What Is The Best VPN for the Philippines in 2018?
NordVPN offers the best protection available for users based in the Philippines who are looking for a Virtual Private Network provider to keep their online activities undercover.
The provider’s speedy connections, comprehensive customer support and privacy protections, as well as above-average global server coverage makes NordVPN an excellent way to both protect your information and access blocked content while you’re in the Philippines.
Internet Freedom in the Philippines
Internet penetration in the Philippines sits at 43.5% of the total population of just over 102 million citizens, giving them a 1.3% share of world internet users.
While internet access in the country improved in 2017, Freedom House says internet freedom declined. Mobile service shutdowns were implemented in major cities, and online information was subject to multiple cyber attacks and instances of content manipulation.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been quoted as saying corrupt journalists should be assassinated. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism had its website hacked following their report on the President’s war on drugs. The “war” had resulted in thousands of assassinations.
During the June 2016 to May 2017 timespan, the following key internet freedom-related developments occurred in the Philippines:
Freedom House gives the Philippines an aggregate 2018 Freedom Score of 28/100 (0 = Least Free, 100 = Most Free).
Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in the Philippines
Why You Need a VPN in the Philippines
Internet users in the Philippines aren’t faced with many restrictions on their internet usage. While the government did give itself increased censorship powers in the 2012 Cybercrime Prevention Act, the country’s Supreme Court struck down some of the more restrictive parts of that law in a 2014 ruling.
In this area, we’ll examine the various uses for an internet connection in the Philippines, what’s allowed in the country and what is blocked, legal concerns you should keep in mind and more. I’ll also explain the ways a VPN can help protect you while you’re engaging in these activities.
Internet censorship in the country is relatively light compared to some other countries in Asia, as there are no government restrictions on accessing the internet or reports that the government monitors online chat rooms or users’ emails.
Website-blocking is limited and includes websites the government considers to contain child pornography. Blocked websites include Pornhub, Redtube and XVideos. Users who attempt to access those sites are met with a message saying the sites have been blocked due to anti-child-pornography laws.
Voice Over IP
Voice over IP (VoIP) service is legal in the Philippines. However, users should keep in mind that as the service uses an internet connection, it faces the same security issues other internet services are faced with.
None of the major social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, Friendster and others are blocked in the Philippines. While Friendster is no longer popular in the United States, the service is still popular in the Philippines and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Social networking is one of the most popular online activities in the Philippines. The activity is so popular there that the country has been called “The Social Networking Capital of the World.”
Use of BitTorrent is legal in the Philippines, as the app can be used to share non-copyrighted files by businesses and individuals.
Use of the technology to share copyrighted materials, such as films, music and other types of content is frowned upon by the government and ISPs in the country. ISPs have been known to block access to websites offering torrent access to copyrighted materials.
Citizens in the Philippines are guaranteed freedom of speech and of the press in the country’s constitution. As a rule, the country respects these rights, despite the president’s belief that journalists should be assasinated.
As I mentioned before, there is no known government monitoring of message boards or emails. However, hacking incidents, such as the previously-mentioned cyber attack against the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, do occur.
There are no restrictions on anonymous communications in the Philippines. The government does not require users to register for internet access.
ISPs are required to collect and preserve data for up to six months if requested. A court order is required to access computer data.
Legality of VPNs
The usage of VPNs by private parties and businesses is allowed in the Philippines.
Online gambling in the Philippines is a bit of an odd duck, as a 2012 court ruling found that citizens of the Philippines are allowed to play freely at any offshore online gambling site. However, any online gambling site based and licensed in the Philippines is barred by law from opening its virtual tables up to Filipinos.
How a VPN Protects Your Internet Usage in the Philippines
Any user who wants to keep their Filipino internet activities protected from the prying eyes of hackers or their ISP will find that the best tool for the job is a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN protects your internet connection by adding a layer of encryption to it, preventing any third party from observing your online travels. This means you can visit websites, stream content and access other services without fear of being tracked or having your personal information stolen.
A VPN also has a great feature that allows users to make it appear that their internet connection is coming from a different location. That little trick will allow you to access content that might normally be blocked from inside the Philippines, such as U.S.-based Netflix content.
How to Choose the Best VPN for the Philippines
Carefully consider the various features offered by VPN providers when you’re deciding on the right one for use in the Philippines. Privacy, customer support, connection speeds and global server coverage are all categories you should research before making a VPN-buying decision.
In this section of the article, I’ll go over each category, explain why the feature is an important consideration, and also share how well each of my top 10 VPN providers performed in each category.
When you’re accessing the internet from a country like the Philippines - which, while not actively monitoring your online activities, can access your ISP’s user logs - privacy is an important consideration.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a VPN provider that is located in a privacy-friendly country, doesn’t keep any type of logs connected to your online activities and accepts privacy-enhancing payment options, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift card balances.
The providers below are ranked in order of the level of privacy protection they offer, best coverage to worst.
Connection speed is one of the major factors affecting your satisfaction during your online travels.
A VPN that doesn’t noticeably slow down your connection speeds will allow you to better enjoy streaming video and audio, online gaming and most any other online activity.
When I test the connection speeds delivered by VPN services, I first test my usual internet speeds, then I connect to each VPN service and test the speed again. I then calculated the speed percentages displayed below by comparing the two connection speed readings.
The providers below are ranked fastest to slowest.
“Kill switch” protection ensures that your online activities won’t be laid bare to outside parties if you lose your connection to your VPN’s servers.
A kill switch automatically disconnects your entire internet connection if your encrypted VPN connection disconnects for any reason.
The providers in the table below are listed alphabetically, with a checkmark or “X” notation indicating whether the provider offers kill switch protection.
Other Factors to Consider
“I have never experienced any issue with any computer or mobile device app or service,” said no one ever.
Technical issues are a fact of life in today’s always-connected world. When you have a technical or billing question for your VPN provider, you want to feel secure that the provider’s customer support department will be there for you.
When researching the customer support options offered by a VPN service, check to make sure they offer live support chat, a trouble ticket management system and a self-service support library. (None of the providers I have listed here offer phone support.)
Providers are ranked according to the types of support offered, as well as the speed and accuracy of their replies to my inquiries, best support to worst.
If you’re reading this while your self-driving vehicle is taking you to your Arnis match, skip this section. However, if you’re on a budget like most of us probably are, continue reading.
While it’s great to take advantage of a low price whenever you can, don’t simply assume the VPN offering the lowest price is offering the best deal. The yin to that yang is, don’t assume higher-priced providers necessarily offer a better level of service.
In addition to the subscription price, also examine the level of service offered in important categories like privacy protection, customer support, connection speed and others.
Many VPN providers offer special deals on a regular basis. These special offers can greatly reduce the price you’ll pay for your VPN subscription. Be advised, though: deals may require you to pay out more money up front, as they require you to commit to an extended subscription period.
Users on a tight budget can opt to pay monthly for their VPN protection. However, this will cost you more money in the long run.