ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs for Germany in 2017

A quick glance at Germany’s strong data protection laws and lack of Internet censorship conveys a false sense of security. One could be forgiven for assuming that Germany would be a good location for VPNs to be based, and that VPN servers there would be safe from prying eyes. Sadly, that is far from the truth. Germany has a powerful intelligence agency called Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The surveillance agency works closely with the NSA to spy on Germans.

The Best VPNs for Germany

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. VyprVPN
  3. NordVPN
  4. VPNArea
  5. PrivateInternetAccess

In addition, two years ago the German parliament also passed laws forcing mandatory data retention. Unfortunately, Germany also takes a tough stance on copyright piracy making it dangerous for citizens to stream or download content available online. For Germans that want to regain their privacy and stay safe from possible prosecution for piracy, a VPN is the solution. Furthermore, with ISPs now retaining web browsing histories and metadata for BND: A VPN is vital for any Germans that don’t want their every digital-move tracked.

In this article, we have looked at every aspect of the best VPN for Germany (and four runners up). We evaluate (among other things): Encryption, privacy policies, server locations, connection speeds, reliability, and customer supports. All that remains is for you to select one of the best VPNs for Germany in 2017.

Best VPN for Germany Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

VyprVPN LogoVyprVPN
Read Review9.2/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
Read Review8.4/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

VPNArea LogoVPNArea
Read Review7.6/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

5

PrivateInternetAccess LogoPrivateInternetAccess
Read Review6.6/10
$3.33 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

ExpressVPN

5/5

Best VPN for Germany

  • ProsPROS
  • Very strong Encryption
  • No usage logs
  • Servers in 85 countries
  • Three simultaneous connections
  • Excellent customer service
  • ConsCONS
  • Some connection logs kept

ExpressVPN is our most recommended VPN for Germany in 2017. It is fully featured with DNS leak protection and a killswitch. In addition OpenVPN is implemented to incredibly high standards. The firm is very reliable and has subscribers all over the world. It also has a perfect track record of providing privacy for its users. Based in Hong Kong, the provider keeps no usage logs. The VPN software is available for all popular platforms and can be installed on three simultaneous devices. 

ExpressVPN has servers in a whopping 85 countries (including three in Germany) and speeds are outstanding throughout the network. Finally, this VPN has outstanding 24/7 customer care and offers a generous 30-day no quibble money back guarantee.

 

Try the best VPN for Germany Now!

Visit ExpessVPN »

30-day money back guarantee

2nd place

VyprVPN

4.6/5

VyprVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • No usage logs
  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in over 70 countries
  • Based in Switzerland
  • Great customer care
  • ConsCONS
  • Some connection logs kept

VyprVPN is part of Golden Frog an Internet conglomerate that owns its own infrastructure of servers. That means added security, but also means that VyprVPN can provide outstanding speeds. Servers are located in over 70 countries, perfect for all your spoofing needs. No usage logs are kept (the important ones that could be used to discover what was visited), though some connection logs are kept for 30 days. Customer care is great and the VPN has a three-day free trial to test the service. In addition, a dedicated cloud server is available on the premium package.

 

Visit VyprVPN »


3rd place

NordVPN

4.2/5

NordVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Zero logs
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
  • Accepts Bitcoins
  • Tor over VPN
  • Two simultaneous connections
  • ConsCONS
  • Can be a bit slow on some servers (particularly when you use double encryption option)

NordVPN is based in Panama and has a zero logs policy: Perfect for privacy. In addition, it is a vPN that is often chosen by people that require particularly high levels of privacy. Why? As well as DNS leak protection and a kill switch, it has extra features like double encryption, shared IPs and VPN into Tor. In addition, it provides 256-bit AES OpenVPN encryption and accepts Bitcoins. One drawback is that despite being highly secure, speeds can falter sometimes (on particular servers and in particular using double encryption). However, it does offer a 30-day money back guarantee so that you can test it to make sure it does what you want, risk free.

Visit NordVPN »


4th place

VPNArea

3.8/5

VPNArea

  • ProsPROS
  • Zero logs policy
  • Based in Bulgaria (no DRD)
  • Five simultaneous devices
  • Strong encryption
  • P2P: Yes
  • ConsCONS
  • Younger company (but doing an excellent job)

VPNArea is a Bulgarian VPN that has servers located all over the world. In addition all those servers provide lightning fast connection speeds. Customer service is excellent and can help with anything that might come up. Encryption is OpenVPN that is implemented strongly, perfect for security. In addition, this VPN has a strong privacy policy and keeps no logs. Finally, it offers a seven-day free trial, so you can test it yourself before buying a subscription.

 

Visit VPNArea »


5th place

PIA

3.3/5

Private Internet Access

  • ProsPROS
  • Zero logs
  • Accepts Bitcoins
  • Strong OpenVPN implementation
  • Fully featured software
  • P2P: Yes
  • ConsCONS
  • US based firm
  • Apple users less impressed

PIA is a VPN that is based in the US. Although that could put some people off, do remember that the US currently doesn’t have forced data retention. In addition, PIA has an excellent zero logs policy. Encryption can be set to 256-bit AES OpenVPN, SHA-256 hash authentication and 4096-bit RSA handshake (recommended).

The VPN software also includes a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and port forwarding – excellent, strong security features. You can also use the VPN on five simultaneous devices if you wish. PIA also has a lot of servers located all over the world and provides outstanding connection speeds. One thing we have noticed is that Apple users aren’t quite as impressed as Windows and Android users.

