Best VPNs for the Netherlands (1)

Whether you’re visiting the Netherlands on your travels or a resident of the country, it’s probably a good idea to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while connected to the internet.

A VPN can offer a host of perks as well as keep your activity private. If you like streaming content, a VPN can enable you to access to geo-locked sites that might not otherwise be available in the Netherlands. For example, if you enjoy shows specific to US Netflix, a VPN can give you access. Plus, because many providers operate servers within the country, you can access content exclusive to the Netherlands while traveling outside of it, such as shows on NPO.

Aside from unblocking content, a VPN also affords you increased security and improved privacy. It encrypts your website traffic so ISPs and third parties are unable to track your activity. This might be a particular concern in the Netherlands due to European Union data retention laws. If you torrent or use Kodi, a VPN can help you do both, privately and securely. What’s more, if you’re using public wifi — which is highly likely whilst traveling or on-the-go — a VPN will prevent hackers from accessing your information.

We get into lots of detail on each of the providers we have chosen further down, but in case you only have time to read a summary, here is our list of the best VPNs for the Netherlands:

  1. ExpressVPN Our top choice. Multiple superfast servers operated in the Netherlands can unblock most geo-restricted sites and services. Solid privacy and security features. 30-day money back guarantee has you covered.
  2. NordVPN Budget provider with over 200 servers in the Netherlands. A strict no-logs policy with good privacy and security.
  3. CyberGhost Servers are great for streaming and downloading at good speeds. Great value and easy to use.
  4. IPVanish Great for torrenters, Kodi users, and folks who need the highest standard of privacy.
  5. PrivateVPN New growing network gaining popularity for their unblocking capabilities and good speeds.

As you can see, VPNs have plenty to offer. Plus, they are typically easy to set up and you can get a decent service without breaking the bank. That being said, not all VPN providers are created equal and some services may not be worth the price. Some factors to consider are security, speed, ability to unblock streaming services, and choice of server locations.

Best VPNs for the Netherlands

To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for the Netherlands based on the following criteria:

  • Operates servers in the Netherlands
  • Provides fast and reliable connections
  • Can unblock geo-locked content (such as Netflix) outside of the Netherlands
  • Provides strong encryption and other security features
  • Maintains a no-logging policy

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Mar 2020

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and operates a large network of 3,000 servers in 94 countries. This includes several Netherlands locations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague.

If you’re looking to stream content, ExpressVPN is ideal as it provides access to US Netflix (and Netflix libraries from other countries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and HBO. Not all servers will work for unblocking at all times, so to save time with trial and error, you can check with live customer support for which servers to use.

Aside from unblocking content, ExpressVPN provides an extremely fast service with all servers being optimized for speed. As such, you can typically stream HD content with no issue and should have no problem downloading large files.

When it comes to security and privacy, ExpressVPN has your back. Its zero-logs policy means that it will not track any of your browsing activity. While some VPNs store connection logs that can be traced to individual users, this is not a concern with ExpressVPN as it doesn’t log any IP addresses.

This provider uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is considered as good as it gets, along with perfect forward secrecy. It also provides a kill switch in case the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, as well as DNS leak protection.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and some wifi routers.

Pros:

  • Operates superfast servers in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague
  • High speeds for downloading and video streaming
  • Super fast servers can unblock just about any popular streaming service
  • Top notch encryption, security, and privacy features are the default
  • Keeps no traffic logs of personal data
  • Support is 24/7 and staff are well trained

Cons:

  • Power-users may find the advanced options limited

BEST VPN FOR the Netherlands:ExpressVPN is our top choice. Reliably unblocks Netflix US, UK, AUS, CA, FR, IT, JP, DE and most streaming services like iPlayer with great speeds for buffer-free HD viewing and total security and privacy. Includes a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee so you’ll receive a full refund if unsatisfied.

Read our full review of ExpressVPN.

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2. NordVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN has plenty to offer. With a network of over 5,200 servers in more than 60 countries, the Panama-based company has 282 servers in the Netherlands, so you’ll have no shortage of options both inside and outside of the country. NordVPN is ideal for streaming and is known for its speed and ability to unblock sites like US Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer.

This provider has a large focus on privacy including having a strict zero-logs policy. It keeps absolutely no logs, not even bandwidth data. This is backed by strong security, including 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.

