Founded in the 12th century, Portugal is one of the oldest countries in the world. Sitting on the corner of the European continent, it’s famous for Port wine, amazing architecture, breathtaking beaches and, let’s face it, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The country is growing quickly in innovation, and you’re bound to go online while you’re there, so you should protect yourself with one of our best VPN for Portugal picks.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, a virtual private network is a must in the 21st century. Government surveillance is prevalent in many countries, and nowadays people get hacked left, right and center. Plus, internet censorship is at an all-time high, leaving only what a government wants its citizens to see.
Take China, for example. Its internet is a whole new ball game. It’s controlled by the Great Firewall, and it blocks pretty much all Westernized content, even going to the length of creating its own apps to replace others, such as WhatsApp and YouTube.
If you’re visiting China, you should use the same VPN that we’ve picked for Portugal: ExpressVPN. It’s our best VPN for China, and generally the best VPN on the market.
Still, there are other, lighter reasons to use a VPN. Geoblocks are a real pain, but a VPN can help you circumvent them by spoofing your location. Netflix’s library is different in every country, thanks to the Netflix ban, and to access the U.S. one, you’ll need a U.S. IP address. Likewise, for Portuguese content, you’ll need to access a server from there.
Best VPN for Portugal 2023
Average speedDownload Speed88 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency12 ms
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Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency5 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
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Average speedDownload Speed62 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency45 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Amazon Pay
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Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
What Makes a VPN the Best for Portugal
Although you could just pick a random provider, you should first make sure it’s suitable to use in Portugal.
There isn’t much censorship to bypass in Portugal, but you could still find yourself blocked by geo-restrictions. To make sure you can get around them, you should choose a VPN that has a good server network. The more servers there are, in as many countries as possible, the better your chances will be of accessing what you want.
Also, if you want to access content that’s restricted to Portugal, you’ll need to make sure there are servers located there.
Fast speeds are beneficial, as is unlimited bandwidth. That’s especially true if you want to stream. Plus, if you want to access Netflix, you need to make sure the VPN you choose can get past Netflix’s VPN detection system (read our piece on the Netflix proxy error). Not many are able to, but we’ve compiled a list of worthy contenders in our best VPN for Netflix piece.
Security and privacy are both important factors, and they’re not the same thing. Having good security will mean you’re protected from outside dangers, such as cybercrime. You can make sure the company respects privacy by ensuring that they don’t keep any logs.
It’s also a good idea to check what devices it supports and how easy it is to use. Having decent customer service available is useful, and you should make sure you’re happy with the price, too.
1. Best VPN for Portugal: ExpressVPN
We’ve picked ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Portugal. It’s a favorite here at Cloudwards.net, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the best all-round VPN available on the market, and it has all the features needed for Portugal.
It has a large network of more than 3,000 servers that cover 94 countries, giving you plenty to choose from. There are some in Portugal, too, so you can access content from there.
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN we’ve tested, so you can be sure you won’t get hit by a loading screen. You get unlimited bandwidth, and it can get into pretty much any streaming platform you can think of, which is one of the reasons why it’s our best VPN for streaming.
You’ll be protected by excellent security with its 256-bit encryption, but you can go higher than that if you want. It also honors your privacy by having a strict no-logs policy in place. Read our ExpressVPN review to why we like it so much.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
You can install ExpressVPN on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, as well as install browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari (it’s the best VPN for Safari). You can connect up to five devices simultaneously. It’s one of the easiest VPNs to use, so it’s a great choice if you’re a beginner. That said, if you have more experience, you can tinker with it, too.
You can access the useful knowledgebase if you need it. There’s also live chat and email support available 24/7. Both offer good help, but the email team is better for answering more technical queries.
ExpressVPN is expensive, especially if you choose the monthly plan. Longer plans bring the cost down considerably, though, so that’s your best bet. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in place, for extra peace of mind.
- Large server network
- Accesses all streaming platforms
NordVPN is another great choice for Portugal, and it’s similar to our top choice, as you can read in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison article. It has more than 5,000 servers dotting 60 countries, which is plenty for getting around blocks. There are also 18 servers in Portugal, so you can access Portuguese content.
It’s fast, but you may find it slows down if you connect to a server that’s far away. There are no bandwidth limits, and it can easily get into streaming platforms, such as Netflix.
