Finding a VPN that is suitable for all European countries can be harder than you think. Every member state of the European Union has different legislation and laws regarding user privacy.
Not only this, many VPN providers have an influx of European servers, so when internet users wish to connect further afield, they find the standard of service can plummet.
With this in mind, we take the top VPN’s and compare them. With lots of testing, we see which European VPN caters for users who want online privacy and the ability to gain access to content, which is outside the European borders.
The Top VPNs for Europe
ExpressVPN has a high number of servers scattered around more than 40 countries in Europe.
This doesn’t just include larger countries such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. It caters for smaller regions like Bulgaria, Croatia, and Poland among many others.
Regardless of server locations, the download speeds allow streaming from any country without buffering.
You can stream any Netflix library, BBC iPlayer, ARD, ORF or M6 as easy as if you were in the home country.
Torrenting uses optimized fast servers, and to make sure your identity doesn’t leak, there is 256 bit encryption 4,096-bit RSA keys, SHA256 authentication.
DNS and IPv6 leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and kill switch makes security among the best.
Couple this with OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 protocols, and you have a VPN that takes privacy and security seriously. 24/7 live chat also makes sure no user is left waiting in the case of issues.
Device support is the best of any with Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android, Linux, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire, routers, game consoles, browser extensions, and many more have full support.
Now with five device connections, there is more than enough to cater for every family member.
Unique Benefit: The best VPN for accessing and using streaming services from anywhere
NordVPN is based outside any five eyes jurisdiction in Panama and is well known to offer some of the best security possible.
With 256-bit encryption, kill-switch, ad and malware-blockers, and IPv6, DNS, WebRTC leak protection.
This NordVPN review found obfuscated servers, Tor over VPN and a double VPN feature to enforce user privacy.
One strength is the bypassing of geo-restrictions for awkward streaming companies such as US Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Any torrenting will be safe using this VPN in Europe thanks to high privacy levels.
Device support is top-notch with Android and iOS, Microsoft-Windows, Mac OS, Linux and configurations for routers and other devices.
With 6 simultaneous connections, this is enough to cater for any EU VPN user. They have a large global network in 60 countries, and the number of servers is around 5,500. Thirty-six of these countries are scattered around Europe.
Unique Benefit: One of the best VPN’s for Europe privacy and anonymity
This CyberGhost review looks at a Europe VPN, which is based in the region. It is located in Bucharest, so outside any jurisdiction, and it is easy to see why this VPN provider has a large number of servers spread across Europe. With 34 countries covered, this is home to 1,800 servers.
There is a massive 45-day money-back guarantee, so users in Europe can test all the easy to use features that makes it a favorite for online activities.
By default, the OpenVPN, 256 bit AES encryption and SHA256 authentication, DNS leak protection and killswitch are enabled.
The simple interface makes it ideal for new users, with torrenting a one-click activity.
Streaming EU content may not be included in the list, yet for accessing Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer or other major platforms is just a matter of selecting the service from a list. The app then changes to the best VPN server for access.
Device support covers most common devices such as Microsoft-Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome.
Unique Benefit: Best VPN services in Europe for new users who want ease of use
Most VPN’s for Europe have been around for ages. Surfshark is different as it is quite a young service.
This being said, it does offer a lot already. It offers OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 along with AES256 GCM encryption.
One of the good things with this service is it is based in the BVI, which is the best country for VPN headquarters, as you can see from the ExpressVPN review.
VPN apps are available for phones and tablets, desktops, smart TV’s, browser extensions, and game consoles. Any problems can quickly be sorted by their around the clock customer service.
There is an ad-blocker, split tunnel, multi-hop and kill-switch as standard. It doesn’t have the largest network, but there a few servers spread around Europe. Unlike a lot of other VPN’s this one allows unlimited connections.
Streaming speeds and geo-blocked content access can match some of the best VPN’s because it does a good job with accessing most.
Torrenting is allowed, yet this is on certain servers, and you can find your connection diverted to a torrent friendly server.
Unique Benefit: With camouflage mode on this VPN, Europe ISP’s won’t see a VPN is in use on an internet connection.
StrongVPN uses the best L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols and good encryption. Users can add 12 multiple devices with setup guides for plenty of others.
This VPN uses its own secure DNS servers and does include a kill-switch.
It doesn’t have the largest global network, and with just 650 servers across 26 countries, you can quickly see it isn’t the best VPN for Europe.
When it comes to streaming, this VPN doesn’t just drop names of streaming companies, the website has a page with icons of the most popular.
There are either US or from the UK, unfortunately, this is just a sales page. It did manage to access Netflix, which was a plus point.
Torrenting in Europe falls flat on its face with StrongVPN as it isn’t allowed. This could be a deal-breaker.
This VPN does redeem itself a little when in use on a Public Wi-Fi connection. You are guaranteed no one can see what you are doing.
Unique Benefit: Can use the WireGuard next-generation VPN protocol with better encryption and faster speeds
Are VPN’s Legal in Europe?
There are no laws around Europe that say using a VPN is illegal. However, some parts of Turkey edge toward Europe and some toward Asia.
Turkey does say VPN’s are illegal, yet some of the above service providers have servers in the country.
Why You Need a VPN for Europe?
There are a few reasons that a user may need a VPN on their internet service in Europe. First is because of government censorship.
This may not be apparent is some countries, yet there are places that take a stance on religious or political views.
There is also a rise in the amount of internet surveillance in the fight against terror, this means whatever users do online, and they can flag some things that warrant their connection to be monitored.
After this are the contractual agreements for video content. From the UK is All 4, iPlayer and then there is Hulu and Netflix in the USA.
All this content isn’t made accessible to users in Europe. Likewise, and European user who travels outside their own country won’t be able to access their favorite content from home.
VPN’s also protect users from hackers, cyber criminals, and third parties who track user’s online activity.
How About a Free VPN for Europe?
It is tempting to use a free VPN rather than paying for one. However, these are never free, and you pay in one way or another.
Free versions from large VPN companies are stripped down versions and offer limited features and protection.
Other free virtual private networks use their service to harvest user activity for their own benefit. This can be targeting ads for themselves, or selling on user data to other third parties.
Free VPN’s are in no way as safe as a premium service, and some do use them to insert malicious software onto a user’s device.
Metadata Retention Law in European Union
The DRD was passed back in 2006. ISP’s by this law is to retain a user’s personal information like IP addresses, incoming and outgoing calls, geolocation and other internet access traffic. Periods of retention range from 6 months to 2 years depending on the country.
This affects everyone and not just a person who is suspect to a crime. This information can be passed to the UK and USA if it is deemed important enough to share.
While there are some countries which thing this is a contravention of human rights, there is no way for users to be fully sure the extent of what is being seen, and if their privacy is under threat.
With so many countries in such, close vicinity to each other. Users may find they fall under surveillance and data retention even if they appear to be in a country, which opposes it.
Even with the likes of EFF and AK Vorrat fighting against these laws and directives, they are still implemented.
Just because someone is fighting against a law doesn’t mean a user is safe. The only way to be sure is to use a premium VPN Europe based users know will keep them safe.
With this, it is time for user’s to take their privacy and their security into their own hands.