The internet in Singapore is among the most censored and monitored in the world. For around 11 million Singaporean internet users, there are only three major internet service providers: Singtel, StarHub and M1, with a handful of smaller ISPs struggling to gain traction. There are many reasons to escape the Singaporean stronghold on the web, but not as many to get in.
That said, there are a few reasons you’d want to appear as though you were in Singapore. In addition to fetching websites such as Yahoo that are in compliance with Singapore’s Media Development Authority, using a Singaporean IP address can provide access to, say, the Singapore edition of NewsAsia.
We’re going to show you how to get a Singaporean IP address and do so safely. Singapore is rife with internet censorship and monitoring, so we’ll give you the best practices for tunneling without putting yourself in danger.
How to Get a Singaporean IP Address
Singapore is a mostly free country. Freedom House said it was “partly free” in 2015, giving it a four out of seven for political freedom and civil liberties. That means citizens can largely what they want, including setting up circumvention services for the internet.
If you’re trying to get into Singapore instead of out of it, the options are mostly the same. You can use Tor, which is an anonymous network of servers that hides your initial connection, or even a free proxy. Though they’ll get you a Singaporean IP address, neither is the best solution for speed or security.
Our VPN vs. proxy vs. Tor guide does a good job explaining the specifics, but, in short, proxies and Tor are vulnerable to slow speeds and cybercrime. Because ping locations in Tor’s network are privately owned and operated, there’s no saying what data your stream is picking up or if it’s being monitored. Proxies fall victim to the same issue, but only at a single location.
That leaves us with virtual private networks, which are the best solution for getting a Singaporean IP address. Like a proxy, a VPN will stand in the middle of your connection and make it appear as though you’re in another location. Using VPN protocols, it will also encrypt your initial connection, making it almost impossible to see where you’re truly located.
There’s no suitable substitute for a VPN if you’re trying to get another IP address, especially in Singapore. Below, you can find our top recommendations for VPN providers that have locations in Singapore.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN we’ve tested. In addition to being the fastest VPN, it comes with the best balance of performance, security and features. Thankfully, it has three locations in Singapore — Central Business District, Jurong and Marina Bay — so tunneling into the country isn’t an issue.
As we’ll see in the next section, there’s a certain level of danger when using a Singapore IP address, so tunneling with a provider that offers the best in VPN security is important. ExpressVPN is the epitome of that, which you can learn more about in our ExpressVPN review.
NordVPN has a massive network of servers, so it’s no surprise that it has a presence in Singapore. There are 80 servers there, and, unlike with ExpressVPN, you can choose the specific server you want to use. Servers in Singapore support packet obfuscation and peer-to-peer connections, so torrenting is fine, too.
Though not as consistent as ExpressVPN when it comes to speed, NordVPN makes up for its missteps with features. It has many specialty servers and an ad blocking tool built in to the application for free. You can learn more about those in our NordVPN review.
CyberGhost has 36 servers in Singapore, but, as with ExpressVPN, you can’t select the specific server you want to connect to. It’s not the default choice for Singapore because it installs with the inferior IKEv2 protocol, but you can change that to OpenVPN — the protocol NordVPN and ExpressVPN use — in the settings.
It’s not a perfect service, but CyberGhost makes a strong argument with how cheap it is. Considering the price, it’s one of the best values on the market, despite unfortunate missteps in speed. You can learn more about that, as well as the rest of the service, in our CyberGhost review.
Dangers of Using a Singaporean IP Address
As mentioned in our best VPN for Singapore piece, the internet in Singapore is monitored and censored by the Media Development Authority. Many of the blocked websites are porn or websites that give information about drugs, which, though still censorship, isn’t new for a country known to crack down on the internet.
Though our best VPN for porn will give you a leg up against the known blocked websites, Singapore has more dangerous censorship than that.
Journalists, in particular, are scrutinized by the Singaporean government. The minister of information, communication and the arts in Singapore wrote a letter saying it’s “not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the government.”
Singapore keeps a close eye on who’s doing what on the internet within its borders. If you use a Singaporean IP address, you’ll likely be monitored, so you shouldn’t do anything that could be questionable to the Singaporean government. Though we typically recommend VPNs to get past censorship, you’re tunneling into the belly of the beast when virtually traveling to Singapore.
Thankfully, you can have your cake and eat it, too. The VPN recommendations above provide servers around the world, so you can connect to a server in Singapore to handle your business there and quickly leave. They also have excellent security, making even the harshest scrutiny a non-issue.
There seem to be more reasons you’d want to virtually leave Singapore than go there, but to access other versions of international news websites or browse exclusives in the country, you’ll need to get a Singaporean IP address. Though a proxy or Tor can accomplish that for you, they put you at risk given how strict the Singaporean government is.
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The best solution is a VPN. Our three recommendations have locations in Singapore, as well as a long history of consistent and secure performance. If none of them suit you, though, you can browse our VPN reviews for alternatives.
Why do you need a Singaporean IP address? Let us know how you’re going to get one in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.