5 Best VPN Services for Europe in 2023: Travelling and Streaming
The European continent is beautiful in many ways. There are so many rich programs to watch. Unfortunately, due to geo-restrictions, not every country outside the continent has access to some of these programs. Even within the continent, some countries censor content from citizens.
All these issues, combined with the increase in cybercrime, makes using a VPN a vital necessity. A Virtual Private Network protects your network from unauthorized inspection by malicious hackers. It also lets you access restricted content regardless of your location. Apart from these two, there are also other reasons to use a VPN. Let’s learn about the VPNs first.
Top Recommended VPN Services for Europe
Several VPN service providers claim to provide the best service, but you cannot take them by their words. We have selected five of the best VPN service providers that offer premium services to unblock content and keep your privacy intact while visiting or living in Europe.
Here are five VPN services we recommend:
- 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 sits at the top of our recommendations due to years of constant reliability. Dan Pomerantz and Peter Burchhardt founded ExpressVPN in 2009. Since then, it has grown to be the biggest name in the VPN market. It can unblock and bypass geo-restrictions, boasts fast and reliable speed, and protect your connection with robust security protocols.
It has a collection of over 3000 servers in 94 countries, with a vast number of them in 48 European countries. This expanding network of servers maintains reliable service to its users. With these servers, you can be sure to enjoy streaming geo-blocked content without any hassle.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO, and Hulu are among the major streaming platforms you can access. ExpressVPN’s fast servers support 4k Ultra HD video resolution, which is one of the highest video resolutions. Streaming content with high-quality video will make your experience with this VPN enjoyable.
A rigid no-log policy is in effect to make sure they don’t store personal data and internet traffic history. In combination with zero obligation to release any user data to any government, your privacy is kept intact. Providing an option to pay for services anonymously makes this VPN service provider a haven for people that take their privacy seriously.
ExpressVPN employs some of the most secure protocols to ensure its users are well protected when it comes to security. Some of the protocols include OpenVPN, IPsec, IKEv2, and PPTP. It uses the unshakeable AES-256 encryption to secure internet traffic. This encryption is practically impenetrable, and it would take years trying to crack it.
A DNS/IPv6 leak protection and automatic kill switch will prevent your IP address from exposure. Perfect forward secrecy ensures encryption keys are reliable by periodically changing them. Split tunneling also allows you to decide specific applications you want or don’t want to run through the secure VPN tunnel.
ExpressVPN has applications for major platforms. It has browser extensions on Firefox, Safari, and Chrome to keep you safe while browsing. There’s also support for routers to give you all-round protection. It’s not cheap, but for the premium service it offers, it is worth your money. Five simultaneous connections are what you get on a single user account.
A 30-day refund policy gives you enough time to check if these features are what you need. The refund process is quick if you decide not to go on with this VPN service provider.
- 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
Here is another strong contender for the top spot in the VPN market. NordVPN began operations in 2012. Since then, it continues to deliver excellent service to its customer base. A tremendous amount of servers, incredible features, broad platform support, and rapid speed are among what makes this VPN server a superb choice.
It has a global server count of over 5500 in 59 nations. Its network traverses thirty-six European countries, with over 2000 servers providing exemplary service to its users. It also gives you the option of selecting special servers to suit your needs. Double VPN servers, dedicated IP servers, obfuscated servers, P2P servers, and Onion over VPN servers give you layers of protection and outstanding service.
It is reliable in unblocking geo-restrictions and permits you to watch shows on popular streaming platforms. Its servers are lighting-fast and support streaming content on high video resolutions like HD and 4k Ultra-HD. Its Smartplay DNS feature allows you to access content on streaming platforms without any trouble.
Since it operates from Panama, NordVPN takes your privacy seriously. It keeps no connection or user activity logs and ensures that its regular servers run using RAM only. This means local storage is not possible, and your privacy is vital to them.
Strong encryption, kill switch, DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, split tunneling, and a CyberSec component that thwarts malware and ads. These features give you comprehensive protection from bad actors and monitoring governments. A cryptocurrency payment option is all you need to know about this company’s commitment to your privacy.
Cross-platform compatibility is not an issue with NordVPN as it has an application for Windows, Android, iOS and macOS, Linux, and other platforms. Browser extensions are also on Firefox and Chrome. Its applications are easy to use and set up, so you can install and start protecting your devices in minutes. There are also instructions for manual installations on routers.
