France is a country that is known for encouraging freedom of expression. Unfortunately, the government and authorities are not respecting individual privacy, as state-wide surveillance has been a constant theme in recent French history.
But that shouldn’t stop citizens from taking measures to safeguard their privacy and thwart government attempts to keep them under watch.
This is why the best virtual private network in 2022 is an important tool to ensure that their internet privacy remains intact.
If you are wondering, how do I get a VPN in France? Continue reading as in this guide, we’ll help you find the best, most recommended VPNs for France that we personally tested on numerous factors.
6 Top VPN Services (May 2022 In-Depth Analysis)
We tested over 150+ VPNs based on encryption, no-logs policy, speed, money-back policy, security features, and compatibility to find the most trusted VPNs.
After testing, here are the 6 reliable VPNs to protect your wi-fi online security and keep you anonymous in your country.
1. The overall top VPN – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is no doubt the most trusted VPN simply because this provider ensures guaranteed security, privacy, data protection, in every network and is great for streaming.
If you want to be able to access all types of content unavailable in France due to geo-restrictions or plain censorship, ExpressVPN should be the first place you look. ExpressVPN has an impressive network of servers located in 94 countries, including 2 in Paris and Strasbourg.
With its 2 servers located in Paris and Strasbourg, foreign users can easily access local French stations such as TF1, France 3, France 2, Canal+, France 5, and M6. It is also one of the best VPN for UK TV in France because of its various servers located in the United Kingdom.
Also, our French readers will be able to unblock any international streaming site such as Amazon Prime, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Channel4 with ease. There is a quick connect option available as well.
There are multiple French server locations offered by ExpressVPN.
The provider has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands and has an excellent reputation for protecting user privacy.
Since it is located in a country far from 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes & 14 Eyes, it is France’s safest provider for privacy-conscious users.
To test how anonymous this provider really is, I ran a couple of DNS and IP address leaks while connected to ExpressVPN.
I wasn’t surprised that ExpressVPN surpassed each test with flying colors. In the below screenshot, you can see that my French IP address is completely hidden.
ExpressVPN does not leak your IP or DNS information, protecting your online security.
ExpressVPN is also highly efficient for streaming and torrenting purposes. The kill switch, no logs policy and strong default protections built into ExpressVPN are great for safe torrenting.
Copyright infringement is taken very seriously with heavy penalties when it comes to France.
In addition, the provider offers an Internet Kill Switch, Split-Tunneling, and Server Obfuscation to keep your private information fully protected from agencies and cybercriminals in the region.
However, ExpressVPN can be purchased for $6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan), and you have 30 days to claim your money if it doesn’t perform. A single account permits up to 5 simultaneous connections, so you should be able to cover all your devices.
To learn more about this service, see our ExpressVPN review.
2. Budget-Friendly VPN – Surfshark
Surfshark is a budget-friendly option to use. It offers various low-cost subscriptions that make it a popular choice among the popular affordable VPNs in 2022. Despite that it has a network of 3200+ servers in 65 countries, including 2 server locations in France.
Although this is smaller than its competitors at the top level, French users can unblock many geo-restricted streaming service such as Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, BT-Sports, UKTV for streaming and obtain IP-masking protection with these server locations.
It is also one of the best VPN for iPlayer in France as there are multiple servers available in the UK which you can connect to and stream shows on BBC iPlayer.
Its French servers are located in Paris, Marseille, and Bordeaux for users who aren’t looking to bypass geo-restrictions and want faster speed for normal internet browsing.
The servers in France are useful for expatriates that cannot access banking websites or VoD services that only work within the borders of France, such as Arte, France 2, C8, W9, TMC, and TFX.
Surfshark offers servers in different French cities.
The provider has its jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands, a country that lies outside of the 14 Eyes and thus has laws that respect user privacy. This is why it is one of the VPNs suited for privacy-conscious French users in 2022.
