Internet in Zimbabwe suffers from government censorship and surveillance, so it’s up to ensure your digital rights in the country. Your first step should be to choose a strong VPN, which will anonymize your connection and allow you to unblock websites and evade snooping online. Today, we recommend the best VPNs for use in Zimbabwe, so stay tuned.
There are many things to consider when picking a VPN to use in Zimbabwe. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the best choice for yourself and your household. We’ll start by looking at why you might want a VPN in Zimbabwe in the first place. Next, we’ll cover what you need to look for while doing research on this website and around the web. Last but not least, we’ll look at which encryption standards are the best and most reliable to use when you’re in Zimbabwe.
What to look for in a VPN
Looking at all the VPNs available online, it can be hard picking the best one for your country and use case. That’s why we prepared detailed descriptions of the 5 best services for Zimbabwe – and their features and benefits. But before we get to specific services, let’s go over some key characteristics you should look for when choosing a VPN provider in the African nation.
- Download speed – some VPNs cap your download speed. If you want to watch videos, listen to music and download files from the internet, you’ll want one that doesn’t.
- Encryption – this feature stops others from viewing your data and any messages you might exchange on the internet. We recommend AES-256 encryption because it has an extremely large number of combinations – 2^256, or one quattuorvigintillion- that hackers need to try to view your data. We recommend sticking to VPNs with this level of security, whether through AES-256 or an equivalent standard.
- Logging policy – some VPNs don’t log any information at all. Others keep records of almost everything you choose to do online. A VPN service with a zero-logging policy doesn’t keep much data, if anything, providing you with the highest level of anonymity.
Now that we’ve discussed what you should look for in a VPN, you’re ready to shop. If you’d rather skip the exhaustive market research, all of the following VPNs are fully vetted for locked down your Internet connection in Zimbabwe:
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs in the world. It offers quick downloads, seamless browsing, and buffer-free streaming of video and audio content. The service’s 3,000+ proxy servers, spread over 94 countries, mean that latencies are low while download speeds are high – and gives you a vast number of IPs to choose from while you’re in Zimbabwe.
In addition to being speedy, ExpressVPN is extremely secure. 256-bit AES encryption would take the world’s strongest computer millions of years to crack, and the service offers users a whole five encryption protocols. Some, like UDP, blend speed and security. Others, like SSTP, are slower – but so powerful they can beat hardcore censorship blocks, letting you safely view content that’s been blocked by the government. The service’s zero-logging policy is strong too, with no records of DNS requests, IP addresses or browsing history. In short, protection is strong and no logs of anything that can be used to ID you are kept.
In addition to its strong core features, ExpressVPN is easy to install, with a suite of cross-platform apps. Whether you have a desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux) or smartphone/tablet (Android, iOS), installation is easy and everything you need is always just a click away. There’s also support for other devices, from video game consoles to Apple TV and Firestick to most modern routers.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime
- Super fast servers
- Govt-level AES-256 encryption
- No logging policy well enforced
- Great support (24/7 chat).
- Power-users configuration options.
NordVPN is a newer VPN service, but it’s at’s already made a name for itself with tough approach to security and its long list of added features. NordVPN comes with 256-bit AES encryption that’s virtually unbreakable. In addition to this, the service comes with 6 specialty server types perfect for secure, anonymous internet connections. From the Double VPN feature that routes data through 2 proxy servers to Obfuscated Servers that hide the fact you’re using a VPN, no other service does quite as much to help its users stay safe and anonymous. The zero logging policy adds another layer of protection, with virtually no records of anything you do being stored by NordVPN.
In addition to its strong security features, NordVPN is also fast and versatile. With a server network spanning a over 5,500 servers in 58 countries, you’ll never lack connection options for bypassing geoblocks, hiding your IP, or simply for obtaining optimal speed without sacrificing privacy. You can access virtually any country’s Netflix library at will, and customer service is always on hand to help if you need help unlocking a specific website or content library. Last but not least, the easy-to-use, attractive user interface is convenient for users of all skill levels. There’s even a graphic map that makes it easy to choose a server that lets you get the IP you need for any given situation. As an added bonus, NordVPN lets you have up to 6 simultaneous connections – meaning you can bring all these features to multiple devices without ever having to log off or pay extra.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Servers optimized for unblocking Netflix
- Fast and stable connections
- Strong security features
- No logs and encrypted connections for total privacy
- Great support (24/7 chat).
- Automatic server selection can be unreliable
- Apps can sometime be slow to connect.
CyberGhost is a top choice for users in countries where the government controls all or some internet communications. One reason is its zero-logging policy, which is so comprehensive that the service logs virtually nothing — not even users’ email addresses. Another advantage is CyberGhost’s use of configuration profiles and extra toggles. While many other VPNs ask users to set up connections manually, CyberGhost lets you choose from 6 VPN profiles – including “anonymous surfing” and “WiFi protection” – so you can immediately get the specific setup that fits your needs. There’s also a suite of extra toggles, from “extra speed” to “block ads,” that personalize the profile you chose with powerful extra features.
