Best VPN for Indonesia 2023: Merdeka for the 21st Century
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, made up of a whopping 17500 islands with volcanoes, temples and beaches to explore. Even with all its beauty and natural charm, though, you won’t break free of the ugly side of being online. To help you stay protected, we’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for Indonesia.
Using a virtual private network is always a good idea, wherever you are. It will protect you from online dangers, as well as circumvent restrictions you come across. In Indonesia, that is especially important.
We’re going to go over why you need a VPN for Indonesia, the different factors we looked at while making our picks and the picks themselves.
Online Censorship in Indonesia
Indonesia’s internet is tightly controlled. Content that the government deems as in violation of laws or social norms is restricted. That includes pornography, violence, gambling and libel. The definitions for those are so broad, though, that other material can get tangled in the censorship, such as LGBT content or dating websites (our best VPN for dating sites can help with that).
Entertainment is heavily censored and popular websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Reddit and Imgur can also be restricted. At one point, Netflix was banned as it failed to submit details of its media library to state censors. It is available now, though. Video sharing app TikTok has also been banned due to it showing “inappropriate content,” but you can read our best VPN for TikTok piece for more on that.
Another country with strict censorship is China. Its Great Firewall blocks most Western content from its citizens, so many of the criteria in our best VPN for China list will apply here, too.
The controls in place have a two-layer structure. The government defines a list of addresses and keywords to ban, then internet service providers enforce those blocks. The problem is that Indonesia uses a different variation of the Latin alphabet, causing some URL confusion, and not all ISP employees can understand Western words.
Because of that, ISPs resort to blocking websites, rather than implementing a filtering service to block pages within the website that include certain terms. They prefer to over-restrict web access to be safe from punishment, resulting in some websites that aren’t labeled offensive being blocked. Bans can last for years once set, so you can see why they’d want to avoid one.
Blocks that affected image and video sharing on apps such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and Telegram were imposed to “maintain democracy”, but the blocks were lifted three days later. In July 2019, the Information and Communications Ministry (Kominfo) also said that they wouldn’t hesitate to block any VPNs that aren’t licensed in Indonesia. We’re not sure how that will turn out, though.
Freedom of Speech in Indonesia
Indonesia’s government is ranked as highly corrupt by Transparency International and it can restrict content under its Information and Electronic Transactions Law. It takes advantage of the law for its own agenda, reasoning that the blocks are enforced to maintain public order.
You may even find some news websites that include political information and criticism blocked. It is also used to combat fake news, hoaxes and hate speech.
The IET Law was created in 2008 and viewed by critics as an attack on freedom of speech and access to information online. Anyone who posts, accesses or creates content that’s politically or religiously offensive is in violation of the act. If found guilty, they could face up to six years in prison and a fine of around $100,000.
Websites and other platforms with that kind of content are told to remove it or risk being blocked. Social media accounts, particularly on Facebook, have been restricted, too. There have been defamation lawsuits against news outlets, but individuals should be careful, as well.
Penalties for criminal defamation, hate speech and inciting violence are harsh. A Facebook user was handed a 14-month prison sentence and a fine of 5 million IDR ($350) because he was tagged in a news report by a friend and it showed up on his timeline. Our best VPN for Singapore piece includes similar issues.
Online Surveillance in Indonesia
Not only does the government censor many websites, but it can also monitor social media and spy on its citizens under the 2011 Law on State Intelligence. The law is so vaguely worded that it allows interception of communications without the approval of a court. Plus, mobile phone users are required to register their number with the government.
The Indonesian military has been accused of conducting unauthorized surveillance and the government has been buying surveillance technology that allows access to devices and networks. It was reported in 2015 that Indonesia was one of 21 countries that bought a license to use mobile phone monitoring technology, called IMSI catchers, from Swiss companies.
Cybercrime in Indonesia
On top of all that, Indonesia is considered one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to cybercrime. Cases include hacking, viruses and malware, according to reports. All of those can be blocked or fixed with our best antivirus software, though.
Indonesia overtook China at one point to become the biggest source of cyberattacks. Thailand is quite high in the cybercrime rankings, too, as you can read in our best VPN for Thailand piece. In 2017, Singapore shared its experiences in tackling cybercrime with Indonesia and told it how to run a cybersecurity agency. Indonesia was interested in establishing one and did so in January 2018.
If you want to learn more about cybercrime, read our guides to botnets, ransomware, phishing and browser hijacking.
Best VPN for Indonesia 2023
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What Makes a VPN the Best for Indonesia
There’s a lot to think about when choosing a VPN for Indonesia. Government surveillance and the danger of being accused of wrongdoing online are big issues. We recommend picking a provider that has great security to keep you shielded from monitoring and bolster your protection against cyberthreats.
For more safety, it’s beneficial for it to have a built-in kill switch, which ensures that none of your data is leaked by cutting your internet connection if the VPN stops working.
Privacy is just as important and although you may think it’s covered in the security, this is a separate feature. Providers honor your privacy by having a no-logs policy. That means they don’t keep a record of your online activities, so, even if authorities ask, they won’t be able to hand anything over.
Once those are taken care of, there’s all that censorship to get around. To make it easier, choose a provider with a good network of servers. The more it has, in more countries, the better your chance of bypassing restrictions. Make sure some are in Indonesia, too, if you want to access content that’s only available there.
That will also help with geoblocks. For example, if you want to access U.S. Netflix, you won’t be able to from Indonesia. By using a VPN and selecting a server in the U.S., you’ll be able to log in and watch your favorite shows. Take a look at our best VPN for Netflix piece for more recommendations.
Speed is something else to consider. If you pick a provider with good speeds, you’ll enjoy fast load times and save your sanity. It is a must for streaming, too.
Along with those features, you might want to look at how many devices the VPN allows to connect at one time, if it has a client for your device and how easy it is to use, especially if you’re a newbie.
Good customer service is nice to have if you run into issues, and prices vary, so you’ll want to make sure it fits in your budget. We took these into account for the list, as well, but less so than our other criteria.
1. Best VPN for Indonesia: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN according to the Cloudwards.net editorial staff and it gets the top spot for Indonesia, too. It has a great all-around service to begin with, but ticks all the boxes for Indonesia, as well. You can read our full ExpressVPN review to see why we like it so much.
It scores well for security with AES 256-bit encryption, which is plenty to keep you protected from surveillance and online risks. It has a kill switch built in, so you don’t need to worry about your details being leaked if it fails and a strict no-logs policy, as well, meaning nobody can find out what you’ve been doing.
On top of that, it has many servers spread over 94 countries, giving you plenty to choose from to bypass restrictions. Some of them are in Indonesia, too, which means you can get an Indonesia IP address to access content limited to that country. ExpressVPN also came in first in our fastest VPN piece, so you won’t be seeing any swirly loading screens.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
If you don’t have much experience using VPNs, ExpressVPN is a good choice. Once installed, it handles almost everything for you. Just select the server you want and make sure you’re connected to it.
You can set it up on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It also has browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Safari. It will allow up to five simultaneous connections, too. Customer support is good, and the staff is helpful and knowledgeable. You can contact them via live chat or email, 24/7.
ExpressVPN is pricey compared to other providers, but it’s worth it for the quality of service. You can bring the cost down by opting for a longer plan. There’s a in case you don’t like it. We’re sure you will, though.
- Easy to use
- Slow switch time
NordVPN is another great service for Indonesia. You can learn the differences between it and our top choice in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN piece. It has excellent security, with the addition of double-hop servers giving even more protection.
It’s more tweakable than ExpressVPN, which you may like. Just don’t go tinkering unless you know what you’re doing. A kill switch is included with the service, and it has a no-logs policy to protect your privacy. Have a read of our NordVPN review for more details.
It has a good range of servers, more than ExpressVPN, but they’re spread around fewer countries. Still, there’s plenty for circumventing blocks. There are 10 in Indonesia, so you shouldn’t have a problem accessing content restricted to that region.
Speeds are good, but it can slow down when connecting over a long distance.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
You can use NordVPN on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS and set it up quickly. The layout is good and simple to use. NordVPN allows you to connect up to six devices at a time, too, and it earned a spot on our best VPN for multiple devices list. If you have a lot of tech, it’s a good choice.
Help is on hand in the form of live chat and email, and the responses are fast and thorough. You can also make use of the handy knowledgebase, which should show you how to fix common issues yourself.
NordVPN offers great value with an affordable monthly plan, but if you sign up for a lengthier plan you will see some savings. You don’t have to worry about taking the dive, either. It has a in case it’s not right for you.
- Double-hop encryption
- Priced well
- Can be slow
Next up is CyberGhost, which is a good service, though not quite at the level of our first two choices. It has decent security, but it’s not as customizable as NordVPN’s. A kill switch is also part of the package and, for added protection, it can’t be turned off. It does well with privacy, too, by keeping no logs.
