Bard in the EU

It seems like every company is rushing to release its own AI-powered chatbot these days. Google announced Bard in March 2023. Within two months, Bard rolled out across 180 regions. European countries were conspicuously absent, though; anyone trying to access Bard from an EU country simply sees the following error: “Bard isn’t currently supported in your country. Stay tuned!”.

The good news is that it’s extremely easy to unblock Bard from the EU. Google simply checks your IP address to see if you’re browsing from an EU country, so with the right tools, it’s possible to spoof your location and regain access while traveling, free from Bard’s regional restrictions.

A service called a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can prevent Google from detecting that we’re not actually in our home country. An added benefit is that these services encrypt your internet traffic, preventing it from being read by snoopers or hotspot owners. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about getting access to Bard within the EU.

How to spoof your location and use Bard from anywhere

Just follow these steps to access Bard anywhere in the world:

  1. Begin by choosing a reputable, security-conscious VPN. We recommend NordVPN but Surfshark and ExpressVPN are two excellent alternatives
  2. Download and install your preferred service, then log in
  3. Choose a server in your home country (or whichever non-EU location is
  4. closest). This changes your IP address, stopping Google from realizing you’re abroad
  5. Finally, try visiting Bard’s website. Once you accept the terms of use, you should be able to use it just like anybody else

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 Bard with no restrictions for a month. This gives users the chance to try it risk-free and see if it’s right for them before they commit.

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.

You’ll find a brief guide to the best VPNs for Bard below. If there are any that stand out to you, just scroll down for a more detailed review.

Best VPNs for accessing Bard in the EU

  1. NordVPN: Our top VPN for securely accessing Bard abroad. Quick, reliable, and capable of beating even the strictest online blocking. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
  2. Surfshark: The best low-cost VPN for Bard. Has exceptional unblocking ability, very high speeds, and plenty of security tools. Best of all, you can connect as many devices as you like
  3. ExpressVPN: A veteran provider with speedy servers in 90+ countries. Offers easy to use apps, 24/7 customer support, and a good set of privacy features.
  4. CyberGhost: This newcomer-friendly service has task-specific servers, a no-logs policy, and some of the highest speeds we’ve seen. Works flawlessly with Bard and similar platforms.
  5. IPVanish: A highly-versatile VPN with everyday usage potential and no connection limit. Faster than most others on the market. Operates a 24/7 live chat service so getting help is easy.
  6. PrivateVPN: Goes above and beyond to keep your data secure. Suitable for streaming, beating censorship, and unblocking region-exclusive services like Bard. Doesn’t keep any logs.

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market and they’re all configured differently, with varying levels of performance. Additionally, we’d prefer if you got a VPN capable of handling whatever you threw at it, rather than one that excelled at this particular task. That’s why all of the services we’re highlighting today had to provide:

  • High-speed servers in multiple countries where Bard is available
  • The ability to evade the most common forms of VPN-detection
  • Effectively-uncrackable encryption and a no-logs policy
  • Apps for all major platforms, and ideally the ability to run on routers as well
  • A dedicated customer support team, preferably reachable via live chat

The best VPNs for using Bard abroad

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for using Bard abroad:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jul 2024 works with BardTested Jul 2024

Apps Available:

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

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is the best option for gaining access to Bard as you travel. It has servers in 60 countries, with some specifically optimized for bypassing strict online blocking. Not only that, but this is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, averaging over 190 Mbps in our most recent tests. As well as Bard, it works with Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and more. Up to six devices can be secured simultaneously and customer support is available around the clock over email and live chat.

Keeping your activities private is a VPN’s most important job. NordVPN does this using a blend of powerful encryption, safeguards like leak protection and a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. It does store advertising IDs on mobile devices but provides instructions on how to clear these. NordVPN also boasts a few more advanced tools, such as Onion over VPN servers, automatic tracker-blocking, and a MeshNet tool that securely connects your devices, even if they’re in different countries.

This provider has its own Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS apps. It can also be installed on most routers, though you’ll have to follow manual setup instructions.

Pros:

  • No issues with Bard or most other geo-blocked content
  • First-class performance
  • Strong security and privacy credentials
  • Novice-friendly design

Cons:

  • Stores advertising IDs on mobile

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR BARD IN THE EU:NordVPN is our top pick. It’s highly-secure, very easy to use, and works effortlessly with Bard (and most major streaming platforms). Better still, this VPN includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

Why not check out our full review of NordVPN?

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark works with BardTested Jul 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark users can choose from 3,000+ servers in 100 countries, many of which are outside of the EU. Unlike most of its rivals, this service works with a huge range of geo-blocked platforms including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video, so accessing Bard won’t be a problem. With high speeds and no limit on the number of devices you can connect, Surfshark is ideal for sharing with family, and with support staff on-hand 24/7, you’re never more than a few minutes from help.

