5 Best VPNs for South Africa for Privacy & Streaming

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As a South African, I know that security in the country is a priority. That’s why I made it my mission to seek (and share) the best VPN for South Africa, NordVPN!

But as excellent as NordVPN is, it’s not the only VPN with useful features.

I found 5 VPN services that passed my tests and proved useful for privacy and streaming.

These VPNs are also useful for maintaining speeds where connections are already slow and can bypass geo-restrictions on local and international content.

Continue reading to get to the “lekker” bits…

Use the VPNs on my list to access foreign media libraries or stay updated with local shows on Showmax and DStv while abroad.

These VPNs will also keep your location and user activity safe by providing military-grade security and privacy, even when using public Wi-Fi. 

With the updated Film and Publications Amendment Bill giving the South African government permission to collect your information, it makes sense that you want to reclaim your privacy!

Best of all, each VPN offers a money-back guarantee, so you can put features to the test without risk.

5 VPNs With South African Servers That Work!

Pressed for time?

Here’s a brief mention of my top 5 VPNs for South Africa:

  • NordVPN – Large South African Server Fleet PLUS Fast Speeds
  • ExpressVPN – Fast With TrustedServer Technology
  • CyberGhost – Secured Servers for Streaming Outside South Africa
  • PrivateVPN – Port Forwarding VPN With FREE Dedicated IPs
  • PureVPN – Basic (Cheap) VPN With Servers Across South Africa

Don’t want to make your decision on a whim?

Good.

In Africa, we do things slower, but for a good reason!

Read detailed reviews on my South African VPN picks below, and decide which works best for you!

What Are the Best VPNs for South Africa – And Why?

In the following reviews, you’ll learn why each VPN is the best for South Africa.

I included tests to put my money where my mouth is, and I worked closely with each VPN’s support team to provide the most accurate details.

Here we go!

NordVPN - Large South African Server Fleet PLUS Fast Speeds

NordVPN has a stellar reputation for maintaining online privacy and is appreciated by travelers to and from South Africa who need a stable, secured connection.

Its Panama jurisdiction upholds this reputation. 

There’s no mandatory data retention law in Panama, which means the provider isn’t forced to store user information. This helps NordVPN maintain its strict no-logs policy.

None of the VPNs on my list keep logs, but auditing reports may vary.

PricewaterhouseCoopers completed NordVPN’s audit in Switzerland – a country with a Freedom House score of 96/100!

Meanwhile, all internet traffic is secured by 256-bit AES encryption combined with 2,048-bit SSL keys, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.

Wi-Fi protection is a standard.

One pity is that NordVPN’s specialty features, DoubleVPN and OnionOver, don’t cover South African servers. However, using these multi-secured tunnels, you can access servers in other select countries.

While NordVPN’s security is a force to be reckoned with, the robust server count is what really impressed me.

nordvpn servers in south africa

There are 50+ NordVPN servers in Johannesburg and 5500+ spanning across 59 countries.

This is a significant number of local and international servers (compared to the other VPNs on my list).

The only other VPNs that come close are CyberGhost and PureVPN, although these servers don’t provide the same level of privacy.

Many of NordVPN’s servers are also P2P-friendly, which is good news if you use the VPN for file sharing or streaming.

A P2P server is especially useful to South Africans still waiting patiently for a fiber or 5G connection. It will speed up your VPN experience while maintaining your anonymity.

There’s one more thing.

NordVPN has obfuscated servers (available with the OpenVPN TCP protocol). When connected to one of these servers, you mask that you’re using a VPN. Even Telkom won’t know what you’re up to!

Not all VPNs offer obfuscation (like CyberGhost).

Suffice it to say, your chances of unblocking tricky sites will increase

Speaking of unblocking tricky sites.

I had little to no issues unblocking restricted content outside South Africa.

I managed to access Netflix US on my first attempt, and with trial and error, I unlocked Hulu.

