7 best VPNs for Europe in 2021 (stealthy privacy and online anonymity)

Last updated by   Ruheni Mathenge
Disclosure
With the best VPN for Europe, you can stream videos and access any content, play online games, download torrents, and more while remaining safe and secure.

It’s no news that online fraud and security threats are on the rise in countries worldwide, and Europe is no exception to this. And although Europe isn’t overly restricting website contents, some countries block specific contents that are deemed unsuitable for public consumption.

For instance, Germany and France restrict hate speech. Sweden, on its part, requires ISPs to block contents containing racial agitation, rebellion, copyright infringement, underage victims, and illegal descriptions of violence.

Hence, to protect your online activities against the government and ISP tracking, you need a VPN. But that is not all a VPN does. It also unblocks restricted contents.

Just as long as your VPN provider boasts servers in European countries, you can watch your favorite shows ranging from the premier league and champion league to regular content on Netflix, Amazon, or Amazon Prime Video. Also, a VPN can hide your IP address, making it appear as though you are in another country.

This article provides a complete detailed analysis of the seven best Europe VPNs that offer maximum security and safety to users anywhere in the EU region.

The quick list of top VPNs for Europe

Short on time? No problem. Below we provide you with the quick overview of the best Europe VPNs out there.

  1. ExpressVPN: Our number one recommendation here. The VPN boasts super-fast speed and has incredible geo-unblocking capacities, enabling users to access local and international content from within and outside Europe.
  2. Surfshark: This VPN is ideal for online users looking to save some without compromising their privacy and security. It offers low-priced annual subscription fees along with an outstanding level of online protection and unlimited connection.
  3. NordVPN: NordVPN has excellent and broad server coverage, fast connection speed, and a reliable unblocking ability, as well as quality app support.
  4. Private VPN: Although we cannot compare Private VPN to other services on this list, it’s still a great choice to consider. It has several servers in Europe, offers speed connections, and can unblock geo-restricted contents without issues.
  5. Private Internet Access: PIA has strong encryption. When combined with its automatic kill switch and several other features, your online safety and security are secured while surfing, streaming, or torrenting.
  6. PureVPN: Like the others, Pure VPN is one of the best European VPN featuring super-fast speed and high-level encryption while also offering top-notch privacy and security.
  7. IPVanish: If you require a VPN that’s boasts of a high connection limit, robust security features, and has a lightweight app, then IPVanish is your best bet. This VPN has a strict no-log policy. It also allows you to select from its hundreds of servers available across Europe.

How to use a VPN in Europe

  1. Subscribe to a VPN service provider (our most preferred choice is ExpressVPN).
  2. Install the chosen VPN app on your device.
  3. Log into the VPN service.
  4. Choose a VPN server outside the European region to access blocked contents and sites outside of Europe, or select a VPN server within Europe to protect your online activities. Also, if you are outside Europe and wish to access geo-restricted European content, choose a VPN server in Europe.
  5. That is it. Now you can start streaming and enjoy the internet at full safely!

Criteria for ranking VPN providers

While ranking the VPN services on this list, we considered the following factors:

  • Killswitch: A kill switch automatically disconnects you from the internet. This prevents data leaks in case your VPN connection goes down.
  • Zero-logs policy: Service providers with log free VPN in Europe conceals your identity so efficiently, it will seem like you were never there. 
  • Worldwide server network: The more servers there are across the world, the more access you will get to geo-restricted content. fortunately, all the VPNs reviewed in this article can bypass any geo-block.
  • Privacy and security level of VPN: To achieve the best result, select a VPN that offers 256-bit encryption. All VPNs that made this list take privacy and security very seriously.
  • Rate of connection speed: If you love online gaming, large torrenting, or streaming in HD, then a high-speed connection is a top priority. A VPN with a highspeed connection means less lagging, buffering, and better image and video quality.
  • Level of customer support: An ideal VPN service provider should have robust customer support. This enables users’ reach out when they encounter any problem. Fortunately, all VPNs listed in this article all have an excellent customer support system.

