If you’re a German citizen living or traveling abroad, you have a few good reasons to use the internet with a German IP address. Not doing so may leave you feeling a bit like you’re living in exile.
With a foreign IP address, you can find yourself unable to access banking services back home. You also won’t be able to keep up with your favorite shows on popular streaming services like ZDF, Das Erste, ARD Mediathek, ProSieben Video, or even Netflix Germany.
The most effective (and by far the most straightforward) method to get a German IP address is to use a virtual private network (VPN). It will give you a local IP and let you access the internet as though you were physically located in Germany.
Get a German IP Address in 5 Easy Steps
Getting set up with a VPN to get an IP from Germany couldn’t be much easier. The steps are as follows.
- Register with a VPN provider that has servers in Germany. I like CyberGhost, but a few others work well too. I have a list of those a little further down to help you get started.
- Download your selected VPN provider’s application and install it. You can do this on multiple devices if you’d like. All providers will have steps-by-step instructions for every operating systems and platform.
- Start the VPN application and sign in using the credentials you set up with the provider.
- Pick a server in Germany and connect to it. Your device will now have an IP address located inside the country. If you wish to do so, you can double check it by visiting https://www.iplocation.net/.
- Kick up your feet and enjoy access to any German service or website that was previously blocked.
It’s as simple as that.
When you no longer need the German IP, just disconnect from the VPN server and close the application.
And by the way, you can also use these exact steps to get an IP from any other country in the world your VPN provider has servers in.
How to Choose a VPN to Get a German IP Address
Not every VPN provider is created equal, and not all are well suited to give you both a German IP address and service you’ll be happy with. When you’re trying to pick a VPN for this purpose, here are the things you should pay special attention to.
Multiple VPN Servers in Germany
A VPN provider can’t get you a Germany based IP address if they don’t run any servers in the country. That’s the first thing to double check. And, the more server they have the better.
If a lot of people use a single server, it can become overloaded and severely slow down your internet connection. Having many choices means you should always be able to find a server where performance problems caused by congestion won’t be an issue.
Can Unblock Geo-Restricted Content and Services
Just because a VPN gives you a German IP doesn’t mean that IP will work with every German website or service. There’s a little more to get one to work than just setting up a server in the country, and some providers simply don’t care to or are unable to go that extra mile.
Good Connection Speeds
A VPN will always slow down your internet connection a little, but the better providers will keep the performance hit to a minimum. This is especially important if you intend on streaming high-quality video from Germany. Only a fast VPN will be able to keep up with the bandwidth demands.
Double check that the VPN you pick supports every device and operating system you intend on using with it. Some may, for example, not work on older versions of Windows or MacOS.
VPN providers also typically limit how many devices you can connect to their service at the same time. If you anticipate that five members of your family will want to access different German streaming services simultaneously, make sure that’s allowed.
If you pick a provider that checks all these boxes, you’ll end up with a service which can consistently get you access to your favorite German sites and service no matter where in the world you are.
The Best VPNs to Get a German IP
Of the many great VPN services, a few stand out above the crowd as the best options to get you a German IP address.
With 669 servers spread across three German cities, no other service gives you more connection options in Germany. They have a huge network across the rest of the world too. All their servers, regardless of location, offer top-notch performance.
Based out of Romania with a strict no-logging policy and offering 256-bit AES encryption using OpenVPN, CyberGhost is an excellent provider to use to maximize your online privacy and anonymity.
CyberGhost advertises themselves as a VPN which can get you around geo-blocked content, and indeed they can. Access to all German online streaming services and every country’s Netflix library doesn’t get easier or more consistent.
- True zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with over 5500 servers in 90 countries
- Fast connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Long 45-day money back guarantee
- Expensive if you pay monthly (very affordable if you don't)
- Performance could be better in a few countries
- macOS client missing some features
Best VPN for a German IP: Not only does CyberGhost offer everything a top-tier VPN should, but they’re also one of the least expensive providers around. Backed up by an industry best 45-day money back guarantee, no other VPN will server German users better.
It all starts with a vast global server network which includes 5567 servers in 60 countries. Of those, 253 are located in Germany.
