Best VPNs for South Korea in 2023
Perhaps South Korea is more privacy-conscious than the neighboring countries, yet, there is still some censorship around online activity. The ISP and the government snooping around or geo-restrictions regarding online content – both put online freedom at risk. Fortunately, a VPN can help you.
A robust VPN service, such as NordVPN, helps you temporarily change your IP location and access content unavailable in your country. It also guarantees complete protection and anonymity. With it, your data will be encrypted and impossible to access for third parties.
The good news is that there are plenty of great VPN services on the market. On the downside, not all of them work in South Korea. Therefore, we have tested and listed only the best VPNs for South Korea regarding performance, price, and more. Read below and choose the best protection for you!
Top 5 best South Korea VPNs
- NordVPN – the best South Korea VPN overall
- Surfshark – South Korea VPN with leading quality and price ratio
- PureVPN – South Korea VPN for durable security
- ExpressVPN – a fast and premium South Korea VPN
- CyberGhost – a robust South Korea VPN
What to look for in a VPN for South Korea?
Choosing the right VPN service for you determines how protected you are. That’s why knowing the main characteristics that a South Korea VPN should have is crucial:
- Strong encryption. Market-leading AES-256 encryption ensures that your data won’t be accessible for your local or foreign (for example, North Korean) government and other third parties.
- Kill switch feature. A functional kill switch is essential as it protects your IP address even when a VPN connection is lost.
- Server fleet. First and foremost, a VPN should have servers in South Korea that allow you to enjoy South Korean content wherever you are. Moreover, the bigger server fleet is the better as it decreases the chances of using overcrowded servers.
- Compatibility. A reputable VPN will have applications for all major operating systems. Features, like Smart DNS, to share a protected connection for those devices that don’t support VPN. Also, it’s important that a VPN allows a bigger or unlimited number of simultaneous connections so that you can protect all of your home devices.
The best VPNs for South Korea – our detailed list
Below, we have put the top 5 VPN services for South Korea into a list after testing a couple of dozens of VPNs in terms of security, privacy, performance, and more.
1. NordVPN – best VPN for South Korea in 2023
|Servers/countries:||5500+ servers in 60 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥Get NordVPN with 63% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
NordVPN is currently the best VPN service you can get for South Korea. With 17 servers in South Korea and over 5500 servers distributed in 60 countries, this VPN is excellent for bypassing geo-restricted content. Not to mention the top-notch security layer that protects you from getting exposed.
Security and privacy: by default, this VPN uses the most advanced AES-256 encryption that scrambles your data into pieces and makes it impossible to access. With its functional kill switch feature, your IP address will be protected at all times. Plus, the service is privacy-friendly as it uses RAM-only servers where data gets removed each time it reloads, and there’s a strict no-logs policy.
Performance: NordVPN has implemented an in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol which makes this VPN one of the fastest VPNs available on the market. Additionally, this tunnel ensures that your safety won’t be compromised for the sake of speed.
Features: for staying invisible while being online, you can use obfuscated servers that hide a VPN connection from your ISP and other third parties. You can also connect to two servers simultaneously and have a double VPN connection for an extra security layer. Apart from this, split tunneling allows you to choose what apps should go through VPN traffic, and there are many more features to benefit from.
Compatibility: NordVPN is available for all major operating systems, and it also works on routers; therefore, you can share a secure connection to devices that don’t support VPNs. With a single account, you can protect up to 6 devices simultaneously.
To conclude, this VPN is perfect for all-around protection and a better browsing experience. Moreover, as advanced as the service is, the price remains wallet-friendly as time passes. Pay as little as $3.29/month and stay safe.
Get to know more about the features in our NordVPN review.
- 17 servers in South Korea
- Unblocks major streaming platforms
- NordLynx tunneling protocol
- RAM-only servers
- AES-256 encryption
- No free version
2. Surfshark – South Korea VPN for unlimited devices
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥|
One of the most popular VPNs, Surfshark, is another excellent choice for South Korea. It has more than 3200 servers in 100 countries, including South Korean servers, unblocks all popular streaming sites, and it’s great for torrenting.
Security and privacy: with a strict no-logs policy and AES-256 encryption or ChaCha20 cipher, this VPN is one of the most secure VPN services. RAM-only servers ensure that your data gets removed from their servers sooner than later. The kill switch works great to avoid leaked IP when a VPN connection drops.
Performance: here, the WireGuard tunneling protocol is responsible for providing you with lightning-fast connection speed and robust online protection. There are no significant speed drops, so streamed content is delivered in full HD.