Comparison of the 7 best VPNs for Europe

ExpressVPNSurfSharkNordVPNPrivateVPNPIAPureVPNIPVanish
Ranking1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 
Servers in Europe49Exact number not listed2700Exact number not listed3512Exact number not specified32
Monthly plan$8.32-$1295$3.00-$1295$2.99-$11.95$2.08-$8.10$2.19-$11.95$5.00-$11.00$9.990-$10.99
Contract lengthOne-12 monthsOne-24 monthsOne-24 monthsOne-12 monthsOne-36 monthsOne-12 monthsOne-12months
Split tunnelingYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
NetflixYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
TorrentingYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
IP addressesDynamicDynamic and dedicatedDynamic and dedicatedDynamicDynamicDynamic and dedicatedDynamic
Five eyes, nine eyes, and 14 eyes memberNoNoNoNoYesNoNo

The best VPNs for Europe: Full analysis

Although Europe isn’t in the same category as China and Australia regarding internet restrictions, it’s still important to protect yourself online when using a public hotspot or WiFi network, even when you are browsing within the safety of your home.

There are always cyber hackers and attackers lurking around, waiting to take advantage of any vulnerability. And when they detect a loophole in your security, they can track your online activities and access your information.

This is why we cannot overemphasize the importance of a VPN. It is the best way to ensure your online privacy and safety. After much search and testing, we have come up with the seven best VPNs for Europe. Here is a detailed analysis of each VPN service provider:

1. ExpressVPN (best overall)

ExpressVPN

Key features:

  • 3000+ servers across 94 countries with 49 in Europe
  • Supports five simultaneous connection
  • 30-days money-back guarantee
  • TrustedServer Technology
  • The app works on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Linus, and browser routers
  • Functions with Hulu, Vudu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+

ExpressVPN offers complete anonymity and privacy to its users. It camouflages all your online activities, ensuring there is no data leak whatsoever. It features over 3000 servers across 94 countries, with 45 of these in Europe alone.

This VPN guarantees a super-fast connection. It is suitable for gaming, large torrenting files, and streaming in HDR and 4K. With ExpressVPN, there are no data caps whatsoever.

While it’s has a blazing speed, this does not limit privacy and security. ExpressVPN protects all your online activities from prying eyes, all thanks to its military-grade level encryption. There’s also an IPv6 leak and DNS protection. We are impressed by its automatic killswitch, which protects users’ sensitive information, including but not limited to your IP address so that even when you get disconnected, your information is safe and private.

The VPN adheres to a strict zero-log policy. This means that it stores no data or history-its like you were never there to start with! Still, it has excellent split tunneling features along with a TrustedServer technology that deletes all server data once you reboot since the servers run on the only RAM.

No matter the device you prefer, there’s a good chance ExpressVPN has an app for it. This VPN is compatible with Windows, Linux, iOS, macOS, and Android devices. It also allows you to up to five simultaneous connections with just one subscription.

Moreover, with Chrome and Firefox extensions, you can protect your browser sessions. ExpressVPN provider also offers router compatibility. This protects all your connected devices. Furthermore, it has robust customer support, including 24/7 live chat, email support, a trouble ticket system, and a searchable support database.

Pros:

  • Zero-log policy for complete privacy
  • Top-notch privacy and security features
  • Excellent speed for streaming and downloading
  • Able to unblock geo-restricted contents

Cons:

  • A little more expensive than other options
  • Enables only five simultaneous connections

2. Surfshark VPN (best value)

SurfShark

Key features:

  • 1700+ across 60 countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Zero-log policy
  • Support cryptocurrency payment
  • 30 days money-back guarantee

Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPN in Europe, with over 1700 servers across more than 60 countries globally, many of which are in Europe. It’s so fast that it ensures lag-free streaming and torrenting. It is also capable of bypassing even the strictest geo-restrictions. Hence there’s barely anything you can’t do. One unique feature of Surfshark is that it allows users to connect as many devices as possible. So, users can stream, browse and torrent safely, both at home and on the go.

It boasts robust security and privacy features. For starters, there’s IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection. It also features a kill switch and 256-bit AES encryption. It supports three cryptocurrency payment which includes Ripple, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.

