Best VPN For South Korea – (2021)

A host of VPNs claim to be the best for South Korean IP addresses. We test VPNs weekly to verify the compatibility of Netflix and PUBG as well as ensuring that they provide excellent responses to censorship restrictions, connectivity, speeds, and performance for South Korean residents and visitors alike.

Best South Korean VPN

Accessing certain websites from inside and outside of South Korea can be a problem for anyone. 

With strict censorship restrictions for visitors and residents on everything from news sites to social media platforms as well as an increasing number of geo-blocked streaming services mean now more than ever, the ability to switch to a South Korean IP has never been more important. 

This is where the only tool you need is the correct VPN. 

After rigorous testing and the help of some Korean friends, we narrowed the list of options down to the three best. 

Aside from at least 1 South Korean server, the main criteria we used to select our options are as follows and each VPN has shown exceptional quality in the following areas: 

  • Security – 256-AES encryption levels at a minimum to ensure the highest possible privacy and security available in order to keep you and your family safe. 
  • Speeds – Although speeds can differ greatly depending on where you are in the world, our selections have all shown consistent speeds for streaming, gaming, and everyday use.  
  • Apps – functional, easy to use apps are essential.
  • Severs – a wide and varied spread of global servers increases your chances of getting a strong and seamless connection wherever you are in the world. 
  • 10 South Korean servers  
  • Connect up to 6 devices on one account 
  • Incredible speeds for streaming and gaming 
  • Unblocks streaming content worldwide (Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer) 
  • Built-in kill switch  
  • Accepts Bitcoin payments  
  • 24/7 live chat customer service and knowledge centre  
  • Confirmed no-log policy 
  • 30-day money-back guarantee 

Right out of the gate, NordVPN has 10 dedicated servers for South Korea which is far more than the majority of other providers.  CyberGhost is one of the few exceptions with 24 available SK servers but it doesn’t offer P2P sharing on any of them.  

With compatibility with almost every operating system, you could want including Windows, Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS devices and kill switches included as standard for each one, you should be able to protect your devices and access South Korean content in minutes.   

We always look for kill switches and very rarely recommend VPNs without them. They effectively block your device from accessing the web if your connection drops for whatever reason. And, if you’re worried about this happening while you playing PUBG or Cabal Mobile, then you always have the option to disable it partially or fully. 

You get unlimited bandwidth to play with as well so you never have to worry about how long or how frequently you game.  

These apps are backed by powerful military-grade AES-256-bit encryption levels so you can be sure you and your data will be secure.  

NordVPN offers two security protocols: OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. OpenVPN is one of the most secure protocols available, and it’s the default option for the majority of NordVPN’s apps. You can choose other protocols, though, depending on your needs. 

For macOS and iOS devices, NordVPN uses IKEv2/IPSec as the default option, and you also get the option to change to OpenVPN. Android and Windows users have OpenVPN only.

NordVPN is also fantastic at unblocking streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney + and makes quick work of South Korean websites as well.  

Outside of speeds, advanced security, and app compatibility, you also get a host of other monster features including built-in adblockers, malware-scanning, double VPN, DNS leak protection, server favourites, and the option to pay via Bitcoin.  

To round it all off, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you are traveling, staying for a short period of time, or are simply on a budget then you always have the option of a refund.

expressvpn
  • Connect up to 5 devices on one account  
  • PUBG / Cabal access 
  • OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSEC, IKEV2 support 
  • Best-in-class browser extension support 
  • Dedicated South Korean server 
  • Accepts Bitcoin payments  
  • 24/7 live chat customer service 
  • Confirmed no-log policy 
  • 30-day money-back guarantee 

ExpressVPN boasts one of the, if not, the most powerful VPNs on the market.  

With a dedicated SK server that has full protocol availability including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSEC, IKEV2 support, and a track record of consistently unblocking South Korean sites like Oksusu, SBS, and EBS TV, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better solution outside of NordVPN.   

Not restricted to just unblocking SK sites, you also get guaranteed results from around the globe if you want access to other streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney +, and pretty much anything else you can think of.  

We cover it further below but ExpressVPNs browser extension is second to none and is perfect for residents, visitors, and South Korean sites.  

Access to South Korean sites aside, ExpressVPN also ensures you will be protected whether you’re connected to any of their servers with their incredibly powerful security measures. These include industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption as well as Lightway, which is a next-generation protocol that is faster, safer, and more secure than any other VPN on the market today.  

ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than NordVPN which is why it sits second on our list but for the extra cash, you do get the advanced protocol Lightway and faster speeds, albeit fewer devices at your disposal. Make no mistake, NordVPNs encryption levels are staggering and anything more for everyday use is  

It’s worth noting that any speed tests are a very personal thing and depend on a number of factors including distance to server, server location, and server performance among other things.  

We try to regularly include VPNs that have at least a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you’re not experiencing the speeds expected then you always have the option to change provider to one that is more suited to your own needs.  

