5 Best VPNs for South Africa - Unrestricted, High-Speed VPNs

To access a broad selection of entertainment in South Africa, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN service changes your IP address making you appear to be in a different location so you can unblock websites and services. That location depends on which VPN server you select and VPNs have servers worldwide. 

A VPN service will also encrypt your internet connection, which drastically improves your online privacy and keeps you secure on public WiFi networks.

In this guide, we list the best VPNs for South Africa and show you how to stay secure online in the country.

What are the best VPNs for South Africa?

We’ve listed the five best VPNs for South Africa below. Keep scrolling for more information about each VPN service.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for South Africa. It has super-fast servers, South Africa VPN servers, strong encryption, and it unblocks everything.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - A great value VPN for South Africa. It has easy-to-use apps for popular platforms, strong encryption, and lots of servers.
  3. Private Internet Access - The most secure VPN for South Africa. It has well implemented encryption and a proven no-logs policy.
  4. Surfshark - The cheapest South Africa VPN on the list. You get unlimited connections, great security features, and it unblocks lots.
  5. VyprVPN - A well-rounded South Africa VPN. It owns the whole sever network, so it's reliable – and it unblocks major streaming services.

All the best VPNs for South Africa have the following features to ensure that you get the most out of your new VPN:

The best South Africa VPNs | In-depth analysis

We take a closer look at the best South Africa VPN services below. If you need more information about any of the services below, check out our detailed VPN reviews.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for South Africa. It has super-fast servers around the world, South African IPs, strong encryption, and it unblocks almost every streaming service.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is a provider with servers in 94 countries; including in South Africa. It is a reliable service known for providing high levels of privacy and security. This makes it great for unblocking any content that has been blocked by the South African government, and for ensuring that your ISP can never track what you do online. 


It has easy-to-use apps for all platforms that come with advanced features like a kill-switch, OpenVPN encryption, and split tunneling. This makes it a good option for unblocking restricted torrent sites without ever being tracked. And, ExpressVPN lets users install the VPN on up to 5 devices, which makes this VPN good for maintaining privacy both at home and on public WiFi.


We love that ExpressVPN has 24/7 live chat to help you when you need it. And, while it is true that ExpressVPN costs a little more than our other recommendations for South Africa; you definitely get what you pay for. This is a secure VPN that provides some of the fastest connection speeds we have ever encountered, and it has just released its brand new Lightway protocol, which is even faster.


Plus this VPN works to unblock Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and anything else you can think of. A world-class VPN that you can test in South Africa thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost is a great value VPN choice for South Africa. It also offers excellent security features, a server in Cape Town, and excellent apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.25 - $13.47
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

CyberGhost VPN is an outstanding VPN provider from Romania that is a great choice for VPN newbies. It has apps for all platforms that are easy to navigate, and it comes with all the vital security and privacy features you need. It is a no-logs VPN which means you never have to worry about it having any records of what you do online, which is perfect if you intend to bypass blocks imposed by the South African government. It also provides incredibly well implemented military grade OpenVPN encryption, a kill-switch, and TCP over 443 (which will conceal VPN traffic as https). This makes it great for bypassing censorship or torrenting without being monitored.


CyberGhost VPN can be installed easily on all your devices, and it lets subscribers use the VPN on up to 7 devices. Plus, this VPN has servers in 91 countries, including in South Africa for accessing local content with the privacy of the VPN. This makes it perfect for getting good speeds and for unblocking international content. In addition, this VPN works for unblocking popular services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, and Hulu. It also has live chat support to help you when you most need it. An excellent all-rounder that is cheap and has a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access is a secure VPN for South Africa. It offers users strong encryption, has proven in court that it doesn't keep logs, and has some low cost plans.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.59 - $10.51
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Private Internet Access is a trusted VPN provider from the USA, that has a watertight no logs policy it has proven in court twice. This makes it a trustworthy service, and it is often praised by Reddit users who like the service due to its strong OpenVPN encryption, and fully-featured apps – that come with a number of advanced VPN features you won't find in with our other recommendations. This makes it great for techier South African users who need more customizability and granular control. Though, admittedly, it does make it a little more fiddly and confusing – which may not be the best for complete VPN beginners.


