Internet freedom in the Netherlands is high, and the government doesn’t engage in any widespread blocking or filtering of any websites or services. However, the government has grappled with proposals to filter certain types of pornography and deal with copyright infringement issues.
Access to popular social media services is wide open. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the most popular social networks in the country. Over 50% of the population is on Facebook.
Users caught downloading copyrighted materials do not face criminal charges, but instead may be faced with civil charges, resulting in a fine or forced restitution to rights holders.
YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix and other popular video streaming services are accessible in the Netherlands. However, the content available can greatly differ from the content in other countries.
Dutch citizens and visitors to the country can put to rest any worries they may have over their online activities being monitored and can increase their online entertainment options by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the top 5 VPNs for the Netherlands, which offer reliable protection for your online travels, as well as a reliable way to access geo-blocked local content from around the globe.
How to Use a VPN To Protect Your Online Activities in the Netherlands
To use a VPN from inside Dutch borders, do the following:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider. (ExpressVPN is my top choice.)
- Install the provider’s app(s) on your internet-capable device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located outside of the Netherlands to access geo-blocked local content in other countries, or connect to a Netherlands-based server if you are just looking to protect your online activities or if you are outside of Dutch borders and are looking to access content from inside of the country.
- Enjoy your online anonymity and improved content access!
Best VPNs for Use in the Netherlands
The 5 top VPN providers listed below provide the best VPN services for Dutch internet users:
- ExpressVPN: This provider is a well-known leader in the VPN industry, delivering reliable online protection while enhancing users’ internet access to geo-blocked content around the world. The provider offers extensive multi-platform app support and provides 24/7 customer support.
- NordVPN: This is the budget-priced option on my list. While the provider’s multi-year pricing is budget-friendly, it offers great service comparable to its higher-priced competitors, lacking in only a few service categories.
- CyberGhost: If you’re a newbie VPN user, or if you’re simply looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful VPN provider, CyberGhost could be the right choice for you. The provider offers easy, one-click protection, and its server network includes servers that are optimized for streaming and file sharing.
- IPVanish: This provider does a good job of competing with the other providers in the top 5, and then takes its privacy protection one step further. Its self-owned and -operated global server network offers added privacy by keeping third-party hands off of your personal information.
- Surfshark: This provider is rather new to the VPN scene, but is quickly gaining an excellent reputation. In addition to a fast-growing global server network, Surfshark offers a somewhat unusual unlimited simultaneous connections policy.
I ranked these providers according to the following factors:
- Global server coverage (including servers in the Netherlands)
- Privacy and strong security protections
- Download speeds
- Device app support
- Customer support offerings
The 5 best VPN services for use inside of the Netherlands are:
ExpressVPN is my number one choice for best VPN for the Netherlands. This great provider offers all-around top-notch service to protect and enhance your internet experience.
The provider has 3,000+ servers stationed in 92+ countries, including the Netherlands. Those servers deliver reliable content access to most parts of the globe.
Those servers provide excellent protection for all of your online travels thanks to government-grade encryption, a kill switch option, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. In addition, a split-tunneling option allows users to pick and choose which apps should use the provider’s encrypted tunnel of protection.
Your online privacy is also protected when you use ExpressVPN, as it keeps no connection logs of any kind on its servers, which use a proprietary TrustedServer technology that runs all server operations from RAM and never writes any data to a hard drive. This means all data is wiped from the server whenever it is rebooted. You can also pay for your subscription using cryptocurrency.
ExpressVPN’s connection speeds are some of the best in the business, delivering plenty of bandwidth for viewing any format of video, sharing files, and playing fast-moving online games. The provider never spoils the fun by imposing data caps.
App support is also a high point for the provider thanks to its app offerings for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Chromebook, Linux and Windows device platforms.
Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available to protect your browsing sessions, and comprehensive router support protects all of your other connected devices. Up to 5 devices can connect at once using the same login credentials.
Around-the-clock customer support is available and includes 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable knowledge base.
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- Fast, no-data-cap connections
- Reliable access to content around the globe
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Apps available for popular devices
- Higher-priced than many other competitors
BEST VPN FOR THE NETHERLANDS:Dutch internet users will appreciate the online protection that ExpressVPN delivers. The provider’s extensive global server network provides the best speed and well-encrypted connections to geo-blocked content in most of the world. A 30-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
If you’re looking for a reliable VPN provider that won’t break the bank, take a close look at NordVPN.
The provider does an above-average job of covering the globe with its servers, with 5,600+ servers in the Netherlands as well as 57+ other countries.
