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Is It Legal To Use VPN in Germany?

a man using VPN while eating popcorn.

VPN brings many benefits and is helpful in various circumstances. In most countries of the world, the use of a VPN is generally legal, and so is Germany. VPN allows you to encrypt your own internet connection, thus protecting your data traffic on the web.

VPNs are legal in Germany. The use of a VPN provider is legal and permitted in Germany. There are no specific laws within the country that explicitly ban using a VPN. One of the main advantages of a VPN service is protecting your online data from exposure to third parties.

What about illegal activities when using a VPN? What was unlawful will count as unlawful even with a VPN. Users need to keep in mind that some online downloads might involve copyright infringement and are illegal in Germany, even with the use of a VPN. It can result in a criminal offense in some cases.

Legality of VPN in Germany

VPNs are entirely legal in Germany. No German law states the legal aspect of VPN usage. However, if the purpose you are using VPN for is illegal in itself, VPN won’t change it. With that said, VPN doesn’t shield you from criminal activities online.

For example, if you download copyrighted material when using a VPN, you are committing a crime. Hence, what was illegal before stays illegal even with VPN. Copyright infringement is the most prominent example of this.

Generally, a VPN secures your internet connection. Hence, you are more effectively protected from hackers or data theft. This is because the data traffic is transmitted in encrypted form and is more difficult to access.

It protects your privacy, and every citizen has a right to privacy. That’s why using VPN is legal.

In many cases, the use of a VPN connection is even recommended. Many companies use VPN networks, for example, to share data securely with employees in the home office.

Yet, there are some things to watch out for when using a VPN in Germany:

  • Illegal activities are illegal even with a VPN. While a VPN hides your online activities and thus protects your privacy, that doesn’t mean it makes already illegal activities legal.
  • Some streaming platforms don’t allow VPN usage. These include Netflix and Disney Plus. Always read the terms and conditions of the respective service before using it with a VPN.

Furthermore, VPNs aren’t entirely legal in some countries with strong censorship. For example, VPN providers in China and Iran need a special license from the government to provide services to the citizens. In Iraq, Russia, Belarus, and Turkey, VPN services are even entirely banned.

Illegal things remain illegal

VPNs don’t serve as the be-all-end-all solution to online privacy, and if you use them to commit illegal acts, the government can still use other means to track you down and hold you accountable. Therefore, we don’t recommend using a VPN for unlawful purposes or in grey areas like streaming movies on pirate websites.

Downloading or sharing copyrighted material is illegal in Germany, even when using a VPN. You might end up with a fine of up to a couple of thousand euros. Read about what is allowed and what’s not on the German internet.

Benefits of VPN

a man checking VPN benefits using his cellphone and laptop.

VPN has several benefits, the main of which is that the ISP or Internet Service Provider cannot censor and monitor what you are doing on the internet when using a VPN.

Some other benefits include:

  • protection from attacks in public WLANs or hotspots
  • anonymous surfing on the internet
  • bypassing geoblocking
  • secure business and work communication
  • bypassing simple geographical restrictions set forth by streaming and torrenting services.

A VPN has other advantages besides security. For example, you can use it to access the company network while on the road or to bypass geo-blocking with streaming services.

Many of these streaming services geo-block their content, meaning that you can only access them from a specific part of the world. Using a VPN, you can effectively bluff the website into thinking that your request is originating from a particular location, therefore bypassing any restrictions.

The most valuable features of VPN providers like NordVPN are:

  1. Hidden server: This feature hides all your private data from other parties.
  2. Double VPN: The double VPN feature adds an extra layer of encryption so you can surf even more securely.
  3. Kill switch: When your VPN connection drops, the kill switch cuts off your internet connection so your IP address doesn’t get exposed.
  4. A large number of servers: VPN providers have servers all across the world that you can access within the comfort of your home.

Online streaming with VPN in Germany

A VPN can give you access to services that are usually blocked in your country. However, you will still need to subscribe for paid streaming services, e.g., Netflix, Amazon, or Disney+. A VPN doesn’t make paid services free.

If you, for example, want to access Netflix in the USA because of the available shows and movies, it’s possible with a VPN without any limitations.

Bear in mind that depending on the streaming provider, using a VPN may violate the terms and conditions of the service, such as bypassing geo-blocking. Violations can bring negative consequences, such as termination of the account. Check the terms before activating your VPN.

Read more about streaming movies online in Germany and their legality.

For example, Netflix states that the platform’s content could only be used in the country or geographic regions in which the respective content is licensed.

Whereas Amazon prime determines the geographic location of its customers. Using VPN to change or hide the location is prohibited, according to Amazon. So with Amazon Prime, a VPN is illegal for streaming.

Torrenting and downloading movies with a VPN in Germany

Torrenting isn’t illegal in Germany. But torrenting and file-sharing of copyrighted files isn’t legal.

Despite all risks, digital savvy torrenters use VPN services or virtual private networks to hide their internet activity from ISP. Some VPN providers are better suited for torrenting than others. NordVPN and ExpressVPN are best for watching or downloading movies online.

What should your VPN have to make torrenting safe in Germany?

