Breathtaking natural beauty, enchanting architecture and unique wildlife are just some of the things that can be discovered by visiting Ecuador. While it may be small in size, Ecuador offers an spectacular and diverse experience that includes beautiful beaches, impressive peaks, rainforests and even volcanic islands. However, the rich culture and the variety of the landscapes contrast with the restrictions that the government has imposed on freedom of expression over the last few years. Opposition organizations and those who speak against the government of president Rafael Correa, face verbal attacks as well as physical aggression. Freedom House classifies Ecuador as partly free due to the hostility that journalists and the opposition face in that country.
The Organic Law on Communications has been severely criticized by human rights activists and international press freedom organizations due to the restrictions that it is set to impose on the media. Under this law, the press us subject to controls from regulatory groups that hold a great amount of power. The wording of the legislation is ambiguous and leaves the door open for censorship of reports that criticize the government. Under the Organic Law on Communications, media outlets could be punished for posting content that goes against the government policies. They could even face economic hardship due to laws that limit the amount of ads that are placed in non-official outlets and the fact that advertisers are concerned about possible retaliation from the government, if they advertise on independent media.
Just over 40% of the population in Ecuador has access to the internet, but social media and online blogs have also been targeted by the government in its effort to silence its detractors. Some websites have gone as far as disabling its public comment sections to prevent any issues. Although there are no significant blocks or filters applied on websites in Ecuador, it has been reported that speech on social media networks is regularly monitored and users that are critical of the president on Twitter, have even faced threats. In March 2016, such was the case of a Twitter user whose house was vandalized and who was apparently followed after making comments against Correa in the social media platform.
The fear of facing penalties has lead to self-censorship in Ecuador, but those who want to be able to express their opinions and use social media without compromising their safety need to take measures to protect their privacy and anonymity. A VPN can help you to hide your identity and to keep your online activities private. This technology encrypts your online traffic, preventing third-parties from seeing what you do when you are connected to the internet. In addition, a VPN allows you to bypass geo-location restrictions so that you can get access to more content from around the world.
Here is a list of the best VPN services for Ecuador.
NordVPN is a provider based in Panama, where mandatory data retention laws are not applied. Thanks to this, NordVPN can offer a no logs policy and keep the online traffic of its customers truly private. With NordVPN you can also enjoy strong encryption to keep all your online activities protected from eavesdroppers and for added security, you can use features like double encryption and Tor over VPN. They have over 1000 servers in over 60 countries and allow up to 6 simultaneous connections.
ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries including Ecuador, but if you need to change your location, you can connect to servers in neighboring countries like Colombia, or to servers in the United States to access Hulu and other popular streaming services. ExpressVPN is a well-established solution that offers remarkable speeds and high quality service. The company is based in the British Virgin Islands and while the price of the plans is high when compared to other options, it is an investment worth making.
Buffered is a provider based in Hungary and it has a strong commitment to privacy. The service is designed to ensure that you enjoy online freedom, as well as fantastic speeds. It is ideal for streaming, but it also offers high encryption to keep your internet traffic safe. They don’t keep logs of your activities and you can connect to servers in over 40 countries. The advanced technology that Buffered offers, will allow you to defeat restrictions easily. You can connect up to five devices at the same time and enjoy the protection and flexibility that Buffered offers, in your tablet, smartphone, computer and more.
PureVPN gives you great value for money as it has over 750 servers in 141 countries, including Ecuador and it supports convenient features that will allow you to keep your connection secure. With PureVPN, you get a high level of encryption and they don’t keep logs of your online activities. The provider is based in Hong Kong, which is one of the countries where online freedom is highly respected. This makes PureVPN an ideal solution for users in Ecuador. PureVPN also allows you to enjoy great speeds for streaming or gaming.