The Best VPN for Rai in 2021 - Watch RAI outside of Italy

Rai player is an online service developed by Rai, Italy's public service broadcaster, and grants viewers access to all its most sought-after content.

However, if you live outside of Italy, you'll need a VPN to access the website, thanks to geo-restrictions. In this guide, we'll figure out which provider is right for you.

 

The Best Rai VPN services

We have listed the best VPN services for RAI player below. All of these services unblock RAI player, however, there are several key differences including the number of servers in Italy, the speed of the VPN servers, their ability to unblock other streaming sites. Check out our detailed summaries further on in this article for more details about the VPNs listed below. 

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for unblocking RAI, with super fast servers in Cosenza and Milan to choose from.
  2. NordVPN - Another excellent choice for this task, with 60+ servers in Italy to connect to.
  3. CyberGhost VPN - A straightforward piece of software that will get RAI up and running in no time.
  4. Private Internet Access - Another solid option for unblocking RAI, with great security features to match.
  5. Surfshark - A no-logs VPN with servers in Italy and some great privacy features.

How to unblock Rai Player in five steps 

  1. Sign up for the VPN service that best suits you from the list above.
  2. Download and run their software on your device.  
  3. Connect to a server located in Italy. 
  4. Search for Rai Player through your search engine/browser. 
  5. Create an account on their website. 

The best VPNs for Rai Player: a closer look

Below is a list of the best VPNs to use with RAI in 2021:

ExpressVPN is a fantastic provider that makes your security, safety and streaming experience the priority. It has servers in Consenza and Milan and unblocks loads of streaming sites including RAI.

  • Pricing

    • 12 month: $6.67/mth
    • 6 month: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Super fast - great for streaming!
    • 5* 24/7 customer support
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • Special Deal: Save 49% Today
    • No logs
    • TrustedServer tech runs in RAM only
    • IPv6 WebRTC leaks (fixed by browser extension)
    • More expensive than other providers
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo
ExpressVPN Demo


ExpressVPN is a firm favorite here at ProPrivacy, and for good reason too. It's easily one of the best VPNs on the market, and I think it's got one of the slickest user interfaces out there for both desktop and mobile.


It's not a very intimidating piece of software either, and you're not immediately met with tonnes of things to configure every time you log in. This means you can get down to unblocking RAI without a moment's pause! As someone who loves streaming all sorts of movies and TV shows, speed is really important to me – so it's refreshing for a VPN provider to be so consistent in that regard. 


A streamer's dream


Aside from being a bit of a speed demon, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for unblocking content from a broad range of regions across the globe. Whilst using ExpressVPN, I had a choice of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. The provider services two locations in Italy, ideal for unblocking RAI from outside of the country and watching your favorite Italian shows without buffering. 


But ExpressVPN isn't just built for unblocking Europe's top TV channels, it has servers in the US and a number of countries in South America and Asia. On top of this, getting customers into different Netflix libraries is one of ExpressVPN's specialties, so you're spoiled for choice. Torrenting is not an issue either, so whatever your streaming needs, ExpressVPN will have you covered. 


Superb security 


ExpressVPN has created a super-secure and private environment for its users. The provider uses AES-256 encryption to secure your traffic when it passes through their servers, which is the most secure, readily available encryption standard around. They also only use RAM servers, which means no data is ever written to any hard disks. RAM servers require power to store things, so as soon as a reboot takes place everything is wiped. 



ExpressVPN also provides users with a kill-switch, which automatically drops your internet connection if you lose connection to your VPN server. I like this feature because it gives you real peace of mind; you know you've got the VPN protecting you if you're still streaming. Ever the pioneers, ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs out there to have designed their own protocol, called 'Lightway' which makes for a more secure and speedier streaming experience.


If you're accessing content on RAI that might be censored in your country of residence, then it's crucial you pick a VPN with an excellent track record on privacy and features that will genuinely keep you safe. 


Pricey for a reason


Admittedly, ExpressVPN is more expensive than most VPN providers. But this provider knows that if you pay top dollar, you deserve the best possible VPN experience. If you'd like to give it a test run before you commit to a full subscription, take advantage of ExpressVPN's money-back guarantee – you can use their software for an entire month and claim your money back if you're not happy.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

NordVPN is a speedy and feature-rich provider that will easily unblock RAI.

