Internet freedom in Indonesia declined during 2021 according to Freedom House, which rates the country’s internet as “partly free.” During 2021, the government terminated internet access in Papua for some time (likely as a move against Papua’s independence movement), and online journalists and users faced both offline and online harassment and violence for their online activity.
Government authorities routinely blocked social media platforms on the pretense of the fight against fake news, pornography and terrorism.
Indonesian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) handle the actual blocking of websites, either by order of the government task force or at their own discretion. Popular websites like Reddit, Netflix and Vimeo have been blocked at times for offering content that is deemed vulgar or obscene.
Over 40% of internet users in Indonesia use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the internet in their country.
A VPN keeps your online activities flying under the radar by encasing it in a tunnel of impenetrable encryption. This prevents nosy third parties like governments and their pals the ISPs from monitoring, recording or blocking your online activities.
A VPN also makes it possible to tunnel under the walls that governments and ISPs erect that prevent you from accessing online content that they have deemed unfit for your consumption, such as streaming services or social networks.
In this article, I review the top 6 best VPNs for use in Indonesia.
How to Use Your VPN in Indonesia
To use a VPN to protect your online activities while inside Indonesian borders, do the following:
- Subscribe to the VPN that best fits your needs. (I recommend NordVPN.)
- Install the VPN service’s app on all of your internet-connected devices.
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server and connect to it.
- Enjoy your newly acquired online anonymity.
Best VPNs for Indonesia
In order to determine the top 6 VPN services for use inside Indonesian borders, I ran my top VPN providers through an extensive battery of tests.
The 6 providers listed below provide the best protection and offer the best access to blocked content while inside Indonesia. The quick rundown is:
- NordVPN: The top provider in this roundup delivers comprehensive privacy and security for all your online activities, as well as super-fast speeds and content-unblocking power.
- Surfshark: Budget-price leader this time around thanks to the modest amount it asks in return for its high-quality services. The provider offers unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
- ExpressVPN: Optimal security and privacy protections will keep you safe on the Indonesian internet, and its fast speeds and content-unblocking power make it great for streaming.
- CyberGhost: This provider is great for VPN beginners thanks to easy-to-use apps. Its speeds are impressive, as are its security and privacy protections.
- IPVanish: IPVanish provides a little extra privacy for its customers, thanks to owning and operating its server farms instead of enlisting third-party operators.
- PrivateVPN: This provider delivers comprehensive privacy protections and fast speeds. However, its server count is very low.
I ranked the top 6 Indonesian VPNs by weighing the following factors:
- Ability to unblock content
- Security and privacy protections
- Fast connections, with unlimited bandwidth and no data caps
- Global network server numbers
- Bonus for Indonesia-based servers
- Customer support
- Native app support
Here’s my top 6 picks for the best VPNs to use while residing in or visiting Indonesia.
NordVPN is my top choice for Indonesia as it offers insanely fast connections and optimal security and privacy protections. Streaming lovers will appreciate the VPN’s ability to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services.
Your privacy is never at risk with NordVPN thanks to its strict no-logs policy to protect your online travels and a Bitcoin payment option to protect your subscription payment information.
The protection continues when it comes to NordVPN’s speedy connections. The provider protects your internet connection with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, an automatic kill switch, the ability to block ads and malware, and more. The service never restricts their customers’ usage with data caps or bandwidth limitations.
5,500+ servers in 59 countries add up to comprehensive server coverage, offering access to content from around the world. 5 of those servers are located inside Indonesia, ensuring you’ll always be able to stay connected to local resources.
Customer support is an around-the-clock feature at NordVPN, with 24/7 live support chat, email support and a searchable support knowledge base.
The provider delivers comprehensive native app support thanks to apps for the Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire and Android TV platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions can also be had.
You can take advantage of NordVPN’s SmartDNS service to access international content on devices that are not compatible with VPN apps, such as gaming consoles and set-top boxes. Be aware, though, that the service doesn’t encrypt your connection like the VPN service does.
Up to 6 devices can connect to the service at the same time via a single login. If you need more or want to protect devices not on the above list, you can protect them all via a single access point thanks to NordVPN’s excellent router support.
- Great app and browser support
- Excellent content-unblocking abilities
- Bargain price
- More than 5,500 servers in 59 countries
- Top-notch privacy and security protection
- Streaming-optimized servers not labeled in app
BEST VPN FOR INDONESIA:NordVPN is the best VPN for protecting your internet connection while living in or visiting Indonesia. The provider’s excellent global server coverage, top-notch customer service and incredibly fast connections all add up to the best VPN in this lineup. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark offers outstanding protection for internet users who are looking for excellent connection protection at a price that won’t break the bank.
The provider can unblock an impressive amount of content in many parts of the world thanks to its wide global server network, which includes 3,200+ servers in 65+ countries, Indonesia included.
