ExpressVPN is the best VPN for France, with ultra-fast servers in 94 countries for accessing TF1, France 2, M6, Arte, and Canal+ when traveling outside the country.
Also, the VPN provider has robust security and privacy features, including AES-256 encryption, for online safety, despite France’s controversial “BIG Brother“ narrative.
But ExpressVPN isn’t the only option I recommend.
I tested 20+ other VPNs and found NordVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost, and IPVanish as worthy alternatives. In fact, CyberGhost VPN has the most servers in France (868 servers) for easy streaming and torrenting.
Quite something to take in?
Keep reading to see my tests and detailed findings about these VPNs!
Top 3 VPNs for France (September, 2023)
NordVPN is ideal for public Wi-Fi hotspot security in France. It uses strong encryption mechanisms and offers extras like Double VPN, a Dark Web Monitor, Threat Protection, dedicated IP addresses, and a strict no-log policy.
Offers ultra-fast servers with thousands of IPs to unblock content in France and beyond, and internet security features like AES-256 encryption, kill switch, and encrypted private DNS on every server.
Get protection on an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription plan. Besides, Surfshark is the most affordable VPN, offering 3200+ servers with IPs in France and beyond to unblock France’s local and international content from anywhere.
My visit to France was not as hostile as China and some other highly censored countries I’ve been.
However, it didn’t take long to realize that the so-called “French Big Brother Act” authorizes surveillance and spying on netizens. Even though freedom groups and far-left parliamentarians rejected the bill, French MPs enormously voted for it.
Thus becoming an enacted law in June 2015.
That’s why you need a good VPN for France, whether you’re a French citizen working for the government, a tourist, a student, or an expat in the region.
Likewise, France blocks internet access to torrenting and porn sites, and you get restricted access to streaming platforms like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Voot, and Fubo TV. Luckily, none of those issues remained when I used the best France VPNs recommended in this guide.
So, if you want to enjoy internet privacy and freedom, and avoid ISP throttling and low download speeds, read further to find out how my top French VPNs can help.
Want to Stay Anonymous Online and Avoid ISP Throttling in France? Try My Top VPNs!
Whether you’re a French local, journalist, or tourist, you need a reliable VPN in France. After all, watching Netflix France isn’t enough when you can access international streaming libraries like Hulu from the country.
Thus, I did the legwork by vetting the best VPN for France. Here are my top picks:
- ExpressVPN – Ultra-fast servers in 94 countries to unblock content in France and beyond. Also, you enjoy robust security and privacy measures for reliable online privacy.
- NordVPN – Get protection on public Wi-Fi or during torrent download sessions, thanks to NordVPN’s strong encryption mechanisms and a strict no-log policy. Besides, you can enjoy stable and fast connections from anywhere on the extensive NordVPN server network.
- Surfshark – The perfect VPN choice if you’ve got a low budget without compromising your internet speed, privacy, and security.
- CyberGhost – Get speedy internet connections, 868 servers in France, 9200+ other servers in 91 locations, and limitless torrenting on seven devices simultaneously.
- IPVanish – Enjoy protection on unlimited devices and get 30 servers in France plus 2000+ servers in 75+ countries to stream and unblock restricted content without hassles.
Note that this is just a hint of what these VPNs have for you in France.
I’ve provided an in-depth overview of each, and how they compare in varying categories, below. So, keep reading!
Best VPNs for France: Tests, Analysis, and Comparisons
I spent 20+ hours vetting different VPNs, and only five providers passed my tests for extensive server networks, fast speeds, robust security, and top-notch online privacy.
So, let’s dive in to reveal my findings.
ExpressVPN - Best Overall French VPN With Automatic Obfuscation
ExpressVPN is the best VPN I used in France, owning servers in major French cities, including Paris, Marseille, Alsace, and Strasbourg.
Even though it doesn’t offer as many servers as NordVPN, the present server network is reliable enough to perform several functions.