  • Pricing

    • 24 month: $4.13/mth
    • 12 month: $4.92/mth
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Based in Panama (great for privacy)
    • Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
    • Six simultaneous connections
    • Dedicated IPs (cost extra)
    • Special Offer: 75% OFF!
    • No port forwarding
    • IPv6 leak in macOS IKEv2 app
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Nord Demo

Nord Demo
Nord Demo


NordVPN is based in Panama, which has great privacy laws and means the service is not beholden to any government demands to hand over user information. I love NordVPN's user interface (although not everyone does), and I find the map with all their server locations a massive help when I want to explore things like different Netflix catalogs. 


NordVPN is known for both its speed and security features, with the latter including some pretty innovative tools that set it apart from a lot of the other VPNs on this list. It also has over 60 servers in Italy, making it a shrewd choice if streaming RAI shows is your main priority. 


Cheetah-like speed 


NordVPN consistently tops the speed tests we conduct on a daily basis, which means you'll have minimum lag when accessing content from other countries, including RAI in Italy. VPNs force your data and requests to take a longer route to the internet, so getting hold of one that doesn't negatively impact your speeds is strongly advised. 


Speed is a very contentious issue in the VPN world, seeing as plenty of services tout their speeds as a major selling point... despite the fact that VPNs can actually slow your speeds, marginally. There are some cases where VPNs can improve your speed, however – including if you've been bandwidth throttled. NordVPN is, in my experience, is a consistent provider and a streamer's dream. 


Tonnes of features


NordVPN is one of the most feature-rich VPNs out there. Highlights include CyberSec, the provider's ad and malware blocker, which is one of the best of its kind in the VPN sphere, and double VPN, which provides two layers of encryption by rerouting your traffic through two servers instead of one.



For the more advanced VPN users, I think you'll like NordVPN's custom protocol NordLynx, which is built around the speedy WireGuard protocol and ensures that your safety and privacy are secured. The provider also has an Onion-over-VPN function which allows users to retain the protections of a VPN and also route their traffic through the Tor network. These kinds of features are extremely useful if you're trying to access movies and shows on RAI that have themes or scenes that are frowned upon or censored in your country of residence. 


NordVPN, on top of this, only uses diskless servers (meaning all user data is stored using volatile memory, which is wiped when the server powers down) that are all obfuscated, which essentially means even your internet service provider can't tell that you're using a VPN. 


Unblocking everything 


I feel like it would be pretty useless to have all that speed without being able to unblock any content, but luckily NordVPN doesn't disappoint. It's got a really solid track record of unblocking different regional catalogs on sites like Amazon Prime and Netflix, and I haven't noticed any issues with using it to watch shows on RAI Player. 


NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you're unsure about the product or what it can do for you (or you want to test it out on RAI to make sure it's the real deal when it comes to accessing your Italian content) you can just download it, test it and get a refund if you're not happy. Everyone's a winner!

Tested by Hannah Hart

Tested by Hannah Hart

CyberGhost have been in the VPN game for many years now, and they've got some great apps and a 45-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 26 months special: $2.25/mth
    • 36 months: $2.25/mth
    • 24 months: $3.49/mth
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
    • Private: Strong no logs policy
    • Based in Romania so no government spying!
    • 45-day money-back guarantee
    • Unblocks US Netflix + BBC iPlayer
    • Special Offer: 79% OFF!
    • WebRTC IPv6 leak in macOS
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

CyberGhost Demo

CyberGhost Demo
CyberGhost Demo


CyberGhost is a VPN service that's been around for years now, having seen many of its competitors come and go, and has established itself as one of the most widely-used and popular VPNs during that time.


They're based in Romania, outside the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes security alliance, and use AES-256 encryption to secure user traffic. Although CyberGhost does keep some limited connection logs for troubleshooting purposes, it doesn't hold any activity logs and they release a transparency report every three months to assure users that their data is in safe hands. 


Optimized for streaming


CyberGhost has a whopping 178 servers in Italy that are great for streaming RAI, and this reduces your risk of connecting to a congested server. These 178 servers only represent a small fraction of their large global server network, however, but are the ones you'll need for the task at hand. 


CyberGhost's network spans 91 countries and consists of over 6,000 servers in total, some of which are specifically optimized for streaming. This means you won't find yourself stuck for new content to unblock and subsequently stream. This is a much bigger server network than most VPN companies, and so CyberGhost is ideally positioned to reach countries that other providers can't. 


A slick app for whatever platform you need



CyberGhost, as VPNs go, is incredibly easy to use and I love the fact this doesn't change when you switch from your Mac to your Android phone, for example. There's a tendency amongst some VPNs to really go all-in with the settings and features, but this often just turns into a configuration nightmare that's more confusing than it is customizable to a given user's needs. 