Surfshark never keeps any logs of your online activities, keeping your privacy thoroughly protected. The provider also accepts Bitcoin as a private payment option, protecting your financial information.
Surfshark’s connection speeds are satisfying, ensuring you’ll have a clear picture when you stream and no lag when you game. You can also share files without a problem on its servers. No bandwidth limitations or data caps are around to ruin the fun.
Surfshark’s customer support includes 24/7 live support chat, a “contact us” form, email support and a searchable support library.
Surfshark supports numerous devices with native apps, including the Android, Linux, iOS, Windows, macOS, Android TV and Fire TV platforms. There are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox users to benefit from, and there’s support for myriad router makes and models.
Thanks to the provider’s unusual unlimited simultaneous connections allowance, you can connect as many devices as you want to its servers at once.
- Servers around the world, including in Indonesia
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Ideal security and privacy protections
- Missing some advanced features
BARGAIN-PRICED:Surfshark provides Indonesian residents and visitors with high-quality service for a low multi-year price. The provider’s unlimited concurrent connections policy means you can protect all of your devices simultaneously. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN ranks as 3rd on my list of best VPNs for Indonesia thanks to its fast speeds, great content-unblocking power and wide-ranging server network, which make it excellent for streaming.
The provider, based in the British Virgin Islands, keeps no logs of any kind, ensuring no records of your online travels are available. A Bitcoin payment option keeps your payment info incognito.
ExpressVPN’s fast connections are well protected with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and automatic kill switch, IPv6 and DNS leak protections. Thankfully, data caps and bandwidth limitations are not a part of the feature set.
Indonesian users can make use of ExpressVPN’s impressive global server coverage. The provider has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including some stationed in Indonesia, providing access to Indonesia-centric content when you’re out of the country.
ExpressVPN’s customer support is always there for you, with 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket tracking system and searchable support materials ready and waiting.
Users of Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Chromebook and Amazon Fire devices will find ready app support, and Safari, Firefox and Chrome users will find browser extensions are available.
Smart TV, game console and set-top streaming box fans can access content from out of the country with the provider’s MediaStreamer DNS service. (However, it doesn’t encrypt your connection like the full VPN service does.)
- Fast connections
- Apps for most popular platforms
- Outstanding global server coverage
- Excellent privacy and security
- Simultaneous connections limited to 5
- Quite expensive
GREAT FOR STREAMING:ExpressVPN’s fast connection speeds, excellent global server coverage and impressive content-unblocking power make it excellent for enjoying international streaming content. The provider doesn’t let you down in the security or privacy departments. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Cyberghost makes for a great option for users who are new to the VPN world and want a provider that excels in making easy-to-use apps.
CyberGhost provides speedy connections, but it doesn’t leave protection in the dust.
Protected by military-level 256-bit AES encryption, automatic kill switch protection and ad blocking protection, the VPN service provider’s reliable connections will keep your browsing secure. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about data caps of bandwidth restrictions.
With 7,200+ servers in 90 countries, you’ll be able to download or stream content from around the globe. 12 of those servers are based in Indonesia, so you can stay in touch when you’re roaming the globe.
CyberGhost delivers reliable service, but in the unlikely event you do need assistance, you can take advantage of their live support chat, trouble ticket tracking system and searchable support information.
Easy-to-use apps are available for the iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV and Amazon Fire device lineups. Browser protection is available for the Chrome and Firefox platforms.
Although CyberGhost allows a generous 7 simultaneous connections to their servers on the same login, you might need to protect more devices or different devices than listed above. In that case, you can take advantage of the provider’s top-notch router support.
- Speedy connections
- Wide global server network
- Easy-to-use apps for popular platforms
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Apps lack advanced options found in apps from other providers
- Can’t unblock certain streaming sites
BEST FOR NEWBIES:CyberGhost is a solid option for those who may be intimidated by more complicated VPN apps thanks to its ease of use. The provider offers wide global server coverage and speedy connections. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish provides a layer of protection that’s unavailable from most other VPN providers. Their self-owned and -operated server network ensures third-party wildcards are kept out of the security equation.
IPVanish offers fast, highly-encrypted connections that include kill switch protection, DNS leak protection and an auto-reconnect option (which immediately reestablishes your connection with the VPN servers in case of an accidental drop).
These features provide excellent protection for your connected activities. In addition, data caps and bandwidth limitations are never a worry.
While IPVanish keeps its servers safe from third-party management intrusion, its privacy protection isn’t as comprehensive as what most other providers deliver.
Although the provider keeps no logs of any kind, it doesn’t accept any form of cryptocurrency, leaving your payment privacy less than totally secure.
IPVanish provides a good amount of content-unblocking power, with 1,300+ servers located in 50+ countries around the globe. The service does an excellent job of unblocking streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Spotify. Although it doesn’t have servers located in Indonesia, it does have them stationed nearby.
IPVanish’s 24/7 live support chat, email support and comprehensive support library all add up to full support coverage.
No browser extensions are available from IPVanish, although the provider does offer native apps for the iOS, macOS, Android, Chromebook, Windows and Amazon Fire platforms.
For other devices, you can use the provider’s router support to protect all of your devices via a single point of access.
IPVanish goes above and beyond by offering an unlimited simultaneous connections policy.
- Excellent customer support
- Owns and operates its global server network
- Unlimited simultaneous connections allowed on one account
- Lacks browser extensions
- No Bitcoin payment option
EXTRA-SECURE SERVERS:IPVanish keeps third parties out of the privacy equation thanks to owning and operating their global server network. Comprehensive security protections and unlimited simultaneous connections add to the appeal. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
PrivateVPN’s server network is admittedly sparse, but its fast speeds and comprehensive security and privacy protections may make up for that.
When “private” is part of a service’s name, it needs to excel in protecting its clients’ privacy. PrivateVPN does exactly this by holding to a strict “no-logs” policy and accepting cryptocurrency in return for its services.
P2P fans will appreciate PrivateVPN’s fast connection speeds. Plus, the connections are well-protected using military-grade encryption, as well as kill switch and auto-reconnect protections. No data caps or bandwidth restrictions to slow your roll.
While PrivateVPN’s global server count of 200 servers is much less than most other providers, it does place them well, as they are spread out among 63 countries, Indonesia included. The provider does a top-notch job of unblocking U.S.-based streaming services like Netflix and HBO Go.
Customer service is also a bit thinner than other providers. While live support chat is available, it isn’t on a 24/7 basis. A contact form and a non-searchable FAQ area are also available.
App support runs a bit thin also, with only apps for the big 4 platforms (Windows, macOS, iOS and Android). No browser extensions, either. However, if you need to protect other devices, or you need to protect more than 6 devices at once, the provider does offer router features.
- Seriously fast speeds
- 6 connections allowed at once
- P2P file sharing allowed on all servers
- Server coverage is spread mighty thin
- Customer support lacks 24/7 chat option
BEST TORRENTING SOLUTION:PrivateVPN is an excellent option for Indonesian P2P fans, as the provider delivers excellent speeds and allows P2P file sharing on all servers. The provider’s privacy and security protections are top-notch. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Indonesia
Internet users face many concerns about their internet freedom in Indonesia. To combat these issues, it’s critical to take advantage of a VPN. However, not just any VPN will be able to do the job.
Here’s a list of the most important factors to consider when deciding upon a VPN, and which I considered while deciding upon which VPNs to recommend for Indonesia:
- Security and Privacy: VPNs are a major asset in Indonesia, thanks to their security and privacy protections. A VPN should, at a minimum, protect its users’ connections with banking-level encryption, an automatic kill switch and DNS/IP leak protection, while additional protections are added bonuses. Also ensure that a VPN keeps no logs of your online activities, so no one – including the Indonesian government – can gain access to records of your online antics. All VPNs on my list offer these protections.
- Connection Speed: Fast speeds are always important, as a VPN’s encryption already slows things down somewhat. Every VPN on my list scored extremely well in my most recent connection speed tests.
- Server Network: A large global server network is preferable, as it means extensive access to geo-blocked content around the world. Also consider how many servers a VPN has located in your preferred location, as the more servers that are available, the faster your speeds will be, as no individual server will be bogged down with too many users trying to connect at once.
- Value: You can figure out a VPN’s value by comparing its price to the features and functionality it offers. Don’t choose a VPN if it overcharges for a paltry list of features. All of the VPNs on my list ask prices that are commensurate with what they offer in return.
- Ease of Use: Choose a VPN that has apps available for your favorite device platforms. In addition, ease of use is also critical, as you don’t want to purchase a VPN subscription only to find that you can’t easily figure out the app. All of the VPNs on my list offer apps for multiple device platforms, and those apps are easy to use.
- Streaming: Viewing content from streaming sites is arguably the most popular pastime for VPN users. Each VPN I include on my list offers reliable access to popular streaming sites, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and others.
Check out more information about my VPN testing methodology.
Why Do You Need a VPN in Indonesia?
While Freedom House considers Indonesia’s internet to be “partly free,” there are still plenty of good reasons to use a VPN while you’re in the country.
Online activists and regular internet users have faced criminal charges and online harassment related to their online activity during 2021, and the government blocked internet access in Papua entirely for some time during events related to the Papua independence movement.
In addition, during the period of June 2017 to May 2018, the Indonesian government blocked social media platforms under the pretext of protecting users from fake news, pornography and terrorism. Censors continued to target LGBTI content.
