The internet penetration rate in Singapore is 82.5 percent as compared to Malaysia’s 96.77 percent. Although the country hosts an Internet that is much freer than many other nations globally, there is still considerable room for improvement. According to Freedom House, the Internet in Singapore was rated as “Partly Free.”
The partial free-ness of the Internet leaves much to be desired. Censorship and online surveillance are almost normal globally, and there are no laws protecting user privacy. This is why it is important to use a VPN to protect your online privacy and destroy censorship.
Due to such high internet penetration percentages in Singapore and Malaysia, ExpressVPN is my #1 recommendation for the best VPN for Singapore & the best VPN for Malaysia. ExpressVPN has a huge variety of offshore servers to counter censorship in Singapore and offers a zero-log service to battle privacy issues.
6 Best VPNs for Singapore
The following VPN services are perfectly capable of working in Singapore to give you unrestricted access to websites and bolster your online privacy:
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Singapore and is a great option to secure your online privacy in Singapore. This service is a bit expensive; however, it certainly performs unlike any other. It consists of 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, including Singapore. That means you can keep up with your favorite shows on local Singaporean channels such as Suria, Vasantham, CNA, and Channel U while you are abroad.
With its network of over 3,000 servers, our friends in Singapore can easily watch international streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and many others. You can also download torrents with ExpressVPN’s P2P supported servers at a decent speed, due to this it is also known as the best VPN for torrenting in Singapore.
ExpressVPN is another VPN that has jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands with its privacy-focusing laws. With its AES-256-Bit encryption, it delivers an industry-standard level of encryption. Therefore, with this VPN at their disposal, Singapore users can keep their privacy intact and safe from intelligence agencies. ExpressVPN is fully compatible with macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Firestick, Android TV, Linux, and Routers as an industry’s top-tier provider.
ExpressVPN is also called the best VPN in Vietnam. The only disadvantage of ExpressVPN is its higher cost of $6.67/mo . This is also pointed as one of the only cons of the service in this ExpressVPN review. The provider also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee like its counterparts, so you can ask for a refund if anything goes wrong.
- 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
- five simultaneous connections
- AES-256-Bit encryption
- No-log policy
- A bit costly than most providers
Surfshark has a network of 3,200+ serves in 65 countries, including Singapore. The provider works brilliantly for Singapore users for unblocking US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel4, Amazon Prime Video, and many others. You can also download torrents safely and circumventing the heavy censorship that has become a norm. Not only international content but local Singaporean channels such as WOWSHOP Malay, Drama Sangat, NTV7, Sukan RTM, and many others while you are away from Singapore on a trip.
Additionally, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, and the provider holds zero logging of customers’ sensitive information, which is extremely important for Singaporean users who want to avoid being victims of needless governmental surveillance.
Surfshark packs various features such as CleanWeb, WhiteLister, and MultiHop to give Singapore users an extra edge in online privacy. It also uses AES-256-Bit encryption to secure your data from potential interceptions by hackers. It’s no wonder that Surfshark has positive reviews for its top-notch privacy features.
Also, it offers unlimited simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee at the meager price of $2.49/mo . For these reasons, Surfshark is an excellent choice as a privacy tool with remarkable geo-bypassing capabilities.
- 3,200+ servers in 65 countries
- unlimited simultaneous connections
- Military-grade encryption and third-party audit
- It offers a moderately-sized server network
- Limited P2P Servers
NordVPN contains over 5,400+ servers in 59 countries, with a server count of 110+ in Singapore only. You can ensure that all blocked streaming services such as Disney+, Hotstar, HBO GO, Vudu, Spotify, and BT-Sports continue working for you despite totalitarian governmental control with the offshore servers. With its 100+ servers in Singapore, expatriates can easily keep up with their favorite shows on Awesome TV, TV6, TV AlHijrah, Bernama TV, and TVS on all of their devices including, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick, Router, Linux, and Android TV.
NordVPN is headquartered in Panama and adheres to a no-logging policy to protect their customers’ privacy, a fact that is justly appreciated in its review of NordVPN.
It also has some of the most impressive privacy-boosting features in the industry, offering features like CyberSec, Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and Internet Kill Switch for heightened privacy in Singaporean cyberspace.
Furthermore, if you need a Netflix VPN to unlock US exclusive content, NordVPN is a great choice for unblocking Netflix as well. It is slightly more expensive than the providers above, costing $3.71/mo . However, with the 30-day money-back guarantee and 6 simultaneous connections, NordVPN is a provider that doesn’t disappoint.
- Server strength of 5,400+ in 59 countries
- 6 simultaneous connections
- CyberSec, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN
- Torrenting supported on specific servers
- Slow server connection
Even with just 30 servers worldwide, Norton secure VPN is still one of the most highly recommended VPN providers and a great choice if you are looking to protect your online privacy and identity in Singapore. It will easily allow you to bypass geo-restrictions on international streaming content such as Netflix, Hulu, Sony Liv, ESPN+, CBS, and NBC Live, etc.
It is easily compatible with your macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices for now. You cannot only browse the internet safely but also unblock different Singaporean channels blocked in your regions, such as Nasional FM, Traxx FM, Minnal FM, Ai FM, and Asyik FM.
Speaking of jurisdiction, Norton Secure VPN headquarter is located in the US, not a good place to offer VPN services. Nonetheless, there are no mandatory data retention laws enforced on VPNs in the US, and if the VPN itself isn’t storing your logs, it doesn’t matter even if the provider is based in a country with a lot of surveillance.
It has separate pricing for 1 device, 5 devices, and 10 devices protection. All of the subscriptions come with a 60-day money-back guarantee program. You can read more about this provider in our Norton Secure VPN review.
- Blocks unwanted tracking technology
- 1 device, 5 device,s and 10 devices connections
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Bank-grade encryption
- Headquarter in the US
- Small server network
CyberGhost has an extensive network of 6,800+ servers distributed in over 90 countries. 48 of these servers are located in Singapore only, which is great for any expatriates or travelers that want to preserve their access to websites that are only accessible with Singapore IP address, such as SCTV, Indosiar, MNCTV, GTV, iNews, and many others.
I also tried accessing ESPN+, Spotify, UKTV, Sling TV, NHK, CCTV, and more on all the major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick, Android TV, Roku, Xbox, and Play Station, and it worked effortlessly.
CyberGhost is based in Romania, one of the few EU countries that do not follow data retention requirements. This has given CyberGhost the license to refrain from data logging of customer information, a fact of key importance for Singaporeans.
Furthermore, CyberGhost offers 7 simultaneous connections and a 45-day money-back guarantee. Considering the price ( $2.25/mo ), privacy-focused users in Singapore can take advantage of CyberGhost, making it an excellent all-around VPN to make your online sessions more private.
Please read our CyberGhost review for more details on this provider.
- 6,800+ servers in 90 countries
- Seven Simultaneous connection
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Dodgy data jurisdiction and anonymity
- Limited payment options
Private Internet Access is a US-based VPN powered by 35,000+ servers in 77 countries, and 189 of these servers are located within Singapore. For users located abroad, these servers are extremely efficient for streaming purposes. You can unblock local streaming services like StarHub, Trans TV, MetroTV, TVRI Nasional, and Batam TV after connecting to PIA’s Singaporean servers.
With more than 35,000 servers spread across the world, you can easily access international streaming services such as Hulu, Disney, UKTV, BBC iPlayer, ITV, NHK, CCTV, France TV in your TV lounge in Singapore.
Other than that, PIA is also committed to a zero-logging stance which makes it a great option for users troubled by the deteriorating privacy situation in Singapore. For added security, it also offers IPv6 leak protection, secure DNS, Internet Kill Switch, and DDoS protection to make your data and internet traffic more private on the web. For these features, PIA is among the most highly rated VPN providers.
The provider is currently priced at $2.69/mo for a 2-year plan. With 10 multi-logins and a 30-day money-back guarantee, PIA is an excellent choice for users needing an easy solution to privacy issues and geo-restrictions.
- 35,000+ servers in 77 countries
- Largest VPN server network
- 10 simultaneous logins.
