Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its popularity has been increased thanks to the wildlife, which includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds.
While there are many reasons to love this country, one thing about this country that will raise anyone’s eyebrows is the fact that Uganda’s population still can’t use the internet as you and me. Uganda’s government maintains intensive surveillance of internet communications. They monitor the internet activity to such an extent that mere criticism of the Government can land you a place in prison.
VPN services carry a lot of importance in the country for privacy-seeking citizens that want complete, unhindered, and undetected access to the web.
According to a study, there are more than 4 million VPN users in Uganda, so join me on this ride, as we explore the best VPNs in Uganda.
6 Best VPNs for Uganda
Even though our list comprises of not a single VPN with Uganda IP, the following services are all-powerful VPNs capable of keeping your data protected from surveillance online and also for defeating censorship:
With a massive network of 3,500 servers across 94 countries, this is the best VPN in Uganda right now. The provider is operating from the British Virgin Islands which means “no-log policy“. The VPN itself doesn’t know anything about your online activity, which makes it the perfect option for securing & hiding your online experience.
ExpressVPN is not just about protection, as all of its servers are optimized to provide you the best streaming, torrenting, and browsing experience.
Let’s be honest, no one likes to wait for 3-4 minutes while the movie loads or to not be able to download P2P files only because they are blocked in your country. If you are located in Uganda and your work requires you to write something which is necessary but you are also afraid that it will attach the Government on your tail then, for all the mentioned purposes, the one and only choice should be ExpressVPN
The VPN is higher priced than other services at $6.67/mo . 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.
Surfshark has been popular for being a low-priced VPN for a long time now but that has not stopped it from becoming one of the best providers in the industry.
Right behind ExpressVPN, Surfshark also operates a network of 3,200 servers in 65+ countries from the British Virgin Islands. Though it may lack behind in terms of security & encryption level it makes it up for them by providing multiple different security features. Features such as CleanWeb, MultiHop, and WhiteLister ensure that your online activity is completely hidden & untraceable.
The provider operates a network of 3,200 servers in 65+ countries. Although none of these VPNs on this list have VPN servers in Uganda, you can rely on the offshore servers to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. in the country.
It is the only provider in our list which provides unlimited simultaneous connections, add that to the security feature, we do not see any reason for not trusting this provider with your security.
Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and still comes with the surprisingly low cost of $2.49/mo . As such, for users on a budget, this is the best VPN to use in Uganda.
Learn more about this VPN read our Surfshark review.
Talking about our 3rd best VPN in Uganda, NordVPN has been exceptional over the years in proving itself to be a major stakeholder in setting up the industry security and privacy standards.
NordVPN has a network of 5,500+ servers in 60+ countries all of which are extremely impressive at online security and good at providing access to streaming and torrenting services that are normally blocked in Uganda.
The provider is headquartered in Panama, which also doesn’t have any data retention laws. The people in Uganda can put their trust in this provider as to hide their activity from Government surveillance agencies.
Due to its heavy focus on securing customer information, NordVPN may not be the best VPN for purposes like streaming and torrenting. These factors contribute heavily to its rank.
Additionally, the provider offers features like Onion over VPN and DoubleVPN to solidify your privacy online. With a 30-day refund period and a price of $3.71/mo , NordVPN is an excellent service to have.
For more details about this service, see this NordVPN review.
With one of the largest VPN servers network, you may think this is the VPN with Uganda IP but unfortunately, that is not the case.
PureVPN is operating from Hong Kong and due to that country’s no data retention laws, PureVPN is very valuable for privacy-conscious users in Uganda. A network of 6500+ VPN servers in over 140 countries enables the users in Uganda to destroy any form of censorship that has been placed by their Government and to express themselves freely.
Unfortunately, maybe due to such a big VPN network, sometimes PureVPN has been famous for showing some streaming related provided. This is a major contributing factor for its 4th ranking in the list of best VPN in Uganda.
On top of this, it boasts features like 10 simultaneous connections, split-tunneling, kill switch, 31-day refund period, all at a price of $3.33/mo .
This makes it an excellent choice for users in Uganda.
Read our PureVPN review for more details.
CyberGhost is being operated from Romania, which also supports the laws of individual privacy. So you do not have to worry about your online data being leaked, unlike all of the best free VPN in Uganda, which sells user data to authorities.
It consists of 6,600+ servers distributed in over 80 countries. All these servers are very capable of removing the restrictions on social media sites as well as for streaming sites that are normally inaccessible to Ugandan users.
On top of being a low-priced VPN provider, the 7 simultaneous connections and 45-day refund period are two interesting USPs of this service. $2.25/mo .
For more information, read this CyberGhost review.
Private Internet Access (PIA) provides 23,000+ servers in 77+ countries worldwide but does not offer a server in Uganda. Still, you can unblock the local Ugandan content after connecting to servers, which are available in neighboring countries Nigeria.
Its very simple application design and smooth performance on devices like iOS phones and tablets make it one of the best vpn for iPhone in Uganda.
In terms of security, the Singapore-based VPN service offers numerous features such as internet kill switch, zero-logs, DNS or WebRTC leak protection, port forwarding, and split tunneling that help you safeguard your online whereabouts from surveillance actors including government, ISPs, and snoopers.
After paying just $2.69/mo , you can get PIA that comes with other advantages like 30 days money-back guarantee and 10 multi-logins.
For more information about this VPN, read our detailed PIA VPN 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 the 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 to 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.
A similar sort of geo-restrictions can be felt throughout the other African nations as well. Countries like Kenya, Angola, Sudan, and Nigeria are also in the same boat as Uganda when it comes to popular streaming content restrictions. The only way to get access to these websites is by a VPN in Nigeria.
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 gives you more security and makes 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.
