Best VPN South Africa

Anyone living in or traveling to South Africa will find a Virtual Private Network (VPN) incredibly useful. Not only will a VPN protect your privacy when browsing online by encrypting your internet traffic, but it will also allow you to unblock your favorite streaming services from back home.

We reveal the best VPNs for South Africa based on our rigorous testing process, plus we explain exactly how to use your VPN in South Africa.

If you don’t want to read the rest of this article, here’s our list of the best VPNs for South Africa:

  1. NordVPN Our top VPN for users in South Africa! Very fast provider with a huge server network. Zero logs and impeccable security. 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark Best budget VPN for South Africa. Secure service that keeps no logs and easily bypasses geo-restriction measures and government blocks.
  3. ExpressVPN Unblocks both South African and international streaming sites. Strong security, no logs, and you can even purchase it anonymously. Fast African servers and works on a wide range of devices.
  4. CyberGhost A cheaper alternative with great security, fast speeds, and no logs. Makes it easy to unblock sites.
  5. IPVanish No-logs service with a lot of servers and the option to change your IP address at specific time intervals.
  6. VyprVPN Boasts strong security and fast speeds, but does not allow torrenting.

South Africa boasts one of the highest internet penetration rates in the region with over 52 percent of its 55 million strong population enjoying the fruits of the world wide web. The online environment is considered to be ‘free and open’ by internet advocacy body Freedom House with the government doing all it can to get more South Africans online.

Currently, there isn’t any strict internet censorship of content on the web in South Africa and the country enjoys its freedom to engage in vibrant digital activism. But last year the government did vote against a UN bill designed to support greater internet freedoms globally, tarnishing its image somewhat. It’s possible that domestic freedoms might be under threat.

For these reasons, we recommend internet users in South Africa use a VPN while browsing the web. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all the internet traffic flowing to and from your device and routing it via an intermediary server. It helps maintain privacy and anonymity on the internet and makes it difficult for hackers and government agencies to spy on your activity.

A VPN is also an excellent choice for foreign expatriates living in South Africa as well as local residents traveling abroad. A South Africa VPN allows you to unlock online content such as DST, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, BeIN Sports, MTN, Sky Go and Super Sports.


NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for South Africa with no restrictions for a monthgreat if you want to access your usual streaming services during your trip.

There are no hidden termsjust contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

The Best VPNs for South Africa

Our ranking of the best VPNs for South Africa is based on the following factors:

  • Fast speed and reliable service
  • Strong security and no logs
  • Unblocks geo-restricted African content with ease
  • Servers in South Africa for local residents traveling abroad
  • Large number of servers across the world for foreign expatriates living in South Africa

We go into further details on the above criteria later in this article.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV


Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN has a stellar reputation in the VPN business because it’s been around for over a decade and offers a product that packs a punch. It’s fast, doesn’t store any data, allows multiple VPN connections, and has a robust selection of servers.

NordVPN simply declines to hold any data about its users. This means there’s no metadata about browsing habits, timestamps, or choice of servers. The policy has thwarted attempts by authorities to force Nord to hand over customer data. The company is also based in Panama – which means it doesn’t fall under the purview of Western agencies and has no mandatory data retention laws to comply with.

NordVPN operates 5,000+ servers in 59 countries – with options to connect depending on your specific requirement – such as downloading, P2P file sharing, video streaming, or anonymity. There are multiple servers in South Africa.

The service works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer without any problems. It’s quite generous when allowing for multiple connections – a total of six devices can connect at any one time. This means it’s an ideal choice to share with friends and family and save on costs by splitting the bill.

All internet traffic is secured by 256-bit AES encryption, which comes as standard. It’s coupled with 2,048-bit SSL keys and DNS leak protection.

There’s support for Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

NordVPN speed test data

No valueNordVPN
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)460 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)349 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)299 Mbps


  • Great VPN for downloading and streaming from abroad
  • Unblocks most popular geo-locked streaming services
  • The fastest VPN on the market
  • Top-notch security and privacy protection
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever


  • Desktop app can be awkward to use

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR SOUTH AFRICA:NordVPN is our top choice. A solid all-round performer in South Africa. Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. A great choice for security and privacy. Use up to 6 devices at once with great internet connection speeds. Offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here’s our full review of NordVPN.

