5 Best VPNs For France – For Safety, Streaming & Speeds in 2020
Are you a French citizen concerned about your country’s data retention laws, and what those laws mean for your online privacy? Or are you just frustrated that you can’t access US Netflix, HBO, the BBC iPlayer, and other content from all over the world?
Perhaps you plan to travel outside France and need a way to stay connected to your favorite French TV shows and local websites. Or maybe the opposite is true – you’re traveling to France and want to stay connected to your home country.
Censorship is rare in France, but there are still obstacles to accessing the web freely and anonymously. In spite of the country’s long history of celebrating love, freedom, and an “anything goes” attitude, there are plenty of reasons to use a high-quality VPN.
With hundreds or even thousands of VPNs to choose from, it’s not easy to tell the ones you can trust from the ones you shouldn’t go anywhere near. We’ll shed some light on what makes a VPN perfect for France.
To start, here’s a sneak peek at the top scorers in our VPN tests for France – and yes, we really do test them!
Summary of the Best VPNs for France
With its balance of speed, easy access to streaming sites, and advanced security features, NordVPN will handle anything you need to do online in France with ease.
Express VPN’s super-fast connection speeds make it ideal for streaming and torrenting. A network spanning 94 countries takes you anywhere you want to go online.
With easy-to-use, visual apps for all major devices, this VPN is great for beginners. It’s also a great value, offering high-level security and nice speeds at low cost.
This impressively fast VPN is simple to use and very budget-friendly. The unique Team Viewer service puts you directly in touch with the tech team for setup help.
IPVanish combines privacy, security, and reliability in a feature-packed service that allows you to connect up to 10 devices at once on a single subscription.
What You Should Look For in a VPN for France
Even in a country like France with open internet access, geoblocks can come between you and the sites and streaming services you want to reach. To access all the best content, you’ll need a VPN that unblocks US Netflix, Hulu, and similar sites.
Those same VPNs have the power to keep you connected to your favorite French TV networks and critical services like your bank when you travel outside the country. By securely connecting you to a remote server, a good VPN makes it look like you’re in the US, the UK, France, or wherever else you need to be to reach the sites that matter to you.
More importantly, a reliable VPN is a powerful tool to secure your devices against cybercrime and keep your personal information safe from spying eyes.
When France joined the 9-Eyes intelligence-gathering alliance, it was a bad day for the traditional French value of Liberté. Data retention laws like the Loi relative au renseignement, which was passed by the French parliament in 2015, threaten your online privacy.
The law requires French internet service providers (ISPs) to monitor web activity and report “suspicious patterns” to the authorities. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to restore online privacy in France, but many websites don’t comply with the law.
Worse, data miners are already finding loopholes in the GDPR. And while no visit to France would be complete without spending time at a sidewalk café, using public wi-fi can mean exposing your data to anyone who gains access to the shared network.
A reliable VPN uses end-to-end, military-grade encryption to keep your data out of the hands of your ISP, government surveillance agencies, and hackers. VPNs also fully hide your IP address, ensuring that no one can trace your activity back to you.
Top-rated VPNs also include malware protection and extra security for public wi-fi. Their strict privacy policies ensure safe and anonymous file sharing, including torrenting.
To find the right VPN for your needs in France, look for:
- Strong encryption. The provider should offer ultra-secure VPN protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2.
- No-logging policy. Finding a provider with a verified policy of never storing your session data is crucial if you don’t want to leave any footprints online.
- Large server network. For the easiest access to geoblocked content worldwide, look for a VPN with servers spread across many countries, along with a proven record of bypassing the VPN screens used by sites like Netflix and the BBC.
- High speeds. For a smooth streaming, gaming, or torrenting experience, you need a VPN with stable connections and lightning-fast servers. Many VPNs, including almost all free VPNs, get horrible scores on our speed tests.
We only recommend VPNs that meet all of these requirements, and in fact go far beyond them.
Best VPNs to Use in France – Detailed Guide
Panama-based NordVPN comes with a huge array of features and is one of the most reliable VPNs available today. It offers a strict zero-logging policy and has 5,000+ servers in 60+ countries, including 140+ servers in France.
