CountryVPN

Best VPN for Germany

Story Highlights

  • Germany a popular destination for foreigners
  • The Internet environment in Germany
  • Five reasons why you need a VPN in Germany
  • Best VPN for Germany

The German national anthem once sang: “Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles, über alles in der welt!” It roughly translates to Germany is above every other nation in the world. The Nazis used this verse to emphasize German superiority over all others. That is why when the Allies defeated the Third Reich in 1945, the first two stanzas were removed because they were distasteful and invoked hate.

Today, the official German national anthem consists of the third verse only. And even though we don’t tolerate hate speech and any superiority statement, one can’t argue that Germany is a well-oiled machine. It has one of the world’s largest economies and a leading country in pretty much every field. Moreover, its aging population opened the door for foreigners to come work and make a living.

Germany is one of the best countries to inhabit. It is economically and politically stable and has an excellent job market. Furthermore, the healthcare and education systems are top-class. Even in the digital realm, things are in very good shape. The Internet is fast and affordable to all citizens, with a very well-developed infrastructure.

However, despite having a generally “free” online status, there are a couple of restrictions on content, not to mention government surveillance. Hence, the best VPN for Germany is your safest option when using the Internet.


Table of Content


Germany – A Popular Migration Destination

Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the 4th largest worldwide, with a $4 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industry sector is a major contributor to this massive economy, with over $1 trillion in output. And the main driver behind this industrial surge is the renowned automobile industry. Deutschland is home to the most famous car manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen.

The services sector, which includes the telecommunications and tourism industries, also has a significant impact. This helps create jobs for millions of people, even attracting workers from all over the world. And with the political and economic stability, excellent healthcare and education systems, and the open-door policy for migration, Germany became a top destination for foreigners.

Another area where the country shines is entrepreneurship. According to U.S. News data, Germany has a perfect score of 100 in that category, thanks to easy access to capital and well-developed infrastructure and legal framework. In the overall ranking of the “Best Countries” study, conducted in cooperation with BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Deutschland earned 96.5/100 and a 4th-placed finish.


Germany’s Internet Status

The online environment in Germany is free, according to Freedom’s House’s “Freedom of the Net” 2019 report. The non-profit, pro-democracy think tank gave the country a score of 80/100, down one point from the previous year. But despite its free Internet status, there are few restrictions, not to mention intrusive government surveillance.

The ICT infrastructure is well-developed with a high penetration rate. In 2018, 93% of the German population used the Internet, which is affordable and less expensive than in 2016 and 2017. in other words, the vast majority of people can access the web. Furthermore, the government does not impose restrictions on ICT connectivity, and the sector is mostly decentralized.

Deutsch Telekom was the only Internet service provider (ISP) in the country until its privatization in 1995. From there on out, several ISPs launched after the sector was liberalized. But Deutsch Telekom, now only partially-owned by the government, is still the dominant ISP for both fixed and mobile broadband. Vodafone comes in second, while 1&1 is third for fixed broadband and Telefonica Deutschland for mobile broadband.

Content Restrictions

German residents are mostly free to access any website they want as content or website blocking is rare. All social media platforms, news sources, and media outlets are available inside the country. However, following the introduction of the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) and the EU’s Copyright Directive, the Internet environment became a bit more restrictive.

In 2018, a Munich court ordered Vodafone to block video-streaming service kinox.to for hosting copyrighted material. It was the first court ruling of its kind against a piracy website. Vodafone continued to receive orders to block websites that engaged in copyright infringement, including Library Genesis, which featured copyrighted books and articles. The ISP also blocked bs.to, s.to, and boerse.to after receiving complaints from copyright holders.

NetzDG doesn’t just apply to streaming platforms and piracy, but also any content that contains defamation, hate speech, and violence. In 2018, the law forced Twitter to delete several satirical tweets and suspend the account of satirical magazine Titanic. German courts even ordered Google to remove several search results that violate NetzDG.

Furthermore, journalists, commentators, and regular online users mustn’t share or post any content that contains “child sexual abuse imagery, racial hatred, and the glorification of violence.”

