Known for its Himalayan mountains — including Mt Everest — and the streets of Kathmandu, there’s plenty to explore in Nepal. You’ll most likely go online at some point, though, so stay safe with one of our best VPN for Nepal picks. Read on to find out why you should use a VPN and what features it should have for the best experience.
Your best bet for Nepal is ExpressVPN, but there are some other solid choices, too.
The number of internet users in Nepal is growing. Only around nine percent of the population used it in 2011, but as of December 2018, that figure had increased to 54 percent. Given that Nepal’s internet isn’t as advanced as that of many Western countries, you may wonder why you’d need a virtual private network. Well, there are plenty of reasons.
With much of Nepal’s internet is based around cyber cafes and WiFi hotspots — many of them being free — that alone gives a good reason to use a VPN. Public WiFi can be riddled with viruses, malware and other dangers. By using a VPN, you’ll be protected from those sort of encounters, though it’s best to couple that with a decent antivirus, too.
On top of that, VPNs are great at getting past restrictions, such as censorship and geoblocks. Censorship is rife all around the globe, although some countries are affected more than others.
China’s Great Firewall is a great example of censorship. The Chinese government goes to great lengths to make sure its citizens only access what it wants them to, including having Chinese-owned apps to replace Western ones, many of which are unavailable. For example, WeChat is similar to WhatsApp, and Renren is the Chinese version of Facebook.
On the other hand, geoblocks prevent people in one country from accessing the content of another. For instance, if you’re connected to a Nepali IP address and log into Netflix, you’ll see the Netflix Nepal library. That will have different shows than Netflix U.S., so to access the U.S. library, you’ll need a U.S. IP address. By using a VPN, you can change your IP address easily.
Updated the article to reflect ExpressVPN’s recent increase of 5 simultaneous connections to 8, as well as its expansion of server presence to 105 countries, previously 94.
Updated to include information on HMA’s money-back guarantee.
Best VPN for Nepal 2023
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency5 ms
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Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
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Average speedDownload Speed80 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency39 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Amazon Pay
- : 7
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency2 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 10
What Makes a VPN the Best for Nepal
VPNs have lots of features, and many look the same on paper. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re all good. Providers implement features in different ways, some are done well, some not. There are many good choices, but you should make sure that you pick the best VPN for Nepal before diving in.
To start with, you should choose one that has a large server network. Having that will help you get around any restrictions you come across, such as regional restrictions. Plus, if you want to access content that’s only available in Nepal, the VPN will need to have servers located there.
Make sure the VPN has good security, too, as that will protect you from online dangers, such as cybercrime and surveillance.
Your privacy is just as important, but security alone won’t ensure it. Check that the VPN has a strict no-logs policy. That way, what you do online will be kept a secret.
Its speed is also important, so you’re not left staring at a loading screen, and unlimited bandwidth will ensure you’re not worrying about hitting a limit. If you were to hit a limit, the VPN would stop working and you’d be left without any protection.
If you want to stream, you should check that the VPN can get into the platform you want. Netflix is a popular option, but only a handful of VPNs are able to get past its intelligent VPN detectors (read our piece on the Netflix proxy error). If that’s at the top of your list, check out our best VPN for Netflix roundup.
Other considerations include what devices it’s compatible with, how easy it is to use and how many simultaneous connections it allows. Plus, it’s a good idea to have decent customer service available, and prices differ across the market, so make sure it fits in with your budget.
1. Best VPN for Nepal: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the champ for Nepal. It’s the best VPN available in our eyes anyway, but it satisfies all the requirements for Nepal, too.
The total number of servers exceeds 3,000 and they cover 105 countries, which is more than most VPNs out there. It also has servers in Nepal, and there aren’t many VPNs that do. In fact, the only other VPN we found that did is our fifth selection, HideMyAss. However, HMA is lacking in other areas, as you can read in that section.
ExpressVPN has excellent security that uses AES 256-bit encryption, right off the bat. You can increase it, too, and tinker with some settings if you know what you’re doing. A no-logs policy is also in place, so you don’t need to worry about your privacy.
You’ll have no problem with speed, as ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN you’ll find. It also comes with unlimited bandwidth. Couple those factors with its capability of getting into any streaming platform, and it’s not hard to see why it’s our best VPN for streaming. Read our ExpressVPN review for more details about the service.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
You can use it on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and you can connect up to eight devices at the same time. There are browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Safari, too.
The interface is easy to use and a great choice for beginners. Once installed, all you need to do is click the large “connect” button, and ExpressVPN will do the rest for you. Those in the know can dabble with the settings, though.
There’s no hiding the fact that ExpressVPN is expensive compared to its rivals, but it’s well worth the money. You get a great service, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you find it’s not for you.
- Large server network
- Servers in Nepal
- Gets into all streaming platforms
NordVPN is our next choice, and the provider has a huge network with more than 5,000 servers dotting around 60 countries. There are no servers in Nepal, though.
It has some of the finest security on offer. It’s set at AES 256-bit encryption, but you get the option of using its double-hop servers, which basically add even more protection to the VPN tunnel. A strict no-logs policy is in place, too.
NordVPN’s speeds are good, but you may find that they slow down if you connect to a server far away. Its server switch time is quick, though. It comes with unlimited bandwidth, and it can get into all streaming platforms, including Netflix. To find out more, read our NordVPN review.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and it allows up to six devices to be connected at one time. There are browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome, as well. It’s easy to use on any platform, and it suits beginners, as well as more technical minded people.
NordVPN offers good value for your money, but the monthly plan isn’t the best choice. Longer plans work out better in the end, and there’s a 30-day refund period, so you don’t need to worry about jumping straight in.
- Large number of servers
- Double-hop servers
- Works with Netflix
- No servers in Nepal
- Can be slow on certain servers
Next in line is CyberGhost. Its network is large, but the exact number of servers and countries it covers fluctuates often. At the time of writing, there were around 7,800 servers in 90 countries, which is more than enough for circumventing any blocks. There aren’t any servers in Nepal, though.
Its security is good and set at AES 256-bit encryption. Plus, CyberGhost has a permanently enabled kill switch that will sever your connection if the VPN fails, keeping your sensitive data protected. Many VPNs have a kill switch, but you usually have to set it yourself. CyberGhost’s is automatic, which is good, but you also can’t control it.
Like NordVPN, CyberGhost has fast speeds, but it can slow down over long distances. There are no limits to bandwidth, and it can get into most streaming services, including Netflix. Our CyberGhost review has more information on the service.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
CyberGhost has clients for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It allows up to seven devices to be connected at the same time, which is more than our other choices and the reason why it’s an honorable mention in our best VPN for multiple devices piece. We must point out, though, that seven is the limit on how many devices it can be installed on.
Its interface was updated not too long ago, and it’s made the user experience far better. It can still take some time to get accustomed to, but it isn’t difficult to use.
The monthly price isn’t good, but the longer plans make it an inexpensive choice in the end. Android and iOS users can take advantage of the free seven-day trial that’s available. There’s also a money-back guarantee that’s applicable for all platforms.
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Massive server network
- Can be slow
- No Nepalese servers
- No kill switch controls
Windscribe has also made our list for a couple of reasons. However, its server network is not one of them. That’s because, although having more than 600 servers in 60 countries is still plenty to play around with, it’s not exactly an astonishing amount.
Plus, we must point out that you’ll only have access to the full server count if you’re on the paid plan. There aren’t any servers in Nepal, either.
Winscribe has a free plan, which, to be fair, is a generous one. So generous, in fact, that it earned the top spot in our best free VPN comparison. With the free plan, you only get access to a few server locations. That said, if you don’t want to opt for the paid version just yet, you can add locations on to your plan for $1 each per month.
Windscribe’s security is good. It’s set at AES 256-bit encryption and it can be customized. Something to keep in mind, though, is that Windscribe does log some information. It is kept to a minimum, though, limited to data such as your bandwidth used and your latest activity timestamp. Plus, the information can’t be traced back to you.
Although other VPNs boast faster speeds, Windscribe’s is still fine for most activities, including streaming. It used to rely on “Windflix” servers for better streaming performance, but it now offers streaming optimization on all of its servers, including free ones.
Paid members also get unlimited bandwidth. However, if you’re on the free plan, you’ll get 2GB per month at signup or 10GB if you enter a valid email. There are other ways you can increase the limit, as well. For instance, each added location will get you a further 10GB per month. To get a better picture of the service, read our Windscribe review.
Other Reasons We Like Windscribe
Windscribe can be installed on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and you get unlimited connections both on the free and paid plan. There are browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, too. Its interface offers a no-frills experience, so it’s simple for beginners, but techies can get stuck into the settings, as well.
The monthly price isn’t the best choice. Lengthier plans will save you money in the long run. There’s no free trial, but that’s because you can use the free plan to try it out. There’s also no official refund policy, but if you ask for one within three days of purchase, they’ll issue one.
- Generous free plan
- Dedicated streaming servers
- Unlimited connections
- No servers in Nepal
Lastly, we’ve chosen HideMyAss. It’s not a bad service, but it’s a far cry from our top choice. Its network has more than 1,000 servers, which isn’t anything to shout about, but they cover more than 200 countries, which is more than any of the other VPNs we’ve reviewed. It also has two servers in Nepal, which is the reason it made this list.
