Whether you live in Sri Lanka or you plan to visit, it is advisable that you use a VPN within the country.
There are multiple reasons to do so, such as strong censorship, government surveillance, protection from hacking attacks, unlocking media content and more.
However, the problem is not using VPN technology but in knowing which VPN to use.
Not all VPNs are equally as good, and there are hundreds of them to choose from. So, to save you time and wasted money we've researched which are the best for use in Sri Lanka.
Below are our findings detailing each service, helping you make the final decision of which is ideal for your needs.
ExpressVPN is considered to be one of the best VPN services in the world by people across the globe and it's a thought we share. Not only are they our #1 pick for Sri Lanka but they've also been our top-rated service for the last three years running.
The service is based in the British Virgin Islands, and as such, it is out of reach of any snoopy government who might want your data. It was also audited to confirm that it doesn't keep logs, which means what you do when connected remains private.
ExpressVPN has a massive server network, which is one of its most essential features.
It offers more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations around the world. This covers as many as 94 countries and they have servers in Sri Lanka.
This is excellent, as it means you can safely browse local websites, and maintain incredible speeds due to the proximity of the servers.
You can also use it on numerous different devices and systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, routers, and many others.
Lastly, it has a money-back guarantee that lasts for 30 days, in case you don't find it to your liking.
Our #1 VPN for Sri Lanka
30-day money back guarantee
In the second spot, we have CyberGhost. This is a VPN service based in Romania, which also puts it outside of the reach of data-hungry nations, such as the members of the 14 Eyes Alliance.
CyberGhost has over 6,200 servers in more than 90 countries, with 24 of them located in Sri Lanka. It also has several servers in other countries in the region, such as Taiwan and Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam, India, and many more.
It also has a money-back guarantee that lasts for as long as 45 days which is 15 days longer than any other service in this list.
It is fast, safe, and it supports all the popular systems and devices making it a great choice from Colombo to Kandy and anywhere in between.
Next up, there is NordVPN, a Panama-based VPN service with more than 5,508 servers in its network, which spans throughout 59 countries.
NordVPN does not feature servers in Sri Lanka so if you require a local connection point you'll need to stick with ExpressVPN or CyberGhost above.
However, there are plenty of them in nearby countries covering Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, and more.
NordVPN also doesn't keep logs which has been audited to confirm its authenticity, and it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, in case you find that it doesn't serve your needs.
Meanwhile, you can use it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and many other devices. Worth considering if you don't mind no Sri Lankan based servers.
Private Internet Access (PIA) offers excellent security and speed, as well as a list of 1,533 servers in 46 different countries.
They've been expanding rapidly in recent years but unfortunately, this VPN also doesn't cover Sri Lanka specifically.
However, you can always connect to its servers in India to establish fast enough speeds for gaming, streaming, downloading, avoiding local censorship and more.
PIA is also known for its low prices, the ability to protect up to 10 devices simultaneously, its zero-logs policy, and ease of use.
Its prices are very low, especially for an old and respected VPN such as this, so it could be the service for you.
And, if it isn't, there is always its 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a refund.
Moving forward, we have VyprVPN, one of the oldest VPN services used by millions of people around the world. VyprVPN has more than 700 servers in over 70 locations, totalling in more than 200,000 IP addresses.
The sheer number of IP addresses available is more than most but their server count is on the lower side.
Unfortunately, this VPN also doesn't have servers in Sri Lanka.
However, it still has a strong presence in Asia, with other nearby locations including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, and more.
VyprVPN also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, it keeps no logs, and we've found them to be extremely reliable when it comes to maintaining a connection.
Nearing the end of the list, we have IPVanish. This is a fast and secure VPN network that has low prices, keeps no logs, and offers an extensive server network that spans throughout 75 different locations.
Their no-log claims haven't been audited and they had a logging blip a few years back while owned by a previous company. However, it's something you might want to be aware of.
IPVanish offers more than 1,500 servers in total, although, once again, it doesn't have any local connection points in Sri Lanka,
It does feature servers in Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Singapore, and other Asian nations, however. And if you find it not useful or good enough, it also features a 30-day money-back guarantee.
It is a reputable VPN service and it covers all the popular devices and systems, so it does deserve a chance, unless you need a service that covers Sri Lanka, specifically.
Last, but not least, we have Surfshark. This is a relatively young VPN, only being launched in 2018.
However, it offers powerful VPN features that allowed it to climb through the ranks and reach the top VPN lists with the rest of the best services.
Surfshark has a strong VPN network, with 700+ servers in 63 countries. However, Sri Lanka is not on its list, either.
Like most other services, it does cover a variety of Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, India, and many others, so there are nearby options.
Also, similarly to others, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and it covers all major platforms. However, one thing that makes it stand out is the ability to cover an unlimited number of devices at the same time.
How made our selection
With hundreds of VPNs around, we try to select only the best ones for your consideration, which includes services that meet specific requirements.
While we consider many factors, here are some of our top ones when researching the services:
Speed is an integral part of a VPN. With VPN services slowing down internet speed due to their security features, such as encryption, it is imperative to use services that have the least amount of impact on your speed.
With fast networks, you can still enjoy streaming, gaming, and general web access without suffering any buffering or other issues.