Online Privacy Violations

According to Freedom House, Germany’s online environment registered its lowest score in user rights violations. German laws guarantee freedom of expression and the press, which also covers the digital realm. However, in addition to a couple of restrictions, government scrutiny puts a significant dent on these freedoms.

Law enforcement agencies can monitor and collect user data, either directly or with the help of ISPs. The Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND for short, Germany’s NSA equivalent, can only monitor foreign citizens by law. But several rights groups say that the resources in hand don’t prohibit BND from using their powers against Deutsch citizens.

Moreover, the country is home to a major exchange point that’s part of the World Wide Web’s infrastructure. That gives the BND access to any foreign traffic that passes through that junction. And the worst part of it all is that the government agency shares the data with the NSA and other international peers.

You see, Germany is part of an alliance called 14-Eyes that focuses on monitoring users’ online communications. It features intelligence services from 14 different countries like the USthe UKCanada, and Australia.

In May, a court ruling said that these practices were unconstitutional as they allowed mass surveillance instead of targeting suspects or potential threats. Therefore, the German government has until 2021 to find a more compliant way to monitor user information. Nonetheless, government snooping is a massive problem in Deutschland.

Five-Eyes and Other Alliances Affect Your VPN

Best VPN for Germany – Five Reasons Why

Despite a blatant intrusive online policy, especially towards foreigners on German soil, the country has no restrictions on anonymous communication tools. As a result, all residents can use VPNs, which hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic. And since Freedom House gave an average score in user rights violations, hiding your online activities in Germany is the safest route to take.

ATTRIBUTESSCORE
Obstacles to access22/25
Limits on content30/35
Violations of human rights28/40

But in addition to maintaining your online privacy, VPNs can help you unblock websites and avoid censorship. Here are five reasons why you need the best VPN for Germany.

Online Anonymity

As we already established, German authorities can monitor foreigners’ online activities. ISPs must submit user data upon law enforcement agencies’ requests, who might share the information with other international intelligence entities like the NSA. And with such extensive powers, what keeps the BND from snooping on German citizens?

Therefore, it’s better to connect to a VPN whenever you use the Internet in Germany. This tool has the most secure encryption algorithm in the industry, thus protecting any data you send or receive. That means ISPs, government agencies, and hackers won’t be able to see what you’re doing.

But for military-grade encryption, you must subscribe to the best VPN for Germany.

No Censorship

Germany has a free Internet status and does not censor any social media platform or online service. However, Twitter, Facebook, and other similar websites were forced to delete certain posts that may contain sensitive or violent content, defamation, child abuse, or hate speech. Now, don’t get me wrong, Deutschland has great respect for freedom of expression and the press. But certain content must be removed.

And although we don’t tolerate nor encourage hate speech, the removal of certain content can be quite controversial. The scope of the NetzDG law is too broad and may include any comment of a critical nature. In 2018, Twitter deleted a satirical tweet by poet Sophie Passmann and suspended the account of Titanic, a satirical magazine.

Therefore, if you want your voice to be heard, connect to a foreign VPN server before posting on a social media platform. Only the best VPN for Germany guarantees total anonymity. And please note that we do not encourage nor tolerate hateful language.

Streaming Access

Video-on-demand services are all the hype nowadays, and you’ll get plenty of those inside Germany. ZDF.de, NDR.de, DAZN, and Netflix Germany are just some of the options. However, out-of-market platforms are out of reach. Due to licensing agreements, streaming websites use geo-blocking technology to prevent foreign viewers from accessing videos.

And just like ZDF.de is only available in Germany, other platforms are only available inside their respective countries. For example, BBC iPlayer is only accessible in the UK, while Hulu and Showtime are restricted to US residents alone. VPNs, though, can make you appear in a different region and help you unblock your favorite shows.

But most streaming platforms can determine whether you’re using a VPN IP address and subsequently block you. Therefore, you need the best VPN for Germany, which can bypass geo-blocks undetected.

Torrenting

German Internet service providers constantly receive complaints from copyright holders to take down content. Websites illegally hosting copyrighted material face hefty fines if they don’t swiftly remove it. That could also mean trouble for users who engage in peer-to-peer activities.

