Freedom House awarded Thailand a 2021 Internet Freedom Score of 36/100 (0 = Least Free, 100 = Most Free). That low overall score for internet freedom was due, at least partially, to political censorship and arrests of bloggers and other internet users for sharing links of reports that were critical of the Thai government.
What Does the Government Block?
Websites that the government has blocked include those discussing the political situation in the country’s Muslim south – especially sites supporting the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO). The government also blocks news sites from outside of Thailand, as well as various web discussion boards, video-sharing sites, and websites that insult or threaten the royal family.
Thailand does not block any of the major social networks. However, the government actively monitors both social networks and private communication, arresting citizens for making “objectionable” posts on the social network. Thailand does not actively block access to file-sharing sites.
Government officials can instruct internet service providers to retain computer traffic data for up to two years. Providers must otherwise store the data for a period of at least 90 days.
Netflix is available in Thailand, but available content is severely lacking when compared to other countries. Hulu and BBC iPlayer restrict their content to viewers located in their countries of operation.
Happily, Thai internet users can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect their online activities from prying eyes and gain access to content that might normally not be available in their country.
In this article, I’ll provide information about the top seven VPNs that can best protect and enhance your online activities from inside Thailand.
How to Use a VPN From Inside Thailand
Using a VPN inside Thai borders is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5, 6, 7):
- Subscribe to the VPN provider of your choice. (NordVPN is my top choice.)
- Install VPN app(s) on your device(s).
- Sign in to the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located outside of Thailand if you’re looking to access geo-blocked content located outside of the country, or select a server inside Thailand if you’re looking to protect your online activities or if you’re outside of Thailand and wish to access geo-blocked content within Thai borders.
- Enjoy your internet freedom!
Best VPNs for Use in Thailand
The seven VPN providers below are the best VPNs for use from inside Thailand. The Reader’s Digest condensed version is:
- NordVPN: Top Thailand VPN. This is my #1 provider for most usage scenarios, and protection from inside Thailand is no exception. The service provides comprehensive privacy and online security, fast download speeds, and excellent app support. A risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
- Surfshark: Best budget VPN for Thailand. If you’re on a tight budget, I strongly suggest you take a look at Surfshark. The provider’s beer-bottle price belies its champagne-level service. Users will benefit from its strong security and unlimited simultaneous connections policy.
- ExpressVPN: Premium Thailand VPN protection. ExpressVPN’s wide-ranging global server coverage allows you to access content all over the world. Its privacy and security protections are reassuring, and its app support is above average.
- CyberGhost: Excellent VPN option for rookies. This provider is arguably the best VPN option for newbie VPN users. The service offers easy-to-use apps, which provide access to a large global server network that includes streaming- and file-sharing-optimized servers.
- Private Internet Access: Reliable VPN protection. PIA delivers well-protected, fast connections, which offer reliable and protected access to geo-controlled content around the globe.
- PrivateVPN: Small but stealthy VPN. Despite a thinly stretched global server network, this provider delivers comprehensive connection protections, including a “Stealth VPN” feature that disguises your VPN activity as normal browser usage.
- Atlas VPN: Reliable protected internet access. This provider’s global server network could stand improvement, as could its app and browser support. However, the provider delivers reliable access to content in the countries that it serves.
When ranking the providers on this list, I considered the following factors:
- Global server network (bonus for servers in Thailand)
- Security and privacy protections
- Connection speeds
- Level of app support
- Level of customer support
Check out my in-depth look at the criteria I used in the methodology testing section found later in this article.
Here is my list of the seven best VPNs for use inside of Thailand:
NordVPN is my #1 choice for a VPN service to efficiently protect your online security and privacy and to provide access to geo-blocked content when living in or visiting Thailand.
The provider’s global server count of 5,500+ compares quite favorably with its competitors. However, it doesn’t quite measure up in the countries count column, as it has jammed the servers into nearly 60 countries around the globe. (They do have servers in Thailand.)
The provider is moving its server network to a totally owned-and-operated model, which will keep outside contractors away from its customers’ personal info.
