Uganda has witnessed tremendous growth in the ICT sector in the past decade. However, its cyberspace is not safe as the government practices intensive surveillance of internet communications under the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (2010). They monitor internet activity to such an extent that mere criticism of the government can land you a place in prison.
Considering such conditions, the best VPN for Uganda seems like the only tool for privacy-seeking citizens who want complete, unhindered, and undetected access to the web.
A virtual private network will not only help you achieve online privacy and security in Uganda but will also allow you to access blocked sites in the country.
On that note, here are the top 5 best VPN for Uganda in 2021 that we shortlisted after testing 150+ VPNs.
5 Best VPN For Uganda (September 2021 In-Depth Analysis)
We have tested over 150+ VPNs to find the 5 best VPNs for Uganda. These VPNs have been tested on various performance criteria like security, speed, geo-blocking, money-back guarantee, and more.
1. Best VPN for Uganda – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Uganda, as all of its servers are optimized to provide you with the best streaming, torrenting, and browsing experience along with online security in Uganda.
With a massive network of 3000+ servers across 94 countries, you can unblock any site you want in Uganda. It does not offer servers in Uganda, but there is 1 server in Kenya that is close by. ExpressVPN also works with all major streaming platforms as well, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, HBO, and more.
In terms of security, ExpressVPN offers AES-256-bit military-grade encryption for data protection. It also offers RAM servers, Lightway protocol, and Private DNS. For maximum security, there is also IP and DNS leak protection preventing your data from getting leaked over the internet. We conducted IP leak tests on its US – New York server and there were no IP leaks at all.
The provider is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which means it follows a true”no-log policy” – making it the perfect option for securing and hiding your online experience.
ExpressVPN is available for $6.67/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can test the service free of cost for 30 days in Uganda.
See this detailed ExpressVPN review for more details.
2. Budget-friendly VPN for Uganda – Surfshark
Surfshark is the best budget-friendly VPN in Uganda, costing only $2.49/mo . It is a great option for users in Uganda who are looking for an affordable option.
Surfshark operates a network of 3200+ servers in 65+ countries. It does not offer servers in Uganda, but there are multiple servers in Africa that you can use. You can rely on its offshore servers to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc., in Uganda.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands – a place with no mandatory data retention laws, so your privacy is intact with this VPN in Uganda. It also offers features such as CleanWeb, MultiHop, and WhiteLister to ensure that your online activity is completely hidden and untraceable. It also passed our IP leak test with flying colors – as it did not leak our actual IP address while connected to its Australian server.
Surfshark is the only provider on our list that supports unlimited simultaneous connections. With one Surfshark subscription, you can protect as many devices as you want.
Surfshark also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test all its features yourself in Uganda free for 30 days. Read our Surfshark review for more details.
3. Secure VPN for Uganda – NordVPN
NordVPN is the most secure VPN for Uganda in 2021. It has been exceptional over the years in proving itself to be a major stakeholder in setting up the industry security and privacy standards. Some of its notable features include 256-bit encryption, Double VPN, and Obfuscated servers.
The provider is headquartered in Panama, which also doesn’t have any data retention laws. The people in Uganda can trust NordVPN as you don’t have to worry about your confidential data leaking. Additionally, it also offers features like kill switch and Onion over VPN to solidify your privacy online.
NordVPN has a network of 5200+ 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.
Although it doesn’t have any servers in Uganda, it does feature multiple servers in other African countries.
NordVPN also offers obfuscated servers that disguise your VPN traffic as normal internet traffic. This way your ISP or the site you visit cannot know you are using a VPN service. Similarly, its Double VPN feature encrypts your traffic twice for added security. We also conducted IP leak tests by connecting to NordVPN’s Irish servers and there were no IP leaks detected.
You can get NordVPN for $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE), which comes with 6 simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For more details about this service, see this NordVPN review.
4. User-Friendly VPN for Uganda – CyberGhost
CyberGhost is the most user-friendly VPN for Uganda with easy-to-use apps for various platforms including Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and Linux. It is a great option for beginners in Uganda because it offers dedicated servers for various tasks like streaming, gaming, and torrenting. So, you can connect to the server according to your requirement.
CyberGhost offers 7000+ servers distributed in over 90 countries. All these servers are capable of removing the restrictions on social media sites and streaming sites that are normally inaccessible to Ugandan users.
It does not have servers in Uganda, but there are servers in other African countries that you can use instead. With its international servers, you can unblock sites like Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Zee TV, SonyLiv, and more in Uganda.
CyberGhost operates from Romania, which also supports the laws of individual privacy. So you do not have to worry about your online data being leaked in Uganda.
It also offers IP and DNS leak protection that is quite efficient as you can see from the screenshot below, it did not leak our real IP address.
CyberGhost is a low-priced VPN available for $2.25/mo , with support for 7 simultaneous connections and a 45-day refund period, so you can give it a try free of cost for 45 days.
For more information, read our CyberGhost review.
5. Best VPN for Torrenting in Uganda – PIA
Private Internet Access is the best VPN for torrenting in Uganda. It offers 35500+ servers in 78 countries worldwide but does not offer a server in Uganda. Still, you can unblock international content in Uganda with ease.
What’s best is that PIA’s servers are optimized for P2P with a SOCKS5 proxy for safe and secure torrenting. In terms of security, PIA offers numerous features such as internet kill switch, zero-logs policy, DNS or WebRTC leak protection, port forwarding, and split tunnelling that help you safeguard your online whereabouts from surveillance actors, including government, ISPs, and snoopers.
