France is a wealthy country that is located in western Europe, just across the English Channel from the UK. Despite being one of the oldest countries, France has long been known for it’s forward thinking rules and ideas as well as culture. Much like many of the other countries in Europe, they also had a version of the Data Retention Directive or DRD for short. The DRD required records to be kept on all for 12 months. Though the DRD was annulled in 2014, France issued a decree stating that all web hosting companies needed to provide the French government with metadata including usernames, passwords, phone numbers, financial transactions and IP addresses of anyone who creates online content for 12 months. Combine that decree with the anti-copyright theft law that France passed in 2009 about file-sharing, and you have a good reason to use a VPN in France.
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If you are from France and you want to watch shows while outside the country then you will need a VPN to do so. Most popular online video and music streaming services use geo-blocking technology. Geo-blocking is a system that recognizes your IP address, and will block you if you are outside of the targeted region. A VPN will take care of that by assigning you a French IP address. No more missing your favorite shows.
Another good reason to use a VPN service is to unblock content you would not generally have access to. In the case of premium streaming services like Netflix or any of the others, VPNs allow you to connect to different libraries around the world. With every country having it’s own unique library, there are many things you could only see if you had access to other countries’ selections. One of the most popular show on Netflix is House of Cards. Do not expect to see House of Cards on the French version of Netflix because rights to that show were sold to CanalPay, Netflix’s major competion in France. That is why changing libraries can be key. Of course, if you are going to gain access to the different groups, you would need a paid subscription to Netflix and a VPN service.
So there you have it. There are many reasons to use a VPN. Whether you are interested in keeping your data secure from the French rules, you plan on traveling abroad, or just want to gain access to content you were not able to see before, a good VPN service is a strong choice. Which VPN should you use? We have some good choices to share. All of the recommendations have custom clients, so connecting is a matter of selecting a country, and pushing a button.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best VPN for France:
- What is your purpose for using a VPN in France? If your primary goal is privacy then any of the services in our list will serve the purpose. They all use secure protocols and encryption levels. I would suggest using OpenVPN when possible.
- If you wish to use VPN for P2P / BitTorrent purposes then I would suggest IPVanish or Private Internet Access. Both providers offer no-logs and each has a kill switch feature in their client for an extra layer of privacy protection in case the VPN ever drops the connection.
- For those who want to stream online services like Netflix, we would suggest IPVanish or ExpressVPN. IPVanish has the fastest network in North America and throughout Europe. ExpressVPN includes SmartDNS with their VPN which will help you unblock channels without the overhead of encryption.
Netflix was introduced in France on September 15th, 2014 making it one of the many countries to launch. Though there is pushback, not only from the big competitors but from the cable services as well, Bouygues and Netflix have agreed to a deal to be included on set-top boxes. That means it can be included in your cable service with them.
If you are traveling to, or have relocated to France, a VPN will allow you to gain access to your favorite shows that may be geo-blocked outside of your home country. Since I mentioned the UK, let’s use it as an example. BBC iPlayer is a streaming service that is UK only and allows anyone in the UK to view BBC programming for free. If you were from the UK and tried to access the player from France you would be blocked. That is because the software used in the iPlayer’s website is designed to detect the IP address of the user and reject any IP that is outside of the UK. The same holds true if you travel abroad from France to anywhere else. If you want to be able to access the shows you enjoy watching, you will need a VPN service. That includes channels like Netflix France, France TV, France TV Pluzz, France2, France3, France4, France5, and more.
All of that sounds great, but with so many options, how do you know which VPN service to use? Well, we have some great recommendations. The services we mention have custom interfaces, so all you would have to do is select the country you wish to use, and click connect. Why miss a moment of your favorite programming if you are outside of France? Or better yet, why not make sure your data is secure with a VPN?
You can read over our list of the top 10 VPN services if you’d like more suggestions. I think you will be pleased with any of the VPNs in this post. I selected them over other leading VPN services based on privacy (log policy and encryption), availability of French server locations, speed, reliability and price. I also looked for services with a good network of VPN servers in the region. You’ll want a reliable VPN provider to help secure your online privacy. You may also want a fast network to stream HD content in other countries. The services shared in the post are the best VPNs for privacy and to unblock geo-restrictions for popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and many more popular channels.