In an era where digital liberties are at stake, Thailand has witnessed a sharp downturn in internet freedoms. Laws that heavily censor content and bolster surveillance powers are not just headlines; they’re today’s stark reality. With comprehensive research and rigorous testing, we’ve discovered that a VPN isn’t just a recommendation in these restrictive environments. It’s a necessity.
This isn’t merely about digital security for the global community living in Thailand. It’s also about bridging the gap to home. Imagine missing out on your favorite shows on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, or Sky because of geo-blocks. Frustrating, right?
Enter VPNs, your digital armor. Beyond its abbreviation – Virtual Private Network – a VPN is your shield. It encrypts your online activity, rerouting it through an external server, making it challenging for prying eyes to track you. Whether using public Wi-Fi or browsing at home, this tool guarantees enhanced privacy. Connect through a Thai server for utmost discretion or an international one to bypass those irritating content blocks.
No time to read the whole post? We’ve got you. Below you’ll find our expertly curated list of the best VPNs for Thailand and discover how to reclaim your online freedom.
Best VPNs for Thailand:
- NordVPN Best all-around VPN for Thailand. Strong privacy credentials, wide server network, and can access multiple streaming channels. 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark Best budget-friendly option for Thailand. Puts major emphasis on user security and easily unblocks a wide range of streaming platforms abroad.
- ExpressVPN Fast and secure provider with great unblocking capabilities and strong encryption and privacy protocols.
- CyberGhost Ideal for accessing streaming services. Great for getting a Thai IP addresses or IPs from almost any other country.
- IPVanish Fast, secure VPN service. A popular choice for torrenters and Kodi users. Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- PrivateVPN Reliable VPN service that offers users access to lots of streaming websites over a highly secure connection. A strong option for Thailand.
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The best VPNs for Thailand – Our hands-on review
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 Thailand.
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||Cyberghost.com||IPVanish.com||PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for Thailand:||1||2||3||4||5||6||Streaming Services||Netflix|
|Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||39 Mbps||Popular Sites Unblocked||95%||88%||86%||85%||70%||85%||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android, Smart TVs Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.19|
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Best VPNs for Thailand
It can be difficult to decide on a VPN service for Thailand, as there are many available, and not all are of the same quality. Our picks for the best VPN for Thailand are based on a scientific methodology which you can read more about later on in this article. For now, let’s take a look at the ones that made our list.
Based on our extensive testing, here are our picks for the best VPN for Thailand:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top choice VPN for Thailand. It operates more than 5,500 servers in 60 countries, including Thailand. You have options to connect depending on your exact requirements, such as stringent privacy, video streaming, anonymity, dedicated IP, and more. The service works with many streaming service providers, including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, without any problems.
This is a VPN service provider with a no-logs policy, enabling you to browse with complete privacy. Security standards are amongst the best in the business – NordVPN uses the 256-bit AES protocol encryption standard by default and provides a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
There are desktop clients for Windows and MacOS, and you can download mobile VPN apps for iOS or Android.
- Great for streaming
- Very secure
- Has the fastest speeds of any major provider
- Exceptional unblocking ability
- Huge server network
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- The desktop app is a bit cumbersome
BEST VPN FOR THAILAND:NordVPN is our top choice. It boasts a large server network, fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and great unblocking capabilities. This provider even offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a highly versatile service with over 3,200 servers in more than 100 countries. It offers decent speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and the ability to unblock major platforms like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. While most VPNs only let you connect six devices at most, Surfshark has no limit and, as such, allows you to protect all of your devices simultaneously.
This service takes your security very seriously. It keeps your traffic safe from prying eyes using 256-bit AES encryption, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch (present in all versions of the app). There’s also automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning, as well as the NoBorders option that lets you bypass country-wide internet restrictions. Surfshark doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, although you can pay in cryptocurrency if you’d like. You can reach support 24/7 via email or live chat.
Surfshark offers iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux apps. If you’d prefer, you can manually configure it for use with your home router.