VPNs that are blocked in Uganda
During our testing, we found many VPNs Blocked in Uganda. We have listed them down for your convenience.
- Hotspot Shield
- Tuxler VPN
Can we use a FREE VPN in Uganda?
Yes, you can use a free VPN or sometime’s called free internet VPN in Uganda, however, it can be risky. Nothing is free in this world, everything has its price. If you are thinking that you will be able to hide your internet traffic and mask your real identity without paying anything then you couldn’t be further from the truth.
We have listed down few reasons, that should be able to convince you that why using a free VPN in Uganda is a bad idea.
On average, a free VPN offers a minimum of 3 server locations and a maximum of 10 server locations. These servers are so much crowded that they immediately turn into a useless internet connection, not capable of opening a normal webpage.
As the load on the server increases, while the number of servers remains small, slow speed issues are inevitable. Their speeds are so much low that even a small task of accessing a webpage can take up to few minutes.
Data Transfer Limits
Most of the free VPN providers set up a limit on bandwidth for each account. At the end of this limit, the user has to wait for the next month so that the limit can be recharged and re-used again.
Privacy & Security Concerns
Free VPNs don’t have the capacity to implement quality privacy and security features. Most free VPN providers are known to selling your personally identifiable information, and other online activity data to different authorities. If you wish to hide your online traffic from your Government agencies then free VPNs shouldn’t be your choice.
We highly recommend a Paid VPN over a Free VPN.
Should we disable smartphone location while using a VPN in Uganda?
Yes, it is highly recommended to disable your smartphone location service feature while using a VPN. Location service of your device will leak your real location and identity to the service you are trying to access, whether it be any particular webpage or geo-restricted content.
It will defeat the whole purpose of VPN as you will not be able to access your desired content. Therefore, it is a good practice to disable your device location service while using a VPN.
What are the best VPNs for iPhone in Uganda?
We can all agree that hand-held devices have taken over the top spot in popular devices being used today, from MAC and PC. A good VPN is not only compatible with your computer but also with your iPhone or Tab.
You will find below the five best VPN for iPhone in Uganda.
ExpressVPN – A rating of 4.6 on the App Store gives this provider all the reasons it needs to sit on the throne. With a straightforward and sleek design, easy accessibility to server and feature, there is no way this can’t be your first choice.
Surfshark – A rating of 4.4 on App Store with affordable price lands surfshark the second spot. Though the application can be a handful for someone not used to VPN’s once you get the hang of it, it will be a great combination of cheap and effective access on the iPhone.
NordVPN – While it has the same rating as Express, 4.6 on App Store, the fact that NordVPN isn’t too reliable for streaming content puts it at the third spot. Regardless, for securing your social media apps on iPhone, it is still one of the best VPNs.
PureVPN – A the number four spot, we have PureVPN with a rating of 4 on the App Store. It is the lowest rating between all the VPN providers we have on the list but do not let that fool you. Even with that rating, PureVPN is still one of the best VPNs for securing your identity and granting your unlimited access to content on your iPhone.
CyberGhost – Cyberghost currently has a rating of 4.1 on the App Store. It is still higher than PureVPN’s rating but its ability to lose a noticeable amount of speed sometimes mid-connection on iOS devices has caused it to lose the 4th spot to PureVPN.
Private Internet Access – Even with the highest rating of 4.7 on the App Store, constant disconnection issues on iPhone, regular accessibility issue with streaming content lands it fifth spot on our list.
What are the best VPNs for Android in Uganda?
Similarly like iPhone, Google Android Phones are also one of the major devices being used around the globe.
You will find below the five best VPN for Android in Uganda.
ExpressVPN – A rating of 4.4 on Google Play Store, uninterrupted VPN connection, and access to global content 24/7, lifts up ExpressVPN to the top spot.
Surfshark – A rating of also 4.4 on Google Play Store with affordable price crowns surfshark with the second spot. Similarly to MAC, PC, and iPhone device, the application can be overwhelming for someone inexperienced with VPNs
NordVPN – On the third stop, with an impressive & reliable encryption method, NordVPN stays with a rating of 4.3. Regardless, for securing your social media, banking, and other private apps on Android, it is still one of the best VPNs.
PureVPN – A the number four spot, we have PureVPN with a rating of 3.7 on Google Play Store. Just like in the iPhone case, it is the lowest rating among all the VPN providers we have on the list. Even with that rating, PureVPN has been one of the best VPN out there that you can trust with your protection.
CyberGhost – Cyberghost currently has a rating of 4.1 on the Google Play Store. Its ability to lose the connection on Android devices along with few speed issues have contributed to this rating.
Private Internet Access – Even with the highest rating of 4.5 on Google Play Store, constant issues with not being able to unblock geo-restricted content and losing internet connectivity mid-connection, lands it fifth spot on our list.
It is recommended to use a premium VPN provider on your mobile device. Although there are many free VPN providers claiming to be the “best free vpn in Uganda” but you should avoid them. Since, with only premium providers, you can protect your online activity.
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 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.
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 of 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
In order to bypass Government censorship present in Uganda, you need a reliable VPN that will not only hide your internet activity but makes sure that no one can smell your presence on the web anytime. Along with the primary mission of protecting your online identity, the Best VPN in Uganda should also let you access unlimited content from around the globe, reliably and at a good pace.
After our investigation, we found that only ExpressVPN fits into this role smoothly. It is just a matter of time when this provider will become the most used VPN in Uganda.
If you are looking for a provider that is not as costly as ExpressVPN and offers somewhat similar protection, if not exactly the same then you can turn towards either PureVPN or Private Internet Access which is also known as the best VPN for iPhone in Uganda.
Thankfully, VPN services are still helping oppressed populations fight for their rights and defy governmental injustices on the web.
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