We need a good VPN, wherever in the world we might happen to be. Sometimes where we happen to be is Germany. We still want our data encrypted, our IP address hidden, our browsing history kept private. Which VPN works best in Germany? We’ve taken the time to put together a little list. We don’t know which one is exactly right for you, but we know you’ll find it here.
NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, outside cyber-surveillance organizations’ prying eyes. But just because corporate is in Panama, though, doesn’t mean they don’t have Germany covered. With more than 240 servers to choose from, we could access a secure server no matter where we were in the country. The VPN kept our data incredibly safe through a combination of military-grade encryption and multi-hop VPN technology. Beyond protecting us, though, the software allowed us to enjoy Netflix, to download torrents at lightning-fast speeds, and to do it all with complete anonymity.
What We Like
Strict logging policy
Fast download speeds
Dedicated IP Address option
What We Don’t Like
Static IP addresses
Only three simultaneous connections
Hard-to-reach customer service
The two best friends who founded NordVPN say they want to create an internet free of censorship and surveillance, and we believe them. We loved the fact that they’re headquartered in Panama, a country that has refused to join Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes, the three surveillance alliances that have developed between some countries.1 That means that NordVPN can never be forced to turn over our data to the government. We were even more impressed by the fact that in eight years, NordVPN’s privacy infrastructure has never once been compromised, they’ve never had a single data breach, and they’ve never disclosed any information about any of their eight million users.
Lots of Servers
NordVPN maintains over 5200 servers worldwide, and, as we mentioned, 240 of those servers are located in Frankfurt and Berlin. Obviously, that’s a lot of servers, but in practical terms what does that really mean? It meant wherever we roamed, Hamburg to Kiel, Munich to Erlangen, we could count on our ability to get a safe, secure, and totally private connection.
Double VPN Encryption
What’s safer than a VPN that connects to one server? A VPN that connects to two, of course. NordVPN uses something called multi-hop technology, which basically creates a chain between two or more of its servers. That means that anyone who had wanted to trace our IP address wouldn’t just have had to decrypt one server; they would have had to decrypt at least two. Internet security just doesn’t get much stronger than that. We could be sure that whatever we were doing, whether it was streaming a Netflix series or downloading torrent files, we were doing it in absolute anonymity.
We got fast downloading speeds and up to 10 simultaneous connections on an unlimited number of devices with IPVanish. That came with access to some of the best customer service in the industry. As it happens, the company has 62 servers in Germany, so you can expect to get connected, and quickly.
What We Like
Up to 10 simultaneous connections
Dynamic IP addresses
Great customer service
Fast downloading speeds
What We Don’t Like
Subject to Five Eyes Surveillance
History of sharing customer logs
No Netflix connections on some servers
No browser support
Split tunneling is an incredibly useful component for a VPN. We spent time in several cafes in Hamburg, one of the kaffee centers in Germany: caffeine fuels our best ideas. Split tunneling allowed us to toggle easily back and forth between our two “tunnels”: our VPN and our local connection. All those files from our office stayed encrypted while our Spotify playlist was just fine—and eating up less bandwidth—running through the cafe’s Wi-Fi.
Did we mention we’re a little eclectic? With some of our favorite shows on one server and other favorites on others, sometimes it seems like we’ve never met a streaming service we didn’t absolutely need. So we were psyched to learn that IPVanish works directly with a whole plethora of different streamers, from ESPN+ to HBO Max, CBS All Access to the WWE Network. That being said, we were a bit disappointed to find that not all IPVanish servers connect to Netflix. But who needs Netflix when you can get your smackdown on? To view other options, read about the best VPNs for Netflix.
We aren’t native Deustchlanders, so trying to decide which of IPVanish’s local German servers was right for us got a little complicated. Luckily, we had access to one of the most responsive support services in the business. We could have used a call helpline 24/7, but we’re a little shy and opted instead for the website’s live chat. While we waited our turn, it actually kept us updated on exactly where we were in the queue. In no time, we found out exactly what we needed. We could even have submitted an email support request and received a response—again—24/7.
The most affordable VPN on this list, CyberGhost doesn’t sacrifice security for value. They’re headquarters in Romania meant our data wouldn’t be subject to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes surveillance. We still had access to seven connections on an incredible 690 servers located in Frankfurt and Nuremberg. And with CyberGhost’s Smart Rules, we could make sure that our VPN sprang into action every time we decided to stream or torrent. All this cost us as little as $2.25 a month when we signed up for a three-year contract.
