If you live or work in Eritrea, then you know how frustrating it can be to access the internet.
The government engages in censorship and keeps tabs on all online activities.
Recently, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) named the horn of African nation as one of the most censored countries in the world.
News and social media sites are restricted and journalists who are deemed to be critical of the ruling party are arrested.
As the government tightens its grip over internet access, many Eritreans are using VPNs to stay safe online.
The Best VPN Service For Eritrea
The VPN market is filled with hundreds of VPN service providers most of whom claim to have the “fastest and most affordable” service. And as you can guess, a huge percentage of these claims are false.
While most cheap VPNs are slow and insecure, there are a few affordable options that tick all the right boxes.
Below, we have compiled a list of the best affordable VPNs for Eritrea available today.
All come with excellent features and are priced below $4 allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money.
Considered one of the best all-around VPNs, NordVPN is also one of the most affordable. The provider offers a truly premium service with a robust set of features.
NordVPN has over 5000 servers in 62 countries across the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. The VPN operates out of Panama, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, and maintains a strict ‘no-logs’ policy.
They do not retain any information on your browsing habits and timestamps.
When it comes to security, NordVPN does not disappoint.
The VPN uses best-in-industry AES 256-bit encryption and offers all the major protocols. Extra security features include DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and ‘Double VPN’ which routes your traffic through not one but two separate VPN servers.
NordVPN boasts superb speeds making it ideal for streaming HD movies and TV shows.
We were impressed by their SmartPlay technology which allows you to watch censored and geo-blocked content. The VPN is also torrent friendly and provides hundreds of servers optimized for P2P.
NordVPN is compatible with a wide range of devices including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android smartphones. With a single NordVPN subscription, you can cover up to 6 devices at the same time.
NordVPN offers three pricing plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The best value option is a $3.99 per month 2-year plan.
Although we wouldn’t categorize ExpressVPN as affordable, the VPN is arguably the best overall. It is ultra-fast and we found them to offer stable connections on all their servers. The VPN outperforms all the other providers we’ve tested and its little wonder why it’s one of the most popular VPNs.
ExpressVPN has over 2000 global servers located across 94 countries.
Their servers work well with both Netflix and iPlayer and they actively replace blocked IPs.
When it comes to security, ExpressVPN is also among the best in the industry.
They provide strong encryptions and you have access to PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, TCP/UDP, and OpenVPN protocols. The VPN also provides DNS leak protection and automatically launches at startup ensuring that you are protected at all times.
Their clients are equipped with an internet kill switch, which stops all traffic in the unlikely event your VPN connection fails.
ExpressVPN apps are user-friendly and well designed and can be installed on Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, and routers. ExpressVPN also has browser extensions for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.
In case you run into setup or connection issues, you can always contact their customer service any day, any time.
As highlighted, the only downside with ExpressVPN is the price.
The cheapest plan is the $8.32 per month annual plan. But on the bright side, a single subscription will allow you to enjoy their magnificent service on 3 different devices at the same time.
All pricing plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee allowing you to try their service risk-free.
PrivateVPN is another great affordable VPN for Eritrea.
The VPN was founded in 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden and is one of the fastest-growing VPNs worldwide.
PrivateVPN has servers in 57 countries across the world making it ideal for viewing geo-blocked and censored content.
However, the total number of servers is on the lower end compared to most of the VPNs on the list.
Despite a limited number of servers, the VPN is fast and can stream HD movies without buffering or long waits.
The provider does not keep any logs and they provide military-grade 2048-bit encryption with AES-256. They also offer a wide range of protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2.
Additionally, PrivateVPN supports port forwarding and allows P2P traffic.
The VPN is compatible with all major platforms and there are apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. They have great support and you can conduct them via email.
PrivateVPN offers three pricing with the annual plan being the most affordable. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a single subscription can cover up to 6 devices at the same time.
CyberGhost is one of the popular and most used VPNs today.
The VPN has over 3000 servers and offers access to over 60 countries.
CyberGhost has great geo-spoofing capabilities and is excellent for defeating censorship and geo-blocking. The VPN offers unlimited speeds and bandwidth meaning you won’t have to worry about data caps.
CyberGhost also impresses with powerful AES 256-bit encryption for maximum security and privacy. Users have access to a wide array of protocols including PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN. Additional security features include DNS/IP leak protection, an internet kill switch, and tracking/malware blocking.
Set up is easy and you can get the VPN up and running in less than a minute.
There are user-friendly apps for Windows Mac, IOS, and Android.
They have a reliable support team which can be contacted via live chat and email.
