Neighboring country Germany is actually quite a popular country for VPN providers to base some of their free servers, but what about France? Are there any VPN providers that offer free servers in France?
You have to do a bit more searching than for some other countries, but there actually are some good free VPN options with French servers, so you can get an IP address in France for free.
Here’s a summary of your main options:
- PrivadoVPN – Free France server, 10 GB monthly data.
- Windscribe – Free France server, 10 GB monthly data
- Tunnelbear – Free France server, 500 MB monthly data
- UrbanVPN – Unlimited free French proxy VPN server, not private
As with most countries with free VPN servers, there are always tradeoffs, whether it be in terms of data limits, or reliability and privacy issues. I couldn’t find a truly unlimited and fully private free VPN with servers in France, but there’s still some good free services you can use.
Let’s look at each option in more detail.
Free Option #1 – PrivadoVPN Free Version (10 GB/month data)
This first option is actually not so well known, since it’s a newer VPN company. But PrivadoVPN are an up-and-coming VPN service that do offer an excellent free version of their product, with one of their free servers located in France.
Here are some features of PrivadoVPN free version:
- 10 GB data use per month on the free plan
- Free servers in 8 countries and 12 locations on the free plan – including Paris (France)
- Other free server locations – USA, (New York, Washington DC, Miami, Los Angeles), UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, Mexico.
- Strict zero logs policy, even on the free version
- Based in Switzerland with strong privacy laws
- 1 connection allowed on free version
- Apps for all major devices.
- Email address only required to get free version.
- Paid plans start at $5/month for a 12 month subscription.
Click here to view a full server list and started with PrivadoVPN – go to their Pricing page and select their Free Plan.
Of course an unlimited data allowance would be better, but this is difficult to get with a free VPN, and 10 GB/month is still a really good allowance, and equates to about 300 MB/day.
Here’s what you could realistically do with that sort of data cap:
- For just basic browsing and logging into your emails once or twice daily, plus some social media, it could literally be fine for an entire month. I think you could stay within a 300 MB/day allowance quite easily.
- If you’re also watching YouTube, then it does use a lot more data, but you’ve still got some room with a 10 GB monthly allowance. For example, you could watch one or two 10 minute YouTube videos daily, plus basic browsing, and you’d probably still stay within your limit over a month.
- If you want to watch more or longer YouTube videos, or some other streaming, especially in HD, then you will struggle to stay within the allowance. Consider ProtonVPN (no free French servers) or another unlimited option listed below, or go for a Premium VPN with unlimited use instead.
Free Option #2 – Windscribe Free Version (10 GB/Month)
This second option is almost identical to PrivadoVPN. Windscribe are a fully free VPN service, who also offer an IP location in France to users free of charge.
Here are some features of Windscribe free version:
- 10 GB data use per month on the free plan
- Free servers in 10 countries including France.
- Other free server locations – USA, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Romania.
- Strict zero logs policy, even on the free version
- Canadian based company.
- Unlimited connections allowed even on free version
- Apps for all major devices.
- Only an Email address required to get free version.
- Paid plans start at $4/month for a 12 month subscription.
Click here to get started with Windscribe– go to their Features page and select their Free Plan.
You can easily combine this option with PrivadoVPN above, to get two doses of 10 GB of free data, for a combined total of 20 GB of data per month with a free French IP address. When your allowance on one service runs out, switch to another one.
Free Option #3 – Tunnelbear Free Version (500 MB/Month)
We are now coming to much less favorable options, but Tunnelbear’s free version is still something you can use. But with only 500 MB of free monthly data, it’s much more limited than PrivadoVPN or Windscribe.
Click here to visit Tunnelbear’s site. Click the Tunnelbear logo on the top left to go back to the homepage, and click on “Plans”. If you sign up for the Free account, you get 500 MB of data to use each month.
The Free plan is buried away somewhat in the menus and not heavily promoted, as for obvious reasons, they’d prefer customers used paid plans, but you can still find it by clicking back to the homepage and finding the Plans page.
Tunnelbear’s got servers in 49 countries, including in France so it can be a great option for short term/basic usage.
However, with the free version, you only get 500 MB of data to use per month. You can tweet at them for an extra 1 GB, but this is your main limitation with this service – you don’t get much data/bandwidth to use. Once you open the interface, there is a data counter so you can see how you’ve got left this month.
For clarity, here’s a quick summary of what you can expect different activities to use in terms of data, given the 500 MB monthly cap with Tunnelbear:
- Basic browsing – Doesn’t use much – 10-20 MB per hour.
- Social media – Uses a bit more – 100-150 MB per hour.
- Multiplayer Online gaming – 50-60 MB per hour.
- YouTube Video (10 minutes):
- 480p – 80 MB
- 720p (HD) – 250 MB
- YouTube video (1 hour)
- 480p – 500-700 MB
- 720p (HD) – 1.5-2 GB
- You can change YouTube video quality using the settings cog in the bottom right of videos.
- Netflix movie
- SD – 700 MB per hour.
- HD – 3 GB per hour
- Ultra HD – 7 GB per hour
- See here for source plus how to change Netflix data usage settings.
Here’s what you could realistically do with the Tunnelbear free version:
- Perfect for short term holiday use (eg. 1-2 weeks or less away), just logging into your emails once or twice a day, making purchases etc. Any more than 1 week away you might need a Premium service (see last section).
- Very light, basic browsing (emails, shopping, directions, news etc), but you will see your 500 MB/month quote drain quickly – just 16/17 MB per day for a month.
- Anything where you really need a secure connection – making payments, logging into sensitive accounts, entering any other personal information – I’d use the Tunnelbear VPN or the other two options above and not a shared VPN like UrbanVPN we’ll cover below.