NordVPN’s pricing plans are relatively cheap if you opt for its annual or two-year plan, but its monthly plan is fairly expensive. Still, if you don’t like the service you get, its money-back guarantee means you can launch a refund request within 30 days.
- Pros: Lots of pricing options; Netflix support kept up to date; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest price: $3.71
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the fastest
This British Virgin Islands-based VPN service provider makes other top VPN services look over their shoulders despite being somewhat new. It has been in operation for a couple of years but already gives tough competition to veteran VPN service providers.
You have the opportunity to select from servers in over 60 countries. European countries are not left out as its servers are in 37 of them. Surfshark’s servers do a superb job of dealing with geo-restrictions. You have liberal access to leading streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO.
You can stream on HD and 4k Ultra HD quality, depending on how fast your connection is. Online Gaming and torrenting are smooth as servers support sharing P2P files and maintain dependable speed. If you connect to a regular server, Surfshark will reroute your connection to a better server to make sure you have the best torrenting servers.
British Virgin Islands has no data retention laws that compel VPN service providers to release data if requested by any government. Surfshark does not collect or store customer data or connection details like timestamps, internet history, and session information, among others. Your privacy concerns will drastically reduce using this VPN.
OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks, and WireGuard are among the secure VPN protocols Surfshark uses to defend your internet connection from hackers. Traffic protection is aided by strong AES-256 encryption; it is doubtful for anyone to get past this encryption level. WebRTC/DNS/IPv6 leak protection and a kill switch that automatically halts your internet connection prevent any IP address leak from occurring.
It also includes more security features like MultiHop, Camouflage Mode, and NoBorders Mode, all of which help circumvent firewall and VPN specific restrictions. CleanWeb is another feature that stops ads from popping on your screen and works to prevent malware from penetrating your network.
There is no cap on the number of devices you can use simultaneously, which is a desirable feature for people with several devices. Applications across several platforms will give you the flexibility you need. New mobile VPN users can enjoy Surfshark’s mobile application for seven days without any form of payment.
There is also a money-back refund policy that allows you to explore features for 30 days before deciding if you want them to continue serving you. Pricing is among the cheapest compared to other VPNs as there are heavy discounts for its lengthy plans, but its monthly plan might exceed your expectations if you’re looking for a budget-friendly VPN.
- Pros: No footprints; Allows torrenting; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest Price: €2.09
- Connected devices at once: 7
- Automatic kill switch? Yes
- One click connect: Yes
- Servers: 5900 worldwide
- No logs policy
- 24/7 live chat
- Apps for mobile devices and routers
- No free option
CyberGhost is another veteran service provider in the VPN market. It has been running since 2011. Years of remarkable service puts this VPN service provider on our list. A vast network of servers, stable and trustworthy service, secure connections, and affordable plans make CyberGhost a worthy destination for VPN users.
Its collection of servers is remarkable, boasting over 6700 servers spread across 110 areas in 89 countries. A considerable number of those servers are resident in European nations. This gives you the benefit of choice, and you have several options to select a server to use.
CyberGhost designates its servers depending on their functions. Streaming content outside your country is not a big deal, as you can just type in the streaming site you want to unblock, and you get a list of servers that can efficiently give you access. Netflix libraries in European countries are readily accessible, and servers that allow P2P file-sharing also give torrent fans peace of mind.
Performance is not a concern as this VPN delivers reliable speed, only in some cases will servers give you noticeable reductions in speed. Fast server connections can permit you to stream in 4k HDR and HD, which provides you with a pleasurable encounter with this VPN.
Operating in Romania, a country with no requirement to retain user data, CyberGhost will not pass user data across to any government. Its no-log policy in combination with servers that run only on RAM ensures that your privacy is still in one piece even if the government decides to confiscate its servers. Periodically, they release a transparency report to prove that they have nothing to hide from users.
CyberGhost protects you from DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. With 256-bit encryption in place, no malicious attacker has the guts to intercept your internet traffic. Its applications support VPN protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPsec, and L2TP. Perfect forward secrecy, random port connection, kill switch, ad blocker, split tunneling, and WiFi protection are other security features CyberGhost provides for wide-ranging security layers.
Compatible with notable operating systems, it also has support for Amazon Fire, Smart TVs, game consoles, browser extensions, and routers. CyberGhost has different pricing plans depending on your commitment level. Its cheapest plans are for people interested in using it for a long time, while its monthly subscription plan is on par with the most expensive VPNs. Seven simultaneous connections and a 45-day money-back guarantee sum up why this VPN service provider is the choice for a significant number of people.
