Nigeria has been going through tumultuous times in the past, but now Africa’s largest country is on the path of stability and economic growth. About half of the 182 million citizens have access to the Internet. Given the fact that Nigeria is home for many ethnic groups with different religions and political views, the atmosphere within the country is not always peaceful. This forces the government to consider regulating the web by restricting access to sites with political or religious content that threatens the order in the country. In addition to the resources weeded out by the authorities, many foreign services are not available in the country for economic reasons. Therefore, a VPN is the only tool that allows you to circumvent various restrictions and maintain anonymity on the network. If you are looking for the best VPN for Nigeria then look no more. Read further to find out what services are able to cater for your online needs in this African country.
Choosing the Best VPN for Nigeria
There are numerous VPN providers and even free services are available but not all of them do an outstanding work. I tested nearly all the options you can find on the market and made a list of the best VPNs for Nigeria. Here are my picks:
What does make them the best? First of all, they will mask your IP and encrypt your data making it impossible for government services or hackers to trace your digital footprint back to your device. Furthermore, it allows getting any content you like regardless of any governmental or other restrictions. Finally, with these services, the speed of the connection will remain pleasantly fast. So, let’s take a closer look at these trustworthy VPN providers.
If you need a VPN to ensure anonymity and protect our privacy on the web, there is no better option than NordVPN. The company offers the most advanced security protocols capable of encrypting all data passing through your device. OpenVPN protocol does the job so good that its cipher is impossible to crack. However, even such security measures can be enhanced with NordVPN’s extra features. For example, when connecting to DoubleVPN servers, your data will be encrypted twice. With Onion Over VPN servers not only do you get reliable encryption but also complete anonymity thanks to the Tor technology.
NordVPN offers more than 4000 servers located in 62 countries of the world and their number is growing steadily. Such a developed network allows maintaining good connection speeds across the board. By subscribing to NordVPN you will be able to secure all of your devices because you can establish up to 6 connections at the same time from one account. You can test the service within 30 days and if there is anything you don’t like, NordVPN will refund you.
The blazing speed of a VPN connection is exactly the reason that allowed ExpressVPN to gain millions of loyal subscribers around the globe. When you browse, download or watch videos in high resolution, you will barely see any difference in comparison with your original Internet connection. It is especially important to choose a provider that supplies fast speeds considering that Internet in Nigeria is rather slow.
The service has more than 1700 servers spanning across 94 countries. All of them offer reliable security protocols including military-grade OpenVPN. Needless to say that ExpressVPN doesn’t retain any users’ logs so all your data is kept secret.
ExpressVPN allows up to 3 connections at the same time. If for any reasons you are not satisfied with the service you can ask for a refund within 30 days after you subscribed.
The service offers a great combination of security features, blazing speeds, and a very attractive price tag.
PureVPN boasts one of the fastest connection speeds in the industry. Currently, the vendor operates more than 750 servers in 140 countries across the globe. The fact that the company owns the whole network ensures great performance and consistent speeds across the board. Not to mention that self-operated severs exclude third parties from the equation.
All the latest security protocols are in place including unbreakable OpenVPN. There are also encryption methods at your disposal if you would like to maintain faster connection speeds. PureVPN doesn’t keep logs of your activity on the net, which in combination with data encryption allows preserving your privacy intact.
With PureVPN, you can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously on a single account. If the provider did not live up to your expectations, you have 7 days to refuse the service and demand a refund.
Internet Censorship and Restrictions in Nigeria
Just a couple decades ago Nigeria was under the rule of military dictatorship. Now the political situation has changed for the better, although echoes of the dictatorial regime are still felt in the way the government approaches the regulation of the Internet.
The authorities exert pressure on many forms of the art and try to limit freedom of speech in the media. Thus, journalists often face persecutions and arrests, especially if they cover stories related to corruption scandals and human rights abuses. Articles and blog posts that are considered an insult or critique of Nigerian leadership are also being prosecuted.
Women’s rights is another sensitive topic in the media. The fact is that the majority of Nigeria’s population professes Islam, a religion where women have always been perceived as second-class people. In this regard, the content aimed at protecting women’s rights and raising awareness to this issue meets opposition from the ruling body.