NordVPN Coupon
SAVE 68% on the 2-year plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

2. Surfshark


Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark currently operates around 1,700 servers in 60+ countries including South Africa. This service provides high speeds and boasts excellent unblocking ability, meaning it’s ideal for live streaming region-locked content abroad. Best of all, Surfshark has no connection limit. As such, it allows you to secure all of your devices at once.

This VPN takes your security seriously. It uses effectively uncrackable 256-bit encryption, a kill switch (in all versions), and protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks to keep your activities private at all times. There’s also automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning, as well as a strict no-logs policy which ensures your online activities can’t be traced back to you.

Surfshark apps are available for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. Manual installation is required for use with network traffic routers.

Surfshark speed test data

No valueSurfshark
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)317 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)253 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)400 Mbps


  • Makes it easy to get a South African IP address
  • High speeds and strong unblocking ability
  • Powerful security and privacy features
  • No bandwidth limits
  • Connect as many devices as you like


  • Some servers are faster than others
  • Small (but growing) network

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

Read our full review of Surfshark here.

BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark is an inexpensive service that lets you connect as many devices as you like, so you can stream and browse securely at home or on the go. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark Coupon
Get 3 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

3. ExpressVPN


Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is one of the best all-round VPNs out there. Not only does it offer fast speeds, it combines that with military-grade encryption protocols and a rustic design. It’s easy to install and works just right.

The company operates over 3,000 VPN servers spread across 94 countries including a few in South Africa. Hence local residents traveling abroad can use these servers to access local content like MTN and Super Sports.

If you’re worried about privacy and anonymity, then ExpressVPN’s policy of not storing any user logs should ease your concerns. The only minimal information the company stores is metadata pertaining to the “date (not time) of connection, choice of server location, and total bandwidth used”. Your individual IP address will never be logged.

As for encryption parameters, ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES-CBC protocols as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. There’s an internet kill switch included, which the company calls a ‘network lock’. This feature means all web traffic will be temporarily halted if the connection drops unexpectedly. That’s an additional layer of security – ensuring there are no momentary open doors for prying eyes to enter.

ExpressVPN can unlock geo-restricted content on Netflix. It’s also compatible with Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, SuperSport and other South African TV channels. ExpressVPN also supports torrenting. There are apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

ExpressVPN speed test data

No valueExpressVPN
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)136 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)134 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)136 Mbps


  • Fast speeds for streaming and torrenting
  • Best in class security and privacy features are built-in
  • Unblocks a large range of geo-locked sites, e.g. Netflix
  • Easy to use apps for most platforms are beginner-friendly


  • Not the cheapest provider on this list – use coupon provided
  • May not be flexible enough for advanced users

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SPEED AND SECURITY:ExpressVPN is a quick, privacy-conscious VPN that works great in South Africa. Hard to beat on privacy and security. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here’s our in-depth review of ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN Coupon
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
Get Deal >
Coupon applied automatically

4. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost will appeal to beginner users because it’s relatively inexpensive, offers decent speeds and strong encryption, and is easy to set up.

The company is headquartered in Romania and privacy advocates will be pleased with the fact that it has a stated policy of not storing any user data. Having said that, there was a bit of management shuffle recently – CyberGhost was acquired by an Israeli firm headquartered in the UK. There’s a slight chance this could change the logging policy so we’ll keep our readers updated on this front.

Let’s come back to service standards. The company has been adding new server locations at a voracious speed – right now there are 5,700+ servers online. They’re spread across 89 countries – with 10 in South Africa.

Encryption standards are robust – the company deploys 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and MD5 HMAC authentication. These are considered to be top-tier standards. An internet kill switch is also included.

Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows, MacOS and Linux. One paid account allows for seven devices to connect at a single time.

CyberGhost is a solid option for streaming and will allow you to watch US Netflix in South Africa.