For instance, you can use ExpressVPN’s French servers to
- Evade bandwidth throttling by Free Mobile, SFR, of your preferred French ISP
- Encrypt your internet activities without losing access to local content like France TV
- Allow smooth gaming and streaming by ensuring you get the least ping
But that’s not all!
Expatriates from France and French travelers/students can also utilize these local servers to unblock geo-restricted French streaming channels and sites like French TV, Canal+, and Molotov TV from abroad.
For instance, I watched The Handmaid’s Tale, Esprits Criminels (Criminal Minds), and Affaire Conclue on Molotov TV over ExpressVPN’s Paris server, even when I wasn’t in France, which would have been impossible without the VPN.
Likewise, I also trained a little French by watching local shows like 7 Days on Planet, Life Is More Beautiful, and Spiral on French TV over ExpressVPN’s Marseille server.
Luckily, these French servers aren’t the only thing you get from ExpressVPN.
The VPN provider boasts a massive network of 3000+ servers in 160 cities and 94 countries to unblock international content.
However, ExpressVPN’s server count isn’t as much as what Cyberghost and NordVPN offer. So, I didn’t find it easy to access live news on Moscow 24 TV, a region (Russia) with no servers.
Fortunately, the availability of server networks in other 94 regions enabled me to unblock geo-restricted content on
- Hulu and CNN Go over its USA – New York server
- CraveTV over its Canada – Toronto server
- BBC iPlayer over its UK – London server
- RTP over its Portugal server
- NRK TV over Norway Server
And what’s best, you can use these global servers to unlock certain shows unavailable in France, even if the platform isn’t blocked in the region.
For instance, France’s Netflix differs from US Netflix, which I could unblock in France using ExpressVPN’s Los Angeles – US server. Also, I could stream Mexican Netflix libraries by connecting to its Mexican server.
Luckily, ExpressVPN isn’t only best at unblocking content but equally fast.
I tested its speeds over a 4Mbps connection and received 3.92Mbps.
This is the fastest compared to the other VPNs, making ExpressVPN a good choice for HD streams without lag.
Furthermore, I checked its security performance in France, and everything was as promised. For instance, ExpressVPN’s AES 256-bit encryption promise held up, protecting my IP/DNS details thoroughly.
So, you can be sure your online activities aren’t going to unauthorized hands, such as that of your ISPs, copyright trolls, hackers, or French government agencies.
I was also thrilled to learn that this VPN provider uses this reliable encryption on all protocols, including its Lightway protocol, which is recommended for reliability, fast speed, and top security.
Luckily, that’s not everything the encryption is for.
I was always wary of connecting to free Wi-Fi hotspots at Square Jean XXIII park and Louvre_Wi-Fi_Gratuit in Paris. After all, I knew that some Hacker Croll and Sandworm (notorious French hackers)-wannabes might be on watch, ready to inject malware into my devices, mine my sensitive data, or peep my conversations.
Fortunately, that wasn’t a worry anymore with ExpressVPN’s reliable encryption, rendering my internet traffic useless to hackers, snoopers, and public Wi-Fi admins.
However, I found ExpressVPN lacks a special public Wi-Fi protection feature, even though you’ll find one with CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark.
But that’s not enough security and privacy downfall to hold ExpressVPN against!
After all, the VPN provider is committed to safeguarding your privacy via its strict no-logs policy. And if that’s not convincing, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a tiny privacy-oriented territory that excludes itself from the 14 Eyes group of countries.
But what does that mean for you, especially in France, which is a member of the 14 Eyes alliance?
Simply, ExpressVPN won’t collect information about your online activity and can’t be summoned to cooperate with France authorities to deanonymize you on its servers.
Lest I forget, you get these privacy and security services on 5 simultaneously-connected devices over a single ExpressVPN subscription plan. However, other VPN providers I tested support more devices, with IPVanish and Surfshark offering unlimited connections.
Even so, I didn’t mind that, as I could use ExpressVPN on my Windows PC and iOS phone. But here’s a dealbreaker!
ExpressVPN is the priciest VPN I found.
