Ethiopia has some of the strictest online censorship in the world. Indeed, the country was rated “not free” by Freedom on the Net as recently as 2018. Internet shutdowns, website blocks, and the imprisonment of bloggers are just some of the problems that have plagued Ethiopia in recent years. While the situation improved somewhat following a change of leadership in 2018, Ethiopia’s internet freedom remains highly restricted.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, lets you enjoy unrestricted internet access in Ethiopia while retaining your right to privacy. When you use a VPN, your device’s internet traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN’s server. This provides you with a new, temporary IP address while your actual IP address and physical location are hidden. Not only does this mean you’ll enjoy online anonymity, but it also means you can unblock geo-restricted websites and services from many different countries.
Can’t wait to get started? Here’s a quick summary of the best VPNs for Ethiopia to save you some time.
Best VPNs for Ethiopia:
- ExpressVPN: The best VPN for Ethiopia. Servers in 94 countries. Highly secure service with fast, reliable connections. Unblocks popular social media and streaming services.
- CyberGhost: Best budget VPN.Very fast speeds and over 5,000 servers in 90 countries. No-logs VPN that unblocks Facebook, WhatsApp, and Netflix US.
- HideMyAss: Virtual and physical servers in 190 countries, including Ethiopia. Works with Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter. Security includes encryption and IP shuffle.
- NordVPN: Strong unblocking. Works with Netflix, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Over 5,200 servers. Highly secure with a strict no-logs policy and Double VPN servers.
- IPVanish: Unlimited bandwidth for streaming and torrenting. Up to 10 simultaneous connections. Protects your privacy with encryption and a strict no-logs policy.
- Surfshark: Newer VPN with user-friendly apps and 24/7 support. Unlimited simultaneous connections. Secures your data with encryption and a strict no-logs policy.
- PureVPN: Virtual servers in Ethiopia. Audited to prove it doesn’t keep any logs. Works with streaming services including Netflix. Includes a money-back guarantee.
With so many VPNs on the market, finding the best VPN for Ethiopia can be overwhelming. We’ve narrowed down the options by selecting VPNs that offer the following key features:
- Servers in dozens of countries worldwide (bonus point for servers in Ethiopia)
- Fast and consistent connections for browsing and streaming
- Very strong security with encryption and a strict no-logs policy
- User-friendly apps for desktop and mobile
- Live chat and email support, preferably available 24/7
- A money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free
Best VPNs for Ethiopia
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for Ethiopia:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is your best bet if you’re looking for a VPN for Ethiopia. While it doesn’t have any servers in Ethiopia, it does have servers in an impressive 94 countries. ExpressVPN’s network includes servers in Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. This is a very fast, consistent service that offers unlimited bandwidth. As such, you can easily use it for streaming and torrenting. Indeed, it successfully unblocks Netflix as well as social media sites that have suffered bans in Ethiopia such as Facebook and Twitter.
Another reason to recommend ExpressVPN is its overall ease of use. A service that includes 24/7 live chat support, it also offers excellent apps and browser extensions that are very beginner-friendly. Security is extremely important when using a VPN in Ethiopia. Luckily, ExpressVPN offers all of the essentials including 256-bit AES encryption, protection from DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, and a kill switch. What’s more, VPN doesn’t log any data that could identify you and allows you to pay anonymously in Bitcoin.
If you choose ExpressVPN, you’ll gain access to apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. You can also download firmware for routers and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
- Servers in 94 countries make it easy to unblock content worldwide
- Fast speeds and consistent connections for lag-free streaming
- Unblocks social media and streaming services
- Easy-to-use service with beginner-friendly apps and 24/7 support
- Keeps you safe online with its strong security
- Offers you the option to pay in Bitcoin for anonymity
- One of the more expensive VPNs available
BEST VPN FOR ETHIOPIA:ExpressVPN is our #1 recommendation. Servers in 94 countries for easy unblocking of government-censored content in Ethiopia. Very fast speeds for browsing and streaming. Highly secure service with 24/7 support. Try ExpressVPN risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost currently offers well over 5,000 servers. As yet, it doesn’t offer any servers in Ethiopia but you can find servers in at least 90 other countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, and most notably, in neighboring Kenya. This makes it extremely easy to unblock content that is government-censored in Ethiopia. One of the main advantages of CyberGhost is its speed. Far faster than many of its rivals, it offers uninterrupted browsing and streaming. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are just some of the websites and services that this VPN can unblock.
