Freedom House awarded Thailand a 2019 Internet Freedom Score of 35/100 (0 = Least Free, 100 = Most Free).
Freedom House’s overall score of 35 (not free) 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.
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 network 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 5 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 broders is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5):
- Subscribe to the VPN provider of your choice. (NordVPN is my top choice.)
- Install VPN app(s) on your device(s).
- Sign into 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 5 VPN providers below are the best VPNs for use from inside of Thailand. The Reader’s Digest condensed version is:
- NordVPN: 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.
- Surfshark: 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: 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: 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.
- PrivateVPN: 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.
When ranking the providers on this list, I considered the following factors:
- Global server network (including servers in Thailand)
- Security and privacy protections
- Connection speeds
- Level of app support
- Level of customer support
Note: This article concentrates on the aspects of using a VPN from inside Thailand to connect to a server outside of Thailand. However, I have only included providers that also have servers stationed inside Thailand, as many Thai users will want to access Thailand-only content when they’re outside of the country.
Here is my list of the 5 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 59 countries around the globe. (They do have servers in Thailand.)
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 subscription payment.
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 the fastest speeds of any VPN provider I’ve ever tested. No data caps 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.
Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available, as is compatibility with numerous router makes and models. Up to 6 devices can simultaneously connect to the service.
24/7 customer support is available from the provider, featuring around-the-clock live support chat, email support and a searchable support library.
- Servers in Thailand and 58 other countries
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Good app support
- Apps aren’t very user-friendly
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 65+ countries around the globe, including Thailand. That count is nearly double what the provider reported last year.
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. Chrome 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.
- “MultiHop” online protection
- Unlimited simultaneous connection allowance
- Not many advanced options available
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 a great value. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN is a great all-around provider, especially so 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.
No 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 delivers HD- and 4K-capable connection speeds, and also performs well when online gaming or sharing and downloading large files. No data caps 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, Linux and Windows device platforms. Browser extensions are available for the Chrome and Firefox platforms.
Comprehensive router features protect all of your connected devices. Up to 5 devices can connect concurrently on the same account.
Customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live support 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 most other VPN services
- Only 5 concurrent connections allowed
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 5,800 servers, located in 89 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.
CyberGhost’s 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 7 devices can connect to the service simultaneously.
24/7 customer support is made up of always-available live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket tracking system and a searchable support knowledge base.
- Servers in 89 countries, including Thailand
- Fast download speeds
- Easy-to-use apps
- Streaming- and file sharing-optimized server options
- Advanced users might prefer more advanced app 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.
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 150+ servers spread thinly around in 60 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 4 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 6 devices can use the service at once.
The provider’s customer support includes an email support feature, an FAQ library and live support 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).
- Reliable access to the outside world
- Stealth VPN connection protection
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Lowest server numbers on this list
- Below-average app support
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.
Won’t a Free VPN Work in Thailand?
I’ll admit that you can probably find a free VPN provider that works from inside of 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 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 in 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 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.
A VPN has 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).
A VPN’s 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 Wi-Fi 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 an Freedom on the Net score of just 35, 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.