In addition to being easy to use, CyberGhost is fast and reliable. The service have 5,500+ servers in 80 countries, meaning you’re sure to find a working server and local IP in any part of the world. CyberGhost’s encryption protocols include UDP and L2TP/IPSec, which excel at protecting your data without slowing you down — and use 256-bit passcodes that are virtually unbreakable. Between all these features and the ability to connect as many as 5 devices simultaneously, CyberGhost is a no-brainer if you want ease of use and reliability.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
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- Great user experience and easy installation
- No leaks detected
- No log files
- Reliable and knowledgeable 24/7 live chat support.
- Doesn’t unblock all streaming services.
PureVPN is a well-regarded VPN that comes packaged with a lot of extra features you don’t typically see with other providers. These include app filtering, DDoS protection, dedicated IP address, a NAT firewall, anti-spam filtering, and antivirus software. Clearly, PureVPN is vying to be your all-in-one cybersecurity solution, and it does a great job of it at that.
In addition to these great security extras, PureVPN excels in all typical considerations of a VPN’s service. With a proxy server network spanning 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries, users can count on fast connection speeds, the ability to access local content libraries worldwide, and low latencies for voice/video calls. Bandwidth is unlimited, and with 24-hour live chat support, it’s easy to see that PureVPN is committed to offering users of all kinds and classes a best-in-class experience.
As far as security goes, PureVPN uses military-grade 256-bit encryption to protect your data at all times. It also offers several advanced features. One is split tunneling, which lets you choose which data you want to send through a VPN, and which through your ISP. Another is ISP throttling: a feature that removes ISP-enforced speed limits, letting you use the Internet at the highest possible speed. Unlike most services, PureVPN also gives you the option to upgrade to a dedicated IP that’s not used by anyone else: an important feature if you want to have full control over your online reputation. Whether you want to browse the web anonymously, protect your data or do something else entirely, PureVPN is a solid choice for Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.
Read our full PureVPN review.
A word about encryption protocols
It would be unfair to paint Zimbabwe as a country that restricts users’ online freedom aggressively. Having said that, there are numerous precedents of people getting in trouble for the content they choose to consume. In light of that, it pays to be aware of the different encryption protocols you can use to protect your identity inside the country.
- OpenVPN with TCP is the #1 choice for most use cases. It’s fast, versatile and highly secure. The only caveat is that OpenVPN is not supported on all devices — and not suited for seamless web access behind hardcore national firewalls like China’s. Having said that, Zimbabweans can rely on this protocol most of the time since the nation’s censorship filters are a lot less harsh.
- OpenVPN over UDP is even faster than the above protocol. It’s perfect for low-risk, high-speed activities like streaming, video calls, and gaming. Having said that, it’s not the best option if you’re bypassing censorship protocols or discussing sensitive information because it’s a little less secure than many other options.
- L2TP and IPSec, when used together, are highly secure. They’re also available on virtually all modern devices. Their downside is that they can be blocked by firewalls and that they’re slower than the OpenVPN protocols covered above.
- IPSec is well-suited to mobile devices, offering near-immaculate end-to-end security and excellent compatibility. Its downside is that it’s slower than the above protocols, due to authenticating and encrypting each and every IP information packet sent in a communication.
- PPTP is an older protocol that works well with legacy devices and networks. It’s very relevant for Zimbabwe’s residents because so much of the country’s hardware and software is dated. PPTP’s downside is that it’s less secure than the above services and only recommended for low-risk activities like gaming and video streaming.
Why get a VPN in Zimbabwe?
There are many reasons to want a VPN in Zimbabwe. In recent years, the government has made consistent efforts to gain more control over local ISPs, residents and IT systems. In 2016, WhatsApp was blocked for a short period of time because of its perceived role in facilitating communications between political dissidents. Later that year (in August), mobile data prices went up by a factor of 5, with many believing that the government was trying to make mobile internet services unaffordable for ordinary people.
Today, many people in Zimbabwe are worried about being monitored by the government and their ISP. Legally, the Interception of Communications Act means that the state has the power and authority to intercept phone calls, e-mails and more. Failure to comply can lead to large fines and up to 3 years in federal prison. These laws are rarely enforced; they’re mainly used to control dissidents like Ernest Matsapa (who faced 6 months in jail in 2016) and Earnest Mudzengi (who was detained for 8 hours while being questioned about his online activities). Having said that, most users still prefer to avoid the proverbial long arm of the law. Internet freedom is limited to say the least, and if you want to stay safe while traveling or living in Zimbabwe, a VPN service can help.
Many users also want to access country-restricted online content while in the country. A VPN can let you watch Netflix and Hulu as if you were in the US, access BBC iPlayer as if you were in the UK, and a lot more. It can also help you play video games on servers of your choice, together with players from anywhere in the world. All in all, there’s a large variety of reasons to look for a VPN if you’re in Zimbabwe – and using this guide, you’re sure to make the best choice for yourself and your household.
From bypassing censorship filters to using encryption to protect your data to gaining access to services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, there are many reasons to get a VPN when in Zimbabwe. Now that you’ve read this article, you know which VPN providers are the best for the country’s visitors and permanent residents. Did we miss anything? Do you have a tip, question or comment? Then let us know by using the form below.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. ExpressVPN 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.