What We Like
Low price with one or two-year subscriptions
Based in Romania, outside surveillance alliances
Seven devices per subscription
Support for Chrome and Firefox
What We Don’t Like
Static, shared IP addresses
Logs of IP addresses, timestamps, and locations
Netflix prerequisites in some countries
Slow performance on Windows
Of all the VPNs we’ve surveyed, CyberGhost is one of the most affordable. While a one-month subscription would have cost us $12.99, signing up for a full year dropped that price to $3.99, two years dropped it to $3.49, and signing up for three years dropped it to just $2.25. The company also offered a number of additional cost-saving features including student discounts and a referral program. To learn more, read our page on CyberGhost’s pricing.
Our tastes can be eclectic, and we find torrenting great for tracking down obscure, hard-to-find TV series. Luckily, CyberGhost had us covered with an easy-to-use “Torrent Now” button. We were able to find exactly what we needed and to do it without worrying about who might be looking over our shoulder.
CyberGhost’s split-tunneling comes with an additional handy feature called “Smart Rules.” This allowed us much greater control over what and how we connect to their servers. We could create a rule, for example, that every time we ran our torrent software it would run through the CyberGhost VPN. We could even specify which particular server we’d connect to. This is ideal for ensuring that those of us who might be a little forgetful never forget to run a VPN when we need it.
Private Internet Access, as their name implies, takes privacy seriously. They issued us a dynamic IP address, and we had access to the VPN on an unlimited number of devices, so we didn’t have to choose between them when we wanted safety and security. Yes, they are headquartered in the U.S., which means that technically they are subject to Five Eyes surveillance. However, the company deals with that by maintaining a strict no traffic logging policy. That means even if the government should suddenly come knocking on their door, they have no useful data to turn over.
What We Like
No traffic logging
Dynamic IP Addresses
Unlimited number of devices
556 servers in Germany
What We Don’t Like
Limited customer support
Slow on Macs
Dynamic IP Addresses
Private Internet Access used dynamic IP addresses to keep our location hidden. Many companies offer “shared” addresses which means multiple users share a single address. A dynamic address, in contrast, constantly changes each time you connect to the VPN. Both methods can be effective at ensuring privacy, but dynamic addresses are slightly safer when it comes to protection from hackers, since they make it harder for a third-party to lock in on any one address.
No Traffic Logging
Private Internet Access is located in the U.S., but unlike some other American VPN companies, it maintains no traffic logging. So even though it’s technically headquartered in a Five Eyes country, it couldn’t be forced to turn over any of our traffic data, since it doesn’t have any data to turn over. Better yet, its record is spotless on that score. In fact, the company published a very clear statement of its principles when it comes to privacy and surveillance:
“We can unequivocally state that our company has not and still does not maintain metadata logs regarding when a subscriber accesses the VPN service, how long a subscriber’s use was, and what IP address a subscriber originated from. Moreover, the encryption system does not allow us to view and thus log what IP addresses a subscriber is visiting or has visited.”
Seems pretty straightforward to us!
Pro Tip: All VPNs log some information, usually for billing purposes or to help upgrade the software. A so-called “No Log” VPN, however, typically means that the VPN doesn’t log any of a user’s traffic on the web.
We can’t keep up anymore with exactly how many devices we have. There’s our work laptop, our personal laptop, our phone, our tablet, our Kindle…it’s a good thing we don’t have kids since there’s no way we could keep up with their electronics too. With all those platforms, we tend to prefer a company like Private Internet Access which allows us to use their VPN service on any of our ever-expanding number of devices. We will admit we would have liked more than five simultaneous connections. Still, whether we were working with Windows or Ubuntu, using a Mac or an iPad, surfing on an Android phone or or an iPhone, we were covered. Read more about Private Internet Access’ subscription options.
PureVPN had all the important features of a good VPN—military level encryption, split tunneling, a no-traffic logging policy—but they also offered us some features not available with every VPN. For one thing, PureVPN maintains a ton of servers, and there’s one in almost every country on the planet, including almost 200 in Germany. In addition, PureVPN offers dedicated IP addresses. We had the security of encryption, of course, but also the convenience that comes with an address that never changed that only we were on. All those features were available on up to ten of our devices.
What We Like
Broad coverage in Germany
Available dedicated IP addresses
No traffic logging
What We Don’t Like
Only five simultaneous connections
Poor performing apps
Limited torrenting in some countries
Tons of servers internationally
PureVPN has over 200 servers in Germany, which include 63 in Frankfurt, 54 in Munich, 12 in Nuremberg, 54 in Berlin, and 18 in Hessen. With so many connection options in so many places, we weren’t surprised to find that their speeds were super fast, whether we were uploading or downloading.
