Best VPN South Korea

South Korea is renowned for its high-speed internet infrastructure, but it’s important to note that both residents and visitors may encounter a certain level of internet censorship. For those planning to travel to South Korea, considering a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a wise decision.

Utilizing a VPN in South Korea can help you navigate through local internet restrictions and safeguard against surveillance concerns. By encrypting your device’s internet traffic, a VPN ensures that your online activities remain private, inaccessible to network administrators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), or governmental entities. Additionally, a VPN is a valuable tool for accessing geo-restricted content that might not be readily available in South Korea.

This article guides you through the steps of setting up and using a VPN in South Korea. From installation to going online, we cover the essentials and recommend the most effective VPN tools for ensuring a seamless internet experience in South Korea, keeping in mind the key features suitable for this region.

Here’s our summary list of the best South Korea VPNs:

  1. NordVPN: The best VPN for South Korea. More security options than most VPNs. Zero logs were kept. Superfast speeds and great at unblocking. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for South Korea.
  2. Surfshark: A budget VPN choice to use in South Korea. A security and privacy-conscious service with good speeds, no connection limit, and the ability to easily bypass South Korean internet restrictions.
  3. ExpressVPN: A blazing-fast VPN with servers in South Korea. Fast connection speeds and unblocks the most popular streaming services. Secure and private, making it a great choice for Korea.
  4. IPVanish: A secure VPN pick for privacy in South Korea. Fast connections with up to 10 connections permitted. Enhanced privacy features including 256-bit encryption.
  5. PrivateVPN: A great VPN for unblocking in South Korea. Good unblocking potential. Has a no-logging policy, which makes it a secure option for South Korean users.
  6. Hotspot Shield: An easy-to-use VPN for beginners. This service is speedy, with easy-to-use apps and powerful security features, making it a natural choice for South Korean users.
  7. CyberGhost: A great VPN pick to protect all your devices. Versatile, inexpensive VPN, that offers one-click unblocking. Thousands of worldwide servers, including in South Korea.
  8. PureVPN: A no-logs provider offering dozens of servers in South Korea. Ideal for novices thanks to its impressive speeds, strong streaming ability, and 24/7 customer support.
  9. ProtonVPN: Fantastic option for anyone serious about security. Has roughly a dozen ultra-fast servers in Seoul, South Korea, and comes packed with advanced privacy features.

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Our criteria for South Korean VPNs

With so many different VPNs on the market, it’s often difficult to accurately compare one to another. To find the best VPNs for South Korea, we looked for services with the characteristics below:

  • Able to bypass South Korean internet restrictions with ease
  • Offers a fast, reliable connection for downloading, streaming, and more
  • Has a large network of servers, with multiple servers in high-traffic countries like the US
  • Uses effectively uncrackable encryption and offers additional, more advanced security features
  • Does not log any personally identifiable information. Ideally keeps no logs whatsoever
  • Includes apps for all of the most popular operating systems and devices
  • Good value for money, including a money-back guarantee

You can find more about our full VPN testing methodology further in this article.

The best VPNs for South Korea compared

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 South Korea.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNIPVanishPrivateVPNHotspot ShieldCyberGhostPureVPNProton VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comIPVanish.comPrivateVPN.comHotspotshield.comCyberghost.comPureVPN.comprotonvpn.com
Ranking for South Korea:123456789
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps39 Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps400 Mbps100+ Mbps
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%70%85%85%85%85%87%
Simultaneous Connections10Unlimited8Unlimited10Up to 10710Free: 1, VPN Plus: 10
Activity logsNoneNoneNo identifying dataNo logs storedNoneAnonymized dataNo identifying data
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
$2.99
SAVE 76% on the 2 yr plan
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free
$2.99
SAVE 77% ON THE 3 YEAR PLAN
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 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

Below, you’ll find our list of the best VPNs for bypassing internet censorship in South Korea.

The best VPNs for South Korea: In-depth analysis

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for South Korea:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024 Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

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

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top pick for a South Korea VPN. It has one of the largest server networks available, with more than 5,500 servers spanning 59 countries, which also includes 10 servers in South Korea. It pegs incredible speeds and is more than fast enough to stream live HD video with no noticeable buffering, and unblocks some of the most popular streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV. Further, NordVPN offers specific servers optimized for P2P file-sharing, DDoS protection, and using the internet from countries with strict online censorship.

