Vietnam’s internet is severely monitored and blocked to the point where the advocacy group Freedom House categorizes the country as “not free.” Websites critical of the government, as well as those of international human rights groups and expatriate political parties, are often blocked. Access to social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram has also been banned on occasion, as the Vietnamese government cracks down on anything that “endangers national security.”
In 2016, law enforcement officials arrested 35 bloggers and internet activists, some of whom were sentenced to up to 13 years in prison. Although the nation has over 700 media channels—including television, radio, print, and the internet—all are strictly controlled and subject to limitations under the Communist Party’s absolute control.
UPDATE: Vietnamese lawmakers have adopted new cybersecurity legislation that requires multinational technology firms with operations in the country to establish physical offices and preserve user data.
Amnesty International has said the bill would be a “devastating blow” to freedom of speech. It would provide the government with broad authority to compel computer firms to give over massive quantities of personal data and to censor individual content.
In Vietnam, social media firms will be compelled to erase postings within one day of receiving a request from governmental authorities.
Although the regulation does not take effect until the beginning of next year, it’s fair to say that people may be apprehensive. It is hard to tell for certain that internet surveillance has not already begun; the government may be gathering data in advance. As a result, we strongly advise you to immediately begin using a VPN when browsing the web in Vietnam.
A VPN significantly conceals your digital trail and enables you to access websites that government authorities may try to restrict or censor. Additionally, it will encrypt all internet traffic, ensuring the security of your conversations. We’ve suggested the best VPN for Vietnam in this post, so choose one that works for you and sign up as soon as possible. It is clearly in your best interests.
That is why, according to Reporters Without Borders’ 2013 press freedom ranking, Vietnam was ranked 172 out of 176 nations. The Central Department of Propaganda and Education plays a critical role in ensuring that all public information is tailored to the purposes of the state. Individuals or organizations who dare to cross the boundary face severe consequences.
As a result of these factors, we strongly advise you to use a VPN while browsing the web in Vietnam. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, encrypts all internet traffic to and from your device and conceals your location by routing it via a go-between server. Your online behavior is mainly concealed from prying eyes, such as government surveillance agencies and hackers.
Best VPN for Vietnam
A VPN will also help international expats living in Vietnam who want to access local content such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Sky Sports, or BeIN Sports from their home country.
Our top VPN for Vietnam suggestion is based on the following criteria:
- Service reliability and speed.
- A vast network of servers located around the globe.
- Encryption settings that are strong enough to guarantee privacy and anonymity.
- Convenience of usage.
- Android and iOS applications.
NordVPN has been in the VPN industry for almost a decade and packs a lot of strength into its easy-to-use software. The speeds are astounding, as are the encryption algorithms, which are military-grade.
Additionally, it is another example of a logless service. As a result, no data on user sessions, traffic, or timestamps is collected. The corporation is based in Panama, where it is not subject to the authority of Western government agencies or to statutory data retention regulations.
With over 5,000 servers in several countries, NordVPN makes it simple to establish a reliable, secure connection. Additionally, two servers are situated in Vietnam, in addition to a plethora of possibilities in Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.
It enables torrenting and unblocks most online streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
Regarding encryption techniques, there is no room for compromise. By default, all internet communication is encrypted using the 256-bit AES protocol and 2,048-bit SSL keys. Protection against DNS leaks is enabled. This is regarded as one of the industry’s most stringent requirements.
It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.
How about a no-cost VPN?
You may choose not to provide your credit card information and instead use a free VPN, but keep in mind that it will have weak encryption and slow speeds.
Free VPNs do not spend as much on product development as commercial VPNs do. Additionally, these firms (yes, they are legitimate businesses that need revenue!) will monetize by blasting you with advertisements and sending you spammy affiliate links. Additionally, some free VPNs have been detected by injecting and tracking cookies into users’ browsers and mining and selling user data to advertisers. That is very emphatically not the kind of thing you want.
We believe it is advisable to avoid them.
Certain VPNs to avoid at all costs
We’ve already discussed how tightly controlled and tracked the Vietnamese online environment is. Users who want to use a VPN to access the internet in the Southeast Asian nation will undoubtedly be concerned about their privacy and security—after all, several individuals have been detained for small infractions.
When choosing a VPN service, you want to be certain that the organization places a high premium on customer privacy. Our preferred provider has maintained this commitment and these principles. However, not all VPNs are created equal—some have a track record of breaching this agreement. We strongly advise you to avoid these.
Here are two illustrations:
Hola, situated in Israel, unethically and certainly illegally exploited its large user base of around 50 million people in 2013 to create a gigantic botnet. This meant that a portion of each user’s bandwidth was reserved for illicit DDoS assaults, copyright distribution, and pornography. This was done without permission.
Hotspot Shield has been operating a popular freemium VPN service for some years. However, it has been accused of acting unethically and failing to live up to its user commitments.
In July, a privacy advocacy organization accused the business of forcing monitoring cookies into users’ browsers without their knowledge and selling the resulting data to advertising. Additionally, the same charge stated that it was routing e-commerce traffic to partner sites. Legitimate HTTP queries were redirected to affiliate websites, from which the VPN provider earned a commission.
It is critical to emphasize at this point that these claims have not been proven in a court of law.
How can I utilize a virtual private network (VPN) in Vietnam?
To ensure a flawless experience, follow these steps:
- Browse our suggested VPN provider and choose the package that’s right for you.
- Create an account and pay for the service.
- After that, download the associated applications on your phone or computer.
- To erase outdated location identifiers, clear your cookies and cache in all web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and UC Web).
- Restart your computer or device.
- Start by launching the VPN application and logging in.
- Choose a server in the nation from which you’re trying to get an IP address, such as the United States or the United Kingdom, or a server in Vietnam if you’re going overseas.
- Allow a few seconds to establish the connection. After that, a green notification symbol should appear on the taskbar or at the top of your smartphone’s screen.
- Browse the web normally. The host websites will presume that you are in the nation to which you are presently connected. This will provide access to services such as streaming video content and local online banking.
How can I maintain an anonymous blog in Vietnam?
We have indicated before in this post that bloggers in Vietnam face extensive official surveillance and, in some instances, jail time. We recognize the value of communicating your message; it should not come at the expense of your personal safety. When seeking to reach a larger audience, it is vital to stay anonymous and disguised—this assures that your tracks are covered.
How can I obtain pornographic content in Vietnam?
Pornographic content is unlawful to bring into Vietnam, as is involvement in its creation, dissemination, or possession. This is because officials believe that the content violates traditional Vietnamese values.
Although we are unaware of any arrests for downloading pornographic content from the internet, it is prudent to be cautious. Employ the methods mentioned in the section “How do I use a VPN in Vietnam?” to conceal your online identity. After that, you may log in and use these sites regularly.