Internet freedom in the Philippines has declined in recent years, as evidenced by the Freedom on the Net 2020 report by Freedom House. It classes the Philippines as only “partly free”, citing the forced closure of news outlet ABS-CBN as well as an increasing number of arrests surrounding social media posts in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, a Virtual Private Network or VPN for the Philippines provides you with online security and anonymity while in the Philippines and traveling abroad.
So how can a VPN help? It takes your internet traffic and routes it through a 256-bit AES encrypted tunnel. This means your data cannot be compromised by hackers or snoopers. Furthermore, by connecting to a server in another country, you can change your IP address and spoof your location. This allows you to unblock geo-restricted and even government-censored content such as the online news outlet, Rappler.
If you don’t have time to read the rest of this article, here’s our list of the best VPNs for the Philippines:
- NordVPN: Our top choice VPN for the Philippines. Veteran provider. Strong security and privacy features. Works well for streaming video at blazing speeds.
- Surfshark: Best budget option. Boasts powerful security features, a no-logs policy, and the ability to circumvent country-wide blocking.
- ExpressVPN: Fast speeds, great security, and works with popular streaming services.
- CyberGhost: Easy to use apps. Servers are fast and secure with plenty located in the Philippines.
- IPVanish: Known for its good speeds and secure service. Easy to use but not the cheapest on this list. Popular for torrenting.
- VyprVPN: Popular for unblocking geo-restricted content and streaming speeds.
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Our list of the best VPNs for the Philippines is based on the following factors:
- Fast servers and unlimited bandwidth for streaming and torrenting
- Large network of servers across for unblocking content worldwide
- Strong encryption parameters to maintain privacy and anonymity
- Live chat and email support, preferably available 24 hours a day
- Money-back guarantee of at least 30 days so you can try risk-free
Best VPNs for the Philippines – at a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for the Philippines.
|Website||www.NordVPN.com||www.Surfshark.com||www.ExpressVPN.com||www.Cyberghost.com||www.IPVanish.com||www.VyprVPN.com||Ranking for The Philippines:||1||2||3||4||5||6||Streaming Services||Netflix|
|Popular Sites Unblocked||95%||88%||86%||85%||70%||90%||Simultaneous Connections||6||Unlimited||5||7||Unlimited||5||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.29|
SAVE 60% + FREE Malware Protection
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SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
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SAVE 77% on the 2 year plan
SAVE 44% on the annual plan
Best VPNs for the Philippines
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top choice for a Philippines VPN. It outperforms most VPNs in our speed tests and boasts a huge network of servers. The company operates over 5,200 servers in 60 countries, making it a robust choice for an entire range of web activity. NordVPN works with many online streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. It supports torrenting.
This VPN provider is one of the few that helps you pick a server specifically for your requirements – this could be Double VPN or even P2P. A fervent adopter of a completely zero-logs policy, it retains zero information about user sessions, traffic, or timestamps. The company encrypts internet traffic via the 256-bit AES protocol by default and uses 2,048-bit SSL keys. DNS leak protection is enabled.
There’s support for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. You can also connect up to six devices at the same time.
- Vast network of extremely fast servers
- Unblocks Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
- Provides secure, encrypted connections and keeps no logs
- Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux and Android
- Allows 6 simultaneous connections on one account
- Desktop app could do with an update
BEST PHILIPPINES VPN:NordVPN is our top choice. A good all-rounder that works well with popular streaming services. Strong security features and allows up to 6 devices to be used simultaneously from one account. Includes 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free deal.
Here’s our in-depth review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget-friendly provider that boasts a network of more than 3,000 servers spanning 65 countries. This VPN has fantastic unblocking ability, and allows users to access platforms like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer from anywhere. Further, although most providers limit you to a handful of simultaneous connections, Surfshark lets users connect as many devices as they like.
This service offers numerous tools for the security-conscious individual. There’s 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, for a start. You can also take advantage of split tunneling functionality, a combination ad-blocker/malware-scanner, and a NoBorders mode that lets you access the internet freely in countries with strict online censorship. Surfshark doesn’t log any data that could be traced back to you although you can pay in cryptocurrency for even greater privacy. If you need any help, customer support is on-hand 24/7 via live chat and email.
Surfshark offers iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux apps. It can also be manually configured to work with your home router.
- Allows any number of simultaneous connections
- Top-notch security and privacy features
- Good speeds and unblocking ability
- Anonymous setup and payments available
- Some servers are much slower than others
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
BEST BUDGET CHOICE:Surfshark provides decent speeds and can unblock plenty of region-locked services but more importantly, it keeps no logs and includes a wide array of security features. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN offers a large network of over 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries including some in the Philippines. These options make it a handy choice for expatriates living in the country as well as local residents traveling abroad who wish to keep in touch with local content. The service lets you securely access content on Netflix without any issues. It works with Hulu and BBC iPlayer as well and supports torrents.
Privacy concerns are eased by ExpressVPN’s policy of not storing any traffic logs at all. Encryption protocols are stringent. ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES-CBC with the utilization of both HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch temporarily halts all web traffic if the connection drops unexpectedly. If you’d still like to remain completely anonymous, it’s possible to sign up with a burner email account and pay via Bitcoin. This means your digital footprint is largely hidden.
