The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) harmonize data privacy laws throughout the EU. The GDPR ramps up the protection of the personal data of EU citizens. These regulations came into play in 2018.
While the GDPR does enhance the privacy of EU citizens, not all companies have updated their privacy rules to comply with the GDPR. Some companies also don’t plan to update their privacy rules either. To avoid fines because of this, some of these companies have simply blocked visitors from the EU.
Luckily, EU residents have an option for accessing these sites if they wish to. They can do so by connecting to a VPN server outside of the EU. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) routes your internet connection through a secure third-party server, giving you an IP address in the country the VPN server is located in. For example, if you connect to a US VPN server, you will have a US IP address and won’t be subject to being blocked from websites that don’t comply with the GDPR.
Here, I have reviewed the best VPNs for the job in detail. If you’re in a hurry, here is a summary of my top options.
Best VPNs for accessing sites blocked due to the GDPR:
- NordVPN: My number one choice. It gives users over 5,000 VPN servers and has enhanced security measures and fast connection speeds. It can also provide access to other geographically restricted content with ease. In addition, it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: My top budget choice. It offers fast connection speeds and is a secure platform. Allows you to connect an unlimited amount of devices at once.
- ExpressVPN: A great option for unblocking GDPR-restricted content and for general streaming. It is fast and secure.
- CyberGhost: This is a great option since it has a very large server network, giving EU citizens many choices of VPN servers.
- PrivateVPN: A smaller privacy-focused option that easily gives access to GDPR-restricted content. Reliable and secure.
- IPVanish: This is a fast, secure option that has no issues bypassing GDPR restrictions. Offers subscribers unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Private Internet Access: This is a lightweight, secure option that can bypass many different types of restrictions, including those in place due to the GDPR on some websites.
- Atlas VPN: This smaller option is fast, secure, and can bypass many different types of restrictions. Offers a good spread of privacy features.
I reviewed many VPNs in an attempt to find the best ones for bypassing blocks because of the GDPR. Here is a list of some of the things I considered when making this list:
- Lots of servers available outside of the EU
- The ability to unblock geographically restricted content
- Fast and reliable connections
- Offers strong security measures
- No-logs policy
- Strong customer support team
I go into more detail about the criteria I used in the testing methodology section later in this article.
Best VPNs for GDPR-blocked websites
Here are my best VPNs for accessing websites blocked due to the GDPR:
NordVPN offers blazing-fast connection speeds with its large VPN network that consists of over 5,000 servers spread across 60+ countries. This service’s fast connection speeds make it an excellent option for streaming. It can also unblock many different online services.
In addition, NordVPN also has strong security measures in place. These include an app-specific kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, an automatic ad-blocker, a malware scanner, and protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks. This service also doesn’t store any logs. Moreover, users also have the option of paying with cryptocurrency. This doesn’t associate users’ names with payments like what is done with traditional credit card payments.
Users have the option of downloading NordVPN apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It is also possible to install this service on supported routers. Users can connect six devices simultaneously with their subscription and the customer support team is available 24/7 to assist users with any technical queries they may have.
- This service has a large server network
- Fast connection speeds
- Strong security measures in place
- No logs are stored
- Apps are available for many different platforms
- The desktop app tends to be slow at times
BEST VPN FOR ACCESSING GDPR-RESTRICTED WEBSITES:NordVPN is one of the best options available. It has over 5,000 servers, strong security measures, and it can access a wide variety of geo-restricted services. It also comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark is an excellent budget VPN. Although it is an affordable service, you shouldn’t take this to mean that the service offered is subpar. This VPN has servers in about 100 countries (over 3,200 servers) that are fast and secure. It is a good option for users who might be interested in accessing streaming content from their home country.
Surfshark has strong security measures in place such as 256-bit AES encryption, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch. Traffic scrambling is also provided. Another positive aspect of this provider is their support for cryptocurrency payments. This form of payment allows for higher levels of anonymity since names aren’t associated with cryptocurrency transactions like they are with traditional credit card transactions. This service also stores no logs.
Apps are available for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Some routers can also have this service manually installed on them. Surfshark offers an unlimited number of simultaneous connections too which is a great option for users who have several different devices that they may need to protect. The customer service team is available 24/7 via live chat which bodes well for people in different time zones.