It has around 7,800 servers spread over 90 countries. Eight are in Indonesia, too, in case you need them. It has good speeds, but it can get slow when connecting to a distant server. For more information on the service, check out our CyberGhost review.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
Installation is easy, with desktop clients available for Windows and macOS. There are also mobile apps for Android and iOS. Its updated interface is easy to use, too.
CyberGhost can run on seven devices at once, which is good, but that’s also the limit to how many you can install it on. For comparison, NordVPN will allow six simultaneous connections, but you can install it on as many devices as you want.
If you run into problems, you can take a look at the extensive knowledgebase, which covers most common issues. If you still need help, you can contact a member of support by live chat or email. Live chat is the fastest, but either way will get you a solid answer.
It has an affordable monthly price but opting for a longer plan can save you money. Before committing, you can take advantage of the seven-day trial available for Android and iOS users. There’s also a money-back guarantee, which should give you enough time to see if you like it.
- Easy to use
- Slower over long distances
VyprVPN is a good service with good security, to boot. It even has its own encryption protocol, called Chameleon, further securing the VPN tunnel. You can read more about that in our VyprVPN review. It includes a kill switch, so you don’t have to worry about your data if the VPN fails, and you can browse with confidence as it doesn’t keep usage logs.
It doesn’t have as many servers as its rivals, but it still covers over 60 countries, so you should be able to find a server to suit your needs. It has some in Jakarta, too, in case you need them. Speeds aren’t bad, but it can get slow at times.
Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN
Setup doesn’t take long and it can be installed on Windows and macOS, and the clients are easy to use. It has much better mobile apps for Android and iOS, though, which is why it’s on our best VPN for Android list.
VyprVPN lets you connect up to 30 devices at the same time providing you sign up through the website. If you sign up through the mobile app, you’ll only be granted five simultaneous connections. Unlike CyberGhost, though, there’s no limit to how many devices you can install the app on.
Customer support is available through live chat or email. The live chat will connect you to a bot initially, but there is a button for connecting to a human. However, it’s not always manned, so you may have to leave a message. There’s also an FAQ section you can use to resolve issues yourself.
VyprVPN’s monthly cost is reasonable on the annual plan. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee too, so you can take it for a spin.
- Chameleon protocol
- kill switch
- Disappointing network
Windscribe is impressive for the options it offers, even if it isn’t as good as its competitors. The security is good and you can adjust it to suit your needs. It has a kill switch built in, but, for some reason, it’s labeled as “firewall,” which can be confusing, as you can see in our Windscribe review.
It has a lot of privacy settings for your activities, which is good because they aren’t offered by many providers. That said, a downside is that it keeps logs. They’re kept to a minimum, though, and the data has no real value. Plus, there’s no chance of it being traced back to you.
Its server coverage is similar to VyprVPN’s in that it doesn’t have many but they cover 60 countries, so you should have enough to bypass blocks. Some are in Jakarta, but you have to be a Pro member to use them. It’s not the fastest VPN around, but its speeds aren’t bad and will suffice for most activities, even streaming.
Other Reasons We Like Windscribe
Windscribe has a simple interface that is suitable for those who don’t have much experience. It holds enough settings for tinkerers, though. You can use it on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS with unlimited simultaneous connections.
Customer service is available 24/7 through live chat, but you’ll be speaking to Garry, an AI representative. Still, its responses are pretty good. You can submit a ticket and speak to a real human instead, if you prefer. It also has a general knowledgebase, FAQ and guides to help you, plus a subreddit with thousands of subscribers ready to help.
Windscribe is quite expensive, but subscribing over a longer period can save you money. It offers a free plan, which is generous compared to some, but you will be limited in bandwidth usage. There isn’t a refund policy in place, either, but you can request a refund within of purchase if you don’t like it.
- Privacy options
- Unlimited connections
- Solid DIY support
- Lack of direct support options
We hope we’ve helped you choose a suitable service for Indonesia. While it’s a good idea to use a VPN wherever you are, Indonesia has reasons that can’t be ignored. With its government surveillance and cybercrime rates, you should make sure to pick a provider that offers top-notch security and a no-logs policy.
With all that in mind, ExpressVPN is our best VPN for Indonesia. It has great security and privacy, plus a vast server spread. It’s an excellent service all-around and you can’t go wrong with its 30-day money-back guarantee. NordVPN is also a great option if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative and the best Telegram VPN.
Do you have experience using a VPN in Indonesia? We’d love to hear about it, as well as suggestions, so pop them in the comments below. Take a look at our other VPN articles, too. Thank you for reading.