How often have you encountered restrictions while accessing your favorite content in Asia? The landscape of internet access across many Asian countries can present many challenges, from geo-blocks to heavily censored information on seemingly standard platforms. For those residing or traveling within the continent, it necessitates a robust solution for accessibility – A VPN or Virtual Private Network.
At Comparitech, we have compiled this guide from exhaustive research and rigorous testing dedicated to providing you with the Best VPNs for Asia. Your experiences of stumbling upon restricted news outlets, social networks, or streaming sites echo the frustrations of many. Therefore, our expertise culminates in pinpointing VPNs capable of bypassing stringent internet restrictions and ensuring a seamless, secure, and authentic online journey.
We’ll cover each of the VPNs we recommend in more detail below, but in case you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary:
The best VPNs for Asia:
- NordVPN Our top VPN pick for Asia. A veteran provider that consistently hits good streaming speeds. Impressive security and privacy features. Wide network of reliable servers. 30-day money-back guarantee.
TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for Asia.
- Surfshark Best budget VPN for Asia. A security-first service that prides itself on the ability to unblock a huge range of content. Offers decent speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and a no-logs policy. Works consistently in China.
- ExpressVPN Operates a vast network of servers that can unblock most of the popular online streaming sites. Goes to great lengths to protect users’ privacy and security. Works well in Asia, including China.
- CyberGhost Surprisingly impressive speeds in our tests for a budget provider. Easy to use with good privacy.
- IPVanish Reliable for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. Option for anonymous signup and payment. Allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
- PrivateVPN Fast and secure. Needs manual configuration to work in China.
- AtlasVPN Unlimited device connections, WireGuard support, extremely high speeds, and powerful security features.
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The best VPNs for Asia: Our in-depth analysis
We’ve tested and compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice VPN for Asia.
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||Cyberghost.com||IPVanish.com||PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for Asia||1||2||3||4||5||6||Streaming services||Netflix|
|Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||39 Mbps||100+ Mbps||39 Mbps||Server countries||60||100||94||90+||53||63||Works in China||Activity logs||None||None||No identifying data||No identifying data||No logs stored||None|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.99|
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The Best VPNs for Asia
In order to find the best VPNs for Asia, we looked for excellence in the following areas:
- Good speeds for streaming video to anywhere in Asia
- A large server network with a presence in major Asian countries
- Strong encryption
- Work with a wide range of popular device
You can read more about how we test and rank the VPNs we recommend in our methodology section below. For now, let’s take a look at the ones that made the cut.
Here’s out list of the best VPNs for Asia:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our first choice for an Asia VPN. It has more than 5,500 servers in 60+ countries, boasts incredible speeds, and is capable of evading detection. If you’re prepared to sign up for the three-year plan, you will get a particularly low price. And although such a long-term commitment might seem daunting, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can really test out the VPN before you are completely locked in.
With NordVPN, you are allowed to connect six devices to the service at once. NordVPN works in China, and it can also help you access Netflix US, Canada, France, and India.
The server locations of NordVPN include Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, so you can easily get an Asian IP address from abroad using this VPN.
NordVPN is fine with its customers using P2P networks for downloading, and it has specialized servers for that activity. You can choose to add extra security measures when you select a server for your connection. These options include a double-hop connection, which passes through two VPN servers and includes double encryption.
This service has apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. The VPN can be set up on routers, and there is also a NordVPN browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
- Very fast speeds for HD streaming
- Operates close to 500 servers throughout Asia
- Unblocks the majority of streaming services with ease
- Works in China
- Top-notch security and privacy protection
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Desktop app can be a bit slow to connect
BEST VPN FOR ASIA:NordVPN is our top choice. A solid well-rounded VPN provider that works well in Asia. Unblocks most popular streaming sites. Strong security features and allows up to 6 devices to be used simultaneously from one account. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee making it risk-free.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN based in the British Virgin Islands, so it isn’t legally required to keep any identifying logs, and accordingly, it doesn’t. For added privacy, you can pay in Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum. This service keeps your internet traffic safe using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. There’s also a NoBorders function that lets you browse freely in countries with strict censorship.
