5 Best VPNs for South Korea (100% Secure Servers) in 2020

Rob Harvey Last Updated by Rob Harvey on October 19, 2020

To avoid getting in trouble for your online activities, you need a VPN that protects your privacy — but finding a VPN that works well in South Korea is no easy task. After testing over 40 VPNs, I couldn’t find many that actually work from abroad and mask my identity in South Korea. I even found multiple “VPN experts” recommending VPNs that don’t actually work from South Korea at all and put my privacy at risk!

I’ve shortlisted the 5 best VPNs that actually work in South Korea. They’re proven to keep my data safe while unblocking local and global content. If you’re short on time and want to know which is the best, my top pick is NordVPN. You can even try it free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.

Try NordVPN for free for 30 days!

Quick Guide: Best VPNs for South Korea

  1. NordVPN — #1 VPN for security, unbeatable connection, and streaming speeds for South Korea — plus, you can try it risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. ExpressVPN — Keeps your data secure with its TrustedServer technology, but its premium features come at a slightly higher price than the other VPNs on this list.
  3. Surfshark — One of the only VPNs to offer two-factor identification (2FA) for secure logins, but it only has 1 server in South Korea that may get overcrowded.
  4. CyberGhost — Additional protection to keep you safe on unsecured WiFi networks, but it doesn’t work in countries with heavy censorship like China.
  5. PrivateVPN — Stealth VPN mode is great at bypassing censorship, but a small server network slows your streaming speeds.

5 Best VPNs for South Korea in 2020

1. NordVPN — #1 VPN with Top Notch Security and Consistently Fast Speeds to Flawlessly Stream Your Favorite South Korean Shows

Key Features:

  • 5,500+ global servers and 8 dedicated servers in South Korea
  • Military-grade encryption and a zero-logs policy to keep your personal data secure from prying eyes
  • Watch your K-dramas without being interrupted by malware, ads, and pop-ups blocked by CyberSec technology
  • Access global content on up to 6 devices with just 1 account
  • 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it for yourself before committing

NordVPN uses military-grade encryption and encrypts your data twice — even if hackers could intercept and steal your data, they wouldn’t be able to read it. It also has a strict no-logs policy, so your internet activity won’t be stored. Its automatic kill switch ensures you stay anonymous even if the connection drops — when my connection to server Korea #20 dropped, its kill switch kicked in and disconnected my iPad from the internet to keep my IP address with my location from being revealed.

I was able to easily unblock streaming services based in Korea, including K-dramas like The Heirs when I was abroad. I could watch News 9 Live on TV Chosun on every server in South Korea with absolutely no interruptions. NordVPN’s speeds stayed consistently fast throughout my tests, so I didn’t have any buffering or lag.

Screenshot of News9 playing on TV Chosun while NordVPN is connected to a server in South Korea
You can stay up-to-date with local South Korean news with NordVPN

During my tests, I was impressed that all except 1 of NordVPN’s servers connected ultra-fast (in less than 8 seconds). Even when I connected to a server 8,700km away, my average speed was only 5Mbps slower than usual — which didn’t interrupt my streaming at all.

Screenshots of speed tests while NordVPN is connected to 4 different servers in South Korea
NordVPN gives me consistently fast speeds on its South Korea servers

Accessing global content can sometimes be a challenge — but NordVPN can help you easily unblock streaming websites around the world. When you’re not in South Korea, NordVPN can give you access to local channels like SBS and TVING. It can also connect you to popular streaming sites across the world, like Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. Even though Netflix US is notoriously hard to access from overseas, I was able to connect to a US server from South Korea and watch Pets United easily. I was also able to access Netflix South Korea while abroad without a problem.

Screenshot of Pets United unblocked on Netflix while NordVPN is connected to a server in the US
I streamed geoblocked content on Netflix using a NordVPN server in the US

You don’t need to commit to an annual subscription to get access to all of NordVPN’s features. Instead, you can try NordVPN for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee to get full and secure access to content in South Korea and around the world. You can easily cancel the service after 30 days risk-free. When I tried cancelling for a refund via live chat, the rep first offered me an extended trial. I had to decline their offer then my refund was processed right after. I got the money back in my bank account 5 days later.

NordVPN unblocks: SBS, KBS, Wavve, TVING, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, HBO NOW, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.

NordVPN works on: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, Windows Phone, Raspberry PI, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Chrome, and Firefox.

Try NordVPN for free for 30 days

2. ExpressVPN — Top-Grade Security Features to Safeguard Your Personal Data

Key Features:

  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, including 3 in South Korea
  • Best-in-class encryption and zero-logs policy to protect your data from cybercriminals and monitoring
  • TrustedServer technology ensures your information is never stored on any server for added privacy and security
  • Protect up to 5 of your devices with 1 subscription
  • 30-day money-back guarantee (with a “no questions asked” refund policy)

ExpressVPN is one of the most secure VPNs with its TrustedServer technology that runs on RAM and is deleted with every server reboot. This means your browsing history won’t be accessible by ExpressVPN or any third-parties.

To make sure that ExpressVPN really kept my location data anonymous, I ran a DNS leak test while connected to a server in South Korea. I’m happy to report my connection was secure enough and the test shows I was actually there — you can trust that your true location will remain completely hidden.

Screenshot of a DNS leak test while connected to ExpressVPN
A DNS leak test showed my identity was never revealed while I was connected to ExpressVPN

Even better: if you want to watch shows on KBS or Channel A, ExpressVPN is able to get around some of the toughest streaming service restrictions on Netflix and Hulu. Although I was abroad, I was able to watch shows like Eccentric! Chef Moon on Channel A instantly without waiting for it to load.

Screenshot of Eccentric! Chef Moon with ExpressVPN connected
ExpressVPN’s servers in South Korea let me watch local channels without any interruptions

Although ExpressVPN only has 3 server locations in South Korea, I could connect and start streaming right away during my tests. I experienced a slight connection delay during estimated peak hours (6pm-11pm in South Korea), but nothing more than 45 seconds — every single connection worked each time I tried. I had no interruptions from buffering or lag while watching, and my speeds were fast enough to stream in HD.

To make sure ExpressVPN is right for you, you can try it for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee. I tested the money-back guarantee to watch The King: Eternal Monarch for 30 days. I contacted live chat support on the last day and asked for a refund and the rep immediately processed my request with no questions asked. I got my money back into my PayPal account that same day.

ExpressVPN unblocks: SBS, KBS, Wavve, Kakao TV, TVING, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more.

ExpressVPN works on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Chrome, Firefox, PS4, Xbox One, and Smart TVs.

Try ExpressVPN for free for 30 days

October 2020 Update: ExpressVPN has dropped prices so you can save up to 49%! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more deal information here.

3. Surfshark — Two-Factor Authorization Gives You Super Secure Logins for Accessing South Korean Content

Key Features:

  • 1,700+ global servers including 1 in South Korea
  • AES 256-bit encryption and a zero-logs policy to keep your data safe
  • CleanWeb prevents malware, ads, and pop-ups from ruining your streaming experience
  • Connect an unlimited number of devices to South Korea with a single subscription
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

In a tech-driven country like South Korea, your data is at serious risk from hackers — that’s why I feel much safer using Surfshark’s two-factor identification (2FA) to securely log into my accounts. As one of the only VPNs that offers 2FA, Surfshark uses a third-party authenticator app to generate secure login codes that only you can access. This prevents others from getting into your account even if they steal your password.

Screenshot of Surfshark's two-factor identification screen
With 2FA, your Surfshark account stays secure even if a hacker steals your username and password

I really enjoyed using Surfshark’s CleanWeb feature to stream YouTube ad-free. It also stopped advertisements that use trackers to sell your personal information to advertisers. These advertisers compromise your security by storing your data on unencrypted servers, exposing you to hackers.

Surfshark allows you to protect an unlimited number of devices including Windows PC, Mac, Android, and iOS with a single subscription. However, you should know that Surfshark only has 1 server in South Korea. This can be problematic and cause speeds to drop when the server gets crowded. Still, I was able to quickly stream the show Designated Survivor on Netflix during my tests — but it wasn’t as fast as NordVPN’s speeds.

You can try Surfshark for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee. This means you can protect all of your devices risk-free for just under a month.

Surfshark unblocks: SBS, KBS, Kakao TV, TVING, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

Surfshark works on: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Smart TVs, Xbox, and PlayStation.

Try Surfshark for free for 30 days

4. CyberGhost — Safely Watch Your Favorite Netflix Shows on Public WiFi

Key Features:

  • 6,000+ global servers, including 12 in South Korea
  • Maintain your privacy while connected to South Korea with military-grade encryption and a zero-logs policy
  • Optimized servers for uninterrupted streaming and torrenting
  • Supports up to 7 simultaneous device connections to South Korea
    45-day money-back guarantee

Cyberghost has extra WiFi security features that keep you safe even when you use unsecured public networks, which cybercriminals usually exploit for easy targets. For extra peace of mind, it keeps your information completely private with AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy that doesn’t keep records of your web activity. Additional security features like a built-in ad-blocker help you avoid malicious trackers hidden in pop-ups and ads.

CyberGhost has servers optimized for Netflix US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy, so you can watch titles in HD even from South Korea. Although I experienced just a few seconds of buffering while watching the show Stranger Things on the Netflix US server, there were no other interruptions after the stream started. While CyberGhost doesn’t have any optimized streaming servers in South Korea, it has 12 local servers and I had a fast connection, no matter which one I connected to.

Screenshot of Stranger Things with CyberGhost connected to a New York server
You can use CyberGhost to unblock shows exclusive to the US

A slight downside to CyberGhost is that it’s not always reliable in countries with extremely strict censorship. If you want to bypass China’s Great Firewall, you’ll have to use another VPN like ExpressVPN.

What I really liked about CyberGhost is that you have plenty of time to test its features with the longest money-back guarantee on this list. You can try CyberGhost for free for 45 days and easily get your money back if you’re not satisfied. I tested its refund policy myself and the money was back into my bank account within 8 days.

CyberGhost unblocks: SBS, KBS, Wavve, Kakao TV, TVING, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

CyberGhost works on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick.

Try CyberGhost for free for 45 days

CyberGhost's Latest Deal October 2020: Get an 18-month subscription for the price of the 12-month plan — which means you get 6 months completely free! Prices start at only $2.75/month. See more information on this offer here.

5. PrivateVPN — Stealth VPN Mode Lets You Securely Bypass Online Censorship in South Korea

Screenshot of PrivateVPN vendor user interface on smartphone, tablet, and desktop
Screenshot of PrivateVPN vendor user interface on smartphone, tablet, and desktop

Key Features:

  • 150+ server locations worldwide, including 1 in Seoul
  • AES 256-bit encryption to make sure your privacy is protected
  • Unlimited bandwidth gives enhanced speed for uninterrupted streaming of South Korean shows
  • Protect up to 6 of your devices at the same time
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

PrivateVPN comes with Stealth VPN mode, a special setting designed for bypassing government censorship firewalls. It’s the perfect way to securely access websites that are banned in South Korea without anyone (not even the government) knowing your online activities. After activating stealth mode and connecting to a PrivateVPN server in Las Vegas, I was able to access a gambling website and play online slots — even though gambling is completely banned in South Korea.

Screenshot of a gambling service blocked in South Korea while PrivateVPN's Stealth VPN mode is enabled
I can securely unblock restricted websites and services using PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN mode

In addition to Stealth VPN mode, PrivateVPN has features like military-grade encryption to keep your data hidden from the government, hackers, and internet providers. Whether you’re logging into your South Korean bank account or online shopping at G-market, 256-bit encryption makes sure no one can intercept and access your personal information.

During my tests, I found PrivateVPN’s speeds were slower than other VPNs on this list. However, I could still stream YTN News Live without a problem. If you want to watch movies or play games, NordVPN is a faster choice.

It’s always hard to decide whether to spend your hard-earned cash on a new service — that’s why I appreciate that you can try PrivateVPN’s features completely risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

PrivateVPN unblocks: SBS, KBS, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Kakao TV, Hulu, TVING, and more.

PrivateVPN works on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, ChromeOS, and routers.

Try PrivateVPN for free for 30 days

3 Easy Steps to Get an IP Address in South Korea

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend NordVPN to quickly connect to its servers in South Korea without experiencing any lag.
  2. Connect to a server in South Korea. NordVPN has the most servers in South Korea and thousands around the globe.
  3. Start securely browsing with an IP address in South Korea! Just sign in to your VPN — it’s that simple!

Connect to South Korea with NordVPN

Why You Need a VPN for South Korea

A VPN masks your real IP address, replacing it with one linked to the server you connect to. Using encrypted servers, a VPN hides your identity, location, and other online activities from third-parties (internet providers and governments). No one can see your online activities while you browse websites.

