If you live or just about to move to Germany you’ve certainly heard about how strict Germans are regarding torrenting. A lot of people reported being fined and unable to share files using their P2P clients, but luckily with a VPN, you can do it safely and without the fear of being fined. Let’s take a deeper look at what is the actual situation there.
Torrenting Laws in Germany
Torrenting technology in Germany by itself is completely legal. Many files have legal torrent sources that are allowed to be shared. However, torrenting movies and music are completely forbidden since it is protected by the German Copyright Act (UrhG). Any violation of sharing copyrighted goods will result in a fine.
Short on time? Here are the best VPNs for torrenting in Germany:
Copyrights for films and music are strongly protected by the German Authorities and even streaming such content from unauthorized sources is not legal. One of the examples might be a streaming service called Popcorn Time which uses torrenting technology for streaming movies. It is not legal to use it by the law.
German cease and desist letter for torrenting
Cease and desist letter for torrenting in German is called Abmahnung. It’s an official warning sent by the law firms to stop illegal torrenting activities and includes a very threatening wording together with a fine. By any means DO NOT reply to this letter and pay any fines and here’s why.
There are law firms that massively hunt people who download torrents in Germany. In many cases, those firms massively send fake Abmahnung letters to people who did not even download any files. Unfortunately, many people, especially expats who do not read German, fall for it.
The letter usually contains a threatening wording and a fine. Replying to the letter or paying to the fine is just like admitting the crime. The authorities must prove that it was you, and not somebody else who used your Wi-Fi was the person who downloaded torrents. And it is hard (but not impossible) to do.
What to do if you got Abmahnung letter
- Do not reply to the letter
- Do not pay the fine
- Look for legal counsel immediately
How to torrent in Germany safely
To avoid getting a warning letter you need to use a VPN for torrenting in Germany. It is the safest way to share files in this country. Torrenting in Germany with a VPN will hide your P2P activities from any ISP and protect your real IP from the automatic software that tracks what you download.
Here is how you safely torrent in Germany with VPN:
- Install a VPN app
- Turn On Internet Kill Switch setting in the VPN app
- Connect to a VPN server
- Open your torrent Client
- Start downloading
- Once done – quit torrent client first
- Disconnect from VPN server
I want to emphasize a few points here.
- Always connect to a VPN server first before opening the torrent software. You are risking leaking your IP address, therefore, you can be at risk of being caught.
- Always use a VPN with an internet kill switch, that would protect you if your VPN connection unexpectedly drops or is turned off.
- Always fully quit your torrent client before disconnecting from the server.
5 Best VPNs for torrenting in Germany
NordVPN so far is the best VPN for torrenting in Germany. It has more than 5700+ servers in 59 countries from which almost 300 are in Berlin and Frankfurt regions.
It has two kill switches that are unique for a VPN service. One is a regular Internet Kill Switch, the other is an app kill switch, where you can select a torrent client as an app to be closed automatically once the VPN disconnects. This is especially useful when you forget that you still seeding torrents in the background.
The security is also top-notch with a next-gen AES-256 bit key encryption algorithms and an absolutely no-log policy.
NordVPN openly supports P2P file-sharing and has separate special servers for that. Great lightning-fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth on all servers is amazing when torrenting.
A great CyberSec feature protects from trackers, malware and blocks ads too.
It is a well-rounded VPN and it does unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms.
NordVPN gives a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans for you to try risk-free.
Surfshark has been a newcomer into the VPN market but has an extensive feature-rich kit to offer.
It has 1700+ servers and all of them are P2P-friendly. Strictly no logging and a private DNS on every server makes it a good choice for torrenting in Germany.
Great speeds when downloading or seeding files as well as strong industry-standard AES-256 key bit encryption to keep file-sharing private.
Surfshark has an essential internet kill switch feature and additional ones such as CleanWeb online ad-blocking technology, Whitelister, Camouflage, and Multi-hop VPN.
It supports unlimited devices with the same account that no other service offers.
Surfshark has very affordable plans and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of them.
ExpressVPN is a great choice for torrenting in Germany. Over 3000+ servers in more than 160 locations including Frankfurt and Nuremberg are P2P compatible.
Great security features include an internet kill switch and best-in-class AES-256 encryption algorithms, no logs policy and zero-knowledge DNS.
It’s fast speeds and streaming capabilities are also great when downloading any files. Needless to say, it can also unblock Netflix libraries from around the world.
The more advanced feature the service has to offer is split-tunneling. It allows selecting which internet traffic to encrypt and which not.
ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans and is a service that truly stands with its slogan – “It just works”.
CyberGhost has probably the largest server network out of all VPN services with more than 6000+ servers worldwide from which around 600 are in Berlin, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf regions.
It has P2P dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming as well as fast speeds when downloading files. The VPN is based in Romania, which can ensure a no-log policy on its NoSpy servers.
The service has strong AES-256 encryption with multiple protocol choices such as OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2.
CyberGhost can unblock Netflix and has apps on every platform available including AndroidTV, FireTV, and AppleTV.
All its plans have the longest in the industry money-back guarantee of 45-days.
PureVPN has more than 2000 servers around the globe from which several of them are in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg, and Hessen regions.
It supports most protocols such as PP2P, SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2 and has an industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption. It keeps no logs and has all IP and DNS leak protection.
It’s one of only few VPNs that have a port-forwarding feature for more advanced torrent users.
PureVPN has dedicated P2P optimized servers and work on all platforms. It’s a great alternative choice for torrenting in Germany.
All its plans come with a 31-day money-back guarantee and it currently offers a 0.99$ 7-day free trial.
As Germany is so strict on torrenting copyrighted materials it’s better to avoid huge fines. Those fines usually come in a latter called otherwise called Abmahnung. You could torrent safely and avoid get such a letter by using a VPN for torrenting in Germany. It’s so far the best way to hide your P2P traffic from ISP and from those who keep an eye on the movies and music you download.