PIA has apps for all platforms that come with a killswitch DNS leak protection, OpenVPN encryption, obfuscation (stealth mode), port forwarding, split tunneling, and a SOCKS5 proxy. This makes it a particularly great choice for those who want to torrent regularly in South Africa. Plus, this VPN has servers in 74 countries that provide lightning-fast speeds for streaming in HD or torrenting. And, it does have servers in South Africa for gaining privacy even when you use local services. 


Plus, this popular VPN can unblock popular services like Netflix US, Hulu, YouTube TV, and anything else that takes your fancy. And this VPN also has live chat support to help you when you need it. An excellent VPN for anybody who wants granular control over every aspect of their VPN and its encryption levels.  You can test it yourself to compare it to our other recommendations using its 30-day money-back guarantee.


 

Surfshark is the cheapest VPN for South Africa. You can use it on unlimited devices with one subscription, unblock content from around the world, and it has South African IPs.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark is a popular service that subscribers often rave about due to its amazing value for money. It is a no-logs VPN with apps for all platforms, that it lets subscribers install on an unlimited number of devices. This makes it superb for South African residents who happen to own a lot of devices, who want to use a VPN both at home and on public WiFi, and for families and households with a number of people who all need the use of a VPN.


We enjoy using Surfshark on all of our devices, and it has custom apps for all popular platforms (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS). Those apps come fully featured with strong OpenVPN encryption, a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, and obfuscation (stealth mode). This makes it ideal for accessing restricted torrent sites and for downloading without being monitored. Plus, if you do want a VPN for torrenting, Surfshark also throws in a SOCKS5 proxy.


Sufshark is great for streaming because it provides lightning-fast connections to servers in over 60 countries, including IP addresses in South Africa. And, this VPN can unblock more international Netflix catalogs than just about any other VPN. As well as iPlayer, Hulu, and anything else you might be into. A superb VPN that is world-class in every aspect of its service, including its amazing 24/7 live chat support. Well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

VyprVPN is a great all-round VPN for South Africa. It owns and maintains the entire server network, making it reliable and it has been audited by a third party to prove it's secure.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

VyprVPN is a Swiss VPN that has had a full third party audit of its apps and infrastructure. This makes it a truly outstanding and trustworthy service capable of providing high levels of privacy and data security for anybody living in South Africa.


The VPN has apps for all platforms and servers in over 70 countries that are great for streaming. Its apps are fully featured with advanced features like a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation (stealth mode), and strong OpenVPN encryption. This ensures that you can use it for torrenting or bypassing anything else censored by the South African government.


With VyprVPN you get servers in South Africa, which means you will be able to get great speeds; and you will be able to get a South African IP address to use local South African services and streams when outside of the country. Plus, this VPN works with international services like Netflix US, Hulu, and iPlayer. This makes VyprVPN both reliable and versatile – whether you want to get digital privacy at home or on public WiFi. And, VyprVPN provides excellent customer service.


You can easily compare it to our other VPNs for South Africa using its 30-day money-back guarantee. However, please bear in mind that this service is not quite as fast as our other recommendations. Despite this, we have never had any trouble streaming content in HD. 

Why you should consider a VPN for South Africa

South Africa’s strong industrial and educational sectors, together with the country’s vast mineral wealth, mean that people from all over the world move there to build careers. If you move to South Africa long-term, you may take your family along with you. The great climate, excellent schools, and unique landscapes and wildlife are incredibly attractive. However, the kids will undoubtedly miss TV from back home.

Thankfully, you can get into TV services from other countries by using the internet. However, the situation isn’t that simple, because tose video services don’t want to let you in. There are valid reasons why video companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and DSTV Now won’t let you view their content from overseas. Luckily, however, you can get around their restrictions by using a VPN.

Unblock streaming sites with a South Africa VPN

Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, DSTV Now, and a host of other international TV stations and streaming services can be unblocked with a VPN to, so. you can watch more TV in South Africa.

In the case of Netflix and DSTV, you can access your account via the internet while abroad. Other services don't make it so easy, particularly, if you don't already have an existing subscription to log in with. Even if you can access foreign services while in South Africa, you won't always get the same number of titles to watch - because of licensing restriction differences between those countries.t

TV channels all operate web services that let you watch their shows live or access libraries of catch-up TV. These include the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK and the big US TV stations like ABC and NBC. The only problem is that those sites don’t want to let you watch their content from abroad.

