Best VPN service for Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s position as an open and independent area is in danger from Beijing’s rising intervention. Its internet freedom rating has now been downgraded to “partly free” by advocacy group Freedom House. We examine the best virtual private network (VPN) for Hong Kong, whether you’re looking to safeguard your privacy or get access to prohibited content like US Netflix or BBC iPlayer.

While Hong Kong residents do not have the same kind of walled-off internet as mainland Chinese residents, it does not imply the Communist Party is not monitoring their every move. Numerous individuals were detained last year for advocating both independence from China and criticism of the Chinese government.

With rising agitation about China’s influence in Hong Kong and growing privacy concerns, VPNs have grown in popularity in Hong Kong, with some demonstrators pushing people to purchase VPNs.

In line with this, we strongly advise you to utilize a VPN while accessing the website in Hong Kong. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, encrypts all internet data that passes via an intermediate server on its way to and from your device. It contributes to internet privacy and anonymity by making it more difficult for hackers and government agencies to monitor your online activities.

A VPN is also a fantastic alternative for international ex-pats living in Hong Kong and local residents going overseas, since it enables access to content such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, and beIN SPORTS.

The best VPN for Hong Kong


NordVPN is well-known in the VPN industry due to its longevity and successful products. It’s lightning-fast, stores no user data, supports numerous connections, and has a great server network.

NordVPN does not save any information about your surfing activities, timestamps, or server selection. The policy has thwarted authorities’ attempts to obtain user information; there was simply nothing available on the company’s servers. Additionally, the firm is domiciled in Panama, which means that no obligatory data retention regulations apply.

NordVPN has over 5,000 servers in several countries, with connection options tailored to your specific needs. Their Hong Kong server network is comprised of 80+ servers.

The service seamlessly integrates with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Multiple connected devices can be used with a paid subscription.

All internet traffic is secured with 256-bit AES encryption, which comes as standard. It combines 2,048-bit SSL keys with DNS leak prevention.

iOS and Android easy-to-use applications are available as well as desktop software for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

Our methodology: selecting the best VPN for Hong Kong

China has among the strictest internet restrictions in the world, and a large number of VPNs are completely barred. While there are still a few that operate dependably, we prefer to ensure that the services we offer are a suitable match for the purpose at hand. That is why, before making a choice, we analyze VPNs on the following criteria:

  • Unblocking capability: First, the VPN should be capable of reliably circumventing Chinese internet restrictions. If you are capable of doing this, accessing geo-restrictioned services like Sling TV or Amazon Prime Video should be a breeze.
  • Speed: Each VPN will slow you down somewhat, but we prefer those with the least amount of effect possible. Whichever connection you pick, it should be fast enough to broadcast live HD video without interruption.
  • Security: All of the services we propose provide 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak prevention at a minimum. Naturally, we choose companies with excellent security features such as stealth modes or automated wifi protection.
  • Privacy: Privacy is critical in China, given the extent of official monitoring. We search for VPNs that maintain a no-logs policy (and, if possible, that have been audited to demonstrate this). Additionally, we’d like to see anonymous payments, whether it’s via bitcoin, prepaid cards, or something else.
  • Server selection: The more nations covered by your network, the more content you may potentially access. Additionally, having numerous servers in each location helps distribute the load during peak periods and provides a backup in the event that one goes down.
  • Ease of use: While some VPNs need manual configuration to operate in China, we prefer those that provide a toggleable stealth mode, or even better, those that work without requiring any setting adjustments. Other improvements that enhance the user experience, such as a 24-hour live chat, are also appreciated.

Would you think that the checks listed above are only the beginning of our verification process? If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve devoted an entire page detailing our VPN testing methods in detail.

Why is a VPN necessary in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong people enjoy almost unrestricted access to the internet. That’s a full 180 from the government’s stringent web restrictions across the border in mainland China.

