Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are an invaluable security tool for modern web users, and that applies to the Netherlands as much as anywhere else. And there are a number of reasons for this.
For one thing, while government censorship isn’t a pressing issue in Holland, corporate censorship can be. Companies like Netflix hide content away from customers in certain countries via “geo-blockers.” Virtual Private Networks can render these barriers obsolete.
There may also be surveillance issues related to P2P downloads as well. So if you regularly torrent music, videos, or software, encrypting your transfers is a sensible option.
Moreover, the Netherlands is part of a broad surveillance network called the “14 Eyes.” This includes countries like the UK and USA which are known to spy on citizens of other nations. By anonymizing your identity, VPNs can render you invisible to state agencies.
How we rate Virtual Private Networks for Dutch web users
We try to take a systematic approach to rating Virtual Private Networks. Admittedly, it’s not an exact science, and some judgment calls are needed. But here’s a quick rundown of the criteria we use:
- Flexibility – good Virtual Private Networks provide as many connections as possible, along with features like split tunneling, proxies, TOR, and plenty of apps.
- Value – an expensive provider is a bad one as far as we’re concerned. Quality and value can easily pair up when it comes to online privacy.
- Security – the number one consideration. We look for military-grade encryption, leak protection, and advanced protocols. And we don’t compromise.
- Privacy – our favorite providers tend to be located outside the “14 eyes” surveillance network and logging is a major no-no.
- Speed – good VPNs have to be super fast, and deliver good speeds whether you are browsing social media, using P2P, or streaming Netflix.
Introducing our choices for the best VPN for the Netherlands
1. VyprVPN ‣
Pricing: $5.00 month for 1 year ($5 with discounts)
Features: No third-party apps or servers, 256-bit encryption, independent audits, unlimited bandwidth, NAT firewalls included, 24/7 support, global servers including one in Amsterdam
Swiss VPN VyprVPN is one of the most well-known companies in our list, and also one of the more reliable. Famed for its high speeds, it delivers excellent performance for Netflix fans and torrenters, steamrolling through geo-blocks with incredible ease.
The client is very well-designed and comes in a variety of forms, including versions for smartphones, TVs, routers, and computers. And there are some unique additions, such as the Chameleon tool, which hides the fact that users are running Virtual Private Networks. So if you want to stay anonymous, that should be easy to arrange.
So, why haven’t we chosen VyprVPN as our best VPN for the Netherlands? For one thing, it’s fast, but not lightning quick like our champion. And while the no-logs policy is basically sound, some experts have questioned the ethics of the provider’s parent company Golden Frog. Apparently, some users have had their service suspended due to “copyright infringements” – presumably related to torrenting. And VyprVPN is supposed to welcome P2P, so there’s some room for skepticism here.
2. NordVPN ‣
Pricing: $6.99 month for 1 year
Features: Crypto payments supported, huge server network, 256-bit encryption, 6 simultaneous devices, no logs policy, kill switch, P2P supported, unblocks Netflix, supports TOR, DoubleVPN system for added protection, 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN is one of the world’s finest Virtual Private Networks and, to be honest, it only marginally missed out on being named the best VPN for the Netherlands.
Boasting thousands of servers, including plenty in the Netherlands and nearby countries, NordVPN scores very highly when it comes to speed. And because it supports P2P and unblocks platforms like Netflix, this speed can come in really handy. If you love movies and TV and need to work around geo-blockers, this is one of the best providers around.
Additionally, NordVPN offers industry-leading privacy and security features. 256-bit AES encryption and the full range of protocols combines with DoubleVPN technology, DNS leak protection, and the option to run TOR through NordVPN – creating an impenetrable layer of protection.
You can connect 6 devices at one time which is very competitive, and should be more than enough for most families, and the company’s apps include options for web browsers, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and routers.
So, what made us choose a competitor as our number one pick? Well, while NordVPN is fast, our preferred provider is even speedier. And that’s basically it. As we noted earlier, speed matters, and in this case, it’s the only dividing line we could find.
3. BulletVPN ‣
Pricing: $7.49 month for 1 year
Features: Industry leading encryption, hundreds of servers, apps for all major platforms, unlimited bandwidth and no download restrictions, zero logs, 30-day money-back guarantee, Bitcoin and PayPal accepted, 3 simultaneous devices
Based in Estonia (outside the 14 Eyes), BulletVPN is as fast as the name suggests and offers an excellent low-cost alternative to better-known Virtual Private Networks.
Everything you need is here, from 256 bit AES encryption to protocols which include PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, IKEv1, and IKEv2. Smart DNS and full leak protection ensure a high level of anonymity and tend to mean that BulletVPN works around Netflix blockers very reliably.
This is also a great choice for torrenters, with totally unlimited downloads and bandwidth, so you won’t experience annoying lags when downloading multiple files. Moreover, you can easily install the simple client on your laptop and smartphone, providing solid all-round privacy protection.
On the downside, BulletVPN isn’t that generous with the number of connections users can have at one time. Families may find that 3 connections aren’t enough, and we can sympathize with that. Also, while it’s good to see Bitcoin catered for, we’d like to see more cryptocurrency payment options, to ensure that everyone can pay anonymously.
