Iceland is known for having one of the freest Internet in the world with no cases of censorship or violations of users, bloggers, and journalist rights.
The internet penetration rate in the country is 98.2% and obstacles to access are almost non-existent. However, there are mandatory data retention requirements in the country (as records are stored for up to six months), which is a concern for users who fear for their online privacy.
In spite of this, geo-restrictions and mandatory data retention laws in the country still create situations where a VPN can be an indispensable tool.
PureVPN is our #1 recommended service as best VPN for Iceland due to its strong privacy features and powerful unblocking capabilities.
5 Best VPNs for Iceland
The following providers are some of the top VPN services with excellent features for privacy as well as geo-unblocking:
PureVPN offers an impressive network of 2,000 servers spread over 140 countries with 6 of these in Reykjavik, Iceland. These servers can get you past torrenting websites as well as streaming services not accessible in Iceland without any obstacles.
For citizens in Iceland annoyed with geo-restrictions, PureVPN is your ticket to complete online freedom irrespective of the restricted that your desired website has imposed.
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong and thus falls under the jurisdiction and laws that apply to this region. As such, there is no obligation on ISPs in Hong Kong to keep records of user data.
Read our PureVPN review for more details.
Surfshark has a server network of 1,000 servers in 60+ countries which includes Iceland. The provider delivers strong performance and possesses the ability to work with streaming platforms from any region, and is especially useful for working with torrents as well as US Netflix for Iceland users.
Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands. As such, it is the recipient of strong online privacy laws and the lack of data retention requirements. This makes Surfshark a trustworthy VPN for privacy-conscious users in Iceland that aren’t comfortable with the practice of ISPs in the country to store user data for 6 months.
With unlimited multi-logins and host of privacy features like CleanWeb and MultiHop, the $1.99/month price is the best value you can get for a VPN.
According to our Fastest VPN of 2019 Guide, Surfshark is one with highest download speeds.
For more information, read our Surfshark review.
NordVPN boasts a huge network consisting of over 5,500 servers in 60+ countries. This includes 14 servers in Iceland alone which can be useful for expat Icelanders that want to access websites (such as local banks) that normally only work within the country.
NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, which is also one of the most privacy-friendly countries in the world. ISPs in the country are not subject to any data retention laws, enabling citizens to protect their privacy on the web.
If you’re in Iceland, then using NordVPN will allow you to circumvent the data retention requirements in your country by routing your traffic through VPN servers registered under NordVPN’s Panama-based headquarters.
Besides, the offshore servers of NordVPN are extremely effective when it comes to bypassing geo-restrictions on Netflix to access shows only available in a few countries.
Finally, the $3.49/month price tag may be a bit higher, but considering features like Onion over VPN and DoubleVPN, NordVPN is well worth the price.
Learn more about this service in our NordVPN review.
ExpressVPN has 3,000 servers operating in its network. These servers are present in over 94 countries including Iceland.
ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands which is a country free from any data retention laws, which allows this VPN to protect user privacy.
The fact that the country has no association with Five Eyes or any other surveillance agency also goes in ExpressVPN’s favor as a privacy solution that Icelanders can take advantage of to stay protected from Iceland’s mandatory data retention.
You can easily unblock websites that are inaccessible in Iceland by choosing a suitable server location. In addition, ExpressVPN, being one of the best streaming VPNs, can grant you access to Netflix and other platforms alike. The service has powerful servers which allow you to view titles other than are currently available in Iceland.
However, the pricing of $8.32/month might be a bit expensive for users on a budget, though the consistency of this VPN speaks for itself.
See this detailed ExpressVPN review for more details.
CyberGhost has a large network of servers, with 5,000+ of these in 80 countries, 10 of which are in the city of Reykjavik in Iceland. These local servers can be quite useful if you are moving abroad and need servers to access websites that only work back home. At the same time, the provider is quite efficient for downloading torrents safely, watch streaming channels, and bypass restricted websites within the borders of Iceland.
CyberGhost has its headquarters in the safe jurisdiction of Romania. The laws of the country are known for protecting the online privacy of users and the right to freedom of expression.
CyberGhost also offers dedicated servers for streaming and P2P networking which deliver optimized performance for these specific tasks. For a low cost of $2.75/month, users in Iceland will find this VPN reasonably valuable for their needs.
For more information, read this CyberGhost review.
Free VPN for Iceland
Free VPN services can sometimes be detrimental to your privacy. A research showed that a good number of free VPN apps are riddled with security risk and vulnerabilities.
There are, however, some services that have earned the trust of users over the years. Some reliable VPNs available for free are:
For more information, you can check out this article on free VPN services.
Why you need a VPN in Iceland?
There are multiple good reasons why you should obtain a VPN for Iceland. Some of these are:
Iceland is a very remote country. In almost every country of the world, the distribution of content is usually confined to certain countries. Iceland, unfortunately, happens to be one of the countries that are left in the dark, while other countries can access the same content without restrictions.
For instance, Iceland only has a sixth of the titles available on Netflix compared to the content people in the US have on Netflix.
The only way for Icelanders to enjoy Netflix to its full potential is by changing their IP address to one based in the US in order to gain access to American Netflix. This is where a VPN having servers in the US can be of great value in Iceland.
Iceland is one country that has come closest to ensuring complete Internet freedom and protection of digital privacy of citizens. Nonetheless, no place is quite perfect.
Iceland happens to be a cooperative state to the Five Eyes – an intelligence-sharing group of countries. This means that the state and law enforcement in the country may be spying on your online activities.
The Electronic Communications Act of 2003 implemented mandatory data retention for all ISPs in Iceland. The online activities of users are retained for a minimum of six months.
Although law enforcement can only gain access to this logged information after producing a warrant, it may still be a concern for privacy-conscious users.
A VPN with offshore jurisdiction with a logging policy that guarantees no retention of user information can be an effective solution to those users in Iceland who want to feel more secure on the web and keep their privacy intact.
Read our guide on surveillance and the role of Five Eyes in violating the privacy of citizens if you want to learn about the relationship between jurisdictions and privacy laws.
VPN Guides for Other Countries
Here are a few alternatives which might help you if you are a resident of another Country:
Best Icelandic VPN: Final Thoughts
PureVPN is the best VPN for Iceland since it has the right set of privacy protective features to keep Icelanders safe from data logging while enjoying complete access to the web. There is no denying that Iceland is an ideal country where citizens enjoy a level of Internet freedom that few other countries can.
Yet geo-restrictions affect people in Iceland, even more so than in other countries owing to its geographical remoteness, leading to a persistent demand for VPNs. This trend is likely to continue in the years to come.