If you’re outside of France and trying to watch your favorite shows from back home, you’ll probably encounter some restrictions. Unfortunately, a lot of French streaming services are geo-blocked and inaccessible abroad. Further, if you’re in a foreign country, you’re probably using public wifi more often, which comes with its own risks to your online security and privacy.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, addresses the above problems. By routing your internet traffic through an encrypted server, it protects you from hackers and snoopers. What’s more, if you connect to a VPN server in France, you’ll be provided with a French IP address. This tricks websites into thinking you’re located in France, allowing you to access geo-blocked content from anywhere in the world.
You can find full reviews of the best VPNs for watching French TV abroad later in this article. However, below is a quick summary in case you’re in a hurry.
Best VPNs for French TV:
- NordVPN: The best VPN for French TV. 230+ servers in France and 5,500 worldwide. No-logs VPN with Double VPN servers. Includes 24/7 live chat support and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: The best budget VPN for French TV. Connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Consistent speeds for watching French TV abroad. No-logs VPN with 24/7 live chat support.
- ExpressVPN: Fast, consistent servers in France. Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Excellent apps, 24/7 support, and high-end encryption.
- CyberGhost: 780+ servers in France and 7,000 globally. High speeds and unlimited bandwidth for streaming. Strong security includes a strict no-logs policy.
- IPVanish: Good, consistent speeds for watching French TV overseas. Allows any number of connections per account. Secure with encryption and zero-logs policy.
- PrivateVPN: High-speed service with servers in 63 countries, including France. Strong unblocking ability. Secure with encryption and offers very easy-to-use apps.
- Hotspot Shield: Unlimited bandwidth for streaming French TV. Connect five devices at once. Includes 24/7 support. Secures your data with high-end encryption.
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How to watch French TV abroad with a VPN
You don’t need any technical know-how in order to use a VPN. Indeed, whether you’re connecting to a server in France or Japan, the process of using a VPN is essentially the same.
Here’s how to watch French TV live online from abroad:
- First, sign up with a reputable VPN provider with servers in France. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Download the appropriate VPN app for your device. Some of the VPNs listed also offer Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.
- Open the newly installed VPN app and connect to a server in France. This is how you obtain a French IP address.
- We recommend you clear your browser’s cache and cookies before refreshing your browser. This ensures websites forget your previous IP address and location.
- Navigate to your preferred streaming service or platform for watching French TV. Any geo-restricted content should now be unblocked and ready to watch!
Choosing the best VPNs for watching French TV abroad
Not sure where to start? As there are many VPNs with servers in France, we’ve narrowed down the options to save you some time. Below is the list we used to research and rank the best VPNs for French TV.
Criteria for selecting VPNs:
- Fast and reliable servers in France for streaming
- Unblocks the likes of TF1, 6Play, and France 2
- Strong security with encryption
- Protects your privacy with a no-logs policy
- Easy-to-use apps for a variety of operating systems
- Money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free
Best VPNs for French TV
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching French TV online from abroad:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN provides you with plenty of choice with over 200 servers in France. Better still, some of these are optimized for P2P file-sharing while others (Double VPN) offer twice the level of encryption for extra security. This VPN has a huge network of over 5,000 servers which are located in 60 countries. This means you can use it to watch French TV on France 2 and France 3 as well as international streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
You can use NordVPN safe in the knowledge that your personal information is being kept private. That’s because it operates a strict no-logs policy and uses 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data. You’re also protected from DNS and IPv6 leaks while a kill switch ensures no data is exposed should the VPN connection accidentally drop. A NordVPN subscription lets you connect six devices simultaneously while 24/7 live chat support is also available.
You can stream French TV abroad thanks to the NordVPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Android TV. Browser extensions are available to download for Chrome and Firefox. NordVPN can be used with compatible routers but requires manual configuration.
- 200+ servers in France for streaming TF1 and France 2
- Impressive speeds
- Strong security with encryption and Double VPN servers
- Operates a strict no-logs policy to protect your privacy
- Includes 24/7 live chat and email support
- Desktop apps sometimes take a while to connect
BEST VPN FOR FRENCH TV:NordVPN has over 200 servers in France and 5,000 worldwide. Works well with many popular streaming services. Operates a strict no-logs policy and offers Double VPN servers for extra security. Secure six devices simultaneously. Try it risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark has servers in three French cities: Bordeaux, Marseille, and Paris. As such, you should always be able to find a fast server that lets you watch French TV online from abroad. This VPN has strong unblocking ability and can be used to stream Gulli and France 2, among other popular services. However, one particularly noteworthy feature is that it allows unlimited simultaneous connections per account — great for sharing with family.
There’s no shortage of security options with Surfshark. For instance, it offers Double VPN servers for an extra layer of encryption. You can also take advantage of its 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and strict no-logs policy. The CleanWeb feature blocks ads, trackers, and malware. Should you have any questions about Surfshark’s many features, 24/7 support is available via live chat as well as email.
Surfshark offers easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions can also be downloaded. Surfshark is compatible with select routers but this requires manual setup.
