South Africa is a country on the rise in multiple ways. This republic has displayed a significant amount of development in all areas associated with life during the last few decades. This is also true for the country’s internet. In operation since 1991, the network of South Africa continues to expand and generally improve even today. Censorship is not that hard either in the country, but there are a few background details that must be pointed out – this article deals with the very same topic. We find it important to describe the state of the South African internet in better detail so you can make an educate decision about how to connect to the country’s online domain and how to safely establish connections from within the country’s borders using a VPN service.
Best VPN Services for South Africa of 2019
Using a South African IP
There is one thing for certain about South Africa: geographically, it lies in a more distant part of the planet, at least from the viewpoint of internet availability. There is the entire continent of Africa between South Africa and Europe, where the country’s internet is supplied from. The sheer distance thus takes a bit of a toll on the quality of South African internet. You should not expect the best speeds if you connect to the internet with a South African IP address. Still, there are some restrictions present in the country, and if you do wish to bypass them, we suggest employing a VPN provider. Otherwise, content availability is generally good in South Africa.
South African Online Privacy Laws
The most important document to note here is the Protection of Personal Information Act of 2013. Before this bill, users of South African internet did not have automatic privileges just for essentially being a human who also happens to be online. Today, you have a lot less to worry about if you use a South African IP address.
To highlight how South African officials put the individual’s interests to the front (though there are counterexamples to this), we would also like to say a few words about the Protection of State Information Bill. Of course, this bill has little to do with the individual by name, but if you keep in mind that it was rejected at first by the president because it would have impeded journalism, you can see that press freedom (and thus the individual’s need for more credible information) is better served.
Internet Censorship in South Africa
According to Freedom House, one of the most recent changes in South African policy is:
“The Film and Publications Board introduced the Draft Online Regulation Policy in March 2015 that aims to protect children from harmful online content by allowing the government to pre-censor or take-down existing content…”
This means that while the rights of personal internet use have indeed improved, the nature of at least some online content is deteriorating from a perceived “free” state. That the content is targeted, rather than the user, is a phenomenon met more often in South Africa. This also extends material that is restricted almost everywhere else. Child pornography and material that is deemed as defamatory usually get a riposte in the chest. Pornography is especially frowned upon by the government and is not very accessible from South Africa.
Streaming Services in South Africa
Streaming availability in South Africa is mixed. We would like to presume that some international companies are selective when it comes to geographically isolated locations, or ones that are just harder and costlier to conduct business in. South Africa is most probably one of them, and consequently you will not find some bigger names in the country. Of course, we cannot rule out general business concerns. Nevertheless, Spotify is not available in South Africa, nor is Google Play Music. However, you can find Apple Music in South Africa, along with Rdio. For movies, series and other streamed video content, Netflix is not available in South Africa. However, there are good chances that it will be introduced in the country in 2016.
Free South African VPN Trials
So South Africa is a relatively good country, at least in terms of internet freedom. The biggest disadvantage here is that internet is slower a bit on those parts, and that there is some censorship present, more so than in most European countries, for example. Therefore, we would like to recommend you three VPN providers based on these findings.
ExpressVPN is renowned as one of the fastest services out there. Though not famous for low prices, you still have 30 days of refund time to decide otherwise. Few companies offer connections to South Africa, but the ones at the very top do. ExpressVPN is definitely one of them, they are worthy of a read.
Secondly, we have HideMyAss to say a few words about. The name is nothing more than a pun; if you open the book’s cover however, you will find a quality VPN. Offering access to over 180 countries and with complete device support, you can connect to the internet from almost anywhere to anywhere, or any device. HideMyAss has a 30-day free trial as well that allows you to test out all that any customer of theirs experiences on a daily basis.
Lastly, we advise peeking into the details of IPVanish. This company does not have anything outstanding to show up for. This might sound bad at first, but what makes IPVanish one of the best is that the average quality of their services is high. Other companies have one great selling points, this one has many lesser ones. One of the best general-purpose VPN companies, IPVanish is thus also ranked among the greats.