A selling feature of NordVPN is that some servers are optimized for specific purposes, such as video streaming and anti-DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service). With a basic package, you can connect up to six devices simultaneously, which is a notch better than the industry standard.

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

Pros:

  • Operates 282 servers in the Netherlands
  • A budget provider with no compromises on security and privacy
  • Strict no-logs policy ideal for privacy-conscious users
  • 24/7 live chat support on offer
  • Able to simultaneously connect 6 devices at once

Cons:

  • Some servers can become unresponsive and you may need to try another one occasionally

GREAT VALUE:NordVPN is a great value choice. With a large range of servers in the Netherlands, this is a good all-rounder option that unblocks most geo-blocked streaming sites. Great privacy and security credentials. 30-day money back guarantee.

Read our full review of NordVPN.

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3. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is a Romania-based provider that gives users access to a growing network of servers. You can choose from more than 3,700 in 60 countries, including 166 in the Netherlands.

CyberGhost is another provider that’s great for those looking to stream. It hasn’t always been this way, but a recent push after a change in ownership means this is now a top choice for unblocking geo-locked content. Whether you want to access US Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer, you can select your option within the intuitive CyberGhost client. Based on your selection, you’ll be connected to the appropriate server to suit your needs.

As with the other VPNs on this list, CyberGhost doesn’t disappoint on the security front. It provides 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Privacy-conscious users will be pleased too, as there are no user activity logs maintained and no connection logs that can be tied to an individual. A CyberGhost plan enables you to connect up to five simultaneous devices.

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

Pros:

  • Budget provider that operates over 150 servers in the Netherlands
  • Happily unblocks a host of geo-restricted content abroad
  • Some of the fastest streaming servers we’ve tested
  • Apps are great for beginners
  • Seven devices simultaneous connection allowance

Cons:

  • Not suitable for those that need control of advanced features

Great Value:CyberGhost is great for beginners. A budget choice. Good on privacy. Streams HD video reliably. 45-day money back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost.

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4. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 7 DAYS

IPVanish is based in the US and is another large provider with more than 1,300 servers in over 75 worldwide locations, including 98 servers in Amsterdam. If you’re a Kodi user, you’ll love IPVanish. This VPN works really well with Kodi and is very popular among users, as well as torrenters. If you’re looking to stream through Netflix or Hulu, you might have to look elsewhere. Although IPVanish might offer access to other geo-locked content outside of those sites.

IPVanish certainly measures up on the privacy and security front. This provider has a strict no-logs policy and keeps no traffic or connection logs. Like ExpressVPN, it uses 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy. And for extra protection, you have DNS leak protection and a kill switch. A basic IPVanish plan will enable you to connect up to five devices simultaneously.

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

Pros:

  • Operates 90+ fast servers in Amsterdam
  • Best performer for Android-based Kodi devices in our testing
  • Keeps no traffic logs or connection logs
  • Speeds are great for HD streaming on most servers

Cons:

  • Doesn’t reliably unblock Netflix, Hulu
  • No live customer support – email only

UP TO 10 DEVICES:IPVanish has a large network of servers. Great for families and multiple connections. Works well with Kodi but look elsewhere if you want to unblock Netflix. 7-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of IPVanish.

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5. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is based in Sweeden and is the newest provider on our list. While it does operate a smaller network of servers than the others, it still has plenty to offer. One of the biggest selling features of PrivateVPN is its fast speeds. This makes it ideal for streaming, and indeed it is capable of unblocking US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. What’s more, it works with Dutch Netflix so you can access the library while abroad.

PrivateVPN holds true to its name by maintaining a strict no-logging policy. And even though it’s new, this provider has entered the market with a strong security suite to back its service. Encryption is 128-bit or 256-bit depending on which protocol you’re using. You also have perfect forward secrecy, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Plans allow for up to five devices to be connected simultaneously.

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

Pros:

  • Operates two fast servers in Amsterdam, great for streaming while abroad
  • They log no personally identifiable information on their users
  • Faster than many other providers

Cons:

  • Fewer servers to choose from than other providers higher on this list
  • Support staff are good, but only operate during European business hours
  • Apps lack advanced features , such as ad and malware blocking options

Great Speeds:PrivateVPN is a solid all-rounder. Unblocks some major streaming sites. Good for browsing and torrenting. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money back guarantee.

