best vpn france

Have you ever tried streaming your favorite shows from France when abroad? It’s frustrating to get the “not available in your region” error message. We know how that feels. Whether you’re a native wanting to safeguard your online activities, or an expat yearning for a slice of home through French TV and streaming, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best France VPNs.

After exhaustive research and rigorous testing, we understand the unique cyber challenges those in and connected to France face. This article is your passport to making the most of the French digital realm without compromising security.

Despite France’s strong commitment to privacy, there are still many reasons to consider using a VPN to safely and securely browse the web. Using a VPN will also unlock a host of geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. For French residents traveling abroad, using a VPN is also an excellent option if you wish to continue streaming local premium services such as Eurosport, Canal+, and Play TV.

Come with us as we break down the best VPNs for France. If you’re pressed for time, here’s a summary of our recommendations:

Best VPNs for France:

  1. NordVPN: Our #1 choice for a VPN for France. Easy-to-use option with fast servers. Strong privacy policy and security to keep your online activities private. Unblocks Netflix and other popular streaming sites. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for France.
  2. Surfshark: Best budget France VPN. A privacy-first VPN that boasts excellent unblocking ability, a no-logs policy, and plenty of security options.
  3. ExpressVPN: Plenty of French servers optimized for speed making it an excellent streaming VPN. Tough security and no traffic logs. Unblocks most major streaming content sites like Netflix France.
  4. CyberGhost: A huge international server network, perfect for a French IP address. Fast and secure, perfect for streaming French TV channels.
  5. IPVanish: Perfect for torrenters and Kodi users who need a lightweight, remote-control-friendly solution. Excellent security and decent speed. Can be hit-and-miss with Netflix.
  6. Private Internet Access: Servers in 80+ countries. Good speeds with unlimited bandwidth. Protect up to 10 devices. Includes a strict no-logs policy and 256-bit AES encryption.
  7. PureVPN: Fast servers, strong security tools, and the ability to access a huge range of streaming platforms. Perfect for anyone traveling in France.
  8. ProtonVPN: Impressive speeds and gives advanced users plenty of customization options. Works with france.tv and many similar services.

WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?

NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for France, free from any limits or restrictions, for a month. As such, it's perfect for using French services while abroad on vacation.

There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

Best VPNs for France: Our hands-on review

We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for France.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostIPVanishPrivate Internet AccessPureVPNProton VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.comPrivateInternetAccess.comPureVPN.comprotonvpn.com
Ranking for France:12345678
Streaming ServicesNetflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Canal+
ZDF
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Canal+
ZDF
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Canal+
ZDF
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Avg Speed (Europe)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps324 Mbps100+ Mbps
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%85%70%70%85%87%
Simultaneous Connections10Unlimited87UnlimitedUnlimited10Free: 1, VPN Plus: 10
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!
$2.99
SAVE 76% on the 2 yr plan
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan
$2.11
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
$3.59
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan

Our criteria for the best France VPNs

Based on our extensive testing, we used the following criteria to select our favorite French VPNs:

  • Strong encryption to protect online activities
  • Advanced security features, including a no-logs policy
  • French servers to access local content and French streaming services
  • A reliable connection and lightning-fast speeds
  • Ability to unblock geo-restricted content such as Netflix
  • Suitable for torrenting and P2P

The Best VPNs for France

Here are some in-depth reviews of the highest-rated VPNs for France:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN retains no data on its users visit when connected to its servers, nor the time, date, and duration of each session. Its servers have been confiscated, in at least one case, but there was no stored data that authorities could use to pinpoint users.

NordVPN an is extremely fast VPN and is great for unblocking region-locked streaming services from abroad like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. It also has servers optimized for things like double VPN, Tor over VPN, anti-DDoS, and video streaming. DNS leak protection and an internet kill switch are both included – making it one of the most robust VPNs when it comes to encryption parameters.

The VPN provider has been in the business for over a decade and is capable of streaming HD video without any lag. Unlimited torrenting with no speed caps is permitted.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Fire TV.

