Thailand is one of the top tourist spots in the world. The country is known for its exotic beaches, islands and food.
And yet, despite all the attractions, the future of internet in the country looks a bit gloomy, with censorship rising.
Update: Thailand is ready to pass a new cybersecurity law which will increase the power of authorities against the free use of Internet. See below for more details.
The country has had its share of political and social turmoil in the past and it is a major reason that freedom of speech on Internet is still far from the reach of the average citizen.
Concerning the precarious political and social landscape of the country, using a VPN for Thailand is a step towards better online security and freedom.
In this article, I will look into the current online situation of Thailand and recommend top VPN services fit for the country.
So, let’s start.
New Cybersecurity Law Round the Corner
Thailand’s Junta drafted a bill in 2015 to bestow additional powers to authorities to search computers and devices of citizens and search for any personal information stored in them. But the bill was put on hold at the time.
The existing military regime of the country has spurred into action before the elections to be held two months from now (March 2019) and the new bill is finally ready to pass, having 172-0 votes in its favor.
Citizens, activists, and corporations have voiced concerns over the proposed cybersecurity law, criticizing it as just another move to silence political opponents of the powers that be.
It is also a direct violation of the inherent of every individual over the privacy of their personal information, which the Junta is completely disregarding with the introduction of this law.
These concerns have led to an increase in the volume of searches for VPN services for Thailand.
VPN services boost online freedom and security by changing user’s IP address and increasing the strength and quality of encryption.
So, if you intend to fight back against the government and take your own online freedom in your control, using a VPN can be the best weapon in your arsenal.
5 Best VPNs for Thailand
Increasing censorship and government restrictions have made it necessary to keep personal data safe with VPN services.
|VPN Providers||Price ($)||Special Deals||More Info|
Best Affordable VPN
$2.88 Per Month
Exclusive Discount 2 years Plan
Best Budget Service
$1.99 Per Month
2 Years Deal
Best for Geo-Unblocking
$2.99 Per Month
3 Years Plan
Best for Streaming
$8.32 Per Month
No Exclusive Offer
Best for Private Browsing
$2.75 Per Month
3 Years Deal
Following is a brief review of 5 VPN services you should definitely consider if you are living in or visiting Thailand:
PureVPN was established in 2007 and has earned itself the reputation of being one of the strongest providers in the VPN market. The VPN offers numerous servers distributed geographically over140 locations in the world.
It combines its powerful servers with robust encryption mechanisms that protects user data from external threats and snoopers. As such, PureVPN is an excellent choice for Thai citizens and travelers.
- Server list in excess of 750 located in 140 countries of the world
- Supports up-to-date encryption techniques including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec
- Does not keep track of user data
- Provides DNS leak protection
- Money-back guarantee is only valid for 7 days
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN service that offers multiple dedicated servers for different purposes, from torrenting to streaming.
Its jurisdiction makes it ideal for privacy-conscious users because Romania has friendly online laws.
If you’re looking for a way to unblock censored sites while keeping your identity a secret from agencies in Thailand, CyberGhost is a top-rated solution.
- Over 3,000 servers
- Supports streaming and torrenting
- Good logging policy
- Excellent user interface
- Speeds need improvement
Surfshark, the British Virgin Islands based VPN service, is presenting a strong challenge to established VPNs, even though it was only launched in 2018.
The VPN has a small server network currently, but its overall performance is right up there with the leading services in the industry.
Considering it’s reasonably low price, I’d recommend Surfshark as the best choice for Thailand.
The great security features and logging policy surely add to the value of this VPN, especially for suppressive states such as the one under consideration here.
- No logging of user data
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Unblocks censored sites
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Relatively small server network
No list consisting of the best VPN providers would be complete without mention of NordVPN.
It is a Panama-based VPN, takes advantage of privacy laws of the country which entirely favor the citizens.
NordVPN guarantees zero-logging of user data, making it one of the most secure VPNs in existence.
So, if you’re concerned about the privacy of your data and government snooping, this is a VPN to rely on.
- Provides more than 5,000 servers in more than 60 locations
- Allows up to 6 devices to connect to the VPN simultaneously
- Users can avail money-back guarantee for 30 days
- Strictly adheres to zero-logging policy
- Enabling the double VPN feature can slow down Internet speeds
ExpressVPN has almost become an exemplary VPN provider that every other VPN company wishes to emulate.
