French IP address

There are enough things that can go wrong on vacation already without having to worry about regional restrictions. Luckily, it’s really quite easy to open your VPN app, get an IP address from France, and use your usual French services while abroad. Another advantage is that VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, which helps keep you safe from snoopers while on public wifi. In other words, these are invaluable tools for any traveler.

How to get a French IP address from abroad

Follow these steps to get an IP address from France, regardless of where you are in the world:

  1. Sign up for one of the VPNs below (we recommend NordVPN).
  2. Install the app on your most-used devices. You’ll normally be allowed to connect at least five at once.
  3. Log in and select one of the available French servers.
  4. That’s all there is to it; you should now be able to browse safely and access France-only services. If not, clear your cookies and cache to delete old location data and force the sites you visit to use your new location instead.

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 getting a French IP address with no limits for a full month. This is perfect for travelers looking to use services from back home during a trip abroad. 

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.

If you’re a little short on time, you can find our condensed VPN overviews below. However, if any of the services we recommend stand out to you, you can always keep scrolling to find a more detailed review.

  1. NordVPN: Our top VPN for getting a French IP address. Known for its strong commitment to security and privacy. 200+ French servers to choose from. Provides stable connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
  2. Surfshark: The best way to get a France IP address on a budget. Has minimal impact on your speeds and allows any number of simultaneous connections. Strict zero-logs policy.
  3. ExpressVPN: Great at unblocking French streaming services. Boasts a solid security toolkit and around the clock support, not to mention its own router app. Ranks highly on speed.
  4. CyberGhost: A quick and user-friendly service with 680+ servers in France. Makes it easy to access your usual streaming platforms abroad. Powerful security tools and 24/7 live chat.
  5. IPVanish: A versatile, lightweight VPN that keeps no logs. Allows users to protect all of their devices at once. Has an impressive set of security features and solid unblocking abilities.
  6. PrivateVPN: Capable of unblocking a huge range of French services abroad. Privacy-first VPN with a top-tier security toolkit. Doesn’t slow down your connection very much at all.
  7. Hotspot Shield: Steady speeds, excellent streaming potential, and a good set of security tools make this an excellent choice for anyone traveling outside of France.

There are plenty of VPNs offering access to French servers. Still, why should you pay for anything less than the best? To ensure we only recommend services capable of handling whatever you throw at them, our top picks meet these criteria:

  • Must have at least one French server, but preferably more
  • Unblocks a wide range of France-only services
  • Doesn’t slow your connection down to any meaningful degree
  • Protects your privacy with a no-logging policy
  • Includes effectively uncrackable encryption and various other security features
  • Provides apps for all of the most popular operating systems

Best VPNs for getting a French IP address

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at each of our recommended VPNs:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Sep 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our first choice for anyone looking to get a French IP address as they travel. Not only does it offer access to over 200 French servers, but it’s one of the best around in terms of sheer unblocking ability. You’ll be able to stream TF1, Netflix France, and Canal+ on up to six of your devices at once. Best of all, this VPN only has a small impact on your connection speeds.

This service prioritizes your security and it shows. The apps come with 256-bit AES encryption, protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks, and an app-specific kill switch. NordVPN even launched its own protocol recently, NordLynx, which is easier to audit than OpenVPN. Speaking of audits, NordVPN has twice had independent auditors verify its no-logs policy. If you have any problems, you can get in touch with support staff, 24/7, over email or live chat.

NordVPN has its own Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and MacOS apps. If you’d prefer to protect all of your devices simultaneously, you can also manually install it on a wide range of routers.

Pros:

  • Choose from 230+ French servers
  • Unblocks most popular geo-locked streaming services
  • Top-notch security features
  • Regularly verified no-logging policy

Cons:

  • The only VPN in this list that doesn’t let you disconnect in one click (on desktop)

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR A FRANCE IP ADDRESS:NordVPN is our first choice. Not only is it a reputable, security-conscious provider, it also has over 200 French servers and is one of the best at bypassing regional blocking. All plans include a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Find out more in our complete NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is our budget pick. Don’t write it off, though: this VPN distinguished itself from the pack by taking first place in our most recent speed tests. This makes it a fantastic option for torrenting or streaming, especially when you consider that it can get around the VPN-detection systems used by notoriously tricky services like Netflix, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video. As if this wasn’t enough, Surfshark lets users protect every device they own simultaneously.

This VPN hides your activities from snoopers with a combination of leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption, and a kill switch. It also boasts a CleanWeb mode capable of blocking ads, trackers, and malware, as well as a NoBorders mode designed for bypassing country-wide web-blocking. Surfshark follows a strict zero-logs policy and accepts three cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple). Live chat and email support are available anytime, day or night.

Surfshark has apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. This VPN is now fully compatible with Apple’s M1 chip and provides greater stability and lower battery usage on MacOS systems. It can be manually installed on Tomato, DD-WRT, and Asus routers.

Pros:

  • #1 in our latest speed tests
  • Unblocks Netflix France, Canal+, and more
  • Stands side-by-side with pricier services when it comes to security
  • No connection limit

Cons:

  • Settings menu could be a little more organized

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is our top low-cost option. It’s an extremely versatile service that doesn’t compromise on security, privacy, or unblocking ability. What’s more, it lets users secure all of their devices at once. Plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information, check out the full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN checks all of the boxes. First of all, its network spans 94 countries – more locations than any other provider on this list. Naturally, this includes France. Users can choose between servers in Paris or Strasbourg, although either will unblock your favorite French services while away from home. It also provides impressive speeds and permits up to five connections at once, which means you can browse safely even when out and about.

Security-conscious users will appreciate ExpressVPN’s 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. This service even has its own protocol, Lightway, which claims to keep you safe even while you switch between networks. ExpressVPN doesn’t store any data that could identify you, but users can pay in Bitcoin for added peace of mind. Need help? There’s an extensive support section on the website as well as 24/7 live chat.

ExpressVPN provides access to its own Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android apps. Additionally, this service has its own custom router firmware, which just received an update and now works more reliably than ever before.

Pros:

  • Reputable service with real everyday usage potential
  • Servers in 94 countries including France
  • Takes user security and privacy very seriously
  • Pay anonymously with Bitcoin

Cons:

  • Slightly higher price than some others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

EXTREMELY VERSATILE:ExpressVPN is a strong all-rounder that’s spent years earning its users’ trust. It has reliable French servers, the ability to unblock major streaming services abroad, and a great set of security tools built-in. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Take a look at our comprehensive 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 takes the stress out of using a VPN. Not only does it have nearly 700 servers in France alone, it even tells you which ones are able to unblock popular French streaming services. Better still, it allows torrenting on specific servers and only has a small impact upon your connection speeds. Users are free to connect up to seven devices at once.

This ease of use extends to the settings menu too. All of CyberGhost’s security features come pre-configured, so you can take advantage of 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and tracker-blocking with a single click. This provider doesn’t log any personally identifiable information and, unlike many of its rivals, publishes regular transparency reports. The apps are quite easy to get to grips with but 24/7 support is available just in case you need any help.

CyberGhost has iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux apps. This VPN can also be installed on many wireless routers but you’ll have to follow manual setup instructions.

Pros:

  • Has almost 700 French servers to choose from
  • Clearly labeled servers for unblocking RTL, Netflix France, and Canal+
  • All security features enabled by default
  • Offers around the clock support

Cons:

  • May be less suitable for experienced users

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost couldn’t be easier to use. It signposts its streaming servers, pre-configured security tools, and has a 24/7 support desk just in case. With more than 680 general-purpose French servers and a 45-day money-back guarantee, there’s plenty to like.

Interested? Why not read our full review of CyberGhost?

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5. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish has roughly 40 servers in France, with a further 1,850 elsewhere in the world. Notably, it owns all of these, giving it greater control over who has access to your traffic. In fact, this provider recently made improvements to the network that resulted in higher speeds than before (we saw an average of about 60 Mbps in our latest tests). One other thing that helps IPVanish stand out is that it allows users to secure as many devices as they like.

There’s a lot to like from a security perspective too. For instance, IPVanish apps feature 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch, but also some rarer features like LAN traffic blocking, OpenVPN obfuscation, and an automatic reconnection option. This is a zero-logs provider and as such, can’t divulge details of your activities to anyone. If you’re having problems, don’t panic: support staff are ready to help you out via 24/7 live chat.

IPVanish has its own Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS apps. If you’d like to use this service on your Linux system or network router, you can, although manual configuration is required.

Pros:

  • Operates around 40 self-owned servers in France
  • Punches above its weight on security
  • Connect any number of devices

Cons:

  • No Linux app

Our score:

4 out of 5

PROTECT EVERY DEVICE:IPVanish gives you everything you need to protect yourself abroad. There’s a suite of advanced security tools, a true no-logs policy, and most importantly, no connection limit. Annual plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our complete review of IPVanish.

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6. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN only has one server in France but earns its place in our list thanks to how reliable it is. This service unblocks just about every streaming service we’ve tried it with, from Netflix France to Disney+ and everything in between. Not only that, but it consistently ranks highly in our speed tests. There are no monthly bandwidth limits and users can secure up to six devices at once.

If you’re worried about your privacy, this might be the service you need. PrivateVPN recently began acting as its own ISP and hosting provider, meaning it has complete control over your data at all times. As you might expect, there’s also a true no-logs policy in place. Its apps secure your traffic with 256-bit AES encryption , leak protection, a kill switch (on Windows), and a Stealth mode that lets you browse the web freely in places like China.

PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Android, MacOS, and iOS. Further, this service can be manually installed on popular Linux distributions and a wide selection of routers.