Just to be sure, I conducted an IP leak test while connected to PIA’s Australia server. As you can see from the screenshot, my actual IP wasn’t leaking, thanks to PIA’s IP leak protection.
With one PIA account, you can have 10 multi-logins. It is available for only $2.08/mo and comes with a 30 days money-back guarantee.
For more information about this VPN, please read our detailed PIA VPN review.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Uganda. It offers a global server network of 3000+ servers with the strongest encryption, security, and excellent unlocking ability. It also offers fast connection speeds (88 Mbps on 100 Mbps connection) and allows 5 simultaneous connections.
With ExpressVPN, you can unblock any international content in Uganda including news channels, streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, and restricted games online. With advanced security features like Network Lock, RAM servers, and IP/ DNS leak protection, you will never have to worry about your confidential data leaking in Uganda.
It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so make sure to give it a try risk-free. If you like the service, you can also get 3 months free subscription on its 12 monthly offer.
Testing Methodology: How we tested the best VPN for Uganda
The above 5 best VPNs for Uganda have been tested on various criteria. So, when you are looking for a VPN in Uganda, make sure to consider the following important criteria:
- Server network: Make sure the VPN you choose offers a large server network with global coverage so you can easily bypass restrictions and access international content in Uganda.
- Robust encryption: The best VPN for Uganda should use 256-bit AES encryption for data protection. It should also offer other security features like a kill switch, IP leak protection, and more.
- Ability to bypass geo-blocks: Make sure to choose a VPN that has the ability to bypass geo-blocks and give you unrestricted access to streaming sites and more in Uganda.
- Compatibility: VPN should be compatible with a wide range of devices like Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, and Linux. It should also be compatible with routers and support at least 5 simultaneous connections.
- 24/7 customer support: Make sure to choose a VPN that offers 24/7 customer support so you can reach out to them in case of connectivity issues.
- Money-back guarantee: Choose a VPN that offers at least a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service in Uganda before buying. Among the VPNs mentioned above, CyberGhost is the only one offering a 45-day money-back guarantee.
3 Reasons Why You Need a VPN in Uganda
The importance of VPN services has increased in Uganda amidst wrongful governmental measures and censorship. Here are 3 major reasons why you need a VPN in Uganda.
1. Online Censorship
The Ugandan government imposes high-handed regulation on the internet. Criticism of the government expressed by journalists or bloggers is disapproved of by the government, and some arrests have been made in the past to stifle critical voices against the government.
This compels self-censorship, as people fear for their safety as the government is on a crackdown against any form of criticism made against the ruling party on social media platforms.
Moreover, the government has also imposed a social media tax of USD $.05/day that people have to pay to access websites like WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The move was rationalized as a step taken to minimize “gossip” on the web.
These events led to an increase in the use of VPN services in the country. VPNs are so popular in Uganda that the government started blocking its websites on MTN Uganda networks.
2. 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 compared to the US, UK, and Japan.
The offshore servers of a VPN, especially those located in the US, can help you gain access to these geo-blocked services in Uganda with ease. All you need to do is get a VPN and connect to a US server if you want to access American streaming platforms. This will give you a US IP address to easily unblock streaming services and other websites inaccessible from Uganda.
3. 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 public Wi-Fi. The strong 256-bit AES 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 to breach 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 about your security on such networks.
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 could 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 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 rebellion tool 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 Ugandan citizens’ ability to maintain continued internet usage.
VPNs that are blocked in Uganda
During our testing, we found many VPNs blocked in Uganda. We have listed them down for your convenience.
- Tuxler VPN
VPN guides for other countries
FAQs – Best VPN in Uganda
Yes, VPNs are legal in Uganda, however, the government has been blocking VPN traffic and blacklisting VPNs in the country. Internet service providers are mandated by the government to block VPN traffic in Uganda.
However, the VPNs mentioned above offer obfuscation technology. So, even your ISP cannot tell if you are using a VPN in Uganda.
Yes, you can use a free VPN in Uganda however, we don’t recommend it. Nothing is free in this world everything has its price. If you think that you will be able to hide your internet traffic and mask your real identity without paying anything, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
On average, a free VPN offers few servers that are so crowded, offering extremely slow speeds and constant connection drops. The speeds are so low that even a small task of accessing a webpage can take up to a few minutes.
Most of the free VPN providers set up a limit on bandwidth for each account which is very less (mostly 500 MB per month). Moreover, they are known for selling your personally identifiable information and other online activity data to different authorities. Therefore, it’s best to stick with premium VPNs like ExpressVPN.
Yes, it is highly recommended to disable your smartphone location service feature while using a VPN. Your device’s location will leak your real location and identity to the website you are trying to access, whether it be any particular web page or geo-restricted content.
It will defeat the whole purpose of a 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.
Best VPN for Uganda: Finishing Up
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 trace your online activity. The 5 best VPN for Uganda mentioned above are capable of protecting you online but are also best for unblocking geo-restricted content in Uganda.
Our top recommendation for users in Uganda is ExpressVPN. It offers powerful 256-bit encryption for data protection and an excellent unblocking ability to bypass government-imposed internet restrictions and censorship.
ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 3-month free subscription on its 12 monthly plan so you can try it in Uganda risk-free.