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5 Best VPNs for South Africa in 2023 for Security & Streaming

Choosing the best VPN for South Africa isn't easy. Not every VPN can reliably bypass geo-restrictions on local and international content (like DStv, Showmax, and Netflix US). Also, many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in South Africa still limit how much data you can transmit in a given amount of time. So, you need a VPN that won't cause additional slowdowns.

My team and I tested over 90 VPNs and found the best ones for South Africa. All the VPNs on my list have a global network of fast servers to get around geoblocks — including servers in South Africa if you need a South African IP address. Plus, robust security features like AES 256-bit encryption and a no-logs policy protect you against hackers and snoops.

ExpressVPN is my top choice for South Africa. It has blazing-fast servers for buffer-free streaming across 94 countries (including South Africa). It also comes with excellent privacy tools to keep you safe online. You can try ExpressVPN completely risk-free, as it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get the Best VPN for South Africa Now!

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for South Africa in January 2023

  1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for South Africa to safely access local and worldwide content with a global network of super-fast servers and military-grade encryption. It has a 30 money-back guarantee, so you can try it with confidence.
  2. CyberGhost — Excellent speeds and optimized servers for streaming without buffering in and outside South Africa.
  3. IPVanish — Unlimited simultaneous connections to safeguard all your devices at once, but based in the 5 Eyes Alliance.
  4. Private Internet Access — User-friendly apps with 24/7 customer support so even beginners can use it, but can’t unblock all streaming platforms.
  5. PrivateVPN — The entire network supports P2P, plus it has unlimited bandwidth for torrenting, but a smaller network than other VPNs.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-FREE Today!

The Best VPNs for South Africa — Full Analysis (Updated in 2023)

All the VPNs I picked can bypass geo-restrictions in and outside South Africa without compromising your speed. Plus, they keep your data safe with the highest security and privacy standards — even when using public WiFi. Best of all, each VPN on my list has a money-back guarantee, so you can try their features without risk.

1. ExpressVPN — A Global Network to Effortlessly Access Content in and Outside South Africa

  • Server speed and location: The fastest VPN I tested for South Africa with 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including South Africa
  • Security and privacy: Military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and TrustedServer technology
  • Simultaneous device connections: 5
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & South Africa), Disney+, SABC, ESPN+, DStv, BBC iPlayer, SuperSport, eTV, and more
  • Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, and more
ExpressVPN Offer January 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

Geo-restrictions aren't a problem with ExpressVPN's vast global network. You can connect to 3,000 servers worldwide. I easily accessed my Netflix US and Amazon Prime Video accounts using its New York servers while traveling. There are also servers in South Africa to give you a local IP address. So, watching your favorite shows on SuperSport, eTV, and DStv is possible from anywhere.

This VPN provides stable and ultra-fast speeds too. When I tested ExpressVPN's Smart Location feature, I was immediately connected to the nearest server based on my location. I enjoyed almost the same speeds as my usual base connection. And only a slight decrease when connecting to US and UK servers from South Africa. So, you can stream in UHD quality without buffering. The VPN also offers unlimited bandwidth, and all servers support P2P activity. I downloaded as many files as I wanted at maximum speeds.

ExpressVPN protects your identity and online activity with military-grade encryption and robust security protocols (like IKEv2/IPSec, Lightway, and OpenVPN). Lightway gave me the fastest connection, whereas OpenVPN is my go-to when banking online — your data is safe from hackers and snoops.

During my tests, I didn't find any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. That means the VPN doesn’t expose your real location. For additional security, I suggest turning on the Network Lock (kill switch) feature that cuts your internet connection if the VPN accidentally drops.

It doesn't store or share your data with anyone. ExpressVPN follows a strict no-logs policy and is based in the British Virgin Islands, outside the 5 Eyes Alliance jurisdiction — an inter-country intelligence-sharing pact. I also learned that it uses TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers, which deletes your data from its servers after every session.

The app is compatible with most operating systems and browsers. You can even install it on your router and protect any device connected to your WiFi. On top of that, using the MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) feature, you can configure ExpressVPN on devices that don't typically support VPNs. I live-streamed the Australia vs. South Africa rugby match using my Playstation.

ExpressVPN is easy to install and straightforward to use. You simply click the large power button, and you're instantly connected to a server close by. However, if you want to customize settings, its website is full of practical guides. Plus, you can contact support via 24/7 live chat if you need help.