NordVPN’s connection protection also compares favorably with its competitors, as it uses military-grade encryption and offers a kill switch, as well as DNS and IPv6 leak prevention. It also offers ad-blocking and malware blocking, which is a definite plus.
Privacy is also industry-standard thanks to a strict no-server-logs-ever policy and a willingness to accept cryptocurrency as a subscription payment. All NordVPN servers are run solely from RAM, never writing any data to a physical hard drive. This means all data is wiped when the servers are rebooted or shut down.
If you enjoy streaming video, playing games online, or sharing large files, you should still be happy with NordVPN’s connection performance, as it provides some of the fastest speeds of any VPN provider I’ve ever tested. No data caps are to be found here.
App support is also acceptable from this provider thanks to apps for Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows devices. The macOS app offers native support for Apple’s M1 and M2 Macs.
Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are available, as is compatibility with numerous router makes and models. Up to six devices can simultaneously connect to the service.
24/7 customer support is available from the provider, featuring around-the-clock live chat, email support, and a searchable support library.
- Servers in Thailand and 58 other countries
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Good app support
- Fast download speeds
- No labeled streaming-optimized servers in app
BEST VPN FOR THAILAND:NordVPN is the best VPN choice for users inside Thailand. The provider delivers reliable online security, top-notch privacy, super-fast connections, and access to geo-blocked content around the globe. A 30-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark is a budget-priced provider that will be attractive to online users on a budget. The provider’s high level of service belies the provider’s low cost.
Currently, the company claims 3,200+ servers in 95+ countries around the globe, including Thailand. That count is nearly double what the provider reported last year. The provider’s servers offer access to 30+ Netflix libraries around the globe.
Government-grade encryption protects the provider’s users’ connections, along with kill switch protection, ad and tracking cookie blocking, and DNS leak protection. It also offers “MultiHop” protection, which routes your connection through two VPN servers.
All Surfshark VPN servers are operated without saving any type of logs. The provider offers payment privacy via a Bitcoin payment option.
Surfshark offers respectable connection speeds, easily providing the bandwidth for HD streaming, fast online gaming, and the sharing and downloading of files.
Surfshark app support consists of native apps for the Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, and Amazon Fire device platforms. Surfshark’s Mac app now offers native M1 and M2 Mac support. Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are available, as is router support. Surfshark allows an unlimited number of devices to connect at once on a single set of login credentials.
Customer support is available around the clock thanks to 24/7 support chat, a contact form, and a support knowledge base.
In addition to comprehensive VPN protection, the provider also offers virus protection, a truly safe search, and alerts if/when your personal information is exposed in a data breach.
- “MultiHop” online protection
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Not many advanced options
BEST FOR BUDGET:Surfshark should prove to be an attractive option for users on a budget. The provider’s superior security and privacy protections, coupled with its unlimited simultaneous connections allowance, make it great value. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN is a great all-around provider, especially when it comes to unblocking international content.
This provider has one of the best global server networks in the business, with over 3,000 servers located in 94+ countries. That includes servers stationed in Thailand. This will give you more than enough access to streaming, gaming, and other types of content all over the globe.
You don’t need to worry about your online activities being exposed thanks to banking-level connection encryption, kill switch protection, and IPv6 and DNS leak prevention. A split-tunneling feature in the provider’s desktop apps allows you to select which apps will use the ExpressVPN-protected tunnel.
Privacy is optimal thanks to a strict no-logs-ever policy on servers, as well as a Bitcoin subscription payment option. The provider’s “TrustedServer” technology runs all server operations only from RAM, writing no data whatsoever to a physical hard drive. This means that all data is securely erased from ExpressVPN servers whenever they are rebooted or shut down.
The provider delivers HD- and 4K-capable connection speeds, and also performs well when online gaming or sharing and downloading large files. No data caps are to be found here.
Native app support is another highlight of this provider’s services thanks to apps for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS (with native Apple Silicon support), Linux, Chromebook, and Windows device platforms. Browser extensions are available for the Chrome, Edge, and Firefox platforms.
