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The Best Free German VPN in 2023

If you’re in Germany and want to protect your online activities, but at no cost, then you’ll need the best free German VPN. Keep reading for our top five VPNs that offer strong security features, good streaming and fast speeds.

Arjun Ruparelia
By Arjun Ruparelia (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-11-28T12:00:00+00:00 Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska

Germans enjoy a free internet — the Freedom on the Net 2021 report rates Germany’s internet as “free” — but you still have many reasons to use a VPN (virtual private network) as a German citizen or traveler. If you don’t have the budget for a premium VPN, we’ll help you find a reliable free German VPN in this guide.

Key Takeaways:

  • A quality free VPN will help ensure online security and privacy, as well as help users access geoblocked content.
  • Many free VPN versions come with restrictions, while some completely free VPNs may log user data and infect your computer with malware. 
  • Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Germany. However, you might consider four other free services: Windscribe, TunnelBear, hide.me and PrivadoVPN.

We generally don’t recommend free VPNs because many are unreliable or insecure. We found a few exceptions, though, with trustworthy VPNs offering a free version, but they come with restrictions to encourage upgrading to the paid versions. 

Using a VPN in Germany is smart for many reasons, and a monthly subscription shouldn’t prevent you from extra privacy and security online. Additionally, a VPN will help you gain access to streaming services outside of Germany, like Peacock, or accessing other Netflix libraries, including Netflix U.S.

Below, we discuss five free VPN services and explain why they’re among the best ones out there. If you want a quick answer, Proton VPN is our top recommendation, as it offers unlimited data on the free plan, but you’re limited to three server locations. Keep reading for more details.

  • TunnelBear, Windscribe, hide.me and PrivadoVPN have a German server for free. You can use one of these VPNs to acquire a German IP address.

  • To get a VPN for Germany, find a VPN service that offers the features you want. Sign up for the service, download the VPN’s app and connect to the server of your choice, and you’ll be set. If you want to get a German IP address, you’ll need a VPN with servers in Germany.

Top Free VPNs for Germany

  1. 1
    • : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, cash
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  2. 2
    • : PayPal, Credit card
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    $5.75 / month (save 36%) (All Plans)3-day money-back guarantee
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    • : Credit card
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    $3.33 / month (save 67%) (All Plans)
  4. 4
    • : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
    • : 10
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  5. 5
    • : PayPal, Credit card, Coinbase, SEPA, Discover
    • : 10
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What Makes the Best Free German VPN?

Free VPNs generally come with many restrictions. They’re usually meant to be a preview to a VPN provider’s paid service, so most providers restrict free users to limited features. Some VPNs limit data, while others limit server locations.

We’ve found a few free VPNs that offer the best features on the free plan and provide the security and privacy you’d expect from a decent VPN service. Below are the best German VPN services with a free plan:

  1. Proton VPN — Unlimited free data, plus excellent security and privacy
  2. Windscribe — Excellent speed and security; has a free German server
  3. TunnelBear — Free servers in over 40 countries, including Germany
  4. hide.me — Free version includes almost all features; has a free German server
  5. PrivadoVPN — Great user interface; has a free German server

We test all the VPNs we recommend. Here are the things we look for in a VPN, and you should too.

Security & Privacy

Security and privacy are fundamental VPN features, especially for a free VPN because many free VPNs fail to encrypt your connection. VPNs encrypt a user’s connection so nobody can read your data, even if they manage to intercept your internet traffic.

Connections encrypted using security protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard and ciphers like AES-256 shield your activities from your ISP (which sees everything you do unless you use a VPN with encryption), invasive government policies and hackers, especially when you’re using public WiFi.

Privacy is just as important. Most free VPNs you find with a Google search claim to have a no-logging policy and promise they’ll protect your identity online. That’s rarely true — reading their privacy policy, in most cases, will tell you just how unsafe those VPNs can be. The free VPNs in this guide ensure your data remains private.

Connection Speed

VPNs tend to slow your connection speed, since your data will need to travel through an intermediary VPN server. Speeds are the most common problem with free VPNs. The reason is that free users generally have access to limited services, which translates to high server load and slow speeds.

However, the best VPNs ensure this reduction in speed is insignificant — see our guide on the fastest VPNs. The best free VPNs still offer excellent connection speeds so you can surf the web and stream content without any buffering issues.

