Best Hong Kong VPNs

Amid the escalating challenges to Hong Kong’s celebrated autonomy, it is increasingly under threat with growing interference from Beijing. The capital’s increasing influence now shadows its cyberspace, prompting the recognized watchdog, Freedom House, to downgrade Hong Kong to “partly free”. This isn’t mere conjecture; it’s a researched fact and carries a resounding message: If you’re not using a VPN in Hong Kong yet, now is the critical time to reconsider.

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is more than just a digital buzzword. It’s a protective shield that encrypts every byte of data flowing into and out of your device. This cloak not only defends against the prying eyes of hackers but fortifies your digital identity against increasingly intrusive governmental oversight and censorship. For those living in or traveling to Hong Kong, a VPN bridges the digital divide, granting access to cherished geographically restricted content like BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, and BeIN Sports, to name a few.

In this article, we list the best VPNs for Hong Kong, explain how to use them, and answer some common VPN questions. We go into more detail about each of the ones we recommend later, but if you’re pressed for time, here’s a snapshot of our findings:

Best VPNs for Hong Kong:

  1. NordVPN Our top VPN for Hong Kong. A veteran provider that doesn’t compromise on speed. Good at unblocking popular streaming content. Strong privacy and security. Strict no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for Hong Kong.
  2. Surfshark Best budget VPN for Hong Kong. A fast service that puts major emphasis on security and privacy. Boasts excellent unblocking ability and even works in mainland China.
  3. ExpressVPN Well-designed apps that provide strong privacy and excellent security, fast speeds, and the ability to unblock tons of restricted overseas content.
  4. CyberGhost Beginner friendly provider catering to those who want privacy and the ability to access their home Netflix library while in Hong Kong.
  5. IPVanish Torrent-friendly VPN service with good speeds, no logs, and strong encryption. Allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
  6. PrivateVPN Strong security and privacy, good speeds, and can access US Netflix. Owns its servers. Popular in Hong Kong and includes a 10-device connection limit.
  7. PureVPN Including AES encryption and a kill switch. Torrenting is permitted throughout its network.
  8. ProtonVPN Servers are available in over 85+ countries, and it’s ideal for bypassing restrictions to watch Hong Kong TV abroad.

WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?

NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for Hong Kong with no restrictions for a month. This gives you plenty of time to try its privacy and security features out for yourself before making a decision.

There are no hidden termsjust contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

Why do you need a VPN in Hong Kong?

Residents of Hong Kong don’t have the same kind of walled-off internet that’s prevalent in mainland China, but that doesn’t mean the Communist Party isn’t watching your every move. Democratic activists in Hong Kong attest that Chinese authorities monitor residents’ web activity, emails, and online communications. Many people have been arrested for holding views that advocate independence from China as well as being critical of the Chinese government.

With increased unrest over China’s influence on Hong Kong and growing concerns around privacy, VPNs have become increasingly popular in Hong Kong, with some protesters urging people to buy VPNs.

VPN encrypts all of your online communications so that anyone snooping on your connection won’t be able to decipher its contents or what you do online. A VPN also protects you from a variety of online threats, including malware, man-in-the-middle attacks, and denial-of-service attacks. This is especially important for people visiting Hong Kong for business or leisure who plan to use public and/or unsecured Wi-Fi networks at hotels, restaurants, airports, and cafes.

Furthermore, a VPN can unblock a wide range of content and services from abroad. These include geo-blocked streaming sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and other countries’ Netflix libraries.

How we found the top Hong Kong VPNs

There are plenty of VPN providers on the market, but they don’t all provide the same level of service. We rank our VPNs based on a series of criteria to ensure that you’re getting the best VPN for the job. When looking for the best Hong Kong VPN, we looked for the following criteria at a minimum:

  • Has a wide global network of servers
  • Provides high speeds and reliable connections
  • Uses 256-bit encryption and offers various other security features
  • Does not log any information that could identify you
  • Offers apps for all of the most popular operating systems
  • Has knowledgeable customer support available

You can read more about how we test and rank the best VPNs in the methodology section below. But for now, let’s take a look at the ones that made the cut.

