Whether you live in Europe, travel in Europe a lot, or want to have access to European websites and streaming sites, you’ll need a decent Virtual Private Network or VPN to protect your browsing data and give you more online freedom.
Since Europe is a significant continent, many VPN providers cater to this part of the world and have servers located there. VPNs have become increasingly popular in Europe since the introduction of the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation in 2018. While this law aimed to provide consumers with more rights to what they shared with websites, it alerted many Europeans to the fact that their digital privacy is near nonexistent.
A VPN isn’t just a good idea for ensuring your privacy online. If you’re based outside of Europe and want to watch European films and TV shows, or unblock certain social media sites, then you’ll need a VPN to get past the geo-blocks that streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube impose.
Europe is one of the world’s best-connected areas when it comes to VPNs, and VPN use is entirely legal on the continent. However, individual countries in Europe each have different laws, and so it is important that when using a VPN, you don’t do anything that is considered illegal in certain countries, such as download copyrighted material.
When it comes to accessing sites whose content may be restricted in other territories, you may be breaching terms of service. This is why streaming giants like Netflix have a strong VPN firewall to prevent their licensed material from being streamed outside of designated countries.
So, while you can use a VPN in Europe, we advise that you follow the rules of the country you’re in or the services you’re using.
There are several reasons why you need a Virtual Private Network for Europe. Firstly, many European countries, like Germany and the UK, have strict data retention laws. Online privacy is hard to come by, and your private information may be sold by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and websites to advertisers or passed on to governments frequently. For many people, this is an attack on internet freedom. By using a VPN, your browsing activity will be encrypted and hidden from all of the above parties.
Secondly, Europe is a hub for hacking and virtual data attacks. If you’re connecting to public wi-fi networks in European airports or important cities, you could be at risk of spies accessing the same network as you and viewing all of your activity. Confidential information could be stolen, such as passwords and banking information, which could ultimately lead to identity theft. Using a VPN is a great way to protect your personal information online.
Finally, VPNs are great for watching content that is restricted by location. European travelers who are outside of their home country and want to watch their favorite TV series from another country can do so with a VPN. If you’re based in the USA but love Spanish Netflix, you just need to connect to a Spanish VPN server to change your IP address and begin viewing Spanish content.
If you want to connect to a VPN server in another country, you first need to make sure you choose a VPN provider with servers in your country of choice. You can then select an approprtiate server and connect to it. This will change your IP address and trick all the websites you visit into thinking you are physically located in that country.
The best VPN services will offer servers in the most popular countries, so assuming you choose a good provider, you’ll be able to connect to servers in your chosen locations. We recommend buying a VPN subscription, as although there are many free VPNs that have European server locations, using free VPNs often comes with a price. Free VPNs can sell your private data, have weaker protocols, and all in all don’t provide an as secure VPN connection as paid for VPNs do.
It’s no surprise that some of the best countries for VPN usage are located in Europe. Switzerland has great data privacy laws, and so many users like to connect to Swiss servers when using a VPN, as there is a lower chance of their online activity being logged. Romania is also a popular choice, as it has refused to follow certain EU data laws. There are VPN companies based in these countries, which is excellent news for users who are looking for providers with strict no-logging policies.
Spain is also great for VPN users since it has its own data protection rules and has more lenient laws on copyrighting. Iceland is also a haven for virtual privacy, with the Data Protection Act law that protects its residents’ online freedom. If you want to make the most out of your VPN, Europe is definitely the place to connect.
When looking for a VPN for Europe, there are several features that your VPN provider should have.
Make sure that you can connect to servers in Europe. The bigger the network, the better. More servers means you have a better chance of getting lower server loads. Also, you’ll have access to more IP addresses when there is a greater number of servers.
This is a must if you are connecting to European servers from the USA. Distance from a server can severely affect connection speeds, so it’s essential that you choose a provider that is known for producing fast speeds.
Since the EU is known to have strict data laws that you may be trying to avoid, it’s important to use a VPN provider that won’t store or log your data. Look for VPNs that are based in jurisdictions with more relaxed data laws like Switzerland, Romania, or Panama.
