Geo-blocking is nothing new, and there are plenty of good reasons as to why it’s so common (usually international licensing agreements). However, it can be frustrating to arrive in a foreign country and realize that the only content available to you is in a language you don’t speak. If you’re trying to watch DStv online from abroad you may have already found this to be the case. Luckily, it’s easy to get around regional content restrictions and watch DStv online using a VPN.
So how does this all work exactly? Well, most region-locked services check the user’s IP address to make sure they’re in a supported country. VPNs can send your data through servers in other locations, though, which changes your IP address and makes it seem like you’re elsewhere in the world. For example, if you were to connect to an American server, any geo-restricted services would conclude that you were in the US.
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Short on time? Below, you’ll find a quick guide to the best VPNs for unblocking DStv Now. If any catch your eye, just scroll down for a more detailed review of each.
Best VPNs for streaming DStv:
- NordVPN: Our top VPN for anyone looking to watch DStv channels abroad. Extremely high speeds, top-notch security features, and great unblocking ability. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: The best low-cost VPN for live streaming DStv. Boasts solid speeds, an impressive security offering, and the ability to secure all of your devices at once.
- ExpressVPN: A veteran provider with a reputation for unblocking tricky streaming services. Consistent, reliable speeds and plenty of powerful privacy features built-in.
- CyberGhost: A novice-friendly service that provides fast speeds and unblocks DStv with ease. All of its security features come pre-configured.
- IPVanish: This no-logs VPN lets you connect as many devices as you like. It’s fast enough for flawless live streaming and has half a dozen South African servers to choose from.
- PrivateVPN: A speedy, security-first service that can unblock all but the most stubborn streaming services. Works with Netflix, DStv, and more. Six-connection limit.
- Hotspot Shield: Provides steady speeds and strong unblocking ability. Works great with DStv and similar services. Takes your security seriously.
Deciding which VPN to use doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, despite what the marketing material would have you believe, the best VPNs tend to be the ones that can handle everything reasonably well, not the services that are the best at one particular thing. That’s why we decided to only recommend VPNs that met all of the criteria below:
- Has a large network, ideally with servers in multiple DStv-supported countries
- Provides stable connections and speeds that are high enough for live streaming
- Unblocks DStv and other popular streaming services
- Keeps you safe using cutting-edge security features
- Doesn’t log any data that could identify you
- Comes with apps for all of the most popular operating systems
Best VPN for watching DStv abroad
Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of the best VPNs for unblocking DStv abroad:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is an excellent choice for anyone looking to stream DStv abroad. It has more than 5,500 servers in 59 countries, including South Africa, which means you’ll also be able to access popular platforms like Netflix US and Amazon Prime Video. Further, this is by far the fastest service we’ve tested, which means you won’t have to worry about lag or buffering. Users can connect up to six devices at any one time.
When it comes to security, NordVPN is one of the best. It keeps you safe from snoopers with a combination of DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and a kill switch. Ads and malware are blocked automatically, and for even greater privacy, you can connect to special obfuscated servers. These even work in places like China, so you’re all but guaranteed safe browsing. NordVPN doesn’t keep any logs and offers 24/7 support via live chat.
NordVPN provides easy to use apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux systems. Further, it can be manually configured for use with supported routers.
- Faster than any other VPN we’ve tested
- Unblocks the majority of streaming services with ease
- Major emphasis on security and privacy
- No-logs policy
- 24/7 live chat support available
- Desktop app takes some getting used to
BEST VPN FOR DSTV:NordVPN is our first choice for DStv.It’s the fastest VPN on the market right now, and comes packed with powerful security features. There’s also a no-logs policy and a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can try it completely risk-free.
Interested? For more information, check out our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark offers access to around 3,200 servers in 65 countries (South Africa and Nigeria included). Needless to say, this makes it a solid choice for streaming. It gets better: this VPN provides generally high speeds and doesn’t limit the number of devices you can connect at once. As well as DSTV, Surfshark is able to unblock services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.
This service’s security features are top-notch and include 256-bit AES encryption, a customizable kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. Further, it offers a toggleable NoBorders mode capable of bypassing especially strict online blocking. Surfshark is a zero-logs provider so it can’t reveal details of your activities under any circumstances. Users can pay with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple for another layer of anonymity. Live chat is available around the clock in case of any problems.
Surfshark offers clean, uncluttered Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and MacOS apps. Alternatively, you can manually install it on select wireless routers.