The best VPNs for Hong Kong: Our hands-on review

We’ve 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 Hong Kong.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostIPVanishPrivateVPNPureVPNProtonVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.comPrivateVPN.comPureVPN.comprotonvpn.com
Ranking for Hong Kong:12345678
Streaming ServicesNetflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
HBO Max
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
HBO Max
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
HBO Max
Hulu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps39 Mbps400 Mbps100+ Mbps
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%85%70%85%85%87%
Simultaneous Connections10Unlimited87Unlimited1010Free: 1, VPN Plus: 10
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!
$2.99
SAVE 76% on the 2 yr plan
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free
$2.11
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
$3.59
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan

The best VPNs for Hong Kong

At Comparitech, we aim to bring you the best and most accurate VPN advice on the internet. To do this, we personally use and test every VPN before we recommend them to you. The following reviews are based on our first-hand experiences and extensive real-world testing.

Here is our list of the best VPNs for Hong Kong:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024 Works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our number-one choice VPN for Hong Kong. It’s well-known in the VPN business because it’s been around for over a decade and has built a winning product. It’s fast, doesn’t store any user data, allows multiple connections, and has an excellent network of servers.

NordVPN retains no metadata about browsing habits, timestamps, or choice of servers. The policy has thwarted attempts by authorities to obtain user information; there simply wasn’t anything available on its servers. The company is also based in Panama, which means there aren’t any mandatory data retention laws to comply with.

NordVPN has over 6,000 servers in 60 countries – with options to connect depending on your specific requirements. There are 70+ servers in their Hong Kong network. The service works with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat. A total of six connected devices can be used with a paid subscription. All internet traffic is secured by AES-256 encryption, which comes as standard. It’s coupled with 2,048-bit SSL keys and DNS leak protection.

iOS and Android easy-to-use apps are available, as well as desktop software for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

NordVPN speed test data

No valueNordVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)354 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)262 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)284 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE

Pros:

  • Operates over 70 servers in Hong Kong
  • Very fast streaming and download speeds
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Works with all major streaming platforms, e.g. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • Top-notch security and online privacy protection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Desktop app takes a little getting used to.

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR HONG KONG:NordVPN is our first choice. Extremely fast and versatile. Works well in Hong Kong. Excellent security features and accommodates up to 6 devices. Includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here’s our full review of NordVPN.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark Works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a great value, highly versatile service with 3,200+ servers across 100+ countries. It’s fast enough for flawless live streaming and works with some of the most stubborn services abroad, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, as well as sites prone to government censorship.

It uses AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks to keep your activities hidden from prying eyes. There’s also a NoBorders feature that reshapes your traffic, hiding the telltale characteristics of VPN data and concealing the fact that you’re using a VPN at all.

This service is based in the British Virgin Islands, a country with no mandatory data retention laws. Accordingly, it doesn’t keep any personally identifiable information, which means that once connected, you’re effectively untraceable. If you’d prefer even greater protection, you can pay in Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum.

Surfshark has apps for Android, Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Linux. Manual installation is required for use on supported internet routers.

Surfshark speed test data

No valueSurfshark
WebsiteSurfshark.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)521 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)702 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)561 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free

Pros:

  • Highly secure
  • Fast enough for most purposes
  • Keeps no logs
  • Great unblocking ability
  • No connection limit

Cons:

  • Some servers are slower than others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark not only keeps your activities private, it does so at a very reasonable price. Allows you to secure all of your devices at once. Decent speeds, advanced security features, a no-logs policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee make this service a great choice for anyone in Hong Kong.

Read our full review of Surfshark here.

Surfshark Coupon
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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN offers fast speeds combined with military-grade encryption protocols and an attractive design. It’s easy to set up and simple enough for even newcomers to the VPN world to figure out. The company operates over 3,000 servers spread across 100+ countries, and Hong Kong is included in the list.

