Best VPN for South Africa in 2019
Nearly 50% of the population of South Africa has internet access, however most of those users don’t realize that their privacy is at risk. Accessing geo-restricted content and protecting your privacy is difficult unless you use a VPN for South Africa. With a VPN you can surf online via an encrypted server. This ensures that your privacy is protected and that you can access content that is usually restricted in South Africa. With top of the class encryption levels, we would highly recommend ExpressVPN as your go-to VPN, for the utmost privacy and security online.
The Best VPNs for South Africa
It is important to double check that the VPN you sign up for allows you to access the geo-restricted content that you desire. We have made sure that this list only includes relevant VPNs that allow access to US Netflix library, as well as other TV shows and channels geo-blocked in South Africa. Increasingly, streaming services are able to identify customers who are accessing their content through the use of a VPN.
To help you decide which VPN is best for you, we’ve listed 5 top companies and explain what they provide.
To greatly enhance your privacy and also allow you to get around geo-restrictions, then look no further than ExpressVPN. We continually rate it highly due to the reasons:
- Watertight encryption: ExpressVPN uses a powerful 256 bit SSL secured connection so your data and identity are safe.
- Lightening quick connections: ExpressVPN connections have been optimized for high bandwidth use. This means that unlike other VPNs, ExpressVPN keeps your internet speed fast. Users in South Africa can download and stream movies and TV shows, play games online or use video services like YouTube and Skype without any problems.
- 99% guaranteed uptime: ExpressVPN has great connection reliability, so South African users won’t find it dropping or cutting out when doing something important online or even just watching a favorite TV show
- Huge network of servers: ExpressVPN has over 130 VPN locations in 87 countries. This makes it ideal to use to get around restrictions on content that South African internet users so often experience. Because a South African IP address bans access to a lot of content online, simply choosing another server with ExpressVPN gives you immediate access to geo-restriction content.
- Straightforward to use: ExpressVPN is really easy to use. All subscribers need to do is download the software, choose a server and then access blocked websites and resources in seconds.
- Market-leading customer support: ExpressVPN has a 5-star customer service team too. If users have even the smallest of problems with ExpressVPN, it is possible to contact ExpressVPN via their live chat and get a response in mere minutes.
- Multiple connections: ExpressVPN allows all users to access You can use their service on three devices at once for the same low price. This means users get high encryption on three separate devices without having to pay for another monthly subscription.
To beat content restrictions and privacy violations in South Africa with reliable encryption and great customer service, sign up with ExpressVPN here.
One of the big benefits of NordVPN is that it allows a huge six devices to be connected at once which means users can share the account with family. Other notable features are:
- Unblocking most streaming services: NordVPN will gain South African subscribers access to most online streaming services including the US Netflix library. This is down to the provider operating with a huge amount of servers across 64 countries (including South Africa).
- Market leading encryption: NordVPN is known for its high standard of security. The encryption levels are high, using doubly encrypted tunnels for added protection and privacy.
- Good connection speeds: In the main, South African users trying to access any servers will find that their connection speeds are quick. However, one thing to note is that some of the US servers are occasionally maxed out during peak times. That being said, NordVPN has many servers so users can bounce around the network until settling upon a fast streaming connection.
Overall, it is a fast and reliable VPN server that should fit all a user’s needs when browsing from within South Africa.
PrivateVPN is a zero-log VPN making sure that all of your logs are deleted immediately. They are very strict about this process, making them a true market leader when it comes to security and privacy online.
- Safe and secure server connections: Private VPN grants its South African users access to most geo-restricted content, provided it has a server in that area.
- Servers in the US and the UK: PrivateVPN does not have the biggest or widest network of servers on this list, but it has 80 server locations in total which is still pretty respectable. There are servers in both the UK and the US, allowing South African users to access to favorite T.V channels in those areas.
- Simultaneous connections: This makes PrivateVPN perfect for those that need to have multiple connections, like families who want to access different content at the same time.
One major con when it comes to PrivateVPN is that the performance can often be a little on the slow side, but it comes at a good price for its security levels.
While encryption is one of the main things you want from a VPN for South Africa, sometimes this affects internet speed and many VPNs suffer from slow connection. This is not the case with IPVanish.
- Excellent security features: IPVanish offers decent encryption along with a kill switch and top of the range security protocols. It uses our preferred OpenVPN protocol which is incredibly difficult to trace or hack.
- Simultaneous connections: IPVanish allows users five connections at once under the same subscription plan making it ideal for families or small businesses who want to access different content when in South Africa.
- Large amount of US Servers: IPVanish will allow South African users to mask an IP address and gain you access to US Netflix and movies/TV shows not only in America, but much of the world as well.
Their low cost also makes the service very attractive if potential customers are on a low budget.
PureVPN is a popular and easy to use VPN provider with a wide range of security techniques in place. It is perfect for South African users to sign up to if they want to access blocked content for these reasons:
- Vast server network: PureVPN is a monster in terms of its spread of servers across the globe. With a massive 180 country locations to choose from, users are spoilt for choice.
- Security techniques: PureVPN employs the use of automatic protocol selection so that any data a South African subscriber transmits is secured in the most optimal way.
- Kill Switch – Sometimes a VPN will drop out for no reason. PureVPN protects its customers from becoming vulnerable to cyber attack should this happen by using a kill switch so that the entire internet connection is cut should a VPN disconnect.
