South Korea’s internet censorship is not as severe as that of China or the United Arab Emirates, but there are certain limits in place. However, a VPN may swiftly and effectively improve your online security: it encrypts your traffic, preventing it from being read by the government, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), or hostile third parties.
Additionally, VPNs allow you to tunnel your traffic across servers located around the globe. This provides you with a temporary, region-specific IP address, which enables you to effortlessly circumvent country-wide limitations and surf the internet freely. This is advantageous in nations with tight web restrictions, but it also makes it quite easy to access famous services such as US Netflix, BBC, and many others when traveling overseas.
With so many different VPNs available, it’s sometimes impossible to compare them correctly. To identify the best VPN for South Korea, we looked for the following characteristics:
- Capable of circumnavigating South Korean internet restrictions.
- Provides a quick, dependable connection.
- Has a vast server network, including several servers in high-traffic nations such as the United States.
- Utilizes almost unbreakable encryption and incorporates extra, sophisticated security mechanisms.
- No individually identifying information is recorded. Ideally, maintain no logs at all.
- Includes applications for all major operating systems and mobile devices.
The methodology used in this study was to identify the top VPN services in South Korea.
Regrettably, not all VPNs are equal. As a result, even if a service is lightning fast, it may not be the most secure or even appropriate for use in South Korea. To guarantee that we only propose a VPN that is well-suited for use in South Korea, we carefully analyzed the features and capabilities you’ll need during your stay and compiled a list of must-have characteristics:
- Server presence: We’d like to see huge networks, particularly with servers located in a variety of locations. This implies you’ll be able to access your typical content through Korean servers or via a foreign server.
- Speed: It seems as if every VPN makes a claim to be the quickest. At PrivacyExplore, we conduct frequent speed tests to determine which is indeed the fastest. There is no marketing fluff here; just real facts backed up by substantial test results are presented.
- Unblocking ability: As of 2020, over 161,500 websites were restricted in South Korea, with countless more (such as YouTube TV) rendered unavailable owing to their own geo-blocking. We evaluated a variety of popular services to see which VPN delivers the broadest selection of content.
- Security: Security is critical, even more so in nations with tight internet controls. As such, we insist that all of our suggestions contain 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and security against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Additional features (such as obfuscation, traffic blockage on a local level, or split tunneling) are always welcome.
- Privacy: In South Korea, internet defamation is a punishable offense that may result in jail time, even if what you’re saying is truthful. As a result, the option to publish anonymously is critical. This all starts with a policy of no-logs. Additionally, we’d like to see anonymous payment choices and other privacy-enhancing features like stealth mode or multi-hop servers.
- User-friendliness: We particularly favor services that are simple enough to use for total novices. 24/7 live chat is a significant benefit, as is the option to connect an unlimited number of devices concurrently.
- Pricing: We go to great efforts to guarantee that we only have a proposed VPN that is reasonably priced. Additionally, we constantly give information about any discounts and money-back guarantees to ensure that you always pay the lowest possible price.
Is it possible to circumvent South Korea’s internet restrictions with a free VPN?
While free VPNs may seem to be an attractive option, we do not advocate for them, especially in South Korea. To begin with, these services are often unable to circumvent government-imposed internet restrictions. Even if you do manage to connect, free VPNs often lack the bandwidth necessary for uninterrupted streaming, are unable to access services like Netflix, and cannot be depended on as a long-term solution owing to data restrictions and queuing systems.
Additionally, it might be challenging to locate a free VPN that is secure to use. According to a 2016 survey, more than 38% of the 283 free VPN applications examined tried to install malware. Perhaps more concerningly, 18% of respondents used no encryption at all, and 84% were exposed to IPv6 leaks. Even well-known free services have been known to deceive their users in the past, with Hola selling idle user bandwidth to aid the operation of a botnet. As a result, we advocate selecting a reliable VPN service that does not track personally identifiable information and respects the privacy of its customers.
How to access the rest of the internet in South Korea
Not to worry: circumventing geographical limitations is simple, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.
Here’s how to use a VPN to unblock websites in South Korea:
- Start by subscribing to a reliable VPN service (we recommend NordVPN).
- Install the VPN application, ensuring that the version you download is compatible with your operating system.
- Log in and establish a connection to a server located in the chosen location. To access geo-restricted services, you must connect to a server located in the relevant country, for example, the United Kingdom for BBC iPlayer.
- You should now have unfettered internet access. If a certain website continues to fail to load, consider emptying your browser’s cache and cookies and then refreshing the page.
What types of internet content are prohibited in South Korea?
South Korea restricts access to certain kinds of content but also asks internet users to identify themselves if they submit anything publicly viewable (such as a remark) to uncensored websites or want to visit pages considered improper for kids. Users’ identities are confirmed via the use of a citizen’s reference number (for South Korean citizens) or a copy of their passport. We’ve compiled a summary of some of the categories of content that are restricted in South Korea below:
- Sites and comments in support of North Korea.
