5 Best VPNs for Pakistan - How to get a Pakistan ip Address

Pakistan's Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) came into effect in August 2016. That digital crimes bill gives the authorities wide-ranging powers to detain Internet users. The legislation makes many online activities - including the use of an unregistered VPN - into a crime.

The use of a VPN in Pakistan will allow you to pretend to be in a different country to bypass geo-restrictions or censored content. However, anybody who decides to use a VPN without first registering it with the government is breaking the law.

Bypassing censorship imposed by ISPs in Pakistan with a VPN could result in prosecution. For this reason, it is essential to stick to a highly effective VPN with a kill switch and obfuscation. And you must remember that, due to PECB, the use of a VPN in Pakistan is always at your own risk.

 

What are the best VPNs for Pakistan?

In Pakistan, it is only legal to use a VPN if it is registered with the Pakistani Telecoms Authority and is used for legally permissible reasons. Despite this, many thousands of people use an unregistered VPN without getting in trouble. If you want to risk using a VPN to access censored or geo-restricted content in Pakistan, it is important to stick to a VPN that has strong privacy features. Below you can take a quick look at the best VPNs for Pakistan. For more details on each provider, click through to our reviews.

ExpressVPN is a fast VPN with a no logs policy, a kill switch, and obfuscation

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

ExpressVPN is a provider based in the British Virgin Islands that is often considered the world’s best VPN. The service has apps for all platforms that include advanced features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, OpenVPN encryption, and obfuscation to conceal your VPN use from your ISP. These features make ExpressVPN perfect for unblocking content in Pakistan.


With ExpressVPN, users can install and use their VPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously. And this VPN is able to unblock some of the world's most sought after services, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, hulu, and much more. We love this VPNs 24/7 live chat support, which will allow you to get advice at any time of day. And this provider has useful setup guides for getting the VPN working smoothly.


Where speeds are concerned, this VPN has a Tier-1 network of servers in 94 countries - and those servers all provide speeds great for gaming, streaming in HD, and doing video conferencing in private.


Overall, it's a superb VPN that truly gives you what you pay for. Well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Surfshark is a consumer favorite VPN that is both secure and fast

  • Pricing

    From  $1.94 - $11.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

Surfshark is a VPN that has only been around a few years. However, it has quickly gained a superb reputation because of its low prices and advanced features. With Surfshark, you get fully featured apps for all platforms, and it lets you install and use the VPN on an unlimited number of devices!


Servers are located in over 60 countries, and all of its servers provide lightning-fast connection speeds. That makes Surfshark perfect for downloading torrents and streaming in HD. With Surfshark you get access to a huge number of international Netflix catalogs, and this VPN works to unblock iPlayer, HBO GO, Prime video, and much more.


We love the privacy features you get with Surfshark, which includes a kill switch, DSN leak protection, and obfuscation. This ensures you can access censored content with peace of mind. And this VPN has excellent 24/7 live chat support. Well worth comparing to ExpressVPN using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

VyprVPN is a fully audited no-logs VPN with a kill switch and obfuscation

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

VyprVPN is a provider based in Switzerland; a location that is considered superb for digital privacy. Plus, this VPN has had a full third party security audit which means you can trust its no logs claims.


With this VPN you get easy-to-use apps for all platforms that come with a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and obfuscation. We enjoy VyprVPN because it has servers in over 70 countries; perfect for unblocking censored or geo-restricted content. And this VPN is one of the few that unblocks Netflix US and BBC iPlayer (which are the services we use as a benchmark).


If you want a secure VPN that provides decent speeds and strong privacy features, this is a service well worth considering. However, please bear in mind that it isn't quite as fast as our top-recommended services. On the other hand, it has a money-back guarantee, so you can compare it to the other services in this guide yourself if you want to! 

IPVanish is a superb US VPN provider with a no logs policy and XOR obfuscation

  • Pricing

    From  $3.70 - $10.00
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix

IPVanish is a VPN provider based in the USA, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea since the USA is the land of the NSA. It gets a bad reputation for a reason, however, IPVanish is a service that has a no logs policy - which means that even if the police come knocking, it will never have any records to hand over.


