the service's no-logs policy. We hope that soon this no-logs policy will be audited by a third party. PrivateVPN just isn't interested in keeping tabs on your activity. In terms of security, PrivateVPN scores highly – the provider offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection, a kill-switch, and strong AES 256-bit encryption, as well as our recommended protocol, OpenVPN.


Take PrivateVPN for a spin


If you're interested in taking PrivateVPN for a trial run, you can do so for free with a 7-day free trial, or a standard 30-day money-back guarantee. Most VPNs do not offer a 7-day free trial, so take advantage of PrivateVPN's unique test session while you can!

Tested by Shaun Dewhirst

Tested by Shaun Dewhirst

Surfshark is the best value VPN for Ireland. Loved by users because of it's cheap plans, access to sought after streaming sites, and fresh apps. Try it out with a 30-day money-back guarantee!

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.3/mth
      83% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Unblocks all major streaming services
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Supports P2P traffic
  • Cons

    • Coverage isn't as good as other major vendors
    • Speeds are decent, but not chart-topping
    • Currently lacks dedicated IPs
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo
Surfshark Demo


Connect to Ireland with Surfshark


Surfshark has taken the VPN market by storm - an impressive feat when you consider how young the provider is, being founded in 2018. Now, users can access a broad network of more than 1,700+ servers across 63 countries, including Ireland, all with unlimited bandwidth and cracking average speeds. Surf shark is compatible with most devices, and, perhaps most impressively, offers unlimited simultaneous connections. This means the whole family can browse US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime.


Stay protected against malware


Surfshark is secure, too, and has undergone an independent audit to prove the veracity of its no-logs claim. Users can enjoy AES-256 encryption alongside the strong OpenVPN protocol, and a CleanWeb feature that banishes malicious ads, trackers and phishing attempts. Help is available 24/7, and a 30-day money-back guarantee ensures you can trial Surfshark’s features before committing to a subscription.

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Do you need a VPN in Ireland?

A VPN will grant you access to streaming services and libraries that you might otherwise have been unable to browse. If you're living in Ireland and want to check out what's on US Netflix, for example, you'd simply need to connect to a VPN server located in the US and reload the site. It's that simple! By masking your original IP address and assigning you a new one, a VPN can "spoof” your location – and you won't even need to leave your sofa.

Finally, a VPN is a must-have for the current digital age. Our personal data has never been more sought after, and websites, governments, ISPs and even schools and workplaces can all track you and your information. A VPN puts a stop to this. By using an encrypted tunnel, your browsing sessions, and any information you input, are kept safe from prying eyes.

A VPN for Ireland – what features do you need?

All our recommended VPNs are top-notch services – particularly for Ireland – but there are specific factors to consider when deliberating. We've listed these below:

How to set up and use a VPN in Ireland

Regardless of whether you're a beginner or an online expert, it's easy to get started with a VPN! We've outlined the necessary steps to follow in order to download and install your VPN, so follow along, and you'll be ready to roll in no time.

  1. First of all, you'll need to pick a VPN to subscribe to. Any of the providers we've listed in this article would be a great option for Ireland! Once you've decided, visit your provider's website to register your subscription.
  2. Now download and install the VPN on to your device by following the provider's instructions.
  3. After setup is completed, it's time to select a server to connect to – consider what you'd like to do online (eg. streaming, gaming or general day-to-day browsing), and connect accordingly.
  4. Hit connect, wait for the VPN to confirm the connection, and then you're done! You'll now be able to surf the web securely.

Can I use a free VPN for Ireland?

Ultimately, no. Many free VPN services are smaller offshoots of larger premium providers – they exist so you can trial a service and be tempted into a subscription. These services are often limited, however. You'll likely come across a limited number of servers, a minuscule monthly data allowance and bandwidth restrictions that can slow your speed to a crawl. Be especially careful of free providers claiming to offer a full service without the aforementioned drawbacks – typically, these dodgy dealers will track and log your information to sell to third-parties. Why? Well, they have to pay their bills somehow, and if you aren't paying a subscription, you're ultimately paying with your privacy.

