While Singapore’s government promotes digital technologies, they also continue to restrict their use when they’re used for political dissent or causing friction between ethnic or religious communities.
The Media Development Authority (MDA) conducts internet censorship in the country. It currently maintains a list of banned websites. When attempting to access a blocked website, users usually encounter a green box with a message from the MDA, which says, “This website is not available as it violates the laws in Singapore.”
None of the major social networks are currently banned in Singapore. However, users can face fines or even imprisonment for any posts that are deemed racist, abusive or otherwise offensive.
ISPs and social networks are subject to turning over details of users’ accounts when requested by the Singapore government. While previous requests have been for metadata, government agencies can request content data if they feel it’s required for an investigation.
Luckily, there’s a way to protect your internet activities from the prying eyes of the Singapore government: a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN keeps your internet connection safe from monitoring and from attacks by covering your connection in an encrypted tunnel.
A VPN can also make it appear as if you’re connecting from a different location of the world. This feature allows you to access what you may not normally be able to access in your region, such as game servers, content from Netflix and other types of content and services.
In this article, I assess the top 5 best VPNs for use inside of Singapore, as well as the features that are most important to look for in a provider.
How to Use Your VPN in Singapore
To protect your online activities with a VPN while inside Singapore borders, do the following:
- Subscribe to the VPN that is best for your needs. (I recommend ExpressVPN as the overall best VPN for Singapore.)
- Install the provider’s app(s) on your device(s).
- Log into the VPN.
- Select a VPN server and connect to it.
- Enjoy your newfound online anonymity and freedom.
Best VPNs for Singapore
I put my top VPN providers through a series of tests to determine which providers were best to use inside the lion state.
I found that the 5 providers listed below are the best VPNs for Singapore. The TL;DR summary:
- ExpressVPN: This no-logs provider offers easy-to-use apps that provide excellent protection for your internet travels. ExpressVPN does an excellent job of unblocking content from streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu and others.
- NordVPN: This provider offers fast connections, excellent privacy protections, top-notch customer support and great security for your connection – all for a bargain price.
- CyberGhost: This provider offers the fastest connection speeds of any of these providers. CyberGhost provides easy-to-use apps, solid security and impressive content-unblocking power.
- IPVanish: This provider owns and operates all of its server farms, offering an additional layer of protection for your personal data. IPVanish also offers great customer support and allows up to 10 concurrent connections.
- PrivateVPN: Home to fast, well-encrypted connections. While their global server coverage is spread a bit thin, they’ve done a good job of selecting their locations around the globe.
I ranked the top 5 Singapore VPNs using the following criteria:
- Solid security and privacy protections
- Fast connections with unlimited bandwidth and no data caps
- Extensive global network server numbers
- Servers located inside Singapore
- Reliable customer support
- Good native app support
Here’s my top 5 picks for the best VPNs to use in Singapore.
ExpressVPN is my top choice for best VPN for use while on the island of Singapore. The provider delivers well-encrypted connections, excellent global server coverage and plenty of content-unblocking power.
When it comes to privacy, ExpressVPN keeps no logs whatsoever recording your online travels, and it accepts the Bitcoin cryptocurrency as subscription payment.
ExpressVPN’s fast connections are well protected with military-grade encryption, kill switch protection, and IPv6 leak and DNS leak protections. The provider never restricts your online antics with data caps or bandwidth limitations.
ExpressVPN has the globe well covered, with 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries. The provider has servers stationed in Singapore, so you can easily access Singapore-centric content when you’re elsewhere.
While ExpressVPN’s service is uber reliable, it’s reassuring to know that comprehensive customer support is available when you need it. 24/7 live support chat, a trouble ticket system, email support, and a searchable support and troubleshooting library are available.
ExpressVPN’s comprehensive app support includes offerings for the Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chromebook and Amazon Fire device platforms. Your browser sessions are covered thanks to extensions for the Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers.
If you use game consoles, set-top boxes or smart TVs to access your favorite streaming content, the provider’s MediaStreamer DNS service will open up access around the globe. Be advised, however, that MediaStreamer does not encrypt your connection.
While ExpressVPN’s concurrent connections limit is just 3 devices, users can get around the limit by taking advantage of the provider’s comprehensive router support.
- Comprehensive app support
- Fast connection speeds
- Great customer support
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Top-notch global server coverage
- Limits concurrent connections to 3
BEST VPN FOR SINGAPORE:ExpressVPN is the best option for protecting your online activities while in Singapore. Easy-to-use yet customizable apps, excellent connection and privacy protections, and top-notch customer support are the highlights with this provider. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN provides fast connections, top-notch online security and excellent global server coverage, all at a reasonable price.
Privacy isn’t an issue, as the provider follows a strict no-logs policy and accepts Bitcoin, which does a great job of keeping your payment info anonymous.
The provider has you well covered in the security department, as its fast connections are protected by military-grade encryption. It also offers obfuscated servers (which can hide VPN usage and bypass internet restrictions, such as network firewalls) and has the ability to block malware and ads. Data caps and bandwidth limitations are nowhere to be found.
NordVPN’s global server coverage might not be quite as impressive as that of other providers on this list, but with over 5,200 servers in 60 countries, I’d venture to say they’ll likely have your needs well covered. Servers are available on Singapore soil, too.
NordVPN is a super-reliable VPN, but just in case Murphy’s Law does apply, 24/7 support chat, email support and a support library are available to help.
This provider has most of the popular app platforms covered thanks to apps for Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux and Android TV devices. Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are also available.
Users can connect up to 6 devices at once using a single login. If that isn’t sufficient, you can take advantage of the provider’s comprehensive router support.
- 5,200+ servers in 60 countries
- Excellent app and browser support
- Great value for the money
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Apps aren’t beginner-friendly
BUDGET-FRIENDLY SINGAPORE VPN:Experienced users looking for a good deal on a comprehensive VPN service need look no farther. The provider delivers well-protected, above-average connection speeds and optimal customer support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost is an excellent option for VPN newbies or for users looking for the fastest speeds in this roundup.
CyberGhost protects your privacy well with their no-logs-ever policy and their acceptance of Bitcoin.
The provider not only delivers the fastest connections on this list, it does a great job of protecting them, thanks to military-grade encryption, kill switch protection, the ability to block ads and much more. No data caps or bandwidth restrictions are ever imposed on users.
CyberGhost has over 3,600 servers, well stationed in 59 countries around the world. This makes the provider a great choice for users looking for a reliable way to unblock streaming services and gaming servers. P2P traffic is allowed on select servers, and you can use their Singapore servers to “go local” when you’re outside Singapore’s borders.
CyberGhost’s apps are easy to use, and their service is reliable, but if you ever do need assistance, the provider has you covered thanks to a searchable support library, live support chat and a trouble ticket support tracking system.
Desktop and laptop systems are protected thanks to macOS and Windows apps, while mobile devices are also protected with iOS and Android apps. Chrome and Firefox users can take advantage of the provider’s browser extensions.
Although CyberGhost allows a generous 7 simultaneous connections per account, the provider’s excellent router support offers the opportunity to protect all of your connected devices at once.
- Excellent native app support, including Chrome and Firefox extensions
- Excellent privacy and security coverage
- Best connection speeds on this list
- Plenty of servers around the globe
- Apps lack advanced options of other providers’ apps
BEST VPN FOR STREAMING AND GAMING:CyberGhost provides the best connection speeds in this lineup, making it an excellent choice for streamers and gamers, while also providing a valid option for rookie VPN users. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish adds an extra bit of protection for its users not offered by many other VPN providers. It also offers excellent online protection and customer support.
The provider delivers well in the connection security department thanks to its fast, highly-encrypted connections. Kill switch protection, auto-reconnect upon accidental server disconnection, DNS leak protection and more all add up to a secure experience.
Plus, IPVanish connections are never subject to bandwidth limitations or data caps.
The provider keeps no logs connected to your online antics, but it leaves your payment information vulnerable due to its lack of a cryptocurrency payment option.
Now comes time for that added layer of security I hinted at earlier: IPVanish owns and operates all 1,300+ servers it has stationed around the world, including in Singapore. By owning its own servers, it keeps third-party operators away from your info.
Customer support is well-covered at IPVanish thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support and a searchable knowledge base.
Apps are available for the Linux, Chromebook, iOS, Windows, Android, macOS and Amazon Fire platforms. No browser support is available from this provider.
If you have a device not listed above, or if you need more than the provider’s generous 10 simultaneous connections, you can make use of the provider’s router compatibility to keep them all covered.
- Self-owned and -operated server farms
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- P2P file sharing on all servers
- No browser extensions available
- Lacks Bitcoin payment option
EXTRA-SECURE SERVERS:IPVanish adds a layer of additional protection for its users thanks to its self-owned and -operated server farms. It also offers kill switch-protected connections that are well encrypted. Their 7-day money-back guarantee pales in comparison to most providers’ usual 30-day periods.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
PrivateVPN offers the second-fastest connections in the top 5 and does an excellent job of protecting their users’ identities and online activities.
The provider offers complete privacy protection, as it never logs its customers’ online antics and also keeps your payment info anonymous with a Bitcoin payment option.
PrivateVPN’s fast connections are well protected with government-level encryption, kill switch protection, IPv6 leak protection and more. PrivateVPN never imposes data caps or bandwidth restrictions.
The provider lacks a bit in the server count column, with only a little over 150 servers, but they make the most of it, placing them in 60 countries around the world, Singapore included. P2P file sharing is allowed on all of PrivateVPN’s servers.
PrivateVPN’s customer support comes up slightly short compared to others in this lineup, since while it offers live support chat, it isn’t available 24/7. A non-searchable FAQ area and a contact form round out the provider’s support offerings.