Online privacy protection is also well-represented at NordVPN, as they follow an independently-audited and strict no-logs policy and are willing to accept cryptocurrency in return for their great services.
NordVPN offers more than enough bandwidth to handle video streams, fast-moving gaming action and sharing large files.
The provider’s app support has the major device platforms covered thanks to offerings for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows device platforms.
Chrome and Firefox users can take advantage of the provider’s browser extensions. Plus, router protection protects the rest of your internet-capable devices. Up to 6 devices can simultaneously connect on a single set of login credentials.
Always-on customer support includes 24/7 support chat, email support and a searchable support library.
- Servers in the Netherlands and 57+ other countries
- Apps for most popular devices
- Low-priced multi-year subscriptions
- Excellent user privacy and security
- Connection speeds could be better
BEST VPN FOR BUDGET:NordVPN is the best VPN for users looking to save a few bucks without sacrificing quality online security and privacy protection. While the provider’s connection speeds could be better, overall it delivers excellent all-around performance and protection. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
If you’re a first-time VPN user, or if you’re looking for reliable VPN access without all of the complicated settings, take a closer look at CyberGhost.
This provider’s global server coverage ranks among the best in the VPN industry. It has 6,400+ servers located in 89+ countries, including the Netherlands. A large number of those servers are optimized for file sharing and streaming video.
No worries on the online security end of things thanks to CyberGhost’s military-grade encryption, IPv6/DNS leak prevention and kill switch. Also available is an option to block ads and trackers, as well as the ability to force websites to serve up HTTPS versions of their pages when available.
Your personal privacy is well protected with CyberGhost’s strict no-server connection logs policy and ultra-private cryptocurrency subscription payment option.
CyberGhost’s connection speeds compare well with all of the providers on this list, delivering plenty of no-data-caps bandwidth for gaming, streaming and sharing large files. They’re ideal for streaming foreign video platforms like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.
Easy-to-use apps from the provider include options for Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows devices.
Chrome and Firefox browser extensions protect your browsing, while comprehensive router protection protects all of your other internet devices. Up to 7 devices can connect at once on the same account.
Customer support is always on-call thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable support database.
- Wide global server network
- Fast connections, with no data caps
- Simple, yet powerful app options
- Servers optimized for streaming and file sharing
- Advanced users may want additional options
BEST VPN FOR NEWBIES:Users who have limited experience with VPNs, or who are looking for powerful, yet easy-to-use VPN protection, will appreciate CyberGhost’s ease of use. The provider’s apps offer excellent protection for all of your online activities. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish offers online protection on par with the other providers on this list, and then takes their user privacy protection one step further.
The provider’s global server network includes over 1,400+ servers based in the Netherlands and 57+ other countries. IPVanish directly owns and operates all of those servers, which adds a layer of extra privacy protection by keeping third-party contractors away from your personal data.
All of IPVanish’s protected connections use bank-grade encryption, a kill switch with an auto-reconnect option, and a “scramble” feature to disguise your VPN activity as normal browser internet traffic.
While the provider lacks a cryptocurrency subscription payment option, it does follow a strict no-server connection logs policy.
IPVanish’s no-data-caps-ever connections can easily handle your favorite online activities, including sharing large files, online gaming and streaming HD video.
App support is well-represented at IPVanish, thanks to their app offerings for the Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, ChromeOS and Amazon Fire device platforms. Step-by-step setup instructions are available for Linux and Windows Phone devices.
Unfortunately, Chrome or Firefox browser extensions are not available, although router support is available to protect all of your connected devices. Up to 10 devices can connect at the same time on a single set of login credentials.
Customer support is available around the clock thanks to 24/7 live support chat, a searchable support library and email support.
- Owns and operates entire global server network
- Around-the-clock customer support
- Allows up to 10 devices to connect concurrently
- No browser extensions
- Short-term subscription options are high-priced
ADDITIONAL PRIVACY PROTECTION:IPVanish offers VPN service comparable to the other providers on this list and then takes its privacy protection one step further. The provider’s proprietary global server network keeps third-party contractors away from users’ personal information. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
Surfshark may not have been around as long as many of the other top VPNs on this list, but they are quickly gaining a good reputation in the industry.
The provider’s global server network is 1,700+ servers strong, and those servers are located in 63+ countries, including the Netherlands. That’s nearly double the server numbers available this time last year.
All of those servers deliver connections protected using government-grade encryption, as well as a kill switch and IPv6/DNS leak protection. A “Multi-Hop” server option routes your internet connection through a pair of VPN servers, delivering double strong encryption and anonymity.