This service includes a wealth of security features. It uses 256-bit strong encryption and protects against WebRTC, DNS, IPv6, and port-forwarding leaks. Users can turn on automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning, use two VPNs simultaneously, or even access Tor over VPN. NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy, meaning your activities stay private at all times. If you’d like to register anonymously, you can use a disposable email address and pay with Bitcoin.

NordVPN apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. The service requires manual installation to work with network routers.

Pros:

  • Unmatched download speeds
  • Huge network of servers
  • More security options than most VPNs
  • Servers optimized for various tasks
  • Zero logs kept
  • 24/7 chat support

Cons:

  • The desktop app can be slow to connect

 

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR SOUTH KOREA:NordVPN is our top pick. It enables you to perfectly tailor your security setup. It’s a strong, general-purpose VPN with high speeds, great unblocking ability, and servers optimized for specific tasks. Includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a great low-cost alternative. It has more than 3,200 VPN server locations across 65+ countries including South Korea. It offers unlimited bandwidth, reasonable internet connection speeds, and excellent unblocking ability, which means you won’t have any problems, whether you’re using P2P networks, streaming Netflix US, or just browsing. Unlike most VPNs, Surfshark has no connection limit and as such, you can protect every device you have with just one account.

This service takes your security seriously. It uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks to keep your traffic secure, although you can let certain apps bypass the VPN using the built-in split tunneling functionality. Surfshark even has a NoBorders feature that lets you browse freely in countries with strict online blocking (like South Korea). This service doesn’t log any personally identifiable information but you can pay in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple for greater anonymity. Support is available via 24/7 live chat.

Surfshark offers apps for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It can also be manually installed on supported internet routers.

Pros:

  • Unblocks a wide range of region-locked services
  • Fast enough for HD streaming
  • Takes your security and online privacy seriously
  • Unlimited connections
  • Around-the-clock support

Cons:

  • Some slow download speeds

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark lets you browse the internet freely in South Korea, and its powerful security and privacy features mean you’re effectively untraceable once connected. This VPN is fast, allows an unlimited number of connections, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is a fast service offering secure access to more than 3,000 fast servers in 94 countries. It’s highly versatile, with excellent multi-platform support, the option to choose not just your desired country, but city too, and the ability to access platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.

This VPN protects your traffic with 256-bit AES military-grade encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy. Its desktop apps include a kill switch that automatically blocks any data transfer if you disconnect unexpectedly. ExpressVPN offers 24/7 support over live chat. Best of all, this service doesn’t log any information that could identify you, and you can even pay with Bitcoin for increased anonymity.

ExpressVPN comes with apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. It must be manually configured on routers, but ExpressVPN has custom firmware to make this as straightforward as possible.

Pros:

  • Fast speeds
  • Highly secure
  • Apps for all popular platforms
  • Great for video streaming and content unblocking
  • 24/7 chat support

Cons:

  • More expensive than other providers on this list

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

PRIVACY-FIRST VPN:ExpressVPN is in our top 3 thanks to its fast download speeds, ease of use, expansive server network, and the number of services it can unblock. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. IPVanish

IPVanish Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is perfect for those looking to protect lots of connected devices as it boasts lightweight apps and strong multi-platform support, and allows up to 10 connections at once. It’s very fast and capable of streaming HD content without any buffering or stuttering. IPVanish has over 1,300 servers across more than 60 countries so it allows South Korean users to access a huge range of otherwise inaccessible online content.

256-bit encryption is enabled by default, as are DNS and IPv6 leak protection. However, IPVanish’s security features don’t stop there: there’s also a kill switch (in both desktop and mobile versions), a LAN traffic blocker, OpenVPN obfuscation, and the ability to change IP address at preset intervals. This service doesn’t log any information that could see your activities being traced back to you. Need help? No problem, customer support is available over live chat, 24/7.

IPVanish has apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, and Firestick. It also works with Linux systems and select routers, but you’ll have to configure it manually.

Pros:

  • Lightweight apps, good multi-platform support
  • Fast connections
  • Several unique security features
  • Up to 10 connections permitted

Cons:

  • Can’t unblock as many streaming services as some of its rivals
  • No anonymous payment options

Our score:

4 out of 5

TEN SIMULTANEOUS CONNECTIONS:IPVanish makes it easy to protect all of your connected devices at once. With high connection speeds and advanced security features on offer, it’s a solid general-purpose VPN.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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5. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN doesn’t have the largest network around (around 150 servers in 60 countries) but it does offer faster connection speeds than most. In fact, it’s fast enough to stream live HD video without any issues whatsoever. Better still, this VPN can reliably access services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video from abroad. With up to six connections permitted, PrivateVPN lets you protect most of your devices simultaneously.

