Best VPN for Europe

VPN for Europe

Finding a VPN for use in Europe is tough.

  • Every service claiming to be the ‘best'
  • Security breaches or leaks hitting the headlines
  • Claims to unblock the services you need don't stack up.

Weeding out the services run by a teenager wearing a dolphin onesie sat in his parent's basement and actual professional privacy services can be difficult.

Thankfully, it doesn't need to be like this and in this guide, we'll show you precisely the services you should be considering and, most importantly, why.

Many people are on the lookout for a VPN for Europe. With a VPN service (Virtual Private Network), those on the continent can enjoy access to American or British websites and streaming services that are unavailable overseas while also staying safe on public Wi-Fi networks on trains and in hotels.

Meanwhile, others can broaden their access to English-language content, access censored content, and enjoy secure and private internet access at all times in any European country.

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about the Best VPNs for Europe, following our extensive testing right across the continent, starting off with a rundown of our top 7!

Ready to discover which should be on your radar? Let's plunge in.

No time?

In our tests and research across Europe, we picked ExpressVPN as our top choice for European users.

Top 7 VPNs for Europe

1. ExpressVPN

Mock up of ExpressVPN on different devices

Pros
  • Best in class for Europe
  • Audited no log policy
  • 47 European countries covered
  • Strong encryption
  • Apps for every device
  • Superfast download speeds
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Paying month by month expensive
  • Owns VPN ‘review' websites

ExpressVPN is quite simply the best VPN for Europe.

This virtual private network is based in the British Virgin Islands, and it offers a huge server network with servers in no fewer than 47 different European countries.

All of their servers are lightning-fast and speeds are consistent across the network, which means that no matter where you are, there will always be an ExpressVPN server nearby.

ExpressVPN comes with 256-bit AES encryption as standard and a wide range of security features, such as the kill switch, various VPN protocols, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, military-grade encryption, and more.

It also has a no logs policy that has been independently verified and is rock solid.

There are dozens of ExpressVPN apps for all the most popular devices and you can connect up to five devices simultaneously, which should be enough for everyone to keep all their tech protected.

Helpfully, the Express VPN service can unblock streaming services too, allowing you to watch Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, and more. It can also unblock content in countries where the government likes to censor.

You can quickly switch between IP addresses on mobile devices, computers, Smart TVs, and more.

ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee which means it is entirely risk-free to give it a try and prices are reasonable if you sign up for a year or more too.

Our #1 Best VPN for Europe

30-day money back guarantee

2. NordVPN

NordVPN Deal

Pros
  • Audited no log policy
  • 36 European countries covered
  • Cheap subscription prices
  • Apps for every device
  • Great for beginners
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • No Paypal option
  • Not the fastest

NordVPN is the perfect combination of a low-cost virtual private network provider that delivers everything that its more expensive rivals do and in many cases, more.

The NordVPN server network is another sizable one and includes 36 European countries, with a massive number of servers. Again, that means you can get connected just about anywhere on the continent. NordVPN has also recently upgraded its network, which you can be sure of a dependable connection.

NordVPN has dozens of easy-to-use apps for almost all devices, advanced security features like the kill switch, and with 6 simultaneous connections, you can keep every device safe and secure.

Security provisions are among the most extensive we have come across with a vast range of security features on top of 256-bit AES encryption. This VPN service also has an independently verified no logs policy, which means that your privacy is guaranteed.

NordVPN is also excellent at unblocking major streaming platforms, so if you want to watch British content in Europe, it isn't a problem. NordVPN can also work in any country and can avoid censorship and blocks with ease.

With low prices and a 30-day money-back guarantee, NordVPN is an excellent option among VPN services no matter where in Europe you are.

3. Surfshark

Surfshark Website screengrab

Pros
  • Excellent range of apps
  • 38 European countries covered
  • Great for streaming
  • Unlimited concurrent connections
  • Good download speeds
Cons
  • Unaudited no log policy
  •  Newer unproven provider

Surfshark VPN is one of the new VPN services but it is already mixing it with the big boys. It offers servers in 38 European countries, which once again means just about everywhere is well covered.

The connection speeds are good across the majority of these in our tests and Surfshark is another provider which unlocks popular streaming services and other content with ease, so it is another good option for anyone traveling or living in Europe.

Surfshark's security provisions are up there with the very best and include ‘military-grade' 256-bit AES encryption as standard.

They don't log user activity but do keep a few more connection logs than we would like. Surfshark also offers live chat support, split tunneling, secure connection, a kill switch, the ability to unblock and watch streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

For a young VPN service provider, there are a surprising number of apps already available, including even browser extensions, and this continues to grow. Fantastically, you can enjoy unlimited concurrent connections, which means you can hook up all your devices at the same time.

Prices are very reasonable and there is again a 30-day money back guarantee so you can try Surfshark risk-free. Another good option for VPN users in Europe.

