If you’re currently an expatriate in South Korea, you may need to use a VPN to bypass the censorship in the country - especially when it comes to adult content or gambling sites, for example.
Conversely, you’ll also need to use a VPN for South Korea in case you want to obtain an IP address located in South Korea from any other country in the world.
These will allow you plenty of other things:
- Access censored websites in South Korea anonymously
- Watch any foreign TV channels from South Korea (like when using a VPN for HBO or even Netflix)
- Watch Korean TV channels from your native country
- Obtain a Korean IP address
- Access blocked websites for adults using VPN for webcam sites
- Access blocked gambling sites
- Unblock channels with the VPN for streaming
- Secure and anonymize your internet connection.
List of the Best VPN for South Korea
#1. ExpressVPN - Present in 94 countries, this VPN service ensures a 30-day trial period. As for the functioning, it is ideal for Netflix and similar purposes.
#2. NordVPN - Most used VPN in the world having a nice 30-day trial period. The main feature why it is chosen so often is the ultra-fast connection it unblocks.
#3. PureVPN - Supports an unlimited number of devices, unlocks a lucrative 30-day trial period. You may consider it to be an excellent value.
#4. Surfshark - The service gives you access to an unlimited number of devices, as well as a 30-day trial period. Actually, it is considered to have a good value for money.
#5. CyberGhost - Use this service for streaming and or as a VPN for torrenting. Enjoy a 45-day trial period being able to connect to up to 7 devices.
Our Top Product Picks
- 150 servers
- 94 countries covered
- 30 days satisfied or refunded
- 5 simultaneous connections
- 5,400 servers
- 59 countries covered
- 30 days satisfied or refunded
- 6 simultaneous connections
- 150 servers
- 60 countries covered
- 31 days satisfied or refunded
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 3000 servers
- 65 countries covered
- 30 days satisfied or refunded
- Unlimited connections
Price Range: $6.67 - $12.95. Special offer: $99.95 for 15 months
Money-Back: 30-day free trial
Devices: up to 5
Devices: Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Xbox, Routers
Platforms: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux
ExpressVPN is a very fast service providing access to over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. It is very versatile, with excellent cross-platform support, the ability to choose not only the country you want but also the city, and the ability to unblock platforms like:
This VPN protects your traffic with:
- 256-bit AES encryption
- DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and
- Complete privacy.
Its desktop apps include a kill switch that automatically blocks all data transfer if you unexpectedly disconnect.
ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support.
Best of all, this service doesn’t log any information that could identify you, and you can even pay with Bitcoin for increased anonymity.
It needs to be configured manually on routers, but ExpressVPN has custom firmware to make this as easy as possible.
- Fast speeds
- Highly secure
- Apps for all popular platforms
- Ideal for streaming and unblocking content
- 24/7 chat support
- More expensive than other suppliers on this list
Price Range: $3.49 - $11.95. Special offer: 2-year deal with 68% off
Money-Back: 30-day free trial
Devices: Firestick, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, Chromecast
Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS
NordVPN has an incredible array of privacy and security features built into the heart of the service, making it easy for anyone to sign up and stay safe.
NordVPN also has the largest server network on the market, with more than 5,500 servers in 59 countries, including several locations in South Korea.
You can still connect to a fast server with NordVPN and get:
- Extra protection with double encryption
- Onion Over VPN, and
- Anti-DDoS servers if needed.
NordVPN provides a comprehensive zero logging policy that covers everything from bandwidth to timestamps, traffic and IP addresses.
Your activity is never recorded or shared with third parties, which helps protect your privacy, even in very vigilant and restrictive countries.
These features are supported by:
- 256-bit AES encryption on all data
- A circuit breaker
- DNS leak protection, and
- A host of customizable encryption features.
- Over 5,400 servers worldwide
- DNS leak protection, kill switch
- Strict zero logs policy on traffic and metadata
- Excellent support (24/7 chat).
- Sometimes apps can take a long time to connect.
Price Range: $1.32 - $10.95. Special offer: 7-day trial for only $0.99
Money-Back: 31-day free trial
Devices: Routers, Android TV, Amazon FireStick, Microsoft Surface
Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox
PureVPN is a full featured VPN that does more than protect your identity. The service gives you instant access to:
- Virus protection
- Malware shields
- Application blocking features, and
- DNS website filtering, all in one convenient and secure package.