NordVPN speed test data

No valueNordVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)354 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)262 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)284 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE

Pros:

  • Operates over 180 French servers, great for unblocking geo-restricted content
  • One of the fastest VPNs on the market
  • Trusted provider with over a decade of experience in the industry
  • Default security settings and privacy considerations are above standard
  • Keeps no logs

Cons:

  • Collects advertising IDs on mobile

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR FRANCE:NordVPN is our top choice. Extremely high speeds make it an ideal choice for streaming and torrenting. Connects up to 6 devices simultaneously. Provides a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out risk-free.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark has thousands of servers across 60+ countries, including France, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to stream French TV abroad. Better yet, its speeds are fast enough to watch live video without any noticeable lag or buffering, and with no connection limit, you’ll be able to protect every device you own simultaneously.

With 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks enabled by default, this VPN ensures your traffic is secure at all times. There’s also a NoBorders mode that bypasses country-wide restrictions, as well as a built-in ad-blocker and malware-scanner. Surfshark doesn’t log any data that could be traced back to you but if you’re concerned about privacy, you can pay in Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum. If you need any help, you can contact support 24/7 via live chat.

Surfshark has apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. It also works with select network routers, although these have to be configured manually.

Surfshark speed test data

No valueSurfshark
WebsiteSurfshark.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)521 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)702 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)561 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free

Pros:

  • High-speed connections for flawless streaming
  • Great unblocking ability
  • Keeps no logs and has 256-bit encryption
  • Places major emphasis on security and online privacy
  • Connect unlimited devices

Cons:

  • Smaller network than some of its rivals
  • Occasional slow VPN connection

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

Read our full review of Surfshark here.

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark lets you connect an unlimited number of devices, plus it unblocks major streaming platforms from abroad. With high speeds, powerful security features, a low price, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, this service is a great choice.

Surfshark Coupon
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN has a stated policy of not storing any user logs except for “dates (not times) when connected to our service, choice of server locations, and the total amount of data transferred per day.”

Its encryption standards raise the bar when it comes to industry standards. ExpressVPN recently launched its Lightway VPN protocol, an open-source protocol that gave the service huge speed boosts without sacrificing security. All of this makes it one of the best VPNs on the market for online privacy.

Split tunneling is available in most of the apps, allowing you to choose which apps use the VPN and which use a direct, unencrypted connection..

During our extensive speed tests, we noticed that it streamed 1080p video seamlessly and exhibited zero lag when it came to online gaming. Its servers are optimized for speed and stability, with no speed caps, making it the top VPNs on our list.

ExpressVPN is an excellent choice if you wish to use it for torrents. It can also unblock several region-locked streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. ExpressVPN is also a great option for users outside of France who want to access French streaming channels such as ZDF, Canal+ and France.tv.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Fire TV, and select home wi-fi routers.

ExpressVPN speed test data

No valueExpressVPN
WebsiteExpressVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)319 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)303 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)278 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free

Pros:

  • Works exceptionally well in France and for unblocking French content while abroad
  • Fastest connections which are great for smooth HD streaming and downloading
  • Top-notch security and privacy
  • Unblocks most major streaming sites including Netflix France, ZDF, Canal+ and France.tv and more

Cons:

  • More expensive than other providers
  • Power users may find the lack of advanced features frustrating

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST, SECURE CONNECTIONS:ExpressVPN is a speedy, privacy-focused service. Excels at unblocking French streaming channels with its entire French network of servers. Hard to beat on privacy and security. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans.

Read our full review of ExpressVPN.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost, which is based in Romania, has improved its service considerably following a management shuffle last year. It offers robust encryption, coupled with fast speeds and excellent customer support.

At the time of writing, it provides access to over 10,000 servers in 90 countries. France hosts more than 400 of them so you shouldn’t face any problems when trying to acquire a local IP address. CyberGhost works very well with geo-restricted streaming services and the client app will guide you through the process with a step-by-step tutorial. Some of the streaming services it unblocks include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.

