5 Best VPNs for Cuba | Get Unrestricted Internet with a VPN!

In Cuba, simply getting Internet access can be a complex task that you need to prepare for. But, things get more complicated once you're online, with some websites being blocked. Luckily a virtual private network (VPN) for Cuba can help and in this guide we show you the best ones to use.

 

The best VPNs for Cuba at a glance

We have listed the best VPNs for Cuba below. We take a closer look at these VPNs and summarise their features below.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for Cuba. It has lightning fast connections and fully featured apps for all devices including Android and iOS.
  2. Surfshark - The cheapest VPN for Cuba on our list. For just $1.99 you get solid speeds, plus two obfuscation modes to defeat censorship.
  3. VyprVPN - A great all-round VPN for Cuba. Its Chameleon tech makes it a powerhouse of defeating online censorship.
  4. IPVanish - A fast VPN for Cuba. It's easy to use with apps for all platforms, including Android and iOS.
  5. PrivateVPN - An easy to use service with apps for all platforms and servers in over 60 countries.

In order for a VPN to make it into our top 5, it has to meet a few vital criteria – which we've listed below:

Now you know what we're looking for, let's take a closer look at our top VPN picks for Cuba.

Cuba VPN Considerations

As hard as it is to get onto the internet in Cuba, it's a shock that many websites are blocked there as well. Luckily, with a VPN you can unblock all these websites, and provide you with access to more.

In the following, we're exploring the reasons that you might need a VPN for in Cuba. Continue reading to find out what obstacles you might face and how a VPN can help.

Analysis of the Best VPNs for Cuba in 2021

We take a closer look at the best VPN services for Cuba below. All of these services have the security features needed to stay secure and private online in Cuba. If you need more information about any of the services below, check out our VPN reviews.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Cuba. This well-known service that is perfect for internet users in Cuba thanks to fast speeds and an extensive server network that spans the globe.

  • Pricing

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

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo
ExpressVPN Demo


ExpressVPN is often regarded as the gold-standard of VPNs, and it's not difficult to see why. With ultra-fast servers in 94 countries, folks in Cuba will have unfettered access to international sites and services that might've ordinarily been blocked. In fact, ExpressVPN can unblock just about any social media platform, news outlet, and even Netflix US and Hulu.


And the provider certainly doesn't disappoint when it comes to privacy, either. I particularly enjoy the ExpressVPN kill switch – it's a simple feature that does an important job, by making sure your IP address and personal data doesn't leak in the event of a VPN dropout. The kill-switch (called Network Lock) is enabled automatically by default, so you're always covered! Additionally, ExpressVPN packs AES-256 encryption, doesn't keep any connection logs, and offers obfuscated servers.


These servers have been incredibly useful for citizens in China looking to bypass restrictive censorship, and we think people in Cuba could benefit just as much from them, too. You can try all of this without worry thanks to ExpressVPN's 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark is the cheapest VPN for Cuba on our list. It's great value at just $1.99 a month, and for this you get great speeds and unblocking capabilities, as well as decent levels of privacy.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $2.49/mth
      80% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.49/mth
      49% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo
Surfshark Demo


Surfshark impresses us right away by making its home in the British Virgin Islands – well beyond the reach of invasive data-retention polciies. Surfshark keeps no logs at all, in fact, and offers some incredibly useful privacy features that anyone in Cuba could benefit from. If you're looking to conceal your VPN usage entirely, Camouflage Mode has you covered, and NoBorders mode can automatically detect any network restrictions and offer you a list of recommended servers. Surfshark customers also benefit from AES-256 encryption, RAM-only servers, and a kill-switch – though you'll have to enable it via the Settings menu, first.


Folks in Cuba will be able to connect to servers in Tampa and Orlando, Flordia, as well as locations in Costa Rica and Columbia. All Surfshark servers are wickedly fast, and you won't have any trouble watching Netflix in HD regardless of where you are or the device you use. In fact, Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections!


Surshark's low price tag (by international standards) is also likely to appeal to many Cubans, and if there are any problems, you can take advantage of Surfshark's 30-day money-back guarantee. That the provider accepts payment in a variety of cryptocurrencies may also prove useful to those looking to stay anonymous.


 

VyprVPN is a great all-round VPN for Cuba. It beats censorship with ease thanks to it's exclusive Chameleon stealth tech and proprietary server network.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 12 months FREE: $1.81/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months + 6 months FREE: $2.5/mth
      80% OFF
    • 1 month + 1 month FREE: $6.47/mth
      50% OFF
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

VYPR Demo

VYPR Demo
VYPR Demo


VyprVPN has a huge network of servers scattered across 70 global locations. They're quick, easy to hop between, and owned entirely by VyprVPN itself, meaning that you don't have to worry about any third party involvement. If you're in Cuba and looking to access a free and open internet, we'd suggest connecting to VyprVPN servers in Miami, San Jose (Costa Rica), San Salvador, Panama City or Bogata.


