Best VPN for Hong Kong: Keeping Free in 2021

The Chinese government has tightened the choke hold on the liberties and freedoms that Hong Kong enjoyed for years. As online freedom dwindles, the use of VPNs has become paramount for residents and foreign expatriates. We’ve prepared this guide to help you pick the best Hong Kong VPN, so keep reading.

Samson Max
By Samson Max (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-07-28T10:21:17+00:00 Facts checked by Elisabeth Ivey

Until recently, Hong Kong has enjoyed a high level of autonomy and freedom, thanks to the region’s Basic Law and “one country, two systems” principle. Lately, though, the Middle Kingdom has intensified efforts to disintegrate Hong Kong’s internet freedom. China’s Great Firewall is briskly descending on the semi-autonomous region, making it more important than ever to use the best Hong Kong VPN. 

Key Takeaways:

  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Hong Kong because it offers stellar security, Hong Kong servers and lightning-fast speeds. 
  • NordVPN is also an excellent option for journalists, bloggers and activists who need to share and receive information without fear of being intercepted. 
  • CyberGhost and Surfshark are decent solutions if you need reliable yet affordable options.
  • Windscribe is undoubtedly the best free VPN for Hong Kong. 

A VPN, or virtual private network, is essential for Hongkongers and visitors alike for various reasons. It helps reclaim the online freedom that the controversial national security law is quickly eroding. More than that, a good VPN hides your identity and digital footprints, dramatically reducing the chances of being tracked or monitored by government agencies.

ExpressVPN is our top VPN choice, but it’s not the only credible service on the market. In this article, you’ll find an option to meet your needs, whether you’re looking for a pocket-friendly service or want a free yet secure VPN for Hong Kong. So read on to discover the nitty-gritty details of the top five best VPNs for Hong Kong to make an informed buying decision.

  • 07/29/2021

    Cloudwards performed a fresh evaluation of the best VPNs for Hong Kong and added new information about the increasing online restrictions from the Chinese government.

  • Yes, for now VPNs are legal in Hong Kong, but VPNs are banned in China. So considering the growing influence of the Chinese government in this region, it’s hard to predict the future.

  • Hop over to your preferred VPN service’s main website, like ExpressVPN.com. Subscribe to an affordable plan and download the VPN app. Install the VPN app on your device, and you’re good to go.

  • Most of the premium VPNs work flawlessly in Hong Kong. However, if you’re after a top-shelf VPN provider, we recommend getting started with ExpressVPN.

  • No. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a country with some of the best user data retention laws. However, ExpressVPN has servers in the region.

The Top VPNS for Hong Kong 

  1. 1
    • : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
    • : 5
  2. 2
    • : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
    • : 6
  3. 3
    • : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
    • : Unlimited
  4. 4
    • : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
    • : 7
  5. 5
    • : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Paymentwall
    • : Unlimited

What Makes the Best Hong Kong VPN?

As you shop around for a VPN for Hong Kong, keep in mind the changing online landscape. You still need to consider overall VPN capability in relation to its price, but the top priority should be VPN features to defeat censorship and surveillance. We’ll get into the weeds later, but first, here’s a summary of our best VPN for Hong Kong list.

  1. ExpressVPN — Blazing-fast VPN with stellar security and privacy
  2. NordVPN — Privacy juggernaut with the highest server count in Hong Kong
  3. Surfshark — Affordable VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections
  4. CyberGhost — Wallet-friendly VPN with an extensive global server network
  5. Windscribe — Best free VPN with servers in Hong Kong

Picking a VPN with robust security and privacy features should be a no-brainer. At the very least, the VPN should offer a strict no-logs policy, robust protocols and AES 256-bit encryption. A kill switch is also indispensable, as that will cut your internet when the VPN connection drops, preventing accidental data leaks.  

