If you live in Asia or are thinking of travelling in Asia, either short or long term, then a VPN is essential.
However, finding a reliable one is another headache altogether!
That’s where we come in. After travelling extensively through Asia for the past 10 years, I’ve put together 7 services that work flawlessly.
Many Asian countries are heavily restricted when it comes to the internet and often websites that are accessible in the west and other countries are blocked.
China and its “great firewall of China” is the most obvious country when it comes to censorship in Asia with popular websites such as Facebook, Instagram and many more inaccessible that are taken for granted in western countries.
It isn’t just China that restricts websites with countries such as Thailand also blocking access to sites regularly and many other Asian countries following suit, meaning you will want to use a VPN.
Finding the number 1 VPN for Asia is an increasingly difficult task.
With many VPNs based in the United States and geared towards access in the western world, it can be time-consuming to find one that is suitable for use across Asia.
In this guide, I’ve been testing some of the leading VPN providers and put together my top 7 that are suitable for use in Asia. Later I’ll also let you know why free VPNs are a big no-no, so stay tuned for that.
Let’s jump into the list.
Top 7 VPN Services for Asia
ExpressVPN is without a doubt the Best VPN for Asia, with it being registered in the British Virgin Islands, they are out of the jurisdiction of every Asian country, and even the US.
With over 3000 high speed servers worldwide, perfect for streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. You will never struggle to find a connection to provide you with 4K streaming.
Servers in Asia are available in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Again if there isn’t a server in the country you live in or are travelling to (for example China), then there are enough countries within Asia to cover the whole region. This allows you to get the best possible speeds while protecting your privacy regardless of where you are.
ExpressVPN offers software for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. This means you can connect within just a few clicks making the service a good choice for both beginners and experts alike.
One of my favourite features of the service is they don’t just offer a 7 day money back guarantee, but they provide a massive 30-day money-back guarantee.
If the service doesn’t live up to your expectations or you weren’t able to achieve what you wanted within a month of signing up, then you can simply request a refund with no hassle.
ExpressVPN is one of the largest providers in terms of countries covered currently standing at 94 and counting. Unfortunately, they’re a little more expensive than most providers at $6.67 per month which is a small negative, but if you’re happy with the price, then the service will be good for use in Asia.
It’s an easy to use VPN with excellent security features that will allow you to access restricted content from around the world, along with fast speeds making ExpressVPN your best option for achieving a secure internet connection and super-fast download speeds.
If you need a VPN in Southeast Asia or anywhere else across the region, these are your go-to guys.
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NordVPN makes an excellent second choice.
When it comes to VPNs, NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services on the planet. With over 5400 servers in over 59 countries (11 of which are in the Asia-Pacific region), you won’t have any trouble finding a fast and secure server to connect to.
NordVPN offers some of the fastest connection speeds, which make it a great VPN provider to use with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server and you’ll unlock that regions’ content.
They offer a fully audited no logs VPN service so your data is kept safe in your hands. As an additional security feature, NordVPN will run your connection through 2x IP address changes should you choose, so you’ll have double the security while online.
Along with your double IP change, you will also have the ability to choose a unique IP address that nobody else will be using at the same time as you. That and AES 256 bit encryption will ensure that your data is kept extremely safe.
They even have a built in kill switch as an extra measure to prevent any data leaks, making NordVPN one of the best VPN providers around.
NordVPN offers an excellent 24/7 customer support that is more than capable of answering your queries, along with a 30 day money back guarantee, if you aren’t happy, you get your money back.
When it comes to choosing a VPN for use in Asia the first consideration should be the availability of servers within the region. IPVanish covers over 13 Asian countries with VPN servers in them with over 44 individual servers across the region.
Servers in countries including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam.
Although IPVanish doesn’t cover every single Asian country, they have enough servers to cover the entire region.
This means if you visit or live in one of the countries that aren’t covered, for example, Laos or Thailand then you can still connect to the servers in Hong Kong and receive good enough speeds to stay protected, ensuring your internet connection is secure.