The provider follows a “no server connection logs ever” policy and also protects your privacy by offering a Bitcoin payment option.
Surfshark’s no-data-caps connections are swift enough for any internet activity, be it HD streaming, sharing large files or playing the latest fast-moving first-person shooter.
Surfshark provides comprehensive app support, with Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows and Amazon Fire native app options. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available, as is extensive router support.
The provider’s unusual unlimited concurrent users policy should prove to be attractive to small business owners or Brady Bunch-esqe families in need of VPN protection for large numbers of users.
24/7 support chat, a contact form and a searchable support library all equal always-available customer support.
- “Multi-Hop” extra protection
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Comprehensive app support
- Global server locations are thin but growing
- Regular monthly subscription price is a bit expensive
GREAT FOR MULTIPLE USERS:Surfshark offers great overall performance in most VPN service categories. However, the service’s main attraction for business users and other users with a need for a multiple protection option will be its unlimited concurrent connections policy. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Will a Free VPN Work in The Netherlands?
While you shouldn’t have an issue in finding a free VPN that works from inside of the Netherlands, I’m willing to bet you probably won’t be satisfied with the “free” experience.
First of all, the “private” piece of “Virtual Private Network” is lacking with most free VPN services.
Even free VPNs need to have some sort of income stream to keep their servers humming. Many freebie providers make money by logging their users’ online activities, then selling that valuable information to advertisers and other interested parties.
Another way providers make money is by inserting unwanted tracking cookies and ads into their users’ browsing sessions. Guess what? Those cookies continue to track you even after you’re disconnected from the VPN provider’s servers.
You’ll also find that a free VPN is severely lacking in both convenience and performance.
When you connect to a free VPN service, you may be forced to wait for a while until you’re allowed to connect to one of the provider’s limited number of free servers. Once you are allowed to connect, you’ll either be automatically connected to a server of the provider’s choosing, or you’ll find that only a few servers are available to choose from.
Once you’re connected, you’ll find that performance is also missing from the free VPN equation, as your internet speeds may drop precipitously. Many freebie VPN providers will throttle their free users’ connections to preserve bandwidth for use by their paying customers. They also inflict daily or monthly data caps on VPN usage.
Does any of this sound good? I know I would avoid this at all costs.
What Does a VPN Do For Me?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is arguably the most secure way to protect and enhance all of your online activities.
Connection protection comes in the form of military-grade encryption, which encases your internet connection in an impenetrable tunnel of protection, preventing anyone from monitoring your online activities.
There are plenty of Nosy Nellies that would love to know what you’re up to on the internet. These include your ISP, because they can sell the information; hackers, because they want to steal the information; and the government, because they’re the government – it’s what they do.
A VPN is a must-have when you’re using an unprotected WiFi hotspot, like those found in coffee shops, airports and other public places. Most hotspots are not encrypted, making it easier for users to connect, but also making it easier for hackers to monitor your activities while using the hotspot.
A VPN’s encrypted protection also enhances your online activities by hiding those activities from your ISP. This prevents the ISP from blocking or throttling your connection if they see you engaging in “unapproved” activities, such as torrenting files or viewing movies from certain streaming services.
A VPN also enhances your online activities by making it appear as if you are connecting from another region of the globe by temporarily assigning your device a new IP address, located in that other region. This fools content providers in those areas into opening their geo-blocked local content vaults to you.
Dutch residents and visitors to the country can easily protect and enhance their online activities by using a reliable Virtual Private Network. ExpressVPN is the number one VPN for providing that protection.
ExpressVPN’s wide-spanning global server network provides the best connection speeds and well-encrypted connections to geo-blocked local content around the globe. The provider supports all popular devices and offers local Dutch IP addresses, excellent router compatibility and 24/7 customer support.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.
VPN in the Netherlands FAQ
⭐Is VPN Legal in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands government does not restrict the use of VPNs in their country. However, you should never use a VPN in the commission of an illegal act.
⭐Is the Netherlands a Safe Country for VPN Even Though They Joined the Five Eyes?
The Netherlands is not a member of the Five Eyes alliance. However, the country is a member of the Nine Eyes alliance, which is an extension of Five Eyes. That said, it is entirely safe to use a VPN inside of the Netherlands.
⭐Is Popcorn Time Legal in the Netherlands?
Using Popcorn Time to watch copyrighted materials, such as movies or television series, has been illegal in the Netherlands since 2014. This is because streaming via Popcorn Time is considered to be copyright infringement, and you can face a fine or be forced to pay restitution to rights holders.