Thailand, it's a country of glorious beaches, mountain tribes, Singha beer and quite possibly the most tangled power-cable system in the world (looking at you Bangkok).
Wouldn't it be great then, if living or visiting Thailand that you could access the internet unrestricted?
Sadly, that's not the case.
- Blocked websites.
- Limits on what you can discuss online.
- Requirements to register for public Wi-Fi.
- … and no access to home services like Netflix.
It doesn't need to be like this though. As you may already know a VPN is the solution to these and many other internet issues across the country.
Choosing a VPN is a whole other issue.
That's why in this guide you'll learn which are the leading VPN services to access an open and unrestricted internet while you're in Thailand.
So whether you're a resident, a ‘long-term traveller' (here's to you visa-run pros) or you're merely there for a couple of weeks on holiday, this is the guide for you.
Put down that coconut water and get your elephant pants ready to find out which VPNs you need.
7 VPNs Recommended in Thailand
ExpressVPN, as the name suggests, is one of the fastest VPN services around.
In fact, it is known for its fast speeds that are perfect for streaming videos, playing online games, and browsing the web without interruption. In our latest tests, we found their speeds to outperform almost all other providers.
Not only that, but it is also known for its strong security using 256-bit encryption as standard. They also provide a vast network of VPN servers, with over 3,000 servers in 160 locations – these span 94 countries across the globe.
They also have VPN servers in Thailand, meaning that you can access all of the country's local content, and do it in a completely safe way.
The same goes for other countries in this area, such as Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and many others.
Another reason they stand out is their extensive range of apps covering almost every device you can imagine.
If you change your mind about using it, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to get your money back within the first 30 days from the moment you paid.
#1 Choice for Thailand
30-day money back guarantee
2. CyberGhost VPN
Next, we have CyberGhost – another well-known and safe VPN that is good for unblocking all kinds of content both in and outside Thailand.
This VPN has an even more significant number of servers, 5,700+ of them in just as many countries – around 90 of them.
CyberGhost's network is one of the largest, if not THE largest one, in the entire VPN industry.
As such, it also offers servers in Thailand, which includes around ten dedicated local servers.
CyberGhost also allows you seven concurrent connections at the same time, and it has apps for all popular devices and systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and browser extensions, as well as smart TVs, routers, and more.
The money back guarantee here is also longer than almost any other provider lasting a money-protecting 45 days.
In the third spot, we have NordVPN. It's quite possibly the most popular VPN service on the planet and a name you've likely heard of.
It regularly offers huge discounts on its price, which makes it one of the most affordable options. It is also extremely secure (bar one hiccup) and its server network is only a bit smaller than that of CyberGhost, featuring over 5,100 servers in 59 countries.
It also has servers in Thailand, around 6 of them at current count making it easy to browse local content safely or get that vital speed boost if you're down on the islands or somewhere with unreliable internet.
NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, it can be used on six devices simultaneously, and it offers apps for all the popular devices and systems, as well as browser extensions.
Next, we have IPVanish, a service that again offers strong security but doesn't scrimp on speed.
Its server network is somewhat smaller when compared to the behemoths mentioned above. However, it still includes over 1,300 servers in 75 locations, totalling 40,000 IP addresses.
Unfortunately, it does have a few shortcomings. For example, it doesn't have a single server in Thailand.
However, there are a few in the surrounding countries, such as Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and others. If having a Thai server is a requirement, then you'll need to give this one a miss.
It also has a money-back guarantee that lasts only seven days which is weak in comparison to other provider's 30-days offer.
However, it is pretty much the only VPN that allows you to use it on ten different devices concurrently, letting you protect your entire family.
In the fifth spot, we have VyprVPN – a service known for reliability and one that has been around years.
VyprVPN's server network is also pretty extensive, covering 70 different countries, although its number of servers is smaller than what others on this list have to offer – only around 700. However, because they own all of their infrastructure we found them to be more reliable in comparison to many other services,
Luckily, their VPN server selection does cover Thailand, as well as many surrounding countries.
VyprVPN is excellent for unblocking content, and it has servers in countries where many other VPNs do not, such as Russia. While it won't unblock every streaming service, it does work with the majority of them.
As with most of the other services, there's a lengthy 30-day money back guarantee to give you plenty of time to test their service.
Up next, we have Surfshark a new VPN that comes with a variety of powerful security features, as well as a large VPN server network of 1,040 servers that span throughout 61 countries.
We are also glad to say that Thailand is one of the countries included, as well as some of its closest neighbours.
Surfshark offers relatively low VPN prices, especially when you take their longer subscriptions.
The standout feature for us is their ability to access over 15 regions of Netflix, so if you're an expat who wants to access your movie catalogue from home, this is the service for you.