Pros:

  • One of the faster VPNs we’ve tested
  • Capable of unblocking all but the most stubborn services abroad
  • Great security and privacy offering

Cons:

  • Only has one French server
  • Support isn’t available 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BROWSE SAFELY ABROAD:PrivateVPN comes packed with security tools and owns its French server outright. It’s able to bypass some of the world’s strictest online blocking, so French TV doesn’t present much of a challenge. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Still have questions? Find answers in our detailed PrivateVPN review.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Hotspot Shield is a great choice for getting a French IP address. To begin with, it’s capable of delivering high speeds (although as with any VPN, they’re limited by how fast your connection is). Additionally, its French servers reliably unblock Netflix France, TF1, and 6Play, among a wide array of other streaming platforms. Up to five devices can be connected at any one time.

Naturally, this VPN includes a wide array of security and privacy tools as well. For instance, the latest version of the app offers 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and automatic wifi protection, all designed to keep your activities hidden from snoopers. Additionally, Hotspot Shield deletes all personally identifiable data the moment you disconnect. There’s even a 24/7 live chat help desk to help with any issues you might have.

Hotspot Shield offers apps for Android, Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Linux. You’ll have to follow manual setup instructions to get it working on supported routers, though.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t impact your speeds much
  • Works well with French streaming services
  • Strong set of security features

Cons:

  • No anonymous payment options
  • Working to repair reputation after past privacy issues

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SECURE STREAMING ANYWHERE:Hotspot Shield lets you access TF1, Canal+, and similar services from anywhere. It’s a solid general-usage VPN with reliable French servers and a strong commitment to user security. Not only that, it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Why not read our in-depth Hotspot Shield review?

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Methodology: How we chose our recommendations

As mentioned above, we’d rather only recommend the best of the best. That’s why we carefully considered all of the challenges you might face when traveling outside of France and tailored our recommendations to fit. Specifically, we paid close attention to the following aspects of each service when making a decision:

  • Servers in France: Without these, it’s not possible to get a French IP address. Ideally, we’d like to see quite a few French servers since this would help spread the load and still let you get a French IP address when some are down for maintenance.
  • Speeds: We regularly put major VPNs through their paces to see what impact they have on your connection speeds. While some slowdown is unavoidable, we only recommend those that score highly in our most recent speed tests.
  • Unblocking ability: A French IP doesn’t help if your VPN can’t access the service you’d like to use. We look for providers with the ability to bypass VPN-detection measures and access popular services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video abroad.
  • Value: We see a lot of VPNs, and can tell when a service is charging more than it’s worth. That’s why we’ll only ever recommend those that are priced fairly. The main way we’ll do this is by comparing what it offers to similarly priced rivals, but we also consider whether a free trial, money-back guarantee, or long-term discount is available.
  • User-friendliness: You shouldn’t have to be a tech expert to stay safe online. That’s why we prioritize VPNs that are simple enough for a complete beginner to use. We’re big fans of well-organized menus, one-click connection, and live chat-based support.
  • Privacy & security: This is non negotiable. At a minimum, our recommendations must have 128-bit encryption (256-bit preferred), a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, and they can’t log any personally identifiable data either. Our top choices tend to go further than this, though, with proprietary security protocols and more advanced features such as traffic obfuscation or DNS proxies.

Interested in learning more about how we test VPNs at Comparitech? We’ve actually written a comprehensive guide to our VPN testing methodology that you might find enlightening.

Will a free VPN give me a French IP address?

Although you may be able to obtain a French IP address using a free VPN, we advise against doing so. These services often only allow you to use a certain amount of bandwidth each month free, so they’re not a good choice for day-to-day usage. What’s more, because free providers tend to have smaller networks, they’re easier for geo-blocked services to identify and blacklist.

Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. In a bid to attract users, free VPNs have been known to misrepresent how secure they actually are. For instance, one study found that dozens of free VPNs are still using outdated encryption ciphers or failing to encrypt data at all. These services are supposed to improve your privacy, not weaken it, which is why we strongly recommend taking factors other than price into account before deciding which VPN to use.

Browsing with a French IP address: FAQs

Are VPNs legal where I am?

While laws around digital privacy vary wildly from one location to another, there’s a good chance that VPNs are legal in your country. In fact, these services are only banned outright in a handful of locations (such as Iraq and Belarus). More commonly, there are either no restrictions or the specific providers you may use are dictated by the government.

Obviously, we encourage you to research local laws if there’s any doubt. However, unless you’re in one of a few specific countries, it’s unlikely you’ll get into any trouble for simply using a VPN.

How can a French IP address help me?

The first and most obvious way a French IP address can help you is by making services think you’re in France. This isn’t just useful for accessing your favorite streaming services while on vacation (although it is a plus).

For instance, it’s possible your online banking service will temporarily restrict access to your account if you try logging in from another country. Using a French VPN server (provided you usually live in France) should prevent your bank from realizing you’re abroad and allow you to safely check your account from anywhere.

Finally, having a French IP address will hide your true location. This is helpful if you’re looking to blog, game, or report without worrying about people tracking you down. Naturally, you’ll also have to be careful about revealing personal information online, but a VPN is a great first step.