This provider secures all web traffic with 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and DNS leak protection. It will not store user data of any nature, including IP addresses. Additional security features include an ad blocker, anti-malware defense, and anti-tracking.

You can access the service on Android, iOS, Windows, Linux or MacOS. A single subscription allows for seven devices to connect concurrently.

CyberGhost speed test data

No valueCyberGhost
WebsiteCyberghost.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)449 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)269 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)167 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!

Pros:

  • Operates over 320 servers in France, great for accessing local content while abroad
  • Impressed by their server speeds during testing
  • Apps are very easy to install and use
  • Works great with French websites and French TV channels

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Little control over advanced features

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

beginner friendly apps:CyberGhost has a simple set up. Works well in France and for unblocking French content with no speed caps. Good option if you are looking for a fast, reliable connection and an easy-to-use interface. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is one of the few VPN providers that physically owns the entirety of its server network (unlike others that also rent), making it a valuable ally in the quest to maintain anonymity on the web.

It keeps no records or logs about user browsing history except when people register for the first time. IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication and a DHE-RSE 2048 key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. It recently announced it will adopt the Wireguard protocol like many others, which should boost its speeds considerably in the future.

DNS leak protection and a VPN kill switch is embedded within the system architecture to keep spying eyes out.

IPVanish isn’t a great choice for unlocking geo-restricted content on Netflix but it does offer impressive speeds so streaming video from YouTube or other major platforms won’t be a hassle at all. Torrenting is definitely part of the package, and it also makes our list of the best VPNs for this specific purpose.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

IPVanish speed test data

No valueIPVanish
WebsiteIPVanish.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)277 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)237 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)352 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE 76% on the 2 yr plan

Pros:

  • Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps
  • Impressive 4K streaming speeds achieved during testing
  • Operates in over 60 countries, great for unblocking geo-restricted content
  • Strong encryption makes apps secure

Cons:

  • Customer support can be a little slow
  • Struggles to unblock larger streaming platforms

Our score:

4 out of 5

VALUE AND PERFORMANCE:IPVanish offers strong privacy and excellent security with a huge number of IPs and servers plus additional protection against DNS leaks. Also popular with Kodi and torrent users. 30-day money back guarantee.

Read our full review of IPVanish here.

IPVanish Coupon
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6. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access has a particularly impressive server network in that servers cover more than 80 countries. This allows it to unblock a wide range of content including streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, regardless of your location. Having averaged 94 Mbps in our most recent speed tests, PIA is more than fast enough for streaming. Further, it doesn’t throttle your bandwidth.

With just one Private Internet Access account, you can connect up to 10 devices. The apps are user-friendly while you even have 24/7 live chat and email support should you need it. Security-wise, PIA couldn’t be safer because it routes your internet traffic through a 256-bit AES encrypted tunnel. You’ll also benefit from features including a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and PIA’s very strict no-logs policy.

To connect to a PIA server, simply download and install an app for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, or Amazon Fire TV. Note that Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available although use with routers requires manual setup.

Private Internet Access speed test data

No valuePrivate Internet Access
WebsitePrivateInternetAccess.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)93 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)58 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)200 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

Pros:

  • Servers available in more than 80 countries, France included
  • Good, consistent speeds means you can stream lag-free
  • Use it on up to 10 of your devices simultaneously
  • Strict no-logs policy helps you stay anonymous

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Fairly expensive if you opt for a single month

Our score:

4 out of 5

SERVERS WORLDWIDE:Private Internet Access offers fast, unthrottled connections and servers in 80+ countries including France. Lightweight apps with 24/7 support included. Use it on 10 devices at a time. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

7. PureVPN

PureVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PureVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS

PureVPN operates roughly 6,000 servers in 65+ countries, including France. These are far faster than you might expect, averaging almost 400 Mbps in our latest round of testing. As such, you’re unlikely to experience any performance issues while streaming, torrenting, playing online games, or making video calls. Better still, there’s a generous 10-device limit and 24/7 customer support via live chat. Our only complaint is that staff sometimes take a few minutes to respond, but that’s a fairly minor issue.