HMA’s security is good, and it’s set at 256-bit encryption. Its no-logs policy is where things get a bit messy, though. You see, it has one, but if you actually read it, you’ll notice that HMA does keep some logs. Those logs won’t identify you on their own, but if they were coupled with the information you sign up with, they could be tied back to you.
Its speeds aren’t bad and are fine for most activities. It comes with unlimited bandwidth, and it’s capable of getting into Netflix and BBC iPlayer, though it has trouble with other streaming sites. Read our HideMyAss review for a better understanding.
Other Reasons We Like HMA
HMA works with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and it allows up to five devices to be connected at the same time. Its interface is great and easy to use, too.
HMA doesn’t offer a monthly subscription, so you’ll have no choice but to go for a longer one. The shortest one is for a year, and the prices aren’t great. There are discounts applied at signup, but the renewal rates are terrible.
There’s a free seven-day trial, though we recommend canceling it before your time is up unless you’re absolutely sure you want a HMA subscription. You’ll automatically be moved to a paid plan and, although HMA claims to have a money-back guarantee, it doesn’t honor it (we know from our own experience).
- Servers in 200+ countries
- Servers in Nepal
- Expensive renewal rates
Online Censorship in Nepal
Nepal’s internet is mostly free. Tests carried out by OpenNet Initiative from 2006 to 2007 concluded that there was no evidence of filtering. Although that was a while ago, we could only find a few reports of blocking.
Most notably, more than 25,000 pornographic websites were blocked in 2018 to help control the rising number of rape cases. The government issued new criminal and civil codes, which include regulations for the use, broadcast and publication of pornographic content.
The Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) made it compulsory for ISPs to install filtering software in order to block websites that contain obscene, seductive and corrupt social morals, as well as content that threatens religious harmony, national security and that goes against the values and beliefs of the state.
In another report, the NTA ordered ISPs to block the popular online multiplayer game PlayerUnknown’s Battleground. Its reasoning was that the game was negatively affecting the behavior and study of children and youths. If you’re an avid gamer, you should check out our best VPN for gaming list, too.
Online Surveillance in Nepal
Although there isn’t a ton of information about online surveillance in Nepal, there are a couple of things we found.
In 2010, authorities formed an investigation bureau to clamp down on an increase in crime and anti-social activities online.
Some of the misuse was down to illegal VoIP providers. To use VoIP, a user must pay for the service or use it via a cyber cafe that has obtained a service provider license from the NTA. Illegal VoIP businesses have crept in, though.
To help combat the illegal activity, ISPs were made to track any misuse by customers, and in 2011, ISPs were ordered to monitor customers’ activities. They must provide information on any customer that uses 1Mbps of bandwidth or more, as that can be an indication of misuse.
Nepal police work closely with the NTA to scan and identify such businesses. Plus, ISPs provide the police with Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) data from customers to show traffic load on the network.
Freedom of Speech in Nepal
Nepal’s constitution provides for freedom of speech, but there are some restrictions. During the king’s tenure, he passed a repressive media law, which prohibited criticism of the king and royal family, and increased the penalties for defamation.
Civilians protested against it, though, and the king was forced to give all powers back to the prime minister and parliament.
Although citizens can discuss sensitive topics more freely, authorities are still cracking down on posts that criticize or insult the government. For instance, a man was arrested and detained in 2018 for many weeks because he posted to Facebook an image of a monkey with the prime minister’s head.
In August 2018, the revised criminal code came into effect, which includes provisions that make certain acts a criminal offense. That includes making private information about a person public without their consent and satire that is deemed disrespectful.
Journalists are often arrested and attacked, especially during periods such as elections. Government officials try to control criticism through the media by pressuring, intimidating and threatening legal action.
A new social media bill was drafted in February 2019 that would dish out harsh penalties for improper use of social media. The proposed law would allow the government to block social media platforms unless they register in Nepal, citing privacy concerns.
It would also punish those who are behind any posts deemed as defamatory or against national sovereignty with a fine of 1.5 million Nepalese rupees ($8,800) and up to five years in jail.
Social networks would also be ordered to remove posts, and failure to do so can result in the operator facing a fine of 30,000 Nepalese rupees ($264) and three years in prison.The government defended the bill saying that it is needed to ensure data and internet security.
Although Nepal isn’t the most developed country when it comes to the internet, there are still good reasons why you should use a VPN. There’s possible cybercrime and online monitoring to think about, and you may run into some regional restrictions, too.
You need to choose a VPN that has a large server network so you can bypass any blocks. Plus, it should have good security and privacy to protect you from online dangers. ExpressVPN is the best choice when considering those factors, and with its 30-day money-back guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose.
It’s a great choice if you need a VPN for India, China, Turkey and other restrictive countries.
If you have experience with using a VPN in Nepal, tell us about it in the comment section. Have a look at our VPN archive, too. Thank you for reading.