Available Dedicated IP Addresses
In addition to its static addresses, PureVPN also offers dedicated IP addresses. We’ve talked already about the relative values of shared and dynamic IP addresses. What we haven’t mentioned yet is the “dedicated” address. A dedicated address is one that only we own. That meant that, while we were still completely protected, we were the only ones using the address. This helped with speed times, since the machine didn’t have to process new addresses. It also meant that the bank didn’t have to constantly ask us to re-verify who we were, since our address never changed. Not all VPNs offer dedicated addresses; PureVPN offers one for the very reasonable price of $3.99 per month.
Let’s share a little secret not everyone knows: Netflix offers different content depending on the country you’re in. That doesn’t just mean Canadian Netflix features Canadian shows. Many popular American shows are made available in other countries but not the U.S. Since we’re sharing secrets anyway, here’s another good one. A VPN with Netflix access, such as PureVPN, allowed us to access those other Netflixes in other countries. So, when we got bored with everything available here, we could always check out what was available in Canada, or Britain, or anywhere else Netflix operates.
FYI: Many governments purposely block certain websites for ideological reasons. A VPN allows a user to access such websites because it connects to the internet through a server located in another country.2 Read more about VPNs in general in our VPN guide.
So how exactly do we come up with a best list like this one? In fact, there’s always a careful, and lengthy, evaluation process. When it comes to VPNs, we’re interested in some very specific elements: speed, security, available features, privacy policies, and pricing. In this case, though, we were also interested in just how many servers each company maintains in Germany and where they’re located. In the end, we made our recommendations based on a holistic sense of who performs best across all these categories. No VPN is perfect, but we like to think our checklist helps us come up with the best offers in Germany specifically.
When it comes to speed we use a simple speed test developed by Ookla. This allows us to determine upload, download, and latency speeds. More importantly, we can compare speeds for a machine running both with and without a VPN, which allows us to say with certainty just how much a particular VPN may affect your computer’s performance.
Security is a complex category made up of a number of different features (see below). However, there are basic tests that can tell us whether or not a VPN has “leaks.” Leaks are just what they sound like: spots where a VPN may be vulnerable to leaking your DNS or WebRTC information. To check for DNS leaks, we run each VPN through a program at DNSLeakTest.com. To check WebRTC security, we use a tool from ExpressVPN.
The most important features for any VPN are those that help to ensure security and privacy. Of course, different companies approach security and privacy using different tools. We like companies that offer kill switches, dynamic IP addresses, split tunneling, multi-hop, and AES-256 encryption.
However, other features are important as well, so we also look for VPNs that allow easy access to Netflix and other streaming services and that have tools for torrenting. Finally, we’re always fans of good customer service and companies with strong apps.
Privacy isn’t just about a secure internet connection. It means more than just keeping our data safe from hackers. It means keeping our data safe from everyone, including the VPN company itself. Where we go and what we do on the internet isn’t anyone’s business but our own, and good privacy means even governments can’t access that information.
What are the components of good privacy? First, we make sure to read every VPN’s privacy with a fine-tooth comb. Every VPN keeps some information for billing purposes, for instance, but we prefer companies that maintain the bare minimum account information. The best companies don’t log any access information, including our web traffic, our IP addresses, or any sort of timestamps. We like it even better when a company is located in a country with strong privacy laws and one that isn’t a member of the international surveillance alliances Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes. A company located in a country like that can’t be forced to share any of our information with the federal government.
Finally, we take a look at pricing and subscriptions, not just to see which companies offer the lowest price but to consider what kind of value we’re getting for our money. That means examining which companies offer monthly subscription rates vs. how much savings a company may offer for a long-term plan. It also means considering whether a VPN offers sufficient simultaneous connections and server switches and how many devices it allows us to use. In general, we look for plans that cost $10 a month or less, and that offer discounts for longer contracts.
All the VPNs on this list have servers located all over the world, which means it’s easy to get a secure connection pretty much wherever we might be. However, for this list, we were looking specifically at servers in Germany. All of our picks maintain multiple servers here, usually in multiple locations across the country.
Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions asked about the best VPNs for Germany.
As long as what you’re streaming doesn’t violate copyright rules (essentially as long as you are using a commercial streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, or HBO Max), streaming is completely legal in Germany.
The best VPN for Germany is NordVPN. It uses military-grade encryption, has a strict no access logging policy, and utilizes multi-hop technology. In addition, it maintains over 240 servers in Germany, ensuring fast speeds.