Landlocked Serbia is one of the biggest nations in the Balkan peninsula. In this article, we’ll explain how visitors and permanent residents can choose a VPN to use in the country. We’ll start by explaining how a VPN can help unlock content from abroad. We’ll continue by explaining national data privacy and censorship laws. Then we’ll get into what you ought to look for in a VPN – and list 4 top service providers for Serbia. We’ll cap off by discussing why you might want to avoid free VPNs.
What to look for in a good VPN
The main reasons to get a VPN in Serbia are access to international content, ability to overcome censorship and data privacy. Below, we cover the main VPN features that help succeed at all 3:
- Logging policy – low-quality VPNs, especially free ones, log your data – and either store it locally or sell it to third-party corporations and marketers for a profit. Great VPNs store virtually no logs at all, meaning that they can’t give up your data even if pressured to do so.
- Speed limits – the best VPNs have no restrictions on download and streaming speed, meaning you can enjoy videos, music and more without buffering periods, grainy videos, and other problems.
- Server network size – the more countries a VPN has servers in, the more content you can watch. For example, the US has the best Netflix library; the UK has BBC iPlayer; Eastern European countries have their own online video services. With a quality VPN, you can access all this content (and more) by getting local IPs.
- Encryption – Serbian law asks ISPs to store data for up to a year. A VPN can encode your data, making sure your ISP can’t access it or hand it over to the government.
The best VPNs for use in Serbia
Now that you know what to look for in a quality provider, here’s our list of the top four VPNs for Serbia:
ExpressVPN consistently ranks as a top VPN for a variety of uses, and this time is no exception. Installing the service is as easy as paying for a subscription and downloading the lightweight app that matches your device. The interface is intuitive, with everything always a click away – so even beginners can figure ExpressVPN out in minutes. As an added bonus, you can have up to 3 simultaneous connections, meaning it’s easy to share ExpressVPN across your own devices and with other household members.
On the security front, 256-bit AES encryption protects your data with a selection of 5 military-grade cryptographic protocols. ExpressVPN’s holding company is based in the British Virgin Islands, meaning it’s exempt from the Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes surveillance agreements between the world’s major powers. There are also additional security measures, like a kill switch that disables your connections if your VPN goes offline and doesn’t reconnect, protecting your unencrypted data. The logging policy is one of the strongest in the business, too.
In addition to being tough on security and being easy to use, ExpressVPN is powerful and fast. 2,000+ proxy servers in 94 countries mean that connections never lag and open up access to content from all over the world. Bandwidth is unlimited, and with no speed caps, you can stream and download content to your heart’s content.
Take a look at our full ExpressVPN review to learn more.
NordVPN is one of the safest services in the space. Its 256-bit AES encryption would take a supercomputer quadrillions of years to crack, meaning your Serbian ISPs can’t see your data or pass it to a third party.
Moreover, NordVPN has an extensive range of extra security measures. For example, its Double VPN specialty servers route your data through two connections and encrypt it twice. Obfuscated servers hide that you’re using a VPN. There’s also a built-in DNS leak test that helps you make sure that you’re not accidentally routing some of your data through your ISP while using a VPN. These features, together with one of the most reliable zero-logging policies in the business, make NordVPN a very safe VPN to use.
The service also boasts one of the biggest proxy networks in the world, with 4,800+ servers in 62 countries. This means you can access virtually any content library in the world, and access music and videos at high speeds, with no buffering. You can also enjoy video games at high speeds and low latencies, make high-quality VoIP and video calls, and more, all thanks to the size and quality of NordVPN’s network. This is true even if you’re a beginner-level user with no prior VPN experience. NordVPN makes it easy to navigate its feature set with an easy, intuitive interface.
To learn more, check out our full NordVPN review for 2018.
PrivateVPN is a newer service that really goes the extra mile for users who stream videos and use P2P clients. Every subscription option comes with up to 6 simultaneous connections; unlimited bandwidth; unlimited speed; unlimited server switches. A large server network that spans 52 countries means that you can view any content library you choose easily; all you need to do is choose the right server and connect.
In fact, we found it to be a leader in streaming quality thanks to servers specifically dedicated to unlocking BBC, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services. This, together with a P2P and torrent-friendly policy, make PrivateVPN a natural choice for all kinds of content: both downloadable and live.
In addition to this, PrivateVPN is strong on security. Its 2048-bit AES-256 encryption protocol is, for practical purposes, impossible for criminals to crack. With a zero-logging policy that stores virtually none of your information, you can use this VPN in Serbia, safe in the knowledge that you’re anonymous and your data – protected.
