3 Best VPNs for Portugal – Safety, Streaming & Speeds in 2021
- Short on Time? Here Are the 3 Best VPNs for Portugal in 2021
- The Best VPNs for Portugal – Full Analysis (Updated in 2021)
- ExpressVPN – The Fastest VPN in Portugal
- CyberGhost – Best for First-Time VPN Users
- Private Internet Access – Best Selection of Servers
- How We Tested the Best VPNs for Portugal
- Why You Need to Use a VPN in Portugal
Portugal is one of the more open-minded countries when it comes to digital privacy, but a VPN can help you experience the internet there without obstacles.
Portugal presents some obstacles if you’re an avid torrenter or you enjoy online gambling, that can be easily bypassed with a VPN. What’s more, some mobile operators/ISPs are known for throttling bandwidth and monitoring mobile data, aiming to limit user access to popular streaming services and websites.
If you’d rather not deal with any of that, it’s a great idea to get a reliable VPN. We’ve tested hundreds of them at vpnMentor, and – in this article – I’ve brought you the 3 best options for Portugal.
My number one pick is ExpressVPN. You’ll see why later on, but the other 2 options bring something useful to the table as well.
Short on Time? Here Are the 3 Best VPNs for Portugal in 2021
- ExpressVPN: Thanks to its lightning-fast speeds, ExpressVPN is a great option for streaming and downloading content.
- CyberGhost: An extremely intuitive interface makes CyberGhost perfect for inexperienced VPN users.
- Private Internet Access: PIA boasts an enormous server network, including dozens of options in Portugal.
The Best VPNs for Portugal – Full Analysis (Updated in 2021)
- Over 3,000 servers in 90 countries
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Up to 5 device connections
- Portuguese language apps available
- Speed Test lets you find the fastest servers easily
- Access Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Disney+, Netflix, ESPN, and more
- Works with Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Ubuntu, Linux, Router, Chrome, Edge, Firefox.
As modern internet users, we expect everything to work as quickly as possible. That’s why every VPN provider likes to talk about how fast their servers are. In the case of ExpressVPN though, things are taken to a whole other level. They genuinely have some of the quickest connection speeds around right now.
ExpressVPN lets you effortlessly find the best server for your needs, with its handy Speed Test tool. This sorts all server locations by speed index, latency, and download speed in one clear list, and allows you to pick the best option. While the selection isn’t the widest, the actual quality of those servers is generally excellent.
Particularly impressive is how well servers perform when they’re a long way from your physical location. Even from Portugal, you’ll be able to use servers from places as far-flung as the US, Hong Kong, and Australia with minimal lag. The term ‘lightning-fast servers’ gets thrown around a lot with VPNs, but in this case it is genuinely true. With ExpressVPN you’ll be able to browse the internet, stream content, and even play demanding online games with little noticeable slowdown.
There are various measures in place to protect your connection. Every server comes with its own private DNS and 256-bit AES encryption. There’s also a whole range of protocols to choose from, including ExpressVPN’s own Lightway, which is specifically built for speed. Your anonymity is also ensured by a strict no-logs policy, and TrustedServer technology means that all data on ExpressVPN servers is wiped on reboot.
If speed is your priority with a VPN, but you still want plenty of security, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice. There is also a money-back guarantee in place, meaning you can test it out completely risk-free and if you’re not happy with it, claim a full refund within 30 days of your purchase.
- Over 7,300 servers in 91 countries
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Up to 7 device connections
- Portuguese language apps available
- Super-safe NoSpy servers
- Works with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, iPlayer, HBO, Disney+, and more
- Apps for Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Ubuntu, Linux, Router, Chrome, Firefox.
CyberGhost is arguably the most user-friendly VPN around right now. Its apps for computers, mobile devices, and all other devices are highly intuitive. After signing up you’ll be able to secure your connection within a few seconds, regardless of your experience level with VPNs.
CyberGhost doesn’t have the widest selection of servers, but there are still dozens of options physically located within Lisbon, all of which are specifically optimised for P2P downloads. If you’re interested in unblocking streaming services like US Netflix or BBC iPlayer, there are also a huge number of servers based in the USA and UK. Connection speeds are generally fast, but we did encounter some slowdown when connecting to servers based in countries far away.
Even for a VPN provider, CyberGhost takes its security and anonymity extremely seriously. Its NoSpy data center is based in Romania, which has no laws allowing data gathering or mass surveillance, and access to its custom-built servers is highly-regulated. Your anonymity is further ensured by a no-logs policy, a kill switch to sever your internet connection if the slightest interruption is detected, and military-grade encryption.
Even if you do encounter issues with this easy-to-use VPN, 24/7 support is on hand. There’s also an exceptionally long money-back guarantee, as you’re given 45 days to try out CyberGhost rather than the usual 30 days.
- Over 29,650 servers in 70 countries
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Up to 10 device connections
- Apps available in Portuguese
- Split tunneling feature
- Access Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer, and more
- Compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Ubuntu, Linux, Router, Chrome, Firefox.
The more servers a VPN has available, the easier it should be for you to find one with minimal traffic and superior speeds. Private Internet Access excels in this area, with the best server selection of any VPN on my list.
There are more than 29,650 to choose from, which are spread across 77 different countries around the world. This includes 40+ different options in Portugal alone, providing a combined bandwidth of over 40,000 MBps. There are also over 10,000 in the USA and 1,500 in the UK, so finding a clear server to stream US Netflix or BBC iPlayer won’t be a problem. Not all of these will provide elite speed, but it still shouldn’t take long to find an option that does. There are no bandwidth limits when using any of those servers, and all of them support P2P downloads.