This provider supports the OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, using uncrackable encryption on both. It also offers DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and automatic obfuscation. If you sign up for the Plus or Max plans, you’ll also be able to block trackers (though, unlike some other VPNs, PureVPN can’t block ads). There’s a strict no-logs policy in place, and this has been verified multiple times by external auditors. We’d like to see some anonymous payment options, though, since, at the moment, there’s no way to sign up without providing personal info.

PureVPN apps are available for Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS, and Linux. Alternatively, you can follow manual setup instructions to get the service running on just about any router.

PureVPN speed test data

No valuePureVPN
WebsitePureVPN.com
Avg Speed (US)628 Mbps
Avg Speed (UK)324 Mbps
Avg Speed (Asia)246 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.11
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months

Pros:

  • Noticeably faster than many of its rivals
  • Good set of security tools
  • Can help you access many French streaming services abroad

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include an ad-blocker
  • No kill switch on Apple platforms

Our score:

4 out of 5

SAFE AND AFFORDABLE:PureVPN is a novice-friendly service that doesn’t compromise on security. With fast French servers and exceptional streaming ability, there’s almost nothing it can’t do. Every paid subscription includes a 31-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of PureVPN to learn more.

PureVPN Coupon
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
Get Deal >
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8. ProtonVPN

Proton VPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN provides access to around 4,400 servers in 85+ countries, with roughly 200 of these located in France. It delivers first-class performance, too, averaging 330 Mbps and placing it squarely among the fastest providers on the market. Whether you’re looking to torrent anonymously, securely access online banking services, or stream France.tv while on vacation, this VPN would be a fantastic choice. Up to 10 simultaneous connections are permitted, and support staff are available 24/7 just in case you need them.

This service stands out from the crowd by offering a high level of customization. For instance, you can configure split tunneling or port forwarding functionality, block ads and trackers automatically, or activate an accelerator feature that boosts your speeds even further. ProtonVPN doesn’t keep logs, has been independently audited, and uses effectively uncrackable encryption to keep you safe. There are also multiple anonymous payment options for users who’d like to register without revealing any identifiable information.

ProtonVPN has its own apps for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It can also be manually installed on a wide range of different router firmware.

ProtonVPN speed test data

No valueProton VPN
Websiteprotonvpn.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)390 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)306 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)295 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.59
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan

Pros:

  • Perfect for watching French TV abroad
  • Outstanding privacy credentials
  • High connection limit and a proven no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Free plan is a little limited for regular usage
  • Some advanced features are Windows-only

Our score:

4 out of 5

GREAT SECURITY TOOLKIT:ProtonVPN comes packed with security features so you can browse the web without worrying about who might be watching. Better still, it offers very fast speeds, strong streaming abilities, and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

Check out our complete ProtonVPN review.

ProtonVPN Coupon
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan
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Our VPN testing methodology for France

Comparitech evaluates every VPN we recommend based on expert analysis, empirical testing, and real-world experience. Our methodology helps us publish the most comprehensive and accurate reviews online. When it comes to France VPNs in particular, we look at:

  • Security: A France VPN must use strong, up-to-date encryption without data leaks. We leak-test every VPN we review. Many VPNs offer additional security features like a kill switch, ad blockers, malware blocking tools, and DNS and/or IPv6 leak protection. The more tools, the better.
  • Speed: We test and record connection speeds to VPN servers worldwide to avoid frustrating lag or buffering.
  • Logging policy: We pour over the VPN’s privacy policy and terms of use for language or lack thereof that could indicate the collection of personally identifying information or user activity logs while connected to the VPN.
  • Compatibility: Gone are the days of being confined to a single device screen – that’s why we look for VPNs that support the most popular operating systems. Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android are the common choices, but router, Linux, and game console support is a bonus.
  • Streaming: We’ve run thousands of tests this year alone to figure out which VPNs unblock region-locked streaming services from abroad. We test Netflix France, French TV Channels, and international options like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, and more.
  • Customer support: We contact each VPN’s customer support as a secret shopper to assess response times and quality.
  • Value: The providers on our list include a generous money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service before committing long-term. They also include a simultaneous connection limit; most offer at least five concurrent connections, with others allowing unlimited devices.