Features: Surfshark is a feature-rich VPN service. Besides the most crucial ones, like split tunneling or obfuscated servers that ensure you remain completely invisible online, you also get the IP rotator that changes your IP address every other moment. There’s also antivirus protection for avoiding malware, adware, and other infections. Plus, you can enable the Smart DNS feature and unblock your favorite streaming sites on devices that don’t support a VPN connection.
Compatibility: you can get this VPN on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox and enjoy user-friendly applications on unlimited devices simultaneously. By setting up Surfshark on a router, you can also secure all your home gadgets whether they support a VPN connection or not.
Surfshark is perfect for both – advanced users and beginners. It offers complete protection and helps you bypass restrictions around your preferred content. To use every benefit it offers, you would need to pay as little as $2.30 per month.
Find out more about it in our Surfshark VPN review.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- WireGuard tunneling protocol
- Servers in South Korea
- AES-256 encryption or ChaCha20 cipher
- No free version
3. PureVPN – security-oriented South Korea VPN
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6500+ servers in 78 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube|
|Current deal:||🔥Get PureVPN, now 81% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
PureVPN is the first VPN service that has always-on-audit and works in South Korea. There are more than 45 servers located in South Korea and over 6500 servers in 78 countries in total. It’s also one of the best streaming VPNs you can get today.
Security and privacy: due to the always-on-audit system, this VPN has no security gaps hidden from you as it can be audited without prior notice. Your data gets encrypted using AES-256 encryption, and you can also enable the kill switch feature to protect your IP address additionally.
Performance: PureVPN delivers impressive connection speeds. It uses the market-leading WireGuard tunneling protocol that ensures fast connection and strong security. With this VPN, regular browsing, streaming, or torrenting will be flawless.
Features: extra features are one of the selling points that we’re looking for; hence, we love what PureVPN has to offer. It’s the split tunneling feature that allows you to choose specific apps that are routed through a VPN connection. Port forwarding is great if you consider setting up gaming servers or simply accessing your device remotely. For an extra security layer, PureVPN has implemented the password manager add-on, which you can use for saving and auto-filling your passwords.
Compatibility: this VPN has intuitive applications for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSPureVPN platforms, and nearly all of them include all the available features. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously per account.
PureVPN is a well-balanced South Korea VPN that you can use for better online safety and privacy, streaming, torrenting, and overall better online time. It also offers one of the cheapest yearly plans, starting from $2.08/month.
Learn more about the features from our PureVPN review.
- Large server fleet
- Over 45 servers in South Korea
- Fast connection speeds
- Has always-on-audit
- Great for streaming
- Some features don’t work with WireGuard
4. ExpressVPN – a fast and premium South Korea VPN
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||Thousands of servers in 94 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+|
|Current deal:||🔥Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!🔥|
ExpressVPN is a great option for VPN servers in South Korea. With an independently-audited no-logs policy, it is a safe and private choice with 94 server locations. Fast speeds and unblocking capabilities will help you unblock local content, while IPs in other countries are great for avoiding internet censorship on the inside.
Security and privacy: ExpressVPN connections are protected with AES-256 encryption. The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands, a territory outside The Fourteen Eyes Intelligence Alliance. On top of that, an independently audited no-logs policy makes sure that nobody knows about your connections to servers in South Korea. If your connection drops, there is a plan B – a kill switch that stops internet access and prevents data leaks.
Performance: During our in-house and independent tests, ExpressVPN proved to be one of the speediest VPNs on the market. Its biggest strength is the proprietary Lightway protocol, whose reliability and above-average performance let you avoid connection speed restrictions and geo-blocking. Plus, there are also options for other major protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP.
Features: In addition to the basic requirements like a kill switch, ExpressVPN brings a balanced package of extra features. Its Threat Manager tool blocks malware and trackers during browsing sessions, and the VPN automatically switches to stealth mode when a third party tries to spy on you. ExpressVPN also offers a split tunneling feature and a SmartDNS tool called MediaStreamer, which simplifies the streaming experience on older devices.
Compatibility: ExpressVPN provides comfortable apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, plus support for older devices with the MediaStreamer feature, letting you access South Korean Netflix libraries, as well as other platforms: Hulu, Amazon, BBC iPlayer, and more.
ExpressVPN is a solid South Korea VPN, but it is a premium option. However, for $6.67/month, you get a service that works on 5 simultaneous connections plus access to geo-restricted content and streaming libraries. In total, the provider has servers in [x] countries, which you can use to bypass internet censorship in South Korea.
You can find more information in our ExpressVPN review.