You want your Europe VPN to have military-grade encryption, use a variety of protocols, and include extra features like a kill switch, incase your VPN connection goes down, and DNS servers.
Trust in a VPN provider is another must, and good customer service is a great demonstration of whether you should purchase a VPN for Europe or not. Make sure you can talk to customer support representative and that there is a money-back guarantee which provides you with a refund if you’re not satisfied.
Finding a great VPN provider shouldn’t be a difficult task. We’ve found the best VPN providers that have server locations all across the European continent.
Top of the list is ExpressVPN, which has VPN servers in 48 countries in Europe.
ExpressVPN is known for its unlimited bandwidth on servers which results in lightning-fast speeds for its users. Connecting to one of ExpressVPN’s European servers is fast, easy to do, and you have a lot of options since it has server locations in almost 50 countries.
Another factor that contributes to the speeds that ExpressVPN has to offer is the fact that it has built its very own protocol, Lightway. This open-source protocol is super fast but also extremely secure. ExpressVPN also offers other protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec.
If you’re worried about security online with ExpressVPN, you don’t need to. The provider uses AES-256 encryption on all of its servers and each server is DNS secure. ExpressVPN uses advanced server technology to ensure that all user browsing data is kept extra secure, with servers running on RAM only. Since no activity is ever logged onto servers and ExpressVPN has a no-logs policy, it means whatever you get up to on one of Express’ servers will always remain private.
When browsing, you needn’t worry about your online activities ever being exposed. ExpressVPN has a kill switch called the Network Lock which is automatically activated upon downloading the VPN. Unfortunately the Network Lock is only available on Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux operating systems. There is currently no kill switch for iOS users.
ExpressVPN offers 5 simultaneous connections and is compatible with all popular operating systems, including Apple TV and Amazon Fire Stick. The VPN can also be configured to your router. There is an in-depth guide online that explains how you can do this, protecting all devices connected to your router and bypassing the device limit.
If you’re using a VPN for Europe because you want to access European content that is blocked in your country, then you have a lot of choice with ExpressVPN. Not only can you access foreign newspapers and websites, but it is possible to watch foreign TV series with ExpressVPN. Express is one of the few VPN providers that has great success when it comes to getting past Netflix’s VPN firewall. We tested out ExpressVPN with BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video and were also able to unblock European catalogs from both of these services.
ExpressVPN has a basic client interface, which is easy to use. This provides an overall decent user experience, although we prefer the sleeker designs of other providers’ apps like NordVPN. With ExpressVPN you have access to 24/7 customer support through both a live chat and email option and a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind about the VPN service.
NordVPN makes our list due to its impressive European-based server network.
Does NordVPN work in Europe? It most certainly does, and is one of the best VPNs for European citizens or Europhiles. NordVPN has 5443 VPN servers in its large network, with almost half of these in Europe alone. The servers are located in around 35 European countries which makes NordVPN one of the best European providers.
Fans of torrenting can make the most out of NordVPN’s P2P servers, many of which are located in Europe. There is also the option to further secure your data traffic by connecting to the Tor network, which is an option that not all VPN providers offer.
When it comes to privacy and security, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs. NordVPN has its headquarters is in Panama, a jurisdiction that doesn’t have any strict data retention laws. Users don’t need to worry about any of their data getting logged as NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy, and only ever stores a timestamp of your last server connection for 15 minutes.
There is also the option to connect to DNS servers which offer DNS leak-protection. A kill switch feature is also available and blocks your entire internet connection, or access to apps you have specified, should your VPN server connection go down. The NordVPN kill switch is available on Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS.
NordVPN is well known for being able to unblock Netflix and other popular streaming services. If you’re based outside of Europe and want to watch British TV via BBC iPlayer, or foreign Netflix and Amazon Prime Video libraries you can do so with NordVPN. Thanks to the obfuscated servers that NordVPN uses, streaming sites don’t detect the use of a VPN, which allows users to bypass geo-blocks. There is also the NordVPN Smart DNS feature which allows users to watch streaming sites on their Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick.