Comprehensive router features protect all of your connected devices. The provider recently updated its router firmware to offer an improved user interface, split tunneling, easier location switching, and more.
Up to five devices can connect concurrently on the same account.
Customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live chat, email support, a trouble ticket submission form, and a searchable support database.
- Plenty of servers around the globe, Thailand included
- Reliable access to content around the globe
- Comprehensive privacy and security protections
- Supports all popular device platforms
- More expensive than many comparable providers
- Only five simultaneous connections
WIDE CONTENT ACCESS:ExpressVPN gives you access to all kinds of content thanks to its impressive global server coverage and ability to unblock content. The provider’s comprehensive app support makes it an even better choice. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
First-time VPN users will find CyberGhost to be a particularly attractive option. The provider offers easy-to-use apps that don’t sacrifice performance or protection.
The CyberGhost global server network is made up of over 8,800 servers, located in 90+ counties, including Thailand. The provider offers servers that are optimized for numerous popular streaming services, as well as for file sharing.
CyberGhost may be easy to use, but it doesn’t skimp on protection. The provider encases your connection in military-grade encryption and offers a kill switch, as well as DNS and IPv6 protection, and ad and tracker blocking. The provider’s apps can also force websites to serve up HTTPS versions of their pages if they’re available.
Its privacy protections are also industry-standard thanks to a no-server-logs policy and a Bitcoin private payment option.
CyberGhost provides plenty of download speed, easily handling 4K video streams, the most demanding games, and the downloading of the largest files. No data caps to worry about with this provider.
CyberGhost offers easy-to-use apps for all popular device platforms, including Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows platforms. Chrome and Firefox extensions are also available.
The service also works with numerous router makes and models. Up to seven devices can connect to the service simultaneously.
CyberGhost also offers a number of privacy and security tools, including a password manager, notifications if your email address shows up in a data breach, and a security suite for Windows that includes privacy customizations, virus and malware protection, and more.
24/7 customer support is made up of always-available live chat, email support, a trouble ticket tracking system, and a searchable support knowledge base.
- Servers in 90+ countries, including Thailand
- Fast download speeds
- Easy-to-use apps
- Streaming- and file sharing-optimized servers
- Advanced users might miss some options
BEST OPTION FOR FIRST-TIME VPN USERS:Beginner VPN users will want to investigate CyberGhost’s easy-to-use, yet powerful VPN protection. Streaming- and downloading-optimized servers deliver fast, well-protected connections. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
Well-respected provider Private Internet Access (PIA) provides fast, well-protected access to content around the world.
PIA’s global server network is larger than most, with 3,300+ servers located in 80+ countries. (But, no servers in Thailand.) The provider’s global network provides access to geo-fenced content from most areas of the globe.
Your online travels are kept totally incognito, thanks to PIA’s use of banking-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and kill-switch protection. Blocking for ads, trackers, malware, and malicious websites is also available.
A strict no-server-logs policy means there are no records being kept of your online activities while connected to the provider’s servers. Meanwhile, PIA’s cryptocurrency payment option keeps your payment information undercover, especially if you subscribe using a disposable email address.
While PIA’s download speeds are certainly slower than the other VPNs on this list, it still provides more than enough bandwidth for popular online activities. The provider never ruins your fun by inflicting data caps or bandwidth limitations.
Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux app support is available. Chrome, Opera, and Firefox browser extensions are ready and waiting. PIA is also compatible with multiple routers.
Up to 10 devices can be concurrently connected by a single user.
Support options include live chat, a trouble ticket form, and a searchable support library, which are always available to assist you.
- Native support for popular devices
- Good global server coverage
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- No streaming or downloading-optimized servers
- No servers in Thailand
RELIABLE VPN PROTECTION:The Private Internet Access server network provides fast, safe connections to geo-fenced content in many areas of the world. Comprehensive security and privacy protections protect your online activities from being tracked. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
PrivateVPN is a bit lacking in some categories but makes up for it in others, including a “Stealth VPN” feature that hides your VPN activity.