Thanks to this provider’s uncrackable encryption, kill switch, and leak protection, your data is secured at all times. In fact, Surfshark even follows a no-logs policy, a fact that’s been verified by independent auditors. It’s also capable of blocking ads, trackers, and malware automatically and changing your IP address periodically to provide even greater anonymity. There is also an antivirus, privacy-first search engine, and data-breach monitor, but these aren’t included in the base subscription.

Surfshark has apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. If you’d prefer, you can manually install it on your router.

Pros:

  • Works with all manner of region-locked platforms
  • Quick, zero-logs provider
  • Packed with cutting-edge security features
  • No connection limit

Cons:

  • Some advanced features require Surfshark One, which costs extra

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is inexpensive but provides performance rivaling that of its more expensive competitors. With no connection limit, a strong security focus, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s certainly a lot to like.

For more details, read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN works with BardTested Jul 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is a speedy, versatile, and well-respected service with servers in more than 90 countries. As well as unblocking Bard, it can help you torrent anonymously, browse securely in places with strict online restrictions, and stream your favorite shows as you travel. With its straightforward design and 24/7 support team, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for anyone who’s never used a VPN before, or who doesn’t need a whole lot of customization.

Naturally, this VPN has all of the tools you’ll need to access Bard securely. This includes 256-bit encryption, a kill switch (which stops sending data if your connection drops suddenly), and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. You can also choose to let certain apps through the VPN or to connect automatically when on an unfamiliar network. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any data that could identify you and has been audited to prove it. Bitcoin is accepted too, just in case you’d rather not provide personal info while signing up.

ExpressVPN offers apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. Further, it’s the only major provider with its own router firmware. This makes the process of securing every device on your network as straightforward as possible.

Pros:

  • Speedy VPN with a large network
  • Suitable for any task you can imagine
  • Designed with beginners in mind

Cons:

  • On the higher end of the pricing spectrum

Our score:

4 out of 5

SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE:ExpressVPN is one of those services that just works. Whether you’re looking to securely access Bard, watch TV from back home, or torrent anonymously, it’s an excellent choice. Plus, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Still have questions? Find answers in our complete ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost works with BardTested Jul 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost has one of the largest networks of any major provider, with roughly 7,000 exceptionally fast servers spread across 90+ countries. In the app, these are separated by intended use, making it quick and easy to find one suitable for streaming, gaming, torrenting, or avoiding censorship. In other words, you shouldn’t have any problems using Bard (or really, most other region-exclusive services) while connected.

This VPN lets you create smart rules that dictate when it can connect, which apps to close (or launch), when it does so, and whether there are any exceptions. Additionally, it can block ads and trackers automatically or connect via a random port (which might help with some VPN-blocking systems). As well as a no-logs policy, CyberGhost offers 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and 24/7 support just in case anything goes wrong.

CyberGhost apps are available for Android, Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Linux. Additionally, most common router firmware is supported, though users must install this VPN manually.

Pros:

  • Ranked highly in our latest speeds
  • Regain access to your usual sites abroad
  • Impressive security tools

Cons:

  • Settings menu could be streamlined

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

MULTI-PURPOSE VPN:CyberGhost has a huge network, industry-leading speeds, and more security tools than most people will ever need. There’s also 24/7 live chat in case of any issues, and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Take a look at our in-depth CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish works with BardTested Jul 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish offers access to over 2,000 servers throughout roughly 60 countries. This provider stands out from the crowd by completely removing all connection limits and providing higher speeds than most of its competition. What’s more, it works with Bard and a decent number of streaming platforms, including Netflix. Don’t worry if you’re new to VPNs, either, since you can contact support staff at any time using free, 24/7 live chat.

One of the great things about IPVanish is that its security features are all well-described in the app, and there are enough to give you a bit of customizability without overwhelming novices. For instance, you can choose to launch IPVanish on startup, reconnect automatically after an outage, or block access to local devices on the network. There’s also DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, uncrackable encryption, and a zero-logs policy that ensures your activities are hidden from snoopers.

IPVanish provides apps for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. You’ll need to manually configure it for use with Linux systems or supported routers.

Pros:

  • No logs and no connection limit
  • Great for everyday use
  • Newly-redesigned apps

Cons:

  • Some of its rival are better for streaming

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SPEEDY AND SECURE:IPVanish blends  first-class performance, powerful security tools, and a high level of versatility to create a service that’s ideal for newcomers. There’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee on annual plans.

To learn more, check out our comprehensive IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN works with BardTested Jul 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN might only have around 200 servers in 63 countries but these are all owned, hosted, and maintained by the company itself, meaning the chance of outside interference is much lower. Additionally, this VPN works with many services that its rivals don’t, from Google’s Bard to Amazon Prime Video. Users can secure up to 10 devices at a time and if you have any issues, live chat-based support is available during European office hours.

This provider keeps your traffic hidden using 256-bit encryption, a customizable kill switch (on Windows), and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. It also offers a stealth mode capable of beating even the strictest online censorship. Most importantly, PrivateVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable data. It does support WireGuard connections but you have to set these up yourself, rather than simply selecting an option in the apps, as is the norm.

