In recent years, Germany’s powerful intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) has been granted more and more power to spy on citizens. Data retention was made mandatory in the country for a period of 10 weeks. Furthermore, Germany works hand in hand with the US’ NSA to spy on Germans. For Germans that want to protect their online privacy, a VPN is an essential tool.
Further to mandatory data retention, Germany also takes a harsh stance on copyright piracy. For this reason, it is considered dangerous for Germans to stream or download content online. For citizens that believe strongly in digital privacy – and want to be able to do what they want online (without fear of being watched) – a VPN is the perfect solution.
A VPN is also an outstanding personal cyber security product that should always be used when connected to public WiFi.
In this article, we will take a close look at every aspect of the best VPN for Germany (and four runner ups). We will explain what a VPN for Germany consists of and why it is important to get one that is trusted and reliable. In addition, we will explain what a VPN can be used for and what important features to look out for.
Our team here at BestVPN.com has considered every aspect of a VPN for Germany, and we have explained every one of those considerations for you later in the article. As such, we are confident that by the time you have read this guide you will be in a much stronger position to select the best VPN for you.
Best VPN for Germany: Summary
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- Very strong Encryption
- No usage logs
- Servers in 94 countries
- Three simultaneous connections
- 24/7 live chat support
- A bit pricey - but worth it!
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Germany for a number of reasons. It has strong OpenVPN encryption implemented at the highest standards. It is fully-featured with DNS leak protection and a kill switch. Servers are located in 94 countries and all provide lightning fast speeds for streaming in HD.
The software is fantastic and is very easy to use. In addition, it is available for all platforms and can be installed on three simultaneous devices. The VPN will keep your data private from the government and will keep you secure from hackers on public WiFi. Finally, this VPN has outstanding 24/7 live chat support and offers a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service.
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- Servers in 27 countries
- Easy to use
- Good value for money
- Private and secure
- Fast speeds
- Live chat isn't 24/7
The software is easy to use and is available for all popular platforms. It also has all the pro features you would expect to see from a top-end VPN service. What's more, it can be used on five simultaneous devices. Why not give it a go using the 30-day money back guarantee?
- Zero logs
- Strong OpenVPN encryption
- Accepts Bitcoins
- Servers in 61+ countries
- Six simultaneous connections
- Can be a bit slow on some servers (particularly when you use double encryption option)
NordVPN is an excellent VPN for Germans that want lots of security features. It is based in Panama and has a zero logs policy. The VPN is fully featured with DNS leak protection, a kill switch, stealth mode, double encryption, shared IPs, and VPN into Tor.
This VPN provides 256-bit AES OpenVPN encryption and accepts Bitcoins. One drawback is that despite being highly secure, speeds do slow down if you make use of double encryption. However, it will allow you to stream in HD. The software is outstanding, is easy to use, and will keep you secure on public WiFi. Finally, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can test it thoroughly before investing.
- Zero logs policy
- Based in Bulgaria
- Five simultaneous devices
- Strong encryption
- P2P: Yes
- Not much
VPNArea is an excellent Bulgarian VPN that has servers located in over 60 countries around the world It is a reliable and trusted VPN that provides fantastic speeds for gaming and streaming in HD.
- Fast for streaming
- Lots of servers
- No usage logs
- P2P: yes
- Good customer care
- Some minimal connection logs
The software is fully featured, and the website is also full of resources. P2P for torrenting is permitted, and customer care is good. Finally it has a 30-day money back guarantee.
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What is a VPN for Germany
A Virtual Private Network is an online service that allows people to pretend to be in a different country. As soon as a subscriber is connected to the VPN server their real IP address is concealed and they appear to be abroad (including having a foreign IP address). The result is that censored or geographically-restricted content becomes available.
Additionally, a VPN also encrypts all of the internet traffic coming and going from a subscriber’s device. The result is that no one can tell what they are doing online. In addition, encryption provides security and stops hackers from being able to access the subscriber’s web traffic (particularly useful when on public WiFi).
Is it safe to use a VPN in Germany?
The answer to this question is yes. There is nothing illegal about using a VPN in Germany. The encryption that a VPN provides stops anyone from being able to tell what the VPN user is doing online. With that privacy comes the ability to access any website content you wish.
Unblocking geographic restrictions is technically in breach of copyright – as is watching pirated content. Doing so is still illegal, but because of the VPN no one will actually know what you did online. This leaves VPN users free to do as they please.
Can I get a Germany VPN that is free?
Sadly, the limits and restrictions imposed on those free services do mean that the VPN is nowhere close to as functional as a premium, paid service. In the end, when it comes to VPNs you really do get what you pay for.
With that said, there is no doubt that for beginners wanting to try out a VPN – a free VPN for Germany can be a good start. Just remember, many people that try a free VPN are left thinking that VPNs aren’t very good: but that simply isn’t true. Free VPNs aren’t very good – paid VPNs (recommended ones) are outstanding.
Then we come to Free VPNs that we can’t recommend – and that we urge you to stay away from – are free VPNs that give away the service in order to make money from their user’s data. A VPN is supposed to protect its users’ privacy and security. As such, a VPN that collects and sells their consumer’s data to third parties is doing the exact opposite of what a VPN should do: it’s basically the equivalent of getting an umbrella with a built in sprinkler system underneath.
At best VPN we only recommend a few free VPN options. However, don’t forget that the VPNs in our guide all have a trial period or money back guarantee – so you have nothing to loose – and you can try any VPN for Germany for free (or have a go with one of our trusted free VPNs).
