Follow us
All VPNs are chosen by the expert, but we may get a commission when you buy them via our links.

Best VPNs for South Africa 2021: 5 Paid + 5 Free

Updated: July 12, 2021 By Dean Chester

South Africa is known for ‘moral policing’ online, where the government may order sites to be blocked if they feature what the authorities deem to be sexually explicit or violent material.

VPNs for South Africa

However, it’s difficult to predict what might be considered as ‘violent’ or ‘immoral’. In this regard, it’s recommended to use a reliable VPN app in South Africa.

Read this article and get to know:

 
5 best VPNs for South Africa
  1. ExpressVPN: This VPN makes the Internet in South Africa as open as it gets!
  2. NordVPN: With this VPN provider, you’ll be able to access any content from South Africa!
  3. Surfshark: The VPN provider that will both unblock geo-restricted content and protect you online!
  4. CyberGhost VPN: The VPN that bypasses any firewalls and unblocks any site in South Africa!
  5. Private Internet Access: One of the fastest and most reliable VPN services to unlock sites in South Africa!
 
5 free VPNs in South Africa
  1. ProtonVPN: Online privacy protection without leaks, reliable data ciphering, and access to content worldwide.
  2. Windscribe: Private web browsing is possible even if you can’t pay for the service right now!
  3. Hide.me: It can unblock websites restricted for the South African IPs, but it’s not the best choice for streaming.
  4. HotspotShield: Access to the US server for unblocking American services for $0 per month is possible.
  5. TunnelBear: Its free plan is the most restricted in terms of traffic. But it’s not bad if you need a VPN for limited tasks.

Recommendation: Check the features and security tests conducted throughout my research to find the VPN service that suits you most. At the end of each brief VPN review on this page, you’ll find the link to their detailed reviews.

What restrictions can you face when visiting South Africa?

A draft bill was proposed by the country’s Film and Publication Board that seeks to regulate media published online, such as movies and games.

The problem is that many of the laws in the draft legislation are vague and authoritarian. Huffington Post reported that the bill sparked criticism due to the degree of censorship and the vague nature of the terms.

South Africa’s moral policing can leave many legitimate web browsers unable to access content that is perfectly legal elsewhere.

However, users can still bypass the regulators and access blocked content using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs essentially mask IP addresses so users can access content from a server located in a different country that the regulators have no authority over.

South Africans who wish to send encrypted messages, such as investigative journalists, can also use VPNs to ensure security.

Internet access in South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is one of the leading African countries by the number of residents using the Internet. According to the research conducted by World Wide Worx on 2017, the number of active internet users reached the figure of 40%.

The main internet provider here is Telkom, which supplies people with access to the Internet using both hardline and mobile networks.

Free wireless connection is widely distributed all over the country. Many cafes and other public places offer Wi-Fi hotspots. So, the free Internet in South Africa is prevailing.

This accessibility is great for the country, which was under the pressure of Britain far back in the past. Everything sounds so great and optimistic. Nevertheless, there are a lot of risks on the Internet.

68% of residents of South Africa are concerned about the threat of cyberattacks from the direction of other countries. It means that people are worried about the hacking phenomenon, which gains popularity these days. Perhaps, it is connected with the fact that the Internet is accessible in South Africa.

Internet-blocking in South Africa

The attitude of the South African authorities to the issue of the Internet-blocking is ambiguous.

  • On the one hand, the country is not anxious to restrict its citizens in Internet freedom. The messengers like Skype and Telegram, websites like Facebook and Twitter are not blocked there.
  • On the other hand, the country does not support the UN idea regarding the topic of Internet limitation. According to the statement presented by the UN in 2016, the restriction of access to the Internet is considered a human rights violation.

Furthermore, the authorities reckon that the restriction taking place is not bad for the country and its residents. They believe that some limitations are the norm. And the government has a right to decide what cannot be accessible for the people living in South Africa.

