A hand holding a French flag with a geolocation pin over it.

A French IP (Internet Protocol) address can be a useful tool when you’re abroad. It helps hide your location, overcome oppressive internet censorship, and access your regular websites and online services while overseas.

The most secure and reliable method to get a French IP address is with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). However, you can also use alternatives like the Tor browser or a proxy server. Let’s explore the different ways to get a French IP address and what you can do with it.

Table of contents

    Why would you need a French IP address?

    A French IP address can make life a lot easier. Here’s why you might want one: 

    • Online security and privacy: a French IP address masks your real IP, which reveals identifying information such as your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and location. This helps protect against tracking, hacking, and surveillance by third parties. 
    • Browse websites while abroad: many French websites and online services require you to be in the country to access them due to licensing agreements or simply because they’re targeting the local market. They typically use your IP address to determine your location and restrict access if you’re abroad. Using a French IP address lets you continue visiting these sites when overseas. 
    • Secure online banking services: French banks and financial institutions often flag or block accounts if they detect a foreign IP trying to log in. A French IP address lets you securely use these services abroad without setting off fraud alerts.  
    • Avoid price discrimination: online vendors and service providers frequently adjust their prices based on geographical locations. For instance, airline companies and hotels tend to offer lower fares and room rates to locals. Switching to a French IP address may help you score deals, discounts, and special rates available only to those in France. 
    • Overcome oppressive censorship: authoritarian regimes may impose restrictive internet policies, making it difficult or even downright dangerous to visit certain websites and content. By changing your IP address to a French one, you can freely visit global news sites and social media platforms. 
    • Simplify remote work: many companies restrict access to their internal networks, servers, and portals to authorized locations. A French IP address can help you access these resources as if you were in France, even if you’re working remotely from a far-off island.

    How to get a French IP address

    There are several ways to get a French IP address. Apart from using a VPN, you can also opt for the Tor browser or a proxy server. Let’s consider and compare the different methods. 


    The simplest, safest, and most effective way to get a French IP address is by using a VPN. With a VPN, you can pick a server in France and route your internet traffic through it. The server’s IP address replaces your actual one, making it appear like you’re right in France. This allows you to access your usual websites, including France-exclusive ones, even while globetrotting.

    Most premium VPNs have multiple server locations in France, so you can even connect to one in your local city. For instance, Surfshark has 76 servers in three major French cities — Paris, Bordeaux, and Marseille.

    Apart from granting access to websites in your home country, a VPN safeguards your online privacy. Switching your IP address to a French one conceals your actual location and personal details from online strangers. It also encrypts your internet traffic, ensuring no one can spy on whatever you do online with your French IP address.

    The only caveat is that you must invest in a premium VPN rather than relying on a free one. Slow speed and poor security aside, many free VPNs have limited or no servers in France. Additionally, free VPNs may log and sell your data to third parties. Since premium VPNs cost only a few dollars a month, it’s hard to justify risking your privacy and security with a free VPN.


    You can get a French IP address using the Tor (The Onion Router) browser, a free browser similar to Chrome and Firefox. What makes Tor unique, though, is that your browser traffic is randomly routed through three different servers, also known as nodes or relays, worldwide.

    The entry node sees your actual IP address but not your data. Conversely, the middle node sees your data but not your IP. Meanwhile, the exit node forwards your traffic to the internet but has no clue where it’s coming from. For added security, all three relays are changed every five minutes.

    Usually, the Tor browser randomly assigns an IP address to conceal your real one. However, you can configure it to use an exit node in France to get a French IP address.

    Compared to other methods, using the Tor browser is the most complicated way to get a French IP address. It requires a basic knowledge of its network architecture and some technical skills as you’ll need to tinker with its settings to pick France as your exit node.

    Additionally, its multi-layered encryption could slow down the browser. As the Tor network is volunteer-operated, your data could also be subject to surveillance and interception. For this reason, many pair Tor with a premium VPN like Surfshark — a practice known as Onion over a VPN.

    Proxy server

    A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the websites you visit. All incoming and outgoing data goes through it as the proxy forwards your requests to websites and retrieves the responses on your behalf.

    To get a French IP address using a proxy server, select and connect to a server in France. Your traffic is then routed through that server, masking your original IP address with the server’s. This makes it appear as if you’re browsing from within the country, allowing you to visit your regular French websites even when you’re away from home.

    Overall, a proxy server is a fast and easy way to get a French IP address. However, it’s nowhere as secure as a VPN. While a VPN encrypts your entire internet connection, a proxy server only reroutes your traffic and changes your IP address. So, your data remains vulnerable to tracking and interception, even if your IP address is concealed.

    Considering the sheer number of free proxy services available, you might be tempted to try one to get a French IP address. However, it’d be wise to think twice. Free proxies, much like free VPNs, may log and sell your data to third parties to sustain their operations — posing a critical threat to your privacy.

