Searching through the most popular websites in Hong Kong, there isn’t much difference between them and any other part of the free world. YouTube, Google and Facebook dominate the top slots, with platforms like Instagram and Wikipedia falling shortly behind. The only exceptions are a few gambling websites, most of which are in Chinese.
You may not need a Hong Kong IP address to access those websites, but you’ll probably want one if you’re putting money down. In this guide on how to get a Hong Kong IP address, we’re going to weigh the pros and cons of different methods while giving you a few tips on how to stay safe online.
No matter why you want an IP address in Hong Kong, the best solution is a virtual private network. Over the course of the guide, we’ll explain why VPNs are so important and recommend a few of our favorite options, all of which you can also find in our guide on the best VPN for China.
How to Get a Hong Kong IP Address
Acquiring an IP address from another country is easy, even if the methods for doing so aren’t equal. The most straightforward and cost-effective solution is to use a free proxy, which will tunnel your traffic through another server before sending it to the open web (read our best free proxy guide for recommendations). Your original IP address will be replaced with the proxy’s to make it appear as though you’re in that location.
Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as finding a proxy server in Hong Kong and running with it. Proxies simply serve as, well, proxies. They don’t do anything to your connection other than transport it through the server. Because of that, anyone can trace your connection back to you.
Route tracing, as it’s called, allows anyone to follow the stream back to the proxy server and, eventually, back to you. Plus, there are many malicious proxies online that only serve as a spiderweb for cybercrime.
That’s where VPNs come in. You can read our what is a VPN guide to get up to speed on what they do, but, in short, VPNs work just like proxies. The only difference is that your initial connection is encrypted, meaning you can tunnel through the VPN server, but a snooper can’t look back.
If you’re curious about the differences between proxies and VPNs, make sure to read our VPN vs. proxy vs. Tor guide. Our description of encryption should be helpful for understanding how your connection is secured, too.
Outside of ensuring that no one can trace your connection to you, VPNs allow you to bypass geoblocks. Though some proxy detection systems won’t pick up on a free proxy, most will. Some may detect a VPN, too, but the fact that your initial connection is secured makes that much less likely.
Thankfully, there are a lot of VPNs to choose from. We have around 50 reviews, but for the sake of this guide, we’re going to give you three options from our best VPN roundup. The options below not only have access to Hong Kong, but also provide the best in VPN security and speed.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN around. Not only is it the fastest VPN, it’s also one of the most secure. With access to a wide range of VPN protocols, an intuitive interface and a strict no-logging policy, it proves that you don’t need a degree in computer science to stay secure.
It offers five locations in Hong Kong, each with has multiple servers. Outside of the U.S., UK and Australia, it usually only offers one or a few locations in a given country. Because there are five in Hong Kong, an IP address will always be available, even if a data center goes down. Read our ExpressVPN review to learn more or try it yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN has a lot going for it, including a massive server network, long list of features and an attractive interface. It has issues with speed that keep it from being our top pick, but, overall, it’s still one of the best providers. In Hong Kong, it offers 58 servers and, unlike with ExpressVPN, you can choose the specific server you want.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer all of its speciality servers in Hong Kong. You can obfuscate your packets and secure your torrenting, but the Double VPN and dedicated IP address options aren’t available. If you want to know more about those specialty servers, read our NordVPN review. You can also take the VPN for a spin yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost’s slick new interface has made it a favorite here at Cloudwards.net. Though we’ve always been fans of the service, the updates push the envelope even further. It now sports a unusual but intuitive interface, wide range of features and a low price, to boot. It may not be as fast as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, but the low cost and feature set make it a solid pick.
Among CyberGhost’s 3,718 servers are 24 dedicated to Hong Kong. You can’t select the server you want like you can with NordVPN, though. Instead, CyberGhost assigns you a server when tunneling in a particular country, which, thankfully, means you won’t need to server hunt. Learn more in our CyberGhost review or try it yourself with its 45-day money-back guarantee.
Dangers of Using a Hong Kong IP Address
Hong Kong does some internet monitoring, but for the most part, the press and opinions posted online aren’t censored by the government. According to the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, citizens have freedom of speech and expression and, as in the U.S., that’s as true as far as the tip of your nose.
That said, there’s some monitoring of the internet, and some democratic activists claim the government closely monitors email and internet activity. Even so, all websites are allowed, regardless of political view. As in much of the free world, you don’t need a license to publish a website.
Because of that, there isn’t much risk in using a Hong Kong IP address, unless you’re using it to distribute copyrighted content or post child pornography. There are also laws against posting anything obscene online, which includes porn and media that contains extreme violence.
Though Hong Kong is mostly hands-off when it comes to the internet, your traffic is still monitored, which is something you should keep in mind. VPNs ensure that your traffic can’t be traced to you, so when tunneling to Hong Kong, it’s important to use a secure VPN rather than a free proxy.
Thankfully, getting a Hong Kong IP address isn’t too difficult. Most VPNs offer locations in Hong Kong, and as long as you’re using one of our top picks, your connection will be secure. Be sure to use a VPN and not a proxy, though.
Despite Hong Kong’s generally free internet, some government monitoring still takes place. Which VPN are you using for a Hong Kong IP address? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.