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Sri Lanka privacy guide 2022 - how to bypass censorship with a VPN for Sri Lanka

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The Best VPN for sri lanka:

Expressvpn

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Sri Lanka is a relatively small Asian island nation with a population of around 21.92 million people. It is considered to have low poverty levels compared to neighboring nations, and access to the internet is pretty good, with around 52.6% of people able to connect to the web. A monthly connection to the internet costs around $5.65, which makes Sri Lanka the country with the cheapest retail tariffs in Asia and second-cheapest worldwide.

Sri Lanka has traditionally enforced severe censorship levels – stretching back to the 1980s when the government suppressed the JVP insurrection using media censorship, criminal defamation, and assassinations.

 

What are the best VPNs for Sri Lanka?

This table shows the very best VPNs for Sri Lanka. For more details about each provider, keep scrolling.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best Sri Lankan VPN – blazing speeds, Sri Lankan IPs, and global coverage. Unblocks everything, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Private Internet Access - The most secure Sri Lankan VPN. Top-notch privacy features, proven no-logs policy, a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. CyberGhost VPN - The cheapest VPN for Sri Lanka – a hassle-free VPN that offers Sri Lankan and foreign IPs, with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  4. NordVPN - The best mid-range Sri Lankan VPN. Great unblocking power, super-fast speeds, ideal for streaming. With a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  5. Surfshark - The best value-for-money Sri Lankan VPN. Unblocks plenty, with unlimited simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The best Sri Lankan VPNs – In-depth analysis

In this section, I've covered the most relevant features and characteristics of each of the recommended VPNs for Sri Lanka. Let's explore them in more detail!

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Sri Lanka. One of the fastest services, very secure with advanced features, and unblocks pretty much everything. All with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Servers in 160 locations across 94 countries, including Sri Lanka
    • Blazing-fast speeds, ideal for streaming, gaming, and torrenting
    • Lots of customization, for maximum speed and security
    • Beginner-friendly, easy-to-use apps for all platforms
    • Independently audited company, with a zero-logs policy
  • Cons

    • The most expensive VPN on this list, but the best Sri Lanka service
    • No port-forwarding, not ideal for torrenters
    • Only five simultaneous connections
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo ExpressVPN Demo


ExpressVPN is a VPN giant that offers watertight privacy with the most innovative features on the market and over ten years of experience. It’s a top performer across a host of various categories. It unblocks Netflix US, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and other major streaming platforms with ease and also offers unmatched levels of service for gaming, downloads, VoIP calls, and similar data-intensive tasks.


Although ExpressVPN is more expensive than the VPNs below, you get all the premium features with its basic subscription plan – and 30 days to try them all out without risking your cash before you decide whether to fully commit.


One VPN provider to suit all your needs


ExpressVPN is the most expensive service on this list, however, it’s worth the price considering it’s the only VPN you’ll need to protect all your online activities. ExpressVPN comes with fully-featured sleek apps for all your devices, whether you’re using Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, or Linux.



On top of that, it’s super easy to use, with a quick connection button that finds the best server for you and connects to it automatically, which makes it suitable even for VPN newbies. Although ExpressVPN allows you only five simultaneous connections, you’ll find this sufficient for an average modern Sri Lankan family – especially considering the lightning-fast speeds and top-notch features you get with each of them.


Split tunneling, which comes with the basic subscription plan, means you can now separate your non-VPN online traffic (banking, work-related social platforms) from your VPN activities (streaming, torrenting), which can be very handy for all the business folks in Sri Lanka. A kill-switch is also there to protect you from data leaks in case your connection drops in the middle of a sensitive online task. These and a myriad of other security features are why ExpressVPN has such a strong security reputation.


Global coverage with great security in Sri Lanka


Express VPN has thousands of fast servers in 94 countries worldwide, including Sri Lanka, which makes it perfect for unblocking the largest variety of content in this country and abroad. What’s more, this provider offers obfuscated (stealth) servers, so you can use it even on your trips to China, Belarus, UAE, and other countries with strict censorship.


Strong encryption and a great choice of protocols you get with ExpressVPN means you can enjoy even faster and more secure connections in Sri Lanka. I usually recommend OpenVPN, as an all-around and battle-tested VPN protocol; however, for time-sensitive tasks, it’s well-worth trying Lightway, which is lighter in code and allows faster connections without compromising your security!