CyberGhost offers several plans, all plans are covered by a 45-day money-back guarantee.
If you register with an iOS or Android app, you also get a 7-day free trial.
PureVPN is one of the oldest and largest VPN providers on the market.
The company was founded in 2006 and today has over 2000 servers in an incredible 140 countries across the country. PureVPN provides fast speeds and they have dedicated servers optimized for streaming.
Their connections are protected by military-grade 256-bit encryption and users have access to a wide range of protocols including PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. The VPN also offers Dedicated IP, DDoS Protection, DNS leak protection, and an internet kill switch.
PureVPN offers unlimited server switching and you can access all servers regardless of your package. Additional features include P2P support and split tunneling which allows you to send some of your traffic through the VPN and the rest through your ISP.
PureVPN has great has reliable 24/7 customer support available via live chat. You can also submit a ticket on their support page.
The VPN works on all major devices including PCs, smartphones, routers, Smart TVs, and Kodi. There are also browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
6. Private Internet Access
Another incredibly priced VPN. Private Internet Access (PIA) offers a stable and reliable service and is a great option for Eritrea. Available since 2010, the VPN has grown to amass over 3100 servers in over 30 countries.
They do not keep activity logs and users can rest knowing their privacy is protected.
PIA provides good connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth.
The provider takes user privacy seriously and has equipped the VPN with strong encryption.
Users have access to OpenVPN, PPTP & IPSec/L2TP protocols.
Additionally, the VPN has an internet kill switch and blocks ads, trackers, and malware for all-around protection.
Private Internet Access also supports P2P sharing and many of their servers are optimized for torrenting. The VPN also works with most streaming sites including Netflix and iPlayer.
A single PIA account can support up to 5 devices simultaneously.
The VPN is easy to set up and there are apps for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and IOS. They also have browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
At $2.91 per month, PIA is the most affordable VPN on our list.
They offer a 7-day money-back guarantee to allow you to try their service risk-free.
If you’re unhappy with the performance during those 7 days, you can get your money back.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Private Network in Eritrea
There are many reasons why you should use a VPN in Eritrea.
These include the following:
The Eritrean government has the power to spy on residents.
If you are using the state-owned EriTel, chances are your online activities will be logged.
Thankfully, with a VPN, you can side-step the government’s strict data retention laws and reclaim your privacy. Your entire connection will be encrypted preventing your ISP from reading your data.
Eritrean citizens do not have free access to the global internet.
The government regulates all online content and blocks the websites it considers objectionable.
A VPN allows you to view censored content by routing your connection through a server located in a different country.
Unblock Premium Streaming Sites
Services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer are not available in every country.
In fact, BBC iPlayer is only accessible from within the UK.
Netflix is available in Eritrea but the local version pales in comparison to the US version.
With a good VPN, you can change your location and access both iPlayer and US Netflix from Eritrea.
Some ISPs are quick to identify and limit torrent traffic.
They do this by throttling your internet speed from the get-go or after you reach a certain threshold.
Luckily, you can avoid this and enjoy fast connections using a VPN.
Your internet traffic will be obscured making it impossible to identify your torrent traffic.
How to Choose the Right Service Provider?
Speed and Reliability
VPNs work by encrypting and routing your connection through an intermediary server.
Generally, this causes VPN connections to be slower than regular direct internet connections. But, with a good VPN, the effect should be unnoticeable.
It’s, thus, important to compare speed ratings and pick a service that offers fast speeds. The VPN should also have a 99% guaranteed uptime and no speed caps.
A top VPN service provider should have many servers spread in different countries across the world.
This will make it easier to get around censorship and geo-blocks.
It’s also advisable to pick a VPN has servers in your country of residence.
There are many VPN encryption protocols and each offers a unique set of benefits. While some focus more on security and privacy, others favor speed.
The most common protocols include PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2.
OpenVPN strikes a great balance between security, speed, and stability.
You will want to make sure the VPN that you pick can be run on any device.
The best VPNs providers are compatible with all the major platforms and have simple and easy-to-use apps.
Is It Legal to Use a Virtual Private Network in Eritrea?
A good VPN service does not need to be expensive. All the VPN providers listed above (with the exception of ExpressVPN) are very affordable and among the best, you can find today.
However, we found NordVPN to be the best option overall. The VPN is incredibly affordable and offers advanced security features such as DNS/IP leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and specialty servers.
In addition, the VPN maintains a strict ‘zero logs’ policy and has a 99% guaranteed uptime reliability.
NordVPN is also super fast and has numerous servers optimized for streaming.
The VPN works with all the major streaming sites including Netflix and iPlayer.