A single CyberGhost subscription allows you to secure up to seven devices simultaneously. You’ll also have access to 24/7 live chat and email support. CyberGhost’s apps are easy to use and keep you safe with 256-bit AES encryption. DNS and IPv6 leak protection is also included while a kill switch ensures your internet traffic is stopped in the event that the VPN connection drops. Last but not least, CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy, protecting your online privacy.
CyberGhost apps are available for desktop (Windows and Mac), mobile (Android and iOS), as well as Android TV and Amazon Fire Stick/Fire TV. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available, however, manual setup is required for Linux and routers.
- Servers in 90 countries, including in neighboring Kenya
- Very fast speeds for stress-free browsing and streaming
- Unblock Facebook, Netflix US, WhatsApp, and more
- Connect up to seven devices simultaneously
- Strict no-logs policy means your personal data stays private
- Doesn’t work in China
BEST BUDGET VPN:CyberGhost has more than 5,000 servers for unblocking restricted content worldwide. Stay safe online in Ethiopia thanks to its strict no-logs policy and encryption. Works with Facebook, Twitter, Netflix US, and more. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
HideMyAss (HMA!) offers more servers in more virtual countries than any other VPN provider. All in all, its network of over 1,000 servers covers some 190 countries — far more than most VPNs. Notably, HMA! has servers (virtual or physical) in over 50 African countries, including two servers and six IP addresses in Gondar, Ethiopia. This is a VPN that offers very fast and consistent servers, allowing you to stream Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.
This VPN offers P2P-optimized servers and lets you have up to five simultaneous connections. It also offers fast and efficient customer support, available 24/7 via live chat. HMA! includes plenty of security features to keep you safe online whether you’re browsing in Ethiopia or abroad. These include 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. While HMA! does log IP addresses, it at least offers an IP shuffle feature which randomizes your IP address as often as every 10 minutes, making it harder to track your location.
You can connect to a HideMyAss Ethiopian server via the apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It can also be configured manually with Linux as well as some routers.
- Physical and virtual servers in 190 countries, including Ethiopia
- Good for streaming – works with Netflix US and BBC iPlayer
- Can be used on up to five devices at once
- Live chat support available 24/7
- Security features include encryption and IP shuffle
- Logs IP addresses
- Quite expensive compared to rival VPNs
SERVERS IN ETHIOPIA:HideMyAss offers servers in Ethiopia for bypassing online censorship. Physical and virtual servers in 190 countries globally. Use it to unblock Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Offers 24/7 support, encryption and an IP shuffle feature. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full HideMyAss review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is one of the best-known VPNs on the market. Offering over 5,200 servers in 59 countries, it’s a convenient and user-friendly choice. In particular, it has well over 1,500 servers in the US, meaning you can easily access websites and services that have experienced blocks in Ethiopia. This includes Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. You’ll also be able to stream the likes of Netflix and Disney+. Furthermore, NordVPN lets you connect up to six devices simultaneously.
This VPN protects you from everything from hackers to malware thanks to its impressive range of security features. Aside from 256-bit AES encryption and DNS leak protection, NordVPN offers a kill switch and a strict no-logs policy. Better still, specialty Double VPN and Onion Over VPN servers provide you with even greater protection. This is particularly important in countries with strict internet censorship such as Ethiopia. NordVPN’s latest addition is NordLocker — a file encryption tool that helps you store and share files more securely.
NordVPN offers a variety of apps. These are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Android TV. You can have the option of browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Manual installation is required in the case of routers.
