If you’re a South African living abroad who wants to keep up with events in your motherland or watch South African TV shows, this guide is for you. We’ll show you how to get a South African IP address using the best VPN services, such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
- You need a South African IP address to access streaming services and channels such as M-NET, SABC and Mzansi Magic from abroad.
- To get a South African IP address, you need a VPN with servers in South Africa.
- ExpressVPN is the best VPN for South Africa, but NordVPN and Surfshark are reliable, cheaper alternatives.
A virtual private network (VPN) assigns you a South African IP address, letting you watch geoblocked streaming services and TV shows. Whether you want to watch Gomora, Uzalo, Generations: The Legacy, Survivor SA, 7DE Laan or other popular South African TV shows, you can do so from anywhere with a reliable VPN.
Stick around as we demonstrate how to use a VPN to get a South African IP address to watch popular South African channels. Beyond that, we’ll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the best VPNs for South African IP addresses.
11/04/2022 Facts checked
Added a step-by-step guide showing how to install and connect to a VPN to get a South African IP address. Replaced CyberGhost with Surfshark in our recommendations.
Yes, VPNs are legal in South Africa.
The best free VPN with South African servers is TunnelBear.
Quick Guide: How to Get a South Africa IP Address With a VPN
Getting a South African IP address is easy peasy, provided you’re using a VPN with servers in South Africa. If you’re using a VPN for the first time, fret not. In this four-step guide, we’ll show you how to get a South African IP address and access South African sites and services from abroad.
- Sign up With the Best VPN for South Africa
Go to the VPN’s website, select a payment plan that suits your needs and complete the signup process.
- Download and Install the VPN App
Download the app from the VPN’s website and install it on your device. For iOS and Android devices, install the app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store, respectively.
- Connect to a South African Server
Launch the VPN app, log in and complete the setup. Open the list of VPN server locations and connect to a South African server.
- Stream Geo-restricted Content
Perform a DNS leak test to confirm the VPN assigned you a South African IP address. If everything looks okay, you should be able to access South African websites, TV channels and streaming services without a hitch.
What Are the Best VPNs With South African Servers?
The African region is overlooked by many VPN providers, which means there are only a few VPNs with servers in South Africa. During our search for the best VPN for South Africa, the following services came out on top:
- ExpressVPN — Blazing-fast with unmatched unblocking ability
- NordVPN — Affordable VPN with advanced security features
- Surfshark — Pocket-friendly VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections
Besides having servers in South Africa, these VPN services met other requirements to nail a spot on our list. Our tests certified the great capability of the three services on various fronts, including security and privacy, connection speed and ability to unblock geoblocks. Here are details about what the tests entailed.
Security & Privacy
These VPN services claim to have the requisite security features, from VPN protocols and encryption to a kill switch and DNS leak protection. We tested all three services to see how well their features work.
Each feature does what it says on the tin. The kill switches did cut our internet connection when the VPN connection dropped. Besides that, our DNS leak tests found no leaks, proving that the services have what it takes to preserve your privacy and anonymity online.
In addition, the VPN services come with strict no-logs policies and are based in countries with friendly privacy laws. We flipped through each VPN’s strict no-logs policy and found nothing to make you worry about your privacy.
In addition, the services are among the fastest VPNs on the market, as you can read in our speed comparison guide. VPNs slow down your connections, but the services on our list ensure the impact is insignificant. Regardless of how far you are from South Africa, you’ll get an interruption-free HD or 4K streaming experience.
Unblock Streaming Services
Moreover, during our testing, the services showed us why they are among the best VPN for streaming. They unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other international streaming services without a struggle. If their streaming performance is anything to go by, accessing South African streaming platforms should be a cinch.
The 3 Best VPNs for Getting a South Africa IP Address
The VPNs on our list are fast, secure and boast excellent ability to unblock geoblocked content. In this section, we won’t dwell on the qualities mentioned above. Instead, we’ll focus on qualities that set each VPN apart from the rest.
We’ll also divulge pricing information to help you pick a service that’s reliable and easy on your pocket.
- Blazing-fast speeds
- Unlocks geoblocked content
- Obfuscation tech on servers
- Comparatively pricey
ExpressVPN is the best VPN there is, thanks to its all-around performance. It has an unmatched ability to unblock geo-restricted content and offers fast speeds for lag-free HD and 4K streaming. It has a large server network covering 94 countries, including a fleet in South Africa.
