This is a guide that tells you our recommended choice for the best Korean VPN to use in 2019. Now, why is there a need of a VPN in Korea?
There is a strong government surveillance in Korea due to political tensions that revolves around South Korea and North Korea. These political tensions have allowed the government to take strict actions against freedom of speech on online platforms.
These reasons alongside the blocked content that you can’t access within the country and outside are the reason why you need a Virtual Private Network.
For a fact, a VPN must have servers around the world and in Korea to be able to do that. These recommendations are purely based on keeping these reasons in mind.
Let’s have a look at the best VPNs that work in South Korea…
- PureVPN – A powerful VPN service with 2,000+ servers, and rock-solid security features (18 servers in Korea).
- Surfshark – A super affordable VPN with 1,000+ servers & offers feature to help you stay safe online in Korea.
- ExpressVPN – A super fast VPN service with 3,000+ blazing fast servers all over the world & 2 servers in Korea.
- CyberGhost – A reliable VPN service that offers 12 servers in South Korea.
- Ivacy – A massive VPN provider with 1,000+ servers capable of unblocking anything.
5 Best VPN Services to use in Korea
Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but, due to rising censorship and government surveillance, freely accessing the internet is a challenge in itself.
If you want safe and unrestricted access to the internet, make sure you check out my hand-picked list of Korea VPNs below:
One of the most renowned VPNs in the industry, PureVPN is one VPN provider you can trust with your privacy.
In fact, I highly recommend this VPN just because of its solid no logs policy. Aside from being compatible with all major platforms, PureVPN boasts a very user-friendly design.
Speaking of which, their apps even come with handy mode selection features which is always convenient to have.
If we talk about features, PureVPN offers access to over 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries and is headquartered in the data retention free jurisdiction of Hong Kong.
With these servers, you can easily unblock VoD services like U.S Netflix, or download torrents, from anywhere in the world including South Korea. PureVPN has 18 servers available in Seoul, which means you can access the local news channels and sports from outside the country.
Not only that, but PureVPN also offers features like military-grade encryption, Kill switch, secure protocols, and plenty of other features to help you safely browse the Korean cyberspace.
But perhaps the best thing about PureVPN is its price. After all, their cheapest plan only costs $1.65/mo . Not only that, but PureVPN even comes with a full 31-day money-back guarantee.
To check out the complete list of features, read our PureVPN Review.
Next up, we have one of the most affordable VPNs in the industry. At just $1.99/mo Surfshark comes packed with some of the finest security features in the industry.
Similar to much more renowned VPNs, Surfshark offers support for all popular platforms and operating systems.
Not only that, but Surfshark also supports powerful encryption, 1,040+ secure servers, and other awesome feature that we usually expect from best-rated VPNs.
Surfshark has 1 server in South Korea that will let you unblock South Korean TV from outside the country by assigning you a local IP address.
Best of all, Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and follows a true no data logging policy. In fact, this best VPN for Korea even regularly updates their warrant canary page for complete transparency.
Despite already being seriously affordable, Surfshark even bothers to offer a full 30-day money-back guarantee. It seriously doesn’t get any better than this.
To check out the complete list of features, read our Surfshark Review.
Next up, we have ExpressVPN. Now this VPN Korea is known for delivering super-fast speeds and it certainly lives up to its astounding reputation.
If you’re into streaming, you’re going to love ExpressVPN. With over 3,000 servers and features like Network Lock and Zero-knowledge DNS, you can safely browse the web from anywhere in the world.
You can unblock both foreign and local websites from anywhere with ExpressVPN numerous servers. It has 2 servers in South Korea, both of which have all necessary protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, etc)
Not to mention features like split tunneling and powerful AES-CBC 256-bit encryption is perfect for accessing any geo-blocked websites imaginable.
Unlike other VPNs in this list, ExpressVPN is a bit expansive. If you opt for their cheapest plan, ExpressVPN will end up costing you around $8.32/mo.
But considering ExpressVPN’s flawless reputation, and an extensive 30-day money-back guarantee, ExpressVPN is worth paying an extra premium for and is easily considered as best VPN for Korea.
To check out the complete list of features, read our ExpressVPN Review.
And the final Korean VPN we’re going to look at is CyberGhost. It is headquartered in Romania and follows a strict no-logs policy and doesn’t have to comply with mandatory data retention laws.
Not only that, CyberGhost offers access to over 3,200 servers all over the world, and their mode selection feature makes it dead easy to stream, torrent, shop online, or anything from foreign websites.
If you want to stream Korean TV from US or other country, you will need to connect to 12 South Korean servers offered by CyberGhost. This best VPN for South Korea will assign you with a Korean IP address that does the work for you.
That’s not all, but CyberGhost offers some of the most sought after encryption and protocols. To be more specific, CyberGhost uses a combination of OpenVPN and 256-bit encryption for unmatched security.
But best of all, CyberGhost is quite affordable and only costs $2.75/mo a month. It even comes with a full 45-day money-back guarantee.
To check out the complete list of features, read our CyberGhost Review.
Another massive VPN service that is known for its powerful security and affordable price is Ivacy. Headquartered in Singapore, Ivacy offers unique features that you’re not going to find in many VPN providers.