- Decent speeds and no bandwidth limits
- Fast enough for streaming live TV without any issues
- Puts your security and privacy first
- No limit on number of devices connected
- Some servers are slower than others
- Only has servers in two African countries
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is an inexpensive provider but it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to stream DStv abroad. Steady speeds, strong security and privacy protections, plus the ability to secure every device you own. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also included.
Read our complete Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is a strong performer with more than 3,000 servers in South Africa and 93 other countries. This VPN is more than fast enough for live streaming DStv. You shouldn’t run into any issues when watching Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, even in 4K. With a five-connection limit and no bandwidth throttling, this service allows you to stream as much as you like, wherever you are.
There are all kinds of security features built-in, like 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks. You can also choose to block local connections or let certain apps bypass the VPN (for instance, so you can use local streaming services as well as DStv without having to disconnect). Importantly, ExpressVPN doesn’t log any data that could be used to identify you. If you run into any issues, you can reach support staff over live chat at any time of day.
ExpressVPN apps are available for MacOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android. This service also offers custom router firmware that makes it easier to secure your whole network.
- Fast enough to play HD video without buffering
- Works with DStv, SuperSport, and more
- Great security and privacy credentials
- Pay anonymously with Bitcoin
- Slightly higher cost than others
- Could offer more control over advanced functionality
HIGHLY VERSATILE:ExpressVPN blends speed, security, and unblocking ability to create an extremely well-balanced service that can handle almost any task. With impressive unblocking capabilities and a 30-day money-back guarantee, it’s well worthy of your consideration.
Take a look at our in-depth ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has dozens of servers spread across Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, and more than 6,600 overall in 90 countries. This novice-friendly service provides consistently high speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and clearly-labeled servers that tell you which streaming services they unblock. This makes it as easy as possible to access not just DStv, but other major platforms like Netflix US, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer from abroad.
This VPN uses 256-bit encryption, an always-on kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks to keep your activities hidden at all times. It also blocks ads, malware, and trackers automatically and refuses to log any personally identifiable data. Better still, all of these features come enabled by default, meaning there’s no need to configure anything; you’re protected from the moment you connect. In the unlikely event of any problems, you can reach support 24/7 via email or live chat.
CyberGhost offers user-friendly iOS, MacOS, Windows, Android, and Linux apps. What’s more, some network routers are supported via manual configuration.
- Consistently high speeds
- Plenty of fast South African servers
- Strong unblocking capabilities
- Scores highly in terms of security and privacy
- Less suitable for power users
- Doesn’t work in China or the UAE
SPEEDY AND SECURE:CyberGhost is easy to use and doesn’t skimp on server choice, speed, or security. This makes it ideal for streaming DStv abroad, torrenting, or even just browsing privately as you travel. What’s more, it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
For more details, read our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish has around 1,600 servers in 60+ countries worldwide, including about a dozen in South Africa and Nigeria. Thanks to this service’s high speeds, users can watch their favorite shows in the highest possible quality, free from lag and buffering. It’s not just DStv, either: this service works with platforms like Netflix US and Hulu too. Best of all, IPVanish has no connection limit, making it ideal for those looking to protect lots of devices at once.
This is one service that doesn’t compromise on security. User traffic is hidden with 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch, but you can also choose to block LAN traffic entirely or scramble your data (which helps hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all). IPVanish is a zero-logs provider and as such, can’t divulge details of your activities to anyone, ever. 24/7 support is available over live chat and email.
IPVanish comes with apps for Windows, Android, MacOS, and iOS devices. You can also manually configure it for use with Linux systems and supported routers if you’d prefer.
- Fast and reliable connections
- Offers a no-logs policy and a wide range of powerful security features
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Struggles to unblock some major streaming services
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
STREAM WITHOUT LIMITS:IPVanish has no issues unblocking DStv, plus its high speeds mean you can watch in the highest possible quality. Keeps no logs, offers plenty of security features and has no connection limits. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out the full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN doesn’t have as large a network as its rivals (around 150 servers in 60 countries), but it does offer some of the fastest South African servers on the market. Further, it has fantastic unblocking ability and works with plenty of major services like DStv, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video to name a few. These features make it ideal for torrenting and live streaming, plus with a six-connection limit, you can protect all of your favorite devices at once.
This VPN boasts effectively uncrackable 256-bit encryption, as well as a customizable kill switch and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Looking for a little more privacy? There’s also a no-logs policy and a stealth mode capable of bypassing especially strict online censorship. Customer support isn’t quite available 24/7 but it does operate most hours of the day and boasts some of the fastest email response times we’ve seen.
PrivateVPN apps are available for Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Select internet routers are supported via manual configuration.
