Cuba is famous for two things, exquisite cigars and terrible internet censorship. If you’re planning a trip down Cuba, you’re going to be in for a surprise.
It is one of the most highly repressive regimes for freedom of speech in the world. Freely accessing the internet can be near impossible thanks to the terrible network infrastructure.
Even more shockingly, to this day, the Cuban government massively censors foreign content. It also restricts any information that isn’t aligned with the socialist ideology.
To give you a perspective of Cuba’s repressive Cyberspace, violating Cuban laws can hand you a 20-year jail sentence. This is how strict Cuban law is.
Don’t worry. This guide will show you the 6 best VPN for Cuba to keep your online identity hidden from the government and ISPs.
Let’s have a brief overview of VPNs that works best in Cuba in 2021…
- ExpressVPN – A blazing fast VPN with over 3,000 servers to help you stream Netflix in Ultra HD
- Surfshark – Fastest VPN with 3,200+ secure servers to help you stay safe in Cuba
- NordVPN – 5,300+ servers worldwide, including equipped with powerful obfuscation technology
- PureVPN – A reliable VPN service with 6,500+ servers to help you bypass Cuban geo-restrictions
- CyberGhost – An affordable VPN service that offers 6,900+ servers, encryption, and privacy features
- PIA – Offers 35,000+ servers in 77+ countries with maximum privacy.
6 Best VPNs for Cuba 2021
Considering the ever-deteriorating condition of Cuban cyberspace, accessing or posting any content that might offend the Cuban government is not safe.
If you want truly unrestricted access to the internet, make sure you check out my hand-picked list of best VPNs for Cuba below:
1. ExpressVPN – Best Overall Cuba VPN
ExpressVPN is one VPN service that needs no formal introduction. If you are familiar with the VPN industry, you know how reputable ExpressVPN really is.
Part of the reason why this VPN service is popular is because of its military-grade security and ultra-fast speeds. Speaking of which, ExpressVPN offers more than 3,000+ servers all over the world to help you unblock popular streaming services, including US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, and more.
While it may not have a server in Cuba, its extensive server network, which is spread across the globe, can clearly help you access an unlimited amount of geo-restricted content and websites. It is also a top VPN for Chile, decent VPN for Peru, and its neighboring countries.
Not only that, ExpressVPN’s AES–256-bit AES encryption, Internet Kill Switch, and DNS leak protection is perfect for people living in countries like Cuba, where online freedom remains a fantasy.
It is configurable on 5 simultaneous devices and supports major operating systems such as Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, Browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari). ExpressVPN is available for $6.67/mo .
Please refer to our guide ExpressVPN Review for more information.
- 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
- Offers excellent 24/7 customer support
- Provides 5 multi-logins
- Fast speeds
- Unblocks Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and more
- Expensive pricing plans
2. Surfshark – Fastest VPN for Cuba
Surfshark is a well-rounded VPN in terms of security features in Cuba. It is also among the most cost-effective VPN in the entire industry available at $2.49/mo . Surfshark is a trendy choice for streamers, especially due to its high speeds and top-tier encryption protocols.
Surfshark offers DNS leak protection, AES-256-bit encryption, Multihop, Internet Kill Switch, and even a Malware blocker for users’ online security.
With 3,200+ servers, Surfshark also works exceptionally well with popular streaming media sites like BBC iPlayer US Netflix, Hulu, ESPN+, NBC Live, and CBS from within Cuba.
If you fear you might be a target of cybercriminals or Cuban authorities spying on you, Surfshark is a complete package for the best privacy on the web. Last but not least, Surfshark offers unlimited devices simultaneously connection and is easily configurable on popular operating systems such as macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. It is also the best VPN in Cambodia.
Please have a look at our Surfshark review for more information.
- Efficient 24/7 customer support
- Provides unlimited multi-logins
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Built-in adblocker, anti-malware, and double VPN feature
- Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, and more.
- Occasionally slower speeds
3. NordVPN – Best for bypassing Cuban geo-blocks
Although NordVPN has no dedicated servers in Cuba, you can still unblock a ton of Cuban content through its nearby servers in Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. Also, what you’ll love about NordVPN are its servers. You can access 5,300+ servers in 59 countries. That’s seriously impressive.
In addition to servers, NordVPN lets you take full advantage of powerful features like Internet Kill Switch, IPv6 leak protection, Split tunneling, Obfuscation, and much more. Considering the heavy internet regulation in Cuba, these features are perfect for securely navigating through Cuban cyberspace.
Another major perk of using NordVPN is that you can easily unblock popular streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and US Netflix without much effort.
- 5,300+ servers available in 59 countries
- Strict adherence to zero-logging policy
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Showtime, and more.
- Possible connectivity issues during peak hours
4. PureVPN – Best for Cuba
PureVPN is among the top-rated VPN service in the world. In fact, in my testing, PureVPN delivered excellent security, speeds, and unblocking powers.PureVPN gives you access to 6,500+ servers in 140 countries, powerful encryption, and other amazing features if we talk about features.
Although it doesn’t have servers in Cuba, PureVPN has good security features that include an Internet Kill Switch, DNS leak protection, and many others for our readers in Cuba to protect their internet freedom.
Also, these features can help unblock instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and popular VoD services like US Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, ITV, and BBC iPlayer.
PureVPN is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and even routers. Best of all, it comes with 24/7 live chat support to help you instantly if you find yourself in trouble regarding any part of the service.
For more information on this provider, please read our PureVPN Review.
- Provides 6,500+ servers in 140+ countries
- Uses strong 256-bit encryption protocol
- Zero-logging policy
- 10 multi-logins
- Works with BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, Comedy Central, Netflix, and more.
- Does not offer a free trial
- No ad-blocker
5. CyberGhost – Secure VPN for Cuba
Last but not least, let’s check out CyberGhost. This is one of the best VPN Cuba service providers is headquartered in Romania, and boasts a respectable server park and overall features.
It has optimized servers for torrents and streaming, which securely unblock apps like Skype and Netflix in suppressive countries like Cuba. There’s even a special more selection feature built into CyberGhost apps that can fine-tune the way you use VPNs.
Speaking of servers, CyberGhost’s server park tends to fluctuate quite frequently. However, you can expect over 6,900+ servers at any given time. But in Cuba, it doesn’t have any physical servers. In the Bahamas, though, CyberGhost has 24 servers that will help you watch Cuban TV, News, and Sports. CyberGhost also makes it to the list of top VPNs for Jamaica and other countries with strong internet restrictions.
Bets of all, you can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously with CyberGhost and protect your entire house with just one subscription plan. CyberGhost price is available for $1.99/mo with a 45-days refund policy.
To know about this service, please refer to our guide Cyberghost Review.
- Provides support for P2P networking
- More than 6,900+ servers spread across the globe
- No-log policy
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Users may experience connectivity issues in some servers
6. PIA VPN – Best for Torrenting in Cuba
Private Internet Access is a VPN with no dedicated server in Cuba. The closest server to Cuba within PIA’s network in Mexico, where the provider has 127 servers. If you need to connect to a server with proximity to attain good speeds, you can utilize the Mexico servers.
However, if you aim to bypass censorship and make your online identity invisible to the government, PIA offers 35,000+ servers in 77+ countries to do that. Also, you can take advantage of PIA’s privacy-boosting features like Internet Kill Switch, IPv6 leak protection, and DNS secure, which ensure your protection from accidental leaks and interception attempts from unauthorized parties.
PIA is fairly strong when it comes to unblocking streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and US Netflix. With AES-256-bit encryption, 10 simultaneous connections, and a 30-day refund period, PIA is a valuable tool have for $2.08/mo . Learn more about this VPN in our PIA review.
- AES-256-Bit military-grade encryption
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Follows no-logging policy
- A smaller network of servers compared to other VPN brands
- Linux requires manual configuration
Is it legal to use a VPN in Cuba?
Yes, VPNs are completely legal to use in Cuba. While that is a complete surprise as Cuba’s cyberspace restrictions are some of the strictest in the world.
While using a VPN is completely legal, that doesn’t mean that you conduct illegal activities after connecting to a VPN. It would be best if you still were careful about your online activities and their repercussions.
Internet in Cuba
Cuba takes a heavy-handed approach to restricting freedom of speech. In fact, the constitution of Cuba itself outlaws freedom of speech if the government deems it going contrary to the socialist spirit to which it adheres to.
The Cuban government completely disregards the right of individuals to privacy and speak freely on the web. There have been several instances of journalists being detained for the short term and their legal harassment by the powers.
Even though Cuba doesn’t follow any systematic approach to censor content in the country. Still, by introducing hurdles to the internet technology and rising internet costs excessively, the Cuban government aggressively controls internet penetration.
According to statistics, the internet penetration rate of Cuba is only 38.8%, which is staggeringly low compared to other countries.
Even though social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might not be blocked, accessing these platforms can be quite spotty. Nonetheless, some websites are still legit blocked by the Cuban government itself.
Restricted Websites in Cuba
The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) published a report on blocked websites in Cuba. The majority of the blocked sites were independent news media outlets and sites having critical content of a political nature. Overall, 41 websites of different types are blocked in Cuba.
However, it bears mention that only the less secure HTTP versions of the sites were blocked, and users could still gain access through the HTTPS versions.
The popular VoIP service Skype and popular social media app ‘Snapchat’ is also banned, but WhatsApp and other alternatives are still working fine.
Visiting Blocked Sites and Services from Cuba
As I said earlier, you can access the most blocked websites in Cuba by using the HTTPS versions of the sites, which you use anyway, because HTTPS is more secure than HTTP. However, you still run the risk of the ISP and government authorities detecting your activities.
However, when it comes to apps and software clients like Skype, which are not dependent on HTTP, your only hope is using Skype is with the help of the best VPN for Cuba. As long as you have a Cuban IP address, you won’t be able to get Skype to work. The same goes for Snapchat. It is also blocked in Cuba and requires the use of a VPN to access it.