Like the other two services on this list, it comes with an ad blocker, though only on macOS, iOS and Linux. It also offers unique security features, such as perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption keys periodically to protect your internet traffic from future attacks. This is a great feature to have, especially with the tightening internet censorship laws in South Africa.
ExpressVPN servers come with built-in obfuscation to hide VPN use, making the service a safe bet if you’re in a country where VPNs are banned.
Better still, the servers use TrustedServer technology (RAM-only servers) to wipe data after every reboot, leaving no digital trace of your online activity. Read more in our ExpressVPN review or give the service a whirl, risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 50 servers in South Africa
- Advanced security features
- Blazing-fast speeds
- UI can be a bit confusing
Our second pick, NordVPN, is a reliable and cheaper ExpressVPN alternative. It does a good job of unblocking streaming sites, getting you into any streaming service or TV channel without a struggle. It tops ExpressVPN’s speeds and delivers a lag- and buffer-free streaming performance.
NordVPN’s fleet of more than 50 South African servers and over 5,500 servers worldwide is impressive. Its array of specialty servers sets it apart from the rest of the market. If you’re a journalist in a highly restrictive country, the double VPN servers will come in handy because they add an extra layer of protection to thwart eavesdropping attempts.
The obfuscated servers let you use the VPN where it’s banned. Not to mention, the P2P servers bring the speed and security you need to torrent without interruption or risk of personal information falling into the wrong hands. Read our NordVPN review to learn more, or better yet, take the service for a spin risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- : Unlimited GB
- : 6
- : Unlimited GB
- : 6
- Great security & privacy
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Doesn’t allow torrenting on all servers
If you’re hard up for money and want a service that’s cheaper than NordVPN and nearly as capable as ExpressVPN, Surfshark is hard to ignore. The VPN has nine South African servers and more than 3,200 servers worldwide. The servers offer excellent long-distance speeds, so you’ll get interruption-free streaming no matter how far you are from South Africa.
In terms of unblocking geo-restricted content, Surfshark gives our top picks a run for their money. It unblocks international streaming sites, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and should get you into M-Net, SABC and other South African channels with ease. Moreover, Surfshark’s support for unlimited simultaneous connections makes it a great option for large families.
Regardless of the number of connected devices, unlimited bandwidth ensures you’ll enjoy excellent speeds. Make the most of the 30-day money-back guarantee to get a risk-free, first-hand feel for Surfshark’s features. If you want to learn more before taking the plunge, read our Surfshark review.
Is There a Free VPN With Servers in South Africa?
While there are a number of free VPNs with servers in South Africa, we don’t recommend using them. This is because it’s difficult to find a free VPN for South Africa that’s built with your security and privacy in mind. Some of them may collect and even sell user data, and that doesn’t augur well for your privacy.
Some of the free VPNs with servers in South Africa are on our list of worst free VPNs, so you should avoid them. That being said, you can find a secure free VPN with servers in South Africa, but you’ll have to deal with usage limits.
For example, TunnelBear offers South African servers, but the 500MB data limit is off-putting for avid streamers. Plus, its slow connection speeds add another reason not to use it, especially if you want to do a speed-intensive activity, such as streaming movies or playing online games.
If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend getting started with VPNs that offer free trials. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are two top-tier VPNs that offer seven-day free trials on mobile. Alternatively, if you only need a VPN for a little while, make the most of these services’ 30-day money-back guarantees.
Is It Safe to Use a VPN in South Africa?
Even though the South African government is tightening its internet censorship laws, VPNs remain legal. This means using a VPN in South Africa won’t lead to trouble, provided you use it for legal purposes.
However, if you’re traveling outside South Africa, you must confirm whether the laws in your destination allow VPN use. If the country doesn’t permit the use of VPNs, use a VPN with obfuscation technology when unblocking South African content. ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark support obfuscation technology.
Final Thoughts: Get an IP Address for South Africa
Getting a South African IP address should be child’s play, provided you use a VPN with South African servers. We’ve recommended three reliable VPNs with servers in South Africa, and we hope you picked one that matches your needs and preferences.
If you still can’t decide which service best suits your needs, get ExpressVPN. It’s the best VPN for South Africa and it delivers all-around performance. Whether you want a VPN service for streaming, gaming or torrenting, it’s the best there is. That said, if you find it unappealing because of its price, NordVPN and Surfshark are worthwhile alternatives.
Have you used a VPN provider to get a South African IP address? Were you able to unblock your favorite South African streaming service or TV channel from abroad? Which VPN service provider did you use? We’d like to hear about it in the comments section. As always, thanks for reading.