Indonesia is a very specific country, an archipelago that includes more than 17,000 islands. But despite these geographic challenges, the majority of the population has access to the Internet.
However, not everyone can access the Internet in its entirety — at least not without a VPN. And so many folks in the country are using one to be able to keep a low profile on the world wide web, anonymously use BitTorrent, access video streaming services like US Netflix and Disney+, and so on.
In addition, a good VPN also protects users while connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots, which could also be used by a savvy hacker looking to get ahold of your personal information (and later sell it for profit).
Yes, you (all of us) need a VPN, and here are the best services for Indonesia:
- 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 Indonesia
Internet filtering exists in Indonesia. In the social arena, it is deemed “substantial,” and “selective” in the political and Internet tools arenas. OpenNet Initiative, which tested the country’s Internet practices during 2009 and 2010, has found no evidence of filtering in the conflict/security arena though it did note that Internet filtering is unsystematic and inconsistent.
In the Freedom on the Net 2015 report, the country was rated “partly free” with a score of 42 — a midway between the end of the “free” range at 30 and the start of the “not free” range at 60.
That medium score stems from the fact that the government wants to increase its control over offensive online content, particularly pornographic and anti-Islamic online content. In that sense, it regulates such content through legal and regulatory frameworks and partnerships with ISPs and Internet cafes.
The “famous” cases of Internet filtering
Among Indonesia’s notable “Internet victims” was YouTube when, back in 2008, Google did not respond to the government’s request to remove the film Fitna by the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders — which purportedly mocked the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
Another famous case was Facebook and in particular, one account that promoted a competition to draw Muhammad. And so in May 2010, the government of Indonesia sent a letter to Facebook urging the closure of that account, asked all ISPs to limit access to the account’s link, and invited the Indonesian Association of Internet Cafe Entrepreneurs to restrict access to the group. Due to opposition from the civil society, however, ISPs disregarded the government’s requests, and the account remained accessible.
Facebook — along with WhatsApp and Instagram — was also blocked in May 2019 three days after riots in Jakarta to prevent hoax and fake news.
Another popular app, Telegram, was blocked in 2017, as it was being used to spread “radical and terrorist propaganda.” Telegram was later unblocked after several agreements with the government.
Finally, starting from September 2018, a few websites — including Vimeo, Tumblr and Reddit — were censored as the government accused them of hosting content that includes nudity.
The use of VPNs is growing in Indonesia…
Several website shutdowns and filtering have prompted many folks in Indonesia to start using VPNs to be able to access the Internet in its entirety. With a good VPN running on their devices, it is virtually impossible for the government to know what they’re doing online, letting users browse the world wide web like it’s nobody’s business. Which, we think is the point of it all — that what you’re doing online should be your and your business only.
In addition, with a VPN you can access some content that could otherwise be outside of your reach, such as streaming services in the US or Europe, as well as any other content that could be protected with geo-filtering software.
And that’s just a start. Basically, we all need a VPN these days to keep us protected. One that will let us do many things, 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: