Although the Internet is open and free in Costa Rica that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a VPN. Because, it can still be limited in some places, such as your workplace, school, university, and so on. And let’s not forget when you have to visit some other country where the Internet is filtered.
Another aspect of why you (all of us) need a VPN is to be able to access services that are not available at our current place of residence. I’m talking about things like US Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, etc. Even when these streaming services are available in your country, you don’t get access to the same catalog of movies and TV shows… And that has little to do with said services and everything to do with the way content rights are bought and sold on today’s market.
The third argument we want to emphasize is that a VPN makes you anonymous online with the likes of Google and Facebook not being able to track your web whereabouts. And the same goes for various government agencies that seemingly can’t get enough of our data.
That being said, here are the best VPNs for Costa Rica:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- It's super fast!
- Works with Netflix, BBC and others
- Easy to use apps, browser extensions
- You can try it for free!
- Some advanced features are not configurable
- Not the best for high-censorship countries
Furthermore, thanks to the availability of browser extensions - Hotspot Shield is also one of our top choices for Chrome and Firefox VPNs.
Your privacy is equally well protected, with the software only collecting some anonymized that help continually improve its service.
There is one caveat though - it won't work in high-censorship countries like China. If you don't need that in the first place, we highly recommend Hotspot Shield.
As that's typically the case with most VPN services out there, the longer you commit - the better deal you get. However, what makes Hotspot Shield even better is the fact that it offers a 7-day free trial of its service. A few other top VPN providers do the same. Plus, its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days, making for a risk-free purchase. Cause, you can always get your money back. Sweet and just the way we like it.
- One the best VPNs for torrenting
- Works well with Netflix
- Simple setup on all popular devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
- Doesn't work in China
Its desktop apps are not among the prettiest ones, but they get the job done. The important thing is that installation is easy and straightforward, and that no logs are kept by the company.
When it comes to pricing, IPVanish is somewhere in the middle — it's not the most affordable option but also not the most expensive one. As noted, it will be most appreciated by heavy BitTorrent users, and — related — Kodi fans.
- Reliable download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Lets you use it on unlimited number of devices
- Low number of servers in Africa and Australia
You can rely on it for streaming and torrenting, with included extra features like CleanWeb and MultiHop, delivering a that much better — and more secure — experience.
Surfshark, the company, is based in the British Virgin Islands and with its zero-logs policy makes for a powerful combo to anyone looking to keep its web whereabouts under the radar.
The service is easy to use and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Internet censorship in Costa Rica
As noted above, the Internet is open in the country with no government restrictions being noted. If the government wants to spy on its citizens, it needs judicial oversight by law.
Costa Rica’s constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. Individuals are generally free to criticize the government openly without reprisal. The law limits hate speech in publications with regard to ethnic origin and race.
The problem is that the government continues to support legislation that imposes criminal penalties — including lengthy jail sentences — instead of fines for press infractions such as libel. Some journalists believe such legislation promotes self-censorship and we kinda agree with that since such practices don’t exist in the West.
Related to that, in July 2012 – the country’s president enacted Article 288, which includes amendments to the criminal code that establish a sentence of between four and eight years’ imprisonment for any individual trying to obtain inappropriately secret political information. Journalists and media organizations criticized the law, arguing it restricted access to information of public interest.
Top 5 reasons for using a VPN in Costa Rica
Despite the open Internet, there are still reasons why you should want to have a VPN on your devices:
1. Access to streaming services
Instead of using the local “variant” of Netflix, why not sign-up for the US version, which has the bigger catalog of movies and TV shows. Or, you may want to join the HBO Max party but can’t do it from Costa Rica — at least not without a VPN. Cause with a VPN, you can be virtually wherever you want.
Did you know that many ISPs block or throttle Internet speeds when users are downloading and uploading stuff with BitTorrent? Also, as far as you (don’t) know, you may be downloading copyrighted material and potentially face a fine. Not if you’re using a VPN – when your ISP will have no idea what you’re doing on the Internet.
3. Increased security
With a VPN, everything you do online is encrypted — not just when you visit HTTPS websites. This also applies to various apps you may be using on your computer or phone that “talk” to a remote server. No one will be able to get any meaningful information if he/she managed to intercept your traffic flow. Which brings us to the next section…
4. Using public Wi-Fi hotspots
The encryption a VPN provides is particularly important when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots, which may also be used by a tech-savvy hacker — who in turn may be able to intercept your data and potentially get ahold of your personal information. In case you wonder, these so-called “man in the middle” attacks happen more often than you would think.
Yes, you need a VPN for Costa Rica
And not just for Costa Rica but for the entire world. You need a VPN that will cover all your existing and future needs, and do that across platforms and devices. A good VPN will have your back in many situations, including:
- Accessing content that could otherwise be restricted in your physical location.
- Preventing tracking and minimizing your digital footprint so that no one can track you online (at least not that easily).
- Avoiding throttling from your ISP – which is known to happen when you’re torrenting or accessing video streaming services.
- Bypassing firewalls in a workplace, university, school and so on.
- Bypassing censorship in places like China, North Korea, countries in the Middle East, and even Turkey and Russia.
- Securely connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots – with a VPN encrypting all the traffic coming to and from your devices.
The bottom line is – get a VPN that fits all your needs. The top contenders include the following: