What Is The Best VPN for Hong Kong in 2018?

Hong Kong Flag Icon

NordVPN is my #1 choice for a VPN to keep your Hong Kong-based internet travels undercover.

The provider offers speedy protected connections, top-notch privacy protections, solid customer support and comprehensive global server coverage. All of this adds up to a great way to protect yourself while in Hong Kong.

NordVPN Logo
  • Tops in Privacy Protections
  • Fast Connections
  • Superb Customer Service
  • hashtag
    Good Global Server Coverage

The provider also protects your business and personal information from the prying eyes of hackers when you’re using Hong Kong’s free GovWiFi hotspots around the city.

Internet Freedom in Hong Kong

The internet penetration rate in Hong Kong is just under 85%.

The following internet-freedom-related developments have taken place in Hong Kong in recent years:

  • In a June 2012 poll, 86.9% of 663 journalists surveyed felt that press freedom had deteriorated in the past seven years.
  • The GovWiFi project became part of a strategy to turn Hong Kong into a wireless city, providing internet access to all of the city’s citizens.

While Freedom House has not as yet ranked Hong Kong’s internet freedom, the country’s press freedom status is rated as “Partly Free,” with a freedom score of 42/100 (0 = Most Free, 100 = Least Free).

Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Hong Kong


Provider

Price

Link

1

NordVPN Logo

$6.99

per month

2

Vypr VPN

$5.00

per month

3

PureVPN Logo

$4.95

per month

4

PrivateInternetAccess Logo

$3.33

per month

5

HideMyAss VPN

$6.99

per month

Why Do You Need a VPN in Hong Kong?

Keep in mind that since Hong Kong is a Chinese possession, their online-freedom-friendly approach to internet usage could change at any time.

VPN users will be ready for this if it ever happens and will be able to protect their online activities from the prying eyes of the Chinese government.

1

Outlawed Content

There is very little online censorship in Hong Kong, other than laws criminalizing the distribution of obscene images and unlicensed, copyrighted materials, such as music and movies. 

Hong Kong does not block any websites on the basis of political views, and the government does not require users to have a license to operate a website. 

2

Voice Over IP

Voice over IP (VoIP) service is legal in Hong Kong. 

However, users should keep in mind that VoIP is subject to the same security concerns that any other internet-related service is.

3

Social Media

The major social networks are available in Hong Kong, with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks rising in popularity each year.

4

Torrenting

Hong Kong ISPs must identify customers who use file sharing apps to illegally download copyrighted materials on their networks.

5

Government Surveillance

A 2011 Human Rights Report indicated that there was some monitoring of the internet in Hong Kong, with Democratic activists claiming government authorities were monitoring their emails and internet usage.

Some users also reported that the government deleted some of their online posts, due to concerns that the content posted was too politically sensitive.

6

Streaming Sites

While Netflix is available inside the borders of Hong Kong, users will find that the Netflix content available to Hong Kongers is considerably less than that available to viewers in many other countries.

As of April 2018, Hong Kong’s Netflix content count was 138 TV series and 401 films. Meanwhile, Netflix’s U.S. content library weighed in at 1,326 television shows and 4,339 movies.

Meanwhile, other streaming services, such as Hulu and BBC iPlayer, are only available to viewers in the services’ home countries of the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively.

7

Legality of VPNs

Usage of VPNs in Hong Kong is completely legal, so long as they are not used in the commission of any crimes.

8

Other

Although online gambling is illegal in Hong Kong, the government makes no effort to block offshore betting sites, making it easy for Hong Kong bettors to place an online wager.

How a VPN Protects Your Internet Usage in Hong Kong

Launched in 2008, Hong Kong’s GovWiFi is designed to turn Hong Kong into a connected city, offering free internet access to everyone. There are 2,000 hotspots scattered through 400 locations around Hong Kong to provide the populace with internet access. 

GovWiFi hotspots, as well as the hotspots of restaurants, coffee shops and hotels, are also attractive targets for hackers looking to harvest users’ personal and business-related information.

Hackers can easily monitor connections to unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots to steal information, such as logins to banking, credit card and shopping websites.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) prevents hackers, the government and even Internet Service Providers from gleaning users’ information. It does this by applying a layer of encryption to their internet connection, making it impossible for prying eyes to access.

Furthermore, because of content owners’ (such as movie and record studios’) licensing restrictions, content providers outside of Hong Kong often block access to said content.

A VPN has an IP address “spoofing” ability, which makes it appear that a user’s internet connection is coming from another location, allowing users to access content not normally accessible in their area.

Choosing the Best VPN for Use in Hong Kong

When shopping for the best VPN for use while residing in or visiting Hong Kong, there are a number of important features to carefully consider.

Privacy is of utmost importance when protecting your online usage information, no matter what country you are located in. Connection speed is another thing to keep in the forefront of your brain, as a fast connection makes any online activity more enjoyable. (Okay, maybe not tax filing. But still.)

Wide-ranging global server coverage opens up your access to content that might not normally be available from your locale. Competent customer support comes in handy if you have issues with your VPN connection, and no one wants to spend more than they have to on a VPN subscription. (Except maybe this kid in the front with the dog named “Dollar.” Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Rich.)

In the upcoming sections, I will explain each feature, explain why it’s important and then provide a list of my top 10 VPN services, ranked according to how well they perform in that particular category.

1

Privacy

No matter your location, and no matter your online activities, the less that people know about you and your online activities, the better it is for you.

Always look for a provider that offers comprehensive privacy protections, such as keeping as few usage logs as is possible and offering privacy protection for your subscription payment information.

Always determine the country where a provider is based, and what the country’s data retention requirements are. Make sure you know what type of usage logs a provider retains, and for how long. (Ideally, the provider shouldn’t keep any logs.) Finally, determine if a provider accepts privacy-enhancing payment methods, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift cards.

The VPN providers listed below are sorted in the order of best privacy protections to worst.

2

Connection Speed

No matter the intended use of an internet connection, speed is always an important consideration. The better performance a VPN connection offers, the more you’ll be happy when going about your online activities. No one wants to wait forever to view their favorite movies or listen to their favorite songs.

The VPN providers in the table below are ranked according to the protected speeds they deliver. They are sorted fastest to slowest. I calculated the rankings by first measuring my ISP-provided connection speeds, then connecting to each VPN provider, and then again testing my connection speeds. (I used the Speedtest website to measure the speeds.)

3

Global Server Coverage

A VPN provider that does a good job of covering the globe with their servers offers you an excellent opportunity to open up video, audio or gaming content that might not normally be available from where you live or are visiting.

The screenshot below illustrates what top-notch global server coverage looks like.

VPN Global Server Coverage

The table below includes my top 10 VPN providers, ranked according to how well they cover the globe with their server farms, best coverage down to worst.

4

Other Factors to Consider

Customer Support

While no one wants to deal with customer support, chances are better than even that you’ll need to contact your VPN provider’s support personnel with some sort of connection or billing issue. When that happens, you’ll want to feel secure that your issue can be resolved quickly.

Always look for a VPN provider that offers comprehensive customer support, which includes live support chat, a trouble ticket system and a support library. You’re likely not going to find a provider that offers phone support. Most providers don’t offer that type of support in order to keep expenses as low as possible.

The providers listed below are ranked in order of best level of support to the worst. Rankings were calculated according to the types of support each one offered, and the speed and accuracy of support agent replies.

Price

While I’m almost certain that I have a few “one percenters” in my audience, most of my readers will be considering subscription pricing when they research which VPN provider is the one for them.

When considering price, don’t automatically opt for the lowest-priced provider. First, check their performance in other categories. This way, you’ll make sure the company isn’t cutting corners in important categories, simply to offer a low price.

Also, stay alert for promotions that can greatly reduce the price you’ll pay for services. Many providers regularly offer special pricing deals. You may have to agree to a longer period of service, say two years instead of a one-year commitment, but the savings can be substantial. Always take a moment to visit the VPN providers’ websites to check for sales.

Users on a tight budget have the option of paying monthly for their VPN subscription. However, be advised that this will likely cost you more money over time when compared to an annual (or longer) subscription.

*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)

The Best VPNs to Use in Hong Kong

#1 - NordVPN

NordVPN Site Features

PROS

  • check
    All-Around Privacy Protections
  • check
    Comprehensive Customer Service

CONS

  • 2nd-Highest Price on This List
  • 2nd-Slowest Provider on This List

1

Privacy

Panama is where NordVPN is based, and it benefits from the country’s privacy-friendly lack of data retention requirements. This provider follows a strict “no logs” policy, meaning that there are no records of your online travels. 

Added privacy protection is gained by the provider’s willingness to accept Bitcoin as payment for the subscriptions they offer.

2

Connection Speed

NordVPN doesn’t offer the fastest connection speeds in this roundup by any stretch of the imagination, with speeds measuring in at 90% as fast as my ISP speeds.

That said, due to Hong Kong’s generally high-speed connections, it should still be up to whatever you throw at it.

3

Global Server Coverage

Global server coverage is another category that NordVPN doesn’t rank the highest in, but still provides serviceable numbers.

