Afghanistan has a heavily censored Internet, but you can retain control of your privacy online with a VPN. With an encrypted connection, you can bypass website blocks and avoid government surveillance. Today, we show you the best VPNs for staying hidden online in Afghanistan.
Internet freedoms in Afghanistan are currently under attack. The government censors a wide variety of content from public access, making it difficult to browse and search your favorite sites. By using a VPN while in Afghanistan, you can quickly restore your link to the world. And best of all, it’s easy to do, and perfectly legal, too.
Take back control of your right to privacy online in Afghanistan with these VPNs:
- NordVPN – Best for Afghanistan – While NordVPN is often used for fun things like unblocking Netflix, it’s at its best when blocking out invasive government surveillance and censorship. Thus, we recommend it as the safest choice for people living in Afghanistan.
- Surfshark – An extremely affordable VPN with advanced anti-censorship methods.
- ExpressVPN – One of the best choices when you’re on a bandwidth-starved network, with super-fast speeds.
- CyberGhost – You don’t have to be a tech genius to use a VPN effectively, and this provider’s colorful UI is proof.
- PrivateVPN – Connect to one of the most secure networks, which is entirely owned by this provider.
- PureVPN – No stranger to breaking through intense government censorship, like China’s Great Firewall.
Want to stream Netflix movies from other countries, but proxy errors keep getting in the way? Need to keep your identity safe while living in or traveling through Afghanistan? There’s no better way to introduce privacy and security to your daily internet activities than by using a solid VPN. Virtual private networks allow anyone to surf the free and uncensored internet simply by running a piece of software in the background. No complicated setups involved, just a return to the open web, privacy intact.
Read on for our full guide on how to find the best VPN for Afghanistan, as well as how to install and set everything up so you can surf the internet freely, securely, and without censorship.
Intro to VPNs
New to the world of VPNs? No doubt they seem complicated and confusing. Don’t worry, though. VPN companies have gone to great lengths to make them as easy to use as any other piece of software. All you really need to do is install a single app, and the VPN takes care of the rest.
But how do you know your VPN is worth its salt? What about encryption protocols, privacy policies, and all of those details? Becoming familiar with the more intimate details about VPNs can take time. That’s why we’ve simplified the process for you by including some of the most important selection criteria below, followed by a list of the best VPN services to use for Afghanistan.
- Device compatibility – If a VPN doesn’t support your hardware (smartphone, tablet, PC, etc.), you can’t use it.
- Fast downloads – Speed is crucial when it comes to streaming videos and watching live sports. Don’t let your VPN service slow things down.
- Network size – The more servers a VPN runs, the more connection options and IP addresses at your disposal.
- Reputation – Make sure your VPN has a huge base of satisfied customers before signing up.
- Zero-logging policy – A strict zero-logging policy for true online privacy and security is the only way to use a VPN.
Best VPNs for Online Privacy in Afghanistan
We tested the best services on the market to find out which ones are ideally suited for use in Afghanistan. Use one of the suggestions below on any of your devices to protect your identity and keep your information secure.
Not only does NordVPN have an amazing collection of privacy features as part of its service, but it also sports the largest server network on the market. The list is constantly growing, but right now users have access to over 5,500 servers in 59 countries around the world. Of particular interest to Afghani users are the obfuscated servers in Turkey, Egypt, and UAE, as well as the double VPN and onion over VPN specialty servers, which all help to bypass censorship and spying beneath an impenetrable cloak of anonymity.
Because there’s always a server close by no matter where you go in the world, you can always find a fast and reliable connection with NordVPN. Once connected, whatever you do online remains solely your business, as this provider pledges never to keep user logs. Governments, ISPs, hackers, nor anyone else are likely to ever crack NordVPN’s 256-bit AES encryption, enabling you to journey through the unrestricted internet without fear of persecution or backlash. On top of it all, there is an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a host of customizable encryption features.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Unblocks US Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
- GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
- Torrenting is explicitly permitted
- “Double” data protection
- Great customer service via chat.
- Can't specify City or Province in App.
Surfshark has only been around for a few short years, but they’re already winning converts around the world due to their advanced feature set. It is particularly useful in countries like Afghanistan with heavy government surveillance and ISP throttling, making it one of our top choices today.
The most important feature is undoubtedly Surfshark’s network, which routes your data through 3200+ servers in 65 countries. Links to this network are established via ultra-secure tunneling protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, WireGuard, plus Shadowsocks on Windows and Android), then locked down with the 256-AES-GCM encryption cipher.
