Freedom House has ranked Hong Kong’s 2022 freedom status as “Partly Free,” with a freedom score of 43/100 (0 = Most Free, 100 = Least Free). There’s very little online censorship in Hong Kong (for now), other than laws criminalizing the distribution of obscene images and unlicensed, copyrighted materials, such as music and movies. However, since 2020, the HK government has blocked several anti-government or politically sensitive sites.
Most popular sites and services are available in Hong Kong, including social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Netflix and other video streaming services are also available in Hong Kong, although the content offered in the country is different from the content offered in other countries, such as the U.S. Meanwhile, some streaming services, such as Hulu and BBC iPlayer, only grant access to viewers in the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively.
What Can I Do to Preserve Internet Freedom in Hong Kong?
Keep in mind that since Hong Kong is a Chinese possession, their approach to internet freedom could continue to deteriorate.
Virtual Private Network (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, their Internet Service Provider (ISP), and that person in the hoodie using the free WiFi down at the coffee shop.
A VPN also makes it possible to access online content that isn’t normally available to users in Hong Kong. This includes streaming services, gaming servers, financial services, and other websites and services.
In this article, I’ll share information about the top seven VPNs to protect and enhance your online activities while you’re living in or visiting Hong Kong.
How to Use a VPN From Inside Hong Kong
It’s easy to use a VPN to protect and enhance your online activities while you’re in Hong Kong. Simply do the following:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN provider of your choice. (NordVPN is my recommendation.)
- Install the VPN provider’s app(s) on your connected device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located outside of Hong Kong to access content based in other countries, or a server inside of Hong Kong if you simply want to protect your online activities from observation while accessing Hong Kong-based content.
- Connect to your favorite sites and services!
Best VPNs for Use in Hong Kong
The seven VPN providers below have proven to be the best VPNs for use from inside of Hong Kong:
- NordVPN: #1 Hong Kong VPN. This top VPN provider offers the most reliable online security and privacy protections, both inside and outside of Hong Kong. The provider also delivers fast connection speeds, excellent global server coverage, and much more. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Great budget-minded VPN option. Great for budget-minded VPN users who are looking for champagne service on a beer-bottle budget. The provider delivers an above-average level of service for a below-average price.
- ExpressVPN: Costly, but excellent VPN protection. ExpressVPN offers fast and reliable connections that come from servers located all over the world. The provider boasts strong security and privacy protections.
- CyberGhost: Great option for VPN first-timers. This provider is my top choice for first-time VPN users. It offers an array of easy-to-use apps that deliver one-click access to VPN protection. The provider offers servers that are optimized for streaming, file sharing, and more.
- Private Internet Access (PIA): Reliable VPN services. PIA’s well-protected, fast connections offer reliable access to geo-fenced content around the globe.
- PrivateVPN: Small but powerful VPN. While this provider has a small global server network, it delivers comprehensive connection protection. Its “Stealth VPN” feature disguises your VPN activity as normal browser traffic.
- Atlas VPN: Comprehensive protected internet access. This provider’s global server network is certainly not the biggest on this list. However, the provider does deliver reliable access to content in all of the countries that it serves.
When ranking the providers on this list, I considered the following factors:
- Global server network (which includes servers in Hong Kong)
- Security and privacy protections
- Connection speeds
- Multi-platform app support
- Customer support
Note: While this article concentrates on using a VPN from inside Hong Kong, all of the providers have servers stationed inside the country as well, so that you can access Hong Kong-only content when you’re outside of the country.
For more information about the criteria I used, you can have a look at the methodology testing section further down this article.
Here is my list of the seven best VPNs for Hong Kong users:
NordVPN is my top choice for the best VPN service to protect and enhance your Hong Kong-based online activities.
NordVPN currently has 5,500+ servers based in nearly 60 countries around the globe. The provider also has servers based in Hong Kong.
Banking-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection have you protected online, and the provider throws in ad and malware blocking for good measure. The provider’s NordLynx protocol is optimized for better performance and protection.