Also, Surfshark has a strict no-log policy. Hence your data are always kept safe. It offers app support for Android TV, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, and Amazon Fire. Users will have to configure this manually, though. Besides, there are Firefox and Chrome browser extensions that offer router protection.

Furthermore, Surfshark offers around-the-clock customer support, including a 24/7 chat, searchable knowledge base, and supports contact form.

Pros:

  • It is one of the best cheap VPN for Europe
  • Fast connection speed
  • No connection limits
  • Excellent customer support

Cons:

  • It does not have many advanced features
  • It has a smaller network than some of its counterparts

3. NordVPN (top speed and security)

NordVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features:

  • 5000+ across 59+ countries (with 27000 in 36 European regions)
  • Zero-log policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support
  • The app works on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Linus, and browser routers
  • Functions with Hulu, Vudu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+

NordVPN is everything you wish for in a VPN and more. Its lightning speed, wide server coverage, along with its comprehensive app support, makes it an ideal choice for security-conscious users. The VPN provider offers well over 5,500 servers across 59 countries, with 2700 servers located in 36 countries across Europe.

It is one fast VPN in Europe, the fastest you will be around. This makes it easy to stream HD videos, share files and engage in online gaming. Also, there is no data limit to spoil your fun.

 With NordVPN, you don’t have to worry about your privacy and security. This is because it has all the necessary features to guarantee your online safety and anonymity. This includes DNS and IPv6 leak protection and watertight 256-bit encryption. Also, it features a customizable kill switch, automatic malware blocking, and a port forward leak protection. Still, it provides obfuscated servers along with Tor over VPN and a dual VPN functionality.

Moreover, its strict no-log policy ensures your online activities can’t be traced back to you. And if ever you need help, there is 24/7 customer support available via chat. NordVPN app supports Android TV, Amazon Fire, Android, Linux, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices. It offers router protection and features chrome and Firefox browser. Also, users can connect up to six simultaneous devices with just one subscription.

Pros:

  • Super-fast download speed
  • Offers app support for major devices
  • It offers a pocket-friendly yearly subscription plan
  • Offers strong security and privacy protection

Cons:

  • It’s not a user-friendly VPN

4 .Private VPN (most affordable)

PrivateVPN

Key features:

  • 150 servers across 60 countries
  • 30 days money-back guarantee
  • Stealth VPN enables incognito use
  • Zero-log policy

Although PrivateVPN has fewer servers than its counterparts (only 150 servers spread thinly across 60 countries, including Europe), it’s still a great option to consider as it offers higher speed. Its fast pace makes it the ideal Europe VPN for streaming, online gaming, and file sharing easy and seamless. You don’t have to worry about data caps too.

Also, this VPN does a great job of unblocking geo-restricted contents and sites, thereby allowing you to access platforms such as TF1, ORF, Telecinco, including more than 10 European Netflix libraries.

Private VPN has a high score in the online protection category. This is because it offers bank-level encryption and a kill switch to prevent data leaks and DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection. Still, there’s a stealth VPN option to consider. This cloaks your online activities, giving it an appearance of regular browser traffic.

Furthermore, it is one of the best Europe VPN for android. It also has iOS, windows, android, and macOS apps. However, if you wish to use it with Linux systems, you will need to install it manually. Also, PrivateVPN supports internet routers. If you want, there is live chat customer support available 24/7/ there’s also email support and FAQ section for added support.

Pros:

  • Allows up to six simultaneous connections
  • It’s Stealth VPN keeps your online usage incognito
  • It has a speedy connection
  • Offer watertight privacy and security

Cons:

  • It has a thin app support
  • It has a small number of servers

5. Private Internet Access (best option for torrenting)

Private Internet Access VPN

Key features:

  • 35,550 servers across 77 countries, with 3512 in Europe
  • Supports ten simultaneous connection with one subscription
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • The app works on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Linus, and browser routers
  • Functions with Hulu, Vudu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+

PIA offers an excellent VPN service with a decent speed, robust security features, and many servers. There are more than 3000 servers in Europe alone, with lots of others spread across 77 countries of the world. Also, this VPN service can unblock almost any restricted content and enables safe torrenting too.