Admittedly, its subscriptions aren't as cheap as other VPNs — plans start at $6.67/month. However, ExpressVPN usually has sales or promos to make it more affordable. When I signed up, I got 49% off my annual subscription, plus 3 free months of service. The long-term plan offers the lowest monthly price. And since all 3 options (1-month, 6 months, and 12-month) come with the same features, it's the best value.

You can also try ExpressVPN with confidence, knowing it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. The refund process was very easy — it took me less than 5 minutes to cancel. I briefly chatted with a support agent via live chat and got my money back on my credit card 4 days later.

Try ExpressVPN Today!

2. CyberGhost — Fast Speeds and Optimized Servers for Buffer-Free Streaming in Ultra HD

  • Server speed and location: Showed excellent speeds. 9,753 servers in 91 countries, including 36 in Johannesburg
  • Security and privacy: High-level encryption, a kill switch, and automatic WiFi protection
  • Simultaneous device connections: 7
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & South Africa), Disney+, SABC, ESPN+, BBC iPlayer, eTV, and more
  • Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, and more
January 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost is fast and offers optimized servers for streaming without delays. The “For Streaming” servers are labeled according to the service and country, each best unblocks. When I tested CyberGhost’s streaming-optimized US servers for Netflix and Hulu, videos loaded instantly in UHD from South Africa. I recorded speeds averaging 55 Mbps (Megabits per second) — you only need 25 Mbps for UHD streaming.

It also has many servers specifically optimized for gaming and torrenting. While visiting friends in New York, I connected to a gaming-specific server nearby and played DOTA2 without lag. Plus, you can file-share as much as you want with unlimited bandwidth.

The VPN guards your data with AES 256-bit encryption, advanced security protocols (including OpenVPN and WireGuard), and a built-in kill switch. I tend to forget to switch on my VPN in restaurants, so the automatic WiFi protection always comes in handy. This feature launches the VPN when it detects a new public network, so you’re always protected. I suggest switching on its ad blocker and “prevent online tracking” feature for a safer online experience.

While reviewing the VPN’s privacy measures to confirm it has a zero-logs policy (it does), I noticed its headquarters are in Romania — outside of data retention laws. So, you can count on CyberGhost to keep your information secure from prying eyes. I also didn't detect any data leaks. My real IP address and DNS requests remained private. However, you can upgrade to the VPN's independently operated NoSpy servers for additional protection..

CyberGhost is great for beginners. It's easy to set up and straightforward to use. Plus, customer support is available via email or 24/7 live chat.

Monthly subscriptions are expensive, but long-term plans come with the same features at a fraction of the cost and an extended money-back guarantee. So, I recommend CyberGhost’s affordable 2-year option at $2.19/month.

You can try CyberGhost free for 45 days during its refund period. The cancelation process is extremely easy — I ended my subscription and applied for a refund via email without talking to anyone. My money was back on my PayPal account that same week.

Try CyberGhost Today!

3. IPVanish — Protect All Your Devices with Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

  • Server speed and location: Good speeds with 2,000 servers in 75 countries, including 6 in Johannesburg
  • Security and privacy: AES 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and privately-owned network
  • Simultaneous device connections: Unlimited
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & South Africa), SkySports, SABC, ESPN+, DStv, BBC iPlayer, eTV, and more
  • Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, and more
IPVanish January 2023 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 66% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

With IPVanish's Unlimited simultaneous connections and sophisticated AES 256-bit encryption, you can keep all your devices safe in South Africa. What's more, the VPN manages its server network in-house, thus eliminating the risk of third-party interference. I tested IPVanish for IP/DNS leaks and can confirm my identity remained private.

Even though the VPN is based in the US (part of the 5 Eyes Alliance), it adheres to a verified no-logs policy. Plus, its kill switch comes with a feature that auto-reconnects you to the VPN server if your connection drops (this never happened to me, though). Your location and browsing habits are always hidden.

I also tested IPVanish for speed by connecting every device my family and I own — we didn't experience any significant drop in performance. In addition, the VPN allows you to torrent as much as you want as there's no restriction on the amount of data you can use.

With plenty of servers in 75 countries worldwide, you can access the content you need. I had no problem watching shows on my HBO Max account from South Africa. IPVanish can also offer you a South African IP address to unblock local streaming services (like eTV and SABC). Furthermore, its Scramble feature means you can bypass even sophisticated firewalls (like those used by Netflix) by disguising your VPN traffic as a regular.

The VPN's apps have an intuitive interface. I needed only 5 minutes to set up IPVanish on my Galaxy Z Fold 3 and iPad. The official website is full of easily searchable guides, and its online chat support is ready to assist you 24/7.

I found IPVanish's 2-year subscription at $3.99/month the most affordable option. Short-term plans include the same features, but they cost more.

