For many, South Korea is known, for the tensions, US President Donald Trump has with its neighbor. However, if you didn’t know, it’s also the home to tech Giant Samsung. And the place Gangnam Style performer PSY and his 3-billion plus views Youtube video were created.
However, the country is much more than that; it’s a mecca for technology buffs. One that sees more than 10% of the adult population addicted to internet usage. And network speeds in access of 1GB per second for more than 66% of its population, soon to be 10GB! So, why would you use a VPN in the Republic of Korea? There are many reasons, and in this article, I’ll explain what they are. Plus introduce you to what I think are the best VPNs for South Korea right now.
Best South Korean VPNs Quick Links
OK, so you know a bit about VPN’s, but aren’t sure which are the best to choose from? Here’s my quick pick list, each is proven to be fast, secure, and reliable.
- Private Internet Access
Need more information than that? Don’t worry; I have you covered. Below is a brief breakdown, of what each has to offer you.
First up we have the defacto industry leader. Based in the British Virgin Islands, it offers, as near a perfectly secure internet experience as you can get.
To start with it’s not in a territory covered by the secretive Five Eyes spy ring, and it has fantastic features. They consist of an all-important Kill Switch, 256-bit encryption, support for all your devices, and keeps no connection or activity logs. Furthermore, it’s growing number of servers offer super fast connections wherever you are, making it a best VPN for South Korea.
Oh and not to forget, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee in place. So, should you for whatever reason want to cancel, you can with a refund.
Want to engage in some P2P activity and keep your IP address safe from prying eyes? NordVPN is a fast, reliable, and secure option seriously worthy of your consideration. With more than 3,500-servers in 61-countries, it has one of the largest networks. All its servers offer UDP, TCP, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols. Meaning its super-secure, and perfect for streaming, multi-player gaming and more.
If you give it a try and find yourself unhappy, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee to take advantage of.
3. Private Internet Access
If you’re looking for an advanced compatible South Korean VPN, then, Private Internet Access is it. With 3,000+ servers worldwide, it offers you connections that are protected with PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec protocols. Plus, further peace of mind with advert, malware, and tracker blocking.
Additionally, no traffic logs, instant setup, the connection of up to five devices, unlimited bandwidth, and encrypted WiFi make it a stellar choice. Throw into the mix, a 7-day money back guarantee, and you have the freedom to give it a try, and get your money back should you choose too.
Why Use a VPN in South Korea
If you’re a Korean citizen, it’s likely that you already benefit from a VPN to access western programming. However, if not, maybe now is the time to consider one. After all, the internet and most streaming services are censored in your country. So, making a move to one of the best VPN’s for the Republic of Korea would be beneficial.
If you’re a visitor, as I mentioned above, once you arrive in the country, you will no longer be able to access your home content. Instead, Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu, and other services will show local content. And that is where a VPN comes in, one of the three I mentioned above would allow you to gain access via a server in your home country.
All you would have to do is, sign up to ExpressVPN or one of the others before leaving home. After which when in Korea, select a server and sign into the likes of Netflix. And voila, you can watch your favorite tv shows again.
Of course, there are a few more reasons why you should use a VPN in South Korea; I will tell you about them below.
Is it Legal?
Yes, VPNs are legal in Korea; however, you should be aware that the government in this country actively monitors and prosecutes people. Mostly based on anti-political speech and the criticization/non-adherence to social values.
As such my advice to you is, be careful, do not think that a VPN will protect you should you voice certain opinions. Often it has been the case that service providers will help authorities track you down even without a warrant.
Snooping and Internet Censorship in South Korea
Continuing from the above, attempting to access pornography, gambling or any other activity that is deemed illegal of culturally perversive is frowned upon. Why? Because the government sees itself as a kind of benevolent parent to the people, one that sets cultural and social norms. But, for whatever reason, it is not strictly enforced, and citizens/visitors have learned how to bypass such restrictions.
As for how pervasive South Korea’s internet snooping has become, you only have to look at recent history to be concerned. Back in 1995, the government put in place censorship laws, the first in the world. Since then it has banned access to individual websites (non-pornographic,) and recommend content to be removed. Again, as I mentioned earlier: The body now called the KCSC actively engages in pursuing criminal convictions against those who use illegal speech.
Concerning this, in 2014, after the sinking of the ferry Sewol, people took to online chat rooms and social media to express their anger. Unfortunately for many KCSC sought them out with substantial penalties and some prison sentences, sighting defamation as the reason.
What does this mean for native or visitor? It means, while the government continues to take a strict and broad-ranging approach to censorship you should be careful. Don’t say anything that could be deemed subversive, in chat rooms, social media, or anywhere else. And most certainly, if you wish to break out of the bubble it has created, use a VPN.
Why Choose a Paid VPN over Something Free?
In a country which openly admits to monitoring internet and other communication activities, free just isn’t worth it.
Now, I am not saying that because I condone the use of VPNs for illegal activities, no. Instead, I say that because you, me, in fact, everyone is entitled to some privacy. So, the fact that the vast majority of free Korean VPNs are based on low spec servers, with little to no security means they’re bad.
Using one not only leaves you open to government access to your data, but also by cybercriminals. Having said that, it is increasingly becoming common for such services to sell your data for monetary gain. Of course, with no control over your information, that in itself negates the reason for using it in the first place.
My advice to you, is, stick with one of the premium VPNs for Korea. One that provides the best encryption, no log keeping, has many servers and supports torrenting.