There’s no country on Earth where there’s no reason not to use a VPN. A Virtual Private Network helps you protect your data and identity (including your financial information) from snoopers and hackers, not to mention curb the watchful eyes of governments and Internet Service Providers.
Finding the right VPN for you can be tricky. While it might be a subjective topic, much like a lot in life, there are technical requirements and capabilities to be kept in mind while searching for the best VPN. Let us take you through a rundown of pros and cons as we search for the best VPN for Afghanistan.
Why use a VPN and how we rank them
Many know Afghanistan as the war-torn land where freedom of thought is questionable, at best. In many places, the Internet is a “worldwide” web, but in many others, what you can and can’t do on the web is severely restricted. In Afghanistan, access to the Internet is severely limited, by design and by force.
Tourists and those who go online there should use a VPN to get the most out of the Internet that they can. A good VPN will help you bypass online censorship, data throttling, blacklisting, geo-blocking, security concerns, and more. In order to find the best VPN for Afghanistan, we’ll be looking at:
- VPN security: strong anti-censorship measures, firewalls, and data encryption
- Performance: good enough speeds to make sure the Internet is still workable through a VPN
- Entertainment: does it allow P2P connections and geo-unblock streaming sites?
- Customer support: is it easy to use?
- Price: is it affordable?
NordVPN: best VPN for Afghanistan
1. NordVPN ‣
Affordable and highly customizable
- Pros: based in Panama, no data retention, Tor over VPN, Double VPN, servers in 60 countries
- Cons: router app unavailable
- Price: from $3.49
- VPNpro rating: 9.5
Panama is known for the freedoms it allows businesses that are registered there. NordVPN makes use of these to offer their customers a robust no-logging policy (apart from connection logs).
NordVPN runs all the best security protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, and SSTP) with AES 256-bit encryption. Extra features include Onion over VPN and Double VPN, adding an extra layer of security and peace of mind to your online activities. NordVPN is also protected from DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks.
With more than 5,700 servers, it’s easy to see why NordVPN has the speeds that it has. This is great, given that they allow P2P connections and unblock foreign streaming services.
The only real drawback is that you can’t set up NordVPN on your router through an app, which might be cumbersome. On that same note, however, you get six simultaneous connections, which is amazing, especially considering that the price can go as low as $3.49/month.
All-in-all, NordVPN is the perfect package, combining affordability with security and speed.
2. ExpressVPN ‣
Some of the fastest speeds and strongest security features, all in one of the best VPNs ever.
- Pros: security and encryption protocols amongst the latest and best, based in the British Virgin Islands, fastest speeds, kill switch enabled
- Cons: no free trial, expensive pay plans
- Price: from $8.32
- VPNpro rating: 9.6
ExpressVPN has long been considered one of the best, with its laser-focused security and strict no-logging policy.
However, it’s still an expensive product. Even considering its features and pros, the lack of a free trial makes it difficult for prospective users to judge the product for themselves before buying.
Still, ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers, which means it has reliable and surprising speeds. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, with no data retention laws hanging like a sword over its proverbial head.
It offers nearly every single secure tunneling protocol and allows you to choose or let the app determine which one’s best for you. Also, it’s practically unbreakable: AES-256-CBC encryption, a 4096-bit RSA handshake, and a SHA-512 key to authenticate it all.
ExpressVPN’s strong points shine beyond everything else, but some users might still feel the asking price is too steep to dish out.
3. VyprVPN ‣
A freedom-fighting VPN that will tailor everything as you want at no extra cost.
- Pros: reliable geo-unblocking, military-grade AES-256 cipher, Switzerland-based, special anti-censorship tool (Chameleon)
- Cons: rigid and inflexible payment plans
- Price: from $5.00
- VPNpro Rating: 8.3
VyprVPN is a company that focuses on truly secure Internet for all, with a no-logging policy that since 2009 has yet to be contested, doubted, or violated (even through an independent audit).
Right off the bat, VyprVPN is home to something special. Namely, the Chameleon protocol, by way of which you can encrypt the VPN so that it doesn’t register as a VPN at all. This is great news for unblocking sites (looking at you, Netflix) and firewalls that ban VPN use.
Given that their servers span only span a little over 70 countries, the loss in speed might frustrate some users, but given that VyprVPN owns all its servers, it’s a good trade-off between speed and security.
4. VPNArea ‣
Special safety features to save you from the worst-case scenario.
- Pros: speedy, 24/7 live customer support, based in Bulgaria (no-logging), 200 servers
- Cons: interface/app not user-friendly
- Price: from $4.92
- VPNpro Rating: 7.8
VPNArea runs out of two countries: Bulgaria, where it’s registered (and where it’s illegal to log customer data), and Switzerland, which is known for its privacy laws (and where they run their servers).
VPNArea users the up-to-date and widely-trusted OpenVPN protocol (with a 256-bit AES algorithm). With servers in 65+ countries and the ability to unblock Netflix and torrenting sites and downloads, their fast speeds (claimed by them to be the fastest), combined with the security offered, make a strong argument for best VPN for Afghanistan.
The client interface is detailed, but not user-friendly. Therefore, newcomers may find it somewhat difficult to navigate. However, after climbing the learning curve, you’ll be rewarded with more functionality than comparable VPNs offer. Luckily, VPNArea has a 24/7 live chat feature so that you can contact customer support at any time.
Ultimately, there’s a lot more good to be had with this software than the drawbacks, of which there are barely any.
One of the cheapest options for some of the heaviest security, including double VPN.
- Pros: affordable, bulletproof encryption, double VPN, reliable geo-unblocking, P2P-enabled.
- Cons: weak self-help support section, no free trial for Windows
- Price: from $1.99
- VPNpro rating: 9.0
Many websites and reviews make note of Surfshark being a newcomer to the VPN world. Its success, however, is hardly surprising – housed in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no data retention laws, Surfshark VPN is a safe and secure service.
Surfshark curbs DNS leaks by offering their own DNS network (along with DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection), all backed up by AES-256-GCM encryption. There’s also a built-in adblocker to fight malware named CleanWeb, a multi-hop, and a Camouflage mode that doesn’t let it show that you’re using a VPN.
With 800+ servers in over 50 countries, Surfshark has a NoBorders feature, allowing you to circumvent the geo-blocking of Netflix and other streaming platforms, and get around the worst of government restrictions.
Surfshark is priced competitively, with a 7-day free-trial for App Store and Google Play Store purchases that sounds too good to be true, but fortunately is.
All in all, Surfshark VPN is a surprising VPN that more users should consider and look into.
Is it safe to use a VPN in Afghanistan?
There is no law against using a VPN in Afghanistan. The Afghan Constitution also protects freedom of individuality, with the caveat that this must not be used to attack Islam or public figures in Afghanistan, so it stands to reason that VPN usage would not be harmful, in itself.
Additionally, it has been investigated and reasoned that Afghanistan lacks the infrastructure and centralization necessary to track and block VPN usage, especially with such a small part of the population (and mostly upper middle class or tourists) using the Internet. As such, VPNs are in fact quite popularly used in Afghanistan.
Blocked apps, websites in Afghanistan
Afghanistan, which for years was run by a Taliban government, filters and restricts common social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for example), with the plan to “stop the seduction of the youth generation” by blocking sites featuring sexual themes, sexuality and gender issues, drug-related media and websites, as well as “violent content.”
Free VPN for Afghanistan
It’s better to use a budget-friendly VPN rather than a straightforward free VPN – since the latter holds the danger of paying for itself by helping itself to your data and harvesting or selling it. For that purpose, we’ve mentioned some of the cheapest VPNs here in the best VPN for Afghanistan list above.
Another option is using the free version of a paid VPN. A good option here would be Windscribe, which limits your servers and bandwidth, but none of the functionality and security that it usually offers.
If you’re in Afghanistan, which of these VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great VPNs for Afghanistan? Let us know in the comments below.