With great food, a rich culture and glorious beaches, Vietnam is a fantastic destination for travelers looking to explore Asia. It is also popular with digital nomads looking to enjoy a good lifestyle on a limited budget. Travelers and nomads looking to visit the country may wonder how easy it is to access the web there and what the best VPN for Vietnam is.
There are some problems for people accessing the web from Vietnam, chief among them being the so-called Bamboo Firewall. The ruling Communist Party isn’t keen on being criticized or having its various human rights abuses discussed. Internet filtering is pervasive and many sites are blocked. Most media and news outlets in the country are state controlled, and the government likes to keep a close eye on what its citizens are told.
The Vietnamese government is somewhat authoritarian, so Vietnam is not a country you want to get on the wrong side of the law in. It has a history of jailing critics and free speech advocates. Freelance journalists are often arrested and sometimes beaten. That treatment may not extend to foreign journalists, but they risk having their visa extensions refused, if they don’t toe the line.
Ranked 175 out of 180 countries for press freedom, and considered an “Internet Enemy” by Reporters Without Borders, Vietnam is not a safe place for journalists to work. A VPN with strong security and privacy features can offer some protection from government surveillance. A killswitch to shut down your connection if the VPN fails is important for users in Vietnam.
A VPN will also help you access overseas content. We usually think of services like Netflix and Hulu here, but in Vietnam’s case, simply being able to read the news is a strong reason to use one of our best VPN picks. Twitter, WordPress, Blogger and, occasionally, Facebook are all blocked, too, so you’ll need a VPN to access those platforms.
Best VPN for Vietnam 2018
What Makes a VPN the Best for Vietnam?
You’re going to want to use a VPN that does well on security and privacy in Vietnam to keep you safe and avoid the Bamboo Firewall. You will also want a service with a strong Asian network.
Fast speeds are essential for streaming and downloading, which can be a big issue in Vietnam. Visitors might be able to survive without Netflix for the duration of their trip, but expats will crave access to their favorite TV shows before long, so a fast VPN is essential.
Server availability in Vietnam is going to be an obvious plus and is preferential to connecting to somewhere outside the country.
We picked ExpressVPN as our overall favorite for the country, finding its network coverage, along with strong security and privacy features, a good match for our criteria. It isn’t the only option, though. Take a look at our picks and see what you think.
Best VPN for Vietnam: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a great choice wherever you are in the world and came out on top in our overall best VPN providers of 2018 roundup. It has a vast network of over 2,000 servers and impressive speeds in Asia. In addition to having a fantastic server network, it has server coverage in Vietnam, which is a big plus.
That fast server network comes into its own when streaming. ExpressVPN tops our lists for both Netflix and iPlayer. Connecting to streaming services can be challenging if you’re in Vietnam, but ExpressVPN will give you a decent shot at it.
It’s easy to use and has a strong feature set, including built-in speed tests, a diagnostics tool, an IP address checker and a DNS leak checker, so you can make sure you’re as safe as possible from government surveillance.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN has top-notch security and privacy, with 256-bit AES encryption and the OpenVPN protocol used by default. You can set 4,096-bit security to make tracking you even harder. ExpressVPN, like all our favorite services, keep no logs and passed all our leak tests.
It has a killswitch and supports split tunneling, should you wish to route traffic for some applications through a regular connection. It supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and, unusually, BlackBerry.
As detailed in our ExpressVPN review, customer service includes a knowledgebase, live chat and email support. The first two are excellent, though the latter is slow.
The main downside of ExpressVPN is its price. Those watching the purse strings might find $99.95 per year too high. On the other hand, there is a 30-day, money-back guarantee, if you want to give it a try. You’re also limited to using three devices which seems stingy, given the cost.
Overall, ExpressVPN is a fine choice for those living or traveling in Vietnam. It has a top-quality network of fast servers, and it’s secure and strong on privacy. Despite its price, it tops our list.
- Large network with servers in Vietnam
- Excellent for streaming
- Strong security & privacy
- Three devices only
With over 4,000 servers, NordVPN has one of the best networks out there and, unlike many VPNs, it has a couple of servers in Vietnam. That makes NordVPN another good choice, if you need to get your Netflix hit. It has always done well at connecting to services around the world in our testing and is as good a choice as any for those wanting to stream.
NordVPN users also have access to its “Specialty Servers,” which are tuned for specific tasks such as gaming, torrenting or privacy, depending on your needs. You’re well-served here, if you want a VPN that can be adapted to what you use it for. It comes with the free anti-malware software “CyberSec,” which gives you another layer of protection from cybercrime.
It has a no-logs policy, so the overly inquisitive Vietnamese government can’t get your surfing history from your VPN provider. It also has a killswitch, which you’ll want in Vietnam, but it doesn’t offer split tunneling.
For added security, it uses AES-256 encryption with the OpenVPN protocol, so it’s well-protected against state snooping. With its “double-hop” servers available, too, no one is going to be cracking your connection any time soon.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
As our NordVPN review explains, the service is easy to use and has clients available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. The interface is clear and selecting a server from your country is straightforward. It is trickier to search for a specific server in a country, but with just two to choose from in Vietnam, that isn’t a big problem.
At $99 for three years, NordVPN is good value, particularly as it is such a high quality service. That includes six connected devices at once, and there is a 30-day guarantee, if you decide it isn’t the service for you.
Overall, NordVPN is a service we rate highly for general use and things such as streaming and torrenting. That, combined with its strong security and privacy, makes it a great option for users in Vietnam.