Users can connect to more than 3,200 servers spread across 100+ countries, including Hong Kong, India, Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore. And with no connection limit, you’ll be able to protect all of your devices at once. Of course, it works just as well for entertainment purposes and unblocks stubborn platforms like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer from anywhere. 24/7 support is on-hand over live chat, just in case.
Surfshark offers Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and MacOS apps. You can also manually configure it for use with supported network routers.
- Streaming speeds are great for HD in Asia
- No connection limit
- Strong privacy and security protections
- Unblocks sites from across the globe
- 24/7 live chat available
- Some slow speeds
BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark lets you protect every device you own simultaneously. With cutting-edge security features, a no-logs policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, this service is well worth your consideration.
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is another good choice for use in Asia. The server locations of this VPN are spread across 94 countries and include major Asian nations such as Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Macau. Those last two locations offer excellent service for customers in China. ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that work well in the People’s Republic. The service’s ability to evade detection is great for those in China who want to watch foreign movies or connect to Facebook.
The ease with which ExpressVPN dodges the Great Firewall of China shows how adept this service is at fooling even the strictest proxy detection systems. In the world of video streaming, one of the hardest sites to crack is Netflix. ExpressVPN can access Netflix US, Canada, Germany, and other libraries from anywhere in Asia.
Ironically, the ExpressVPN website is blocked in China. However, the company gives its customers a second web address to access the site that works in China. The support team can be reached around the clock on the website via a live chat facility. However, if you’re heading for China, it is simpler to sign up for the service before you go.
ExpressVPN apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire tablets, and certain wifi routers.
- Fast servers are great for streaming in HD quality
- Servers in major Asian cities
- User-friendly apps for all major mobile and desktop platforms
- Unblocks all major streaming services
- Slightly more pricey than other services
- Streaming servers aren’t labeled
COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY:ExpressVPN has a vast server network that is optimized for high-speed connections and user-friendly apps for all operating systems. It’s hard to beat on privacy and security. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has more than 9,000 servers around the world, spread across 90 countries. There are VPN servers in many Asia countries, including Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia. This is one of the few VPN services in the world that has servers in Pakistan, so if you are living and working in some other part of Asia and you want to be able to get into Pakistani sites, apps, and video services, CyberGhost would be your best bet.
The app for CyberGhost is really well designed, with a friendly ghost theme running through all of its screens. When you open the app, you first get to define what activity you will be pursuing, and then the app reconfigures itself accordingly. One of those options is to download with torrents, so the company is fine with you using its services to connect to P2P networks anonymously.
The company also offers its customers extra security measures for free, such as an immunizer against ransomware attacks. You can connect to the service seven times simultaneously.
You can pay for the service with Bitcoin. CyberGhost offers total account anonymity because your payments are processed by a separate company, and you are only identified on the CyberGhost system by an account number.
CyberGhost provides apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The VPN website contains instructions for setting up the VPN on select routers.
- Fast enough to stream HD video seamlessly in most regions
- Operates dozens of fast and reliable servers in Asia
- No issues accessing US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
- Kill switch on all apps and keeps no logs
- Doesn’t work in China or the UAE
- Better suited to beginners than power users
VALUE AND PERFORMANCE:CyberGhost has a simple set up. Works well in Asia. Good option if you are looking for a fast, reliable connection and an easy-to-use interface. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is based in the United States. For some people, that would be a problem because the NSA and copyright lawyers are notoriously adept at leaning on businesses in the USA, which could force them to hand over records of customer activities. However, IPVanish is prepared for that eventuality — they don’t keep any connection or activity logs. So, there is no information that could be forced out of them.
The company has servers in 60 countries and is particularly strong in the United States. If you want to access US games and video services, then you will benefit from great speeds with IPVanish. The company operates VPN servers in 10 Asian nations. These include three different locations in Turkey, and they also have a presence in India, South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia. There are a total of 16 servers in Hong Kong to help customers in China.
IPVanish allows each customer to connect five devices to the network simultaneously. You get a seven-day refund period when you sign up. The service is offered on one-month, three-month, or one-year plans, with longer subscriptions working out cheaper per month.
You can install IPVanish’s desktop software on Windows and macOS. IPVanish also offers apps for Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire. You can even set up this VPN on your wifi router.
- Operates over 50 reliable servers in the Asian region
- Good unblocking capabilities and streams in HD speeds
- Impressive security and privacy features
- Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps
- Apps don’t work in China, you must use a third-party OpenVPN app and manually configure it for each server you wish to connect to
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:IPVanish is great for families. A solid choice for Asia. Good at unblocking most geo-restricted content. Recommend for their high standard of privacy. Could do with a live support option. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, and the company is particularly enthusiastic about serving customers who want to download torrents. The service has locations in 60+ countries, including 12 nations in Asia. Those Asian locations include Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, and Turkey. This is another VPN that can get you into Netflix USA from abroad.
Being very interested in torrenting, the company is scrupulous about not keeping any activity or traffic logs. You get an allowance of ten simultaneous connections with PrivateVPN, so you can have several gadgets protected in your home and outdoors.
Although the company is located in Sweden, all of its staff speak excellent English, and the support team is available on the website through a live chat facility during Swedish business hours. The technicians are able to take control of your device remotely and fix any problems that you have if you find it difficult to follow technical instructions.
The PrivateVPN custom app is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire, and routers.
PrivateVPN offers new customers a 30-day refund period so you can try the service risk-free.
- Streaming speeds are good enough for HD for Asia
- Gaining a solid reputation for unblocking geo-restricted content, including from the UK
- Our tests revealed impressive speeds
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
- Small number of servers to choose from
- Needs manual tweaking to work in China
GREAT FOR SPEED:PrivateVPN is consistently reliable. Good for general purpose use and Torrenting. Speeds were surprisingly good at this end of the market. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
AtlasVPN offers a smaller network of servers than some, but they are located in 40+ countries, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UAE included. With extremely high speeds, no connection limit, and the ability to stream Disney+, HBO Max, and more, this VPN certainly has plenty to offer.
It fares very well on privacy too. That’s because Atlas VPN keeps no logs, prevents DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, and secures your traffic with 256-bit encryption. There are also specific servers that’ll change your IP address periodically and a built-in breach monitor that’ll let you know the moment your account details are leaked online. Finally, this provider offers free 24/7 live chat just in case you run into trouble.
Atlas VPN has its own iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows apps.
- Good set of security tools
- Fast and reliable speeds
- Servers in 7 Asian countries
- Fewer server locations than others
- Doesn’t work with routers or Linux
SECURE AND VERSATILE:AtlasVPN allows you to browse safely in Asia because it keeps no logs, boasts a powerful security toolkit, and delivers some of the highest speeds around. Best of all, this VPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of AtlasVPN.
Our Methodology: How we found the best VPNs for Asia
When it comes to VPNs, there’s plenty of competition on the market. However, some VPNs are found to be lacking when it comes to server speed or even their level of security. As part of our methodology, we looked for the VPNs we recommend to meet the following criteria:
- Servers worldwide: There may be times when you wish to connect to a server in your home country in Asia or in another part of the world. Whatever the case, a VPN should offer a global network of servers. All of the best VPNs for Asia have servers in dozens of countries. In some cases, thousands of servers are available.
- Speed: Our speed tests have identified only the fastest VPNs so you can continue to browse, stream, and torrent as normal. All of these VPNs offer unlimited bandwidth. As such, you may even enjoy improved connection speeds in some cases. This is particularly the case if you’re currently suffering from ISP throttling.
