Thailand is a wonderful country to visit, but politically, it is going through a period difficult of perturbation. Changes in society resulted in the increase of control over Thai citizens and expats. Fearing new coups, the government has imposed strict censorship of media space. Such measures led to the fact that currently, Thailand is at the bottom of a list of countries by the freedom of speech. Authorities deprive people of accessing websites, messaging apps, and social media. Those that are still in line are heavily monitored. In such a situation use of a VPN seems to be simply vital. There are many VPN services, both free and paid ones, and a regular user can be confused by the abundance of choice. Luckily, I have checked and tested numerous services to identify the best VPN for Thailand. If you want to know what provider is ideal to help maintain your privacy, then read further.
Best VPNs for Thailand Top 3 Picks
When you choose a suitable VPN for your needs, only up-to-date services combining all the current security facilities should come to your attention. Without a shadow of a doubt, the following vendors are the best options for accessing the Internet in Thailand:
Only these providers can guarantee your online freedom and cover your digital footprints while browsing the internet. Each service is unique in its own way and offers a set of functions distinguishing them from competitors. Below is a brief overview of each VPN provider, which, I hope, will help you make a wise choice.
Hands down, NordVPN for Thailand is currently the most secure VPN service available on the market. The company was able to achieve striking security parameters by taking care of every aspect where your privacy might be vulnerable. Thus, NordVPN is registered in a country that does not require retention of data on user activity. The government of any country intending to obtain information about the service’s subscribers will leave empty-handed. NordVPN does not keep logs, which means that all information about users’ actions on the net is immediately eliminated.
The service offers a huge variety of strongest protocols with the highest level of encryption. For example, OpenVPN protocol is considered to be unbreakable. Therefore, any sensitive information will be unavailable for cybercriminals or your ISP.
NordVPN has one of the most impressive server networks, with more than 4,000 units in 62 countries around the globe. Such server count is ideal for accessing any geographically restricted content.
ExressVPN for Thailand is another reputable VPN service obligated to protect your privacy. The company works under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands that have no laws on data retention. This allows the vendor to provide a strict zero-logs policy meaning no information about your online travels is logged or tracked. Therefore, even your Internet provider will stay unaware of what you do online.
The service supplies unbreakable, future-proof protocols to ensure you have the best encryption possible. Along with the most secure OpenVPN protocol, you are free to choose among other options including PPTP, TCP/UPD, L2TP/ IPSec.
In addition to your security, ExressVPN allows for outstanding Internet experience. They are known for blazing speeds of VPN connections and exceptional stability throughout the network. By the way, the service offers 1700+ servers located in 94 countries to make your physical location unimportant whenever you desire to access blocked content.
One more trustworthy service deserving your attention is PureVPN. It was designed to cater for clients in countries with harsh control and censorship, such as in China. Therefore, the server packs many useful features specialized for privacy and anonymity.
First of all, you can rest assured knowing that no sensitive information about your activity will fall into the wrong hands. It is simply because the service doesn’t retain any logs recording.
Moreover, PureVPN manages its own server network meaning no data passes through third parties. Although the service can’t boast large server army (it offers 750+ servers), the geographical diversity is beyond praise. You will find servers in more than 140 countries. Such variety is especially useful when you want to circumvent annoying geo-blocking. On top of that, the service is one of the fastest in the industry allowing you to enjoy content without lags or buffering.
Internet Climate in Thailand
Currently, Thailand is under the rule of military dictatorship. Being not tolerant of any criticism, the government passes laws allowing restricting freedom of speech and keeping its citizens in fear. People of Thailand can be caught and arrested for any careless statement on the net. Adopted in 2016, the Computer-Related Crime Act strengthened the authorities’ control over the Internet. Now, not only the media space is regulated and limited, but the freedoms of regular citizens are threatened by constant monitoring, surveillance, and wiretapping.
Restrictions and Censorship
Recently, Thailand has experienced several coups, the first of which dates back to 2006. Even before this upheaval, authorities began to impose restrictions on sites with certain content (for example, pornography and gambling sites are outlawed). After the second coup in 2014, the situation with online freedoms got worsened. Taking advantage of the riots in the country, the authorities introduced a strict policy of total censorship. Any statements criticizing the government and its actions were banned. Government services monitor blogs, news sites, messages on social networks and even content of user comments.
When expressing your thoughts and ideas on the Internet, you must remember that the monarchy of Thailand is sacred. This means that it is forbidden to criticize, spread rumors, and defame the dignity of members of the royal family.
According to independent observers, Thailand has already blocked more than 110,000 sites. Some of them are completely inaccessible, while others work in a limited form. Among partly-blocked sites you will find Google and its counterparts, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, some news portals and even YouTube. Some pages on these sites are inaccessible, the others are monitored by authorities and their content is filtered. Also, the country banns websites related to pornography, gambling business, as well as opinionated news sites and forums contained political, religious, and cultural materials.
If an offensive content is found online, it takes only 30 minutes for the government to remove it. Offenders can face up to 10 years in prison.