VPNs are currently legal in Ireland and are used by workers across the country to access company infrastructures, as well as individuals who value their online privacy. You will still need to be careful when using one, however – any activities that are illegal without a VPN remain so whilst using one. So, downloading copyrighted content is still a crime, VPN or no VPN!

Best VPN for Ireland: Considerations

Use a VPN for Ireland to access restricted content in Ireland

I already mentioned that Ireland was ranked 9th out of 180 countries in terms of internet freedoms and lack of censorship. With that in mind, you might think that content isn't ever blocked or restricted in Ireland, but that's not the case. It simply means that the government doesn't impose harsh censorship restrictions like those that are common in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Governmental censorship is only one reason that some websites are inaccessible within Ireland. There are many other causes, which result mainly from economic reasons. For example, trade regulations and licensing agreements make it illegal to access certain types of content from Ireland. Furthermore, many countries and territories have vastly different copyright infringement and copyright enforcement laws, which are upheld by the Irish government.

These types of regulations may bar access to various streaming content sites, such as those that host streaming video and audio, not to mention BitTorrent. In particular, RTÉ player is notorious for overzealously banning any traffic it suspects comes from outside Ireland.

When picking a VPN for accessing Ireland, make sure you're choosing one that will enable you to get the most out of the content you want to watch.

How to get an Irish IP with a VPN

If you need to use an Irish VPN, you can easily get one from anywhere in the world by using a VPN. A VPN allows you to connect to an Irish server, which in turn provides you with an Irish IP. This allows you to stream Irish TV channels or access content and services that are usually blocked outside of Ireland due to geo-restrictions. 

Even if you are physically in Ireland, but you want the added privacy of a VPN, you can connect to an Irish VPN to get an Irish IP while also encrypting your traffic to conceal it from your ISP or a local network administrator. As a result, you can use local Irish services while gaining the privacy benefits of a VPN.

Using an Ireland VPN to unblock Irish content abroad

If you leave Ireland on vacation or as part of a business trip, you're going to need a VPN to access geo-restricted content from back home.

By connecting to a server in Ireland, you can unblock RTÉ Player, stream TG4, login to BBC iPlayer, access the British Netflix catalog, log in to Irish internet banking services, or access any other services that are restricted outside of Ireland or the UK. 

Plenty of gamers make use of VPNs in order to pretend to be back in their home country. Doing so lets them play on servers with folks who speak the same language. So, if you want to play multiplayer games with people who speak Irish or English, connecting to a VPN server in Ireland is your best bet.

No matter what service or stream you wish to access – if it is only available in Ireland – an Irish VPN server is your best bet,.

It is also worth noting that a VPN for Ireland can allow you to access any content from within Ireland that has been blocked by your ISP for whatever reason. A VPN encrypts your traffic, so that nobody knows you are using those restricted services, which allows you to both unblock them and use them without anybody finding out. 

Ireland's Tangled History with Microsoft and the Federal US Government

microsoft

It's no secret that many US-based digital services were caught collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA), an ugly truth brought to light when Edward Snowden blew the whistle in 2013. Naturally, as one of the US's largest tech companies, Microsoft was deeply involved in numerous governmental data programs and scandals, such as the PRISM monitoring system.

The NSA had claimed that it only spied on communications that were domestic at one end and foreign at the other, but it turned out that it had been wiretapping purely domestic communications as well. You may think that it's possible to avoid wiretapping by the US federal government, by refraining from making connections with US-hosted servers from Irish IP addresses, but that's not strictly true.

First of all, various versions of Windows collect obscene amounts of user activity data. Microsoft claims that this data is anonymous and used only to improve its software, but that doesn't seem to be the case. A great deal of data is linked to users' Microsoft accounts, including sensitive information such as telemetry data, touch and input data, user activities, and even GPS data (among many other things).