After these tests, I switched to a South African VPN server to see how my local media site, Showmax, reacted.

Here are my results.

As I said, Netflix US was a breeze to unblock. Here I am binging 30 Rock in the background (a show not currently available in the South African Netflix library):

streaming netflix with nordvpn

To get to Hulu, I had to switch from WireGuard (NordLynx) to an OpenVPN obfuscated server – which worked!

I hit play on the first title suggested to me, which ended up being “The Act.”

nordvpn advanced options

Back to my local viewing.

I couldn’t get Showmax to work using a general NordVPN Johannesburg VPN server. I then tried an obfuscated server, but still, nothing!

showmax connection not allowed

As a last attempt, I tried a P2P local server. It worked (I was surprised)!

stream showmax with nordvpn

I don’t have a DStv account, but according to NordVPN support, NordVPN servers can be used to unblock DStv from abroad.

nordvpn customer chat about unblocking dstv

I got a friend with a DStv account to check it out for me, and true as bob, NordVPN can be used for Showmax!

With so many servers, it’s also no surprise that NordVPN offers fast speeds.

Okay, so its speeds aren’t the fastest on my list (ExpressVPN was the fastest) but still, the drop wasn’t drastic, and I could continue streaming without interruptions.

My download speed before connecting to a VPN was 35.22 Mbps.

internet base speed

After connecting to a NordVPN Johannesburg server, my speed dropped to 32.60 Mbps. Just a 7.4% drop.

nordvpn speed test south africa server

I was curious to see how the VPN performed using a server in a different country. I reached a download speed of 31.35 Mbps on a New York server – not bad!

nordvpn speed test united states servers

With watertight security, unblocking features, and fast speeds aside, NordVPN also got my nod of approval for catering to several device types.

It has dedicated apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and some SmartTVs.

But NordVPN can be stingy.

One account only gets you 6 simultaneous connections.

This is OK if you only use the VPN for your devices.

But if you’re looking for something for your household or office, you may find the extra subscriptions expensive (PrivateVPN or PureVPN may be more viable).

Even one subscription can be heavy on the pocket since NordVPN sits at the higher end of the price range.

As a plus, NordVPN accepts crypto payments. So, you can further enhance your anonymity online!

Don’t forget to use my MASSIVE discount if you do subscribe!

Pros

Cons

ExpressVPN - Fast With TustedServer Technology

get expressvpn best south african vpn service

If you’re worried about privacy and anonymity using a VPN in or for South Africa, ExpressVPN’s zero-logs policy will ease your concerns.

Its no-logs promise was last audited in 2020 by PricewaterhouseCoopers (same as NordVPN), who gave it a thumbs up.

The audit is backed by ExpressVPN’s British Virgin Islands jurisdiction, a location with no data retention laws.

The features supporting this policy (TrustedServer security and AES-256 encryption) combine with the provider’s proprietary protocol, Lightway. This implementation ensures a safe VPN tunnel when using South African connections and hotspots (like Wimpy’s Wi-Fi).

Lightway is currently exclusive to ExpressVPN. The new-generation lightweight code is why this provider offers the fastest speeds (see below)!

Connecting to the Lightway South African server is as easy as clicking/tapping on

Menu > Options > Protocol > Lightway UPD/TCP > Ok

expressvpn lightway udp protocol

But let’s turn our focus to this “TrustedServer technology.”

It’s worth mentioning that ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology uses RAM-only servers to store data. But NordVPN and CyberGhost also use this strategy, so let’s not give ExpressVPN all the glory! 

Since RAM requires power to work, the data it holds is deleted every time its rebooted.

This technology extends to the South African server.

Watch this video to get a better idea of how effective TrustedServer technology is:

In this video, you’ll see how TrustedServers have been designed to remain intact and consistent with service. This is important if you use a VPN server in South Africa. Why? Because with ExpressVPN, your options are limited, and you’ll need a server you can depend on repeatedly!

