10 Best VPNs for Germany in 2023
Virtual private networks have become an essential tool for almost every netizen in the world. Even in the countries that consistently get called democratic by various human rights groups there is a need for this extra bit of protection online. Alas, this is as true about Germany as it is about any other state.
But to select a good VPN service can become quite a problem for an unprepared person. There are many services today in the market that build their customer bases by spending more money on promotion and advertising (including fake one) than on technological improvement.
Such VPNs simply can’t cope with many modern tasks. As the technical means of online tracking and the like grow more advanced each year, so should the protective mechanisms of virtual networks. However, not all services keep their technology up to date.
And due to the heavy promotion done by some of the less reliable VPNs, an unsuspecting individual might find themselves in a pickle after paying a hefty sum to such a provider basically for nothing of worth.
To help the people of Germany avoid such a problem, we have compiled this article. It is a fruit of more than a 6-month labor which included all kinds of tests to see how some of the most popular VPNs handle in Germany in the long run.
Today, we are proud to present to you a list of 5 best VPNs to be used in Germany and a list of 5 free ones that can be used with relative convenience.
- A brief look into the Internet in Germany
- 5 best VPNs for Germany
- 5 acceptable free VPNs for Germany
- ExpressVPN: Secure VPN offering a huge amount of servers all around the world.
- NordVPN: Fast software for Germany with unlimited bandwidth and in-build Kill Switch.
- Surfshark: Stellar choice for you when visiting Germany (security is guaranteed).
- CyberGhost VPN: Reliable VPN offering 256-bit encryption and 5900 servers worldwide.
- PIA: No trackers, no ads! Instead, you get access to an unrestricted network.
- ProtonVPN: Unlimited in terms of traffic and very secure.
- Windscribe: Gives you 10 Gb each month but not much speed to go with it.
- Hide.me: Fast enough speeds but only 2 Gb a month.
- HotspotShield: Android and iOS only, available for 7 days on the latter.
- TunnelBear: 500 Mb a month; allows torrenting.
- Warning: Be sure to always read a VPN service’s terms and policies. We aim to select only trustworthy services for our lists but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your own research especially when considering some different VPN. Without looking into the minutiae of its terms, you can end up in an unfavorable situation when you suddenly realize that something is not up to your liking but the time for getting a refund is over.
While Germany ranks traditionally high on the freedom of press lists, there are sensitive subjects for the country that do cause a certain amount of censorship to be applied.
Historical revisionism and Holocaust denialism are, of course, the prime examples of such topics. While they are unquestionably abhorrent, it is still up to debate whether partaking in them should be a punishable offense and not just a reprehensible action that the society frowns upon.
Another and a more commonplace problem with the Internet in Germany is the stance the government takes on torrenting.
Bittorent is simply a technology developed for sharing files over the network. There is nothing wrong with it.
However, it is not legal to download copyrighted torrent files through this protocol in Germany.
All in all, in case you deal with legal files, you won’t have problems with German authorities or copyright holders. Still, if you intend to download, for example, theatrical movie releases, do not be surprised to get a warning letter.
It is quite simple that everything that needs paying money can’t be safe and free on torrent websites. Having noticed that one of the latest newly released films are available on the Internet free of charge, one should think of torrenting it in a skeptical way.
In Germany, it is also pretty prominent as those who download illegal torrents can be punished in accordance with the law: fines or even arrests.
Those users who download torrents via file-sharing clients, such as BitTorrent or uTorrent turn out to be vulnerable enough. It is a not rare case when Germans receive warning letters saying about copyright infringement.
Such warnings or ‘’Abmahnung’’ notices, as they are called in German, need special discussion. More and more torrent users have received such notices sent by German law firms.
According to the letters, the targeted torrent users have violated the copyrights of the holders and are to pay a fine. The payment demand is usually up to hundreds of Euros.
There are certain troubles with ‘’Abmahnung’’ letters:
- Not all the law agencies are even provided with the right to send such kinds of notices as they haven’t got permission from actual holders of copyrights.
- Among those who receive such notices, there are people who did not torrent the content.
Unfortunately, in order not to be further followed, the recipients choose to pay. As for German legislation, it seems that it is tolerant towards them.