This service uses 256-bit encryption by default and protects against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. Bitcoin payments are accepted, meaning you can register almost completely anonymously by combining this and a disposable email address. Additionally, PrivateVPN has a strict zero-logs privacy policy. With your permission, support staff can even remotely connect to your computer and install or configure the software for you.

PrivateVPN offers apps for Windows, Android, MacOS, Linux and iOS. After some manual configuration, it even works with supported internet routers.

Pros:

  • Faster than average connection speeds
  • Good unblocking potential
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Zero-logs policy

Cons:

  • Smaller network than most
  • No live chat support

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN provides fast connections and allows you to unblock a wide range of geo-blocked services abroad. Further, its no-logging policy provides peace of mind for security-conscious users.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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6. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield has a large network, with 3,000 servers across more than 70 countries (South Korea included). This service’s fast speeds make it ideal for file-sharing, but as it works with stubborn platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and ITV Hub, it’s a great choice for video streaming too. Hotspot Shield allows you to use up to five connected devices at once.

This VPN might have simplistic-looking apps but don’t be fooled; there are numerous advanced security features built-in. These include DNS and IPv6 leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and a kill switch that prevents you from browsing unprotected. If you’d like, you can choose certain websites to bypass the VPN too. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any personally identifiable information after your session ends. If you run into any trouble, you can contact customer support 24/7 over live chat.

Hotspot Shield has apps for Android, Windows, iOS, and MacOS. It works with Linux systems and some home routers too, but must be manually installed.

Pros:

  • Strong on security
  • Good unblocking capabilities
  • Fast, reliable connections

Cons:

  • Spotty record on privacy
  • Doesn’t work on Linux

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BROWSE UNRESTRICTED:Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice for anyone in South Korea. It’s fast, reliable, and comes with several advanced security features. Better still, this service boasts excellent unblocking ability and includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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7. CyberGhost

CyberGhost Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost takes the hassle out of online security. It currently has more than 4,900 servers across 60 countries, making it easy to get a low-latency connection from anywhere in the world. You can choose a task (such as torrenting or streaming) and view a list of suitable servers. CyberGhost allows up to seven simultaneous connections and one-click unblocking for numerous streaming platforms so it’s ideal for those looking to stream on-the-go.

Although this VPN is designed to be as easy to use as possible, it actually has a good range of security features. There’s 256-bit AES encryption, for instance, as well as port forwarding, WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leak protection. Every version of CyberGhost comes with a kill switch, ensuring you don’t inadvertently browse without protection, even for a second. Best of all, this service logs no personally identifiable information.

CyberGhost has MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android apps. Manual installation is required for Linux-based systems and wireless routers.

Pros:

  • Versatile, inexpensive VPN
  • One-click unblocking
  • High download speeds
  • Large network of servers

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in China or the UAE

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GOOD FOR NOVICES:CyberGhost is a low-cost friendly service that offers high speeds, the ability to unblock various streaming platforms, and comprehensive protection for people new to VPNs.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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8. PureVPN

PureVPN Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PureVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS

PureVPN has a larger network than many of its rivals, with around 6,000 servers across 65 countries, including South Korea. It’s capable of securely accessing a wide range of streaming apps, including Disney+ and KBS. What’s more, with average speeds approaching 400 Mbps, you’ll be able to watch live broadcasts without any noticeable drop in performance. Users can protect up to 10 devices with a single subscription and contact staff at any time, day or night, via the live chat feature on PureVPN’s website.

This service is remarkably affordable, considering how strong its security offering is. By default, it keeps you safe using uncrackable encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Plus and Max subscribers also gain access to a tracker-blocking tool, and port forwarding functionality is available for an additional monthly fee. Most importantly, PureVPN refuses to log any details of your activities. You don’t have to take the company’s word for it, either; it’s been professionally audited four times.

PureVPN has its own apps for Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and MacOS. Its website provides manual setup instructions for anyone hoping to install this VPN on their router.

Pros:

  • Simple enough for beginners, secure enough for everyone
  • Delivered impressive results in our latest speed tests
  • Can access even the most stubborn geo-blocked websites

Cons:

  • Charges extra for features some of its rivals include as standard
  • Doesn’t have a kill switch on every platform

Our score:

4 out of 5

FAST KOREAN SERVERS:PureVPN operates almost 50 servers in Korea, outpaces many of its competitors, and provides a great set of security tools. Better still, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

Our full PureVPN review will answer any questions you might have.

