Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

September 20, 2017

Freedom House classifies the internet in the Philippines as “Free.” The government doesn’t place many restrictions on internet access there. There are some concerns about the powers that the government gave itself in the 2012 Cybercrime Prevention Act. However, the country’s Supreme Court struck out the more restrictive clauses of this law in a ruling handed down in 2014.

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10.0

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9.8

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8.6

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The Cybercrime Prevention Act includes clauses that prohibit piracy. These are concerning to those who download copyrighted material with torrents. Penalties for copyright infringement include fines and jail sentences. However, arrests are rare and the use of the BitTorrent protocol is widespread in the Philippines.

The only reported instances of website bans in the Philippines occurred in 2014, when the dating site Ashley Madison was blocked for a month, and in 2017, when the government banned a number of porn websites, including Pornhub and Xtube. Those blocks are ongoing.

Unlike many neighboring countries, the Philippines doesn’t block chat or internet telephony apps. Social media sites are similarly unmolested. However, the government has issued a number of warnings against posts that are offensive to politicians. The only aspect of internet use that seems to concern the authorities is the distribution of child pornography.

The major problem with the internet in the Philippines is the restricted access that streaming servers and games sites impose on their users. While you don’t have to defeat government blocks in the Philippines, you do have to trick overseas media servers into letting you in. The best method of getting around the regional restrictions on streaming sites is to employ a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A VPN protects your identity and tricks remote servers into thinking that you’re located within their regions of operation. Bypassing access controls on media sites is technically a form of copyright infringement. Although no one has been convicted for this practice, it is always better to be careful. You never know when the government might suddenly decide to clamp down on these activities. Similarly, downloading with torrents exposes you to the risk of prosecution. This is why the privacy protection that VPNs provide is so important.

Quick Links to Our 5 Best VPNs for the Philippines

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. Buffered
  3. PrivateVPN
  4. VyprVPN
  5. IPVanish

You can read more about regional restrictions below. First, let’s take a look at the five best VPNs for the Philippines.

Best VPNs for Philippines: Summary

10.0/10.0

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Kill switch
  • Gets into Netflix
CONS:
  • Only three simultaneous connections allowed

ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than VyprVPN, and its service is a little more comprehensive. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries and achieves higher transfer speeds than VyprVPN. It is also very good at evading detection and can get into overseas media libraries at Netflix.

You get automatic WiFi protection with ExpressVPN. You can set the VPN to turn on when your system boots up. There's also a kill switch. As long as you don't turn the VPN off, you'll have constant protection from snoopers. This service can improve the speeds on international connections and there is no data throughput limit.

Try the best VPN for the Philippines now!

Visit ExpressVPN »Seven-day free trial

9.8/10.0

Buffered Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • Extremely high server speeds
  • Excellent customer service
  • User-friendly
  • 41 server locations
  • Killswitch
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 5 simultaneous connections
CONS:
  • Data/Connection logs stored for 30 days
  • Mobile apps are still in development stages

Gibraltar-based VPN provider, Buffered, is an excellent choice for a Philippines VPN, with crazy high speeds and a user-friendly client interface. Buffered offers five simultaneous connections at once, a firewall based killswitch, 41 server locations, and 24/7 live chat support.

Additionally, Buffered offers excellent OpenVPN encryption and a strong privacy policy. The only thing to be wary of with Buffered is that some data and connection logs are stored for 30 days– but don’t worry! You can choose to not participate in the collection of those logs. If you’re skeptical about trying out Buffered, you can rest easy knowing they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

9.4/10.0

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • BestVPN’s “Best Value VPN 2018” winner
  • 50+ server locations
  • Unlocks 16 different Netflix regions
  • Excellent customer service
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Military-grade OpenVPN encryption
  • Good privacy policy
CONS:
  • DNS configured manually (with guide)

PrivateVPN is a VPN provider based in Sweden, and is well-known for both its affordable prices and its unblocking capabilities – especially for TV streaming service Netflix. PrivateVPN supports 16 different Netflix regions, including the US. PrivateVPN is an excellent choice for a Mexico VPN, with military-grade OpenVPN encryption and an airtight privacy policy/no logs policy.

Additionally, PrivateVPN offers six simultaneous connections, 50+ server locations, high server speeds, and a user-friendly interface for the less tech-savvy users. The only negative to PrivateVPN is the need to manually configure the DNS via the provided guide, which isn’t very difficult to follow. Finally, PrivateVPN exercises a 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied users.

9.0/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Strong encryption protocols
  • Switzerland based
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 70+ server locations
  • Proprietary technology
  • Good speeds
CONS:
  • Connection logs stored for 30 days
  • Not a good P2P choice

VyprVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN provider that offers 70+ server locations, 24/7 live chat support, high streaming speeds, and additional security features via its proprietary technology, Chameleon. VyprVPN also provides you with 5 simultaneous connections at a time and excellent encryption protocols, including OpenVPN.

While VyprVPN does not store usage logs, they do collect and store connection logs for 30 days. Additionally, VyprVPN is not a great choice for P2P activities. Still, VyprVPN is an excellent choice for a Philippines VPN, and you can test it out yourself by using the free 3-day trial.