- Able to unblock many different services
- Fast connection speeds which is great for streaming
- Strong security measures are in place
- An unlimited number of connections are supported
- Cryptocurrency payments are supported which is great for increased anonymity
- Doesn’t have as many servers as a service like NordVPN
- Some servers can occasionally be slow
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is affordable but it doesn’t skimp on performance. It can handle streaming services like Netflix and Hulu without buffering and an unlimited number of simultaneous connections are supported. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is an excellent option for streaming. It has over 3,000 fast servers in around 94 countries. It is also a good option for users who wish to access geographically restricted services. It is easy to use too, making it a great beginner option.
ExpressVPN also has strong security measures in place. These include 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. In addition to the regular ExpressVPN site, this provider also has a .onion site in place which can only be accessed via the anonymous TOR network. The TOR network protects identities by routing connections to websites through a series of encrypted nodes.
Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Browser extensions can be downloaded for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Unlike most VPNs, ExpressVPN even has custom firmware for easier router setup.
- Fast connection speeds
- Can access top-tier streaming services
- Excellent privacy features such as .onion site and acceptance of cryptocurrency
- Strong security measures in place such as encryption
- More expensive than some other options
GREAT VPN OPTION FOR STREAMING:ExpressVPN is one of the best options for streaming. It has fast servers and it also has strong security and privacy measures in place such as 256-bit AES encryption. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost has a huge number of servers. It has over 9,700 servers in around 91 countries in total. Streaming will be lag and buffer-free thanks to CyberGhost’s use of the very fast WireGuard protocol.
There are also strong security measures in place. These include 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch. This service stores no logs and accepts cryptocurrency payments, which are more anonymous than traditional credit card payments.
CyberGhost apps can be downloaded for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. Some routers can also be manually configured to work with this service. The customer support team is available 24/7 and seven simultaneous connections are supported by this provider.
- Clients are easy to use
- 24/7 live chat service is provided
- Huge server network is spread across a large number of countries
- Strong security and privacy measures are in place
- Blocked in the UAE and China
- Torrenting and P2P may not work on all servers
LARGE SERVER NETWORK: It gives users lots of different choices for getting a different IP address. It has strong security measures in place and this provider gives users a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is a small VPN provider with over 200 servers in 63+ countries. The number of servers is small but the level of quality is not. In addition, streaming speeds are fast and this service can unblock many different services.
This provider has several security measures in place. These include 256-bit AES encryption, protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks, and this service stores no logs. Also, this provider accepts cryptocurrency payments, allowing for a greater level of anonymity.
PrivateVPN apps can be downloaded for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Some routers and Linux devices can be manually configured to work with this service as well. It should be noted that PrivateVPN customer service agents can only be reached during regular Swedish business hours (PrivateVPN is a Swedish business). Despite this, the quality of customer service is excellent. This VPN allows for 10 devices to be connected simultaneously.
- Can unblock several different services
- Fast connection speeds
- No logs are stored
- Works in China
- Customer support not available 24/7
- Small server network
PRIVACY-FOCUSED VPN:PrivateVPN is a privacy-focused service. It has strong encryption in place and it stores no logs. It also offers fast connection speeds and can unblock many different services. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish has a network of just under 2,000 servers in 75+ countries. It has also been trusted by the Kodi community for several years thanks to the robust nature of the VPN network; it’s fast and reliable.
There are also many security measures in place. These features include 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. A traffic scrambling option is included and the provider stores no logs.
IPVanish apps are available for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. In addition, this service can be manually installed on some routers and on Linux. It supports an unlimited number of simultaneous connections and live chat support is available 24/7.
- Fast connection speeds
- Great option for torrenters and Kodi users
- No logs stored
- Unlimited number of connections allowed
- Some servers don’t work with Netflix
- Apps don’t work in China
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:IPVanish is secure and it offers fast streaming speeds. Users can also have an unlimited number of connections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is fast and efficient thanks to the use of the WireGuard VPN protocol. PIA is a lightweight option that is light on system resources and can reliably unblock several different services.
Strong security is offered by PIA. 256-bit AES encryption is provided, along with a kill switch and split tunneling. Plus, this service doesn’t store any logs.