App support is limited to macOS, Windows, Android and iOS apps. If you need to protect other devices, or want to protect more than the allowed 6 concurrent devices, you can use PrivateVPN’s router compatibility.
- Impressive connection speeds
- Up to 6 connections at once
- P2P file sharing on all servers
- Server count is lowest on this list
- Customer support is a bit lacking
P2P USERS WELCOME:PrivateVPN provides an excellent option for Singapore-based users looking for raw speed for downloading, streaming and file sharing. Their server count is low, but they strategically spread them out around the globe. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Is a Free VPN a Good Option for Use in Singapore?
Sure, there are plenty of “free” VPN providers available on the net today, but I strongly recommend against ever giving one a try. I’m not saying the experiment would end in tears, but you’re really not going to be happy with the results.
Most “free” VPN providers carry hidden costs, both in privacy and convenience.
If you investigate, you’ll find that quite a few “free” providers make money by tracking their users’ online activities, saving the information and selling it to the highest bidder. Any VPN that’s willing to sell your information isn’t likely to put up much of a fight if the Singaporean government requests access to their logs.
In addition to selling user info, some freebie VPNs are known to inject tracking cookies and advertisements into their users’ web browsing sessions.
If you’re like me, you likely want to get online, do what you need to do and get on with your life. If you use a free VPN, you’re likely to run into some irritating delays along the way.
Some free VPNs will require you to wait in a queue with other users until you’re allowed to connect to a server. Depending on how many users are online and how many are waiting to connect, you could be in for a substantial wait before connecting to a VPN server.
Once you’re allowed to connect, you may find that your server selection is limited. That is, if you’re even allowed to choose which server you can connect to.
Other restrictions imposed by gratis VPN providers can include throttled connections, bandwidth restrictions and monthly data caps on your VPN usage. UGH!
Why Do You Need a VPN in Singapore?
Singapore’s internet freedom remained stable in 2018, with Freedom House assessing it as “partly free.” Several legislative initiatives over the past year have the potential to adversely affect internet freedom in the country.
Singapore’s Public Order and Safety Act drastically restricts online media and freedom of expression during “serious incidents.” Such incidents can include anything from terrorist attacks to peaceful sit-down protests. Punishment for violating a ban can result in up to two years in prison and a fine of SGD 20,000 (USD $15,200).
The Broadcasting Act of 1996 includes regulations requiring internet content providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to filter any content the government deems “undesirable, harmful, or obscene.”
A VPN allows users to keep their online activities safe from prying eyes by applying a layer of encryption to users’ connections. This ensures governments and other restrictive types cannot track a user’s online travels. This is especially helpful in countries like Singapore, where online freedom is restricted.
The government in Singapore blocks at least 100 websites. Website content is also known to be filtered. A VPN allows users to gain access to websites and other content that may normally be blocked in their area.
How to Maximize Your Online Privacy in Singapore
When you’re looking to keep your online activities well undercover, you’ll want to take advantage of every security feature that your VPN provider’s app offers.
If available, turn on kill switch protection, auto-reconnect (which automatically reestablishes your connection to the VPN server if there’s an accidental drop), connection obfuscation (which disguises your VPN usage as normal internet traffic), “scrambling” (another form of connection obfuscation) and any other feature that’s provided to help ensure your online antics go unobserved.
A Note About Using VPN Browser Extensions
Many VPN services you’ll encounter provide extensions for use with the Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser platforms. These extensions allow users to protect their browsing activities with a single click of the mouse.
If you do use a browser extension, be advised that the extension protects only your in-browser activities. All other apps and services running on your device that access the internet will not benefit from the browser’s VPN protection. That includes streaming, messaging, torrenting and any other activity that accesses the internet.
If you’re just using your browser to check your bank balance, pay a few bills or buy something on Amazon, a VPN browser extension is the way to go.
However, if you plan on being online for a while and will be using multiple internet-connected apps, then make sure you use the VPN’s native app to protect all of your online-related activities.
What Else Can I Use a VPN For?
While a VPN is certainly the best tool available to protect your online activities from being observed and tracked while in Singapore, the service’s talents don’t end there.
A VPN also opens access to content that may not normally be available in your area. This can include websites and other services that might be blocked by the government or the content provider itself, such as streaming services, gambling sites and more.
It can also allow you to watch American Netflix content in Singapore.
Some ISPs will throttle a user’s internet connection if they access sites or services that aren’t on the ISP’s list of “approved” sites. A VPN can help prevent connection throttling.
A VPN is also an excellent way to protect your online activities from the prying eyes of bad guys, like hackers, who are looking to steal your personal information.
Internet users that either reside in or are visiting Singapore are advised to use a Virtual Private Network to protect and enhance their online travels while in the lion state.
A VPN – like my #1 choice, ExpressVPN – is the best tool available for keeping your online activities undercover. A VPN keeps your browsing sessions hidden and also protects your other online activities, including file sharing, streaming and more.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.