I tested Surfshark by running a couple of DNS and IP address leak tests. I was reassured every time that Sursfshark still is one of the best options for online privacy.
As you can witness from one of my DNS leak test results which ensures that Surfshark doesn’t leak your IP address.
Surfshark comes with IP and DNS leak protection.
Perhaps that feature that distinguishes Surfshark from the rest of the providers is its ability to support unlimited simultaneous connections.
Meaning, you will be able to watch your favorite shows on any device of your choice like Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Router, Chromebook, Roku, PS4, Xbox, and many other devices.
Surfshark doesn’t stop here. Some of the excellent privacy-boosting security features offered by this VPN are CleanWeb, Multi-Hop, and WhiteLister.
At the price of $2.30/mo (82% Off on 2 Years + 2 Months Free Plan), it is an economical VPN choice for French users as you should be able to secure all your devices on a single subscription. You also have 30 days to reclaim your money if it doesn’t perform.
Check out this Surfshark review for more details.
3. Secure VPN – NordVPN
NordVPN is one of the most secure options to use as it offers some of the best advanced security and encryption mechanisms to ensure complete online security, privacy, and data protection.
NordVPN currently has more than 5200+ servers in 60 countries, and 230+ servers are situated in Paris. This huge infrastructure of servers makes NordVPN just as good for offshore geo-restrictions as local ones.
If you’re in France, you can use these offshore server locations for all kinds of purposes, including unlocking titles exclusive to US Netflix, ITV, YouTube TV US, Spotify, ESPN+, and Sony Liv.
With its 230+ servers in Paris, our international readers and expatriates can easily stream French broadcast channels like France 2, France3, France4, CNews, and CStar.
NordVPN offers several servers in France.
The service is headquartered in Panama, which is a country highly favored by privacy advocates. This VPN can be your answer to online surveillance threatening your privacy, security, and a solution to bypass internet surveillance in your country.
NordVPN takes the privacy of servers very seriously. When I tested the NordVPN connection for any potential DNS or IP leak, I knew I wasn’t going to find any but went through with it for the sake of this review.
NordVPN protects your IP and DNS against potential leaks during connection.
One of the most unique features of NordVPN is that it comes packed with valuable features such as Onion Over VPN, Internet Kill Switch, and DoubleVPN. It is one strong package of overall privacy, security, and it covers all the bases.
You can easily configure NordVPN on all of your commonly used devices such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Router, Linux, PS4, Xbox, Amazon Fire Stick, and many others.
Available for only $3.49/mo (Save 70% on 2 Years Plan + Extra Subscription), with a refund policy for thirty days and up to 6 simultaneous connections.
Read the NordVPN review for more details.
4. Fastest VPN – IPVanish
IPVanish is the fastest VPN provider to use in our lineup that can deliver speeds up to 95 Mbps over a 100 Mbps connection. It has 2000+ servers in 75+ countries overall, and 39 0f these server locations are located in Paris, Marseille, and Bordeaux.
So, if foreign citizens and French expatriates are concerned about losing access to French streaming channels such as RTBF, TV5Monde, and France24, you can rely on IPVanish’s French servers for streaming purposes.
The offshore server locations of IPVanish are efficient for accessing international streaming services such as Netflix, CCTN, NHK, UKTV, CBC, NBC Live, and many others in your living room at 4K Ultra-HD picture quality.
IPVanish offers multiple servers in France.
The provider is based in the United States, which surely raises some eyebrows. Still, its zero-log policy and military-grade encryption are surely enough to keep the user’s personal data and online activity logs secure.
To be sure, I tested the service for any DNS or IP leaks and found that IPVanish completely hides your online presence. As you can see from the screenshot below:
IPVanish offers IP and DNS leak protection.
Furthermore, the service offers extra features such as split tunneling and an internet kill switch to protect your privacy on the web.
The service is quite affordable, $2.40/month, which is impressive, to say the least. All IPVanish packages come with a 31-day money-back policy and offer unlimited simultaneous connections. Please visit the IPVanish review for further details.
