Uganda is a poor country with poor online access. With a 22% Internet penetration and heavy regulation of the internet, people in Uganda need some way to control their online privacy and evade censorship.
As such, VPN services carry a lot of importance in the country for privacy-seeking citizens that want complete, unhindered access to the web.
PureVPN is my #1 recommendation as best VPN for Uganda owing to its low price, server diversity, unblocking power, and privacy-focused logging policy.
5 Best VPNs for Uganda
The following services are all powerful VPNs capable of keeping your data protected from surveillance online and also for defeating censorship:
PureVPN has a network of 2,000+ servers distributed over 140 countries. Users in Uganda can access any website they want and destroy censorship that normally exists in Ugandan internet. Social media censorship is a routine occurrence in Uganda and PureVPN is fully equipped to destroy these censors with its diverse server base.
PureVPN is a Hong Kong-based VPN and takes advantage of the lack of data retention regulations to ensure complete privacy to users. That makes it very valuable for privacy-conscious users in Uganda. On top of this, it boasts features like 5 simultaneous connections, split-tunneling, killswitch, 31-day refund period, all at a price of $1.65/mo .
This makes it an excellent choice as for users in Uganda.
Read our PureVPN review for more details.
The provider operates a network of 1,000 servers in 60+ countries. Although none of these servers are housed in Uganda, you can rely on the offshore servers to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. in the country.
Based in British Virgin Islands, Surfshark guarantees zero-logging of customer information which is great for privacy-seeking citizens in Uganda. In addition, Surfsfhark provides unlimited multi-logins with privacy-boosting features like CleanWeb, MultiHop, and WhiteLister.
Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and still comes with the surprisingly low cost of $1.99/month. As such, for users on a budget, this is best VPN to use in Uganda.
Learn more about this VPN read our Surfshark review.
NordVPN has a network of 5,500+ servers in 60+ countries all of which are pretty exceptional at providing access to streaming and torrenting services that are normally blocked in Uganda.
The provider is head-quartered in Panama, the country that has complete respect for individual privacy. The provider does not keep any kind of logs so that users can have their privacy intact and safe from Ugandan surveillance agencies.
Additionally, the provider offers features like Onion over VPN and DoubleVPN to solidify your privacy online. With 30-day refund period and a price of $3.49/month, NordVPN is an excellent service to have.
For more details about this service, see this NordVPN review.
ExpressVPN has an impressive network of 3,000 servers+ in 94 countries. All of these servers are optimized for streaming, torrenting, as well as general browsing. For users in Uganda, this VPN serves as a one-stop solution to all forms of censorship and geo-restrictions imposed by Ugandan authorities.
The provider is based in British Virgin Islands and has a zero-logging policy to protect user privacy from agencies tracking user behavior online. So, if you are a blogger or journalist in Uganda who fears backlash from the government for expressing your views, ExpressVPN’s watertight privacy features can ensure your complete secrecy online.
The VPN is higher priced than other services at $8.32/month. However, there are hardly any services better than ExpressVPN for Uganda, especially considering the 30-day refund period.
See this detailed ExpressVPN review for more details.
CyberGhost consists of 5,500+ servers distributed in over 80 countries. All these servers are quite capable of unblocking restrictions on social media sites as well as for streaming sites that are normally inaccessible to Ugandan users.
CyberGhost is under the jurisdiction of Romania where laws are entirely supportive of individual privacy, so this VPN is equally as beneficial for privacy-enhancement in Uganda as it is for its unblocking capabilities.
The 7 simultaneous connections and 45-day refund period are two interesting USPs of this service on top of the low cost of $2.75/month.
For more information, read this CyberGhost review.
Why you need a VPN in Uganda?
The importance of VPN services has increased in Uganda amidst wrongful governmental measures and censorship:
The Ugandan government imposes high-handed regulation on the internet. Criticism of the government expressed by journalists or bloggers is disapproved by the government and some arrests have been made to stifle critical voices against the government.
This compels self-censorship, as people fear for their safety with the government on a crackdown against any form of criticism made against it.
Moreover, the government started imposing a social media tax of USD $.05/day that people have to pay if they want to access websites like WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The move was rationalized as a step taken to improve the ratio of Uganda and minimize “gossip” on the web.
These events led to a heightened use of VPN services in the country, after which some VPNs were blocked on the MTN Uganda networks.
Accessing Geo-restricted websites
Many streaming services and websites are bound by geo-restrictions, making them inaccessible for other regions. In Uganda, for instance, you can’t access Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. In fact, even though Netflix works in Uganda, it has a small content library as compared to the US, UK, and Japan.
The offshore servers of a VPN, especially those located in the US, can be used to gain access to these geo-blocked services in Uganda with ease. You just need to launch a VPN having a good pool of US servers and connect to one of these servers. This will give you a US IP address with which you can easily unblock streaming services and other websites inaccessible from Uganda.
Public Wi-Fi Security
Public Wi-Fi hotspots lack proper security and are often open for access. This means that there is not even any password protection on these Wi-Fi hotspots. The strong encryption used by top-rated VPN services give you more security and make it a lot more difficult for any potential hackers on the same network from breaching your privacy.
This is why it is strongly recommended to use a VPN if you must access a public Wi-Fi hotspot as you can never be sure if there isn’t a cybercriminal lurking on the same network as you, looking out for your information.
Ugandan Crackdown on VPNs
The country’s Communications Commission Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, instructed local ISPs to block VPN access from Uganda. Nonetheless, the VPN market is huge and it is unlikely that the government will be block every VPN service out there. Mutabazi himself has admitted to this.
Furthermore, Mutabazi vehemently stated that citizens can obtain no advantage by using a VPN to evade tax. This is because most VPN services cost more than the $1.56 tax amount, so a VPN might incur greater costs than simply paying the tax.
Nonetheless, VPNs offer broader benefits in terms of improving privacy and reducing censorship, even if they can’t do anything about the taxes.
Mobile money tax and social media tax is squeezing blood out of Ugandans! Say no to #socialmediatax.
— ActionAid Uganda (@actionaiduganda) July 4, 2018
Moreover, many Ugandans might be opposed to the tax as a matter of principle rather than simply finding a way to save additional costs. For these individuals, a VPN serves as a tool of rebellion to access social media apps in Uganda without providing the government with an unreasonable tax imposition.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet has estimated that this tax will lead to 1GB data Internet costing as much as 40% of the country’s average citizen income. There is no question that this tax will significantly affect the ability of Ugandan citizens to maintain continued Internet usage.
Best Uganda VPN: Finishing Up
PureVPN is the recommended VPN for Uganda to bypass censorship on social media, using the 2,000+ server strength. Considering the imposition of taxes for usage of social media services in Uganda, the need for a VPN is at an all-time high in the country. Thankfully, VPN services are still helping oppressed populations fight for their rights and defy governmental injustices on the web.