Germany offers a bit of everything to everyone. You can test your nerves on the Autobahn, raise a glass at Oktoberfest or fill up on bratwurst at a Christmas market. Whatever you do, while there it’s likely you’ll want to go online using a virtual private network, so we’ve put together a list of the best VPN for Germany. For a German-language version of our selection, we recommend you check out Sonntagmorgen.

There are many reasons to use a VPN. For the most part, they keep you safe from the many risks you could encounter while online, which we point out below. They’re also good for accessing blocked content.

Internet censorship is minimal in Germany, especially when compared to China. Still, certain content can be blocked through various laws and court decisions. Anything praising National Socialism is banned and denial of the Holocaust is a felony. Even Google complies by not including websites containing such material in search results.

Censorship goes further than this, though, with video games having to censor themselves. In 2014, developers of the computer game Wolfenstein: The New Order had to change its content to comply with German laws and a previous version, Wolfenstein 3D, is blocked in Germany because of its portrayal of WWII-era soldiers and symbols.

Germany and Hate Speech

Angry-kid-keyboard

You’ll want to be mindful of what you post online, too, as certain categories of speech are illegal. They’re laid out in the German Criminal Code and include defamation of religions and forming terrorist organizations. Read about the strict laws in the Lion City in our best VPN for Singapore article for an example of similar restrictions.

Germany also has a hate speech rule known as NetzDG, which came into force in October 2017. It demands that social media giants remove illegal material posted on their websites, with the possibility of hefty fines of up to 50 million euros if they fail to cooperate.

There are, understandably, concerns that the hate speech rule will limit citizens’ freedom of expression if companies are overly cautious and censor minor posts to make sure they are following the law.

If you are an avid torrenter, you should know that torrenting copyrighted material in Germany is illegal and, if you are caught, you risk being given a fine or jail time. Law firms, dubbed copyright trolls, have been known to monitor popular torrents for German IP addresses hoping to catch someone and internet service providers will cooperate with them.

The laws apply to the traditional torrents for download, as well as apps and websites that allow torrents to be streamed. The country’s fair use policy is not clear about whether it would allow limited educational or artistic use of the material without permission, either.

Online Threats and Surveillance in Germany

There’s no denying that there are risks involved with being online anywhere you go, especially when connecting to free WiFi hotspots. Most of Germany has public WiFi, which is great for travelers, but it can be plagued with malware and other dangers. That said, it’s not quite as bad as Thailand, as you can read in our best VPN for Thailand article.

The 2017 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment stated that Europe is a key target for financially-motivated cyberattacks and frauds. Using a good VPN will help keep you safe from those threats.

While Germany has always had some of the best data protection laws in the world, its Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, has cooperated with the U.S. National Security Agency. Read our article on how the NSA and other government bodies invade our privacy.

It’s reported that the BND collects an estimate of 220 million sets of metadata, containing information about communication via phone, satellite and internet, per day. It’s said that some of that data is passed on to the NSA.

A 2016 Google Transparency Report showed that the German government is one of the most active requestors of user data and, in recent years, it has pushed for data retention laws to be enforced. If they were to be enforced, telecommunications companies and internet service providers would have to retain user metadata for up to 10 weeks.

While it wouldn’t include the content of internet traffic or phone calls, it would have your IP address and details regarding when you use a mobile device or landline phone, send or receive text messages and emails, download or upload anything and when you browse the web. Enforcement has been suspended, but who knows what the future holds.

Best VPN for Germany 2019

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What Makes a VPN the Best for Germany

There are many features to consider when choosing from among our VPN reviews to find a service that works well in Germany, but security is the most important. Making sure you select a provider with good encryption will not only ensure your safety from cyberattacks, it will keep you hidden from surveillance and online policing.

For extra security, make sure it has a killswitch, which will disconnect you from the internet if it stops working, keeping your data concealed. Privacy is also important, so you need to ensure the provider doesn’t keep logs of your online activity.

A VPN with a good network of servers will help you get around blocks you might encounter. Having one with many locations to choose from makes it easier to access the content you want.