Want to learn more? Our 2018 PrivateVPN review is for you!
CyberGhost is a perfect VPN for Serbian residents and visitors who want an easy way to stay anonymous and access more content. The service comes with a suite of apps that make installation easy across all devices: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux and more. You can even install CyberGhost as a browser extension! Once you do, you’ll find it easy to navigate the app’s features via 6 simple configuration files. The profiles, which include Anonymous Surfing, Torrent Anonymously and Unblock Streaming are perfect for Serbian users because they focus on protecting data and opening up restricted services.
Despite being very easy to use, CyberGhost is also powerful. With over 2,700+ servers in 60+ countries, you’ll be able to watch Hulu, Netflix and other services easily. A selection of 5 encryption protocols makes protecting data easy. A suite of unique features, from “extra speed” to “block ads”, provides extra security and functionality. Last but not least, an immaculate logging policy that doesn’t even keep your e-mail address means that, all told, CyberGhost is one of the top VPN services out despite its ease of use.
Check out our full CyberGhost review for 2018.
The truth about free VPNs
If you do your own research when picking a VPN, you’ll find a variety of free options online. Many of them offer decent connection speeds; most offer at least 1 or 2 useful servers (e.g. the US or the UK). The problem is that free VPNs aren’t really free. All of them need to pay for servers, which means they need money – and here’s how they get it. Some show you advertisements and prompt you to upgrade to a paid version of the service. Others actually harvest your personal data and sell it off to corporations, researchers and marketers.
Since staying anonymous is one of the key reasons to get a VPN in the first place, and watching online content with constant ad interruptions is unpleasant, our advice is to save yourself some hassle and go for one of the quality providers on this page. At the end of the day, all of them come with money-back guarantees, so your odds of wasting your money or an inferior zero are slim to none.
Unlocking foreign content with a VPN
Serbia has over 7 million residents, around half of whom are connected to the World Wide Web. The country is also a popular tourist destination, especially for visitors from Europe and CIS countries like Russia and Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, geopolitical licensing means that neither permanent residents nor tourists can access websites like Hulu or view some of the best content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc. A VPN can help you access all these popular services by offering an easy way to get a US, UK, Canadian or other IP. Moreover, the best VPNs have servers worldwide, which means you can watch native content that’s only available in specific countries. For example, getting a Chinese IP to access WeChat will let you watch streaming content that’s exclusive to China.
Data privacy and censorship in Serbia
Serbia’s 2006 constitution does not specifically mention data privacy. However, several articles – like Article 42 (Protection of Personal Data) – do go over data governance. Moreover, Serbia is a member of the European Convention on Human Rights, which means that law enforcement is supposed to follow generally accepted EU laws on data privacy. The problem is that Serbia doesn’t have many mechanisms for recording or tracking relevant data privacy jurispudence. As a result, it’s hard to say whether local or EU laws are being followed – and according to many sources, like the OSCE, online censorship and data privacy are quickly becoming major concerns inside the country. For example, Serbian police is allowed to access private data when fighting against illegal hate speech – but the exact definition of “hate speech” is blurry, especially given the lack of transparent controls. This means that officials can access your personal data with virtually no resistance. What’s worse, Serbia requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to keep some data for up to a year, meaning there’s no way to hide your online activities without a quality VPN that protects your data.
On the censorship front, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has repeatedly referred to 3rd-party investigators and whistleblowers as “liars”, “deviants” and “provocateurs” since 2015. He’s also accused multiple journalists and publications of taking foreign bribes. Around the same time (2014-2015), a media privatization process resulted in the eventual closing of many Serbian news outlets. As a result, many residents fear that there’s a semi-covert effort to censor and delegitimize journalists inside the country – possibly by accessing their personal data. For now, it’s hard to say much for sure, but international watch dogs are in agreement that neither internet freedom nor data privacy are guaranteed in the country. If you want to be safe, a quality VPN that reliably encrypts your data is a smart decision.
Having read this article, you know all about getting a VPN for Serbia. You understand local laws, know the main benefits of getting a foreign IP and encrypting your data, and which VPN providers are the best fit for the Balkan country. Now you’re ready to stream and download content without limits; to enjoy video games on whichever servers you prefer; to enjoy online anonymity in Serbia and everywhere else.
If you have any further comments, questions or tips, please love a comment below and let us know!