Although the privacy legislation in France is some of the best in Europe, VPNs remain popular amongst internet users seeking to protect their privacy. The French government has some of the toughest anti-terrorism laws in Europe and there are stiff penalties for anything deemed to be supporting or inciting terrorism. Even tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are complying with strict anti-terrorism laws.
The French Pay For Privacy Foundation, La Quadrature du Net (LQDN) is a not-for-profit organization whose aim is to fight against any threats to internet users’ rights and freedoms. The foundation was created in September 2008 by a group of activists, musicians, journalists, professionals, students, and lawyers. LQDN supports net neutrality and advocates for user privacy. It has more than 3500 members who are French internet users concerned about online privacy.
LQDN is an independent organization that defends the rights and freedom of citizens on the Internet in general and particularly those guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). LQDN has proven to be one of the most effective organizations in Europe at devising strategies that help it attain its goals.
In 2009, La Quadrature du Net called for a European-wide action week against ACTA. Hundreds of protests were organized throughout Europe and more than 200,000 people took to the streets to say no to ACTA. In 2012 LQDN helped organize a protest against the Three Strikes law, also known as HADOPI, which was finally abandoned by the French government in July 2013.
French internet users have a lot to thank LQDN for and although France is generally considered a safe country where there isn’t much need for VPNs, the French are still some of the biggest VPN users in Europe. Whether it’s to access blocked content or increase online security, VPN usage remains high in France. As a matter of fact, one of La Quadrature du Net’s goals is to make sure net neutrality is respected and internet providers cannot discriminate against different types of data.
As we mentioned in our article on the best VPNs for French, even if you don’t really need a VPN, it’s still important to protect yourself online. The French government has always said that France isn’t a monitored country and denied allegations that it spies on its citizens. However, revelations by Edward Snowden proved otherwise and there is no reason to take the French government’s word anymore.
If you want to learn more about LQDN and what it does, we recommend visiting its website.
VPN recommendations for France:
ExpressVPN is our top recommendation. It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports OpenVPN encryption, and doesn’t keep any usage logs. You can use it on your PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire TV Stick, Linux, and routers. It also works with US Netflix.
CyberGhost is our third pick for France. This provider has over 700 servers across the world including some in France that are optimized for fast speeds. You’ll be able to unblock content from around the world, encrypt your traffic to protect your privacy, and access blocked content like BBC iPlayer no matter where you are located.
NordVPN is a great choice if you want to connect to a specific device. It’s a cheaper alternative to ExpressVPN and it supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2 encryption. It also comes with a kill switch that will terminate your internet connection if the VPN drops for whatever reason. NordVPN has servers in France, but they’re located outside of the European Union.
VPN.AC is another great option, particularly if you prefer security over price. It’s pricier than the previously mentioned choices but it supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 encryption (AES-256) and has servers in France. You can even choose to route your traffic through Russia, Turkey, or Romania for extra anonymity.
VyprVPN is our last French VPN recommendation. You can use it on your PC, Mac, Android, iOS, and some routers. VyprVPN has some of the best software around and will let you connect up to 5 devices at once. It also owns all of its own physical servers and doesn’t rent from third parties. You’ll be able to securely access P2P networks, stream in HD, and surf the web anonymously with VyprVPN.
PureVPN has more than 750 servers across the world, some of which are located in France. This provider supports OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec encryption protocols, but you can also choose between PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2. PureVpn doesn’t keep any usage logs or monitor your activity on its network.
HideMyAss also has servers in France. You can use this provider to stream or torrent with no restrictions, but it isn’t the best choice for security and privacy. HideMyAss keeps logs of your activity for up to a year and its software is known to contain security vulnerabilities.
Can I use a French VPN to access blocked content?
Yes, you can. A good VPN will let you unblock geographical restrictions by hiding your real location and replacing it with an IP address that belongs to a country where that content is available. An added benefit of using a VPN to bypass censorship in France is that it will also increase your online security and protect your privacy from surveillance by third parties like the NSA and hackers.
If you’re wondering which services are good for French users, you’ll find the answer in our list of the best VPNs for France.
Can I use a French VPN to download torrents?
Yes, you can. However, bear in mind that some countries are stricter when it comes to copyright infringement than others. Although most providers are lenient with their policies when it comes to P2P file sharing, some will suspend your subscription if they receive DMCA notices or other types of legal requests from rights holders. If you want to download torrents without having to worry about getting in trouble with your provider, make sure you choose one that is VPN Jurisdiction Strictly Outside US & EU.
What about a French IP address?
If you want to make sure nobody can find out where you are, you’ll need a French IP address. Your real IP address is associated with your geographical location and ISPs use it to block content that’s only available to people from specific countries. If you use an IP that belongs to another country like France, then you won’t have this problem anymore and will be able to access all the content regardless of your location.
As you can see there is no shortage of VPNs that work great in France. If you’re looking for a good deal on a VPN service you should consider signing up with one of the providers we mentioned above as they are among the most trusted and reliable VPNs in the industry.
Before we wrap things up it’s important to mention that without a VPN, you won’t be able to unblock Netflix France no matter where you are located. The streaming service has moved on from its old library and now offers a selection of French movies and TV shows along with US content. The only good thing is that they do not censor the US content as much as their local counterparts.
To unblock Netflix France you will need to connect to a VPN server located in France. From there you’ll be able to enjoy an extensive media library with many of your favorite French-language TV shows and movies. Most of the content on Netflix US will be available through the VPN.