Best VPNs for Italy – Comparing 22 Providers

Martin Gschwentner

Watching foreign TV used to be fairly complicated, requiring either a satellite or premium cable subscription package, and even then, you'd likely be limited to news and a few sporting events. Digital media libraries and streaming platforms have revolutionized the consumption of foreign programming, making it far easier to keep tabs on content from abroad. For watching Italian documentaries, TV shows, or programs, all you'll need is to find the media library or streaming platform holding their rights.

Of course, even though it may be online, this content is geo-restricted to Italy owing to licensing arrangements, making it seemingly impossible to watch programs from anywhere else. That is unless you use a VPN to change your virtual location. After connecting to an Italian server, you'll be able to watch hours of content on platforms like RaiPlay.

When attempting to access RaiPlay content without a VPN, you'll likely receive an error message like this.

Using a VPN is not illegal, even though it likely conflicts with the terms of use for whichever platform you're accessing. Whenever a platform licenses content, it does so for a specific jurisdiction, becoming legally bound to only provide the content in question for that geographic area. As part of their due diligence, the platform's operators must ensure that the content is only available for that market, meaning that they will actively attempt to close any loopholes that VPN services may use. However, you, the end-user, have nothing to fear, since they won't prosecute or pursue anyone who manages to view content with a VPN. All the same, their efforts could result in VPN temporarily being unable to access the platforms in question.

In our comprehensive EXPERTE.com VPN review, we put 22 providers to the test. Below, we'll let you know which of these make it possible to access Italian content.

Best VPNs for Italian Content

When drawing up our Top 5, we paid attention to three main criteria:

  1. How the provider did in our comprehensive evaluation.
  2. How the provider's Italian servers performed.
  3. Whether it was possible to access Italian media libraries and streaming platforms using the provider's Italian servers.

As during our regular speed test, we measured the speeds of Italian servers daily to create a baseline speed for each provider. Below, in the "Performance" section, you can see a list of the 10 fastest providers based on their Italian servers.

To test access to Italian streaming content, we used RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, and Sky Italia as benchmarks. Earlier, as part of their main reviews, we gauged the performance of each VPN with international platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+).

Below, are our Top 5 best VPNs when it comes to viewing Italian content.

1.

NordVPN

Best Overall 2021
NordVPN Test
NordVPN
(728,033)
5400+ servers, 60 countries
Excellent performance
No logs
6 devices simultaneously
Inexpensive 2-year package
NordVPN combines speed, user-friendliness and functionality into a coherent overall package that is also fairly affordable.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
+3 months
Summer Deal
NordVPN 2-year plan
$3.30
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Best Overall
4.7 / 5
excellent

NordVPN stormed to first place in our comprehensive review, blazing past the competition with its excellent speeds, high degree of security, variety of features, and intuitive apps. Its polished and dynamic VPN client has a scrollable world map, offering users access to split tunneling and different server categories.

The Panama-based provider also took top honors in our speed test, and its Italian servers weren't far behind, thanks to download and upload speeds of 173.5 and 31.4 MB/s, respectively. More than 60 of NordVPN's 5,400 servers are hosted in Italy.

When it comes to streaming from Italy, NordVPN was reliable, granting us access to RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, and Sky Italia content. As such, NordVPN offers the best overall VPN package, as well as that specifically for Italy.

Overall winner, excellent performance

First place in our Italian speed test

Enables access to RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, and Sky Italia content

Limited protocol options

Review Score
4.7 / 5
04/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
Server Network
4.3 / 5
2.

Surfshark

Surfshark VPN Test
Surfshark VPN
(79,079)
3200+ servers in 65 countries
Unlimited number of devices
Many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
Saves no logs
Very cheap on the 24-month plan
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but besides the price also impresses with strong protection, many features and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website »
Get 83% Discount
Review Score
4.4 / 5
good

Our price-performance winner Surfshark is almost as fast as NordVPN, but even more affordable. The provider manages to balance features and user-friendliness better than nearly all of its competitors since its multiple configuration options and settings don't impact usability.

In the Italian speed test, Surfshark secured a strong second place (we couldn't tell how many servers the provider has in Italy) and was able to provide access to all four streaming platforms we tested it on.

