The Republic of Ireland is a disputable land when it comes to internet freedom. On the one hand, freedom of speech is guaranteed in the country. However, partially because Ireland is bathed in Catholicism – and also for political and financial reasons – there are various policies that put a strain on internet users. Or, to put it more accurately: three strains. The “three strikes”, or graduated response tactic employed by the Irish Recorded Music Association is a controversial one. The country’s officials also actively fight against piracy, although some ISPs resist cooperating, as they have legal grounds to do so.
Best VPN Services for Ireland of 2019
Using a Irish IP
While historically Ireland has been systematically a pawn for Anglicization, there is still a lot that lives within the nation’s subconscious. The internet is getting close to being the second best option to find out more about Ireland (of course, nothing beats actually going there). Still, if you are the type who likes gathering information online, we recommend connecting to an Irish IP address with the help of a VPN service. There are several restrictions in existence, especially in topics that the Catholic dogma of the country does not favor. We must also highlight that since Ireland is one of the westernmost countries in Europe, its geographical closeness to North America makes it a more favorable location for video and music streaming. However, it is exactly these areas that also fall under more notable blocks.
Irish Online Privacy Laws
Terrorism is often used by many countries as a scapegoat for online data restriction. Sadly, Ireland is no different in this matter. As its name suggests, the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act of 2005 placed emphasis on restrictions in telecommunications by reasoning with the above. Though in 2014 the law was declared invalid by the Court Justice of the European Union, this does not mean that the law and laws related to it simply do not exist anymore. They still hold power, with Ireland facing possible consequences in the EU if the affected laws are not modified or removed. Digital Right Ireland is an organization that strives for better online conditions and better internet freedom in the country. Even if it appears as though the government intends to keep things on a shorter leash, it is good to see that there are some who actually favor the “dog” having a good time walking. Among many others, they criticize the Defamation Act of 2009, which apparently excludes mentioning the internet altogether.
Internet Censorship in the Republic of Ireland
This means that as far as censorship and restrictions go, defamation and hate speech are barely paid attention to in Irish internet law, for the worse. A lot of online restrictions are based more on belief and financial interest as opposed to favoring the population. Of course, these do not make Ireland a horrible place to surf the web. We merely acknowledge that the ways in which online content is restricted are influenced by factors other than the betterment of people. In light of these, here are a few words about the country’s graduated response system.
Mostly aimed at illegal downloading (but applicable to any area of online offence) is the three strikes system in Ireland. Basically, a resident of the country has three chances before being banned from the internet. First, a notification is sent. On the second offensive occasion, the ISP that employs the system might disconnect you from the service. And the final try leads to the suspension of the internet subscription. Luckily, there is a way to bypass this system, whether you are Irish resident or not. By employing the encrypted traffic of a VPN service, you can metaphorically stroll past blocks. Torrent sites like The Pirate Bay – which is also restricted in Ireland – is a more serious matter. We recommend trying a VPN service that also offers a smart DNS solution in this case. However, we must note here that only the most popular ISP – Eircom – blocks The Pirate Bay. Most of the rest (for example UPC Ireland, BT Ireland) do not employ such tactics.
Streaming Services in the Republic of Ireland
On a side note, Facebook and Google have Irish headquarters. Given the somewhat loose legal background in some (not so beneficial) areas, these companies actually gain an advantage by settling in the country and are free to collect data of users or process search results. Some other worse news include that Netflix raised prices in Ireland (and oddly enough, only there in Europe). For Irish residents or expats using the IP addresses of the country, this means more financial difficulties. This is perhaps another reason to invest in cheaper solutions like VPN. Most providers offer the unblocking of content not only in the Maple leaf country, but also in most of the planet’s other locations. Otherwise, Ireland falls under the same chair as (almost) the rest of the EU’s countries. UK-based online streaming services are not available, while services with more global or close to global presence like Spotify, SoundCloud or Bandcamp are very much listenable.
Free Irish VPN Trials
Ireland is not a bad country to surf the web in. However, there are some mild annoyances that creep in the way of online enjoyment. Therefore we would like to advise you on three VPN services we think are best suitable for a safe and unblocked Irish internet. First, for a more general purpose VPN, try HideMyAss. Do not worry – the company’s name is an intentional pun, as their theme revolves around a donkey. With access to over 180 countries including Ireland, an excellent customer support network and all around good connections, they are open to the widest audience. Secondly, VyprVPN is one for those who seek safety and also favor unblocking, accessing restricted information. With a built-in NAT firewall and their own smart DNS proxy simply called VyprDNS, this provider is a similarly worthy cause. And lastly, PureVPN has no relation to puritanism. The name refers to the quality of service, and rightly so. With over 80,000 IP addresses to choose from and prices as low as $4.16/mo, added to stellar help via remote desktop 24/7, this online privacy solution provided by GoldenFrog is a wise choice. If you have ambitions for business, PureVPN is also a choice to consider, as the company’s CorporateVPN program is made just for this.