Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

April 23, 2018

The Netherlands has traditionally been considered a great place to “VPN from,” rather than a place you need a VPN for. This is no longer case, however, and it is now as vital to use a VPN in the Netherlands as it is in most other places.

In the past, downloading copyrighted content for personal use was not a crime in the Netherlands.  But this is no longer true. Indeed, copyright enforcement bodies have been very active in pursuing infringers in recent years.


List of the Best VPNs for Holland

If you want a quick answer, take a look at the table below to see what our experts picked as the best VPN for the Netherlands. Scroll below for more information.


A surprise referendum result on 21 March 2018 rejected a far-ranging surveillance law that was widely compared to the UK’s terrible Investigatory Powers Bill (aka the Snoopers Charter). At the time of writing, however, it is too early to say how the government will react to this or what changes will actually be made.

So if you care about privacy in the Netherlands you need a good VPN. They are also quite handy for streaming content from overseas services and protecting you when using public WiFi…

Best VPN For The Netherlands

Take a look at the summaries below for an in-depth overview of the best Dutch VPNs.

9.2/10.0

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Gets into video streaming services, including Netflix
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Strong encryption
CONS:
  • Quite expensive

ExpressVPN has a large server network. In addition, its app is very easy to use, it offers top-level security and high speeds, and it can get into just about every streaming site. It may seem like the very best VPN that you could choose for the Netherlands. However, it's not in the number one slot as it's expensive, and you might not want to pay so much for all of these top-of-the-range qualities.

With servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN is more likely to have a server in your country than the other VPNs on this list. Features include automatic WiFi protection and very strong encryption. This VPN can get into Netflix, which operates the toughest VPN detection systems in the online entertainment industry.

For more information on the proivder, see our full ExpressVPN review.

Try the best VPN for the Netherlands now!

Visit ExpressVPN »Three days for just €1

9.0/10.0

CyberGhost Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off 2-year plans!
  • Servers in over 50 countries
  • Fast for streaming
  • P2P: yes
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Great customer care
CONS:
  • Some aggregated connection statistics only

This excellent VPN provider from Romania is fantastic for use in the Netherlands. It has a large choice of servers worldwide that all provide lightning fast speeds. This makes it perfect for streaming content from around the globe. The VPN is secure thanks to strong encryption, and it keeps zero logs. It has a choice of servers in the Netherlands.

The software is easy to use and is available for all platforms. It also implements all the advanced VPN features you are likely to need, including a killswitch. We think this VPN is outstanding and because of its 30-day money back guarantee you can test the service risk-free!

8.8/10.0

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Loved by consumers
  • Super fast for streaming
  • Zero logs
  • Fully featured for security and privacy
  • Fantastic customer care
CONS:
  • Not much

PrivateVPN is an amazing service from Sweden that users praise regularly. It is a superb choice for use in the Netherlands. It is fast, efficient, easy to use, and extremely reliable. It also provides lightning fast speeds for streaming in HD. PrivateVPN truly is a pleasure to use and has all the important security features you might need. It also has servers in over 50 countries.

Encryption is military grade OpenVPN and this VPN keeps zero logs. Amazingly, this fantastic VPN is also super cheap. Why not try the 30-day money-back guarantee to see why this VPN is proving so popular?

8.6/10.0

Buffered Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers in Italy and 36 other countries
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Based in Gibraltar
CONS:
  • No anonymous payment options

Next up for the best Netherlands VPN options is Buffered VPN. It too operates servers in Italy as well as 36 other countries around the world. The size of the network and number of global connection options isn't the best, but the servers are strategically placed in popular countries. Plus, it has a relatively strong presence throughout Europe to give Italian users nearby connection options that won't tack on too much overhead and latency.

8.4/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Strong encryption
  • Software for all popular platforms
  • Chameleon (stealth mode)
CONS:
  • P2P not permitted
  • A few connection logs kept

VyprVPN is an excellent VPN for the Netherlands because it has an excellent ‘stealth’ mode for getting around firewalls. Furthermore, because it is run on Golden Frog’s proprietary network of servers, speeds are incredibly fast. Encryption is strong OpenVPN and the privacy policy is solid (though P2P is not recommended on this VPN). VyprVPN is available for all platforms and is very easy to use. It also has all the necessary security features you would expect from a leading VPN. Finally, it offers a three-day free trial – so why not give it a go for yourself?