Read our full review of PrivateVPN.

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Can I use a free VPN for the Netherlands?

The recommendations on our list are all paid options, although there are plenty of free services available. As we mentioned earlier, free VPN services typically just don’t measure up. This can be down to host of reasons depending on the provider.

A limited network of servers and long wait times are common occurrences with free services, and will likely be off-putting for many users. You may also find issues with speed and reliability, and small data caps can hamper attempts to download large files.

Although, the practical downsides certainly don’t represent the worst of things. Other problems arise because companies adopt a business model that jeopardizes the privacy and security of users. Notable issues include some providers enabling tracking cookies, logging user activity, and even carrying malware.

Tips for using a VPN in the Netherlands (Holland)

Once you’ve selected your VPN provider and are all set up, we’ve got a few tips for you to bear in mind.

Accessing Netflix libraries from other countries

When you set up a Netflix account and access content, the service automatically directs you to the Netflix library for the country you’re in, based on your IP address.

A VPN masks your IP address and replaces it with one from a server in a country of your choice. This enables you to access content only available in that country, such as its Netflix library. So, if you’re in the Netherlands and want to access US Netflix, you’ll need to select a US server when connecting to your VPN.

Netflix has made efforts to crackdown on VPN use to access its content so you may end up seeing a proxy error. Some providers are simply unable to get around this, but for others, including those we’ve reported to work with Netflix above, should be able to direct you to a server that will work.

Connecting to a VPN for general use

If you’re simply using the internet for activities that aren’t location-specific such as general browsing, you likely don’t want a VPN to slow you down. Generally speaking, connecting to a server close to your geographic location should get you the fastest speeds.

Although, there are other factors at play, including the current level of use of each server. Some providers will be able to show you which is the fastest server for your current location or at least let you know which ones are carrying the least burden at a given time.

Connecting to public wifi

We mentioned briefly earlier that using public wifi networks could expose you to hackers wanting to steal your personal information. They often set up fake wifi hotspots and intercept traffic running through the network. Thankfully, when using a VPN, all of your traffic is automatically encrypted and can’t be exposed.

Some of the providers we’ve mentioned above offer automatic wifi protection. But it’s always worth double-checking your settings and that you are in fact connected to your VPN before you join a hotspot. What’s more, following a few additional best practices for using public wifi will help you steer clear of any other issues.

Privacy laws in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is generally known for its internet freedom and strong privacy laws. A recent case saw Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) take Microsoft to court over data processing that breached the Dutch data protection law. The use of a VPN is completely legal in the country and, in fact, several VPNs are actually based in the Netherlands, including GOOSE VPN, proXPN, and Shade You.

On the other hand, this is a 14 Eyes country, which means it is part of an international surveillance alliance including some European countries as well as the US, Canada, and Australia. The resulting potential lack of privacy while in the Netherlands could be a good reason to use a VPN.

Recently, the Dutch Senate approved a controversial new data mining law. This gives governments a much wider reach when accessing information, reportedly enabling intelligence services to tap into wifi hotspots and chat apps, and hack into your device if someone you know is a suspect in a crime.

The EU Data Retention Directive was implemented in the Netherlands through the Telecommunications Data Retention Act, until it was invalidated in 2014. This law required ISPs to collect user traffic and location data and store it for 12 months. Revision of the data retention laws in the country are ongoing and will likely change again this year with the implementation of the GDPR.

Is torrenting legal in the Netherlands (Holland)?

Torrenting copyrighted material without first obtaining permission is illegal in the Netherlands, as is downloading pirated media. Specifically, The Pirate Bay was banned back in 2013 but the ban was lifted a year later. However, a similar ban was reinstated by the European Supreme court in 2017.

Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN took down more than 230 piracy sites in the first half of 2017 alone. What’s more, towards the end of last year it was announced that hefty fines would be introduced as a further preventive measure. And even more recently, the Netherlands’ privacy watchdog, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (AP), gave film production company, Dutch Filmworks, permission to collect the IP addresses of illegal downloaders.

With legal alternatives becoming more prevalent, the number of people looking to illegally torrent has decreased. Although, for those who want to access restricted sites, it could be done with the use of a VPN.

Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading copyrighted material without permission.