Having servers close to your physical location is beneficial for multiple reasons.
The closer the server is, the less distance data needs to travel, and that can be very beneficial for speed. Furthermore, if a server is in a nearby country that doesn't suffer from censorship, you get speed and online freedom.
However, there are uses for having servers in the right location, rather in a near one. For example, having servers in the US or the UK will allow you to unlock a much greater library on Netflix and other streaming services.
It's as important as in the housing world and as they say, Location, Location, Location.
With a VPN having numerous dedicated apps for various devices and systems, you can easily use a single VPN provider on all of your devices. This makes major providers very easy to set up and use.
Otherwise, if you have a device for which a VPN doesn't have a dedicated app, you would have to mess around and set it up manually, which can be difficult if you don't have the technical knowledge.
In our busy world, you may not have time to be fiddling around with set-up, which is where dedicated apps come into play.
4. No logs policy
Not keeping logs is very important for a VPN, as this essentially means that the service will make sure that your data is secured.
Not keeping logs means that the VPN will not record or store any of your information. It all gets deleted as soon as you disconnect from your current session.
That way, if a government shows up and demands your data, the VPN doesn't have anything to provide. It also stops your data from falling into the hands of hackers.
This is why it is essential for VPNs to be audited by third parties that can confirm that they genuinely do not keep logs. However, keep in mind that not all VPNs are audited, so be careful when you choose your provider.
Why you need a VPN in Sri Lanka
There are several reasons why you might want to use a VPN in Sri Lanka.
Here's our run-down of the most common, although it's worth pointing out this is not an exhaustive list.
1. Bypass censorship
Back in 2011, the group known as Reporters Without Borders listed Sri Lanka as a ‘country under surveillance.' As such, the country's leaders have used their power to block multiple types of websites, including news and political sites.
With a civil war going on, the only real site reporting the news was Tamilnet, and the government was reportedly looking for hackers that would disable it.
All of these issues could easily be avoided with a VPN, simply by connecting to another nation.
2. Safety on public Wi-Fi
Using public Wi-Fi is often necessary, especially for tourists who are only visiting Sri Lanka.
With no mobile internet at their disposal, they depend on getting their internet from hotels, parks, cafes, airports, and similar locations.
However, when they use a public hotspot, they can never know who else is connected to it. This is why free WiFi often makes for an excellent way for hackers to infect people's devices, monitor their actions, and steal their credentials.
Even if you're a resident, you're at risk if you make use of public Wi-Fi services.
3. Unlock global content
As you may know, there are many types of websites and services that are only available in specific countries.
Think of the UK's BBC iPlayer, or Netflix's expanded libraries, that are not available in Sri Lanka. However, there are still people interested in using them, which is why they need a VPN in order to access them.
Many streaming sites such as Disney+ are only available in certain countries and often bringing them to Sri Lanka is not high on the agenda.
All of these can be unblocked with a VPN allowing you to watch international content in Sri Lanka.
4. Keep your privacy
As noted before, Sri Lanka has a huge problem with online surveillance. If you don't want to let your ISP, the government, hackers, advertisers, and other entities access your browsing history, you need to protect it with a VPN.
As long ago as 2013, leaked documents have shown that the Sri Lankan government were actively seeking online surveillance tools (Source: Groundviews).
Forget about deleting your browsing history or using Incognito mode, that doesn't work, as all of your actions are stored on your ISP's servers and available to the government.
Keep your interests and search private by using VPNs that have strong no-logs policies.
Is using a VPN in Sri Lanka illegal?
Using VPN technology in Sri Lanka is still perfectly legal, and no one can blame you for using it. It is considered privacy technology, and since privacy is a human right, VPN use is legal in most parts of the world.
There are only a handful of places where it is restricted or discouraged, including China, Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, and possibly Turkey and the UAE.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, is not on that list, and you can use a VPN without fear of getting into trouble for it.
Is there a free VPN for Sri Lanka?
Finding a free VPN for Sri Lanka is possible, if not relatively easy to do. A quick search of Google or your app store will throw up hundreds of options.
However, this is not something that we recommend.
Free VPNs are often very slow as they only have a few servers which are frequently overcrowded, so you can forget about streaming videos or playing online games.
They also have insufficient security features, and most do not have a no-logs policy in place, which means that they can easily record and sell your data.
As recent as 2020, it was discovered that a server of a free VPN service was retaining data on user actions. This insecure server allowed anyone in the world access to it and who knows what was done with that data.
Using a VPN in Sri Lanka is highly advisable, if not necessary.
The country is known for government surveillance, and unfortunately, it has been known for blocking numerous websites in the past.
Censorship is strong, and so are geo-restrictions around the world, which will prevent you from accessing overseas content that you might be interested in.
After extensive tests and research, we found ExpressVPN to be the best option to use in Sri Lanka.
They have servers in the country and all nearby locations. They also cover countries further afield for unblocking streaming services.
Their no-log policy has been audited, they have apps for all major devices and if you discover the service isn't for you, then they have a 30-day money back guarantee.
I would love to know your experiences of VPN use in Sri Lanka. Have you signed up for one of the services above, or do you have another recommendation? Let me know in the comments section below.