Best VPNs for website blocked GDPR

The EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. Since then, some companies either haven’t updated or won’t update their privacy rules to comply. To avoid hefty fines for non-compliance, some sites providing news, games, and other services have simply blocked EU visitors. These include A&E Network sites (including the History Channel), the LA Times, and the Chicago Tribune. Thankfully, it’s easy to bypass these restrictions by using a VPN.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic and tunnels it through an intermediary server in your preferred geographical location. It masks your real IP address and make it appear that you’re in your chosen location. For example, connecting through a US server will make it appear that you’re in the US. So, if you connect via a VPN, you can continue accessing sites blocked due to the GDPR from anywhere. A VPN can also hide your activity from your ISP and other snoopers.

We’ll cover the top VPNs for circumventing the GDPR restrictions in detail, but if you haven’t got the time to read the whole article, here is a summary of our top picks.

Best VPNs for accessing sites blocked due to the GDPR:

  1. NordVPN: Our top choice for accessing sites blocked due to GDPR. Server locations in 60 countries. Reliably accesses restricted content. Top privacy and security. 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for GDPR.
  2. Surfshark: Budget choice provider that reliably accessed GDPR-restricted sites. Boasts solid speeds, great security, and no connection limits. Works with popular streaming services.
  3. ExpressVPN: Great at unblocking GDPR and geo-restricted content. Vast array of fast servers in 94 countries. Security and privacy features lead the way.
  4. CyberGhost: Great value choice and ideal for beginners with easy-to-install apps. Reliable for accessing GDPR and geo-blocked content.
  5. IPVanish: Fast network of servers popular with Kodi users and torrenters. Doesn’t flinch when accessing GDPR-restricted content.
  6. PrivateVPN: No issues getting around the GDPR with dozens of servers located outside the EU.
  7. Private Internet Access Robust security features. Easy-to-use apps and servers in 80+ countries globally.
  8. PureVPN: Low-cost access to European servers perfect for bypassing GDPR blocks in the US or elsewhere. Fast speeds. Works with popular streaming services. 30-day refund policy.
  9. ProtonVPN: A highly advanced VPN that is perfect for torrenting. Many fast EU servers that work to access GDPR blocked websites. Kill switch, stealth, and multi-hop features. No logs.

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 bypassing GDPR restrictions for a monthgreat if you're going away on a trip or if you're unsure about a long-term commitment.

There are no hidden termsjust 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 accessing GDPR-blocked websites – at a glance

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 accessing GDPR-blocked websites. 

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostIPVanishPrivateVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.comPrivateVPN.com
Ranking for GDPR123456
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%85%85%85%
Server countries1111001051007563
Total number of servers6,000+3,200Undisclosed11,000+2,200+200+
Activity logs No identifying dataNo identifying data
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!
$1.99
SAVE 85% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free

Our criteria for GDPR-friendly VPNs

Of course, not all VPN services offer a comparable service. They differ in terms of security, connection speed, and other factors. We’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for websites blocked due to the GDPR based on the following criteria:

  • Has plenty of servers located outside of Europe
  • Enables access to geo-restricted content from around the world
  • Offers fast and reliable connections for streaming and downloading
  • Uses strong encryption and provides additional security features
  • Keeps no logs of personally identifiable information
  • Offers prompt and knowledgeable customer support

If you want to know more about how we test and rank the VPNs we recommend, you can check out our VPN testing methodology article.

The Best VPNs for GDPR-Blocked websites

Here is our list of the best VPNs for websites blocked due to the GDPR:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jun 2024

Apps Available:

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

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top choice VPN for accessing blocked content. It’s a stellar pick for almost all use cases, but especially for accessing websites blocked due to the GDPR. Its huge network of over 5,000 servers means you’re spoilt for choice both in and out of the EU. Many of these servers are optimized for streaming and NordVPN excels at accessing restricted sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

This VPN provider has your back when it comes to digital security. With 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch, you can be sure no data will leave the encrypted tunnel. For an extra layer of encryption, simply connect to one of NordVPN’s Double VPN servers. This service maintains no traffic or connection logs whatsoever, ensuring your privacy is protected.

NordVPN allows for up to six simultaneous connections with apps available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. Browser extensions are offered for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. NordVPN can also be manually configured with some routers.