Notice how I keep referring to “the” South African server?

That’s because there’s only ONE.  

According to a support agent, the provider spreads its servers across 94 countries with hundreds of servers per location.”

Hmm…

I think what they mean by this is that they regularly rotate IPs.

Or maybe South Africa’s the exception?

Anyway, this is quite a fall from NordVPN’s 50+ and PureVPN’s 60!

On the plus side, this single server is covered by ALL the VPN’s features.

It’s also P2P-friendly and includes obfuscation (I checked with support).

expressvpn customer chat about sout african vpn server count

It’s also fast! The fastest, in fact.

There was a mere 5% drop in speed.

expressvpn speed south africa

Even connecting to a New York server, the speed was slightly faster than NordVPN.

expressvpn speed new york server

But now that we know the servers for South Africa are fast enough, are they capable of unblocking?

The answer is “yes.”

With servers in 94 countries, unblocking should be easy!

Doctor Who was the name of the game on Netflix (not listed on the South African library).

stream netflix with expressvpn

Sticking to the theme of doctors, I tested “The Good Doctor” on Hulu. Success!

stream hulu with expressvpn

Moving to my local gigs.

stream showmax with expressvpn

Showmax worked using the South African server, no problem.

I streamed Izangomasuccessfully.

The only issue I had was the platform wouldn’t allow me to screengrab while using ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN has an entire page dedicated to using the VPN with DStv.

watch dstv with expressvpn

But while ExpressVPN boasts its DStv-unlocking potential, I wanted first-hand feedback. Said friend checked it out for me again, and it works!

Moving on.

ExpressVPN offers apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, Chromebook, and routers! ExpressVPN is the only VPN on my list with an actual app for (some) routers.

But while device support is generous, simultaneous device coverage is limited to 5 simultaneous connections. However, the router app can quickly solve this issue and provide unlimited simultaneous connections!

As for the price, it’s not cheap. But for convenience and improved privacy, PayPal and Crypto payments are accepted.  

Here’s a discount so you can get a better deal!

Pros

Cons

CyberGhost – Secured Servers for Streaming Outside South Africa

get cyberghost

CyberGhost guards your data with AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. A zero-logs policy accompanies this security measure, a transparency report that’s updated every quarter, and a Romanian jurisdiction

The Romanian jurisdiction ensures the provider is under no obligation to share customer data.

Like the POPI Act, this VPN jurisdiction helps keep a lid on your privacy, ensuring annoying telemarketers don’t get their hands on your data (no OUTsurance, we don’t need more cover)!

One thing that has me super impressed is CyberGhost’s public Wi-Fi protection. It’s a cut above the rest.

The apps come with notifications that quickly alert you when your device tries to connect to an unfamiliar connection. This auto-protect feature also allows automatically starting a VPN connection as soon as networks are changed.

I tried this feature out on my Android while I used my local library’s hotspot to do some work. It works well!

cyberghost wifi protection

But I prefer the Windows interface. You can fine-tweak Wi-Fi preferences under the “Smart Rules” tab.

Essentially, you can travel in and around South Africa knowing your digital device is secured. So enjoy a cup of coffee at Mug ‘n Bean while working on your laptop!

The other VPNs on my list all offer a form of public Wi-Fi security, but they’re mediocre at best.

CyberGhost security measures also include the provider’s privately owned NoSpy servers.

These self-operated servers add another layer of privacy to your VPN tunnel and are exclusive to what the provider calls “Ghosties.”

But the servers are all in Bucharest, which means they’re no use when a Romanian IP address doesn’t work for what you’re trying to achieve in South Africa. They can be used for sensitive online activities, though – like making an online purchase where you have to provide your address for delivery.

While we’re on the topic of servers, CyberGhost follows in NordVPN’s footsteps by offering a liberal number of South African servers.

There are currently 24 (all in Johannesburg).

This helps guarantee fast local VPN speeds.

