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Best VPN for Germany

Best VPN for Germany in 2024: Access Streaming Services and Protect Your Privacy

Germany has one of the best freedom index scores in Europe and beyond, but it’s a haven for cybercriminals. Keep yourself safe online using the best VPN for Germany. We break down five top VPNs you can use.

Arthur SabayiSamuel ChapmanAlison Spedale

Written by Arthur Sabayi (Writer)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Editor)

Facts checked by Alison Spedale (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2024-02-19T14:15:00+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: What Is the Best VPN for Germany?

  1. ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for Germany
  2. NordVPN — Most secure VPN for Germany
  3. Surfshark — Affordable VPN with simultaneous device connections
  4. Proton VPN — Best free VPN for Germany 
  5. CyberGhost — Best VPN for unblocking geo-restricted content

Germany has one of the best freedom index scores in the world. People are free to express themselves online with minimal government surveillance. However, Germany also experiences one of the highest cybercrime rates in Europe. Arming yourself with the best VPN for Germany is important if you live in Germany or plan to travel there.

Besides cyber threats, Germany has strict copyright laws with heavy fines and jail terms. This doesn’t bode well for people who love to torrent, but using a VPN will hide your torrenting activities from government agencies like GEMA.

Germany is also part of the 14 Eyes alliance, yet another cause of concern for people who value their privacy. Member countries collect and store information by intercepting phone calls and online communication. A VPN is extremely important in this situation as it can stop this interception with a no-logs policy and encryption.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Germany is a beautiful country, and requiring a VPN doesn’t necessarily mean that there are threats everywhere. Plus, you can unblock major streaming services from the comfort of your house while staying safe with a VPN connection. You can also check out our best VPN providers to learn more.

  • 08/21/2022

    We updated the article to reflect the most recent changes in the VPN services.

  • 01/30/2024 Facts checked

    We rewrote the article, making sure our information is up to date and added VPNs that have better features for Germany.

Cloudwards Editor’s Choice: ExpressVPN

We settled on ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Germany for several reasons. It’s a highly secure VPN with AES 256-bit encryption that encodes your internet traffic, making it unreadable to cybercriminals. ExpressVPN passed the security test we put it through, so we’re not just making things up.

ExpressVPN offers more than 3,000 servers in over 105 countries, including physical servers in Frankfurt and Nuremberg. These servers allow you to unblock geo-restricted content anywhere. The speeds that ExpressVPN offers are also among the fastest on the market, as confirmed in our constantly updated fastest VPNs list. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

How to Choose a VPN for Germany

We tested over 30 VPNs and narrowed the list down to five. Here are the key factors that influenced our choices.

  • User security and privacy:The ideal VPN should encrypt your traffic and hide your online activities from hackers. It should also conceal your torrenting activities from your internet service provider (ISP) so you avoid fines.
  • Large server network: A big and well-distributed server network makes it easy to unblock geo-restricted content anywhere. We gave bonus points if the VPN offered servers in Germany.
  • Connecting speeds: The faster the VPN, the better the streaming and gaming quality. Fast speeds are also essential for users who torrent and need to download large files quickly.
  • Device compatibility: The ideal Germany VPN should be compatible with Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, routers and others. The more devices there are, the more convenient it is for users to switch between them immediately.

All five VPNs on our list met these criteria; some were better than others, but they were all capable. We will cover how each of them performed in detail. 

The 5 Best VPN Providers for a German IP Address: Comparison Table

VPN:PriceGerman ServersUnblocks NetflixNo-Logs PolicySecurity
$6.66AES-256
$3.99AES-256
ChaCha20
$2.29AES-256-GCM
$4.99*ChaCha20
AES-256-GCM
Diffie–Hellman
$2.37AES-256
*Premium plan

1. ExpressVPN — The Best VPN for Germany

expressvpn mlb
ExpressVPN unblocked Peacock TV from Germany.
Download
88 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
8 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
5 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Frankfurt & Nuremberg servers
  • Port forwarding on routers
  • Fast streaming & gaming

Cons:

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in over 105 countries. It can unblock streaming sites like Peacock TV to watch MLB or the NFL live in Germany.