- Political dissent, especially against the President.
- Online gambling establishments.
While these limitations are not as comprehensive as those in place in nations such as China, they nonetheless have a very broad scope. This is mainly a result of the country’s “cyber defamation” legislation.
Unlike in other countries, where defamation requires intentionally making false statements, South Korea’s relevant legislation (Act on Promoting Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, Etc., 2008) makes it a crime to disclose information (whether true or false) with the intent of harming a person’s reputation. This statute has been used to prosecute individuals who engage in anti-establishment or critical discourse against the government or its officials.
Other than that, why should I use a VPN in South Korea?
If you are not a resident of South Korea, there are several more advantages to utilizing a VPN. For example, while logging into your online banking account from a foreign location, you are far more likely to mistakenly activate automatic fraud protection systems. By connecting to a VPN server in your own country, you can significantly lessen the likelihood of this occurring.
Additionally, VPNs enable you to access your regular services when traveling. You may, for example, visit your favorite gambling or gaming sites, watch your country’s Netflix collection, or read the news on one of the countless websites that are ordinarily blocked from South Korea. When you factor in the fact that VPNs also shield you from surveillance when using public wifi, it’s evident that they’re an essential addition to any traveler’s armory.
How to get a complimentary VPN for Korea (free-trial hack)
Are you interested in obtaining a VPN connection to South Korea but do not want to pay for it? While you’re best off avoiding free services, there is a loophole that allows you to use a commercial VPN for free for a month (or perhaps more, depending on which one you choose). This is ideal for quick trips to South Korea or for streaming a Korean program from afar.
How to get a free VPN for South Korea is as follows:
- Choose the VPN we suggest above.
- Select the one-month package on the provider’s website.
- Complete the checkout process by entering your payment information as usual.
- Although your payment method will be charged, the service we suggest has a money-back guarantee. As such, you may use them as much as you want and then just ask for a refund before your membership renews to essentially gain a month’s free access to a commercial VPN.
Are you concerned that you will not get your money back? We’ve verified that the VPN offers a complete refund!
VPN for South Korea FAQs
How can I change my IP address to one that originates in South Korea?
By connecting to a South Korean VPN server, you may get a South Korean IP address in a matter of seconds. Avoid using a Smart DNS service or proxy server; although these might provide the illusion of being in another country, they do not encrypt your communication at all. By comparison, a VPN protects your online activity from prying eyes while enabling you to do anything you want.
In South Korea, is internet gambling legal?
South Korea’s gambling regulations are paradoxically both harsh and permissive. Chapter 23 of the Criminal Code (PDF) prohibits gambling “with the intent of acquiring property,” but offers an exemption for “momentary pleasure.” At the moment, no internet casinos are permitted to operate, but visitors to the nation will discover several venues to wager.
Is Netflix any good in South Korea?
South Korean users may have access to a wide variety of content, including all of Netflix’s original series, such as Riverdale. Additionally, there is an extensive collection of Korean entertainment, including dramas such as Crash Landing On You and blockbuster successes such as Okja, Reply, and Snowpiercer. Prices begin at $9,500 a month. However, there is a 30-day free trial available if you want to check out the service for yourself.
Is every VPN equipped with South Korean servers?
While not every VPN company offers South Korean servers, it is fairly uncommon for a provider to have at least a couple. Indeed, South Korea is perhaps the second-most frequently visited country in East Asia, behind Japan.
There are various possible explanations for this. To begin with, it is possible that individuals from other nations are interested in gaining access to Korea-specific services. This is not surprising, considering the enormous rise in popularity of Korean music and television series in recent years. However, South Korea’s strong defamation laws and documented high-level corruption may have compelled residents to exercise caution while sharing their thoughts online.
Which gadgets function in South Korea with a VPN?
You can install a VPN on almost any device, regardless of whether you are in South Korea or not. The majority of big providers provide applications for iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows, with several also supporting Linux. Additionally, they nearly always contain instructions for manually configuring your VPN on a home network. This enables you to encrypt a whole network and redirect traffic from devices that do not support VPN applications, such as gaming consoles and certain older smart TVs.
Is it legal in South Korea to use a VPN?
In South Korea, there are presently no regulations prohibiting the use of a VPN. Nonetheless, if you are found doing crimes online while connected, you may face consequences. As always, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with local legislation before trying to use a VPN in a foreign location.
Is a VPN required to play PUBG from Korea?
In 2021, PUBG Mobile will no longer be available to consumers in Korea and Japan. Instead, users in these nations must download a region-specific version of the program. The game’s makers did not explain the move, but they did revise their terms of service to exclude international players from accessing KRJP servers.
While utilizing a VPN to play with your Korean and Japanese pals is against the rules, there is nothing that can be done to prevent you. PUBG’s PC version is currently untouched by these limitations.