Best VPN for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small island country that lies off the southern tip of India. Although ravaged by the 2004 tsunami and a bitter 26-year civil war — and still suffering from religious conflict — Sri Lanka is also laced with vibrant history and natural beauty. Temples dot the island and its beaches are endless. 

However, while you’re busy posting selfies with Asian elephants, you should use one of our best VPN for Sri Lanka picks for protection.

If you’re in a hurry, CyberGhost is the best choice for Sri Lanka, but there are plenty more choices, depending on your preferences, so read on to learn about them. 

Online safety is more important than ever in this growing technical world, and Sri Lanka is no exception. Virtual private networks are an important part of security because they keep you hidden from online dangers, such as surveillance, and help to protect you from cybercrime

Governments the world over monitor their citizens — just take a look at China — and with the public WiFi boom, you never know what dangers are lurking on poorly secured connections. 

Plus, VPNs can help with content restrictions, such as censorship and geoblocks. For example, if you’re in Sri Lanka and you try to access Netflix U.S., you won’t be able to, thanks to the Netflix ban

Each country’s Netflix library is different, so if you want to watch the U.S. version, you’ll need a U.S. IP address. Likewise, if you want the Sri Lankan version, you’ll need a Sri Lankan IP address.

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Best VPN for Sri Lanka 2019

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$ per month
top features
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    • PayPal, Credit card
    • 7 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit CyberghostCyberghost Review
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  2. /month
    • PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit ExpressVPNExpressVPN Review
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  2. /month
    • Credit card
    • 6 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit NordVPNNordVPN Review
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  2. /month
    • PayPal, Credit card, UnionPay
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit VyprVPNVyprVPN Review
  1. 5
  2. /month
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • Unlimited Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit Windscribe Windscribe Review

What Makes a VPN the Best for Sri Lanka

Our list of VPN reviews holds many good providers, but you need to make sure the one you pick is good enough for Sri Lanka. 

Considering the blocks to social media and messaging apps, you should choose a VPN provider that has a strong server network. With that, you’ll be able to easily circumvent any future blocks. If you want to access Sri Lankan content, though, you should make sure the VPN has servers within the country.

Good security is a must, as it will protect you from online dangers and keep you hidden from online surveillance. A kill switch is a smart idea, too, as it will sever your connection altogether if the VPN fails, keeping your sensitive details safe.

Privacy is a separate factor from security. To ensure the provider takes privacy seriously, make sure the VPN states it doesn’t keep activity logs. That way, your online shenanigans stay secret, no matter what.

It’s a good idea to choose one that has good speed. Fast speeds are essential if you want to stream, otherwise your evening entertainment will be a lovely loading screen. Unlimited bandwidth is just as important, or the VPN will stop once the bandwidth limit is reached, leaving you unprotected in the middle of your favorite show.

If you want to access Netflix, you’ll need to choose a VPN that can get past its world-class VPN detectors. Not many can, but if you want a quick fix, choose one from our best VPN for Netflix roundup.

Other factors to consider include what devices it’s compatible with and how easy it is to use. Plus, it’s a good idea to have decent help, should you need it, and you should also make sure it fits in with your budget.

Best VPN for Sri Lanka: CyberGhost

We’ve chosen CyberGhost as the best VPN for Sri Lanka. It’s a great service that is growing fast, and it includes many features to make your experience one of the best. 

CyberGhost’s server network has grown rapidly during the last few months, and there are around 6,000 servers in 90 countries, though the exact number changes frequently. There are 24 in Sri Lanka, so you can access content restricted to the country.

It has good security, which is set at AES 256-bit. You can customize that, though, and there’s also a built-in kill switch. However, CyberGhost’s kill switch is different from many others because it’s permanently enabled. That means you don’t have to worry about turning it on, but it also means you have no control over it. A strict no-logs policy is in place, too.

Its speeds are good, though you may find that they slow down with certain servers, usually because of distance. There are no bandwidth caps, and it can get into streaming services, including Netflix. Read our CyberGhost review for a better look at the service.

Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost

It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, if you need them. The interface has improved and, although it can take some getting used to, it’s easy to use. 

You can connect up to seven devices at the same time, which earned it a place on our best VPN for multiple devices list, but seven is also the limit for installations. 

CyberGhost has one of the most thorough knowledgebases we’ve seen. It’ll help you with minor problems, but if you need further help, there’s live chat and email support, too. Live chat is the fastest option, but the email team is better for more technical questions.

The monthly cost isn’t good, but by opting for a longer subscription, the price comes down considerably. Android and iOS users can take advantage of a seven-day trial, but there’s also a money-back guarantee to fall back on. 

Pros:

  • Massive server network
  • Good security
  • Automatic kill switch

Cons:

  • Unable to control kill switch
  • Slow on certain servers
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ExpressVPN

Next is ExpressVPN, which is a great provider in many ways. It has a large server network, with more than 3,000 in 94 countries. Plus, there are also some in Sri Lanka. 

It has excellent security and a kill switch, which is enabled by default. ExpressVPN values privacy, too, so there’s a strict no-logging policy in place.

It’s the fastest VPN we’ve tested, so this, plus the fact that it comes with unlimited bandwidth, makes it a great choice for streaming. It’s our best VPN for streaming, in fact, as it can get into any streaming network, including Netflix. Read our ExpressVPN review for more details.

Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN

You can use it on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and there are browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It’s easy to use and is a great choice for beginners. You simply install it and click the big “connect” button. It allows five simultaneous connections.

Customer support is great, and a handy knowledgebase is available for self-help. Live chat and email support are available 24/7, but for more technical issues, it’s best to go the email route.

Our one gripe with ExpressVPN is its price. It’s expensive. That said, you get a lot of bang for your buck, so it’s worth the investment. Plus, if you subscribe to a longer plan, it’ll bring the cost down, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, in case you don’t like it.

Pros:

  • Large server network
  • Excellent security & privacy
  • Accesses all streaming platforms

Cons:

  • Pricey

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NordVPN

Our third choice is NordVPN. It’s another great service that has your back. You’ll have no problem finding a suitable server for bypassing blocks, as there are more than 5,000 available in 60 countries. That said, there aren’t any in Sri Lanka, so you won’t be able to access content restricted to the country.

It has fantastic security, and you get to use its double-hop servers, if you wish. They basically add more protection to the connection. There’s a kill switch built in, and the company doesn’t keep activity logs.

Its speeds are fast but, like CyberGhost, they can slow down over long distances. Still, they’re fine for most activities, and it can get into all streaming services, including Netflix. There are no bandwidth limits, either. Our NordVPN review goes into more detail.

Other Reasons We Like NordVPN

It can be installed on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. There are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, as well. Its clients are easy to use, and it allows up to six devices to be connected at once. 

There’s a useful knowledgebase available if you get stuck. Plus, there’s live chat and email support available 24/7. Both will get you good help, but the live chat is the fastest option.

NordVPN’s monthly price isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. You’d be better off signing up for a longer plan. We know you may not want to jump straight in, but there’s a 30-day refund window, in case you find it’s not for you.

Pros:

  • Large number of servers
  • Some of the best security available
  • Great for streaming

Cons:

  • Can be slow

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VyprVPN

We can also recommend VyprVPN for Sri Lanka. Its server network is not as wide as our other picks, but there are still more than 700 to choose from, and they cover 64 countries. There are no Sri Lankan servers, though, for content from there. 

It has excellent security, which is very customizable. Plus, VyprVPN comes with it proprietary Chameleon protocol, which adds even more protection to the VPN tunnel. There’s also a kill switch and a no-logs policy included.

Its speeds aren’t great, but they should still be fine for most activities. There are no bandwidth limits, and it can get into most streaming services. Check out our VyprVPN review for more.

Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN

Clients are available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Its mobile apps are some of the best we’ve come across, which is why it’s on our best VPN for Android list. It’s easy to use, and you can have up to five devices connected at the same time, depending on the plan you choose.

VyprVPN’s support system starts with a knowledgebase for self-help. Then there’s live chat, which is available 24/7. However, you get connected with a bot at first, which points you to relevant parts of the knowledgebase. There is a button for connecting to a human, but you get put in a queue, and the wait time varies. There’s email support available 24/7.

There are two packages to choose from. The “standard” comes with three connections. The “premium” comes with five connections and the use of the Chameleon protocol. You can choose from a monthly or yearly subscription, but the yearly one works out better in the end. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also in place.

Pros:

  • Excellent security
  • Chameleon protocol

Cons:

  • Subpar speeds
  • Server network is small
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Best Free VPN for Sri Lanka: Windscribe

Our last pick is Windscribe. It’s a great provider that offers a free plan and a paid “pro” plan. The free plan is generous and earned Windscribe a place in our best free VPN comparison, but you don’t get all the features of the paid plan, which we’ll point out as we go along.

There are more than 600 servers in 60 countries, which is plenty for circumventing blocks. That said, you only get access to the full country list if you’re a “pro” member. There aren’t any servers in Sri Lanka, anyway, so you don’t need to worry about accessing that location. 

You can get around it by adding locations for $1 each per month, though. Plus, since only “pro” members get unlimited bandwidth, doing that will earn you another 10GB of data per month. Free users get 2GB as standard, but you can get 10GB simply by entering your email. 

Its speeds are fine for most activities, and if you want to stream, “pro” members get access to its Windflix servers. They’re built for Netflix, so you’ll have no trouble getting in, and they’re available in the U.S., UK, Canada and Japan. 

Its security is good and customizable. There’s a kill switch, although it’s strangely called a “firewall.” Windscribe does have privacy features, but it states that it keeps some logs, such as bandwidth use and activity timestamps. Still, it can’t be traced back to you. Read our Windscribe review for more on that.

Other Reasons We Like Windscribe

There are clients available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Its interface has a no-frills experience to keep it simple for newbies, though techies are able to tinker if they want to. 

There are some handy self-help tools available. Plus, there’s live chat and email support available 24/7. The live chat is manned by its artificial intelligence representative, Garry, though. He’s pretty good, to be fair, but to speak to a real human, you’ll need to submit a ticket.

If you choose the monthly plan, it’s quite expensive. Longer plans work out better, but there’s no refund policy in place. That said, if you email the company within three days of purchase, it will refund you. However, you could start with the free plan as a trial.

Pros:

  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • Generous free plan

Cons:

  • Expensive
Starts from $ 417 per month
Free plan available

Online Censorship in Sri Lanka

Although Sri Lanka’s internet penetration has continued to increase, internet freedom has declined somewhat. Restrictions to connectivity and social media platforms have occurred during violence and unrest, namely in 2018 when a Sinhalese Buddhist was allegedly murdered by a group of Muslim men in the city of Kandy. 

After the incident, the government imposed a state of emergency, and social networks and messaging services — including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Viber — were blocked across the country for about one week. The platforms were blamed for failing to stop the spread of hate speech and fake news, which in turn fueled riots. 

The blocks were imposed in order to curb the unrest, but people had difficulty contacting family and friends, and businesses struggled, too. 

Although the ban was lifted, it has been reinstated multiple times since then. After more than 300 people were killed in the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings of churches and hotels, the government cited the threat of misinformation and hate speech in the aftermath, and blocked social media. The ban lasted more than a week, being lifted on April 30th.

Another ban was imposed in May after religious tensions built up from the series of suicide bombings that rocked the country. Muslim-owned businesses and mosques were allegedly affected, and Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber and YouTube were all blocked. 

There’s no independent body to regulate content, but the country has seen blocks to certain content and websites, such as pornographic and news sites. Other than that, content is free to view.

Online Surveillance in Sri Lanka

Although the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights 2017-2021 recognizes the right to privacy, other initiatives have raised concerns. 

A new electronic national identity card, called the e-NIC, was introduced in 2016, revving up privacy concerns. It’s a legal requirement and holds information, such as a person’s biometric data, fingerprint and photo, among other details. 

The e-NIC is needed to access certain services in the country, including the use of public WiFi hotspots, but that means user activity could potentially be tracked. 

Plus, in 2018, President Maithripala Sirisena met with Facebook representatives to discuss the hate speech and fake news on the platform. The representatives agreed that Facebook does not tolerate such speech on its platform, and that it’s committed to removing it. 

The government currently allows access to Facebook but works with the platform to prevent hate speech and misinformation. That means monitoring and surveillance methods would be implemented to insure public safety. 

The Telecommunications Act No. 27 of 1996 prohibits unauthorized surveillance of personal communications, but they can be surveyed if directed by an official or if it’s in connection with an investigation. Telecommunication companies have to comply with government requests, too, but officials are not required to notify the target. 

Government agencies are also suspected to have surveillance technologies in their possession. Documents leaked in 2015 showed that several agencies approached Italian spyware firm Hacking Team. 

The documents revealed the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense’s plans of developing an electronic surveillance tracking system, though there is no proof of any purchases. 

Lastly, Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei helped develop Sri Lanka’s ICT infrastructure, so there are concerns that these companies may have also added surveillance technology.

Freedom of Speech Online in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan constitution guarantees freedom of expression, but certain topics remain sensitive, such as the civil war. Human rights activists have been harassed due to their work involving the subject, and that has deterred citizens from discussing such topics.

The country’s media environment is troubling, with a large number of Sri Lankan news agencies being state-owned and many journalists facing threats, and some have even been killed

Some critical journalists are arrested and imprisoned under legislation, such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). That said, much of it was under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government.

One example is with journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who was charged in 2009 with racial hatred and raising money for terrorism and faced a 20-year prison sentence. He was later pardoned in 2010 by President Rajapaksa. 

Under the new government of President Sirisena, there have been few arrests and prosecutions, and the government is working on a replacement to the PTA, but there are concerns that the new bill is too broad.

Final Thoughts

You should now know all the reasons why you need to use a VPN in Sri Lanka. You never know when the government will impose another social media block, and a VPN will help you circumvent such blocks if you need to. 

You should pick one that has a good server network, but you should also choose one that has great security to hide you from surveillance and protect you from online dangers. CyberGhost has taken the Sri Lankan VPN crown due to its massive server network and great security. Plus, with its money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose. 

If you have experience using a VPN in Sri Lanka, tell us about it in the comment section. Our VPN archive has more interesting articles, if you’d like to take a look. Thank you for reading.

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