Pros:

  • Operates over 2,000 servers in non-EU jurisdictions
  • Fast enough for HD streaming and unblocks popular content
  • Solid encryption and no logs make for top security and privacy
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Use on up to six devices simultaneously
  • 24/7 customer service via live chat

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive single month plan

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

Best VPN for GDPR Block:NordVPN is our top pick. Reliably accesses GDPR-blocked sites. Connect up to 6 devices simultaneously. Great security and online privacy features. You can try NordVPN risk-free because it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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 is an excellent budget-friendly choice for bypassing GDPR blocks as it operates over a thousand servers outside of Europe. In fact, with around 3,000 servers in 100 countries, it’s a solid option for accessing services like Netflix and Hulu too. Speeds are generally very fast, and there are no connection or bandwidth limits to speak of.

This VPN provider keeps you safe using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks. It also offers a built-in ad-blocker and malware scanner, plus a strict no-logs policy. MultiHop servers are also available should you require an extra layer of protection. 24/7 support is available via email or live chat, just in case you have any issues.

Surfshark offers Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Fire TV apps as well as Chrome and Firefox extensions. While you can use this VPN service with compatible routers, manual setup is needed.

Pros:

  • Offers very fast speeds
  • Impressive unblocking abilities
  • Great range of security and privacy features
  • Strict no logs policy
  • Connect unlimited devices

Cons:

  • Sometimes slow to connect when switching servers

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is fast, secure, and affordable. Bypasses GDPR-related blocks and even works with over 30 Netflix libraries. Protect every device you own at once. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN operates a large network of servers spanning 94 countries, including plenty of non-EU locations. This provider offers excellent 24-hour customer and a live chat agent is always just a click away. Aside from accessing sites blocked due to the GDPR, you’ll also be able to stream content from geo-restricted streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video.

Security and online privacy are top priorities for ExpressVPN. It uses 256-bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy and comes with DNS leak protection and a kill switch built in. This VPN provider never monitors your online activity and only stores minimal connection logs (which don’t include your IP address). With just a single account, you’ll be able to have up to five simultaneous connections.

Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Browser extensions can be downloaded for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Unlike most VPNs, ExpressVPN even has custom firmware for easier router setup.

Pros:

  • Hundreds of servers in various locations outside of EU-locations
  • Unblocks geo-restricted content at HD speeds
  • Fast, reliable speeds
  • High-grade encryption, security, and privacy throughout
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Limited advanced features for power-users
  • Higher monthly price than some others on the market

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SPEEDY AND SECURE:ExpressVPN is fast and easy to use. Reliably unblocks GDPR content. Servers in 94 countries worldwide. Unlimited bandwidth and reliable unblocking. Strong security with military-grade encryption. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost has been focusing on expanding its server network and now operates a vast collection of over 9,000 global servers across 90+ countries. Plus, CyberGhost has a large focus on providing access to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, so you can enjoy these, too. This streaming will be lag and buffer-free thanks to CyberGhost’s use of the very fast WireGuard protocol.

This service ensures your data remains secure and away from any prying eyes. It uses 256-bit encryption along with perfect forward secrecy and comes with DNS leak protection and a kill switch. You can get automatic wifi protection when connecting to familiar networks, and no personally identifiable information will ever be recorded. CyberGhost also provides subscribers with 24/7 support via live chat and email.

With CyberGhost, you can connect up to seven devices at the same time. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. It also has extensions for Chrome and Firefox. This VPN provider can be configured some routers.

Pros:

  • Operates over 9,000 servers
  • Can access US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Impressive server speeds
  • Solid privacy and security features enabled by default
  • Easy-to-use apps make this great for getting started

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work reliably from China
  • Few advanced features

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEGINNER-FRIENDLY:CyberGhost is easy to use. A well-priced solid performer. Good at unblocking GDPR content and has fast, unthrottled connection speeds. Huge server network and a strong security offering. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish offers some very fast speeds and is popular among torrenters and Kodi users. It has plenty of non-EU servers to choose from, including many in North America and Asia, so you should have no issues accessing sites blocked due to the GDPR. It can also enable you to access some popular streaming sites such as Netflix US while the very fast server speeds make lag a thing of the past.

IPVanish takes users’ privacy very seriously and stores no logs. Security comes in the form of military-grade 256-bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy. You also get DNS leak protection and a built-in kill switch. The latter will kill the internet connection if the VPN connection happens to drop. Any number of simultaneous connections are permitted so it’s a great choice for sharing with family members.

