Germany has some of the most consumer-friendly data privacy rules in the world. But the 2013 Snowden leak has highlighted numerous reasons Germans may want to consider using a VPN to access the internet. The country’s leading foreign intelligence agency has previously collaborated with the NSA, and the government has tried to enact data retention legislation.
Germany, likewise, has unambiguous regulations against P2P file sharing of protected content. For example, the country’s internet service providers will collaborate with legal firms to prosecute torrenters. What is less apparent is the country’s fair use principle, which would have, without authorization, limited educational or creative use of copyrighted content.
A VPN service encrypts all communication on a device and routes it via an intermediate server to the user’s chosen location. This prohibits hackers, internet service providers, and government organizations from eavesdropping on traffic over public wifi. It can circumvent online censorship, enabling you to access the internet without limitation, whether at the workplace or on a national level.
Additionally, a VPN connection masks the user’s genuine IP address, concealing their online identity from websites and applications and unblocking regionally restricted content such as Netflix and other online media streaming services.
While many VPN companies are capable, not all of them provide a similar level of service. To be considered the best VPN for Germany, the provider must satisfy the following criteria (which we will discuss in further detail later):
- There are no use logs.
- Protocol that is secure.
- Suite for strong encryption.
- Removes geo-restricted German content.
- Rapidity and stability.
- Global server network.
How to use a VPN in Germany
Have you never used a virtual private network (VPN) before? Not to worry; it’s a straightforward procedure and we’ll guide you through the steps below.
- Subscribe to the VPN mentioned above. NordVPN is our top recommendation.
- Install the VPN app on your smartphone.
- Log in to the app by opening it.
- Choose a server location from the drop-down menu. For example, if you wish to access US-based streaming services, choose a US server.
- Simply click the Connect button.
- Allow a few seconds for the connection to be fully established. While your data is not secure, if you continue to be unable to access content outside Germany, delete your browser’s cache and cookies and then reload the web page.
That concludes our discussion! You may now access region-restricted content and conceal your online behavior from your ISP. Before you disconnect the VPN, it should stay connected in the background.
Methodology for VPN testing
PrivacyExplore tries to provide the most thorough and reliable VPN evaluations and recommendations available on the web. To do this, we conducted an in-depth examination of dozens of VPNs using real-world experience, expert analysis, and a battery of tests. Regarding VPN for Germany, we focus on the following:
- Security: We evaluate each VPN’s encryption strategy and subject it to a range of data leak tests.
- Streaming: This year alone, we conducted hundreds of real-world tests to determine which VPN is the most effective at unblocking region-locked streaming sites.
- Speed: We assess the speed of connections to VPN servers situated across the globe.
- Support: As secret shoppers, we communicate with each VPN’s customer support to verify that replies are prompt and accurate.
VPNs to stay away from in Germany:
For the simple reason that they are directly regulated by the national government, we would advise against using any German VPNs in Germany. Additionally, avoid the following:
HideMyAss, situated in the United Kingdom, has previously recorded identifying information that resulted in the arrest of at least one of its internet users. For those who value their online privacy, we do not suggest VPN companies that log this information.
Hide.me appears well in Google results for “Germany VPN.” However, their free version has a maximum download speed of 3 Mbit/s and a data limitation of 2 GB. It does not support OpenVPN and offers just three VPN server locations for free users. However, the provider’s premium plans are not horrible, and the service does not maintain records of traffic connections.
While ZenVPN does not keep track of the websites you visit, it does keep track of your IP address and other information about you and your device. The paid version has a daily data cap of 5 GB.
VPNs for Germany FAQs
Is it possible to use a free VPN in Germany?
Free VPNs are quite prevalent in the business and may be quite enticing, particularly if you’re on a budget. However, these services are not without their drawbacks. For starters, a free VPN service is almost always slower and less trustworthy than a commercial choice.
Additionally, not all free service providers take client security and privacy as seriously as they advertise. After all, they must earn money in some way, which is often accomplished via the exploitation of people. A free VPN service provider may monitor user behavior and sell user profiles to other parties.
In general, it’s well worth paying a few dollars each month for a premium option.
Is it possible to watch German television from abroad with a VPN?
Typically, streaming services are only accessible in a limited number of countries, and they often check your IP address to see if you are in a supported location. This implies that Germans who go abroad on vacation may be unable to catch up on their favorite programs until they return.
Fortunately, a workaround exists. When you’re connected to a VPN, region-locked services will only see the IP address of the server you’re using, not your actual IP address. As such, if you utilize a German VPN server, you should have no difficulty accessing German streaming sites such as ARD, ProSieben, and ZDF.
Is downloading torrents legal in Germany?
In Germany, torrenting copyrighted media is typically considered a criminal act. This may result in penalties, and legal companies (read: copyright trolls) keep an eye out for prominent torrent sites’ German IP addresses. The rule does not only apply to typical torrents downloaded from ThePirateBay or KickassTorrents; it also applies to programs that use torrents to stream video, such as Popcorn Time, and websites that host pirated content, such as Couchtuner and Project Free TV.
While we do not condone or promote piracy, we recognize that some users may want to download copyrighted information from a peer-to-peer network for educational or creative reasons. While we support acceptable fair usage, German ISPs and copyright trolls will almost certainly make no distinction between pirates, artists, or educators. As a result, anyone who uses P2P filesharing in Germany is strongly advised to first connect to a VPN. By using a VPN service, when torrenting, you can conceal your IP address from copyright trolls, and encrypt your traffic, preventing it from being tracked by your ISP.
What are the data retention regulations in Germany?
In recent years, the German government has pushed for the enforcement of data retention regulations. Although the requirements were delayed in 2017, they would force all telecommunications and internet service providers to preserve user information for up to 10 weeks if implemented. This includes your IP address, which is sent whenever you use a mobile or landline phone, send or receive text messages, download or upload anything, send emails, or browse the web.
This excludes the substance of internet traffic and telephone calls, but text messages would be stored in their entirety. In contrast to metadata, content data is protected by Germany’s Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG), a federal data protection statute. Germany does not have any regulations mandating businesses to create backdoors or to follow gag orders.
Is Germany a country that engages in internet surveillance?
The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is reported to have worked with the US National Security Agency (NSA) on eavesdropping and tracking operations in Germany. In 2014, a BND employee was jailed for allegedly passing sensitive content to the NSA, and Wikileaks later revealed a cache of hacked papers on the two organizations’ collaboration.
According to reports, the BND gathers over 220 million items of information every day. This metadata describes communications that take place across telephone, satellite, and internet networks. They keep track of who connects with whom, when, where, and for how long.
Is it legal to use a VPN in Germany?
Yes, using a VPN is entirely legal in Germany.
Is it unlawful in Germany to stream movies?
Streaming TV episodes, films, and music is totally legal in Germany, unless it originates from an unlawful source without the agreement of the copyright owners.
How can I get Hulu access in Germany?
If you have a valid Hulu account and are connected to a VPN server in the United States, you may watch Hulu in Germany. Since not all VPNs will work, we suggest that you choose one on this page that is also our suggestion for the best VPN for Hulu.
Why am I required to use a VPN in Germany?
By using a VPN, you may increase your online security and gain access to region-locked content. If you live in Germany, you may connect to an American VPN server to access American streaming services such as Hulu and HBO Max.
Germany is a member of the intelligence sharing organization known as the 14 Eyes, which means that your internet activity may be watched and shared with other nations. A VPN will shield you from such spying.
Finally, even with the greatest intentions, Germany’s fair use regulations may not protect you if you access or reproduce protected information. Your downloads, torrents, and IP addresses are all concealed by a VPN.
How can I get access to my domestic Netflix account in Germany?
Netflix is accessible in Germany, but it may not have all of the programs and subtitles available in your own country. With a VPN, you can browse the Netflix repertoire in your own country.
The VPN we suggest work with American Netflix, most of which also blocks content from a few other countries. Frequently, access to the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, and Canada is possible. Bear in mind that not all countries’ Netflix libraries are available for international streaming, in which case you may receive a proxy error.
What is the procedure for unblocking Hulu in Germany?
Only the United States and Japan have access to Hulu. To unblock Hulu in Germany, you’ll need to connect to a US or Japanese VPN server. Hulu restricts many VPNs, so be sure to read our page on the best VPN for Hulu for more details. Hulu also requires a payment method from the United States or Japan.
Which VPN provider in Germany offers the best Chrome extension?
As our VPN evaluations above demonstrate, NordVPN is the best VPN for Germany (and also the best VPN for Chrome). This includes a Chrome browser plugin that enables you to connect to a VPN server directly from inside the Chrome browser. One of the benefits of using a browser extension is its speed and simplicity of use; connecting to a server should take just a few seconds. Note: NordVPN also provides a Firefox browser plugin.
Will my ISP be able to tell if I’m using a VPN in Germany?
When an ISP observes encrypted data flowing to and from a distant server, it may deduce that you are using a VPN. However, it is limited to this and, depending on your country, it is unlikely to worry you that you are using one. As a result, your browser data is encrypted, allowing you to surf anonymously. This implies that using a VPN is an effective technique to prevent your ISP from storing records and perhaps disclosing them to authorities upon request.