watch Korean TV abroad

You likely already know this but these days, most streaming services are region-locked, which means that they’re only available in specific countries. Unfortunately, this means that if you go abroad, you could find yourself unable to stay up-to-date with your favorite Korean TV shows. This kind of blocking is actually extremely simple to get around; all you have to do is connect to a Korean VPN server.

This works because most geo-restricted services determine the user’s location using their IP address. Once connected to a VPN, only your chosen server’s IP address is visible. In other words, if you use a server that’s in Korea, websites will believe that’s where you really are. Another advantage of VPNs is that they encrypt your traffic, which means snoopers like your internet service provider can’t see what you get up to online.

Below, we’ve provided a brief overview of the best VPNs for watching Korean TV abroad. However, if you’d like more information, keep reading; we’ll take a closer look at each later.

Best VPNs for streaming Korean TV shows abroad:

  1. ExpressVPN: The #1 choice for watching Korean TV abroad. Boasts speedy Korean servers, powerful security features, and first-rate unblocking capabilities.
  2. NordVPN: The best way to live stream Korean TV on a budget. This security-first VPN unblocks all kinds of Korean streaming platforms and has over 5,500 servers worldwide.
  3. IPVanish: A very fast service that puts your privacy first. Allows up to ten connections at once and can unblock major Korean TV channels with ease.
  4. PrivateVPN: With exceptionally fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and fantastic unblocking ability, this VPN makes it as easy as possible to watch South Korean TV from abroad.
  5. Surfshark: A top-notch provider with solid speeds, strong unblocking potential, and a wide range of security and privacy features. Lets users connect all of their devices at once.
  6. Hotspot Shield: This versatile, high-speed service allows you to stream South Korean TV from anywhere, and its strong security offering all but guarantees your anonymity.

How to unblock Korean TV from outside Korea with a VPN

Unblocking Korean TV from abroad is remarkably simple. Just follow the steps below to stream all of your favorite shows from outside South Korea.

Here’s how to watch Korean TV shows online from anywhere:

  1. First, you’ll have to choose which of the VPNs below to use (we recommend ExpressVPN).
  2. Download and install the app on any device you’d like to stream on. Usually, five simultaneous connections are permitted but this varies from one VPN to another.
  3. When you’re ready, connect to a server in South Korea. This will provide you with a South Korean IP address and allow you to bypass region-locking with ease.
  4. Lastly, visit a Korean streaming service and play something. You should find that videos now load without any issues. If you’re having trouble, clear your cache and reload the page, or contact your VPN’s customer support team for more help.

WATCH KOREAN TV FREE: If you only need a VPN for a little while, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. This lets you stream South Korean TV risk-free since if you’re unsatisfied, you can just cancel to receive a full refund.

Which Korean TV channels can I stream abroad with a VPN?

With the right VPN, you’ll be able to access a huge range of Korean streaming services, no matter where you are in the world. We’ve listed a few of the most popular below but really, once connected, you shouldn’t have any issues using any of your regular services abroad:

  • KBS
  • SBS
  • MBC
  • JTV
  • Netflix Korea
  • TV Chosun
  • Wavve

How to choose the best VPN provider for Korean TV shows

It’s easy to feel like you’re in over your head when comparing VPNs. Here’s a tip that should greatly simplify things: instead of opting for a service that does one thing really well, try to choose a more versatile VPN. This way, you can do far more than just watch Korean TV. Below, you’ll find the criteria we used to find the best VPNs for South Korean TV:

  • Has at least one South Korean server, although preferably more
  • Can unblock some of the most popular Korean streaming services from abroad
  • Offers consistently high speeds and is fast enough for flawless live streaming
  • Uses advanced security features to keep your activities private
  • Doesn’t log any data that could identify you
  • Provides apps for both desktop and mobile operating systems

See also: Best VPNs for South Korea

Best VPNs for watching Korean TV online

We provide an up-close look at all of the best VPNs for Korean TV below:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Aug 2020

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for watching Korean TV while abroad. It has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, so you’re all but guaranteed a high-speed, low-latency connection. Additionally, it’s able to unblock major services like SBS, TV Chosun, and Wavve from outside Korea. As if that wasn’t enough, ExpressVPN offers unlimited bandwidth and allows users to connect up to five devices at once.

This service pays particular attention to its users’ security. It keeps your activities private at all times using effectively uncrackable 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection. Most importantly, ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable data, which means it can’t divulge details of your browsing habits even if asked to. If you run into any issues, 24/7 support is on-hand over live chat and email.

ExpressVPN includes apps for MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. Further, it offers custom firmware that allows users to more easily install the service on supported routers.

Pros:

  • Excellent speeds
  • Capable of unblocking all kinds of Korean streaming services
  • Puts your security first
  • Accepts Bitcoin payments

Cons:

  • Slightly higher price than some others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR KOREAN TV:ExpressVPN is our top choice for watching Korean TV. Speedy connections, powerful security features, and the ability to unblock a wide range of services make it easy to stream safely abroad. A risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee is included.

If you still have questions, why not check out our full ExpressVPN review?

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2. NordVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN has one of the largest networks of any major provider, with 5,500 fast servers across 60+ countries including South Korea. It also boasts fantastic unblocking ability; in fact, you can use it to access services like KBS, Netflix US, or BBC iPlayer, wherever in the world you are. Further, this VPN permits up to six simultaneous connections per account.

Security is NordVPN’s specialty. It keeps you safe from prying eyes with a combination of 256-bit encryption, automatic malware-scanning, and protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. There’s also a kill switch that stops sending data the moment your connection drops. NordVPN is a zero-logs provider and as such, your activities can’t be traced back to you. Customer support is available around the clock over email and live chat.

NordVPN offers both desktop clients (Windows, MacOS, Linux) and mobile apps (Android and iOS). You can manually install it on select internet routers to secure all of your devices at once.

Pros:

  • More than half a dozen high-speed Korean servers
  • Top-notch unblocking capabilities
  • Plenty of advanced online security features
  • Doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever

Cons:

  • Desktop apps sometimes take a little longer to connect

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET PROVIDER:NordVPN not only lets you unblock all kinds of Korean streaming platforms, but it also has all of the tools you need to do so safely. Best of all, it’s a highly affordable service that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our complete review of NordVPN.

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3. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish has a network of more than 1,300 servers in 60 countries (South Korea included). What’s more, its servers are reliable and fast enough to live stream Korean TV without any noticeable lag. This makes it ideal for anyone looking to stream geo-blocked content abroad. Further, as this VPN has an especially generous 10-connection limit, you’ll be able to protect all of your devices simultaneously.

This lightweight VPN comes packed with advanced security features including 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Additionally, it allows users to block all local connections or scramble their OpenVPN traffic, which is useful for bypassing particularly strict VPN blocking. IPVanish doesn’t log any details of your activities, which means you can browse the web almost completely anonymously. Need help? Live chat-based support is available 24/7 just in case you need it.

IPVanish offers apps for Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows. That said, it can be manually configured for use with Linux systems or supported wireless routers.

Pros:

  • Consistently high speeds
  • Capable of unblocking major Korean streaming platforms including SBS
  • Powerful security and privacy protections

Cons:

  • Has difficulty unblocking larger streaming services

Our score:

4 out of 5

ABSOLUTE PRIVACY:IPVanish is a high-speed provider that follows a strict zero-logs policy. As such, you’ll be able to watch MBC, SBS, and more without worrying about who might be monitoring your activities. Additionally, IPVanish includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Take a look at the in-depth IPVanish review.

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4. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN may have a fairly small network, with around 150 servers spread across 60 countries but it does provide some of the highest speeds around. Not only that, but this is also one of the few services capable of unblocking Netflix Korea from abroad. As such, it’s a natural choice for anyone who streams frequently. With a six-connection limit, you can watch both at home and when you’re on the move.

This VPN has a strong security offering too. Its 256-bit encryption, customizable kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks ensure that snoopers can’t see your activities, and for even greater privacy, you can turn on stealth mode. PrivateVPN follows a strict no-logging policy, meaning it can’t reveal details of your activities under any circumstances. Support is available via email or live chat, 22 hours per day.

PrivateVPN has Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android apps. If you’d prefer to protect every device on your network, you can manually install this VPN on select routers.

Pros:

  • One of the fastest VPNs around
  • Among the best at unblocking region-locked services abroad
  • Takes your online security seriously and keeps no logs

Cons:

  • Live chat support not 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

TOP-TIER SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is extremely fast and easily unblocks some of the most stubborn streaming services abroad. What’s more, it comes packed with powerful security features and even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Find out more in our comprehensive PrivateVPN review.

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5. Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark provides access to 1,700+ servers in South Korea and another 60+ countries. With steady speeds and strong unblocking ability, it allows you to watch all of your favorite TV shows from anywhere in the world, without having to worry about lag or buffering. One of the best things about this service is that it has no connection limit; in other words, you can use it to secure every device you own.

This service uses 256-bit encryption to keep you safe online. There’s also DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, a malware-scanner, an ad-blocker, and a NoBorders mode that lets you bypass especially strict country-wide internet blocking. Surfshark doesn’t log any data that could be traced back to you, so your privacy is in good hands. Support staff can be reached 24/7 via live chat or email.

Surfshark provides apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux, and Windows devices. It also works on select network routers, although you’ll have to configure the service manually.

Pros:

  • Fast VPN with excellent unblocking ability
  • Allows unlimited devices
  • Strong security and privacy credentials

Cons:

  • Some servers are much slower than others
  • A relatively small server network

Our score:

4 out of 5

WATCH TV ANYWHERE:Surfshark has excellent unblocking capabilities, solid speeds, and no connection limit. With a 30-day money-back guarantee and a strong security focus, this service is perfect for streaming Korean TV while abroad.

Still not sure? We go into even more detail in our full Surfshark review.

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6. Hotspot Shield

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Hotspot Shield has an impressive network, with more than 3,200 servers in 80+ countries (South Korea included). This service has very high speeds and unlimited bandwidth, making it a natural choice for streaming. Best of all, it’s capable of unblocking all manner of services including MBC, Netflix US, and Amazon Prime Video. Users can connect five devices simultaneously.

This VPN keeps your activities private with 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. It can be configured to connect automatically whenever you use a public wifi hotspot, and you can even choose to let specific websites bypass the VPN entirely. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any personally identifiable data and as such, once connected, you’re almost entirely untraceable. If you need help, you can contact support via email or 24/7 live chat.

Hotspot Shield allows users to install apps for MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. It’s also possible to manually configure this VPN for use with supported wireless routers.

Pros:

  • Speeds are high enough for perfect live streaming
  • Unblocks all kinds of geo-restricted services outside of Korea
  • Decent security features

Cons:

  • Working to repair reputation after past privacy issues
  • Doesn’t accept Bitcoin

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST AND SECURE:Hotspot Shield is a very fast service that puts major emphasis on user security. Of course, it’s also able to unblock a host of Korean TV channels. Best of all, it comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our complete review of Hotspot Shield.

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Korean TV FAQs

Can I live stream Korean TV using a free VPN?

Free VPNs can be tempting but we strongly advise against using one to stream Korean TV from abroad. For a start, most free services won’t offer Korean servers and any that do are likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of users this attracts. Assuming you can get connected, you’ll likely experience extremely slow speeds, which leads to choppy playback and makes live streaming all but impossible. 

You should note that these services can pose a real threat to your security too. In fact, research indicates that a high percentage of free VPN apps fail to use any encryption, which means they’re no safer than browsing normally. Of course, you could also end up installing one of the many Trojans designed to look like a free VPN, which comes with its own set of risks. 

The best way to keep your online activities secure is to use a reputable VPN with a no-logging policy and a record of standing up for its users’ privacy.

How else can a VPN help me?

VPNs are useful for all kinds of things. For instance, if you go abroad on vacation, you could find that some of your favorite websites are blocked wherever you are. Luckily, since VPNs allow you to route your traffic through servers elsewhere in the world, you can bypass country-wide internet restrictions and browse freely, even in places with strict online censorship. Better still, your traffic will be encrypted, which ensures it can’t be read by anyone, whether it’s the government, the public wifi hotspot owner, or your employer.

Can I use a VPN to access Korean online banking?

Have you ever been locked out of an account because someone has tried to log into it from abroad? This kind of automated system can be hugely beneficial if it works properly, but it can often cause problems for international travelers. The solution is to connect to a VPN server in Korea and you should be able to access your IBK, Shinhan, or KEB account without any issues.

See also: Overall best VPNs