However, remember that you get what you pay for.
So, even though this VPN provider is expensive, its robust security, unlimited bandwidth, and ultra-fast server network are worth the price.
But to reduce the cost, you can take advantage of our ExpressVPN deals HERE and enjoy 30 days risk-free!
NordVPN - Best Privacy and Security-Oriented VPN for France
NordVPN is another impressive VPN with 230+ servers in France.
This is the second-highest French server count after CyberGhost, making it a must-have VPN in France.
But why is it so significant to have this many servers in the country?
The huge NordVPN France server library helps you to
- Stream local French broadcast channels, such as France4, CNews, France3, and Cstar, from anywhere without hassles.
- Keep up with French cultural movies and shows on France Netflix, even when traveling outside the country.
- Bypass barriers and restrictions in online shopping, such as ordering goods from Marks and Spencer’s France-based shops from abroad.
For instance, I couldn’t find The World is Yours and The Most Assassinated Woman in the World on my Netflix US account. However, I could watch the movies plus other French shows exclusively on France Netflix by connecting to NordVPN’s Paris server.
But NordVPN’s France servers aren’t the only good thing to expect!
With an extensive catalog of 5200+ servers in 59 locations, it’s a suitable VPN to unblock global content in France.
However, NordVPN lags behind CyberGhost on the server count.
But that wasn’t a big deal either.
After all, I successfully tested NordVPN’s global servers on
- BBC iPlayer over its London server in the United Kingdom
- Disney Plus over its Zurich Server in Switzerland
- Hulu over its Los Angeles server in the US
- DZN over its Tokyo server in Japan
- Amazon Prime Video over its Toronto server in Canada
And like I did with ExpressVPN, I tested NordVPN’s server speed over a 4Mbps connection, getting 3.77Mbps in return.
Even though this wasn’t as fast as ExpressVPN, I was okay with it as it was reliable for fast and quality streams. After all, the speed drop was an insignificant 5.75%.
I also quickly realized that NordVPN doesn’t only unblock content in France but is also a handy tool for optimum online privacy and security.
For instance, it ensured no IP/DNS leaks during my tests, making it a viable option to keep the French government and its authorities from collecting my internet data.
And that’s not it all!
NordVPN’s robust encryption is also available on all its protocols, including its NordLynx protocol, which is the best for privacy and fast speeds.
These encrypted protocols will keep you safe even when connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots in places like McDonald’s France, SAMUEL ROCHER, and La Chambre, preventing hacks and snooping common with these networks.
It even features a Wi-Fi protection feature set to kick in anytime your device connects to an unsecured public network. Thus, you’re always protected as you navigate the beautiful streets of Paris, Marseille, or other French cities.
Besides, it didn’t take me too long to realize that France isn’t immune to intrusive ads, like most European regions. This worsened when constant ads messed up my torrent experience on The Pirate Bay.
Luckily, NordVPN features an ad-blocker called “Threat Protection,” which blocked almost 96% of the ads I saw before connecting to the VPN!
And one more thing!
NordVPN protects up to six devices simultaneously on a single subscription, one more than ExpressVPN. But knowing that IPVanish and Surfshark support unlimited devices, I can’t recommend NordVPN as the best France VPN for many people or families.
Either way, you can still stick with NordVPN as it’s affordable (compared to ExpressVPN), even though not the cheapest I found!
Get these FANTASTIC NordVPN deals for various discount packs, including a 30-day risk-free trial!
Surfshark - Best Money Value VPN for France
Surfshark doesn’t state the exact number of servers it owns in France, but that isn’t a big issue since it has servers in Paris, Marseille, and Bordeaux, as clearly visible on its app.
So, with these three server locations, you can enjoy:
- Enhanced security against French intelligence surveillance and other privacy-risk groups
- Easy access to Netflix France libraries when traveling outside the country
- Better speeds in case your preferred France ISP is throttling your internet connection
Besides, you can connect to Surfshark’s French servers to access local TV channels while outside the country. For instance, I unblocked TF1 over the Paris server while away from France and had no problems watching “Little House on the Prairie” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” among other interesting movies!