Price-performance winner

Has fast servers in Italy

Enables access to RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, and Sky Italia content

Review Score
4.4 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.0 / 5
3.

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN Test
ProtonVPN
(30,248)
Strong focus on security
1200+ servers in 55 countries
Headquarters in Switzerland
Solid performance
Open Source & external audits
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
ProtonVPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good

ProtonVPN was our favorite free VPN, primarily because it offers unlimited data at high speeds. With that said, video streaming isn't possible with its free or paid "Basic" versions, and only offered to "Plus" and "Visionary" subscribers. The provider offers a good overall package, combining ease of use, plenty of features, and a high degree of security.

In the Italian speed test, ProtonVPN took a very respectable third place, powered by its 16 servers (in the "Basic" version, you only get 6 Italian servers). We were only able to access three of the four streaming platforms, RaiPlay, Discovery+, and Sky Italia. Mediaset Infinity thwarted our attempts to view content.

Enables access to RaiPlay, Discovery+, and Sky Italia content

Good speeds

Unable to provide access to Mediaset Infinity content

Review Score
4.3 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Installation and Features
5.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
5.0 / 5
Performance
4.3 / 5
Customer Support
3.7 / 5
Server Network
3.7 / 5
4.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Test
ExpressVPN
(404,846)
3000+ Server
160 cities in 94 countries
Excellent performance
Saves no logs
30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN impresses with strong performance, a huge server network and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
3
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$8.33
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review Score
4.7 / 5
excellent

ExpressVPN did very well in our sample, taking second place behind NordVPN. Unfortunately, it was also one of the most expensive VPNs we assessed. With that said, it barely puts a foot wrong, offering a good app (with excellent browser extensions) and a huge server network, covering nearly 100 countries.

The provider's Italian servers, based in Milan and Cosenza, propelled it to fifth place in our Italian speed test. For streaming, ExpressVPN takes full points, since it allowed us to access all four platforms as if we were in Italy.

Enables access to RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, and Sky Italia content

Performed excellently

Offers a huge server network

Fairly expensive

Review Score
4.7 / 5
04/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.7 / 5
Server Network
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.3 / 5
5.

hide.me

hide.me VPN Test
hide.me VPN
(22,861)
1900+ servers
75+ locations in 47+ countries
Saves no logs
14-day money-back guarantee
with free plan
Data volume
10 - ∞
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
hide.me Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review Score
4.2 / 5
good

hide.me might have missed out on a top spot in our comprehensive evaluation, however, that's no reason to write the service off. Thanks to its strong support (including a live chat), solid performance, and feature-laden yet user-friendly desktop client, hide.me impresses when it comes to quality.

We were somewhat disappointed with the provider's server network, which, in comparison to the top-performing services from our sample, isn't anything to write home about. Similarly, as of the time of testing, hide.me's last security audit was a few years in the past.

The service's Italian servers are based in Milan and Rome. In terms of speed, hide.me only took 10th place in Italy, but still wrangles a spot in our Top 5 owing to its strong performance: We were able to access all four platforms from our benchmark. If using, make sure to use the designated streaming servers.

Grants access to RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, and Sky Italia content

User-friendly, feature-laden app

Provides only decent speeds

Has not conducted any security audits recently

Review Score
4.2 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Bedienung & Features
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Performance
4.0 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Sicherheit & Privatsphäre
3.7 / 5

How We Tested

In our comprehensive VPN evaluation, we assessed 22 providers, comparing them according to six aspects, five of which were scored. Below, we've provided a brief explanation for each of these:

Installation and Features

A VPN desktop client or mobile app is your gateway to anonymous and secure Internet surfing and streaming. As such, they should be easy to use, offered for a variety of operating systems and devices, and possess enough features to satiate more advanced users keen on fine-tuning their VPN experience. The services which performed best in our sample had user-friendly clients serving up a range of features and configuration options.

Server Network

Quantity matters: The more servers, the better. But that's not all. We also pay attention to how many countries a provider's network includes. Based on our findings, both vary considerably: Some services offer less than 100 servers, whereas our upper limit is 34,000. A provider with a presence in more than 60 countries is considered "solid".

