Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

March 5, 2018

In 2012, the OpenNet Initiative labeled Vietnam an “enemy of the internet.” Vietnam imposes severe online censorship. This has led to condemnation from Reporters Without Borders (RSF). For people living in or visiting Vietnam, this means an inability to access many websites, news outlets, and online services. By using a Vietnam VPN, citizens can get digital privacy and security – while also unblocking content restricted by the Vietnamese government.

What is a VPN Vietnam?

A Vietnam Virtual Private Network (VPN) service allows people to pretend to be in a different country. Doing this allows them to access the internet as if they were outside of Vietnam. The result is that a VPN for Vietnam bypasses all government website restrictions. With a VPN, anybody in Vietnam can completely bypass censorship. In fact, it is possible to overcome all internet blocks, including ones enforced by workplaces, schools, and landlords. You can also overcome geo-restrictions to access restricted content and website services usually geo-blocked to a specific country (the UK’s BBC iPlayer – for example).

Obviously, because Vietnam is repressive, bypassing government restrictions could be risky. With some VPN services, it would be risky. That is why it is vital to take care when choosing a VPN for Vietnam. The VPNs in this guide have been carefully selected for use in Vietnam. These recommended VPNs provide robust digital privacy using military grade encryption.

Internet Censorship in Vietnam

Vietnam’s restrictive government blocks websites for political and religious reasons. It is also very strong on copyright protection.

The Vietnamese government does not want people to use VPNs and other evasion tools to get around censorship. For this reason, using a VPN in Vietnam can be more dangerous than in other locations. That’s why we’ve selected VPNs for this guide that have a kill switch and stealth mode. To be secure while using a VPN in Vietnam: please use these features.

It is also worth noting that RSF has made the following comment about the use of proxies in Vietnam:

“In order to protect their anonymity in a country where the network infrastructure does not allow interception of encrypted communications (meaning no Deep Packet Inspection), Vietnamese bloggers have every reason to use encryption. Consequently, VPN is a better option than proxies. The latter enable bypassing of access blockage, but – unlike VPN – do not encrypt.”

As you can see, proxies will allow people in Vietnam to unblock censored websites. However, it is a risk to use proxies in Vietnam so as RSF explains – please stick to a secure VPN from this list.

Unblock apps and Services with a VPN in Vietnam

A reliable VPN will permit anybody in Vietnam to access websites and apps that are blocked in Vietnam: without anybody knowing that they did it. Google websites and services such as YouTube are blocked in Vietnam, with a VPN you can access all these restricted sites. Many blogs are also restricted. Only blogs about personal matters are permitted in Vietnam. For people who want to create or read blocked blogs about politically sensitive matters: a VPN is the perfect solution.

A VPN will also allow people to unblock restricted websites for torrenting, streaming, foreign services such as Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime. US cable TV can also be unblocked as can geo-restricted TV streams such as the UK’s iPlayer or ITV hub. News websites that criticise the Vietnamese government may have page restrictions or full website blocks. Reddit can also be unblocked using a VPN in Vietnam.

Unblock social media in Vietnam with a VPN

Facebook and Twitter are also blocked in Vietnam. With a VPN you can pretend to be in a different country in order to access and use those blocked social media sites. A VPN will also let you access and use blocked messengers such as Yahoo instant messenger (which users say has messages censored by the government).

 Blog Anonymously with a VPN Vietnam

Anybody wanting to read blog sites such as Reddit, can do so by using a VPN for Vietnam. Vietnam also arrests people who write blogs that criticise the VoP government. Using a VPN, users can access blog sites, read blocked blogs, and even write blogs that they would otherwise be too afraid to create. Although a VPN does not strictly make you anonymous, it does conceal your real IP address. This can allow you to write an anonymous blog in privacy if you so wish.

Unblock Yahoo360

Yahoo360 is a popular blog site that is blocked in Vietnam. Our recommended VPNs will allow you to access Yahoo360.

Unblock WordPress

WordPress sites are some of the best and most varied blog communities online. These sites are blocked in Vietnam. To unblock WordPress simply use one of the VPNs in this guide.

Considerations for a VPN in Vietnam

Due to the repressive nature of the government, using a VPN can be considered dangerous in Vietnam. Unblocking sites that provide pirated content such as Putlockers, or PopcornTime could get you thrown in prison.

The vast majority of VPNs on the market (there are hundreds) provide outdated or badly implemented encryption. They also have dodgy privacy policies that could allow your browsing habits to be discovered. Considering the dangers involved with using a VPN in Vietnam: VPN selection is crucial. So, what does a VPN for Vietnam need?

