Taiwan has the luxury of being one of the freest countries in the world .
But like any country, the need for a VPN is high.
I'm sure you'll agree, finding one with so many choices available is difficult.
In this guide you'll learn which are the best for use there and more importantly some of the reasons why you'll want to be using one.
After multiple tests and hours of research (which I'll cover more on later), I've broken this list down into the leading options for various purposes.
Ultimately a large cloud hangs over Taiwan in the form of Communist China, which erroneously claims sovereignty and regularly launches cyberattacks and spying missions.
Chinese hackers and online trolls are a constant thorn in the side of almost all internet users in Taiwan and they are a big reason why VPNs are so important there.
Censorship in Taiwan is minimal but unblocking geo-restricted streaming services and online gaming platforms is more of an issue.
Before we delve into which VPN is best, let's find out what you should look for to get a reliable VPN service.
How to choose a VPN
There are a lot of VPNs you can choose from and often the number of options can be overwhelming.
There is a way to reduce this number and considering the following features when choosing a VPN for use in Taiwan will help you do that:
- Strong encryption – China is a constant threat to Taiwan, so you need to be sure your data is securely encrypted. Look for providers that offer 256-bit encryption. They'll often use marketing terms like ‘military-grade' or ‘bank-grade' encryption to highlight this.
- No user logs – Keeping your personal information private is important, especially if you are critical of the Chinese regime online. You, therefore, need a VPN that doesn't record details of what you do while connected.
- Servers – Local Taiwanese servers are essential for speed. Still, it is also helpful to have servers in other countries in the region and beyond, especially if you want to unblock geo-restricted content.
- Fast connection speeds – If you are using a VPN to stream movies and TV shows or play online games, you need the fastest possible connection speeds to avoid buffering.
- Device compatibility – Most people access the internet on multiple devices so always look for a VPN which is compatible with the devices you want to use.
- Simultaneous connections – Most of us have multiple devices, so being able to protect them simultaneously is a distinct advantage for a VPN.
Top 7 VPN services
ExpressVPN is our number one recommendation for Taiwan as it ticks all the boxes, with fast download speeds, robust security, and plenty of servers in Taiwan and other locations you need.
ExpressVPN deploys 256-bit AES encryption as standard for all its users. They compliment this security with a strict no logs guarantee that is set in stone thanks to ExpressVPN's headquarters being in the British Virgin Islands.
As the name suggests, connection speeds are breakneck. But just as important, they are consistent over the entire server network.
Their network of VPN servers is a big one with more than 3,000 in 94 different countries. This includes plenty in Taiwan as well as neighbouring countries such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.
The ExpressVPN apps are well designed and easy to use and can be used on just about any device. Struggling to find a negative, the pricing is a little on the high side so you'll want to take their yearly package for the most substantial saving.
You also get up to 5 simultaneous connections with every account which means you can secure all your devices. Throw in a 30-day money-back guarantee too, and ExpressVPN offers a compelling proposition.
Our #1 Recommendation
30-day money back guarantee
NordVPN offers internet users in Taiwan a premium VPN service at a budget price with the bonus of a 30-day money-back guarantee thrown in too.
There is a big server network with more than 5,000 servers in 59 countries including several super-fast Taiwan-based servers. Connections are generally pretty high speed thanks to NordVPN's recent infrastructure upgrades.
All NordVPN users get 256-bit AES encryption as standard as well as the option of several additional security features such as double-hop servers (including a Taiwanese one), Onion-over-VPN servers, and more.
These are available across all their apps, which are compatible with all major devices. NordVPN's base is in Panama, which means its no user logs guarantee and privacy policies are watertight and trustworthy.
The only downside is they recently had a security incident which you may want to consider.
3. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is great for beginners but has plenty to offer all users in Taiwan.
If you're a novice you will enjoy their easy-to-use apps which include lots of beginner-friendly features and you can download them onto most devices. Security is good with 256-AES encryption the default setting along with a no-user logs guarantee.
The CyberGhost server network consists of 5,900 servers in 89 countries, including Taiwan.
Connection speeds on these servers and others in the region are generally excellent. CyberGhost VPN offers a reliable and functional service and includes a huge 45-day money-back guarantee in its package too.
VyprVPN is an established and well-regarded VPN which offers another good option for Taiwanese internet users.
It offers a decent server network with locations in Taipei as well as a lot of countries in the region. Connection speeds on all of these servers held up pretty well in all of our tests.
The regular account is a little underwhelming so consider their ‘Premium' package as you get a lot more for just a few extra dollars.
There are dedicated apps for all the major devices which are well-designed and functional. You can also benefit from a month long money-back guarantee.
IPVanish has been around a long time and built a solid reputation based on the secure and dependable service they offer.
The service offers great looking and user-friendly apps for almost every device and its speeds are dependable and consistent across its entire server network. That network includes 1,300+ servers in around 50 countries globally, including Taiwan.
