Best VPN South Africa

Have you ever been frustrated by being unable to access your favorite shows from home while visiting South Africa? Or have you ever been concerned about lurking threats jeopardizing your online safety? We get it, and we’ve been there. Drawing from extensive research and hands-on testing, we have unraveled the best VPNs for South Africa.

With robust encryption, these VPNs shield your online activities and open the gateway to global streaming content, making you feel right at home.

Let’s dive in for an expert look at leveraging your VPN in South Africa. For those in a hurry, we will get straight to the point with our curated list of the top VPNs for the country. 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 South Africa! Very fast provider with a huge server network. Zero logs and impeccable security. 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for South Africa.
  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.
  4. CyberGhost: A cheaper alternative with great security, fast speeds, and no logs. Makes it easy to unblock sites in South Africa.
  5. IPVanish: No-logs service with a lot of servers and the option to change your IP address at specific time intervals.
  6. Private Internet Access: Boasts strong security and fast speeds, servers in over 91 countries, including SA, and also supports WireGuard.
  7. PureVPN: Zero-logs VPN boasting exceptional performance and 24/7 customer support. No issues with popular South African streaming services.
  8. ProtonVPN: A great option for everyday usage in South Africa or anywhere else. Fast, privacy-conscious, and highly-customizable.

WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?

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.

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 and local residents traveling abroad. A South Africa VPN allows you to access online content such as DST, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, BeIN Sports, MTN, Sky Go, and Super Sports.

The best VPNs for South Africa – Our hands-on review

We’ve compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for South Africa.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostIPVanishPrivate Internet AccessPureVPNProton VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.comPrivateInternetAccess.comPureVPN.comprotonvpn.com
Ranking for South Africa:12345678
Streaming ServicesNetflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Disney+
Netflix
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Disney+
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps400 Mbps100+ Mbps
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%85%85%70%80%87%
Simultaneous Connections10Unlimited87UnlimitedUnlimited10Free: 1, VPN Plus: 10
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!
$1.99
SAVE 85% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan
$2.11
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
$3.59
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan

Criteria for the best South African VPNs

Our ranking of the best VPNs for South Africa is based on our extensive research and the following factors:

  • Fast speed for streaming, downloading, and browsing
  • Strong security and a strict no-logs policy
  • 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 expats living in SA
  • Good value for money and a money-back guarantee
  • Responsive customer service available via live chat

The best VPNs for South Africa

Here’s our list summary of the best VPNs for South Africa:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jun 2024

Apps Available:

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

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

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 6,000+ servers in 111+ countries – with options to connect depending on your specific requirements – 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 10 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
WebsiteNordVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)354 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)262 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)284 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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. Accesses Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. A great choice for security and privacy. Use up to 10 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
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark currently operates around 3,200 servers in 100+ 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
WebsiteSurfshark.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)521 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)702 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)561 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Some servers are faster than others
  • Some features need an additional Surfshark One subscription

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
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is one of the best all-around VPNs out there. Not only does it offer fast speeds, but it also 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 105+ 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
WebsiteExpressVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)319 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)303 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)278 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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% + 3 months free
Get Deal >
Coupon applied automatically

4. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

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 a 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 11,500+ servers online. They’re spread across 100+ countries, including South Africa. This makes CyberGhost’s server network the largest on the market.

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
WebsiteCyberghost.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)449 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)269 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)167 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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 2 year plan + 2 months free!
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

5. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

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 worldwide and don’t compromise on any aspects of the web experience. Currently, there’s an option to connect to over 2,200, including multiple 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
WebsiteIPVanish.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)277 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)237 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)352 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$1.99
SAVE 85% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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 access Netflix. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of IPVanish.

IPVanish Coupon
SAVE 85% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

6. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Apps Available:

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a reliable no-logs provider that offers good speeds and robust security. As its name implies, the company strives to protect user privacy with extra measures like IP address masking, port forwarding, DNS leak protection, SOCKS5 proxy server connections, and more.