Streaming Capabilities

Speaking of streaming, not all VPNs can help you access geo-restricted content, especially free VPNs. Premium VPNs have streaming-specific servers that are more effective in bypassing geoblocks on streaming sites. 

VPN servers can potentially fail to bypass geoblocks on a streaming platform, especially Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which strive to detect VPN usage. However, many of the free VPN services on our list allow you to access even geoblocked content on all major streaming platforms — see our list of the best VPNs for streaming for more.

Free German Servers

In most cases, you’ll do fine without a Germany VPN server. However, you might need German servers when trying to access local geoblocked content securely, such as online banking. Fortunately, we found multiple VPNs that offer a free German server; four of the five services we recommend below offer a German server on the free plan.

Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs vs Proxies

When you look for ways to access geoblocked content and mask your real IP address, you’ll come across two primary methods — VPNs and proxies. Proxies allow you to access geoblocked content, but they don’t offer any security. Your connection remains unencrypted, which can be especially dangerous if you download torrent files.

VPNs are better if you want to mask your real IP address and access content that’s restricted to your area — while adding extra security and privacy measures. 

Both free and paid VPN options are available, but you need to be careful with free VPNs. As our worst VPNs list explains, some free VPNs might steal your data and sell it to make money, and some even infect your computer with malware. 

Many premium VPN services offer a free plan — though the freemium plans often come with limited functionality to entice you to upgrade. However, security is not something they skimp on, and the free VPN services on this list are proven trustworthy. 

5 Best Free German VPN Choices

Here are five of the best free VPN services for Germany, starting with our top pick, Proton VPN.

1. Proton VPN

protonvpn protocols
Proton VPN offers unlimited data on the free plan, with servers in Japan, the Netherlands and the U.S.

More details about Proton VPN:

  • Pricing: Free, $4.99 per month (two-year plan)
  • Provider website: protonvpn.com

Pros:

  • Unlimited free data
  • Excellent user interface
  • Secure

Cons:

  • No German servers on the free plan

Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Germany. It’s fast, secure and offers unlimited free data — a combination that makes it excellent for many use cases.

The free VPN service offers four security protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2, Stealth and WireGuard. The Proton VPN app has a kill switch and split tunneling (available only on Android and Windows). Proton VPN also has a strict no-logs policy.

You can unblock all popular streaming platforms using Proton VPN, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. If you like working with sleek interfaces, you’ll appreciate how Proton VPN is designed. The interface is intuitive and clean yet detailed.

There’s almost nothing to complain about with Proton VPN’s free plan, except that free users can only access servers in three countries. Unfortunately, Germany isn’t one of them, which means Proton VPN can’t help you get a free German IP address. 

Unlimited Data

Very few reliable VPNs offer unlimited data. Proton VPN is one of them, but it comes with other restrictions like servers in only three countries — the U.S., Netherlands and Japan. While the three locations are geographically dispersed, you might see a drop in speeds when you connect to a distant server.

Additionally, since there are only a few free location options, the free servers might become overloaded and slow down if many users are trying to use the same server. Regardless, you should be able to stream unlimited content in standard definition in most cases.

ProtonVPN homepage 2022
Proton VPN has an intuitive yet detailed interface.

If you’re considering upgrading, Proton VPN’s paid plans are expensive. The monthly plan costs $9.99 per month, while the annual plan costs $5.99 per month. Even with the best value plan, you’ll pay $4.99 per month on the two-year plan — more than many premium VPN services that offer better performance.

If you’re looking for a VPN and don’t need many servers, the free version should be sufficient. Otherwise, the paid version unlocks all its servers. If you don’t like the service, you can always use the 30-day money-back guarantee to claim a full refund. Learn more about this free VPN service in our Proton VPN review.

2. Windscribe

windscribe germany
Windscribe offers a great combination of speed and security.

More details about Windscribe:

  • Pricing: Free, $5.75 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: windscribe.com

Pros:

  • Free German server
  • Excellent security
  • Unblocks major streaming apps

Cons:

  • 3-day money-back guarantee

Windscribe is one of the best free VPNs you’ll find because it offers a great combination of speed, security, free data allowance and feature set. With Windscribe, you get up to 15GB of free data each month (provided you tweet about Windscribe). That’s more than most reliable free VPNs offer, though it doesn’t beat Proton VPN’s unlimited data.