- Lets you connect as many devices as you like
- Keeps no logs
- Unblocks all kinds of geo-blocked services
- Fast enough for live HD streaming
- Strong privacy and security
- Fairly small (but growing) network
- Some slow speeds
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark strikes the perfect balance between speed, security, and affordability, making it a strong general-purpose VPN. With a no-logging policy and 30-day money-back guarantee, this service is well worth your time.
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries, including options in Thailand. That means if you’re a Thai resident traveling abroad, it’ll be possible to access local television such as Truevision. The service evades the Netflix war on VPNs without breaking a sweat. It’s similarly compatible with both Hulu and BBC iPlayer and supports torrenting. Customer support is available 24/7 via live chat if needed.
ExpressVPN stores no logs that can identify you, such as real IP addresses. It uses 256-bit AES-CBC protocols as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. There’s an internet kill switch included, referred to as a ‘network lock’, which means it’ll freeze all traffic if the connection drops, keeping it secure. Their inbuilt DNS leak protection ensures total privacy.
Unlimited bandwidth is offered, which makes it a great choice for torrenting and P2P filesharing. Server switching is allowed from their vast array of server locations. They are hard to beat when it comes to downloading speeds.
There are mobile VPN apps for both Android and iOS, or you can download desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
- Fast, reliable connection
- Strong security
- Keeps no identifying logs
- Great for streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC, and other services.
- 24/7 live customer support
- Slightly more pricey than some rivals
- Could use more advanced configuration options
LAG-FREE STREAMING:ExpressVPN is great at unblocking geo-restricted services, plus it offers military-grade encryption protocols and fast download speeds. Plans include a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee.
Here’s our in-depth review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost offers an easy-to-use interface and a fast, reliable service. It has more than 9,000 servers in 90 countries, including Thailand. The service works with multiple streaming platforms, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
When it comes to encryption standards, this VPN service provider uses some of the toughest out there. Specifically, it leverages 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and MD5 HMAC authentication. These are considered to be top-tier standards. There’s also an internet kill switch included, which means web traffic will be halted if the connection drops unexpectedly. DNS leak protection is built-in, and the service maintains no logs of online activities or user data.
You can download a VPN app for both Android and iOS, and there are desktop clients for Windows and MacOS.
- Vast server network
- Fast speeds
- Keeps no logs
- Great at unblocking
- User-friendly apps
- Doesn’t work in China
- Few advanced options
VALUE AND PERFORMANCE:CyberGhost provides access to lots of geo-restricted content and its easy-to-use VPN software and apps are ideal for beginners. Plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish servers are optimized for speed, stability, and security, with around 2,000 of them spread across more than 60 countries. Unfortunately, there are no servers in Thailand for users looking to access Thai content from abroad. However, this provider can unblock multiple streaming platforms, including the notoriously difficult BBC iPlayer.
This is one of the few VPN providers out there which are completely logless, so there’s no tracking of online activities or retention of any user data at all. Encryption protocols are tough. The company leverages 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. IPVanish includes an internet kill switch, which means traffic will be temporarily halted if the connection drops out of the blue.
IPVanish is popular with Kodi users because it allows them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is also remote control-friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.
There are apps for both iOS and Android, and there’s desktop support for Windows and MacOS. A bonus with this provider is that you are allowed as many connected devices as you’d like, as opposed to the typical offering of five.
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
- strong unblocking ability
- Keeps no logs
- Popular with Kodi users and torrenters
- No Thai servers
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
FAST AND SECURE:IPVanish gives you solid security in a speedy package. Allows unlimited device connections and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a strong choice offering exceptional security, reliable performance, and excellent streaming capabilities for users in Thailand, whether they’re traveling or residing there.
One of the standout features of PrivateVPN is its ability to unblock popular Thai streaming services such as TrueID, Line TV, and AIS Play, making it easy to access your favorite content from anywhere. A strict no-logs policy keeps your online activities private and secure.
PrivateVPN’s network comprises servers in 63 countries, providing a wide range of options for bypassing geo-restrictions. Its generous 10-device limit ensures that you can protect multiple devices simultaneously.
The VPN employs military-grade 256-bit AES encryption to safeguard your data, giving you peace of mind while browsing the internet. In addition, PrivateVPN’s apps are user-friendly, making them perfect for beginners, while its live chat support is available for selected hours to assist with any concerns or inquiries.
PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the service risk-free and decide if it fits your needs correctly.
- Zero-logs provider
- Privacy and security are top notch
- Speeds are good enough for high-quality streaming
- Smaller number of servers to choose from
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
EXCELLENT PRIVACY OFFERING:PrivateVPN includes a 10-device connection limit, beginner-friendly apps, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Finding the best Thailand VPNs: our methodology
We understand how hard it has become to pick a VPN. There are hundreds of consumer-facing VPN services, and they all claim to be the best or most secure. Unfortunately, these marketing claims are often overblown – or even outright lies.
At Comparitech, we use a scientific VPN testing methodology to check each provider’s claims. By reviewing each VPN carefully, we can pinpoint the best services for each use case. Below, we have included some of the important things we tested for when recommending the best VPNs for Thailand:
- Solid security features: We check under the hood to ensure the service is implementing its VPN protocols and encryption algorithms to the highest possible standards. In this guide, we have recommended VPNs that provide OpenVPN connections with robust AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy.
- DNS leak protection: We test each VPN for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. This certifies that the VPN is living up to its privacy claims and is preventing your ISP from tracking your web visits. We also check the apps for DNS leak protection to ensure that the VPN is doing everything it can to prevent these kinds of leaks.
- A no-logs policy: It is vital that you can trust your VPN and what it does with the data that passes through its servers. We only recommend no-logs VPNs for Thailand that promise never to track what their users do while connected. Some of our recommendations even have diskless servers to further increase your privacy.
- Plenty of advanced features: For a VPN to represent decent value for money, it should have a wide choice of advanced privacy and security features. We always check for a kill switch, obfuscation, split tunneling, Tor over VPN, Double VPN, SOCKS5 proxy, Smart DNS, and other useful features.
- Global server network: We look for VPNs that have a wide choice of servers around the world. This makes those VPNs good for accessing foreign content. We also check that those servers are fast enough for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and other important use cases.
- Outstanding customer care: We only recommend VPNs with market-leading customer support. The services in this guide have set up guides, FAQs, and live chat and email support to help you at any time of day.
- Excellent accessibility: Each VPN for Thailand has been tested to make sure it works to access popular services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and iPlayer. We also checked their servers in Thailand to ensure they work to access local services like iQiyi, Tencent, and Youku Tudou.
How to use a VPN in Thailand
Using a VPN is easier than you might think. Just follow these simple steps to get started.
Here’s how to use a VPN in Thailand:
- Sign up to your chosen provider (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download the appropriate VPN app for your device.
- Connect to a server in the streaming source region. For example, to access US Netflix, you’d connect to a US VPN server and gain a US IP address.
- Navigate to the stream, and you should have unrestricted access.
Are VPNs legal in Thailand?
Note that if you’re hoping to catch a live stream, for example, of a sports event, it’s best to test the connection ahead of time. This way, you’ll have time to troubleshoot any issues that may arise without missing any of the game.
The good news is that VPNs are legal in Thailand. While the internet is severely restricted in Thailand, you can use a VPN to browse free from censorship and prying eyes. There have been some cases of VPNs being blocked by ISPs in Thailand, although this is not common practice, and, as such, you should be able to download and install a VPN while in the country. However, it doesn’t hurt to have your VPN set up ahead of your visit to Thailand, ensuring you’re protected from the moment you arrive.
Using a free VPN in Thailand
Cash-strapped users or those who don’t think VPNs are worth the money might opt for a free VPN service. There are many of them available, and they may seem like tempting options.
However, several free VPN providers have been caught mining and selling user data. Even if that doesn’t happen to you, be prepared for download caps, bandwidth throttling, and a poor selection of servers. Encryption protocols are far from ideal, so if you use a free VPN for too long, you run the risk of being exposed.
It’s important to understand that such services aren’t charities. They’re looking to monetize, and they’ll do so by making you the product. Our recommendation is to stay safe on the internet and cough up a few dollars each month for a reputable VPN rather than run a huge risk.
