The best VPNs for Germany in 2020
Since Germany is part of the 14 Eyes alliance, it is not a safe location. The country, just like other invasive governments, imposes mandatory mass surveillance and data retention laws.
However, if you are living in Germany, you may still require a VPN to access websites outside the country. The same goes for German expats, who want to access local content.
So, I decided why not give you an overview on the best options for Germany. I will describe each VPN in detail, but here’s a short summary just in case:
2. Surfshark: Upward trending German VPN. Keeps zero logs. Top-notch security. Best Plan: $1.99/mo (2 Year Deal).
3. ExpressVPN: Fastest German VPN. Solid encryption. Chat support. Best apps. Best Plan: $6.67/mo (1 Year Deal).
4. PureVPN: Budget-Friendly German VPN. Smooth unblocking. 30 Day Trial. Best Plan: $2.91/mo (5 Year Deal).
5. CyberGhost: Safe German VPN. 5800 servers. Unblocks Netflix. Doesn’t keep logs. Best Plan: $2.75/mo (3 Year Deal).
5 Best VPNs for Germany
To evade privacy and internet freedom related issues in Germany, these top 5 Germany VPNs should prove incredibly useful.
Headquartered in Singapore, the beautiful island-nation, Ivacy has been in the marketplace since 2007. It is responsible for the inception of the Split Tunneling concept. Recently, it also won the fastest VPN award from BestVPN.com.
Since the provider is away from Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes alliances, they offer good performance, security, and privacy to users in Internet Enemy Jurisdictions that mandate data retention and mass surveillance.
The provider is amazing and takes on big leaders. You have apps available for all platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, Smart TVs, routers, and even on your Xbox. Best part of all: you can unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
For encryption, Ivacy uses AES-256-CBC with a standard RSA-2048 key for OpenVPN connections. There is session logging, but they expire after 48 hours. To get the best VPN deal, go for their 2-year plan, which starts at $1.99/mo. (billed $48).
For more information about the provider, read this in-depth Ivacy Review!
If you want a provider that offers stability, protection, and compatibility of the highest degree and is still incredibly affordable, you can opt for the pocket-friendly VPN, Surfshark.
The provider offers military-grade encryption, OpenVPN protocol support, and a zero logs policy, allowing you to evade any government or ISP-based surveillance in Germany.
It also has a reputation for not submitting to gag orders as warranted by its clear warrant canary, making it a perfect choice for users living in 14 Eyes countries like Germany.
Read more about this provider through this Surfshark review.
The biggest name in the VPN industry perhaps, ExpressVPN is an incredibly competent and performance-oriented VPN service for Germany across the world.
ExpressVPN costs $8.32/month on its One Year Deal, which is a lot costlier than the other VPNs on this list, but if you want the best-in-class experience and budget is not a worry for you, then go for this subscription.
No provider can afford the speeds supported by ExpressVPN, making it the perfect service to opt for if you are looking to not just unblock Netflix US, German TV sites or even Hulu, but to watch them in HD quality and with supreme stability.
ExpressVPN offers a kill switch that protects against unplanned internet shutdowns. The provider secures its internet connections through top-grade encryption and supports the best protocol out there i.e. OpenVPN by default.
Its fast speeds and security also come in handy when Torrenting and its server base of over 3000 servers are fully supportive of P2P activities.
Its live chat support is the best in the industry, capable of solving all kinds of issues with ease.
With the intuitive split tunneling feature, ExpressVPN allows you to prioritize the sites or apps you want to route through the VPN connection, further optimizing your experience.
In Germany, you can use ExpressVPN on all major OS like Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and even FireTV.
If you don’t like the service, you have the cushion of 30 days in which you can file a refund.
A Dedicated German version of ExpressVPN is also available.
For a more detailed overhaul, read this ExpressVPN review.
The server count by PureVPN has now exceeded the 2000 mark, with servers in Germany as well.
PureVPN doesn’t force you to subscribe to it long term as it offers a short term, 2 Year subscription plan at just $2.91/mo .
The logging policy was sketchy earlier but now its been corrected making users feel secure about trusting it with their data.
Only Military-grade encryption is used as an encryption standard and its standard apps all run via this along with the most secure tunneling protocols. Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN doesn’t need to comply with any German gag orders as well.
It is one of our top Netflix VPNs and is supportive of BBC iPlayer as well.
There is a 3-day trial account offered at $2.50, allowing you to take the service for a test drive before committing to it.
PureVPN’s german language version is there if you want to continue from here on in your native language.
We’ve also done a full review on PureVPN as well, which you can check out here.