ExpressVPN doesn’t store any detailed user logs. The only information recorded is the metadata of the “date (not time) of connection, choice of server location, and total bandwidth used”. Your individual IP address will never be logged. This should ease privacy concerns.

Encryption parameters are hardy, and DNS leak protection is included as standard. ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES-CBC protocols as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. There’s an internet kill switch included, which the company calls a ‘network lock’. This excellent security feature means all web traffic will be temporarily halted if the connection drops unexpectedly.

ExpressVPN can circumvent the Netflix VPN ban. It’s also compatible with both Hulu and BBC iPlayer and supports torrenting. The provider allows five simultaneous connections—which isn’t huge—but the service and unlimited bandwidth make up for it.

Included are easy-to-use apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

ExpressVPN speed test data

No valueExpressVPN
WebsiteExpressVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)319 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)303 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)278 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free

Pros:

  • Fast and reliable choice, works flawlessly in Hong Kong
  • Servers in 100+ countries, including Hong Kong
  • Can unblock most geo-restricted content at HD speeds
  • High-grade online security features and a no-logs policy protect your privacy
  • Knowledgable 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Power users would prefer more advanced configuration options
  • Higher price than others on this list

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SPEED AND SECURITY:ExpressVPN is privacy-focused but doesn’t compromise on speed. Scores high above its rivals for unblocking Netflix and other streaming sites. Top-notch privacy and online security. 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee.

Here’s our in-depth review of ExpressVPN.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost Works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is a good Hong Kong VPN option for beginner users because it’s easy to set up, fast, and incorporates military-grade encryption. The company is headquartered in Romania, which means there aren’t any mandatory data retention laws to comply with. It also has a stated policy of not storing any user data. This should ease privacy concerns.

CyberGhost has been adding new server location options at breakneck speeds. Right now, there are over 10,000 servers spread across 100+ countries. 70+ VPN servers are in Hong Kong. CyberGhost works with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer with their specialized servers for the streaming user.

Encryption standards are robust – the company deploys 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and SHA256 authentication. These are considered to be top-tier. An internet kill switch is also included.

Apps are available for both Android and iOS, as well as a desktop client for Windows and MacOS. One paid account allows for five devices to connect at a single time.

CyberGhost speed test data

No valueCyberGhost
WebsiteCyberghost.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)449 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)269 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)167 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!

Pros:

  • Operates 70+ fast servers in Hong Kong
  • Low server-to-user ratio ensures good access to bandwidth and above-average speed
  • Scores highly in terms of security and privacy
  • Apps are great for beginners
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work reliably in mainland China
  • Few customizable features

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

VALUE AND PERFORMANCE:CyberGhost has a simple set up. Works well in Hong Kong. Good option if you are looking for a fast, reliable connection and an easy-to-use interface. Can struggle with unblocking some popular streaming services. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish Works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is another feature-rich VPN service that prioritizes strong encryption, a stringent privacy policy, and fast streaming and download speeds. It’s a completely log-less VPN, meaning there’s absolutely no data retention.

To secure web traffic, IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. The lattermost feature means that your past data will remain encrypted, even if there’s a breach.

The company allows any number of connected devices on one account. Their server network is spread out worldwide with an option to connect to over 2,000 possible choices, including several in Hong Kong.

Apps for both iOS and Android are available, as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS.

IPVanish speed test data

No valueIPVanish
WebsiteIPVanish.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)277 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)237 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)352 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE 76% on the 2 yr plan

Pros:

  • Hong Kong servers have good connection speeds for downloading and streaming
  • Works with Netflix US
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever
  • Owns rather than rents its server network

Cons:

  • Apps didn’t work in mainland China during our testing
  • Customer support can be a little slow

Our score:

4 out of 5

UNLIMITED DEVICES:IPVanish can connect any number of devices. Uncongested network with good connection speeds, privacy, and extra security. A favorite for Kodi and Amazon Fire Stick. Works well in Hong Kong but won’t work in China. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of IPVanish.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is a competitive choice for users in Hong Kong despite its smaller server network. It’s a top pick for the region with excellent privacy features, strong streaming capabilities, and a 10-connection limit.

Owning and managing its network, PrivateVPN ensures no third-party access to user traffic. Strong encryption, a kill switch, and leak prevention provide a secure browsing experience, while the zero-logs policy and Bitcoin payment option add extra privacy.

PrivateVPN excels at accessing streaming services, including Netflix and Prime Video. In addition, it maintains fast, consistent speeds, allowing for uninterrupted 4K streaming, depending on your base connection.

The user-friendly interface offers customization, and its platform compatibility ensures easy installation. Users can adjust settings, such as encryption levels and server connections, with nearly 24/7 live chat support available.

PrivateVPN speed test data

No valuePrivateVPN
WebsitePrivateVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)94 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)57 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)62 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free

Pros:

  • Strong security and privacy protection features
  • Unlimited bandwidth, high speeds, and P2P allowance also mean it’s suitable for torrenting
  • Accepts Bitcoin

Cons:

  • May need support assistance in locating the best server to choose
  • Support staff are good, but only operate during European business hours

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

10 DEVICE LIMIT:PrivateVPN is excellent at unblocking streaming services, includes live chat support and doesn’t collect logs. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

PrivateVPN Coupon
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7. PureVPN

PureVPN Works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PureVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS

PureVPN is a budget-friendly VPN for Hong Kong expats. With plans starting as low as US$1.96 per month, you can access popular Hong Kong streaming platforms like myTV SUPER, ViuTV, and TVBAnywhere+ without breaking the bank. Hong Kong IPs are particularly useful for bypassing content restrictions at your workplace or for retrieving Hong Kong-specific search results while traveling abroad.

Thanks to its super-fast WireGuard protocol, PureVPN is ideal for diverse activities such as streaming, gaming, torrenting, and private video calls. Its strong security measures guarantee your online activities remain secure and private when using a Hong Kong IP, perfect if you want to access Hong Kong services or news without being monitored.

The VPN is compatible across multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. These applications are equipped with essential security features like a kill switch, AES encryption, and DNS leak prevention.

PureVPN has impressive download speeds of up to 400 Mbps. This makes it a sweet choice for streaming not only Hong Kong-based content but also international services like Netflix US, Hulu, HBO Max, ESPN, Disney+, and British channels including BBC iPlayer and ITVX.

For those interested in torrenting, PureVPN offers port forwarding. However, it is important to note that this feature is an add-on that costs a little extra.

While the response time for live chat support might not be the quickest, the overall reliability is outstanding considering the low cost of a subscription. Plus you can test it yourself using its 31-day money-back guarantee.

PureVPN speed test data

No valuePureVPN
WebsitePureVPN.com
Avg Speed (US)628 Mbps
Avg Speed (UK)324 Mbps
Avg Speed (Asia)246 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.11
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months

Pros:

  • Fast Tier 1 server network and the WireGuard protocol for impressive performance
  • Independently audited no-logging policy
  • Hong Kong IP works to access popular streams.
  • User-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more
  • 31-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Customer support can be slow to respond
  • Additional charge for port forwarding

Our score:

4 out of 5

AMAZING VALUE:PureVPN offers one of the cheapest and most reliable ways to get a Hong Kong IP address. It is easy to use and comes with everything you need to gain watertight online privacy and security, including AES encryption and a kill switch. Torrenting is permitted throughout its network. It has a 31-day money-back guarantee to test it yourself.

Find out more in our PureVPN review.

PureVPN Coupon
Up to 82% off the 2-yr standard plan + free months
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8. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN Works in Hong KongTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN is a highly reliable and reputable VPN service based in Switzerland. This is a country with superb privacy laws. In addition to the provider’s excellent reputation for privacy (it is well known because it also developed the private email service Proton Mail) the VPN has a rock-solid no-logs policy that has been independently audited.

The VPN apps are equipped with AES encryption, a kill switch, and various protocols, including sophisticated features like obfuscation, multi-hop connections, and Tor over VPN. This makes it one of the most advanced VPNs on the market.

ProtonVPN’s use of OpenVPN and its strict no-logging policy make it an excellent choice for getting a Hong Kong IP address while ensuring your online activities remain private. This is ideal for bypassing wifi restrictions at workplaces or navigating around government-imposed internet blocks in Hong Kong.

In terms of performance, ProtonVPN delivers impressive speeds, courtesy of its WireGuard protocol. Our tests showed that ProtonVPN works to watch popular Hong Kong streaming services like Netflix Hong Kong, myTV SUPER, ViuTV, and TVBAnywhere+. It is also compatible with major international services like Hulu, HBO Max, Sling TV, and BBC iPlayer.

ProtonVPN’s advanced features are particularly advantageous for individuals in countries with severe censorship, however, it does not support users in mainland China. Additionally, the VPN supports split tunneling and port forwarding, making it an excellent option for torrenting.

Live chat support is available in the members’ area, meaning you can get help with using or setting up the VPN at any time of day. A 30-day money-back guarantee means you can test the VPN on your devices risk-free.

ProtonVPN speed test data

No valueProtonVPN
Websiteprotonvpn.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)390 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)306 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)295 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.59
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan

Pros:

  • Fast servers and the Wireguard protocol for streaming and gaming
  • Effective for accessing multiple Netflix regions
  • Robust encryption and strict no-logs policy
  • Abundance of advanced features including port forwarding
  • Works to access Hong Kong streams and gaming servers

Cons:

  • A touch expensive
  • May not be the most user-friendly option for beginners

Our score:

4 out of 5

FULLY FEATURED:ProtonVPN is perfect for advanced users who want a VPN for bypassing blocks and using the internet privately. It is great for torrenting and gaining watertight online privacy. Servers are available in over 85+ countries, and it’s ideal for bypassing restrictions to watch Hong Kong TV abroad. 24/7 live chat support is available on its website. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Find out more in our ProtonVPN review.

ProtonVPN Coupon
Up to 64% off a 2-year plan
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Our methodology: identifying the best VPNs for Hong Kong

There are plenty of VPN providers on the market, but they don’t all provide the same level of service, nor are they all fit for every job. We like to make sure that the services we recommend are a good fit for any task you have in mind. That’s why we evaluate VPNs in all the areas below before coming to a decision:

  • Unblocking ability: First and foremost, the VPN should be able to reliably bypass the censorship and online restrictions in place in Hong Kong. If it can do this, accessing geo-blocked services like Sling TV or Amazon Prime Video should be a snap.
  • Speed: Every VPN will slow you down to some degree, but we prioritize those that have the smallest impact possible. No matter which you choose, your connection should be fast enough to stream live HD video without any problems.
  • Security: All of the services we recommend offer, at a minimum, 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. Naturally, we prefer providers that include more advanced security tools like stealth modes or automatic Wi-Fi protection.
  • Privacy: Given the scale of state surveillance in China, your privacy is of paramount importance. We look for VPNs with a no-logs policy (and if they’ve been audited to prove it, even better). We’d also like to see some sort of anonymous payment option, whether it’s via cryptocurrency, prepaid cards, or something similar.
  • Server choice: The more countries your network covers, the larger the range of content you can theoretically access. Additionally, having multiple servers in each location helps spread the load during peak times and gives you a backup in case one goes offline.
  • Range of devices: We look for providers that support major operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS at a minimum. But we also look for them to work with other platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Linux, and Wi-Fi routers. We also like providers that offer browser extensions.
  • Ease of use: Some VPNs have to be manually configured to work in China, but we prefer those with a toggleable stealth mode or, better yet, those that just work without any settings changes. Other quality-of-life features like 24/7 live chat are welcome too.

Would you believe the checks above are only the first step in our vetting process? If you’d like to learn more, we’ve dedicated a whole post to explaining our complete VPN testing methodology.

Some VPNs to avoid in Hong Kong

One of the major factors in opting to use a VPN to browse the web is the reassurance that your privacy and anonymity will be respected. After all, that’s why they were conceptualized in the first place. The VPNs we’ve recommended in this list have no documented cases of handing over customer data, but there are a few out there that aren’t so forthcoming. We recommend you avoid them.

Here are two such cases:

1. HolaVPN

Israel-based Hola once had a massive user base of almost 50 million – people were attracted to its free VPN extension for Chrome. Unfortunately, it chose to undo all the good work and turned the community into a huge botnet army.

A part of individual bandwidth was put aside for attacks on other websites, distribution of pornography, and other nefarious online activities. And that’s with users completely in the dark.

2. PureVPN

Reports in the media claimed that well-known VPN company PureVPN allegedly collaborated with the FBI to identify Massachusetts resident Ryan Lin, believed to be stalking an unnamed 24-year-old woman.

Ryan had apparently used PureVPN to hide his digital footprint while attempting to blackmail the woman. The FBI got involved after a complaint was lodged.

PureVPN insists that it didn’t record the online content of Ryan’s communications and only traced the activity back to him, but it had boasted of a ‘no-logs’ policy prior to this episode. The company could have been more transparent.

At Comparitech, we don’t condone using VPNs to openly flout laws and commit illegal acts. But providers do need to be completely open and transparent about logging policies – when that’s not followed, we believe it’s a massive red flag.

Using a free VPN in Hong Kong

Some cash-strapped users tend to opt for a free VPN service. But it’s better if you know the full picture before diving into something you might regret.

Many free VPN providers have been caught mining and selling user data. Even if that doesn’t happen to you, there are definitely going to be things like download data caps, bandwidth throttling, and a feeble selection of servers. Such services aren’t built to relentlessly guard your privacy either, so don’t expect world-class service.

Free VPN companies have to make money, too. So, you’ll definitely be bombarded with invasive advertisements and migraine-inducing popup windows. Our recommendation to stay safe on the internet is to cough up a few dollars each month for a reputable provider. Free VPNs just aren’t worth the additional risk you take.

How do I use a VPN in Hong Kong?

In this section, we’ll take you through two use cases. Follow these steps if you’re a foreign expatriate and would like to obtain an IP address from outside of Hong Kong while physically located in the country.

Here’s how to use a VPN in Hong Kong:

  1. Browse through our list of suitable VPN services, we particularly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Register and pay for the online service. Once that’s done, download the companion apps (for your phone) or software (for PC or MacOS)
  3. Clear your cookies and cache in all web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, UC Web) to remove old location identifiers
  4. Restart your device
  5. Open the VPN companion software and log in
  6. Select a server from the country you’re trying to obtain an IP address – such as the US or UK
  7. Allow a few seconds for the connection to be established. Once that’s done, there should be a green notification icon in the taskbar
  8. Browse the web like you normally would. You’ll notice that host websites will assume your true location is in the country you’re currently connected to. This will open up things like streaming media content and local online banking services

The other scenario is for residents of Hong Kong who are traveling abroad and need a local IP address. This could be for streaming content, accessing online banking, or any other requirement.

Here’s how to get a Hong King IP address from abroad:

  1. Browse through our recommendations and settle for an option that works for you, we particularly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Register and pay for the online service – select either a monthly or annual plan depending on how much you would like to spend initially
  3. Once that’s done, download the companion apps (for your phone) or software (for PC or MacOS)
  4. Clear your cookies in all web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) to remove old location identifiers
  5. Restart your device
  6. Open the VPN companion software and log in
  7. Select a server in Hong Kong and click connect
  8. Allow a few seconds for the connection to be established. Once that’s done, there should be a green notification icon in the taskbar
  9. Browse the web like you normally would. You’ll notice that host websites will assume you’re now physically located in Hong Kong thanks to your Hong Kong IP address

See also:

Using a VPN in Hong Kong: FAQs

Can I download VPN software in Hong Kong?

