Popular sites and services are increasingly using geo-blocking to restrict access to their content. Usually, this takes the form of an IP address check, where you’re only allowed to use the service if your IP address comes from a specific country. So if you want to access content and services in South Korea, you’re going to need a South Korea IP address. You can do this by connecting to a VPN. Whenever you use a VPN, you’re given a new, region-specific IP address (based on your chosen server’s location), making it trivially simple to bypass these regional restrictions and use geo-blocked platforms from abroad.
There’s a widespread assumption that what you get up to online is private, but really, everyone from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to your employer, and in some countries, even the government, can see exactly which sites you visit and what you do on them. VPNs also prevent this and enhance your online privacy by encrypting your traffic, ensuring it can’t be read by any third-party observers.
How to get a South Korea IP address using a VPN
With the right VPN, getting an IP address from South Korea is very straightforward. Below, we’ll walk you through it.
Here’s how to get a South Korea IP address:
- Begin by signing up for one of the VPNs listed below (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the app. There will be several different versions so be sure to get the relevant one for your device.
- Connect to any of your VPN’s South Korean servers.
- Try visiting a geo-blocked South Korean site. Content should load immediately, and if not, it usually will after clearing your cache and cookies, then refreshing the page.
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We cover each provider in a lot of detail below, but if you only have time for a quick glance, here’s a summary list of the best VPNs for a South Korea IP address:
- NordVPN: Our top choice for getting an IP address for South Korea Huge network of servers. Zero logs and impeccable security. Exceptional speeds and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Budget provider that offers an impressive array of security features, as well as decent speeds and strong unblocking ability. Connect as many devices as you like.
- ExpressVPN: A fast network of servers dotted around the globe. Easy to use apps for all major platforms that are great for privacy and security.
- CyberGhost: Top security, fast speeds, and no logs. Apps are easy to use and beginner-friendly.
- IPVanish: Preferred by Kodi users for its remote control friendly dashboard. Fast and secure.
- PrivateVPN: Newest network on this list with fewer servers to choose from, but great for unblocking geo-restricted content.
If you’d like to watch a particular event live, we highly recommend running through the steps above before it actually begins. In doing so, you ensure that if anything goes wrong, you’ll still have time to contact customer support. This also means you’re less likely to miss anything.
With so many competing VPNs, it’s often difficult to decide which is best for a particular task. With this in mind, when finding the best VPNs for getting a South Korean IP address, we decided to only consider services with all of the characteristics below:
Criteria for selecting the best VPNs
- Has at least one South Korean server, preferably more
- 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
What’s the best VPN to get a South Korea IP address?
Here’s our full rundown of the best VPNs you can use to switch your IP address to South Korea:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN has one of the largest networks of any major VPN provider, with more than 5,000 servers spread across 62 countries, including six in South Korea. This service offers high speeds and the ability to bypass all but the most stubborn geo-restriction measures, meaning it’s ideal for people looking to stream Korean TV from abroad. It allows up to six connections at once, so you can browse safely at home and on-the-go.
This service comes with a suite of advanced security features. There’s 256-bit encryption, an app-specific kill switch, and protection against port forwarding, IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. That’s not all: NordVPN includes ad-blocking, malware-scanning, dual VPN, and Tor over VPN functionality. It doesn’t log any information which could identify you, and you can pay with Bitcoin if you’d like an extra layer of anonymity. Live, chat-based support is available 24/7.
NordVPN has apps for Windows, Android, Linux, MacOS, and iOS devices. It can be manually installed on supported wireless routers.
- Major emphasis on security and privacy
- No-logs policy
- Faster than any of its rivals
- Excellent unblocking abilities
- Expansive server network
- Some server connections are slow and unreliable
BEST VPN FOR SOUTH KOREA:NordVPN is our top choice. It’s a secure, speedy VPN that makes getting a South Korean IP address easy. Keeps no logs and comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark has over 1,700 speedy servers spread across South Korea and 60+ other countries. This means that it’s a strong choice whether you’re looking to watch KBS, SBS, or BBC channels. Best of all, while many other providers limit the number of connections you can have, Surfshark is happy for its users to secure every device they own simultaneously.
This VPN uses an app-specific kill switch, 256-bit encryption, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks to keep your activities hidden from snoopers. There’s also a toggleable NoBorders mode that lets you browse freely while traveling in countries like China. Surfshark accepts Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum and doesn’t log any personally identifiable info. Live chat-based support staff are on-hand 24/7 just in case.
Surfshark provides iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and MacOS apps. It can also be manually configured for use with select network routers.
- Speedy and reliable
- Unblocks many popular streaming platforms
- Keeps you safe with cutting edge security features
- Some slow speeds encountered during testing
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is a low-cost provider with reliable Korean servers, great unblocking ability, and no connection limit. Still not convinced? There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN currently has more than 3,000 servers in 94 different countries, including South Korea. This service is fast enough to stream live HD video without any noticeable buffering, and since it also boasts strong unblocking ability, you can use it to watch Korean platforms like EBS TV and SBS from anywhere.
This VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch (in its desktop apps) to keep your activities private. Privacy-conscious users can sign up almost completely anonymously by paying with Bitcoin and using a disposable email address. ExpressVPN logs no personally identifiable information. Customer support is available 24/7 over live chat.
ExpressVPN apps are available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS. There’s also custom router firmware, making it easy to protect all of your devices at once.
- Extremely fast download/streaming speeds
- Anonymous payment option (Bitcoin) available
- Solid privacy and security
- Unblocks various Korean platforms
- Slightly more expensive
- Could provide more control over advanced functionality
FAST KOREAN SERVERS:ExpressVPN is a quick and reliable option for getting a South Korea IP address. It’s fast and secure, with excellent unblocking potential and a major focus on your privacy. It even includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost offers the most South Korean servers of any VPN in this list (seven) and has more than 3,500 in 60 countries globally. It’s a very fast service, and apps enable you to view the current load of each server, making it easy to gain a low-latency connection no matter where you are in the world. Additionally, CyberGhost permits up to seven simultaneous connections, while most of its rivals allow between three and six.
This service is extremely user-friendly and all of its security features are enabled by default. These include 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, an automatic ad-blocker, a malware-scanner, and a kill switch (which is available in all versions). Perhaps most importantly, CyberGhost doesn’t log any information that could be traced back to you. If you run into any problems, you can reach customer support 24/7 via live chat.
CyberGhost offers apps for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Linux systems and select internet routers are also supported, but require manual configuration.
- Impressive streaming and downloading speeds
- All security features enabled by default
- Great at unblocking region-locked services
- Keeps no logs
- Less suitable for power users
- Doesn’t work in China
POWERFUL, LOW-COST VPN:CyberGhost is a fast, easy-to-use VPN offering reliable, affordable protection and access to several South Korean servers. It even comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our in-depth CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish currently has two servers in South Korea and over 1,100 others across more than 60 countries. This service is fast enough to live stream HD video with no noticeable buffering, and best of all, it allows up to ten simultaneous connections, so you’ll be able to protect all of your devices with a single account.
This VPN uses 256-bit encryption, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch (desktop apps only) to ensure you’re protected at all times. There’s also the option to change your IP address at preset intervals, block local connections, and obfuscate OpenVPN traffic if you’d like a more advanced security setup. IPVanish keeps no logs whatsoever, meaning they can’t provide details of your activities under any circumstances. Live chat is available 24/7 should you need any assistance.
IPVanish has Windows, Android, Amazon Fire Stick/Fire TV, MacOS, and iOS apps. Manual configuration is required for use with Linux systems and select network routers.
- Use any number ofdevices simultaneously
- Very fast speeds
- Top-notch security and privacy considerations
- Struggles to unblock larger streaming platforms
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
BROWSE SAFELY ANYWHERE:IPVanish is a fast, log-free, highly secure VPN with multiple servers in South Korea. Its lack of a connection limit makes it ideal for users looking to protect lots of devices at once. IPVanish plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN might not have as many servers as some of its competitors (88 in total, throughout 59 countries including South Korea), but it does offer blazing fast speeds. It’s effective at bypassing geo-restriction measures and would be a strong choice for anyone looking to use platforms like EBS TV or TV Chosun abroad.