Besides that, the website censorship trend is gathering steam. Authorities have already blocked one website and promised to reject any domain that incites “illegal acts” under the Beijing-imposed law. More blocks could follow, so it’s prudent to arm yourself with a VPN that has servers worldwide, just in case the government censors your favorite website.

Hong Kong enjoys the world’s second-fastest internet, and your VPN of choice shouldn’t ruin that experience. It should add little-to-no slowdowns to your connection and even permit unlimited bandwidth, so you can make the most of the fast internet as you watch movies, download torrents and play games online.   

The 5 Best VPNs for Hong Kong

The evolving surveillance and censorship in Hong Kong is seen as an extension of China’s Great Firewall. For this reason, the best VPN for Hong Kong should pack enough power to get around its surveillance tools. Our list includes some of the best VPNs for China, and we’ll shed light on each VPN’s strengths (and weaknesses, if any), starting with ExpressVPN. 

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn app
ExpressVPN is superfast and has unparalleled ability to unblock geoblocked websites and content. 

More details about ExpressVPN:

Pros:

  • Extremely fast speeds
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Strong security & privacy
  • Unrivaled ability to unblock streaming services
  • Servers in Hong Kong

Cons:

  • Pricey

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Hong Kong. It abides by a strict no-logs policy and is based in the privacy-haven British Virgin Islands, a winning combination if you’re concerned about privacy. Plus, with its local servers, you can get a Hong Kong IP address.

Besides the standard security features, it offers DNS leak protection and a kill switch to maintain complete anonymity online. Even better, its servers erase data after every reboot to snuff out your digital footprints.

If you love streaming or any other speed-intensive activity, you’ll be glad to know ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN provider. That doesn’t mean it lacks in security, though, as it uses the OpenVPN protocol over a TCP connection. That’s a mouthful, we know. Simply put, it means that your connection is guaranteed to get through to your target, with no one able to snoop on you.

expressvpn HK
ExpressVPN uses top-notch security and privacy features to keep you safe online, making it difficult even for deep packet inspection technology to track or monitor you. 

ExpressVPN Pricing

ExpressVPN might be the most expensive VPN we’ve reviewed, but it offers the best value compared to other VPNs on the market. Each plan allows five simultaneous connections and has a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you change your mind. Read our ExpressVPN review to learn more. 

Overall, ExpressVPN packs quite a punch on all fronts that matter: security, privacy and connection speeds. It allows you to surf the web risk-free and unblock geo-restricted content with ease. Although it’s pricey, the comprehensive suite of features and excellent speeds justify the high price tag. 

2. NordVPN

nordvpn app
NordVPN is a top-class VPN provider that ensures your digital tracks are as secure and private as it gets. 

More details about NordVPN:

  • Pricing: $3.67 per month, plus three months free on the two-year plan
  • Provider website: www.nordvpn.com 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Over 5,200 servers (70+ in Hong Kong)
  • Onion Over VPN & Double VPN connections
  • Strict no-logs policy 
  • Uses NordLynx protocol

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speeds between locations 

Our second pick, NordVPN, is no slouch when it comes to privacy but just barely misses out on the first spot because of its more inconsistent speeds. However, it gives ExpressVPN a run for its money on multiple fronts, as you’ll read in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN rundown.

It has over 5,200 servers, including 70-plus local servers that make it easy to get a Hong Kong IP address and find an optimal server for excellent performance. 

NordVPN ranks as one of the most secure VPN providers. Its Double VPN feature routes your internet traffic through two VPN servers to make sure that your anonymity is never compromised. Plus, you can even get a dedicated IP address that’s unique to you alone so that no one can tell that you’re using a VPN server.

nordvpn for HK 
Political activists and journalists would benefit from NordVPN’s secure servers when sharing sensitive information online. 

NordVPN Pricing

It’s a pocket-friendly service that costs $3.67 per month on the two-year plan. There’s a seven-day free trial on Android mobile devices and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to take it for a spin. Read our NordVPN review to learn more.

