South and North Korea might seem like two sides of the same coin, but when it comes to controlling their cyberspace, these countries more or less share the same oppressive mindset.
I really mean it. Despite being free from the dictatorship of Kim Jong-un, the South Korean government oppressively controls everything online.
For instance, the Korean Communication Committee, or KCC, heavily monitors and blocks any content that violates local laws or social norms.
Not only that but in recent years, South Korea has been a target of more than 1.5 million cyberattacks.
Even freedom of speech can get you heavily fined, or a prison sentence.
Keeping all of this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best VPN for South Korea that should help you safely access blocked websites in the country.
But first, a brief overview…
- PureVPN – A powerful VPN service with 2000+ servers, and rock-solid security features.
- Surfshark – A super affordable VPN with 800+ servers & feature to help you stay safe in Korea.
- NordVPN – A massive VPN provider with 5600+ servers capable of unblocking anything.
- ExpressVPN – A super fast VPN service with 3000+ blazing fast servers all over the world.
- CyberGhost – A reliable VPN service that offers over 3200+ servers & world-class encryption.
5 Best Korean VPNs
According to 2018 statistics, approximately 95% of the South Korean population uses the internet.
With some many internet users in the country, you might think that the country gives its citizens free access to the internet, right?
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 Korean 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 minimalistic and user-friendly design.
Speaking of which, their apps even come with handly mode selection features which is always convenient to have.
If we talk about features, PureVPN offers access to over 2000 servers in 140+ countries and is headquartered in the data retention free jurisdiction of Hong Kong.
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.
So no matter if you wish to access VoD services like U.S Netflix, or download torrents, you can safely do that with PureVPN.
But perhaps the best thing about PureVPN is its price. After all, their cheapest plan only costs $2.95/mo. Not only that, but PureVPN even comes with a full 31-day money-back guarantee.
To check out the complete list of featrues, 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 featrues 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, 800+ secure servers, and other awesome feature that we usually expect from best rated VPNs.
Best of all, Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and follows a true no data logging policy. In fact, Surfshark 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 featrues, read our Surfshark Review.
Another massive VPN service that is known for its enormous server park is NordVPN.
Headquartered in the data retention free jurisdiction of Panama, NordVPN offers unique features that you’re not going find in many VPN providers.
Speaking of which, with over 5600 servers all over the worldwide, and obfuscation technology, NordVPN is capable of safely unblocking anything and everything.
Not only that, but NordVPN is painstakingly easy to use, and support for a wide range of popular devices.
Another powerful feature that you’re not going to find in most VPN services is double VPN. This feature is super powerful and is designed to offer double the privacy of an ordinary VPN.
Even with a whole arsenal of powerful features, NordVPN only costs $3.49/mo. Even more impressively, NordVPN comes with an insane 30-day money-back guarantee.
To check out the complete list of featrues, read our NordVPN Review.
Next up, we have ExpressVPN. Now this VPN is known for delivering superfast speeds and it certainly lives up to its astounding reputation.
If you’re into streaming, you’re going to love ExpressVPN. With over 3000 servers and features like Network Lock and Zero-knowledge DNS, you can safely browse the web from anywhere in the world.
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.
To check out the complete list of featrues, read our ExpressVPN Review.
And the final Korean VPN we’re going to look at is CyberGhost. Headquartered in Romania, CyberGhost 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 3200 servers all over the world, and their mode selection feature makes it dead easy to stream, torrent, shop online, or anything in between.
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 gaurantee.
To check out the complete list of featrues, read our CyberGhost Review.
Freedom of speech in South Korea
Free speech is non-existant in South Korea. In 1948, the National Security Act was passed by the South Korean government that directly restricts free speech.
The Act strictly permits Broadcasting Regulation Committee, the Korean Internet companies, and the Korean Media Rating Board to censor material from the internet that could supposedly harm the cyberspace of the country.
In fact, back in 2017, The South Korean government took down more than 60,000 websites and blocked around 15000 websites.
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. 88% in 2015 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 1950s 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.
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 Korean 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 unencrypted, 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 top-rated Korean VPNs I’ve discussed in this blog.
Korean VPN Reddit
Although the above-mentioned VPNs are perfect for South Korea and other restricted regions, I still wanted to see what folks over at Reddit have to suggest. Although, you can check for best VPN service on Reddit, following are some of the reviews worth reproducing here.
Turns out, most Reddit users have recommended NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
When internet censorship prevails across the country, as it has been prevailing for decades now, you must get yourself a Korean 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 VPN for South Korea and enjoy unrestricted cyberspace.