This VPN is extremely well featured when it comes to advanced privacy; with a kill switch, military-grade OpenVPN encryption, DNS leak protection, and strong effective obfuscation. That makes this VPN easy to recommend for users in Pakistan. Plus, this VPN has fast servers in over 60 countries great for unblocking US services and content.


We enjoy using this VPN because it is easy to use on all platforms. And users can install it on up to 10 devices with just one subscription. It is a fast VPN that is a great all-rounder and well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 


 


 

PrivateVPN is a fully featured VPN with the settings you need to stay secure in Pakistan

  • Pricing

    From  $1.89 - $10.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

PrivateVPN is a no logs service from Sweden that lives up to its name. The service has secure apps for all platforms that come with a kill switch, OpenVPN encryption, DNS leak protection and obfuscation. That makes it ideal for accessing geo-restricted or censored content in Pakistan.


PrivateVPN can unblock more Netflix catalogs than any other VPN, and it is successful at unblocking iPlayer and just about any other service you throw at it. We enjoy using this VPN for downloading torrents in privacy, or for streaming in HD. And, we like that this VPN has live chat support on its website.


This VPN is always highly recommended by consumers, who know it provides an exceptional value for money. It's well worth comparing to our other recommendations using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Why do you need a VPN for Pakistan?

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocks access to all online content considered incompatible with the religious, moral, and cultural ideals of the country. Websites and services that contain content relating to nudity, alcohol, gambling, drugs, the LGBT community, blasphemy or are critical of Pakistan’s government are blocked. Some popular websites that have been or are currently blocked in Pakistan include:

  • Reddit (pornographic subreddits are completely banned)
  • Torrent sites (Piratebay, Kickass Torrents, Torrentz, Bitsnoop, Extra Torrent and Torrent Reactor etc)
  • Quora
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • Imgur
  • Ibb/Imgbb
  • Medical information sites like WebMD, MedicineNet about sexual health and couples therapy sites

If you are visiting Pakistan and you require access to any of this restricted content, you will need to use a secure VPN. PECB has been extensively criticized throughout the world, due to it being used to enact social media blocks, blogger arrests, and political censorship.

Media outlets regularly complain that military and intelligence agencies use intimidation to stop them from covering stories critical of government actions. And journalists and religious minorities often face violent attacks at the hands of armed Islamist militias, resulting in multiple deaths each year.

Since 2011, it has only technically been legal to use a VPN in Pakistan if it is officially registered with the PTA. And it is worth noting that the government appears to be stepping up its VPN restrictions as of late. According to a PTA insider, the government has invested in “a sophisticated system to curb grey traffic by detecting unregistered VPNs.”

Despite this, depending on what you plan to do with your VPN - registering a VPN could actually single you out for closer inspection (which seems like a bad idea). For this reason, the registration of VPNs is still considered something that corporations and businesses should do rather than individuals using commercial pass-through VPNs.

It is also worth noting that despite the PTA’s recent claims, the digital investigations unit in Pakistan is not considered particularly sophisticated (of course this could change). Up until now, the authorities have not actively tracked what people do online, and citizens living in Pakistan have stated on both Reddit and Quora that people do often use consumer VPNs in Pakistan without getting in trouble.

While this might be true, it is worth remembering that Pakistan is a strict country. And PECB is so vague that even relatively innocent online activities could theoretically get you in trouble. As a result, using an unregistered VPN to gain digital privacy is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it could result in prosecution (however rare that might actually be). Whereas on the other; it will provide you with the privacy you require to access the internet without fear that your ISP is tracking your web visits on behalf of the government.

Covering your tracks with a VPN may actually be the safer way to access the internet. However, anybody who decides to use a VPN in Pakistan is advised to only use a service that provides advanced privacy and security features.

What features does a VPN for Pakistan need?

Due to the legality issues and grey areas involved in using a VPN in Pakistan - and the repercussions involved in accessing any content that could be considered illegal by the authorities - it is important to use a VPN that has advanced privacy and security features.

