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France, as you probably know, is a country where cybersecurity is taken very seriously. As one of the major players in the EU, France complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy, adopted in 2016 and applicable since the end of May 2018. The key objectives of the GDPR are to protect people affected by the processing of their personal data and to strengthen the accountability of companies that handle this data.
The emergence of GDPR was empowering, it gave people a chance to protect their personal data. But the downside is that the French bureaucratic administrative machine is not yet working properly, so sometimes it’s hard to resolve conflict situations fairly. It’s too easy to cross the line and hurt someone’s feelings.
The number of complaints significantly increased compared to the period without GDPR. For a bit of statistics: in 2018, more than 11,000 complaints were filed with the CNIL, an increase of 32% over the 7-month period when the GDPR was in force.
It seems that everyone is responsible for their own privacy. In this article, we’d like to raise awareness of this issue so that people could resist online threats — forewarned is forearmed. A VPN appears to be an ideal solution to protect Internet users. But before switching to its benefits, let’s figure out some essential points if you are about to use a French VPN server.

Is VPN legal in France?

French law does not prohibit VPNs. They are legal everywhere in the EU. Mostly VPNs are used by individuals to browse freely and without taking any risk. Companies also use them to secure their network connection when working remotely.
Governments understand the desire of Internet users to protect their privacy, personal data and avoid all forms of online tracking. If you stay within the law, no problem. Daily activities under VPN are not a matter of suspicion.
On the other hand, using a VPN (in France as everywhere) to engage in illegal activities is indeed a reprehensible act. For example, bypassing the French HADOPI law and watching or downloading copyrighted content using a VPN is punishable by law.

VPN and HADOPI — enemies or allies?

Nine years before GDPR another law on data protection was adopted. The appearance of the HADOPI law has scared many Internet users. In the public's mind, this authority can monitor and control all your online activity. But the reality is different.
HADOPI is primarily a copyright law, and its government agency can monitor French Internet users downloading certain torrents and get their IP addresses. Then the ISPs are asked to present the identity of the users to HADOPI to send them a warning.
While watching movies and series on streaming platforms is perfectly legal, some users prefer to use a VPN to ensure their anonymity even in this case and to get access to the full video library or library specific for a certain country, but more about this later.

Why using a French VPN is a good idea

Online anonymity

Perhaps, the most accurate analogy of a VPN would be an invisibility cloak. On the Internet, your IP address can be used to identify you. Once enabled, VPN hides your real IP address so that you can surf the web in disguise. The mechanism is pretty simple: a VPN displays another IP address instead of yours, usually this address belongs to a remote server somewhere abroad. Moreover, no one will be able to detect your location because your traffic will be routed to a remote network through a tunnel.
But beware, France is one of the countries that fights against all forms of cyberbullying and cyberstalking, and there were numerous precedents when anonymous perpetrators were unmasked very quickly and quite publicly, as in the so-called Mila case. It may not be a commercial company that has to play the moral compass here, but we'd like to bring your attention to the fact that using a VPN in itself is legal, but not for inelegant practices, to put it mildly.

High-level encryption

The majority of VPN service developers refer to data encryption as their key feature. Why has it become so important in the last few years? For the simple reason: more and more personal data such as credit card or medical insurance details are transmitted via the web or stored in cloud services. This data can be hacked and used for malicious purposes, thus, it needs to be protected.
Let's get back to encryption — basically, it's what makes your sensitive information (login, password, credit card number) unreadable for unauthorized parties. Normally, using a reliable VPN reduces the amount of information that can be viewed by your ISP and by websites where you send your data. Even the VPN should not have access to it. AdGuard is proud to announce its zero-logging policy — unlike many other services that store their users' data, leaving them vulnerable.
Now, what criteria indicates that encryption is reliable? Without diving into cryptography, let's just say that 128-bit encryption is already quite secure and supported by many modern browsers, services, and software. AdGuard VPN supports both AES-128 and the more advanced AES-256 encryption which protects your personal data, makes our service risk-free, and our VPN — the best in France.

Protection against spying ISPs and public Wi-Fi risks

Did you know that while you're surfing the web with no worries, your ISP can access your sensitive information at any moment? Using a VPN service can protect you to the fullest extent possible. However, not all VPN services guarantee your security — the majority of free VPNs do not follow the zero-logging policy. This means that they store users' data on their servers and can in theory transmit it to third parties. As stated above, AdGuard VPN follows a strict zero-logging policy and therefore by choosing our service you can be sure that your data will not be abused.
If we wrote a cyber security manual, it would probably start with this rule: "No connection to public Wi-Fi without a VPN, ever". No matter where you are, at the coffee shop, at the airport — using public Wi-Fi without protection is a bad idea. First, because your data becomes potentially accessible to a multitude of people, not all of them benevolent. Second, because the risks of becoming a victim of fraud or downloading malware, ransomware, or viruses are greater.
How to minimise your vulnerability to such online threats? Best practices are using antivirus software, anonymous network and/or browser. And if you add to it following these digital hygiene tips, you'll be splendid and invincible.