And having been impressed by the French servers, I knew Surfshark’s other 3200+ servers in 100+ countries would do wonders!
However, this server network is less than what NordVPN offers.
But with a span of 100+ countries, Surfshark stands a chance to be the best VPN to unblock content anywhere.
For instance, I connected to the Surfshark global servers to unblock
- NRK TV over its Norway servers
- BBC iPlayer over its UK servers
- YLE Areena over its Finland servers
- AbemaTV over its Japanese servers
- Disney+ over its Australia servers
- HBO Max over its Netherlands servers
- Hulu over its US servers
- Hotstar over its India servers
Luckily, these servers don’t just unblock content but also do it fast!
I tested Surfshark’s speed on a 4Mbps network as I did with NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Here, it managed 3.81Mbps, a speed drop of 4.75%, enough for buffer-less streams.
I also tested Surfshark’s security mechanism to ensure I wasn’t unblocking content and browsing the web freely, while on the other side, France’s Intelligence agencies, hackers, and ISPs were recording my online activities.
Fortunately, it checks out on the IP/DNS test, ensuring all my activities are secured on these servers.
To supplement Surfshark’s AES 256-bit encryption, like the others, is an automatic Wi-Fi protection feature on its PC and mobile apps, which kicks in automatically when your device connects to unsecured Wi-Fi.
So, if you’re a constant attendee of restaurants and cinema rooms, France hackers laying in wait around such networks will have to face Surfshark’s strong security mechanisms!
Surfshark also provides an automated kill switch to prevent DNS leaks if your network connection drops unexpectedly.
In fact, unlike other VPN providers on this list (besides ExpressVPN), Surfshark includes its kill switch on its iOS app. In contrast, other providers have the feature set to launch automatically when you connect to the VPN.
Moving on, Surfshark also provides CleanWeb, blocking annoying ads you may encounter when surfing the web from France or anywhere else.
However, this ad blocker isn’t as robust as what NordVPN offers, but it’s better than CyberGhost’s.
Now, the most impressive thing about Surfshark!
You’ll enjoy everything the VPN offers on unlimited simultaneous device connections under one subscription plan. That covers all your device(s), including Linux, iOS, Windows, Android, and Mac.
And it even gets better, considering that Surfshark is my list’s most affordable VPN provider.
Grab our Surfshark Discounts HERE to enjoy these savings and test the VPN risk-free for 30 days!
CyberGhost - Ultra-Fast Servers for Buffer-Free 4K Streaming
CyberGhost offers the most French servers (828 servers), giving it the upper hand in accessing France-specific content from anywhere without suffering server overcrowding.
For instance, I continued to watch French TV shows and news from outside France after leaving the country. I only have to connect to a French server using the VPN’s WireGuard protocol (because it’s the fastest), and I get seamless access to French content.
While I’m only interested in watching the Tales of Ladybug, Cat Noir, and a few other local French shows, these servers are handier for French students and travelers who want frequent updates on French shows, news, and series while outside their country.
Besides, CyberGhost offers not only the most French servers but also the highest number of global servers – 9200+ servers in 91 locations – compared to the other VPNs in my guide. Here, only Surfshark outshines CyberGhost, but with more server locations only.
I successfully tested the VPN’s global servers on
During these tests, I liked the streaming-optimized servers on CyberGhost. You’ll even see what services some are optimized for, making the VPN one of the most beginner-friendly options to use in France.
Luckily, CyberGhost doesn’t depend on the optimized servers only for high streaming purposes. I also tested the speed on its regular servers over a 4Mbps connection and got 3.75Mbps.
Thus, this 6.25% drop ensures buffer-free and 4K streaming (if you start with a higher base speed) on the regular servers.
But that’s not all.
I also liked the security enhancements on CyberGhost, like its Wi-Fi protection features which you also get on NordVPN and Surfshark.