It also accesses torrenting sites like Filmfans and Serienfans, which are some of the sites blocked by German internet service providers. With the physical German servers in Frankfurt and Nuremberg, you can unblock ARD, Sport1, ZDF and ProSieben.

Furthermore, ExpressVPN is the only Germany VPN that supports port forwarding on routers. Port forwarding improves your torrenting speeds and allows you to seed your torrents, which is vital if you don’t want to be kicked off private torrents. However, ports forwarded via the router are not protected by ExpressVPN’s encryption, so don’t use it for sensitive information.

ExpressVPN Hands-On Testing

expressvpn kill switch
ExpressVPN offers a kill switch for IP leak protection.

You can install ExpressVPN on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, routers and many more platforms. The apps let you choose any VPN server in the network, change the protocols and activate the kill switch to prevent IP leaks. You can connect up to eight simultaneous devices on the 12-month plan, which is more than NordVPN or CyberGhost allow.

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

ExpressVPN averaged 91 Mbps against our unprotected speeds of 100 Mbps. This was a 9% speed drop, making it slower than NordVPN. However, 91 Mbps is still more than enough to stream and play online games with minimal lags. We recommend using the Lightway UDP protocol as it offers the best speeds; you can read more on that in our ExpressVPN review.

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Unblocking Capability Test Results

Streaming app:Unblocked?
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Max
Disney Plus
BBC iPlayer
Hulu / ESPN Plus

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Security Analysis

expressvpn dns leak
ExpressVPN offers solid DNS leak protection.

We tested ExpressVPN for DNS leaks and didn’t see our real IP address or the name of our internet service provider. That makes it highly unlikely that cybercriminals or your ISP will see the sites you visit.

Through reliable encryption, ExpressVPN prevents public WiFi threats like packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle attacks, identity theft and malware infection. That’s enough security for shopping on online platforms like OTTO, MediaMarkt or Shop Apotheke.

Protocol:Encryption Devices
Lightway AES-256Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Linux
routers
OpenVPN AES-256Windows
macOS
Android
Linux
IKEv2 AES-256macOS
iOS

ExpressVPN Pricing & Value

ExpressVPN has three price plans. The 12-month plan offers the best deal at $6.66 per month, plus an extra three months free. The second-cheapest deal is the six-month option at $9.99 per month, and then there’s the monthly plan that costs $12.95. ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPNs overall, but we don’t think it’s overpriced.

2. NordVPN — Most Reliable User Security

nordvpn bbc iplayer
NordVPN unblocked BBC iPlayer with a U.K. server.
Download
94 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
4 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Double VPN encryption
  • Berlin & Frankfurt servers
  • Fastest connection speeds

Cons:

  • Double VPN servers are slower

NordVPN has over 6,000 servers in 59 countries, including 193 physical servers in Berlin and Frankfurt. With a German IP address, you can watch live German broadcasts on Zattoo from anywhere. German residents can also unblock geoblocked sites like BBC iPlayer to watch English football, movies and TV shows.

While NordVPN doesn’t support port forwarding, it has hundreds of P2P servers for secure torrenting with the best speeds possible. Meshnet secures remote connections between devices, and it also comes with better speeds and lower latencies. This is perfect for heavy torrent downloads in Germany, as we explain in our NordVPN Meshnet review.

NordVPN Hands-On Testing

nordvpn meshnet
Meshnet scans the dark web for traces of your credentials.

NordVPN can be installed on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, routers and other devices. You can connect to any server with a single tap on the left panel. Each location listed displays the number of servers available. NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous device connections, the lowest on this list, but that’s enough for the essential devices of a single household.

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

NordVPN is the fastest VPN for Germany, averaging 94 Mbps — a 6% speed drop on our unprotected speeds of 100 Mbps. We didn’t experience issues when playing Fortnite, sharing huge P2P files or streaming 4K content. Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN also has a special protocol that offers the best speeds. Read more about NordLynx in our NordVPN review.

