Finnish internet users enjoy a low level of censorship and are generally freer online than many other people in other countries around the world. However, there are still some restrictions on what content is and isn’t available to access online in Finland. In addition, like everyone who goes online, Finnish users need to be aware of certain security risks and to avoid being a victim of cybercrime.
A VPN can help to both allow users to access more content and to keep their information safe and private online. Read on to find out how a VPN can benefit you and to see our recommendations for the best VPN for Finland.
- 1 Why Don’t Some Sites Work In Finland?
- 2 Defeat Region Blocking With A VPN
- 3 Further Reasons To Use A VPN
- 4 How To Choose The Right VPN For You
- 5 Conclusion
Why Don’t Some Sites Work In Finland?
Finland has some of the best internet freedoms in the world. There is relatively little censorship of the internet, and it is usually only for sites that are known to enable copyright infringement. There is also the voluntary blocking by ISPs of child pornography sites, though this system has been criticised for accidentally blocking legal adult pornography in the process. Overall though, internet users in Finland won’t come across many barriers put up by the government.
However, this doesn’t mean that all content is available for Finnish internet users. Many internet sites still use a technique called “region locking” in which a user’s location is determined and their access to content is limited based on that location. If a site wants to primarily attract a US audience, for example, they may block connections from Finland or show only a limited part of the site to Finnish users.
If you are a regular Netflix user, you might be frustrated that the catalogue of movies and TV shows that are available to watch in Finland is quite small. In fact, there are about twice as many movies and TV shows available to watch on Netflix in the US. And if you want to use a different streaming service like Hulu, you will find that the service is not available at all in Finland. The same problem arises if you want to watch regional content from other places in the world – you won’t be able to access British content using the BBC iPlayer or US content from sites like Comedy Central from Finland. This is region locking in action.
Defeat Region Blocking With A VPN
Fortunately, it is possible to get around these region locks and to browse the internet freely, accessing content from anywhere in the world. This can be done using a VPN, which is a piece of software that you install onto whatever device you use to access the internet. This software then encrypts all of the data that your device sends over the internet, and sends that data to a server run by your VPN provider. At this server, the data is decrypted and sent on to its original destination.
There are two advantages to this process: firstly, the encryption means that no one can steal your data or spy on you. Secondly, and most usefully for our purposes, your data appears to originate from wherever the server is located rather than where you actually are. So if you connect to a server in the UK, then your traffic appears to originate from the UK and you can access UK-only content even while you are actually located in Finland.
You can use this trick to fake your location – “location spoofing” as it is known – so that you can access content from all around the world. Anywhere where there is a VPN server, you can access content from that region. With a VPN you are free to explore the internet and to watch videos, read news websites, or listen to music which would normally be blocked in Finland.
Further Reasons To Use A VPN
A VPN is useful for much more than getting around region locks, though. It also improves your digital privacy and security in other important ways:
- Keep safe from cybercriminals. You might not be aware, but using public wifi networks can be a security issue as other users on the network are sometimes able to intercept your data if they are on the same network as you. This means that your email or your personal details could be compromised if you use free wifi in places like coffee shops or airports, and then you could face an issue like identity theft. You can protect yourself on these networks with a VPN that encrypts your data so that no one else can access it, even if they are on the same network as you. A VPN can also help to protect you from other types of cyber crime such as phishing, vishing, and more.
- Download files safely. If you choose to download copyrighted files like movies or music, you are running the risk of legal repercussions. Law enforcement or copyright holders can come after you for downloading files online, and you could face a fine or even prosecution for breaching copyright law. If you are going to download files, and most especially if you are going to use an easy to track method like torrents, then you must have a VPN to hide your activity and to prevent you from getting into legal trouble.
- Keep your data private from companies and the government. Everyone is thinking about digital privacy these days, with recent news stories revealing just how much data has been collected from users and analysed, often without their permission. To keep information about yourself such as your IP address and your location hidden, you should use a VPN. The VPN will also prevent the government from monitoring your online activity or intercepting messages that you send via email, instant messenger, or voice message over the internet.
How To Choose The Right VPN For You
Once you know that you want a VPN, you can start looking around for the particular VPN provider that will suit your needs. But with many providers to choose from, how do you select the right one? First off, we suggest that you avoid free VPN providers as these companies are often unethical and can sell users data and make you less safe. You should get a trustworthy paid VPN that meets the following criteria:
- A high level of security so that your data will be kept safe and private, such as through the use of strong 256-bit encryption which can’t be cracked and a no logging policy so that no information about your internet use will be recorded.