Additionally, Surfshark offers Camouflage and NoBorders modes, which automatically activate obfuscation and anti-censorship methods (respectively) to intercept and defeat government restrictions before you ever notice them. Rounding out the package is a kill switch, IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection, adblocking, and a strict no-logging policy.
- Every server optimized for unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
- Every server is a speciality server
- No questions asked money back guarantee
- Based in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no data retention laws
- Responsive customer support available 24/7.
- Growing network doesn’t have same coverage as more mature VPNs
- New-kid-on-the-block status may not instill same trust as larger providers.
Read our full Surfshark review.
ExpressVPN has been in the business for many years, and it’s easy to see why. With blazing speeds available all across its massive network of proxy servers (numbering over 3,000 in 94 countries), ExpressVPN is an ideal provider to offer seamless downloading, gaming, streaming, and browsing. Enhancing the end-user experience even further is a clean design ethos embodied by lightweight software that does what you want, then stays out of your way.
This incredible performance is backed by nigh-impervious privacy provisions, including industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption and a no-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, IP addresses and browsing history. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch round out the security package and form an effective safety net against accidental VPN disconnection (which is inevitable from time to time). ExpressVPN is, perhaps most importantly, trusted by its user base and the industry at large, providing welcome peace of mind for Afghani users seeking to remain anonymous while accessing the free and open internet.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off - link below)
- Superfast servers (minimal speed loss)
- AES-256 encryption
- Strict no-logging policy
- Great customer service via chat.
- Month-to-month plan has high cost.
CyberGhost provides the right mix of speed, security, and location variability to deliver the perfect online VPN experience for all of its users, no matter what country they live in or travel to. CyberGhost delivers great connection speeds around the world, letting you connect to stream HD videos from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and more, all without buffering delays. They accomplish this with a network of over 5,900 servers in 90 countries, featuring many nodes in close proximity to Afghanistan.
CyberGhost keeps you secure with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. All of these work together to hide your identity each time you connect and keep your data encrypted and secure, so no one (not governments, ISPs, hackers, nor anyone else) can see what you’re viewing.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
- LOW PRICE: 6 EXTRA free months (79% off - link below)
- Special profile designed for torrenting privately
- GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
- Strict no-logging policy
- Money-back guarantee.
- Doesn’t work well in China.
PrivateVPN is all about balance. The service allows you to stay secure anywhere in the world, including Afghanistan, while surfing, streaming, downloading large files, checking social media, and much more. It does this without sacrificing speed or ease of use, either, making it one of the best VPNs, all-around. PrivateVPN works perfectly on smartphones, desktop PCs, and even Fire TV thanks to a lightweight and intuitive interface. Ease of use and device availability make this an attractive provider for a vast array of user demographics.
PrivateVPN runs a network of 150+ servers in 60+ countries. While not as large as other top-tier networks, each node is optimized to deliver all the speed, security, and location variety you need. Finally, PrivateVPN locks down data with 256-bit AES encryption, keeps your connection safe with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, and features a zero logging policy on all traffic, as well.
PureVPN is a versatile and full-featured VPN that does more than just encrypt your data. The service delivers an all-in-one security suite that protects you and your devices from a plethora of online harm. With PureVPN, you get instant access to anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking features, and DNS website filtering, all wrapped into one secure package. All you have to do is download the easy to use VPN software, choose the extra protections you’d like to turn on, and you’re set.
PureVPN offers useful security features that keep you safe online, as well. It starts with a zero-logging policy on traffic, an automatic kill switch, solid 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection. These work alongside the company’s self-owned network of 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries, providing a ton of options for fast, safe, and secure connections.
Read our full PureVPN review.
Internet Censorship in Afghanistan
Only about 10% of households in Afghanistan have internet access, partially due to the high fees associated with obtaining the service. Despite this, the local government has laid out plans to introduce country-wide censorship in an effort to police what the public can and cannot access.
What’s Censored in Afghanistan?
Information and Culture Minister Sayed Makhdoom Raheen stated that Afghanistan will set up an internet filter to block sites that feature a variety of objectionable topics. This includes sexual and violent content, along with sites promoting sexuality and gender issues, drug trafficking and cultivation, and violence issues like making bombs and gambling.
The goal of this censorship project is to “stop the seduction of the youth generation”. A small list of sites that will be blocked has already been generated, and it will likely grow as time goes by.
Can VPNs Break through this Censorship Wall?
