Turkmenistan is one of the countries with the highest level of censorship. Forget about China, they don’t come even close to what the government of Turkmenistan is doing. These guys (cause it’s mostly guys) don’t let their citizens access many, many “parts” of the Internet. And if someone is using a VPN, he/she could face jail time.
Therefore, you should not settle with just about any VPN but with one that will have your back even in countries as strict as Turkmenistan. Such a service will also protect you from the “evils of the West” that come in the form of tracking users across the world wide web. And yes, I’m looking at you Google and Facebook.
Additionally, a good VPN will also let you access any streaming service you want, while also keeping you protected when connecting to notoriously insecure public Wi-Fi networks.
To make the story shorter, there are many things a good VPN can do for you. The best VPNs to use in Turkmenistan include:
- 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.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- 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.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
Freedom of expression in Turkmenistan
Pretty much all mass media in Turkmenistan is controlled by the State, prompting Reporters Without Borders to place the country on the infamous third place on the list of worst press freedom conditions in the world. In case you wonder, the first two places were reserved for North Korea and Burma.
That was the situation in 2006, when each broadcast began with a pledge that the broadcaster’s tongue would shrivel if he slandered the country, flag, or president.
It has also been reported that journalists have been harassed by the government; some have been kept in prison and prosecuted with false accusations and unfair trials. Journalists frequently receive death threats and those collaborating with international media are being closely watched by the state’s security departments.
The situation on the Internet is similar
The Internet in Turkmenistan is heavily regulated and available only to a small fraction of the population. Censorship is ubiquitous and extensive. Surveillance is significant, and the few citizens who benefit from access to the Internet are closely monitored by state agencies. Self-censorship is common.
Websites run by human rights organizations and news agencies are blocked. Moreover, ordinary citizens have no access to the World Wide Web, and instead are limited to the use of the Turkmenet, an online community in Turkmen language, but effectively a censored version of the Internet that doesn’t include popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Attempts to get around this censorship can lead to grave consequences. Which brings us to the next point…
VPNs are illegal in Turkmenistan
That was the government’s response to people who found workarounds to access sites that are not deemed safe by the country’s censors. If people are caught with VPNs on their devices, they can and do face jail time. The sad truth is that it is not entirely difficult for governments to detect who is using a VPN, except if you have a good service. They can’t see what websites are being visited, but they have enough information to know that a VPN is being used to access these websites. The government knows what to look for, and they’re making it a priority to look for it.
You need a VPN for Turkmenistan
And you shouldn’t get just about any VPN out there as only the best will “cut it.” Do not worry though as we have tested more VPNs than we care to count and out of the bunch, we’ve selected those that won’t let you down. You can use them to bypass censorship in Turkmenistan as well as for other things, such as:
- 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: