Vietnam is notoriously harsh on internet surveillance, so much so that Reporters without Borders branded it the “Enemy of the Internet.” The ruling party’s fondness for censoring just about anything has grown dangerously invasive in recent years, with bloggers and online activists being sentenced for as long as 14 years in prison for posting dissenting political views on the internet.
Vietnam is also one of Southeast Asia’s main tourist destinations, which becomes worrying when you consider the fact we’ve just mentioned above. Not only are tourists unable to access news sites, human rights websites, or even some blogs, you can face unlimited fines for posting these things through a Vietnamese IP address. Whether you’re living in Vietnam or merely planning to visit, then you should definitely consider investing in a virtual private network (VPN).
VPNs allow you to connect to remote servers and ping your IP address, which makes data trackers think your device is potentially thousands of miles away from where it actually is. Choosing the right server, furthermore, can also allow you to access geo-restricted content censored in Vietnam (in many countries, this means streaming services like BBC iPlayer, but in Vietnam, this means the BBC itself).
Heavily encrypted cyphers are standard with most VPN nowadays, but it can be hard to know what to look for. To help, we’ve created a guide to the best VPN for Vietnam that allows you to, basically, stay out of jail.
In our research, we looked for VPNs with the following qualities:
- strong security and privacy
- combination of price and features
- a location outside the 5/9/14 Eyes surveillance group of countries
No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:
1. NordVPN ‣
- Location: Panama
- Pricing: starts at $3.49/month
- Features: great security, server list, geo-unblocking, support
With so much to account for when protecting your data privacy in Vietnam, there’s no reason why you should leave any stone unturned. That’s why we recommend turning to NordVPN, which is widely heralded as one of the finest options on the market today – and for good reason.
NordVPN uses AES-256-bit encryption, a reliable kill switch, DNS leak protection, and protocols such as Onion over VPN. If that sounds complicated, rest assured that it isn’t: it’s merely a technical way of saying NordVPN users are practically untouchable. In other words, there’s no way the Communist Party of Vietnam will be able to censor anything you say or track you once you’ve said it.
For $3.49 per month (on a three-year payment plan), NordVPN is quite possibly the cheapest way of staying out of jail. Robust security features – aided in no small part by its enormous fleet of servers – are complemented by the ability to unlock geo-restricted content in practically any territory of the world. Curing the homesick blues by catching up on your favorite shows has never been easier.
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at $3.49/month (or $1.99 from affiliates)
- Features: great security, geo-unblocking, torrent support, download speeds
We’ve said it many times during this article, but we’ll say it again: security is an absolute priority when it comes to considering the best VPN for Vietnam. The reason we’re repeating ourselves is that Surfshark VPN, as great as it is, is not worth considering unless you’re a Windows user. It’s simple: Surfshark’s Windows app is the only one that has a kill switch.
If you are a Windows user, however, you’re eligible for Surfshark’s updated encryption cipher – AES-256-GCM, which is much better than its predecessor AES-256-CBC. Furthermore, it’s capable of unlocking just about any geo-restricted streaming service, and its higher-than-average speeds make it great for torrenting, too.
Even better still, it’s registered in the British Virgin Islands, which means it fits our criteria of being free from any pesky data retention laws. As you can probably tell, the lack of cross-platform accessibility is the only real thing holding this VPN back. The price is fantastic even, with Surfshark being available for less than two dollars if you shop around its affiliates.
3. ExpressVPN ‣
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at $8.32/month
- Features: great security, accessibility, geo-unblocking, torrenting
ExpressVPN is another top-quality VPN for all your cybersecurity needs. Of course, we must address the fact that it’s much pricier than NordVPN, but first, we owe it to ExpressVPN to focus on the positives.
First of all, it’s registered in the British Virgin Islands, which makes it free from compliance with any data retention laws. As well as this, it uses the same military-grade encryption cypher as NordVPN, and also runs on its own private DNS server in order to reduce the chance of leaks. As well as this, it can unblock just about any geo-restricted streaming service in a breeze, meaning it’s certainly one of the best VPNs for Vietnam.
Starting at over eight dollars per month, though, is what draws ExpressVPN behind NordVPN. Of course, for that price you’re paying for more than just brand recognition – as the factors we noted above should indicate, you’d be paying for a dependable VPN, safe in the knowledge that you’re running a piece of software with a well-deserved reputation.
Furthermore, though, it would be helpful if ExpressVPN commissioned an independent audit on its no-logs policy as other VPNs have. We’ve never had any reason not to trust it, but it would certainly help this VPN match up to the competition more thoroughly.
4. PrivateVPN ‣
- Location: Sweden
- Pricing: starts at $3.82/month
- Features: great speeds, security, geo-unblocking, torrent support
With so much at stake for your cybersecurity, you’d be forgiven for thinking that PrivateVPN is one to avoid. To be brutally honest, it isn’t the best VPN for Vietnam by far, but even despite its registry in a 14 Eyes country, it’s certainly a great alternative to our top picks.
PrivateVPN prides itself on being a truly speedy VPN, which it accomplishes even without a massive list of servers. The company behind it, Privat Kommunikation Sverige, does this by purchasing internet capacity directly from the IP transit provider – a welcome innovation for sure. This makes it a great VPN for torrenting at the very least.
Not only this, but PrivateVPN is also excellent at unblocking geo-restricted content, including the tougher targets such as BBC iPlayer. Vietnamese web users need never miss out on a great show from home ever again. And at such low prices, it’s an all-round solid VPN for those on a budget.
5. VyprVPN ‣
- Location: Switzerland
- Pricing: starts at $5.00
- Features: great security, server list, geo-unblocking, torrenting, download speeds
VyprVPN is one of the most distinctive VPNs on the market today, and certainly one of the best VPNs for Vietnam. It’s developed by a company called Golden Frog, whose mission statement is to “optimize internet connections to increase performance and speed,” as well as to “enable privacy and provide access to a free and open Internet.”
Users in Vietnam can rejoice as Golden Frog has largely delivered on their promise with their flagship VPN software. As its mid-range price suggests, the ultra-secure VyprVPN combines the best of both worlds: streaming and torrenting.
Its main asset to this end is its custom-made Chameleon protocol. This prevents your ISP throttling your download speeds when you’re using a lot of bandwidth. In other words, it’s great to know that any geo-restricted content you may need is available to you and that you can always count on being able to access it as quickly as your server will let you.
- Location: Seychelles
- Pricing: starts at $10.00/month
- Features: great security, server list, torrenting, download speeds, support
Astrill VPN is another of the more expensive security options, but as with Express, we believe Astrill’s customers are paying for what they get. Indeed, what they’re getting is powerful encryption and the ability to bypass censorship anywhere.
Better yet, Astrill is registered in Seychelles, another country free from data retention laws, ensuring maximum privacy and data security. It’s certainly one of the things we’re looking for in our hunt for the best VPN for Vietnam.
Like we mentioned, one of the biggest challenges faced by web surfers in Vietnam is the rampant censorship imposed by the government. While Astrill isn’t the best at unblocking geo-restricted content, it is great at circumventing censorship of just about any other content you could wish for. This means that, no matter what the government wishes, you’re able to view the content of any political leaning imaginable.
This includes torrenting, which Astrill is specially designed to navigate. Its dedicated P2P VPN server means restrictions on downloading are a thing of the past, and to boot, Astrill’s download speeds are off the charts. If anything happens to go wrong (which it tends not to), there’s a fantastic support team on call for whatever issue you may encounter.
- Location: Canada
- Pricing: starts at $1.00/month
- Features: great security, leak-protection, geo-unblocking, port forwarding, malware and ad blocking
Canadian registry may seem like the total opposite of what you’re looking for in the best VPN for Vietnam – it’s a 5 Eyes country, after all. The reason we’ve included Windscribe VPN here, though, is because it has survived plenty of log requests due to a “lack of relevant data.” That seems secure enough for us.
As well as this, Windscribe uses the Stealth VPN and IKEv2 protocols, which are fantastic security measures for the relatively low starting price. It also goes all out in terms of leak protection, featuring the ability to protect your personal information from DNS, IPv6, and even WebRTC leaks (and barely anything can get past WebRTC leaks).
Beyond its location in Canada, then, the reason Windscribe is so low on our list of the best VPN for Vietnam is that it simply isn’t that fast. While other features such as its ad-blocker, time zone spoofing, and Netflix unlocking save ground, the relatively slower download speeds may put some people off this VPN altogether.
Nonetheless, it’s secure enough for the price it’s asking, and with its rigorous leak protection, you need never worry about Windscribe losing your data to prying eyes.
And the best VPN for Vietnam is…
The one with affordable pricing, a location outside the 5/9/14 Eyes group, and the ability to unlock any geo-restricted content while defending your privacy to the ends of the earth. That’s right – the best VPN for Vietnam is NordVPN. For the requirements of users in Vietnam, there’s simply no better alternative.
There’s certainly no cheaper alternative unless you go shopping around Surfshark’s affiliates. Alas, if you need a VPN for torrenting more than streaming, you should certainly give Astrill VPN a try. And if you’re still not satisfied and need something with the most reliable leak protection on the market, then Windscribe is the way to go.
If you’re in Vietnam, which of these VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great VPN for Vietnam? Let us know in the comments below.