It was easy to get a refund using the 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can try IPVanish without worrying about being stuck in a plan that might not suit your needs. I effortlessly canceled my subscription using live chat. The money was returned to my bank account within 5 days.

Try IPVanish Today!

4. Private Internet Access — Beginner-Friendly VPN With Responsive Customer Support

  • Server speed and location: Fast connections on all 29,650 servers in 84 countries, with servers in Johannesburg
  • Security and privacy: Customizable encryption and MACE ad blocker feature
  • Simultaneous device connections: 10
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & South Africa), Disney+, SABC, ESPN+, BBC iPlayer, eTV, and more
  • Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, and more
January 2023 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

You can't go wrong with Private Internet Access (PIA) if you're new to VPNs. I tested PIA's apps and was impressed with how easily I could switch between servers and features. When I was looking through its vast knowledge base, I found it easy to navigate — it's organized according to its most popular step-by-step tutorials and guides. Even if you do run into any issues, PIA's customer support is highly responsive and can assist you 24/7.

PIA servers are spread out over 84 countries, including South Africa. Although I couldn’t unblock DAZN, I had no problems with other major streaming platforms like Netflix US, ESPN+, and Hulu. You can also connect to South African servers to watch local content abroad.

I got excellent speeds while testing the South African servers in Johannesburg. Distant locations in the UK and US weren't as fast, but they were good enough for UHD streaming. You also get to torrent as much as you want because PIA supports P2P traffic and doesn’t limit your bandwidth.

This VPN offers two levels of encryption: AES 128-bit that’s less secure but faster, and AES 256-bit for maximum protection, but slightly slower. You also get to choose from multiple tunneling protocols, like WireGuard, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. In addition, the VPN has a leak-proof network, kill switch, and follows a strict no-logs policy.

I enabled the MACE feature to protect me against ads and trackers for extra safety. It blocks annoying (and potentially dangerous) pop-ups and stops malicious websites from loading.

If you’re looking for the most affordable subscription, I suggest PIA's 3-year plan at only $2.19/month. All plans come with the same features, but long-term options offer the lowest monthly prices.

I tested the 30-day refund policy, and I can verify that getting your money back is easy. Just contact the live chat support and tell them your reason for canceling. My money was returned to my credit card 6 days later.

Try Private Internet Access Today!

5. PrivateVPN — P2P-Friendly Servers for Reliable and Fast Torrenting

  • Server speed and location: 200 fast servers in 63 countries, including South Africa
  • Security and privacy: Top-notch encryption and Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • Simultaneous device connections: 10
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & South Africa), Disney+, SABC, ESPN+, BBC iPlayer, eTV, and more
  • Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, and more

Networkwide P2P support and unlimited bandwidth make PrivateVPN a great option for file sharing. I tested PrivateVPN by downloading large files at various times of the day and barely noticed a drop in speed. It also offers SOCKS5 proxy support, which might boost your connection even further. So, you can torrent as much as you want without slowdowns.

Despite this VPN not having the biggest network, its servers are located in 63 countries (including South Africa). Unblocking Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and various streaming platforms from South Africa wasn’t a problem for me. So, it’s easy to access international and local services regardless of your location.

PrivateVPN keeps your data secure with sophisticated encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and a zero-logs policy. I learned that the VPN also employs Perfect Forward Secrecy that automatically assigns new encryption keys after every session. So, even if hackers were to get access to your data, they wouldn’t be able to read your data.

Its apps are easy to use even without any previous VPN experience. But if you are a beginner, you can ask PrivateVPN’s developers to remotely install the VPN on your devices for free. Live chat is also available 22 hours a day if you have any questions.

You can choose from 3 reasonably priced subscriptions, but PrivateVPN’s 24-month plan provides the best value at $2/month. Plus, all plans include the same features and a money-back guarantee.

I tested PrivateVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee, and it holds up. Getting your money back is just as easy as using the VPN. I canceled my subscription by completing a quick form on the website and emailing a request for a refund. The process was hassle-free, and I got my money back on my PayPay after 7 days.

Try PrivateVPN Today!

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a VPN for South Africa in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. Get a VPN with a fast and secure global network of servers. I suggest ExpressVPN to easily bypass local and international geoblocks.
  2. Connect to a server. Open the VPN and select a server in a country that has the content you want. For example, pick a server in South African to watch DStv and Showmax.
  3. Start browsing! Securely access content in South Africa and worldwide.