NordVPN’s security is among the best on the market, so there are no worries there. It comes with optional double-hop servers, too, which basically add more protection to the VPN tunnel. No activity logs are kept, either, so your privacy is ensured. Check out our NordVPN review.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
NordVPN can be used on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. It’s easy to use, whichever platform you’re on, and you can connect up to six devices at the same time.
If you run into any issues, there’s a handy knowledgebase at the ready. Live chat and email support are also available 24/7. Either option is good, but live chat is the fastest.
NordVPN’s monthly price isn’t bad, but you’d be better off choosing a longer-term plan. They work out cheaper in the end. We know you might be hesitant to sign up to one, but there’s a 30-day refund window, in case you don’t like it.
- Huge server network
- Excellent security
- Double-hop servers
- Can be slow
You can also use CyberGhost for Portugal. Its server network is large, but the count is constantly changing. At the time of writing, it stood at 7,800 servers in 91 countries, so there are more than enough to choose from. It also has 10 in Portugal, so you can access restricted content.
Similarly to NordVPN, CyberGhost is fast, but it can slow down over long distances. There are no limits to bandwidth use, though, and it’s pretty good at getting into streaming services.
It has good security, using 256-bit encryption. Plus, there’s a solid no-logs policy to protect your privacy. Be sure to check out our CyberGhost review for more details.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
CyberGhost has clients for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. The interface is easy to use and easier on the eye, since the recent update. You can connect up to seven devices at the same time, but that’s also the limit for installations.
Its knowledgebase is one of the best we’ve seen, so you should be fine solving simple problems. Failing that, though, there’s live chat and email support at the ready. Live chat is available 24/7 and is the fastest option, but the email team is better at solving more technical problems.
The monthly rate isn’t great, but lengthier plans work out cheaper in the long run. Android and iOS users can make use of the seven-day trial. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is 14 days for the monthly plan and 45 days for longer ones.
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Good for streaming
- Can be slow
VyprVPN is next, and although its server network is nowhere near as large as our top picks, it should still be enough to get around blocks. There are more than 700 in over 60 countries, and there are some in Lisbon for Portuguese content.
Its speeds aren’t the best, but they should still be ok for most activities. It comes with unlimited bandwidth and is capable of getting into some streaming platforms.
One area that makes VyprVPN stand out is its excellent security. Newbies will be fine with the default settings, but those in the know can have fun tinkering with settings.
It also comes with its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which adds more protection to your connection and makes it look like you’re not even using a VPN. It doesn’t keep any logs, either. Read our full VyprVPN review for more information.
Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN
VyperVPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Clients are easy to use, and its mobile apps are some of the best on the market, earning it a spot on our best VPN for Android list. You can connect up to 30 devices at the same time, too, if you sign up through the website. If you sign up through the mobile app you only get five simultaneous connections.
A knowledgebase is available for self-help. Live chat is available, too, but you’ll communicate with a bot first. To speak to a human, you’ll need to click the “get in touch” button, and choose “live chat”, but the wait times vary, and if it’s not manned at all, you’ll have to leave a message. Email support is also available, in case you’d prefer it.
The price will depend on which subscription length you choose, but lengthier ones work out better in the long run. A 30-day money-back guarantee is in place, too, in case you don’t like it.
- Chameleon protocol
- Excellent security
- Slow speeds
- Small server network
5. Best Free VPN for Portugal: Windscribe
Our last pick for Portugal is Windscribe. Like VyprVPN, its server count isn’t great. There are more than 600 servers in 60 countries, though, so that should still be enough. There are some in Lisbon, too, but like many of the servers included, you can only access them if you’re on the paid “pro” plan.
You see, Windscribe has a free plan that, to be fair, is pretty good. It’s actually our best free VPN. However, although it is good, the “pro” plan has many more features you’d benefit from.
Paid members get unlimited bandwidth, but you only get 2GB with the free plan. However, it’s still more than what you get with TunnelBear’s free plan, plus, you can increase that to 10GB by entering a valid email, as well as a few other ways. Read our Windscribe vs TunnelBear comparison.