You’re also covered by an impressive number of security measures, to ensure your browsing remains safe and anonymous. You can choose whether to use 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption, with the former being faster and the latter being safer. There are also three different protocols, and no traffic or request logs are kept for your online activity. You get built-in protection against trackers and malware too, and connections to public WiFi are automatically encrypted.
To top it all off, Private Internet Access is also extremely easy to use. If you’d like to try it for yourself risk-free, you can do so courtesy of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Quick Guide: How to Access Blocked Sites in Portugal Using a VPN
- Choose a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN for its ability to bypass tough geoblocks while still keeping your data protected.
- Install the VPN and connect to a server in Portugal.
- That’s it! Your online activities are hidden from prying eyes.
Whether you’re based in Portugal, or you’re trying to access Portuguese services from abroad, there are hundreds of good VPN options. Sorting through all of these to bring you my 3 top options required a lot of testing, which was done according to a clear set of criteria. These were the five areas I prioritised above all others.
Security Measures: This is the clear priority with a VPN. Its number one purpose is to protect your internet connection from hackers, snoopers, and any other prying eyes. The first line of defense is heavy encryption, with 256-bit AES being the current industry standard. Kill switches are important too, and the likes of split-tunneling, DNS leak protection, and anti-malware tools are also welcome.
Server Selections: At a basic level I have rewarded VPN providers who have more servers than their competitors. The more there are, the lower the chances of any individual server being overwhelmed. Being physically closer to those servers usually results in faster connections, so I’ve also evaluated how many options a VPN has within Portugal itself.
Connection Speeds: Almost all VPNs will slow your connection somewhat, but this slowdown should be kept as light as possible. I have tested different servers across a variety of locations for each VPN and evaluated how they performed for streaming, gaming, downloads, and regular browsing. Those which showed consistently speedy performance were given a bump in my rankings.
Customer Service: Whether you’re a VPN veteran or a newcomer, there’s always a chance you’ll encounter a problem that needs solving. You should be able to get help quickly when this happens, so I’ve rewarded VPN providers that offer live chat or phone support, especially with good contact hours.
User Friendliness: You should be able to start using a modern-day VPN immediately, without needing any additional guidance whatsoever. A user-friendly layout is very important for this, and I’ve checked out the interfaces for apps on a variety of devices for each VPN.
Why You Need to Use a VPN in Portugal
Compared to other European countries like Germany or France, Portugal has a reputation for being a friend of privacy. With that said, between the mild corruption problems in the country, and some legal constraints on journalism, Portugal isn’t the ideal example of digital freedom in practice.
Most restrictions are related to grey areas like peer-to-peer activity and gambling websites. The Pirate Bay (and most of its proxies) have been blocked in Portugal since 2015. Online gambling is also heavily limited, with access to many such services unavailable via conventional means.
VPNs are the solution to all the issues above. By obtaining an IP address in a different country, along with an encrypted connection, you can stay completely anonymous while unblocking whatever restricted website you’re after.
A VPN can also help you deal with bandwidth throttling by your ISP. This shady practice exists across much of the world, and Portugal is no exception. A good VPN will not only help you bypass this but may even improve your speeds if your connection is being throttled.
Last but not least, VPNs can give you access to geographically restricted streams like US Netflix, Hulu, and many other platforms unavailable in Portugal. If you’re traveling outside the country, you can also keep in touch with Portuguese TV by connecting to a server in Portugal.
Can I use a free VPN in Portugal?
Technically you can, but it’s not the best solution. Free VPNs are better than using no VPN at all, but they lack many of the security features of premium services. They also tend to have much smaller server selections and dramatically slower connection speeds. Finally, even supposedly ‘free’ VPNs need to make money somehow. This is often done by selling your data for marketing purposes, which can compromise your anonymity.
What websites are blocked in Portugal?
Portugal generally has liberal laws when it comes to online access, with relatively few blocks on the sites you can visit and the content you can consume. The Pirate Bay has been banned since 2015 though, and there are also restrictions on online gambling. Both of these problems can be solved by simply using a premium VPN, which will allow you open access to these services.
If you are heavy into torrenting, you should check out our best VPNs for torrenting and find one that meets your needs.
Are VPNs legal in Portugal?
Yes. There are no laws whatsoever that ban the use of a VPN in Portugal.
Naturally, the usual laws still apply regarding what you use it for. Sharing copyrighted material or hacking other people’s information obviously both remain illegal, even if you use a VPN.
What Portuguese websites can I access using a VPN while abroad?
VPNs are useful not only for accessing sites from other countries, you can also use one to access sites in your own country while travelling elsewhere. The same is true for Portugal.
While abroad you can use a VPN to view Portuguese TV channels such as TVI, SIC, and RTP, stream Portuguese Netflix, and so on. If a service is normally geo-dependant – meaning you’re supposed to be in the country to use it – a VPN can also help you to bypass this requirement.
The Bottom Line
Portugal is relatively relaxed when it comes to online censorship, but there are still some important restrictions in place. Most notably these apply to torrenting and online gambling. A VPN will help you to dodge these blocks with ease. It will also allow you to access content libraries in other countries on sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, or use Portuguese services while abroad.
You have plenty of good options when it comes to picking a VPN in Portugal, but ExpressVPN is comfortably my top choice. If you want to secure your connection and begin browsing anonymously right away, I’d recommend trying ExpressVPN. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free and claim a refund if it’s not right for you.
To summarize, the best VPNs for Portugal are…
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