Easy to use and an optimized interface is the hallmark of CyberGhost. This provider offers a total of 577 VPN servers in Germany spread out over 3 different locations to offer one of the best streaming and Torrenting experience in the whole industry.
CyberGhost isn’t expensive either with its 3 Year Plan costing $2.75/month, which is highly reasonable considering the fact that many providers charge almost the same price but offer way less than CyberGhost.
The best feature of CyberGhost is its apps, which are available for all popular platforms and have dedicated options for different tasks that you want to perform.
CyberGhost is no slouch on the security front either as it offers top-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, strong protocol compatibility, and a zero logs policy to ensure that your privacy remains protected on the German internet.
It’s one of the best options to bypass the geo-blocks on Netflix and other streaming services. CyberGhost is super reliable and never offers lackluster speeds. For German streaming fans, CyberGhost is a great buy.
If you want to interact with CyberGhost in German, the provider offers that facility as well.
A full in-depth review of the provider can be read here.
Factors To Look for in a Good VPN Provider for Germany?
For an internet user living in Germany at the moment, there are a lot of restrictions and privacy issues that affect it directly.
A good enough VPN for Germany can easily allow all such users to bypass these threats and restrictions and access a safer and freer internet experience. Here’s how:
Major User Privacy Issues
Germany is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance. If you don’t know much about this alliance, you are putting your online privacy at an incredible risk.
The 14 Eyes alliance is a group of countries which have an agreement on intelligence and data sharing. Any country which is a member of this alliance is obligated to collect data.
For e.g. If the USA wants data on your browsing history, it can request German authorities to gather your data and give it to them, and Germany will have to cede to the request.
The metadata of German resident – internet users are often stored by ISPs in the country for periods exceeding 10-12 weeks at times. And this is the exact data that the German government can demand any time from these ISPs and they will have to comply.
Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) is an organization in Germany that handles the task of monitoring, collecting and sending data collected from all internet users across Germany, s you can be certain that you are definitely being spied upon.
If you are relying on the New GDPR laws by the EU, which make it imperative for anyone who collects your information to do so with your explicit permission, to protect you, think again. That’s because data misuse and government-sponsored spying are still rampant.
For German internet users, privacy alone is the single most important factor that makes the use of a powerful, secure VPN necessary.
VPNs encrypt your data and pass it through secure tunnels while also hiding your original IP address to stop any government agency or anyone else to spy on you or invade your privacy online.
Torrenting is Risky Without a VPN in Germany
Torrenting is done by millions of users across the globe and Germany users are no exception. But indulging in Torrenting without a VPN cover in Germany is tantamount to plain stupidity given the stringent laws against downloading or even sharing material which is copyrighted.
Torrenting is legal in Germany, but you can definitely be slapped with a major fine or even get a jail term in some case if you commit a copyright violation.
We never support users to commit copyright violations and neither do we encourage users to download content illegally via Torrents, but this is about making users enjoy the free internet and that can happen only if you use a VPN.
The best VPNs in Germany are the ones that have dedicated servers for Torrenting/P2P activities, offer fast speeds and don’t leak your IP. They shouldn’t also be storing any sort of logs at all as well.
Bypassing Geo-Restrictions on Streaming Sites
You cannot access Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime or even BBC iPlayer in Germany, due to geo-restrictions. But the restrictions don’t just affect these streaming sites. If you are traveling outside Germany, you won’t be able to stream much of your favorite German channels or other content due to the same geo-restrictions.
On top of this, YouTube has its most stripped version in Germany. The world’s biggest free streaming service does not offer much of its content in the country. The reason for this because GEMA (a German Music rights group) has had a long-running dispute with the site that refuses to settle down.
But all of these problems in streaming your favorite content can be easily solved if you invest in a good enough VPN for Germany.
These major VPNs can easily bypass most such geo-restrictions with incredible ease. And many of them even offer obfuscation services to ensure easier access to these geo-restricted sites.
Protection Against Public Wi-Fi Threats
No matter where you are in the world, if you access public or shared Wifi networks, you need VPN protection. Man in the middle attacks are not just common but the most potent form of hacking that is present out there as its much easier for users to connect to such compromised networks than in any other case.
So because, like the rest of the world, Germany also has public Wifi systems, you need VPNs that can afford strongest encryption and protocol support to protect your device safety over public internet connections like this one.
Top Factors to Consider when an Option for the Best German VPN
Military-grade encryption and OpenVPN protocol. These two factors are the most important aspects of a VPN’s security arsenal. AES-256 military-grade encryption is the most secure encryption cipher as its impossible to decode data encrypted under it. OpenVPN protocol is the most secure tunneling protocol in the world right now, ensuring that use internet connections can never be broken into.
