On January 1, 2008 came into effect data retention directive implemented in “Gesetz zur Neuregelung der Telekommunikationsüberwachung und anderer verdeckter Ermittlungsmaßnahmen sowie zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie 2006/24/EG”. The law required ISPs and telecom companies to store user data for 6 months.
In March, 2010 the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the law was unconstitutional due to its violation of the secrecy of correspondence guarantee. But following 2015 attacks the second Vorratsdatenspeicherung (data retention) law was passed.
Thus, since October, 2015 German telecom companies and ISPs are required to retain traffic data on phone calls and Internet connections for 10 weeks which is a clear violation of privacy. Additionally, Germany is known to have been an active member of the Global Surveillance Program “ECHELON” that heavily monitored citizens around the world. German government never publicly acknowledged their involvement, even though leaked documents prove otherwise.
Additionally, tech giants including Microsoft, Apple and Google use a number of tracking tools that gather a wide range of information about their users. For this reason protecting yourself with VPN is becoming increasingly important.
Considering that VPN providers do not fall under telecom or ISP category, data retention laws do not apply to VPN. And since EU has some of the best privacy laws in the world, while no government can use data retention legislation to force a VPN provider to start logging, EU is a great jurisdiction for a VPN company to be based at, including Germany. Since VPN encrypts all data transferred from/to the device and offers an alternative IP address, VPN is a perfect solution to privacy.
Now, Germany has extremely strict copyright laws according to which citizens who torrent are treated as criminals. Liability for copyright infringement could be a hefty fine of a few hundred euros at best or even a lawsuit.
EU Enforcement Directive (IPRED), additionally, makes it very easy for the holders of the intellectual property rights, or any person authorized to use it, such as licensees, to apply for evidence regarding an infringement. The only requirement is to present “reasonably available evidence sufficient to support its claim“. In other words, holders can easily acquire an IP address of the user who was involved in “counterfeiting and piracy” (torrenting) directly from the Internet Service Provider.
Because VPN keeps user identity hidden, protects browsing history from being intercepted by hackers or ISP, and safeguards users against government intrusion, VPN allows safe torrenting as well. Additionally, VPN can unblock regionally restricted content on various websites including YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. But due to recent Netflix crackdown on VPNs, please refer to the Best VPN for Netflix if your goal is to bypass Netflix proxy error.
All the providers listed below offer an ultra fast VPN connection that protects users from government mass surveillance, data retention laws that essentially advocate spying, and random cybercriminals phishing for sensitive data.
ANNUAL PRICE: 3.49 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 6.67 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
ExpressVPN has one of the largest and fastest infrastructures with over 2,000 servers in 94 countries. Ultra fast ExpressVPN network supports gigabit Internet connection which makes it a perfect choice for ultra high speed streaming and torrenting. Besides, ExpressVPN aligns itself as one of the Internet’s leading advocates for net neutrality, for a democratic and open internet. Considering they have a no logs policy, accept Bitcoin and are located on the Caribbean Island, they are a great choice for privacy oriented customers who want to protect their data from surveillance, bypass censorship and access restricted materials. To read a full ExpressVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.45 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 USD
Romania based CyberGhost is a no logs VPN provider with over 3,500 high speed VPN servers. CyberGhost offers streaming servers to unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer as well as secure torrenting servers. For faster streaming and torrenting CyberGhost VPN allows switching between TCP/UDP protocols. VPN provider offers desktop and mobile apps with built-in advanced security features such as automatic kill switch, DNS & IP leaks, anti-fingerprinting and tracking protection, an ad-blocker and anti-malware. To read a full CyberGhost review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.19 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
PIA is a leading no logs VPN provider with a massive amount of servers (over 3,000) that deliver excellent speeds and a very reliable service. PIA VPN does a great job protecting users’ privacy from surveillance, cyber attacks and other online threats. PIA offers an easy to install VPN app for all devices with advanced features that secure VPN connection from unexpected data leaks. For faster streaming and torrenting PIA software offers switching between different connection types and ports. To read a full PIA review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 1.66 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
VyprVPN is a leading no logs VPN provider with over 700 ultra fast servers worldwide that support gigabit Internet connection (1,000Mbps). VyprVPN has done independent public audit by Leviathan Security to ensure that no logs are collected. Unlike most VPN providers, VyprVPN doesn’t rely on 3rd party hosting – they own and manage their own VPN servers. VyprVPN infrastructure is amazingly fast offering ultra fast speeds and low ping times for high speed HD streaming. With their server clusters located in close proximity to major gaming servers, VyprVPN also delivers a better overall gaming experience. VyprVPN custom software is very reliable and protects users from various IP leaks. In addition, VyprVPN is an excellent provider to bypass even the strictest firewalls that block VPN connection. To read a full VyprVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 1.32 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 10.95 USD
Hong Kong based PureVPN is a proud owner of a massive 2,000 servers network in over 140 countries with over 60 server locations specifically optimized for torrenting. PureVPN is a fast and reliable VPN provider with exclusive streaming servers to unblock Netflix, Hulu and similar services. PureVPN online gaming VPN servers are dedicated for gamers’ traffic only. Low ping offered by optimized PureVPN servers make it possible for gaming and streaming users to enjoy entertainment with the fastest load time. Secure PureVPN infrastructure is protected behind NAT Firewall. PureVPN offers custom apps for all devices, while desktop apps have a built-in Kill Switch feature that guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 4.49 USD/mo [promocode]
MONTHLY PRICE: 8.99 USD
Offering over 3,000 servers in 50 countries, all mainstream protocols and 5 simultaneous connections, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider. No logs TorGuard offers a reliable, fast and secure VPN connection. Their SOCKS5 proxy is an excellent feature for high speed multimedia streaming and torrenting as it integrates with the main BitTorrent applications. TorGuard native apps offer advanced security features to ensure no data leaks, even when the connection drops. TorGuard’s StealthVPN protocol is an effective tool to bypass strict firewalls and VPN blocking. To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 3.25 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 10 USD
IPVanish is a no logs VPN provider with a global servers infrastructure secured behind NAT Firewall. IPVanish offers native apps for desktop and mobile clients and allows 10 simultaneous connections. IPVanish servers are specifically optimized for streaming and gaming which ensures excellent download speeds and low ping times. IPvanish software protects users from unexpected data leaks and offers a number of advanced features especially useful for torrenting. To read a full IPVanish review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.99 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 USD
Hotspot Shield is the largest no logs VPN provider serving tens of millions of users. Hotspot Shield has dedicated VPN software for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and even Windows Phone. The app allows users to split tunnel only selected websites via VPN while other browsing activities will continue using standard internet connection. Torrenting is allowed and streaming speeds are excellent as well. To read a full Hotspot Shield review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 1.75 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.99 USD
ZenMate is a no logs privacy oriented VPN provider with a number of built-in security features for advanced protection from cybercrime and various IP leaks. ZenMate has over 1,000 ultra fast VPN servers that are great for streaming (including Netflix), torrenting and gaming since the infrastructure is optimized for low ping times and virtually eliminates lag. ZenMate Premium software for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android is lightweight, efficient and reliable – it takes about 2 seconds to disconnect from one VPN server and connect to another. ZenMate simply never disconnects! To read a full ZenMate review click HERE.