Cuba has never been known for unrestricted access to the internet. Indeed, it’s only fairly recently that citizens and visitors have had access to private wifi networks in the country. Making things more difficult is the fact that the government censors some content and blocks access to certain apps. In most cases, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help.
VPN software creates an encrypted tunnel that reroutes all the internet traffic going to and from your device via an intermediary server in a location of your choice. Because of the encryption, any snoopers can’t see where your traffic is going. As a bonus, host websites see that your traffic is coming from your chosen location, meaning you can unblock various geo-restricted streaming sites.
We go into detail on each provider below, but if you just want a quick look, here’s our list of the best VPNs for Cuba.
Best VPNs for Cuba:
- ExpressVPN: Our #1 choice for a Cuba VPN. ExpressVPN operates a vast network of high-speed servers and can unblock most restricted content. Connections are secure and private. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
- NordVPN: This budget veteran provider ticks all the boxes. It’s fast, private, and secure, and operates a huge server network.
- Surfshark: A solid VPN that offers lots of security extras and readily unblocks a ton of restricted content.
- CyberGhost: Another low-cost option, CyberGhost continually expands its network of servers. Its beginner-friendly apps are easy to install and use.
- IPVanish: This VPN offers fast and secure connections, and allows you to connect up to 10 devices at once.
- PrivateVPN: Great for unblocking popular streaming sites, PrivateVPN is a small yet powerful provider.
- Hotspot Shield: A fast, secure VPN that will help you bypass blocks.
There are a plethora of VPN services to choose from, but not all offer the same features and performance.
Our list of the best VPNs for Cuba is based on the following parameters:
- Has a wide network of servers across the world
- Unblocks geo-restricted streaming services
- Offers a fast and reliable product
- Uses rigid encryption parameters
- Doesn’t maintain web traffic logs
- Allows for multiple simultaneous connections
- Provides top-notch customer support
Best VPNs for Cuba
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for Cuba:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is at the top of our list due to hardy encryption standards, fast speeds, and a wide global network.
This provider offers more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. ExpressVPN easily unblocks many geo-restricted streaming media services, including US Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Its live chat service provides round-the-clock support.
ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption in conjunction with perfect forward secrecy to secure all web traffic. This is considered top-tier and is often referred to as ‘military-grade.’ An internet kill switch and leak protection ensure your information is always secure within the encrypted tunnel. ExpressVPN doesn’t store any identifying user data.
This provider offers user-friendly apps for Android and iOS, and desktop versions for Linux, Windows, and MacOS. A single subscription allows for five simultaneous connections.
- Operates a large network of servers
- Strong security and privacy
- Apps for all major operating systems
- Unblocks popular streaming services
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Slightly pricey compared to other providers
BEST VPN FOR CUBA:ExpressVPN is our first choice. It’s fast, reliable, and great at unblocking popular streaming services. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
Read our review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN has been in the VPN business for over a decade and has fostered a privacy-focused reputation along the way. It runs a network of more than 5,000 servers across the world, and boasts fast speeds and solid encryption.
NordVPN works with sites like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN, BBC iPlayer, Sky, Sling TV, and more. What’s more, users can select a server that’s optimized for specific tasks, such as streaming HD video. The company publishes guides on its site to help users easily access their favorite streaming sites.
NordVPN doesn’t store any user data and is an example of a completely logless provider. It uses 256-bit encryption so your data is secure at all times. Other security features include perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and leak protection.
Apps are available for Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, and MacOS. A basic plan allows for six devices to connect concurrently.
- Large network of servers
- Strong encryption and no logs
- Allows 6 simultaneous connections
- Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux and Android
- Desktop apps can be a bit clunky
and has no issues unblocking most streaming sites. It operates a huge network of servers that are fast and secure. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is proving itself to be a great all-rounder. It’s fast, reliable and comes with plenty of features to satisfy advanced users. This provider operates over 1,700 servers in 63 countries. It easily unblocks more than a dozen Netflix libraries as well as content from Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more.
Security is in the form or 256-bit encryption in conjunction with perfect forward secrecy. Leak protection and a kill switch ensure your personal data is never exposed. Extras include split tunneling, automatic wifi protection, and multihop VPN.
Apps are available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. A huge perk is that there is no limit to the number devices you can connect at a given time.
- Unlimited devices
- Great at unblocking
- Fast, secure connections
- No logs whatsoever
- Fewer servers than some rivals
NO CONNECTION LIMIT:Surfshark is fast and secure and doesn’t limit the number of devices you can connect at one time. Subscriptions include a 30-day refund policy.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is perfect for newbie users who want a plug-and-play solution that doesn’t break the bank. It operates a growing network of over 6,000 servers spread across 90 countries. CyberGhost does well from a streaming standpoint, and you can use it to unblock sites like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
CyberGhost guards your traffic with 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and leak protection. It doesn’t log any personally identifiable information. You’ll also find an ad blocker, anti-malware defense, and anti-tracking.
You can access the service on Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, or MacOS. A single subscription allows for seven devices to connect concurrently.
- Unblocks a host of geo-restricted content
- Keeps no user activity logs
- Provides strong encryption
- Power-users may miss some advanced configuration options
GREAT VALUE:CyberGhost has thousands of servers worldwide. It unblocks lots of streaming sites and boasts easy-to-use apps. This provider offers a 45-day money back guarantee.
Read our full user review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a popular choice for streaming and privacy due to its high speeds and top-tier encryption protocols. It currently offers more than 1,700 servers spread across around 60 countries.
IPVanish doesn’t log any personally identifiable information and chooses to operate its entire network of servers independently.
