Best VPN for Korea in 2021
You might expect South Korea to be an internet paradise. After all, this is the country which boasts the fastest average internet speed in the world. However, actually accessing the content you want can, at first, seem like an impossible task!
If you are an expat living in Korea, or simply on holiday, you will quickly find that you are unable to watch your favorite tv shows from home. Not only that, but you could also find yourself banned from viewing what you want to as a result of South Korea’s strict censorship rules.
Don’t worry though. There is a simple way to get around the problem. You can easily install a VPN onto your device so you can watch what you want, when you want, and from where you want.
If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s our list of the best VPNs for South Korea:
- ExpressVPN Great for Speed, top-notch security, large server network and keeps your anonymity and privacy.
- NordVPN Has double VPN, six simultaneous connections, above-average privacy features.
- CyberghostWell-priced with huge savings on multi-month plans
We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for accessing restricted content in South Korea.]
VPN Korea: How a Korea VPN Helps You View Content
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is software you download which gives you access to a private network from a location which is both secure and anonymous.
That means you can surf the web and watch tv shows while sitting at home, in your hotel room or in a café in South Korea, using a server that might be located in the US or the UK. You can choose from a number of locations.
The VPN virtually changes your location, giving you access to content from another country. So, you can watch anything online with a VPN for Korea as if you were still in your home country, choosing, for example, to watch your favorite American tv show. You will be able to get instant access to the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Pandora.
Simply download the VPN onto your device. Then you can switch on the VPN whenever you want to and you’ll be given an option to choose a country.
Using a Korea VPN to Get Around Censorship Rules
While South Korea is known as a modern, technology-forward country, there are many strict rules in place about what you can and can’t see online. Not only are many types of online content completely restricted while in the bounds of South Korea, but the country also requires that anyone adding anything public content or comments to a restricted site, must identify himself. South Korean nationals must provide a Citizen’s Reference Number, and foreigners must turn over a photocopy of his or her passport.
You’ll find access restricted to the following websites and online content:
- Anti-government and news sites
- Anything criticizing the government
- LGBT content
- Gambling websites
- Gaming and eSports
- Pro-North-Korean content
In many countries, defamation is defined as making statements that are purposefully and intentionally false against another person. However, South Korea’s “cyber defamation” makes putting out any and all information that might ruin someone’s reputation (even if it is 100% true) a criminal offense.
The best way to get around these restrictions so you can use South Korea’s super-fast internet to view and watch what you want, is to use a VPN.
Because you can choose your server location when you turn your VPN on, the content you are allowed to view will be the same as the content available in the country you choose.
A Korean VPN for Secrecy and Security
Not only will the Korea VPN you choose enable you to get around geographic restrictions, it will also keep you safe and secure.
The government in South Korea is known to spy on internet use in the country. But, using a VPN hides your browsing history and data from your internet service provider and, therefore, from the Korean government. Watching something restricted in Korea could even lead to prosecution. But using a VPN will give you the freedoms you usually enjoy in other places such as America or the UK.
The Best VPN for Korea
So, you know a VPN will give you an easy option to watch what you want to without any censorship or fear of prosecution. But, which VPN should you choose?
There are literally hundreds of options out there, so the choice can be overwhelming.
However, some are definitely better than others. These options (below) are the best for giving you access to all the content you want while ensuring you are safe and secure online.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands because the territory has no data retention laws. That means not even ExpressVPN has any logs of your browsing history or data, so your privacy is completely protected.
The experts at ExpressVPN have cracked what is known as the Great Firewall of China. The Chinese government put in place an incredibly complex web of internet restrictions to stop its citizens from viewing certain content online. This technology makes ExpressVPN the best VPN for Korea, where the restrictions in place are actually not quite as strict.
The provider has an impressive network of servers in 94 different countries, giving you a huge choice of content. You’ll even be able to successfully view Netflix. Even though the streaming service has blocked other VPN providers, you can still watch your favorite Netflix movies and series with ExpressVPN.
Your connection will not be slowed down in any way simply because you are using a VPN, making ExpressVPN a good choice for video streaming, as well as P2P torrenting, or file sharing!
As well as speed, ExpressVPN offers security, with military-grade encryption as well as Wi-Fi protection and a kill switch which acts as a failsafe, so your content is not exposed even if your VPN is unexpectedly disconnected.
Price: Starting from $6.67/month
Read our ExpressVPN review and Sign up with ExpressVPN here.
CyberGhost is another great option for unblocking restricted content in Korea. Not only does it have super-fast speeds, great features, and no-logging policy, it also recently announced that it can unblock Netflix US!
The VPN provider has over 5,900 servers to offer, and each one differs in its speed. Some are lightening fast, while others are a bit slower (for example, one in Dublin Ireland works much slower than one in Milan, Italy).
Cyberghost has a very clear no-logging policy, which means they couldn’t sell your internet data even if they wanted to (they don’t collect it in the first place).
The company encrypts all of your data using a military-strength AES 256-BIT encryption which uses a 2048-BIT RSA Key. So if you are trying to keep your internet activity in a place like Korea, which is very strict when it comes to suppressing the internet, Cyberghost is a good bet.
Price: Starting from $2.25/month
Read our CyberGhost review and Sign up with CyberGhost here.
