Hello, everyone. Growing up in Portugal, I never fully appreciated the unrestricted internet access I had here, until I learned about how much stricter other countries are in that regard. To my country’s credit, it has never done much internet censorship, and the government isn’t known to conduct surveillance unless there’s a legal reason.
Still, that can change in an instant. There has been German legislation aimed at greater censorship of the internet, and when European countries start doing this, Portugal often follows. That was the case when it blocked Pirate Bay in 2015, and the government has blocked other sites since then.
The recent news on Germany’s proposal motivated me to put together a list of the best VPNs in Portugal. Although a VPN can get around internet censorship, it also encrypts your information, making it a good choice for every internet user.
A Warning About Free VPNs
When you start looking for a VPN, it’s tempting to go with one of those free VPNs, but you’d be making a big mistake. Running a VPN costs money, and the reason those free VPN providers don’t need to charge you is because they’re taking user data and selling it. That’s how they finance their servers, and going with a provider that does this eliminates the point of using a VPN.
I’ve had the opportunity to test quite a few VPNs, and there is certainly a difference in performance and security between the best and the worst. This guide will include my top three VPN choices, and then one other VPN that is widely used but should be avoided because of some serious security issues.
Avoid Free VPNS - Don't Have Your Info Sold to 3rd PartiesI would strongly recommend not utilizing free VPNS servers for some simple reasons. User data is routed through a central hub that collects and aggregates information. This information is then sold to 3rd parties. User information is commoditized and sold to pay for the “free” VPN. If you’re not looking to spend money on a VPN, I would suggest simply not using one.
1. Express VPN for Lightning-Fast Speed and Maximum Security
My pick for the best VPN in Portugal is Express VPN, and considering over 10 million people use it, I’m not the only one who feels this way. The number of servers a VPN has and how many countries those servers occupy are very important, and those are both areas where Express VPN excels, boasting over 1,500 servers in 94 different countries.
All those servers make it easy to access location-specific content, and they deliver high internet speeds, provided you have a good internet connection. If you do, streaming videos and doing other bandwidth-heavy tasks will be no problem. Express VPN also takes the security of its users very seriously. It uses high-level encryption and has a no logs policy.
Pricing on Express VPN does tend to run a bit higher than with many of the cheaper VPN providers, but remember that this is only a matter of about one or two dollars per month. You can still get a 12-month plan that comes out to just $8.32 per month. You’ll have access to Express VPN’s excellent customer support, including a 24/7 live chat, and you’re covered under a 30-day moneyback guarantee. Although I feel like Express VPN is well worth it, if you’re looking to save some money, you can with the next two Portugal VPN options.
Advanced servers deliver the most high-speed internet connection with this VPN.
Your information stays private thanks to that no logs policy.
Over 10 Million Users
This makes Express VPN among the world’s most popular VPNs.
A premium account can accommodate three or more separate users.
Considering its features, Express VPN is competitively priced.
Take a look at our scores below to get a sense of how we rate Express.
Express is excelente! Period. They’re an all-around confiável, comprometido and super cool service that gives you all the fundamentals you’ll need to start surfing with confidence. Their firm no log policy is second only to their supremely fast speeds and friendly customer service staff. With split tunneling and award-winning apps, you can’t go wrong with Express.
2. VyprVPN Is a Close Second, Especially for PCs and Mobile Devices
In terms of security, you can’t beat VyprVPN. That’s because unlike almost any other VPN provider, VyprVPN has complete ownership and control of its network, which means you don’t need to worry about any of your browsing data getting hosted on other servers or being accessible to third parties.
One area that separates the good VPNs from the greats is whether they can handle government firewalls. VyprVPN does very well in this regard, especially because of its Chameleon Stealth Technology. This technology was specially designed to beat government firewalls, and it can even get through the firewall in China, which is no small feat. If you spend much time traveling, you’ll likely appreciate this feature of VyprVPN.
VyprVPN doesn’t have quite the number of servers as Express VPN, but it still has over 700 across 70 countries. Speed is good with this VPN, and its mobile apps are also a highlight. If you’re willing to commit to a year, you can get the base plan for a $5 monthly fee or the premium plan for a $6.67 monthly fee, and there’s a 30-day moneyback guarantee either way.
As if the name ain’t cool enough, VyPr is able to defeat bandwidth throttling while protecting your data from third party encroachment via a concrete encryption. A solid alternative to ExpressVPN.