To use IPVanish, download an app for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, or Fire TV. You can also use this VPN service on Linux and with VPN-compatible routers but the connection must be manually configured.

Pros:

  • Operates over 700 servers outside of the EU GDPR zone
  • Good unblocking capabilities and streams in HD speeds
  • Connections, communications, and traffic remain encrypted and private at all times
  • Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps

Cons:

  • Headquartered in a Five Eyes member country (USA)
  • No browser extensions available

Our score:

4 out of 5

UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:IPVanish is great for families that need multiple devices connected. Good at unblocking most geo-restricted content. High-speed connections for streaming. Recommend for its high standard of privacy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN might be a smaller player in the VPN world, but it’s not to be overlooked. It operates dozens of servers outside the EU and will enable you to access your GDPR-restricted content without issue. What’s more, PrivateVPN seems to fly under the radar of many sites that are cracking down on VPN usage. This means it’s able to bypass the Netflix proxy error, as well as access the likes of BBC iPlayer and Hulu.

This VPN provider keeps its promises on the privacy and security front. It stores no logs of browser or session history, so you don’t have to worry about any data ever being handed over to a third party.  You can also expect 256-bit AES encryption as well as DNS leak protection and a kill switch feature. Need help? Live chat and email support is available up to 22 hours per day. PrivateVPN even offers free remote help and installation.

PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. It can also be manually configured with Linux and some routers.

Pros:

  • More than half of its servers are located outside of the EU
  • New and growing network with fast servers
  • Can unblock many popular streaming services

Cons:

  • Small number of servers to choose from
  • Apps lack advanced features, such as ad and malware-blocking options

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is easy to use. Allows up to 10 devices on the same account. Fast connections and very strong unblocking ability. Quality customer support. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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7. 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 is one of the most flexible VPNs around. It has thousands of servers in more than 80 countries capable of accessing sites locked down by GDPR restrictions. Speeds are more than fast enough for streaming and torrenting and PIA won’t throttle your connection either. Note that with your account, there’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect at the same time.

Private Internet Access is also packed with powerful privacy and security features that are perfect for keeping your data safe. This includes a kill switch, no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and strong encryption. And if you’re looking to access more content from around the world, it can help you do that too. It doesn’t keep logs and its logging policy has been independently verified.

PIA apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. Browser extensions are offered for Chrome and Firefox. It’s also possible to set up a VPN connection with a compatible router.

Pros:

  • Servers in 80 countries globally
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections per account
  • Independently audited no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Based in a Five Eyes Alliance Country
  • No Smart DNS support

Our score:

4 out of 5

NO LOGS PROVIDER:Private Internet Access is a reliable VPN with a huge server network and robust privacy that can easily bypass GDPR restrictions. Allows an unlimited number of devices on the same account. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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8. PureVPN

PureVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PureVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS

PureVPN is a cheap VPN that offers reliable access to blocked websites caused by GDPR. This makes it a decent budget option for internet users anywhere in the globe where EU news sites or other services are restricted outside the EU. With its many EU-based servers, PureVPN enables international access to EU internet resources, catering to EU-specific content preferences, streaming platforms, internet banking, and anything else European that takes your fancy

Our tests showed that PureVPN reliably accesses multiple EU Netflix regions, as well as popular streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer in the UK, Joyn in Germany, and Canal+ in France. With subscription starting at just $1.96 per month it is very affordable for anybody in the US, Canada, Australia, or elsewhere to bypass blocks caused by GDPPR.

Featuring state-of-the-art WireGuard technology, PureVPN delivers impressive global download speeds of around 400 Mbps. this makes it one of the fastest VPNs available. This speed is ideal for various online activities, including gaming, streaming, torrenting, and video calls.

PureVPN prioritizes security with its AES encryption, kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and strict no-logging policy, ensuring secure access to EU internet resources for expats or safe browsing on public WiFi abroad.

While there’s room for improvement in its live chat support response time, we found the VPN hard to beat considering the cost. If you want to see what the fuss is about, you can test it using its 31-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Fast Tier 1 server network and the WireGuard protocol for impressive performance
  • Independently audited no-logging policy
  • Works with British TV platforms, Netflix, and international services too
  • User-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more
  • 31-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Customer support can be slow to respond
  • Additional charge for port forwarding

Our score:

4 out of 5

AMAZING VALUE:PureVPN makes it cheap to access EU services from the US. It works with popular British and European streaming platforms. Rock solid no-logs policy and robust AES-256 encryption. Comes with a 31-day money-back guarantee to test it yourself.