NordVPN is also one of the fastest VPNs, which is why it is near the top of our list. If you like gaming, streaming, or torrenting then you’ll need a VPN that offers fast speeds and NordVPN does. While our download speeds did dip slightly when we connected to servers in the UK and Germany from the USA, they were still fast enough to provide us with seamless video quality. We also were able to connect to servers quickly, without too much of a wait.
If you don’t want to encrypt all of your internet traffic with a VPN, then you can enjoy the split tunneling option offered by NordVPN. If you want to watch Italian Netflix through a VPN server, but carry out the rest of your online tasks through your regular network, then you can choose which websites and apps will go through the encrypted VPN tunnel and which won’t.
We like the customer support that NordVPN offers which includes a 24/7 live chat. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for users, which gives you the time ot try out NordVPN to see whether you like the service or not.
PrivateVPN is a Swedish-based provider that has VPN servers in 31 European countries.
At VPNSurfers we really like PrivateVPN. It offers great VPN services for a low cost, and although it only has a small server network, it regularly changes its IP addresses. This makes it a great VPN for accessing European Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video libraries, as these websites will often block an IP address if it is associated with a VPN. With Private, this rarely happens since it updates its IPs constantly.
Although Private is a small, and relatively newer VPN provider, it is one of the fastest. This is because it purchases internet capacity directly from IP transit providers, sidestepping hosting companies which usually have speed limits. We put Private’s speeds to the test with some tests and were pleasantly surprised by the connection speed results. Our ping was low and downloads speeds didn’t decrease by much. We believe Private would be great for online activities like gaming, streaming, and torrenting.
If you like torrenting then you can connect to Private’s European servers in the UK which support P2P networking. It offers at least one open port on its VPN service, which is an essential feature for torrenting. There is also a kill switch feature and IPv6 leak protection to ensure that your real IP address is never accidentally leaked.
It is possible to protect up to 6 devices with one Private subscription. PrivateVPN works on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Kodi. Although it doesn’t support as many systems as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, its client is easy to use, lets you know of your VPN connection status, and provides an overall great user experience.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, access to customer support in the form of a live chat and ticketed email service, and a comprehensive FAQ page with answers to the most common enquiries.
CyberGhost is one of the best VPN services, especially for customers who want access to VPN servers in Europe.
Another one of the best VPN services for Europe is CyberGhost. Not only does it have many server locations in popular countries such as Spain, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK, but it has specialized servers for streaming. If you’re using a VPN service to access blocked content abroad on YouTube, Netflix, or BBC iPlayer, then you can do so with no worries thanks to CyberGhost.
Not only are there streaming servers but CyberGhost also offers P2P servers, many of which are located in Europe. CyberGhost is all about providing people with freedom online, which is why it offers unlimited bandwidth and traffic so that users can enjoy as much torrenting and streaming as they want.
Your privacy and security is CyberGhost’s top priority and it offers a host of features to ensure that your privacy is never compromised. Firstly all customers can enjoy AES-256 encryption, which makes it extremely hard for hackers to decipher the encryption keys and see your online activity. There is also DNS and IP leak protection on every CyberGhost VPN server to protect your real location from being revealed. You’ll always be safe, even if connected to public wi-fi.
CyberGhost is located in Romania, a country that has openly rejected the EU data laws and is not a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, an agreement in which many countries share citizen data. There is also a strict no-logs policy offered by CyberGhost, which means that all of your browsing data and personal information is safe with this VPN provider.
On top of all of this, CyberGhost users have access to the NoSpy servers, which re-route your internet traffic through CyberGhost’s privately owned servers which are based in Romania. Since these servers are monitored end-to-end by the company itself, users can feel safer than ever when surfing the net. The company itself is very active on social media, encouraging users to get to know them. This is something we like to see, as it is encouraging to see the people behind the product.
So, what else does CyberGhost offer? It has an automatic kill switch that is available on its Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac clients. It also offers its VPN services on several other platforms including Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, and routers.