As well as being able to protect your privacy within the region, the IPVanish service also has the benefit of having access to over 75+ worldwide servers meaning accessing blocked content is possible.
If you want to watch US or UK entertainment/streaming sites for example, then IPVanish makes an excellent choice as you can simply connect to a US or UK server and then watch entertainment streaming services as if you were in that country.
They also offer unlimited simultaneous connections, which is pretty cool, allowing you to secure every device you own.
Thankfully IPVanish is not only one of the fastest providers but they’re also cheap at just $3.25 per month.
It is worth adding that they have a 24/7 live chat and a 30 day money back guarantee, making them a top VPN provider.
4. Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN is one of my favourite VPN services. Not only are they one of the cheapest services around, but they also offer some fantastic features that set it apart from its competition.
They have over 1700 servers in over 63 countries, offering some of the fastest speeds on the internet. This is ideal for streaming services such as Netflix.
With some excellent security features such as AES 256 bit ‘military-grade’ encryption, and a built-in whitelister that hides your VPN usage from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) you can rest assured that your privacy and security is at the front of their minds.
Their built-in whitelister is a split tunnelling feature will allow certain websites (of your choosing) to bypass the VPN. This is incredibly useful for internet banking or gambling websites.
However, one of Surfshark VPN’s stand out features is the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices to your VPN account at once, giving you as many simultaneous connections as you want.
VyprVPN is one of the oldest and most reputable VPN services around.
Servers are available in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. This like some of the other providers is excellent for the region and means regardless of where you’re living or travelling, you’ll be able to stay secure.
VyprVPN is one of the easiest VPN providers to use because their custom software and apps are some of the most user-friendly available. Simply select a server to connect to and then press connect. The software or app takes care of the rest of the process and then you’re free to browse the internet securely.
They offer fantastic connection speeds, ideal for streaming and are relatively cheap when it comes to the packages available.
Their cheapest offering is a 24 month package that works out to be approximately $3.23/month, which is incredibly affordable for what you are getting.
VyprVPN boasts a fully audited zero log VPN service that won’t cap your experience, giving you unlimited bandwidth to browse the internet freely.
CyberGhost VPN offers one of the largest collections of VPN servers in the world, a staggering 6731+ servers in over 112 location worldwide, an extensive group of which are in Asia.
With the ability to connect up to 7 devices simultaneously, you can ensure all of your devices are protected.
They offer a very generous 45 day money back guarantee which is one of the longest in the industry, so if you aren’t happy, then you can have your money back.
CyberGhost VPN has a HTTPS redirect feature that connects you to the most secure version of any website you are trying to access. This along with 256 bit encryption will ensure that your connection is as secure as it can be.
Their service provides you with a no logs VPN with the fastest connections and world class customer service with live chat.
StrongVPN has the least amount of servers within Asia of all of the choices available in this article with locations in just Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan.
These strategic locations will allow you to access from most locations within Asia but if you’re after a specific country, then you’ll need to ensure that StrongVPN covers your needs.
One of the main reasons for including StrongVPN is they’re one of the cheapest providers available which if you live and work in Asia will no doubt be a bonus as some of the other provider’s prices are geared more towards a western market.
StrongVPN will set you back $4.66 per month making a pretty cheap provider. Although they have a lesser service in terms of server locations, the price is likely to be more attractive depending on your situation.
Easy to use software and apps are available for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac, allowing you to get connected easily.
StrongVPN wouldn’t be my first choice simply based on the fact they only have a handful of servers around Asia but if you’re on a budget, then they’re certainly worth a look.
Why do I need a VPN for Asia?
Below we’ve listed some of the main reasons to be using a VPN.
1. Avoiding Censorship
A VPN is the perfect solution for getting around internet censorship issues that many Asian countries have.
For example, in China where there is strict censorship and what is known as the great firewall of China, online news sites and even social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat are inaccessible.
