Best VPN for Africa

VPN Africa

Most VPNs proudly boast that they offer server networks that cover the entire globe. But one region which tends to be somewhat neglected is Africa.

Other than South Africa and maybe a handful of others, almost every VPN provider ignores the entire continent.

This is something of an anomaly because Africa is not only home to more than 1.2 billion people but African countries are also frequently subjected to online government censorship, restrictions on internet freedoms by their internet service provider(s), and total internet blackouts.

African people are also as keen to unblock global streaming sites as anyone else, and as such, they are in the greatest need of a secure VPN service with plenty of VPN servers.

We know how vital VPNs are to the people of Africa, so we have undertaken an extensive programme of research to see which VPN is best for African internet users.

If you want to find out which has the features you need – keep reading.

Need a quick answer?

After extensive testing and consideration of features, we picked CyberGhost VPN as our #1 choice for use across Africa.

Top 7 African VPN services

Taking into consideration features most suitable for users in Africa, here's our rundown of the finest VPN services:

  1. CyberGhost VPN – Highly Recommended
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. NordVPN
  4. Hide My Ass
  5. IPVanish
  6. Surfshark
  7. Private Internet Access

1. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost Website

Pros
  • Servers in 6 African nations
  • Over 91 countries supported worldwide
  • Apps for most devices
  • 45 day money back guarantee
  • 7 concurrent connections allowed
  • Great for beginners
Cons
  • Unaudited no log policy
  • Owns VPN ‘review' sites

CyberGhost VPN has an incredible range of apps and is our #1 choice.

They are available on most devices and, most importantly, are easy to use. They have settings to help you pick the correct server for you, which means for beginners, CyberGhost is a great choice.

Their server network is decent and includes a good selection of African locations.

They currently boast servers in Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa, which means they have all parts of the continent covered. (Note: Not all servers are physically located in the country, which is something to be aware of).

Connection speeds with CyberGhost are reasonable and should be more than sufficient for most users in Africa. Their privacy and security also meet industry standards.

Importantly, there are seven simultaneous connections available with every subscription and an enormous 45-day money-back guarantee in addition to competitive prices.

Put all this together and CyberGhost offers a compelling package for African users.

Our #1 Recommended African VPN

45-day money back guarantee

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN apps on multiple types of devices

Pros
  • Servers in 4 African countries
  • Over 94 countries worldwide
  • Audited no log policy
  • Registered off-shore
  • Apps for every device
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Expensive monthly price
  • Owns VPN ‘review' sites

ExpressVPN is one of our recommended VPNs for Africa. Their apps are some of the best we have tested and are available for just about any device you can think of, which is perfect for African users.

They are based in the British Virgin Islands, offering superb privacy protections and a strict no-logs policy.

This is also combined with strong encryption (256-bit AES encryption) to keep user data secure and a kill switch, among other features meant to keep your online identity hidden.

ExpressVPN allows five connections with every subscription, which is useful for users who want to club together. It also has split tunneling, Chrome and Firefox extensions, and the ability to unblock streaming services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer.

Their server network is one of the biggest around, with locations in 94 different countries. In Africa, they have servers in Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa.

There is certainly room for expansion here. Still, with locations in northern, central, and southern Africa, they cover more of the continent than most, providing online protection from third parties and protecting your VPN traffic with plenty of security features.

ExpressVPN is great for anything, from keeping your online life private to online banking. It can let you access major streaming services or access local content with equal security features. Simply connect to the appropriate VPN server, and your network traffic will be fully protected.

Download speeds are exceptional and consistent. As a result, it is the best VPN for unblocking streaming sites in Africa.

Price-wise, it is not the cheapest but offers excellent value for money and also has a lengthy 30-day money-back guarantee. All of this makes it one of the best VPNs for South Africa and Africa in general.

3. NordVPN

NordVPN Deal

Pros
  • Servers in South Africa
  • Easy to use apps
  • Registered off-shore
  • Audited no log policy
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • No Paypal option
  • Not the fastest

NordVPN is a high-end VPN that comes at a budget price, making it an excellent option for African internet users. It has a vast range of apps covering just about every device. Importantly these apps are well-designed, easy-to-use, and lightweight, which makes them great for older devices.

NordVPN has a significant server network with more than 5,100 servers in 60 countries around the world.

In Africa, they only presently have multiple servers in South Africa and have recently got rid of their Egypt location. There are plans to add more locations in due course.

Their audited privacy promise ensures what you do while connected remains secure. Still, if you need a VPN for South Africa, this one is among the best you can find, with fast speeds and some of the best security out there.