4. Goose VPN ‣
Location: the Netherlands
Pricing: $5.63 month for 1 year
Features: 30-day free trial, zero logs, Dutch-speaking support, supports P2P and streaming, unlimited connections, anti-throttling features, high-grade encryption and protocols
OK, we know that GooseVPN is based inside the 14-eyes surveillance network, but this Netherlands-based Virtual Private Network can’t be ignored. As long as you are willing to take a very slight risk on surveillance, there are plenty of things to love here.
For starters, the encryption is up to standard, featuring 256-bit AES ciphers and a wide range of advanced protocols. So you can be confident that the tunnels created by GooseVPN aren’t compromised.
But this provider really scores highly when it comes to ease of use. Users can connect as many devices as they like to the service, and install the GooseVPN app across a dizzying variety of platforms. Anti-throttling features mean that ISPs can’t crack down on your streaming habits, and there are no bandwidth limits to contend with, either.
Bundle in friendly, Dutch-speaking support staff, and you have a Virtual Private Network which delivers for most customers. However, the 14-eyes location put it out of the running as the best VPN for the Netherlands.
5. CyberGhost ‣
Pricing: $5.99 month for 1 year
Features: Over 60 servers in the Netherlands and over 3000 worldwide, 256 bit AES encryption, no logs, kill switch, DNS leak protection, apps for services like FireTV, 45-day money-back guarantee, up to 7 simultaneous device connections
Romanian VPN CyberGhost is right up there with NordVPN and our pick for the best VPN for the Netherlands but doesn’t quite make the cut. Still, it’s a very solid provider that Dutch privacy fans need to know about.
On the encryption side, 256-bit AES technology is as good as it currently gets, and you’ll receive excellent DNS leak protection, providing complete IP address anonymization. So the company’s phantom mascot isn’t a joke: CyberGhost really does turn users into digital “ghosts.”
The company also opens up plenty of restricted services. Users shouldn’t have any trouble working around Netflix geo-blocks, and speeds are very good thanks to CyberGhost’s huge global server network. And if you prefer to stream over smart TVs, there’s Amazon FireTV support too.
Families will appreciate the ability to install the client on as many as 7 different devices. So everyone in the household can enjoy a high level of security. And the 45-day money-back guarantee is extremely generous by the standards of the industry.
Where does CyberGhost fall down? Well, the prices are a little expensive for some packages (although discounts make it very affordable at times). And speeds vary from lightning quick to stodgy. That’s acceptable for good VPNs, but it’s not the case with our number one pick, as we’ll soon see.
Location: the Seychelles
Pricing: $8.33 month for 1 year
Features: Unlimited devices, router installations available, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, servers in 50+ countries, a wide variety of protocols, excellent encryption, Smart Mode to enhance speeds, all software developed in-house
The Seychelles may not be known for tech developers, but this is changing thanks to AstrillVPN. One of the world’s elite Virtual Private Networks, AstrillVPN delivers almost all of the features we are looking for – but doesn’t quite deliver enough.
Dutch web users will appreciate the 256-bit encryption provided, along with OpenVPN-based protocols, IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection, and the rigorous no-logging policy. This is more than enough to protect your data whether you’re checking social media or purchasing items online.
Users can connect as many devices as they choose – which makes Astrill very appealing for both families and small businesses. And there are neat add-ons like the Smart Mode, which restricts the VPN function to international sites, making local browsing faster. P2P is fine, and TOR is also catered for – completing an impressive suite of features.
What didn’t we like? Well, the support can be great but varies in quality. And the client is a little bit less intuitive than the best VPN for the Netherlands. So entry level users may find it tougher to get to grips with. Finally, it’s not the cheapest provider around – which may sway some customers.
7. ExpressVPN ‣
And the best VPN for The Netherlands is… ExpressVPN
Location: British Virgin Islands
Pricing: $8.32 month for 1 year
Features: Crypto payments, 256-bit encryption, apps for all platforms, P2P supported, unblocks Netflix reliably, browser extensions, 24/7 live chat support, flexible split tunneling, presence in 94 countries, zero-knowledge DNS, 3 simultaneous devices
Our pick for the best VPN for the Netherlands is easy: ExpressVPN. Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is safely outside the extended 14-eyes surveillance network. And with 256-bit encryption, zero-knowledge DNS, OpenVPN-based protocols, and anonymous payments via cryptocurrency, this is a seriously secure service.
It balances a high level of security with exactly what ordinary Dutch users are looking for. ExpressVPN is P2P-friendly, offering fast servers for torrenters and confidence that no-one will be watching your download history. And it is the best VPN for unblocking services like Netflix we’ve ever seen. So it should broaden your entertainment options considerably.
Add in 24/7 live chat support, the option to apply split tunneling to speed up local internet access and a fully risk-free free trial, and there are very few weak spots in the ExpressVPN package. That’s why we recommend it as the best VPN for the Netherlands, so download it and see what you think.
If you’re in The Netherlands, which of these VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great VPNs for The Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below.