- Fast speeds
- Apps on major devices
- Independently audited
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Audited no-logs policy
- A bit pricy
- iOS version doesn’t have a kill switch
- Does not use WireGuard protocol
5. CyberGhost – a robust South Korea VPN
|Servers/countries:||9700+ servers in 91 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE🔥|
CyberGhost joins the list with an interesting combination of strengths that make it a good VPN choice to avoid internet speed throttling inside the country and bypass geo-restrictions. With a large fleet of 9700 servers in 91 countries, it has 24 servers in South Korea for stable access to all users.
Security and privacy: CyberGhost VPN encrypts connections with top-level AES-256 encryption. It also has a good base location: Romania is not a part of any intelligence alliances that could spy on your data. Paired with an independently audited no-logs policy, CyberGhost has a solid basic security suite with functional essentials.
Performance: Our in-house testing revealed that CyberGhost is not the fastest VPN, but it makes up for it with connection stability for WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols. The difference in speeds should not affect your streaming and browsing experience.
Compatibility: With the main app that supports 7 simultaneous connections on major desktop and mobile systems, CyberGhost is a robust VPN with great compatibility and stable connections. You can also enjoy the service via the Chrome browser extension, which also has a free version.
Coming in at $2.19/month, CyberGhost is a surprisingly cheap VPN with massive global coverage. Stable connections, 24 servers in South Korea, and options in other countries make it a great VPN to access geo-blocked websites, avoid internet censorship, or change your IP to avoid internet speed throttling.-
To learn more, read our CyberGhost review.
- Large server fleet
- Cheap pricing
- Free browser extension
- Stable connections
- WireGuard connection problems
- Slow speeds
- Apple users have fewer features
How we selected and tested these South Korea VPNs
The main mission of a South Korea VPN is to guarantee complete online security and freedom. Here’s a list of criteria that has helped us see what VPNs can accomplish this mission:
- Robust security. While testing each VPN, we checked for the most advanced encryption, like AES-256 and/or XChaCha20, and the kill switch feature that protects your IP address whenever a VPN connection drops.
- Outstanding performance. Market-leading tunneling protocols ensure that a VPN wouldn’t impact your connection speed and maintain durable protection. That’s why we have chosen VPN services that offer only top-notch tunneling protocols.
- Extra features. Every extra feature available ensures a better security and browsing experience. Obfuscated servers for hiding your VPN connection, P2P support for torrenting, split tunneling, and more. Hence, we listed only those VPNs that include more than basics.
- Compatibility. We ensured that each included VPN to the list would have apps for every major OS and allow you to connect as many devices simultaneously as required to be fully protected.
- Price. Our priority is to help everyone stay safe and anonymous online without worrying about finances. Therefore, our listed VPN services offer the best price and quality ratio with the possibility of trying out the service,
Why do you need a VPN in South Korea?
To avoid the government and your Internet service provider interfering with your virtual life, getting a VPN is the best way to go. However, there’s a whole list of a South Korea VPN’s selling points:
- Get rid of Internet censorship. Online gambling and torrenting are illegal in South Korea. Not to mention other censorship, like 161,569 websites blocked in the country. With a VPN, you can easily bypass these restrictions and even hide a VPN connection to remain undetected.
- Remain secure and anonymous. Surveillance in South Korea is a common concern. The government has the right to inspect your data without a warrant order if any suspicions have arisen toward you. Using a VPN makes your online data encrypted and impossible to access for any sneaky intruder.
- Access major streaming sites. Whether you’re inside or outside South Korea, a VPN is excellent for unblocking various streaming platforms. Best streaming VPNs allow you to watch videos in full HD without lagging.
- Stay secure while using public wifi. A public Internet connection is never a safe option to choose. It’s a straight road to sharing your data with third parties wifi; hence using a VPN is essential.
Best South Korea VPNs compared
Knowing the criteria for choosing the best VPN service ensures that you make it fast and successfully. That’s why we have gathered a table where you can see our top 5 VPNs compared:
|South Korea servers||17+ servers in 1 location||1 location||45+ servers in 1 location||1 location||24+ servers in 1 location|
|Fastest protocol available||NordLynx||WireGuard||WireGuard||Lightway||WireGuard|
|Country||Panama||The Netherlands||British Virgin Islands||British Virgin Islands||Romania|
|Streaming services||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+|
|Price (lowest price per month)||$3.29/month||$2.30/month||$2.08/month||$6.67/month||$2.19/month|
|Money back guarantee||30 days||30 days||31 days||30 days||45 days|
|Review||NordVPN review||Surfshark VPN review||PureVPN review||ExpressVPN review||CyberGhost review|
How to get a South Korea IP address with a VPN
Luckily, setting up a VPN and getting your preferred location’s IP address doesn’t take ages and is easy to do. To see how it’s done, follow the guides below:
- Choose and a reliable VPN service that offers servers in South Korea. Our recommendation is NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app.