VPN for Holland Considerations

Copyright Issues in the Netherlands

For many years the Netherlands was a renowned hotbed of copyright piracy, thanks to the fact that downloading copyrighted material was legal.

In theory, there were strict limits to this freedom – only movies and music could be downloaded (not computer software), and only if you already owned it. In practice, however, copyright laws were not enforced, resulting in something of piracy free-for-all.

In order to compensate copyright holders their loss, since 2003 the Dutch government levied a “personal copy fee” tax on all blank storage media such as CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and USB thumb drives.

This all changed in 2014, however, when the EU Court of justice declared the local legislation unlawful,

If Member States were free to adopt legislation permitting, inter alia, reproductions for private use to be made from an unlawful source, the result of that would clearly be detrimental to the proper functioning of the internal market.

The Court further determined that the “personal copy fee” was also illegal, as it unfairly penalized consumers who had never pirated anything in their lives.

In practice, both ISPs and the government have been unenthusiastic about enforcing the new rules.  This is changing fast, however, thanks to the tireless efforts of anti-piracy outfits such as BRIEN who recently forced Netherlands ISPs to block The Pirate Bay and are taking an increasingly aggressive approach to Dutch piracy.

Note that BestVPN.com does not condone copyright infringement, although we are aware that many infringers use VPNs to protect themselves while downloading. We strongly encourage all our readers to seek out legal sources for the content they wish to consume.

Dutch Government surveillance

The Netherlands has traditionally been regarded as relatively surveillance-free, but this was put into serious doubt when the government passed the Wet op de inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten (Wiv) in early 2017.

The Intelligence and Security Services Act (English translation) was a draconian piece of legislation which granted the Dutch government wide-ranging surveillance powers. Under the Wiv, the government could:

  • Tap online communication from a whole neighborhood if a single “suspicious” person was living there.
  • Hack all automated devices, as for instance smartphones, computers, and smart TVs.
  • Create a secret DNA-database that every citizen could be added to.
  • Share collected data with foreign intelligence services without analyzing them first.

The Wiv also became known as the “Sleepwet” or “Sleepnetwet” (Trawl law) and was due to come into effect in May 2018. However…

A Referendum

In the Netherlands a non-binding advisory referendum can be forced on any issue if 300.000 signatures can be collected in support of it. Five students managed to do just that when their cause went viral after being featured on popular Dutch political satire show “Zondag met Lubach”.

The referendum was held on 21 March 2018, and to almost everyone’s surprise, the Dutch public very narrowly rejected the Wiv: 48.8% to 47.3%. Perhaps unsurprising is that votes were sharply divided along age lines, with 60% of people over the age of 55 voting in favor, compared with 41% of voters under-35.

At the time of writing the government has yet to formally respond to the result, so it is unclear how it intends to move forward. Or indeed whether it will honor what is, at the end of the day, a purely “advisory” vote.

Political expediency suggests that it will have to give some ground in the privacy debate, but it seems unlikely that it will just give up on the idea of mass surveillance without any further struggle.

Reasons for Using a VPN in the Netherlands

WiFi protection

Amsterdam, in particular, is famous for its coffee shops and cafes which almost invariably offer customers free WiFi. This great, but it does put them at risk from hackers who prey on users of insecure public WiFi networks.

A VPN protects you in this situation because it securely encrypts your data to the VPN server, which prevents hackers from accessing it.

It will also protect you against snooping by the WiFi operator, such as untrustworthy Airbnb hosts and commercial WiFi services who provide “free” internet access in exchange for spying on your browsing habits.

Unblock Content

The Dutch have a well-deserved reputation for speaking many languages, with levels of fluency in English being particularity high. This means that many Dutch people can fully enjoy English-language programming, such as that streamed by services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

VPNs are great for unblocking such services, although please note that some VPNs are blocked by iPlayer and Netflix. Please check out our Netflix VPN and iPlayer VPN pages for ones that are not.

Conclusion

The Wiv referendum result provides a pool of light in what is, globally, a darkening surveillance situation. How the Dutch government will respond remains to be seen, but think it fair to say that the world is changing, and the Netherlands with it. This is particularly noticeable with regards to the copyright enforcement situation.

It is therefore a very good idea to use a VPN in the Netherlands. If your looking for a cheap VPN service you will be happy to know that there’s plenty of great ones out there, check out our cheap VPN page for more information.