Having a virtual private network (VPN) is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital world. A VPN allows you to securely access the internet, hide your online identity, bypass censorship, access geo-restricted content, and protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi networks. Many premium VPN services can be quite expensive though. That’s why free VPNs are an attractive option, especially for those looking to protect their privacy on a budget.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about getting and using a free VPN in France. We’ll cover how VPNs work, what to look for in a good free VPN, provide recommendations on the best free VPN services to use in France, and discuss the pros and cons of opting for a free VPN over a paid service. Read on to boost your privacy and enjoy the internet freely in France.
How to get a French IP Address from Anywhere
One of the main reasons people use a VPN is to access region-locked websites and content. To stream your favorite French shows or access websites only available in France, you need a French IP address.
The easiest way to get a French IP is by connecting to a VPN server located in France. When connected to a French server, you receive a French IP, allowing you to bypass geographic restrictions as if you were in France. Here are the main steps to getting a French IP address:
- Choose a VPN provider with servers in France
- Download and install the VPN provider’s app
- Log into the VPN app and connect to a server located in France
- Once connected, check your IP address to confirm you now have a French IP
It’s that simple! By connecting to a VPN server in France you can effectively trick websites and services into thinking you’re accessing them from France.
When choosing a VPN for getting a French IP, go with providers that offer fast, reliable servers in multiple French locations. Having choices in which French city to connect from is useful in case one server is slow or not working properly.
CyberGhost VPN stands out as one of the best options for easily getting and maintaining a French IP address from anywhere in the world. Some of the benefits of using CyberGhost include:
- Huge network of over 7,800 worldwide servers, including 35+ servers across 18 cities in France
- User-friendly apps with one-click server connect
- Fast speeds for streaming, gaming and torrenting
- Strict no logging policy to protect your privacy
- Allows BitTorrent on French servers
While free VPN services can change your IP address, most don’t have servers specifically located in France. For the most reliable method of obtaining a French IP, go with a top premium VPN like CyberGhost. That said, if your budget is tight, the next section covers free options for streaming region-locked content.
Free VPNs for Streaming Shudder in France
Shudder is a popular horror-themed streaming service with thousands of thriller movies and shows. Unfortunately Shudder has different libraries depending on what country you live in. Luckily, by using a VPN you can access region-exclusive titles on Shudder France, no matter where you are.
To stream Shudder France from overseas, all you need to do is connect to a VPN server based in France. Doing so gives you a French IP address, tricking Shudder into giving you access to the French version. However, many free VPNs have issues reliably bypassing geo-blocks on streaming platforms. For the best chance of success, go for premium services like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost which routinely bypass regional blocks.
That said, some free VPNs can still work nicely for streaming Shudder France:
ProtonVPN – This highly-respected free VPN has unlimited data bandwidth, allowing you to stream to your heart’s content. Connect to Proton’s “France #5” server to get started.
Windscribe – Windscribe’s free VPN tier offers 10GB monthly data and access to servers in two French cities: Paris and Strasbourg.
Hide.Me – The free Hide.Me VPN offers a monthly data cap of 10GB. Luckily this is enough data to stream a good amount of shows. They have five servers located in France.
The catch with the above free VPN options are slower speeds, occasional disconnects, and inconsistent success rates in accessing streaming sites. But their unlimited data bandwidth makes them the best choices among free VPNs.
Free VPN France Overview
As the previous sections covered, free VPNs definitely have appeal thanks to their price (free!), and they can successfully change your virtual location via IP masking. However, there are some downsides with free VPN services to consider before relying on them as your sole VPN. These downsides include:
Speed and Reliability Limitations – Free VPNs often have slower speeds compared to premium competitors due to having fewer servers available and more users connected to each one. Connection reliability issues are also more frequent.
Data Caps – Most free VPNs limit how much monthly data you can use before throttling speeds. This makes them less suitable for streaming or torrenting large files. ProtonVPN is an exception with unlimited data on their free tier.
Limited Server Networks – You’ll have far fewer server location options to switch between. This also means a lower chance the service will work reliably in a given country.
Despite the drawbacks, there are still some free VPN services to consider for basic privacy protection and unlocking geo-blocks on some sites. Let’s look at the best free VPN options available in France and what use-cases they work decently for.
Best Free VPN Options for Use in France
Privado is one of the better free VPNs thanks to having unlimited data usage per month. This means you won’t have your speed throttled after exceeding a measly monthly data cap like on most other free services. In total they have over 150 VPN servers spread across over 44 countries.
For using PrivadoVPN free in France, they have five server locations to choose between including Paris, Roubaix, Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg. Speeds are reliable enough for 1080p video streaming and lighter downloading. Just don’t expect ultra fast speeds.