Its security is not in doubt. It has several features that ensure the strong security and safety of its online users. This includes a kill switch, industry-certified encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, port forwarding, split tunneling, ad blocker, malware protection, and secure VPN protocols.

Besides, it features several applications suitable for many operating systems and platforms, including Android, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Linux. Also, it offers browser extensions on Firefox, Opera, and Chrome that are all usable. However, depending on the platform in use, some features may not work.

With just one subscription, users can connect up to ten devices at once. Also, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. And although it doesn’t offer free trials, itssubscription plans are one of the cheapest on the market.

Pros:

  • Features military-grade encryption
  • Ensures online privacy and protection
  • Presence of firewall
  • The app is compatible with major platforms

Cons:

  • Not a popular product

6. PureVPN (best for beginners)

PureVPN

Key features:

  • 2000+ across 140+ countries globally
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Supports P2P torrenting
  • Available on iOS, Mac, Windows, SmartTV, Xbox, PlayStation
  • Supports PPTP, L2TP, IKE v2, OpenVPN SSL, SSTP

For ten years, PureVPN has been protecting the privacy of online users across the world. The VPN provider has its base in Hong Kong, China, with several servers located worldwide.

One of the best features of this VPN is its fantastic speed; this enables users to surf the net while still being connected to the service. It doesn’t slow down your internet connection so much; this feature makes it an ideal choice for students in hostels, those on the go, or for those with a slow internet connection.

Although its seven-day trial isn’t entirely free, it comes at a price so low that you would love to try it out. And if you are not satisfied with the services, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.

Pros:

  • Allows five simultaneous connection
  • Has a zero-log policy
  • Features a one-click kill switch for emergencies
  • It has a fantastic speed

Cons:

  • The trial period is not free
  • Its customer support could be more robust

7. IPVanish (solid reputation)

IPVanish-Best-VPNs-600x300-1

Key features:

  • 32 servers across Europe
  • Ten simultaneous connections
  • Strict zero-log policy
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Lightweight and fast

Another VPN service provider that has made it to our list is IPVanish, a product with 32 servers in Europe alone. We love everything about this VPN, from its lightweight, user-friendly apps, its breakneck speed that makes HD live streaming a breeze to its excellent unblocking abilities, and its robust customer support.

Besides, it allows up to ten simultaneous connections, unlike its rivals which only provides between three to six. It scores very high in the privacy and security department, featuring 256-bit encryption, and OpenVPN obfuscation, a kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. Still, this VPN keeps no log, and if you ever encounter any problem, there is customer support available to attend to your needs via live chat.

Also, the VPN service offers apps for macOS, iOS, Amazon Fire, and Android devices. Moreover, IPVanish works well on Linux-based platforms and has a select home router that requires manual configuration before it can work.

Pros:

  • Supports up to 10 simultaneous connection
  • Excellent security and privacy features
  • Fast and lightweight
  • Great multi-platform support

Cons:

  • Cannot efficiently unblock large streaming platforms

Why shouldn’t I use a free VPN to access content in Europe?

Although a free VPN is likely to work in Europe, you wouldn’t be impressed with the level of security, privacy, convenience, efficiency, and performance it will deliver.

To begin with, these service providers have fewer servers than their paid counterparts, despite having more subscribers. What this means is that you are likely to experience slow speed. This can then lead to long buffering time and choppy playback when streaming.

Also, most streaming services are quick to block free VPNs, so in the end, you may end up not being able to watch anything at all. Still, lots of free VPN depend on ad-supported business models to make money, while others resort to even shadier means.

These shady VPNs shore tracking cookies on your device, collate your online information (for example, which site you are most active on and the time you visit these sites). After collating such data, advertising companies then buy them without your knowledge.

Furthermore, with free VPNs, you can’t tell if it’s safe or not. A recent study shows that 18% of free VPN apps used by clients have no encryption at all, 40% of these free VPNs contain malware, while over 80% leaked clients’ information over IPv6. Unfortunately, these risks aren’t just limited to unknown companies. Even popular VPN providers such as Hola sell off their users’ bandwidth.