However, even though no websites are restricted, democratic campaigners in Hong Kong confirmed that Chinese authorities monitor citizens’ web activities, emails, and online interactions. A VPN encrypts all of this data, preventing anybody eavesdropping on your connection from deciphering its contents or what you do online.

Additionally, a VPN can unblock a large variety of foreign content and services. These include geo-restricted streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer, as well as international Netflix libraries.

Finally, a VPN safeguards you against a range of online risks, including malware, man-in-the-middle assaults, and distributed denial-of-service attacks. This is critical for visitors to Hong Kong for business or pleasure for those who want to use public and/or unprotected wi-fi networks in hotels, restaurants, airports, and cafés.

Hong Kong officials announced that the number of data breaches in their jurisdiction hit an all-time high in 2018, emphasizing the need to prioritize internet security.

Is it necessary to utilize a free VPN?

Certain cash-strapped individuals choose to utilize a free VPN service. However, it is preferable to have a whole picture before jumping into something you may regret.

Numerous free VPN companies have been detecting data harvesting and selling. Even if that does not happen to you, there will almost certainly be download data caps, bandwidth throttling, and a limited server selection. These services are also not designed to protect your privacy zealously, so don’t expect world-class service.

Free VPN providers must also make a profit. You will almost certainly be inundated with intrusive advertisements and headache-inducing popup windows. Our advice is to exercise caution when using the internet and to set aside a few dollars each month. Free VPNs are simply not worth the additional risk.

Several VPN services to avoid in Hong Kong

One of the primary reasons for using a VPN to access the web is to ensure that your privacy and anonymity are protected. After all, this is why they were conceived. While the VPN suggested in this article has never been accused of disclosing customer data, there are a few that are less forthcoming. We strongly advise you to avoid them.

Here are two examples:

Hola VPN

Israel-based Hola once boasted a nearly 50 million-strong user base, owing to its free VPN extension for Chrome. Unfortunately, it chose to undo all the good work and turned the community into a huge botnet army.

Some individual bandwidth was put aside for attacks on other websites, distribution of pornography, and other notorious online activities. And that’s with users entirely in the dark.


According to media reports, well-known VPN provider PureVPN reportedly worked with the FBI to identify Ryan Lin, a Massachusetts resident suspected of stalking an unidentified 24-year-old woman.

Ryan seems to have used PureVPN to conceal his digital trace while blackmailing the lady. The FBI became engaged after filing a complaint.

PureVPN maintains that it did not record online content of Ryan’s communications and instead tracked the activity back to him, but the company had previously boasted of a ‘no-logs’ policy. The firm may have been more forthcoming with information.

PrivacyExplore does not condone the use of VPNs to flagrantly violate laws and carry out criminal actions. However, providers must be completely transparent and open about their logging policies—when this is not the case, we believe it is a huge red flag.

How can I set up a VPN connection in Hong Kong?

We’ll walk you through two use examples in this section. If you are a foreign expatriate and wish to obtain an IP address from outside Hong Kong while physically residing in the country, follow these steps:

  1. Choose our suggested VPN provider, of which we specifically suggest NordVPN.
  2. Create an account and pay for online services. After that, download the companion apps (for your phone) or software (for your computer) (for PC or MacOS).
  3. To remove old location identifiers, clear your cookies and cache in all web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, UC Web).
  4. Restart your computer or device.
  5. Start by launching the VPN companion software and logging in.
  6. Choose a server in the country from which you’re attempting to obtain an IP address—for example, the United States or the United Kingdom.
  7. Allow a few seconds to establish the connection. After that, a green notification icon should appear on the taskbar.
  8. Browse the web normally. As a result, host websites will assume your true location is in the country to which you are currently connected. This enables the provision of services such as streaming media content and local online banking.

The other scenario is for Hong Kong residents who travel abroad and require a local IP address. This may be for streaming content, logging in to online banking, or for any other reason.

