ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs for Mexico

Internet use in Mexico has expanded hugely in the last few years, with penetration growing from just 5 percent in 2002 to 36 percent in 2012, and it is now estimated than some 70 million citizens are internet users.

At first glance, the fact that 35 percent of internet users in Mexico use a VPN service seems a little strange, as Mexico has almost no laws or technical controls restricting freedom of expression (on or off-line), does not censor websites (a very limited ban of websites parodying government officials or accusing them of corruption excepted), and performs only minimum surveillance on its citizens. P2P downloading is also a non-issue.

Unfortunately, ongoing drug-related violence and lawlessness (often allowed to flourish by corrupt politicians), and in particular violence against both journalists and private bloggers and social media commentators, has led to a high degree of self-censorship. Many Mexican citizens are therefore likely using VPN to protect their identities, allowing them to speak out, and attain a measure of freedom of speech without putting themselves and their families in jeopardy.

We will look at the Issues surround VPN use in Mexico after listing our top five providers.


Best VPNs for Mexico Summary

Disclosure: compensated affiliate: click here for more information

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

PrivateInternetAccess Logo
Read Review9.6/10
$3.33 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN Logo
Read Review9.2/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

LiquidVPN Logo
Read Review8.8/10
$4.99 / monthVisit Site

5

TorGuard Logo
Read Review8/10
$4.99 / monthVisit Site
Winner

ExpressVPN

Best Mexico VPN

  • PROS
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Funky Android app
  • No usage logs
  • Great speeds
  • Great iOS support
  • Servers in Panama and Costa Rica (as well as all over the US)
  • CONS
  • No simultaneous connections
  • US based

Based in the US but with servers also in Panama and Costa Rica, ExpressVPN is a great all-round choice as it offers a balanced range of services perfect for the mainstream VPN user. It keeps no usage logs (although some connection logs are kept), has great speed performance, and has simple but highly functional Windows and OSX clients. It also has nifty apps for Android and iOS devices, perfect for protecting your internet connection on the move, with the Android in particular deserving praise for its elegant Home screen widget. With a very generous 30 day no quibble money back guarantee, there is little reason not to give ExpressVPN a try.

Try Out the Best VPN for Mexico Today!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30 day moneyback guarantee

2nd place

PIA

  • PROS
  • No logs
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Fast
  • Up to 256-bit AES OpenVPN encryption
  • Uses shared IPs
  • Client features port forwarding
  • VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection
  • 5 simultaneous connection
  • Android app
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • No free trial
  • Based in US

Another US company, PIA has a fearsome reputation when it comes to protecting users’ privacy, as it keeps no logs keep, uses shared IPs, and accepts anonymous payment via Bitcoins. It also has newly implemented strong OpenVPN encryption (to up to 256-bit AES OpenVPN, with SHA-256 hash authentication and 4096-bit RSA handshake encryption), a very fully featured Windows and OSX client with DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection, port forwarding, and an internet kill switch, and allows up to five devices to connect at once (ideal for using with its excellent Android app). Some people complain about PIA being ‘over techy’, but more experienced users will likely love it.

» Visit PIA


3rd place

NordVPN

  • PROS
  • No logs
  • Accepts Bitcoins
  • 256-bit AES with ‘double encrytpion’
  • Tor over VPN
  • 2 simultaneous connections
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • Inconsistent connection speeds

If the NSA and its implications for US based VPN provider’s security concerns you, the somewhat paradoxically named NordVPN is an excellent choice. Based in Panama, it has a ‘no logs at all’ policy, uses 256-bit AES encryption, and accepts anonymous payment using Bitcoins. It has just recently rolled out a new ‘double encryption’ feature, were data is passed between two server nodes between you and the internet, being encrypted each time, which sounds fantastic, and fully supports Tor over VPN as well. Unfortunately, although based in Panama, NordVPN has no servers located there, so you have to choose between closer US servers, or more secure (but slower thanks to the distance) European ones.

» Visit NordVPN


4th place

LiquidVPN

  • PROS
  • Modulating (shared) IPs
  • Strong 256-bit non NIST encrytion
  • No usage logs
  • Fantastic client with customizable scripts
  • Basic service is very cheap
  • 4 simultaneous connections on Pro service
  • Port forwarding
  • Stealth server
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • Based in US

This new provider is making something of a splash (excuse the pun) in the VPN world thanks to its adoption of innovative technologies, such as its flagship ‘modulating IPs’, which continually change your IP address, making it very difficult to track your actions on the internet. The fact that it is the only provider to start to move away from NIST encryption standards is also praiseworthy, as is the excellent and highly customisable VPN client which can run scripts such as Fix DNS leaks, Disable Internet on VPN, Close Program on VPN Disconnect, and many more. Also cool is the option to use add an extra layer of security by connecting to a server using a second TLS key (although this comes at a cost in speed). LiquidVPN keeps no usage logs and uses 256-bit encryption.

