Finding a VPN for use in South Korea or for accessing Korean services is tough.
There are so many choices out there and many don't support Korea. In this article we're rounding up the leading five options.
We have researched the leading choices for use in South Korea. We've also highlighted those suitable for accessing websites, apps, videos and other services restricted to use within Korea only.
Whether you live in South Korea, plan to move there or only visit the country – you will soon discover that you need to use a VPN.
Even if you don't live in the country, but you are interested in Korean entertainment content – you will also need a VPN to get involved.
ExpressVPN is currently our favourite choice for use in Korea but if you want to shop around, then we've selected some worthwhile options.
With that in mind, here are five virtual private network services suitable for those living or travelling in the country but also useful if you're trying to access content from there.
Top 5 Korean VPN services
1) ExpressVPN – 4.8 / 5 TrustScore
ExpressVPN is our top choice for South Korea.
This particular service has one of the largest server networks in the VPN industry, covering as many as 94 countries around the world, and yes – South Korea is one of them.
That means that, if you wish to access South Korean content from another country or protect the privacy of your online activity in South Korea – using their strict no log local VPN servers is the way to go.
It also has servers in many other Asian countries, so you can connect to the local region, and achieve excellent download speeds.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN services, which makes it great for streaming content from services like Netflix, Crunchyroll, Melon and others. You can use it on pretty much any device, as it has dedicated applications for all the most common ones.
Finally, it features a discount on long-term plans, and you can always cancel it at any time during the first month thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Our #1 Recommended VPN
30-day money back guarantee
Next, we have NordVPN, which is the second-best choice, sitting right behind ExpressVPN.
NordVPN has more servers than our top choice (5,500 to be exact), although fewer locations globally, and it covers 60 countries around the world.
Even so, South Korea is definitely among them, alongside other Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and more.
It has ten servers in South Korea, and you can connect to any of those to watch the country's content. NordVPN is well-known for its speeds, which also makes it an excellent choice for streaming, capable of unblocking most content around the world.
It has apps for devices like Android, Windows, iOS devices, macOS, Linux, Smart TVs, and even browser extensions, meaning that you can use it on any device that can use Chrome or Firefox.
It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you change your mind.
3) CyberGhost VPN
Our third spot goes out to CyberGhost VPN – a VPN service with the longest money-back guarantee, which lasts for as long as 45 days. In other words, CyberGhost will give you more than enough time to change your mind, although it doesn't expect you to do so.
When it comes to its server coverage, it offers 5,900+ servers, which is even more than NordVPN, and it provides these servers in over 90 countries, which is almost as good as ExpressVPN.
Twelve of its servers are located in South Korea, so you can easily find the best one and unblock pretty much everything that the country has to offer or stay secure locally.
CyberGhost is also a great choice for streaming, and you can use it on most devices and systems, including the likes of the Amazon Fire TV.
In the fourth spot, we have IPVanish. Now, IPVanish has a shorter money-back guarantee than most VPN services, and it only lasts for seven days.
However, apart from that, this is one of the highest-rated VPN services out there, with fast connection speeds, many different devices and systems supported (including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more).
In terms of coverage, IPVanish features more than 1,300 VPN servers in 75 different locations. While it doesn't have as many servers as our previous entries – it is still more than capable of unblocking a lot of the world's content.
It only features two servers in South Korea, both of which are located in Seoul. However, this is more than enough to grant you access to the country's content or keep you secure while there.
Finally, we have VyprVPN – a service filled with features, and with a significant user base.
It covers over 70 locations, and more than 700 servers, offering more than 200,000 IP addresses in total. Its South Korean servers are also located in Seoul, although VyprVPN differs from many providers in that they physically own their servers.
VyprVPN provides secure 256-bit encryption, lightning fast download speeds, and dedicated apps for many different devices and systems, including Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, QNAP, Smart TVs, Blackphone, Routers, and Anonabox.
It unblocks all the most popular streaming services, and it offers the usual 30-day money-back guarantee, on top of everything else.