Although VPNs aren’t actually banned in Hong Kong or China as a whole, most major providers have been removed from app stores, and their websites are usually blocked as well. Even if you download the apps directly from somewhere else, you’ll often find that they don’t work since their protocols or servers have been blacklisted. 

This is why it pays to plan ahead: where possible, it’s best to install the VPN before actually arriving in Hong Kong. We also recommend keeping a set of manual setup instructions handy, just in case you’re unable to connect normally. 

Are VPNs illegal in Hong Kong?

At the moment, VPNs are legal in Hong Kong and freely available on major app marketplaces. Remember though: if you use a VPN to commit crimes, you could still find yourself in hot water.

Hong Kong’s legal situation is fluid and ever-changing. As always, we encourage readers to do their own research before attempting to connect to a VPN in China.

Do I still need a VPN if I already have a Hong Kong IP address?

VPNs are useful for all kinds of things, not just unblocking geo-restricted content. For instance, once connected, your activities are hidden from your Internet Service Provider, employer, and government, which greatly enhances your online privacy. For this reason, it’s a good idea to always browse with a VPN on whenever possible.

Will the new Hong Kong privacy laws affect VPNs?

Some providers certainly seem to think so. In the summer of 2020, two well-known VPNs, Private Internet Access and Tunnelbear, both stopped offering access to servers in Hong Kong. The reason for this was simple: they were concerned that the government would gain access to them, which could put their users at risk. 

Other providers, on the other hand, see no reason to change. NordVPN, for instance, specifically configures its servers so that no identifiable data is stored, meaning authorities wouldn’t find any useful information even if they seized NordVPN’s servers.

Will the Great firewall of China be extended to Hong Kong in the future?

While we can’t say for sure, it’s easy to imagine the Chinese government arguing that it doesn’t make sense for two regions of a country to have different levels of freedom now that the “one country, two systems” rule is dead.

In fact, the crackdown has already begun in Hong Kong, with police gaining sweeping new powers to identify users who post content that the government doesn’t like. Naturally, having experienced the open internet already, Hongkongers have no desire to have their freedoms restricted, which has led to a spike in VPN sales. Even still, though, the future of the internet in Hong Kong remains extremely uncertain.

Which VPN with a Chrome extension is best for Hong Kong?

Browsing the internet in Hong Kong has its own unique challenges, primarily because of the Chinese government’s expansive web-filtering technologies (sometimes referred to as The Great Firewall). For this reason, the key aim when choosing a VPN is to find one that can reliably bypass these restrictions. At the time of writing, NordVPN, Surfshark, and VyprVPN all work in China, and all offer easy-to-use extensions for Google Chrome.

TikTok is currently banned in Hong Kong, can I use a VPN to unblock it?

If you connect to a VPN, your data is routed through servers in a different country. This means that as long as a service is available wherever your chosen server is, you should be able to access it. International travelers could, for instance, use an American server to watch Hulu or regain access to TikTok while visiting China.

Will a Hong Kong VPN slow my internet down?

A VPN encrypts and re-routes your internet traffic, and, for this reason, your connection is likely to be slowed as a result. Some VPNs, which are best avoided, cause your internet to suffer a noticeable drop in performance. Much of this is down to having servers with an excessively heavy load. However, some also engage in bandwidth throttling

Fortunately, the best VPNs for Hong Kong are fast enough that it’s unlikely you’ll notice a difference in your internet speed, even when streaming. This is thanks to unlimited bandwidth and fast VPN protocols such as WireGuard.

How can I watch US TV in Hong Kong?

Yes, you can watch American TV channels in Hong Kong. Still, due to licensing and streaming rights agreements, most American channels only allow streaming within the USA. You must use a reliable VPN service to watch US TV shows in Hong Kong.

You can connect to a US server and access American TV channels like Hulu, HBO, Netflix, and ABC using a VPN. Remember that some channels may require a cable subscription to stream content. You can also watch YouTube TV in Hong Kong using a VPN, which offers over 85 TV stations.