- Headquartered in the U.S
- Faces issues unblocking sites some streaming websites
Features that make a VPN best for Singapore
The VPN industry includes a large number of VPN providers. However, not all VPNs are created equal. The main criteria that we consider when reviewing VPN providers are as follows:
Privacy and anonymity
Government surveillance, ISP monitoring, and the threat of rapid legal action have increased the need for a VPN in Singapore than any other country from the same region. In the entire Asia Pacific Region, internet users in Singapore are the most pressured group. Therefore, they need a VPN provider who has a solid track record of user privacy with a strict no-log policy and the ability to accept anonymous payment methods.
Seeing the Singapore government’s advanced surveillance capabilities, it is wise to seek out a VPN provider that focuses on user’s information security.
Thankfully, many VPN providers these days offer a full range of communication establishment protocols and military-grade encryption responsible for security.
Ideally, speed shouldn’t be an issue in Singapore, as it is located well concerning global communication lines. We have carefully selected the VPN providers to take advantage of its location and offer you high-speed data transmission.
VPN providers with an adequate amount of servers in the Asia region should be a priority. We have carefully selected the providers that offers a balanced network of server locations in all the major continents of the world so that you can enjoy unlimited and unrestricted content from all around the globe.
The ability to download torrents is our fifth most crucial criterion. All the VPN providers listed in this blog clearly state their P2P policy and offer multiple dedicated servers set aside for this purpose alone.
Why you need a VPN in Singapore?
Singapore has a serious surveillance problem throughout the country, where users have no right to privacy. Here’s a brief overview of the privacy situation in the country, which calls for users to have VPNs always ready:
There is no official recognition of the right of individuals to privacy within the constitution of Singapore. The police and law enforcement have sweeping powers to perform surveillance of users without requiring their consent or even a legal warrant.
In fact, the state of surveillance is only getting worse in the country with time. For instance, the police are equipped with smart glasses with facial recognition capabilities and surveillance vehicles. The authorities’ official statement is that these measures are being taken to improve law enforcement agencies’ operational efficiency.
While there is no question that technology can significantly enhance police forces’ efficiency, there is also little doubt that these technologies easily enable privacy violations on a mass scale. State authorities need to strike a balance between public safety and privacy-threatening surveillance of people.
In the absence of legislation that protects individual privacy, these technologies can be easily abused and lead to further privacy destruction.
What’s more, Singapore is one of the countries that use malware backdoors (FinSpy) to access communications, monitor web traffic, and access citizens’ digital files without their consent or knowledge. Singapore hosts the command and control servers for FinSpy with 24 other countries. This proves how serious a problem mass surveillance has become in the country.
Censorship remains a serious problem in the country despite its modernity and usage of sophisticated technologies. In 2016, the state detained and interrogated a man about a Facebook post made during by-elections.
Censorship is also a common issue that bloggers and journalists face in Singapore. Several arrests and detentions have been made over the years against people charged with “defamation” for being critical of the government and the ruling elite.
Academic freedom also came under attack in 2019 when the Yale-NUS College scrapped a week-long course titled “Dialogue and Dissent in Singapore.” The event has drawn criticism from academics who claim that censorship is stifling learning and innovation in the country.
The government’s developing surveillance capacity makes it easier for authorities to perform censorship by tracking online traffic. In this landscape, it has become essential for Singaporeans to fight for their right to free speech and privacy. VPNs serve as weapons against the government’s totalitarian control and constant violations of privacy perpetrated by the state.
Another important usage of VPNs is to keep bloggers, journalists, reporters, etc., safe from government oppression, which can be quite severe if you voice opinions deemed inappropriate by authorities. The government has arrested many bloggers like Amos Yee for criticizing state leaders.
This puts severe pressure on bloggers who have no choice but to engage in self-censorship as a measure to stay safe from arrests and persecution. Fortunately, bloggers can take advantage of VPNs equipped with strong encryption and online security features to keep stay anonymous and private on the internet.
Many bloggers use aliases to keep their real identity hidden. However, this is not enough to stay anonymous on the web because agencies can still track you with your IP address and other sophisticated techniques. Staying anonymous from government surveillance is equally important, and it can be achieved only by using a premium VPN provider.