How a VPN can benefit Cuban Citizens
Following are some of the key ways in which a VPN provides great value to users in Cuba:
- Masking IP Address: To start with, a VPN masks your IP address, rendering you untraceable on the web. This can hide your identity from the Cuban government, allowing you the freedom to post material on the web openly.
- Enhance privacy: A VPN enhances your privacy by ensuring none of your activity or session logs are kept. There is no way the authorities can track you down with no logs if they have some beef with you.
- Protection from cybercrime: VPNs use sophisticated encryption technology that makes your data unintelligible to any party other than the intended recipient of your communication. This means that confidential information such as credit card details, IDs, and passwords are enclosed in a tunnel of secrecy, guarding you against the exploits of hackers online.
- Unblocking sites and apps: The best VPN for Cuba can easily unblock apps like Skype and Netflix using its server network distributed in different parts of the world. So, if you’ve been having trouble accessing blocked services from Cuba, a VPN can solve the issue in a matter of minutes.
Is it Safe to use Free VPN in Cuba?
There is little doubt that Cuba is one of the worst countries as far as online freedom is concerned. The government is obstructed by no legal barriers to conduct surveillance of innocent citizens and invade their privacy.
Moreover, with only a single ISP wiring the entire country to the Internet, there are high chances that all user data is open to access by the government.
Free VPNs, as a rule, aren’t equipped with the encryption and security mechanisms that can thwart the attempts of governments like Cuba to poke their noses in your data. Also, some lesser-known providers offer free VPNs that are actually sham products for collecting user data and selling to authorities or advertisers.
Therefore, you should give a wide berth to free VPNs in Cuba if you value your privacy and security. However, if premium VPNs are too heavy on the wallet, some providers are operating on the freemium model that is trustworthy enough.
Here is a list of some of my recommended free VPN for Cuba:
However, all of these VPNs are limited to only a few servers and/or bandwidth limitations. So, you have no choice for serious Internet use but to purchase a premium and trusted Cuba VPN.
Popular Cuban TV Channels to Access from Outside Cuba
If you are traveling away from Cuba for a while, keep in mind that local TV channels probably won’t be available through TV broadcast or live stream in your destination country.
Some of the most popular channels in Cuba are:
- Canal Educativo
- Canal Educativo 2
- Canal Caribe
- Tele Rebelde
That is unless you use a VPN with servers in Cuba. Unfortunately, not many VPNs offer Cuban servers. ExpressVPN has servers in neighboring countries of Cuba that also help in unblocking local content.
For those out there wondering which VPN service works in Venezuela? Some of the VPNs that work in Venezuela are ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN. However, only ExpressVPN has servers in Venezuela.
How to Get Snapchat in Cuba
A lot of people traveling to Cuba often ask one question, and that is, Can you use VPN in Cuba?
Well, for all those curious folks askings, yes, you can use Snapchat in Cuba.
For some reason, a lot of people are searching for a way to access Snapchat in Cuba. However, to my knowledge, Snapchat isn’t one of the blocked apps in the country.
If, for some reason, you are having trouble accessing Snapchat and suspect it is geo-restricted, then here’s what you need to do:
- Subscribe to the best VPN for Cuba from the list above (I recommend using ExpressVPN)
- Download and install it on your device
- Launch the VPN and enter your login details
- Connect to a non-Cuban server like the UK or Argentina
- Now start the Snapchat app and use it with no restrictions!
The same process can be used to access Skype in Cuba, which is actually blocked in the country at the time of this writing.
Yes, you can certainly use VPNs in Cuba. In fact, no laws are banning VPNs, which is why many Cuban nationals and foreigners use VPNs daily to bypass geo-restrictions enforced in the country.
Skype does work in Cuba. However, not in every part of the country. But this issue can easily be mitigated with a VPN as it enables you to bypass harsh geo-restrictions.
Yes, Netflix is now officially available in Cuba. However, to unlock foreign libraries like US or UK Netflix, you’re still going to have to rely on VPN Cuba.
Yes, Wi-Fi is available in Cuba, but all internet services in Cuba are powered by a state-owned telecom company called ETSECA. Usually, Wi-fi networks in Cuba are offered under a brand name called “Nauta.”
Snapchat is currently banned in the country. You can only use Snapchat in Cuba by using a VPN service such as ExpressVPN with plenty of servers in the US alone.
Yes, there is no such restriction in using Facebook from within Cuba. People of Cuba can easily connect to Facebook if they have an internet connection.
A VPN is the only beacon of hope for journalists and ordinary people in Cuba to bypass geographical restrictions over the internet. As said earlier, Cuba has some strong restrictions that prevent normal users from accessing foreign content.
With the help of the best VPNs for Cuba and its powerful encryption by your side, you can keep your online activity hidden from the eyes of the government and local internet service providers. You can also avail of amazing discounts on the best VPN deals and get the best lifetime VPN for your use.