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9. ProtonVPN

Proton VPN Works in South KoreaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN operates almost 4,000 servers in 85 countries, South Korea included. It’s extremely quick, with average speeds of around 300 Mbps (for context, you only need around 25 Mbps to stream 4K video), and can reliably help you access region-locked services like Netflix abroad. In other words, it’s a fantastic choice whether you’re looking to torrent anonymously, watch KBS on vacation, or just stay safe while using public wifi hotspots. Each paid ProtonVPN plan lets you secure 10 devices simultaneously and speak directly with support staff, day or night.

A VPN’s primary goal is to enhance your privacy and ProtonVPN offers plenty of tools to make this possible. It boasts uncrackable encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and automatic tracker-blocking, as well as an independently-verified no-logging policy. Further, there are special Secure Core servers that route your traffic through multiple locations for an extra layer of anonymity. There’s even the option to let certain apps through the VPN if you’d like!

ProtonVPN offers apps for Windows, iOS, Linux, Android, and MacOS. Its website’s support section provides manual setup instructions for various router types.

Pros:

  • Highly-versatile no-logs VPN
  • Doesn’t compromise on security
  • Fast speeds, great at evading detection

Cons:

  • Secure Core servers are noticeably slower
  • Not the cheapest option around

Our score:

4 out of 5

ZERO LOGS:ProtonVPN has an extensive set of privacy features and a proven no-logs policy, so there’s no need to worry about anyone monitoring your activities. Better still, it also offers first-class performance, a wide-ranging network, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our complete ProtonVPN review to learn more.

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Methodology: Identifying the best VPN providers for South Korea

Unfortunately, not all VPNs are created equal. As such, even if one provider is extremely fast, it might not be the most secure, or even suitable for using in South Korea. To ensure we only recommend well-rounded VPNs that work well in South Korea, we’ve carefully considered the features and functionality you’ll need during your visit and created a list of must-have characteristics:

  • Server presence: We’d like to see large networks, ideally with servers in a wide range of countries. This means you’ll be able to use Korean servers for faster speeds or switch to a foreign server to access your usual content.
  • Speed: It seems like every VPN claims to be the fastest. Here at Comparitech, we run regular speed tests to see which really is. There’s no marketing hype here, just hard facts backed up with extensive test data.
  • Unblocking ability: As of 2020, around 161,500 websites were blocked in South Korea, and countless others (such as YouTube TV) simply inaccessible due to their own geo-blocking. We test various popular services to see which VPNs provide access to the greatest range of content.
  • Security: This is extremely important, especially in countries with strict online censorship. As such, we require all of our recommendations to include 256-bit encryption and a kill switch, plus DNS and IPv6 leak protection. Additional features (such as obfuscation, local traffic blocking, or split tunneling) are always welcome.
  • Privacy: In South Korea, online defamation is a crime that can see you sentenced to prison, even if what you’re saying is true. For this reason, the ability to post anonymously is vital. This all begins with a no-logs policy. We’d also like to see anonymous payment options and other privacy-enhancing tools like a stealth mode or multi-hop servers.
  • User-friendliness: We strongly prefer services that are easy enough for complete beginners to use. 24/7 live chat is a huge bonus, as is the ability to connect any number of devices simultaneously.
  • Apps and devices: We only recommend services that are compatible with a number of different devices and operating systems. That includes macOS, Android, PC, Mac, Firestick, and gaming consoles. We also much prefer VPNs that support a generous number of simultaneous connections.
  • Pricing: We go to great lengths to ensure we only recommend VPNs that are priced fairly. What’s more, we always include details on any available discounts and money-back guarantees, so that you always pay as little as possible.

We actually have a fairly extensive VPN testing process—this was just the first step. Interested? You might want to check out our post explaining how we test VPNs.

How to unblock the wider internet in South Korea

Here’s how to unblock websites in South Korea with a VPN:

  1. Sign up for a VPN that works in South Korea. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Install the VPN app on your chosen app and log in with your new credentials.
  3. Select a server in your desired location. To access geo-blocked services, you’ll have to use a server in the appropriate country, for example, the UK for the BBC iPlayer.
  4. Go to your chosen site and enjoy the internet unrestricted.
  5. If a given site still doesn’t work, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies before reloading the page.