When you connect to a VPN server, your web traffic is sent through an alternate IP address. This makes it impossible for anyone to identify you or track your online activities. If you’re connected to a server in South Korea, websites think you’re located within the country. This means your data remains encrypted from internet providers, government surveillance, and local businesses while using public WiFi. You can also bypass geoblocks to bank online or watch global content regardless of where you are.

Get NordVPN for free for 30 days!

How to Choose the Best VPN for South Korea

If you want to securely access restricted global content from South Korea or keep up to date with your favorite local shows while traveling overseas, choose a VPN that:

  • Includes reliable security features — To prevent cybercriminals, government surveillance (including South Korea’s online censorship), and other unwanted third-parties from getting your information, you need a VPN that safeguards your personal data with top-grade encryption. This also means choosing a VPN that keeps absolutely no logs of your internet activity.
  • Servers in South Korea — The more servers a VPN has in South Korea, the more options for reliable connections. This makes it less likely to slow down your speeds from crowded servers.
  • Unblocks content — Many VPNs show error messages when you try to unblock streaming sites like Netflix. Choose a VPN that has the resources to get around restrictions and gets you access to the global content you want.
  • Provides fast speeds — Connecting to a VPN can sometimes slow your speeds, so make sure your chosen provider has speeds fast enough to stream your favorite local shows without buffering or lag (at least 25Mbps).
  • Money-back guarantee — The best VPNs have a money-back guarantee of at least 30 days. This gives you plenty of time to make sure they actually unblock streaming services and bypass government firewalls on restricted websites.

Unblock South Korean content with NordVPN

FAQs on VPNs for South Korea

🤑 Can I use a free VPN to connect to South Korea?

Technically yes, but I would not recommend it. Some sell your data to third-parties to make money! Free VPNs also usually provide weak security, which can put your privacy at serious risk. Plus, even the best free VPNs have issues connecting to South Korea. This is because bypassing restrictions and having servers that can deliver fast speeds cost a lot of money. Offering a service for free also means no funds to develop top-level performance and security.

If you choose a free VPN, you’ll have to deal with:

  • Activity logs and ads: Targeted ads will become an annoyance as your data is tracked and sold to interested parties.
  • Lags and interruptions: Speeds and bandwidth are limited, which means buffering and slow loading times.
  • Error messages: Free services don’t usually have the resources to unblock popular streaming platforms like Netflix US and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Data caps and slow speeds: Free users will likely have their bandwidth sold to premium users with no warning, resulting in even slower speeds.

To guarantee your data and devices are secure, you should use a premium VPN like NordVPN. All the premium VPNs on this list have a money-back guarantee so you can try out their top-grade features without risk.

Try NordVPN for free for 30 days!

🤓 Which devices work with a VPN in South Korea?

This depends on your VPN. As the top VPN on this list, NordVPN works with the most popular devices. While I was able to connect on my Windows PC and Android, NordVPN also works on:

  • Web browsers: Chrome (including a Chrome browser extension), Firefox, MS Edge, and Safari
  • Operating systems: iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, macOS, Raspberry Pi OS, and Blackberry
  • Smart TVs: Amazon Fire TV and Android Smart TVs
  • Tablets: Amazon Kindle Fire, iPads, and Windows-based tablets
  • Routers: Select Asus, D-Link, Linksys, and Netgear router models

😀 What can I do with a South Korean IP address?

You can use a VPN to:

  • Keep your personal data safe from government monitoring and cybercriminals.
  • Access your online banking from anywhere in the world as some South Korean banks have security features that make it harder to access from abroad.
  • Unblock global shows and movies and avoid the error message on location restricted streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.
  • Watch South Korean content such as TV Chosun and SBS as if you’re physically in South Korea.
  • Keep up to date with local news by accessing programs like YTN News Live wherever you are.
  • Connect to P2P servers that let you download torrents safely and anonymously.

Stay secure with NordVPN

How to Save on Your Subscription (And Connect to South Korea for Cheap)

There are hundreds of coupons on the internet offering discounts on VPNs — but most are expired or don’t actually work. To save you time and money, I’ve searched the web and found the best deals on your subscription:

Try NordVPN for free for 30 days

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Rob Harvey
Rob is a writer with a strong interest in tech and cyber security. He enjoys regular research to keep up to date with all the latest developments in online safety.