- Exceptionally high speeds
- Gaining reputation for their growing list of sites they unblock
- Strong security and privacy protection features
- Small number of servers to choose from
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
ZERO LOGS KEPT:PrivateVPN is an extremely fast service that unblocks DStv, Netflix, and similar platforms without breaking a sweat. Has a strong security focus and keeps no logs at all. Best of all, this provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more in our comprehensive PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield offers access to around 1,800 servers in over 80 countries including South Africa and Kenya. With unlimited bandwidth and consistently high speeds, not to mention strong unblocking ability, this VPN is a great choice for streaming DStv from abroad. In fact, it also works with services like Netflix, ITV Hub, and SuperSport, so you’ll always have something to watch.
There’s no need to worry about privacy, either. Hotspot Shield uses 256-bit AES encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch to keep your traffic secure. It can also be configured to connect automatically whenever you use a public wifi network. Finally, this VPN deletes any personally identifiable data once your session ends, making you effectively untraceable. If you need help, you can get in touch 24/7 via email or live chat.
Hotspot Shield has apps for iOS, Windows, MacOS, Android, and Linux. It can also be manually installed on supported network routers.
- Provides reliable, high-speed connections
- Unblocks major streaming services
- Good range of security settings
- Users can’t sign up anonymously
- Some past privacy concerns
WATCH DSTV ANYWHERE:Hotspot Shield makes it easy to watch DStv abroad. It boasts a solid set of security features too, allowing you to stream safely, wherever you are. Provides impressive speeds, great unblocking abilities, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full Hotspot Shield review.
DStv VPN testing methodology
There are many consumer-facing VPNs on the market and they are not all of an equal caliber. To ensure we recommend the very best VPNs, we test market leading services using a scientific VPN testing methodology.
We check VPN apps for important security and privacy features, and we test that those apps behave as they should to protect your data and web browsing habits against snoops. This includes performing important IP and DNS leak tests, for example.
For added transparency, we have included a list of important features we searched for when recommending the best VPNs for DStv:
- Fast servers: We check that the VPN has a wide choice of fast servers capable of streaming in HD, torrenting, video conferencing, and doing other data intensive tasks. We also check that the VPN has servers in South Africa that work to stream DStv. Finally, we test the VPN to see if it works with other popular international services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.
- Apps for all platforms: A useful VPN has apps for all popular platforms to let you stream DStv on any device you own. We have recommended services that have VPN apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Firesticks, and routers. Some services even have browser extensions for added ease of use.
- Strong security features: A reliable VPN must provide secure VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. These implement high levels of security, including robust AES encryption, and perfect forward secrecy. Our recommendations also provide a kill-switch to ensure you never leak data outside of the encrypted tunnel; and DNS leak protection to ensure your ISP is never privy to the URLs you visit.
- Outstanding customer care: All of our recommended providers have both live chat and email support to allow you to ask questions and get help with using the VPN. These market-leading VPNs also provide guides, FAQs, and other resources on their website to help you with installing or using the VPN to gain freedom of access.
- Advanced features: Many VPNs provide only a basic feature set. We search for services that offer as many advanced features as possible at the best possible cost. Our recommendations include features like obfuscation, split tunneling, P2P optimized servers, malware protection, ad blocking, Smart DNS, and a SOCKS5 proxy.
How to unblock DStv outside of Africa with a VPN
There’s no need to worry; VPNs are much more simple to use than you might think. In fact, you can unblock DStv in a matter of minutes. Below is a quick guide to streaming DStv abroad.
Here’s how to watch DStv online from anywhere:
- First, sign up for one of the VPNs above (we recommend NordVPN).
- Now, download and install the app onto whichever device you plan to use for streaming.
- Log in and connect to a server in a country where DStv operates. Most Sub-Saharan countries should work, but if you’re in any doubt, use a South African server.
- Visit the DStv website and log in. You should be able to start streaming without any errors or loading issues. If not, clear your cookies and try again. If problems persist, get in touch with your VPN’s support team for further advice.
TRY IT FREE: Haven’t decided on which VPN to use just yet? In the meantime, why not take advantage of NordVPN’s risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee? While you will have to pay upfront, you can use the service without any restrictions for almost a month. If it’s not right for you, just cancel to claim a full refund, no questions asked.
Streaming DStv abroad: your frequently asked questions
Can I live stream DStv Now with a free VPN?