In general, the best way to protect yourself online is by using subscribing to an authentic and paid VPN service.

Advantages of a VPN in Europe

VPN for Europe
(123RF)

There are many advantages to using a VPN. To begin with, it offers online protection and also enhances your online activities. Also, it encrypts your internet connection, encasing it in an encrypted tunnel of some kind. With this, your mischievous neighbor down the coffee shop or your nosy nelly ISP provider will not be able to monitor your online activities.

The encryption becomes more valuable when using an unprotected public WiFi hotspot such as those found in airports, coffee shops, hotels, and so on. Unprotected hotspots are the main targets of hackers. They are always lurking around, monitoring users’ online activities such as banking, shopping, and bill payment.

Most often, ISPs throttle their users’ internet connection accusing them of inappropriate and unapproved activities. Such activities could include streaming videos from unapproved sites or sharing files using BitTorrent. But with VPN encryption, your ISP is blocked from doing this.

Additionally, a VPN opens tons of gaming, streaming, and other types of content to you since it can spoof your location. This is a temporal condition whereby users are given a new IP address, making it seem like they are in another geographical region when in the real essence, you are somewhere else. This allows you to access geo-restricted contents that are available in the new address.

Internet restrictions and legislation in European regions

While the European Union gets to vote on a new legislation, each country has the final say in enforcing these laws. Hence, the rules in one country within the European Union may differ from the rule in another country.

Here are the things to know when using the internet in Europe:

Ensure you do proper research on the laws of the country you are visiting, as this can have a significant impact on your cybersecurity. There has been a spike in online surveillance within some European countries, which has raised some concerns. For instance, the UK employs a broad web filter to block access to specific content. However, these restrictions are not inefficient as users can easily bypass them with a VPN. Also, the UK is pushing for a law requiring internet users to provide an ID before accessing x-rated contents.

Moreover, in recent times, Russia requested that VPN providers enable the government to access their servers. This is in a likely bid to prevent users from accessing banned content. However, given Russia’s record of silencing its journalists and activists, many people are apprehensive about the impact of this rule on the nation. As a result, many VPNs, including NordVPN, have shut down their Russian servers rather than comply with the law.

There’s also the European Union Council’s Copyright Directive, which is popularly called Article 13. The directive mandates online platforms to automatically filter out copyright contents uploaded by users within the European Union.

What are the 14 Eyes, and what do they have to do with me?

The 14 Eyes refer to a group of countries (10 of which are in Europe) that share surveillance information with each other. With this, governments can claim they don’t monitor their citizens’ online activities.

However, in reality, they know all about it. For example, if the USA requires information about a particular user, it could ask any of the 13 countries to provide them with the needed information.

So, how does this affect you? Well, if you are connected to a VPN server in any of these countries, you could be asked to provide details of your online activities. However, if you are using a VPN with a strict no-log policy, then you are safe. But note that tiny information such as your online connection time can be cross-checked with other traffic logs from various sites you visited. This can then be used to get a picture of your online activities.

The bottom line

Regardless of whether you are a visitor on a short stay or a permanent resident, all European residents need a VPN today. This will enable you to use public WiFi safely, torrent, and unblock geo-restricted contents without facing any problem or having fear. Also, a VPN reduces the risk of cyber-attack and online fraud while also securing your online connection.

With a good VPN, you can hide your identity and location. Hence you will be able to surf the internet anonymously. You can also stream local, national and international events without worrying your head about malware, adware, hackers, fraudsters, and viruses.

We hope having reviewed seven of the top European VPNs on the market, making a choice shouldn’t be so difficult anymore. Still, if you have any questions or encounter any problems, do let us know via the comment box below. We’re here to help in the best of our capacities, any time.

FAQs

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About the author

Ruheni Mathenge
Ruheni Mathenge

Tech researcher and writer with a passion for cybersecurity. Alex is a strong advocate of digital freedom and online privacy.

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