CyberGhost speed test data

No valueCyberGhost
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)853 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)480 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)312 Mbps


  • Budget priced provider with impressive streaming speeds
  • Apps are easy to use and great for new users
  • Good range of servers in South Africa is great for unblocking content while abroad
  • No issues unblocking BBC iPlayer, and more


  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Doesn’t provide much control over advanced features

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

Beginner friendly:CyberGhost is easy to use. Great privacy and security. A good option for the price conscious. Reliable in South Africa. Unblocks BBC iPlayer and most other popular streaming sites. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost.

CyberGhost Coupon
SAVE 83% on the 3 year plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

5. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is another supremely reliable VPN service that prioritizes strong encryption, stringent privacy, and blazing speeds. It’s a completely logless VPN which means there’s absolutely no data retention of any kind.

To secure web traffic, IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. The lattermost feature means that your past data will remain encrypted even in the unlikely scenario of a hacker gleaning access to your account.

There’s an internet kill switch embedded within the system architecture – similar to ExpressVPN. The company allows any number of devices to be connected simultaneously, setting it apart from most other VPNs on the market.

Servers are spread out all worldwide and don’t compromise on any aspects of the web experience. Currently, there’s an option to connect to over 850 possible choices, including six servers present in South Africa.

IPVanish isn’t a good choice for people looking to access Netflix or Hulu. However, it does work very well with BBC iPlayer.

There are apps for both iOS and Android as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS.

IPVanish is popular with Kodi users because it allows them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is also remote control friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.

IPVanish speed test data

No valueIPVanish
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)685 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)314 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)466 Mbps


  • Provides a secure, encrypted connection on all apps
  • Impressive streaming speeds
  • Offers 24/7 live chat
  • Use any number of devices


  • Customer support is a little slow
  • Apps don’t work in China

Our score:

4 out of 5

SECURE EVERY DEVICE:IPVanish has a large network of servers. Great for families and multiple connections. Reasonable speeds for streaming. Solid security and privacy. Works well with Kodi but look elsewhere if you want to unblock Netflix. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of IPVanish.

IPVanish Coupon
SAVE 73% on the two-year plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

6. VyprVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

VyprVPN rounds out our list because it’s a favorite with people who prefer navigating the web with some of the toughest encryption protocols out there. There’s a large network of servers, an initial free trial, and excellent speeds.

VyprVPN’s proprietary tech uses the OpenVPN protocol by default, 256-bit AES encryption, 2,048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. There’s also an option of upgrading to a premium version – this allows access to the Chameleon ™ protocol, which scrambles OpenVPN metadata so deep packet inspection cannot recognize it. An internet kill switch is included with all packages.

All this focus on building a top-tier software stack has paid off. VyprVPN is one of the few companies that’s able to bypass China’s Great Firewall. This means it’s able to outmuscle thousands of state-appointed engineers who work around the clock to ensure content remains blocked in the country. That’s impressive.

The company also owns and manages entire data centers – as opposed to other services that deploy a hybrid combination of renting and outsourcing servers. The policy means it’s in total control of all web traffic – helping it guard against attacks and ensuring minimal downtime.

But there is a slight downside. VyprVPN does choose to retain data – specifically “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time, and total number of bytes used.” Some people might not like that.

The company does say that all such data is only kept on servers for 30 days and is used for improving service quality. There’s no way of determining exact details of web traffic.

There are over 700 servers spread across the world but no options for South Africa just yet.

Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS. Premium subscribers can connect up to five devices at a time.

VyprVPN can unlock content on US Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

VyprVPN speed test data

No valueVyprVPN
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)41 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)44.3 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)47.3 Mbps


  • Speeds are mainly fast and stable
  • Keeps no identifying logs
  • Servers can unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer


  • Other providers have more options for advanced configuration
  • Not the cheapest option here
  • No cryptocurrency payment method.

Our score:

4 out of 5

INDEPENDENT NETWORK:VyprVPN is a good all-rounder that own all their servers resulting in a fast and secure service. Good marks for privacy and does well with streaming services but there are cheaper options in this list. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of VyprVPN.