Having more than 2,000 servers dispersed across some 94 countries, and military-grade encryption, this is one powerful VPN.
The best thing about ExpressVPN is that it is one of the few truly zero-logging providers.
So, you can rest assured that the government won’t be able to snoop in on you even if they want to.
- Provides a network of 2,000 servers covering more than 94 countries
- Uses military-grade encryption to protect user data
- Offers cross-platform compatibility
- Money-back guarantee is valid for 30 days
- Expensive subscription
Access Online Streaming Channels with VPNs
If you are on a business trip or enjoying your vacations in Thailand, you will not be able to access some of the top streaming services.
Note that these restrictions are not enforced by the Thai government: these services restrict their services to their own certain regions.
So, in order to get your exclusive pass for accessing these sites, you will need to choose one of the above mentioned VPN services.
For instance, if you are looking to access Netflix, you can use a VPN to get a US IP address.
Installing a Mobile VPN in Thailand
Once you have selected an appropriate VPN provider, the next step is to download it on your mobile device.
Below you can find installation processes for both Android and iOS devices:
VPNs can be installed using two different methods.
The first method simply involves finding your preferred VPN app on the PlayStore and downloading it.
However, the second method is a little trickier and involves downloading it through an apk file.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Change settings in your Android device to allow installation from third-party sources
- Open the VPN website
- Download the APK file on your device
- Install the downloaded APK file
- Open the VPN and browse the Internet through the VPN
To install a VPN on iOS, you can simply open the App Store, search for your preferred VPN provider and install it.
Once it is installed, you can connect to any server of your choice and use the Internet with strong encryption and security protocols.
Reasons to Use a VPN in Thailand
1. Secure yourself on Public Hotspots
It is common knowledge that public Wi-Fi hotspots only possess basic encryption that can be broken by skilled hackers.
With a VPN, you instantly get the extra protection you need to use public Wi-Fi without fearing for your security.
If you are the outgoing type and frequently use public Wi-Fi, don’t skimp on your security considering the high cybercrime rates in Thailand.
2. Bypass Blocked Content in Thailand
If you are trying to access some website that does not seem to be working in Thailand, you can use a VPN to gain access.
Simply connect to a server from a location where the website works normally, and you’re good to go.
Cybercrimes in Thailand
According to a research by Aware, Thailand is among top 25 nations by amount of malware-infections and cybersecurity threats.
In addition, Thailand is the 11th most targeted country by ransomware attacks.
Allianz Global reported Thailand as the second most targeted country for cybercrime.
The reason for the high cybercrime vulnerability of the country is lack of security infrastructure and best practices.
What’s more, the country is known for incredibly high usage of counterfeit and pirated software, making the corporate sector susceptible to malware and cybercrimes.
As a result, it has become absolutely vital to equip your devices with a VPN while surfing the internet, in addition to updated anti-malware tools.
If you are located in other parts of Asia, check out the best VPNs for following countries:
Thailand’s Internet History
Since the military coup of 2014 in Thailand, the stance on online freedom of speech has been extremely suppressive.
Censorship on social media aside, some people have actually been detained by authorities for their Facebook posts.
In fact, the social media website was temporarily blocked in 2014.
4:40pm Panic over. Facebook is now back in #Thailand. Either a glitch or a show of strength by the junta. Thank god for VPN.
— Richard Barrow in Thailand 🇹🇭 🇬🇧 (@RichardBarrow) May 28, 2014
In 2017, the government requested Facebook to block more than 300 posts from Thai people.
A few pages of BBC One, BBC Two, Yahoo and CNN News have also been blocked when they “allegedly” discussed Thai politics on their websites.
Thailand's internet has literally crumbled this week, after reports govt is upping surveillance — time to get VPN if you don't have one yet
— Jon Russell (@jonrussell) September 17, 2014
Similarly, The Daily Mail’s website was also blocked when it published a picture of the Crown Prince and his wife partying and questioned the activities of the Royal Thai family.
— Sunai (@sunaibkk) May 8, 2017
Thailand has been the center of attraction for tourists for all the good reasons. Yet, it falls short on providing Internet freedom to users.
The new cybercrime laws are an additional affront to freedom of speech and the right to privacy of users.
In light of this situation, using VPNs has become crucial in Thailand.
It’s time to equip your PCs and phones with a VPN service and make your voices heard against government oppression.
The elections are only a few months from now. You have the power to make a change.
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