A global server count of 200+ servers spread thinly around in 63+ countries isn’t exactly comprehensive global server coverage. However, those servers offer optimal protection and performance.
The provider’s connection speeds can handle any of your favorite online activities, including HD video streaming, gaming, and sharing and downloading of large files.
Military-level encryption protects your connections, along with IPv6 and DNS leak prevention, and a proprietary “Stealth VPN” protection option that makes your VPN activity appear to be regular browser activity.
PrivateVPN never tracks your online activities or saves any logs related to your connection. A Bitcoin payment option keeps your payment info undercover.
While PrivateVPN’s native app support is limited to the four most popular device platforms (Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows), the provider also offers router-based features to protect other types of connected devices. Up to six devices can use the service at once.
The provider’s customer support includes an email support feature, an FAQ library, and live chat. PrivateVPN claims its support chat feature is always available. However, I’ve visited the site numerous times when live chat was not available. (The chat balloon will be green when live chat is available).
- Stealth VPN connection protection
- Reliable access to content around the globe
- Allows up to six concurrent connections
- Server numbers definitely lacking
- App support could also stand to be improved
EXTRA SECURITY:PrivateVPN offers reliable and well-hidden access to the world outside of Thailand thanks to its proprietary “Stealth VPN” feature. The provider delivers above-average download speeds via well-protected connections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Atlas VPN provides reliable, undercover access to geo-fenced content in numerous countries around the globe.
While the provider’s global server network coverage (750+ servers in 40+ countries) is certainly not the best in the industry, it offers reliable and protected access to geo-fenced content wherever its servers are located.
The provider’s connections are easily up to providing enough speed for your favorite online activities.
Those well-protected connections are guarded by government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and other protections. Safebrowse and Safebrowse Plus protection protects you against multiple online dangers, as well as pesky ads.
Atlas VPN servers save no types of usage logs, meaning there is no evidence available of any of your online antics. Sadly, a cryptocurrency payment option is not available.
The provider delivers plenty of bandwidth, easily handling any online activities. No data caps or bandwidth throttling to spoil the fun here.
Native app support options include Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV applications. Currently, the provider does not support Linux, browsers, or routers. However, Atlas is developing all three features.
Atlas VPN allows a single user to connect an unlimited number of devices to its servers.
Live support chat is available to paying customers only. However, everyone can access email support, a contact form, and a support library.
- Well-protected, speedy connections
- Dependable access to geo-protected content
- Offers blocking of ads and other online pests
- No browser extensions, router, or native Linux support
- Could use a few more servers
UNLIMITED VPN CONNECTIONS:Atlas VPN allows an unlimited amount of connection protection for popular device platforms. The provider’s slightly-above average global server network provides reliable access to geo-fenced content in the countries where it has servers. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Atlas VPN.
Methodology for assessing VPNs for Thailand
Not just any VPN can provide comprehensive online security and privacy while you’re living in or visiting Thailand. There are several key features to consider when picking a VPN for use in Thailand, and the most important factors to consider are:
- Connection speeds: No matter your location or your favorite online activity, a fast connection improves your online experience. The VPNs on my list provide excellent connection speeds.
- Server network: The larger a provider’s global server network, the better access it provides to content in other regions of the globe. Look for providers with more than one server located in a single country, as that helps ensure that an individual server won’t be hit by too many users at once.
- Value: A VPN is only good value if it provides an excellent level of service for its asking price. Every VPN on my list offers an excellent return on investment.
- Ease of use: A VPN should offer apps that are easy to use and available for most popular device platforms. All of the VPNs I recommend offer easy-to-use apps for the most popular platforms.
- Security and privacy: Banking-level encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection are the minimum in connection protection that you should settle for. Also, a provider should never save logs of your online activities. All of the VPNs I recommend satisfy all of the above requirements.
