Cuba and VPN are two words that could be closely linked for sometime now, following significant restrictions in the country on internet freedoms. The Cuban government has placed bans on plenty of content but the blocking of telecommunications company Cuballama seems to be the last straw for many, who are seeking their online freedom back.
The Cuban government has worked hard to create a network infrastructure to get its country online, especially in the face of US embargo restrictions. But since it was so heavily involved that has meant a lot of state controlled and censored content. Cue a VPN for Cuba.
They aren't only a good option for those on holiday in Cuba that want to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more as if they were back home. Or for travellers to securely get on potentially hostile and data-thieving open Wi-Fi in hotels, airports and coffee shops. Cuba VPNs are also useful for local residents that want to get an unbiased source of news media.
What makes a good VPN for Cuba?
Why you can trust TechRadar
Our top rated provider is ExpressVPN thanks to its great balance of security, speed and reliability.
Since government snooping is something most VPN users likely want to avoid, a priority is great security. Look for promises not to log any of your personal information in the (unlikely) event that the government seizes the servers. Added security layers like kill switches and double encryption are also invaluable in Cuba when it comes to retaining your anonymity.
Speed is definitely a factor - you'll want a light VPN for Cuba that doesn't slow down your connection. Lots of servers can be helpful, especially ones close to the country. And if you are one of those travellers looking to enjoy Havana and everything else the country has to offer - but still don't want to be without creature comforts like your home news sources and Netflix catalogue - make sure your Cuba VPN of choice has an excellent reputation for unblocking sites and services.
The best Cuba VPN in 2020 is:
Our #1 ranked VPN has it all
Nearest servers: Miami, Bahamas, Tampa, Guatemala | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Maximum devices supported: 5 | Trial length: 30 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes
ExpressVPN is a superb Cuba VPN option that will offer lots of features to cover off most situations, only at a bit of a higher price than the competition. The extra cost is well worth paying, in our view, as this provider tops our list of the best overall VPNs in the world.
Yes this is secure, yes it's fast and yes it's reliable but we particularly like the 24/7 live chat support. This means should Cuba prove challenging when it comes to connections, you have help ready and waiting to get you online immediately. And they really are helpful, usually coming to your assistance in seconds and having your issue sorted soon afterwards.
There are plenty of other onboard treats to be had too, of course. These include enterprise grade AES-256 encryption, a fully functioning kill switch on most platforms (not on iPhone as yet), plenty of secure protocols to pick from and IPv6 leak protection. All of which means the Cuban government can't snoop your data and you can watch anything you like as if you were back home, yup, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
There is plenty more support in the form of articles, lots written in Spanish, and all that is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can essentially try before you buy.
Get the best Cuba VPN 2020 with 3 months FREE
As you can probably tell, we really rate ExpressVPN when it comes to staying safe in distant climes. And the good news is that TechRadar readers can get a little perk, too. ExpressVPN has agreed to give readers three months extra free when you sign up - fantastic value for a brilliant VPN for Cuba residents and visitors.
Souped-up security smarts from the world's best known VPN
Nearest servers: Miami, Costa Rica, Mexico | Number of servers: 5,400+ | Server locations: 80+ | Maximum devices supported: 6 | Trial length: 30 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes
NordVPN is a huge name in the VPN world - probably the biggest. That's not just because it's been around for a while (and advertises relentlessly on YouTUbe and podcasts) but thanks to honing its offering to near perfection.
The result is a superb combination of security, speed and reliability. For Cuba, specifically, this is ideal as it offers extra layers or privacy thanks to a double kill switch as well as a mind-bending 2048-bit encryption. No government is getting to you through that anytime soon.
NordVPN also boasts one of the largest numbers of servers of any premium VPN player (over 5,000) with options in nearby Miami, Costa Rica and Mexico. That should mean you should be able to rely on some of the best speeds in an already slowed down internet destination. It also means a reliable connection that you don't have to worry about dropping when you're using your mapping app in the middle of nowhere, for example.
Using Nord gives you access to everything blocked in Cuba, meaning even the Cuballama content will be available to you. You'll also be able to rely on video chat services like Skype, too, so you can stay internationally connected no matter where in the country you find yourself or, more importantly, on what Wi-Fi you're connected.
NordVPN does all this while keeping the price low too with some of the best deals reserved for longer commitment periods.
Affordable yet powerful VPN for Cuba
Nearest servers: Miami, Tampa | Number of servers: 1,700+ | Server locations: 100+ | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | Trial length: 30 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes
Look to Surfshark if you want to go for a cheap VPN that doesn't scrimp on speed or features. This manages to offer one of the lowest prices at $2.49 per month while also offering some of the fastest speeds thanks to servers close to Cuba in Miami and Tampa.
That affordable price doesn't mean you need to worry about security though as this offers a kill switch, lots of protocols, split tunneling plus the specialist HackLock and BlindSearch extras.
Surfshark will get around the geo restrictions of Cuba for access to whatever you need including any news feed, WhatsApp chat, Zoom calls and video streaming from the likes of Netflix. In our testing it does all this while keeping speeds high thanks to a good selection of servers.
Grab a great deal by going for the annual plan here and enjoy all those features for less.
4. Hotspot Shield
Superb speed and simplicity in Cuba and beyond
Nearest servers : Miami, Costa Rica, Mexico | Number of servers: 1,800+ | Server locations: 80+ | Maximum devices supported: 5 | Trial length: 45 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes
Hotspot Shield is a solid VPN choice for Cuba. It has lots of servers close by, offers a free version, if data limits aren't an issue for you, and has a rather uniquely long 45-day money-back guarantee.
Unlike many of the other options on this list, Hotspot Shield offers its own proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. That equates to some very fast speeds, so even if you're limited by Cuba's connections, this will max out whatever you're working with.
This will get around geo restrictions, offers some very easy to use apps and even has 24/7 live chat support. Stream Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Disney+ easily. The only could-be-major issue is a lack of Amazon Prime Video VPN unblocking and the fact this works on Mac, PC, smartphone and tablet only – no smart TV action here. But for Cuba travellers that shouldn't be a deal breaker.
Pricing is very reasonable and with that long money-back guarantee this is well worth a try if the free version's data limit is going to hold you back.
An option filled VPN for Cuba
Nearest servers: Costa Rica, Venezuela, Miami, Bahamas | Number of servers: 6,900+ | Server locations: 110+ | Maximum devices supported: 7 | Trial length: 45 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes
CyberGhost offers more than 6,000 servers spread across 60 countries which is one of the most impressive selections out there right now. That includes plenty close by to Cuba meaning great speeds with options including Costa Rica, Venezuela, Miami, Bahamas.
Whichever server you go for there is a great unblocking system in place for getting to content, even when in Cuba. You can also stream video as if back at home meaning you won't miss your latest Netflix show. Plus you get great speeds from that wide server selection.
The apps are very easy to use. This could also be seen as a negative for those that want more in depth functionality. But with lots of customization options this is a great VPN for Cuba and beyond.