5 Best VPNs for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world (above only North Korea, Myanmar and Sierra Leone), but the increasing availability and affordability of internet enabled mobile phones means that more and more people are now able to access on-line resources (an estimated 90% of Bangladesh’s Internet users got their internet access using mobile services in 2010).

Recognizing the importance of a developing internet for the economy, the secular democratic government has spent a great deal of effort in promoting its use, and has largely refrained (so far) from imposing legal restrictions, although it has moved to legislate against pornography, and has stepped in on number of occasions to block access to websites such as Facebook.

In addition to any government restrictions, hardline Islamic extremists within the population have targeted politically liberal bloggers, assaulting some, and brutally murdering one brave young man in February this year.

We will take a look at these issues in some detail a little later on, but first let’s have a looks at our choice of 5 best VPNs for Bangladesh.


*All prices shown in US dollars

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Editor’s Choice

Winner – ExpressVPN


Positives: Fast speed, servers in 78 countries (including Hong Kong & India), works on all devices, multiple VPN protocols, highly secure, no logging, 30 day money back guarantee.

Negatives: Pricing is a bit high (though worth the extra cost)

With servers in Hong Kong, Singapore and India (apparently, although it could not disclose exactly where in India), ExpressVPN is well set up to serve Bangladesh. Although a little on the pricey side, ExpressVPN’s connection speeds are very good, it offers a 30 day money back guarantee, and has apps for Android and iOS (very useful given how many in Bangladesh use their phones as their main way to access the internet). ExpressVPN also keeps no usage logs, which while it will not affect users in Bangladesh much, does speak well for the integrity of the company as a VPN provider.

Try Out the Best VPN for Bangladesh Today!

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2. BolehVPN


Positives: no logs, fast, great OSX and Windows software, dedicated ‘CloakRouted servers’ for China (which may improve anonymity in Bangladesh), P2P: yes

Negatives: None

Popular throughout the Far East, this Malaysia based VPN sports a client with a wealth of connection options (which can be a bit daunting at first, but gives you a great deal of control over your VPN connection), keeps no logs, and has great connection speeds. In addition to this, although designed to thwart China’s Great Firewall, its ‘cloaked servers’ in Hong Kong may provide some additional security in Bangladesh if you wish to hide your VPN use from the authorities.

» Visit BolehVPN

3. Hide My Ass

Positives: Servers in Hong Kong, Singapore and India, great VPN client makes changing servers very easy, lots of other freebies on-site to help maintain anonymity on the internet

Negatives: keeps logs and has a history of collaboration with the authorities, a bit pricey

The main failing of this large and very international (UK based) company is that it keeps logs, but this really is of no concern to users in Bangladesh. Mush more important is its servers in New Delhi and Hong Kong (and in 53 other countries across the world), and it’s excellent and fully featured VPN client.

» Visit HideMyAss

4. VyprVPN

Positives: fast, 160-bit and 256-bit OpenVPN encryption (Pro only), Android app, iOS app, servers in Hong Kong, 7 day money back guarantee, up to 3 simultaneous connections, servers in Hong Kong

Negatives: based in the US, keeps logs for 90 days

Please note that we only recommend (and refer to the following notes) the Pro package, not the feature-light PPTP only plan. VyprVPN has servers in Hong Kong, uses ‘up to’ extremely robust 256-bit OpenVPN encryption,  and offers a 7 day money back guarantee. We also like the fact that it allows up to 3 devices to be connected at once, which is particularly handy as it has its own apps for Android and iOS.

» Visit VyprVPN

5. PureVPN

Positives: P2P: yes (on some servers), ‘up to’ 256-bit SSTP and OpenVPN encryption, 2 simultaneous connections, iOS app, Android app, 3 days money back guarantee, servers in Singapore and Malaysia

Negatives; Keeps logs (but based in Hong Kong)

PureVPN is a Hong Kong based provider who uses ‘up to’ 256-bit OpenVPN encryption and supports the SSTP VPN protocol which uses the same port (445) as SSL, making it very difficult to detect that a VPN is being used. It has apps for Android and iOS, allows up to devices to connect simultaneously, and offers a 3 day money back guarantee.