I remember testing CyberGhost’s Wi-Fi protection feature at The Chateau de la Rolandiere Campsite and American Library in Paris. Whenever my device(s) connected to their Wi-Fi, CyberGhost sent me prompt action to encrypt my connection.
Otherwise, I might have exposed my bank account details, such as my password, to cybercriminals anytime I checked my account balance on these networks!
CyberGhost also offers an ad blocker named “Block content,” just like NordVPN and Surfshark.
But to be sure, I tried listening to Mi Gente by J Balvin on YouTube and see if the CyberGhost ad blocker feature works. It did!
However, it didn’t block as many ads as Surfshark and NordVPN.
But something is better than nothing here. So, considering ExpressVPN doesn’t have an ad blocker, CyberGhost still stands a chance!
Moving on, CyberGhost’s AES- 256-bit encryption ensures no IP/DNS leaks even when connected to public Wi-Fi.
Even better, CyberGhost provides support for seven devices connected simultaneously. It only falls behind Surfshark and IPVanish, and that’s because they offer unlimited connections.
Even so, I still found this VPN provider a good choice for small families or travel groups in France since it’s compatible with different devices, including Windows, Androids, iOS, and Mac.
Lest I forget, CyberGhost is affordable but not as cheap as Surfshark.
Plus, you get to test the VPN risk-free for 45 days, during which you can ask for a refund and get it with no questions! Remember, all other VPNs in my guide limit the risk-free trial to 30 days!
Include these CyberGhost VPN offers to get SWEET discounts too.
IPVanish - French Servers, Reliable Security & Unlimited Device Connections
IPVanish may have the least number of France servers (only 30) but they’re good enough to
- Get a France IP address while outside the country.
- Encrypt your online activities in France without losing access to local content.
- Access France-specific content from anywhere.
And as always, I didn’t take this at face value. I tested IPVanish’s Paris server by watching a few Ligue 1 match highlights on France TV outside the country, and I unblocked the streaming service hassle-free.
But what about IPVanish’s international servers?
This VPN provider has 2000+ servers in 75+ countries, the least among all VPNs I reviewed, but they work perfectly. For instance, I used IPVanish to unblock various streaming channels not available in France, such as
Thankfully, IPVanish is also fast enough for buffer-less streams and a seamless web browsing experience. To bolster this, my speed tests on a 4Mbps connection resulted in an average download speed of 3.78Mbps.
Even though this isn’t as fast as in ExpressVPN, the connection drop wasn’t so significant at 5.5%.
So, take advantage of these reliable speeds for high bandwidth activities like gaming, streaming, secure torrenting, and video calling with the fast WireGuard protocol.
Speaking of torrents, you don’t have to be wary of copyright trolls when torrenting anymore, as long as you’re connected to an IPVanish server!
The VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your traffic against hacking and third-party interference, so nobody else can see what you’re doing (including the files you download) on its servers.
But it doesn’t hurt to test!
So, I checked and confirmed that it wasn’t leaking my IP/DNS, and my new public IP addresses matched what IPVanish assigned to me.
In matters of privacy, IPVanish has a verified no-logs policy.
This means that the VPN provider doesn’t store your:
- IP address
- DNS requests
- Connection time stamps, and
- Browsing history
However, here’s the dealbreaker!
IPVanish is based in Orlando in the US, a staunch member of the 5 Eyes alliance. Thus, I felt this was a huge risk to users’ privacy since it may be asked by the US government to hand over user data, which may then be shared with other surveillance nations. Fortunately, its no-logs policy means it won’t have any data to hand over.
But still, there’s another concern!
IPVanish doesn’t provide an automatic Wi-Fi protection feature like Surfshark, NordVPN, and CyberGhost. It’s also unhelpful that the IPVanish customer care personnel I spoke to gave me an unclear response on the issue.
That said, connecting to IPVanish’s server on public Wi-Fi will protect your internet data from network admins, hackers, and snoopers.
But if you want to have this handled automatically instead of via manual connections, consider Surfshark, CyberGhost, or NordVPN.