ExpressVPN is an independently audited zero-logs service. In other words, it has publicly proven that it doesn’t store any of its users' data, so you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands.


Impressive speeds


When choosing a VPN for Sri Lanka, you should consider only the fastest services on the market to ensure decent connection speeds – and ExpressVPN regularly tops speed charts. This is ideal for ardent gamers that will experience the smoothest online gaming with this VPN – without buffering and with minimum ping.


ExpressVPN is also great for streaming, and I regularly use it to unblock different Netflix catalogs on my journies abroad. Great consistency in connection speeds, and impressive speeds in general, is why I always go back to ExpressVPN for streaming.


Although VPNs aren’t genuinely there to make your internet faster, some services (including ExpressVPN) can reduce throttling introduced by ISPs, making your connections faster and smoother. If you suspect your Sri Lankan ISP is throttling your bandwidth, you can always take advantage of ExpressVPN's 30-day money-back guarantee and compare the speeds before and after for free.

Private Internet Access is the most secure VPN for Sri Lanka. Offers robust encryption and advanced features with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      82% OFF
    • 6 months: $7.5/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros

    • A court-proven no-logs policy and strong security features
    • Super-cheap with the highest privacy industry standards
    • P2P servers and port-forwarding, perfect for torrenting
    • Tens of thousands of servers worldwide, with locations in Sri Lanka
  • Cons

    • Slower than ExpressVPN and NordVPN
    • US-based company
    • Not publicly audited (yet)
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

PIA Demo

PIA Demo PIA Demo


Private Internet Access (PIA) is a privacy leader, known for its strong encryption, privacy-focused features, and highly-customizable apps. It offers apps for all your devices, with thousands of fast servers dotted over 84 countries worldwide.


PIA unblocks exclusive content in Sri Lanka and worldwide, and offers P2P servers and port-forwarding, making it a great option for torrenters who want to make their downloads more secure. Best of all, this no-logs provider comes with some of the cheapest plans on the market.


Privacy leader


Although it’s based in the US, which isn't an ideal place privacy-wise (with so many organizations and agencies snooping around), PIA compensates it well with a very strict zero-logs policy which has been proven in court more than once. You can, therefore, trust this provider when it says it saves no information about your online activities. So, even if pressed with a warrant to hand over its logs to the authorities, PIA won’t share your information because it has nothing to share.


PIA comes with robust AES 256-bit encryption and a choice of industry-leading protocols, such as OpenVPN and WireGuard. OpenVPN had revolutionized the VPN scene and set very high security and transparency standards at the time. However, WireGuard is the freshest and most promising protocol that’s even more lightweight and so is quicker and easier on the batteries of your devices.


Whichever protocol you choose, you’ll get to take advantage of PIA’s superb privacy features, including:



Best VPN for torrenting


Unlike most providers on this list, PIA comes with both P2P-specific servers and port-forwarding. This, along with the exclusive privacy features listed above, makes it the best choice for secure and private torrenting.



With a single subscription, you can connect to up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is ideal for large households, or groups working on joined projects. And don’t worry, this is all without compromising on your download speeds or data caps.


You’ll be glad to hear that I've never detected any IP leaks with PIA – more great news for torrenters, but also everybody else looking to keep their online activities confidential. PIA will even protect you from ads and malware, so you can enjoy torrenting in Sri Lanka with added peace of mind.


Tens of thousands of servers worldwide


Yes, you saw that right! PIA has tens of thousands of servers worldwide, and the number keeps growing. These servers are strategically well-placed in over 84 countries around the world, with a slight focus on the US region – but this means you get to unblock American services, like Netflix US, Hulu, and Amazon Prime! PIA has fast servers in Sri Lanka too, so you’ll be able to unblock the most popular Sri Lankan TV channels like DAN TV, Hiru TV, and Shraddha TV, and enjoy seamless streaming.


PIA is also known as the favorite service of Reddit users. They continuously vote it the number one provider because it's jam-packed with features and is quick and cheap. PIA has great apps for all your OS’es, even Linux, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out risk-free in Sri Lanka.