So far, there’s no indication that a VPN would be unable to break through the Afghanistan censorship wall. Thousands of users in the country have already started using VPNs on a regular basis to do just that, encrypting their traffic and obfuscating their identities in the process. That’s because Afghanistan currently lacks more sophisticated internet filtering methods employed by countries like China.
How to Use a VPN to Unblock the Internet in Afghanistan
Once you’ve selected the right VPN, most of the hard work is done. Now all you need to do is set things up so you can unblock the internet in Afghanistan and use it as you see fit.
- To get started, open a web browser on your PC. Sign into your VPN account, then download the app for your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux). The VPN may redirect you to an app store for the download if you’re using an Android or iOS device.
- Install the VPN on your device. Launch the software and sign in using your VPN credentials. Most apps will automatically connect to a server as soon as you launch, giving you the fastest connection possible. You may want to switch servers to get a different IP address from a new country, however.
- If your main focus is staying private and secure while surfing, it’s ok to pick the fastest server connection, no matter where it’s located. If you need an IP from a certain country to access geo-restricted videos, choose a new server from the list and switch whenever you like. The VPNs we recommended above all offer unlimited server switching, so there’s no penalty for changing.
- To ensure better security, test your IP address to make sure the VPN doesn’t have any leaks. This is an optional step, but it can be useful, especially if your VPN app wasn’t installed correctly.
- While your VPN is connected to a server, open your web browser and visit ipleak.net. The page will load and run an IP address lookup. When it completes, you should see a box near the top that says “Your IP addresses”. Just below that it should list a country that isn’t the one you’re currently sitting in. If you live in Afghanistan but are connected to a server in Egypt, the box will say “Egypt”, meaning you’re safe and secure.
After you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to use your new, secure VPN connection for anything you like. Remember to keep your VPN active at all times, otherwise you’ll lose your privacy.
What Can You Do with a VPN in Afghanistan?
Anything you want, really! Since VPN access it not restricted in Afghanistan, you’ll be able to use the service however you please. VPNs will then help you unblock foreign content, access censored sites, and keep you safe from all sorts of online dangers. Below are just a few of the added benefits you’ll enjoy with a VPN humming quietly in the background.
Stop Tracking and Surveillance
All data sent from your computer through the internet can be logged, stored, or sold, all without your permission. This is a common practice in many countries and could be happening in Afghanistan thanks to increased governmental oversight. You never know who’s watching you surf the internet.
You can protect yourself from this invasion of privacy by using a VPN. VPNs encrypt data as it leaves your device, making it anonymous and impossible to read. Now if an ISP or cyber criminal tries to trace your activity, all they’ll encounter is random bits of code.
VPNs Bypass Censorship Blocks
The internet was made to be free. Unfortunately, not all ISPs or government agencies agree. Censorship is an increasingly common practice on the modern web. In some areas users are unable to access common sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia, along with VoIP services such as Skype and WhatsApp.
With the right VPN, you can break through these blockades and access the open web with ease. All you have to do is open your app and connect to a secure server, the VPN takes care of the rest. You’ll stay safely anonymous while enjoying the internet as it was meant to be.
Watch Videos from Anywhere with a VPN
When you try using sites like Netflix or BBC iPlayer you’ll sometimes see that frustrating message that says “content unavailable in your area”. Companies like this are required to check your IP address and only display videos legally permitted in your area. If you’re in Canada, for example, you’ll only see approved Canadian content. As soon as you cross the border this changes. Or, as soon as you fire up a VPN.
Using a VPN gives you instant access to worldwide content at the push of a button. If you can’t see the shows you like on Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube, simply change servers to get a new IP address, reload the page, then start streaming. It’s incredibly easy to do, and it’s surprisingly effective, too.
Is Using a VPN in Afghanistan Legal?
So far, no action has been taken to ban VPNs in Afghanistan. Even though the number of internet users in the country is a small percentage, VPNs are quite popular, largely due to the increasing number of sites blocked by the government. Note that it’s still illegal to access sites related to gambling and alcohol, even with a VPN. Using the VPN itself is perfectly legal, however.
It’s not difficult to find the best VPNs for Afghanistan, especially with our recommendations and tutorials above. With a little research and a touch of persistence you can unlock the world wide web from Afghanistan, all thanks to the power of VPNs.
What do you think the future holds for internet freedoms in Afghanistan? Have you ever used a VPN to bypass censorship or website blocks? Tell us your story in the comments below.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.