    Additionally, many websites and online services can identify and block traffic from proxy servers. This means you may still find yourself unable to access your familiar French websites even with a French IP address, rendering the proxy server pointless.

    Using a DNS server in France

    The DNS (Domain Name System) functions like a digital phonebook, translating domain names into IP addresses. Most people stick with the default DNS provided by their ISP.

    However, there are several reasons why you might need to use a DNS server in France: 

    • Improve speed: ISP infrastructure and network configurations can affect performance. If your default DNS server is slow, switching to another local French DNS server could reduce latency and speed up response times.
    • Overcome oppressive DNS restrictions: your ISP may impose DNS restrictions or filtering on certain websites. By using a different DNS server in France, you may be able to sidestep these ISP-level blocks to access more websites and online services.
    • Pinpoint your location: for websites and services that require geolocation, using a local DNS server in France can ensure your location is accurately identified.
    • Content localization: many websites use your location to tailor their content, including language settings, local deals, and regional news. Using a local French DNS server ensures you get the version intended for users in your region.

    Get a French IP address with Surfshark VPN

    Replacing your actual IP address with a French one can be quick and easy if you have the right tool for the job. For instance, here’s all you need to do to get a French IP address using Surfshark VPN: 

    1. Pick a Surfshark subscription plan that best suits your needs and subscribe to it.
    A screenshot of Surfshark’s pricing page
    1. Download and install the VPN app on all your devices.
    2. Once installed, open the VPN app and log into your account.
    3. Click on the Locations tab.
    4. Use the search bar to find a server in France. Surfshark has 76 servers in three major French cities.
    5. Click on the server of your choice and connect to it. You now have a French IP address.

    Easy setup aside, let’s explore why else Surfshark is one of the best ways to get a French IP address.

    Surfshark has 3200+ servers in 100 countries, including 76 servers in Paris, Bordeaux, and Marseille. You have ample options whether you wish to swap your French IP address for one from another country or another French city. The extensive server network also means there’s minimal risk of overcrowding slowing down your connection speed.

    All Surfshark servers, whether in or outside France, support lightweight modern VPN protocols — WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. They’re also 100% RAM-only, meaning they don’t store any of your data and are wiped clean upon each shutdown or reboot for maximum privacy.

    Additionally, Surfshark has plenty of security features. Static Servers let you use the same French IP address every time you connect, while IP Randomizer assigns a fresh IP for each website. Meanwhile, Override GPS location matches your GPS signal to the Surfshark server’s location, and Dynamic MultiHop lets you connect via two different VPN servers simultaneously.

    Surfshark is also among the few VPNs that allow unlimited simultaneous connections. All your devices can have a French IP address and VPN protection.

    The bottom line: use a safe and reliable method to change your location

    Whether you’re looking to protect your privacy, enable remote work, or overcome oppressive censorship, a French IP address can be a valuable asset when you’re far from home.

    You can get a French IP address using a VPN, the Tor browser, or a proxy server. Each method has its own advantages and limitations, so pick one according to your priorities. For most, a VPN is the best way to get a French IP address. It not only masks your IP with a French IP address but also encrypts your internet traffic to keep your online activities safe and private.

    Start using a French IP address
    Securely access French websites and services while away


    What is a French IP?

    A French IP address is a unique identifier assigned to a server in France. It shows that you’re browsing from within the country — allowing you to access various websites and services, including those exclusive to users in France. 

    How do I connect to a French VPN?

    To connect to a VPN in France, sign up with a premium VPN provider that has servers in the country, such as Surfshark. Download, install, and launch the VPN app. Once logged in, you should see a list of available servers. Pick a server located in France and connect to it. 

    How can I get a French IP address on my phone?

    To get a French IP address on your phone, sign up for a Surfshark account. Download and install the Surfshark app from either the Google Play Store or the App Store. Launch the VPN app, log in, and connect to a server in France. Your phone now has a French IP address.

    Can I get a French IP address for free?

    It’s not recommended to get a French IP address for free. While there’s no upfront cost, the trade-offs include poor security, slow speeds, intrusive ads, and a complicated process. Many free services also log and sell your data to third parties to finance their operations while others might leak your actual IP address because of poor infrastructure. 

    Is it legal to use a VPN to get a French IP address?

    Yes, it’s legal to use a VPN to get a French IP address in most regions, including Europe, North America, and Asia. However, attempting this in countries where VPNs are heavily restricted or completely banned — like Belarus and North Korea — could lead to fines, imprisonment, or both. 

    How can I check if I have a French IP address?

    You can use Surfshark’s IP address checker to check if you have a French IP address. It shows your current IP address, ISP, and approximate location down to your country and city. 

    Can I get a French IP address from a specific city in France? 

    Yes, you can get a French IP address from a specific city in France. Surfshark has 76 servers in France — located in Paris, Bordeaux, and Marseille. Simply select and connect to a server in your preferred location to get a city-specific French IP address.