Germany, similarly to being a haven for immigrants in real life, is also a gateway for the oppressed online. While the legal system of the country employs censorship and is generally strict, it provides general access to popular online content, something that is not necessarily present elsewhere. Streaming in Germany is centered on financial matters, as the laws created around it force streaming to be paid for in order to be considered as legal. To remedy this, most VPN providers provide access to Germany; it is a popular destination to connect to. The same can be told of free VPN availability; either by mid-length free trials (3-7 days) or risk-free choices (even 30 days of money back guarantee), a good number of VPN providers favor Germany.
Best VPN Services for Germany of 2018
Using a German IP
If you are interested in German culture and mainstream entertainment, sadly there is a good amount of content that is only available within the country’s borders. This is mainly composed of online streaming of television services, but a good number of legally created videos are not available even in neighboring countries, and thus video streaming also suffers a backlash. T-Mobile Germany for example blocked iPhone-based Skype over 3G and Wi-Fi in the nearby past.
An advantage of using a German IP address is that the environment you enter into is a relatively closed one. Thus you are less prone to attacks outside Germany. Additionally, for users with even stricter internet restrictions, Germany is a good place to access popular internet content. This includes YouTube for example, or connecting to Facebook via smartphones. Some of the popular TV channels that do use geoblocking for their online content in Germany are ARD Mediatek, ZDF Mediatek, ProSieben Video, Sat 1 Mediatek, RTL Now, Zattoo, Schoener Fernsehen, MySpass. Connecting to one of the German VPN locations using a VPN service provider you can easily unlock access to these websites and their video services again.
German Online Privacy Laws
Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act is a 2009 document that is relevant in terms of VPN usage. Amongst others, the law states that organizations cannot collect any personally identifiable information without the permission of the individual from whom data is desired. This is advantageous in the case of a Germany-based VPN company for example, as this automatically puts a strict limitation on any log policy and also how you are interacted with. If a permit is issued by the individual, it must contain clear specifications about the duration of usage, the place of usage, the methods of usage and the purposes of usage. Furthermore, this permit can be revoked at any time. Keep in mind though that all German states have slightly different laws regarding data protection, so it is essential to know where exactly a VPN company is seated inside the country.
Internet Censorship in Germany
One of the main problems comes from the fact that Germany can only distribute imported TV shows and media content (that is any content that is not made inside Germany) within the country’s borders. So let’s presume that you live in Europe, but you cannot stream an American series because it is either simply not worth using low speed streams that load for hours (because of the distance between continents) or it is just straight up blocked. However, Germany also airs the show within their country’s borders. Nevertheless you cannot access your desired content that way either, because the licenses that German companies operate by prohibit this.
Next to governmental actions, the main source of restrictions is the GEMA (in English: Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights), the German performance rights organization. All online content must go through administration and must be a subject of contract.
Blocked Music Streaming
In general, any content affiliated with the far right side of politics is banned in Germany. Video streaming services are set to recognize these contents as banned, and they are also excluded from search engines’ operations. Pandora Radio in particular is not available in Germany. Denying the holocaust is a serious crime in the country, and thus websites that promote this belief are banned. Naturally, this is the extreme case of the legal background. For more commonly accessed restricted content, music that is copyrighted and appears in any other form other than the official release is similarly not welcome.
Thus, the general state of internet censorship in Germany is that it exists and is active in various fields. In recent years however, officials tried taking a different stance on the matter in the case of child pornography. Instead of censoring, the method of the complete removal of certain sites was employed. The problematic of censorship is that it coincides with constitutional rights and even in the case of such an extreme topic, it can be referred to. Thus, there is an effort towards restriction based on law, rather than direct censorship.
Streaming Services in Germany
German copyright law states that unless you pay for content via a reputable service (for example Amazon or iTunes), sharing and downloading files (creating copies of existing online content), uploading files, creating opportunities for others to make copies and streaming is almost entirely prohibited. This suggests that Germany aims for state-controlled, profitable internet usage within her borders. Apart from sensitive subjects from a cultural or humanitarian standpoint like denying the holocaust or child pornography, we feel like Germany’s intentions for blocking are more of financial interest than prohibition because of the content itself. This of course means that most popular streaming services are available, if you pay for them. It is downloading content that is strictly prohibited. Thus the usage of VPN services – which can (and should) provide a complete package of both VPN and SmartDNS solutions – come in very handy.
Free German VPN Trials
Finally, we would like to recommend you VPN services to quench your thirst for German online content and to facilitate establishing access to them. VyprVPN is a Switzerland-based company that offers more than 200,000 IPs for use and is a great choice for proxy lovers. With a built-in NAT firewall and great device support, it is a great option to consider because of their 3-day free trial, too. HideMyAss is also a top VPN player, with 30 days to freely roam around with them. They provide VPN access to more than 210 countries, meaning that you are similarly welcome establishing a connection in Germany or any of the neighboring countries from any part of the world. Our last recommendation is HideIPVPN: while the free trial lasts 24 hours only, their 30-day money back guarantee is one of the most advantageous offers to meet with. Though only five countries are supported, Germany is one of them and service is outstanding, having to pay attention to less. Prices are also favorable with HideIPVPN, and thus we recommend it also.