There's nothing worse than finding out exactly when a show starts and then missing it because you're faffing around with settings, and CyberGhost avoids this by providing a no-frills service that's ideal for getting connected and streaming as quickly as you can.


Time to decide


CyberGhost, as mentioned previously, has a 45-day money-back guarantee. This is over two weeks longer than the industry standard 30-day guarantee, so if you're like me, and you struggle to make these sorts of decisions quickly, this will be massively helpful.


CyberGhost has an extensive catalog of useful troubleshooting guides on their website and a 24/7 live chat and email support service, so if you do get have any issues in that time, you can get them ironed out by a helpful staff member!

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Private Internet Access are one of the most secure providers money can buy, so you know you'll be safe whilst using their service.

  • Pricing

    • 38 months: $2.08/mth
    • 12 months: $3.33/mth
    • 1 month: $9.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Cheaper than most similar VPNs
    • Great for privacy and security
    • Lots of encryption options (including OpenVPN, our recommended protocol)
    • Fast connection speeds for streaming
    • Servers all over the world
    • Not the best VPN for beginners who need hands-on support
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PIA Demo

PIA Demo
PIA Demo


Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based VPN with thousands of servers across the globe. Although its network definitely has a US focus (and if there's content from that region you'd like to unlock, then keep reading!), this by no means disqualifies PIA from being an excellent provider to access European content from countries like the UK, France and, of course, Italy. 


Security is the priority 


Private Internet Access is a very secure VPN, and is one of the few to have their no logs claim tested in court not once, but twice. In both cases, PIA was dragged into a court case due to certain activity coming from IP addresses that belong to the provider. But, in both cases, PIA wasn't able to provide any information on the activity of the user in question because – you guessed it – they keep no activity logs.



No-logs claims can be difficult to prove and some VPN companies either avoid discussing exactly what logs they keep or produce intentionally vague answers, so if you're looking for a provider that has tangible evidence to back up its claims, then PIA might be the provider for you. It also has a kill-switch, a 'PIA Mace' feature to protect against malware, and is highly customizable.  


Family and friends welcome!


PIA offer over double the number of connections allowed per account than ExpressVPN, four more than Nord, and three more than CyberGhost, so if you're buying a VPN in the knowledge that your family – or even some friends – are going to be using the same account as you, then Private Internet Access would be a good choice. 


Even if that's not your plan, if you're someone who likes to stream shows from RAI and other services on your phone, laptop and tablet and doesn't want to be restricted to just one or two more devices, PIA could come in very handy. 


Linux users, rejoice!


PIA is perhaps the best, premium VPN for Linux users. This is, in large part, due to the fact that competing providers only offer up a command-line client for the sparsely used operating system, whereas PIA actually provides full-featured clients for various popular distros. This means you can enjoy all the benefits you would if you were using any of PIA's other apps. 


PIA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their software, so you can test out their Linux client, or any of their other apps, for a month without incurring any real cost.

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Surfshark does everything you could ask for in a premium VPN provider without breaking the bank in the process.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $2.49/mth
    • 6 months: $6.49/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • No Logs
    • 30-day refund
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Bare metal servers in 50+ countries
    • P2P Allowed
    • Unblocks all major streaming services
    • One month price is not the cheapest
    • Decent but not amazing speeds
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo
Surfshark Demo


Surfshark hasn't been in the VPN game very long, but they've certainly made a splash! The provider has over 3,200 servers in more than 65 countries  – including Italy – and usually performs well on our daily speed tests. This makes Surfshark great for unblocking RAI from outside Italy and streaming Italy's best shows. 


I think Surfshark's apps are really slick and I love how they're designed; it's definitely a good VPN for beginners and those who care about streaming quality. 


Top-of-the-range features


Surfshark doesn't let its budget-friendly price tag stop it from providing more features than the average VPN. They have a camouflage mode that will stop your ISP from seeing you're using a VPN at all, and an ad/malware-blocking tool called CleanWeb that functions similarly to NordVPN's CyberSec. There's also a handy whitelist function that allows some websites to bypass the VPN (which is ideal for online banking). 


Surfshark is another VPN provider that has switched to entirely diskless servers, which is great if you're trying to watch shows on RAI that might be banned, blocked, or illegal in your country of residence and you want to be sure that no logs of your activity are taken. If security or privacy isn't your main concern, Surfshark has a Smart DNS to optimize your streaming experience by overcoming geo-blocks. 