To learn more about how we test VPNs, check out our methodology page.

French VPNs to avoid

In some cases, VPN providers have been caught handing over user data to authorities or illegally mining browsing history to sell to 3rd party advertisers. Here are some we recommend you avoid:

Hide My Ass

In 2011 London-based Hide My Ass allegedly cooperated with US and UK authorities and handed over login data of 23-year-old Cody Kretsinger – accused of hacking Sony Pictures.

The incident pointed to a twisted philosophy at the company. It claimed to not record and store any user data – except for log-on and log-off time – but subsequent actions proved otherwise. You can read our Hide my Ass review here.

Hola

Israel-based Hola, which had developed a browser plugin designed to circumvent geo-restricted content, was caught engaging in a bunch of spurious activity – including selling your data to anyone willing to cough up the cash for it, diverting traffic through your personal internet connection, and continually monitoring browsing history.

Betternet

Betternet comes up as a result if you search for a free VPN option and, from the outset, looks like a decent option given that it allows several simultaneous connections and is relatively fast. But it’s not a charity by any means – all the money it pays to rent server space and maintain a technical team is earned back via an ad platform it runs.

This ad platform accesses your cookies to bombard you with advertisements, suggested app installs, and other migraine-inducing content.

Is using a VPN legal in France?

It’s perfectly legal to use a VPN in France. In fact, VPNs are legal in most countries. There may be cases where using a VPN goes against the terms of service of a particular website, such as Netflix France. However, it’s doubtful any action will be taken against you. Of course, using a VPN for any illegal activities (such as distributing copyrighted material) is a different question. It may result in legal repercussions as a result.

Will my ISP know I’m using a VPN from France?

Yes, your ISP does know when you’re using a VPN. That’s because it can see that encrypted data is traveling from your device to a VPN server. It receives some basic information, such as the IP address of the VPN server. However, it will no longer be able to see what you’re doing online due to the encryption in place. Furthermore, it’s likely that your ISP will be okay if you’re using a VPN as long as all activity remains legal.

Can I use a free VPN for France?

There’s always the option of finding a free VPN service – they’re hiding in plain sight and a casual search on Google or Reddit will definitely do the job. Technically such services don’t charge you any money for usage but that doesn’t mean they’re free by any yardstick.

Our recommendation is to avoid such options like the plague. They’re businesses too – meaning they need to make money in order to stay afloat – so they’ll bombard you with all sorts of nasty advertisements and sell your data to third-party companies for monetary compensation.

Contracting a malware infection is a definite possibility and forget about getting the same speed or customer service that paid VPN options offer. In the long run, you’re better off spending a few dollars and getting exemplary service – trust us, it’s worth it.

How to get a French IP address

If you’re a French resident that’s planning on living abroad for a bit, it’s likely that a bunch of local content will remain inaccessible if you log in from a foreign country. One way to circumvent this issue is by connecting to a VPN recommended above – all you have to do is select a French server before opening your internet browser and you should be good to go.

The advantages of getting a French IP address also go beyond accessing geo-restricted content. Your search engine will assume you’re in France – so it’ll show you the results most relevant to you and in your local language if you prefer. Some French banking and financial institutions also require a local IP before allowing internet access to online services.

How can I test if my IP address has been changed to France?

You can use a website like http://www.ip-tracker.org to determine if your IP address has changed to France. Simply type in your IP address on the website and it will tell you what country your IP address is currently located in.

What is the future of French internet?

France is often regarded as pro-privacy. For example, French regulators imposed a fine of US$166,777 on Facebook purportedly because of concerns over the way it tracks user data “without legal cover.” Authorities added that the social media leviathan didn’t offer users sufficient warning about the methods it uses to extract personal information about their browsing habits.

