Mexico has a patchy internet infrastructure and expensive broadband. These factors have kept broadband access rates low, at just 11% in 2016. That compares to an average broadband user base of 29% in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. However, Mexico is playing catch up. The recent rapid growth in internet access there is down to the proliferation of smartphones. This makes WiFi hotspots very attractive to Mexicans who are struggling to make ends meet.
If you speak Spanish, Mexico is TV heaven. The country’s soaps attract a huge audience all over Latin America. However, if you’re an expat living in Mexico, or are visiting on vacation, you may struggle to keep up with the high-paced dialog and passionate plots of Mexican dramas. Getting into the content of TV websites back in your home country will become a priority.
While internet penetration in Mexico was minimal, the government took a relaxed attitude towards regulating the ‘net. However, the upswing in internet activity in the past few years has attracted the attention of legislators. As such, the government took steps to expand investment in telecoms infrastructure. This led to the Telecommunications Law of 2014. That law deregulated the provision of telecommunications and mapped out an expansion of the county’s cabling backbone.
Quick Links to our 5 best VPNs for Mexico
Unfortunately, while laying the foundations for the internet boom in Mexico, the Telecommunications Law also introduced obligations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile networks to store logs of users’ activities. The days of internet freedom are gradually drawing to a close in Mexico. You can be traced by your activities for up to two years. This is the mandated period for which activity logs have to be kept. The Mexican government hoped to make information available to combat drugs and gun smugglers. However, the retained activity information is also on file for any copyright lawyer with a court order to thumb through.
Thus anyone moving to or visiting Mexico needs a way to get into streaming services back home. They also need privacy protection from activity tracing, particularly if downloading copyrighted material. Furthermore, WiFi connection security when accessing the net through public hotspots is essential. All three of these requirements can be fulfilled by a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
You can read more about how VPNs work and how they can help you with your internet activities later in this report. Firstly, let’s take a look at our list of the five best VPNs for Mexico.
Best VPNs for Mexico: Summary
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- $3.33PER MONTH
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- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Versions for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Linux
- Software for routers and set-top boxes
- Browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
- Servers in 94 countries, including Mexico
- Only three simultaneous connections allowed
ExpressVPN is probably the top VPN provider in the world right now. The app that runs the service from your computer is very easy to use and installs itself. You don't need to know anything about internet protocols and security measures to use this service, because the default settings in the app give you excellent protection. That app is available for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. You can also install the VPN on routers and set-top boxes. The company produces a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari if you just want to protect your web traffic. ExpressVPN offers servers in 94 countries, including Mexico. On top off all of those great features, the company also has a highly competent customer support team that is available 24/7 via live chat. Given that this VPN is so good, you might wonder why we bothered to recommend five VPN services and not just this one. The only problem with ExpressVPN is that it is expensive, so you might be tempted to check out the other VPNs on this list so you can save some money.
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- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Servers in 25 countries including Mexico
- No logs
- P2P allowed
- Allowance of five simultaneous connections
- Based in the US
- Relatively small server network
PIA is a lot cheaper than Express VPN, but it only has servers in 25 countries. Fortunately, Mexico is one of those. This is a great VPN for peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading because it keeps no logs and has good speeds for streaming video. Our PIA review found that this VPN service offers good protection on WiFi networks, which will keep you safe from fake hotspot scams. All-in-all, this is a decent VPN service that has all the protection you need to keep you safe in Mexico. Check out the company's server list to make sure it has services in all of the locations you want to get past regional restrictions in. You have seven days to try out the VPN and still get your money back if you don't like it.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Servers in 61 countries, including Mexico
- P2P allowed
- No logs
- Gets into Netflix
- Customer support can be slow
This is another easy-to-use app that makes a very good cheap alternative to ExpressVPN. This service can get into a long list of streaming services, including Netflix. NordVPN scrapes in at just a tiny bit cheaper per month than Private Internet Access if you are prepared to sign up for the service for two years and pay up front. This VPN has servers in 61 countries, including Mexico. When reviewing NordVPN we were pleased to see that the service gives you a generous allowance of six simultaneous connections. If you install it on your router, that counts as just one connection while covering all of the devices in your home. The company is based in Panama, which has no data retention laws, so the service keeps no logs at all. It openly states that it welcomes customers who want to download entertainment with torrents.