- Specialty servers are great for specific tasks
- Easy to use
- No split tunneling
AirVPN make no compromises when it comes to privacy or security. In a country like Vietnam, you need to be careful what you say and what you read, so a VPN that makes you hard to track is perfect.
AirVPN has a number of smart features to keep you safe and secure. It keeps no logs of any kind and allocates you a shared IP address that won’t allow you to be individually identified. It only allows you to connect via OpenVPN, as it doesn’t consider anything else secure enough.
You can pay in Bitcoin and connect via Tor, if you are really serious about maintaining your anonymity, so AirVPN is a great choice if you’re a journalist.
The 256-bit AES-CBC encryption and 4,096-bit RSA key encryption are top quality and will give anyone trying to snoop on you a hard time. AirVPN also supports SSL and SSH encrypted tunneling to prevent discovery by deep packet inspection attempts.
Eddie, the open source client, is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users. Eddie offers dynamic server selection and a killswitch, so your connection will be shut down if the VPN fails. Mobile users will find things trickier, since manual setup is required, but instructions are provided.
Customer service is not one of AirVPN’s strengths. It has a lot of detailed info on its website, which might confuse the less technically minded. It also has an active forum, as well as a ticket system that tends to respond during European office hours only.
Other Reasons We Like AirVPN
As mentioned, you’ll want a speedy network for streaming in Vietnam. As our AirVPN review shows, it is fast and will give you a great shot at connecting to your service of choice. It also allows you to view personalized speed stats on its website to help you make sure you’re connected to the fastest server available.
At $33.59 for six months of service, AirVPN is not the cheapest service out there, but, with its combination of speed, privacy and security, we think it’s a price worth paying for those of you in Vietnam.
- Excellent security &privacy
- Not the most user-friendly service
- Patchy customer service
Private Internet Access is another service with, as its name suggests, a strong focus on privacy. If you want to look at sites the Vietnamese government has blocked, it offers a good way to do so without being detected.
Its Asian servers can reach blistering speeds, as we found in our PIA review, but connecting to streaming services is not one of PIA’s strengths, which is unfortunate, given how fast it is. While we could access Netflix in our testing, iPlayer and Hulu blocked us. Still, when you are able to connect to a service, PIA should serve you well.
Ping speeds are also relatively good, so, if you want to game with friends overseas, it is a great choice. We rate it as one of our best VPNs for gaming.
The speed is due to its default 128-bit encryption setting. That isn’t the most secure, but can be upped to 256-bit encryption, if you’d like extra security and don’t mind compromising speed. It also features a killswitch and malware blocking. If you want to stay truly anonymous, you can pay via Bitcoin. The service lacks split tunneling, but you can’t have everything.
Getting connected is fast and easy with PIA. The interface is minimal, which some may appreciate, but it does feel short on options compared to other services. Control is via a tray icon and browser extension. If you just want to start your VPN and forget about it, PIA is a good choice, but tinkerers will want more to play with.
Other Reasons We Like PIA
PIA is a great choice for Linux users in Vietnam, as it has a full Linux client. You might also want to look at our best VPN for Linux article for more help picking a penguin-friendly service. Its annual package, which allows you to connect five devices simultaneously, is good value at $39.95 per year.
With its strong security and privacy features, fast speeds and dedicated Linux client, PIA has a lot to offer users in Vietnam. The main downside is it doesn’t connect to streaming services all the time, but its low ping makes it good for gaming.
- Low ping for gaming
- Good privacy & security options
- Trouble connecting to streaming services
StrongVPN keeps no logs and claims its security is “Military Grade.” Those wanting to tune their security settings will find plenty to like here with options galore. The UI contains a lot of technical information, which some will appreciate, but others will find confusing.
If you’re concerned about security, though, you might want to change the default encryption protocol from PPTN to OpenVPN. PPTN is faster, so you can choose whichever is right for you.
StrongVPN increased its network size recently and now has over 650 servers in more than 20 countries. It doesn’t have any servers in Vietnam, but does have several in Japan and South Korea, so there is coverage in East Asia.
As shown in our StrongVPN review, it has fast speeds. We were able to connect to Netflix, but not while using the more secure OpenVPN protocol, so you might need to play with the settings if streaming is your thing.
StrongVPN is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. The killswitch feature doesn’t work on Mac, though, so Mac users with concerns about security or privacy should look elsewhere.
Other Reasons We Like StrongVPN
StrongVPN provides customer support through a large knowledgebase, a live chat service and email. The live chat sometimes gets busy, but email response times are fast.
Its annual package comes in at $69.99 per year, which includes up to five devices connected at once. If you need to connect several devices simultaneously, take a look at our best VPN for multiple devices article for some tips.
Overall, StrongVPN is another service suitable for users looking for comprehensive security and privacy protection in Vietnam. Speeds are fast and it isn’t too expensive. It is tricky to use and not as secure as it could be on Mac, however.
- A lot of options for security & privacy
- 30-day, money-back guarantee
- No killswitch for Mac owners
- Tricky to use
There are good options for connecting to the internet more securely in Vietnam. All our top picks are strong on security and privacy, so they will help keep you out of sight of the authorities. The best is, of course, ExpressVPN.
If you’re trying to access a particular site or service, it might pay to experiment, connecting to different servers, as you might find yourself blocked on one, but not another.
Remember that, even when using a VPN, accessing particular services might get you into trouble in Vietnam, so be aware of what you’re doing. There are reports of dissidents being arrested for social media posts, for example.
If those of you in Vietnam have used any of these services, let us know how you did with them. If there are other services from among our VPN reviews you feel work well in the country, please tell us in the comments. Thanks for reading.