VyprVPN Coupon
SAVE 44% on the annual plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

Can I use a free VPN for South Africa?

People who don’t think VPNs are worth the money might opt for a free VPN service. But it’s better to know the full truth before embarking on an option you might regret later.

The fact is that several free VPN and proxy providers have been caught mining and selling user data (more about this in the next section). An additional point to consider is that there will definitely be download caps, bandwidth throttling, and an extremely poor selection of servers. Such services aren’t out there to zealously guard your privacy either, so don’t expect world-class standards.

Free VPN companies have to monetize too. You’ll definitely be bombarded with invasive advertisements and migraine-inducing popup windows. This means you’re the product now. Our recommendation is to stay safe on the internet and cough up a few dollars each month – otherwise, you might just incur thousands of dollars in losses if your device contracts a malware infection or your data is exposed.

One VPN to avoid in South Africa

One of the principal caveats of opting to use a VPN to browse the web is an implicit understanding that the service will do all it takes to protect your privacy and anonymity. After all, that’s why they were designed in the first place. The recommended VPNs in this list have no documented cases of handing over customer data but there are a few that don’t value this commitment as much. We recommend you avoid them. Here’s such a case:


Israel-based Hola once had a gigantic user base of almost 50 million – with people attracted to its free proxy extension for the Chrome browser. Unfortunately, it chose to leverage this for illegal activities and turned it into a huge botnet army.

Hola users saw a part of their bandwidth bifurcated for attacks on other websites, distribution of pornography, and other notorious online activities. And it all happened without their consent. We firmly believe it’s best if you avoid Hola or uninstall it if already downloaded.

How do I use a VPN in South Africa?

Access US Netflix and other services from home

In this section, we’ll take you through two examples of how to use your VPN. Follow these steps if you’re a foreign expatriate and would like to obtain a non-South African IP address while physically located in the country. These steps also work to protect your online anonymity and security, simply select any server location and your data will be secure.

Here’s how to unblock streaming services in South Africa:

  1. Browse through our recommended list of VPN services and decide on a plan that works for you. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Register and pay for the service
  3. Once that’s done, download the companion apps (for your phone) or software (for PC or MacOS)
  4. Clear your cookies and cache in all web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) to remove old location identifiers
  5. Restart your device
  6. Open the VPN companion software and log in
  7. Select a server from the country you’re trying to obtain an IP address – such as the US or Great Britain
  8. Allow a few seconds for the connection to be established. Once that’s done there should be a green notification icon in the taskbar
  9. Browse the web like you normally would.

You’ll notice that the host websites will assume your location is in the country you’re currently connected to. This will open up things like streaming media content and local online banking services, including DST and Netflix US.

Access South African TV, sites and apps from abroad

Another way you can use your VPN is for South African residents that are traveling abroad and need a local South African IP address. A VPN could be for streaming content, accessing online banking, or finding cheaper airline deals.

Here’s how to unblock South African websites from abroad:

  1. Browse through our recommendations and settle for an option that has servers in South Africa
  2. Register and pay for the VPN- select either a monthly or annual plan depending on how frequently you’d like to use a VPN
  3. Once that’s done, get the apps for your phone or computer from the VPN download page
  4. Clear your cookies in all web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) to remove old location identifiers
  5. Restart your device
  6. Open the VPN companion software and log in
  7. Select a server in South Africa and click connect
  8. Allow a few seconds for the connection to be established. Once that’s done there should be a green notification icon in the taskbar
  9. Browse the web like you normally would

Finding the best VPNs for South Africa: our methodology

We know that browsing the web from South Africa comes with some challenges. For starters, you’ll come across geo-blocked websites and services. Second, you may have some concerns about government surveillance. This means that you need a versatile VPN that offers not only strong performance but comprehensive privacy protection. Below, we outline the methodology we used for finding the best VPNs for South Africa:

  • Unblocking: Thankfully, there’s little in the way of online censorship in South Africa. However, like other countries, you will come across region-locked websites. For this reason, it’s important to have a VPN with strong unblocking ability. This includes being able to unblock streaming services such as Netflix (many VPNs fail to do this).
  • Speed: It may be that you’re experiencing slow speeds due to ISP throttling. If this is the case, you may find that a VPN actually improves your connection. That’s because aside from offering high-speed servers, the best VPNs include unlimited bandwidth so you can stream and torrent as much as you like without restriction.
  • Network size: The size of a VPN’s network is important. The more countries it has servers in, the more content you can access! All of the VPNs listed have servers in dozens of countries including the US, UK, and Australia. Most have thousands of servers which means a low number of users on each for improved performance.
  • Security: Security threats are everywhere, regardless of location. A VPN encrypts your data, securing it from hackers. The best VPNs for South Africa are adding to their security features over time. Some now even offer Double VPN servers which offer an extra layer of encryption. Others even include password managers.
  • Privacy: According to the Freedom on the Net 2020 report for South Africa by Freedom House, there are some concerns over “potentially unchecked government surveillance”. We’ve analyzed VPN logging policies to find those that truly don’t keep identifying logs so you can browse the web anonymously.
  • Ease of use: We only recommend VPNs that are beginner-friendly. This means it should provide easy-to-use apps for desktop and mobile platforms. You should be able to connect to a server or adjust your settings in seconds. Furthermore, live chat and email support should be available to you 24 hours a day.
  • Value for money: With so many VPNs on the market, you just don’t need to spend significantly. While there are other VPNs that tick some of the boxes above, some are simply too expensive. We’ve looked for those that we feel are priced fairly. Further, we’ve also included VPN discount coupons to help you save even more.

Of course, all of the above is just a small part of our comprehensive VPN testing methodology. We fully test each VPN for ourselves so we can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information available. That way, you’re more likely to find the VPN that best fits your needs, be it for streaming or security reasons.

VPNs for South Africa FAQ

Are VPN services legal in South Africa?

There are no laws against using a VPN in South Africa, and although the country’s internet is currently considered free by Freedom House, more privacy is never a bad thing. As you’ll be more reliant on public wifi networks when traveling, it’s a good idea to use a VPN whenever possible. This is especially important if you plan to visit nearby countries too, since some, like Zimbabwe, take a much dimmer view of people who post dissenting material online. 

Can I access South African online banks with a VPN?

Online banking services almost always encrypt your traffic by default, but if you have the option to secure it even further, why wouldn’t you take it? VPNs are extremely useful in this regard, and doubly so if you’re predominantly using free wifi networks since these are often far less secure than they should be. 

You shouldn’t have any issues attempting to log into your Standard Bank, FirstRand, or Absa accounts while using a VPN. In fact, doing so may even help you avoid automated security systems that would otherwise lock you out for trying to log in from abroad. 

Are WiFi hotspots safe to use in South Africa?

Public hotspots are generally safe enough for general browsing but we’d advise against using them for anything important like banking. The reason for this is twofold: first, there’s no telling who could be monitoring your activities or what they do with the resulting information. 

Second, public networks are rarely well-secured, and as such, are prone to attack. A knowledgeable attacker could spoof a hotspot, steal your personal information (including passwords), and leave within a few minutes and you’d be none the wiser. 

I live in South Africa, what is the best mobile app?

There are many mobile-friendly VPN apps for both Android and iOS. Of course, it’s highly subjective as to which is the best mobile app. From our experience of using many different high-quality VPNs, we’ve found the best mobile app to be that of NordVPN. It’s quick and easy to navigate and offers access to a network of nearly 5,500 servers, over 50 which are located in South Africa.

Will a VPN change my IP address to a local South Africa IP address?

If a VPN has servers in South Africa, you’ll be able to change your IP address to a local South Africa IP address. Once connected, you can use your IP address for South Africa to unblock websites and services from South Africa, even if you’re located abroad. NordVPN is the best VPN for South Africa and offers over 50 servers in South Africa. However, Surfshark and ExpressVPN are two high-quality alternatives.