For example, the speed test result I received on a local server was 32.30 Mbps, an 8% drop.

cyberghost speed south africa

As for complete server distribution, CyberGhost has 7,000+ VPN servers located in 90+ countries. It competes with NordVPN in this regard.

And then – CyberGhost splits its servers into categories for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. This split is useful if you’re looking for an IP address out of the country, but you won’t find any specialty South African servers in these lists (bummer).

Unlike my other VPNs, CyberGhost offers no obfuscation or a form thereof. The SA servers are also not P2P-friendly.

So, I was curious to see how it performed bypassing censorships.

A general US server connected me to US Netflix successfully.

A quick test using “Poldark” as my subject:

stream netflix with cyberghost

The speed on this server was slower but not the slowest (see PrivateVPN).

cyberghost speed united states

However, the same US server I used to access Netflix didn’t work with Hulu! But a quick switch to a dedicated “Streaming” server sorted this out.

I’ll conclude that CyberGhost does work with Hulu!

stream hulu with cyberghost

I got lost in the moment with the intensity of Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale!

But back to work.

And back to a local server.

Showmax proved difficult to access using CyberGhost’s South African servers. I tried clearing cache, re-starting my apps, and going “incognito,” but nothing!

I couldn’t unblock Showmax. Here, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and PureVPN have the advantage.  

I cross-questioned a CyberGhost support agent to see if the VPN could be used to unblock DStv. The response was negative:

cyberghost customer chat about unblocking dstv and showmax

I left it at that.

Ending on a positive note, this provider offers broad device coverage and 7 simultaneous connections – it outdid NordVPN and ExpressVPN in that department!

There are dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, and Android TV.

The plan prices aren’t too bad either, and you can score a good deal with the 3-year subscription.

Crypto payments are accepted!

Save even more by grabbing my exclusive discount offer!

Pros

Cons

PrivateVPN – Port Forwarding VPN With FREE Dedicated IPs

I’ll start by explaining how PrivateVPN falls under the 14-eyes surveillance

Based in Sweden, this VPN provider’s jurisdiction means that, if it were subpoenaed, it would be liable to share data with the 14 countries that form the alliance.

The VPN service does have a no-logs policy that claims it doesn’t track or store data besides your email and basic payment info.

So, there isn’t much to share anyhow.

You can always pay your subscription using Bitcoin if you’re concerned about being tracked via your credit card.

But another drawback is that this no-logs policy hasn’t been audited, though my support agent promises it will be soon.

Some reassurance is that your online shenanigans are protected with 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.

All the standard security features the other VPNs on my list offer.

But now, let’s focus on PrivateVPN’s port forwarding abilities.

First, it’s worth noting that ExpressVPN and PureVPN are the only other VPNs offering this functionality. However, ExpressVPN limits this to its routers, and PureVPN offers the service at an additional cost

With PrivateVPN, port forwarding is enabled by default on all the apps and is included in your subscription.

This means your VPN automatically changes your network’s configuration, making your IP impossible to track. This is good news if you don’t want MWeb to throttle you for streaming where you shouldn’t be streaming!

I almost want to forgive PrivateVPN for not auditing its no-logs policy sooner!

Next. Servers.

I found that reliable VPNs with servers in South Africa are hard to come by.

In this regard, PrivateVPN offers 2 local P2P-friendly servers, giving it an advantage over ExpressVPN.

There are 200+ server locations in 63 countries overall.

This is a small server fleet compared to the other VPNs on my list!

Note that these servers aren’t obfuscated, but they’re masked by what PrivateVPN calls “StealthVPN.”

privatevpn stealthvpn feature

Like NordVPN and ExpressVPN’s obfuscation, StealthVPN hides your VPN status, thus increasing your chances of bypassing heavy internet restrictions.

This feature (together with port forwarding) helps make this VPN useful for unblocking.

Unblocking Netflix with PrivateVPN is as easy as pie.