- A large network of over 5,200 servers in 59 countries
- Unblocks social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter
- Stay safe in Ethiopia with Double VPN servers
- Your privacy is protected through a strict no-logs policy
- 24/7 live chat and email support
- Some servers are slow
- Suffered a security breach
STRONG SECURITY:NordVPN is a no-logs VPN with over 5,200 servers. Stay safe online in Ethiopia thanks to encryption and Double VPN servers. Works well with social media sites and streaming services. Offers 24/7 live chat support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish offers good speeds as well as servers in dozens of countries, including Nigeria and South Africa. Unlike some free VPNs and ISPs, IPVanish doesn’t throttle your internet connection. Indeed, it offers unlimited bandwidth which makes it highly suitable for any activity, be it streaming or P2P file-sharing. While Twitter and WhatsApp have been blocked in Ethiopia in the past, IPVanish allows you to bypass such restrictions.
When you use IPVanish, you’re able to connect as many as 10 devices at once. You’ll also have access to 24/7 live chat support, which is ideal for novice users. This is a good VPN for Ethiopia because it protects you from the government’s extensive online surveillance with 256-bit AES encryption. There’s also a kill switch feature and protection from DNS leaks while a strict zero-logs policy helps protect your identity, allowing you to remain anonymous online.
IPVanish apps are available for the following platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV/Fire Stick. However, you’ll need to follow manual setup instructions for use with Linux and routers.
- Unlimited bandwidth — doesn’t throttle your connection
- Bypass the restrictions and unblock Twitter and WhatsApp
- Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Includes all of the essential security features
- Headquartered in the US — a member of Five Eyes alliance
- No option to pay for the service in Bitcoin/cryptocurrency
UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH:IPVanish offers good speeds for everyday browsing as well as streaming. Bypass internet restrictions in Ethiopia and dozens of countries worldwide. Lets you connect up to 10 devices at once and keeps you safe with 256-bit AES encryption. 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a newer VPN provider that has a growing network of over 1,000 servers. This VPN doesn’t offer a server in Ethiopia but does offer servers in Libya and South Africa as well as a further 59 countries. A service with strong unblocking ability, it works with social media platforms such as Facebook as well as streaming services including Netflix and HBO. A mix of physical and virtual servers are available while you can also find P2P-optimized servers.
One feature that makes Surfshark stand out from many of its rivals is that it lets you connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. This makes it a great option for families. A Surfshark subscription includes 24/7 live chat support and a variety of easy-to-use apps and browser extensions. You can stay safe online in Ethiopia with Surfshark thanks to its use of 256-bit AES encryption and strict no-logs policy. There’s also DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and MultiHop (Double VPN) servers for an extra layer of security.
Surfshark apps are available to download for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV/Fire Stick. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also on offer. Routers can be manually installed.
- Strong unblocking ability — works with Facebook and Netflix
- Connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously
- Beginner-friendly with easy-to-use apps and browser extensions
- Helps you stay anonymous with encryption and a strict no-logs policy
- Server network isn’t the largest
- Occasionally slow speeds
SECURE ALL YOUR DEVICES:Surfshark doesn’t limit the number of devices you can connect simultaneously. Unblocks social media platforms as well as Netflix and Disney+. No-logs VPN with Double VPN servers for even greater security. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS
PureVPN is one of the few VPNs that offer virtual servers in Ethiopia. In fact, it has six located in Addis Ababa. In total, PureVPN’s server network consists of more than 2,000 servers in 140 countries. What’s more, it has 150 servers in 18 African countries, albeit most are virtual servers. Overall, PureVPN offers good speeds and is able to unblock Netflix as well as Amazon Prime Video.
This VPN provider offers very strong security which includes 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Headquartered in Hong Kong, PureVPN is outside of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes jurisdiction. Notably, it has been independently audited to prove that it’s a no-logs VPN. If you have any questions, it’s worth knowing that PureVPN offers 24/7 live chat support.
PureVPN’s simple, intuitive apps are offered for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It’s also compatible with Linux and select routers (manual installation is required) as well as Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick devices. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox.