5. User-friendly VPN – CyberGhost
CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN provider to use and that can be a great choice for beginners. This VPN offers customized modes for streaming, torrenting, and online gaming in all of its applications to provide an optimized user-friendly experience.
CyberGhost has a network of over 7700+ servers in 90 countries. Of these, 687 servers are located in Paris and Strasbourg alone.
This gives you many options to choose from a diverse pool of offshore and local French server locations.
CyberGhost is good for almost all purposes that require a reliable VPN, from streaming and torrenting to general browsing.
You can use CyberGhost to access Netflix US and Fox-Sports, HBO Max, Euro-Sports, Nine, ABC, and Sling TV.
With its 687 servers in France, you can also stream local French content such as TF1 Series Films, 6ter, RMC Discovery, France Info, and IDF1.
CyberGhost has servers in two French locations and 90+ other countries.
The service is based in Romania. The country is known for going against the EU directive for data retention and has no logging requirements of its own.
For French users concerned about domestic surveillance, CyberGhost can be quite beneficial. As per the DNS and IP leak test results, my device wasn’t leaking any of those while connected to the CyberGhost network.
CyberGhost passed our leak test and it did not reveal our IP or DNS information.
In addition to all the features and services, you also get up to 7 simultaneous connections and a 45-day money-back policy at a price of $2.29/mo for CyberGhost.
The provider is also compatible with Windows, macOS, Android TV, Firestick, Linux, and Smart TVs. You can view more additional information about this provider from our CyberGhost review.
6. Best Torrenting VPN Service – Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best for torrenting due to its zero-log policy, P2P-specific port forwarding feature, and compatibility with Socks5 proxy for enhanced and super-fast file-sharing.
Private Internet Access offers 147 exclusive French servers out of a total number of 35000+ servers in 80 countries. You can access all local French channels like France24, French Guiana, French Polynesia, teleGrenoble Isère, and Euronews overseas for streaming without any trouble using these servers.
Private Internet Access offers multiple servers in France.
Likewise, the service allows you to access Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Vudu, Yupptv US, and other popular international services with its 28,458 servers while staying in the country.
There are plenty of servers available in other regions as well such as Hong Kong, New York, the US, the UK, and more that can unblock pretty much anything online.
You can also set up Private Internet Access on various platforms such as macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Android TV box, Firestick, Chromecast, Roku, etc.
Even though the Private Internet Access headquarters is located in the USA, the provider’s complete zero-log policy will keep you safe from every form of government surveillance and privacy violations.
The provider offers IPv6 Leak protection, DNS security, Split-Tunneling, Internet Kill Switch, and anonymous payment options that can help you protect your online activities and other whereabouts.
You can tell how efficient PIA’s DNS and IPv6 protection is by looking at the result of my recent DNS and IP leak test.
PIA is perfectly capable of hiding your IP and DNS information.
If you want to get PIA, you only need to pay $2.03/mo and you’ll get all the features. This way, you can avail of other benefits like 10 simultaneous connections and month-long money-back policy. In case you don’t want to continue your subscription and to avoid a chargeback, make sure to cancel your subscription before the refund period ends.
Read our PIA VPN review for more detail.
Test Methodology: How we tested the top VPNs
To provide you with the 6 top VPNs, I had to judge 150+ various VPN services based on 5 industry standards. Here are the 5 factors that I tested each VPN against:
The recommended VPNs for France should offer state-of-the-art, most advanced, and secure encryption techniques and protocols such as AES-256-Bit encryption and Open VPN TCP & UDP to safeguard your data against the country’s Military Planning Law surveillance.
Only the best VPNs with a strict zero-log policy can guarantee your online freedom and protection. They won’t offer you law enforcement anything when they don’t have your connection logs and online activity records.
One of the most common purposes of the VPN is to grant access to geo-blocked streaming services at lightning-fast speed for Ultra HD and 4K Ultra HD picture quality. Speed is a top priority in a France VPN. Only our best VPNs for users in France can help you get those results by not compromising on network speed.