4. Private Internet Access

PrivateInternetAccess Website

Pros
  • Thousands of servers
  • Registered outside the EU
  • Apps for most devices
  • Reliable connections
  • Tested no log policy
Cons
  • Owns VPN ‘review' websites
  • Not the fastest

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a VPN service that offers a sizeable server network these days. While they are US-based, this does also include an extensive European network, too with most European countries included.

PIA has 256-AES encryption and a strict no-logs policy. While it is based in the US, which may alarm some, this guarantee has been tested in court several times and is rock solid.

Connection speeds with PIA are pretty decent and more than enough for the average internet users needs.

It has solid, if unspectacular apps for most of the popular devices, like Smart TV, Windows, Mac, browser extensions, iOS, Android, and more. You can also enjoy an impressive ten simultaneous connections. Each app comes with a kill switch to keep your online privacy intact.

If you want to stream content in Europe through a safe VPN connection, PIA is one of the best VPN service providers that work fine for Netflix and those streaming services the don't work hard to keep you out. But it doesn't work reliably with the BBC iPlayer, Amazon prime video, or Disney+, which is a shame.

But you do get a 30-day money-back guarantee and prices that are competitive.

5. VPN.ac

VPN.ac Website Jan 17

Pros
  • Run by security professionals
  • Apps for most devices
  • Strong encryption
  • Very fast download speeds
Cons
  • Fewer server locations
  • Short money back guarantee

If you want a Virtual Private Network that is high on speed and security, VPN.ac is a VPN service worth a look.

It is a relatively small and low profile provider and this is reflected in its VPN server network, which has just 150 servers in 20 countries and is perfectly capable of protecting your internet traffic. But many of these are in Europe, which still makes it a good option for European users.

Speeds are among the fastest we have tested and ideal for streaming and other personal data-intensive pursuits. VPN.ac is not bad with unblocking streaming sites with the BBC iPlayer and Netflix both working well. But it does have more trouble with some of the other high-profile platforms.

Security-wise it is impressive with ‘military-grade' 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a 4096-bit RSA key used for handshaking, which is stronger than almost any other VPN.

VPN.ac offers nice apps for major devices, reasonable prices. Sadly, the money back guarantee is a little short at just 7-days.

6. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost Website

Pros
  • Huge range of apps
  • Servers in 91 countries globally
  • Great for streaming
  • Reliable connections
  • 45-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Owns VPN ‘review' websites
  • Unaudited no log policy

If you are new to this VPN lark, CyberGhost VPN is well worth a try. It has some of the most user-friendly apps of any VPN and these can be used on just about any device you can think of.

It has an extensive server network too, with 91 different countries covered, including just about every European nation. This means you can find a local server all over the continent.

Usability doesn't come at the expense of connection speed or security either. Speeds are dependable and quick, while security provisions include 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and some key additional features that good VPN providers should be able to offer for securing your online privacy.

Its no logs policy is pretty robust too, meaning that it doesn't collect personal data although it does collect some metadata which we would prefer it not to. It also hasn't been audited, which is a shame.

CyberGhost VPN is a great option for streaming, with all the big streaming services covered. Prices are affordable too and there is even a huge 45-day money-back guarantee on offer as well.

7. VyprVPN

VyprVPN

Pros
  • Very good app range
  • Owns all their servers
  • 30 European countries covered
Cons
  • Subscription packages confusing

Last but by no means least on our list is VyprVPN, a long-established VPN with an enviable reputation for keeping your online privacy.

VyprVPN has servers in more than 30 European countries. Speeds across these servers are a little mixed but while VyprVPN is not the fastest VPN around it certainly isn't the slowest either.

Privacy and security have always been important to VyprVPN. They were one of the first providers to get their no user data logging guarantee independently verified and their 256-AES encryption stands in comparison with the very best.

VyprVPN's apps are decent but not available across as many devices as we would like but they do allow up to 30 simultaneous connections.

VyprVPN is also improving its streaming offering with the likes of Netflix already working and most other services coming online with them too.

Pricing is a little complex too but that's not to say it isn't cost-effective and the 30-day money-back guarantee is still there too.

How to get a VPN for Europe?

The hardest part of getting a VPN for Europe and securing your internet traffic is making the right choice.

Once you have found the best VPN services, getting things set up is quite straightforward.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide for you to follow using our recommended provider ExpressVPN as an example:

  1. Click on a link on this page and sign up to the best possible deal with ExpressVPN by following the simple onscreen instructions.
  2. Download the ExpressVPN app from their official website or your device's App Store. Don't use any non-official site.
  3. Install the app onto your mobile device, PC, or other, open it, and log-in with the account details given to you in step 1.
  4. Click on the quick connect button to connect to the fastest available server or choose a location from the list and then click Connect.
  5. Wait a few moments while ExpressVPN secures your internet connection and then start using the internet as usual.
ExpressVPN connecting to the UK

Unlock iPlayer anywhere.