The network includes servers optimized for streaming that you can easily connect to using the SmartPlay feature, servers dedicated to anonymous torrenting, and obfuscated servers to get past censorship if you need to access French sites from places like Turkey and China.
NordVPN’s network is secured with Double VPN encryption and includes key privacy protection features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection. The provider offers easy-to-use apps for all major platforms, and you get 6 simultaneous connections with one account.
You can try it out for yourself with a 7-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee. Or check our reviews archive to see what other users have to say about it.
NordVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV.
- Yes, P2P specialty servers available.
NordVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers.
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN we’ve tested (and we’ve tested hundreds of them), and delivers those speeds while maintaining a high level of security and privacy. Its network spans 94 countries, with three high-volume servers in France.
The provider secures the entire network with military-grade encryption and your choice of multiple security protocols. A rare split-tunneling option allows you to choose which apps use the VPN tunnel and which access the web directly, further improving your speed.
With a proven no-logging policy and advanced features like public wi-fi protection and an automatic kill switch, you won’t need to worry about data retention laws in France. Apps for all platforms are user-friendly, and you can connect up to 5 devices at once.
ExpressVPN is ideal for streaming, gaming, and torrenting, which makes it a popular choice worldwide. It’s not the cheapest VPN, but a 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to try it without risk.
ExpressVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity.
ExpressVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It also offers an app for use with certain routers.
With its visually based, user-friendly apps for all major platforms, Romania-based CyberGhost gets high praise from both tech savvy users and VPN beginners. Hidden behind its simple interface are advanced security features like AES-256 encryption.
Preset modes for streaming, anonymous torrenting, and secure browsing allow you to customize the VPN for your purpose with a click. A growing network of over 3,000 servers in 59 countries includes more than 200 in France.
A very strict no-logs policy, a kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection ensure your complete online privacy when you use CyberGhost. You can connect up to 7 devices at the same time to protect the whole family.
An especially generous 45-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of time to see if CyberGhost is the perfect VPN for you in France.
CyberGhost can unblock:
- Dedicated streaming profile with servers optimized for: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others.
- Yes; dedicated profile shows countries and number of users.
CyberGhost works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome.
PrivateVPN is a small provider compared to the other VPNs on our list, with about 100 servers in 50 countries, including two in France. But don’t let the network size fool you – this affordably priced VPN delivers great speeds and many of the same features as the giants.
It uses strong AES 256-bit encryption to secure your connection and gives you 6 simultaneous connections so you can run it on all your gadgets. PrivateVPN seamlessly unblocks Netflix anywhere, something very few other similarly sized VPNs can do.
PrivateVPN also supports torrenting and other P2P sharing, although these activities are limited to specific servers. The remote help Team Viewer feature takes all the fear out of installing and setting up your VPN app if you’re a beginner.
PrivateVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity; list of P2P-optimized servers available through the app.
PrivateVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
IPVanish is a powerful VPN that you can share with your family and some friends as well – one subscription supports up to 10 simultaneous device connections. The VPN is secure, easy to use, and packed with features.
With IPVanish, you’ll have access to 1000+ servers in 60+ countries, including 26 high-speed servers in France. Another 400+ servers spread across Europe will enable you to keep up with news around the EU, along with the best sports coverage across the continent.
IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption, a variety of VPN protocols, and a kill switch to secure your data. You can try it out risk free using the 7-day money-back guarantee. We are usually uneasy about US-based VPNs, but it’s hard to argue with so many positive user reviews.
IPVanish can unblock:
- Netflix, BBC iPlayer.
IPVanish works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, FireTV, Windows Phone, Linux, Chromebook, Routers.
Living in or visiting France should mean complete freedom, including the freedom to go wherever you want to go online without worrying about geo-restrictions, cybercrime, or internet surveillance. With the right VPN, that freedom will be yours.
Unfortunately, we haven’t yet found a way to get a VPN to pay for your lunch at a Paris café! We can still save you money, though, because our coupon-hunting pros search the web every day to make sure you get the hottest VPN deals.
To summarize, the best VPNs for France in 2020 are…