In terms of privacy, VyprVPN has an impressive setup. Not only does a subscription include AES-256 encryption and an intuitive kill-switch that you can enable in a click, but it can also bypass government censorship with its Chameleon protocol. When using Chameleon, your ISP won't be able to tell that you're using a VPN at all, and you'll have access to social media sites without restrictions. In addition, VyprVPN can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max! So, give it a go yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

IPVanish is a fast VPN for Cuba. This US based provider provides an excellent no-logs policy which is ideal for privacy in restrictive countries.

  • Pricing

    • 24 month discount: $2.92/mth
      74% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.2/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $10.99/mth
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

IPVanish Demo

IPVanish Demo
IPVanish Demo


IPVanish offers a robust VPN. And with a no VPN logs policy, government agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) can't gain access to your valuable data. And you can be sure that if the NSA can't get hold of it, neither can Cuba. Enabling IPVanish's obfuscation measures is as simple as hitting a switch – enabled the "Scramble" feature to ensure that your OpenVPN traffic remains concealed from intrusive DPI... oh, and don't forget to enable the kill-switch, too!


We're impressed by IPVanish's widespread server network, covering 60 countries and giving folks in Cuba plenty of choice about where they'd like to route their connection. If you're looking for a speedy connection, join a server in Miami, Costa Rica, or Colombia, and enjoy unrestricted access to Netflix and all your social media accounts. You can take IPVanish for a test drive, too, thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee.

PrivateVPN ticks every important box for getting privacy and freedom online.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 12 months FREE: $2.49/mth
      79% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN Demo
PrivateVPN Demo


PrivateVPN stays true to its name. It promises a zero-logs policy, meaning that it keeps no identifiable information or usage logs that could be tied to users. It also comes with an automatic kill switch and an impressive stealth VPN feature, which are must-haves for anyone looking to bypass the harsh restrictions in Cuba and keep their VPN usage on the down-low. You'll also be able to rest assured that top-notch 2048-bit encryption protects your connection at all times.


The service is particularly good at unblocking streaming services, granting access to more Netflix catalogs than any other provider on this list and manages flawless HD thanks to its fast connection speeds. You'll be able to torrent with PrivateVPN, and take your pick of a number of servers across 63 countries – and we'd suggest connecting to locations in Colombia, Costa Rica, or Miami if you're in Cuba and looking for a stable and speedy VPN connection. As a final cherry on top, PrivateVPN offers its customers a full 30-day money-back guarantee.

Internet Access in Cuba

You might be lucky enough to stay in a Cuban hotel that has a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you're staying in a budget hotel, however, you simply won't have the luxury – and even guests in high-end rooms will have to go to the lobby to connect to the internet, seeing as there won't be a signal in the room itself. The internet is only actually accessible in specific locations in the street, and this makes it difficult to use a laptop while on the island. So, plan to use your smartphone to access the web while in Cuba!

The Cuban government doesn't have the resources to put the internet filters and monitoring systems in place, that China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia can afford. The government's primary way to control the spread of dissent through the internet is to make it difficult to get online. Consequently, there are no blocks on access to social media sites. You can also access internet telephony apps in Cuba.

However, the internet service is so slow that you'll find WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger almost impossible to use – and you certainly won't be able to stream any videos online. To do so, you'd need a connection rate of 3 Mbps for HD video and 2 Mbps for SD video at a very minimum, and the Cuban internet system delivers 1 Mbps at its best.

You'll need a lightweight device and a lot of patience if you're planning to search for internet access in Cuba. Also, because there's so little internet traffic in the country, the government monitors it all, and you'll need to ensure your connections are extra secure.

 

Getting the most out of your VPN

A VPN will keep your communications private while you're in Cuba. If you crave entertainment, download movies and shows onto a tablet before you go. A VPN can protect you from prosecution when you use P2P networks to download copyrighted material. For more information see our best VPN for torrenting article.

Please note that ProPrivacy.com does not endorse or encourage the torrenting of copyrighted or illegal content.

The future looks bleak

Thanks to its contacts with China, the Cuban government promises to improve the quality of internet access in the country. The proposed imported technology may make the internet in Cuba faster, but it won't make life easier for those who want to access foreign websites. Along with faster routers, the Cuban government will also be importing all of the blocking, filtering, and monitoring software that makes up the Great Firewall of China. China has the most restrictive internet access in the world.

In July 2021, as the result of boiling tensions between Cuba's oppressive government and human rights protestors decrying the nation's desperate economic situation, citizens reported that the authorities had cut internet access across the country. It's a devastating tactic (if an unsurprising one, considering how swiftly and severely Cuban authorities have battled previous public protests), and it effectively blocks up all communication coming in and out of the island. News can neither enter nor leave Cuba to reach international sources, citizens cannot organize additional protests, and families may no longer be able to reach out to vulnerable loved ones or friends.