Connection speeds are generally good although there is some variation between different servers. They can unblock almost every online streaming service. Whether you want to watch international streaming services like Netflix or geo-restricted ones like the BBC iPlayer, or any other major service, they can help.

Their prices are among the most competitive around for a high-quality VPN and with a 30-day money-back guarantee in place too, they are an excellent choice for African users. There are six simultaneous connections available with each account too.

4. Hide My Ass

HideMyAss VPN

Pros
  • 53 African nations covered
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Large range of apps
  • 5 concurrent connections
Cons
  • Uses virtual servers extensively
  • Not the fastest

Hide My Ass is the VPN with the most server locations of any provider, but there is a catch. They use virtual servers extensively and this can affect speeds across their network.

It does mean that they can spoof locations in most countries, though and in Africa, they cover 53 countries with only South Sudan missing their list at the time of writing.

Careful consideration, therefore, needs to be given depending on your usage.

There are other compromises with Hide My Ass besides speeds. Their privacy policies also leave a lot to be desired and their apps, while looking great, are not as universal or user-friendly as other providers.

Their prices are about average for the market and there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee. Five simultaneous connections are also available with each subscription.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish Deal

Pros
  • Servers in South Africa
  • Large range of apps
  • Unlimited concurrent connections
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Registered in the US
  • Unaudited no log policy

If you want to share a VPN subscription with friends or family, you will want a quality service that offers as many simultaneous connections as possible. IPVanish is, therefore, a good bet as they allow unlimited connections with every subscription.

This is not their only positive point either. Their privacy policies and security are sound, while their server network is also a big one with more than 1,900 servers in 75 locations.

Sadly, South Africa is their only African location at the moment, though.

IPVanish's speeds are excellent, though. They also have a vast range of apps that are available on almost all devices and are both lightweight and functional.

Prices are competitive too and their money back guarantee is available for 30-days.

6. Surfshark

Surfshark Website screengrab

Pros
  • Servers in 3 African countries
  • Easy to use apps
  • Great for streaming
  • Unlimited concurrent connections
Cons
  • Registered in the EU
  • Unaudited no log policy

Our sixth choice for the best VPN for Africa is Surfshark, another service from the British Virgin Islands.

Like the others on this list, Surfshark has a number of elements that make it belong on the list of the best VPN for Africa, such as being a reliable VPN service, offering top-notch online security, such as DNS leak protection, military-grade encryption, a kill switch, fast connection speeds, and plenty of African servers.

It has non-stop live chat support, unlimited bandwidth, and very easy-to-use apps. It also features over 3,200 servers in 65 different countries.

But, the feature that makes it stand out the most is the fact that it lets you use an unlimited amount of simultaneous connections. With it, you can access the web anonymously from anywhere and connect to any of its servers across the world from as many devices as you need or want.

It even has a 7-day free VPN trial on Android, iOS, and macOS. And, even if you pay full price for it and don't like it, you can always get a refund thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Its only downside is that it doesn't have that many servers in Africa itself. There are servers in South Africa, Nigeria, and Algeria, but that's about it, so if you want to use it in Africa, it is a great choice.

If you want to use it to access African internet and local services, it is not as useful.

7. Private Internet Access

PrivateInternetAccess Website

Pros
  • Servers in South Africa
  • Court tested no log policy
  • Thousands of servers
Cons
  • Registered in the US
  • Unaudited no log policy

Finally we have Private Internet Access or PIA. This is one of the US-based VPN providers, but it is still pretty good at securing your internet traffic and keeping you safe, as a VPN service should.

This VPN provider calls itself the #1 VPN for digital privacy, offering unrestricted access to worldwide servers, great speeds, an internet kill switch, strong encryption, double VPN servers, split tunneling, military-grade encryption, and many other features that make it a great choice for Africa.

It has plenty of servers in 78 different countries, including South Africa, each with encrypted connection and able to provide privacy features, unblock websites, and secure online anonymity and anonymous browsing.

You should, however, be aware that, as a US-based VPN, PIA will always be questioned due to the US' hunger for data, so its location is a downside to some people. Still, our research did not suggest that this VPN is unsafe, and you should be able to browse securely with it.

Another thing that might bother some users is that its design and UI might be a bit outdated, so if you want a modern-looking VPN, this one might not be a good choice. If you want a fast VPN with a global network to be used for video streaming and protecting personal data, then it is as good a choice as any.

How to choose a VPN for Africa

Now you know our pick of the leading VPN options for Africa, it's essential to explain the criteria we used in our assessment. Plus some of the features you should be looking out for when deciding.

While many of the requirements of African web users are the same as others, some are particularly important.

