France is the land of love, liberty, and laissez-faire but there are still good reasons to use a VPN. Whether you are traveling or residing there, we’ve lined up the top 3 VPNs for your online privacy and safety, and for unblocking geo-restrictions. We’ll also show you the best VPN for France if you want to watch French content abroad – and more!
Best VPNs With Servers in France
If you are a French resident traveling abroad, chances are good you will not be able to access French TV and other local content while you are away.
Television channels such as France Télévisions, TF1, and M6 are inaccessible in other countries due to IP-based geo-restrictions. These restrictions are in place because of licensing regulations.
To watch any of your favorite local channels, you will need a French IP address. A Virtual Private Network with servers in France can assign you such an IP address.
When you connect to any one of the available servers, it will look like you are in the country even though you are in some other (USA, Germany…). This way, you can get around geo-blocks and enjoy your favorite local shows.
One popular VPN is Windscribe but it’s not the best one. Our best picks for VPNs with servers in France are:
- ExpressVPN: This provider boasts more than 3,000 super-fast servers, with plenty of them located inside the country. This, plus unlimited bandwidth makes it a crowd favorite for watching local content abroad.
- CyberGhost: As of the time of writing, CyberGhost has a whopping 416 servers in the country. You definitely will not run out of options for appropriate servers to connect to.
- NordVPN: This is not only one of the fastest providers, but it also has a super large network of servers with over 200 of them located in France.
Why Do People in France Use a VPN?
Generally, French residents enjoy the perks that come with living in a country that upholds democracy. Even then, some recent laws have threatened to erode internet privacy.
If you are concerned about your online safety, check out some of the reasons why you should definitely consider a Virtual Private Network:
Avoid Government-Sanctioned Surveillance
The country is a member of the Nine Eyes intelligence group. This group consists of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who work together with France, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Members of the group have agreed to share intelligence information collected by spying on people’s online activities.
This type of spying can extend to your browsing history, private communication, as well as travel and banking behavior.
A solid privacy app can obfuscate your online activities making it difficult for spies to see which sites you are visiting and what you are doing there.
Keep Snoopy ISPs at Bay
To combat terrorism, authorities implemented local laws such as the 2015 Loi Relative au Renseignement, or Intelligence Law.
These laws force ISPs to install devices on their routers to track users’ data and report any suspicious behaviors to authorities.
The Constitutional Council found these regulations to be unlawful. However, there is little evidence that the authorities have stopped the illegal spying of users’ online activities.
As a result, if the government identifies you as a ‘terrorist threat’ or as someone related to a ‘suspected terrorist,’ you could easily find yourself in big, unexpected problems.
To avoid this, it is best to use a VPN in France that will encrypt all your online activities. Your ISP will not even know that you are using a privacy app.
The country has strict copyright laws. In 2009, authorities passed an anti-piracy law known as HADOPI. According to the law, copyright infringement can attract a hefty fine or possible jail sentence after the third strike.
Torrenting is not illegal in the country. However, sometimes you might unintentionally download or share copyrighted material. This can flag you down as an infringer and attract a scary warning from your ISP.
A trusty VPN will give you peace of mind when you visit torrenting sites. It will hide your traffic so your ISP will be unable to see the sites you are accessing and the files you are sharing.
Get Around Geo-Blocks
Whether you are in France for a short while or a French resident looking to watch international content, using the best VPN is your best bet.
With a good one, you can unblock US Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. Using a VPN is a wise idea if your goal is to get access to free Formula 1 streaming too.
The app will hide your actual IP address and assign you a new one based on the country whose content you would like to watch (or you can directly pick the one you want).
For example, if you want to watch US Netflix while you’re in Paris, simply connect to one of the servers in the US and start streaming from your respective browser.
The Best VPNs for People Living in France
Some Virtual Private Network providers are better suited for use in this country than others. Whether you want to unblock US Netflix, protect your data from hackers, or mask your online activities from your ISP, you need an app that gets the job done.
Look for a provider that offers the following:
- Top-tier encryption
- Unlimited bandwidth/ consistently fast speeds
- Zero-logs policy
- Support for torrenting and bypassing of geo-blocks
With that being said, let’s get straight to our favorite VPN for France.
If online privacy and security are a priority for you, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice. This provider is serious about security offering a host of features such as AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN protocol.
It also provides leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and split tunneling.
Additionally, it maintains a strict no-logs policy and boasts a unique technology known as TrustedServer. This setting erases users’ data from the VPN servers thereby safeguarding your anonymity at all times.
ExpressVPN is the fastest app we have tested. It is also among the few providers who can bypass Netflix. This makes it a top choice among streaming enthusiasts. It is also a dependable app for safe torrenting so you can avoid unfair copyright notices from your ISP.
Apps are available for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and major browsers too. In addition to that, you can protect up to five devices at a go with a single subscription.
Right now, signing up for the yearly plan qualifies you for a 49% discount plus 3 months free. All plans are backed by a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee.
- Best speeds
- Can unblock anything
- Easy-to-use app
- 5 simultaneous connections
- 94 countries covered
- 24/7 live chat support
- Not the cheapest option
CyberGhost comes in a close second on our picks for the best VPN to use while in France. It offers best-in-class security features including military-grade encryption, Kill Switch, and DNS leak protection. It also does not log your data, keeping you safe from the prying eyes of ISPs.
This provider has 7,000 + servers spread out across 90 countries. The servers are optimized for speed, making this a perfect choice for streaming US Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, or even TF1, M6, Canal+ when outside of the country.
You can also trust the app to anonymize your activities when downloading or sharing peer-to-peer files.
CyberGhost lets you protect up to 7 devices simultaneously with just one subscription. You can install apps on any of your devices including Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux.
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- 90+ countries available
- Unblocks Netflix
- DNS and IP leak protection
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Does not work in China
- Troubling past of the parent company
NordVPN prioritizes your online privacy with its repertoire of top-tier security features. These include military-grade encryption, OpenVPN, Kill Switch, as well as IP leak protection. It also maintains a strict zero-logs policy.
Other impressive settings include Tor over VPN, CyberSec, and Double VPN. This latter feature is particularly important as it hides your online activity behind two instead of the usual one server. This offers you an added layer of protection.
At the time of writing, this provider boasts over 5,400 servers in 59+ countries. Finding a server in your country of choice will definitely not be a problem.
The superfast servers are optimized to bypass VPN geo-blocks so you can easily unblock and watch US Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO, and more. What’s more, you will find plenty of servers for safe and speedy torrenting.
If you are still on the fence about which provider to go with, we recently compared ExpressVPN vs NordVPN and you can find the winner here.
- 256-bits AES encryption
- Strict no-logs policy
- Company based in Panama
- 5,400+ servers
- Inconsistent speeds
- No payment via PayPal
The Hexagon scores high among countries with widespread internet freedom. That being said, residents and visitors still face some degree of government surveillance.
For maximum online privacy and security, we recommend installing a dependable Virtual Private Network on your devices.
For French residents abroad, a VPN is a great idea if you want to catch up with your favorite shows back at home. Whether you want to benefit from Canal+, OCS, etc.
All three of our best VPNs for France offer top-of-the-class encryption, a no-logs policy, and superfast speeds. They also have global server coverage, with tons of servers in France as you might have seen at the start of our article.
Impressively, note that ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and NordVPN are among the few that can consistently bypass the Netflix ban!
Quentin is the co-founder of the-bestvpn.com. With several experiences as a System and Network Engineer, he is very knowledgeable when it comes to VPN, cybersecurity and the risks of using the Internet nowadays.