Comparison of VPN services for South Africa


Service Speed, Mbps Country selection Number of servers Price (monthly)
ExpressVPN >100 94 3000+ $6.67-12.95
NordVPN >60 59 5400+ $3.30-11.95
Surfshark >50 63 1700+ $2.49-12.95
CyberGhost 40-70 90 6700+ $2.25-12.99
PIA >50 74 15600+ $2.69-9.95

Are the perfect VPNs for the country?

Of course, there are!

I’ve tried 70+ VPNs in South Africa firsthand to find the fastest and the securest ones. All the VPNs on the list cope with the tasks to unblock restricted content, provide access to VoIP apps, download torrent files securely, and whatnot.

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN

Main advantages:

  • 3000+ servers
  • 7-day free trial (Android)
  • 94 countries
  • 30-day refund

Overview

Despite its relatively high price, ExpressVPN proves its worth as a reputable and reliable VPN provider for South Africa in 2021. It offers fast servers that help to stream any content without buffering.

Network Lock feature prevents data leak in case the secure connection is lost.

Price

ExpressVPN prices


  1 month 6 months 1 year
Price (monthly) $12.95 $9.99 $6.67
Money-back guarantee 30 30 30

Conclusion

  • Compatible with all popular platforms and OSs
  • User-friendly interface
 
ExpressVPN Preview
20% off and 3 months for free
 

Read more:

NordVPN
NordVPN

Main advantages:

  • 5400+ servers
  • 7-day free trial (Android, iOS
  • 59 countries
  • 30-day refund

Overview

NordVPN is another worthwhile tool that works perfectly well in South Africa due to its Obfuscation function. It makes you anonymous while surfing the Internet through a VPN. No system could identify it.

Besides, it protects your P2P traffic and unblocks restricted torrent trackers.

Price

NordVPN prices


  1 month 1 year 2 years
Price (monthly) $11.95 $4.92 $3.30
(2021 Summer promotion)
Money-back guarantee 30 30 30

Conclusion

  • Perfect streaming and torrenting support
  • Great discount
 
NordVPN Preview
Save up to 72% on a 2-year plan
 

Read more:

Surfshark
Surfshark

Main advantages:

  • 1700+ servers
  • 7-day free trial
  • 63 countries
  • 30-day refund

Overview

Low-budget and reliable Surfshark is a good choice for netizens from South Africa. It allows connecting an unlimited number of devices per account!

It guarantees your data security thanks to private DNS on every server and no leaks when using IPv4.

Price

Surfshark prices


  1 month 6 months 2 years
Price (monthly) $12.95 $6.49 $2.49
Money-back guarantee 30 30 30

Conclusion

  • AES 256-bit ciphering
  • Camouflage mode to be 100% anonymous
 
Surfshark Preview
Best VPN functions for $2.49/mo
 

Read more:

CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN

Main advantages:

  • 6700+ servers
  • 24-hour free trial
  • 89 countries
  • 14-45-day refund

Overview

CyberGhost is another reliable VPN app for South Africa. It guarantees anonymity through its NoSpy servers, 256-bit data encoding, and Romanian jurisdiction (outside of 14-eyes agreement).

You can set it up on any device running on Windows, Android, Linux, and macOS. 

Price

CyberGhost VPN prices


  1 month 1 year 2 years 3 years
Price (monthly) $12.99 $3.99 $3.49 $2.25
Money-back guarantee 45 45 45 45

Conclusion

  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Easy and fast setup

Read more:

PIA
Private Internet Access

Main advantages:

  • 15600+ servers
  • 30-day refund
  • 74 countries
  • No free trial

Overview

Thanks to its incredibly fast-growing server network, Private Internet Access is the VPN with the biggest possible server park. It’s very beneficial for online users in South Africa because it serves to access any content online.

Price

PIA prices


  1 month 1 year 2 years
Price (monthly) $9.95 $3.33 $2.69
Money-back guarantee 7 7 7

Conclusion

  • Diversity of tunneling protocols
  • 10 connections per account

Read more:

Is it possible to use a free VPN app in South Africa?