Here are 5 facts that will surprise you:
- until 2016 YouTube videos that contained copyright protected music were blocked for Germany;
- YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft started using new upload filters that block content containing extremist or terrorist information;
- in May 2017 over 47% of Google requests were deleted for the German residents;
- despite German legislation guaranteeing freedom of expression, a satirist from Germany Jan Boehmermann was charged for a poem mocking the Turkish president;
- according to the new BND law introduced in October 2010, it is permitted to monitor internet traffic of city citizens.
To avoid all these problems, German citizens are advised to get a VPN. So let’s proceed to that.
Best VPNs for Germany: Main characteristics comparison
|Service||Score (out of 10)||Speed, Mbps||Country selection||Number of servers||Torrenting||Price (monthly)|
- Large infrastructure
ExpressVPN wins in the category “Best VPN in Germany” because of its well-balanced power. There’s simply not an application of VPN technology that this provider doesn’t cover.
With its servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN is the fastest service around. Of course, the speed depends on many factors including how loaded a server is and how far away it is removed from the user’s location, but overall, ExpressVPN is very fast.
Like all services on this list, it supports streaming geo-restricted content and torrenting. Given its fast speeds, ExpressVPN is a perfect solution for those tasks.
|1 month||6 months||1 year|
- Fast and secure
- Good country coverage
- More expensive than most competitors
- Very powerful
- Can be bought for cheap
- Outstanding speeds
NordVPN very much deserves its second spot on this ranking. Its features are extremely varied and can be applied to very different situations that require the use of a VPN.
For example, it has quite a rare VPN protocol obfuscation function that disguises the very fact of using a VPN, which is useful not only in the countries where VPNs are banned or restricted (luckily, Germany isn’t one of them) but also in cases when a website acts suspiciously and demands you to do a million of captchas to proceed.
NordVPN’s number of servers, though it does get higher or lower at times, is quite outstanding.
|1 month||1 year||2 years|
(2022 Winter promotion)
- Great and rarely seen elsewhere functions
- Not too pricey
- Has many servers
- Much cheaper than competitors
- Still very powerful
- Covers a lot of countries
Surfshark is the cheapest VPN out there. Granted, to get the full benefit of it, you need to acquire the longest subscription but it is still very lucrative.
Moreover, Surfshark offers an unlimited number of device connections. It means that by buying just one subscription, you can protect the entire family (or, for example, all of your roommates in a dorm) at once without having to schedule when each person is going to have their safe browsing time.
Despite its cheapness, Surfshark cuts no corners in terms of security as well.
|1 month||6 months||2 years|
- The cheapest VPN you can find
- Connect as many devices as you need
- Good infrastructure
- Dedicated servers
- A lot of servers in general
- 90 countries
CyberGhost is a pretty strong contender, even though it doesn’t quite reach the level of the first three services. It does have a few cards up its sleeve.
First of all, its dedicated servers are very convenient for those who want to stream or torrent with ease. Sometimes, you’d have to spend a lot of time choosing the right server for it as some may be blocked already. CyberGhost, on the other hand, tells you directly which servers are best for what task.
And since it has them in 90 countries, it’s always easy to get a good speed.
|1 month||1 year||2 years||3 years|
- Very user-friendly app design
- Not pricey at all
- Secure and fast
- Highly technological
- Many servers
- Good privacy
PIA may not be as powerful or widespread as the other services on the list but it will suit a few people just right.
Its main plus is its high number of options that allows you to set everything up just as you like it. For the more technical savvy users, this is a nearly perfect VPN.
|1 month||1 year||2 years|
- Very customizable
- Not too expensive
Here is the list of relatively good free VPN services.
Warning: All free VPNs have restrictions to make a user switch to a paid plan. However, they do have their limited use.
ProtonVPN has no traffic limit but only 3 locations and slow speeds. Its security level is high, though.
Windscribe is very slow but gives you 11 locations to choose from. However, its speeds are much too low for any meaningful activity.
hide.me outspeeds the previous two providers but only gives you 2 Gb per month.
A service for iOS and Android that has dubious conditions on the former OS. Limits traffic by 500 Mb a day.
A generally good service with too little traffic to do absolutely anything: 500-1500 Mb per month.
Should I use a VPN in Germany at all times?
Luckily, Germany isn’t the strictest country in terms of censorship so you don’t necessarily need to do this. However, a good paid VPN costs the same whether you use it all the time or only occasionally.
How much of Netflix content is available in Germany?
Only 31.5% of its library is available.
What can I do about it?
All the VPNs on the Best VPNs for Germany list successfully unblock Netflix of any region if you have a subscription.