While South Africans enjoy relatively good internet freedoms, internet censorship and data retention laws are growing concerns for many. There is data surveillance in the country, with journalists, in particular, being the target of state surveillance. What’s more, internet censorship is growing, with political and media content bearing the brunt of new censorship laws.
South Africa prioritizes free internet access for all of its citizens and offers public wi-fi in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, but this also brings many risks. Since South Africa has one of the highest internet usage rates on the African continent, it is a hotspot for hackers and internet attacks.
If you live in South Africa and want to protect your browsing data while connected to one of the many public networks in the country or want to view more content from around the world, you need to get a South African VPN or Virtual Private Network. With state censorship growing in the territory, a VPN for South Africa is more essential than before.
Using a VPN is 100% legal in South Africa and is more common in the area than you may think. Although South Africa is well-known for the internet freedom it offers its residents, a South Africa VPN can provide people with access to international geo-restricted content. Since many expats live in South Africa, a VPN enables them to view TV shows and news sites from their home states.
In the run-up to the political election in 2019, South Africa saw more state censorship online than ever, and this has led many people to invest in VPNs. South Africa is definitely not a repressive state and has a free rating from Freedom House. However, this doesn’t mean investing in a South Africa VPN isn’t a good idea, especially since data and privacy laws are constantly changing and under review.
A lot of people are confused about what a VPN is. VPNs are not free internet but are Virtual Private Networks that encrypt your browsing data and protect your privacy online. Your Internet Service Provider and government can view what you get up to online, and South African internet users are not exempt from this. By using a VPN, you send all of your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel that hides it from these third parties.
VPNs also change your IP address, which means that you are anonymous online. Using a different IP address also allows you to bypass geo-blocks, which would usually prevent you from viewing foreign content. If you live outside of South Africa, you can use a VPN to get a South African IP address and view content within the country.
Of course, good VPNs come at a price. While there are free VPNs that offer their services at no cost, these often have inferior features or sell user information to advertisers. We recommend you pay for a VPN in South Africa.
Buying a VPN is easy. All you need to do is choose one of the best South African VPN providers from this list and select a subscription plan from their website. Most VPN providers offer a selection of payment options, including credit card, PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitmoney. If you want to completely anonymize your VPN usage, then paying by cryptocurrency is your best bet.
Installation and setup are easy with all of the providers we have listed on this page, making the entire purchase process a complete breeze. Whether you live in the country or not, with a VPN for South Africa, you’ll have access to servers around the world and enjoy greater internet freedoms.
While many VPNs work in South Africa, we’ve compiled a select few for our list of the best options. For the best South Africa VPN, we’ve judged VPNs in several areas, including:
Without further ado, let’s dive into our top 5 picks for South Africa VPN providers.
NordVPN has an outstanding reputation as a VPN provider. With excellent data retention policies and a large server network, it is a great choice for a South Africa VPN.
NordVPN has a large network of VPN servers in South Africa, providing subscribers with many South African IP address options. If you want strong security, then you’ll get it with NordVPN. There is uncrackable AES-256 encryption and DNS leak protection on every server. NordVPN uses the most secure protocols, including OpenVPN and NordLynx, which ensure that your data is transferred over the web in the safest way possible.
In terms of privacy, NordVPN is a reliable provider that doesn’t store browsing data logs or any other information related to your internet activity. This is partly due to the NordVPN headquarters being based in Panama, a jurisdiction that enjoys great data laws.
NordVPN caters to the needs of every user with its specialty servers, which include P2P servers. Nord provides extremely fast speeds, making it an optimal choice for torrenting, or accessing streaming services within or outside of South Africa. Thanks to the obfuscated servers in its network, users can sidestep the Netflix VPN firewall and use the VPN undetected on many other streaming websites like Amazon Prime Video and BBCiPlayer.
There are extra features that NordVPN offers, like the Double VPN, which changes your IP address twice and a kill switch on all of its apps. Customers can also enjoy split tunneling, deciding which apps and websites they want to receive VPN encryption. NordVPN provides 24/7 customer support for users in South Africa and other parts of the world.
With 6 simultaneous connections and dedicated clients and apps for all the major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, you can use NordVPN on private and public wi-fi- networks. Although NordVPN monthly plan is a rather pricey $11.95 per month, its 2-year plan is only $3.71 a month, which is incredible value for money.
Surfshark has made waves in the VPN community due to its incredible device connection limit and fast speeds, both of which make it a perfect option for a VPN for South Africa.
If you want a South African IP address, then look no further than Surfshark. With multiple servers in the country itself, Surfshark is a reliable VPN that gives users secure AES encryption with 256-bit cipher.
In terms of privacy, your browsing data is always safe with Surfshark. Based in the British Virgin Islands, the provider is able to extend the jurisdiction’s great data privacy laws to its users. Surfshark has a zero logs policy and will never store any data about its customers.
Private DNS is on every server and IPv6 leak protection gives you extra security online, which comes in handy if you’re connecting to public wi-fi networks in South Africa. Surfshark employs IKEv2/IPsec as its default protocols, but customers can choose to run their connection on OpenVPN if they prefer. A kill switch is available across all of the provider’s platforms, ensuring that your privacy is never at risk of exposure.
