How to get a German IP address

There are a myriad of reasons why an individual would want to surf the internet with an IP address from Germany. Citizens currently living abroad might wish to acquire access to banking services such as Deutsche Bank or Commerzbank. Other use cases could involve unblocking streaming media services such as ARD Mediathek or Prosieben Video.

The quickest, easiest, and the most efficient way to arm yourself with a German IP address is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The software encrypts all the traffic flowing to and from your device and routes it via an intermediary server. Hence it’s possible to spoof your location and make it appear that you’re accessing the web from Germany.

Steps to get a German IP address

  1. The first thing you need to do is sign up for a VPN. The software will open up a range of server locations. You can select one from Germany to make it appear that you’re accessing the web from there, too. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Register for the service and proceed to download the VPN software or app.
  3. Clear all cookies and restart your device.
  4. Log in to the VPN provider app or desktop client.
  5. Click on a server location in Germany. After a connection is successfully established, you’ll now be in possession of a German IP address.

TIP: HOW TO GET A GREAT PAID VPN FOR FREE: We’re aware that some people might want to obtain an IP address from Germany for a short period of time and hence may not be in the market for a long-term commitment. If you’re traveling abroad and need access to a VPN for less than a month, we recommend that you take advantage of ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay the upfront subscription cost but the company offers a full refund if canceled within the first month.

Violations of this policy are almost non-existent so you can breathe easy.

Even if you’re in the US, France, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Singapore, Thailand, or elsewhere, using a VPN can help you get an IP address from Germany.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to obtain a German IP address and the best VPNs you can use for this purpose.

Video instructions for obtaining a German IP address

You can check your current IP address location and country here.

What’s the best VPN to get a German IP address?

Our list of the most efficient German IP address VPNs has been formulated keeping these factors in mind:

  • Has multiple servers located in Germany
  • Unblocks geo-restricted content
  • Incorporates rigid encryption protocols
  • Provides apps for Android and iOS
  • Stores minimal traffic logs
  • Offers value for money

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN May 2020

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN ranks at the top of our list of recommended VPNs because of its superior service. When you sign up, you’ll find over 1,500 high-speed server locations spread across the world. There are options in Germany and more spread across Europe and North America. This provider is known for its ability to unblock geo-restricted content.

ExpressVPN incorporates military-grade encryption protocols without compromising on speed. It leverages 256-bit AES-CBC as the default encryption standard as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included, which it refers to as a ‘network lock’.

The company doesn’t store any detailed traffic logs on its servers. It does, however, retain a sliver of metadata but that’s to improve the quality of the service. It’s incorporated in the British Virgin Islands which means it’s out of the jurisdiction of government authorities in both the US and the UK.

ExpressVPN offers apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS.

READER DEAL: Get 3 months free with ExpressVPN’s annual plan. This includes its 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee so you can receive a full refund if unsatisfied with the service.

Here’s our in-depth review of ExpressVPN.

2. NordVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN has been in the VPN business for over a decade and allows users to select servers based on their preferences such as double VPN, anti-DDoS, and more. It offers more than 4,000 servers spread across 62 countries. German servers are 257 in total.

Encryption standards are considered to be top-tier. The service uses the 256-bit AES protocol by default coupled with 2,048-bit SSL keys. DNS leak protection is enabled. NordVPN doesn’t log personally identifiable information and is an example of a completely logless VPN service.

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

DISCOUNTED DEAL: You can save 75% on NordVPN’s three year deal, which works out to be $3.99/month.

Here’s our full review of NordVPN.

3. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost will appeal to beginner users on a budget. The service is fast, intuitive, and ships with an ever-expanding list of server locations. At the time of writing, there are more than 1,700 servers online with around 200 of them based in Germany. If you’re looking to stream German content, CyberGhost is an excellent choice. By selecting streaming mode, you can choose from a list of channels, including German-based 7TV, ARD, and ZDF Mediathek. Upon selection, you’ll be automatically connected to the appropriate server.

All traffic is secured by 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default along with perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included. CyberGhost is based in Romania and hence not subject to any mandatory data retention laws. It backs that up with an internal policy of not storing any user data.

Additional security features include an ad blocker, anti-malware defense, and anti-tracking.

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

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Here’s our extensive CyberGhost review.

4. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is an excellent choice for users looking to benefit from express speeds and hardy encryption protocols. It offers more than 1,000 global servers spread across 60 countries. German servers are 57 in total and there are options in neighboring countries too.

Encryption standards are top-tier. IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. Other than when an account is registered for the first time, IPVanish doesn’t keep any logs. This will please privacy advocates.

IPVanish is popular with Kodi users because it allows them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is also remote control friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.

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

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Read our full review of IPVanish.

5. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is a relative newcomer to the world of VPNs but it’s confident enough to offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all packages. There’s a total of 56 server locations including 3 in Germany. This is a bit lower than the other providers we’ve recommended but it should still do the job. Plus PrivateVPN is renown for its ability to unblock popular streaming services.