Additionally, Windscribe beats many premium VPNs with its fast connection speeds. You’re unlikely to experience buffering even when streaming content in 4K as long as you’re connected to a nearby server.

You can choose OpenVPN or WireGuard to encrypt your connection. You can also use other protocols, including Stealth (great for obfuscation) and IKEv2. 

Another security feature includes a kill switch (called Firewall on Windscribe), which terminates internet access in case the VPN connection drops abruptly. There’s also split tunneling, which lets you use the VPN and an unprotected connection simultaneously — although split tunneling isn’t available on the iOS app. 

Great Free Plan

Windscribe offers a generous free plan. In addition to the 15GB free data per month, you get access to free servers in 11 countries and R.O.B.E.R.T. — Windscribe’s powerful ad blocker. The 11 countries include Germany, which means you can use Windscribe to get a German IP address.

windscribe homepage
Windscribe offers flexible pricing with their build-a-plan option.

Windscribe also offers a flexible pricing plan if you decide to upgrade. The build-a-plan option enables subscribers to purchase server locations individually for $1 each, with a minimum checkout value of $3 per month. 

Windscribe has several full-access plans as well. The monthly plan costs $9 per month, while the best value plan costs $5.75 per month. You can also try Windscribe’s full plan using its three-day money-back guarantee. Read more about Windscribe in our Windscribe review.

Free
  • : Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
  • : 15 GB
  • : Unlimited

3. TunnelBear

tunnelbear germany
TunnelBear offers free servers in over 40 countries.

More details about TunnelBear:

  • Pricing: Free, $3.33 per month (three-year plan)
  • Provider website: tunnelbear.com

Pros:

  • Servers in Germany
  • Obfuscation tool
  • Beginner-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Poor streaming performance

TunnelBear is a beginner-friendly VPN that comes the closest to being a truly free VPN, in that it doesn’t restrict your features or server locations. However, it does limit your data. You only get 1GB of data per month as a free user — and that’s after you tweet about TunnelBear (otherwise you only get 500MB). 

The = encrypts your connection using OpenVPN and has a strict no-logging policy. The VPN app also has a kill switch (called VigilantBear) and split tunneling (called SplitBear), although only the Android and iOS mobile apps have split tunneling.

In addition to these basics, TunnelBear offers an obfuscation tool called GhostBear — although GhostBear isn’t available on the iOS app. The tool is helpful for concealing VPN usage when you’re in countries with heavy censorship, like China.

However, TunnelBear isn’t great at bypassing geoblocks on streaming platforms like Netflix. Plus, the low data allowance makes TunnelBear a poor choice for streaming and torrenting. Read more about this free service in our TunnelBear review.

Access to Over 40 Servers

TunnelBear offers free servers in over 40 countries, including Germany. This means you can use TunnelBear to acquire a German IP address. No other VPN on the list offers servers in 40-plus countries. 

Tunnelbear for security
TunnelBear is a beginner-friendly VPN.

If you decide you need more data, the monthly plan costs $9.99 per month, while the annual plan costs half that, at $4.99 a month. The best value plan is the three-year plan, which costs $3.33 per month. This is a reasonable price, but you can get services like Surfshark for less.

Free
  • : 500MB
  • : 5
Teams
  • : Unlimited GB, five devices per user, centralized billing, account manager, price per user per month
  • : Unlimited GB
  • : 5
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4. hide.me

hide.me germany
hide.me lets free users access almost all of the app’s features.

More details about hide.me:

  • Pricing: Free, $4.16 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: hide.me

Pros:

  • Most paid features on free plan
  • Unlimited data on 1 server
  • Free server in Germany

Cons:

  • Doesn’t unblock Netflix

The hide.me free version also offers unlimited data like Proton VPN, but with a caveat. You can select a server in any country, but once you’ve used up 10GB of free data, hide.me will pick one of the free servers at random. Essentially, you lose the option to select a specific server. 

The free plan offers access to servers in eight countries: Germany, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. This means hide.me can help you acquire a German IP address, since it has a free server in the country.

hide.me also lets you use almost all VPN features on the free plan. Free users can’t use WireGuard, but you can still use SoftEther — hide.me’s proprietary encryption protocol — or other protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2 and SSTP.