PrivateVPN has its own Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android apps. It also works with several types of router firmware but must be installed manually.

Pros:

  • Privacy-first infrastructure
  • Exceptional unblocking capabilities
  • Versatile and reliable

Cons:

  • Live chat isn’t available 24/7
  • Hasn’t been independently audited

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

NO LOGS, NO FUSS:PrivateVPN follows a strict zero-logs policy and excels at beating regional restrictions. It works perfectly with Bard, Netflix, and more, so no matter where you go, you’ll be able to use your favorite services. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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Methodology: Finding the best VPNs for Bard

Deciding which VPNs are best for a specific task can be quite challenging. After all, even services that appear similar can function very differently under the hood. That’s why, to find the most reliable options, we personally tried multiple providers with Bard, ran a variety of tests, and looked into what they had to offer in all of the categories below:

  • Network: Bard isn’t normally accessible in EU countries, so providers had to offer a good number of supported locations such as the US and the UK. We also look into whether a provider uses virtual servers since these can make it difficult to tell which country’s laws actually apply to your data.
  • Speed and performance: We run regular speed tests to see which VPNs are currently the fastest and how their performance has changed over time. By doing nine tests per provider (three locations at three times of day) and averaging the results, we can offset some of the variability and ensure that services with consistently high speeds fare better.
  • Versatility: Although you primarily want a VPN to access Bard, you may also be interested in streaming, torrenting, or gaming securely. That’s why we run a series of tests designed to simulate day-to-day usage and eliminate any VPNs that can’t keep up.
  • Security and privacy: One of our most important jobs is making sure that VPNs have the tools required to keep your traffic hidden from snoopers. We look for uncrackable encryption, safeguards like a kill switch, and any more advanced tools such as a stealth mode. We also dive into their logging policies and see if they’ve been audited since this means you don’t have to take a company’s privacy claims at face value.
  • User-friendliness: We strongly prefer VPNs that are welcoming to novice users. This means offering a wide array of apps, well-described settings, and an easy way to contact customer support. Other features that we like to see are task-specific servers, a lack of connection limits, and automatic connection tools.
  • Price: While it shouldn’t be the basis of your decision, price is still important. We compare services to similarly-priced rivals and look for any money-back guarantees, free trials, or seasonal discounts so that you never pay more than you absolutely must.

This might seem like a lot of research, but it’s actually only one small part of our process. Our VPN testing post explains exactly how we put providers through their paces at Comparitech.

Bard Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bard different from ChatGPT?

ChatGPT and Bard are both AI-powered chatbots, but the first was created by OpenAI while the second was built by Google. Functionally, they’re identical: just ask the bot to do something for you and it’ll try its best to generate a response. It’s worth noting that Bard is only available in English, Japanese, and Korean at the time of writing, whereas ChatGPT will happily talk to you in any major language including Spanish, French, and Italian.

Another major difference is the pricing. Bard is currently completely free-to-use but ChatGPT, on the other hand, is only free if you’re happy using an older version of the tool. To access the latest version, you’ll have to pay $20 USD per month or choose a flexible plan (usually costing a few cents for every request you make).

Are AI-powered tools dangerous?

You may have read stories about how AI is going to “go rogue” and destroy the world. The good news is that’s not going to happen. However, there are some actual risks associated with tools like ChatGPT and Bard. Here are a few key things to be aware of:

  • These tools will sometimes lie, make mistakes, or fabricate evidence, and so cannot be relied upon for anything important
  • AI chatbots tend to be trained on publicly-available data. This means that not only are the people who created this data not being paid or credited, distinguishable elements from their content may appear in the chatbot’s responses. Additionally, if the original author made any factual or grammatical errors, it’s possible the bot will repeat these
  • Chatbots can generate very convincing messages for almost any purpose. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of common online scams and never send anyone money unless you’re positive they are who they claim to be
  • Chatbots may replicate the unconscious biases of the people whose data they were trained on. As such, any algorithm you create may inadvertently discriminate against certain subtypes of people, potentially even for protected characteristics

How can Google’s Bard help me?

The only limit is your imagination. Chatbots like Bard are great for explaining things simply, so they can help you break down grammar rules of a foreign language, better understand network security jargon, or summarize large blocks of text. They can even recommend places to visit on your next vacation, or provide potential reasons as to why your freshly-baked bread didn’t turn out right.

Where is Bard available?

Google’s ChatGPT competitor, Bard, is currently available in around 180 countries including the UK, the US, Mexico, and Japan. However, while the few dozen people living in the Pitcairn Islands can take advantage of this new technology, you can’t access it from Canada, China, or any of the 50+ countries in the European Union (at least, not without the help of a VPN).

The reasons for this remain unclear (except for China, where Google services are blocked by the country’s Great Firewall). However, Canada and the EU are each pushing their own laws aiming to regulate AI and protect individuals from bias, discrimination, or other risks that could stem from lax oversight in the sector.