It seems that Singapore is also moving in the direction of complete government surveillance, and we already know what happens to such countries if their online freedom is left unchecked. Countries with strict government surveillance, such as Indonesia, are not an ideal place for internet freedom, as the government can block any website, forum, or media outlet without any explanation, and the only way to protect your anonymity and online freedom is to use the best VPN for Indonesia. While VPNs aren’t foolproof, they make it much tougher for anyone to trace you online if you don’t leave any private information out in the open.
Therefore, it is recommended for bloggers in Singapore to keep their VPNs enabled when using the internet.
Copyright infringement is taken very seriously in Singapore. In 2014, the country enacted a law that made it necessary for ISPs to prevent copyright infringement by restricting torrent usage. In fact, people have been fined in the country for downloading movies through torrents. The fine imposed on these people was USD 5,000, which can be very prohibitive for the population.
Therefore, it would be wise to avoid downloading torrents altogether in Singapore if you don’t want to receive legal notices and hefty fines. However, there are some cases where torrents do not necessarily violate copyright laws. In these cases, the safest way to get torrents is by using an offshore server location of a VPN that supports P2P activities.
Security on public Wi-Fi
The problem with public Wi-Fi is the same everywhere: lack of password protection and poor encryption. This leaves public hotspots vulnerable to hackers connecting to the same network to access other users’ information. For instance, a Chinese security engineer who visited Singapore for a cybersecurity conference hacked the hotel’s public Wi-Fi.
This should be an eye-opener for people who use public Wi-Fi and perform private activities using these connections without a VPN in the background, which adds a strong encryption layer to keep you protected.
Free VPN That Work in Singapore
You must be asking yourself right now, “what free VPNs work in Singapore?”, well, to be honest, a lot of them do. However, free VPNs are a horrible idea to use in a country like Singapore. Following are some of the reasons behind avoiding free VPNs in a country like Singapore.
Bandwidth – Free VPN providers offer a limited bandwidth on their accounts. This bandwidth is so low that it can barely help you complete a TV series episode in acceptable video quality. If you like to stream popular geo-restricted content or download torrents, you’d definitely want to get a premium VPN provider with unlimited bandwidth that can help you easily achieve those purposes.
Server Locations – Free providers offer a minimal number of server locations. Their number lies between 3 to 5 servers. Most of the time, these servers can barely give you an idea about whether the VPN is suitable for your purpose or not. Usually, the countries they offer are very unpopular among internet users, hence they are pretty much useless for your specific purpose.
Speed – Since the number of server locations barely cross 3 or 5 and the number of users connecting to these servers simultaneously crosses thousands, you will always face slow speed issues. Speeds will be so slow that you can not even open a webpage properly.
Security & Privacy – Free services usually don’t invest in state-of-the-art encryption and security tools due to less or no revenue. As their network security network keeps getting outdated, it gets easier and easier for hackers to intercept and steal users’ data. In some cases, these free VPN providers are caught selling user information and data to different authorities.
VPNs to avoid in Singapore
We have listed below few VPN providers and recommend you avoid them at every cost in Singapore. The reason behind it is simple; they can easily expose your online data and activities.
Based in Israel, this VPN is different from other VPN providers. It allows you to connect to and use the bandwidth as part of a large P2P network. Obviously, this involves big security, privacy, and legal concerns. Users can easily use each other’s internet network for illegal activities such as initiating a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
In 2011, HMA complied with a court order to hand over evidence that led to Cody Kretsinger’s arrest, a LulzSec hacker involved with an attack on the Sony Pictures website. HMA says it does not log the contents of its users’ internet traffic, but it does keep detailed metadata logs that include users’ real IP addresses, which was enough to charge Kretsinger with a crime.
Now that the UK has passed the Snooper’s Charter, which requires service providers to maintain detailed logs of what their users do online, UK-based HideMyAss seems like the last service any privacy-conscious person would want to sign up for.
Can I do risk-free Torrenting in Singapore?
Yes, you can download torrent absolute risk-free in Singapore only if you are connected with a premium VPN provider.
