Turkmenistan is still a mystery to many travelers, but those who have ventured into this small country in Central Asia, have discovered beautiful landscapes and unique buildings. While the dictatorship of Saparmyrat Niyazov came to an end in 2006 when he died, the country is still considered as not free. After Niyazov’s death, a special presidential election was held and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who acted as Deputy Prime Minister under Niyazov’s regime, became victorious in February 2007 and he has been the head of state since then. Under Berdimuhamedow’s government, the media in Turkmenistan is subject to strict control. Although press freedom and freedom of expression are protected under the constitution, in reality this is not respected.
In 2013, a law that aimed at protecting freedom of speech and preventing censorship and government interference was approved. However, there have not been real changes and there are still restrictions imposed on the press, as well as on the rest of the population. The repressive conditions in Turkmenistan and the fact that only 15% of people have access to internet, have turned the country into one of the worst scenarios for online freedom and privacy. Although internet is becoming faster, more affordable and its availability has extended, it is still very limited. People who live in the capital Ashgabat or who visit the city and other big towns, can use internet cafes run by the government. However, it is required that you leave your passport with the administrator while you use this service.
It is also possible to find internet in some high-end hotels, but the rates for one hour are very high and the speed and reliability of the connection are very poor. Even though there is a good wireless connection in the luxurious Oguzkent Hotel in Ashgabat, or you can get a local sim card for mobile navigation, it is still important to keep in mind that all your emails and websites visited are likely to be monitored since all internet access is controlled by a company owned by the state. In addition, popular sites like Facebook and Twitter are blocked, and the same goes for news and politics websites. Given the heavy restrictions in place and the risks for privacy, using a VPN service in Turkmenistan is a must. Here are the best options available.
For users in Turkmenistan, protecting their privacy is crucial since everything they do online may be being monitored. NordVPN is an excellent choice for anyone who want to add a strong layer of security to their connection. They are located in Panama, where data retention laws are not mandatory. Plus, they have a strong no logs policy that will give peace of mind even to the most paranoid users. Advanced options like Tor over VPN and Double VPN will help you to keep your identity protected. You will also be able to bypass censorship and geo-location restrictions to access any content you want.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access may be a low-priced internet service, but its high quality has transformed it into one of the most successful names in the VPN industry. PIA has servers in over 30 countries. This may not seem like a lot at first, but the network features over 3000 servers in strategic locations so you won’t have issues bypassing restrictions. Plus, PIA protects your internet traffic with high encryption and it doesn’t keep logs of your activities. In fact, PIA is one of the providers known for staying true to its word by not handing over any data because it simply doesn’t have any records to provide. This commitment to privacy make it a great choice for users in Turkmenistan. PureVPN is based in Hong Kong and it is offers an impressive network that gives you access to servers in over 140 countries. The speeds are generally very good and since there are many options to connect to, you are always set to find an option that suits your needs. They don’t keep logs of your online traffic, so your communications, your browsing history and anything else that you do on the internet, will remain private. They have features that are ideal for streaming content without delays and that will also enable you to play online games with great pings. Thanks to the security and versatility that it offers, PureVPN is another top choice for users in Turkmenistan.
CyberGhost is another well-known service that protects your information and helps you to overcome restrictions, without putting your privacy at risk. This provider gives you access to more than 3000 servers in over 50 countries. CyberGhost doesn’t keep logs so there are no records of the websites you visit, or your IP address. The advanced unblocking features ensure that you overcome blocks effectively. You can stream content from anywhere, or play games with reduced ping. CyberGhost is a reliable choice to secure your internet traffic in countries with heavy restrictions, such as Turkmenistan.