CyberGhost is the cheapest Sri Lanka VPN provider. It’s an easy-to-use VPN with great apps, servers in over 90 countries, Sri Lankan IPs, and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 36 months + 3 months FREE: $2.29/mth
      83% OFF
    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      84% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.29/mth
      67% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Very generous 45-day money-back guarantee
    • Servers located around the world, including in Sri Lanka
    • Fully-featured apps for all your devices, beginner-friendly
  • Cons

    • Not audited by a third party
    • Slower than most VPNs on this list
    • Lacks obfuscation (stealth servers), not suitable for travels to China
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost Demo

CyberGhost Demo CyberGhost Demo


CyberGhost is an established VPN from Romania that’s perfect for streaming and online sports marathons – you get servers worldwide and multiple Sri Lankan IPs. It’s extremely easy to set up and use, with elegant apps for all your devices and great cross-platform compatibility. Best of all, it’s the cheapest VPN on this list and offers an impressive 45-day money-back guarantee.


Away from prying eyes


CyberGhost is based in Romania, so there will be no government spying on your online activities – the Romanian government has no such tendencies. You also have the option of NoSpy servers, which shouldn’t be confused with obfuscation (stealth servers), but are also very effective at bypassing online censorship and increasing your anonymity. They are located in Romania, away from the jurisdiction of the 5 Eyes and similar intelligence alliances, and come with superior hardware characteristics – they have a dedicated uplink, so they come with extended bandwidth and are faster than regular Cyberghost servers.



On top of that, CyberGhost employs a super-secure combo of AES 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN protocol, making your data transfers completely private in Sri Lanka. WireGuard has recently joined its roster of protocols – which is a great bonus, considering its lightning-fast speeds and advanced security characteristics.


CyberGhost's kill-switch is enabled by default, which is quite handy compared to most other providers who require you to activate it manually. This means your online traffic will stop automatically if your VPN connection drops, protecting you from leaks, with no action needed from your side.


Stream movies, series, sports, and more


CyberGhost comes with servers in 91 countries worldwide, including Sri Lanka, which gives you access to the most popular streaming services, locally and internationally. What’s more, the service has dedicated Netflix servers that enable you to unblock the largest Netflix libraries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Japan.


You can take advantage of CyberGhost’s generous 45-day money-back guarantee to try it with BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and others as well. Sports fans will be able to stream ESPN, Eurosport, even Sky Sports (one of the most popular Cricket sports channels), and a long list of others privately and smoothly – without buffering and interruptions.


Great value for money


CyberGhost offers super convenient and easy-to-use apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and even Linux from recently. The provider allows up to 7 simultaneous connections, which is more than enough for everyone's personal use (and sharing), and it’s compatible with Smart TVs, routers, and even XBOX and PS4 consoles.


This service is suitable for VPN newbies, with a straightforward setup process and in-built Product Guides to help you get started. Still, if you come across any difficulties, or you’re simply curious about how things work, the customer service team is available 24/6 via live chat or email. In any case, you get 45 days to figure out this VPN and try its advanced features, without risking any money – which is more than any other service on this list offers.

NordVPN is the best mid-range VPN for Sri Lanka. It doesn’t offer Sri Lankan IPs, but it's great at unblocking international content, super-fast servers, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Advanced privacy features, including ad and malware blocking
    • Consistently among the fastest VPNs we test
    • An impressive network of servers
  • Cons

    • Fewer servers locations than ExpressVPN and PIA
    • Affordable, but not the cheapest VPN on this list
    • No port-forwarding, not ideal for torrenting
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Nord Demo

Nord Demo Nord Demo


NordVPN is a globally popular VPN, known for its great unblocking power and privacy features. It’s an independently audited all-around provider, and admittedly, it would be positioned higher on our list if it had servers in Sri Lanka. However, NordVPN compensates for the lack of Sri Lankan IPs with thousands of lightning-fast servers in other countries worldwide, including neighboring Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.


Unblock all major streaming platforms


I very often recommend NordVPN for streaming geo-restricted content worldwide, since it unblocks Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more with no hustle. Besides, this VPN comes with an exclusive option called SmartPlay, which combines the safety qualities of a VPN and unique Smart DNS features – which is ideal for enjoying your favorite streaming content from the privacy and comfort of your home. This feature works on all your devices phone, laptop, tablet, and a Smart TV.


NordVPN’s interface has also been designed with the user experience in mind. Whether you prefer to play with its interactive server map and try different servers from over 60 countries worldwide or make use of its Quick Connect button and let the app scan for the best server for you, NordVPN offers both options to its customers.