Why get a VPN for Germany?
Government surveillance in Germany
In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed the close relationship between Germany’s intelligence agency (BND) and those of the US and the UK. Those intelligence agencies work together to snoop on both their own and foreign countries. In fact, Germany was found to be snooping not only on Germans for the NSA but also other European nations.
Snowden’s revelations demonstrate a deep-seated cooperation between those allied nations. It is also a stark reminder that Germans need to protect their online privacy from both their own government and those that their government is willing to share with.
Nowadays, it is agreed that our personal data is extremely valuable. Some people even consider it a form of currency. It is for this reason that more and more people are waking up to the fact that they need to strictly control their digital footprint. At the end of the day, if something is valuable then it is likely that various actors – both private and state-owned – are likely to be attempting to get it.
Unfortunately, since Snowden disclosed the truth about surveillance to German citizens, Angela Merkel has awarded BND a further $133 million to further improve its Internet surveillance operations. With that in mind, it seems clear that nobody is going to protect German citizens privacy other than themselves.
Data retention in Germany
In Germany, telecoms, internet firms, and ISPs must retain data for 10 weeks. That is a much shorter period of time than places like France and the UK (12 months), and even Switzerland (six months).
Despite this, the law permits BND to legally access vast amounts of data during those ten weeks. ISPs store metadata and web browsing histories for ten weeks on behalf of the government, but once the government takes what it wants it can keep it indefinitely and share it with its partners at the NSA.
Germany has proposed reforms to attempt to curb those surveillance powers. Sadly, however, terror attacks in the country have reinforced the political ideal that more – not less – powers are needed to protect German citizens. With the danger of extremism so pronounced within Europe: it seems likely that surveillance will continue.
Furthermore, considering that Germany’s BND was more than happy to illegally spy in the past – it doesn’t feel like legislation would be likely to stop them now.
Finally, it is also worth remembering that in Germany metadata includes the contents of SMS text messages – a peculiarity not shared elsewhere. In addition, it is commonly thought that data retention laws apply to VPN services based in Germany. For that reason, VPN providers do not base themselves in the country.
With surveillance so prolific in the country, German citizens are advised to take their privacy into their own hands. Privacy was fought for over centuries, and the actions of a few should not result in elected governments stealing away our human rights.
Post-July terror attacks surveillance
Following last July’s terror attacks in Munich and Ansbach, the German parliament passed controversial legislation that allows BND to snoop on foreign firms and people without the need for a warrant.
This extension of BND’s power is extreme because of its broad nature. After all foreign people are not terrorists – and this applies to all foreign people and firms. With that in mind, foreigners living in Germany or visiting are at even more risk than locals and a VPN is strongly recommended.
Censorship issues in Germany
In Germany, there is some censorship, though admittedly it is not really a problem. For understandable reasons, pro-Nazi ideology, Holocaust denial , and all hate speech is illegal in the country. That censorship is enforced by both Google and keyword filtering by ISPs.
Rarely, however, the blocks can lead to unusual circumstances: such as the time when Wolfenstein 3D – a game that portrays Nazi soldiers – was blocked. With a VPN citizens can freely access content that has accidentally or unnecessary been blocked (for being mislabeled as hateful content).
Please be aware, however, that at BestVPN.com we consider a VPN to be a force for good, and we do not condone or endorse a VPN being used for hateful reasons or intimidation purposes.
German music fans also face a censorship problem. The reason is that the nation’s performing rights organization GEMA has caused many music videos by international artists to be geographically-restricted on Youtube. The reason? GEMA wishes to make Germans pay 12 cents every time that certain videos are played. Google, which owns YouTube feels this is unfair and for that reason since March of 2009 huge amounts of videos are unavailable.
With a VPN for Germany, any person can pretend to be in a neighboring country in order to unblock all of YouTube’s videos.
Copyright enforcement in Germany
One of the best reasons to get a VPN in Germany is the strict attitude that Germany has towards copyright piracy. Time and time again, studies have proven that piracy does not cost the entertainment industry any revenue. In fact, it is well known that shows like Game of Thrones (the most pirated show ever) make huge amounts of revenue due to the publicity that piracy causes.
Despite this, greedy production houses and entertainment firms are desperate to shut down piracy completely. Copyright holders enforce their iron will by lobbying governments to pass anti-piracy legislation. In Germany, the government works alongside copyright holders to find and punish pirates to the full extent of the law.
OpenVPN allows people to stream any video content they wish – without their ISP, the government, or copyright holders – ever having to know a thing.
Warning: Accessing copyright controlled content is illegal and you do so at your own risk. Despite this, it remains true that huge amounts of people all over the world do use VPNs to unblock geographically-restricted content.
If you do decide to take the risk and watch geographically-restricted or even copyrighted content we recommend that Germans take the following steps:
- Select a reliable and trusted VPN from this list.
- Choose OpenVPN in the VPN for Germany’s settings.
- Connect to a server outside of Germany (and preferably not in an allied nation).
WiFi privacy in Germany
When people connect to public WiFi they open themselves up to the risk of being hacked. While connected to WiFi, anybody else on the WiFi can easily access all the other user’s web traffic. This allows cyber criminals to steal people’s credentials, passwords, and bank details while on public WiFi.
The encryption that a VPN for Germany provides means that no matter what WiFi you connect to, your data is always scrambled and hackers get to see nothing!
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!
In this article, we have provided information about the best VPN for Germany in 2017 (and four close runner ups). 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.