Speaking of pie, here I am streaming American Pie.

stream netflix with privatevpn

I used a dedicated New York IP to unblock Netflix US – which is free, by the way! NordVPN and CyberGhost also offer this service, but at an additional cost.

PrivateVPN’s dedicated IPs are also not like your typical add-ons.

They offer a double security whammy because they’re unshared and dynamic. So, you’ll never get the same IP twice. This makes it very hard for anyone, even ISPs, to track your online activities. Eish, sorry, Telkom!

Hulu unblocked, too.

streaming hulu with privatevpn

Here I am having a giggle at Hulu’s Pen15.

PrivateVPN and Showmax had a bit of an altercation. I couldn’t unblock it!

According to support, DStv works. But it didn’t work for my buddy, who tried going incognito to get through to the platform.

privatevpn customer chat about unblocking dstv in south africa

PrivateVPN turned out to be the slowest VPN on my list.

But the speeds were still fast enough to ensure unbuffered HD streaming!

I got 29.52 Mbps from a South African server and 28.73 Mbps from a New York general server.

privatevpn speed south africa server
privatevpn speed united states server

Turning to device support, PrivateVPN allows you to connect 10 devices to one account. This is the same as PrivateVPN. Out of all the providers I listed, these two VPNs offer the most simultaneous connections.

Dedicate app coverage includes Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.

There are manual configurations for Linux and routers.

A huge advantage of PrivateVPN is the price. The VPN is super cheap.

I’ll share some discounts with you, so you save more!

Pros

Cons

PureVPN – Basic (Cheap) VPN With Servers Across South Africa

get purevpn

Like PrivateVPN, PureVPN is an affordable VPN that offers a feature-packed service.

While it may not have NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost’s higher-tier status, it does boast the usual security features that mask your location and activities in and out of South Africa.

You’ll receive all the basics, including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, Wi-Fi protection, a kill switch (except for iOS), and popular protocols such as IKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPN.

These security measures made me confident enough to use PureVPN while hogging Spur’s Wi-Fi. My kids played while I got some online banking done. 

Following ExpressVPN’s footsteps, PureVPN cleverly uses the British Virgin Islands as its base. This privacy-friendly location supports the provider’s no-logs policy, which was audited in 2018 by California’s Altius IT Information Systems.

So, privacy. Check!

PureVPN’s unique security feature is its Quantum servers.

While there are no Quantum servers in South Africa, you can use them to bypass censorships outside the country.

Quantum servers use quantum-resistant encryption keys to take a proactive stance against new-age cyber-attacks.

So far, no other established VPN takes “quantum” action.

purevpn quantum resistant servers

While we’re on the topic of servers, PureVPN has 60 spread across South Africa. There are 36 in Gauteng alone.

In total, there are 6,500+ secure servers spanning 78+ countries!

This gives NordVPN a run for its money!

But unlike NordVPN (and ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN), none of these South African servers offer P2P support. P2P support is reserved for a select few international servers.

As a plus, the servers are obfuscated. However, this feature is limited to Android and desktop apps and can only be used with OpenVPN.

purevpn customer chat about south africa server count

Putting the servers to test, I found speeds to be good but unblocking subpar.

For example, the VPN wouldn’t let me access my NATIS profile to renew my car license, and when I switched to international servers, there was just no getting through to Hulu!

Though, I could unblock Netflix US and South Africa’s Showmax.

Me streaming Netflix America’s exclusive “Stand by Me.”

stream netflix with purevpn

My Showmax streaming test:

stream showmax with purevpn

My agent Fred says DStv should work using PureVPN.

But his half-hearted (delayed) answers throughout my interrogation process left me in doubt.

I asked my friend for one more favor – to test PureVPN with DStv.