For those who cannot pay for the best VPN in South Africa, there’s an option to make use of a free VPN. Actually, the VPNs on the list are not 100% free. All of them are paid premium services with free packages.

Warning: Despite the appealing idea to use a VPN for free, you are to know that you’ll be very selective while browsing the web. You’ll have to switch off video and picture load to save traffic.

ProtonVPN logo
Free ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN allows using its service free of charge in two ways:

  • A 7-days trial period (access to all the features of the ProtonVPN premium plan).
  • A free plan without a time limit (access to 3 locations).

Windscribe logo
Free Windscribe

You can use its app without paying for it for as long as you like. In this case, the monthly traffic is limited to 10GB.

Hide.me logo
Free hide.me

Hide.me VPN doesn’t restrict its free package subscribers in time either. But there are other restrictions you won’t like: servers in only 3 countries and a traffic monthly limit of 10GB.

Hotspot Shield logo
Free HotSpot Shield

The free plan of this offers its service with a 15GB monthly traffic limit. You cannot use it in a day. Your daily traffic should not exceed 500MB.

TunnelBear logo
Free TunnelBear

TunnelBear can also be used without payment thanks to a free plan.  It has serious restrictions – a traffic limit of 500MB to 1500MB (in case you Tweet about the app).

FAQ

❓ Is it allowed to surf the Internet through South African IP?

Netizens can browse with South Africa IP addresses. The restriction in the country is not a usual phenomenon. It means that the South African people do NOT suffer from blockage based on their location.

Nevertheless, some streaming services differ in the content. It is connected with the South African IP. Let us look into details.

? Does VPN protect Wi-Fi connection in South Africa?

Such accessibility of Wi-Fi hotspots is great, as one may inform the relatives about a good landing being at the airport of South Africa. Nevertheless, it is possible to be hacked via such hotspots, as they are vulnerable to viruses and hacking attacks.

Thus, one may lose all the sensitive data having connected to the free Internet in South Africa.

With the best VPN for South Africa, people will be protected against numerous threats on the Internet including information leakage and data theft. Besides, it allows evading the pop-up windows and other types of useless ads.

? Can I stream Netflix in South Africa?

It is well-known that services like Netflix, Hulu, Sky, and some others are not available in several countries. Luckily for the residents of the Republic of South Africa, access to these services is not blocked for them. In such a way, they may enjoy a vast diversity of movies, TV shows, and other streaming materials thanks to such websites.

However, not all the content may be enjoyed by those people living in South Africa. This fact is connected with the license. Such eminent services like Netflix or Hulu provide the content according to the license. In other words, all videos on the services are legal. The difficulty lies in the fact that the license allows broadcasting the products only in particular countries.

To stream without any limits being in this country, one is to change a South African IP address into an American one. In this case, the provider sees a new AMERICAN IP and gives access to the content of such streaming services.

Also read:

Senior Researcher
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

Leave a comment

click to select

12 comments for Best VPNs for South Africa 2021: 5 Paid + 5 Free

Jessika's picture
Hi, guys! What about

Hi, guys! What about torrenting in South Africa? Shall I torrent via VPN or not?

Dean Chester's picture
Jessika, one should torrent

Jessika, one should torrent via VPN no matter what region you are located. You’d better keep your privacy and anonymity while torrenting. There are so many snoopers on torrent websites that VPN is necessary not only in South Africa. Moreover, copyrighted material can be downloaded by mistake which might lead to warning letters. Thus, I recommend to keep privacy with the best VPN for South Africa.

Chester's picture
Dean, what is the best VPN

Dean, what is the best VPN for Kodi in South Africa? Can I unblock Kodi in South Africa with VPN? How to choose it for South Africa?

Dean Chester's picture
Chester, as you know, Kodi is

Chester, as you know, Kodi is a multi-platform media-player that is used for streaming video, podcasts and other content from the Internet. That’s why you need a fast VPN that won’t slow down internet connections. Besides, pay attention to the VPN servers offered by a VPN provider. Kodi is primarily available for American and European regions, so to unblock Kodi you need lots of VPN server locations. You can choose a VPN for South Africa in this particular rating.