This provider is a favorite with torrenters and Kodi users for a few reasons. A significant perk is that it enables them to download the Android APK directly to their device. Secondly, the interface is remote control-friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse. It works with several streaming media sites including Netflix.
Military-grade encryption protocols ship as standard. Specifically, apps secure all connections with 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, and an internet kill switch.
A single account allows for 10 devices to connect at the same time. Apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS, and there’s 24/7 live chat for customer support.
- Great speeds
- Tight security
- No-logs provider
- Struggles with some streaming platforms
SOLID PRIVACY:IPVanish is preferred by Kodi users for its remote-friendly interface. It has strong security and privacy features as well as fast streaming speeds. IPVanish extends a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN focuses on quality over quantity. It operates a network of roughly 150 servers in 60 countries but offers an impressive service. You can expect fast speeds and excellent unblocking ability, enabling access to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
PrivateVPN doesn’t store any user data, has support for torrenting, and offers unlimited bandwidth for HD streaming. Users can choose between 128- and 256-bit encryption, and the service provides perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and leak protection.
A basic plan allows for six devices to connect simultaneously. This provider offers apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Strict no-logs policy
- Unblocks plenty of streaming sites
- Impressive speeds
- Fewer servers to choose from than rivals
- Doesn’t always have live chat
STRONG UNBLOCKER:PrivateVPN has fast servers and great unblocking ability, as well as many of the security features you get from larger providers. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our review of PrivateVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Hotspot Shield is another strong contender as a Cuba VPN. It has a network of more than than 3,000 servers in over 80 countries. With excellent speeds (thanks to its proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol) and the ability to access restrictive sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it’s a great choice for torrenting and streaming.
This provider offers plenty of security features including military-grade encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and leak protection. Extras include automatic wifi protection and split tunneling. Hotspot Shield doesn’t log any user-identifying data.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can connect up to five devices at a given time.
- Special protocol for fast speeds
- Excellent security
- 45-day refund policy
- Doesn’t accept bitcoin
- Customer service could be better
FAST AND SECURE:Hotspot Shield operates a large network of servers and boasts speedy, reliable connections. This provider offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our in-depth Hotspot Shield review.
How to use a VPN in Cuba
Does a VPN sound a bit complicated? Not to worry; getting started is quick and simple. Below are the basic steps.
Here’s how to use a VPN in Cuba:
- Choose a VPN provider and sign up. We recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN apps on the devices you use most often.
- Log in and connect to a server in the country of your choice. For example, if you simply want the fastest speeds, connect to server in a nearby country.
- Now you can browse the web securely and without censorship.
If you run into any issues, for example, geo-restricted content is still blocked, try clearing your cache and reloading the page. If you’re still having problems, you might need to contact your VPN customer support team for help.
Cuba VPN FAQs
⭐Should I use a free VPN in Cuba?
Free VPNs are a poor choice for most applications, particularly in Cuba. Connections tend to be slow and you won't have many servers to choose from.
What's more, these services often deploy weak encryption standards and engage in tactics such as tracking and mining user data for sale to third-party advertisers. At the very least you can expect a ton of invasive advertisements or frequent interruptions in service.
Ultimately, opting for a reputable paid provider will give you a seamless user experience along with peace of mind.
⭐What websites are blocked in Cuba?
According to internet advocacy body Freedom House:
“Cuba has one of the lowest connectivity rates in the Western Hemisphere, and while the government in recent years has significantly improved technical infrastructure, regular internet access is extremely expensive, connections are poor, and authorities both monitor usage and work to direct traffic to the government-controlled intranet.”
Over the years, there have been reports of various websites and apps being blocked in Cuba. These mostly include news and media sites. For example, in the lead-up to the 2019 referendum, the Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA), which is a monopoly run by the state, blocked some sites that were critical of the regime.
There have also been reports of communication apps being blocked. For instance, Skype was blocked for some time. And while there are still communication options such as Messenger and WhatsApp, access to technology in general remains limited, unreliable, and expensive, so these are not freely available. Indeed Freedom House states that:
“Rather than relying on the technically sophisticated filtering and blocking used by other repressive regimes, the Cuban government continues to limit users’ access to information primarily by making technology unavailable and by imposing prohibitive costs for access.”
It also notes that there is a lot of self-censorship by internet users, likely because political dissent is liable to be punished under various laws.
Using a VPN can't fix the internet infrastructure in Cuba, but it can ensure you have unrestricted access to websites and apps.
⭐Are VPNs legal in Cuba?
Yes. While Cuba is known for being strict on internet usage, VPNs are legal in the country.
⭐Why else should I use a VPN in Cuba?
Aside from bypassing censorship, there are other reasons you may want to use a VPN in Cuba.
There is always the possibility of data theft whilst connected to Cuban internet networks. There are various sophisticated techniques hackers can use to snoop on your behavior, including DNS spoofing, man-in-the-middle attacks, packet sniffing, and phishing.
To avoid this scenario, connect to a VPN before you try to access any wifi networks in Cuba.
You can also use a VPN to access geo-restricted content such as that from streaming sites like Netflix US. Simply connect to a server in the streaming source location and you should have access. That said, with slow connections and high costs, you may prefer to wait until you get home to catch up on your favorite shows.
- 1 Best VPNs for Cuba
- 2 1. ExpressVPN
- 3 2. NordVPN
- 4 3. Surfshark
- 5 4. CyberGhost
- 6 5. IPVanish
- 7 6. PrivateVPN
- 8 7. Hotspot Shield
- 9 How to use a VPN in Cuba
- 10 Cuba VPN FAQs
- 11 Should I use a free VPN in Cuba?
- 12 What websites are blocked in Cuba?
- 13 Are VPNs legal in Cuba?
- 14 Why else should I use a VPN in Cuba?