Finally, NordVPN offers blazing speeds that are perfect for streaming, but also for your other data-intensive tasks like gaming, torrenting, and VoIP calls. I regularly used NordVPN on past trips to Sri Lanka and I never had issues streaming international content from there, nor did I ever experience buffering watching my favorite Netflix shows.


The longest list of privacy features


Not only will you be comfortable using this service (even if it’s your first time using a VPN), but you’ll also feel very secure, thanks to its ample choice of security features.



If you’re using insecure public networks in Sri Lanka (which we don’t recommend), I recommend using Nord’s Threat Protection, which comes free of charge with your basic plan and protects you from adverts, tracking cookies, and malware online.


Secure all-rounder


NordVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption with an excellent choice of protocols. I usually recommend the trusted OpenVPN protocol (for users whose main concern is security) or NordVPN's very own protocol, NordLynx (for speed-driven users). NordLynx is based on WireGuard, so it’s extremely light (consisting of just 4,000 lines of code) – a great combo of speed and security for users in Sri Lanka and worldwide.



Speaking of security, NordVPN has undergone two public security audits, conducted by the independent auditing firm, PWC. The most recent audit report came out in 2019, and has positively evaluated NordVPN’s security, speed, and bypassing of censorship. It also confirmed the integrity of NordVPN’s strict zero-logs policy.


This is the sort of dedication we at Pro Privacy love to see from VPNs – and I felt very secure whenever I was using NordVPN in Sri Lanka. To sum up, NordVPN is a secure all-rounder, perfect for all your data-intensive tasks or sensitive projects in Sri Lanka and abroad.

Surfshark is the best value-for-money VPN for Sri Lanka. Try exclusive features, excellent apps, and unlimited connections for all your devices, with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.3/mth
      83% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Super-fast, great for data-intensive tasks
    • Impressive privacy features toolkit
  • Cons

    • Fewer servers than you'd find with ExpressVPN or PIA
    • One-month subscription is quite expensive
    • Fewer features for macOS users
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo Surfshark Demo


Surfshark is another great all-rounder that would be positioned higher on this list if it provided Sri Lankan server locations. But other than that, it’s a great choice for anyone looking for a feature-rich, beginner-friendly service that unblocks a long list of international services, at a cheap price and with unlimited connections.


Bigger, better, faster, and stronger by day


Surfshark is a relatively new VPN on the scene but has already set some new industry standards by offering the same high-quality service as the industry's top players at a cheaper price and with unlimited simultaneous connections. Besides, it’s a VPN that continuously invests in feature advancements and server expansion.



So far, it has super-fast servers in over 65 countries around the globe, and that number keeps increasing. I regularly check Surfshark’s speed, simply because I am impressed with how far the service came in very a short time – frequently entering the top five on our speed charts, regularly proving it's a great value-for-money option.


Surfshak has recently joined its forces with NordVPN, which certainly helped the company’s growth. The merger took place in January 2022, and both companies have grown even stronger since.


Affordable but feature-rich


Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on this list, but is still jam-packed with advanced privacy features. These could be particularly useful in Sri Lanka and when traveling:



I have the Surfshark app on a smartphone that I use primarily for shopping – with CleanWeb and Surfshark Alert always on. This gives me the confidence that I am not risking getting infected by malware or accidentally leaking my sensitive data while browsing numerous shopping sites.


Unlimited service


Surfshark is one of the very few providers that offer a truly unlimited service – you get unrestricted bandwidth and data traffic, apps for all your devices, and an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. IPTV protection – once you unblock your favorite content, you’ll probably want to watch it on a bigger screen, Surfshark enables this, without compromising your privacy.


All in all, Surfshark is a real bargain, ideal for Sri Lankan internet users who are on a budget. I always recommend it to big families, groups of students or friends, and anyone who doesn’t want to have to count simultaneous connections and repeatedly connect and disconnect devices.


All of this is available for a little over $2 dollars a month (if you subscribe for two years). But don’t worry! Before you make this commitment, you can thoroughly inspect this service without any risk, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Torrenting itself is rarely illegal, except for in a few countries that have blocked torrenting sites altogether – and Sri Lanka isn't one of them. However, downloading and sharing copyrighted material is very much illegal almost everywhere, including in Sri Lanka. Even though the Sri Lankan authorities tend to still overlook it, we strongly advise against it.