Find out more in our PureVPN review.

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9. ProtonVPN

Proton VPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN is one of the most advanced VPNs money can buy. It is headquartered in Switzerland meaning it benefits from robust privacy laws. The VPN is fast and has plenty of EU servers that work to bypass website blocks caused by GDPR. In addition to being the brainchild of the trusted brand behind Proton Mail, ProtonVPN has completed a full third-party audit that proves its service lives up to its advertising. Apps come with AES encryption, a kill switch, and a range of protocols – including WireGuard for faster speeds.

In addition to its security features, ProtonVPN provides access to a diverse range of European streaming services, including British channels like BBC iPlayer, ITVX, and Channel 4, and EU services like Germany’s Joyn, Holands Ziggo GO, France’s Canal+, and Spain’s Mitele. Plus, it works to watch Hulu, Netflix US, and HBO Max while on vacation – making it a robust all-rounder.

Advanced functions like obfuscation, split tunneling, multi-hop connections, Secure Core servers, and Tor over VPN enhance ProtonVPN’s appeal for advanced users or netizens living in surveillance-heavy regimes. However, it’s worth noting that these extras contribute to a slightly higher cost compared to our top picks.

With live chat support available in the members’ area, ProtonVPN offers excellent expertise and assistance. Overall, it is a fantastic all-rounder that is particularly useful for torrenting thanks to its split tunneling and port forwarding features. 30-day money-back guarantee lets you test it yourself.

Pros:

  • Fast servers and the WireGuard protocol for streaming and gaming
  • Effective for accessing multiple Netflix regions
  • Robust encryption and strict no-logs policy
  • Abundance of advanced features, including port forwarding
  • EU servers easily bypass GDPR blocks

Cons:

  • A touch expensive
  • May not be the most user-friendly option for beginners

Our score:

4 out of 5

FULLY FEATURED:ProtonVPN caters to tech-savvy users who torrent, host servers, or need advanced privacy features. With servers available in over 85+ countries, it’s ideal for bypassing restrictions caused by GDPR. 24/7 live chat support in the member’s area. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Find out more in our ProtonVPN review.

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How to unblock GDPR-restricted sites

Websites that are blocking EU users due to the new GDPR are doing so to avoid non-compliance. Basically, they haven’t yet updated their policies and systems (or have decided not to) and don’t want to risk being fined.

Using a non-EU VPN server to mask your IP address will make it appear that you’re outside the EU and therefore do not pose a risk to the company. Here are the simple steps to access a website blocked due to GDPR:

  1. Sign up for one of the VPNs listed above. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Download, install, and run the VPN app on your device.
  3. Connect to a non-EU server, i.e. a server in the US, to gain a US IP address.
  4. Access your desired site.
  5. If you experience problems, try clearing your browser’s cookies before trying again.

Bear in mind that because you’re intentionally masking your physical location from the site, the regulations don’t apply, and you shouldn’t expect that you’ll benefit from the privacy rights they impart.

What the GDPR means for users

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are measures put in place to achieve the following goals:

  • Harmonize data privacy laws across Europe
  • Protect the data privacy of EU citizens
  • Change the approach organizations take to data privacy

Some of the implications of the GDPR regulations include:

  • Data breaches must be reported within a specified time period (72 hours).
  • Consumers must give informed consent for data collection and storage and can withdraw at any time.
  • They can request any data a company has collected about them in a machine-readable format.
  • Larger companies (with more than 250 employees) need to have a mandatory data protection officer.

The maximum penalty for breaking the regulations is 20 million Euros or four per cent of the company’s turnover, whichever is larger.

One of the major things that many companies need to address is the issue of informed consent. The methods that companies have traditionally used to get consumers to agree to data collection are highly in favor of the company and don’t do much to protect consumer privacy rights.

For example, companies often post lengthy, jargon-filled privacy policies that hardly anyone will take the time to read. Embedded in these policies is information about how user data is collected, used, and stored. To agree to these terms, a customer usually has to simply check a box, which they’ll often do without reading the accompanying policies.

