Are you looking to access geo-restricted content from South Africa from abroad? If you want access to sites like StarSat and Media Box or want to access online banking with ease, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help. We’ll tell you how these works and recommend the best VPNs for a South African IP address.
Many sites in South Africa don’t want to give you access if you are outside of the country. Often, legal reasons prevent content from South African sites, such as StarStat, Netflix South Africa, and MediaBox from being available all over the world. Some present an international version to the outside world while others will block you outright. If you want to access geo-restricted sites like these you’ll need a South African IP address and the easiest way to get one is with a VPN.
Every device connected to the internet has a unique identifier, called an IP address. This is associated with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and reveals your location. IP address detection assists sites in geo-blocking. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will mask your real IP address and replace it with one from a country of your choice, helping you evade detection measures. Plus, it will encrypt your traffic so it’s unreadable to snoopers such as government agencies, hackers, and your ISP.
How do I get a South African IP address from abroad?
The process of switching your IP address is very simple. Just follow these steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN service (we recommend ExpressVPN)
- Download the installation file for your device’s operating system and run it
- Open the app, select a VPN location in South Africa, and connect
- Access a restricted website in South Africa
- You should now appear to be in South Africa and be able to enjoy access to your desired content
GET A SOUTH AFRICAN IP ADDRESS FOR FREE: If you just need a VPN service for a few weeks while you are on vacation, there is a way you can get one of the best services for free. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can sign up, use the service, and then cancel it within a month to get all of your money back.
How to choose the right VPN for a South African IP address
The VPN services in this guide all have to include the following attributes in order to qualify for the list:
- Servers in South Africa
- Good speeds for downloading and video streaming
- Strong security and privacy features
- An easy-to-use app
- A multiple simultaneous connection allowance
Best VPNs for a South African IP address
Here is our list of the best VPNs to get a South African IP address from anywhere:
ExpressVPN operates servers in 95 countries, including South Africa. This VPN is the world leader because it has great speeds for downloading and video streaming, is very easy to use, and has strong security measures. ExpressVPN allows each customer to connect to the service three times at once.
If you encounter any problems with using the system, you can get immediate advice from the ExpressVPN support team through a live chat feature. This is manned around the clock every day of the year.
You get very strong security features with ExpressVPN. The connection establishment procedures are protected by 4096-bit RSA encryption and communication with the VPN server are cloaked by a 256-bit AES cipher. ExpressVPN is one of the best services in the world for getting through location detection systems from out of the country.
It can be installed on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick. There is also an app for routers and you can set up the system manually on some set-top boxes. Additionally, you can use an ExpressVPN browser extension (alongside the desktop app) for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
- High speeds for downloading and video streaming
- Comprehensive security and privacy features
- Easy-to-use app that installs with a wizard
- Gets past location detection systems
- Live chat to contact support staff
- A little more expensive than some of its rivals
BEST VPN FOR A SOUTH AFRICAN IP ADDRESS:ExpressVPN is our #1 choice. It offers high-speed connections that are protected by strong security. This is the best service for getting around location restrictions on South African websites. ExpressVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free purchase.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN has a very large server network with more than 5,000 servers in 62 countries. It has 21 servers in South Africa. This VPN offers one of the best services in the world at very low prices. It gets past location detection systems and its speeds are good enough for streaming video and downloading. The company doesn’t keep any connection logs, so your activity on the internet cannot be traced.
The apps include many security features, including a kill switch, an ad blocker, a popup blocker, and a system that blocks infected web pages from loading in your browser. You can also choose a double VPN connection or Tor over VPN.
Connection anonymity is enforced by encryption. The session establishment phase is covered by a 2048-bit RSA cipher and transmissions are secured with 256-bit AES encryption. This service keeps no logs of your activity and comes with DNS leak protection built in.
The software runs on Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. There are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. The service can be installed manually on Raspberry Pi, Blackberry phones, and some routers and set-top boxes. You get a simultaneous connection allowance of six devices.
- Good speeds for streaming
- Strong security features
- 21 servers in South Africa
- A six device simultaneous connection allowance
- A no-logs policy
- Not the fastest when it comes to switching servers
BEST DISCOUNT OPTION:NordVPN is a great choice if you are on a tight budget. Its ability to avoid detection is world-class. NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
CyberGhost offers high speeds for downloading and video streaming. It has an intuitive app that gives you access to 3,000 servers in 57 countries, including 10 in South Africa, which are all in Cape Town. It can unblock multiple streaming sites from across the globe.
Connections are covered by 256-bit AES encryption and session establishment its secured by 4096-bit RSA encryption. The service is further secured by a kill switch in the app and DNS leak protection.
Your privacy is protected by a no-logs policy and account anonymity. Payments are collected by a separate company, called Cleverbridge. That means CyberGhost doesn’t need to hold your bank details on file. The support team is contacted through a web form and replies arrive by email, so you do have to provide an email address, but you could use a burner.