With 3,500+ servers placed in 61 countries around the globe, the provider can definitely aid you in your quest to unblock streaming and gaming content that might normally be unavailable from Hong Kong.

4

Customer Support

NordVPN is among the top dogs when considering the customer support category, providing live chat, a trouble ticket tracking system and a support library for do-it-yourselfers.

Customer support personnel provided quick and informed responses to my questions, and the support library was a great resource for a quick answer.

5

Price

Although NordVPN is one of the more expensive providers on this list, $5.75 per month (payable at $69.00 per year) is a reasonable asking price for the excellent level of service offered by the provider.

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6

Verdict

NordVPN won the top spot on this list by providing great privacy protection, good connection speeds, top-notch customer support and adequate global server coverage. While the provider’s pricing could be lower, it still offers a good value for the services you receive in return.


#2 - VyprVPN

VyprVPN Dashboard

PROS

  • check
    Super-Duper Connection Speeds
  • check
    Good Price-to-Services Ratio
  • check
    Comprehensive Global Server Coverage

CONS

  • Privacy Protections Almost Totally Absent

1

Privacy

You’ll find that VyprVPN ranks highly in most of the categories I examine in this article. Sadly, privacy protection isn’t one of them. 

Despite a privacy-friendly base of operations in Switzerland, where the government doesn’t require VPNs to keep logs, VyprVPN insists on keeping logs related to at least some of their users’ activities.

It should be noted that the logs, which are kept for up to 30 days, only contain the start and stop times of a customer’s VPN session, their real IP address and their VPN-assigned IP, and the amount of data used during a VPN session. Still, any logs are too many logs.

Payment privacy is also shot here, as Bitcoin or merchant gift card options are missing.

2

Connection Speed

VyprVPN’s connection speeds rank in the middle of the pack for this roundup. While that may not sound particularly enticing, it should be noted that this is a speedy pack of VPN providers, so even though VyprVPN’s 95% of normal connection speed is only good for 3rd place, it’s still quite good.

3

Global Server Coverage

VyprVPN’s 700+ servers spread around 65 countries around the world means the provider should do a pretty fair job of unblocking content from most locations in the free world.

4

Customer Support

This provider’s customer support hits all the right notes, with live support chat, trouble ticket management and an easy-to-use knowledge base.

I always received quick responses to my support questions and was always able to find an answer in the knowledge base when I didn’t feel like dealing with a human.

5

Price

VyprVPN’s going rate is $5.00 per month (payable at a yearly rate of $60.00). That’s a fairly decent price to pay for the type of good service offered by this provider.

VyprVPN offers buyers a 3-day money-back guarantee.

6

Verdict

A reasonable price, excellent customer support and speedy connections all add up to a solid 2nd place finish for VyprVPN. They would have been a real contender for the top spot on this list if they would just offer better privacy protections.


#3 - PureVPN

PureVPN

PROS

  • check
    2nd-Best Pricing on This List
  • check
    Top-Level Customer Support
  • check
    Best Global Server Coverage on This List

CONS

  • Worst Connection Speeds on This List

1

Privacy

PureVPN is located in Hong Kong, which, as I may have mentioned earlier in this article, is quite privacy-friendly, so PureVPN is not required to keep any logs of their customers’ online activities. So, they don’t. 

Again, Hong Kong is a part of China, so things could change fairly quickly. But, for now, everything is copacetic, privacy-wise.

PureVPN also accepts Bitcoin as payment for its VPN services, so your payment information can also be protected.

2

Connection Speed

While PureVPN is admittedly the slowest provider in this roundup, it still measures in at 83% as fast as my unfettered, ISP-provided speeds. Depending on your usual speeds, the provider should still be able to supply enough bandwidth for all but the most demanding of users.

3

Global Server Coverage

750+ servers well spread out between over 140 countries around the world adds up to more content roadblock-busting power than almost any other provider on this list. (Hide My Ass! is the top dog in this category.)

4

Customer Support

PureVPN’s support offerings rank as some of the best on the list. The provider covers you with a trouble ticket support system, live support chat and a support library for self-searchers.

While I almost always received quick replies to my inquiries, service types failed to reply once upon a time, which seems to have been a one-time failure.

5

Price

PureVPN’s $4.91-per-month (payable annually at $59.00) tariff for its services is a reasonable price for the services you receive in return.

However, you might be able to score a better deal by visiting the PureVPN website for current pricing, as the provider almost continually offers special deals that can bring the cost way down.

PureVPN offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.

6

Verdict

Excellent global server coverage, total privacy protections and normally-great customer support all make for a good deal at the regular price PureVPN requests. Faster connection speeds would have helped them rank higher on this list.