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Are VPNs legal in France? | 2024

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A top-tier VPN, or Virtual Private Network, provides an encrypted link that guarantees improved confidentiality and safety for devices that connect to a server.

While it may seem complex, as internet users worldwide become more aware of security and as leading VPNs make their services more user-friendly, VPNs are gaining popularity.

For those traveling to France or French citizens traveling overseas, a France VPN might be attractive for various reasons.

Whether you’re aiming to safeguard your data, enhance privacy, or simply expand your streaming choices, you might be hesitant to choose a VPN due to concerns about its legality.

This article will address all you need to understand about the legal aspects of using VPNs in France.

VPNs are completely legal in France

To begin with, VPNs are entirely legal in France, like in most countries. Authorities will not penalize users who are merely using VPN technology to surf the internet on their devices.

VPNs do not legalize illegal activities

While VPNs are legal in France, this does not imply that illegal activities become legal when conducted using a VPN.

Therefore, you should never use a VPN to hide your identity for criminal purposes, such as downloading copyrighted material.

Furthermore, while VPN usage certainly enhances privacy, French government and law enforcement agencies can still detect illegal activity – it just becomes more difficult to trace back to you.

In extraordinary situations where they suspect illegal activity, they could even compel VPNs to reveal user information.

Whether VPNs possess this information is another issue (many secure VPN services have a no-logs policy), but the key point is that illegal conduct carried out while using a VPN remains a prosecutable offense.

Why would someone in France need a VPN?

VPNs are particularly useful for concealing a user’s location due to the benefits that can come from this. Users looking to purchase a product online may discover that they can get it at a lower price by altering their apparent location.

Alternatively, concealing your location can enable you to bypass geographical restrictions imposed by streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Therefore, a US citizen living in France can use a streaming VPN to bypass Netflix’s geo-blocking and access their favorite American TV shows.

Similarly, a French citizen residing in the USA can use a VPN to ensure they don’t miss their favorite shows from home. For instance, Salto – a French streaming platform with live and on-demand content from networks TF1, M6, and France TV – is typically only accessible in France.

However, using a VPN guarantees access to Salto regardless of your location. It’s important to note here that while these actions are not illegal in France, they may violate the terms and conditions of content providers like Netflix and Salto.

While it’s unlikely that this will result in you losing access to the service, you should be aware of this before choosing to use VPNs for this purpose.

There are also several other advantages to using a VPN in France. France is one of the countries involved in the Nine Eyes intelligence community, a collaboration between national signal intelligence agencies that also includes the UK, USA, and Australia.

The primary purpose of these states’ joint cooperation in intelligence gathering is to prevent hostile forces from terrorizing the respective populations of the allied countries.

However, it’s widely accepted that this involves accessing web users’ private data to gain insight into their Internet usage.

Understandably, many users are uncomfortable with the idea of their data being shared among nation-states, which is why they are turning to VPNs to protect their privacy.

How to choose a VPN for France

Now that you know why you might want to use a VPN in France, how do you choose one? There are many VPN services on the market, but not all of them are equally good. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a VPN for France:

Security

A good VPN should have strong encryption protocols, such as OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec, to protect your data from hackers and snoopers. It should also have features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and split tunneling, to prevent any leaks or interruptions of your connection.

Privacy

A good VPN should have a strict no-logs policy, meaning that it does not collect or store any information about your online activity or personal details. It should also be based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, preferably outside the 14 Eyes alliance.

Speed

A good VPN should have fast and reliable servers in many countries around the world, especially those that you want to connect to. It should also have unlimited bandwidth and no speed caps or throttling.

Compatibility

A good VPN should have apps for all major platforms and devices, such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, smart TVs, etc. It should also support multiple simultaneous connections so that you can use it on several devices at once.

Customer service

A good VPN should have friendly and helpful customer support agents that are available 24/7 via live chat or email. It should also have a comprehensive website with FAQs, guides, tutorials, and troubleshooting tips.

Price

A good VPN should have reasonable and transparent pricing plans that suit your budget and needs. It should also offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee so that you can test it before committing to a long-term subscription.

Best VPNs for France

Based on these criteria, we have selected some of the best VPNs for France that you can use in 2024. Here they are:

NordVPN

NordVPN is our top choice for France. It has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, including 200 in France. It offers excellent security and privacy features, such as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and a no-logs policy. It also has a CyberSec feature that blocks ads, malware, and trackers. NordVPN can unblock Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. It supports up to 6 simultaneous connections and has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 24/7 live chat support.

Surfshark

Surfshark is another great option for France. It has over 3,200 servers in 65 countries, including 3 in France. It offers strong security and privacy features, such as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and a no-logs policy. It also has a CleanWeb feature that blocks ads, malware, and trackers. Surfshark can unblock Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. It supports unlimited simultaneous connections and has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 24/7 live chat support.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a fast and reliable VPN for France. It has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including 2 in France. It offers high-quality security and privacy features, such as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and a no-logs policy. It also has a TrustedServer feature that ensures that no data is stored on its servers. ExpressVPN can unblock Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. It supports up to 5 simultaneous connections and has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 24/7 live chat support.

Conclusion

Using a VPN in France is legal and beneficial for your online security and freedom. However, not all VPNs are created equal. You should choose a VPN that offers strong encryption, a no-logs policy, fast servers, and the ability to unblock geo-restricted content.

We recommend NordVPN as the best VPN for France in 2024. It has all the features you need to enjoy a safe and smooth online experience in France.

If you want to try NordVPN risk-free for 30 days, you can use this link to get a special discount.

Privacy Hints

PrivacyHints is a team built up of computer security experts, tech reporters, lawyers, and strong privacy supporters from all over the world working together.

As digital leaders, we strongly believe in the importance of personal privacy and the huge potential that comes from having a free but safe internet. We’re not just interested in listing risks; we’re also strongly committed to revealing the hidden threats that threaten our right to privacy and freedom online as a whole.

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