One point to note however is that PureVPN does log connection information. Though grateful for their honesty on the matter, this is less than ideal if you want to keep your log history private. Another issue particularly when browsing from South Africa, is that PureVPN is unable to unblock Netflix (that is, any Netflix library outside of SA).
Privacy Laws and Regulations When Using a VPN in South Africa
In some countries, using a VPN is illegal. While in others having a VPN is not illegal, but using it to access content that is illegal is definitely against the law. In South Africa, the use of VPNs is not illegal.
However, it is a criminal offense when a user employs a VPN to gain unauthorized access to data through hacking, to interfere with data and to commit computer related extortion, fraud or forgery. This is according to Chapter XIII of The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act No 25 of 2002. So, for example, it is breaking the law to spread viruses and Trojan horses intentionally.
Some hackers make use of VPNs to do just that as they are a means of masking their illegal online activity. Using a VPN does not make this hacking activity legal in South Africa.
We should also point out that any South African citizen traveling to another country should make sure that the continued use of a VPN in their final destination is lawful. If not, and they are caught using a VPN, they are subject to the laws of that country just as all of its citizens are.
How To Access South African Streaming Services
If you are a South African VPN user who travels a great deal, it’s good to know that your VPN can also allow you to access services such as DSTV while you are abroad as well. This means that you do not have to fall behind on TV shows simply because you are out of the country. All you need to do is connect to a South African server while you are out of the country through your VPN software. This way, you will be able to access DSTV or otherwise through your device, just as if you were in South Africa itself.
By connecting to a South African server, you are giving yourself the appearance of a South African IP address which is what is needed to unblock South African streaming services.
Why Is A VPN Needed In South Africa?
There are two main reasons a VPN is needed when in South Africa. The first is because a VPN will dramatically improve your security while connected to the internet. The second is to make geo restricted content that has been blocked due to being in South Africa, available and accessible.
Increasing Privacy and Improving Security
While South Africa enjoys pretty good internet freedom, there have been attempts to monitor internet activity and usage.
The General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill (GILAB) and the Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB) are two examples of means to curb access to online content in South Africa.
It is highly important to encrypt your data when online if you live in, or are traveling to, South Africa. A VPN for South Africa is crucial and will do the job of protecting your data allowing you complete online privacy.
Online Streaming in South Africa
We all love a good movie or even a series marathon every now and then, but unfortunately, in South Africa, many of the most popular channels overseas are not available when browsing from within the country.
If you want to dig into some English TV and access geo-restricted content such as BBC iPlayer and 4OD or maybe some American channels like Amazon Prime, DSTV Now or Sky then it is best to use a VPN for South Africa as it will allow you access to all of these channels and more.
These channels are simply impossible to visit due to being geo-blocked. Users cannot access them unless they are in the given country.
If you’re bored of the limited choice on South African Netflix and want full access to the US Netflix library, then simply set your VPN IP address to the country of your choice. In this case, it would be the US, by doing this you can trick the system into thinking you are physically located in the US, allowing you instant access from within South Africa.
How Does A VPN Work? What Makes A Good VPN?
Before looking at the best VPNs for South Africa, it’s a good idea to see how a VPN actually works in the first place, and also what features need to be present to make the very best VPN possible.
So how does a VPN protect privacy but also increase the amount of content that is accessible?
Well, a VPN will:
- Allow you to change your IP address to another country
- Encrypt all of your data making all of your browsing private
- Delete your logs (perfect for those who like to download torrents) or delete their browsing history
- Give you a secure and private network so that no third parties can spy on you – particularly good if using public Wi-Fi
- Prevent identity theft online as well as making online banking safer
To do so, a reputable VPN needs to have the following features:
- Military Grade encryption – Not all VPN providers use the same encryption methods to encrypt its users’ data. Plus, not all encryption methods are as robust as others. To be a reputable VPN, we ideally like to see 256 Bit AES encryption which is considered military grade as it is the encryption method used by the US government to protect their data.
- Fast connection – If you are using a VPN in South Africa to stream video content or partake in online gaming it is imperative that your VPN provider offers fast connection speeds. Without them, your browsing session can be considerably hampered by buffering or freezing.
- Large and wide network – A large and wide network of servers makes a VPN provider far more capable of offering a good service than one with a small number of servers in a low number of locations. Those in South Africa who want access to content only accessible in various parts of the world, will need a large and wide network for their subscription to be worthwhile.
- Unlimited bandwidth – Given that one of the main reasons that users sign up to a VPN provider is to access video content, it is imperative that a provider offers unlimited bandwidth. In doing so, South African customers can watch as much content as they want without fear that they will exceed their data limit.
- Customer Support – Even the best VPN providers will have a few issues every so often with a handful of customers. Those issues need to be able to be resolved quickly by a helpful and efficient customer support team. Without it, a VPN provider is letting itself down, even if it offers the rest of the features listed here.
The Bottem Line
South Africa has a decent level of internet freedom, but there have been recent attempts to curb privacy and monitor internet activity. It can also be hard to access geo-restricted content with a South African IP address making it impossible to watch American Netflix among other shows abroad. By using a VPN to encrypt your data, those in South Africa will gain full access to the world-wide web without all the geo-restrictions in the way, while also keeping data safe and remaining totally anonymous online.
All of the VPNs mentioned in this “best VPN review for South Africa” will do the job in allowing you to access all the needed content from within South Africa, but some will do the job better than others. This is down to the better connection speeds of some as well as much better encryption levels.
For this reason, we would highly recommend ExpressVPN believing it to be the best VPN for South Africa.