Streaming, regional sports broadcasts, local offers

With a French VPN, you'll gain access to all types of streaming content, from French versions of services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and others, to your favorite sports shows. Coming back to the questions of legality, it should be noted that all this is allowed and legal if you are subscribed to these services and want to access the programs of your regional choice while being at that moment outside your usual geographical area.
And then, a VPN could become your indispensable assistant when it comes to searching for the best deals online. It is well known that the price of a flight and the value of medical insurance depend on the income and social status of the person doing the research. Companies track and analyze your online activity (websites you visit, products you buy, etc.) and offer you prices they deem appropriate for you. By using a VPN, you make the process of ranking your "value" difficult for companies. As a result, it's more likely that you'll see not changed prices but the real, unaffected ones. However, it is worth mentioning that VPN is only one of the measures you can take to save yourself from being taken advantage of:
1) Use AdGuard ad-blocking software;
2) Enable the option 'Automatically delete third-party cookies' in the settings;
3) Don't log in to your Google account.

How to connect to a VPN in France in 3 steps

On your PC/laptop

Step 1. Go to adguard-vpn.com.
Step 2. Install AdGuard VPN Browser extension or AdGuard VPN for Mac or Windows.
Step 3. Log in to your AdGuard account, click the Connect button and choose a server located in France.
And voila, your IP address is changed!

On your smartphone

Step 1. Go to adguard-vpn.com.
Step 2. Install AdGuard VPN for iOS or Android.
Step 3. Log in to your AdGuard account, tap the Connect button and choose a server located in France.
That's it!

FAQ

AdGuard VPN is a virtual private network (VPN) that is a secure tunnel between two or more devices.
Connecting to a VPN gives you an encrypted connection to the Internet. It allows you to stay private, remain secure, and access the online content you want — no matter where you are.
A VPN is a multi-purpose digital survival tool. You can use your VPN to:
Hide your real IP address, which reveals a lot about you (such as your true geolocation, comments on forums, and much more), and surf the web with added privacy
Shield yourself from snoopers & hackers on public Wi-Fi networks from accessing your files (such as messages and other private information)
Stream and download anything securely, anonymously, and with no limits
Get discounts when you shop online (local prices & special offers are sometimes more favorable)
Historically, user privacy and safety have been AdGuard's top priority. It's backed up with 10 years of spotless reputation. It's inherently reflected in AdGuard VPN: we use our own fast and secure protocol and provide you with unique privacy-focused features.
AdGuard VPN is now available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and an app for Android/iOS/Windows/Mac. You can find detailed installation instructions here.
Best server locations differ depending on your reasons for using a VPN. See our suggestions below.
For anonymity:
If you need a VPN strictly for anonymity, connect to the country and city closest to you.
For changing your location:
To hide your actual location, choose any other location you want.
For faster connection:
Go to the Locations screen in the AdGuard VPN app or extension and select the Fastest option before clicking Connect to enable the VPN.
AdGuard is a privacy-focused company that neither shares nor sells any of your personal data. We are proud to say that we fight for user privacy. We are strongly committed to this principle and strive to be as transparent as possible.
We do not store activity or connection logs of our users. AdGuard VPN collects minimal information about the use of our services to identify and resolve technical issues. This information cannot be used to link you to any specific activity or behavior. For more information on what data we collect and exactly how we process it, please see our Privacy Policy.
Yes, you can. There are two operation modes in AdGuard VPN. In General mode, VPN works everywhere except websites added to exclusions. And vice versa, in Selective mode, VPN works nowhere but on websites added to exclusions.
You can add websites to exclusions manually or choose among the lists of popular services. The lists are divided into eight categories: Social networks, Messengers, Video and Music streaming services, Games, Shopping, Search engines, and Work communication tools.
Proceed to the payment page and choose the plan that suits you best. We have 1-month, 1-year, or 2-year subscription options.
The paid version offers several advantages over the free one:
AdGuard VPN can be used on up to five devices concurrently, compared to only 2 in the free version
More server locations are available
No speed limits, compared to 20 Mbps in the free version
Unlimited VPN traffic, compared to 3 GB per month in the free version
We have subscriptions that are billed automatically once a month, year or two years, depending on your choice. If you have opted out of auto-renewing your subscription, you can renew it manually via your AdGuard account.
Note: Discounts applied to initial purchases do not apply to their renewals.
Just use the same account to purchase another subscription: another month, year, or two years will be added to your current subscription term.
We offer our customers the possibility of a 100% refund of the purchase price of AdGuard VPN 1-year and 2-year subscriptions purchased from https://adguard-vpn.com/. For subscriptions purchased elsewhere, please check the refund policy of that particular reseller. For 1-year and 2-year subscriptions, we have a 30-day money-back guarantee. All refund requests for 1-year and 2-year subscriptions made within 30 days of purchase are granted regardless of the reason.
The corresponding subscription becomes inactive the moment the refund is issued. After 30 days of purchase, all requests are assessed individually, and the refund decision is made at the discretion of AdGuard Software Ltd. We do not grant partial refunds for subscription upgrades and renewals. Each case of a partial refund request is discussed separately between Customer and Support and granted only upon mutual agreement. To get a refund for a 1- or 2-year subscription purchased from the official website https://adguard-vpn.com/, please contact our support team: support@adguard-vpn.com.
Processing time will depend on the payment method you choose. Usually, it takes 5 to 10 business days.
You're probably reading this because you've encountered the warning "Maximum number of connections reached".
The paid AdGuard VPN subscription covers up to 5 simultaneous device connections, while the free version covers only 2.
If you've reached the limit and still need to connect more than 5 devices, you can choose between two options:
Purchase an additional AdGuard VPN subscription using a different email address.
Disconnect one of your devices from AdGuard VPN. To do so, press the Disconnect button on the corresponding device.
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AdGuard VPN
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