NordVPN’s server performance is excellent, as is connection security through the use of 256-bit AES encryption and the OpenVPN protocol.
In addition to the company’s location in the privacy-friendly jurisdiction of Panama, NordVPN is also a zero logging VPN and offers many privacy features like double VPN functionality and an internet kill switch.
Access to geographically restricted material has always been very consistent with NordVPN, and the service works with just about any content provider in the world, including every major one in Germany.
- Anonymous provider with zero logging
- Over 5500 servers in 60 countries (and growing)
- Great server performance across the board
- Purpose optimized servers, including streaming and P2P
- Clean, easy to use client
- A generous six simultaneous connections
- Can't pick specific cities to connect to
- A few nice-to-haves missing from the macOS client
Does It All: For a VPN that does everything well, NordVPN should be at the top of your list. You get performance, every VPN feature imaginable, an easy to use client, and all for a very affordable price.
If you’re looking to open up IP addresses elsewhere in the world in addition to Germany, look no further than PureVPN. With servers in 131 countries, their network is second to none. In Germany, they currently run 201 servers in five different cities.
Performance is also one of PureVPN’s strengths. Combine that with the provider’s specialized servers for getting around geo-blocking, and you have a video streamer’s paradise.
PureVPN’s client app supports over 50 different platforms and operating systems. If you’re able to connect it to the internet, odds are it will run PureVPN.
The client also comes with many nice to have extras. When you use the VPN, besides military-grade encryption and security, you’ll also be protected by built-in malware blockers and ad blockers.
- Fast speeds
- Top notch geographical server diversity (131 countries)
- Works well with geo-blocked streaming services
- Compatible with over 50 devices and platforms
- Innovative split tunneling feature
- Dedicated IP option
- No quick start option
- Some potential security issues with DNS leaks
- Select servers can have intermittent connection problems
Best Value for Germany: If you want to stream content from both Germany and just about any other country in the world on every one of your devices, PureVPN is your answer. And did I mention the service’s bargain price?
Out of their 3000+ strong server network, which covers a total of 95 countries, over 100 run out of three locations in Germany. Server speeds are excellent and can easily handle high-definition video streaming.
ExpressVPN reliably unlocks geo-blocked content in Germany and every other country they run servers in. They have an easy to use client, outstanding security, and back everything up with a robust no-logging policy.
As I mention in my review, the one downside of ExpressVPN is cost. But even though they’re a little more expensive, this is a service that’s worth every penny.
And with an excellent no questions asked 30-day money back guarantee, there’s no risk in giving them a try.
- Excellent data encryption options
- A very complete and intuitive client
- Fast servers with consistent speeds
- Plenty of servers and server locations
- Strong back-end technology
- Top notch customer service
- Low number of concurrent connections
- Some aggregated connection logging
Great Reputation: When you’re after a well-respected VPN provider that offers excellent privacy and anonymity, as well as the best customer support in the business, ExpressVPN is it.
Though they’re a fairly new VPN provider, Surfshark sure impresses. Anyone looking to access Germany with a VPN should keep them on their short list.
To start, Surfshark runs servers in 61 countries including plenty in Germany. They operate out of the privacy-friendly jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, don’t log a thing, and offer some of the best security options in the business.
Thanks to their fast connections and the ability to get around geo-blocked content, Surfshark is an excellent choice for streaming German video content.
Surfshark is also the only provider that allows unlimited simultaneous connections. That’s definitely worth considering if you have a lot of devices you would like to use your VPN on.
- Privacy doesn’t get much better
- Great performance
- Unlimited connections
- Purpose optimized servers for video streaming, peer-to-peer, and Tor
- Works with Netflix and BBC
- Torrenting support
- Not clear which servers support P2P
- Some features missing on mobile
Unlimited Connections: Surfshark offers every feature any VPN user could want. With excellent server speeds, great 24/7 support, and a very inexpensive plan backed by a 30-day no-hassle refund guarantee, they’re a provider you can’t go wrong with.
What Are the Advantages of Getting a German IP Address?
As a German citizen living or traveling abroad, you may want to get a Germany based IP to keep unrestricted access to your banking and financial accounts at institutions like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.