The app is installed by a guided wizard and will run on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick. You can install the system manually on Linux computers and some set-top boxes and routers.
- Very strong encryption
- High speeds for downloading and video streaming
- A simultaneous connection allowance of seven devices
- Account anonymity
- Less customization than some competitors
EASY FOR BEGINNERS:Cyberghost has a simple set up making it suitable for beginners. CyberGhost makes you invisible online by cloaking your connections and hiding your true location. You get a 45-day money-back guarantee on all subscription periods except for the one-month plan, which has a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs on the planet according to benchmark tests. This is one of the reasons this service is very popular with torrenters and Kodi users. This VPN has the ability to dodge detection from geo-restricted websites and keeps no logs, so no one can track your activities.
You get access to seven VPN servers in Johannesburg and a total of 1,100 servers in 60 countries. The app includes a kill switch to protect your identity and further privacy is afforded by DNS leak protection and a no-logs policy. Connections are obscured by 256-bit AES encryption and session establishment and key exchange is secured by a 2048-bit RSA cipher.
A wizard installs the app on Windows, macOS, Linux Mint, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire stick. You can get the VPN on Kali, Ubuntu, and Fedora Linux by installing it manually and it will also run on some routers and set-top boxes if you set it up yourself. IPVanish comes with an allowance of a whopping 10 simultaneous connections.
- Seven servers in South Africa
- Very fast speeds
- Firm no-logs policy
- A simultaneous connection allowance of 10 devices
- Customer support isn’t the fastest
- Doesn’t allow for anonymous registration
GREAT CONNECTION ALLOWANCE:IPVanish gives you a simultaneous connection allowance of 10 devices and has very high speeds. You get a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
PrivateVPN is all about internet privacy. The company was founded by internet freedom activists. It is very good at dodging detection and can even unblock the South African Netflix library, which is a rarity. Its high speeds make it a great choice for downloading and video streaming.
The server network of PrivateVPN is relatively small but that doesn’t impede the performance of the service. In total, the company runs more than 80 servers in 56 countries. There is one PrivateVPN server in South Africa, which is located in Johannesburg.
Connections are protected by 256-bit AES encryption and session establishment uses 2048-bit RSA encryption. Apps include a kill switch and DNS leak protection. The privacy procedures of PrivateVPN are very similar to those of CyberGhost. The company uses the same company to collect payments and it does not keep activity logs. The wizard-installed app includes a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
Apps run on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. You can also set up a connection manually on Linux computers and some routers and set-top boxes. PrivateVPN gives you a six device simultaneous connection allowance.
- High speeds for downloading and video streaming
- Known for privacy
- Great at unblocking
- Only one server in South Africa
- Live chat isn’t 24/7
PRIVACY AND SECURITY:PrivateVPN's tight account anonymity and a no-logs policy gives you strong privacy protection on the internet. The service includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Can I get a South African IP address for free?
There are free VPNs available, but you might find that you won’t be able to use them for accessing restricted websites in South Africa from abroad. Free and cheap VPN services tend to have very small server networks, and probably won’t have any South Africa server options. Operating all over the world costs a lot of money and opting for a low-cost model rules out offering servers in smaller markets, such as South Africa. Another problem with free VPNs is that the large number of users on a small server network make them slow and not very reliable.
One of the main reasons that you will use a VPN is to protect your privacy on the internet. However, many free services track your activity and sell that information to marketers. Some free VPNs lack important security features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection and some don’t even encrypt your traffic at all. Some VPN apps have been found to carry malware so be very cautious about what you’re downloading to your device.
Overall, a small monthly fee for a reputable provider is definitely worthwhile.
Are there other reasons to use a VPN?
One of the main reasons for using a South African IP address is to access geo-restricted streaming sites from abroad, such as StarSat and Showmax. However, it can also be helpful in other situations, such as accessing online bank accounts from abroad. For example, if you want to log in to your Capitec, First National Bank, or Standard Bank account, a VPN can help prevent your account from being flagged. Many banks hold accounts on the basis of fraud alerts when someone logs in from a new location, but with a VPN, you can make it appear you’re logging in from South Africa.
Another excellent use case for a VPN, especially while traveling, is to protect your information when you connect to a public wifi hotspot. Hackers often use unsecured wifi connections to steal people’s personal data. With a VPN, all of your information is encrypted, so even if a hacker intercepts it, it will be unreadable.
Is a VPN easy to use?
Although the technology behind VPNs is very complicated, the services on our list make ease of use a priority and you don’t need to be a techie in order to use them. You might find the process strange at first, but after using your new VPN a few times, you will get used to it.
There are some dodgy VPNs on the market that advertise a money-back guarantee but then don’t honor it. This is not the case with the services on our list. They will all give you your money back without any hassle just as long as you remember to notify them within the stated refund period. So, relax, and introduce yourself to the liberating world of VPNs and get access to content in South Africa when you are abroad.
Related: Best VPNs for South Africa