- Pros: No logs policy; 24/7 live chat; Apps for mobile devices and routers;
- Lowest price: €2
Private Internet Access
- IP cloaking? Yes
- Access to US domains? Yes
- Devices supported: Over 30 (including iOS and Android)
- Firewalls? Yes
- Servers: 3000+ in over 25 countries
- Military grade encryption
- Completely private browsing
- Lesser known provider
PIA was founded in 2010 by Andrew Lee and later acquired in 2019 by Kape Technologies who owns CyberGhost and Zenmate. It offers a potent VPN service with decent speed, several security attributes, and a colossal amount of servers.
The number of servers PIA has in its network will sweep you off your feet. Almost 24000 servers spread over 77 nations is more than enough to handle consumers’ requests. European countries have 3000+ of those servers dwelling in their lands. PIA permits, with reputable speed, access to content restricted due to your geographical location. All servers are torrent-friendly.
Significant security features include the following: a kill switch, port forwarding, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, industry-certified encryption, malware protection, split tunneling, ad blocker, and secure VPN protocols.
PIA has various applications for many platforms and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. Browser extensions on Opera, Firefox, and Chrome are also usable. Depending on what platform you use, some features might not be available.
PIA’s subscription plans are acceptable and one of the cheapest in the VPN market. Due to its affordability, they don’t offer trials. However, a 30-day refund policy guarantees a way to test services. It approves simultaneous usage on ten devices for a sole user account.
- Pros: Military grade encryption; Firewall; Completely private browsing;
- Lowest price: €2.50
What to Consider Before Selecting a VPN for Europe
Depending on your needs, VPN selection should not be a hassle. We have curated things you should look out for when selecting.
1. Server Location
A VPN service provider’s servers should be a priority, as the more servers a VPN has, the more likely they can unblock content in the country you want to access. It’s not just the number of servers that matter; the location is equally important.
2. Security and Privacy
The primary purpose of any VPN is to provide you with adequate security to prevent malicious actors from succeeding in their attacks. Make sure that the VPN application you choose ensures your privacy and safety.
Your commitment level will allow you to choose the best VPN for you. Long-term plans are cheaper but mean that if you’re suddenly not satisfied with the service, you cannot stop the subscription, costing you in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best VPNs for Europe
Is it legal to use a VPN in Europe?
Generally, using a VPN is legal in several European countries. Such VPN-friendly countries would include the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. However, some other countries ban or restrict VPNs and other anonymizers. Chief amongst these European countries are Belarus and Russia. Therefore, you may have issues with law enforcement if you use VPNs within these two countries. Finally, it’s unlawful to use VPNs for illegal activities in all of Europe.
How bad is surveillance in Europe?
Government surveillance is a significant issue worldwide, including in Europe. As a result, countries have formed pacts that allow them to share surveillance data. Chief amongst these are the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes countries. The European countries in these organizations include Denmark, Norway, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, and Italy. Therefore, if you’re in any of these countries, you need a VPN. With an excellent VPN, you can escape the prying eyes of your government.
Can I use a free VPN for Europe?
Yes, there are several free VPNs with servers in Europe and abroad. However, with free VPNs, the issue isn’t whether you can use them but whether you should. This is because there are many disadvantages to using free VPNs. For example, since the free VPN users pay nothing, the VPN service providers often sell users’ data to cover their costs. In addition, many free VPNs use weak or no encryptions. Finally, free VPNs often have lean server networks, which lead to server crowding and slow speeds.
Is torrenting with a VPN legal in Europe?
No, it’s currently lawful to torrent materials with VPNs in many European countries. Notably, though, European countries have different laws for torrenting. One similar legal position, though, is that torrenting copyrighted content is illegal. These would include audio, video, and other files. So, if you’re caught torrenting copyrighted materials, you’d face stiff penalties. Depending on the European country, this could range from fines to lawsuits. Some countries even ban defaulting torrent platforms.
How do I get a European VPN connection?
Getting a European VPN connection isn’t challenging at all. Firstly, you have to confirm that your choice VPN has servers in European countries. Suppose the VPN covers your favorite European countries. Then, you have to sign up for the VPN and download the app onto your internet device. Once you launch the app, you must connect to a server in your preferred European country. With your new IP address, you can start browsing privately and securely.
ExpressVPN stands tall among the best VPN service providers in Europe, but with fierce competition aiming for that top spot, that can change in a few years. This article has armed you with enough knowledge of VPN services that will provide the best service for accessing European content.