All you have to do is download the VPN app, choose which additional protections you want to activate, and you’re done. It’s perfect for anyone who needs full, comprehensive protection without the hassle.
PureVPN offers some incredibly useful security features that also keep you safe online. It starts with:
- A zero logging policy
- An automatic kill switch
- Strong 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and
- DNS leak protection.
These run alongside the company’s own network of 150 servers in more than 60 countries, providing plenty of options for fast, secure and secure connections.
Price Range: $1.99 - $11.95. Special offer: Get 81% discount
Money-Back: 30-day free trial
Devices:Android TV, FireTV
Platforms: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, Chrome
Surfshark has over 1000 servers in over 60 countries, South Korea included. It offers unlimited bandwidth, reasonable speeds, and great unlocking capability, which means you won’t have any issues whether you’re using P2P networks, streaming US Netflix, or just browsing.
Unlike most VPNs, Surfshark has no connection limit and as such you can protect every device you have with just one account.
This service takes your security seriously. It uses:
- 256-bit encryption
- A kill switch, and
- IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection to secure your traffic,
although you can let some apps bypass the VPN using the built-in split tunneling feature.
Surfshark even has a NoBorders feature that lets you browse freely in countries with strict online blocking (like South Korea).
This service does not record any personally identifiable information, but you can pay in:
- Ethereum or
- Ripple for greater anonymity.
Client support is available via 24/7 live chat.
- Unblocks a wide range of services locked by region
- Fast enough for HD streaming
- Take your security and privacy seriously
- Some slow speeds
- Relatively small network
Price Range: $2.75- $12.99. Special offer: 3 extra months for FREE
Money-Back: 45-day free trial
Devices: Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Routers
Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux
CyberGhost takes the hassle out of online security. It currently has over 4,900 servers in 60 countries, making it easy to get a low latency connection from anywhere in the world.
You can choose a task (such as torrenting or streaming) and view a list of suitable servers.
CyberGhost allows for up to seven simultaneous connections and one-click unblocking for many streaming platforms, so it’s ideal for those looking to stream.
While this VPN is designed to be as easy to use as possible, it actually has a good range of security features.
There’s 256-bit AES encryption, for example, along with:
Every version of CyberGhost comes with a kill switch, making sure you don’t inadvertently browse unprotected, even for a second.
Best of all, this service does not record any personally identifiable information.
Manual installation is required for Linux systems and wireless routers.
- Versatile and inexpensive VPN
- One-click unlock
- High speeds
- Large network of servers
- Does not work in China or UAE
VPN Use in South Korea
One of the main uses of VPN when you are in South Korea is to unblock inaccessible or censored sites in the country.
We know, for example, that the Korean government censors a large number of sites for adults, but also gaming sites in particular. If you are vacationing in Korea and want to use some of the blocked sites, all you need to do is use a VPN to bypass the blocks.
The South Korea VPN will also allow you to secure your internet browsing, on all wifi networks potentially dangerous for your personal information, mainly on the networks of hotels, restaurants, bars, airbnb or airport for example.
Finally, a large number of VPNs allow you to obtain an IP address located in South Korea, which will be useful if you want to unblock a Korean service blocked abroad.
This will allow you for example to watch Korean TV channels such as KBS, MBC, SBS, TVN, Arirang or all Korean Kpop channels.
How to Receive a South Korean IP?
In case you are overseas and want to access a Korean-only site, you will need to obtain a Korean IP address. To do this, you may use one of the options listed on this page and do the following:
- Step 1: First, install a VPN taking advantage of the trial period.
- Step 2: Open the VPN you installed, then in the list of countries choose South Korea.
- Step 3: There you go, your IP address is now Korean and you will be geolocated in South Korea.
When you type a URL into your browser, the data leaves your device, passes through the servers of a local service provider, where it is assigned an IP address corresponding to the location of the server (rather than your own).
It then goes on the Internet to search for the requested information. The whole process takes a fraction of a second, but the amount of data it transmits through this high-security tunnel is impressive.
Over a normal internet connection, data is sent unencrypted, which means anyone can see what you are downloading.
Combine that with an IP address tied to your identity, and suddenly, it’s easy for cyber criminals to access and read your data feed.