While authorities claim they are targeting “hate speech,” that term has sometimes been broadened from attacks against minority groups to include hostile remarks against public officials.
A VPN can help protect against privacy violations like those listed above by encrypting your internet connection. Encryption is like a protective tunnel that hides your online activities from the prying eyes of inquisitive third parties, like the Indonesian government.
A VPN can also “spoof” your IP address, temporarily making it appear that you are located in another region. This allows you to access online content and services that might normally be blocked in your area.
Is a Free VPN a Good Option for Protecting Me in Indonesia?
Although you might be able to find a “free” VPN that will work while you’re in Indonesia, I strongly recommend against using such a service for any privacy-related internet concerns.
“Free” VPNs do not protect your privacy well, and they can actually cost you in ways you might not expect.
Any VPN needs to have some sort of income stream to keep the lights on and the servers running. Many “free” providers do this by logging their customers’ online activities and then selling that info to advertisers and other interested outsiders. Do you really think a freebie VPN provider is going to put up much of a fight if the government comes calling?
VPNs of the free type are also known to inject unwanted tracking cookies and advertisements into their clients’ browsing sessions.
In addition, you’ll pay for a “free” VPN with your time. When you log into many VPNs of this type, you may face an extended wait before being allowed to connect to the provider’s limited server network.
Once you’re given the OK to connect, your server selection is limited – that is, if you’re even allowed to select a server.
Last but not least, you may also find that your free VPN throttles your connection speeds and places a monthly data cap on your usage. Does any of this sound like the way to go?
How to Maximize Your Online Privacy in Indonesia
You’ll find that most VPN apps will provide you excellent online protection if you simply click “auto-connect” and accept all of the app’s default settings. However, there is added protection available with just a few extra clicks of your mouse.
If they’re available, turn on features such as
- Connection “scrambling” (which disguises your VPN usage as normal online activity)
- Server obfuscating (which also hides the fact that you’re using a VPN server)
- Auto-reconnect (which automatically reconnects you to the VPN server if there’s an accidental connection drop)
- Kill switch protections
and any other feature designed to keep your online activities undercover.
A Note About Using VPN Browser Extensions
Many VPN providers offer browser extensions, which are a convenient way to protect your browser sessions. However, please keep in mind that these extensions don’t protect all of your online activities in the way that a VPN app does.
When you use a browser extension, the VPN protects only the activities you engage in through the browser.
If you are engaging in other internet-related activities, such as streaming, file sharing and other activities outside of a browser, you should always turn on full VPN protection by using a VPN app.
What Else Are VPNs Good For?
It’s likely that the first thing you think of when hearing “VPN” is its ability to encrypt your internet connection and keep your activities undercover. However, a VPN can do so much more than just protect your connection.
A VPN can also “spoof” your location, making it appear as if you’re located somewhere else. While you might be physically located in Jakarta, a VPN can make it appear to the outside world that you’re sitting in Chicago.
A VPN can also protect against connection throttling, as some ISPs have been known to do when their users access “unapproved” content.
In addition, a VPN can protect you at a public Wi-Fi hotspot, keeping hackers from stealing your banking, shopping and other information.
Indonesia VPN FAQs
What Is the Cheapest VPN for Indonesia?
Surfshark offers a high level of service for a low cost. When it comes to their multi-year subscriptions, you can see huge savings for your internet travels in Indonesia.
How Do I Use an Indonesia VPN?
It's simple to use a VPN in Indonesia. Simply subscribe to a VPN service of your choosing, download its app(s) onto your device(s), then choose a VPN server either in Indonesia (if you want to safely surf the internet there) or in another country. Connect to it, and then you'll be all set.
What Is the Best Free VPN for Indonesia?
I highly recommend against using a free VPN. Free VPNs are well known for imposing data limitations, throttling connection speeds, making users wait in a queue and selling your personal data to advertisers. Make sure that you use a paid VPN solution for your Indonesian internet travels.
Indonesian internet users are strongly advised to use a Virtual Private Network to keep their online activities flying under the radar.
A VPN – like my #1 choice, NordVPN – encrypts your internet connection, preventing outsiders from monitoring and blocking your online activities. It also opens access to content that might normally be unavailable in your area.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- How to Use Your VPN in Indonesia
- Best VPNs for Indonesia
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. IPVanish
- 6. PrivateVPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Indonesia
- Why Do You Need a VPN in Indonesia?
- Is a Free VPN a Good Option for Protecting Me in Indonesia?
- How to Maximize Your Online Privacy in Indonesia
- A Note About Using VPN Browser Extensions
- What Else Are VPNs Good For?
- Indonesia VPN FAQs
- What Is the Cheapest VPN for Indonesia?
- How Do I Use an Indonesia VPN?
- What Is the Best Free VPN for Indonesia?