- Three-day trial option
- Servers in 141 countries, including Mexico
- Automatic WiFi protection
- Great for P2P
- Some servers can be slow
PureVPN has a larger server network than ExpressVPN, with a presence in 141 countries, including Mexico. The company is based in Hong Kong, which has no data retention laws. PureVPN takes advantage of that fact by keeping no user activity logs at all. The VPN is great for P2P downloading, and you will find specific instructions on its website on how to optimize your VPN client's settings to get the best speeds when using torrents. This is another solid service for getting around regional restrictions at streaming services, so you'll be able to enjoy all of your home TV from Mexico. PureVPN includes very strong security and automatic WiFi protection. Before you sign up for the service, try the three-day trial offer, which costs just $2.50.
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Optional dedicated IP address
- Allowance of five simultaneous connections on the shared IP service
- Servers in 55 countries, including Mexico
- Ad, tracker, and malware blocker
- Can be difficult to install
TorGuard is another service that's brilliant at getting around regional restrictions. The company offers easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Ubuntu. You can improve your chances of getting around the strictest VPN detection systems if you take out a dedicated IP address with this service. VPNs usually allocate customers a temporary IP address from a pool. The dedicated IP addresses make it seems as though you are in the US, Canada, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Japan, or Australia. The shared IP address service gives you access to servers in 55 countries, including Mexico. Free extras with this service include malware, ad, and tracker blocking.
VPN for Mexico: Considerations
The Telecommunications Law of 2014 only obliges ISPs and mobile networks to store activity logs. VPNs are not subject to this requirement. VPNs carry all of your internet traffic through your ISP with the destination addresses of communications masked. Replies that come in to you computer also have the origin address masked. Thus, even though the ISP that handles your internet traffic in Mexico is logging everything, it doesn’t get the correct information to store. If anyone tries to trace your activities, they’ll follow a path to your chosen VPN server. There, the trail will go cold.
All of the VPNs on our list keep their customers’ activities a secret. VPNs have to keep track of the connections that their customers make while those connections are ongoing. They need to cross-reference which customer has which masking IP address, so they can forward replies to the right computer. However, once the connection is ended, there is no need for a VPN to store records of those activities. Our recommended VPNs make a point of deleting all records of connections as quickly as possible. As such, there would be no information to pass on to lawyers, should they arrive with a court order.
The protection of a VPN makes it safer for you to download entertainment with peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. Some streaming services, such as Popcorn Time and a few channels on Kodi, could also get you into trouble. That’s because they deliver copyrighted material without paying for the rights to it.
Most streaming websites reserve access to their content to viewers in their own countries. As such, US and UK sites will lock you out if you try to access them from Mexico. The streaming servers can tell from your IP address that you are in Mexico.
Before you turn your VPN on, you have to select a mediating server. VPNs have servers all over the world. When you turn the VPN on, the client software on your computer connects to the nominated server. All communication between these two points is fully encrypted. The VPN server forwards your internet messages on to their intended destinations. However, the server changes the origin IP address to one of its own. If you select a VPN server in the same country as the streaming service you want to access, you will appear to be in the right location. This will unblock the service.
There is one more complication with getting into streaming servers. The companies that run these services are obliged by copyright contracts to restrict their delivery of content to their own countries. They have to take all steps possible to meet these obligations. Streaming services know about VPNs. They implement screening programs to detect and block VPN traffic.
Not all VPNs can get into every streaming service. The task of masking the identity of a VPN communication is expensive, so many VPNs, particularly free services, give up the fight. The providers on our list of the best VPNs for Mexico take the fight to get around VPN detection systems seriously. These are some of the most successful VPNs in the world at helping customers get into their chosen streaming services.
VPNs for WiFi Protection
Free WiFi hotspots in bars, cafes, and transport hubs are great money savers. It’s great to be able to connect to the internet from your smartphone or laptop and book theater or museum tickets online. You can buy a plane ticket while you wait for a bus, and check on your bank balance while sitting at a bar – all thanks to WiFi hotspots.
However, not all free WiFi hotspots are provided by the proprietors of the establishments that you patronize. Fraudsters can easily set up fake WiFi hotspots. The name of a fraudulent free WiFi service will sound similar to the name of the establishment where you discover the connection option. However, a connection to the fraudulent hotspot will expose all of your personal details to the operator of the link.
If you encrypt all of your connections from your own computer by using a VPN, the fraudster will be unable to read any of the messages that pass through his computer. Thus, you will be protected from identity theft and credit card fraud when using WiFi hotspots.
If you would like to know more about staying protected when using public WiFi hotspots, check out our Best 5 VPNs for WiFi.
VPN for Mexico: Conclusion
The major problems that you might face when going about your internet activities in Mexico can all be solved by installing a VPN. It is not illegal to use a VPN in Mexico. If you choose a reputable service that keeps no logs, you could never be traced through your internet connections.
Keep safe when you access the web and try out one our recommended VPNs for Mexico.
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