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, and the vast majority of those services are lacking essential safety features required for Pakistan visitors and residents. Below is a list of the features we looked for when testing VPNs for Pakistan:

  1. Zero logs policy. A VPN is only ever as secure as its logging policy. To ensure that your online habits are secure both now and in the future, it is essential that you only ever use a VPN that keeps no logs regarding what its users do online. This means that even if the VPN is served a warrant by the government, it will never have any records about what you did while connected to its servers.
  2. A kill switch. A VPN kill switch is designed to cut your device's connection to the internet if the VPN connection accidentally drops out. Without a kill switch, you could accidentally allow your ISP to detect the websites you are visiting, which could land you in trouble with the law.
  3. DNS leak protection. DNS requests allow your ISP to tell which websites you are visiting. VPNs proxy these requests to their own servers to ensure that your ISP cannot track your web habits. However, many VPNs suffer from disastrous leaks that would cause your ISP to resolve those requests, allowing them to know which websites you are visiting. Our recommendations all come with DNS leak protection to stop this from ever happening.
  4. Obfuscated servers. When you use a VPN, it is impossible for your ISP to know which websites you are visiting. However, Deep Packet Inspection can allow your VPN to figure out that VPN encryption is in use, and this alone could be enough to get you in trouble in Pakistan. PTA refers to encrypted traffic as “grey traffic.” VPN obfuscation is a special technology that disguises ‘grey traffic’ as regular, boring HTTPS. Due to the legal status of VPN use in Pakistan, we recommend that you always use obfuscation when connecting to a VPN.

Will a free VPN keep me secure in Pakistan?

The simple answer to this question is no. Studies have revealed that the vast majority of free VPNs are dodgy services that cannot be trusted. Even many of the VPNs that appear high on the Google Play or Apple app store are actually services that should be avoided (which is why you need to be careful when trusting the general public’s opinion on these kinds of services and technologies).

Free VPNs often have troubling privacy policies that allow them to sell user data to third parties. This results in the VPN keeping logs about the websites you visit, which could potentially be seen by the government at some point in the future.

Other free VPNs are known to lie about the kind of encryption they provide; some were even found to have none. Using this kind of free VPN would give you a completely false sense of security and would allow your ISP to track every website you visit.

Finally, many free VPNs have been found to suffer from WebRTC or DNS leaks that ruin the VPN connection and allow your ISP to detect the websites you are visiting. For these reasons, it is dangerous to use a free VPN in Pakistan. In addition, most free VPNs do not have the advanced features mentioned above that you require to use a VPN safely in Pakistan.

If you are desperately in need of a free VPN, there are a few services that can be trusted. Our free recommendations have strong privacy policies and secure VPN apps. However, before using these trusted free VPNs, we recommend that you look at each service closely to ensure you use one with the security and privacy features mentioned earlier in this article.

Do I need a VPN for blogging in Pakistan?

If you are a person who uses social media or an online blog to complain about Pakistan’s government, then you need to be extremely careful to hide your identity. A VPN can't make you anonymous, because the services you use still know who you are if you subscribe using your real name.

If you use a fake name to hide your tracks, your ISP will still be able to see that you are logging into a service and using it, and this could single you out as a political dissident, activist, or blogger. If you tend to be outspoken and have opinions that might get you in trouble, it is essential that you are very careful and use a VPN to conceal your real IP address.

Even if you live outside of Pakistan but are a Pakistani citizen with a Pakistan-issued passport, you could eventually get in trouble for posting anti-government or blasphemous comments online. PECB gives Pakistani authorities the legal right to track down and prosecute all Pakistani passport holders - no matter where they reside in the world.

Pakistan has bilateral extradition laws in place with a total of 13 countries; Austria; Belgium; Denmark; France; Greece; Italy; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Portugal; Switzerland; Turkey; and the United States. That means you should take the threat seriously and do everything in your power to conceal your identity from the authorities; including by using a VPN.

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. 

1 Comment

Aneek
on June 29, 2018
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This object is good for watching a match
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