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Best VPNs for France

2018/10/10

The French have always valued privacy and security in their personal lives – a fact that extends into cyberspace as well. French regulators imposed a fine of US$166,777 on Facebook earlier this month purportedly because of concerns over the way it tracks user data “without legal cover.” Authorities added that the social media leviathan didn’t offer users sufficient warning about the methods it uses to extract information about their browsing habits.

 

Despite the official commitment to privacy, there are still myriad reasons to consider using a VPN to browse the web safely and securely in France.

 

Using a VPN will also unlock a host of geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. For French residents traveling abroad, using a VPN is also an excellent option if you wish to continue streaming local premium services such as Eurosport, Canal+, and Play TV.

 

1.     ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a great choice if you need a VPN for streaming Netflix and/or unlimited P2P torrenting. It has no problem streaming HD videos and shows no lag when it comes to online gaming. They have a huge network of servers optimized for speed and stability, which is why it’s one of my top picks.

 

ExpressVPN is watertight on privacy, too. They’re headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, so count on moderate pro-privacy legal climate. They don’t log traffic or DNS queries, use OpenVPN, 256-bit AES-CBC encryption, SmartDNS and perfect forward secrecy.

 

On the downside, you can only use it on three devices, but the apps come with a bundle of cool features like a DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and auto-connect. Both the desktop and mobile apps are sleek and easy-to-use.

 

2.     NordVPN          >>Get Deal

NordVPN is a no-nonsense contender to every provider on the list, with an impressive network of 830+ self-managed servers and a true zero-logs policy backed by OpenVPN over TCP and AES 256-bit encryption.

 

They have servers optimized for HD video streaming, Tor over VPN, double VPN and anti-DDoS. Top it off with a kill switch and DNS leak protection, and you get one of the most robust VPNs in terms of encryption and security. The increased security in double encryption connections comes at the cost of reduced speeds, though.

 

NordVPN is a very capable VPN for streaming HD video lag-free, unblocking geo-restricted websites and online gaming. They also allow unlimited P2P file-sharing and enjoy fairly lax anti-piracy laws because they’re based in Panama. It also means no 14 Eyes, Big Brother, or data retention laws.

 

Their cross-platform client is hands down one of the most intuitive suites, and you can run it on up to six devices.

 

3.     VyprVPN          >>Get Deal

VyprVPN has a reputation of excellence in the VPN market, with more than 700 self-managed servers that grant you superb speeds for everything – online gaming, HD streaming, and unlimited P2P file-sharing from France. VyprVPN unblocks streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Netflix and comes in a convenient, cross-platform client that’s easy to sort out even for the technically challenged.

 

The company is based in Switzerland, which is one of the best places on the planet for its strong data protection laws. They keep no logs and use OpenVPN, 256-bit AES encryption, VyprDNS and a proprietary Chameleon encryption. Even though they spoke out against illegal torrenting, VyprVPN does not cap your bandwidth or block P2P torrenting.

 

There’s no refund policy here, but they offer a three-day free trial so that you get a better idea of the performance and speeds.

 

4.     Pure VPN

PureVPN doesn’t retain any data on user browsing history except for a timestamp and total amount of bandwidth used when connected to a server. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong which has no mandatory data retention laws – meaning it’s out of the reach of government agencies.

 

Torrenting is allowed on most servers but the service isn’t able to skirt around Netflix VPN restrictions. It uses 256-bit AES encrypted L2TP/IPSec protocol along with DNS leak protection and a VPN kill switch.

 

5.     CyberGhost          >>Get Deal

CyberGhost is another excellent provider for French users, thanks to a well-rounded package of performance and affordability.

 

You get over 1,800 servers across the world — with a whopping 151 of them in France after the latest additions. Decent speeds and reliable uptime make this VPN suitable for streaming or torrenting.

 

Although CyberGhost operates out of Europe (which often isn’t ideal for privacy), it’s located in Romania. This country is famous for rejecting the EU’s Data Retention Directive twice in a row — before it was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that CyberGhost delivers on its promise of zero stored logs.

 

CyberGhost is perfect for users who want simplicity. The clients are intuitive and easy to navigate, and the custom profiles can tailor the VPN to your needs in just a couple of clicks.

 

6.     Private Internet Access (PIA)          >>Get Deal

Private Internet Access is another budget VPN that has plenty to offer.

 

With 44 VPN servers and 2 Squid proxies in France (out of 3300+ total), PIA gives you a diverse network. It doesn’t block P2P either, so you can use it for torrents without an issue.

 

PIA also has the essential features — kill switch, DNS leak protection, port forwarding — in addition to SOCKS5 proxies in select locations. At such a low price, there is hardly a contender that can challenge this VPN’s offerings.

 

One thing to note, however, is PIA’s headquarters. It’s based in the United States, which leads to an important question — is this VPN safe?

 

The answer is yes. PIA does not keep sensitive logs and has been known to take action when users’ privacy is at risk. For example, it shut down its Russian servers after a new law made it mandatory to log data for up to 12 months. This VPN is transparent when it comes to its practices, and there’s no reason to doubt it despite its base of operations.

 

7.    PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN has never made the claims that it is the best or the fastest VPN of them all. However, it does provide features that make it one of the best VPN app. It can allow you unlock everything on the Internet and protects everything that you do on your system. It has a strong 2048-bit encryption with AES-256.

 

PrivateVPN offers these features at affordable rates. If you have been using a French VPN proxy free, we suggest you to try the free trial of this VPN. Proxy services allow you to bypass geo-restriction, but they have poor security features. Therefore, through the VPN France free trial of PrivateVPN, you can assess the quality of this service yourself.

 

8.     Ivacy

Ivacy offers the most unique features for its users as it offers 275+ servers from around the world including France. It further offers a strong 256-bit encryption with a kill switch feature that kills off your internet whenever the VPN connection drops. You get unlimited speed with Ivacy VPN for France.

 

The most impressive aspect of Ivacy is its low cost. It does not compromise on quality or features even though it is one of the cheapest VPN providers in the market. Thus, Ivacy is a fairly decent VPN for French regions.

 

Mac users can read our piece on the best VPN for Mac, where Ivacy is also one of the top providers.

 

9.  IPVanish

You can use IPVanish to protect your privacy in France, with hundreds of self-managed servers in 60+ countries so you can enjoy great coverage of Europe and the United States, blazing speeds, and excellent performance. Highlights include unlimited torrenting, HD video streaming, online gaming and unfettered access to the US and UK libraries of the streaming websites like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix.

 

IPVanish keeps no logs and uses 256-bit AES encryption and SOCKS5 web proxy. Their cross-platform client is user-friendly and you can connect up to five devices simultaneously. Since they own their servers, no third parties can mingle with your data. There's just one bug about them - they're US-based, so data retention laws apply. Since they keep no logs in the first place, however, they have nothing to turn in to authorities.


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