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As Africa begins to wake up to the possibilities, both for business and leisure, afforded by the internet, its popularity is growing. Between 2009 and 2012 internet usage jumped from 4.2 per cent of the population (approx. 1 million users) to 14.11 percent (approx. 3.5 million users).

Although much of the country is still served by VSAT networks, the establishment of the underwater SAT-3/WASC, MainOne, and GLO-1 fiber optic cables has vastly improved the situation, by providing direct high speed connections to Europe, South Africa, Asia and South America. In cities such as Accra and Kumasi, 3G cellular access is becoming increasingly available.

Internet Censorship in Ghana

Actual censorship of the internet in Ghana is limited (except for reports of government censorship of tribal violence in Northern Ghana way back in 2002), with some reports even indicating that the growth of free-market internet enterprise has led to a liberalization of communication, and a freer expression of opinions at odds to those of the government. However, self-censorship, for fear of government reprisals, remains common in Ghana.

Although direct censorship is limited, government surveillance is not, and the Open Internet Initiative report on Sub-Saharan Africa notes that:

“Communications acts in both Ghana and Nigeria also threaten Internet users’ privacy. Ghana’s Telecommunications Act 2005 gives the president the power to order ISPs to monitor online communications and hand over user data to the authorities.”

It would seem then that internet use is carefully monitored in Ghana, which is deeply worrying, although it is unclear to us whether it is only criminal activity that can cause data to be handed over to the authorities, or social and political activity as well.

Using VPN in Ghana

One of the best ways to ensure that your internet activity is not monitored is to use a VPN service, where an encrypted tunnel is created between your computer (which includes modern ‘smart phones’) and a VPN server located (ideally) in a foreign country.

Which is the best country for servers to be located depends a lot on which ISP you use, and how it connects to the rest of the world (e.g. which fiber optic cable they use), so we can only advise trying a few to see which works best for you.


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Editor’s Choice

Winner – Hide My Ass

Positives: Servers in South Africa, Egypt, India and Europe, great VPN client makes changing servers very easy, lots of other freebies on-site to help maintain anonymity on the internet, 2 simultaneous connections

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

One of the largest and most prominent VPN providers in the world, Hide My Ass has servers pretty much everywhere, including a number in Africa (South Africa, Morocco and Egypt). A good service with a fully featured VPN client (with an internet kill switch), HMA’s real weaknesses – that it is located in the UK (very bad for government surveillance) and that it keeps logs, are unlikely to be of much concern if you live in Ghana.

Click the button below to sign up to HideMyAss now, you really can’t go wrong with them!

Try Out the Best VPN for Ghana Today!

» Visit HideMyAss

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2. IP Vanish

Positives: Servers located inSouth Africa, Egypt, India and Europe, good VPN client, great network speeds

Negatives: Claims to keep no logs undermined by its actions, P2P: no, only one simultaneous connection

Another large company with servers in lots of handy locations, such as South Africa, Egypt, India and all over Europe, IPVanish is one of the fastest services we have tried. It also claims to keep no logs and to use shared IP addresses (to make individual identification of its users with any internet activity almost impossible). However, the fact that we received as a disconnection warning for alleged file sharing from them makes a mockery of these claims.

» Visit IPVanish

3. AirVPN

Positives: accepts Bitcoin, no logs, 256-bit AES encryption, dynamic port forwarding, real-time user and server statistics, support for Tor over VPN and VPN through SSL and SSH tunnels, good speeds, 3 day free trial, P2P: yes

Negatives: No simultaneous connections

If privacy and security are a top priority for you, then AirVPN is one of the best choices available. Not only does it voluntarily abide by various EU privacy directives and codes of best practice, keeps no logs, accepts anonymous payment via Bitcoin, and uses ultra-secure 256-bit AES encryption, but it supports amazingly secure VPN technologies such as VPN over Tor, and VPN through SSL and SSH tunnels. Although its closest servers to Ghana are in Europe, AirVPN provides some of the best presented network statistics in the business, so choosing the best available server should be very easy. The only real downside of AirVPN’s service is that it only allows one device to be connected at a time.

» Visit AirVPN

4. PIA

Positives: no logs, great attitude to privacy, very fast, accepts Bitcoin, VPN client has some great features, P2P: yes, Android app, pre-configured routers available, 3 simultaneous connections

Negatives: US company

Combining the utmost regard for privacy with a raft of funky features, Private Internet Access has through no fault of its own slipped a little in our favor, in light of the recent NSA spaying revelations and it being a US company. For the time being we trust it (although this may not last), and if you can overlook this fact, it is one of the best VPN providers out there. It keeps no logs, accepts Bitcoin payments, uses shared IP’s, has an Android app, and pre-configured routers are available. It also has a great Windows and OSX VPN client featuring DNS leak protection, an internet kill switch, IPv6 leak protection and port forwarding.

» Visit PIA

5. Mullvad

Positives: accepts Bitcoin, no logs, good speeds, cheap, client features internet kill switch and DNS leak protection, P2P: yes, 3 simultaneous connections

Negatives: None (but servers only in Northern Europe)

For many of PIA’s greatest features in a slightly rough-around-the-edges, but with a heart of gold package, small Swedish company Mullvad is a fantastic choice. The VPN client features DNS leak protection, port forwarding, an internet kill switch, and server load statistics, while Mullvad keeps no logs, uses shared IP’s, and accepts not only Bitcoin, but cash sent by post. Brilliant! And, of course, it’s not based in the US (or UK).

» Visit Mullvad


As more and more users in Ghana join the world-wide community of ‘netizens’, the more it becomes important to maintain your privacy and anonymity online. Even if you are not worried about government spying, or any possible social consequences if your online habits were to become public, everyone has a right to their privacy, and using a VPN service is an easy and effective means protecting yours.

And here’s the summary once more:


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Published 2013-07-01
Douglas Crawford Written by Douglas Crawford

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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6 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Ghana

    1. Hi rodney,

      This should be no problem – just sighup for a VPN service, and then give your friend the login details.

    1. Hi Major,

      As with much of Africa this is true, which is why the article lists VPN services with servers located as close to Ghana as are available. This is useful for those in Ghana who want the privacy and protection afforded by VPN, but those who want to geo-spoof a Ghana location will have to rely on proxy servers.

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