4. Money-back guarantee:
You can opt to quit the service in case it is not performing up to your standards rather than just getting stuck with it until the remaining subscription period is over. The best VPNs should offer at least a 30-day or more refund window.
The best VPN should allow you to protect popular platforms such as Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux, so you can stream, torrent, and play games simultaneously.
2 Reasons Why You Need a VPN service in France
VPNs offer several benefits that are particularly applicable to French users. Online surveillance, for instance, is a serious privacy-intrusive issue in the country as the French government is quite nosy.
Other than that, geo-restrictions apply in France like any other country. For these problems, you need to a VPN:
1. Countering mass surveillance
In July 2018, the Military Planning Law (LPM) was amended, giving extended surveillance powers to anti-terrorist investigators and the French government. The official reason given by the government for this surveillance is “national security.”
However, the fact that agencies and the military have sweeping powers to access private user data without their consent makes it a violation of individual privacy.
Mass surveillance has pretty much become normalized in the country, and that is a problem that needs changing.
VPNs serve as the first line of defense against invasions of online privacy, which is why they are becoming quite relevant in France. You can use a VPN to change your virtual location.
Many countries that were known to be user-friendly regarding privacy laws and censorship are now starting internet access traffic surveillance. One such country is Sweden.
Internet access users in Sweden are forced to protect their online anonymity and privacy by using VPNs.
While French people can rely on VPNs recommended for France to obtain privacy similarly, Swedish residents can rely on these best Swedish VPN providers.
What is happening in Sweden may likely happen in France someday. Therefore, it is always beneficial to protect yourself with one of the best VPN.
2. Unblocking french TV channels
Expatriates and travelers moving away from France usually have to lose access to local websites that only work within France. You can even set your VPN to your home country from abroad.
These usually include local banking as well as streaming websites. You need to obtain a French IP address by using a VPN in France to gain access to these services abroad.
Some popular streaming channels that French expatriates watch are RTBF, France2, France3, France4, France 24, TV5 Monde, etc. So, connect to a French server, head over to a streaming service of your choice, and enjoy.
VPNs to avoid in France
On some occasions, VPNs have been caught giving user data to authorities or illegally mining browsing history to sell third-party advertisers. Here are some VPNs to avoid:
Hide My Ass
VPN Guide for other countries
Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions.
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN in France. There are a few countries where VPN usage is banned, however, France is not one of them.
No, it would be best if you didn’t use a free VPN. Free VPN providers are often caught selling users’ personal information and online activity logs to third-party organizations.
Moreover, they offer a limited number of servers, bandwidth, and speed on their accounts. They can never offer the benefits of a paid, premium VPN.
Yes, you can access torrents with a VPN. Torrenting is completely legal according to French laws. The problem arises when users use this technology to download copyrighted material over the internet, such as movies, TV shows, or even games.
ExpressVPN is best VPN service for Android users in France due to its versatile features, such as advanced leak protection, split tunneling, network protection (kill switch), and quick access to your favorite streaming service apps. ExpressVPN’s Android application is available on Android 11, 10, Pie, Oreo, Nougat, Marshmallow & Lollipop.
If you are interested in VPNs for Android, then don’t forget to check out our best VPNs for Android article for various ExpressVPN alternatives.
Whether you are living in or visiting France, complete online internet freedom is your right and for that, you need to use a VPN. You should be able to go where you want and access whatever you want without worrying about geo-restrictions, cybercrime, or internet surveillance.
Therefore, what you need at this point is a reliable, strong, and the best VPN, just like ExpressVPN. With its server network of 3,000+ servers spread across 94 countries, there isn’t any streaming content that our French readers couldn’t access.
Also, with a zero-log policy and state-of-the-art security, and military-grade encryption, your privacy is 100% guaranteed. While free VPNs are okay to use, make sure to avoid VPNs like Hola and Hide My Ass.