One limitation is Privado’s free servers disconnect after 6 hours of use per session. But this won’t overly affect short or intermittent VPN sessions. Overall PrivadoVPN is a great free choice to use while in France given their generous unlimited data policy.
Next up is Windscribe, one of the most popular free VPNs out there. For using Windscribe VPN free in France, they have two server locations: Paris and Strasbourg.
The catch is that their free VPN plan caps usage at 10GB per month. Additionally, you only get access to their servers in 11 countries versus the 60+ country network provided on paid Windscribe plans. The speed and reliability is still pretty decent though.
Windscribe works well for lighter VPN usage like accessing geo-blocked websites or social media. Ten GB per month is enough bandwidth for short streaming sessions too. If you need unlimited data however, look towards PrivadoVPN or ProtonVPN’s free plan.
Rounding out the top free VPN contenders is Tunnelbear. Their free version allows 500MB of data usage per month, after which your connectivity is cut off until the next month. This makes their free plan unsuitable for streaming media, but great for quick tasks like checking region-restricted websites.
Tunnelbear has a small network of 20+ countries but they do have two France-based servers to choose from located in Paris and Marseille. Despite the low data limit, Tunnelbear’s network still works reliably well within the cap.
The simplicity of their apps and website make Tunnelbear nice for VPN newbies. But the restrictive free data allowance significantly limits their usefulness for free users. Still, Tunnelbear works nicely for basic privacy protection while browsing French websites during a 500MB session.
Best Free VPN in France Considerations
Using any VPN is an excellent way enhance your privacy and security when accessing the internet in France. Free France VPN options have appealing aspects like not costing money and still offering protection. However, free VPNs have concerning downsides relating to data protection and logging policies. Here are some risks to consider regarding free VPN services:
What’s their incentive to not log user activity? – Paid VPNs earn revenue directly from user subscriptions, so promising strict no logging policies is aligned with their business models. Free VPNs more often secretly log user data and online activities, then sell that analytics data to third party advertisers as their way of generating revenue since they don’t earn money directly from users.
Free VPNs log users as a way to monetize them behind the scenes via selling data or serving injected ads. So putting blind faith in their claims of “no logging” can betray people’s expectations of privacy.
How to they pay for infrastructure and operating costs? – Providing global private networks capable of supporting potentially millions of users is extremely expensive regarding infrastructure and ongoing operational costs. Many free VPN providers cannot sustain offering unlimited free service tiers long term. Eventually their free plans get discontinued or altered to be severely limited (tiny data caps, one location, etc). So relying long term on any particular free VPN staying generous indefinitely is risky.
In light of the sustainability and privacy logging challenges facing free VPNs, many security experts recommend avoiding using them for any scenario where you really require airtight privacy, anonymity or data protection.
Best Free VPNs in France for 2023
To recap, here is a comparison list of the top free VPNs worth considering to use within France as of 2023:
ExpressVPN – Offers a 30 day free trial of their full premium VPN service. Fast speeds and reliable connections.
ProtonVPN – Their free plan uniquely offers unlimited data. Speeds good for streaming despite being a free service.
Hotspot Shield – 500MB free data per day. Simple apps beginners appreciate, but restrictive data caps.
Hide.me– 10GB monthly data allowance. Reliable free VPN option overall.
PrivadoVPN – Unlimited data bandwidth but with a 6 hour connection limit per session.
Windscribe –10GB monthly data. Consistently popular free VPN choice but has restrictive caps.
When choosing a free VPN in France, go with options offering unlimited monthly data to avoid getting cut off mid-session. ProtonVPN is a great choice if you plan to stream shows or video call. For basic light privacy protection, Tunnelbear and Windscribe are easy to use.
Using a trustworthy VPN is critical when accessing the internet in today’s surveillance economy, especially public Wi-Fi networks which have inherent security flaws hackers exploit. And although premium paid VPNs like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost and NordVPN offer the fastest speeds, highest security standards and most reliable overall service – you can still enhance your digital privacy in France adequately using a properly vetted free VPN if paid plans don’t fit within your budget.
The key is scrutinizing free VPN brands for red flags like restrictive data caps, logging policies, relying on ads revenue or lacking transparency about their operations and funding model sustainability long term. Services like ProtonVPN, PrivadoVPN and Windscribe avoid most warning signs regarding long term viability and logging temptations based on how they operate.
No free service will match the premium tier speeds and reliability that unlocking geo-blocks reliably demands. But vetted free VPNs like the ones covered give users a layer of basic IP masking, Wi-Fi hotspot security and mostly anonymous general browsing on lighter usage – though likely not 100% hack-proof anonymity regarding government surveillance. So your privacy expectations and risk calculations must align properly with any free VPN brand’s reality.
Ultimately there are effective free options for securely traversing the modern internet landscape available within France. Just be a wary consumer when assessing services so you select ones best aligning with your budget, priorities and trust given they don’t charge upfront.