Internet users in Asia face a number of challenges, including online censorship, government surveillance and content restrictions. But many still do not use a VPN, while of those that do, free VPNs are by some distance the most popular services. Which is why we have put together this guide to the best VPNs for Asia.
But free VPNs are best avoided as they offer neither privacy nor security. Which is why we have compiled this list of the Best VPNs for Asia, to help find the right provider for you.
Asia currently has some of the highest rates of VPN usage in the world. Indonesia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, and Taiwan can all boast of more than a third of Internet users logging on via a VPN. Meanwhile, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore also have usage rates above the global average of 25%. But why is this?
Not many Asian internet users enjoy any right to online privacy. Many of the Governments of the region are authoritarian or theocratic and therefore choose to closely monitor online activity in order to protect either their own control or the moral philosophies they espouse.
International rivalries between countries mean that regional surveillance is also an issue too. As a result, those who want to speak freely online or simply be sure their activity is private have no choice but to turn to a VPN.
Censorship too is a common issue in the region. Communist China’s Great Firewall is well known, but they are by no means the only Asian nation which restricts access to various online content.
In Indonesia especially, the Government imposes strict online censorship with many popular sites being blocked. There is no doubt this is the principal reason why VPN take-up there is so high.
Access geo-restricted content
Another crucial factor in high VPN usage is accessing geo-restricted content. International content providers such as Netflix offer very restricted services to Asian countries.
The popularity throughout the region of Japanese and Korean entertainment, in particular, has also seen demand for access to content from those markets across Asia. A VPN allows people to watch or subscribe to services in other Asian countries and around the world and this has proved extremely popular.
Online gaming is a really big deal across Asia, far more so than any other region in the world. But with many of the biggest games being developed in the USA or Asia, accessing new releases is impossible.
Some games are released in Asia months after the rest of the world, while others won’t make it here at all. But with a VPN, Asian gamers can play all of these games as well as save money on download prices too.
Many Asian people believe there is no need to pay for a VPN when free services are available. Others believe the costs of a paid-for service are beyond them. But a free VPN will rarely offer you the levels of privacy and security most people in Asia desire. And actually, a good VPN only costs a few US$ a month, which is well within reach of many Asian people.
The benefits of this investment are clear too, the only challenge is deciding which VPN to go for. Which is why we have compiled this list of the top 5 best VPNs for Asia.
Top 5 VPNs for Asia
Best VPN for Asia
VPN Countries : 60 | VPN Servers : 700 | Simultaneous Connections : 10
Price : $6.49 p/m (≈ £5.12)
Fast connection speeds
No live-chat help facility
IPVanish is our number one recommended VPN provider for Asia. It is, without doubt, the best VPN provider full stop at the moment, with top-of-the-range encryption, perfect privacy provisions, and fast and consistent connection speeds.
For users in Asia, there are servers available in Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam, with more than 700 servers located across of total of more than 60 countries around the world. This great spread should mean that there is a nearby server for almost everyone in the Asia region.
IPVanish also allows up to 5 connections on each account which is great in an age when many people are running multiple connected devices. And they are almost certain to function on your device too with a huge range catered for. With well-designed and easy-to-use apps too, IPVanish really sets the standards for Asian VPN users.
Best VPN for Asia
Best VPN for guarantee
VPN Countries : 94 | VPN Cities : 145 | Simultaneous Connections : 3
Price : $8.32 p/m (≈ £6.56)
Great 30-day money back guarantee
Huge selection of VPN locations
A little pricey
If any other VPN provider is a contender for the crown of Best VPN for Asia, it is ExpressVPN. They are priced a little higher, but as they have the best money-back offer around there is always plenty of time to change your mind.
ExpressVPN offer servers in a huge range of countries, with Asia particularly well catered for. Locations include Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Importantly, this includes countries all around China, with many of those servers optimised for Chinese users.
Their encryption, privacy policies, and connection speeds are right up there with the very best too and their multi-device compatibility makes them another great option for Asian users.
Best free trial
VPN Countries : 70 | VPN Servers : 700+ | Simultaneous Connections : 3 – 5
Price : $6.67 p/m (≈ £5.34)
Free trial account
Easy-to-use software and apps
Do keep some user logs
VyprVPN’s free trial account is great for those who are still wary of paying to use a VPN. It allows you to see the difference for yourself without having to make an outlay. But VyprVPN has plenty more going for it too. They offer an extremely user-friendly service which is again available across multiple platforms.
Their encryption is strong, but on the privacy front, there are some records of basic user data kept, which is not ideal. They make up for this with very fast speeds as well as another great range of Asian server locations. These include South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, and Vietnam.
They are therefore an appealing option for Asian VPN users, especially those looking to stream content from overseas providers.
Best value for money
VPN Countries : 58 | VPN Servers : 744 | Simultaneous Connections : 6
Price : $6.58 p/m (≈ £5.27)
Good server selection
Connection speeds not always the best
NordVPN is the one provider on this list which offers a premium service at what can only be described as a budget price. The NordVPN server selection in Asia is as strong as it is globally. Servers in Japan, South Korea. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and India mean most parts of the region are well catered for.
NordVPN’s security and privacy policies are up there with the very best in the business as is their usability, with apps available across multiple platforms which are beautifully designed and easy to use. There are occasionally issues with connection speeds on some server, but this is something NordVPN are looking to address.
And with enough servers available for a replacement to be found if necessary, NordVPN are another VPN worth giving serious consideration to.
Best for China
VPN Countries : 57 | VPN Servers : 300+ | Simultaneous Connections : 3
Price : $7.50 p/m (≈ £5.75)
Great privacy protections
Servers in China
More expensive than most
Proxy.sh are a relatively new player in the VPN market having only emerged back in 2013. But they have made considerable inroads thanks to their reputation for secrecy and their strong security provision. Their privacy provision is superb with absolutely no user records kept whatsoever.
These are real assets, but for Asian users, a real pull factor is the high number of server locations available. These include China (very unusually), South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore.
They are a little on the pricey side compared to a few other providers on this list, but if you want Chinese servers and strong privacy provisions, they are definitely the right choice for you.