Best VPNs for Bulgaria (2023)
Bulgaria is a rather lenient country in terms of Internet censorship and other restrictions. However, there are websites and content that is inaccessible to the Bulgarians as there are certain ways for the law enforcement to bypass the requirements of the law. This is why it’s wise for the people of Bulgaria to think about getting a VPN.
Answering this question demands spending months monitoring the situation in the country, constantly testing different services under various conditions. It is hardly viable for an ordinary netizen as it would take a lot of time and money, therefore rendering the whole thing useless: what’s the point of learning what service is the best one if you have already wasted your money on getting all of them?
And this is why we at CoolTechZone decided to do just that so that the people of Bulgaria don’t have to.
We conducted a 4-month research of how VPNs behave in Bulgaria. Our goal with it was to determine a number of good services, each of which can be safely used in the country.
Moreover, we also found out the performance of which free services is acceptable. Granted, they are not as good as paid ones but leaving them out would not help us paint the whole picture.
So in this article, you’ll find two lists of services: one made of paid ones and the other made of free VPNs. To keep it nice and brief, we won’t go into excruciating details about every provider here but you will find links to the full reviews of each service. As we always do, we encourage our readers to do their own research before committing to a VPN.
- Why might the Bulgarians need a VPN?
- 5 best VPNs for Bulgaria
- 5 acceptable free VPNs for Bulgaria
- ExpressVPN: can unblock any site via servers in 94 countries.
- NordVPN: makes you private with AES-256-GCM encryption and an in-built kill switch.
- Surfshark: allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections at affordable prices.
- CyberGhost VPN: is easy to set up and use on up to devices simultaneously.
- Private Internet Access: offers lightning speeds and military-grade encryption.
- Warning: Always pay attention to the customer reviews of the service you’d like to acquire. The best idea here is to go to a neutral website like Reddit and not to the provider’s site as reviews there can be biased or even fake.
Generally speaking, the situation with the freedom of the Internet is rather healthy. There are no reports pertaining to the government stepping on the people’s rights to express their opinions online - unless, of course, those opinions take an insulting form. While some may argue that freedom of speech should cover any speech no matter its content, legal opposition to hateful comments is global and definitely not unique to Bulgaria.
As for the Internet speeds in Bulgaria, they average at 13.3 Mbps, which makes Bulgaria 22nd speediest country in the world. That’s an impressive result for a former member of the Warsaw Pact to get to.
So far, the picture looks pretty bright. So what are the problems that beset the Bulgarian Internet users?
First of all, it’s the unavailability of a large part of the Netflix library. Only 205 TV shows are accessible to the Bulgarian subscribers along with 569 movies. Just to compare, these figures reach 1326 and 4339 in the US, respectively.
It has to do with legal rights for these movies and series. This explanation, however, is unlikely to please the Bulgarian viewers.
This is where VPNs come into play.
This technology allows one to connect to a foreign server and use its IP address to “present” it to any website including Netflix. So by connecting to a US-based server, you will be able to fool Netflix into thinking you are indeed in the United States. This way, you can watch all of those thousands of shows and films available to the Americans.
We have tested a metric ton of services and come to the conclusion that ExpressVPN is the best one out of them all. While its competition was strong, it proved that its features are the most powerful and convenient to use.
Four other VPNs, however, all have their benefits. You will see in this section that every single one of them can be used in Bulgaria for a multitude of purposes and to a great effect.
Best VPNs for Bulgaria: Main characteristics comparison
|Service||Score (out of 10)||Speed, Mbps||Country selection||Number of servers||Diskless servers||Price (per month)|
- Perfect security
- Great choice of locations
- Rapid speeds
It was not easy to determine the winner in this competition. To get the upper hand, ExpressVPN had to really impress us, and impress us it did.
Firstly, the number of its locations is astounding. While there are VPNs with more servers, ExpressVPN is the absolute record holder in terms of the countries covered. It’s useful to get an IP of a specific state - although Netflix is the most popular geo-restricting service, there are such sites in many countries other than the US.
Secondly, the security of ExpressVPN is perfect. It uses the top-notch protocols and encryption methods to make sure your real IP will never get leaked.