Vietnam also has internet censorship issues that can see the government removing posts that they deem as “slanderous” towards the government.
This is a dangerous slope as governments will be able to control what you do and don’t see, a VPN will give back your internet freedom.
2. Access home services
If you are an ex-pat living abroad in an Asian country, or perhaps you are travelling around taking in the beautiful sights, then you will need to access home services such as internet banking.
Most banking apps will limit what you can do if you are trying to access your accounts from another region.
You may even want to access streaming services such as BBC iPlayer (which is only available in the UK) or your home regions’ Netflix library.
By using a VPN, you will have no problem accessing content from back home.
3. Online privacy
Many of the Asian nations have strict censorship laws and the government likes to monitor the activity of those who are using the internet.
You can’t say or do anything without them knowing exactly where and when you did it.
This is far from ideal and can land you in a spot of trouble if you accidentally say something that the government doesn’t like. A VPN will help you remain as anonymous as possible while you are surfing the internet.
By using a VPN, you will also be protecting yourself when using public Wi-Fi, as these hotspots are a hacker’s favourite place to hang out and steal your data for malicious purposes.
How to choose a VPN for Asia
1. Apps for your device
When it comes to selecting the best VPN to use in Asia, you want to consider what apps the VPN has available to you.
All of the VPNs in my list (above) have a comprehensive offering of dedicated apps that will cover most of the popular devices such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Amazon Fire.
That way you can ensure that your private information is kept confidential and secure no matter what device you use to access the internet.
2. Servers in your country
The best VPNs have a wide range of servers located all over the world including servers in your home country that will be extremely useful.
A VPN provider such as ExpressVPN has a huge amount of servers so that no matter where you are in Asia, you’ll be able to access uncensored content from any country you want.
The best VPN providers will always have a large selection of servers, so make sure you see what ones are available to you, then choose the best option.
3. Money back guarantee
A money-back guarantee is the best way to ensure that your investment in a VPN is insured.
That way, if the VPN you have chosen doesn’t live up the job, you get your money back. The best VPNs always offer a money back guarantee, as they believe in the quality of their service.
However, I highly doubt you will ever want your money back, as all the VPNs on my list are all excellent VPN services.
Some VPNs have a 7 day money back guarantee, while others have a 45 day money back guarantee, I know which VPN I would want to get.
4. Good price
Everybody loves a good deal, and I am no different. This is why all of the VPN providers in my list offer some of the best prices you will find for a reliable VPN.
When selecting your VPN keep in mind that the longer your VPN package, the better the price will be, leaving extra $$$ in your pocket.
Any extra money you save from a longer length subscription will certainly go a long way in Asia, buying you another few nights in that beach hut.
You may even want to keep an eye out for some deals on the VPN sites, most providers have some form of deal going on, so pick one that suits your needs.
Whether it’s a 1 year package or 3 months, there are options to suit all.
Note: There are free VPNs out there, but I would highly recommend that you steer clear of any free VPN as they are often slow, unreliable, and leak data. If you want secure internet access, then you should choose a VPN from the list above.
VPNs are the best way to protect your data while using the internet in Asia and while it may be tempting to search for a free VPN, the sheer number of horror stories should put you off.
When you’re looking for a VPN service to protect your privacy or view content that is blocked within Asia, the choices available can be confusing.
There are so many VPNs to choose from it’s easy to get lost in all of the information and end up leaving your internet access unprotected.
Often many VPN services are geared up for the western world but there is a good selection that is suitable for Asia and actively target the region.
My overall favourite provider is without a doubt ExpressVPN because of the service they offer, speeds achieved and the price point. They also work with most operating systems and are ideal for use with online streaming services, making them the perfect VPN provider.
Get yourself a VPN like ExpressVPN, and if that doesn’t fit your needs, then the other six options all offer different aspects that may be suitable for your particular situation, so it’s worth taking a look at them all before making a decision.
To recap on the available providers take a look at the table below.