Best VPNs for South Africa 2023: 5 Paid + 5 Free
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.
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:
- What restrictions you can face when visiting South Africa?
- Are the perfect VPNs for the country?
- Is it possible to use a free VPN app in South Africa?
- Is it allowed to surf the Internet through South African IP?
- Does VPN protect Wi-Fi connection in South Africa?
- Can I stream Netflix in South Africa?
- ExpressVPN: This VPN makes the Internet in South Africa as open as it gets!
- NordVPN: With this VPN provider, you’ll be able to access any content from South Africa!
- Surfshark: The VPN provider that will both unblock geo-restricted content and protect you online!
- CyberGhost VPN: The VPN that bypasses any firewalls and unblocks any site in South Africa!
- Private Internet Access: One of the fastest and most reliable VPN services to unlock sites in South Africa!
- ProtonVPN: Online privacy protection without leaks, reliable data ciphering, and access to content worldwide.
- Windscribe: Private web browsing is possible even if you can’t pay for the service right now!
- Hide.me: It can unblock websites restricted for the South African IPs, but it’s not the best choice for streaming.
- HotspotShield: Access to the US server for unblocking American services for $0 per month is possible.
- 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)|
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.
- 3000+ servers
- 7-day free trial (Android)
- 94 countries
- 30-day refund
Despite its relatively high price, ExpressVPN proves its worth as a reputable and reliable VPN provider for South Africa in 2022. 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.
|1 month||6 months||1 year|
- Compatible with all popular platforms and OSs
- User-friendly interface
- 5400+ servers
- 7-day free trial (Android, iOS
- 59 countries
- 30-day refund
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.
|1 month||1 year||2 years|
(2022 Winter promotion)
- Perfect streaming and torrenting support
- Great discount
- 1700+ servers
- 7-day free trial
- 63 countries
- 30-day refund
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.
|1 month||6 months||2 years|
- AES 256-bit ciphering
- Camouflage mode to be 100% anonymous
- 6700+ servers
- 24-hour free trial
- 89 countries
- 14-45-day refund
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.
CyberGhost VPN prices
|1 month||1 year||2 years||3 years|
- Strict no-logs policy
- Easy and fast setup
Private Internet Access
- 15600+ servers
- 30-day refund
- 74 countries
- No free trial
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.
|1 month||1 year||2 years|
- Diversity of tunneling protocols
- 10 connections per account
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 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).
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 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.
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 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).
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.
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