GET A PAID VPN FOR FREE: Only need a VPN for a short time? Why not take advantage of NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll need to pay upfront, but you can cancel at any time in the first 30 days to claim a full refund. This loophole allows you to test and use a premium VPN risk-free for a whole month, with no cost whatsoever.

See also: How to get a Korean IP address

Can I bypass South Korea’s internet censorship with a free VPN?

It’s generally not advisable to use free VPNs in South Korea, as they often fall short in handling data-intensive tasks like streaming. These free VPN servers typically don’t have the necessary technology to successfully bypass restrictions on services like Netflix and other geo-restricted sites.

Even if you manage to access a streaming site, the limited server options usually mean these servers are heavily overused, leading to slow speeds that are inadequate for streaming.

For those concerned about privacy, free VPNs are not the best choice. Tests have revealed that many free VPN servers are prone to leaks and vulnerabilities, posing risks to your security and privacy. Alarmingly, some free services have been found to install adware or worse on users’ devices.

Another concern with free VPNs is the uncertainty around data handling. Many of these services resort to collecting and selling user data to third parties as a means of revenue. Additionally, they might inject advertisements into your browser, further compromising your online experience.

In summary, while considering VPN options in South Korea, it’s important to be cautious about free VPNs and their limitations in terms of streaming capabilities, security, and privacy.

What online content is restricted in South Korea?

There are specific types of content blocked in South Korea. To access or comment on other types of content, such as those inappropriate to minors, you need to verify your identity.

This may seem alarming to citizens of some other countries.  User identities are verified using a Citizen’s Reference number (for South Korean nationals) or a copy of the user’s passport.

Below, we’ve created a short list of some of the types of content blocked in South Korea:

  • Pro-North Korea sites and comments
  • Dissenting political opinions, particularly those concerning the President.
  • Gambling sites
  • Pornography

While these restrictions aren’t as all-encompassing as those used in countries like China, they still have a fairly wide reach. This is partly due to the country’s “cyber defamation” law.

Unlike in other countries, where defamation involves purposefully making false statements, South Korea’s relevant legislation (Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, Etc., 2008) makes it a crime to reveal information (whether true or false) with the goal of harming a person’s reputation. This legislation has been used as a tool to crack down on anti-establishment or critical discussions of the government and its officials.

Why else should I use a VPN in South Korea?

If you don’t usually live in South Korea, there are plenty of other benefits to using a VPN. For instance, you’re far more likely to accidentally trigger automated fraud prevention systems when logging into your online banking account from abroad. By using a VPN connected to a server in your home country, you can greatly reduce the chance of this happening.

Additionally, VPNs allow you to access your usual services abroad. You can, for example, use your regular gambling or gaming sites, stream your country’s Netflix library, or check the news on one of several sites that may normally be inaccessible from South Korea. When you consider that VPNs also protect you from monitoring when using public wifi, it becomes clear that they’re an invaluable addition to any traveler’s arsenal.

How to get a free VPN for Korea (free-trial hack)

Looking to get a VPN with South Korea but don’t want to pay for it? While you’re better off avoiding services that market themselves as free, there is a workaround you can use to try a paid VPN free for a month (or perhaps more, depending which you choose). This is great for short visits to South Korea or if you’re just looking to stream a Korean show from abroad.

Here’s how to get a free VPN for South Korea:

  1. Decide which of the VPNs above you’d like to use.
  2. Visit the provider’s website and select the one-month plan.
  3. Enter your payment information like you normally would and finish checking out.
  4. Your payment method will be charged, but all of the services we’ve recommended come with at least a 30-day money-back guarantee. As such, you can use them as much as you like, then simply ask for a refund before your subscription renews to effectively get free access to a paid VPN for a month.

Worried you won’t get your money back? We’ve tested every VPN on this list and can confirm they all provide a full refund!

VPN for South Korea FAQ

How can I change my IP address to South Korea?

You can get a South Korean IP address in a matter of seconds by connecting to a South Korean VPN server. Don’t be tempted to use a Smart DNS service or proxy server — while these can make it appear as though you’re in another country, they don’t actually encrypt your traffic at all. In contrast, a VPN will keep your activities safe from prying eyes while allowing you the freedom to do whatever you want online.

Is it legal to use a VPN in South Korea?

There are currently no laws against using a VPN in South Korea. That said, you can still face penalties if you’re caught committing crimes online while connected. As ever, we encourage you to read up on local laws before attempting to use a VPN in a foreign country. 