How to obtain a Hong Kong IP address from outside Hong Kong:

  1. Browse our suggestions and choose an option that works for you.
  2. Register and pay for the online service—choose a monthly or annual plan based on your initial budget.
  3. After that, download the companion apps (for your phone) or software (for your computer) (for PC or MacOS).
  4. To delete outdated location identifiers, clear your cookies in all web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer).
  5. Restart your computer or device.
  6. Begin by launching the VPN companion program and logging in.
  7. Connect to a server in Hong Kong by selecting one.
  8. Allow a few seconds to establish the connection. After that, a green notification icon should appear on the taskbar.
  9. Browse the web normally. You’ll notice that host websites believe you’ve relocated to Hong Kong physically.

FAQs for Hong Kong VPN

Are VPNs illegal in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has distinct digital privacy laws as a result of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy. VPNs are perfectly legal in Hong Kong at the moment and are freely available on major app marketplaces. Bear in mind, however, that even if you use a VPN to commit crimes, you risk being prosecuted.

Is it legal in China to use a VPN?

Technically, VPNs are legal in China. That said, most services based outside of China are blocked, as are domestic providers capable of bypassing the Great Firewall. To guarantee that you can surf securely in China, it’s a good idea to install a VPN before traveling there.

I already have a Hong Kong IP address; do I still need a VPN?

VPNs are beneficial for a variety of purposes beyond unblocking geo-restricted content. For example, once linked, your actions become invisible to your Internet Service Provider, employer, and government, significantly increasing your online privacy. As a result, it’s a good idea to constantly surf with a VPN enabled.

Will Hong Kong’s new privacy rules have an effect on VPNs?

Certain providers seem to believe so. In the summer of 2020, both Private Internet Access and Tunnelbear, two well-known VPN providers, ceased offering access to Hong Kong servers. The reason for this was straightforward: they feared the government would gain access to them, putting their users at risk.

On the other hand, other providers see no reason to change. NordVPN, for example, configures its servers in such a way that no personally identifiable information is saved, ensuring that authorities would discover no valuable information even if they confiscated NordVPN’s servers.

Will China’s Great Wall be expanded to include Hong Kong in the future?

While we cannot be certain, it is easy to imagine the Chinese government arguing that it makes no sense for two regions of the same country to have varying degrees of freedom now that the “one country, two systems” rule has been abolished.

Indeed, Hong Kong’s crackdown has already begun, with police gaining broad new powers to identify users who post content that the government does not approve of. Naturally, having experienced the open internet already, Hongkongers have no desire to have their freedoms restricted, which has led to a spike in VPN sales. Still, though, the future of the internet in Hong Kong remains extremely uncertain.

Which VPN with a Chrome extension is best for Hong Kong?

Browsing the internet in Hong Kong has its own set of difficulties, chiefly due to the Chinese government’s extensive web-filtering technology (sometimes referred to as The Great Firewall). As a result, the primary goal when selecting a VPN should be to choose one that can consistently circumvent these limitations. At the time of writing, NordVPN and VyprVPN all operate in China and provide simple-to-use Chrome extensions.

Is VPN software available for download in Hong Kong?

VPNs are not technically outlawed in Hong Kong or China. On the other hand, most large providers have been removed from app stores, and their websites are often restricted as well. Even if you download the applications straight from another source, they often fail to operate due to their protocols or servers being banned.

This is why planning ahead is critical: whenever possible, it is best to install the VPN before arriving in Hong Kong. Additionally, we recommend keeping a set of manual setup instructions on hand in case you experience difficulties connecting normally.

Hong Kong’s legal system is dynamic and constantly changing. As usual, we advise readers to do their research before connecting to a VPN in China.

TikTok is currently blocked in Hong Kong; can I unblock it using a VPN?

When you use a VPN, your data is routed via servers located in another country. This implies that you should be able to access the service as long as it is accessible where your selected server is located. While in China, international tourists may, for example, utilize an American server to stream Hulu or restore access to TikTok.

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