I stand corrected; my buddy’s efforts prove that PureVPN does not currently work with DStv.

purevpn customer chat about unblocking dstv in south africa

I had to switch internet connections when testing PureVPN, so I re-tested my base speed:

internet base speed a

There was a 13% drop on the South African server and a 19% drop on the New York server.

purevpn speed south africa
purevpn speed united states server

Overall, PureVPN is an easy-to-use VPN that covers the basics.

It caters to most operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Android Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Firestick, and Kodi.

Like PrivateVPN, up to 10 devices can be connected to a PureVPN account simultaneously.

The final perks are affordability (the cheapest of the lot) and an option to pay using cryptocurrencies.

purevpn pricing

Stretch your South African rands and get your deal with added discount!

Pros

Cons

How I Chose the Best VPN for South Africa?

I didn’t choose NordVPN as my best VPN for South Africa by default.

It took tedious research and testing to narrow down choices I felt comfortable recommending.

I took the following factors into account when reviewing VPNs:

  • Privacy and security. South Africa isn’t free of cyber criminals, and acts of fraud are committed daily! So, it was essential to find VPNs that covered security on all bases. Military-grade encryption and DNS Leak Protection were “musts.” Anything extra like Wi-Fi protection, obfuscated servers, and NordVPN’s DoubleVPN were a plus. As for privacy, jurisdictions with strong data protection laws were considered, and I scrutinized no-logs policies. You should be able to use the internet in and around South Africa freely and anonymously!
  • Servers. Not all VPNs have servers in South Africa; in fact, most don’t! So, this was certainly a defining factor. Security and fast speeds aside, NordVPN made the top of my list because of its vast South African server count. Servers in and out of South Africa with P2P functionality, obfuscation, and other special features (like CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers) were also considered.
  • Speed. All VPNs will slow a connection, but some more than others. I focused on VPNs that used fast protocols such as WireGuard, OpenVPN, Lightway (ExpressVPN), and IKEv2/IPSec. Fast speeds are needed for unbuffered streaming in HD and will help download protected torrents within minutes. That’s why I gave VPNs with P2P-friendly servers extra brownie points.
  • Unblocking abilities. While there’s no strict censorship in South Africa, the country has been blocked by many governments and sites. For example, Hulu and Netflix US and UK libraries are a no-go! I made it my mission to ensure the VPNs I chose are at the top of the range for unblocking so that you can access a diverse range of content not limited to local viewing. I kept an eye out for special unblocking features, such as PrivateVPN’s free dedicated IPs and port forwarding, and CyberGhost’s specialty media streaming servers. These VPNs can also be used in work and school environments where internet usage is censored.
  • Device support. You might be looking for a VPN that your entire household or office can use. This means multiple device coverage and support are important. I featured VPNs that allow multiple connections using a single account and factored in use for different devices and operating systems.
  • Price. With the petrol price increasing daily, we’re all holding onto our “arms and legs!” However, the best VPNs will sit at the higher end of the price range (like NordVPN). To leave you with choices, I included slightly cheaper South African VPNs that still tick the boxes for being optimally secure, private, fast, and built for bypassing censorships.

South Africa VPN Comparison Table

Feeling overwhelmed by all the info I shared?

Perhaps this comparison table will offer a clearer perspective.

VPN NordVPN ExpressVPN CyberGhost PrivateVPN PureVPN
South African Servers 50+ 1 24 2 60
Total Server Count 5500+ in 59 countries Undefined number, 94 countries 7,000+ VPN servers, 90+ countries 200+ servers, 63 countries 6,500+  servers, 78+ countries
No-Logs Policy Audited Audited Audited Not audited Audited
Jurisdiction Panama BVI Romania Sweden BVI
Security 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, DoubleVPN, OnionOver 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, TrustedServer technology 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, NoSpy servers, auto-protect Wi-Fi features 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, free port forwarding & dedicated IPs 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, Wi-Fi protection, kill switch (except for iOS)
P2P-Support Yes Yes No Yes No
Obfuscation Yes Yes No StealthVPN Yes
Average Speed Drop 7% 5% 8 % 16% 13%
Unblocking Netflix US, Hulu, Showmax, DStv Netflix US, Hulu, Showmax, DStv Netflix US, Hulu Netflix, Hulu, DStv Netflix US, Showmax
Dedicated App Support iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, & some SmartTVs Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, Chromebook, & routers Windows, macOS, Linux, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Android TV Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows Android, iOS, MacOS, Linux, gaming consoles, BoxeeBox, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV
Simultaneous Connections 6 5 7 10 10
Crypto Payments Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Price Get Deal Get Deal Get Deal Get Deal Get Deal