Since, at times, it isn't easy to determine which files are being legally shared and which ones aren't, torrenting tends to involve a lot of gray area. For that reason, some countries have decided to completely ban torrenting, and others, like Spain and Switzerland, allow various kinds of torrents – as long as they are for personal use, and not for profit. Sri Lanka, however, has strict laws against sharing copyrighted material, and using torrents for illegal purposes can lead to large fines (even though torrents are legal).

That's why, at ProPrivacy, we always recommend checking local internet regulations in any country you're online in to make sure you stay on the safe side of the law. Remember, there are plenty of online sources where you can download and stream content legally and for free. And, sometimes, a VPN can help you expand your borders when it comes to exclusive movies, music, or games.

How does ProPrivacy find the best VPNs for Sri Lanka?

There are currently hundreds of VPNs on the market, all claiming to be the best, which can making picking out your perfect provider a challenge. Choosing randomly will leave you disappointed, however, downloading and trying out each VPN would also be a very tedious job.

Luckily, we have a team of experts who have done the testing for you, and who continue to review VPNs every day. On top of that, each of us use these VPNs in our day-to-day lives to protect our digital footprint and bypass online censorship.

Also, I took the time to personally go through some of the world's best VPN providers and choose the most suitable VPNs for Sri Lanka, keeping in mind the following criteria.

Privacy and security

All the VPNs on this list use military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, with multiple protocol options to choose from. OpenVPN, WireGuard, Lightway (ExpressVPN only), and NordLynx (NordVPN only) protocols are the options I'd go with, but you should try to compare at least a few of them to see which one works best for you.

There's one important thing to remember – no matter which one you choose, all these VPN protocols will make you secure online. What's more, you can always combine them with other privacy and security features to make your online privacy truly watertight.

Coverage – number of servers (in Sri Lanka)

To help you choose the best providers for Sri Lanka, I've listed only the VPNs that offer thousands of fast servers worldwide – and, therefore, unblock the greatest variety of international content online. The first three VPNs on this list also include servers located in Sri Lanka (meaning they can offer Sri Lankan IPs), so they can also be used to access exclusive Sri Lankan content from abroad.

Not completely satisfied?

Looking for more VPNs with Sri Lankan IPs? Consider HMA and Hotspot Shield – they're both excellent providers with servers in Sri Lanka (and worldwide).

 

Speed

With broadband internet speeds below average in Sri Lanka, you don't want your VPN to slow you down any further. On this list, I've included only the VPNs that provide consistently reliable speeds and performance, and can be regularly seen in the top ten on our speed charts. You won't experience any lag or buffering in Sri Lanka, or any other country in the world, with these VPNs.

Performance

Speaking of performance, not all VPNs can beat geo-blocks or circumvent online censorship. Most VPNs on this list have obfuscated (cloaked) servers, and those that don't provide obfuscation use other effective methods to protect your digital footprint. For example, CyberGhost uses NoSpy servers located in Romania (away from snooping agencies).

Advanced features

All the VPNs we recommend offer advanced privacy and security features. Mentioned on this comparison page are the features we frequently test – and I use many of them in my daily online activities (for example, I regularly use split-tunneling to separate my VPN traffic from my non-VPN activities).

Political Overview

Sri Lanka is considered a semi-presidential representative democratic republic. In such a system, the president is both the head of state and the head of government. Executive power is held by the government, and legislative power is split between the government and parliament.

The nation is still recovering from a brutal civil war that spanned from 1983 until 2009. During that time, two parties dominated the South Asian country's politics – the socialist Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the conservative United National Party.

Although the nation has been relatively stable since the end of the Civil War, it is still rated poorly on the world bank's political stability index with an average score of -0.98 for the period stretching from 1996 to 2017.

In the last two years, the country has experienced renewed political turmoil. Most notably, in 2018 President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.

A month later parliament held a vote of no confidence against Rajapaksa, and in November Sirisena's attempts to dissolve parliament – with calls for a snap election – were deemed unconstitutional. Seven weeks later, in December, Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party was reinstated as prime minister by the president following two votes in parliament.

Despite the relatively quick turnaround to the political crisis, the situation in the region remains fragile. Trust in President Sirisena is low following the attempted power grab. On the other hand, the seven-week crisis proved that the nation's parliamentary institutions work better than expected.