A no-server-logs-ever policy, along with a cryptocurrency payment option, has the privacy end of things neatly covered. The provider also runs all of its servers only from RAM, never writing any data to a physical hard drive. This means all data is totally erased when the server is rebooted or shut down. Also, NordVPN’s owned-and-operated servers keep outside contractors away from your personal information.
NordVPN offers the fastest speeds available in the VPN industry. Those speeds are easily up to handling HD and 4K video streams, online gaming, and the sharing of large files.
NordVPN’s native app offerings cover all the most popular device platforms, including Android, iOS, macOS (with native M1 Mac support), Windows, Android TV, Amazon Fire, and Linux. Chrome, Edge, and Firefox extensions protect your web browsing.
Extensive router support can help protect all of your connected devices through a single access point. You can connect up to six devices concurrently on a single set of login credentials.
The provider also offers a password manager and encrypted cloud storage.
Customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live chat, email support, and a searchable support library.
- Servers stationed in Hong Kong and roughly 58 other countries
- Lightning-fast connection speeds
- Always-available customer support
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Bargain pricing
- No streaming-enhanced servers listed in app
BEST VPN FOR HONG KONG:NordVPN is my #1 choice for Hong Kong users looking for a reliable way to protect their online activities. In addition to offering comprehensive privacy and security, the provider also offers reliable access to blocked content around the globe. A 30-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark will likely prove to be the most attractive VPN provider on this list for the budget-minded among us. The provider offers excellent service, including an unlimited simultaneous connections allowance, for a low price.
The provider currently has 3,200+ servers in Hong Kong and 90+ other countries. The provider says it offers access to 30+ Netflix libraries around the globe.
All customer internet connections are protected by military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection. Plus, the service can block ads, if that’s how you roll.
A strict no-server-logs policy and a Bitcoin payment option have the privacy end of things well covered.
Surfshark’s connection speeds were the fastest in my testing this time around, which means they can handle any of your favorite online activities. No data caps to worry about here.
App offerings from the provider include Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS (with native Apple Silicon support), and Fire TV apps. Plus, Firefox, Edge, and Chrome browser extensions are available. Router support also makes the scene. There’s no limit to the number of simultaneous connections on a single set of login credentials.
In addition to quality VPN services, Surfshark also offers virus protection, truly safe search, and alerts if and when your information is exposed in a data breach.
Customer support is available any time of day thanks to a searchable support library, a support contact form, and a 24/7 live chat option.
- Large global server network
- Unlimited concurrent connections (that’s fun to say)
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Not many advanced options
BEST FOR BUDGET:Surfshark is my top option for users on a budget. The provider’s unlimited simultaneous connections allowance, top-notch online security, and extensive privacy protections belie its low price. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN offers speedy and reliable connections, as well as solid security, strong privacy protections, and wide global server coverage.
This provider has an extensive global server network made up of over 3,000 servers that are spread among 94+ countries around the world, including Hong Kong.
ExpressVPN covers your online security well thanks to military-level encryption, kill switch protection, and IPv6 and DNS leak prevention. A split tunneling feature allows you to select which apps operate inside or outside of the provider’s encrypted VPN tunnel. The provider’s proprietary Lightway protocol is optimized for performance and protection.
A strict no-server-logs policy, as well as a Bitcoin subscription payment option, protect your privacy. ExpressVPN’s “TrustedServer” technology runs all server operations only from RAM, never writing any data to the hard drive. This ensures that all information is completely wiped upon reboot or shut down.
ExpressVPN also performs well in the connection speeds department, providing super-fast speeds. HD and 4K streaming, gaming, and downloading and sharing large files will not be a problem when using this provider. Plus, no data caps are ever imposed.
Multi-platform support is strong with this one thanks to apps for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS (with native Apple Silicon support), Linux, and Chromebook device platforms. Chrome, Edge, and Firefox extensions are available to protect your browser sessions.
Comprehensive router compatibility keeps all of your connected devices protected. The provider’s recently updated router app offers an improved user interface and better performance.
Five devices can connect at once using the same login info.
