There are various reasons why someone might want to get a French IP address when outside of France. For instance, you may want to access geo-restricted French streaming platforms like Canal+ and TF1, or access services such as online banking from abroad. Also, accessing certain websites with a French IP address will mean that they default to your native language.
When your computer sends a request for a web page, the destination website can see your unique IP address, which gives away your location. Websites can check which country your IP address was allocated to and block your access if you are outside of France. For example, the Netflix France library is only available to users with a French IP address.
You can get around this problem with a VPN. This service routes your traffic through an intermediary VPN server in a location of your choice and assigns you a new IP address from that server. This means you can access blocked content wherever you are in the world. As a bonus, a VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic making it unreadable to any snoopers, including hackers and your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
How do I get a French IP address from abroad?
It is very easy to get a French IP address from anywhere by using a VPN. Just follow these steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN service (we recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the app for your device’s operating system.
- Open the app and select a VPN server in France.
- Surf to a geo-restricted website. If it doesn’t load immediately, clear your browser’s cache and cookies, then refresh the page.
GET A FRENCH IP ADDRESS FOR FREE: If you just need a French IP address for a few weeks while you are on vacation, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s cancellation policy. This service provides a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can use the VPN for a month and get a hassle-free refund, as long as you remember to cancel your subscription in time.
How to choose the right VPN for a French IP address
There are some fundamental requirements from a VPN if it is going to help you get a French IP address while you are abroad. These are the criteria we based our picks on:
- Server options in France
- Fast transfer speeds for video streaming and downloading
- An easy-to-use, self-installing app that doesn’t require technical skills
- Free apps for different operating systems
- Strong encryption and privacy protection
Best VPNs for a French IP address
Here is our list of the best VPNs to get a French IP address from anywhere:
ExpressVPN is able to slip past location checks when you use it to access French websites from abroad. It offers very fast speeds and is excellent for video streaming and downloading, having the ability to unblock various streaming services, including Netflix France. It has two servers in Paris and one in Strasbourg. Live chat support is available 24/7 should you need help.
The app includes a kill switch and access to a private DNS service to protect your
privacy. The company does not keep activity logs, so there are no records of
which sites you visited. Connection establishment is protected by 4096-bit RSA
public key encryption and the session is secured with a 256-bit AES cipher.
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. ExpressVPN can be installed on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire stick, Kindle Fire tablets, and some routers and set-top boxes. Browser plugins work alongside the VPN desktop clients and are available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Three simultaneous connections are allowed under each plan. A router installation counts as one of those even though it will cover all of the devices in your home.
- Great speeds for downloading and video streaming
- Best-in-class security
- Easily bypasses location detection systems
- Easy-to-use self-installing apps
- Constantly available customer support
- A bit more expensive than the others on the list
BEST VPN FOR A FRENCH IP ADDRESS:ExpressVPN is our preferred choice, It provides a high-speed reliable service, which is suitable for downloading and video streaming. Strong security features and ease of use make this VPN the industry leader. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to try the service risk-free.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN has a very large server network with more than 5,200 servers spread across 62 countries. The company has 160 servers in France alone. The speeds of the service are sufficient to watch faultless video streams and download in reasonable time.
Connections are secured by a 256-bit AES cipher. The key exchange and session establishment procedures are protected by 2048-bit RSA encryption. A kill switch and DNS leak protection are built in. Another security feature is the option to use double-hop VPN, which sends your connections through two servers in different countries. You can also access the Tor network through a NordVPN connection.
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. The VPN can be installed manually on Linux, Raspberry Pi, Blackberry, and some routers and set top boxes. You can also use NordVPN as a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. Six simultaneous connections per account are permitted.
- Solid speeds
- Gets into Netflix France from abroad
- Has extra security features
- Map-based interface
- Desktop app can be cumbersome
BEST DISCOUNT OPTION:If you’re looking for a low-cost solution, then NordVPN is your best option. Despite being a budget choice, this service includes free extra security features that more expensive services do not have. This provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
CyberGhost has more than 3,000 servers in 57 countries, including 254 servers in France, which create fast connections suitable for downloading and video streaming. The service includes many security features to protect your privacy, such as a kill switch in the app and a private DNS service.
You can get almost total anonymity on CyberGhost’s servers because payment is collected by a different company. You’ll only lose your anonymity if you access customer support because you have to give an email address in order to get a response, although you could use a throwaway email. Another privacy feature of the service is its no logs policy. Connection security is very strong and equal to the procedures used by ExpressVPN. Session establishment is covered by 4096-bit RSA encryption and a 256-bit AES cipher protects data in transit.
There are app versions for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon
Fire Stick. You can set up a CyberGhost VPN connection manually on Linux
Computers and some routers and set-top boxes. Each account covers up to seven
simultaneous connections to the service.