The different legal and moral standards that exist between countries complicate matters further. If Netflix wants to show a movie in South Africa, it has to clear it with the local board of censors. This, again, can lead to local content libraries being much smaller.

The good news is that you can use a VPN to pretend to be in a different country. As a result, you can access regional TV stations and services that aren't usually available in South Africa. As a result, you will be able to enjoy the larger catalogs of titles that are often available in other countries; but not in South Africa. 

Prevent ISP and government snooping

When you connect to the internet your data must pass through your ISP's servers. This permits the ISP to track everything you do online, which creates a vast repository of information about you; often that is extremely sensitive and reveals a lot about you personally. 

In South Africa, things are exacerbated by the fact that ISPs must store this data for five years in order to share it with the government. The South African government is known to engage in high levels of surveillance.

Various laws such as the 2017 Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill provide far-reaching surveillance powers to the countries intelligence agencies. And human rights advocates have long complained that the severe state secrecy surrounding surveillance practices makes it extremely difficult to fully understand the extent of communications surveillance in South Africa.

What seems clear, is that surveillance of citizens is extensive, and despite laws created to ensure that citizens can enjoy freedom and privacy, there continue to be elevating levels of snooping on activists, journalists, and anybody who is perceived to be a potential political opponent of the state. 

With this in mind, anybody who wants to be able to enjoy the freedom of access and communications – without fear of constant surveillance by the state – is strongly advised to use a VPN to encrypt their data and improve their online privacy. 

Bypass censorship and torrent safely

South Africa doesn't engage in huge amounts of censorship. However, it is one of the countries that has completely restricted access to torrenting sites. If you want to be able to access torrent sites - or anything else that has been restricted by the government - you will need a VPN in order to bypass those restrictions.

The good news is that a VPN will also conceal the fact that you are accessing restricted torrent sites. It will also conceal your downloads, to ensure that your ISP and the government cannot tell that you downloaded from them. As a result, you will get renewed accessibility in addition to the privacy you need to download content.

What makes a VPN good to use in South Africa?

There are dozens of VPNs on the market, and the vast majority of those are inferior services that have unreliable apps, weak encryption, critical leaks, and other problems that render them unusable. This can make choosing which VPN to use in South Africa extremely difficult – especially if you don't know which features to look out for.

The good news is that certain VPNs have all the features you need to use the internet securely in South Africa. Our experts used a list of important VPN features and attribute to pinpoint the VPN providers in this article. Below, you can take a look at the features our VPN reviewers looked for when curating this list of the best VPNs:

Setting up and using a VPN in South Africa

All of our recommendations have custom apps for all popular platforms. As a result, setting up and using the VPN is easy no matter which devices you happen to own. Below we have explained exactly how to get your VPN setup:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN for South Africa (we recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN service for South Africa).
  2. Download and install the VPN software onto your device(s).
  3. Log in using your credentials.
  4. Turn on the VPN kill-switch to ensure that you are protected even if the VPN drops out.
  5. Choose a VPN server location and click 'connect'.

As soon as the VPN connects you can access any online content restricted by the government in South Africa. You can also bypass geo-restrictions and use the internet without being monitored by your ISP, local network administrators, employers, schools, WiFi hotspot providers, or landlords. 

How Does A VPN Work?

Let’s take a look at the process that gets you to access Netflix from South Africa. If you have a Netflix subscription in the US, UK, or elsewhere, you can access Netflix when you’re in South Africa. However, you’ll see the Netflix library for South Africa. Many of the shows that are on the US version of Netflix are also available in other countries – but not all of them. If you’re halfway through watching a series, you might not be able to continue when you get to South Africa.

Using a VPN for Netflix will fix that problem. If you have a Netflix subscription and want to get into the US version from South Africa, you can. Just select a server in the US from the list in the VPN app on your computer. Once you turn on the VPN, all communications that your computer makes over the internet will go via that US server.

On the journey between your computer and the US VPN server, the request is entirely encrypted, so it is undetectable. When your request for the Netflix site reaches the VPN server, software there decrypts it and sends it on to the computer that hosts the Netflix website. The VPN server puts its address on the request as its origin.

The Netflix server can see where requests come from based on the source address on each request. The server redirects each visitor to the Netflix homepage for the country that the request originated from. Therefore, if you access Netflix from South Africa, you’ll see Netflix South Africa. However, if you access the site through a VPN server in the US, you’ll see the Netflix US website.