- Open the VPN application.
- Make sure the kill switch and the fastest tunneling protocol are enabled.
- Select the server located in South Korea and connect.
- Start browsing without restrictions.
Internet censorship in South Korea
The main issue South Korea is facing is North Korea interfering with its well-being. Therefore, there’s a lot of surveillance around South Korean citizens to control incoming information regarding the neighboring country. Even though this sounds logical, the privacy and freedom of Internet users are being compromised.
The ISPs in South Korea must collect users’ data and share it with the government. National Intelligence Service (NIS), police, and prosecutors’ office can access individuals’ personal information (private communication, location data, financial records, and more) if there have been any terrorism-related suspicions.
Furthermore, the South Korean government has also banned lots of websites. These include online gambling, torrenting, pornography, and other sites. Meaning, that citizens can’t access certain content without using a VPN.
Overall, South Korea doesn’t fall into the list of high-censorship countries. Yet, there’s undeniably compromised only security, privacy, and overall browsing experience. Fortunately, with a reliable VPN, you can easily stay virtually invisible.
Torrenting in South Korea
Like in most countries around the world, torrenting copyrighted material is illegal in South Korea as well. However, it’s known that the government is more likely to be after piracy websites instead of targeting individuals.
Nevertheless, going against the law is always a dangerous idea. Hence, we suggest using a torrenting VPN that supports a P2P connection. With it, you will avoid any inconveniences torrenting in South Korea, or any other country can cause.
South Korean content you can watch with a VPN
South Korean movies and TV shows have been skyrocketing in past years. That’s no surprise, as they offer content suitable for both; young and older people.
Here are some of the content you can expect to see by using a South Korea VPN:
- South Korea Netflix: Legend of Fuyao, The Destiny of White Snake, From the Vine, Off the Rails, Delicious.
- Enjoy South Korean TV and streaming channels: Kakao TV, AfreecaTV, EBS, JTV, SBS, JTBC, SPOTV, HBO Asia, Arirang TV, Gayo TV, MBC Sports+.
- Watch other South Korean TV shows: Korean Anime, Manga, K-dramas.
Can I use a free VPN in South Korea?
Yes, you can use a free VPN in South Korea. However, we would not recommend doing it. After all, there are several reasons behind that.
Free VPN services are minimal. Due to low investment, you receive outdated apps with only a few security features. There are also data and speed caps, small server fleets, and more. Basically, most free VPNs will try to force you into paying for the service.
Moving further, let’s talk about your privacy. There have been cases where a free VPN app was caught collecting users’ data and selling it to third parties. In exchange for your data, a VPN makes an income or is allowed to work in highly-censored countries, like China or Russia.
Overall, free VPNs cannot offer as advanced services as premium VPNs, like NordVPN, do. However, there are still free-of-cost VPNs that are reliable. By choosing Atlas VPN, you receive strong protection, good performance, and more.
Using a VPN in South Korea enriches your online experience. Considering that the South Korean government has reasons to sneak around your data and restrict you from global content, a VPN is the gate to your freedom.
With a reputable VPN, like NordVPN, you stay completely safe and anonymous, bypass online restrictions, and access all desired content. So, we hope that this article has helped you decide which VPN is for you.
More VPN guides from Cybernews:
Best Netflix VPNs: unblock your favorite streaming site
Best VPNs for Windows: increase your PC protection
Best VPN for Iran: access blocked websites
What's the best VPN for South Korea?
NordVPN is the best VPN for South Korea. It has 17 servers located in South Korea and over 5500 servers in 60 countries across the world. NordVPN is known for successful geo-restrictions bypassing and a robust suite of security.
Is it legal to use a VPN in South Korea?
Yes, using VPN is legal in South Korea. The government itself acknowledges that some online monitoring can be avoided using VPNs; however, there is no fuss about it. Yet, keep in mind that any criminal activity related to using a VPN is illegal.
Does every VPN have servers in South Korea?
Not every VPN has servers in South Korea. However, it is the second most popular place in East Asia after Japan which has a quite strict internet censorship. Therefore, there are enough VPN services with South Korean servers. You can find them listed in the article.
How to try a VPN in South Korea for free?
All listed VPN providers have at least a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means that if you are not satisfied with it, you’ll be fully refunded if you ask for a refund before this period ends. Some VPNs, like Surfshark or PureVPN, have 7-day free trials, and you won’t have to pay anything in advance to try these VPNs.
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