Despite this, the unstable political situation could cause a depreciation in the value of the rupee against the US dollar. This problematic economic footing could lead to a deterioration of Sri Lanka's political environment.

Censorship

In March 2018, a state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka following severe clashes between local Sinhalese Buddhist and Muslim populations. The Sri Lankan anti-Muslim riots started in the town of Ampara and spread to the city of Kandy in the center of the island nation.

During and following the riots, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were restricted by ISPs. In addition, messengers such as WhatsApp and Viber were blocked. According to the government, those blocks were enforced in an attempt to quell rampant hate speech. According to the government, false reports of ethnically motivated attacks spread via social media were used to inflame the situation.

In October, another severe crackdown on internet access occurred. Following president Sirisena's sacking of PM Wickremesinghe in October, human rights activists and citizens took to the street in protest. Social media and messengers were again targeted in an attempt to stop protesters from communicating and organizing themselves. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission was also ordered to force mobile operators to restrict 3G and 4G connectivity in the Kandy district.

The temporary blackouts are in addition to ongoing censorship of any internet content considered politically or religiously incompatible in the nation. According to a local report, 14 websites were added to the block list since 2015. Websites and news sources critical of the presidency are restricted.

Websites containing pornography are also restricted within the nation, and the Cyber Crimes Division has the power to investigate and issue blocks on websites found to contain illegal or defamatory content or political news.

In June 2018, Facebook met with Sri Lankan authorities and agreed to work harder to improve its language capabilities for moderation of Sri Lankan content. It is hoped that this will lower the frequency of hate speech on the platform and lower the chances of future social media blackouts.

Surveillance

In 2018, a new electronic national identity card was introduced. The e-NIC Project has massively raised privacy concerns within the nation. Privacy experts in the nation have complained that a central database containing sensitive private information and biometric data is at a huge risk of hacking. The database is also criticized for holding family tree data.

Getting online

Access to public WiFi in the nation requires the input of citizens' national identity card numbers. This allows the government to track people's internet habits.

 

News websites are also heavily regulated, with all content providers forced to give the name of the server IP addresses, and the location from which their content is uploaded. This stops journalists and bloggers from uploading content anonymously and successfully silences dissenting political opinions in a country where violent oppression already severely hampers freedom of speech.

All telecommunications companies in Sri Lanka must adhere to requests from the government. Records can be accessed without warrants, and the legislature does not require targets to be informed. The result is that there are no records of the number of requests made.

In 2018, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace interviewed 27 individuals in the north of Sri Lanka. In the report, details about excessive surveillance, harassment, and intimidation by state security agencies are included.

Sri Lanka's copyright laws are largely governed by the policy of fair use. It permits for works to be disseminated and used for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Computer programs, as well as original intellectual creation in the literary, artistic, and scientific domains, are all protected under Sri Lankan laws.

It is worth noting that while torrenting is legal in the country, piracy is not. However, it would appear that ISPs and the authorities do not spend time or effort policing copyright restrictions, meaning that there are very little in the way of deterrents for piracy. It would appear that software piracy is more closely monitored. With reports of both fines and imprisonment for large-scale copyright infringements reported in 2008.

Sri Lankan VPN FAQs

Final word

Finding the right VPN can be a lot of work – but it's well worth it! To help you get started as quickly as possible, here's a reminder of the best Sri Lankan VPNs.

From $6.67/month

The best Sri Lankan VPN – blazing speeds, Sri Lankan IPs, and global coverage. Unblocks everything, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
10 out of 10
Simultaneous connections
5
Free trial
No
Server locations
160

From $2.19/month

The most secure Sri Lankan VPN. Top-notch privacy features, proven no-logs policy, a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.9 out of 10
Server locations
84
Simultaneous connections
10
Free trial
No

From $2.19/month

The cheapest VPN for Sri Lanka – a hassle-free VPN that offers Sri Lankan and foreign IPs, with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.8 out of 10
Free trial
Yes
Server locations
113
Simultaneous connections
7

From $3.69/month

The best mid-range Sri Lankan VPN. Great unblocking power, super-fast speeds, ideal for streaming. With a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.7 out of 10
Server locations
60
Simultaneous connections
6
Free trial
No

From $2.30/month

The best value-for-money Sri Lankan VPN. Unblocks plenty, with unlimited simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ProPrivacy TrustScore:
9.6 out of 10
Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
Free trial
Yes
Server locations
108

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

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