This also counts for any content that’s blocked geographically. For example, if you want to get your U.S. Netflix fix, you’ll find you can’t access it. Using a VPN will enable you to circumvent geoblocks and have you watching your favorite show in no time. Read our best VPN for Netflix for more recommendations.

You may want to view media restricted to Germany instead. Perhaps you want to watch content in German. Being outside of the country can make that difficult, but, with a VPN, you just choose a server that’s located in the country and it will make you look like you’re physically there to get you the access you need.

If streaming is high on your list of activities, you’ll also want to make sure you pick one with good speeds. Choose a slow one and you will find yourself getting hypnotized by a swirling loading screen. Along with that, you need one without bandwidth caps, which will allow you to stream or download as much as you like.

Other factors to consider are ease of use and the devices supported. Good customer service and price are other important things to consider before you make your decision.

The Best VPN for Germany: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the best VPN around and as such often gets the top spot in our lists with its secure and fast service. It’s great all around and you can relax knowing that you’re protected. Security is top notch, with AES 256-bit encryption and you can manually increase it to 4096-bit if you want.

It has a killswitch built in to keep you secure if the VPN fails and its strict no-logs policy means you don’t have to worry about your online activity being recorded.

ExpressVPN has servers spread across 94 countries, including Germany, so you should have no issue finding a suitable one to use.

You won’t have issues with speed as ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN providers and it doesn’t have bandwidth caps limiting how much you can stream or download. We also named it the best VPN for streaming, so it’s easy to see why it steals the limelight here. It’s also a good choice for torrenting. Read our ExpressVPN review for more.

Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the easiest VPNs to use, making it great for people who want one that just works. Setup is simple and you can get connected to the server of your choice quickly. You can install it on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Plus, it has browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Customer support is helpful, though not the fastest around, and offers 24/7 live chat. You can also contact it via email, but that will take longer. Either way, the staff are knowledgeable and aim to resolve your problem as soon as possible.

A downside to ExpressVPN is its price. It’s not the cheapest on the market but it does offer great value for your money and you can bring the price down in the long run if you sign up for a lengthier plan. We recommend it, but you should take it up on its 30-day money-back guarantee to be sure.


Pros:

  • Secure
  • Fast
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Slow switch time
Starts from $ 666 per month
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NordVPN

NordVPN is a close second to ExpressVPN, as you can read in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN article. It has great security, including double-hop servers. That means the connection is encrypted twice over. For those who know what they’re doing, the settings are more customizable. Plus, it has a killswitch and doesn’t keep logs.

Servers are spread across 62 countries, with some in Germany. giving you plenty to choose from to circumvent blocks. Speeds are good, but can be slow when connecting to a server that’s far away. It’s server switch time is fast, though.

There are no bandwidth caps and you’ll have no problem getting into U.S. Netflix or other streaming services. Plus, NordVPN won in our best VPN for torrenting piece. Read our full NordVPN review for a better look at the service.

Other Reasons We Like NordVPN

NordVPN is easy to set up, the client layout is simple to use and it’s a breeze to select which server you want. It can be installed on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

Customer support is available via live chat or email if you need it, with live chat being the faster of the two. Either way, the staff are helpful and thorough. A handy knowledgebase is on hand, too, which should help you solve the most common problems alone.

NordVPN has a fair monthly rate, but the best prices are achieved over longer periods. While you might be reluctant to take such a big step, it offers a 30-day refund if you’re not happy with it.


Pros:

  • Secure
  • Fast
  • Good for streaming

Cons:

  • Lack of detail on server location
  • Bit slow at times
Starts from $ 299 per month
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CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another good choice, Though not as customizable as NordVPN, it offers great security. It has a built-in killswitch and, for extra protection, it can’t be turned off. Plus, it doesn’t keep logs, so there’s no record of what you’ve been up to.

Ooh… pretty

It has a good network of servers, with many available in 60 countries, Germany among them, so you should be able to bypass restrictions with ease. While its speeds aren’t as fast as some, it’s still good and it doesn’t have bandwidth limits to worry about.

