This article is aimed at analysing the internet in Thailand and comparing the best VPNs that you can use to improve security as well as to avoid geographic restrictions and censorship.
In this article, we will cover the following points (you can click on them to jump to the section you’re interested in):
Why do I need a VPN in Thailand?
There are multiple reasons to get a VPN when you are living or traveling in Thailand. Below are the most common reasons.
- To browse securely: Access to the internet in Thailand, just like in many Asian countries, is not exactly secure. A good VPN increases internet security and greatly reduces the possible risks involved in connecting to public networks in this country (such as having your credit card cloned or your email hacked).
- To avoid censorship: Censorship exists in Thailand, and if you want free access to the internet, the best way is to get a VPN
- To unblock restricted content: To access the content of websites like Netflix, Hulu or restricted audiovisual content and TV channels in your country, your best option is always get a good quality VPN.
Comparison of the 3 best VPNs for Thailand
here to try VyprVPN and here to try PureVPN
|Features||What’s the Best?|
|Main Advantage||Fastest and Easiest to use||Most Secure (Premium version)||Cheapest (among the best)||It depends on your needs!|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days||7 days|
|Monthly Plan||12.95 USD||From 9.95 to 12.95 USD||10.95 USD|
|Yearly Plan||8.32 USD/month||From 5 to 6.67 USD/month||5.45 USD/month|
|Support||24/7/365 (Best service in our experience)||24/7/365||24/7/365|
|Countries with Servers||87||50||141|
|Payment Methods||Credit Card, Paypal, Bitcoin, Alipay, Union Pay and others||Credit Card, Paypal and Alipay||Credit Card, Paypal, Bitcoin, Alipay, Union Pay and others|
|Desktop Apps||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac|
|Mobile Apps||Android, iOS||Android, iOS||Android, iOS|
|Simultaneous Connections||Yes (until 3)||Yes (until 5)||Yes (until 5)|
|Encryption Protocols||OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, PPTP||PPTP, OpenVPN™, L2TP/Ipsec, Chameleon™||PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKE, OpenVPN|
|VPN Location’s Switchings||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
What VPN to choose
Your choice of VPN will depend on your priorities:
- Speed: If you are looking for a fast VPN, ExpressVPN is the best choice according to both our readers and our personal experience.
- Security: If you are looking for secure connections above all, VyprVPN is the best, as in addition to its own encryption protocols, it offers NAT firewall for free, which is an extra layer of protection to avoid undesired connections on public networks.
- Price: If price is the most important thing to you, without a doubt PureVPN offers the best quality/price ratio.
- Ease of use: Without a doubt, ExpressVPN offers the easiest desktop application and mobile application to use.
Depending on the different ways in which you want to use the VPN, your choice will be different:
- Streaming and unblocking restricted content : As ExpressVPN is currently the fastest and most reliable VPN, it is the most recommended for people who are living or traveling in Thailand and want to continue to enjoy Netflix, Hulu or content specifically related to a country or which is blocked in Thailand.
- Secure connection during your trip to Thailand: Especially for travelers who constantly use public networks, I recommend VyprVPN, as it is the option that offers the most security.
Is it safe to connect to the internet in Thailand?
Thailand is likely one of the countries in which connecting to the internet is the most dangerous. The government, which is more worried about persecuting political dissidents, has put the prosecution of cyber crime aside. In the past few years, fraud and information theft has multiplied exponentially in the country.
Statistically, despite its small size, Thailand is among the Top 25 in the world in terms of malware attacks and it is estimated that 90% of its network is infected by this type of software. In addition, the Grand Palace in Bangkok is among one of the TOP 15 tourist attractions where it is most dangerous to connect to a public network..
All these statistics are very well and such, but how does this affect you? I am going to give you an example of something that happened to us. You are making a purchase online during your stay in Thailand, and at the moment of the payment, your bank detects that the network is infected by malware and lucky you, they block your bank card. The result is that you end up with a credit card, most likely your only source of money in Thailand, which is completely useless and which you can’t reactivate until you go to your bank, which is outside of the country.
I assure you that ending up without money in a country other than your own is not a very pleasant situation. However, if the bank hadn’t detected the security breach, the consequences could have been way worse, as the malware could have used your banking information to empty your account.
Internet censorship in Thailand
While internet use restrictions in Thailand are less well-known than in its neighbor, China, they do exist. In fact, Thailand is considered a non-free country, and is ranked 63 out of 88 countries in terms of its internet freedom.
In Thailand, internet censorship is based on blocking websites and blogs which are considered detrimental to the interests of the country. In addition to the internet restrictions, measures may also include persecution and incarceration for the person responsible. Below, I list the type of websites that are partially or completely blocked in Thailand:
- Google and other search engines: The results obtained are filtered.
- Wikipedia: Some Wikipedia pages are blocked.
- Social media: Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, for example, is monitored by the army and some content is filtered.
- Online news: Online news is filtered and some blocked webpages include international websites, such as the BBC, CNN or Yahoo! News.
- YouTube: Some YouTube videos are blocked, and at times the government even completely blocks access to this website.
- Forums: Such as Prachatai.com, Pantip.com or Midnight University.
- Blogs with political content
- Websites with sexual or pornographic content
- Websites for online gambling
Finally, while censorship in Thailand may not end up particularly annoying for most people, it is possible that this situation may change in the future. In fact, the government has been discussing the idea of creating a Great Firewall similar to that of China.
here to try VyprVPN and here to try PureVPN
[Photo Credits (Creative Commons License): www.flickr.com/photos/sara_y_tzunki/]