- Fast server connections so that your VPN doesn’t slow down your internet too much and you can continue to do bandwidth intensive tasks such as streaming high definition video or downloading large files without being slowed by your VPN connection.
- A large network of servers around the world so you can get around region locks and access content from other countries, such as national TV channels or news websites.
- Software for a range of operating systems so that your VPN can be used on all of your devices to keep them safe simultaneously.
Considering all of these factors, we recommend the following VPNs for users in Finland:
1. ExpressVPN – Best Overall
ExpressVPN is a very popular VPN service thanks to its strengths in terms of fast connections, high level of security, and easy to use software. The security includes the use of 256-bit encryption, a no logging policy, and an option for a kill switch which will automatically cut off your internet connection if the VPN goes down, so that you won’t accidentally send data over an unsecured connection.
The connections are super fast and you can connect to any one of more than 1500 servers in 94 different countries. Dedicated software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android, plus some games consoles and smart TVs, and there are also browser extensions available for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.
Read our full ExpressVPN review here.
2. NordVPN – Speciality Servers Available
NordVPN is a great VPN for users who want to make use of speciality features like anti DDoS protection, double VPN, and P2P downloads. The basic VPN has all of the security features you could want, like the use of 256-bit encryption, a no logging policy, and a kill switch. There is also an option to enable a CyberSec security feature which blocks ads and protects your device from malware. The connections are fast and can happily be used for streaming and downloading.
The speciality servers add a whole other level of use to the service. When you want to perform a particular function – such as using peer to peer downloads like torrents – you can connect to a special server designated for P2P use, which is optimised for this function. The other speciality servers include ones for increased security like double VPN and onion over VPN, or protection from outside attacks like anti DDoS. There are a total of more than 3500 servers available in 60 different countries. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, or Windows Phone.
Read our full NordVPN review here.
3. CyberGhost – Easy To Use Software
CyberGhost is a great choice for users who are new to VPNs and who want a simple, easy to use system that will still keep them safe. The software has an intuitive graphical interface that makes connecting to the VPN dead easy. You simply open up the application and choose an option from the selection of icons with titles like “unblocking streaming websites”, “browsing anonymously”, or “torrenting anonymously”. Once you have chosen your desired option, a server will be selected for you and all of the required settings will be automatically configured. This means that you can simply connect to the VPN that you want without worrying about changing settings.
The security offered by CyberGhost is good, with the use of strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to keep your data safe and private. Connections are fast and can easily handle streaming high definition video or downloading large files. If you prefer to select a server manually instead of using the pre-configured options, this is also possible, and you can choose from a network of 1300 servers in nearly 60 countries. The software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.
Read our full CyberGhost review here.
4. PrivateVPN – Unblock Streaming Sites
PrivateVPN is a VPN that offers both good security and excellent compatibility with streaming services. If you want to get around regional locks and to watch international content on streaming websites, then this is the ideal choice. Most VPNs do not work with Netflix, but PrivateVPN does, so you can unblock the service and watch Netflix content from anywhere. The VPN works with Hulu too, as well as other popular streaming websites.
By default the service uses 128-bit encryption, but there is an option to increase this to the level of 256-bit encryption if you want a higher level of security at the expense of some speed. There is also a no traffic logging policy so information about the sites that you visit online will never be recorded. You can choose from hundreds of servers to connect to in 56 different countries, and the connections are super quick and stable – another advantage for frequent streaming users. This software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire Stick, or it can be installed as a browser extension for Chrome.
Read our full PrivateVPN review here.
5. PureVPN – Complete Security Suite
PureVPN is not only a VPN, but also a comprehensive security suite. The VPN has the security features that you need such as a default 128-bit encryption with an option to use 256-bit encryption if you want a higher level of security. There is also a no content logging policy so information about your internet use with never be shared with governments, companies, or other third parties. The connections available are fast and there are a total of 750 servers in 140 countries to choose from.
As well as the VPN, PureVPN includes other security features too. These include an anti spam filter to keep your email inbox free from unwanted mail, anti malware and anti virus protection to stop malicous software from infecting your device, a kill switch, NAT firewall, and a dedicated IP address. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus there are browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
Finnish users benefit from getting a VPN by improving their digital security and protecting their privacy. Preventing other users from accessing your data is important to stop you from becoming the target of cyber criminals, as well as stopping law enforcement from combing through your data for information about streaming or downloading activities. In addition, a VPN allows you to get around regional restrictions so that you can watch video content from anywhere in the world. We have recommended a number of VPNs that are ideally suited for users in Finland.
Have you tried out any of these VPNs, and what was your experience with them like? Let us know about it in the comments below.