- Fast speeds
- A simultaneous connection allowance of seven devices
- Strong connection encryption
- Account anonymity
- Lacks some more advanced features
EXCELLENT VALUE:CyberGhost helps you disappear while you are active on the internet by providing very strong connection encryption and account anonymity. You get a 45-day money-back guarantee on all subscription periods except for the one month plan, which has a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
IPVanish provides access to more than 1,100 servers in 60 countries, including 26 servers in Paris. It has blazing fast speeds and can unblock multiple streaming platforms. It’s a winner with torrenters and Kodi users, partly because its APK can be downloaded directly and its app is remote control-friendly.
Your privacy is protected by a kill switch in the app, a private DNS service, and a
no logs policy. The company states that if anyone presented them with a court
order to hand over their connection records, they would hand over an empty
disc. Connection establishment is protected by a 2048-bit RSA public key cipher
and data in transit is rendered unreadable by 256-bit AES encryption.
Apps run on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices and also on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and Kindle Fire tablets. For Linux computers, there is an app for
Mint and you can create connections manually on Ubuntu, Fedora, and Kali Linux.
You can also set up the VPN manually on some routers and set-top boxes. IPVanish gives a simultaneous connection allowance of ten devices, the most generous on this list.
- Multiple servers in France
- Extremely high speeds for downloading and video streaming
- Strict no logs policy
- A simultaneous connection allowance of 10 devices
- Customer support can be slow
MULTIPLE DEVICE CONNECTIONS:IPVanish allows you 10 simultaneous connections and extremely high speeds. You will get a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
PrivateVPN is a newer and smaller provider, but is still worthy of consideration. It gives access to more than 80 servers located in 56 countries, including two servers in Paris. You get very fast, so it’s great for downloading and video streaming. PrivateVPN is known for is excellent unblocking capabilities and can get you access to Netflix France, Canal+, and lots more.
Privacy protection includes a kill switch in the app and a private DNS service. Procedural anonymity is aided by a no-logs policy and third-party billing. Your connection security is provided by 256-bit AES encryption and key exchange is made secure by a 2048-bit RSA cipher.
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. You can also set up a VPN connection manually on Linux computers and some routers and set-top boxes. You get an allowance of six simultaneous connections per account.
- Fast speeds for downloading and video streaming
- Account anonymity
- Strong security features
- Great for unblocking geo-restricted services
- Only two servers in France
STRONG PRIVACY:Account anonymity and a no-logs policy makes your internet activity untraceable. PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Can I get a French IP address without paying?
There are many website and online services in France that won’t give you access if you are outside of the country. In particular, many sports and entertainment sites that invest a lot of money in geolocation detection systems. Premium online TV services like Canal+ go to even greater lengths to block access from abroad and these measures include detecting VPN traffic and blocking it.
It isn’t impossible to get around these blocks, but you likely won’t be able to do it with a free VPN service. This is because dodging detection costs a lot of money. One of the techniques that sites use is blacklisting, so if an IP address gets detected as being outside of France or belonging to a VPN service, it gets blocked permanently. To defeat this strategy, VPNs have to avoid buying blocks of addresses and they regularly bin their address pool and buy in new ones. This procedure can be costly and free VPNs just can’t afford to keep ahead of detection.
Even if you do manage to bypass geo-restrictions, free VPNs have so many users and so few servers that you’ll likely endure slow, intermittent connections that make for a terrible streaming experience. What’s more, free VPNs don’t have the extra privacy measures you need from a VPN, such as a kill switch and a no-logs policy. In fact, many make their money by tracking your activities and selling the data to third parties.
Overall, a few dollars per month for a reputable provider is worth it every time.
Why else do I need a VPN?
Aside from helping you to access your favorite shows and movies, a VPN can help in other ways. It can get you access to other platforms that may be blocked in your location, such as gaming sites, sports streaming services, and gambling sites.
Plus, many banks will flag an account if you access using a foreign IP address. So if you want to use the online banking facilities of Crédit Agricole, BNP, Paribas, Société Générale, or Caisse d’Epargne, a French IP address can help you do so without prompting alerts.
Because VPNs encrypt your traffic, they are particularly useful when you connect to a wifi hotspot. These are prime locations for hackers to lie in wait to steal your data, but an encrypted VPN will be unreadable to those prying eyes. When a VPN connects, its encryption procedures are negotiated with an end server that is beyond the local wifi systems, so hackers can’t intervene in the encryption key exchange procedures.
Get a French IP address with a VPN
Many online services in France have made the most of technological advances to block out visitors from outside the country. It’s annoying that you have to miss out on the sites you enjoy visiting just because you are abroad for a little while. It is particularly annoying if you are paying a subscription fee for those sites. Fortunately, technology can help you, too. A VPN will even the score so you can get back to accessing your favorite sites, even when you are outside of France.
Take advantage of the refund periods to try out a few of the services on our list without losing any money. All of these services are honorable and will give you a refund without any hassle. Enjoy your travels and keep in touch with entertainment, events, and more back home thanks to a VPN.
Related: Best VPN for France