When it comes to VPNs Africa is an often neglected region of the globe, with very few server connections and numerous countries not covered at all.
While each nation on the continent has a unique attitude towards internet freedom, there are a number in which internet censorship is enforced, such as Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Yemen.
A VPN can offer broad benefits of travelling between African nations or if you’re staying in a particular country, granting you unrestricted access to content and protecting you against hackers and cyber-crime.
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There is no country on the African continent that has made VPN use illegal. However, they are blocked in Oman even if they’re not illegal. Also, while Egypt has also blocked VPNs and made accessing banned websites illegal, VPN use itself is not illegal. You can visit our Best VPN for Egypt for further details.
But naturally attitudes towards VPNs vary from country to country and so does rule of law. You shouldn’t use a VPN for any activity that breaks local laws.
While VPNs are legal across the continent, many African nations have attempted to censor online content. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Oman, Rwanda and Somalia are just some of the countries where the government has censored internet content and shown hostility towards internet freedom.
There have also been threats made against journalists, removal of content oppositional to governments, and there is often online abuse from thieves and hackers.
With this in mind, a VPN is essential if you want to access content consistently and safely.
In a highly-censored continent, bypassing that censorship is one of our top considerations when recommending a VPN for Africa.
We also prioritise its encryption and security above its ability to, say, stream online media content (although that’s a plus).
Also, it’s important that the VPN service has African servers available – the more the better – in order to prevent congestion and keep speeds high.
Ideally, you want to connect to servers on the continent – the more nations the better.
Look for VPNs with plenty of servers in African countries. Or, failing that, those that have servers in neighbouring locations, for example Israel or Turkey.
It’s vital that your chosen provider offers some kind of additional obfuscation tool to hide the fact you’re using a VPN, otherwise it’ll be near impossible to access blocked content. This is particularly useful in Oman and Egypt, where there is greater hostility towards internet freedom.
For most providers, this comes in the form of some sort of ‘stealth’ protocol, which will mask your VPN connection as regular browser traffic and make it far easier to beat the censors.
Most providers claim to be zero-logs, but that’s not always the case. Some VPNs collect basic usage stats in order to maintain a decent level of server performance, but just be sure not to collect any personally identifying information (such as your IP address). It’s always safest to find one that doesn’t log anything at all.
Even the most expensive VPNs can be made more affordable by signing up for a longer subscription. Annual plans typically offer the best value for money.
Think about choosing a provider with a money-back guarantee, preferably one that gives you up to 30 days to change your mind, although some will be shorter.