How to choose a VPN for Korea
When it comes to how to pick the right VPN for Korea, it often depends on your usage. While ExpressVPN stands out for us as the best service to use in South Korea, you may still be struggling to make a choice.
Below we've listed a few different categories to help you decide including Best overall, Best apps, Best for streaming, and Best risk-free money-back.
In a general sense, the best VPN service overall would have to be ExpressVPN.
It is incredibly safe; it offers servers in 94 countries, it has fast connections, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and several other features that make their service stand out.
The two offer a range of reliable apps. NordVPN offers easy-to-use apps for a whole host of devices which includes advanced features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection and double-hop servers.
IPVanish is here because it allows as many as ten simultaneous connections, which is a lot, even for the top VPNs.
Best for streaming
Our top choice for streaming is once again ExpressVPN.
This service is known for its ability to unblock pretty much anything. It can be used for streaming Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and many other services including many of the most popular South Korean streaming sites and apps.
Best risk-free money back
In terms of getting the best deal when it comes to a money-back guarantee, we have to choose CyberGhost VPN.
Not only for the simplicity of the process but also for the fact that it offers a money-back guarantee that lasts for 45 days. That's two weeks longer than most other VPNs, and 38 days longer than IPVanish.
Reasons to use a VPN in Korea
When it comes to why you need to use a VPN in South Korea in the first place, we have three big reasons for you:
1) Privacy protection
If you have to use public Wi-Fi in South Korea, the same precautions that we recommend for any other place in the world should be applied here, as well.
You need to protect yourself, just in case that the same public hotspot is frequented by hackers who might try to intercept your data as it passes through the connection.
2) Unblock websites
Next, you need a VPN if you want to unblock different websites, such as gambling websites, which are not permitted in South Korea.
Of course, whether you are a local or a visitor to the country, if you wish to access foreign websites, you will have to use a VPN as well.
If you are travelling to the country accessing your bank, making payments online and using other services can be a hassle due to you being out of country.
By using a VPN, you can avoid this.
3) Access streaming services from overseas
Finally, if you like streaming your favourite shows and movies on services like the US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and others – you will need to use a VPN. These services generally restrict those who are not in the country that they are covering.
For example, you can't watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere except the UK, unless you use a VPN, so this is not Korean censorship, but British, instead.
Reasons to use a Korean VPN server
On the other hand, you might not be living in Korea or planning to visit the country, but you might still be interested in accessing Korean services. If that is the case, you will need a VPN that offers servers in Korea, such as the five VPNs we have talked about earlier.
Korean television streaming services and Korean drama are now hugely popular thanks to increasing interest in Korean culture due to bands like BTS, GOT7 and BLACKPINK.
Korea has a specific approach to TV and genres like K-Drama and K-Pop are hugely popular not only for Koreans overseas but also across the rest of the world population.
And, of course, there is always Korean Netflix, which features many popular movies and shows from the country.
Is there a free Korean VPN?
Naturally, there are a few free Korean VPNs that you could use, in theory, although doing so is not advised.
Korean free VPNs comes with all the same dangers and risks as any other free VPN service in the world. You would be risking your privacy; with the possibility they would collect your data, likely to sell it to fund the service and make a profit.
Not to mention that there is a good chance to run into a malicious service, which might infect your device with malware of some kind.
This could be ransomware that would lock your device and ask for money, or spyware that would steal your data, or something completely different.
With the increased popularity of Korean TV, movies and music, many are looking for free ways to unblock and access this content. For the headache involved when something goes wrong, we don't recommend it when a safe and secure VPN costs as little as $5 per month.
Whether you live in Korea, plan to visit the country, or are merely interested in its entertainment – you will need to use a VPN.
If you're in the country, you'll be able to protect yourself and access outside content. If you're outside the country, you'll be able to access services intended only for locals.
We recommend using ExpressVPN for all types of purposes, but if you have the time, it's worth checking out all five providers we've listed above. They're all capable services in their own right and whichever you end up choosing will be suitable for a multitude of purposes.
Don't forget they all offer money back guarantees, so it's easy to give them a try and switch if you change your mind.
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