Is online gambling legal in South Korea?

South Korea’s gambling laws are both paradoxically very strict and also open to interpretation. Chapter 23 of the Criminal Act (PDF) makes it illegal to gamble “for the purpose of gaining property”, but makes an exception if it’s only for “momentary pleasure”. Currently, no online casinos are allowed to operate, although if you visit the country, you’ll find numerous places where you can place bets. 

Is Netflix in South Korea any good?

Users in South Korea can watch a huge range of content including all of the Netflix Original shows like Riverdale. There’s also a strong selection of Korean content, with dramas like Crash Landing On You, and blockbuster hits like Okja, Reply, and Snowpiercer. Prices start at ₩9,500 per month, although there is a 30-day free trial in case you’d like to see what’s on offer for yourself. 

If you want to expand your choices, you can also access other Netflix regions while in South Korea. However, you will need a service capable of bypassing Netflix’s VPN ban, which is notoriously difficult to do. The US content library is the largest, and you can gain access in Korea by using NordVPN.

Does every VPN have South Korean Servers?

Not every VPN has South Korean servers, but it’s not particularly rare for a provider to have at least a few. In fact, South Korea is probably the second-most-common location in East Asia, after Japan.

There are several reasons why this might be. First, it could be that people in other countries are interested in accessing Korea-only services. This wouldn’t be especially surprising, given the rapidly-increasing popularity of Korean music and TV shows in recent years. However, it could also be that South Korea’s aggressive defamation laws and reported high-level corruption have forced citizens to take a proactive approach to their privacy when speaking their minds online.

Which devices work with a VPN in South Korea?

You can feasibly install a VPN on just about any device, whether you’re in South Korea or not. Most major providers have apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows, with many supporting Linux as well.

Additionally, they almost always include manual setup instructions for getting your VPN running on a home router. This allows you to secure an entire network and reroute traffic from devices that don’t support VPN apps, such as games consoles or some older smart TVs. If you don’t feel confident enough to set up a VPN on your router, we recommend subscribing to a service that has unlimited simultaneous device connections.

Do you need a VPN to play PUBG from Korea?

In 2021, PUBG Mobile stopped working for users in Korea and Japan. Instead, users from these countries have to switch over to a region-specific version of the app. The game’s developers didn’t provide any reason for this change, but it did update its terms of service to forbid foreign users from playing on the KRJP servers. 

It goes without saying that while using a VPN to play with your Korean and Japanese friends is against the rules, there really isn’t anything that can be done to stop you. The desktop version of PUBG is, as yet, unaffected by these restrictions. 

Can I use these VPNs to stream South Korean TV channels?

Yes, you can stream South Korean TV channels using any of these VPNs. Connecting to a VPN server in South Korea can unblock streaming services like KBS World and SBS. You will also be able to access local content such as sports, movies, and dramas. With the VPNs in this post, you can rest assured that your online activity remains safe and anonymous while streaming in South Korea. Furthermore, a VPN will help ensure that your internet connection remains fast and stable for the best viewing experience possible.

Can I connect to a server in a specific South Korean city?

You won’t usually have the choice of connecting to a VPN server in a specific South Korean city. The reason for this is that most major VPNs don’t offer thousands or even hundreds of servers in South Korea. Instead, you may find there’s only a handful (or a few dozen at most). These servers are often located in just one city (usually Seoul) but in the case of many VPNs, the location in South Korea isn’t specified. 

However, in countries such as the USA where many servers are available across multiple cities, you can almost always connect to servers in specific cities.

Can I watch South Korean TV with these VPNs?

Yes. When you connect to a VPN server in South Korea you will get a valid IP address in the country. As a result, you can watch any region-locked TV network and streaming platform.

The same is true if you want to watch Korean TV at work or in school. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server in South Korea and you will be able to watch your favorite TV shows as if you were back at home.

Below, we have included a list of Korean TV networks and streaming services that you can unblock with a VPN:

  1. KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) – KBS1, KBS2, and KBS World.
  2. MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation) – MBC operates several TV channels, including MBC, MBC News, and MBC Music.
  3. SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) – Including SBS, SBS News, and SBS Plus.
  4. JTBC – JTBC, JTBC News, and JTBC Golf. JTBC offers live streaming and on-demand content on its website and mobile app.
  5. OCN
  6. tvN
  7. EBS (Educational Broadcasting System)
  8. Arirang TV