There are apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
- Large server network
- All traffic is encrypted, bypass intrusive monitoring and overbearing censorship
- Apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux
- Great support
- Sightly more expensive than some of its competitors
PRIVACY-FIRST VPN:ExpressVPN is a secure, private VPN. It’s optimized for high-speed connections. Scores high above its rivals for accessing Netflix and other streaming sites. Hard to beat on privacy and security. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has increased its selection of servers significantly and does the job especially well for beginner users who don’t want a ton of customizable options. Speeds are fast, there’s an easy-to-use interface, and privacy standards are stringent. With over 7,000 servers spread across 90 countries, there are plenty of options for an adequate connection.
The company, which is incorporated in Romania, says it has a strict no-logs policy and doesn’t store any user logs or data. CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and MD5 HMAC authentication. There’s an internet kill switch included too which means web traffic will be halted if the connection drops.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows macOS and Linux.
- Good value provider with fast servers that are great for streaming and downloading
- Apps are easy to use and great for new users
- Connect up to seven devices simultaneously
- Keeps no user activity logs and provides strong encryption to bypass activity detection
- Doesn’t work in China or the UAE
BEGINNER FRIENDLY:CyberGhost has a simple set up. Works well in the Philippines. Good option if you are looking for a fast, reliable connection and an easy-to-use interface. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish doesn’t compromise on any facets of a premium VPN service – and is mindful of maintaining user privacy and anonymity while offering great speeds. With over 1,900 servers spread across 60 countries, a suitable connection is never out of reach. It also works well with streaming services such as Netflix US.
It’s also another VPN provider that declines to hold information on users with its zero-logs policy. Tough security parameters mean your data should remain protected. IPVanish leverages 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048 key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included within the system architecture and adds an additional layer of security.
There are apps for both iOS and Android as well as desktop support for Windows and macOS.
- Impressive 4K streaming speeds achieved during testing
- Strong encryption makes apps secure
- Works well with Kodi devices
- Operates a no-logs policy
- Customer support is a little slow
- Headquartered in the US which is a member of Five Eyes
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:IPVanish allows unlimited simultaneous connections and is great for families. Recommended for its high standard of privacy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
VyprVPN is a mature VPN that’s been in business for over seven years. It offers hundreds of servers, including in Manila in the Philippines. You can use it to securely access content on the likes of Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Its encryption standards are among the best in the market — the company circumvents even the toughest blockades that governments impose.
VyprVPN operates a no-logs policy and has been independently audited to verify this. It also owns and manages entire data centers – as opposed to other services that choose to rent or outsource to third-party operators. That helps it manage all the traffic ensuring stability and minimal downtime. VyprVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, 2,048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. There’s an internet kill switch included.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows and macOS.
- Streaming speeds were above average in our testing
- Privacy and security features won’t let you down
- Great unblocking capabilities, even works well in China
- Could have more options for advanced configuration
- Marginally more expensive than some VPNs
INDEPENDENT NETWORK:VyprVPN is user friendly. Good speeds and uptime as all servers are owned by VyprVPN. Great Privacy and security. Unblocks popular streaming channel. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of VyprVPN.
Methodology: How we found the best VPNs for the Philippines
Digital privacy is a concern for everyone but internet users in the Philippines have more to worry about than most. With draconian censorship laws and arrests for online activities becoming increasingly common, there’s no space for anything less than the best in our recommendations. To find the best VPNs for the Philippines, we carefully considered how each performed in the following areas:
- Privacy: This is priority number one, given that citizens face extremely harsh sentences (and even violence) for posting content that the government doesn’t like online. None of the VPNs above keep logs that could identify you, and many allow you to pay anonymously in Bitcoin. Some even offer RAM-only servers for added protection.
- Security: Even if your traffic is intercepted, with strong enough security, it’s meaningless to any observers. Our recommended VPNs have, at a minimum, 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. However, we prioritize those that include an even wider range of security tools.
- Network scale and speed: Generally, the larger a VPN’s network, the more consistent your connection will be (since servers are less likely to be overloaded). However, this doesn’t mean anything if your speeds are too slow to actually browse the web. That’s why we make sure to only recommend VPNs that rank highly in our speed testing.
- Unblocking potential: Not every service can get around country-wide restrictions. We look for those with stealth modes or other forms of traffic obfuscation since these tend to be better at slipping under the radar.
- User-friendliness: Services must make it as easy as possible to protect yourself online. We look out for well-designed apps, 24/7 live chat, and pre-configured security tools, as well as considering whether the connection limit is enough for most people.
- Price: We compare each service to rivals with similar functionality to see if they’re priced fairly. If not, it doesn’t make the cut. We also pay attention to any trials, money-back guarantees, or long-term discounts that are available, so we can let you know about anyways you might be able to save money.
Of course, this isn’t the only testing we do. To find out more about how we put services through their paces, check out our full VPN testing methodology post.
What about a free VPN for the Philippines?
