Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America. It lies on the small land mass between North and South America. It currently has a population of approximately 4.8 million and its great weather makes it a great place to visit for tourists. For everyone that plans to join that list of visitors, you need to make sure you use a VPN before using any public WiFi while there. We will tell you why that is important in a few short moments.
Best VPNs for Costa Rica – Summary
The first reason to use a VPN when you are in Costa Rica involves protecting your privacy. The internet is good there, but it continues to get better as the money rolls in. Fortunately, the country does not monitor its citizens so you don’t have to worry about being spied on by the government. However, that does not mean you are safe. When you use a VPN there, you can protect yourself and your internet traffic from cyberthieves. Only then can you use the encrypted traffic to make it much harder for anyone to steal your personal data.
The next reason to use a VPN is not as important. According to the Freedom House, Costa Rica is free from internet censorship. That does not mean, however, that it would not help you. If you are trying to access any content from your home region, there is a good chance you will be blocked from seeing it. That is because media companies will usually block users outside of their targeted area. The solution is to connect to a server in your home region or even a different region, and you can start enjoying what you want to see today.
What is the Best VPN for Costa Rica?
While you can expect censorship and surveillance from the governments of some countries, that is not a problem in Costa Rica. Because of that, the things that are important normally are not quite as strict in our list below. Our choices are still great options, though. Those factors include:
- Fast speeds on servers that perform well in Costa Rica
- Ability to unblock geo-restrictions
- Large network with multiple servers to help eliminate server drops.
- Mobile apps for multiple platforms including Amazon Firestick
- Military grade strong encryption to help protect your privacy
- Providers with a no logs policy
Now that you see what is important there, let’s go over our options with more depth.
- 12-month plan – $6.99 a month ($83.88 total cost)
- 6-month plan – $7.99 a month ($47.94 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $11.99 a month
HideMyAss was brought to life in 2005 when Jack Cator, a 16-year-old student in England, decided that he wanted to create a service to help people avoid censorship. Specifically, Jack was unable to access social media sites and online games because they were blocked on the school network. HMA added hundreds of thousands of users the first month and has since grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world with over 350 server locations. Privax, the parent company of HMA Pro VPN, joined the AVG team in 2015.
For those that want to find a VPN provider with the most server locations, HideMyAss is your best choice. Just keep in mind that HMA logs user activity which is a concern for some VPN users. HMA hosts some VPN servers in Costa Rica, specifically in San Jose. To connect to a server there, you will want to go into the “Location Mode” and select “Change Location” to get started. Then click on the “Cities” tab and search for Costa Rica. We connected to a server there to test and found the speed to be 91.94 Mbps.
In 2016 HMA and a few other leading VPN providers led the way in simplifying their custom client software. The result is a full set of custom apps that make it easy for any user to connect to the HMA network and encrypt your connection. They have software available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can also connect to HMA through your router. HMA offers unlimited VPN access from just $6.99 a month and offers all new users a 30-day risk-free money back guarantee.
Read our full review of HMA.
- 36-month plan – $2.99 a month ($107.55 total cost)
- 24-month plan – $3.99 a month ($95.75 total cost)
- 12-month plan – $6.99 a month ($83.88 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $11.95 a month
NordVPN is based in Panama which some users prefer to using a VPN company that’s actually headquartered in the United States. You will find that NordVPN has a strong presence in the US with servers located throughout the country. Members have full access to their network in the USA and beyond for a very good price.
You will find that NordVPN has perhaps the best mix of services for the price if you want to get a subscription for a longer length of time. All users have full access to their network and custom software. You can connect using the VPN client for Windows or Mac. They also have an easy-to-use mobile app for both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices.
NordVPN hosts a few servers in the area, including some in Costa Rica. From the console, clicking on the 3 horizontal dots to the right of the country, you can locate the server area and see the percentages of the servers available. We tested a server in San Jose and found it to have a download speed of 76.52 Mbps.
Want to access streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world? If so NordVPN is a great choice. They are one of the only VPN services that can still unblock Netflix. You can sign up for unlimited VPN and SmartDNS service from just $3.99 a month with a 2-year membership.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
- Exclusive 12-month plan + 3-mos. free – $6.67 a month ($99.95 total cost)
- 6-month plan – $9.99 a month ($59.95 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $12.95 a month
ExpressVPN brings together fast VPN access with MediaStreamer which acts as a Smart DNS service to help unblock access to some great geo-restricted content. The service will help encrypt your connection and unblock live sporting events. You will even find a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on their website.
ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. Beyond the USA and Canada, the ExpressVPN network boasts hundreds of servers in key locations to help protect their user’s privacy. You can use their network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and watch your favorite teams from anywhere.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but you can not choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select a server in your chosen location. You also need to know that some cities are not shown on the recommended tab inside the client. You may find that issue with servers in Costa Rica. Simply select the “All” tab, open Americas, and then open Costa Rica. At this point, you can select servers there. When we tested a server in San Jose, Costa Rica, the speed was 56.75 Mbps.
While ExpressVPN is sold at a higher price point than the other services in our list, the value is high given the size of their network and service features. You can connect a computer, handheld device, router, and game console (SmartDNS) with a single VPN account for just $6.67 a month with an annual subscription.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
- Exclusive 12-month plan + 6 mos. free – $2.75 a month ($49.50 total cost)
- 6-month plan – $4.99 a month ($29.94 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $11.99 a month
CyberGhost was founded in 2001 by 7 enthusiastic young team members in Bucharest, Romania. Since that time the company has grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world. The team of 50+ members focuses on protecting users privacy. Robert Knapp, co-founder and CEO, continues to lead the team even after they joined the Crossrider group in 2017. Since that time the CyberGhost network has expanded quite a bit.
CyberGhost offers a nice mix of server locations, strong encryption, and the ability to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime. Some of the channels even let you unblock geo-restrictions for multiple regions. For example, you can access Amazon Prime video content in the US, Germany, or UK. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf anonymously, protect WiFi, torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites (Google, Facebook Instagram, etc.), and choose a server.
Since we wanted to test a server in Costa Rica, we opened the Windows client and expanded the interface. From there, you will want to click on the “All Servers” tab if it isn’t already active. Scroll down to Costa Rica and click to the right of the star. This will bring up a full list of servers in the country. The CyberGhost network includes a few servers in Costa Rica and is fast because it borders CyberGhost’s home country. We connected to a server in San Jose (Costa Rica) and we got a speed of 16.93 Mbps.
The CyberGhost VPN client is one of our favorites and its speed means it is a great choice for Costa Rica. It is very easy to use and includes a number of advanced features to help protect your online privacy. They have a development team in Germany that is continually adding features to the client and mobile apps. You can sign up for full access to the CyberGhost network from just $2.75 a month during their current promotion.
Read our full review of CyberGhost VPN.
Based in: British Virgin Islands | Number of servers: 500+ | Server locations: 50 | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
- 24-month plan – $1.99 a month ($47.76 total cost)
- 12-month plan – $5.99 a month ($71.88 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $11.95 a month
While it seems that Surfshark has not been around for a long period of time, the website was actually registered in 2007. Since that time, the company has made quite a splash in the community. The team continues to grow and add locations all the time and is heavily focused on pricing and privacy. It also has the whistles and bells that you would expect with the bigger services
With more than 500 servers in 50 countries, strong encryption, and the ability to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime, they have many opportunities to enjoy their service. You even have the ability to watch some of the services that are available in multiple regions. For example, you can access Amazon Prime video content in the US, Germany, or UK. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf privately, protect your WiFi traffic, torrent anonymously, and more, when you choose a server.
For our tests in Costa Rica, we wanted to select a server located in San Jose. Once you log in, simply search for Costa Rica in the search bar. From there, you can connect to a server located there. When we connected to a server in San Jose, we got a speed of 14.49 Mbps. That is lower than some of our other services.
For the money and the features, Surfshark is a good option for those that do not necessarily need a very high-speed connection while there. Everything is easy to use and you should not have any issues. You can sign up for an unlimited account with unlimited devices for $1.99 a month when you buy a 2-year plan.
Above, you can see the best options to use while you are visiting Costa Rica. However, for those that would like other options, you can free to check out our top 10 VPN providers list. Though this list is good as well, we made our specific choices based on several factors. Those price, stability, security, speeds, and more. We optimized the list above based on the best options for Costa Rica. Good speeds are important these days regardless of what you decide to do. By using our guide, you can make the best decision for your needs.