Some VPNs offer even more novel security features like Double VPN to grant users an extra band of security.
Must offer optimized and fast servers in Germany. If you are traveling outside Germany and you need to watch content from German TV online, you can only do that if your VPN offers German servers.
But it’s not enough to have servers in Germany, they must be optimized to support unblocking from abroad and fast to offer a premium experience.
Unblocking Capabilities for Streaming Sites. A large, well-spread server network. To unblock Netflix US or BBC iPlayer in Germany, you need to have a VPN that offers servers which can perform these feats with ease. Let’s say if a VPN doesn’t have good US servers, it won’t unblock Netflix US and hence, it’s unsuitable for you.
Torrenting Friendly. The VPN must support Torrenting and offer fast, dedicated servers for the task. On the other hand, it should not be leaking your IP through WebRTC or DNS leaks.
Must have a Kill Switch: In case of the VPN disconnecting, there should be a kill switch in order to protect you from accidentally being connected to the internet without adequate cover, thus exposing your real IP online. All top VPNs for Germany in our list, offer this feature.
While there are hundreds of VPN providers operating in the industry these days and most of them can offer a feature or two from the list above, but if you want all of these features to be present in your service along with top-notch performance, then our top recommended Germany VPNs are your safest bet.
VPNs to Avoid in Germany
A lot of VPNs promise the moon but often don’t deliver the expected results. What’s even more problematic is that there are VPNs that are not secure to subscribe to as they suffer from multiple issues or are themselves involved in nefarious activities.
Here is a list of VPNs that you should avoid in Germany:
This VPN just doesn’t work to serve any purpose. It suffers from IP leaks, doesn’t unblock Netflix, doesn’t support Torrenting, has no live chat support and its client apps are not user-friendly at all. On top of this, the plans are quite expensive. Avoid this VPN at all costs.
Despite having the quality to unblock Netflix, OperaVPN lacks cross-platform compatibility. It’s more of a proxy service and doesn’t offer the level of security required to offer a good enough experience as a German VPN.
This VPN logs your IP and for us, this is the single biggest deal-breaker of them all. On top of this, you won’t get to use more than 5GB of bandwidth each day even if you are on the paid deal. ZenVPN is not suitable at all if you are looking for a suitable Germany VPN.
Is a Free VPN Suitable for Germany?
The answer is a Big No!
Free VPNs will always look good when you compare them with paid providers that often offer plans that cost tens of dollars in subscription fees. But that’s where the advantages of Free VPNs stop.
Free VPN services often have bandwidth and speed limitations as compared to paid services.
Furthermore, apart from these performance issues, Free VPNs are not secure either as they either keep user logs, sell user data or even prompt unnecessary ads because these are the ways through which they work their bottom lines.
I wouldn’t recommend you to go for a Free VPN in Germany because it’s better to dish out a few bucks than to compromise your internet experience and security due to the charm of free.
German Data Retention Laws
Laws pertaining to data retention have had a complicated history in Germany.
The German government has tried to bring in laws that make it mandatory to collect user data to the highest extent, but as of currently, these laws have been suspended.
The main law regarding data retention passed in 2015, required ISPs to collect user metadata.
This law is being held in abeyance right now, but there is widespread suspicion that ISPs in Germany continue to collect and store user metadata for up to 10 days.
Germany is also a part of the 14 Eyes alliance, making it a dangerous location as far as user privacy is concerned since this is a data-sharing alliance where any member country can send a gag order to another country for user information and the latter will have to comply with it.
However, there is currently no law in Germany that could force ISPs or other authorities to comply with gag orders. Even implementing back doors to collect data are not supported by law.
The data retention laws in Germany are murky and often unclear, the full explanation of which is out of the scope of this article, but you must know that Germany is quite unsafe in terms of protecting user privacy online, so you cannot leave your ends open and insecure.
But is a VPN legal in Germany to allow you to get protection from such laws? Yes, perfectly legal, therefore you shouldn’t be missing out on the opportunity to get one too secure your online anonymity.
Wrapping Things Up
Living in Germany, you definitely need to subscribe to a VPN today and if you take that decision, Surfshark is our #1 choice as the best VPN for Germany. For $1.99/month on the two-year plan, it’s the most appropriate service for safety, performance, and stability.
The rest of the #4 are great too and now it depends on your own personal choice as to which one you opt for. So don’t waste too much time before getting one and securing your privacy online.