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Venezuela is an oil-rich country on the northern coast of South America. It’s full of picturesque sights, from mountains to waterfalls. However, a severe human rights crisis is ongoing in the country. Plus, with President Nicolas Maduro clinging to power, you should make sure you stay safe online with one of our best VPN for Venezuela picks.
If you need a quick answer, then ExpressVPN is the best pick for Venezuela. Read on to find out not only why you should use a virtual private network, but also what features are most important for the country.
A VPN is a great tool that offers a range of beneficial features. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, online security is needed now more than ever. By using a VPN, you’ll help yourself stay protected from online dangers, such as cybercrime and surveillance.
VPNs offer more than just security, though. They’re a great help when it comes to content restrictions, such as censorship and geoblocks. Geoblocking mostly occurs because of licensing agreements, so companies are restricted as to what they can broadcast in different parts of the world.
For example, Netflix Venezuela’s library is going to have different content than the U.S. library. If you want to access Netflix U.S. while you’re in Venezuela, you’re going to need a U.S. IP address, and a VPN can help you get one.
Censorship is something else entirely. Governments around the world control what their citizens can and cannot see online. China’s internet is one of the most restricted in the world. Its Great Firewall makes sure only approved content can be viewed, and citizens have to use Chinese versions of social media, such as WeChat.
By using a VPN, you can pretty much get past any blocks you encounter and stay safe while doing so.
There are many features that make up a VPN, and some of them will be more important for Venezuela. Although you could just pick one of the many in our VPN reviews, you should first make sure that it has the following qualities.
Venezuela is suffering from a fair bit of censorship aimed at many different types of content. Social media and messaging apps can be blocked from time to time.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to make sure the VPN you choose has a decent server network. The more servers available in as many countries as possible, the better your chances are at bypassing the blocks.
If you want to access content that’s restricted to Venezuela, you’ll need to make sure it has servers within the country so you can get a Venezuelan IP address.
With possible surveillance and punishment for critical posts, it’s a good idea to pick a VPN that has good security so you’ll be protected no matter what you get up to online. Your details should stay anonymous so you won’t be able to be traced. Having a kill switch is also important, as that will disconnect you entirely if the VPN fails.
The provider should honor your privacy, too, and to make sure it does, check that it has a strict no-logs policy in place. If the company says it doesn’t keep logs, that means there won’t be a record of your online activities.
Good speeds are beneficial, as well. The faster the VPN, the faster the content will load. Unlimited bandwidth is advantageous, too, as otherwise you’ll quickly hit the limit and the VPN will stop working, meaning you’ll no longer be protected.
If streaming is on your to-do list, make sure the VPN can get into your chosen platform. If it’s Netflix that you want, only a small number of VPNs can get past Netflix’s VPN detection system. Fear not, as we’ve rounded up the best capable ones check best VPN for Netflix piece.
You may also want to consider what devices the VPN is compatible with, how many connections it allows and its user-friendliness. Decent customer support is always good to have, and the price may influence your final decision.
Online Censorship in Venezuela
Internet freedom in Venezuela is declining. Its government has been censoring the internet for years, and internet connectivity itself has declined, too. Many websites are blocked, including media outlets, gambling sites, blogs, pornography and sites related to foreign money exchange. Some of the blocks are only temporary, though.
Under the 2017 anti-hate law, websites can be blocked if authorities deem them to be promoting hatred or intolerance. Plus, content containing hate speech on intermediary websites must be removed within six hours of it being posted, or a fine can be imposed.
Intermediary sites can be held liable for content posted under the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Electronic Media, and severe penalties can be given for violations.
Several social media platforms and communication tools have been habitually and strategically blocked, too. Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and YouTube have all been inaccessible for short periods of time, and in early 2019, even more services were affected, as they often are during sensitive political events.
To get around the blocks, many people have resorted to using circumvention tools. There were reports that the Tor network had been blocked in 2018, but it seems that VPNs are still legal in the country.
Online Surveillance in Venezuela
The government has increased its surveillance activities since releasing its 2013 to 2019 “Plan de la Patria,” which is basically a plan for economic and social development. It emphasizes strengthening national defense, as well as other priorities.