Surfshark is an ideal VPN provider to use when in South Korea for a variety of reasons that come in useful. For example, like ExpressVPN, they are based in the British Virgin Islands so they are not subject to data retention laws. This is great news as it means that the company is able to maintain a no logs policy. As a consequence, users can be assured that their data is further protected as there is no risk of a data leak from Surfshark.
In addition to the no logs policy, are the raft of security features that work together to maintain user anonymity. For instance, the inclusion of a kill switch ultimately means that should a VPN connection with one of Surfshark’s servers drop out, the user has its internet connection cut entirely. As such, their identity is never at risk of being revealed. Additionally, Surfshark employs the use of several top of the range encryption techniques like the OpenVPN protocol that makes it difficult for prying government eyes and hackers to infiltrate.
The large and vast network that Surfshark has in place is equally impressive – as well as useful to those looking to circumvent geo-restrictions when in South Korea. With over 800 servers in over 50 countries, Surfshark is able to provide its users with the ability to access any content that has been blocked on the web. Plus it can do so quickly as all those servers culminate in fast connection speeds for customers.
Finally, with a 30-day money back guarantee, it is easy to see that even the company backs itself and its abilities. If a customer does not get along with its product, the company provides a full refund with no questions asked other than, perhaps, what can they do better. This way, they can improve their service in the future.
Price: Starting from $2.21/month
Read our SurfShark review and Sign up with Surfshark here.
If privacy is your main concern, then NordVPN is renowned as the provider with the strongest privacy features on the market. This may well be a key consideration for you in South Korea, where there are high levels of censorship and there have been prosecutions for people expressing anti-government opinions online.
There’s a strict policy at NordVPN to ensure that no data is logged, as well as a kill switch, giving a failsafe method for protecting your online habits.
It’s also incredibly fast, making it another good option for viewing streaming services. There are servers in over 53 countries, giving you plenty of content options, so you don’t have to worry about being restricted only to content available in Korea.
There are also torrent files for sharing content, and NordVPN’s apps are among the easiest to download, set up and use, so you’ll be able to quickly get started, so you can immediately get around censorship issues in Korea.
Price: Starting from $3.71/month
Read our NordVPN review and Sign up with NordVPN here.
If you’re not too sure about using a VPN, or perhaps it’s your first time, ProtonVPN might just be the best choice for you when in Korea. Offering native apps for platforms like Windows, Mac Linux, Android and iOS, the setup process will be quick and painless.
To get started you will need to sign up for an account, download and install the software and then hit the Quick Connect button. ProtonVPN will then automatically located to a VPN server securing your online movements.
Having great security is important for any VPN and ProtonVPN will not let you down in that regard. With encryption boasting state of the art military-grade protection you will also have access to VPN protocols including IKEv2, IPSec as well as OpenVPN. A kill switch is also always on hand to make sure your internet activity stops as soon as your VPN connection drops.
For those that want extra protection, it might be a good idea to turn on the Secure Core feature offered to the Plus and Visionary plan users. As it says on their website, you will have double the protection when using this feature,
“ProtonVPN’s Secure Core architecture gives our secure VPN service the unique ability to defend against network-based attacks. Secure Core protects your connection by routing your traffic through multiple servers before leaving our network. This means an advanced adversary who can monitor the network traffic at the exit server will not be able to discover the true IP address of ProtonVPN users, nor match browsing activity to that IP.
Secure core servers are located in hardened data centers in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden, protected by strong privacy laws, and operated on our own dedicated networks.”
Price: Starting from $4.86/month
Read our ProtonVPN review and sign up with ProtonVPN here.
Why Korean VPNs are so Popular
South Korea is renowned for being one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet.
More South Koreans have a smartphone than anywhere else in the world, and pretty much every single household is connected to the internet. The internet speed is the fastest of any country and there’s free Wi-Fi in thousands of locations across the country.
Not only that, there’s a trend called PC Bang rooms, where internet is charged at a dollar an hour and friends hang out to socialize and play online games together.
Lack of freedom
However, South Korea is classed as only being “partly free” by internet watchdogs when it comes to online content, because of Government censorship.
Blogs which are critical of the Government, as well as lesbian and gay content, are among those which citizens, residents and those visiting South Korea are banned from viewing.
Korea VPN for Expats
Using a VPN to watch content has also become a popular option for expats living in South Korea as well as those on shorter visits who don’t want their viewing habits to be restricted during their stay, whether they want to watch banned content or simply don’t want to miss their favorite Netflix series!
Using a Korea VPN
Whether living in Korea for a few months, or a number of years, or visiting on vacation, you don’t simply have to accept that you will have to change your viewing habits for the duration of your stay.
The best way to continue to access your favorite sites and watch the likes of Netflix is to use a secure and speedy VPN.
By downloading VPN software and then choosing the country you want to get your content from, you can easily watch and view what you want to without worrying about censorship or geography.
The best VPN in South Korea is ExpressVPN. I haven’t tried the rest though. But I am sure the other VPNs will work perfectly too.
Had this friend that got transferred to North Korea, he said IPVanish was very secure and had good connections there.
Almost anything you need or want to do online is possible with Express VPN. It’s easy to recommend it. Stable connections. I just had to leave it and go with the one that is within budget.