NordVPN has proven itself as a premium VPN provider in the crowded VPN market. Even though inconsistent speeds take away a few points from its overall score, it redeems itself with stellar online security. Plus, NordVPN’s strict no-logs privacy policy and the fact that it’s based in privacy-friendly Panama make it ideal for those concerned about digital privacy.

3. Surfshark

surfshark app
Surfshark provides great features to defeat surveillance and geo-restricted streaming content at an affordable price. 

More details about Surfshark:

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable on extended plans
  • MultiHop, NoBorders mode & camouflage mode
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Servers in Hong Kong

Cons:

  • Middling connection speeds

Another great Hong Kong VPN is Surfshark, a relatively new VPN that already has over 3,200 servers across 65 countries. It’s nice to see Surfshark offers local servers, too, as that means you can stream your favorite Hong Kong shows on ViuTV and RTHK when you travel abroad.

Surfshark brings stellar security and privacy to the table. Beyond all the commonplace features, it offers MultiHop (its version of a Double VPN) and NoBorders mode. The latter hides the fact that you’re using a VPN to get around VPN restrictions. 

surfshark for HK
Surfshark allows you to avoid Chinese government tracking. 

Surfshark Pricing

On the monthly rate, Surfshark is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. However, its extended plans are wallet-friendly, especially the two-year plan, which costs $2.49 per month. Each plan offers unlimited simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our Surfshark review to learn more.

Surfshark provides handy tools such as MultiHop, NoBorders mode, a kill switch and has a private DNS on each VPN server to help you evade oppressive regimes. Although its upload speeds aren’t the best, it offers excellent download speeds and unlimited bandwidth, two qualities you need for a great streaming experience. It’s one of the best value VPN options out there.

4. CyberGhost

cyberghost app
We like how easy it is to use CyberGhost on desktop and mobile apps.

More details about CyberGhost:

  • Pricing: $2.25 per month, plus three months free on the three-year plan
  • Provider website: www.cyberghostvpn.com 

Pros:

  • Over 7,000 servers, (60 in Hong Kong)
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Easy to use
  • P2P, streaming & NoSpy servers
  • Solid security & privacy

Cons:

  • Slow over long distances
  • Inconsistent streaming access

We like CyberGhost because it’s easy to use, affordable and is easy to use on desktop and mobile apps. With over 7,000 servers available, you can find one geographically close to you for better performance. Plus, there are 60 local servers, enabling you to access local content with a Hong Kong IP address when you cross the border to China or travel abroad.

If you’re concerned about online privacy, the NoSpy servers will probably be your go-to connection gateway. The servers thwart third-party meddling and government surveillance and are based in Romania outside of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes.

cyberghost for HK
CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for avoiding repressive governments, thanks to its advanced security features like the NoSpy

CyberGhost Pricing

CyberGhost is the cheapest option of the paid VPN providers on our list. It costs $2.25 per month on the three-year plan and comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on longer plans; the refund period is 14 days on the monthly plan. Read our CyberGhost review to learn more. 

If you’re looking for a cheap yet reliable VPN for Hong Kong, CyberGhost ticks every box. The service didn’t make it onto our list of the most secure VPNs, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fly-by-night on this front. On the contrary, it comes packed with tools like an automatic kill switch, NoSpy servers, DNS leak protection and strong encryption to help you traverse the Hong Kong internet landscape worry-free.   

5. Windscribe

windscribe app
Windscribe’s free version allows you to connect to a server in Hong Kong to access content on local platforms.  

More details about Windscribe:

Pros:

  • Generous free plan
  • Unique build-a-plan option
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Supports perfect forward secrecy

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speeds
  • Money-back guarantee limited to three days

Windscribe is the best free VPN for Hong Kong. While the free price tag will lure many, we must emphasize how secure the VPN is because, in most cases, free VPNs don’t cut it when it comes to accessing the internet in repressive regimes. However, Windscribe defies all odds, offering a suite of security tools like a zero-logs policy and strong encryption to defeat censorship.