In our user review, this provider, which is based in Sweden, performed admirably on speed and privacy tests. That means it’s definitely at par with the other providers on this list.

PrivateVPN uses the industry-leading 256-bit AES encryption along with perfect forward secrecy on the OpenVPN protocol. An internet kill switch is offered too. The service doesn’t store any user logs so that should ease concerns on the privacy angle.

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

TIMELY DEAL: Comparitech readers can save over 70% on PrivateVPN’s annual plan and get 5 months free.

Here’s our review of PrivateVPN.

Can I use a free VPN to obtain a German IP address?

When you sign up for a VPN you want to be assured that your digital footprint is hidden and secure. Free VPN services exist in abundance across the interwebs and they’re heavily advertised to boot. But such providers won’t come with the customizable options that are a hallmark of paid services.

In our extensive testing, we’ve found that free VPNs only offer a small choice of servers, incorporate weak encryption standards, engage in bandwidth throttling, and, in some cases, unethically mine your data to sell to third-party advertisers. You might get lucky and be able to connect to a German server but your experience will definitely be sub-par.

Such services aren’t charities and they’re looking to make money. When they’re offering their product for free, you should be aware that there’s definitely a catch. Some will inundate you with migraine-inducing popup advertisements, while others might constantly pester you to upgrade to a premium (read: paid) plan. And the most unethical ones will track your browsing history and sell your profile to advertisers.

Overall, it’s in your best interests to invest a few dollars and obtain a paid VPN service. It’ll give you peace of mind.

I’ve downloaded a VPN. What do I do next?

Once you’ve settled on a VPN service and signed up, then all you need to do is download the client software for your device.

When the installation is complete, you can open the app and log into your account. Browse through the list of available server locations until you find options for Germany. Every provider mentioned on this list includes German servers. Some providers let you select based on country alone, while others give you choices based on city location.

A successful connection will typically be indicated by a green icon on your taskbar or a VPN symbol at the top of your smartphone screen. Now you’re able to browse the web anonymously and with a German IP address, giving you access to all the German content you want.

Why do I need a German IP address?

Advocacy body Freedom House awards Germany’s internet landscape a “free” status, noting that “open discussions about controversial developments are possible and frequent, and involve a wide range of stakeholders.” It adds that an “independent court system plays its part in checking measures by the executive and the legislature.”

German state authorities don’t impose blockades on content or practice other forms of internet filtration. The web is uncensored, free, and accessible to all. Some exceptions to this rule are the application of copyright laws; torrenting copyrighted material is considered illegal in the country and YouTube has also blocked some videos in Germany so as to not fall afoul of state policies.

If your aim is to access the free, unfettered web, then it’s a good idea to obtain a German IP address. This could be particularly useful for netizens in countries such as Iran, China, and Russia where state authorities work around the clock to monitor and block content.

For German residents traveling abroad, a VPN will help you stay in touch with local content from back home such as DW, Zattoo, and MySpass. It’ll also help you stream the latest Bundesliga matches. If you’re looking for more German content, Streema has a comprehensive list of online German channels. Some are free to stream, while others require that you sign in with a username and password.

Using a German DNS server

Your IP address is just one way websites determine your actual physical location. DNS, or Domain Name System, operates as a hybrid registry where web names (domains) are verified with IP addresses. When trying to access geo-restricted content, most websites will check where the DNS request is originating from. It’s important that your IP address and DNS server is in the same country (Germany, in this case). Otherwise, the website or app will continue to block you.

The VPNs that we’ve recommended in this article take care of this for you. After a successful connection to a VPN server, your DNS requests will also be routed through the same encrypted tunnel. These providers operate their own private DNS servers, so your web activity cannot be unearthed by simply monitoring DNS requests.

There are examples of shoddy VPN services that send your DNS requests through the encrypted tunnel but then use a public DNS service on the other side. This means search engines can track which websites you visit, which compromises privacy.

It’s possible to manually configure DNS servers on most devices. OpenNIC can do the trick for you; it offers free DNS servers in specific countries.

What are the other methods to obtain a German IP address?

For extremely cash-strapped users there’s always the option of downloading the Tor browser. It’s borne out of the Tor project, which aims to guard against network surveillance and violation of confidential business relationships and privacy.

The Tor browser is free and incorporates sophisticated encryption and anonymity standards. It’s popular with journalists, human rights activists, and whistleblowers as it allows them to hide their identity for free.

But Tor isn’t a great option if you’re looking to acquire a German IP address in order to engage in financial transactions or video streaming. Speeds are extremely buggy and slow. You can still choose to get a German IP address with Tor if you so desire and this guide will break it down in more detail.

Another option is to engage a free proxy server. However, this is similar to how free VPNs operate with download caps and egregious privacy policies. Most streaming providers like Netflix have started to block proxies and there’s a high chance of them not working the way you want them to anyway.

The major problem, however, is those proxy servers won’t encrypt your traffic the way a VPN does, so you’re leaving yourself susceptible to online monitoring by an ISP or other snoopers. The proxy provider itself could also monitor your online behavior.