256-bit encryption is enabled by default, but PrivateVPN includes a kill switch (Windows only), and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. This service has a strict no-logs policy and allows users to pay with Bitcoin, so there’s no risk of your activities being traced back to you. PrivateVPN’s live chat support service is available 22 hours per day (excluding 1-3PM PST), and with your permission, the staff can remotely install or configure the software for you.
PrivateVPN apps can be downloaded for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It works on Linux and select wireless routers with manual installation.
- Speeds are good enough for high-quality streaming
- Zero-logs provider
- Provides a secure, encrypted connection
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
- Fewer servers to choose from than other providers higher on this list
RELIABLE, HIGH-SPEED BROWSING:PrivateVPN provides fast, consistent connections to its South Korean server and doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever. There’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee so you have nothing to lose by trying it.
Here’s our full review of PrivateVPN.
Can I get an IP address from South Korea with a free VPN?
Free VPNs can seem appealing but are rarely work as well as they claim to. Take their speeds: usually, they’ll have fewer servers than paid services, but more users. This means you can expect pages to load extremely slowly, and video to buffer for long periods of time, if they load at all. Additionally, free VPNs are unlikely to have South Korean servers and are often the first to be blacklisted by popular services like Netflix, which makes free VPNs a poor choice for streaming South Korean content abroad.
As free VPNs don’t charge the user upfront, they find other ways to make money. You’ll almost always find that they insert ads into the pages you visit, but the real problem is that some services resort to shadier methods. For instance, some store tracking cookies on your device that allow them to keep track of which websites you visit and how often. This data is recorded over long periods of time and once enough has been collected, it’s sold to advertisers, most commonly without your knowledge.
Unfortunately, there are people looking to take advantage of your interest in online privacy. A 2016 study tested more than 280 free VPN apps and concluded that nearly 40% included malware. Equally troubling, 66% leaked personal information over DNS, and 18% (22 services) never used any encryption whatsoever. These risks aren’t limited to little-known services, either: we’ve even seen one major VPN sell user bandwidth to help run a botnet.
To be as safe as possible, we recommend using a reputable VPN that puts user privacy first.
Will I be able to stream South Korean TV online with a VPN?
Most geo-restricted services simply check the user’s IP address to see if they’re in a supported country or not. This means that by connecting to one of your VPN’s servers in the relevant country (in this case, South Korea), you’ll be able to browse the internet as though you were actually there. As such, you can use a VPN to stream content on platforms like EBS TV, Oksusu, SBS, and TV Chosun, no matter where you are in the world.
You should note, however, that some services have more advanced geo-blocking measures than others. For example, you may have to provide a local address or phone number during registration or use a payment method that’s only available in a particular country. These restrictions allow South Koreans who are currently abroad to sign up, while making it very difficult for foreign users.
What else is a South Korean IP address good for?
You might have received an email at some point letting you know that someone has tried to access one of your accounts from another country. These automated alerts are intended to keep you safe, but most of the time, they can’t tell whether you’re being hacked or simply trying to log in while on vacation. Luckily, you can avoid this issue by connecting to a VPN beforehand. From the service’s point of view, you’ll be attempting to login from your home country, which means you’re less likely be receive an alert or have account access suspended.
Public wifi networks are a convenient way to stay connected in a foreign country, but they come with several disadvantages. Firstly, they often place arbitrary restrictions on which sites you can visit. Second, your activities may be monitored, and it’s difficult to tell who by. Finally, these networks are a prime target for hackers as they’re often poorly secured. A VPN fixes all of these issues: their encryption prevents anyone from seeing what you do online, and since your traffic is routed through another country, you can access any site regardless of whether it’s blocked or not.
Internet restrictions in South Korea
South Korea has fairly extensive internet censorship. Sites hosting pornography, pro-North Korean material, unrated games (whether or not you can gamble on the outcome), or criticism of the South Korean government are routinely blocked by the Korea Communication Standards Division. This organization’s 2017 report (PDF) shows that it approved 66,659 of 91,853 applications for blocking.
Additionally, unlike in other parts of the world, South Korean law does not consider the truth to be a valid defense against defamation: if a person’s reputation is damaged by what you post, you can still be charged. These laws are often used to silence critics of the government or those who reveal information which is arguably in the public interest.