  • Continent-wide coverage – Not all VPNs offer a wide range of VPN servers across Africa. But for African users, it is crucial to have as many local server options as possible. This helps with connection speeds as well as unblocking local content and evading censorship.
  • Apps for all devices – The overwhelming majority of African internet users connect through a mobile device. Often, using older devices rather than the latest models, so you need apps that work on these devices while being lightweight and effective. Travellers to African countries are also more likely to use mobile devices.
  • Privacy protection – Privacy is a particular concern for many African web users. A lot of African governments restrict online freedoms, especially political opposition. VPNs are a popular way to protect online privacy, but this means their protections must be robust.
  • Concurrent connections – A smart way for African users to save money is to share subscriptions with family or friends. For those users, the number of simultaneous connections on offer is an important factor in choosing the best VPN.
  • Money-back guarantee – Price is an important factor for African users, many of whom want the best value for money from their VPN. They also like to be sure VPNs work before committing to a contract, so a good money-back guarantee is also highly valued.

Africa poly map

Our tests took all of the usual requirements from a VPN into account but gave these features particular emphasis. The results are now in and above are our pick of the top VPN choices for African users or those travelling there.

Why you need a VPN for Africa

Africa may not be a key focus of the VPN industry at the moment but there are plenty of compelling reasons why VPN users there should be connecting to a VPN before going online:

Internet Censorship

A worryingly large number of African governments use internet controls to try and retain their grip on power. This means that online censorship is an increasingly common occurrence across the content.

Benin, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Egypt are four of many African countries guilty of the practice.

Using a VPN helps citizens of these countries get around such censorship and access the internet freely. They also allow political opponents and journalists to access information without restrictions.

Map of Africa in signal style

Equally, if you're planning on travelling in Africa, you'll want to keep an open and unrestricted internet access.

Social Media Issues

Social media is a massive thing in South Africa, as well as Africa in general, with many people using it as their primary source of information as well as for communicating with people.

This, unfortunately, makes it a popular target for African governments who want to control information and political discourse.

Social media sites are frequently a target of censorship. In Uganda, they have even passed a social media tax to try and price people out of using it. A VPN can help to dodge this tax as well as avoid censorship.

Nigeria suffered over four months of blocks on Twitter in 2021, leading many to turn to VPNs to access the service.

Internet Monitoring

Online surveillance is also a common issue in Africa. Taking their lead from authoritarian regimes like Communist China, African governments in counties as diverse as Angola, Kenya, Gambia, and Rwanda have also imposed internet monitoring regimes of different kinds.

This can involve state-controlled ISPs, hacking devices or accounts, or more nefarious means.

Computer with eye on it

The aim is to identify those via their internet connection that are a threat to a regime or the religious values of a country and punish them accordingly.

But the best VPN stops governments from being able to see what you are doing online whether you're using mobile data or Wi Fi connections, thus securing complete online privacy.

Access global content

It is not just censorship but also geo restricted content that can stop Africans from enjoying global streaming services.

Whether you want to access Netflix regions while travelling or working in Africa or want a better content catalogue than those on offer to African users, a reliable VPN can help.

Is there a free VPN for Africa?

Free VPNs might seem an ideal solution for those in Africa as international exchange rates can make services on local salaries expensive. However, they are more trouble than they are worth.

There simply is no thing that can be described as the best free VPN, not for South Africa nor any other African nation.

Few, if any, free VPNs offer African servers and most are unable to unblock international streaming sites like Netflix either.

They offer little privacy protection too. Most make money by selling your internet data, while many are linked to Communist China. As such, they can neither provide fast speeds nor can they be considered risk-free.

Even more worrying, some free VPNs have been found to spread malware and other malicious software, which can cause users untold problems.Hacker stealing passwords on public Wi-Fi

If you want to save money on a VPN, the best bet is to sign up together with a group of friends and family.

You can connect unlimited devices simultaneously on IPVanish. If you can divide their subscription fee, the cost becomes almost negligible while you can still enjoy the benefits of a premium VPN.

Summary

As we have learned, there are a lot of different reasons why African users need to be using a VPN. The need extends to anyone planning a holiday there or travelling to a nation in Africa for other reasons.

We have outlined the main ones in this article and also highlighted what VPN features you need to look for to mitigate these issues.

Most importantly, we have revealed the results of our research which have identified the most suitable virtual private network services to use across the continent.

CyberGhost is our number one recommendation but regardless of which you choose, they'll all be suitable in most circumstances. So whether you're looking for a VPN for South Africa or Egypt, choosing one of the seven above will keep you secure.

 

Need a VPN in Africa? Try our recommended VPN service.

  • Works across Africa
  • Stay secure and private online
  • Beginner friendly

Illustrations © Tupungato & Wisnu Adi Kurniawan – Dreamstime.com

Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 5 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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