- You can use it to keep your connection secure whilst signing up for an unlimited, Premium VPN service that’ll serve you better long term (see section at the bottom).
Here’s what you can’t really use Tunnelbear free for:
- Videos/streaming services/YouTube – uses too much data as indicated above. You’ll run out of your allowance very quickly
- Social media – might get away with a really small amount, but again it can use up more than you might think.
Therefore Tunnelbear could be an emergency backup option if you run out of data on PrivadoVPN or Windscribe, or for very short term holiday use, but not for much more than that. However, it’s a proper looking, proper feeling VPN program that can still give you an IP address in France for free, even if only temporarily.
Free Option #4 – UrbanVPN (Unlimited but not private)
The last option works a little bit different to the ones we’ve covered so far, but could be an option for some users who are less privacy focused.
UrbanVPN pride themselves on being a totally free, peer to peer VPN service, using the connections of users to re-route traffic. It’s like the users are each acting as VPN’s for the other users, almost like a crowd-funded VPN service.
They’ve got servers in 80+ countries at present, including in France, and use of all these servers is unlimited and free.
Click here to get started with UrbanVPN
Here are the main benefits of UrbanVPN:
- Totally free to use
- No need to set up any account or provide any details – just download the program/app and get started.
- Totally free and unlimited server use.
- Available for all major browsers, devices and operating systems.
- Has a server in France.
But unfortunately, there are some negatives to the service:
- There are some reviews that report slow and unreliable servers (unfortunately, this is to be expected on free services)
- Zero customer support if the service goes down or you have difficulties (again to be expected with a free service)
- It’s just difficult to know exactly how secure your data is, or where it’s going. Ultimately, security and privacy and too much up-in-the-air with a peer to peer service like this. It’s the same reason I don’t use the Opera browser VPN for logging into really important accounts – I don’t like using generic shared IP address proxies/VPN’s, even if they claim to be “VPN’s”. You don’t know where your data is going, and they don’t offer the same level of security and privacy as a Premium VPN.
UrbanVPN is definitely NOT a 100% confidential, zero logs VPN:
However, that doesn’t actually matter to a lot of users. If privacy is not your main concern, and you just want a VPN with servers in a certain country to access certain websites, then UrbanVPN can do that for you. Just be prepared to have your personal data collected in a way it won’t be if you sign up to a Premium VPN with a no logs policy (see below).
With VPN’s though, you always get what you pay for, and free services are always going to be restricted and restrictive, whether it’s with data use (PrivadoVPN, Windscribe or Tunnelbear) or reliability and privacy (UrbanVPN).
Some VPNs That DON’T Really Offer Free French Servers
As with many searches on VPNs, the first few pages of the results weren’t great when I searched, with lots of non-relevant, misleading results of companies that DON’T actually free free VPN servers in France.
Let’s clear up some of this confusion by listing some VPN providers that, despite what may appear in online searches, do NOT currently offer free VPN servers in France:
- Hide.me – Again offer a great free version of their service which we’ve covered elsewhere, with free servers in Germany, USA, Canada, Netherlands, but NOT in France. France servers are on their paid plans only.
- ProtonVPN – A great VPN service that is based out of Switzerland, but don’t offer free France servers at the moment. They do have a free version with servers in USA, Japan and Netherlands, but you need their paid plan for France servers.
- PureVPN – Offer excellent value long term subscriptions and a 31 day money back guarantee, but they don’t offer any free plans currently. You need an upfront payment to use all of their servers, including in France.
- NordVPN – A longstanding VPN service that often appears near the top of the search results, but NordVPN don’t offer ANY free servers at all currently. You need to pay to use all their servers, though they do have Premium servers in France.
A lot of VPN marketing and search results equates them having a 30 day money back guarantee to being effectively “free”, because you can pay for a month, and then claim a refund if you don’t like it.
Whilst it’s a nice feature many VPN’s offer now, that’s not my definition of “free”.
In this article I’ve tried to stay fully relevant and helpful, by listing ONLY VPN providers which a) Are 100% free to sign up to and use, ZERO upfront payment, and b) Have 100% free French servers that can be used on their free versions.
Premium VPN Options With Servers in France
All the free French VPN options we’ve covered above have some kind of limitation – either a data cap or privacy/reliability issues.
Therefore if you need a VPN IP address in France longer term, you’re probably better off signing up a Premium VPN, which will always offer unlimited use, access to streaming services like Netflix, and multiple simultaneous connections which you can’t usually get with free VPNs.
However, the good news in that literally ALL Premium VPNs offer at least one server location in France, so you’ve got literally hundreds to choose from.
Firstly, PrivadoVPN and Tunnelbear both offer excellent Premium versions of their product which you can upgrade to if you like their free versions.
Also check out the table below for some good options, both from well established VPN providers, and also from some newer, cheaper services (links are affiliate links):
|Provider||Price (12 months paid in advance)||Number of countries offered||Number of Servers Offered||Main Benefits|
|Hide.me||$5/month||46||160+||Free version available|
|ExpressVPN||$8/month||94||160+||Best country choice|
|ProtonVPN||$4/8/month (Basic/Plus)||63||1700+||Reputable brand|
|Private Internet Access||$3.33/month||84||10,000||Great server & country choice.|
Signing up for a VPN is usually very easy. You simply visit their site (click on one of our links above for each provider), sign up, pay your subscription, download their product and boot up the program.
Once running you simply select a preferred server location and open the VPN connection. You now have a secure, encrypted connection that will keep all your browsing and personal data safe over public and private Wi-Fi networks.