» Visit LiquidVPN


5th place

TorGuard

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 18.38.21

  • PROS
  • No logs
  • Very fast
  • Shared IPs
  • SSH tunnelling
  • DD-WRT routers
  • Server status information
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • Encryption ranges from great to meh, customer service could be better
  • Jurisdiction uncertain

TorGuard has improved over the last year, and now offers a fast no logs service, uses shared IP’s, and has a great Android app. Which county’s jurisdiction it falls under is somewhat unclear (parent in Nevis, HQ in US), but it seems to have things in hand (the nearest servers are in the US). TorGuard accepts Bitcoins, runs stealth servers to evade censorship firewalls (not admittedly a big problem in Mexico), offers SSH tunnelling, and provides server information. The 30 day money back guarantee sounds good, but you should note that it is limited to 10 GB of data.

» Visit TorGuard


Considerations for Mexican VPN Services

Government surveillance

In the elections of 2000 Mexico freed itself from 70 years of oppressive rule by the Institutionally Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had imposed heavy handed control of the national media, and under which self-censorship was common practice.

The newly elected President Felipe Calderon and his right-wing conservative National Action Party (PAN), however, became increasingly mired in the ever more violent War on Drugs and, dogged by reports of official corruption and human rights abuses, Calderon lost the 2012 elections and the PRI returned.

In an effort to control the organized drug cartels, surveillance capacity was increased during Calderon’s presidency. In March 2012, the Mexican Congress approved new legislation giving the police more access to online information, and between 2011 and 2012 the Mexican Armed Forces were provided with new advanced surveillance equipment, including mobile phone and online communications software designed to monitor Mexican citizens.

Although the current government has not expanded on these measures (to our knowledge), they remain in use. Their scope is however primarily limited to detecting drug-gang related intelligence, and general it is fair to say that government surveillance is minimal.

Narco-violence and self-censorship

A much bigger problem  is violence towards journalists covering the War on Drugs, which includes a large number of high profile murders, a problem made worse by the alleged complicity of corrupt government officials.

This has in turn meant that mainstream media outlets are less willing to cover drug related news stories, a problem compounded by the fact that Mexico’s main broadcast news channels, Televisa and Television Aztec, are owned by two of Mexico’s wealthiest citizens, who are widely considered part of the corrupt ruling oligarchy (these were the only two open television channels available, but in June 2013 Congress approved another two.)

Ordinary Mexicans therefore rely heavily on on-line sources for their narco-violence related news. Websites such as Narco News are popular, but social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have also become invaluable sources of information.

Unfortunately drug gangs have retaliated against ordinary social network commentators and bloggers, leading to gruesome murders such as those of two Twitter users found hanging from a bridge, and the killing of at least two bloggers in the state Taumalipas.

‘A message [was] left under the decapitated head of “El Rascatripas,” a moderator for the website Nuevo Laredo en Vivo, where citizens anonymously report narco-violence. The note reads: “Hello! I’m Rascatripas and this happened to me for failing to understand that I should not report things on social media websites…With this last report I bid farewell to Nuevo Laredo en Vivo… Your moderator, Rascatripas.”’

The 2011 report goes on to note that another ‘three users of the website have already been slain’.

The government has passed a number of laws aimed at protecting social media users, including the General Victims Law, but these have so far either not been implemented, or have been ineffective, so it is unsurprisingly that the fearful response from most internet users is to practice self-censorship. This likely explains the high levels of VPN in use in Mexico, as many citizens seek (as a matter of life or death) to hide their real-world identities when expressing opinions online.

Copyright infringement

Much to US business’ chagrin, Mexico is a hotbed of counterfeiting and piracy, which is estimated to be a $12.5 billion business. P2P downloading is also rife, and no efforts are made to stop it. In June last year however, without the support of the rest of his government, which had so far resisted US attempts to coerce it into signing the highly controversial international intellectual property enforcement treaty, Mexico’s ambassador to Japan signed the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Amid mass media outrage, and heavy opposition from within all political parties, the treaty has yet to ratified, and the government appears happy to let the situation hang. US pressure may however force its hand at some point in the future.

Update 15 April 2014: Proposed changes to the Telecommunication Law have caused alarm among digital rights activists, who fear they make mass surveillance of citizens’ online activities lawful, and provide a framework for imposing online censorship, easily and without any oversight. For more details, see here.


Mexico VPNs Summary

Disclosure: compensated affiliate: click here for more information

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

PrivateInternetAccess Logo
Read Review9.6/10
$3.33 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN Logo
Read Review9.2/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

LiquidVPN Logo
Read Review8.8/10
$4.99 / monthVisit Site

5

TorGuard Logo
Read Review8/10
$4.99 / monthVisit Site

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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