How VPNs work
This article tries to be a guide on how best to avoid internet censorship by using Virtual Private Networks (VPN). I will provide information about what VPNs are and how they work, along with recommending specific VPN services that are known to work in Zimbabwe or elsewhere in Africa. If you will change your IP address every month then they will most likely allocate this to VPN usage and start blocking such connections completely. It is very important to note that internet service providers (ISPs) in Zimbabwe can detect when you are using VPN services. You should compare 10 popular VPN services, so you will get the difference between them.
List of best VPN providers that work in Zimbabwe:
- ExpressVPN The first thing to mention about ExpressVPN is that it is the first service that does not work with free public Wi-Fi. You will definitely need an internet connection on your mobile phone or tablet to set things up. Once you have got your account set up, there are no limits on the speed of use, and accessing Netflix US works perfectly fine. Expressvpn offers three options; a monthly subscription ($12/month), 6 months ($9/month), or yearly ($8/month). It is very good for TV addicts (works well with Netflix US). Good speeds and reliable service makes it perfect for web surfing too.
- AirVPN is a great option if you want to pay monthly or yearly which works out cheaper at $7/month. They offer servers in 42 locations including Zimbabwe and also allow three simultaneous connections. AirVPN has servers located all around the world. This service was tested out on Android smartphones and tablets as well as PC laptops without any problems. You can also download their VPN software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices directly from their website.
- Private Internet Access Private Internet Access (or PIA) is one of the most popular VPN services in the world. The reason for this is that they offer very good value for money. They currently cost $6.95/month which makes them one of the cheapest options available to you in Zimbabwe. Their official website is www.privateinternetaccess.com PIA offers servers across 20 countries, including South Africa and within Africa access to services like Netflix US is easy. This service has worked perfectly fine on our Android smartphone and PC laptop when it was tested out here in Harare. You can download their VPN software directly from their website or via Google Play Store (Android users).
- IbVPN IbVPN offers servers in more than 20 countries. They have some of the best download speeds among VPN services and their service also works with Netflix US. This is another good option for Zimbabwean internet users who are looking to access streaming content; their speed was similar to Express VPN during our tests. The drawback is that they cost $7/month but you can get a 7-day free trial.
- VyprVPN VyprVPN allows for 3 simultaneous connections per account which makes it workable to use on your smartphone, laptop, and PC at the same time. They also have servers in 42 countries including South Africa, so access to services like Netflix US is very easy. This service worked well for us on our Android smartphones and Windows 10 laptops but they do offer a 3-day free trial so you can try them out first (it’s only 1GB per day though). VyprVPN will cost $5/month if you choose to pay monthly but if you opted for an annual subscription, it will drop down to $3/month.
To sum it up, if you want to access services like Netflix US from Zimbabwe then one of the VPNs listed above should work well for you. Before deciding on a service, you should sign up for their free trials and test them out on your PC, smartphone, and tablet. If you are happy with their speed and reliability, then take advantage of their good prices and sign up full-time.