The attempt to take more control over the Internet space was undertaken when the government proposed a law on monitoring social networks. Fortunately for online freedom in Nigeria, this attempt failed and the law was abandoned in 2016. However, the government enthusiastically persecutes those who express their opinion on political issues. Thus, the 2015 Cybercrime Act allowed the country’s leadership to exert more pressure on opponents of the current political regime.
In turn, public activists and freedom of speech and privacy advocates do not sit idly by. They managed to get the adoption of the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill confirming that every citizen of Nigeria has the right to privacy and freedom of expression.
While the bill is just about to come into force, the government is making new attempts to intervene in the Internet space. In the light of the growing separatist sentiment in the south-western part of the country, the authorities want to adopt legislative acts to restrict some freedoms on the Internet. For example, a few draft laws are currently being considered among which are Terrorism Amendment Act and Bill on hate speech.
At the moment, there is no information about massive websites shutting down. However, at the end of 2017, it became clear that such a prospect is quite real when the government expressed its intention to block websites and blogs that are deemed a threat to national security. Right now, broadcast media are controlled by the National Broadcasting Commission. The Commission has the power of veto to stop broadcasting certain news. In addition, distribution of content of foreign origin is also restricted.
Why You Should Consider Using a VPN in Nigeria
When the government tightens its grip on the Internet in Nigeria, it becomes more difficult to get access to unrestricted news and media. Along with restoring your right to receive information in full, you may want to use a VPN in Nigeria for other reasons as well.
Protection from Scammers and Cyber Criminals
Nigeria is notorious for the huge number of scammers. You’ve probably encountered the term ‘Nigerian scam’ describing frauds trying to clear your bank account in every possible way. While many people voluntarily send money to scammers hiding under the guise of ‘beautiful ladies’, another category of cybercriminals use unsecured connections to steal confidential data, such as your email address, credit card information or bank account details. Especially vulnerable in this regard is WiFi connection. By connecting to a public hotspot you can make your data exposed and thieved by malefactors. That’s where a VPN will come in handy. All data transferred to/from your device will be encrypted and no intruders will be able to get their hands on your personal information.
Access to Popular Streaming Services
Going to Nigeria for work or as a tourist, you may find that your favorite video services are simply not available. For example, Netflix does not work here. Of course, there is an alternative such as a state streaming service ORIN offering a wide choice of titles of local production. However, in general, movies and shows available through Nigerian services may seem outdated and their quantity is meager.
If you are not ready to limit yourself to only Nigerian content, a VPN will be your ticket to the world of overseas shows and films. Even if Netflix and other platforms deny access from Nigerian IPs, you can easily change them to an IP of any other country where the service is not blocked.
If you prefer torrents instead of streaming platforms, then you need to be careful with downloading movies and music in Nigeria. In order to protect the local entertainment industry, the authorities created a board of prosecutors with special police forces aimed at combating piracy. This does not mean that you can get away with downloading copyright content of the foreign production. The truth is that for the very fact of piracy you can face a hefty fine. If such measures won’t stop you from downloading content via torrent sites, you can secure yourself and your finances by connecting to a VPN. Such services will hide your IP address and law enforcement agencies won’t be able to figure you out as an offender.
Will Free VPNs Protect You in Nigeria?
Free VPN services can be an alternative to paid providers. However, before you sign up, you need to know something about how they work.
The most obvious disadvantage of free VPNs for Nigeria is slow connection speed. Due to the fact that the Internet infrastructure in the country leaves much to be desired, especially in rural areas, the speed of a regular connection is not fast. And if you add an intermediary in the form of a VPN, then slow speed can easily turn into zero speed. Moreover, free VPNs do not have vast server networks, so any available server will immediately be attacked by hundreds of users. This state of things doesn’t contribute to fast data transfer either.
It is also questionable whether free VPNs actually protect you while surfing the Internet. The truth is that many providers can offer only outdated encryption protocols that are easy to hack. Top that off with the fact that some services were caught selling users’ data, and you will see that free VPNs may actually pose a threat to your privacy.
At the same time, trustworthy VPNs will take a great care to keep all your sensitive data under wraps. They exercise an explicit zero-logs policy meaning no information about your activity on the net is ever recorded or kept. Not to mention they provide the latest security measures including encryption methods impossible to crack. So, if you are searching for the best VPN to use in Nigeria, free services are never among them.