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Unblocking Capability Test Results

Streaming app:Unblocked?
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Max
Disney Plus
BBC iPlayer
Hulu / ESPN Plus

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Security Analysis

nordvpn dns leak
NordVPN hides your IP address and prevents leaks.

NordVPN passed our DNS leak tests without displaying our IP address or any sensitive information. It takes user security a notch higher through specialty servers like a double VPN, which routes your traffic through two servers, making leaks even less likely.

The only other VPNs with something similar are Surfshark (MultiHop) and Proton VPN (Secure Core). Read our detailed review of double VPNs to learn more.

There’s also a cybersecurity feature called Dark Web Monitor that immediately notifies you when your credentials, such as email addresses, are detected on the dark web. This feature makes NordVPN good for browsing the dark web, which we explain more about in our best VPN for the dark web piece.

Protocol:EncryptionDevices
NordLynx ChaCha20Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
OpenVPN AES-256Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
IKEv2 AES-256Windows
Android

NordVPN Pricing & Value

The most affordable price plan is NordVPN Standard, with the two-year version offering the best value for your money at $3.99 per month with an additional three months free. It’s followed by the 12-month plan for $4.49 per month with, also with three extra months. The last option is the monthly plan that costs $12.99.

3. Surfshark — The Best VPN for Germany

surfshark zattoo
Surfshark unblocked German platforms like Zattoo.
Download
96 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
101 ms
Good
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Unblocks content anywhere
  • Fast speeds with P2P support
  • Unlimited device connections

Cons:

  • Multi-hop servers are slower

Surfshark has more than 3,200 servers in over 100 countries. You can connect to servers on every continent to access more than 100 video libraries. Surfshark also offers physical servers in Berlin and Frankfurt for traveling Germans or fans of German content who are living abroad.

Like NordVPN, Surfshark doesn’t support port forwarding, but all of its servers are P2P-friendly and ideal for fast and secure torrenting. With no leaks, there’s no risk of getting in trouble with the government. All Surfshark servers are RAM-based, so your online history is wiped clean several times a day. We discuss this no-logs policy and more in our Surfshark review.

Surfshark Hands-On Testing

surfshark app killswitch
You can activate the Surfshark kill switch in the app settings with one tap.

Surfshark is compatible with Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and Linux. The server list is arranged alphabetically with all virtual locations aptly labeled for easy identification. Surfshark is also the only VPN on our list that allows unlimited simultaneous device connections. That makes it one of the best VPNs for multiple devices and perfect for large groups of users.

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

We got average speeds of 90 Mbps with Surfshark, the third-fastest on our list. This was a 10% speed drop on our unprotected connection of 100 Mbps. Read our Surfshark review to see what makes it so reliably fast.

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Unblocking Capability Test Results

Streaming app:Unblocked?
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Max
Disney Plus
BBC iPlayer
Hulu / ESPN Plus

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Security Analysis

surfshark dns leak
Surfshark didn’t expose our IP address in the DNS leak test.

A DNS leak test proved that Surfshark is as secure as it claims to be. The test displayed a series of virtual IP addresses without exposing our real IP. There’s also Surfshark Alert, a security feature similar to NordVPN’s Dark Web Monitor, that alerts you when your email address or ID appears in breached online databases so you can take immediate action.

You also get multi-hop connections that route your traffic through two servers. Surfshark offers you the unique ability to choose the two servers in your double VPN path, so you can find a hyper-secure connection that still posts good speeds.

Protocol:EncryptionDevices
WireGuard ChaCha20Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
OpenVPN AES-256WindowsmacOSiOSAndroid
IKEv2 AES-256Windows
Android

Surfshark Pricing & Value

Surfshark has the most affordable long-term plans of any VPN we recommend for Germany. The 24-month Surfshark Starter plan costs $2.29 per month with an extra four months free. This is followed by the 12-month plan for $3.49 per month. The monthly plan will set you back $10.99. All the plans are fully refundable within 30 days. 

Surfshark Starter
  • Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker.
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
Surfshark One
  • Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
Surfshark One+
  • Everything in One, plus Data removal
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited

4. Proton VPN — The Best Free VPN for Germany

protonvpn pandora music
Proton VPN unblocked Pandora Music with a U.S. server.