It’s not as powerful as ExpressVPN in unblocking content abroad, but it still works well with BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, and other popular streaming services. It can also access geo-restricted content from networks like Netflix US and HBO Max.

It has servers in South Africa that produce some excellent speeds. The overall number of PIA servers globally totals over 35,000+, which means you can access content from almost any corner of the world.

It also provides apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Chrome and Firefox extensions. And if you’re using Kodi or Firestick devices, there are dedicated versions for those as well. Support is on hand day and night via a chat facility. You can try PIA for 30 days risk-free thanks to its money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Can connect an unlimited number of devices at the same time
  • Tweak encryption for faster speeds
  • Doesn’t collect logs
  • Apps available on desktop and mobile

Cons:

  • Struggles with some streaming services
  • Based in a Five Eyes Alliance Country

Our score:

4 out of 5

SUPPORTS WIREGUARD:Private Internet Access includes an unlimited simultaneous device limit, a network kill switch, and operates over 35,000 servers globally.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

Private Internet Access Coupon
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

7. PureVPN

PureVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PureVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS

PureVPN users in South Africa can get a secure, reliable connection using any of the nearby servers in Johannesburg or any of the other 65+ supported countries. This VPN has what it takes to torrent anonymously and access your usual Netflix library during a short trip abroad. Better still, it’s absurdly fast; our team recently noted average download speeds approaching 400 Mbps. Up to 10 devices can be connected simultaneously and support staff are available around the clock over live chat (though they sometimes take a few minutes to respond).

One of the best things about this service is that it makes staying safe as simple as possible. A kill switch and DNS and IPv6 leak protection are enabled by default, and PureVPN only uses industry-approved encryption (256-bit AES on OpenVPN and ChaCha20 on WireGuard). PureVPN doesn’t log any data that could identify you, something proven by multiple independent audits. It even offers automatic obfuscation, which helps you maintain your anonymity while in countries with strict digital censorship.

PureVPN offers apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Its website provides detailed instructions for installing this service on dozens of different routers.

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Faster than many of its better-known rivals
  • Can access a huge number of region-locked services

Cons:

  • Tracker-blocking is not included as standard
  • Support response times could be improved

Our score:

4 out of 5

ONLINE SECURITY ANYWHERE:PureVPN is a beginner-friendly provider with quick and reliable servers in South Africa. It doesn’t compromise where privacy is concerned and includes a 31-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PureVPN review.

PureVPN Coupon
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

8. ProtonVPN

Proton VPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN has a limited free plan so if you just want to browse safely while on vacation, you won’t even have to pay anything. Upgrading does come with several benefits though. For instance, you’ll be able to access 4,851+ servers in 91+ countries, use geo-restricted streaming platforms, protect up to 10 devices at a time, and speak directly to support staff if anything goes wrong. Additionally, the speed limiter will be removed. That’s a huge deal considering ProtonVPN averaged over 330 Mbps in our latest round of testing.

Your online activities are kept private thanks to this VPN’s uncrackable encryption. There’s also a kill switch, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and automatic tracker-blocking. Some servers are even kept in underground data centers to limit the risk of outside interference. Crucially, ProtonVPN follows a strict no-logging policy, and we know this for sure because it has been independently audited. Users can also take advantage of split tunneling functionality, and set up port forwarding (though this feature is only available on Windows at the time of writing).

ProtonVPN has its own apps for MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux. it can also be installed directly on most routers, though you’ll have to follow manual setup instructions.

Pros:

  • A strong choice for streaming, torrenting, or using public wifi safely
  • Impressive set of security features
  • Accepts Bitcoin and offers a free plan that may be enough for some people

Cons:

  • May be slightly too complex for complete beginners
  • Secure Core servers are noticeably slower than general-purpose ones

Our score:

4 out of 5

BROWSE ANONYMOUSLY:ProtonVPN puts your privacy first and delivers speeds many of its competitors can only dream of. With an expansive network and a proven no-logs policy, it’s perfectly suited to anyone living in South Africa.

Read our ProtonVPN review.