» Visit PureVPN

Internet Censorship in Bangladesh

Legal frameworks

Following the military imposed state emergency in 2007 when all political activity was banned, and the subsequent return to a secular civilian democracy, the government has taken steps towards improving citizens’ right to information and loosening the state’s hold on the media (including passing a Right to Information Act). However, Article 57 of the Information and Communication and Technologies Act still allows the government to impose up to 10 years imprisonment and large fines for publishing content (including internet content) that ‘includes defamatory content, content that may harm law and order, and content that attacks religious beliefs’.

Although no cyber laws have yet come into force, it appears that authorities are concerned about cyber-crime and identifying individuals deemed to be involved in cybercrime, so it is likely that legislation to address these concerns is on its way.

In addition to this, in 2010 a Pornography Control Bill was drafted. As far we can discover this is still waiting for cabinet approval, but when happens offenders who commit crimes related to pornography (and no, we don’t really know what that means) can be jailed for up to five years and / or be heavily fined.

Internet censorship

Despite the lack of a legal framework, the Bangladesh government blocked YouTube in 2009 (for hosting a recording of a conversation between Prime Minister Hasina and Bangladeshi army officers in the aftermath of the BDR mutiny), Facebook in 2010 (following the ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’ group controversy), YouTube again in 2012 (over its refusal to block The Innocence of Muslims), and also a  number of Facebook pages (on grounds of blasphemy) in 2012. There is in addition to this some evidence of selective blocking of politically and religiously sensitive material, including the blocking of some dissident’s blogs (see below).

Internet surveillance and arrests

Although government surveillance of the internet has not been a big issue in Bangladesh since the disturbances in 2007,  in 2009 a Freedom House report suggested that some journalists were being monitored, and had been required to hand over personal passwords to the authorities.

More worryingly, despite a constitution that guarantees guarantees ‘freedom of thought and conscience, and of speech’, a number of bloggers were arrested in April this year for their liberal views and sympathy with the Shahbag protests. In addition to this, a special government committee has been formed to track liberal bloggers deemed to be ‘anti-Muslim’ (a list of 84 names was initially submitted to the committee on March 31). It is widely believed that this aggressive attitude to liberal bloggers is intended as a sop to hardline Islamist elements in the county.

Religion, nationalism, violence and murder

Tensions between extemist Islamic nationalist on the one hand, and secular liberals on the other, has been simmering for some time, and came to a head starting in February this year (2013) with protests  that initially demanded that Abdul Quader Mollah, who had been convicted on six counts of war crimes, face the death sentence. These demands grew to include calls for the ultra-nationalist and Islamist Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party to be banned from politics, due its leader’s association with various other war crimes.

Counter protests by Jaamet supporters led to increasing violence, and around 60 people are believed to have died, the most high profile of while is of liberal pro-Shebag blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was attacked as he left his house, and hacked to death by a gang of machete wielding youths.

VPN use in Bangladesh

VPN is a very effective way to overcome government filters on internet content, and to provide with anonymity online (when combined with other precautions). As long as you connect to servers outside Bangladesh then your communications will be secure, but you should be aware that end-point security is often a problem, particularly if you use a publicly visible place (such as an internet café) to go online.

Also remember when on-line to use pseudonyms if you wish to hide your identity, and to be VERY careful not to post personally identifiable information (e.g. knowledge of facts that can be traced back to you). For more information and ideas on staying anonymous, please see our Ultimate Privacy Guide. Please be careful out there.

While some VPN providers maintain servers in India (usually in New Delhi), Hong Kong is generally a superior option for users in Bangladesh, as (aside from political considerations) Hong Kong is extremely well connected to the rest of the world, and is also one of the places most free of internet regulation and surveillance anywhere in the world.


*All prices shown in US dollars

Advertiser disclosure

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

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2 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Bangladesh

  1. Sir, I’m Bangladeshi and I have more chance to sale vpn. I want use Ur refarell. If u can help me my affiliate program then I use Ur refarell. Plz reply as early possible.

    1. Hi Rayhan, is a VPN review and comparison website. As such we do not offer any kind of affiliate program.

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