There’s no doubt that internet users in Singapore love to download content from the internet but a law passed in 2014 made it illegal to download copyright-protected content. Before this law was passed, the copyright holder was required to send a takedown notice to the ISP for disabling access to the said material.
In 2015, three internet users received legal notices for downloading copyright material. Although the case was settled out of the court, to this day, it remains a warning for people who break the rules.
While we don’t condone copyright infringement but if you wish to do torrenting, then hiding your real identity and online activity with a premium VPN provider that offers dedicated torrenting servers is the best idea to go about with.
Be anonymous while blogging in Singapore
Four different bloggers and media executives were fined, arrested, or jailed for things such as insulting religious groups and defaming the Prime Minister during the period of May 2015 and June 2016.
One blogger was ordered to pay $150,000 to settle his release, while the other was put in prison for 10 months. All these incidents point towards the importance of a premium VPN provider to help bloggers and media executives conceal their online identities and activities while pursuing and exposing the world’s truth.
Basic tips for better online privacy
There is no such thing as being “too safe” in current times with surveillance agencies on the lookout for users’ dubious activities. You should never take any risks when using the Internet and take all possible steps for keeping your activities anonymous and untraceable to you.
Following are some of the basic tips you for increasing your online privacy:
- Use Security-Enhancement Extensions for Browsers: You should ensure that your data is encrypted while browsing the Internet. Browsers do not usually have adequate built-in encryption mechanisms. You can use certain extensions like Privacy Badger to encrypt your data and improve your web traffic’s overall security.
- Be careful when using public Wi-Fi: Public Internet connections usually use only basic encryption that a skilled hacker can easily break. We strongly recommend using a VPN with advanced encryption protocols to keep you protected. If you live in countries with strict online censorship like Singapore, using the internet without a VPN is a bad idea.
- Keep your mobile devices encrypted: Modern smartphone devices carry essential and sensitive user information today, from credit card details to personal photos. You should never compromise on your privacy and keep information on mobile well-guarded from hackers and agencies.
FAQs for Best VPNs in Singapore
Let’s see some frequently asked questions about the best VPNs in Singapore.
Can I legally use VPN in Singapore?
Yes, as of this moment, VPN is legal in Singapore, but that can change anytime in the future. As in 2016, a public consultation was held in Singapore by the Ministry of Law to review VPN services’ legality in the country. This was done to update the Copyright Act to enable stricter enforcement.
How to listen to QQ Music in Singapore?
To listen to QQ music in Singapore, follow the steps below.
- Launch your VPN provider application
- Locate China server in the server/location list
- Connect to the China server
- Once connected, you should be able to listen to QQ music
If you are using hand-held devices, then disable your device location service or GPS feature. If you are trying to access it on macOS or PC, then clear your browser cache, cookies, and history before accessing QQ music.
Should I use a VPN or Proxy server in Singapore?
It would be best if you always used a VPN server in Singapore. While proxy and VPN are both used to obtain the same purpose, there is a lot of difference in their technologies.
Proxies only route your connection through a third party server. It doesn’t encrypt your data at all, which means it is not safe. On many occasions, proxy service providers are known to be shady themselves.
On the other hand, a VPN provider will encrypt your internet traffic with state-of-the-art encryption and security tools, ensuring that your online activity and data are safe and secured.
What is the fastest VPN to use in Singapore?
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN to use in Singapore. With its built-in speed-test tool, you will always be able to identify the fastest server in the network according to your actual location. Upon connecting to its fastest server, you will be able to stream at the ultra-HD definition and download torrent files worth 20 GB size within minutes.
Best Singapore VPN: Final Thoughts
The censorship and privacy situation in Singapore is getting worse by the day. This makes it important to use the best VPN for Singapore to stay safe from online surveillance, to some extent, in Singapore and gain access to restricted/censored content in the country.
Hence, the best value VPN for Singapore – ExpressVPN, is the recommended VPN for Singapore users, covering all the features necessary to deal with particular issues prevailing in Singapore. It will liberate your Internet and keep you safe from threats like online surveillance, security infiltration, hacking, phishing, identity theft, and so on.
If you hurry up, you can avail of ExpressVPN limited time “12 Months + 3 Months Free“ offer, which also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.