8.6/10.0

IPVanish Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 60 countries
  • Kill switch
  • Automatic start up
  • Auto-reconnect
CONS:
  • Customer support is slow

IPVanish gives you the high speeds necessary for internet telephony apps, online gaming, and streaming from overseas. It has servers in 60 countries and is brilliant at getting around regional restrictions, including those at Netflix.

When reviewing IPVanish we were impressed that you can set the app to launch at system startup. Turn the kill switch on to make sure that the apps on your computer don't reconnect over the internet before the VPN link is established. The kill switch is only available for Windows and Mac OS X devices, although there are also apps (without a kill switch) for iOS and Android gadgets.

VPNs for the Philippines: Considerations

Why Can’t I Get into Netflix US?

When you’re in the Philippines, you can get into Netflix. However, it will be the version of Netflix that was set up for that country. You have to subscribe to the service and sign in whenever you visit the Netflix site. This means that the system can keep track of you and present videos that match your personal details and viewing history.

Netflix is available just about everywhere in the world. Unlike Amazon, Netflix doesn’t restrict you to watching the service in your own country. As such, if you have a Netflix account in the US and then go to the Philippines, you can log in and watch without having to set up a new account. The library tailoring feature of Netflix means that you will still get the system in English. Many of the shows that are available to you at home will still be available in the Philippines – you won’t be forced to watch foreign language shows. However, not all of the library that you can access in the US will be available in the Philippines.

Unlocking Netflix with a VPN in the Philippines

A VPN makes it seem that you’re in another place. When you turn on the VPN, you have to select a server from a list of locations. Once the VPN is running, your location appears to be that of the VPN server, not where you really are. You connect to Netflix with the same address wherever you are: Netflix.com. When the Netflix server receives the request from your browser for the site’s home page, it delivers the page that is available for the location you’re in. If you access the site from the Philippines, you will get the Netflix site for that country, and not the country that you have your subscription in.

Unfortunately, streaming services (including Netflix) are bound by agreements with copyright holders. These specify in which countries a show can be aired. This is why some of the shows that you can watch on Netflix US aren’t available on Netflix Philippines. The company is also bound by the laws of each country in which it operates. That’s why it can’t allow customers in one country to watch the shows that it has made available in another country. The shows available in the US are not all suitable for viewing in the Philippines because of different libel and blasphemy laws. Thus, even if you see a show on Netflix Philippines that’s also available in Netflix US, it may well be edited differently, so won’t be the same.

For more information on watching US Netflix abroad, check out our guide to Unblock Netflix.

Beating VPN Detection

Streaming services have to take all possible steps to prevent cross-border access. This includes detecting and blocking VPN traffic. As such, it’s difficult to find a VPN that can actually get into overseas streaming services. Netflix has some of the most advanced VPN detection software in the world, so very few services work with that site. All of the VPNs on our list have invested in cloaking methodologies that defeat detection procedures and get you access from overseas.

Successful VPNs give you a bonus if you don’t yet have Netflix. The price of Netflix varies by country. If you sign up in the Philippines, you pay less than customers in the US. You can then apply a VPN with a US server to your Netflix connection and watch the US service, even though you have a subscription in the Philippines.

The Best VPN for the Philippines: Conclusion

The censorship implemented by the Philippines government isn’t too severe. The 2017 ban on certain porn sites, however, could be an indicator of more restrictions to come.

All of the VPNs in our list of the five best VPNs for the Philippines are excellent at avoiding detection in very restrictive countries, such as China and Iran. Getting one of these services will future-proof your internet freedoms and keep you prepared for any web access restrictions that the authorities in the Philippines might add to their current list of bans.

Best VPN for the Philippines: Side-by-Side Summary

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
From
$6.67
/month

10.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2
Buffered review »
Visit Site »
From
$6.60
/month

9.8

Our Score
Visit Site »
Buffered review »
3
PrivateVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$2.73
/month

9.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
PrivateVPN review »
4
VyprVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

9.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
VyprVPN review »
5
IPVanish review »
Visit Site »
From
$3.33
/month

8.6

Our Score
Visit Site »
IPVanish review »

Image Credit:  ronaldbuday/Shutterstock.com

Stephen Cooper
April 11th, 2018

Stephen Cooper is a techy geek with a social edge. Downshifting from a successful IT career in Europe, Cooper moved to the Caribbean and now keeps up to speed with Internet technology poolside.

4 responses to “5 Best VPNs for the Philippines – Securely Browse Without Compromising on Speed

  1. IAmATeaf says:

    CyberGhost doesn’t actually have any servers in the Philippines from what I can see? So how can it be the top recommended VPN provider?

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi IAmATeaf,

      With these 5 Best lists for [country] lists we try to balance the needs of people who a) want to acess a VPN server in that country with those who b) live in or are visiting that country and need a VPN to overcome restrictions in that country and/or access geo-restricted content in other countries (such as the full US Netflix catalog). As you point out, CybeGhost is not useful for category a) users, but it is a great choice for category b) users based in the Philippines thanks to severs in nearby locations such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, plus in popular streaming locations such East Coast US and the UK.

  2. Philip Lanuzo says:

    Hi, would like to ask for your suggestion on which ISP here in the PH does all this VPNs work smoothly. I’m planning to change my current subscription. Hope to receive your highly valued opinion.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Philip,

      A VPN will work with any ISP. The main issue is that using VPN slows down your internet connection somewhat, so if possible choose an ISP that offers fast broadband speeds.

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