Although VPN use is legal in South Africa, it’s good to see that Surfshark has a Camouflage Mode, which hides your VPN use from your ISP and the government and connects you to specialty servers. There is also the NoBorders mode, which allows you to establish a secure VPN connection in restrictive areas, making this a great VPN if you plan on traveling outside of South Africa.
Not all VPN services can unblock geo-restricted streaming services, but Surfshark can and is the best VPN for South Africa in this area. As well as providing access to multiple Netflix libraries, Surfshark successfully unblocks foreign Amazon Prime Video and Hulu libraries.
Surfshark works on all popular platforms and has dedicated apps for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux customers. The unlimited simultaneous connections mean that you can have a VPN connection on as many devices as you wish.
The VPN is easy to use, and the list of servers in the desktop client and mobile app allows subscribers to choose the best server based on either location or what they need the VPN for. Surfshark offers great deals on its 2-year plan at only $2.21 per month, or you can pay a bit more on the monthly plan, which is $12.95 a month. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee across all of the subscription plans, which gives you the chance to try out the VPN for free for 30 days.
Express is another fantastic VPN. South Africa isn’t the only African nation it has servers in, making it a great VPN if you’re searching for one with a large server network.
If you need a VPN that will give you secure encryption across all of your South Africa apps, then ExpressVPN is a stellar choice. Firstly, Express uses AES-256 bit encryption, has private DNS on every server, and runs entirely on RAM. The provider also has a robust no-logs policy and has never experienced a security breach on its VPN servers.
ExpressVPN is extremely fast, and this is thanks to its Lightway protocol. This protocol is cutting-edge in terms of the technology it runs on and provides ExpressVPN customers with some of the best VPN speeds on the current market. This makes it the perfect VPN to access streaming content outside of South Africa on sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
We like that ExpressVPN caters to other countries in Africa besides South Africa. This is great for South African customers who want to connect to a nearby VPN server outside their own country. You can use ExpressVPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously or bypass this limit by configuring your VPN to your home router. ExpressVPN can be used on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and light browser extensions.
ExpressVPN is extremely easy to use. Although the dedicated client and mobile apps lack a stylish design that can be found with other providers, it is easy to navigate. You can enable certain features in the settings section, but essential features like the kill-switch are activated upon download.
There is fantastic customer support with Express, from a live chat option on the website to detailed tutorials on making the most from the VPN. ExpressVPN is pricey, and costs start from $6.67 per month. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to try out the VPN service for 30 days with no conditions.
Although VyprVPN has a smaller server network, it is a fantastic VPN for South Africa as it provides South Africans with access to servers and restricted content around the world.
Although Vypr doesn’t have servers in South Africa, it still makes our list. It provides a reliable VPN service and has server locations in northern African countries, Algeria, and Egypt. For South African residents looking to change their IP address, they’ll be able to choose from over 200,000 IP addresses offered by the provider.
VyprVPN uses first-rate encryption to protect subscribers and offers multiple protocol options so that customers can choose their preferred level of speed and protection. There is also automatic wi-fi protection so that the VPN encryption kicks in whenever a user connects to a public wi-fi network, perfect for South African residents. A kill switch is also a feature that Vypr offers to its customers.
There is a no-logs policy that has been audited by a third party. This gives customers more reassurance that their personal details and browsing information won’t be shared with outside companies, creating an overall more private internet experience.
Although Vypr’s network is small, its VPN services are great, and customers can access streaming content worldwide. If you use this VPN in South Africa, you can connect to a VPN server in another country of your choice, change your IP, and enjoy content from streaming sites like BBC iPlayer or Netflix.
There are VyprVPN apps available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Smart TVs. You can also connect your VPN to your home router to get around the industry-standard 5 device connection limit. Customer service options include a troubleshooting section on the website and a live chat.
You can buy VyprVPN for as little as $3.95 per month on the 12-month plan. However, if you opt for the monthly plan, you’ll part with a whopping $12.95 each month. Fortunately, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee across all plans, which means you can try out this South Africa VPN before committing to it long-term.
Last but not least is ProtonVPN. If you need a VPN in South Africa that prioritizes user privacy above anything else, then this is the VPN for you.
ProtonVPN takes user privacy seriously, which is why it is one of the best VPN providers for South African residents. As well as offering 256-bit AES encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy ciphers on all of its servers, customers can access the provider’s Secure Core network. Proton sends your traffic through one of its servers in Switzerland to give you an extra layer of protection when surfing the web.
There is a no-logging policy, which means information, including your real IP address, location, and browsing data, will never be revealed. If you want to connect to a VPN server in South Africa, you can do so with Proton since it has several servers in this location.
If you want to access foreign streaming services, you can do so with this VPN. South Africa residents can enjoy unlimited data and fast speeds on all Proton servers and the ability to watch foreign streaming catalogs such as Netflix. This VPN has apps available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. You can have up to 5 device connections on the Plus plan for just $8 per month and enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Proton is one of the best VPN providers on the market because it offers a free VPN. If you need a VPN but aren’t sure which provider to go with, you can test out Proton for as long as you want, thanks to its free version.
The free version is limited in several areas, including server location options. You can only connect to servers in the USA, the Netherlands, or Japan, which could be an issue for people trying to access content or get an IP address in South Africa. Moreover, you can only use the VPN app on 1 device. However, you’ll still have access to great features like the kill switch, and your data will never be stored or shared with third parties.