- Unblocking: The unblocking ability of VPNs varies greatly, which is why we test each VPN against a wide range of websites and services. In particular, we try them with a lot of popular streaming services, many of which actively block VPN use. The VPNs listed in this post all offer the most consistency when it comes to bypassing restrictions.
- Security: A VPN should keep you safe at all times, even if you’re connecting to less-than-safe public wifi networks. Essential security features that we look for in a VPN include encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Need more than this? Look for a VPN with Double VPN servers that encrypt your internet traffic twice.
- Privacy: Aside from strong security, a VPN is supposed to protect your privacy. This comes first and foremost with encryption and then the operating of a strict no-logs policy. Unfortunately, some VPNs keep identifying logs and may even sell this information to third parties. We’ve studied 140 VPN logging policies to find those you can trust.
- Ease of use: One of the benefits of testing so many VPNs is that we are able to find out just how user-friendly their apps actually are. We only choose VPNs that allow you to connect to a server in a matter of seconds. Another key feature is that each VPN provides 24/7 support, available via live chat and email.
- Value for money: Just because a VPN offers the above doesn’t mean it has to be unaffordable. Indeed, you’ll have the option of a month-to-month subscription (higher monthly fee but no long-term commitment) or an annual or multi-year plan (pay more upfront but save long-term). All of the best VPNs for Asia include risk-free money-back guarantees, while you can save even more with our VPN discount coupons.
We personally test all of these VPNs to ensure they meet this criteria. This involves plenty of hands-on time with each VPN, carrying out tests related to speed, security, and unblocking content. If you want to know more about how we do this, check out our article detailing our VPN testing methodology.
Free VPNs for Asia
We know they’re temping, but you should resist the allure of free VPNs. Some of them are great for quick access to restricted sites however, most free VPNs have very limited capabilities and will struggle to get around internet censorship, especially in tricky countries like China. When looking for a VPN for Asia, you need to be sure of top-level encryption to keep your connections private — free VPNs don’t offer that.
The free versions of reputable VPNs are often good as a trial. However, they usually come with data throughput limits. Activities such as online gaming, torrenting, and streaming video chew through those data allowances very quickly. Plus, their encryption standards can leave you open to malware, and some have been known to record your data and sell it to third parties. So we recommend using a reputable VPN for Asia instead.
Internet restrictions in Asia
Asia encompasses a lot of repressive governments. The Freedom House has previously named 20 Asian nations among the 30 most repressive regimes for internet access. And the Freedom on the Net 2022 report listed China as the “world’s worst environment for internet freedom” for the 8th year in a row.
The controls on internet access vary from country to country, but Asia includes the countries that operate the tightest web restrictions. Freedom House gives China the top spot for internet repression, but Iran, Syria, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan are not far behind.
All search engines in China are severely restricted. Although you can access Google in China, you won’t be able to get to the North American or European versions of the service. Instead, you will be redirected to the Hong Kong service.
Most Google brands, including YouTube, Google Drive, and Gmail, are banned in China. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all banned in China, as are overseas video streaming services, such as Netflix.
Governments across Asia heavily censor international entertainment. The temptation to access overseas video streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or the websites of US or European TV stations, is very strong. However, accessing uncensored entertainment in many Asian countries can be illegal. Not only that, most TV streaming websites won’t let you access their videos from abroad. VPNs can help you get around both of these hurdles to access entertainment from other continents when you are in Asia.
Muslim countries are particularly hard on pornography and dating sites. Also, as a lot of countries in the Middle East are autocratic, any political dissent gets a website banned in those places. Surprisingly, gambling sites are banned in a lot of South Asian countries, including India and Bangladesh. In South Korea, online gambling can get you a jail sentence of three years.
Websites covering issues of homosexuality are completely banned throughout the Middle East and also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. A long list of Asian locations ban dating sites. Again, all of the Middle East is on that list, plus India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, and China.
Religious controversy is strongly punished in large areas of Asia, and many countries have very severe penalties for people who even joke about the state’s main religion.