However, recent years have seen an erosion of privacy rights.

Emergency powers put in place by President Hollande in 2015 gave authorities sweeping powers to conduct house arrests, raids, and searches of electronic devices such as laptops, PCs, smartphones, and tablets without any warrants.

The same year, the French Constitutional Council approved most provisions of a new law that forces internet service providers to monitor the online behavior of suspicious users and relay that information back to intelligence agencies.

There are concerns that this law can be abused to establish a far-reaching online surveillance apparatus that will directly impact the lives of all French residents, whether they like it or not.

These troubling developments make a compelling argument for using a VPN when browsing the web in France. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a remote server, thereby shielding its content and destination from internet service providers, hackers, and government agencies like the NSA.

Even the United Nations committee for human rights has warned against the tenets of the law – saying it “grants overly broad powers for very intrusive surveillance on the basis of vast and broadly defined objectives.” It added that French authorities must balance the subsequent interference in private life according to defined principles of legality, proportionality, and necessity.

Not only does the law allow electronic monitoring of mobile devices, it also gives intelligence agencies the right to install secret cameras and recording devices in people’s homes. It’s also possible to install keylogger devices and metadata can be stored for up to five years.

Other advocacy bodies, such as Privacy International and La Quadrature du Net, also sharply criticized the developments, saying the poorly-drafted bill makes no provision for judicial authorization and that the French parliament had “endorsed a fundamental decline in human rights.”

Watching French television when abroad

The use of a VPN can also unlock French television. This means French residents traveling abroad can obfuscate their location by signing up for a VPN (we recommend one of the paid ones on this list), selecting a server in France, clearing the cookies in their web browser, and then accessing the individual streaming links.

The following channels allow free access to anyone with a French IP address. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and more may be added:

  • Euronews
  • France24
  • TV5 Monde
  • Arte
  • RTBF
  • BFM TV
  • LCP
  • Eurosport
  • Pluzz
  • TF1
  • M6
  • France2
  • France3
  • France4
  • Gulli
  • PlayTV

How do I watch Ligue 1 from outside France?

The French football league, also known as Ligue 1, is massively popular with French residents. Naturally, this translates into an eagerness to watch the matches live as they’re broadcasted. We recommend using a VPN to change your IP address to French and logging into channels like Eurosport who show the games live. You might need to register and sign up for the service with a French credit card beforehand, please consult with individual broadcasters before proceeding.

VPNs for France FAQ

How do you get Netflix shows in French?

Netflix actually lets you watch a ton of content in French, including every Netflix Original title. Here’s how:

  1. First, start playing a show. 
  2. In the bottom-right, you’ll see a speech bubble icon — hover over it,
  3. Now, select French in the list on the left. 
  4. Click on your user icon in the top-right of the screen and choose Manage profiles.
  5. Select your profile and change the default audio language to French.

Are torrents illegal in France?

Torrenting isn’t illegal in France: after all, it’s just a different way of downloading content. Issues arise if you torrent content that you don’t have the right to, such as movies, TV shows, or games. If caught, you could face a fine, although following the repeal of the HADOPI graduated response law, there’s no longer any risk of your Internet Service Provider shutting off your services.

Which mobile network is best in France?

Roughly 80% of French people are with Orange, making it by far the largest network in the country. This makes it less likely you’ll run into spots that lack coverage, but with SFR rapidly expandings its 4G capabilities and Bouygues Telecom moving into the streaming space, each has something unique to offer. Ultimately, there’s no objectively “best” network, so go with whichever meets your needs and budget.

Which VPN server should I connect to in Paris?

There is no single one server that you should connect to — there are too many factors at play for that to be the case. Regardless, NordVPN is the best VPN for France and provides servers in Paris. Simply select this option from the server list and you’ll benefit from fast server speeds and unlimited bandwidth. If there’s an issue with your connection, you can always connect to another server.