There are also a ton of streaming media services that won’t work outside of Germany. They include:
- ARD Mediathek
- Das Erste
- Netflix Germany
- SAT 1.de
- Sky Deutschland
If you want to have access to these while abroad, an IP address in Germany is a must.
Another major reason for using an IP address from Germany is that the country doesn’t restrict or censor the internet for its citizens (unlike a surprising number of other governments). If you use a German IP, you’ll have unrestricted access to everything online with no filters.
Why Use a German DNS Server?
In addition to using a German IP address, it’s also crucial to make sure you use a German DNS server.
Every VPN provider I recommended above will take care of this for you, but in case you’re working with a different service, it’s something to be aware of.
A DNS, which stands for domain name service, is like the phonebook of the internet.
It would be pretty impractical for us to memorize the IP address belonging to every website we like to visit. DNS servers map website names to IPs, so the former is the only thing we need to remember.
But, besides mapping website domain names and IP addresses, a DNS server can also provide clues as to your location.
If you’re using a VPN with a German server, but are performing DNS lookups against servers in France, you may still be blocked from some sites. This is because websites can tell which DNS you’re asking for information.
Using a German DNS alongside your German IP address fixes that. It becomes all but impossible for websites and services to see your traffic as anything other than coming from Germany.
The two go hand in hand. Make sure you’re using both.
Why Free VPNs Are Not Great for a German IP Address?
There are many VPN services which claim to operate free of charge. You may be wondering if it’s worth turning to one of them for an IP address in Germany.
In the case of free VPNs, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” most certainly applies. They tend to suffer from many problems, including:
- Weak encryption standards
- A lack of user privacy
- Limited servers
- Slow Speeds
- Rarely work with geo-blocked content
- Intrusive advertising
- Predatory practices
Put simply, free VPN services are anything but. Just like pay VPNs, they need to make money to operate. If they’re telling you that their product is free, there’s a good chance that you’re the real product.
Free VPNs often monetize their offerings by selling your user data, injecting ads into your web browsers, and sometimes even selling your bandwidth to hackers.
Any way you look at it, getting a German IP isn’t worth sacrificing your security and privacy, especially if that IP may not do what you want it to anyways.
Other Ways to Get a German IP Address
There are a few other ways to get a German IP which can be useful if you’re on a very tight budget or only need very sporadic access. None of them will work as well as a VPN but, in the interest of full disclosure, they do exist.
The Tor browser uses a volunteer-run encrypted network that’s designed for secure, anonymous web browsing. It’s used every day by people all around the world looking to defeat censorship, surveillance, and enhance their privacy online.
It can be used to get a German IP address, but it won’t do so by default. A little under-the-hood tweaking, as outlined in this guide, is necessary. It’s not complicated to get up and running but may require a little patience.
There are, however, a few downsides of using Tor to get a German-based IP.
- It can significantly slow down your internet connection, often to a point where even browsing (let alone any video streaming) can become painful.
- Tor only works in the Tor browser, so it’s not a solution for any non-web based services.
- As already mentioned, it does need a bit of technical setup for it to give a German IP consistently.
Another popular way of getting a German IP address is to use a proxy service.
While a proxy operates in a similar way to a VPN, the downside is they don’t offer nearly the same security and privacy.
A proxy routes your web traffic through a server on the public internet. If that server is located in Germany, just like with a VPN, you’ll end up with an IP address in the county.
But, because in most cases proxies are run by regular people like you and me, they’re pretty unreliable. Performance can be an issue, and any proxy you’re using may disappear at any time (for example, when the person running it shuts down their computer).
With a proxy, you’ll also have to make sure your DNS server is correctly set up.
As mentioned previously, a German IP also may not be enough to get you access to some geo-restricted content or services. The DNS server your device uses may also need to be based in Germany.
The Bottom Line
Having a German-based IP will let you use any service and website usually only accessible from inside the country and allow you to stream German content no matter where in the world you are. It’ll be just like being there.
A VPN is, without a doubt, your best option to get a German IP address. No other method can match its benefits, ease of use, and, above all else, reliability. And with many great deals currently offered by some of the top VPN providers, they’re very affordable too.