Portugal is one of the more free countries in terms of internet freedom in Europe. Even though the country is a member of the EU, the beneficial online situation is mostly unaffected by this. The most important thing to note about Portugal’s internet is that the .pt domain is not run by the state. Instead, a non-profit company, Associação DNS.PT is responsible for it. Obviously, this organization has ties to the government and works in unison with it, but the overall picture of internet availability changes as a result: access is barely restricted, with some case-by-case exceptions only.
Best VPN Services for Portugal of 2019
Using a Portuguese IP
It’s advantageous to use a Portuguese IP address for your browsing activities. The most commonly unaccepted internet content is not allowed; these include hate speech and holocaust denial, among others. Internet speed is capped at 1 Gbit/s. This means that if you resort to use a Portuguese IP either inside the country’s borders or from outside via a VPN service, you will experience maximum speeds a bit lower than countries like the Netherlands, UK or Germany. Some better-known IPs are blocked in Portugal. However, these mostly include addresses of mobile device and communication companies.
Portuguese Online Privacy Laws
The legal background of Portugal’s internet laws conforms to the EU’s sanctions. These legal modifications have been mostly enacted or changed in the 21st century. On June 24th 2011, law 46 of Portugal was established for intellectual court property. Online property law is also intricately sanctioned, favoring the property holder. This means that there is an effort made for Portugal IP users to have their internet connections rendered usable in a very wide range.
Internet Censorship in Portugal
Since the legal framework of Portugal is lenient, there is little content that can be censored. This also means that those instances where something was actually nicked are very rare. In March 2015, The PirateBay and a number of its respective proxies were blocked, for example. It was the first instance of ISPs blocking an entire website is Portugal. And essentially that’s it. No official reports exist regarding any other major banning or censoring activity in the country, DNS blocking thus is used, but against wrongdoers, and not against the public.
Again following EU sanctions, social media sites are also available, and services that provide limited access only provide it on the basis of them being subscription based, meaning that content is not available immediately, and thus can be classified as limited.
Streaming Services in Portugal
Portugal has seven national television channels. All of these function in a free-to-air system, meaning all of them are free to view online, since 2012. Similarly, the vast majority of radio stations also have online feeds. We also have to note that because of Portugal’s geographical location, all Spanish channels that are online are also possible for streaming, but only along the border the countries share. For international streaming services, Netflix is available. Spotify also has interest in Portugal. Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and essentially all other streaming services deemed “popular” are not available within the country’s borders. Still, it is worth mentioning that as a member of the EU, Portugal is also part of striving for creating a more open market and thus the introduction of additional streaming services are likely in the future.
In the specific case of streaming service that aren’t available anywhere else outside their borders (like BBC iPlayer), unblocking measures are recommended. This process involves acquiring a UK IP address, temporarily. However, accessing another country’s online content this way (in this case, from Portugal) is not necessarily looked at kindly by the place you connect to (in this case, the UK). Therefore protection, hiding your presence is recommended. VPN providers excel at both: providing unblocking solutions through VPN connections or other means and they also encrypt your traffic, providing a safe solution to people who are curious about restricted content elsewhere.
Free Portuguese VPN Trials
Since unblocking is rarely an issue in Portugal, we would like to recommend you VPN services that otherwise keep your connection safe and also provide great speeds to boot. CactusVPN is definitely one of them: coming at a cheap price and great customer service even after sales, it is a fast and reliable choice. CyberGhost is another one to watch, as next to effective unblocking – that their name also suggests – the company readily provides agile connections, too. We would also like to advise you to try out Astrill. Their own OpenWeb security protocol is a unique touch on VPN security, and while OpenVPN is also available, both produce favorable speed test results. Portugal is a better choice to begin with in terms of internet freedom.
This creates opportunities for a VPN service that does not necessarily want to offer a complete and full service, but instead comes at cheaper prices with emphasis on speed, or other criteria. If you are interested in accessing restricted content of another country from Portugal, we recommend taking a look at ibVPN. Their latest development, ibDNS is a SmartDNS solution that – along with 256-bit encryptions – make this VPN service suitable for peeking into foreign domains.