Customer support is an around-the-clock proposition here thanks to 24/7 live chat, email support, a trouble ticket system, and a searchable knowledge base.
- Excellent global server coverage, with servers inside Hong Kong
- Fast download speeds
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Comprehensive app support
- More expensive than many comparable providers
- Only five simultaneous connections
WELL-ROUNDED:ExpressVPN performs highly in multiple categories, including security, privacy, connection speed, multi-platform support and server coverage. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost is a great Virtual Private Network option for users who have little to no experience in using a VPN. The provider’s easy-to-use apps offer an excellent way to begin using a VPN.
CyberGhost has an impressive global server network, covering the globe with over 8,000 servers in 90+ countries, Hong Kong included. Many of those servers are optimized for streaming video from various services, while numerous others offer optimized connections for P2P file sharing.
Online security is never a worry when using CyberGhost thanks to government-level encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and ad and tracker blocking. Plus, the provider can force websites to serve up secure versions of their web pages if they’re available.
Privacy is also nothing to fret over, as the provider has a strict no-logs policy and accepts Bitcoin in return for its considerable services.
CyberGhost’s connection speeds are some of the best I’ve seen, providing plenty of bang for the buck. HD and 4K streaming, online gaming, and file sharing are never an issue. Plus, the provider never spoils the fun with data caps.
Remember those easy-to-use apps I mentioned? They’re available for Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows device platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available, as is support for various router makes and models.
Up to seven simultaneous connections can be made using the same username.
The provider offers multiple other security features, including a password manager and its ID Guard feature that notifies users when their email is exposed in a data breach. A Windows Security Suite includes antivirus protection, the ability to manage what data Microsoft gets access to, and a security updater that scans your machine for outdated and vulnerable apps.
24/7 live chat, email support, a trouble ticket tracking system, and a searchable troubleshooting library have your support needs covered any time of day.
- Servers in Hong Kong and 90+ other countries
- Speedy downloads
- Easy-to-use apps for popular device platforms
- Servers optimized for streaming and downloading
- Advanced users might miss some options
BEST FOR FIRST-TIME VPN USERS:CyberGhost is the best option for Hong Kong citizens looking for easy-to-use, yet reliable online protection. This provider’s simple apps and specialized servers make it an optimal choice for users looking for an easy way to protect and enhance their online activities. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) provides fast, well-protected access to content in Hong Kong and around the world.
The PIA global server network is a respectable size, with 3,300+ servers located in 80+ countries. (This includes Hong Kong.) The provider’s wide-ranging global server network provides access to geo-controlled content from most of the world.
Your online travels are kept undercover, as the provider uses banking-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and kill-switch protection. PIA also offers blocking of ads, trackers, malware, and malicious websites.
The provider follows a strict no-server-logs policy, so there are no records kept of your online activities while you’re connected to PIA servers. A cryptocurrency payment option keeps your payment information fully incognito if you subscribe using a tossable email address.
PIA’s connection speeds are certainly slower than other VPNs on this list. However, it still delivers plenty of bandwidth, making it a great choice for popular online activities. No data caps or bandwidth limitations to be found here.
The provider offers native app support for Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux device platforms. Chrome, Opera, and Firefox browser extensions are also available, along with compatibility with multiple routers.
Up to 10 devices can be connected at once by a single user.
Customer support’s always-available options include live chat, a trouble ticket form, and a searchable support library.
- Plenty of support for popular connected devices
- Large global server network
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- No streaming or downloading-optimized servers
- Has issues working in some overly-restrictive countries
RELIABLE VPN PROTECTION FOR HONG KONG:The Private Internet Access server network covers most of the globe, and provides fast, safe connections to geo-protected content. The provider’s comprehensive security and privacy protections keep your online activities undercover. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Private Internet Access.
PrivateVPN comes up short in numerous service categories. However, it makes up for it by providing excellent online protection.
It is a bit lacking in some categories but makes up for it in others, as it offers extra features, like “Stealth VPN,” which hides your VPN traffic by disguising it as normal browser activity.
The provider’s global server coverage is a bit thin, with a count of 200+ servers spread around in 63+ countries (Hong Kong included). However, those servers provide top-notch online security protection and excellent performance.
The provider’s connection speeds aren’t the fastest around, but they can handle popular online activities, including streaming, gaming, and sharing large files.
When connected to PrivateVPN servers, your online activities are kept undercover, thanks to military-level encryption, along with IP and DNS leak prevention, and the aforementioned “Stealth VPN” option that makes your VPN activity appear to be regular browser traffic.
PrivateVPN never tracks your online activities or saves any logs related to your connection. A Bitcoin payment option keeps your payment info undercover.
Its native app support is limited to the four most popular device platforms (Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows). However, the provider also offers router compatibility to protect other connected devices.
Users will find that up to 10 devices can be connected to the VPN’s servers at once.
PrivateVPN’s customer support options include an email support feature, an FAQ library, and live chat. (The chat balloon will be green when live chat is available).
- Reliable access to most of the outside world
- Stealth VPN hides your VPN activity
- Up to 10 concurrent connections
- Server numbers are the lowest I’ve seen
- App support could also stand to be improved
STEALTHY VPN PROTECTION:PrivateVPN offers reliable and well-hidden access to content both inside and outside of Hong Kong, thanks to the provider’s “Stealth VPN” feature. The provider’s above-average download speeds are delivered via well-encrypted connections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
7. Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN delivers fast, well-protected connections that provide reliable access to content in most countries around the globe.
The provider’s global server network coverage (750+ servers in 40+ countries) is not the best in the industry by any stretch of the imagination. However, it provides reliable access to geo-fenced content wherever it has servers.
The provider delivers fast connection speeds, providing plenty of bandwidth for all of your favorite online activities. No bandwidth throttling or data caps to deal with at this provider.
Atlas VPN guards its customer’s connections with government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and other protective measures. The provider’s Safebrowse and Safebrowse Plus protection options keep you protected against multiple online risks, including those pesky ads.
Its servers save no usage logs, meaning no one can trace your online travels. However, keep in mind that the provider does not accept cryptocurrency as payment.
Native app support options from the service include Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV apps. Currently, there is no support for Linux, browsers, or routers. However, Atlas says all three features are in development.
A single user can connect an unlimited number of devices to Atlas VPN servers.
Live chat is available only to paying customers. However, email support, a contact form, and a support library are available to all.
- Fast, well-protected connections
- Dependable access to geo-protected content
- Blocking of ads and other pesky online nasties
- Lacks router, browser, and Linux support
- Global server coverage needs expansion
UNLIMITED PROTECTED CONNECTIONS:Atlas VPN provides excellent and unlimited VPN protection for popular devices. The provider’s better-than-average global server network provides reliable and fast access to geo-limited content in multiple countries. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Atlas VPN.
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Hong Kong
You can’t randomly pick just any VPN to protect your online security and privacy while you’re living in or visiting Hong Kong. You must carefully consider several key features when picking a VPN for use in Hong Kong.
The most important factors to consider are:
- Connection speeds: It doesn’t matter your favorite online activity, a fast connection offers a more enjoyable online experience. The VPNs I include on my lists provide excellent connection speeds.
- Global server network: A large global server network provides access to content in other regions of the globe. Providers with more than a single server located in a country help ensure that an individual server won’t be overloaded by too many users at once.
- Value: A VPN should provide an excellent level of service for its asking price. Every VPN on my list offers excellent value.
- Ease of use: A VPN should offer easy-to-use apps for as many popular device platforms as possible. All of the VPNs I recommend offer efficient apps for popular platforms.
- Security and privacy: Banking-level encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection are the least that you should settle for when considering a VPN’s protective features. Providers should never save user logs recording your online activities. The VPNs I recommend all satisfy the above requirements.
- Streaming: Streaming video is arguably one of the most popular online pastimes today. The VPNs on this list provide reliable access to most popular streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
The list above includes a large number of VPN features. However, this is just a small part of my overall VPN testing methodology. My data-driven approach offers an excellent understanding of VPNs and their services, allowing me to recommend only VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ needs.