  1. It doesn’t keep a log of your activity
  2. It isn’t based in Germany
  3. Is fast enough that it won’t slow your downloads

How to torrent safely in Germany?

If you keep your online activity private, you can torrent safely. Note that while a VPN for torrenting will keep your activity confidential and safe from the eyes of other parties, you may still be vulnerable to malware from some public torrent sites. Follow these steps to torrent safe and privately with a VPN.

  1. Download and install a VPN matching the criteria mentioned above. We recommend NordVPN/ExpressVPN.
  2. Enable your VPN’s kill switch, if it has one
  3. Connect to a VPN server, preferably in a P2P-friendly country
  4. After the connection is established, open your torrent client and start downloading as usual
  5. Your online activity is now encrypted by your VPN

NordVPN and Surfshark are the leading VPN companies in Germany, while ExpressVPN is the world’s largest provider.

If you choose the VPN carefully and don’t go with the free options of VPN, you can torrent anonymously.

Don’t forget to turn on the killswitch which is crucial for torrenting. Kill-switch ensures that if your VPN suddenly drops – your internet connection will drop also. This secures against any data leaks. Also, always keep your VPN turned on while using torrents.

But what is VPN and how does it work?

A VPN – or Virtual Private Network encrypts your internet connection and uses a foreign IP address. The search for the location and the actual visitor thus comes to nothing.

A VPN is the safest and easiest way to protect yourself in Germany (and indeed, anywhere else in the world). It encrypts all traffic leaving and coming to your device. It also makes it appear as though the origin of that traffic is the VPN server and not you.

So, when you browse the internet or torrent movies with a VPN, the remote server sees the VPN’s IP address, not yours. This means that copyright lawyers cannot see your IP address. Hence, they won’t send you a notice. 

Otherwise, lawyers and other third parties can’t easily trace your illegal streaming. Therefore, using a VPN makes torrenting much safer. In Germany, check out NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

However, VPNs are not risk-free. If your VPN connection drops, your torrent client might continue downloading copyrighted materials without it, exposing your IP address to the world. 

Using a VPN killswitch will prevent this issue. It will stop the internet connection if you are no longer connected to the VPN. NordVPN provides a killswitch feature.

When choosing a VPN, also look for a fast provider that allows torrenting and streaming without log IP addresses. We would advise avoiding free VPN services since they can compromise safety, privacy or performance. 

NordVPN and Surfshark are the leading VPN companies in Germany, while ExpressVPN is the world’s largest provider.

Why is VPN important?

Want to stream your favorite series or movies? Using VPN can help you to avoid getting in trouble. VPN is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Network.

A VPN provider helps to protect the data on the internet. All your data is encrypted, your IP address is no longer traceable, and thus third parties like lawyers can no longer use your data.

Moreover, Google, Facebook, or government authorities cannot see your activity on the web.

Furthermore, thanks to private browsing via VPN, you could visit semi-legal streaming websites to watch series and movies without the risk of being caught.

Via the VPN, you then surf the network of some particular country and watch movies available there without being detected. You can purchase a monthly, three-month, six-month, or annual membership with the VPN provider. 

The longer the length of the membership, the cheaper the price is.

Why using VPN is important in Germany?

While using a VPN, no one can track your IP address. This is the primary way how lawyers find lawbreakers in Germany. 

Therefore, when you browse the internet or torrent movies with a VPN, the remote server sees the VPN’s IP address instead of yours. Moreover, using a VPN for streaming is much safer.

It’s advisable to avoid free VPN providers for safety reasons. NordVPN and Surfshark are the two best providers out there. Don’t forget to apply a VPN killswitch when streaming. It will protect against IP exposure during VPN connection interruptions. 

Torrenters use VPN services or virtual private networks to hide their internet activity from ISP. Using a VPN makes torrenting much safer. When you torrent movies with a VPN, the remote server sees the VPN’s IP address, not yours.

This means that copyright lawyers cannot see your IP address. They can’t easily trace illegal downloads back to you. Consequently, you should use a VPN service to protect your online activities from your ISP and other parties.

Otherwise, lawyers and other third parties can’t easily trace your illegal streaming. Therefore, using a VPN makes torrenting much safer. In Germany, check out NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

You might be exposed regardless. For example, your IP address will be exposed if your VPN connection drops. To prevent this issue, you should set up a VPN killswitch. It will cut the internet connection if you are not connected to your VPN.

Best VPN providers in Germany

Choose your VPN provider wisely. Here are our pics:


A world-renowned VPN provider with over 10 years of experience. 

They offer affordable prices, great speed, and privacy protection. NordVPN provides a kill switch.

  • 240+ servers in Germany
  • Get from 3,10 EUR per month
  • Full 30-day refund policy
  • Perfect for streaming and torrenting
  • Dedicated servers for torrenting/streaming
  • Excellent ad-blocker
  • No data cap


As one of the best VPN services out there, ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers across 160 locations in 94 countries. 

  • Ultrafast speeds
  • Strict no-logs policy 
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • 24/7 support


Surfshark is the third-largest VPN provider in the world.

  • Best budget option
  • Get for 2,2 EUR per month
  • Killswitch for streaming  
  • Unlimited number of devices
  • 30-day free trial and 30 days money-back guarantee
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