The IPVanish security is pretty robust as well with secure encryption and a few useful extra security features thrown in too such as a Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection protecting your online activities.
IPVanish only gives you a 7-days money-back guarantee which is a bit disappointing so remember to test it thoroughly early on after signing up.
Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the market but it is already shaking things up thanks to its impressive all-round service.
There is already a server network consisting of more than 1,000 servers in 61 countries. This includes Taiwan and many other south-east Asian countries.
Connection speeds are not too bad either although they certainly aren't the fastest we've seen.
Prices are very competitive and is one area they stand out. There is a lengthy month money-back guarantee available too.
PrivateInternetAccess (PIA) offers more than 3,300 servers in 32 countries.
That doesn't include Taiwan just yet which will limit their appeal if it's a deal-breaker for you, but there are lots of other servers in the region to choose from including Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
Speeds on all of these servers are good and you can also download PIA apps and extensions onto almost any device.
It also comes with an integrated firewall and some other nifty features too. Prices are on a par with the market and there is a 7-day money-back guarantee available too.
Why you need a VPN for Taiwan
Cybersecurity experts recommend every internet user should use a VPN.
But in Taiwan, VPNs are especially important.
Somewhat unusually, this is not because of the actions of Taiwan's government but rather those of a hostile foreign regime.
The ongoing threat posed by Communist China makes a VPN necessary for security and privacy in Taiwan. But there are some other reasons why they are advantageous.
1. Security and Privacy
Chinese hackers and government spies are seeking to infiltrate Taiwanese websites, online accounts, and social media accounts every day.
If you want to keep your online data secure and private, the best way to do so is with a VPN.
When you connect to a VPN, everything you do online is encoded. There is also no record of the websites you visit. A VPN is a vital part of your online security toolkit in Taiwan.
2. Unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites
Lots of ex-pats in Taiwan want to watch streaming services from the USA or the UK. Lots of Taiwanese citizens wish to view content from places like Japan and South Korea. But a lot of these are blocked in Taiwan.
With a VPN, you can unblock streaming services from anywhere.
All you need to do is connect to a server in that country and then log into the website or use their app as usual. All of our recommended VPNs offer servers in multiple countries around the world.
3. Online gaming
E-sports and online gaming is a massive industry  in Taiwan but players often find themselves down the pecking order when it comes to new games and releases.
These are frequently released in the USA, the UK, and many other countries first.
But if you have a VPN, it is possible to spoof your IP Address and fool these gaming companies into letting you play all the latest games first.
What's the best server to use?
If you want to keep your data secure and private, you are best to choose a VPN server based in Taiwan.
All of our recommended VPNs offer these (apart from PIA) and they will give you the fastest possible connection speeds.
If you want to switch your geo-location outside Taiwan, we would suggest you choose a location as close to Taiwan as possible.
Hong Kong is considered a good option but due to the current political instability there you may want to reconsider. Japan, Singapore, and South Korea all offer suitable alternatives.
If you want to unblock English-language content, Australia is probably the closest option. If you need content from the USA, it is best to choose servers on the west coast as these also offer the best possible speeds in Taiwan.
Any good free VPN?
No. You should avoid free VPNs at all costs. This is especially true for Taiwanese internet users.
This is because recent research has revealed that the ownership of most free VPNs can be traced back to Communist China.
These services will offer no security and privacy for Taiwanese internet users. They may even put your online security at even greater risk.
Free VPNs are also known to routinely sell user data to third parties presenting additional security risks. They also have lax security of their networks, making them susceptible to hackers and other external attacks.
For online gaming and streaming, they are also generally useless because of speed and data restrictions which are routinely deployed.
Given that a premium VPNs costs just a few dollars a month, free VPNs are not worth the hassle.
VPNs are vitally essential to use in Taiwan for many reasons.
Staying safe from Chinese hackers and spies is the main one but VPNs also help to unblock geo-restricted streaming sites and help online gamers access all the latest titles.
There are also hundreds of other uses too.
ExpressVPN is our number one pick because they offer the most extensive set of features and come highly recommended not only by ourselves but by other industry experts.
The choice is yours and if you wish to do further research it's worth taking a look at all seven options above.
Most importantly, don't worry too much because they've all been tried and tested. Plus if you're not happy with the service you choose they all offer money back guarantees which you can take advantage of.
I would love to hear your thoughts about VPN use in Taiwan. Have you had a good or bad experience? Let me know in the comments section below.
- Freedom House | Freedom in the World 2019
- Wired | ExpressVPN review: protects your privacy, no matter what
- Wired | Private Internet Access review: a good value, privacy-oriented VPN
- LifeHacker | Why You Should Be Using a VPN (and How to Choose One)
- Reuters | Chinese cyber attacks on Taiwan government becoming harder to detect source
- Forbes | China's Hackers Accused Of ‘Mass-Scale Espionage' Attack On Global Cellular Networks
- Stuff | 6 reasons why Taiwan is a gamer's paradise