So the best thing to do is connect to the best VPN for Germany when downloading your favorite files via the P2P network. It will conceal your identity, whereabouts, and online activities from ISPs, the authorities, and other torrent members.

Public WiFi

Public hotspots in cafes, airports, hotels, and several other places attract plenty of users, mostly because they are free. After all, why should you consume mobile data when you can use free and unlimited bandwidth? However, hackers exploit these connections to infiltrate your device and steal your data without knowledge.

They can set up an identical hotspot to the one on offer and hack into your device when you connect to it. Or, they can simply break into the public WiFi connection because it usually has a weak security system. Either way, connecting to these hotspots is dangerous without the best VPN for Germany watching over your back.


How VPNs Work

Virtual private networks, better known as VPNs, are multitasking tools that protect your privacy and give you unlimited Internet access at the same time. Instead of using your ISP’s servers, they reroute your traffic through a network of their own. All you have to do is select your preferred destination, and the VPN will make it appear as if you’re there. That’s because it also changes your IP address so that it matches the location of the server you picked.

You see, IP addresses are numerical numbers that help websites keep track of who is visiting them and from where. Each country has a specific set of IPs, which is why it’s hard to hide your actual whereabouts. VPNs, though, hide your original IP and give you another one from a different country. In other words, if you live in Germany and connect to a US server, you’ll get an American IP address.

How VPNs Work

Not only will you keep your identity and location hidden from prying eyes, but you’ll also trick geo-restricted services into thinking you’re inside their market. It allows you to unblock any streaming platform you want simply by connecting to a VPN server that’s inside its broadcasting range.

Simply put, a UK VPN server will unblock the likes of BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Sky Go, and BT Sport. Meanwhile, a US server will give you access to Netflix US, Hulu, Showtime, HBO, ESPN+, fuboTV, and much more.

More VPN Perks

As you can see, you can reap a lot of benefits just from concealing and changing your IP address. But unblocking streaming platforms and appearing in a different region are just the tip of the iceberg. Virtual private networks offer a lot more, including:

  • Military-grade encryption: The best VPN for Germany uses the most secure algorithm to encrypt your data, AES with 256-bit keys. This encryption is practically uncrackable, keeping your online activities safe from prying eyes.
  • Zero-logs policy: Elite providers like the best VPN for Germany follow a no-logs policy, meaning they eliminate personal data from their servers. That data includes search history, connection timestamps, web destinations, and IP addresses.
  • Kill switch: A VPN kill switch is your last line of defense against data leaks. In case your VPN connection drops, your provider will disconnect you from the Internet so that your traffic doesn’t leak to your ISP’s servers.
  • No bandwidth throttling: Your ISP may decide to reduce your Internet speeds if you consume too much bandwidth, i.e., stream music, shows, or movies for long periods. But it won’t be able to see what you’re up to if you’re using the best VPN for Germany.
  • P2P support: As we mentioned earlier, copyright infringement is illegal in several countries. So if you want to download your favorite files, make sure you use a reputable VPN that protects you from copyright trolls.
  • No online restrictions: VPNs don’t just bypass the geo-blocks that streaming platforms impose. They also allow you to avoid banned websites and services inside your home country. For example, Facebook, Google, and Twitter are blocked in China, while Skype and WhatsApp Call are unavailable in the UAE.

Easily Install the Best VPN for Germany

Another VPN benefit that sometimes goes unnoticed is how VPNs are easy to download and use. Reputable providers have compatible apps with all the popular operating systems, like iOS, Android, PC, and Mac. Some also work with Kindle Fire and Linux and offer browser extensions. However, VPN software is not compatible with routers, gaming consoles, or Smart TVs.

To install on the rest of the devices, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Select a premium VPN service like our picks for the best VPN for Germany.
  2. Download the VPN app from the Play Store or the App Store. You can also install it directly from the VPN website.
  3. Open the app and sign in with your new account,
  4. Connect to any VPN server based on your preferred destination.
  5. Enjoy an Internet connection without any restrictions or third-party snooping.