Vital VPN Features for Security

A VPN for Vietnam must keep your data secure. For this reason, it is vital that your VPN keeps either zero logs or only minimal aggregated connection logs. This means that most free VPNs (Hotspot Shield, for example) must never be used in Vietnam. In fact, to be absolutely secure while using a VPN for Vietnam the service must have the following features:

  • Strong privacy policy. IP addresses must never be stored, and no personally identifiable data must be retained by the VPN.
  • Strong VPN encryption. Encryption must be implemented securely and must meet our minimum standards for protection.
  • Killswitch. This ensures that no data is ever leaked to your Internet Service Provider. Any data leaks could inform the ISP that you accessed a censored website: which could result in a prison sentence.
  • DNS leak protection. A DNS leak could also inform your ISP that you visited a restricted website. That is why leaky VPNs such as PureVPN must never be used in Vietnam: they could land you in prison.
  • Stealth mode. This technology is also known as VPN cloaking. It allows VPN users to conceal the use of a VPN. Although VPN traffic is encrypted (so that the ISP never knows what sites are being visited) – it is possible for ISPs to notice that a VPN is in use. This alone could land you in trouble with the police in Vietnam. If a VPN is being used, you give the government reason to suspect you. For this reason, it is much better to use a VPN that has stealth mode (to conceal VPN use as regular HTTPS traffic).

Server Locations for VPNs in Vietnam

A useful VPN for Vietnam will also have a lot of server choices. To get the most out of your VPN, you need to be able to pretend to be in many different countries. This will allow you to have the most choice when it comes to unblocking websites and services online.

Our recommended VPNs all have lots of servers all over the world. Those servers are also all super fast: perfect for doing data-intensive tasks such as streaming in HD (from YouTube or Netflix US for instance) or for gaming.

OpenVPN VPNs Vietnam

The best VPN encryption available on the market is called OpenVPN. It is a type of encryption that has been thoroughly audited multiple times. Most recently it was subjected to a thorough audit by OSTIF at the beginning of 2017. OpenVPN can be trusted if it is implemented correctly. Outdated implementation or insecure components of OpenVPN encryption can break the protocol entirely.

All of the VPNs in this article have been carefully selected because they provide strongly implemented OpenVPN encryption that users in Vietnam can rely on for privacy. They all have a strong cipher, auth, and handshake: so there are no weaknesses that could let you down.

Are VPNs legal in Vietnam

Yes, VPNs are legal in Vietnam. Most of the things that you can use a VPN for in Vietnam (unblocking websites to access restricted content, for example) – are illegal. However, you cannot get in trouble for possessing a VPN subscription itself. Despite this, we generally recommend using VPN stealth mode (cloaking) to disguise VPN use in Vietnam.

The minimum protection we recommend for using a VPN in Vietnam is DNS leak protection and a killswitch: these are an absolute must in Vietnam. Never use a Vietnam VPN without having a killswitch activated.

Using a VPN on mobile in Vietnam

The VPNs in this guide can be used on desktop PCs, laptops, and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In fact, the VPNs in this guide permit users to install and use the VPN software on three or more devices (depending on the VPN in question).

Using a VPN on mobile is the same as using a VPN on a desktop machine. It will allow you to access any websites and services on your mobile devices. It will also provide you with privacy from the government. All of the VPNs int his article have got secure mobile VPN apps.

However, please be aware that many mobile VPN apps that you will find in your app store are insecure. Many have been tested and found to not be providing the encryption that they promise. This is very concerning and means that even more care must be taken when looking for a mobile VPN for Vietnam. choose the wrong one, and you could end up in prison. So please, please stick to our recommended VPNs.

Please be aware that you should use a VPN with a killswitch even on mobile devices. So please do not use a mobile VPN without one.

VPN Android Vietnam

The VPNs in this article all have Android apps. That means you can subscribe to any of the VPNs in this guide. To use the VPN on an Android device you will need to subscribe and then download the Vietnam VPN APK file from their website. Sometimes the VPN will redirect you to the Google Play store to download the VPN. If the app store is blocked you could use a proxy website to access the VPN website and download the VPN. This will not get you in trouble because owning a VPN is not illegal itself in Vietnam.

Please remember that you should use a VPN with a killswitch even on mobile devices and Android devices. So a VPN from our 5 best for Android may not be suitable if it doesn’t have a kill switch. Please ensure you get a VPN for mobile with a killswitch, if you need a Vietnam mobile VPN. 

VPN iOS Vietnam

If you use an iOS device, the same warnings apply. A VPN from our 5 best for iOS list may not be suitable if it doesn’t have a kill switch. Please ensure you get an iOS VPN with a killswitch, if you need a mobile VPN in Vietnam.

Best VPN for Vietnam: Conclusion

All of the VPNs in this guide provide fantastic privacy. They have excellent servers located all around the globe. Depending on whether you require more or fewer Asian servers, it may be better to concentrate on the top three VPNs. If you want to use your VPN while using Vietnamese services you will need a Vietnam IP address. The services higher in this article will let you change your IP to Vietnam in privacy.

Please be sure to check the summaries carefully and to make sure the VPN you decide on has a killswitch on the mobile app if you intend to use your VPN on mobile. Remember, using a faulty VPN or a VPN without a killswitch could land you in prison, so please take care. If you have any concerns or questions please don’t hesitate to contact us below.

Finally, please be very very careful when looking at other VPN comparison sites. I have noticed some VPN comparison sites recommending PureVPN for use in Vietnam. PureVPN has been found to suffer from DNS leaks by our reviewer: it could land you in prison. If you see any site recommending PureVPN for Vietnam: they are wrong and you should remember never to use that comparison site again because it is obviously dangerously rubbish.

Image credit: Efired/shutterstock.com