Fallback Protocol

hide.me offers several features you generally won’t find on other VPNs. The fallback protocol feature is a great example of hide.me’s unique features. The option lets you pick an alternative protocol that springs into action should your primary protocol fail for some reason. This ensures your connection is always secure.

get hide.me
hide.me offers several additional features, such as the fallback protocol.

If you want to be able to pick a server even after you’ve used 10GB data, you’ll need to opt for a paid plan. The monthly plan costs $9.95 per month, while the six-month plan costs $6.66 per month. The best value plan costs $4.16 for the annual plan.

If you’re not completely satisfied, you can claim a full refund using hide.me’s 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full hide.me review for more details.

5. PrivadoVPN

privadovpn germany
PrivadoVPN offers a generous 10GB of free data per month.

More details about PrivadoVPN:

  • Pricing: Free, $4.99 per month (one-year plan)
  • Provider website: privadovpn.com

Pros:

  • 10GB of free data per month
  • Unlocks most streaming sites
  • Has a German server

Cons:

  • Lacks advanced features

PrivadoVPN’s free plan offers 10GB of free monthly data. That’s enough if you like to stream a movie every weekend, but if you stream more frequently, you might run out of free data pretty quickly. PrivadoVPN isn’t the fastest VPN service, but you won’t experience major buffering as long as you stream in standard definition.

The service uses the OpenVPN, IKEv2 or WireGuard protocols, which should give you peace of mind that your connection is secure. However, we did find a few red flags in PrivadoVPN’s privacy policy — we discuss the details in our PrivadoVPN review.

Free users get access to servers in over 10 countries, including Germany. This means you can use PrivadoVPN when you need a German IP address.

Great at Unblocking Streaming Websites

PrivadoVPN gets into all popular streaming websites. Given that it only launched in 2019, its ability to beat some of the best services when it comes to bypassing geoblocks is impressive. You can use PrivadoVPN to access websites like Netflix, Prime Video and Disney Plus.

While speed isn’t PrivadoVPN’s strongest suit, it’s still a great free option to stream content. As long as you don’t mind the limited free data and occasional buffering, PrivadoVPN is an excellent free VPN for cord cutters.

get privadovpn
PrivadoVPN is great at accessing geoblocked streaming sites like Netflix.

PrivadoVPN’s monthly plan costs $7.99 per month. The monthly cost is lower than many premium VPNs on the market. However, the best value plan costs $4.99 per month, which is higher than premium VPN services like Surfshark and NordVPN. PrivadoVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee like most other VPNs, so it’s risk-free to try.

How to Get a Free German IP Address

You can get a free German IP address using one of the free services (except Proton VPN) in this guide. Download one of the free VPNs, then connect to a server located in Germany and that should help you get a German IP address.

Why Do I Need a German VPN?

You need a German VPN to stay safe online and access geoblocked content. The German internet is free of censorship, but it’s a member of the Fourteen Eyes alliance — a group of countries that share data on a massive scale to combat terrorism and online crime.

It’s always a good idea to protect your online activities by using a VPN. In addition to protecting your data from the government, VPNs guard against hackers by encrypting your connection. VPNs are also helpful when you want to access geoblocked content. For example, you can watch Netflix U.S. using a VPN or stream content on BBC iPlayer.

What Are the Risks of Using a Free VPN for Germany?

Using a free VPN not included in this list isn’t a great idea because most free VPNs don’t provide adequate security or privacy. This defeats the purpose of using a VPN entirely. Your data and online identity are at risk if they’re not encrypted with the best VPN protocol.

Moreover, some free VPNs also directly harm you. Some steal data and others infect your computer with malware and ransomware, so it’s always a great idea to use an antivirus on your computer. A few exceptions exist, like the ones we discuss in this list. You can pick one of these services to protect yourself when surfing the German web.

Final Thoughts

It’s difficult to find a trustworthy free virtual private network that also offers decent performance and adequate security. We ran some tests and found five of the best free VPNs for Germany.

Our research tells us that Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Germany. However, you may choose another service based on your needs and preferences.

Have you used a free VPN for Germany before? Which service did you use and how was your experience? Were you able to access geoblocked content with it? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thank you for reading.

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