All of this data ends up on a Microsoft server, which could very well be hosted in the United States. Windows 10 is no exception. It silently mines user data in the background by default, and makes invisible connections with Microsoft servers, unless you explicitly disable settings that are buried within the operating system.

For a VPN for windows and other operating systems, take a look at the guide below:

New Policies

What does this have to do with Ireland, you ask? Well, in early 2014, Microsoft made public statements detailing new policies that would enable non-US users to store data on overseas servers.

The idea was to restore confidence in foreign users, by assuring them that the US government couldn't comb through their private data that was hosted overseas. Unfortunately, the Patriot Act forces domestic US firms to comply with directives from intelligence agencies, even if that data is hosted on foreign servers. Even worse, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) gives US agencies the power to collect data stored in EU territories. As a result of these laws, Microsoft had no choice but to comply when the US courts forced it to forfeit emails and customer data hosted in Ireland.

To its credit, Microsoft fought tooth and nail to protect its users' data rights, but that is beside the point. The unfortunate truth is that data laws are always changing, and you're not inherently safe from foreign governments' surveillance even if you live in Ireland.

Protect Your Identity with a VPN

vpn

While there is little we can do to control foreign surveillance laws, you can employ definite measures (other than abstaining from using digital services) to protect your privacy. To that end, you really need to use a VPN to lock down your data communications and protect your identity. Would anyone really want their personal data to end up in the hands of a foreign government? Of course not!

To be fair, even using a VPN wouldn't have helped out in the Microsoft and NSA debacle, because the information was all tied to Hotmail accounts. However, this fiasco shows how prudent we need to be about taking measures to secure our data, rather than blindly trusting technology companies to provide adequate protection.

Microsoft is just one example. There have been several other high-profile technology companies that located their servers in Ireland in an attempt to give a wide berth to the long reach of the NSA. As the Microsoft example illustrated, however, locating resources in Ireland is not an effective countermeasure to the NSA's clandestine wiretapping initiatives.

Best VPNs for Ireland: Conclusion

The internet in Ireland is largely free and open, but there is still an awful lot of content that's totally inaccessible. Furthermore, if you're traveling and need to access content hosted in Ireland, you may find that your current IP address is blocked by web servers.

These days, we simply can't afford to let big tech companies like Microsoft manage our security for us. Instead, we need to take proactive measures to ensure that our data is secure. Microsoft's hosting of data in Ireland still wasn't enough to provide a guarantee for its customers' data security. While we may not be able to choose where big corporations host their data, it's certainly a simple matter to bolster our online security.

The easiest and most secure way to protect our online privacy and access restricted content is by using a VPN. The aforementioned providers are the best VPNs for Ireland (though several other VPN providers also host servers in Dublin). If you're still not sure which service you like, I'd recommend taking advantage of a free trial to test it out for yourself.

Best Irish VPN: Summary

From $6.67/bb_table.month

The best VPN for Ireland. It has fast servers in Ireland, strong encryption, and unblocks everything. With a 30-day money-back guarantee!

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
10 out of 10
Simultaneous connections
5
Free trial
No
Server locations
160

From $3.29/bb_table.month

The best mid-range Ireland VPN. It has lightning-fast servers, apps for all platforms, and a 30-day money-back guarantee!

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.9 out of 10
Server locations
60
Simultaneous connections
6
Free trial
No

From $2.19/bb_table.month

A secure VPN option for Ireland. It's quick, has a proven no logs policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee!

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.8 out of 10
Server locations
84
Simultaneous connections
10
Free trial
No

From $2.49/bb_table.month

The best cheap VPN for Ireland. With robust encryption, a kill-switch, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.7 out of 10
Simultaneous connections
10
Free trial
No
Server locations
81

From $2.30/bb_table.month

The best value VPN for Ireland. It's packed with features including stealth servers, and a 30-day money-back guarantee!

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.6 out of 10
Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
Free trial
Yes
Server locations
108

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

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