Can I use a free VPN in South Africa?

While there are many free VPN services available on the market, the majority if those are cowboy services that will put you at risk. Free services turn you into a revenue stream by harvesting your data to sell it to third parties, this is the opposite of what a secure VPN does. In fact, free services often come with the following problems:

  • Weak encryption – leaving you with a false sense of security
  • Malware – often infecting your device with adware and spyware
  • Data leaks – putting your internet privacy at risk
  • Few server choices – making it hard to find one that has a server in South Africa
  • Slow and congested servers
  • Awful privacy policies – designed to sell on your information and making the VPN redundant for privacy's sake

The good news is that there are some free VPN services around that you can trust, but these are usually stripped-back versions of premium services (often with data and speed restrictions). Please follow the link above to find out more about reputable free VPNs and the kinds of limitations they inevitably have.

If you do want to try an unrestricted VPN without paying – we recommend that you use one of the VPNs on this page. Our recommended VPNs for South Africa all have a money-back guarantee that lets you enjoy the VPN without risking your cash. This means you can try out the best VPNs for South Africa without actually having to pay for them. Alternatively, check out our cheap VPN page for a list of affordable services that will allow you to unblock content and improve your online privacy.

Yes. Using a VPN is legal in South Africa. This means that you are free to subscribe to, install, and use a VPN without concerns. On the other hand, using a VPN to conceal the fact that you are engaging in digital crimes is still illegal, and if you are discovered to have committed serious crimes you will, rightly, be prosecuted.

Due to the fact that torrenting is restricted in South Africa, the simple act of unblocking the Pirate Bay could be considered a crime. This is why it is essential to use a secure VPN like the ones recommended in this article. Our recommended VPNs will conceal your online habits from your ISP – which will allow you to download content without fear of being monitored.

How to Get American Netflix in South Africa

Video streaming sites know that people use VPNs to try to trick their systems. They look for VPN traffic and block it. Netflix has one of the toughest VPN detection systems in the world. Almost no VPN can get around it, and the VPN blocks at Netflix will kick in when you click to watch a video. Many VPNs can get you into the US Netflix website, but only a few can get you through far enough to watch a video. Luckily, most of the ones we've listed can. Alternatively, you can check our Netflix VPN guide to find the ones that are guaranteed to work.

International access blocks are implemented by just about all video streaming services. Netflix is a little unusual, because it will give you access wherever you are, but you have to watch the version of the library that Netflix compiled for the location you’re in.

DSTV South Africa

Similarly to Netflix, DSTV also grants you access but only to the library assigned to your location. If you have a DSTV subscription in Nigeria, for example, you can still watch DSTV Now over the internet from South Africa. However, you’ll be directed to the South African DSTV.

If you want to get into DSTV for Nigeria, you’ll have to access it through a VPN server in Nigeria. If you're going to get DSTV when you go outside of Africa, the only way you can achieve that is by using a VPN server in your home country. Amazon Prime keeps its service strictly compartmentalized, so if you have an Amazon Prime subscription in the UK, you can only access it in the UK. That is unless you use a VPN for amazon prime.

Best VPNs to use in South Africa: Conclusion

South Africa is a great meeting point for cultures, businesses, and people. However, life in a great cultural melting pot can be a little daunting. You’ll likely hanker for familiar things when you’re in South Africa. This is where TV from home comes in, helping you to relax in the evenings.

Get a VPN for South Africa for internet freedom and privacy. Focus your search on the five services that we recommend in this review. Take advantage of the money-back guarantee that each of these VPNs offers so that you can make sure they work well for you. You run no risk when you take out a subscription with one of these VPN services – they are the five best VPNs for South Africa.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for South Africa. It has super-fast servers, South Africa VPN servers, strong encryption, and it unblocks everything.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - A great value VPN for South Africa. It has easy-to-use apps for popular platforms, strong encryption, and lots of servers.
  3. Private Internet Access - The most secure VPN for South Africa. It has well implemented encryption and a proven no-logs policy.
  4. Surfshark - The cheapest South Africa VPN on the list. You get unlimited connections, great security features, and it unblocks lots.
  5. VyprVPN - A well-rounded South Africa VPN. It owns the whole sever network, so it's reliable – and it unblocks major streaming services.

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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