Best Free VPNs for France (for Safety and Streaming)
There are a lot of reasons to live in or travel to France. One of them is uncensored internet. The government is quite internet-friendly. Furthermore, there are many shows and movies exclusive to France residents.
However, you could still face threats from private actors. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for details of private citizens to exploit. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) could also be collating your data and sending it off to third parties. Finally, if you are outside France, you will not access some exclusive movies available to residents. This can be a bummer if you are French but live outside France or you simply love French TV.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) helps overcome the challenges mentioned above. A VPN enhances your security. It also affords you the means to watch French content wherever you are located.
This review looks at some of the best free VPN services you can use.
Top Risk-Free VPNs for France
Before moving straight to the totally free VPN services, we bring you two formidable options. They are known as risk-free VPNs. They are risk-free because they provide you a money-back window within which you can request a refund of your initial subscription payment. Hence, even though you have to pay at first, you could potentially use the service for free. You just have to be sure to request the refund before the window closes.
Here are two options to consider:
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
ExpressVPN is the best all-round VPN service you can find. It makes the list of the best VPN services for whatever purpose you need it for. Hence, whether you are a streaming enthusiast, or are into torrenting or gaming, this provider has you covered. More so, you get excellent security to boot.
ExpressVPN has about 3000 servers in 94 countries. Several are stationed in France. Connecting to any of those automatically gives you a French IP address regardless of wherever you are. You can thus watch French content even abroad. These servers are speedy, and with the zero data bandwidth you have on this service, there is no stopping you. You can download or stream and watch videos on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime and the likes.
You will not have to worry about security while in France. Connecting to any of ExpressVPN’s servers encrypts your service. Your connection will be routed through a secure tunnel that even the most sophisticated criminal cannot hack. This encryption mechanism is the AES 256-bit. In addition, this provider does not retain any of your data on its network. It also has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. This is a great privacy hub.
The provider has apps for all the major device types. It allows you 5 simultaneous connections. You will face no data or bandwidth limit. It has no free version but allows you a 30-day grace window. You can pursue a refund within this period, no questions asked.
- Pros: Fastest VPN out there; Strict no logs policy; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest price: $6.67
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
NordVPN comes a close second to ExpressVPN. This top-shelf service has all of the features you need for a great time in France. Unfortunately, it does not have a free offer. However, it affords users a 30-day money-back window. Refund is swift and stress-free within this period.
This provider’s server count stands at 5000+ at last count. It has 230 of these servers in France. The great thing about this provider is that it automatically connects you with the best server in France as soon as you log on. More so, it designates some as specialty servers. Hence, you’ll find those optimized for P2P file sharing, torrenting and even streaming.
Security is another area NordVPN comes out tops. The provider shields users with the AES 256-bit encryption model. It also supports great security protocols, including the proprietary NordLynx protocol that is touted to be the best in the industry. This provider also has extra security features like obfuscated servers, dedicated IP addresses, malware and DDoS blockers, to mention a few. NordVPN is based in Panama. This location is great for privacy. Hence, your details are safe with this provider.
You can connect 6 devices to one NordVPN account, even within the money-back window. The provider has apps for the major device types and also extensions for Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Edge browsers.
- Pros: Lots of pricing options; Netflix support kept up to date; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest price: $3.71
Best Completely Free VPNs for France
Here is a list of the best totally free VPN services you can use for France.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
ProtonVPN is the ExpressVPN of free services. It has both paid and free subscription options. However, its free plan is fantastic and a delight to use. If you are traveling to France for a while or need a VPN service to use as a French resident, this provider is just perfect for you.
This provider has about 1200 servers in 50+ locations globally. However, on the free service, you get to access servers in just three countries: the United States, the Netherlands and Japan. Unfortunately, there is no free server in France. However, you can connect to any of the free servers in the three countries to encrypt your data. This secures your privacy and shuts out bad actors that may be after your data.
There are other security perks you get asides from the primary encryption features you get when you connect to a ProtonVPN server. For example, you will not have to deal with ads or malware on the service. Furthermore, ProtonVPN has a strong security leaning and so does not log or share your online data. It also has its headquarters in Switzerland and makes sure to follow all relevant Swiss privacy laws.
ProtonVPN is a hit if you are looking for a free VPN service for France that is reliable. There are no speed or data limits on the service. Additionally, you can potentially use the service forever. This is because the free offer comes with no strings attached.
- Pros: Professional support; Modern interface and apps; AES-256 encryption;
- Lowest price: €4
- Number of servers: 2000+
- Server locations: 75 locations
- Maximum devices supported: 10
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Has free option
- No log policy
- Secure connection
- Not very cheap
Another remarkable free provider we bring your way is Hide.me. The provider holds itself out as the world’s fastest VPN service. It has about 2000 servers in 75 locations and promises unlimited data and bandwidth to paid subscribers. It has a limited package for free users. However, just like ProtonVPN, you will have a swell ride while using it in France.
Hide.me offers you lifelong use. Thus, unlike some other free providers, what you get is not a free trial period. Instead, you get 10GB of data to use every month. This data offer is renewable indefinitely. Also, you have access to servers in 5 locations. These include the United States, Netherlands, Germany, and Canada. Although there’s no free France server, these locations offer you a rich catalog of content to explore.
This provider further takes your security seriously. It uses the popular AES 256-bit encryption model to secure your service. Additionally, it blocks ads, malware, and trackers. It also maintains a strict no-log policy. This means that it will not log your activities on its servers.