What Is the Internet Like in South Africa?

While there’s currently no strict internet censorship in South Africa and citizens enjoy online freedom, changes seem to be in the pipeline. For example, the South African government (ANC) recently voted against a UN bill advocating greater internet freedoms globally. Does this mean national freedoms are under threat?

This reason is enough to take a “rather safe than sorry” approach and invest in a VPN that works in and out of South Africa. Encrypted tunnels will help maintain your anonymity and make it difficult for cybercriminals and governing agencies to spy on your online activity.

How to Download and Install a VPN in South Africa?

Downloading and installing a VPN in South Africa is easy. You just need a compatible device and an internet connection. Then follow these steps to connect to a VPN-protected server:

  1. Go to the official website of the VPN you want to purchase. Most VPNs can also be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple Store.
get nordvpn on google play
  1. Once you choose a subscription plan, enter contact and payment details to complete the activation of your account.
creating an account for you nordvpn subscription
  1. When your payment is accepted, you’ll be directed to your account and a screen with a download/log in button. Click/tap on this button and follow the prompts to complete the installation.
  2. Log in to your app and connect to a server.

It’s that simple!

What to Do When Your VPN Isn’t Working in South Africa?

If you bought a VPN only to discover it’s not working in South Africa – don’t fret!

You can do a few things to try and get it running. I’ll share solutions below.

  1. Start by making 100% sure you’re connected to the internet.
  2. Turn it on and off again. Seriously! A reboot may be all you need. Restart your device while you’re at it.
  3. Make sure your VPN is whitelisted. To do this, go to your firewall settings and see if the VPN app is listed as an “allowed” app. If not, change its status.
  4. Check if your VPN app needs to be updated. Sometimes software can be outdated and riddled with glitches.
  5. Switch protocols. The site you’re trying to access may have blocked your tunnel. Try switching protocols (and servers, if possible) to see if this makes a difference.
  6. Clear your cache and cookies or use incognito mode. It’s not uncommon for websites to track your activity before using your VPN. Even if your IP is masked, cache (cookies) can reveal your location. If a site picks up that your location and IP don’t match, it’ll block your “suspicious” behavior!

If all else fails, contact your VPNs support team for help.

Still not satisfied? Use the money-back guarantee most VPNs offer.

How Do I Use Showmax Outside South Africa?

A VPN with South African servers may help you use Showmax outside of South Africa.

South Africa is good for a lot of things. Braaiing and biltong are at the top of the list.

But we produce some pretty good local content, too. Most of this content – plus some international favorites – can be found on Showmax.

Whether you’re a local traveling for business or a foreigner looking for fresh viewing options, you can follow these steps to unblock Showmax:

  1. Select a plan from your favorite VPN and complete your purchase. Make sure the VPN has servers in South Africa! PureVPN worked for me!
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Connect to a server in South Africa.
purevpn connected to johannesburg server
  1. Go to www.showmax.com
  2. If you’re met with “Connection not allowed,” your VPN’s not working. Try the troubleshooting methods above. You may need to apply trial and error approaches before you unlock the site!
  3. You’ll know you’re “in” when the site allows you to create an account and choose a plan.
showmax subscription plans
  1. Once you pay your dues, create your profile and start streaming Showmax immediately – from anywhere in the world!
whos watching showmax

Who’s watching Showmax? You are!