3. PureVPN Is a Good Runner Up
PureVPN is another popular VPN choice, and even though I don’t think it has the standout qualities of Express VPN or VyprVPN, it isn’t far behind either one in any particular category, either. It has good security and speed, with over 750 servers that are found across over 140 countries.
This VPN has all the features and benefits you’d need, and the price is low at $5.75 per month with a one-year commitment. You don’t get as much time to try PureVPN out, because the moneyback guarantee is seven days, but one week is still enough time to see if you like it.
Long-time VPN users often turn to Pure VPN for their abundance of advanced features. They include intrusion detection and prevention systems for warding off malicious content, anti-phishing, ad-blocking and URL filtering. All of this and more makes them a viable option for the avid VPN user.
4. Hide My Ass Has Some Glaring Security Issues
At a glance, Hide My Ass looks like a great VPN choice. It has 820 servers in 190 countries, making it second on this list to only Express VPN when it comes to number of servers. The one-year plan gets you service for $6.56 every month. It doesn’t have quite the range of features as some other VPNs, but that’s not a huge issue for most users. And Hide My Ass does have a strong user base.
But in my opinion, a VPN is worthless if you aren’t confident that it will keep your information private, and I’m sure there are many in the community who would agree with me. This is one area where Hide My Ass is lacking. As a UK-based VPN provider, it’s legally obligated to log customer data.
Not only is it possible Hide My Ass keeps your data, but the provider has given up customer data to police multiple times. That’s what happened to a member of the group that supposedly hacked Sony. He went to jail partially based on info Hide My Ass gave up. Because of the security issues, I can’t recommend Hide My Ass, especially with better VPN choices out there.
I do not recommend this as a top tier VPN in Portugal. They have slower speeds than their competitors and a dubious logging policy. Considering the lack of ad-blocking and their poor reputation among consumers, there is little good that can be said about this VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN means virtual private network, and as the name suggests, it’s a network that you connect to, making your information private. When data goes to the network from your computer and vice versa, it gets encrypted first, in a method sometimes known as an encryption tunnel. This keeps the data safe from prying eyes and cybercriminals.
Why Do I Need a VPN?
Connecting to a VPN provides many key benefits. Even though Portugal isn’t known for having unwarranted government surveillance of online activities, there’s still the possibility, and it isn’t limited to just the government. Your ISP could also check what you’re doing online. A VPN prevents any party from spying on your internet usage.
A VPN opens up much more content for you to check out. It gets you around government censorship, which isn’t a big issue in Portugal right now, but you could run into internet censorship depending on where you travel. There’s also quite a bit of content that’s region-specific. Netflix is one popular example where the available videos vary quite a bit depending on your location. With a VPN, you’re not just limited to the content on the Portugal version of Netflix.
A VPN comes in handy when you’re out and about and you need to use a public Wi-Fi network. It’s always recommended that you avoid sending sensitive data on these networks because hackers could easily steal that, but if you’re connected to a VPN, your data will be protected.
Are VPNs Safe To Use?
You don’t need to worry about getting into any legal trouble for using a VPN. This is perfectly fine in most countries, Portugal included. When it comes to the safety of your data and your computer, that depends on your VPN. There are many fly-by-night VPNs with providers that will sell your data or that will put all kinds of malware on your computer. That’s why it’s important to do your homework. All the Portugal VPN options I listed above are safe choices. Even Hide My Ass won’t sell your information.
Can I Use a VPN on my Phone or Tablet?
In almost all cases, the answer to this will be yes. You’d be hard-pressed to find a VPN provider that didn’t allow you to connect using a device running iOS or an Android operating system. Windows Phones are usually fine, as well, and newer Blackberry devices will also work, although older ones may not.
Now, there is one caveat you need to know about regarding phone or tablet use on a VPN. Apps can transmit quite a bit of your personal info, and this isn’t something a VPN can prevent. If you truly want to keep your information secure, stay away from apps when you’re connected to your VPN.
Our Final Thoughts
A VPN is the most effective way to ensure your privacy on the internet, and it can help you access content you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Now you know my top three VPNs in Portugal, but it’s important to find one that you’re comfortable using. Give a few VPNs a try, since most have moneyback guarantees. You should be able to find one you like for an affordable price.