Pros:

  • Legitimate free VPN
  • Unblocks Germany content
  • Secure Core servers

Cons:

  • Slowest speeds
  • No Germans servers for free
  • Random servers on free plan

Proton VPN is the only alternative listed here that has a free version, and it features in our best free VPN list. It randomly connects you to one of five servers, but you can’t choose which one. The premium version has about 3,000 servers in over 70 countries, including physical servers in Frankfurt and Berlin.

The VPN also offers Secure Core servers in Iceland, Sweden and Switzerland with strong physical security. A Secure Core connection sends your traffic through one of these fortress-like servers before moving it to your destination, making it nearly invulnerable to decryption. Proton VPN also offers full P2P support for torrenting without alerting the hawk-eyed German authorities.

Proton VPN Hands-On Testing

protonvpn multihop
Secure Core servers offer double encryption.

Proton VPN is compatible with Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, some routers and many more devices. You can also have up to 10 simultaneous connections on the premium version (but only one on the free version). It’s easy to switch protocols and activate DNS leak protection from the app settings.

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected1919.965.94
🇺🇸 United States
26
19.43
5.55
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
299
18.46
5.45
🇧🇷 Brazil
392
15.77
4.82
🇸🇬 Singapore
540
14.47
3.40
🇿🇦 South Africa
604
13.27
5.40
🇦🇺 Australia
523
17.53
5.09
Average
397
16.49
4.95

Despite connecting to the fastest server we could find, Proton VPN only averaged 16 Mbps on our unprotected speeds of 40 Mbps. This was a 60% speed drop, the slowest on this list. We managed to stream SD content but struggled with 4K.

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Unblocking Capability Test Results

Streaming app:Unblocked?
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Max
Disney Plus
BBC iPlayer
Hulu / ESPN Plus

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Security Analysis

protonvpn dns leak
Proton VPN has IP leak protection.

Proton VPN successfully passed our DNS leak test. We used a New York server, and that’s the only IP address it displayed. You must manually activate the Secure Core servers if you want extra security, but basic servers are safe enough for public networks. We break down all of the vital security features in this Proton VPN review.

Protocol:EncryptionDevices
WireGuard ChaCha20Windows
macOS
iOS
iPadOS
Android
OpenVPN AES-256Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Stealth AES-256Windows
iOS
Android

Proton VPN Pricing & Value

Proton VPN has a free plan, but it is limited to five countries (none of which are Germany) and you can only connect to a random server, making it useless for streaming.

Of its paid plans, Proton VPN’s two-year plan offers its best deal at $4.99 per month. The one-year plan costs $5.99 per month. Finally, a monthly plan goes for $9.99 per month. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. CyberGhost — Largest Server Network

cyberghost ruutu
CyberGhost unblocked Ruutu with a Finnish server.
Download
87 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
40 ms
Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • 3 German server locations
  • User-friendly apps
  • Streaming & torrenting servers

Cons:

  • Slower than NordVPN

Not only does CyberGhost have the largest server network with over 10,000 servers in more than 100 countries, but 1,500 of those servers are in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Unblocking content is significantly easier because all those servers make crowding so much less likely. 

CyberGhost has specialty servers dedicated to gaming, streaming and torrenting, so your important stats are maximized. Gaming servers tend to have lower latency, streaming servers maximize download speeds and P2P servers optimize for uploads.

All CyberGhost servers are RAM-based, so your online privacy is protected from search and seizure, as our CyberGhost review explains.

CyberGhost Hands-On Testing

cyberghost servers
CyberGhost for macOS shows you the number of active users in a server.

CyberGhost is compatible with Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, routers and several other devices. The maximum number of devices you can connect on a single account simultaneously is seven, which is sufficient to cover the needs of a small group. The kill switch is automatically active on macOS. 

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/25/24 to 02/22/24
Data for region:

CyberGhost averaged download speeds of 82 Mbps, an 18% drop from our unprotected speeds of 100 Mbps. It’s slower than ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark but faster than Proton VPN. Despite being on the slower side, we didn’t experience buffering or lags when streaming or gaming.