Dedicated apps are available for all popular devices and it features a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Finally, but no means least we have ProtonVPN, the only service on this list that has an entirely free VPN offer, although it is very limited.
However, when it comes to its premium version, it works on all the most popular devices and systems, it features high speeds, top security, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can also use it on five different devices simultaneously. As for its server network, it is one of the smallest on this list, only covering 42 countries, and having 554 servers in total.
Thailand is not among the covered countries, unfortunately, although some other countries in the area are. Pricing is also a little on the high-side in comparison to other providers.
That said, it's registered in Switzerland and if privacy is high on your agenda, it's the go-to service for many security experts.
Top 4 Reasons to use a VPN in Thailand
Now, you might be wondering why you should use a VPN in Thailand in the first place?
We have four big reasons why doing it is a good idea. This is by no means a full list, but some of the main uses.
Let me explain…
First of all, using a VPN anywhere in the world, including Thailand, is an excellent way to stay private online.
That way, you can protect yourself from hackers, intrusive governments, and other online threats. You can safely access online services, and you can send and retrieve data without anyone spying on you.
Thailand has strict lèse-majesté laws that prohibit criticising the Royal Family. While you're unlikely to be doing so it means any such discussion could land you in a heap of trouble.
This is the same whether you're living in Thailand or just travelling.
Of course, a VPN won't protect you if you discuss disallowed topics via your Facebook or social media page linking to your name. Still, it can aid you to become semi-anonymous when posting on forums using a pseudonym.
2. Public Wi-Fi
You have probably found yourself using public Wi-Fi on more than one occasion when outside of your home, and you needed to access the internet.
Most coffee shops offer it, as well as parks, airports like Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, shopping malls such as Terminal 21 & Central World and a whole host of other places.
However, you never know who else uses the same hotspot, which makes public Wi-Fi extremely unsafe.
Recent Thai government regulation now forces cafes to track their customers' Wi-Fi use and surrender it to government agencies, should they request it.
This form of surveillance makes public internet use very unsafe.
Luckily, a VPN can protect you against monitoring what websites or services you're accessing.
3. Unblock overseas TV
We have spoken already on the VPN's potential to unblock foreign content, and this is especially useful if you're an expat in Thailand or travelling there for a period.
By using a VPN you can disguise your location and appear in another country, allowing you to access all your favourite TV and subscription services in Thailand.
If you're in Thailand for an extended period, consider the Invizbox 2, a hardware VPN router that covers all your devices and doesn't require you to install an app on each one.
4. Unblock websites & apps
Thailand is known for heavy censorship when it comes to certain types of content on the internet.
Whether it is adult content, video streaming sites, external news sites, or protest-related websites, Thailand's censorship grows more and more with each passing year.
By using a VPN you can avoid local blocks allowing you to access all kinds of websites and apps that would ordinarily be inaccessible in the country.
Is there a free VPN for Thailand?
Some free VPNs might work, although their use is never recommended by both ourselves and other experts in the industry.
Free VPNs have many issues that might, and likely will end up damaging your device.
Since they are free, their servers are always overcrowded, meaning that you won't get to experience good speeds.
This will be compounded further if you're using unreliable or mobile internet connections out of the city. For example, in Northern-Isan or on some of the islands in the south.
Then, there is the fact that you don't pay for them, and maintaining these services costs money.
That means that the VPN has to find another way to get that money, and many of them will either bombard you with ads or record your browsing and other data and sell it.
So, you're free to do some searching, but my recommendation is to give them a miss – they're not worth the trouble.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is using a VPN illegal in Thailand?
No, there are no laws against VPN use in Thailand.
Do I need a Thai specific service?
No, any regular VPN service will work. You should ensure they're reputable and have servers in Thailand or surrounding countries for best speeds.
Can I unblock websites?
Yes, by using a VPN in Thailand you'll be able to access any websites that are blocked along with services from your home country.
Do I need a VPN service for each device?
No, most VPN services let you use their service on between 5 – 10 devices at the same time. However, there are no limits on how many devices you can install their apps on.
As you can see, there are more than enough reasons to use a VPN in Thailand.
With so many to choose from, deciding which can be confusing.
I found ExpressVPN to be about the best option. Using it in Chiang Mai, Nong Khai, Korat, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi and even in Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Lipe, I suffered no issues.
They've also got a massive 30-day money back guarantee so if it doesn't work out for you or you don't agree with my assessment then you can get a full refund.
Once you've signed up, enjoy online privacy and freedom, marvel at how Thais crack open those coconuts so easily and enjoy the sun.
Have you used any of the above VPNs in Thailand, or do you have another recommendation? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
- The Telegraph | The best VPNs to protect your data, browser, iPhone, Android and more
- FreedomHouse | Freedom on the Net 2018
- OONI | The State of Internet Censorship in Thailand
- Wired | Android VPN app developers are using malware to track your data
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