What VPN Can You Use to Access DSTV?

Since DStv is a South African broadcasting platform, you’ll need a VPN with servers in one or more local cities. Like I said, NordVPN’s your best bet!

Once you install NordVPN on your device, you can connect to a South African server. The VPN will provide you with a South African IP address, and DStv will be none the wiser.

dstv home

But note that DStv isn’t oblivious to VPN usage, and it can still block your attempts at streaming content on the site.

If this happens, you can troubleshoot (see above) or give another VPN a go (ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN work, too).

FAQ

Your ISP might detect if you’re using a VPN in South Africa.

The encrypted data can give this away!

However, your ISP can’t track your activity when you use a VPN.

So, they won’t know if you’re torrenting or streaming, etc.

If you’re concerned, you can purchase a VPN that offers obfuscation.

This clever feature hides that you’re using a VPN, and your ISP stays unaware. 

All VPNs affect internet speed, but quality VPNs won’t create a drastic difference.

If you study my speed test results above, you’ll see my top VPNs for South Africa didn’t incur big drops from my base speed.

A quality VPN will allow you to stream in HD, torrent smoothly, and browse without interruptions.

VPNs are legal in South Africa.

There are no laws against using a VPN in the country. However, bypassing censorships placed by other governments and torrenting or streaming Copyrighted content can land you in hot water.

The right VPN will provide you with anonymity to protect you, but illegal activity is not my recommendation.

Plenty of free VPNs can be used in South Africa. However, these VPNs may not live up to your expectations.

Free VPNs tend to be unstable and less reliable. They also don’t all share the quality features that premium VPNs provide.

For the best online security and privacy (and to unblock successfully), I suggest a cheap VPN (like PureVPN) rather than a free service!

VPNs can be used to access South African banks, including ABSA, FNB, Nedbank, and Capitec.

This means you can do your online banking safely and make yourself less vulnerable to fraud.

Just remember, you must connect to a South African server, or your location may be blocked. Your bank might also label your VPN activity suspicious and block you anyhow. But troubleshooting will help you bypass blocks (in some instances).

If you want to be less vulnerable to cyber attacks when using public Wi-Fi in South Africa, you need a VPN!

South African public Wi-Fi connections are popular and often used by people who don’t have home connections. While the service is convenient, many hotspots are not encrypted and have very poor security.

Internet users should use a South African VPN to protect data and enhance privacy and anonymity online.

The best VPN for a South African server is NordVPN. This provider has 50+ local servers, all of which feature P2P support and obfuscation.

This means you can use NordVPN to maintain your privacy while you switch servers to successfully unblock South African content.

NordVPN is also fast; you won’t experience noticeably slower speeds while browsing, gaming, or torrenting.

The best VPN to unblock South Africa Netflix is NordVPN.

This VPN features a huge fleet of South African servers (50+), which include obfuscation so that your location isn’t compromised. Obfuscation is especially useful if you’re a South African traveling to a restrictive country!

Plus, NordVPN is fast! So, you can stream Netflix in HD without lag.

Based on speed results, I recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for gaming in South Africa.

ExpressVPN uses its exclusive Lightway protocol to keep connection speeds fast and stable for gaming. With security features like TrustedServer technology, the VPN will keep your line safe and private.

NordVPN comes in at a close second and can be used for smooth, anonymous gaming in South Africa.

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for Disney+ in South Africa.

With 5500+ servers spread across 59 countries, you’ll easily find a server that helps unblock Disney+.

I suggest connecting to a server in the US!

On a Closing Note…

Finding the right VPN for your needs can be difficult – there are so many good options to choose from! But when it comes to a VPN for South Africa, NordVPN takes the cake!

If you’re ready, you can subscribe to NordVPN now!

If you’re still on the fence, I can suggest some reading material that may help your decision.

Read: Can You Be Tracked With a VPN? (7 Privacy Tips).

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