CyberGhost simplifies things on macOS and Windows by showing the number of active users and the respective distances for each server beforehand. Little things like this make it one of the best beginner-friendly VPNs.

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Unblocking Capability Test Results

Streaming app:Unblocked?
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Max
Disney Plus
BBC iPlayer
Hulu / ESPN Plus

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Security Analysis

cyberghost dns leak
CyberGhost passed the DNS leak test.

Like all the other alternatives, CyberGhost passed our DNS leak test without exposing our IP address or internet service provider. While it lacks double VPN servers, you do get NoSpy servers.

Most VPN servers are operated by third-party data centers, but NoSpy locations are owned and run by CyberGhost staff — nobody else is permitted access, thus minimizing security failure points.

Protocol:EncryptionDevices
WireGuard ChaCha20Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
IKEv2 AES-256Windows
macOS
iOS
OpenVPN AES-256Windows
Android

CyberGhost Pricing & Value

CyberGhost is very affordable. It has a two-year plan that offers the best deal at $2.37 per month with an extra four months. There’s also a six-month plan for $6.99 per month and a monthly plan for $12.99.

CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee for the two-year and six-month plans, which is the longest on this list. The monthly plan comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Can You Use a Free VPN for Germany?

You can use a free VPN for Germany, but with a few exceptions we don’t recommend it. Most free VPNs are unsafe, and some even sell user data to third parties to generate revenue, as explained in our worst VPN warning list. The majority don’t pass security tests, come with smaller server networks and lack important security features.

That said, Proton VPN, Windscribe and TunnelBear are all great free VPNs, though all come with some sort of limitation.

The Best Free VPN for Germany: Proton VPN

Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Germany because it randomly connects you to one of five free servers. You can use them to unblock geo-restricted content in any of the three countries it offers while in Germany.

How to Use a VPN to Get a German IP Address

You can use a VPN to get a German IP address by following the steps below.

  1. Subscribe to a VPN

    Subscribe to a VPN that offers German IP addresses by visiting the provider’s website and signing up for the plan that suits you best.

    get expressvpn step1
  2. Download and Install the VPN

    Open the VPN’s download page and get the version compatible with the device you plan to use.

    expressvpn-apps
  3. Launch the VPN and Connect to a Server

    Launch the VPN and open the server list to locate Germany. Tap on any German VPN server to connect.

    expressvpn germany

Why You Need a VPN in Germany

You need a VPN in Germany to keep yourself safe from cybercriminals. Over 136,000 cybercrime cases were recorded in Germany in 2023, with estimated damages amounting to 206 billion euros. The encryption offered by VPN services protects your personal information from being intercepted by hackers.

Masking your IP address also keeps your ISP and government agencies like GEMA from seeing the sites you open and the files you torrent. Downloading copyrighted material in Germany attracts fines ranging from €500 to €1,800 and possibly even jailtime.

Final Thoughts

Compared to most countries, Germany enjoys a lot of internet freedom. The main reason you need a VPN is to access geoblocked content and keep yourself safe from cyber threats and the occasional government surveillance.

To that end, ExpressVPN remains the best VPN for Germany. It can unblock online resources anywhere, offers fast speeds and is secure enough, even for unprotected public networks. Its 30-day money-back guarantee means you can take it for a spin.

Have you tried using a VPN while in Germany to stay anonymous? How was the experience in terms of speed and overall performance? Let us know in the comments below, and we appreciate your continued readership.

FAQ: Best German VPN

  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN to connect to Germany. It has servers in Berlin and Frankfurt that allow you to access local German content anywhere.

  • NordVPN is not illegal in Germany. You can use it to connect to servers worldwide to access geo-restricted content and keep yourself safe from cybercriminals.

  • The free versions of TunnelBear and Windscribe offer servers in Germany that you can use to access local content from abroad.

  • You can change your VPN to Germany by choosing and connecting to a German server if the VPN has servers in Germany.

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