- Streaming: The VPNs I recommend provide reliable access to most popular streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
While the list above includes a large number of research subjects, my research doesn’t end here, making this just a small part of my overall VPN testing methodology. My extensive, data-driven approach provides a deeper understanding of these VPNs and their services. This allows me to recommend only VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ needs.
Will a Free VPN Work in Thailand?
I’ll admit that you can probably find a free VPN provider that works from inside Thailand. Heck, freebie VPNs seem to be everywhere these days. However, I am fairly certain you won’t be pleased with the free service’s protection or performance.
First of all, a free VPN service is inconvenient. When you attempt to connect to the service, you may find that you’re forced to cool your heels in a virtual waiting room. Once you’re given the okay to connect, you’ll either be automatically connected to a server of the provider’s choice or be faced with a limited number of servers to choose from.
Then, once you’re connected, you may find that the free provider throttles your connection speeds, slowing things down to a crawl. Plus, you may be faced with a daily or monthly data cap. Slow speeds and limited data aren’t exactly the optimum conditions for most online activities.
As for privacy and security protections, you’ll find that free VPNs don’t exactly over-perform in those categories, either.
Even “free” VPNs need to make money to pay the bills, so some no-charge VPN services will track their users’ online travels, then sell that valuable information to advertisers and other interested third parties.
Meanwhile, other sans-cost providers inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions. And those tracking cookies keep tracking you, even if you’re not connected to the VPN’s servers.
UGH! Doesn’t paying a few bucks a month for a quality VPN service sound better than putting up with all of this?
What Can I Do With A VPN?
A VPN enhances and protects all of your online activities. It protects your online activities from prying eyes and opens up access to content around the globe.
VPN providers have the ability to temporarily assign a new IP address to your connected device. This makes the device appear to be connecting from another part of the world. This ability opens access to geo-blocked content you might not normally have access to, such as streaming services, gaming services, and financial services.
A VPN encases your internet connection in an encrypted tunnel of protection, hiding your online activities from third parties, such as the government and your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Encrypted connection protects you from having your connection throttled or blocked simply because you’re engaging in “unapproved” activities, like sharing files via BitTorrent or viewing video from certain streaming services.
That same encryption protects you and your precious personal data when you use an unprotected WiFi hotspot at a hotel, coffee shop, or other public location.
Those hotspots usually lack encryption, leaving your online activities open to observation by other users connected to that same hotspot. Encryption protects your information when you’re shopping online, banking online, or checking your credit card balance.
Thailand VPN FAQs
What Is the Best Free VPN for Thailand?
I would stay away from free VPN providers if I were you. Free VPNs make users wait in a queue, throttle bandwidth, impose data caps and sell users' private data to third parties. None of these things make free VPNs look very attractive. Stick with paid VPNs to avoid these problems.
Does TunnelBear Work in Thailand?
Unfortunately, TunnelBear doesn't offer any servers in Thailand. While the VPN may work while you're in Thailand, the provider doesn't offer a very high level of service. You can get more for your money by choosing a VPN provider on my list.
Do I Need a VPN in Thailand?
The Thai government censors many websites, especially news and political websites. The government also instructs Internet Service Providers to retain user usage data for at least 90 days. With a Freedom on the Net score of just 36, you're going to want a VPN when in Thailand in order to access important websites and keep your activities private.
Thai citizens and visitors to Thailand would do well to investigate the benefits a Virtual Private Network provider like NordVPN can offer.
NordVPN provides optimal online security and excellent privacy protection for a wide variety of connected devices. Its comprehensive server network provides fast, well-protected connections to most of the globe, offering access to content that might normally be blocked. Its customer support agents are available 24/7 to offer aid when you need it.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- What Does the Government Block?
- How to Use a VPN From Inside Thailand
- Best VPNs for Use in Thailand
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- 7. Atlas VPN
- Methodology for assessing VPNs for Thailand
- Will a Free VPN Work in Thailand?
- What Can I Do With A VPN?
- Thailand VPN FAQs
- What Is the Best Free VPN for Thailand?
- Does TunnelBear Work in Thailand?
- Do I Need a VPN in Thailand?