best VPN for France

Best VPNs for France

Last updated on July 8, 2019 Views: 955 Comments: 0

Although France has listed highly on the Freedom on the Net list, with its users having medium internet censorship, there are problems when it comes to privacy online. As an extension of the Five Eyes Alliance, France falls into the Nine Eyes which means that they are in full compliance with the 2006 Data Retention Directive. Internet Service Providers in France must monitor your online activity, including the websites you have visited and the emails you’ve sent, holding onto this data for a year.

If you don’t want your internet data stored or censored there are steps that you can take to put an end to this. By purchasing a VPN, you can hide your online activity and stay anonymous whether you’re online banking, sending corporate emails or streaming and torrenting. A VPN will encrypt your data, tunneling it through to a different server to any location around the world.

If you live in France and want to keep your internet activity private, and also get access to sites that aren’t available, in the country then get Express VPN now.

In this article

Top VPNs for France

#1 ExpressVPN

With over 3,000 servers in as many as 160 server locations, you will never have any trouble connecting to a fast and reliable server. There are a number of servers found within France, with two located in Paris as well as one in Strasbourg, so your connection can be as close or as far as you wish.

Something you definitely want in a VPN is fast speeds, and although many VPN service providers claim to be the fastest in the business, they often have trouble keeping regularly fast speeds. ExpressVPN has no issues staying consistent and fast whenever, wherever. This is vital for those looking to stream or torrent with their VPN connection.

Speaking of streaming, Netflix often poses issues with geo-blocks and VPN blocks, however, ExpressVPN has no trouble getting around both of those. Additionally, you can watch your favorite movies, TV shows and sports events from YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, and MLB TV as well as other streaming outlets like iPlayer, ESPN, and BBC.

ExpressVPN has jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands, which means they are nowhere near the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance that France is a part of. Your ISP will never have access to any of your online data and neither will the French government or third party scammers.

Setup takes just a few moments and the interface is really simple to use as well. This applies both to the main desktop client, as well as its browser extensions and the device-specific applications. The home screen consists of a large on and off switch with a list of possible servers for you to choose from, but also gives you an opportunity to customize what you like through the advanced settings section found in a separate menu. Those advanced settings are also explained using easy-to-understand terminology which ensures that you will not make changes which you did not want to make.

Your connection with ExpressVPN is airtight. We know this because this VPN uses military-grade protection as well as OpenVPN support, DNS protection, and a Network Lock, all of which work together in creating a secure connection. The Network Lock works as a kill switch, which is essential for any VPN user. Basically, it ends all internet activity if your VPN connection drops.

ExpressVPN offers many troubleshooting guides which help install or connect with it. They also offer a live chat assistance which is available 24/7. In addition to that, it is possible to reach the customer support by email which will provide you with an eager and quick response to your query.

Here are some more features that we think make ExpressVPN unbeatable:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Ultra-fast streaming speeds
  • Compatible with Android TV (Box) and Fire TV
  • Apps available for every device
  • Hides your streaming activity
  • No connection logs
  • No activity logs
  • P2P possibility
  • Ping times that are minimally affected
  • ExpressVPN works extremely well in high censorship countries
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Large international server network
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Outstanding customer service
  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Up to three simultaneous connections

ExpressVPN also offers a special deal, get 3 months free and 49% savings with their annual subscription plan!

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here.

#2 Surfshark

Surfshark is a VPN provider which has more than 800 different servers in more than 50 countries all around the world. Out of those 800+ servers, 60% are located in Europe, about 30% in the US and two locations with a couple of servers for each in the UK.

As you might expect they offer private DNS (domain name servers), rigorous no-logs policy and, of course, peer-to-peer (P2P) networking friendly servers. Since it has very fast servers and perceptive applications, Surfshark is successively coming close to its competitors for the title of the best VPN for France.

Surfshark is, just like ExpressVPN, based in the British Virgin Islands and is therefore not required to keep any logs of actions made by the user. They do not collect incoming or outgoing IP addresses, browsing activity, used bandwidth, downloads or purchasing information, VPN servers you use, session information, or connection timestamps.

In addition to this, it has brilliant performance abilities in supporting different types of devices and various protocols and offers non-disturbed surfing and downloading in full anonymity.

Security is tight with Surfshark, which is apparent with their MultiHop feature allowing you to connect to more than one server at a time, camouflaging your location more so.