Its speeds are fine for most activities, but they’re not great. Even so, it’s a good choice for streaming. It formerly relied on “Windflix” servers, made specifically with Netflix in mind. Nowadays, all of Windscribe’s servers offer the same streaming optimization as its deprecated “Windflix” servers. Read our Windscribe review for more details.
Windscribe’s security is good and customizable, but it does keep some logs. That said, the information logged isn’t of much value, as it’s just timestamps and bandwidth usage. Plus, it can’t be traced back to you.
Other Reasons We Like Windscribe
Windscribe works with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and there are browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Its interface offers a no-frills experience, which is good because it’s easy to use. However, techies are also able to tinker with it. An upside to Windscribe is that you get unlimited simultaneous connections, on both the free and paid plans.
There are plenty of options for self-help online, including a knowledgebase, FAQ, setup guides and a Windscribe subreddit. Live chat and email are available 24/7, but the live chat connects you to “Garry,” an AI representative that is quite good when put to the test.
Windscribe’s monthly price is quite high, but you can bring it down by opting for a longer plan. The free plan can be used as a trial, so there’s no official refund policy. However, if you contact them within three days of purchase, they will refund you.
- Windflix servers
- Unlimited connections
- Generous free plan
- Speeds could be better
Online Censorship and Surveillance in Portugal
Portugal’s internet is mostly free. Social media and messaging services are freely available. The only blocks enforced are on gambling websites and those that infringe copyright. By blocking sites, such as The Pirate Bay, through the government’s anti-piracy program, traffic to them had been reduced.
Other than that, citizens can view what they like, and there are no reports of online surveillance in the country, either.
Net Neutrality in Portugal
However, something to note is that although Portugal respects internet freedom, it’s not so great when it comes to accessing it. Portugal’s internet penetration has grown, so that’s not the issue. The problem is that many Portuguese ISPs don’t support net neutrality.
If you haven’t heard of net neutrality before, it is basically the principle that ISPs treat all services and websites equally (read our net neutrality guide for more information).
Portugal is bound to the European net neutrality regulations. However, in 2018, the county’s National Communications Authority (ANACOM) found that many ISPs were in breach of the rules because they offered plans with access to certain applications, rather than the full internet.
ANACOM issued a notice that gave the the ISPs 40 days to change the plans they offer, but there are no new reports as to whether they complied. For another country that has network access inequality, read our best VPN for the Philippines.
Freedom of Speech Online in Portugal
Strict censorship was imposed during Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s 40-year dictatorship. Thankfully, with the establishment of the 1976 constitution, Salazar’s tactics ended.
Portugal’s constitution guarantees freedom of speech, and it is generally respected. Personal opinions and discussions are not restricted. Defamation is a criminal offense, but there haven’t been many instances of prosecution, and those who have been prosecuted have often had the decision overruled by the European Court of Human Rights.
Criticism of ethnic or religious minorities — as well as engaging in offensive practices, such as Holocaust denial — is a criminal offense. It can be punished with up to eight years in prison.
In 2018, parliament allowed changes to the criminal code, which protects journalists and punishes those who threaten, defame or constrain them.
Cybercrime in Portugal
Unfortunately, you can be subjected to cybercrime in many different ways. For example, a large phishing attack in 2018 targeted customers of several Portuguese banks through their email. There’s also the dangers that lurk on public WiFi to think of. Our best VPN for Thailand article shows another example of a country riddled with cybercrime.
A VPN can help keep you safe from such attacks, but it’s a smart idea to install a decent antivirus, too, such as Bitdefender (read our Bitdefender review).
Although Portugal does not have an alarming rate of censorship and surveillance, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a VPN while you’re there. There’s still cybercrime to think about, and a VPN will help you bypass any blocks you do come across, such as geoblocks.
You should pick a VPN that has a large server network to give you the best chance of circumventing restrictions. Plus, you’ll need servers within Portugal if you want to access content restricted to there. Security is also an important feature, as it will protect you from any online dangers you encounter.
With that in mind, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Portugal. It has a large number of servers that cover 94 countries, which is more than most VPNs. It also has some located in Portugal. Security and privacy are excellent, too, so you won’t have to worry about that while you’re there. Why not give it a try with its 30-day money-back guarantee?
Do you have experience using a VPN in Portugal? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comment section. Have a browse through our VPN archive, too. Thank you for reading.