Best VPN for Germany – Top 5 Picks

Not every VPN service offers premium features. Just like other products, you have good brands and bad ones. In our reviews, we always mention the top providers that you should consider, while also stressing that you avoid free VPNs.

They fail to accomplish the most fundamental VPN role, protecting your online security and privacy. Instead, they collect all your data, including your IP address and the websites you visit, and sell it to third parties. These are mostly advertising companies who buy such information to deliver targeted ads. Furthermore, some free VPNs don’t use secure encryption algorithms, and sometimes none at all, meaning ISPs and government agencies can see what you’re doing.

Free providers also don’t have an extensive server network, which renders their unblocking capabilities quite limited. And if you add the VPN IP address blacklisting that streaming platforms impose, using free VPNs for streaming is mostly a waste of time. Besides, their servers are slow and overloaded with users.

Therefore, we recommend you stick to the below best VPN for Germany suggestion list.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN-Logo

ExpressVPN is one of the most reputable VPN services in the business. It has excellent ratings from consumers on Trustpilot and Apple’s App Store, earning 4.7 and 4.6 stars, respectively. Even other industry experts place this VPN high on their suggestion list, and it’s easy to understand why.

The BVI-based provider employs first-rate security and privacy features, starting with military-grade encryption. It uses the Advanced Encryption Standard with 256-bit keys. It’s the same kind the NSA has to protect classified information. Cybercriminals would have to go through trillions of possible combinations to break it, which would take billions of years, even with the world’s supercomputers combined.

ExpressVPN also follows a proven zero-logs policy, categorically deleting users’ sensitive data. As a result, even if one of the servers is seized by the authorities or hacked, they won’t find any valuable information. There’s also an automatic kill switch that disconnects you from the Internet if the VPN malfunctions.

Furthermore, ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 servers across 94 countries, one of the broadest networks in the business. It can bypass the majority of the geo-blocks that VOD services impose, as well as their VPN IP ban. These servers also support torrenting and offer fast speed rates.

You can install the app on Android, iOS, Mac, PC Linux, and Kindle Fire and use it on up to five devices simultaneously. The company also offers a 30-day refund policy and 24/7 customer support service with a live-chat feature.

For more information, read our ExpressVPN detailed review.

Get ExpressVPN

Top VPN Provider

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Pros

  • Fast speed rates.
  • Massive server network.
  • P2P support.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • Works with most streaming platforms.
  • AES-256 encryption.
  • No-logs policy.
  • Automatic kill switch.
  • 30-day refund policy.
  • Five simultaneous device connections.

Cons

  • A bit pricier than other VPNs.

BulletVPN

BulletVPN-logo-1

BulletVPN also has excellent ratings from users, earning 4.4 stars on the App Store and 4.7 stars on Trustpilot. It offers the same top-level security and privacy features as ExpressVPN, including the extremely important AES-256 encryption and zero-logging policy. As for the kill switch, you can activate it from settings, along with the optional BulletShield. When enabled, the latter won’t connect you to the Internet unless you’re using BulletVPN.

Moreover, the VPN helps you unblock the vast majority of streaming platforms, including, Showmax, DStv, and TVNZ. You’ll find out that the number of servers is nowhere near the ones ExpressVPN has, but the network spreads across key regions all over the globe. These servers also support torrenting and offer fast speed rates.

You can download the BulletVPN app on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. It allows up to six simultaneous device connections with just one account. Moreover, you’ll benefit from a Smart DNS proxy and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more insight about BulletVPN, read our in-depth review.

Get BulletVPN

Top VPN Provider

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Pros

  • Military-grade encryption.
  • Kill switch + BulletShield.
  • No-logs policy.
  • Fast speeds.
  • Unblocks most streaming platforms.
  • Supports torrenting.
  • Six simultaneous device connections.
  • 30-day refund policy.
  • Smart DNS proxy.

Cons

  • Smaller server network than other VPNs

Unlocator VPN

Unlocator Logo

Most users are familiar with Unlocator‘s Smart DNS proxy service. However, the company added a VPN product as of late that offers outstanding privacy and anonymity features. They include the military-grade AES encryption with 256-bit keys and strict zero-logs policy. There’s also a kill switch to prevent any potential data leaks, as well as Unlocator Shield, which terminates your Internet connection if you’re not using the VPN.

