Germany is generally very strong in terms of privacy laws, and has been outspoken against NSA mass surveillance and spying, strongly supporting EU Data Protection Resolutions to better protect against mass surveillance. Which is all a bit hypocritical, considering revelations of Germany’s own agency, the BND, having joint surveillance operations with the NSA. Germany had also first abided to EU Data Retention back in 2008.
Nonetheless German citizens stood against mass spying of online subscriber data, and German citizens, 35, 000 of them to be exact, even managed to overturn Germany’s participation in the EU Data Retention Directive with a class action suit that ruled it unconstitutional in march of 2010. Now with all the leaked information from Snowden’s documents, it’s no wonder VPN usage in Germany has spiked in the last couple of years.
That’s not the only reason Germany relies on VPN encryption. German copyright laws are serious, making it possible criminalize someone’s IP, if logged downloading copyright infringed material. It is not expensive, or difficult for copyright holders to seek damages for copyright infringement in Germany. These measures are anything but popular, yet Germany followed by signing on the multinational Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) with the U.S. back in 2011.
Now, lawsuits for individuals are not to be expected, as no criminal charges have been pressed against home users, but large raids have happened in Germany, notably in 2006, when 3,500 homes had been raided for using eDonkey2000. Computers were confiscated as evidence. Later in 2011, the German Pirate Party’s headquarters got shut down by another police raid.
Generally speaking today, your IP will be shared, and infringement noticed can be sent to you, while large scale infringement does stand to be criminally charged. Therefore, for a minimum of retaining your privacy, selecting a Torrent P2P friendly VPN service in Germany is important, if you plan to download such content.
Besides all those concerns, some Germans just enjoy unlocking UK and US streaming websites, or access fast routes for gaming, encrypt data on various devices, whatever it may be. I was able to test over 10 services across my 3 trips to Berlin in last couple of years, where I usually spend a couple of months with local friends. I tested services side-by-side, and included important feedback from friends using the services regularly. The larger providers won most votes for being versatile, fast and stable, while costing less or equal to some smaller European based providers.
PureVPN – Full Review
PureVPN quickly became one of the favorite VPN services we tested in Germany. With worldwide access over such a large network, including great coverage of Germany and Europe, server speeds and routes seemed faster at times, than without a VPN. P2P servers provided fast speeds almost all the time. A very good sign that effective routes are used between PureVPN’s private network nodes. Additionally, I was able to test along with local friends, the HDX Dedicated Streaming paid addon, that costs about $5 per month, but provides a special browser that provides a virtually cloud hosted Windows 7 with up to 20Mbp/s of internet bandwidth speed. Although internet is fairly priced in Germany, ADSL is still prevalent, and if you happen to have a long distance from the provider’s central station, your speed becomes limited. With the add-on, we successfully watched our favorite shows and movies on 720p high definition with little buffer time, thanks to the available gateways in the UK. allowing the service to work well from Germany. With that said, as the basic service, the price is great, and allows up to 5 simultaneous users. Nothing lacks with PureVPN, and provides everything needed to make the best VPN service for Germany. The one downside, is if you want the extra NAT Firewall protection, that also comes as a paid extra.
VyprVPN – Full Review
Another favorite of the German locals providing me feedback was VyprVPN. They provide polished and easy to use software for all major platforms, global coverage across 45 locations, 23 in Europe alone, and include encrypted cloud storage, making VyprVPN a very complete service for just about any need, included P2P. Speeds on their network are usually excellent, at a minimum very good. With over 700 servers, you can be certain that won’t change anytime soon. The service is straight forward and no extras need to be considered, NAT firewall protection included. VyprVPN uses a proprietary Chameleon VPN Encryption technology on OpenVPN, that helps avoid anyone detecting VPN data, better encrypting and hiding you from anyone and anything. And, as mentioned, encrypted cloud storage is included. From 10GB to 50GB of cloud storage is provided depending the package you pick, so if you happen to also need to store or backup sensitive data, this is a great combo choice.
Private Internet Access – Full Review
Private Internet Access makes almost every list, and it’s honestly due to them providing a great service at a great cost. The yearly package comes in at about $3.33, and allows you to connect up to 5 simultaneous devices. No special features or out of the ordinary tools, but very solid encryption and NAT firewall protection is included. P2P friendly with a huge amount of 2000+ servers, but lacks the same global coverage that their main competitors offer. Private Internet Access is only covering 13 countries, but that doesn’t mean it does not fit the bill for most. Unless you need specific locations for VoIP calls for example, the server location list from PIA is most likely enough for unlocking all your favorite websites, as far as Europe and Germany go, PIA has a strong server presence across, making them a great choice and candidate as the best VPN provider for your money. Simple, cheap, and enough servers to provide respectable speeds.
TorGuard – Full Review
Another service that was both well acclaimed, and successfully tested by myself in Germany, was TorGuard. They stand strongly for P2P and include Torrent proxies with their service, but more importantly, the connections remained stable and provided very good speeds. The price is very competitive when purchasing a yearly plan, coming in at $4.99 with 5 simultaneous connections, very comparable to PIA and PureVPN. One of the biggest advantages with TorGuard is that the VPN service includes a free Viscosity licence, which is known as the ‘best’ paid OpenVPN client, definitely a perk. TorGuard has great global coverage in 42+ countries, including many high speed servers in Europe and Germany. Although the website could be simplified, once you signup, the service is easy to setup and use. Also offered is free 10mb encrypted email addresses, with the possibility of upgrading the inbox. Overall, Torguard qualified as a tried and tested, solid VPN service for Europe.
IPVanish – Full Review
IPVanish took on growing globally, quickly, and try hard to provide the fastest servers possible. After testing it a few times ping and speed results are sometimes better, but always on par with the best results I get from competitors, so they do uphold fast servers.If you happen to be a German gamer, looking for some fast secure routes, IPVanish has 3 high speed server locations in Germany, and a total of 67 across all of Europe. With another 70 locations across the rest of the world, they also qualify as one of the largest tier-1 fast speed VPN services around, and rightfully so. They provide a simple, easy, no bells & whistles approach, with matching one click connect software across all major platforms. If you want the guarantee of consistent speeds, IPVanish makes a great selection as well. It does cost a bit more, and only allows 1 connection per protocol, but sometimes you need to pay a little extra, when you want that little extra speed and upkeep of the network.