- Servers in three French cities for watching French TV abroad
- Unlimited simultaneous connections per account
- Strong security features
- Strict no-logs policy
- Excellent customer support available 24/7 via live chat
- Customer support could be improved
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections. Offers good, reliable servers for streaming and torrenting. Has a very low price and a strict no-logs policy. 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is perfectly suited to watching French TV abroad. This is down to its servers, which are as reliable as they are fast. This service has an impressive global network of roughly 3,000 servers which are spread across 94 countries. Additionally, users’ bandwidth isn’t limited in any way, which is ideal for streaming as well as torrenting. Indeed, ExpressVPN unblocks many popular French streaming platforms including TF1 and 6Play.
Should you have multiple devices to secure, ExpressVPN allows up to five simultaneous connections. Another advantage of using this VPN service is its excellent customer support which is fast, friendly, and available 24/7 via live chat or email. ExpressVPN takes your online security seriously, using 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection from DNS, IPv6 leaks, and WebRTC leaks. Just as important, it doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users, allowing you to browse the web anonymously.
Connect to a server in France via ExpressVPN apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. There are also custom router firmware and Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.
- Large network of speedy servers
- Strong unblocking ability — works with TF1 and 6Play
- Live chat and email support, 24/7
- Highly secure thanks to encryption and kill switch feature
- More expensive than other VPNs on this list
IMPRESSIVE SECURITY:ExpressVPN is fast and privacy-conscious, with servers in 94 countries, France included. Great for streaming French TV overseas. Very strong security with high-end encryption. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost leads the way when it comes to server quantity. With more than 700 servers in France, you won’t have any problems watching French TV overseas. This VPN has one of the largest networks around, with over 7,000 servers in 91 countries. It also offers high speeds and unlimited bandwidth, making it highly suitable for streaming. Use CyberGhost to stream France 24 and Euronews, all without buffering or lag.
If you have lots of devices to secure, you’ll be pleased to learn that CyberGhost allows up to seven simultaneous connections per account. It also has very strong security, using 256-bit AES encryption to protect your privacy. This is a no-logs VPN service that offers DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and automatic malware-scanning. CyberGhost even offers independently operated servers to reduce the risk of third party interference.
Secure all of your devices with CyberGhost’s VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. There’s also the option of browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Manual installation is required for use with compatible routers.
- High-speed servers for lag-free streaming of French TV
- Impressive network of 7,000 servers in 91 countries
- Works with France 2, France 24, and Euronews
- Secures your data with encryption and a strict no-logs policy
- Doesn’t work reliably in China or the UAE
- May be less suitable for users who need control over advanced features
700 SERVERS IN FRANCE:CyberGhost has more servers than most of its rivals and over 700 in France alone. Very fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth. Lets you connect up to seven devices simultaneously. Strict no-logs policy. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish lets you stream your favorite French TV shows abroad. With around 30 servers in Paris, Marseille, and Bordeux, and exceptional speeds, it’s ideal for streaming. You can use this VPN to unblock plenty of international content as it has servers in dozens of countries and over 40,000 IP addresses available. When it comes to French TV, IPVanish works well with Arte and France 24, and Netflix.
One of the best features of IPVanish is that it lets you connect as many devices as you like via a single account. You’ll also have access to live chat support which you can contact 24/7. In terms of security, IPVanish uses 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch, plus it protects you from DNS leaks. What’s more, it has a no-logs policy, allowing you to maintain your anonymity while browsing the web.
Secure all of your devices thanks to the IPVanish apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. Use with Linux and compatible routers requires the VPN to be installed manually.
- Over 30 servers in Paris, France for unblocking French TV
- Fast, reliable connections for streaming France 3 and Arte
- No connection limit
- Protects your privacy with a strict no-logs policy
- Struggles with some larger streaming services
- No option to pay in Bitcoin
UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH:IPVanish offers good speeds and unlimited bandwidth for lag-free streaming of French TV. Use it on as many devices as you like. 24/7 support. Protects your privacy with a zero-logs policy and high-end encryption. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tried, making it particularly suitable for streaming French TV overseas. Overall, it has servers in 63 countries, including in Paris, France. The fast speeds mean you can stream at high resolutions without having to worry about lag or buffering. Indeed, this VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and works with many popular French streaming platforms such as TF1 and BFM TV.
A particularly beginner-friendly VPN, PrivateVPN makes it quick and easy to connect to a server in France or any other location. It can be used on 10 devices simultaneously and comes with live chat support. PrivateVPN’s security features include 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Furthermore, it doesn’t keep any logs so you can browse, stream, and torrent without having to worry about who can see your data.
PrivateVPN offers apps for the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. If you’d like to use it with your Linux system or router, you’ll need to follow manual setup instructions.