The future of the internet in Thailand
Thailand is a hotspot for travelers, ex-pats, digital nomads, and more. However, advocacy body Freedom House emphatically states that the country’s cyber landscape is ranked as “not free” with the arrest of bloggers and content blockage pointed as the main concerns.
2016 saw the arrest of social media users for controversial posts and harsh sentences handed down to bloggers for things like insulting the government and public officials. A newly inducted law recommended 10-year prison sentences for vague offenses like “influencing voters”, which was used to silence online discussion for proposed constitutional changes. 2017 saw the start of a renewed internet censorship campaign.
Freedom House notes that the history of military coups in the country has something to do with this censorship. Since the last coup, journalists, academics, and other activists have been subjected to greater surveillance, and hundreds of people have been harshly interrogated. The government has also attempted to procure sophisticated surveillance tech and tried to develop plans for a single national internet gateway similar to China’s Great Firewall.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that changes to cybercrime laws in Thailand are ambiguous, vague, and lack accountability. There’s a real attempt to stifle freedom of expression, especially on digital platforms, and to maintain control of Thai society.
Using a VPN in Thailand: FAQs
Can I get an IP address from Bangkok with NordVPN?
Yes. NordVPN has servers in Thailand, located in Bangkok. The NordVPN website states that anybody who wants to change their IP address to Bangkok can open the map and tap on the Bangkok pin in Thailand. NordVPN even has a full page dedicated to advertising the fact that it has servers in Bangkok, so you can be 100% sure that this service caters to your needs.
Is a proxy server in Thailand faster than a VPN?
Not necessarily. It depends on the quality of the VPN service and the proxy server. Proxy servers can be faster or slower than VPNs, depending on the quality of the service. And since VPNs encrypt your traffic, they can often be less laggy than proxy servers. However, there are some excellent proxy servers out there that can rival the speed and performance of VPNs.
What websites are restricted in Thailand?
Since 2006, mounting civil unrest and protests have led to ever heightening levels of online surveillance and censorship in Thailand. This has led to over 140,000 URLs being blocked by the authorities.
Prior to 2006, the vast majority of internet censorship was centered around pornographic content. Since then, restrictions have expanded to include content critical of the government and blocks on services, blogs, and news content that express dissenting opinions or criticisms of the government of Thailand.
Below, we have included a list of some of the websites and web pages that are censored:
- Political articles and web pages on websites like BBC News, CNN, Yahoo! News, the Post-Intelligencer newspaper (Seattle, USA), and The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia).
- Video sharing sites, including videos on YouTube and Camfrog.
- Internet discussion groups that discuss Thai politics, such as Midnight University, Prachatai.com, and Pantip.com.
- Websites and web pages that criticize the monarchy.
- Websites concerning the biography of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, The King Never Smiles.
- Wikipedia articles.
- Wayback Machine and archive.org.
- Pornhub, and other adult sites.
- Select Twitter accounts.
- Gambling sites and online casinos.
For these reasons, we recommend you use a VPN to surf the web safely in Thailand.
Is it possible to access porn in Thailand?
Both pornography and gambling are explicitly forbidden under Thai law, with the country’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology especially concerned about blocking pornographic websites.
There haven’t been any documented cases of people being arrested and jailed for accessing porn that we know of. It is possible to use a VPN to access porn or gambling sites whilst in Thailand. We do, however, recommend our readers exercise caution and research Thai laws to fully understand what they’re getting into before deciding to embark on such a course of action.
How do I blog anonymously in Thailand?
Criticism of the royal family is harshly forbidden under Thai law, with the government taking a stern stance against anyone who partakes in such discussions, both online and offline. Media luminaries like the BBC have faced troubles in the past, and even Facebook is complicit in censoring content on behalf of the Thai government.
Notable dissidents have been arrested for daring to speak out. One way to overcome this problem is by using a VPN to help maintain your privacy. For more information, take a look at our how to blog anonymously guide.
Please note that this should not be construed as legal advice. At Comparitech, we don’t condone carrying out illegal acts and masking the activity via a VPN. Remain guarded at all times and understand what you’re getting into before proceeding. If you’re unsure, it’s best to speak with a lawyer who can provide expert guidance.