However, IPVanish outshines the other VPNs (except Surfshark) by offering unlimited simultaneous device connections across preferred devices, including Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android.
And if that’s not enough to sway you, IPVanish is quite affordable, unlike ExpressVPN. In fact, it’s the second cheapest French VPN I found, only behind Surfshark.
Get the VPN for these mouth-watering prices using these SWEET deals and enjoy a 30-day risk-free trial!
How to Setup a VPN for France?
The easiest way to set up a VPN for France is to pick a preferred VPN provider, enable the internet kill switch, and pick a suitable protocol and server.
I’ll use ExpressVPN to demonstrate the process in simple steps as follows
- Choose your preferred VPN provider and buy a subscription plan. I recommend ExpressVPN for France.
- Download and install the VPN app for your device(s). In my case, I use a Windows PC.
- Start the app and log in using your account credentials.
- Enable the internet kill switch to prevent IP/DNS leaks in case of unexpected disconnection. To do this, Click the three-line bar on the top left corner > Options > Network Lock > Tick the box.
- Select a suitable VPN protocol. On ExpressVPN, click the three-line icon on the top left corner > Options > Protocol to select your preferred protocol.
- Choose a preferred server location from the VPN server library. Go to the VPN app homepage > Click the three dots > All locations > Search for a server location > Double-click your preferred server to connect. I chose Japan for this example.
- Hold on to connect and test for IP/DNS leaks.
- Enjoy unblocking websites and apps securely.
How to Get a French/France IP Address?
Getting a France IP address uses the same procedure as setting up a VPN in France. However, in this case, you need to choose a VPN with French servers.
Luckily, ExpressVPN has servers in Paris, Marseille, Alsace, and Strasbourg.
Here’s how to use it to get a France IP address:
- Follow steps 1 to 5 above to set up a VPN in France.
- Search for the available France servers. Open the VPN app homepage > Click the three dots > Type France in the search bar > Click the “right arrow” symbol (>) to open server cities > Double-click your preferred France server to connect. I chose Paris.
- Wait for the connection, then run an IP/DNS leak test to ensure you’re getting France’s IP address.
- Enjoy access to France TV and other France content from anywhere.
Which VPNs Should I Avoid in France?
There are three VPNs to avoid in France: Hide My Ass (HMA), Betternet, and Hola.
But why should you avoid these VPNs and others like them? Let’s find out together.
- Hide My Ass – Based in the UK, a 5 Eye alliance jurisdiction, its customers still complain about it keeping logs despite promising not to. Also, there’re many complaints that HMA suspends users when caught torrenting.
- Betternet – Lacks essential security and privacy features, such as IP/DNS leak protection, and doesn’t promise a no-logs policy. This means your online activities aren’t private, and the France government/ISPs can access what you do online.
- Hola – Allows IP address sharing, meaning your IP address can be used by someone else in a different location. The risk here’s that you can end up in trouble for something bad someone did, using your IP address.
Frequently Asked Questions
VPNs in France are allowed as there are no laws banning censorship-circumventing mechanisms. However, you shouldn’t commit crimes using a VPN as that would be against France’s laws, leading to dire consequences if caught.
Thus, only use a VPN in France to bypass geo-restrictions, unblock sites and apps, encrypt your data and guard your connection on unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Yes, you can use a free VPN in France at your own risk! The so-called free VPNs don’t offer optimum security and privacy, thus leaking your connection activities to French ISPs, hackers, and snoopers. Likewise, you suffer constant annoyance from frequent ads, low connection speed, and unreliable content unblocking abilities.
Get Protected by the Best VPNs for France Now!
It’s time to bid goodbye to the “BIG Brother Laws” and other internet restriction rules, plus online insecurities, in France, thanks to my top 5 VPNs!
If you’re hard-pressed for an option, ExpressVPN stands first with its impressive online privacy, hard-to-decipher security profile, and extensive server network.
Grab these ExpressVPN deals to enjoy mouth-watering discounts, and test the VPN for 30 days on your first purchase!