  • 7 device connections and bandwidth 
  • 24 available SK servers
  • Wallet-friendly prices 
  • Unblocks streaming content worldwide (Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer) 
  • Built-in kill switch, ad and malware blocker  
  • 24/7 live chat customer service and knowledge centre  
  • Confirmed no-log policy 
  • 45-day money-back guarantee 

While CyberGhost might not offer P2P sharing on its SK servers, it’s still a fantastic, budget-friendly option for anyone traveling to or from South Korea.  

CyberGhost makes it easy to unblock streaming services and South Korean sites alike and has shown great consistency in doing so over the past few years. It should be noted that while the majority of sites aren’t an issue, CyberGhost, like many others, cannot unblock China’s Great Firewall.  

Their apps are easy to set up and perfect for beginners and advanced users and offer a multitude of apps across all systems as we see with NordVPN and ExpressVPN 

You also get a host of extra features including auto ad-blocker, a kill switch, and malware scanners.  

With CyberGhost, you also get the longest money-back guarantee period with 45 days compared to 30 for both other providers.  

If you need a budget, user-friendly VPN and don’t mind the lack of P2P servers available in South Korea then CyberGhost is a perfect solution.  

FAQs

Censorship

Internet censorship in South Korea is nothing new but in recent years various governments have pushed back harder than other nations and still maintains a staggering level of restrictions for its residents. Unrated games, search engines, media sites like YouTube, and even blogs that criticise current or incoming governments are subject to either removal or deletion 
 
And while the restrictions and attitude towards internet censorship aren’t comparable to countries like China or North Korea, they are still unacceptable.  

Thankfully, the correct VPN can help circumnavigate the vast majority of blocks present in place against South Korean residents.  

A word of warning for those wanting to access Korean sites from abroad, oftentimes you will need payment details which are only available in South Korea. For adult material, a national identity number is required and foreigners must submit their passport information to access the same sites.  

Netflix

As a lover of South Korean cinema, it seemed the best place to start was with Netflix. 

Unfortunately, as many of you will know, the selection of films available on the UK version of Netflix is disappointingly small and although there have been some outstanding films on the service in recent times (check out The Wailing if you haven’t already) it doesn’t do what’s available any justice. 

However, if you change your location by using a VPN to a South Korean IP then you’ll be greeted with a monster list of available films and TV shows to surely satisfy any fan.  

Just any VPN won’t do as you’ll need powerful streaming credentials to ensure consistent unblocking of Netflix, great speeds (no one wants to watch anything in less than 4K quality), and excellent security.  

And only a handful of trustworthy VPNs offer all of the above and even less of those offer great South Korean options.   

South Korean VPN Browser Extensions

ExpressVPN has the best Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge extensions and should come as no surprise that it comes out on top for South Korean residents as well as those wishing to access South Korean sites.  

With full support on whichever browser, you choose as well as a fully integrated and dedicated Korean language version, you’ll struggle to find a better option that also includes the myriad of privacy features and excellent speeds, even for a browser extension. 

PUBG

Being a global game, PUBG can be played by anyone across the world.  But, with the PUBG corporation being a subsidiary of the South Korean company Bluehole, there are often more events, better prizes from crates like unique skins and emotes, Donkatsu medals, and much more available to those on SK servers.   

Using a VPN is the easiest way to access these servers from abroad and if you only need to use it for the quick rewards then the VPNs we listed will be fine and each comes with a minimum money-back guarantee of 30 days.  

You’ll want a VPN that handles distance well and has excellent ping management. That’s we’ve only included VPNs that have shown consistency in gaming speeds and connectivity.  

Accessing the South Korean PUBG servers can provide great rewards but also comes with limitations. Bear in mind that you can’t transfer Global IDs on SK servers and there won’t be as many players on these servers compared to the global server list.  

Cabal Mobile

Unlike the PC original, Cabal Mobile is only available in South Korea and on Android devices and while the limitations on PUBG are minimal, you require a VPN to play Cabal Mobile from anywhere outside South Korea.  

As Cabal Mobile is an Android-only game then you need to ensure that the VPN you choose has a great Android app. Each of our options has fantastic apps across all operating systems including Android.  

Is a VPN legal in South Korea?

While the restrictions put in place against its residents are severe, the South Korean government has thankfully not outlawed VPN use. You’re perfectly within your rights to use a VPN whilst in South Korea.  

Can I use a free VPN to get a South Korean IP?

The elephant in the room. While it’s certainly possible to obtain a South Korean IP address via a free VPN, we wouldn’t recommend it. Or, we wouldn’t recommend using an untrustworthy VPN of which there are hundreds should we say. There are a handful of great VPNs that have free versions but these come with limitations. ProtonVPNTunnelBear, and Windscribe are all fantastic options but none offer South Korean servers as part of their free plans.  

If you need to access South Korean content on a budget then your best option is to download one of the paid versions in our recommended list and ask for a refund before you’ve used it for the allotted time available.  

As a side note, if you’ve ever Googled ‘free South Korean VPN’ then you’ll know UrbanVPN is somewhere near the top of the list. Do not download this VPN before you’ve read our review first.