Becky's picture
Hi, Dean! I have a problem

Hi, Dean! I have a problem with my Netflix. I have been using Netflix here in South Africa. I like this version, I costs reasonable money and movie and series are worth watching. Still, as any not American Netflix user I wanted to watch US Netflix from my location. I downloaded free VPN for South Africa. I visited Netflix and managed to see what movies are available for US Netflix. But I failed to watch them as the error was shown on the screen. What shall I do? How can I watch Netflix in South Africa?

Dean Chester's picture
Hello, Becky! Actually, you

Hello, Becky! Actually, you are not the fist who asks me about unblocking Netflix in other regions. Well, free VPN for South Africa is not the best variant to access Netflix. You might have seen this error m7111-1331-5059. This error means that VPN connection was identified. The company’s policy on this issue is severe enough. Another reason why I won’t recommend free VPN for South Africa is that privacy is not guaranteed, user’s information is often collected or even revealed. Besides, they offer standard encryption and data transfer protocols, no additional security functions. So, you’d better take use of a pad VPN service, choose the one with reasonable pricing and period for you. Lots of VPN providers offer free trials as well, it will help you to find the best for your needs. Have a look at 5 best VPN services for South Africa in the article above. You can also choose among 5 best VPN services for Netflix. You asked how you can watch Netflix in South Africa. So, you’d better use a reliable paid VPN for South Africa. Variety of US servers, 256-bit encryption and higher, OpenVPN and other strong protocols are the main features for this. Hope you’ll enjoy Netflix in South Africa.

Wil's picture
Well, I’d like to start with

Well, I’d like to start with the following: 2 years I have been using one of VPN services – Rana VPN. It was ok, but I faced some problems. I don’t want to go into details, but it was a bad ending for me. Staying without a VPN would be a catastrophe for me. The VPNs presented here are fantastic (at least those, I tried). And ExpressVPN is, beyond dispute, the best service to use for active internet users. For some people, paid services are bad, but as for me, I wouldn’t use a free VPN for Africa because of a set of reasons. First of all, it doesn’t protect people on a good level. Besides, it is not so free as it seems to be on the face of it. To my mind, to choose the best VPN for Africa one should read the terms of service carefully. This measure will help you evade the problems. With best wishes, Christian.

Dean Chester's picture
Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Wil. ExpressVPN is definitely the leader amongst numerous VPNs to use today. And you are 100% right saying that free VPNs for South Africa is not the best choise. The thing is that free VPNs may have unfortunate consequences such as logging, data leak and ads.

Petra's picture
The article is good,

The article is good, everything is described in a comprehensible manner, but I still can’t understand only one think – why to use the VPN service in the country with not severe censorship. Apart from this, I studied the list of servers offered by the best VPNs for South Africa and found out that some of them place servers in this country as well. What for?

Dean Chester's picture
Petra, censorship is not the

Petra, censorship is not the only thing VPN providers deal with. Apart from censorship and geo-restrictions bypassing, VPNs make your devices protected against malicious software, viruses, hacking attacks, data theft and what not. Besides, VPN services for South Africa allow saving money and make its subscribers free of ads and unwanted pop-up windows. Now let us turn to server locations. It is impossible to become absolutely free on the Internet using only 1 IP address or a server, as there is not any country in the world, where all content of the World Wide Web is accessible. Otherwise, the best VPNs had servers in this country only. In such a way, the more diverse server geography is, the less restricted you become. Having subscribed for one of the best VPNs for South Africa you will have an opportunity to connect to the servers around the globe. I hope my answer helped you. If you have other questions, feel free to put questions in the comments.

Gail's picture
I wonder if VPN is legal in

I wonder if VPN is legal in South Africa? I don’t want to break the law travelling there. Next month my trip will start.

Dean Chester's picture
VPNs are absolutely legal in

VPNs are absolutely legal in South Africa. You may not be afraid of breaking the law being there.