Unlimited connections



Surfshark cuts a unique figure in the VPN market because it has absolutely no limit to how many devices you can use one account on at the same time. That means you never have to worry about logging out of your account on one device to ensure you – or the family or friends you're sharing the account with – remain fully protected. 


A lot of VPN providers only allow up to five or six simultaneous connections, which basically rules you out of account sharing if you're planning to use your VPN on more than one device. 


Excellent value for money


As I've already said, Surfshark is a speedy provider with the security features to match. However, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than competitors like ExpressVPN, making it really good value for money too. Starting from under $2 a month, it's a small price to pay for privacy whilst you're online. 


Surfshark also provides a 30-day money-back period where you can request a refund if the service isn't quite right for you. However, very few people do – when you're paying so little for such a useful service.

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Why are these the best VPNs for Rai Player

Before we take a look at the providers above in greater detail, it would be useful to mention what you might look for in a Rai Player VPN. Factors to consider before you purchase your subscription include:

Why do I need a VPN for Rai Player?

Rai is one of many streaming services around the world that enforce geo-restrictions. Geo-restrictions are the reason you get 'this content is not available in your country' messages when you try to access certain channels from outside the jurisdiction they have a license or right to show their content in. 

Websites use IP addresses to enforce geo-restrictions. Every device on the internet has an IP address, and that address reveals things like the device's approximate geographical location and ISP. So when you try to visit Rai Player from outside of Italy, Rai can tell that you're outside the country and block you from doing so. 

This is where a VPN comes in. VPNs essentially mask your IP address from the websites you visit by sending all your traffic down an encrypted tunnel to a private server before spitting it out at the internet end. As you can see in the imagine below, your ISP cannot see your activity when you're connected to a VPN server. Instead, all the websites you visit will only see the IP address of the VPN server itself and not your device.

diagram showing how a VPN works

So, to access Rai Player, you just need to find and connect to a server in Italy, and the site will think you're accessing it from inside the southern European state's borders!

What's on Rai Player 

Of course, the main thing people will be watching at the moment is Euro 2020, with the streaming service showing all of the games for Italian audiences.

If you're an Italian living outside the country and you want to support your team during the championships, then Rai is the place to be. They even have a four-part documentary entitled 'Sogno Azurro' (Blue Dream) which delves into the Italian team's journey through the competition in public and private. 

Aside from sport, there's plenty of other content to watch on Rai, including:

Can I use a free VPN with Rai Player?

I wouldn't advise it! Although there are some great free VPNs out there, the free VPN market is saturated by providers that care little for customer privacy and are looking to turn profits at every chance. Free VPNs have risks associated with them that paid services simply don't, and when you can purchase a subscription to a paid provider for such cheap prices, it really is a no-bRainer. 

Free VPNs don't have the financial capital to keep up with the best in the business, which means they can't upgrade their network as regularly or provide customers with the same standard of speeds or customer care. Free VPNs have been found responsible for a tonne of shady activity over the years, and the table below will hopefully give you somewhat of an insight into this. If you've downloaded a free VPN before, here's your chance to see what it's been up to: 

