Although Ethiopia is one of the destinations that many governments warn against, or at least ask their citizens to exercise extra caution if they decide to go, particularly to specific regions, this African country offers stunning landscape, impressive wildlife and mysterious and beautiful constructions such as the rock-cut churches in Lalibela. If you are visiting Ethiopia, it is important that you keep in mind that apart from the security issues involved, the political unrest that has gripped the country over the last months, has also resulted in heavier measures to restrict internet access. Ethiopia is one of the nations with the lowest percentage of internet users with only 4.2 % of the population able to access this technology.
The country was already part of the list of countries where the internet is subject to strict censorship, but following the recent wave of protests in Ethiopia, the government has implemented further blocks and it has been reported that Social Media websites cannot be accessed. The authorities have control over the media and their power over the industry has affected the advance of the internet in the country. The infrastructure leaves much to be desired and the government has the power to censor opposition websites and it also monitors the electronic communications of dissidents. No wonder why, the status of Ethiopia as per Freedom House is “Not Free”.
Violence and censorship are still affecting the population, and given that the internet is such as large platform for communication and expression the Ethiopian government has targeted it continuously. Mobile internet connectivity has been shut down in several occasions as a way to prevent the population to share or read critical opinions. Ethiopia only has one telecommunications provider, Ethio Telecom, which is owned by the state. As such, internet connectivity is not reliable and you are likely to face restrictions on a regular basis. Bloggers, activists, journalists and anyone who wants to express their opinions need to protect their identity using privacy tools such as VPNs. Even if you are only a visitor and only want to browse the internet freely, a VPN is a must-have in Ethiopia.
A VPN encrypts your entire traffic, scrambling the data and making it impossible to read for others. A secure tunnel is set to direct your online traffic and protect it from eavesdropping, monitoring and hacking. This gives you privacy and prevents third-parties from seeing what you do online. In addition, a VPN hides your real IP address, which makes things very difficult for anyone who may want to trace you. They will only see the address of the VPN server you are connected to and since this can be used by thousands of other users, there is no way to single you out. Furthermore, by connecting to a VPN server outside Ethiopia, you can bypass the online restrictions applied there and enjoy access to a larger selection of content. A VPN can help you to defend your right to online freedom in Ethiopia and we recommend the below services, which offer high security, good speeds and features that will allow you to access and share content securely.
VPNArea is another provider that offers advanced technology and it also has a solid commitment to protect your privacy and security. Your traffic is protected with AES-256 encryption VPNArea offers solutions to reinforce your privacy such as anti-DNS leaks, anti-IPv6 and anti-WebRTC protection, so you won’t need to worry about your real IP address being exposed. VPNArea has servers in over 60 countries including India and Egypt, which would allow users in Ethiopia to enjoy good speeds while changing their location to bypass government restrictions.
IPVanish is a zero logs provider that offers top technology to help you to defeat restrictions and protect your privacy. Since IPVanish is in charge of its own network of servers, it can guarantee a high level of reliability and fantastic speeds. IPVanish has over a thousand VPN servers in 60 countries and it protects your internet traffic with AES 256-bit encryption with SHA-256-bit authentication. They allow you to access websites and apps that are blocked in Ethiopia and the dedicated software available is very easy to use.
NordVPN is one of the strongest services in terms of security and privacy. This provider is based in Panama, a privacy-friendly location and it has a zero logs policy. NordVPN supports features that take the protection to your traffic to the next level, including double VPN. At the moment, NordVPN has over 1100 servers distributed across 56 countries. They are an affordable solution that protects your traffic with military-grade encryption and thanks to features like Kill Switch and DNS Leaks protection, you can keep your anonymity online. NordVPN is also easy to use and like the other providers in the list, it supports anonymous payment methods.