Cuba is no stranger to Internet censorship, and recent news of US-based news websites being blocked has drastically increased the popularity of the best VPN services. In fact, a Cuba VPN is the only way to access a truly free Internet today, and whether the news is good or bad, many argue that they have a right to read it.
While Cuba has long struggled to deliver a reasonably priced and effective internet network to its citizens – hampered by the US embargo, state-monopolized services and censorship of media – recent actions have made Cuba VPNs even more essential for anyone on Cuban soil. That goes for holidaymakers as well as residents. Here, we’ll be running down your best options and what you should look for in a Cuba VPN.
What makes the best Cuba VPN?
The Cuban government operates a policy of censorship and openly monitors activity, so your top priority should be the privacy and security of your data. On top of this, the main way of getting online is through potentially dangerous unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots. A VPN can protect you from hackers using these hotspots as a way of stealing your data – learn more about how to use a VPN to stay safe on public Wi-Fi.
Seeing as Internet speeds are slow in Cuba, you need a VPN that's fast to make the most of what you can get. Plus, although you might not get HD streaming, being able to watch the shows you're used to will be welcome, so keep an eye out for VPNs that can unblock streaming sites.
Overall, we rate ExpressVPN as the best Cuba VPN thanks to its combination of unbeatable privacy, great performance for unblock sites, and reliable servers. However, below we've rounded up a number of other excellent options which might suit you better.
1. ExpressVPN – the best premium Cuba VPN
ExpressVPN is the most fully-featured Cuba VPN today. For holidaymakers looking to access the web like they do at home, as well as residents looking for web freedom, Express is the best option – plus Tom's Guide readers can claim three free months on a 12-month plan.
2. NordVPN – excellent security-focused Cuba VPN
NordVPN has a great combination of rock-solid privacy & security plus an affordable price point. It's great for unblocking content and restricted sites, and it has great apps for pretty much everything. For just $3.71 a month it offers an excellent all-round service.
3. Surfshark – the best VPN for Cuban residents
Thanks to Surfshark’s excellent pricing, it’s the perfect solution for those who want to pay as little as possible for great quality VPN cover. While it’s not quite as powerful as ExpressVPN, it can unblock everything you need and delivers a quick, easy experience. Plus, at just $2.49 a month, it’s great value.
The best Cuba VPNs today
Whether you’re heading to Cuba for a holiday to admire the glorious scenery and time-warp vehicles, or you're a resident who wants to avoid the government's restrictions and stay safe online, ExpressVPN is the best all-round Cuba VPN on the market – and according to our ExpressVPN review, it's great for just about everywhere else as well
Due to the fact that few people have access to personal internet connections and rely on public Wi-Fi to get connected, Cuba's internet users are among the most vulnerable to cyberattacks in the world. Thankfully, ExpressVPN's powerful 256-bit encryption and verified no-logging policy will keep you safe and sound.
It's not just about specs on paper, though. While it delivers tons of in-depth features, ExpressVPN remains incredibly easy to use, making it possible for even the most inexperienced users to access blocked news sources and stay private online in seconds.
What's more, Express also boasts the best support in the business. You'll have access to a huge number of support articles (many of which are also available in Spanish), but its live-chat is the star of the show. The operators will be able to help you out in minutes with whatever problem you're having, which again makes it easy to get protected if you're not a computer expert.
However, while it might not be an issue for holidaymakers, Cuban nationals seeking online security may find it hard to justify paying $6.67 a month when there are other cheaper options available. If you can spare the price of a subscription, though, ExpressVPN is hard to find fault with.
Get 49% off plus 3 free months of the best Cuba VPN
Tom’s Guide readers can get three free months of ExpressVPN by signing up to its 12 month plan. However, if it’s not for you, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all its plans, so there's no risk in case you change your mind.
If ExpressVPN is a bit expensive, NordVPN is an excellent alternative. Great encryption comes as standard, as does a functional kill switch, split tunneling, P2P support of on all servers, and a wide variety of server locations near Cuba itself – learn more in our full NordVPN review.
You'll also be able to access everything that's blocked by the government, including the recently banned Cuballama, along with services such as Skype and restricted news sources.
What makes Nord great, though, are its powerful and configurable apps. While the mobile versions are a little cramped, you'll be able to switch protocols, use a kill switch, and choose from over 5,000 servers worldwide – with a good selection near Cuba, too, to maximize speeds.
Although other VPNs in this guide might provide marginally better-featured services, for users living in Cuba price is going to influence the decision substantially. So, at just $3.71 a month, NordVPN provides an excellent combination of performance and value.
NordVPN – powerful, private Cuba VPN
With class-leading encryption, a proven ability to sidestep government restrictions and excellent apps, NordVPN is one of the best Cuba VPN services on the market. And, at just $3.71 a month, it's really affordable, too.
For those looking to spend as little as possible, Surfshark could be your best option. At just $2.49 a month it's the cheapest service on this list, but don't let that fool you – it performed very well in our full Surfshark review.
Surfshark provides an excellent privacy service, and excels at unblocking restricted content all around the world – it also works great as a China VPN, where Western internet is almost entirely banned.
One of Surfshark's greatest assets is its simplicity. While it lacks some of the in-depth features of NordVPN or ExpressVPN, you'll get pretty much everything you need in an attractive, functional package. That includes split tunneling, a kill switch, a choice of protocols, and extra features like HackLock and BlindSearch.
If you can find an internet connection that's fast enough to stream on, Surfshark's great for unblocking overseas TV and film, but even if not, you can be sure that it's quick enough to ensure you're making the most of your connection, no matter how fast or slow it is.
However, our favorite feature is Surfshark's unlimited connections policy. That means that with just one subscription you can cover as many devices as you like. And again, for just $2.49 it's a seriously powerful bit of software for a great price, and it should definitely be on your list of Cuba VPNs to consider.
As one of the most popular VPNs on the market, we found in our CyberGhost VPN review that the provider offers great speeds, excellent security and fairly easy-to-use apps.
Although possibly not hugely important for those looking for a Cuba VPN, CyberGhost is a top streaming VPN, with dedicated filters to tell you which server works best for what.
What is useful, though, is that fact that the service is great for unblocking restricted content – and its huge number of servers means you'll have the best chance of getting the maximum speed from your connection.
CyberGhost's apps are a little crude compared to the competition, but when you consider the price and the number of servers you're getting access to, it offers excellent value.
In our IPVanish review we really liked the service, as it delivers a powerful, in-depth service that's totally unique.
While it provides all the functions you'd expect – split tunneling, a kill switch, plenty of servers – the aesthetic is very different to many of its competitors'. Boasting rolling graphs with data up and down and loads more info besides, it's very 'techy'.
However, while that might be to some people's taste, for others it may seem a little complex. But, looks aside, IPVanish is an excellent Cuba VPN that has the ability to get around governmental blocks on the web and protect your sensitive information.
Cuba VPN FAQ
Is it legal to have a Cuba VPN?
While Cuba's internet restrictions are some of the strictest in the world, we're happy to say that no legal action has been taken against VPNs. Residents and visitors alike are perfectly allowed to use a Cuba VPN if they want to.
However, that doesn't make breaking the law legal when using a VPN, so you still have to be careful with what you're doing online.