In Pakistan, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill gives the government the right to prosecute Pakistani passport holders for accessing banned sites even if they are outside of the country when they committed the transgression and even if they were born abroad and have never actually visited Pakistan. The advent of internet access on flights means that you can be prosecuted by the Pakistani government for accessing a banned website while flying over the country — even if your plane doesn’t touch down there.
The situation of internet freedom in Asia is not universally gloomy. Japan has one of the freest web systems in the world and is ranked as the seventh freest country in the world for internet access by Freedom House, while Taiwan is also listed on the free internet list.
The legal landscape over internet and web access in many Asian countries has become messy. The definition of what is and isn’t illegal is left intentionally blurred, and that means that many governments can arrest people on a whim whether or not the sites that they visited were on a blacklist.
*Disclaimer: While we have researched this topic thoroughly, nothing in our article should be taken as legal advice. Our goal is to provide you with the best information and solutions. That said, we are not legal experts on the nuances of Asia’s laws.
VPNs for Asia: FAQs
Which VPN is best for Asian servers?
Most major VPN providers know the value of having a strong server base in Asia. This not only allows Western users to access in-demand services like Netflix Japan, Hotstar, and Chinese TV channels; it also means that customers in these locations can browse and stream safely, without having to reduce their speeds by connecting to a server hundreds of miles away.
In terms of sheer countries covered, ExpressVPN is one of the best. It has servers in fairly uncommon locations like Bhutan, Brunei, and Laos, as well as the more common Japan, India, and South Korea. If you’re looking for reliability, NordVPN might be the better option, though: it covers fewer countries but has almost twice as many servers, which could help reduce lag at peak times.
Are VPNs legal in Asia?
Although some governments have pushed for further restrictions on VPN usage, these services are actually still legal in most places. In fact, they’re only officially banned in 10 countries around the world. Unfortunately, though, eight of these ten locations are in Asia:
- North Korea
- United Arab Emirates
There can be serious consequences for breaking the law in these countries. We strongly recommend you make yourself aware of the local laws and regulations before attempting to use a VPN when traveling.
Which VPN location is best in Asia?
There is no definitive answer to this question since it depends on various factors, such as individual preferences and VPN needs. However, some locations that may be good choices for VPN users in Asia include Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.
Each of these locations has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your own research before deciding on a VPN location in Asia.
How will I know if my IP address has been changed to a location in Asia?
It’s actually very quick and easy to check if your IP address has been changed to a location in Asia. First, make sure you’re connected to a server in a country in Asia. This should be easily visible in the VPN app. However, you can also verify the change through a third-party tool such as our IP Address Check or whatismyip.com. These options both show an approximate location (this should match the VPN server location in Asia) and your current IP address.
Should foreigners use a VPN or a proxy server in Singapore?
Foreigners visiting or living in Singapore should use a VPN over a proxy server. Proxy servers can be helpful for some purposes, but they are less secure than a VPN and may leave you vulnerable to malicious attacks.
One of our recommended VPNs can help protect your data, activity, and location from being monitored by anyone with access to the Internet. In addition, it allows you to bypass geographic restrictions imposed on certain websites and streaming services.
When searching for a reliable VPN provider in Singapore, ensure it has high-security features such as solid encryption protocols, DNS leak prevention measures, and no-logging policies regarding user activities or traffic data stored on their network servers.
Which is the best VPN for playing online games like PUBG and League of Legends from Asia?
If you’d like to reduce your ping or access region-specific events in online games, a VPN can be a very useful tool. In fact, you can even use them to play on international servers, so you can still game with friends in other countries, even if your favorite game doesn’t let you switch regions manually.
Speed is the biggest factor when it comes to smooth, lag-free gaming. Of course, your ping and speeds are impacted by all sorts of things including how far you are from your chosen server and how many other people are connected to it. As such, gamers should choose a service like NordVPN; one with consistently speedy connections, a large server network, and the ability to bypass all kinds of country-wide blocking.