International concern arose among experts and activists about the government’s plans to invest in intelligence, which at one point allocating almost 14 billion Venezuelan bolivars (about 1.5 million USD) to it.
Plus, initiatives to collect personal information from citizens drew more concern, especially as there is no guarantee of the data’s privacy and how it would be treated.
The Carnet de la Patria, which is basically a compulsory ID card, was introduced in 2016. It includes a personalized QR code that holds personal information, allowing the government to know the status of the population.
Citizens use the card to access certain benefits, among other things. Those who want to buy a cellphone, SIM card or access broadband must register with their personal ID number, as well as other information. Mobile apps associated with the card allow the government to track citizens’ personal data and location, too.
Personal data protection legislation does not exist, and there are concerns about how the government can misuse personal data collected through the above methods.
Plus, a new ruling aimed at obtaining and retaining personal data from telecommunications services came in 2017. The data includes IP addresses, connection times, geographic location and other communication information.
Freedom of Speech Online in Venezuela
The Venezuelan constitution guarantees freedom of expression, but laws and regulations passed by the government restrict it in practise.
The Constitutional Law Against Hatred, for Peaceful Coexistence and Tolerance is vaguely worded and imposes hefty sentences of up to 20 years in prison for inciting hatred or violence online.
Defamation against public officials and the publication of false information can result in a prison sentence under the penal code. Social media users, journalists and activists have faced prosecution for their online activities. Journalists also risk arrest and physical violence in connection with their work, especially if it is critical of the government.
Three teenagers were detained in 2018, accused of inciting hatred through chat groups and social media, as well as organizing protests against the government. They faced up to 20 years in prison, although they were released months later.
Also at the beginning of 2018, three editors and a journalist had a defamation lawsuit filed against them because of two published articles that revealed irregularities in the state import of food and in its negotiations with President Maduro. The investigative quartet faced a fine of about $59,000 and up to six years in prison, leading them to flee the country.
The Best VPN for Venezuela: ExpressVPN
It has a large server network with more than 3,000 available in 94 countries. That includes some in Venezuela, too. Whether you need to circumvent blocks in the country or gain access to Venezuelan content, ExpressVPN has you covered.
You’ll be protected by excellent security set at AES 256-bit encryption straight out of the box. You can increase that if you want to, as well. A kill switch is included and enabled by default, but you can control whether you want it on or not. ExpressVPN values privacy, and there’s a solid no-logs policy in place.
Loading content will be a breeze, as it’s the fastest VPN we’ve tested. There’s also unlimited bandwidth and it can get into all streaming services, which is why it’s our best VPN for streaming.
- Large server network
- Servers in Venezuela
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Plus, there are browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. You can connect up to five devices at the same time, too. It’s one of the easiest VPNs to use, so it’s a great choice for newbies. Tinkerers can play around with the settings, though.
A useful knowledgebase is at the ready if you need help. There’s also live chat and email support. Both are available 24/7, but the email team is better at answering more complicated questions.
ExpressVPN isn’t cheap, but it’s well worth the money. You can make the overall cost cheaper by opting for a longer plan, too. You get a great service and, in case you’re worried about diving in, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.
It comes with some of the best security around, set at AES 256-bit encryption. Plus, you can use its optional double-hop servers, which add even more protection to your connection. A kill switch is included, and a strict no-logs policy is in place, so you don’t need to worry about privacy.
Its speeds are good, but they can slow down over long distances. There are no bandwidth limits, and it can access all streaming platforms, including Netflix.
- Double-hop encryption
- Large server network
- Gets into Netflix
- Slow on certain servers
- No servers in Venezuela
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
NordVPN works with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Firefox and Chrome browser extensions are available, too. You can connect up to six devices at the same time, and all the clients are easy to install and use.
If you need help, there’s a handy knowledgebase available. There’s also live chat and email 24/7. Either route is helpful, but the live chat will get you a faster response.
NordVPN provides good value for your money, though it’s best to avoid the monthly plan. Signing up for longer will save you money in the long run. A 30-day refund period is in place, though, in case you change your mind.