Every VPN will follow a similar pattern to this but there may be the odd subtle difference, so be sure to pay attention to the process if you are using another provider from this list.

How we selected these services

Choosing a VPN for use in Europe or to gain a local IP Address has some specific considerations.

Below we've listed the main ones.

1. European server locations

The best VPN in Europe obviously needs to offer as many Europe-based servers as possible.

In selecting our pick of the best VPNs, we looked at the spread of servers they offered across the continent, including how many countries were represented and how many were available in the most prominent European markets.

ExpressVPN European servers

ExpressVPN has almost every European country covered.

We also took server security and speed tests across the network into consideration.

2. Apps for most popular devices

Whether living in Europe or just visiting, you will want to be using your VPN to protect all of your devices and secure your internet connection, even from your internet service provider. You will therefore want to choose VPN companies that offer apps on the devices you use.

ExpressVPN's app range

ExpressVPN has apps for most devices.

We have therefore looked for VPNs that have the largest possible range of apps that cover as many of the most popular mobile and desktop devices as possible.

3. Strong security features

Security is key with any VPN, so we have taken the level of protection and the security features into consideration when choosing our VPNs.

All our VPNs offer ‘military grade' 256-bit AES encryption as standard. We have also looked at the protocols they use, with a focus on WireGuard and OpenVPN, which provide an optimum combination of security and speed.

A no user logs guarantee is vital too, but the best also have an independent audit that proves their veracity so we have looked for that too.

4. Work with popular streaming services

The chances are you will want to unblock and enjoy a streaming service or two with your VPN while in Europe.

We have considered which streaming platforms a VPN can unblock, with a focus on popular ones like Amazon Prime and Netflix. But we have also given extra consideration to those that work with US and British streaming services.

5. Money back guarantee

Free trials of VPNs are sadly a thing of the past but a money-back guarantee is the next best thing.

A 30-day money-back guarantee is the industry standard these days and we have focused in on VPNs that offer at least this amount, so you have plenty of time to try before you buy.

Is VPN legal in Europe?

Yes, VPNs are legal in almost all countries in Europe.

A VPN is a legitimate online security and privacy tool that is recommended by online security experts and used by businesses around the world to allow remote workers to access networks.

They are only banned in a handful of authoritarian countries like Communist China, Russia, and Iran. There is the odd place like Belarus where you might want to be a bit careful, but basically you are safe using a VPN anywhere in Europe.

What is the best country to set your VPN to?

Generally speaking, we would usually suggest connecting to the closest server to your actual location that the service providers can offer to enjoy the best possible speeds.

If you want to bypass censorship, geo-restrictions, or connect when using public Wi-Fi, this is still the best option. But obviously, for some users, this is not appropriate.

If you are privacy-conscious, you might want to think about connecting to countries with friendly privacy laws, such as Switzerland or Iceland.

If you want to get away from EU laws or restrictions, choose the closest none-EU country and connect to a server there.

If you want to watch a streaming platform, you will need to connect to the appropriate country for that service. So, for example, if you want to watch the BBC iPlayer, you will need a UK server, Netflix US fans will need to connect to the USA, and so on.

If you want to access content that is blocked in a particular country, you will need to choose a country where that content is available. Try and find one that is as close as possible to maximise speeds.

Is there a free VPN for Europe?

We must stress not to use a free VPN. A Free service is never as good as a premium service, and when it comes to a free VPN, this advice should be heeded especially seriously.

You see, a free VPN service doesn't get the money from you, the user, so it typically has to bombard you with ads or collect and sell your user data. This is something that a paid service would never do.

Free VPNs also have fewer servers, poor privacy features, low server location count, and they are by no means a trustworthy service that can help you unblock streaming content.

For these reasons and more a free VPNs' inability to bypass geo-restrictions in the first place and offer a reliable service can only be expected from other VPN services that, unfortunately, come with a price tag.

Summary

As we have explained in this guide, there are a lot of different reasons to want a VPN in Europe. Whether you want to access blocked content, use overseas streaming platforms, or just keep your online activity secure and private, a VPN is the answer.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to choose in Europe.

It offers the strongest security, has server locations all across Europe, apps for most devices, works with popular streaming services and there's a 30-day money back guarantee if you're unhappy.

It is the very best VPN choice out of the entire VPN market. With its encrypted connection, fast server connections, and the ability to unblock and watch Netflix and other services of this kind, it offers the best combination of security, VPN servers, and speeds to deliver the best possible service in Europe.

All of our recommendations are good, but ExpressVPN is definitely the standout VPN provider.

 

Ready to improve your online privacy?

  • #1 for use in Europe
  • Easy to set up
  • Beginner-friendly

Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 5 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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