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for South Africa

My team and I compared 95 VPNs to see which have the best speed, unblocking ability and robust security for South Africa. But in case you want to do your own research, you can use my below testing criteria as a checklist:

  • Global network — VPNs with servers worldwide allow you to access websites and apps in almost any country. I made sure all the VPNs on my list have a global network to help you get around geo-restrictions.
  • Servers in South Africa — To access local content while traveling, you need to get a South African IP address by connecting to a server in the country.
  • Fast speeds — Every VPN reduces your base internet speed when encrypting your traffic. But with the best VPNs, you won’t notice the difference. All the services I picked offer the fastest speeds and unlimited bandwidth to overcome ISP restrictions.
  • Robust security — You need to safeguard your data, especially when using public WiFi or banking online. The VPNs I recommend keep you safe online with enterprise-grade encryption (AES 256-bit), a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy.
  • Ease of use — Using a VPN shouldn't feel like rocket science. Installation and setup should take only a few minutes, and the interface should be intuitive enough that beginners can start using it immediately.
  • Money-back guarantee — Every VPN on my list comes with a tried-and-tested money-back guarantee. So, you can test all of their features with peace of mind, knowing you can apply for a refund if they don’t suit you.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

FAQs on Using a VPN for South Africa

Why use a VPN in South Africa?

VPNs can help you access the content you need despite your actual location. Most streaming platforms, TV channels, and websites use geoblocks to limit access based on your IP address. However, VPNs with servers worldwide (including South Africa) can bypass geo-restrictions. So, you can access your favorite services from anywhere.

ISPs in South Africa often limit speed based on your data usage. Using a VPN helps overcome ISP restrictions so that you can stream, torrent, and game without limitations.

Lastly, South Africa is a playground for hackers, with data breaches regarded as a common occurrence. A VPN with robust encryption and a no-logs policy keeps you protected online.

Can I watch Disney+ with a VPN in South Africa?

Yes, connecting to a VPN with servers in a country where Disney+ is available(like the US) can give you access while in South Africa. You’ll be assigned that country's IP address and can enjoy movies and shows on Disney+ from anywhere.

Can I use a free VPN for South Africa?

Yes, but I don’t recommend it. Free services usually have limited servers, subpar speeds, and poor encryption, forcing you to upgrade if you want access to more features. In the end, a “free” VPN might cost you more than if you’d gone with a premium service in the first place. If you choose a VPN that offers a money-back guarantee, you can try its features before committing.

Some free VPNs even sell your data to third parties and ad networks. In the worst-case scenario, these services can contain malware and trackers.

Which VPNs for South Africa should I avoid?

I suggest staying clear of free VPNs and the services listed below, as they have unreliable security, shady policies, and poor unblocking capabilities. Instead, you can try a secure service like ExpressVPN that offers a money-back guarantee.

Some “free” services are more dangerous than others. Here are some VPNs that you should avoid at all costs:

  • Hola — This isn’t a VPN, but a P2P network that allows other people to use your IP address. That means it’s possible to trace their online activity back to your computer. So, you can get in trouble if someone uses your IP address for illegal purposes.
  • SuperVPN — Stores your records, has vague privacy policies and is riddled with annoying ads.
  • EasyVPN — One of the most malware-infected VPN apps that have also been caught leaking user data. This service isn’t just risky; it’s downright dangerous.
  • BetternetVPN — Lacks basic security features (like a kill switch) and shares your data with third parties. It can also infect your device with malware.

Are VPNs legal in South Africa?

Yes, VPNs are legal in South Africa. VPNs were created to protect your privacy, which is what most people in South Africa use them for — to keep their data safe from hackers and trackers.

With which VPN can you access DStv when overseas?

You need a VPN with servers in South Africa to access local content when abroad. You can try ExpressVPN for watching South African channels (like DStv, eTV, and SuperSport) as it offers many local servers. Plus, this VPN provides fantastic speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and industry-leading encryption.

Try ExpressVPN for South Africa Now!

The Bottom Line

Many of your favorite streaming platforms and websites will be inaccessible when visiting South Africa. Besides, the country's ISPs can throttle your connection based on bandwidth. You also need to keep your private data safe from hackers. Thankfully, the VPNs on my list offer lightning-fast servers worldwide, uncapped bandwidth, and robust security features.

ExpressVPN is my number one choice, thanks to its impenetrable encryption and an ultra-fast global network of servers in and outside South Africa. You can try ExpressVPN with confidence as it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, here are the best VPNs for South Africa

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Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

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About the Author

Georgii is an avid writer with a knack for producing content about hi-tech and web services. He has a strong legal background and stands for safe, fast, and unrestricted Internet for everyone.

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