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. PIA has customer service that is available 24/7 via the provided live chat and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Strong security measures
- Can provide secure access to many different services
- WireGuard VPN protocol supported (faster, more efficient protocol)
- Several customization options are available
- Doesn’t work reliably in China
- App design is lacking in some ways
LIGHTWEIGHT AND EFFICIENT OPTION:PIA is a lightweight option that is fast and efficient. It supports an unlimited number of connections and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Atlas VPN has just over 750 servers in 40+ locations, offering a network that is fast and secure. It can unblock many different services. Atlas VPN is a newer provider but it doesn’t cut back on quality.
The provider has a lot of security measures in place. These include a kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. The service stores no logs and MultiHop servers are in place that can encrypt users’ data twice. Atlas VPN also allows users to make payments with cryptocurrency. This type of payment allows for a greater level of anonymity since names aren’t associated with this type of payment.
Atlas VPN apps can be downloaded for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. In addition, an unlimited number of connections are supported.
- Can unblock many different services
- Connection speeds are fast
- MultiHop servers encrypt data more than once
- No identifying logs are stored
- Doesn’t work in China
- Customer service could be improved
FAST AND SECURE OPTION:Atlas VPN is a newer service but it offers quality features. It provides fast speeds and strong security too. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can connect as many different devices at once.
Our Testing methodology: How I found the best VPNs for bypassing GDPR-restricted websites
There are many VPN options available on the market. However, they are not all created equally. For example, some VPN options aren’t able to bypass websites that block EU visitors due to GDPR restrictions. In order to find VPNs that are quality options and able to bypass GDPR-restricted websites, I used my testing methodology to do this. Here are some of the factors I considered.
- Servers: The greater the number of servers the better. This gives users more options outside of the EU for bypassing GDPR-restricted websites.
- Ability to unblock services: Not all VPNs can bypass restrictions. Many websites and services can detect VPN usage that is meant to bypass restrictions. However, the best VPNs can evade detection and will successfully bypass restrictions.
- Security: VPNs should offer users increased protection. This comes about because of the security features offered such as military-grade encryption.
- Speed: Fast connection speeds make the experience for users better. This ensures that there is no lag when carrying out regular activities. All of the options here are fast and don’t slow down users’ connections noticeably.
How to unblock GDPR-restricted websites
Unfortunately, some websites have chosen not to comply with the GDPR and have blocked EU users instead. However, these users can access these websites by following these sites:
- First, sign up for one of the VPN options listed above. I recommend using NordVPN because of its quality functionality.
- Now, download the VPN app onto the device you want to use to access the GDPR-restricted website.
- Next, connect to a VPN server outside of the EU.
- Try to access the site that is usually blocked for you.
You should be able to access your restricted site now. However, if you run into any issues, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. If this still doesn’t work, then contact your VPN’s customer service team for assistance.
VPNs for GDPR-blocked websites FAQs
Can I just use a free VPN to bypass GDPR-restricted websites?
While this may seem enticing, I don't recommend using a free VPN to do this. Free VPNs have many limitations. Firstly, free VPNs are typically slower than their paid counterparts due to the traffic present on a limited number of servers.
Free VPNs may also not be able to bypass restrictions. Their security measures may be subpar, with features such as encryption not being offered in the case of some free VPNs. In addition, free VPNs have been known to use unscrupulous methods such as selling user data to turn a profit.
Due to these downsides, I recommend using a top-tier paid option such as one of the VPNs reviewed above.
Is it illegal to access blocked websites?
What are the risks of accessing GDPR-blocked websites?
There aren't any major risks of doing this. It isn't illegal and won't harm your device in any way.
Are VPNs safe?
Yes, in fact, it is safer to use the internet with a VPN than without it. VPNs encrypt your connection and mask your information and IP address from governments and ISPs.
- Best VPNs for GDPR-blocked websites
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. PrivateVPN
- 6. IPVanish
- 7. Private Internet Access
- 8. Atlas VPN
- Our Testing methodology: How I found the best VPNs for bypassing GDPR-restricted websites
- How to unblock GDPR-restricted websites
- VPNs for GDPR-blocked websites FAQs
- Can I just use a free VPN to bypass GDPR-restricted websites?
- Is it illegal to access blocked websites?
- What are the risks of accessing GDPR-blocked websites?
- Are VPNs safe?