Beyond essential features, it utilizes an encapsulated connection, adding an additional layer of protection to the already encrypted web traffic. Furthermore, there are servers in 110 cities, including two locations in Hong Kong. All that means you can get a unique Hong Kong IP address without paying a dime to access local content when you travel to China or abroad. 

windscribe for HK
Although it does show some minor privacy issues, Windscribe is one of the best free VPNs to unblock censored content. 

Windscribe Pricing & Free Plan

Windscribe’s free plan is a decent option when you’re on a tight budget, offering 10GB of data transfers per month. Beyond the free plan, you get an option to build your plan for $1 per location per month. Moreover, a paid plan costs $4.08 per month on a one-year plan and comes with a three-day money-back guarantee. 

We like Windscribe because, despite being free, it doesn’t engage in unethical activities like monetizing your personal information. The vendor has built an unblemished reputation, and you should have no qualms using it to access geo-restricted content in Hong Kong. That said, its speeds could be better (as you can read in our Windscribe review). 

Build a Plan
  • Per “Pro” server location
  • : 10 GB
  • : Unlimited

Why You Need a Hong Kong VPN

When Britain gave Hong Kong over to China, it did so under a unique agreement with the region’s liberty in mind. The agreement, consisting of a mini-constitution (Basic Law) and the “one country, two systems” principle, has always ensured Hongkongers enjoy freedoms that no other part of mainland China can.

Freedom of speech and assembly is a good example. It is this freedom that local residents exercised during the protest over the extradition law in 2019. The protest later turned into a violent anti-China and pro-democracy movement, prompting the Chinese government to enact the national security law (NSL).  

The NSL has various clauses that infringe on the local civil liberties. Since it came into effect, Hong Kong is rapidly growing more similar to other Chinese regions. For example, after one month, the Chinese government amended the law to insert a clause that gave local police the power to force internet service providers to share user information. 

Defeating Censorship and Surveillance in Hong Kong

So far, dozens of opposition figures have suffered the wrath of the new law. As mentioned earlier, censorship is gathering momentum, as authorities seek to crack down on platforms and websites they deem disloyal. This begs the question: Is Hong Kong treading the Chinese digital restriction path? Only time will tell, but early signs show the Great Firewall is extending into Hong Kong.

As this happens, the internet will become a less free space. The government could sensor more websites, and surveillance could soon be Hong Kong’s modus operandi. So to be on the safe side, you should use the best VPN service for Hong Kong to reclaim online freedom and stay out of the collision course with the authorities. 

A VPN encrypts your traffic, hiding it away from hackers, agencies and other malicious snoopers. Doing so prevents government surveillance and protects you against online threats that have become rampant in the country. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if Hong Kong eventually enacts a VPN ban, like China has.

Can I Use a Free Hong Kong VPN?

Generally, we don’t vouch for free VPN services for the simple reason that free VPNs tend to be unreliable. Some free VPNs entice you with the free price tag, but once you’re in, they gather your information and sell it online

That said, there are a few exceptions that you can use in Hong Kong. For example, Windscribe offers a generous free plan that includes a free Hong Kong server. However, the free plan does come with a 10GB data cap and small server network. If the limitation is something you can gladly put up with, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use Windscribe.  

Final Thoughts

A few years ago, internet restrictions and surveillance weren’t widespread in Hong Kong. However, the enactment of the national security law marked the end of the region’s civil liberties. You ought to know that the new law applies to Hong Kong internet users and foreigners seen as breaching it, regardless of where they live in the world.

For this reason, we recommend using a VPN every time you enter the digital space in Hong Kong. ExpressVPN is a good starting point because it has powerful tools to defeat censorship and surveillance. You can get a firsthand feel for ExpressVPN features with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Which VPN software are you currently using in Hong Kong? The last time you visited Hong Kong, did you use a VPN? Which one? We’d like to hear about your experience in the comments section below. Thank you for reading.