Remarkably, this provider does not throttle your speed. Thus, you can stream content as long as your 10GB allows you to. You can also torrent files because the free servers are P2P-friendly. However, you can only connect one device at a time to the VPN service. Furthermore, you will have to renew the service once your allowed data runs out.
- Pros: Has free option; No log policy; Secure connection;
- Lowest price: €4.99
- Unlimited data? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 5
- Military grade encryption? Yes
- Servers: Over 3200 in 80+ countries
- Unlimited HD streaming
- Blocks malware
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Unreliable support
Hotspot Shield is one of the very few providers that offer both a free trial period and a totally free plan. So you can try out both options if you are looking for a free VPN for France. Its features have made it a user favorite. Thus you will certainly have little to complain about on the service.
The free trial version lasts for 7 days. During this period, you get uninhibited access to all the features the provider has. This includes access to over 1000 servers in multiple locations. You also get to connect 5 devices at the same time. Finally, you get better security options on the service.
However, you can also be a first-time subscriber once. After the free trial elapses, you may still need to use the VPN for free. In this case, you can use the free version. Here, you get 500MB of data daily. This is pretty generous, especially if you aren’t a frequent internet user. Additionally, this is renewable every day.
The AES 256-bit military-grade encryption is available on the free service. However, you are allowed to connect only one device at a time. More so, you can only connect to servers in the United States on the free plan.
Generally, Hotspot Shield is a decent service to use for free in France. It secures your privacy and gives you a renewable data package that could potentially last forever. However, its shortcomings include the limited server spread and unavailable streaming options on the free mode.
- Pros: Unlimited HD streaming; Blocks malware; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest price: $6.99
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes, bitcoin
- Dedicated IP-adresses? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 5
- Locations: 28 countries
- Unlimited browsing
- Account manager
- Military grade encryption
- Free version allows only 500MB data
TunnelBear is a super affordable way of staying protected on the internet. It has cheap plans. In addition, it offers a free period to users. You can use this if you are traveling to or live in France. This VPN’s features make sure you have a pleasant VPN experience.
You get 500 MB of data to use on the service. The great thing about this arrangement is that you get to use all of the VPN’s features during this period. Hence, you can connect to any of TunnelBear’s servers in 41 countries. These servers are very fast. What is more, there are quite a number of them in France. This makes sure you have French IP addresses if you need them.
Security is also taken care of on this service. This provider uses the AES 256-bit encryption model to secure its servers. It also has some other security features, such as the GhostBear mode that hides the fact that you are on a VPN service. There is also the vigilant mode which works just like a kill switch. Finally, this provider maintains a great no-log policy.
TunnelBear’s free version has limited capabilities. Hence, if you are in France or abroad but need a French IP address, you may find it lacking for high-end activities. However, it works just fine if you need a VPN for just online browsing. Alternatively, you could just pay for any of its very affordable plans.
- Pros: Unlimited browsing; Account manager; Military grade encryption;
- Lowest price: $3.33
Are Free VPNs Any Good for France?
Free VPN providers give you VPN service at no cost. However, there is no denying that paid providers have better services. Firstly, free providers may not allow you to use the full range of features they have. In addition, free users typically have limited access. Thus, you may be unable to access French TV from your remote locations. This is because these VPNs are not good enough to break through the encryptions on these platforms.
Furthermore, you could be compromising your security when you use these platforms. Free providers usually allow ads on their platforms to generate funds to pay for their services. These ads could have malware embedded in them, exposing you further. More so, some unscrupulous providers could even sell your data to third parties. If you aren’t careful, your details could fall into the hands of cybercriminals.
For a better and effective VPN service in France, you should use a paid service. The risk-free providers are your best bet. You enjoy excellent service for a period and request a refund before your money-back period elapses.
Frequently Asked Questions About VPNs for France
Is using a VPN legal in France?
Yes. There is no law prohibiting VPN use in the country. However, there are a few things to bear in mind. Firstly, you’ll still get into trouble if you use a VPN for illegal purposes. In fact, most VPN providers make it clear that you are on your own if you use their services to commit any crimes. Secondly, most websites prohibit VPN use. One such platform is Netflix.
What streaming services can you access with a French VPN?
One of the most important functions of a VPN is swapping out your IP address. It provides you with one compatible with France, allowing you to access French movies and TV shows. Hence, you can access the French Netflix library from wherever in the world you are. Other channels you could watch include Eurosport, Arte, BFM TV, Eurosport, Ligue 1, etc. However, you should know that most free VPNs are incapable of breaking through geo-restrictions. Moreover, when they are able to bypass restrictions, they only do so for short periods at a time.
Is the internet in France uncensored?
France is well-regarded for its pro-privacy stance. It once fined Facebook for data privacy breaches. However, there have been concerns about certain sketchy privacy laws in the country. Around 2015, the country passed a law that ostensibly gave cops the power to search people’s properties and internet devices. Although the European data privacy regulations have come in to cushion the effects of the 2015 law, there is no telling what the future holds. Hence, you will be best served if you use a VPN.
There are many reasons to use a VPN in France. Evading security threats and unblocking geo-restricted content are two of the best reasons for that. Unfortunately, most VPN services require you to pay to use their service. This review brings you a list of some of the best providers who give out their services for free. Do well to check them out.