We don’t recommend streaming DStv Now with a free VPN, for a few reasons. First, these services tend to be very slow, which causes long pauses while the video buffers. You may even be forced to watch in standard definition (or lower). Additionally, free services tend to focus their networks in high-traffic countries like the US, and if there are any African servers, they’re usually an afterthought. It’s highly unlikely that these will be able to unblock DStv, and even if they can, your connection will almost certainly drop at some point due to the number of like-minded travelers who are also trying to watch.
Free VPNs come with their share of security concerns too. For instance, many fail to even encrypt your traffic, which means they provide no privacy benefits whatsoever. Further, many malicious third parties have taken to disguising their malware as free VPNs, so there’s a chance that your bid to improve your online security actually does the opposite. Finally, while paid services will let you know exactly what information they log and how it is handled, there are no such guarantees from free services. For these reasons, we advise sticking with reputable, privacy-first VPNs instead of using a service simply because it’s free.
Is it possible to sign up for DStv from abroad?
At the moment, you need to live in a country where DStv services are available in order to sign up. This is because after registration, the company’s engineers have to physically install equipment in your home. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any standalone streaming service, which means there’s no way to watch DStv online without cable.
That said, once you’ve signed up and connected to a VPN, there’s nothing stopping you from accessing DStv Now (the provider's online service) while traveling abroad.
What channels can I watch on DStv?
Once signed in, you can stream dozens of DStv channels online. In fact, there’s such a wide variety of content that something’s sure to grab you, whatever mood you’re in. Here are some of the most popular TV channels you can watch on DStv:
- AfricaMagic Family
- KykNET Nou!
- Newzroom Afrika
Will DStv ban me for using a VPN?
Although DStv tries its best to detect VPN traffic, it won’t actually punish you if it finds out that you’re using one. Technically, doing so is against the terms of service if you’re outside of a supported country, but the chances of anything happening are vanishingly small. In fact, the worst that is likely to happen is you’ll see an error (either “Sorry, DStv Now isn’t available in your region” or “Sorry, we’re unable to play this video right now”).
The reason for this is simple: VPNs are legitimate privacy tools that are used by millions of people every day. If streaming services banned everyone who inadvertently left their VPN active before trying to watch something, they’d have no customers left.
How do I download DStv Now outside of South Africa?
If you want to download the DStv Now app outside of South Africa you can do so by visiting the Google Play Store or Apple app store. Although DStv Now is only available to stream in South Africa, the app itself is available elsewhere. This means that you can download the DStv app from anywhere.
The DStv Now app will not work for streaming on your account unless you are in South Africa. Thus, if you are outside of the country on vacation, you will need to connect to a VPN server in South Africa to bypass its regional restrictions and stream videos.
How do I watch DSTV Now on PS4, Xbox, or Android TV?
Unfortunately, DStv does not currently have an app for the PS4. This means that you will need to navigate to the DStv website in the PS4’s browser, This should allow you to sign into your DStv account and stream.
Fortunately, you can stream DStv on an Xbox One device and an Android TV using a standalone app. To do so, simply search for DStv in the device’s app store and install it. Following that you will be able to stream on the device.
Due to the fact that DStv is only available in South Africa, you will need to connect your device to a VPN server if you are outside of the country. If your Android TV allows yu to install the VPN app directly, you can simply search for the VPN ap in the Google Play store.
How does Netflix South Africa compare to DStv Now?
Netflix South Africa is exclusively a streaming service, whereas DStv is available either as a satellite TV package (via a decoder set top box) or as a streaming service that is accessible online.
DStv Now provides access to a large cross-section of live TV channels and catch-up TV on-demand. Some of the most popular channels available on DStv Now include Telemundo, Blackbelt TV, BBC Brit, TLC Entertainment, Discovery, Comedy Central, Sony Max, ESPN and Super Sport. Content ranges from movies and tv shows, children's channels, music channels like MTV, news channels, and specialist foreign channels as well.
Unlike Netflix, which only has one catalog of titles in each region, DStv offers a number of different subscription plans. These plans provide varying channels and content depending on the customer’s entertainment needs. We have listed the plans available below:
- Premium. 160 channels.
- Compact Plus. 145 channels.
- Compact. 130 channels.
- Family. 75 channels.
- Access. 66 channels.
- Easy View. 25 channels.
Like Netflix South Africa, DStv provides access to many TV shows and movies that can be streamed on demand, as well as its live TV channels. However, it is worth noting that while you will be able to stream recent episodes of shows to catch-up, you may not be able to watch the entire series as is possible on Netflix.
Finally, it is worth noting that a premium subscription to DStv will cost around $50 per month, which is considerably more costly than a subscription to Netflix which starts at just $7.99 for a basic plan for one user.