What Are The Best VPNs For Europe In 2018?
VyprVPN is the best VPN to help users keep their online activities under wraps while visiting or residing in Europe. The provider offers speedy connections, comprehensive privacy protections and excellent customer support.
VyprVPN is the best choice to help you access blocked content and to keep your online activities (and their associated personal information) safe from monitoring by hackers, the government and other third parties when you’re using your favorite Wi-Fi hotspot.
Europe is a continent containing 50 sovereign states, located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It’s bordered by the Arctic Ocean to its north, the Atlantic Ocean to its west and the Mediterranean Sea to its south. The continent covers approximately 3,930,000 square miles, and as of 2016, Europe’s population totaled about 741 million people.
Europe, in particular the ancient civilization of Greece, is considered to be the birthplace of western civilization. The Middle Ages saw the rise of exploration, science and art in Europe, leading to the modern era. Europe has long played a predominant role in global affairs. During the span from the 16th to the 20th centuries, European countries controlled much of the world, including the Americas, Oceania, much of Africa and a majority of Asia.
The economy of Europe is the largest on Earth, with assets under management of over $32.7 trillion. Europe’s GDP per capita is $21,767 USD. However, there is a huge disparity between the European members when it comes to GDP per capita, with Monaco at the top with $172,676 and Moldova at the bottom with $1,361.
European politics are led by the European Union, of which 28 countries in Europe are members.
Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Europe
Why Do You Need a VPN in Europe?
While Europe as a whole isn’t overly restrictive when it comes to censoring websites, there are certain countries that restrict specific subjects.
As you can imagine, Germany is uber restrictive when it comes to websites promoting “Nazi-like” hate speech. (France also does its best to block hate speech on the web.)
Sweden explicitly requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block content that contains instigation of rebellion, racial agitation, child pornography, illegal descriptions of violence and obvious copyright infringement. Other European countries block content on similar grounds.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the best way to protect your online antics from monitoring by a government or an ISP. While I know that none of my readers would even think of engaging in offensive activities like those listed above, it stands to reason that if a government is monitoring for such activities, they’re watching what everyone is doing online to one extent or another.
A VPN protects your internet connection from outside monitoring by encasing it in a layer of encryption. The encrypted connection also makes a great way to keep hackers from monitoring or intercepting your internet connection when using your computer or mobile device on an open Wi-Fi hotspot in your favorite bistro, hotel or other public location.
Another helpful feature of a VPN is the ability of the service to make it appear that you’re connecting to the internet from another location, be it in another city or another country altogether.
This location “spoofing” ability helps users unblock content that might normally be blocked in their area, due to government censorship or licensing restrictions (such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and other streaming content providers, or gaming servers, like those used by Final Fantasy XIV and similar games).
Choosing the Best VPN for Use in Europe
When you’re looking for the best Virtual Private Network provider to open up your world of content while also keeping your internet activities safe from monitoring by the government, your ISP or the bad guys, you’ll want to keep a few important things in mind before clicking the “Buy” button.
Never settle for less than comprehensive global server coverage and optimal privacy protections. In addition, look for a provider that doesn’t slow your connection speeds by a large margin. Plus, good customer support is always a good thing, especially if you’re up against a deadline and you cannot connect to your favorite VPN server.
In this section of the article, I will explain why each feature bears close consideration and then I’ll include a list of my top 10 VPN providers, which will be ranked according to the provider’s performance in that category.
Global Server Coverage
Global server coverage is important for one main reason: the more server locations offered by a VPN service, the more streaming, gaming and other types of content you can access that might normally be blocked from your location.
Always investigate how well a particular VPN provider covers the globe with server farms. The screenshot below demonstrates what comprehensive global server coverage is.
Privacy is another important consideration when considering a VPN to protect you while visiting or residing in Europe. The word “privacy” in this section doesn’t refer to how well a provider encrypts your connection, although that is important.
Instead, I’m talking about how well a particular provider protects evidence related to your online travels, as well as your subscription payment information.
Check to see where a provider is located. Does the country they’re located in have restrictive data retention laws? What type of logs related to your online activities are retained by the VPN provider? Does the provider accept privacy-enhancing forms of payment, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift cards?
In the list below, you’ll see my top 10 VPN providers ranked in order of best privacy protections to worst.
Other Factors to Consider
Connection speed controls how quickly you get to enjoy that unblocked streaming content that you can now enjoy. A faster VPN connection means video and audio start streaming faster, websites load more quickly and video conferencing goes more smoothly.
When testing the speed of the various connections provided by the VPNs listed in the table below, I first measured the speed of my ISP-provided internet connection. I then connected to each VPN and once again measured the connection speed. I compared the two speeds to calculate the speed percentage.
I used the Speedtest website to measure the speeds.
The list below ranks my top 10 favorite VPN providers, in order of fastest download speed to slowest.
Never consider any VPN provider that does not offer “kill switch” protection for their connections.
A kill switch automatically shuts down your internet connection if the connection to your VPN provider is lost. This prevents the website you’re connected to, as well as your ISP or any other third parties, from monitoring your internet connection and discovering your actual IP address.
Since “kill switch” is strictly a binary, “yes/no” feature, the providers below are listed alphabetically, with a notation as to whether or not they provide a kill switch option.
It’s a multi-platform world, with internet-connected devices available on the macOS, Windows, Android, iOS and various other platforms.
This makes multi-platform support something to keep in mind when considering which VPN is the right one for you. After all, you don’t want to leave your internet-connected toaster or other “Internet of Things” device wide open to hacking, do you?
Always make sure the VPN provider you’re considering offers native app support for the devices you use every day, such as your Windows, macOS, iOS or Android device. Also look for support for your wireless router. (VPN support is just about as important at home as it is when you’re out and about.)
The list below ranks the number of platforms supported by my top 10 providers, sorted from best to worst.
I would never wish connection or billing issues on any of my readers, but chances are good that you’ll need to contact your VPN provider’s customer service agents at one time or another, if simply for help with an app setting.
Always look for customer support options that include live support chat, a trouble ticket system and a searchable support library.
The VPN providers listed below are ordered from best customer support to worst. The rankings were calculated by considering what types of support are offered, as well as the speed and accuracy of their answers.
Note: None of the VPN providers listed below offer support over the phone.