In the rapidly advancing digital era, safeguarding your online privacy and security has become paramount. This holds particularly true in Nigeria, where the escalation of internet censorship and surveillance demands a proactive approach.
Enter virtual private networks (VPNs) – a solution gaining popularity among Nigerians seeking online protection. But what exactly are VPNs, and how can they fortify your privacy and security on the Nigerian internet landscape in 2023?
Our comprehensive guide unravels the answers and equips you with invaluable insights into VPNs in Nigeria this year.
A VPN in simple terms is a technology that sets a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the internet. By directing your internet traffic through a remote server, VPNs effectively hide your IP address and encrypt your data from your Internet Service Provider(ISP) or just in general.
This proves exceptionally valuable for Nigerians aiming to bypass website blocks, access restricted content, and shield their online privacy from governmental surveillance and potential cyber threats.
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State of VPN in Nigeria
The adoption of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in Nigeria has experienced significant growth over recent years, and this upward trajectory is expected to persist throughout 2023. This phenomenon can be attributed to two primary factors.
Firstly, Nigeria has witnessed an escalation in internet censorship and surveillance measures. The government has enacted legislative acts, including Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act of 2015 and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act of 2007, impose constraints on online freedom of expression and restrict access to information.
Secondly, there has been a growing realization among Nigerians regarding the significance of online privacy and security. The prevalence of high-profile data breaches and cyberattacks targeting both individuals and businesses within Nigeria has amplified concerns.
Consequently, an increasing number of Nigerians are actively seeking methods to fortify their online protection, with VPNs emerging as one of the most efficacious solutions. Notably, the government’s 2021 ban on Twitter prompted a surge in VPN usage among Nigerians seeking access to the platform.
However, the government subsequently implemented measures to impede VPN usage as well.
Nonetheless, the utilization of VPNs in Nigeria is not without its challenges. Legal implications surrounding VPN usage within the country remain uncertain. While explicit legislation against VPNs is absent, some individuals harbour apprehensions that the government may take future action against VPN users.
Additionally, not all VPN service providers effectively circumvent Nigerian internet restrictions, underscoring the importance of selecting reputable providers with proven compatibility in the country.
In summary, the landscape of VPN usage in Nigeria in 2023 exhibits robust growth and escalating importance. As concerns persist surrounding internet censorship and surveillance, coupled with an increasing awareness of online privacy and security, VPN adoption is poised to become even more widespread in the coming years.
Best VPN to use in Nigeria for all purposes
ExpressVPN is a top-rated Virtual Private Network. The VPN solution boasts more servers (over 2000 servers) in more countries (about 160 server locations in 94 countries). However, it is more expensive though it seems to be the gold standard and has built a reputation of trustworthiness. Simultaneous connections from different devices are limited to five and despite its pricey nature, there is no free trial. You do get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is a versatile solution with support for multiple devices and platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, and Kindle Fire. You can also use the VPN with your Routers, Smart TVs as well as smart TV boxes and sticks like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, and Chromecast.
ExpressVPN also offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge as well as solutions for your gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox.
As a confidence booster, ExpressVPN says that users don’t have to worry about security as its network is designed in such a way that users cannot be matched to their IP addresses. The pricing of ExpressVPN can be found on their website.
Surfshark is no doubt one of the best VPN providers if you looking for a versatile solution that covers all the essentials and more. It is also a good solution if you want to torrent and download movies and TV shows. This is also a great option if you are looking for one that can unblock content in multiple countries. With over 3200 servers in over 95 countries, SurfShark will probably have in server in the country you want.
This is great for people who are travelling, but want to catch up with local TV shows from their own country. With 95 countries supported including Nigeria, Moldova, Peru, Laos, and Algeria, it is likely that there is a SurfShark server in your home country so that you can feel at home while away.
The servers a fast with support for VPN protocols like WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. You also get AES-256-GCM encryption, split tunnelling, Adblocker, and malware and tracker protection. You get dynamic IP with IP rotation and MultiHop. These two features make it difficult to trace online.
Surfshark allows you to connect unlimited devices simultaneously with unlimited bandwidth. The service works with Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Fire TV, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. You get a 7-day free trial on Android, iOS, and MacOS. The pricing of SurfShark can be found on their website.
CyberGhost boasts over 10 million users across all of its supported platforms including Windows, Apple Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, gaming consoles, smart TV, and more. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available. The service boasts over 7500 servers in over 90 countries.
The service operates outside the jurisdiction of the Non-member to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes alliance and will not share your data with the government. They do not keep any logs of your activities.
CyberGhost supports up to 7 devices simultaneously. It supports military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, split tunnelling, and data leak protection. The servers are also pretty fast. The pricing of CyberGhost can be found on their website.
NordVPN is one of the best VPN services. Whether you are on public Wi-Fi or on your home or office Network, this solution boasts that your IP address is secure and nobody can see through the tunnel.
NordVPN encrypts your online connection, protects your personal information and work files, and keeps your internet history and online identity private. It also offers protection from trackers and malware.
The service has one of the fastest servers in the industry ensuring that the tunnel does not slow down your online experience. It works on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Firestick, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Chromecast, Kindle Fire, and Raspberry Pi. Browser extensions are available for Firefox, Chrome, and Edge.
NordVPN is competitively priced (particularly the long-duration plan) and some of its highlights include support for up to six (6) devices simultaneously, internet killswitch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit encryption, split tunnelling, Onion over VPN, dark web monitor, etc. NordVPN has over 5500 servers in over 60 countries.
Norton Secure VPN
Norton is better known for its antivirus solutions and perhaps its identity theft protection solution LifeLock. However, Norton also offers a VPN solution that is quite affordable and flexible.
With as low as $4.99 per month, you can protect one device on Norton Secure VPN. For protection for up to 5 devices, you pay $7.99 per month and for up to 10 devices $9.99 per month.
You also get military-grade AES-256-bit encryption. The service also boasts a no-log policy, split tunnelling, Kill Switch, Ad Tracking blocker, and secure public Wi-Fi access. The service works on your PC, Mac Computer, Android devices, iPhone, and iPad. Norton Secure VPN offer affordable and flexible pricing options.
How to Choose the Best VPN for your needs?
First, prioritize a VPN that offers robust encryption, a strict no-logging policy, and a killswitch feature, ensuring your data remains secure even if the connection drops.
Additionally, assess the number of supported devices and available servers offered by the VPN. Split-tunneling capability is also worth considering as it allows you to selectively route your traffic through the VPN.
Next, weigh the options between free and paid VPNs. While free VPNs exist, they often lack Internet speed and security compared to their paid counterparts. Paid VPNs typically offer more features and better performance. Consider trying a VPN that offers a free trial period to evaluate the service before committing to a paid subscription.