CyberGhost is another good pick for Venezuela. It has a huge server network, but the server and country count fluctuates frequently. At the time of writing, there were 5,700 servers in 90 countries. There are 24 in Venezuela, too, meaning you can access Venezuelan content.
CyberGhost’s speeds are fast but, similarly to NordVPN, can become slow over long distances. Unlimited bandwidth is included, and it can get into most streaming services, too.
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Automatic kill switch
- Venezuelan servers
- No kill switch controls
- Can be slow
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
CyberGhost has clients for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available, as well. The interface is easy to use, though it may take some getting used to.
You can simultaneously connect up to seven devices, making it an honorable mention check best VPN for multiple devices comparison. That said, unlike many other VPNs, which allow you to install it on an unlimited number of devices, CyberGhost limits that to seven as well.
It has one of the best knowledgebases we’ve seen. Plus, there’s live chat available 24/7 and email support. The latter is best for more technical queries, though.
Provided that you don’t go for the monthly plan, CyberGhost is pretty inexpensive overall. There’s a free seven-day trial available for Android and iOS users. A money-back guarantee is also in place, which gives 14 days for the monthly plan and 45 days for longer ones.
VyprVPN has made the list, though it’s not because of its server network. There are less than 1,000 servers in 64 countries, and none of them are located in Venezuela. It should still be enough to get you around any blocks, though.
Its excellent security earned it the fourth spot in this list. Those in the know can tinker with the settings, but beginners will be happy with its simplicity, too. VyprVPN also comes with its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which adds even more protection to your connection. A kill switch is included, as well as a no-logs policy.
The speeds are ok and fine for most activities. There are no bandwidth caps, and it can get into most streaming services.
- Chameleon protocol
- Customizable security
- Good mobile apps
- Small server network
- No servers in Venezuela
- Mediocre speeds
Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN
VyprVPN works on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Plus, it’s one of our best VPN for Android picks due to its excellent mobile apps. The interface is easy to use, and you can connect up to five devices at the same time, depending on the plan you choose.
If you need help, you can access its knowledgebase. Live chat is also available 24/7, but you’ll initially be connected to a bot. It’ll answer your questions by pointing you to the relevant area of the knowledgebase, but you can connect to a real human with the click of a button. Email support is available 24/7, too.
The price you pay will depend on the package you choose. The “standard” plan will get you three connections, and the “premium” plan will get you five connections, as well as the use of its Chameleon protocol. You can then choose the monthly or yearly plan, but the yearly one works out cheaper in the end. A 30-day money-back guarantee is in place, too.
Our last pick is HideMyAss, and the top reason it made the cut is because it has servers in Venezuela, meaning you can access content from there. As for its total server network, there are more than 1,000 covering a whopping 190 countries, so you should be fine bypassing any restrictions.
Its security is good and set at 256-bit encryption. A kill switch is included, too. Although HMA has a no-logs policy, if you read it, however, you’ll notice that it actually does. It makes it clear that your IP address isn’t logged, but it does log other data, such as your connection timestamps, the IP address of the server you’re using and the amount of data transferred.
That information alone if fine, and it can’t be tied back to you. That said, if you sign up with your true credentials, it could be coupled with that. The information is kept on file for 30 days, and if asked by authorities, HMA may log more detailed information.
Its speeds are impressive, but they’re still not the fastest around. Unlimited bandwidth is included, and it can get into some streaming services.
- Covers 190 countries
- Servers in Venezuela
- Expensive at renewal
We hope we’ve helped you understand why you should use a VPN in Venezuela and what features it should have. The country is suffering from varied censorship, even if some of it is temporary. Plus, government surveillance is increasing, and there are harsh punishments for critical comments.
You should choose one that has a large server network to give you the best chance of bypassing any blocks. If you want to access Venezuelan-restricted content, you’ll also need servers within the country. Good security is important to keep you protected, too.
With that in mind, ExpressVPN is your best bet when it comes to Venezuela. It has a large server network with some in Venezuela. Plus, it will keep you safe, as it’s the most secure VPN out there. Why not give it a try? With its 30-day money-back guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose.
If you have experience using a VPN in Venezuela, let us know about it in the comment section. We’d love to read about it. As always, thanks for reading.