Will a Free VPN Work in Hong Kong?
Sure, you could probably find a “free” VPN that works in Hong Kong, but you won’t be happy with the experience.
First, let’s take a look at how inconvenient it is to rely on a freebie VPN. When you attempt to connect to a free VPN’s server network, you may find that you’ll be forced to wait in a queue before being allowed to connect to one of the provider’s “free” VPN servers.
Once you’re given the green light to connect, you’ll likely either find that only a limited number of servers are available, or that you’ll be automatically connected to a server. Either way, you may not be able to connect to a server in the country you’re wanting to.
Once you finally connect, you could find that the “free” provider greatly throttles your connection speeds. Plus, you may have to deal with a daily or monthly data cap. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can butt up against a data cap.
Privacy and security also suck when you’re using a “free” VPN. Notice how I keep putting the word “free” in quotes? That’s because even a “free” VPN provider has to pay its bills, and many “free” VPNs do that by tracking your online activities and then selling that information to advertisers and other interested parties.
Other sans-cost VPNs (aren’t you glad I didn’t say “free” again?) have been known to inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions. (And those tracking cookies still track you even after you’ve disconnected from the VPN provider’s servers.)
What Can I Do With a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network offers more than just encrypted protection for your online activities. It also offers other ways to enhance your online activities.
A VPN can make it appear as if you’re in another location. So, while you and your device may be located in Hong Kong, you can make it appear as if you’re connected to the internet from Paris, France (or nearly anywhere else around the globe).
This opens up access to content from geo-controlled services like streaming services, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more, as well as gaming servers, financial services, and other services and websites.
A VPN’s encrypted connection protection has the ability to prevent your Internet Service Provider from monitoring your online activities. That means your ISP can’t throttle or block your internet connection simply because you’re engaging in “unauthorized” activities, like streaming from certain video services or sharing files via BitTorrent.
That same connection encryption can also keep your online activities undercover when you’re using an unprotected WiFi hotspot at a hotel, coffee shop, or other public location.
Those hotspots usually lack protection, meaning your online activities are left open to observation by unsavory types. This is especially important if you use a hotspot to pay bills, shop online, do your banking, or engage in other sensitive online activities.
Hong Kong VPN FAQs
What Is the Best Free VPN for China?
Free VPNs are never a good idea, but especially in China. Not only do free VPNs throttle your bandwidth, impose data caps and make users wait in a queue, but they also track your activities and sell your information to the highest bidder. You don't want the highest bidder to be the Chinese government or a Chinese internet service provider. Trust me, you want to use a paid VPN instead.
What Is the Fastest VPN for Hong Kong?
NordVPN has some of the fastest connection speeds of any VPN I've ever tested, and I've tested quite a few. Even if your regular HK connection speeds aren't super fast, NordVPN won't slow them down by much.
What is the Best VPN for Netflix Hong Kong?
NordVPN provides some of the best content-unblocking power available from VPNs. Not only can it unblock Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and more, but it can also unblock Netflix in just about any country you use it in. You'll have no problem getting access to Hong Kong's version of Netflix when using NordVPN.
Hong Kong residents and visitors will do well to use a Virtual Private Network to protect and enhance their online activities.
NordVPN offers top-notch online security and privacy for all of your favorite connected devices’ online activities. The provider’s fast connections provide reliable access to geo-blocked content from around the globe, ensuring your entertainment, gaming, and business needs are fulfilled.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- What Can I Do to Preserve Internet Freedom in Hong Kong?
- How to Use a VPN From Inside Hong Kong
- Best VPNs for Use in Hong Kong
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- 7. Atlas VPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Hong Kong
- Will a Free VPN Work in Hong Kong?
- What Can I Do With a VPN?
- Hong Kong VPN FAQs
- What Is the Best Free VPN for China?
- What Is the Fastest VPN for Hong Kong?
- What is the Best VPN for Netflix Hong Kong?