ProtonVPN Coupon
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan
Get Deal >
Coupon applied automatically

Finding the best VPNs for South Africa: our methodology

We know that browsing the web from South Africa comes with some challenges. 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 access streaming services such as Netflix (many VPNs fail to do this).
  • Speed: You may be 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, meaning fewer users are 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 beginner-friendly VPNs. This means they 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 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.
  • Apps and devices: We look for VPNs that work across a number of different platforms and devices. This could be a dedicated app on Android, iPhone, Mac, or PC, or support for routers and gaming consoles. We expect to see VPN software that can be used across several devices, allowing users to maximize simultaneous connections.

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.

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.

Several free VPN and proxy providers have been caught mining and selling user data (more about this in the next section). Another point to consider is that there will 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 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 for 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 on this list have no documented cases of handing over customer data, but a few don’t value this commitment as much. We recommend you avoid them. Here’s such a case:

HolaVPN

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.

Will Smart DNS change my location to South Africa?

There are a few things to consider when answering this question. The first is that Smart DNS does not encrypt your traffic the way a VPN does, so your location could potentially be discovered by someone looking closely at your traffic. The second thing to consider is that not all Smart DNS services work with South African broadcasters.

If you’re looking for a way to change your location to South Africa, then I would recommend using a VPN service instead of Smart DNS. A VPN will encrypt your traffic and ensure that your location remains hidden, and there are many VPN services that have servers in South Africa.

How do I use a VPN in South Africa?

Access US Netflix and other services from home

In this section, we’ll provide 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 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 who 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.

VPNs for South Africa FAQs

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.

Will my ISP know if I’m using a VPN in South Africa?

Your ISP will have an idea you’re using a VPN in South Africa. Indeed, this is the same for VPNs in all countries. The ISP will see that encrypted data is traveling to a remote server. It also sees some limited information such as the bandwidth being used as well as connection timestamps. However, it can’t see specific information regarding your internet activity, making it a great way for you to browse anonymously.

Will using a VPN in South Africa help to stop identity theft?

There are a number of ways in which identity thieves can get hold of your information. As such, using a VPN in South Africa can help reduce the risk of identity theft but can’t stop it outright. A VPN encrypts your data so it can’t be intercepted. Furthermore, your actual IP address is hidden, protecting your privacy. There’s still the usual risks of mail theft and caller ID spoofing but, at the very least, using a VPN in South Africa allows you to browse securely.

How do I use Showmax outside Africa?

You can watch Showmax online in dozens of countries worldwide. However, it’s not available in the US and Canada, for example. If you’re trying to use Showmax while traveling outside Africa, you’ll need a VPN. You should then connect to a server from your home country in order to change your IP address. Once connected, Showmax content should be unblocked and available to stream as normal (you may need to clear your cookies for it to work).

Will a VPN for South Africa impact my internet speed?

Using a VPN generally slows your connection to an extent. The reason for this is that your internet traffic is encrypted and re-routed to go through the VPN server. This is an extra step in the process and data has to travel further as a result. While a VPN for South Africa will impact your internet speed, the difference needn’t be noticeable

Some VPNs are faster than others, particularly those that use the WireGuard protocol. We also recommend that if you want the fastest possible speeds while in South Africa, you connect to a VPN server within the country. The closer the server to your physical location, the faster the speeds are likely to be because data doesn’t need to travel as far.

Can I watch South African Netflix with these VPNs?

The VPNs we have recommended in this guide all work with Netflix. However, we have only tested each VPN with the US and UK catalogs.

If you specifically want to watch the South African Netflix catalog, you can try connecting to a server in South Africa. This will give you a valid IP address in South Africa, which should let you watch your regular Netflix library.

In theory, this should let you watch any South African shows that aren’t available on Netflix abroad.

If for any reason, the Netflix catalog does not update, it is possible that you will need to connect to a server in another country. We recommend that you contact your VPN provider’s live chat support to find out which Netflix regions it is compatible with.

Our recommendations tend to work with a dozen different Netflix regions, but as far as we know, South Africa is not usually a priority region.