Performance

As part of our speed test, we continuously assessed random servers using a 1 GB/s server in Frankfurt. In this way, we were able to regularly measure the speeds of each provider, compiling an overall average. We also checked how the VPN performed on a daily basis, whether connection problems materialized, or if it took too long to create VPN tunnels. How well a service streams content also factored in our scoring.

We tested each provider's Italian servers, and below, you can see the Top 10 fastest:

Using the table below, you can check which providers offer access to Italian streaming platforms and media libraries:

Streaming Platforms/Media LibraryRaiPlayMediaset InfinityDiscovery+Sky Italia

NordVPN

Surfshark

ProtonVPN

Mullvad

ExpressVPN

TunnelBear

VyprVPN

HideMyAss

IPVanish

hide.me

Security and Privacy

VPNs are middlemen for your data and as such, have access to quite a bit of your personal information. This makes it important how they handle it. Most VPN services promise not to save any logs or protocol your surfing activity, but we look at their privacy policies to see whether they really practice what they preach. We also perform VPN leak tests and assess each provider's general security practices.

Customer Support

Direct and static support are the two biggest factors in scoring a provider's customer assistance. The former should be available as quickly as possible, preferably through a live chat, with emails or support tickets answered within 24 hours. For static support, we like to see well-supplied and full-text searchable support centers featuring FAQs and guides.

Overall Result

Our Top 5 were the most reliable services from our sample in terms of accessing Italian content from outside of Italy. Should you be looking for the best overall VPN service that also provides good service for Italy, you can check out how all 22 of the providers from our sample fared below:

NordVPN
Review Score
4.7 / 5
excellent
Visit Website
ExpressVPN
Review Score
4.7 / 5
excellent
Visit Website
Surfshark
Review Score
4.4 / 5
good
Visit Website
ProtonVPN
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
Visit Website
HideMyAss!
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
Visit Website
hide.me
Review Score
4.2 / 5
good
Visit Website
Private Internet Access
Review Score
4.1 / 5
good
Visit Website
CyberGhost
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
Visit Website
Windscribe
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
Visit Website
PureVPN
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
Visit Website
VyprVPN
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
Visit Website
Hotspot Shield
Review Score
3.7 / 5
good
Visit Website
IPVanish
Review Score
3.7 / 5
good
Visit Website
Mullvad
Review Score
3.7 / 5
good
Visit Website
VPN Unlimited
Review Score
3.7 / 5
good
Visit Website
PrivateVPN
Review Score
3.6 / 5
good
Visit Website
TorGuard
Review Score
3.6 / 5
good
Visit Website
TunnelBear
Review Score
3.5 / 5
good
Visit Website
ZenMate
Review Score
3.5 / 5
satisfactory
Visit Website
Avast
Review Score
3.4 / 5
satisfactory
Visit Website
Perfect Privacy
Review Score
3.3 / 5
satisfactory
Visit Website
Avira
Review Score
3.2 / 5
satisfactory
Visit Website

Conclusion

Media libraries and streaming platforms make it possible to tour Italy anytime from the comfort of your living room, so long as you have the right VPN by your side. Our Top 5 were the most reliable for helping anyone to access Italian content.

More information on all 22 providers from our sample can be found in their detailed reviews as well as our comprehensive VPN evaluation.

FAQs

Why should I use a VPN to access Italian content?
Even though you can access Italian media libraries and streaming platforms like RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, or Sky Italia from anywhere, playing back most of the content is impossible outside of Italy. VPNs make it possible to circumvent these limitations by connecting you to Italian servers.

What is the best VPN for Italy?
The winner of our overall evaluation was NordVPN, which is also our top pick for Italy owing to its high speeds and reliable streaming from RaiPlay, Mediaset Infinity, Discovery+, and Sky Italia. Behind NordVPN are Surfshark and ProtonVPN, in second and third place, respectively.

Is it legal to use VPNs in Italy?
At the very least, it isn't illegal. Most streaming platforms do their utmost to prevent VPN access since they have to as part of their licensing agreements. If using a VPN, you will likely come into conflict with the platform's terms of use, however, you don't need to fear any legal consequences. We're not aware of any cases of prosecution, or even punishment (for example, account suspension).

Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
Translator & Editor: D Bare
Other languages:
Deutsch Italiano 
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