VPNs encrypt everything before it leaves your computer, preventing anyone from seeing what you are doing.
After encryption, the data travels through your local service provider, goes to VPN servers where it is decrypted and assigned to an anonymous IP address, and then sent over the Internet.
This removes personally identifiable information packets to achieve a high degree of anonymity.
How the South Korean Government Blocks IP Addresses
South Korea blocks specific types of content, but also requires internet users to identify themselves if they add something publicly visible (such as a comment) to uncensored sites or wish to access pages deemed inappropriate for them.
The identity of users is verified using a Resident Registration Number (for South Korean nationals) or a copy of the user’s passport. Below we’ve created a short list of some of the types of content blocked in South Korea:
- Pro-North Korea sites and reviews
- Dissenting political opinions, especially those concerning the president.
- Gaming sites
While these restrictions are not as comprehensive as those used in countries like the CPR (to be unblocked with a VPN for China), they are still quite broad in scope. This is in part due to the country’s cyber defamation law.
Unlike other countries, where defamation involves intentionally making false statements, the relevant South Korean law (Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Use and Information Protection, Etc., 2008) criminalizes disclosure of information (true or false) with the objective of damaging a person’s reputation.
This legislation has been used as a tool to suppress anti-establishment or critical discussion of the government and its officials.
Methodology: How We Rate the Best VPN for South Korea
Hundreds of VPNs are swarming the online marketplace, each claiming to offer the best speeds, strongest encryption, and the best experience for customers from all walks of life.
Knowing which of these services meets expectations can take a little trial and error, and a lot of in-depth research.
You can remove all this mess and go straight to finding the best VPN using our guidelines below.
We use the following criteria to rank some of the best VPN services on the net. Our recommendations are listed in the next section, each of which provides a fast and secure VPN experience best used in South Korea and beyond.
- Zero Logging Policy: Data passing through a VPN’s network can be stored, including detailed traffic logs, time stamps, or DNS queries. If a VPN does not have a zero registration policy, it can retain this information forever, harming your privacy.
- Speed: VPNs are generally slower than unencrypted internet connections, so you need a service that places a high priority on speed.
- Server Layout: The more servers a VPN operates in neighboring countries, the better your chances of finding a fast connection.
- Traffic restrictions: Some VPNs block P2P networks and torrent traffic, or restrict the amount you can download during the month.
- Device Compatibility: If you want your smartphone to be protected, you will need a dedicated VPN app for this platform.
Free VPN for South Korea to Bypass Internet Censorship
Free is always a tempting price, but it often pays to pay. Free VPN providers are more likely to save your data and display pop-up ads when you sign in.
They will also be more likely to use the information collected about your browsing habits to personalize your advertising. The less scrupulous will even go so far as to resell your personal data to third parties.
Often, free VPNs also offer fewer exit options and weak data protection obligations.
If you want to access services from abroad, it must be said that free publishers are often identified by online services (like Netflix) and they are blocked faster.
So you might be forced to change it. If you have concerns about registration and privacy is important to you, you should avoid these providers.
However, small budgets won’t have to forgo these tools and can consider purchasing a cheap VPN that will offer increased online security while minimizing the risk of spying or data theft.
Another alternative is to opt for a free subscription with a paid VPN. The best VPNs come with a fee, but they still don’t cost that much.
The Bottom Line
As you might have understood, the VPN for South Korea possesses plenty of advantages.
The privacy and security features that VPNs provide have many additional benefits, making them useful tools even if you aren’t concerned about your online security.
- Stop monitoring and surveillance: IP addresses assigned by Internet service providers can be used to track your activity. VPNs end online surveillance by encrypting traffic and automatically removing local IP addresses from every information packet.
- Watching Videos from Other Countries: Is your local Netflix not providing enough content? Tired of seeing “this video is not available in your country” on Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services? A VPN can solve this problem with just a few clicks.
- Accessing Censored Websites: Online censorship is a big deal in countries around the world.
Getting a South Korea VPN is quick and easy to lock down your information and take advantage of a wide range of extras, including streaming foreign videos and accessing free and open content from around the world. With our guide and the recommendations above, you’ll have everything in place in no time.
Are you currently living or planning to travel to South Korea? Which of our recommended services are you most interested in and why?
Tell us about it in the comments below!