Part of the GDPR aims to force companies to be more transparent with consumers about what they are actually agreeing to.

Why sites are blocking EU visitors

The regulations don’t just apply to companies headquartered in the EU. They apply to all companies that deal with EU citizens. In fact, Facebook and Google have already been hit with multi-billion dollar lawsuits related to the GDPR.

Whether you’re in the EU or not, your inbox is likely flooded at the moment with privacy policy updates and subscription confirmations from various companies trying to ensure compliance.

The new regulations were announced about two years ago, so many companies have used that time to roll out a compliance strategy. Some companies were very proactive and updated policies and notified users well before the deadline. Some have even created an additional option for those who want to opt out by offering plain text alternatives. National Public Radio (NPR) is one such example.

Here’s their notice:

NPR's GDPR notice.

And here’s the plain text version of the site you view if you decline:

NPR's plain text site to help comply with GDPR.

Other companies haven’t made the cut-off. The reasons aren’t exactly clear and may be different for each business. Some simply don’t have the resources to put towards these changes. Some plan to become compliant but need more time.

For example, sites under the Tribune Media Group umbrella, including the LA Times, New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, and Chicago Tribune, offer a brief explanation:

Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”

The New York Daily News' GDPR error message.

Whereas trying to access A&E or the History Channel simply returns a generic note:

This content is not available in your area.”

Some sites that lack the necessary resources to meet the regulations have been forced to shut down completely. These include popular gaming sites, Super Monday Night Combat and Tunngle.

Sites blocking EU users due to the GDPR

Here is a list of sites we know are currently blocking EU visitors due to the new GDPR:

  • A&E
  • Arizona Daily Star
  • Baltimore Sun
  • Chicago Tribune
  • History.com
  • Instapaper
  • LA Times
  • New York Daily News
  • Orlando Sentinel
  • Tunngle
  • Unroll.me

This list is not exhaustive and could grow or shrink as time goes on.

Best VPNs for GDPR FAQ

Can I use a free VPN for GDPR-blocked websites?

Although there are some free VPNs available on the market, we do not generally recommend using them. Studies have revealed that free VPNs often have badly implemented security, concerning app vulnerabilities, serious data leaks, and invasive privacy policies that allow them to harvest user data. They have even been found to lie about the encryption they provide and to include spyware in their apps.

Free VPNs collect user data for profiling and marketing purposes. They create a revenue stream by selling that data to third parties, including data brokers. This makes using free VPNs a considerable threat to your online health, which is problematic because a VPN is supposed to be an online privacy tool that you can trust to improve your digital footprint and help secure your data.

In addition to the privacy and security risks involved, it is common for websites to block IP addresses associated with free VPNs. This often leaves those free services unable to unblock websites that have been restricted because of GDPR. As a result, even if you decide to take a risk and use a free VPN, there is no guarantee the service will get around the restrictions.

Is it illegal to access blocked sites?

No, it’s generally not illegal to access blocked sites. In some cases, accessing a restricted website or service from a certain location may go against that site’s terms and conditions. This may result in an account being closed or a subscription being canceled. However, even this is very unlikely. VPNs are legal in almost every country worldwide, although that doesn’t mean VPNs can safely be used for illegal activities such as torrenting copyrighted material.

Will a VPN help to stop websites displaying this error message: “this website is not intended for users located within the European economic area”?

Yes, a VPN will allow you to bypass all manner of restrictions, be they due to geo-blocking or even government censorship. In this case, all you need to do is connect to a server outside “the European economic area”. In doing so, you’ll be assigned a new, temporary IP address. At the same time, your real IP address and location will be hidden, allowing you to spoof your location and access the blocked website or service in question.

What should I do if a website detects my VPN and blocks me?

If a website detects VPN use and blocks you as a result, don’t worry. There are a number of potential fixes. The first is to clear your browser’s cache and cookies before reloading your browser. This is to make sure the website in question forgets your actual IP address and location and accepts that of the VPN. If this doesn’t work, you should try connecting to another server in case the IP address you’re using is blacklisted.

Are there any risks to accessing GDPR blocked sites?

There aren’t any significant risks of accessing blocked GDPR websites. Like accessing sites like Netflix that use geo-restrictions to block users connecting from abroad, blocked GDPR sites present you with an error message stating the site is unavailable in your location. You’re not doing anything illegal, so the error isn’t a warning and won’t land you in any trouble.