 

Visit PIA »


 

VPN for Germany: Overview

Government surveillance in Germany

In 2013, the Snowden revelations made it clear that the German Intelligence agency BND was a close ally of the NSA, and that it had been working closely with its American counterpart to covertly monitor German citizens and other European nations. The revelations were a rude awakening for some, and demonstrated a much more special intelligence relationship between the two nations than most had ever suspected.

An inquiry carried out by the German parliament even found evidence that BND had been using a facility in Bavaria to snoop on the telephone calls and emails of top EU institutions in Brussels and the offices of the French president. Sadly for Germans, following Snowden’s disclosures Angela Merkel announced that BND intelligence would be awarded a further $133 million to tighten up its Internet surveillance operations.

Data retention

As a member of the EU, Germany has strong privacy laws that are supposed to protect internet users. In addition, the German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz) is one of the best in the European Union. The legislation stops internet firms from collecting personal data about consumers without their express permission. Another positive for Germans is that the country has no laws that force German firms to implement backdoors or to submit to gag orders.

Sadly, however, those protections can only do so much because data retention is now back in play (despite a 2010 German High Court ruling that it was unconstitutional). With that in mind, German citizens need to take their privacy into their own hands with a VPN. Admittedly, it is true that in Germany, telecoms, internet firms, and ISPs, only have to retain data for 10 weeks. That is noticeably less that in other places like France (12 months), UK (12 months), and even Switzerland (six months).

The law, however, allows BND to legally access vast amounts of citizens private data during those ten weeks. While it is true that Germany has  proposed reforms to mediate those surveillance powers, sadly those proposals came before July’s terror attack. As such, due to higher levels of extremism, it seems likely that surveillance of the masses will continue. In addition, considering that the agency was happy to spy illegally before – it seems hard to believe that the agency would do any different now.

Also worth noting, Germany is unusual because metadata is defined to include the contents of SMS text messages – something that doesn’t happen elsewhere. Furthermore, data retention laws appear to apply to VPN services located in Germany – which is why no VPN providers base themselves there.

Post-July terror attacks surveillance

In the wake of July’s terror attacks in Munich and Ansbach, the German government is seeking to pass new legislation to increase the scope of camera surveillance in the country. The idea is to place CCTV surveillance in public places like shopping centers, sports facilities, and public transport stations. In addition, in October the German parliament passed a controversial new law that gives BND new powers to place foreign agencies and people under surveillance without the need for a warrant.

This is an extension of BND’s power that grants it extreme new surveillance abilities: Virtues that stand in stark contrast to previous proposals to curb the capabilities of the German intelligence agency.

Censorship issues in Germany

In  Germany censorship isn’t much of a problem. People are free to look at and talk about most things. However, for obvious reasons, pro-Nazi verbiage, denial of the Holocaust, and hate speech are all illegal. This is enforced by Google in the country, which filters out content of that nature. While most of the time, we can all agree that those bans are quite understandable sometimes it can lead to some pretty bizarre outcomes such as a ban on Wolfenstein 3D, a game that included Nazi soldiers.

Another problem for German music fans is that the performing rights organization GEMA has caused the music videos of many artists on major labels to be geo-restricted on Youtube and elsewhere. This is because GEMA wants to charge 12 cents per streamed video – a price that Google feels is unfair. As such, since March of 2009 many videos have been unavailable.

Copyright enforcement

Perhaps most problematic of all, Germany takes breach of copyright very seriously. That means that the government is willing to work alongside copyright holders to uphold stakes and prosecute pirates to the full extent of the law. With that in mind, anyone with a penchant for watching pirated movies and TV shows is highly advised to use a VPN to protect their data. The best VPN encryption available today is the strong OpenVPN protocol (which must be implemented properly). OpenVPN will allow anybody to stream video content without ISPs, the government, or copyright holders, knowing what has been accessed.

Warning: Watching copyright controlled content is illegal and as such you do so at your own risk. However, it is true that vast amounts of people do use VPNs to unblock geo-restricted content. As such, if you decide to take the risk you are strongly advised to ensure that you have:

a) Chosen a world-class VPN from our list.

b) Selected OpenVPN in its settings.

c) Connected to a server in a country that doesn’s force data retention (ie, outside of Germany).

VPN for Germany – Considerations

With data retention in full swing, surveillance on the rise, and German law such a stickler for copyright regulations, a VPN for Germany must have strong encryption. All of the VPNs in this guide have been selected because they have strong privacy policies with no usage logs (the important ones that could be used to determine what was accessed).

In addition, all the VPNs provide strong OpenVPN encryption that is implemented to a highly secure level. With that taken care of, we made sure only to include VPNS that have plenty of server option all over the world. In addition, we made sure that those server networks all provide the highest connection speeds available on the market: Perfect for watching video content in HD.

Conclusion

In this article, we have provided information about the best VPN for Germany in 2017 (and four close runners up). With data retention and surveillance so prolific in the country, Germans are strongly advised to consider signing up. There really is nothing like the feeling you get when you turn on your VPN for the first time.

All of the VPNs in this guide are known to provide reliable, trusted services, that will keep German users secure. In addition, all the world class VPN services that we have selected offer the very best server locations, speeds, and encryption protocols available in 2017. We are confident there is someone for everyone in the top five. So, go ahead, and choose a VPN without all the stress usually associated with it.

Best VPNs for Germany Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

VyprVPN LogoVyprVPN
Read Review9.2/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
Read Review8.4/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

VPNArea LogoVPNArea
Read Review7.6/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

5

PrivateInternetAccess LogoPrivateInternetAccess
Read Review6.6/10
$3.33 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure

Ray Walsh I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

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2 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Germany in 2017

    1. Hi jack,

      Any half-way decent VPN should work just fine in Germany, but in our view Astrill is not a good enough service to make this list.

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