Surveillance and Wiretapping in Thailand
Censorship is inextricably linked with tracking Internet users. This is especially relevant for those who use mobile data for surfing. You should be aware that government agencies are wiretapping and recording mobile phones which are under the jurisdiction of Thailand. The government has transparently hinted that it has the ability to crack the Thai’s most popular voice chat system with more than 33 million subscribers. Such statements often mean that the authorities not only can, but probably have already hacked popular telecommunication tools. Therefore, you need to be careful about what you write and what you say via these apps.
Authorities have the right to capture logs kept by Internet service providers. Thus, they have the ability to copy and retain data, get access to individual computer systems, and decrypt protected traffic on the condition they have a security key.
Moreover, in an attempt to strengthen relations with the US, the government began to spy their residents and tourists more actively. All the information they dig is handed in to the NSA.
Reasons to Use a VPN in Thailand
If you are a citizen of Thailand or come here as a tourist, you may have many reasons to use a VPN service. In fact, only VPN tunneling will allow you to browse websites without facing any hurdles and avoid governmental surveillance. Here are a few more reasons to opt for a VPN:
Speak Your Mind Freely
If you do not want your Internet provider to follow your every step in the virtual world and record all your actions on the network, a VPN is just what you need. By encrypting your data with special protocols, you can leave any comments and post any content without fear that the digital trace will lead law enforcement agencies to your door. Especially a VPN is helpful if your views seem to be insulting to the ruling regime or the royal family. As I mentioned before, violators can face up to 10 years in prison. However, under the protection of a VPN, you won’t have to be afraid for your safety.
Get Access to Blocked Sites
Censorship in Thailand may be caused by considerations of national security, but tough government actions have led to the fact that there are very few independent media and bloggers in the country. If you are tired of reading only those materials that put leadership in a good light and you want to see an objective picture of what is happening in Thailand and outside, your only option is to connect your devices to a VPN.
Secure Yourself against Hackers and Intruders
It seems like the Thai government is too busy persecuting political dissidents so it does not have time to fight cybercrime. This creates favorable conditions for the emergence of a huge number of online identity thief and intruders.
Thailand is in the top 25 countries in terms of frequency of malicious attacks committed annually. According to experts, about 90% of the network inside the country is infected with viruses or malware. Many of the WiFi hotspots are a threat to your security, especially around popular sights. For example, the Grand Palace in Bangkok is among 15 places the most dangerous for connection through public networks.
If you are connected to an unprotected network, what could be the worst case scenario? If you want to make a payment with a credit card and banking software has detected a security breach, your card may be blocked. But this is not even the worst situation. It may be that thieves steal your confidential information and empty your bank account.
With a VPN service, you do not need to worry that this may happen. Reliable security protocols encrypt all your data so that cybercriminals will not be able to get their hands on your sensitive information.
Get around Geo-blocking
As in any other country, some streaming sites can be blocked or limited due to regional restrictions. For example, popular video services Netflix and Hulu operate in Thailand, but their library is adapted to the local market. This means that you may not be able to find your favorite content because of the absence of a license to show it in Thailand, or it violates the accepted norms of morality.
If the restrictions are not for you just use a VPN subscription and enjoy access to any show that you like. When you send a request through one of the servers in a different region, you are misleading the streaming services making them think that you are in this country. Therefore, Netflix will open doors to any series or films you wish to watch.
Can You Trust a Free VPN for Thailand?
Many Internet users believe that they can save some money by signing up for a free VPN service. However, saving on your safety is not the best idea. Whatever providers of free services say, they won’t be able to keep your privacy intact.
Moreover, they can even pose a threat to their subscribers themselves. Some vendors have been caught collecting and selling user data to third-parties. It is because such services also need to earn money, and if you do not pay anything, they will find another way to yield a profit. Even if free VPNs do not intend to sell information about users, they can get money by injecting advertisements into your browser. Not only are those ads annoying but also they will slow down your connection speed.
Thus, you can’t use a free VPN for streaming or online games. It is even doubtful whether you can watch shows on Netflix. It is known that Netflix has learned to recognize some VPNs and block their IP addresses. In addition, free VPN providers have a very meager territorial choice of servers to which you can connect. So, most likely, with a free VPN for Thailand, your desired content will remain geo-blocked.
On top of that, encryption protocols free VPNs use are not as updated as what paid providers offer. Cyber criminals or government agencies can easily hack them. If this happens, all the information about your actions on the network can be used against you.
However, this is never a case with reputable VPN services. The providers we have on our list of the best VPNs for Thailand, have an airtight no-logging policy. This means that your Internet provider won’t see data being sent and received on your device. Cutting-edge encryption protocols will also do their job hiding all the traces of your online activity. And all these heavy security measures won’t come at a price of slower connection speeds.
Therefore, you should think twice before entrusting your security into the hands of dubious services. For a very modest price, paid VPN vendors will move mountains so that you could remain guarded at all times. Why not use such a great opportunity and connect to a decent service? And if you won’t like something (which is not likely), you can always get your money back within a refund window. But I am sure since you try any of them out you will never have to agree for something else.