You’ll be able to stream as much as you like as it has no problems getting into streaming services. It’s also a good choice for anyone wanting to torrent. Be sure to check out our full CyberGhost review for a better look at the provider.

Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost

Desktop clients are available for Windows and Mac, but their tiled interfaces may not be to everyone’s taste. There are mobile apps for Android and iOS, too. All are easy to set up and use.

There’s a large knowledgebase to help you with minor problems. For anything more technical, you can contact support through live chat or email. You’ll get detailed answers either way, but live chat will respond fastest.

CyberGhost’s monthly price isn’t bad, but, as with the others, you can save money by signing up for a longer plan. It has a seven-day trial you can make use of before committing.


Pros:

  • Secure
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Dynamic tile interface
Starts from $ 275 per month
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GooseVPN

GooseVPN is new to Cloudwards.net, but it’s impressed us in many ways. It has great security, though it’s less configurable than some. A killswitch is provided but it’s easy to miss as it just says “VPN always on,” and the service honors your privacy by not keeping logs.

It doesn’t have as many server locations as other providers, but there are still enough to get around the blocks you encounter, including those restricting content to Germany.

As long as you don’t opt for its cheapest subscription choice, it has unlimited bandwidth and you’ll be happy to know it can get into U.S. Netflix. It allows torrenting, as well, with its peer-to-peer servers. Take a look at our GooseVPN review for more details.

Other Reasons We Like GooseVPN

GooseVPN is easy to install and its standard interface makes it user-friendly, even though the killswitch option could be improved. It can be installed on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

You can contact customer support through live chat 24/7 and it’ll get back to you within seconds. Its representatives’ technical know-how is limited, though. If your issue is more technical, you’re better off submitting a ticket, which will be answered by email. There’s also a good knowledgebase, along with videos, that may help, too.

The monthly plan’s price is good, but don’t sign up for the cheapest option if you want unlimited bandwidth. Take advantage of the 30-day free trial, to make sure you like it before subscribing.


Pros:

  • Good security
  • Fast speeds
  • Good for torrenting

Cons:

  • No split tunneling
Starts from $ 299 per month

VyprVPN

Our last choice, though still a good one, is VyprVPN. It has great security, including its own Chameleon protocol, which keeps you even safer. A killswitch is part of the service, too, and it ranks well in privacy by not keeping logs. For more information, have a look at our VyprVPN review.

It has servers in 64 countries, but the the total number is less than some providers offer. Still, there are enough to see you past blocks, including those in Germany.

Its speeds are good, but can be slow at times. You can access U.S. Netflix with VyprVPN and it allows torrenting. Plus, there are no bandwidth caps, so you don’t have to worry about how much you stream or download.

Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN

Setup is quick and simple with clients available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. One thing to note, though, is, even though the layouts on the desktop clients are okay to use, they could be better. The mobile apps are much better.

Live chat and email are available if you need help. Live chat is the quickest option, but it’s better to use email support if your question is technical. There’s a FAQ section, too, if you want to try to fix the problem yourself.

VyprVPN’s monthly price is affordable, but longer plans are even better. Though it doesn’t have a refund policy, its three-day trial should be enough for you to see if you like it.


Pros:

  • Chameleon protocol
  • Gets into U.S. Netflix
  • Torrent-friendly

Cons:

  • Slow
  • Disappointing network
  • No EU Netflix
Starts from $ 500 per month

Final Thoughts

Whatever you’ll be doing online, your safety is important. With the possibility of cyberattacks and surveillance by authorities, it’s easy to see why you should use a VPN in Germany. Plus, you’ll be able to access blocked content.

To make sure that you’re protected, we recommend you choose a service that offers great security with a killswitch and honors your privacy. You also need a good amount of servers to get around restrictions. Fast speeds and no bandwidth caps are advantageous, as well, especially if streaming is on your agenda.

While any of the providers above are good, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Germany. It will keep you safe from prying eyes and enable you to watch all your favorite shows without worry.

Let us know in the comments below if you have experience using a VPN in Germany or have better suggestions. Thank you for reading.

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