Preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and wondering what you need to do for internet security? Or wondering about the state of Afghanistan cybersecurity and how you can protect yourself?
Living in or traveling to Afghanistan and wonder how you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to stream services, geo-spoof, or get past a website blocker?
Your internet security in Afghanistan in 2018 might be a bit shaky. With the exponential growth of internet users, new governmental cybersecurity laws, and push-back from tech-happy insurgent hackers, using a VPN for your security is probably one of the best choices you can make.
According to this survey by the U.S. Agency for International Development, roughly 3 million people in Afghanistan are using the internet. Twenty million are already on mobile, so this number is likely to increase rapidly as access to internet-friendly mobile devices grows.
When internet usage begins to grow, some governments respond with internet control measures to limit what users can see, say, or do. Starting in 2017, that is exactly what is happening in Afghanistan.
The country is working on the creation of clear, enforceable cybersecurity laws. Those laws, perhaps predictably, have led to backlash by hackers.
These protesting hackers have recently launched cyber-attacks partly in protest, and partly just because they can.
If you want to use the internet in Afghanistan, you might need to focus not just on getting through any web blocks as the government cracks down, but also on your security as cyber aggressors are not afraid of putting their abilities to the test.
When you are worried about your security online, it is best to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs protect your data and files while you browse the internet.
Using a VPN encrypts your data, allows you to mask your IP, and allows you to surf anonymously.
If you are a Soldier who has been deployed to Afghanistan, you are already aware of the need for Operational Security. Operational Security, or OPSEC, means you need to stay vigilant about potentially revealing data that could be used to compromise someone or something.
Keeping your identity private online with a VPN is just one extra way to make sure your online identity stays private.
The best VPN to use in Afghanistan is the one that best meets your needs, beyond the basic levels of security provided.
In addition to surfing securely, most VPN service providers can give you access to blocked content, enable geo-spoofing so you can use streaming services as if you are still at home, and bypass any limits for data transfers.
If you are looking for a solid all-around choice, ExpressVPN has the features to back up its stellar reputation. They offer nearly everything you might want from your service provider.
The biggest downsides to ExpressVPN are its price, minimal device sharing capabilities, and lack of 24/7 phone support. ExpressVPN provides:
When you access the internet in Afghanistan, your internet speeds might be very slow. These lower speeds are due in large part to a weak infrastructure, although they taking steps to improve it.
Slower speeds might be resolved by using a VPN. Some internet service providers (ISP) throttle your internet speed when you attempt to stream certain services, like Netflix or YouTube, in order to reduce congestion.
Using a VPN prevents throttling by masking your identity. When the ISP doesn’t see you, they can’t slow your speeds when using certain services.
Most of the features listed here are shared by the top VPN service providers; each one will be discussed in length below as part of each specific VPN review
Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost also comes with a top-rated reputation across multiple reviewer sites. They provide all the standard features you expect to see in a VPN.
With a lower cost and the ability to use up to 7 devices simultaneously, some might say that CyberGhost is better than ExpressVPN.
The downsides here in comparison to ExpressVPN might only be noticed by the experienced tech-savvy user: again, you won’t have live support, nor do you have quite as many specific platforms and customizable features. ExpressVPN also lacks the vast number of servers.
CyberGhost protects your connection speeds by helping you avoid the peering eyes of your ISP, and they make sure to encrypt your data while they’re at it.
Almost every VPN service provider offers 256-bit encryption, the same used by military and government workers around the world.
256-bit encryption is the highest amount of security available, and it is used by all the respectable VPNs. If your chosen VPN doesn’t mention this standard security practice, you should be concerned.
This top-tier VPN service provider shares many of the same features associated with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. Users score this lower than our top two, but you still gain the basic features you need across several platforms and on multiple devices. On the plus side, they are one of the few service providers that actually maintain their own servers.
The downside here? Users report that this service constantly disconnects. They have servers in fewer countries than either ExpressVPN or CyberGhost. The company is also based in the United States, which means that it is subject to internet laws
IPVanish focuses on hiding, or masking, your identity by making your IP address “vanish” in terms of visibility.
A masked IP address prevents ISPs, hackers, and anyone else from messing with or seeing your connection.
This means you can surf safely and securely while browsing sites like your banking portal without worrying about your credentials being spotted and used for some nefarious purpose.
If your primary purpose for using a VPN comes down to the simple need to protect your IP and ensure your security, IPVanish might be a good bet.
PureVPN is another popular VPN service provider reviewed by users that is on par with the other services reviewed here.
Like other leading service providers, this VPN offers live chat 24/7 support, servers in countries around the world, and no activity logs.
Most VPNs promise to keep your data protected and your surfing anonymous. And the best VPNs will tell you that they don’t keep logs, but this statement doesn’t always ring true.
Websites monitor your data for a number of reasons. There are both activity and connection logs, and these are used for purposes such as advertising and website improvements.
The conundrum is that, while VPNs promise to keep your internet habits private, they sometimes collect your data, too.
Your data might be collected in activity logs or connection logs, and if you pay close attention, your provider may state that they don’t log your activity, but avoid mentioning the connection logs they keep.
While the majority of your service providers keep connection logs with good intentions, some (usually free) services might try to sell your data to third parties for additional profits.
PureVPN promises to keep your data secure and your surfing habits secret, but some users have complained about false advertising or inflated claims. Keep an eye out to make sure the provider you pick stays true to their word.
Choosing the right VPN service provider can be tough. You want one that offers all of the best features, boasts fast download speeds, and refuses to compromise your security.
At the same time, the VPN you choose while in Afghanistan should be affordable, easy to use, and be compatible across multiple platforms. If you are interested in VPNs for other locations, check this page: https://vpnalert.com/best-virtual-private-network/location/
If you are looking for the best and most affordable VPN service provider to use in Afghanistan, you should probably test out CyberGhost. While ExpressVPN has a slight edge, CyberGhost wins our pick for this roundup because of its affordability.
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