Provider Why you should avoid? Extra info
Hola Can sell data to third parties* Shares emails with marketing partners. Sells traffic data to sister firm. Shared anonymized data to third parties. Fraudulently steals & resells user bandwidth through sister company Luminati. DNS and WebRTC leaks detected.
Betternet Can sell data to third parties.* Allows advertisers to cookie users' browsers. Displays targeted advertising. Parent firm can access all data. Lets advertisers track and log user data. IP Leak in Chrome browser extension. Contains 14 tracking libraries in total (according to CSIRO report).
Hotspot Shield Free Can sell data to third parties.* Redirects users to affiliate sites when browsing. Displays targeted advertising in-app and on websites. Uses 5 different third-party tracking libraries. Shares data with third-party affiliates and partners. Shares all data with parent company.
Psiphon Can sell data to third parties.* Allows ad partners to track users. Displays targeted advertising. Shares data with their advertising partners. Shares data with third-party affiliates and partners. Shares all data with parent company.
HoxxVPN Can sell data to third parties.* Isn't a VPN (it's a Shadowsocks proxy service). DNS and WebRTC leaks. Tracks user activities and works with authorities. Keeps logs and sells them to third-party partners. Shares data with third-party affiliates and partners.
SuperVPN Willing to disclose information to authorities. Reports of it being infected with malware. Tracks user activities and works with authorities. Extensive access to user's sensitive information. Stores session logs in the UK and US.
ArchieVPN Reports of being heavily infested with malware. Performs real-time analysis (claims this is for troubleshooting only).
Onavo Project Can sell data to third parties.* Uses user info for advertising and marketing. Displays ads to users. Belongs to Facebook. Shares and sells user data with third parties.
HatVPN Has no available privacy policy. Reports of being heavily infested with malware. Invasive app permissions. Could be doing anything they want with user data. Developed and based in China.
VPN by Apalon Invasive app permissions. Shares data with third parties for marketing purposes. Displays ads. In-app purchases.
Private Pipe VPN Shares data with affiliate partners. Displays targeted ads on websites. Confusing privacy policy (claims no logs, but contradicts this claim).
Tuxler VPN Can sell data to third parties*. Uses logs to target ads at users. Shares user browsing data with advertising firms.
GO VPN Can sell data to third parties*. Admits to using customer data to build out their database. Displays targeted ads through the platform. Belongs to Chinese firm Talking Data. Willing to sell usage logs to third parties and partners. Extremely invasive app permissions.
Hexatech Can sell data to third parties*. Allows advertisers to track and log user data. Advertisers can access user data whenever they want. Created by Betternet (belongs to a marketing firm). Displays ads to users.
TouchVPN Can sell data to third parties*. Adds Cookies, Pixel Tags, and Web Beacons to user browsers. Shares anonymous data with third parties.
Faceless.me Doesn't work. The privacy policy is too ambiguous to be taken seriously. Has no support if you have concerns or questions.
FinchVPN Can sell data to third parties*. Reports of being heavily infested with malware. N/A
Cross VPN Reports of being heavily infested with malware. N/A
VPN OneClick Free Reports of being heavily infested with malware. Outdated PPTP encryption on Android. Based in the UAE.
Flash Free VPN Invasive app permissions. Uses 11 third-party tracking libraries.
Fast Secure Payment VPN Reports of being heavily infested with malware. N/A
sFly Network Booster Reports of being heavily infested with malware. N/A
IP-Shield VPN Contains third-party tracking software. N/A
WiFi Protector VPN Uses 5 tracking libraries. N/A
TigerVPNs Fraudulently steals and resells users' bandwidth. N/A
Private WiFi Appears to have poor or no encryption. N/A

*according to the privacy policy

What else can I do with a VPN?

Aside from unblocking all your favorite streaming services, discovering new shows and movies, and accessing Netflix catalogs from other regions, there' are a lot of things you can do with a VPN subscription. 

The first thing a VPN subscription will give you is an enhanced level of privacy when you head online, thanks to the way it encrypts all of your data and hides your IP address. This is especially useful for people who want to bypass government censorship regulations in countries with authoritarian rulers. 

VPNs can, sometimes, make your internet a little quicker if you're being bandwidth throttled by your ISP. ISP's will slow down your internet speeds if you're transferring large amounts of data over their network. But with a VPN, they won't be able to see your activity, so they won't know what you're doing or subsequently throttle your bandwidth!

VPNs are also used by gamers who want to access titles yet to be released in their countries. The same games often have different release dates for different markets, so a VPN is a handy way to make sure you're first in the queue.

Final thoughts

By now, you'll probably have a good idea about what VPN works for you, but if you don't, here's a quick reminder of the providers: 

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for unblocking RAI, with super fast servers in Cosenza and Milan to choose from.
  2. NordVPN - Another excellent choice for this task, with 60+ servers in Italy to connect to.
  3. CyberGhost VPN - A straightforward piece of software that will get RAI up and running in no time.
  4. Private Internet Access - Another solid option for unblocking RAI, with great security features to match.
  5. Surfshark - A no-logs VPN with servers in Italy and some great privacy features.

Written by: Aaron Drapkin

After graduating with a philosophy degree from the University of Bristol in 2018, Aaron became a researcher at news digest magazine The Week following a year as editor of satirical website The Whip. Freelancing alongside these roles, his work has appeared in publications such as Vice, Metro, Tablet and New Internationalist, as well as The Week's online edition.

0 Comments

There are no comments yet.

Got Something to Say?

Write Your Own Comment

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

  Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

We recommend you check out one of these alternatives:

The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round

Large brand with very good value, and a cheap price

Longtime top ranked VPN, with great price and speeds

One of the largest VPNs, voted best VPN by Reddit