Streaming in France, accessing geo-restricted content and unblocking streaming platforms (Netflix for example) are all services provided by Surfshark. Another thing which should be taken into consideration is that Surfshark does not limit the number of devices connected to it, which is unique to this VPN company and sets it apart in the crowd.

When it comes to usage, its interface is more functional and adaptable than most, since it adjusts as the window resizes. When minimized, it looks just like your average VPN app that has a connect button, location list, and status information. When you maximize the window, it adapts, and shows you its locations in several columns which allows you to add a lot more on the screen. You can connect and disconnect with a tap of a button followed by desktop notifications updating you on your current virtual location, as well as your IP address.

Surfshark users are supported by both email and chat systems which tackle your potential problems with accuracy and give you quick solutions to them. They are also one of the few VPN services which offer round-the-clock customer care 365 days a year.

  • Great download speeds
  • Zero logging
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited platform protection
  • Unlimited Server Switching
  • Some servers work with Netflix
  • Strong encryption
  • Torrenting allowed

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here

#3 CyberGhost

CyberGhost has over 3,000 servers in 60 countries with an impressive 324 locations within France alone that you can connect to. Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, you can also piggyback off your CyberGhost connection that is running the app including your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

This VPN is one of the best options for security since it automatically protects you each time you join a new connection. This means that you will be safe no matter where you are – in a restaurant, airport or any other public space. Since CyberGhost is connected at all times you do not have to fear for your security while streaming in France or any other country where you might travel.

Its download performance is excellent and it also provides a connection speed similar to those offered by a lot of home broadband plans. In addition, CyberGhost lets you connect seven devices from a single account.

With headquarters in Romania, CyberGhost takes the privacy of their users very seriously and regularly update transparency reports on their website for their users to see. They log only the bare minimum to ensure their service runs as well as it can. You can find that within their logging policy which states,

“CyberGhost VPN neither observes nor records content like messenger chats, telephone calls, video chats, or other communication forms, nor stores IP addresses (not the ones the users are heading to, and not the ones users have, when logging into the CyberGhost VPN network). Furthermore, it’s not possible to record, which account logged into which server at what time or to connect a real person to a certain CyberGhost VPN account.”

CyberGhost offers many guides, troubleshooters, and FAQ’s with answers to most questions one might have. Their live chat assistance is available 24/7 and they are very quick to respond. Furthermore, it is also possible to reach their customer support by submitting a written request.

Here are some more reasons as to why CyberGhost is one of the best VPN companies for France:

  • Strict No Logs Policy
  • High speeds
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • Simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices
  • Easy to use
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
  • OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols
  • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here

#4 NordVPN

NordVPN has 199 servers in France, which isn’t surprising since they have as many as 5,000 servers in 60 countries. Whether you are looking for the best VPN for security or for streaming in France, it does not really matter since NordVPN offers both. Using the most current technologies, NordVPN protects your activity on the internet, shields your privacy and protects you on open WiFi networks.

NordVPN protects your communications online and gives you high quality and stunning speeds while streaming, torrenting or downloading different media contents. According to NordVPN, the average French user has three active connected devices, possibly running on alternate operating systems.

Since a single NordVPN account lets you connect up to 6 devices (such as smartphones, computers or routers) it has proven itself to be quite useful as it can be used at work, at home or during your travels.

NordVPN’s user interface is very clean and easy to use making it a good fit for the average user. Beginners can easily browse specialty tabs or switch servers, as well as enable or disable most settings with just one click and a slider to display the change. For more proficient users, NordVPN offers a large number of advanced settings such as a kill switch, choosing security protocols, allowing custom DNS, etc.

In addition, NordVPN has a customer service which has been proclaimed as the best one in 2018. They offer 24/7 support through their live chat or via email and have a detailed FAQ section in their Help Center.

Be wary if you want to use NordVPN to watch French Netflix as they have had various issues up to now. Also if you wish to pay for your VPN service with PayPal, know that this is not an option with Nord.

Here are some more reasons that make Nord a great VPN for France:

  • Over 5000 servers in 62 countries
  • IP Leak protection
  • Double VPN
  • CyberSec
  • Onion over VPN
  • Simultaneous connections on up to 6 devices
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Set-up and installation takes just minutes
  • 24-hour customer support

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here.