Unlocator offers a Hybrid subscription plan, allowing you to benefit from both the Smart DNS proxy and VPN service. Furthermore, all Unlocator packages come with a 7-day free trial, followed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. On the downside, though, the company is based in Denmark, a member of the Nine Eyes alliance. Moreover, the server network is much smaller than the ones other VPNs provide.

Still, you can download the app on all the major operating systems and use it on up to five devices simultaneously. Check out our Unlocator VPN review for more details.

Get Unlocator

Top VPN Provider

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Pros

  • AES-256 encryption.
  • No-logs policy.
  • Kill switch with Unlocator Shield.
  • Unblocks most streaming platforms.
  • P2P support.
  • Unlocator Hybrid.
  • 7-day free trial.
  • 30-day refund policy.
  • Five simultaneous device connections.

Cons

  • Denmark headquarters.
  • Small server network.

NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN is a well-known VPN service that’s been around for quite some time. It’s most famous for its top privacy and anonymity features, including CyberSec, a tool that blocks ads and malicious websites. There’s also a double VPN option, which reroutes and encrypts your traffic twice. And we can’t forget about the standard AES-256 encryption, no-logs policy, and the kill switch.

The Panama-based company operates more than 5,000 servers across 59 countries, giving you access to the most popular streaming websites. It also supports torrenting and P2P file-sharing. You can install the app on iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and Linux, and use it on up to six simultaneous devices. You’ll also benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee and Smart DNS proxy called SmartPlay.

For more detailed reading, head over to our NordVPN review.

Get NordVPN

Top VPN Provider

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Pros

  • Double VPN and CyberSec.
  • AES-256 encryption.
  • Kill switch.
  • No-logs policy.
  • Broad server network.
  • Torrenting support.
  • Access to Netflix and other platforms.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • SmartPlay.

Cons

  • Some servers offer slow speed rates.

Surfshark

best vpn

Surfshark entered the VPN market just recently, but it did so with a bang. It offers premium features in every department, especially in terms of anonymity and security. In addition to the usual zero-logs policy, top-grade encryption, and kill switch, This VPN offers an ad-blocker (CleanWeb), a double VPN (MultiHop), Camouflage Mode, and Shadowsocks.

The BVI VPN has a decent server network, operating more than 1,000 servers across 60 countries. Speed rates are more than acceptable, allowing you to stream your favorite shows without any buffering issues. Speaking of which, Surfshark works with the majority of VOD services and allows P2P activities.

Furthermore, you can use the app on as many devices you want at the same time. There are no limits on simultaneous connections. You can install the Surfshark application on Android, Mac, iOS, PC, Linux.

The full Surfshark review is available here.

Get Surfshark

Top VPN Provider

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Pros

  • MultiHop, CleanWeb, and other unique privacy features.
  • AES encryption with 256-bit keys.
  • Zero-logging policy.
  • Kill switch.
  • Decent server network.
  • Works with most streaming services.
  • Allows Torrenting activities.
  • 30-day refund policy.
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections.

Cons

  • Pricey monthly subscription plan.

Wrapping up the Best VPN for Germany Review

Deutschland is one of the best countries to visit, whether for tourism, work, or studying. It has wonderful landscapes and historical landmarks, as well as excellent and free healthcare and education systems. The country also has an excellent job market and an open-door policy for foreigners who wish to work in the country.

But during your stay, you should keep in mind a couple of things, like government online snooping. Law enforcement agencies keep a very close eye on expats’ online activities. That’s why the safest thing to do to protect your anonymity is to get the best VPN for Germany.

Which do you think is the best VPN for Germany? Share your thought in the comment box below.

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Ralph Peterson

Ralph was bitten by the tech bug from an early age. Today, he is a cybersecurity geek who is obsessed with online privacy. Peterson is also a hardcore streamer of the latest TV shows and sports tournaments. We constantly hear him shouting at his screen whenever there's a live Premier League match (or a bad ending to a TV series like GoT).

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