And thirdly, it does so while providing incredibly fast speeds. Given that VPNs are bound to drop your Internet speed by varying degrees, this is indeed a big accomplishment.
|1 month||6 months||1 year|
- Greatly balanced service
- Good coverage
- Loyal to its clients
- Powerful security features
- Very fast
- Many servers
NordVPN boasts many privacy and safety features that few other VPNs have.
For example, it provides its clients with the Double VPN option that increases the security by transferring the traffic through two servers before getting it to a website or the customer. NordVPN also has VPN obfuscation to disguise the use of a VPN protocol, which is useful in countries that block VPNs altogether. Luckily, Bulgaria isn’t one of them but this feature still may come in handy if you travel to China or some other restrictive state.
This service also has more than 6000 servers, making its speeds very good.
|1 month||1 year||2 years|
(2022 Winter promotion)
- VPN settings for every situation
- Rather cheap on the longest plan
- Safe jurisdiction
- Cheap price
- More-than-adequate security
- Easy streaming
Surfshark is a surprisingly powerful service given its low price. It reliably protects its customers online and offers protocols and encryption just as robust as those of the leaders of this ranking.
However, Surfshark’s price isn’t the only beneficial thing about it. Unlike any other service on our list, it allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices per subscription, meaning that an entire family or a company of friends or coworkers can simply chip in for a plan and make the cost per person go from trivial to almost nonexistent.
Just like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, Surfshark gives you access to American servers, which lets you watch the US version of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or other streaming platforms with impunity. Of course, you can also connect to any other country and access its library as well.
|1 month||6 months||2 years|
- The most lucrative VPN
- 61 countries covered
- Fast and secure
- Huge choice of servers
- Long-term refund guarantee
- Good security-wise
CyberGhost is a provider with strong support of streaming services. In its app, one can find many servers specifically marked as the best for a given platform.
And that’s not a wonder: CyberGhost has as many or sometimes more servers total than NordVPN (these numbers often fluctuate based on political and technological changes).
Another benefit of this service is its 45-day-long money-back guarantee, which is longer than that of any other major VPN.
|1 month||1 year||2 years||3 years|
- Many servers to choose from
- Quite cheap
- Nice refund conditions
- Multitude of settings
- Reliable traffic protection
- Considerable server network
Private Internet Access takes the usual customizability good VPN services have up to eleven. Do you want to improve the speed temporarily and can do away with extra security? There’s such an option. Would you like to fine-tune the VPN protocol you are using? Say no more, PIA got it.
PIA also has more than 3000 servers, making sure that you can always get a good speed. Its country selection is a bit limited in comparison to the other VPNs on the list, though.
|1 month||6 months||1 year|
- Many settings
- Many servers
- Good security
To give you the full picture of the use of VPNs in Bulgaria, we provide you with this list of free services.
Warning: All free VPNs have a lot of restrictions and limitations. This is caused by their unprofitability. As they cost money to maintain and develop, their providers have to make back on their investments in some other way. Sometimes, it is annoying ads built into the apps and sometimes other inconveniences such as speed or traffic limits which are meant to cause the user to switch to a paid plan.
A good Swiss service without a traffic limit, ProtonVPN does limit the speed as well as gives access to 3 locations only.
Windscribe has 11 locations and 10 Gb of monthly traffic. However, it is very slow and not really suited for watching videos in 4K or even HD.
Though it is largely speedier than the previous two VPNs, hide.me only gives its free subscribers 2 Gb of traffic each month.
HotSpot Shield has a 500 Mb per day limit, which roughly amounts to 1 Gb per month. Or rather, it would have, but the free plan of this provider only lasts for 7 days and then locks you into a pretty expensive paid plan.
This service is actually quite good security and features-wise but its incredibly tiny traffic limit (500 Mb/month) cuts its usability down by a lot.
Can I use a VPN to access Bulgarian content abroad?
Absolutely, the technology works both ways and you can watch Bulgarian TV when travelling to another country.
What can I do to boost my speed with a VPN?
Try connecting to the closest server to your real location. Alternatively, some services show how much of a load every server currently has. Try to choose one with the fewest users.
Can I be banned for using a VPN with Netflix?
We haven’t heard of such cases but just to be safe, try not to log into your account from IPs of different countries in rapid succession.