- Very fast servers in France for streaming without lag or buffering
- Unblocks many French TV platforms including TF1
- Easy-to-use apps for desktop and mobile operating systems
- Keeps your data secure with high-end encryption
- Small network of just 200 servers
- Limited selection of apps and no browser extensions
BEGINNER-FRIENDLY:PrivateVPN has high-speed servers for streaming French TV abroad. Works with many popular streaming services. Very easy-to-use desktop and mobile apps. Offers a strict no-logs policy and live chat support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield offers approximately 1,800 servers in 80 countries, including France. This means you can access region-locked content all over the world. If you’d like to watch French TV abroad, the consistent speeds and unlimited bandwidth will allow you to do this without interruption. For example, Hotspot Shield unblocks both TF1 and 6Play. It’s also worth knowing that you’ll be able to connect up to five devices at once.
This VPN offers very good customer support which is available via live chat, 24/7. However, it’s very easy to use and offers one-click connection to servers which means you shouldn’t encounter too many issues. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any logs by which you can be identified as a user. It also uses 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection to ensure your data stays safe and remains private at all times.
To use Hotspot Shield, you’ll need to download one of the apps which are available for Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, and iOS. A Chrome browser extension is also offered, but you’ll have to manually install this VPN on supported routers.
- Unlimited bandwidth for streaming French TV abroad
- Lets you watch the likes of 6Play and TF1
- Good customer support available via live chat, 24/7
- Secures your data with high-end encryption
- Questionable track record when it comes to privacy
- Doesn’t accept any cryptocurrencies
ONE-CLICK CONNECTION:Hotspot Shield is easy-to-use and works with many French streaming services. Good, consistent speeds for browsing and streaming. Includes 24/7 live chat support and allows up to five simultaneous connections. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review.
Methodology: How we found the best VPNs for French TV
There are subtle differences between every VPN. This means that the most secure service isn’t necessarily the best for streaming, and vice versa. The key is to find a well-rounded VPN that can handle whatever you throw at it. To find the best VPNs for streaming French TV, we identified a few non-negotiable features and used these to thin out the competition:
- French servers: Since many French streaming services require users to have a French IP address, these are vital. We’d like to see servers in multiple cities too, since this lets travelers in places far from Paris (such as Toulouse) get a low-latency connection too.
- Connection speed: For uninterrupted live streaming, you’ll need steady speeds and a stable connection. With this in mind, we’ve only recommended VPNs that delivered impressive results in our most recent speed testing.
- Streaming ability: It’s no use if your VPN only works with a handful of French channels. That’s why we pit them against platforms like TF1, France 2, Netflix France, and TV5Monde to see which are best for streaming overall.
- Security features: It’s important that you’re able to browse and stream without worrying about being monitored. As such, all of our top VPNs must include a no-logs policy, 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch at a bare minimum.
- Ease of use: VPNs might seem complex but using them shouldn’t be. We look for beginner-friendly apps, live chat-based support, and streaming-optimized servers, among other quality-of-life features.
- Pricing: We don’t want you to pay more than is absolutely necessary, which is why we only highlight VPNs that are well-priced for what they offer. Further, if there’s a deal, discount, or money-back guarantee available, we’ll always let you know.
Our testing doesn’t stop here! Find out more in our full testing methodology post.
Watching French TV online: Your questions answered
Can I watch French TV abroad with a free VPN?
A free VPN may be a tempting option but, unfortunately, many free VPNs are more trouble than they’re worth. For starters, free VPNs are notoriously unreliable when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted content. This is particularly the case with major streaming services such as Netflix. Furthermore, most free VPNs don’t have many servers and may even throttle your bandwidth. As such, you’re likely to encounter a lot of lag when streaming.
Poor performance is a key reason why we don’t recommend you use free VPNs. However, they’re also lacking in the area of security. In particular, many don’t use encryption to secure your data. As such, you may find your data compromised due to a lack of security features in place. In order to make money, some free VPNs log user data (including your browsing history). This is then sold to third parties, often without your knowledge or consent.
What French content can I stream with a VPN?
Once connected to a VPN server in France, you’ll be able to watch all kinds of French TV shows, including the following:
- Astrid et Raphaelle
- Le Voyageur
- Sauver Notre-Dame
- Plus belle la vie
- Tropiques Criminels
- Fort Boyard
- C Politique
- Monsieur Flap
Where can I watch French TV shows for free?
Plenty of French TV channels allow you to watch for free. However, you'll usually have to create an account to do so, and most of these services aren't available outside of France (unless you're using a VPN). Below is a short list of free-to-watch French streaming services:
How do I get French Netflix abroad?
If you'd like to securely access the French Netflix library, you'll have to make the service think you're really in France. You can do this by using a VPN to obtain a French IP address, then logging in to Netflix as normal. If you're having problems, we recommend clearing your cookies to remove any old location data. Failing this, you may want to ask your VPN provider if there are specific servers designed for Netflix France.
Where can I watch French shows with English subtitles?
Netflix really is your best option here, even if you can't access the French library. All of its original content comes with a French audio option and allows you to switch freely between French and English subtitles. Alternatively, if you'd rather watch live TV, you can enable English subtitles on TV5Monde's live stream.