Speeds on CyberGhost’s VPN servers are fast, and it doesn’t take long to connect to servers on the VPN’s client. The client has a great interface and it is extremely easy to navigate through the list of European servers when you want to connect. There are also server recommendations on the sidebar that will best suit your online activities. With a 45-day money-back guarantee, it’s definitely worth trying out CyberGhost.
Surfshark avoids EU data laws by being based in the British Virgin Islands, extending the privacy laws it enjoys to users worldwide.
On its two-year plan, users can enjoy a fantastic VPN service for a little over $2 per month. Fortunately, the low prices don’t reflect the quality of the VPN itself as it has over 600 VPN servers in Europe alone. Whether you want a German, French, or Dutch IP address, you’ll be able to get one with this provider.
Secondly, this VPN has the ability to unblock popular streaming websites like Netflix and YouTube. We were able to get through to several European Netflix libraries after changing our location with one of Surfshark’s servers, and the quality was fantastic.
Connection speed is an important aspect of any VPN, and luckily with Surfshark, there is no issue. Speeds are good, and consistent, even when we connected to servers in the UK during our speed tests. We like the kill switch feature, that kicked in several times during testing. Our VPN connection went down, prompting the kill switch to immediately cut off our internet connection while we were connected us to a new VPN server nearby. It didn’t take long for us to establish a new European connection, which is something we really liked.
One of Surfshark’s most appealing features is its unlimited simultaneous connections. You can protect all of your devices, regardless of the subscription plan you sign up for. Surfshark works with all major operating systems including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and has browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
This VPN provider provides seamless ease of use to its customers. The computer client and mobile apps are easy to navigate, especially for those with little to no VPN experience. By finding your European country of choice in the search bar, all you need to do is select the country and Surfshark will connect you to the best server.
If you want to use a VPN for privacy reasons, then this provider is a great option. It doesn’t log user data, and uses military-grade encryption to ensure that your digital traffic is never stored or shared. You can use this provider when connected to public wi-fi and not have to worry about spies watching your every move.
Although there is technically no free trial with Surfshark, users can test out the VPN for 30 days and receive a refund if they decide they don’t like the service before the 30-day money-back guarantee runs out.
ProtonVPN offers a free VPN and paid for versions, with many servers dotted over Europe.
Proton has a great VPN server network in Europe, which means that you can find a server in the most popular European countries. There are four different price plans with Proton: free, basic, plus, and visionary. Speeds are great with Proton, and on its plus plan, users can access streaming services in different territories without experiencing buffering or low-quality video.
Unfortunately, on the free plan, the speeds are not fast enough for streaming, and there is no support for torrenting like with the plus subscription. The plus plan, which costs $8 per month, is by far the best option for users as it offers Tor over VPN and access to Proton’s Secure Core Network.
The Secure Core Network provides people with extra security as it routes their data through Proton’s secure VPN servers which are based in Switzerland. This is a reassuring feature for users who want to make sure their connection is as safe as possible.
Regardless of what plan you purchase, all ProtonVPN customers can expect AES-256 bit encryption and the use of the OpenVPN protocol. On the settings, users can choose whether their default protocol is OpenVPN TCP or UDP, and users can also toggle on and off features like the kill switch, split tunneling and IPv6 leak protection.
There are some other handy features that people can activate on the Proton client’s settings. Users can choose to auto-connect ot the fastest or a random server, and also customize their quick-connect options. The client is really easy to use and features a black map with green triangles representing the servers. There is information about session traffic at the bottom of the screen for VPN aficionados who may want to know more about their download volume and connection speed.
Speeds are generally pretty good with ProtonVPN on the plus plan. However, we noticed that if the kill switch is activated and your VPN server goes down, the wi-fi connection will completely cut out and it can take a long time to reconnect to another VPN server. This isn’t great for people who don’t want a long pause during their browsing session.
While free VPNs aren’t the best option, Proton’s free VPN is a great choice if you want to save money and have access to one server in Europe, since it allows users access to servers in Japan, the USA, and the Netherlands.
Overall, ProtonVPN provides a great service for users and has many VPN servers in optimal European locations. With the plus plan customers can connect 5 devices and use the VPN across many devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.