- Six servers in Ethiopia for unblocking restricted content
- Lets you stream Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
- Independently audited to prove it doesn’t keep any logs
- Provides live chat support, 24/7
- Some privacy issues in the past
- A few unreliable servers
6 SERVERS IN ETHIOPIA:PureVPN offers six virtual servers in Ethiopia. Physical and virtual servers in 140 countries. Good speeds for streaming Netflix. Offers strong security with encryption and an independently verified no-logs policy. 31-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PureVPN review.
How to use a VPN in Ethiopia
Using a VPN in Ethiopia is the same as in any other country. What’s more, it’s surprisingly quick and easy.
Here’s how to use a VPN in Ethiopia:
- Sign up with one of the best VPNs for Ethiopia. We particularly recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the appropriate VPN app or browser extension for your device.
- Open the app or browser extension and connect to a server in the country from which you want to browse. For example, Ethiopia or the United States. This will change your IP address, making it appear as though you’re in a different location.
- You’re now connected which means you can enjoy the internet without censorship! If some content is still blocked, clear your browser’s cookies to ensure changes take effect.
Why do I need a VPN in Ethiopia?
If you’re in Ethiopia, you’ve no doubt encountered all sorts of internet restrictions. Since 2015, anti-government protests have seen the Ethiopian government employ heavy-handed tactics in an attempt to suppress political and social unrest. Protesters and bloggers were arrested on terrorism charges in many cases. Furthermore, popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were blocked on multiple occasions.
Fortunately, the situation in Ethiopia has improved following the resignation of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in February 2018. The release of imprisoned bloggers and the appointment of Abiy Ahmed has been followed by a transition from authoritarianism and the promise of democratic reforms. Despite this, Ethiopia still has a number of repressive laws that grant the government extensive surveillance powers and restrict freedom of expression.
A VPN lets you bypass the internet blocks and access social media sites, Ethiopian news websites, and political party websites without restriction. Just as important, the best VPNs for Ethiopia protect you from the pervasive government surveillance. The Computer Crime Proclamation allows real-time monitoring and interception of communications. What’s more, the law obliges ISPs to log communications and metadata for a minimum of one year.
By choosing a VPN that uses encryption to secure your data from prying eyes, you can browse the web with peace of mind. Be sure also to choose a VPN that offers a true no-logs policy so that there is no record of your online activity. In summary, you need a VPN in Ethiopia so you can enjoy unrestricted internet access and unrivaled privacy and anonymity.
Can I use a free VPN in Ethiopia?
We strongly advise against the use of free VPNs, particularly in a country with strict internet censorship such as Ethiopia. For starters, the average free VPN has a very small network of servers in a limited number of countries. This makes it more difficult to find an appropriate server for unblocking region-locked content. It also means that server speeds are slower due to the heavy load from a high number of users.
Bear in mind that very few free VPNs offer servers in Ethiopia or even in Africa. So if you want to unblock restricted Ethiopian content from abroad, you’ll have to look elsewhere. When it comes to features, free VPNs are very limited. You may not be able to connect multiple devices simultaneously while there may not be customer support to help if you encounter a problem.
However, the most important reason to avoid a free VPN in Ethiopia is security. Many free VPNs lack the most basic security features. For example, a free VPN may not secure your data with encryption. This is particularly risky in Ethiopia where online surveillance is particularly prevalent. Some free VPN services log your data and sell it to third parties.
In contrast, the best VPNs for Ethiopia safeguard your data, prevent leaks, and don’t log your data. This allows you to maintain your online privacy and anonymity in Ethiopia or anywhere in the world.
Which websites can I access with a VPN in Ethiopia?
Anti-government protests in recent years resulted in various social media and file-sharing platforms blocked by the Ethiopian government. This includes the likes of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Dropbox. Furthermore, censorship circumvention tools such as Tor Browser and Psiphon have also been inaccessible at times.
It’s not just social media platforms that have been affected by blocks. Limits on content have extended to Ethiopian media websites such as oromiamedia.org and ethsat.com. Human rights and LGBT websites including queernet.org and samesexmarriage.ca have also experienced blocks.
While the majority of the above websites and services have since been unblocked, you can avoid any potential repeats by using one of the best VPNs for Ethiopia.