#5 TunnelBear

TunnelBear has fewer servers than some of our other top VPN services with 1,800 around 22 countries in the world. Still, this is more than enough for you to connect to a secure location and browse the internet anonymously.

This used to be a service which blocked all torrenting and TOR services, but this has recently changed with TunnelBear embracing P2P related activities. Military-grade security also provides the highest encryption standards as well as the GhostBear feature which makes your VPN connection less detectable to any third parties.

The interface is extremely easy to use and installation is a breeze. All you need is your email to get things started with TunnelBear working with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices as well as having extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

Speeds around Europe will average around 55 to 65Mbps and you can usually get around any Netflix blocks that are put in place by the media streaming giant.

If you’re worried about your privacy being compromised you need not be as TunnelBear has one of the best privacy policies around. In fact, you can find their strict policy which states that TunnelBear will not collect personal information about their users.

“TunnelBear explicitly does NOT collect, store or log the following data:

  • IP addresses visiting our website
  • IP addresses upon service connection
  • DNS Queries while connected
  • Any information about the applications, services or websites our users use while connected to our Service

TunnelBear does NOT store users’ originating IP addresses when connected to our service and thus cannot identify users when provided IP addresses of our servers. Additionally, we cannot disclose information about the applications, services, or websites our users consume while connected to our Services; as TunnelBear does NOT store this information.”

In terms of support, you have many guides on the TunnelBear website and if you need further help you can always use their online ticketing support system. It isn’t as efficient as live chat services offered by VPNs like ExpressVPN, but it will provide you with simple-to-follow and easy-to-understand solutions.

Here are some of the features that make TunnelBear a great choice of VPN for France:

  • High-speed connection
  • Free plan available
  • Connects up to five devices simultaneously
  • Kill switch
  • Stealth mode
  • User-friendly
  • Visually appealing interface
  • Regular independent audits

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here.

Privacy Laws and Regulations in France

As we mentioned earlier, French ISPs have to track their customers’ personal online activity. This goes as far as watching which websites are visited and when, as well as who you are sending emails to. The same information is stored for as long as a year and needs to be available should the French law enforcement agencies require them.

With these controversial surveillance laws that France has passed, citizens feel as though they are under heavy control. ISPs have the green light and are obliged to install what they refer to as “black boxes” which not only monitor, but also record communication data for any suspicious activity.

Back in 2016, the France Socialist Party established a colossal database which has the names, photos and digital fingerprints of 60 million French citizens. As well as obviously being a breach on peoples’ privacy, this also leaves the gate open for third-party hackers and data leaks. A VPN will encrypt your data so even your ISP will be unable to track your online movements.

These so-called technical attacks are not uncommon. “According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2018, French business losses related to cyber attacks grew by 50 percent in 2017 – resulting in more than EUR 2 million of average losses. More than 4,550 cybersecurity incidents were recorded by French companies in one year.”

There are also stringent copyright laws in France introduced in 2009 which “allowed copyright-holders to obtain personal data on users suspected of engaging in illegal file-sharing. Astoundingly, if they are found guilty of file-sharing three times, users will be banned from the internet by their ISP. There have been literally millions of reports of unauthorized file-sharing filed by copyright owners since then.”

French Streaming Services

If you are heading out of the country, but still want access to your favorite French TV shows which you just cannot live without, your VPN has your back. Uncovering the latest news, tuning in to your favorite sporting team play their rivals and even checking out the latest decisions made by the National Assembly or the Senate of France won’t be a problem.

The following French streaming platforms will all be available through a VPN:

Conclusion

When you think of censorship online, France is probably not one of the first countries that come to mind. The usual suspects include countries like China, Iraq, Russia and Saudi Arabia to name just a few. However, in recent years, France has taken steps to monitor its citizens’ internet movements. This has shocked and angered many French who do not appreciate such drastic actions.

If you are in France or planning on traveling there you should take note that all your internet activity will be monitored by ISPs including the sites you visit and when, as well as your email communications. While the world is attempting to have stricter encryption laws, the French are attempting to weaken them for the sake of national security. If you do not want your online data screened and stored on a database which may be liable to third party hackers, investing in a VPN is essential.

Keeping your data secure by encrypting it and rerouting it to another location, you will never have to worry about random people snooping on your every move ever again. For the best French VPN, we recommend ExpressVPN for constantly reliable speeds and guaranteed anonymity.

To get around France’s growing internet censorship and keep your activity private, get Express VPN now.

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