Nauta

The state-owned internet service in Cuba is called Nauta. If the internet is available in your hotel, Nauta will run it. You can access the internet with Nauta cards. The locations that sell Nauta cards are also home to Wi-Fi routers, so you can use the Nauta credit as soon as you buy it.

Getting Nauta Credit

You can often buy a pre-paid calling card at the front desk of your hotel. It'll have silver strips on the reverse side which reveal a username and password once you've scratched them off. While you can only buy one hour of internet access at a time, you can buy several cards at once. But because Nauta owns every hotspot in Cuba, and because you can use your Nauta cards at any hotspot you find, it's a good idea to have a few cards on your person as you travel.

If your hotel has Wi-Fi, there's no guarantee that it will have connection cards available. Their supply is irregular, and many outlets run out periodically. You can go to another hotel to buy them, but you may need to buy a drink or a meal at the hotel bar to qualify to purchase the cards. The hotel may also limit your purchase to just one card.

If you can't get a Nauta card from a hotel lobby, you're in for a taste of local lifestyle. You'll have to queue at a telecom office or newsstand in the street to get a card. Official sales points are few and far between. Waiting times are usually between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the time of day. As these booths have no indoor areas, you'll be queuing in the sweltering heat.

As with any commodity that attracts long queues, Nauta is available from ticket touts who mill about close to the lines. A card can cost as little as a few dollars, but you can cut out the queue by buying one from a tout for slightly more. This is a steep price for an hour of lousy internet access.

Once you get to the front of the queue for a card, buy a ton of them. These cards are valuable commodities that can appreciate in value. Given that the average monthly salary in Cuba is $877, so this $2 card is an expensive luxury for the locals.

Avoid Queuing with a VPN

One good aspect of the Nauta account management system is that it is also available in English. You can buy credit online, but only if you access the system from overseas. This function is available at www.etecsa.cu (ETECSA runs Nauta).

The website won't let you pay for credit online while you're in Cuba, but a VPN can get you around this problem. Connect to a VPN server in a nearby country – a server in Miami is always a good bet. This will make you seem to be in Miami, and the ETECSA system will allow you to pay for credit online and avoid queuing for Nauta cards.

Using Nauta Credit

Your Nauta credit will begin ticking down from the moment you first connect – even if the service is impossibly slow (and even if your connection doesn't seem to do anything at all), you'll still find your credits expiring within an hour. 

If you can't get any service at all, it's better to log off as quickly as possible and preserve your credit for another time. The credit lasts for 30 days from the first moment of connection.

 

Top tip

The logout option isn't easy to find on the main Nauta screen. Enter http://1.1.1.1 in the address field of your browser to get to the logout screen quickly.

Connect Safely

The first thing you'll see when you connect to the Nauta network is a warning message from your device. This tells you that you're about to connect to an unsecure network. This is why a VPN is a good idea. The VPNs on our list have automatic Wi-Fi protection. Make sure you have the VPN turned on before you connect to the Nauta network.

The VPN software will apply encryption to your connection across the Wi-Fi network. This is important because many sites that run https, such as all webmail systems, won't let you in if you try to access them over unsecure networks. As such, you'll run down your hour's credit looking at a series of blocking messages.

ETECSA

There is a local alternative called ETECSA, but this is no use to you if you want to access the real internet. You will see a few internet cafes in the center of big cities, but these are ETECSA outlets.

The ETECSA system operates more like an intranet. It doesn't give access to services outside the network. Instead, you can access state-controlled alternatives on this system. As such, you can access email on ETECSA, but only if you have an ETECSA email account. You can also send messages to others in Cuba with an email account on the same system.

Sites that you can visit on the ETECSA network include government information websites, a government-run encyclopedia, and cached versions of foreign websites that support the Cuban government. You can't access your Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail account through this system. You also can't get onto overseas websites, such as the Wall Street Journal or the BBC.

Conclusion

Life can be tough in Cuba. High-speed broadband is something that people in many other countries take for granted, but that's not the case in Cuba.

The VPNs on our list work well in China, so if you intend to travel to Cuba regularly in the future, these services will continue to serve you well once the Cuban government upgrades its internet status from "almost non-existent" to "repressive".

Written by: Hannah Hart

Originally hailing from Wales, Hannah Hart graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a 1:1 in Creative Writing, going on to work as an Editor across a number of trade magazines. As a professional writer, Hannah has worked across both digital and print media, and is familiar with collating news pieces, in depth reports and producing by lines for international publications. Otherwise, she can be found pouring over a tarot deck or spending more hours than she'll ever admit playing Final Fantasy 14.

0 Comments

There are no comments yet.

Got Something to Say?

Write Your Own Comment

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

  Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

We recommend you check out one of these alternatives:

The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round

Large brand with very good value, and a cheap price

One of the largest VPNs, voted best VPN by Reddit

One of the cheapest VPNs out there, but an incredibly good service