There are definitely several free VPNs lurking around on the interwebs but don’t expect the same speeds and encryption standards that paid options offer.
Free VPNs usually monetize by deluging you with all sorts of invasive advertisements, inserting tracking cookies, and selling your data. There have also been instances of services hijacking your bandwidth and turning you into a foot soldier in a massive botnet army.
Some of the VPNs listed in the article do offer a free trial. That’s a handy option if you’re not sure whether to opt for a VPN completely. But we recommend you avoid the random ones that exist on the internet. They’re probably too good to be true.
How do I access pornography in the Philippines?
Filipinos are voracious adopters of pornographic content, with residents in the country spending more time on adult sites per session than any other country. However, accessing said material is banned under local laws with the government recently blocking a litany of such sites. In February, local ISPs were directed by the Philippines National Telecommunications Commission to prevent people from downloading and streaming porn.
The easiest way to circumvent this issue is by signing up for one of the VPNs mentioned in this list, connecting to a server in Europe or North America, and navigating to the sites you want to visit. Your identity will remain hidden.
Internet freedom in the Philippines
The latest report by Freedom House, a global advocacy body, says internet freedom in the country has declined from its rankings last year and slipped to a ‘Not Free’ status.
It cites the forced closure of news site Rappler as a particular area of concern, along with an increasing number of arrests of journalists and bloggers. The government also allegedly purchased sophisticated surveillance equipment, pointing to a greater environment of repression.
In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled against certain tenets of the Cybercrime Prevention Act which would have allowed the Department of Justice carte blanche authority to block content without obtaining a court order. One of the few things restricted is online libel and defamation, but other than that Filipinos can write, blog, and participate in discussions online without a significant threat of blowback.
However, there are areas of concern. Current president Duterte’s crackdown on criminals and open encouragement of extrajudicial killings seem to have instilled a sense of fear across the country. Freedom House notes that digital activism seems to have decreased since his election – although it doesn’t proffer any hard data to substantiate this claim.
Violence against journalists is also an issue. Since 1992, at least 77 local journalists have been killed in relation to their work. A poor rate of conviction has drawn criticism from human rights bodies with some current journalists also receiving threatening messages via digital mediums. President Duterte hasn’t done much to allay concerns either – saying journalists getting paid to attack or defend politicians deserve to be killed.
VPN for Philippines FAQ
Are VPNs legal in the Philippines?
Despite the country's restrictive online censorship, VPNs have not yet been made illegal. Given the real danger that some internet users face, it's vital to take steps to protect yourself when blogging, reporting, or messaging from within the Philippines. This could include using a VPN, paying for services in Bitcoin, or communicating via end-to-end encrypted messaging services like Signal and Telegram.
How can I get the best VPN server for gaming in the Philippines?
There are a few ways you can maximise your VPN’s gaming performance. First, you should choose a server near your real-world location, since this will minimize latency; if your game is telling you that your ping is too high, you might just be using a server that’s too far away.
Next, check to see if your provider offers specific servers that are optimized for gaming. If not, choose one that has a low load. After all, fewer connected users means that more of the server’s resources are available to you. If you’re still having trouble after this, you might want to get in touch with your VPN’s support team and make sure that the problem isn’t on your end.
Is social media restricted in the Philippines?
Social media sites are currently not blocked in the Philippines. However, this could change in the future; in 2020, President Duterte threatened to restrict access to Facebook after the platform suspended the accounts of bots posting pro-government propaganda.
Can I use my US Netflix account in the Philippines?
If you’ve signed up for Netflix, you’ll still be able to use your account provided you’re traveling in countries where the service is available (most of the world). However, you’ll likely notice a substantial change in the content. While Netflix Originals are included in every country’s library, third-party movies and TV shows differ from one to another. You might notice that Netflix Japan offers a wider range of anime, for instance, whereas Netflix Spain has far more Spanish-language content.
Are streaming services available in the Philippines?
Yes. The Philippines has several local streaming services. This includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, HBO Go, Crunchyroll, Viu, iWantTFC, iFlix, and HOOQ.
Netflix is still the most popular service, and with a VPN, anybody in the Philippines can regain access to the US Netflix catalog to watch more content while on vacation.
A VPN can also let you regain access to any of the Philippine TV platforms above while traveling outside of the Philippines. To do so, simply connect to a VPN server in the Philippines to get a Philippine IP address.
Using a VPN to access Philippine streaming platforms is easy. So, if you are already subscribed to one of the popular services mentioned above, choose one of our recommended VPNs to regain access from abroad.
Do all VPNs have Philippines servers?
No. VPNs with fast, reliable servers in the Philippines are pretty rare. That is why it is essential to stick to one of the VPN providers recommended in this guide.
We have carefully tested the market to find industry-leading VPNs that have secure apps and plenty of servers in the Philippines. As a result, you can use our recommendations to regain access to Filipino services from abroad – or to use the internet with added privacy within the Philippines.
The benefit of getting a VPN with servers in the Philippines (if you already live in the Philippines) is that you can connect to a local VPN server to prevent ISPs or local networks from snooping on you at all times; even when you want to use local services that require a Philippine IP address.