Speaking of which, with over 1,000 servers all over the worldwide and having Kill Switch feature, Ivacy is capable of safely unblocking US Netflix, Hulu, foreign websites, apps and almost everything.
But with 2 servers available in Korea, Ivacy does a great deal in unblocking Korean TV, News, and Sports.
Not only that, but Ivacy is painstakingly easy to use and supports wide range of popular devices. Another powerful feature that you’re not going to find in most VPN services is Split Tunneling that allows you to decide which traffic you want to show it to ISPs, and which traffic you want it to remain hidden.
Even with a whole arsenal of powerful features, Ivacy only costs $1.99/mo. Even more impressively, Ivacy comes with an insane 30-day money-back guarantee.
To check out the complete list of features, read our Ivacy Review.
How to Choose a VPN for South Korea?
To choose a VPN in Korea, you must follow these suggestions:
- Servers: A VPN must have servers in Korea and the rest of the world. To view local Korean content from outside, you will need a VPN server available in Korea.
- Encryption: The industry standard encryption is 256-bit. If it matches the industry standard, then a VPN is good to go.
- Price: Also, the price must be affordable. It should consist of basic features that are necessary to have in a VPN South Korea service, alongside an affordable price.
- Refund Policy: Lastly, there should be a refund policy of at least 30 days. If you’re not satisfied with the service, you can always claim your money. But first you must read their refund policy.
What do you need a VPN in South Korea?
If you’re living in South Korea or outside of it, there’s a good reason why you need a Virtual Private Network. I have a list of reasons discussed below:
- South Korean Government Surveillance: The South Korean government does not compromise on social values and political tensions between the two Korean states. As a result, online censorship in the country has increased gradually. Websites have been restricted and so is the freedom of speech. To bypass all of it, you need a VPN Korea.
- Travelling to South Korea: If you’re a traveler, you probably won’t trust anyone in the country. Despite that, you will find tourists who willingly connect to public WiFi without thinking twice. These WiFi’s that are available for free in a coffee shop, airports, or hotels are dangerous to your online security. Even a 12-year old can hack your phone by connecting to the same Wi-Fi, it’s that easy. A VPN will keep your data protected from these hackers even on a public WiFi.
- Bypass Geo-blocked content: Streaming fans would love this. If you’re present in South Korea or you are a Korean Expat but can’t access the world of entertainment and streaming service like US Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or others, then you better need a VPN.
- Unblock Local Channels: A South Korea VPN helps you unblock local channels like CJB, EBS TV, GTB, JIBS, KBS 1 TV, KNN, and more. A VPN will assign you a Korean IP address by connecting to a Korean server from outside the country.
How to Use Korean VPN for Expats
Expats living in South Korea probably have a hard time watching US Netflix, Hulu, and other foreign websites that are blocked in Korea. For that, you can follow these steps:
- Get one of those VPN services I have listed above or get PureVPN (#1 Choice)
- Download the app and run the installation
- Enter Username and Password
- Connect to a US server
- Enjoy streaming!
Why is Web Content Restricted in South Korea?
The most internet-savvy county in the world, South Korea has the highest use of the smartphone i.e. 80.06% in 2019 alone.
97% of the household in the country is connected to the internet which is often cheap and free Wi-Fi’s available at thousands of places.
How does a country with such an immense network system is able to restrict web content? South Korea has been at war with North Korea since the 1950’s which did not officially end.
They indeed settled on a ceasefire, but South Korea has always taken precautionary measures. Having said that, South Korea has imposed restrictions in the interest of its people.
South Korea is a ridiculously advanced country with its people having intellectual curiosity. Therefore, sometimes freedom of expression or standing up for whatever you think is right can lead to arrest.
Anonymity is something which is unacceptable in the country where people are frowned upon whenever making comments anonymously or with a pseudonym ID. Many sites in the country apply these rules.
However, the majority of South Koreans do understand the power of a VPN to circumvent these rules and avoid restrictions.
Websites Restricted in South Korea
These are the websites that are restricted in South Korea:
- Minjok Tongshin
- Choson Sinbo
- Chosun Music
- North Korea Info Bank
- DPRK Stamp
Should I use a free Korean VPN?
No, free VPNs are just not worth using.
Considering that the Korean Communication Committee (KCC) rigorously monitors the South Korean cyberspace, and a growing number of cyber threats, a free VPN is not going to be much of a help.
Since a free Korea VPN service is more or less like a web proxy, you’re only going to be able to unblock limited websites and services.
Your network traffic will stay un-encrypted, and anyone can easily track you down with minimal effort.
Worst of all, free VPNs are not only riddled with malware but are known to harvest user data and sell it to third-party advertisers.
So if you truly want to browse the web without any restrictions, the smart choice would be to use one of the best VPN for South Korean service I’ve discussed in this blog.
When internet censorship prevails across the country, as it has been prevailing for decades now, you must get yourself a VPN.
Whether you’re concerned about geo-blocks, or government surveillance, a VPN can seriously help you out. So, what are you waiting for, grab yourself one of the best Korea VPN and enjoy unrestricted cyberspace.