In this article, I’ll provide you with an insight into Thailand’s internet laws along with the best VPN for Thailand to increase your digital privacy. So, let’s jump into it.
The fascinating historical culture, tempting food, lush green forests, and white sandy beaches make Thailand a famous tourist destination. The tropical paradise has all types of adventurous and fun-filled activities. Thailand has recently eased the Covid-19 restrictions and has opened its borders for international tourism. So, are you planning a trip anytime soon to Thailand?
If yes, then first connect to a reliable VPN provider before leaving your home country. It’s because the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society under Section 26 of the Computer Crime Act strictly directs the cafes, coffee shop owners, restaurants, or any other place that offer public Wi-Fi to keep user data for at least 90 days. The retained data includes user names, log files, and browsing history.
Moreover, MDES has also introduced a mobile app to track people coming to Thailand from various high-risk countries. This law applies to all residents and foreign visitors. The app collects the people’s names, passwords, addresses, and phone numbers until they complete their self-quarantine period. Since it’s not told how the authorities might use the collected information raises serious concerns over users’ online privacy.
In such a situation, using a compatible VPN provider is the best possible solution. A VPN ensures that you gain complete internet freedom and anonymity over the web. The best VPN for Thailand encrypts your data traffic and protects you against hackers spying on your activities. Connecting to a Thai server will enhance your privacy, but connecting to a VPN server abroad will offer you other benefits. For example, you can access the blocked content on streaming sites and downloading torrents.
How to Look Out for The Best VPN for Thailand?
The Thai government has blocked the websites offering tools for increasing online anonymity and bypassing censorship. In fact, like in China, the ISP blocks the access of several VPN providers. It means that you can’t use any random VPN from the market. Selecting the best VPN for Thailand can be challenging. Thus, to provide you with the best results, I have set up some criteria on which our reviews are based.
The following mentioned below are the things you should look in the best VPN for Thailand:
- It is best for the VPN provider to ensure data privacy through secure encryption protocols.
- The service provider should follow a strict no-log policy. A VPN that follows a no-log policy keeps no records of users’ online activities and other metadata.
- One way to relax on vacations is to watch TV shows and movies from different parts of the world. Your VPN must have a vast server with a fast and consistent speed.
- Must have P2P Optimize servers to handle your torrent downloading.
- It must offer features like CyberSec, Zero-knowledge DNS, CleanWeb to protect against different types of cyber-attacks.
- Ensure that the VPN is compatible with all popular streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus.
- The service provider should offer a variety of security-focused features. A kill switch, stealth mode, and obfuscation technology are some of these features.
5 Best VPNs for Thailand In 2021
After reviewing and testing almost fifteen different VPNs, I’ve finally shortlisted the five best VPNs to use in Thailand in 2021. Below is the analysis of each service provider. If you want to know more about each VPN, then check out our detailed VPN reviews.
NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN that provides state-of-the-art security and encryption to users. Its extensive server network and streaming abilities make it one of the best choices. Here are some of the NordVPN features that makes it a fantastic choice for Thailand:
- P2P-Optimized Servers: It comes with over 4,000 dedicated P2P servers that enable users to download torrents easily.
- Encryption and Security: It uses military-grade AES-256 bit encryption. Also, secure protocols like OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2 for safeguarding your data traffic from all prying eyes.
- Privacy Protection: NordVPN doesn’t collect any activity or connection logs. They twice audited their log policy, and each time, the audit report confirms that the service providers keep no user logs.
- Streaming Ability: The VPN can unblock content from different streaming services without any buffering and connection lags. It unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney Plus and adds more fun to your vacations in Thailand.
- Obfuscation Servers: These servers disguise the VPN traffic as regular traffic and help in bypassing the censorship filters.
- CyberSec: It is an extra security-boosting feature. It protects you against malicious websites, ads, and other cyber-attacks while you’re browsing.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Thailand because of its superb fast servers and top-notch security level. The service provider belongs to a safe jurisdiction of the British Virgin Island and comes with the following features:
- Security and Encryption: It uses AES-256 bit encryption and its own released proprietory Lightway protocol. This new protocol increases your safety and also maintains high connection speed.
- Privacy Protection: It belongs to a jurisdiction that isn’t a member state of the five eyes, nine eyes, and 14 eyes alliance. The country has no mandatory data retention laws, and hence it doesn’t keep any data logs. But to prove their claims to their customers, the company audited their log policy in 2019. The result of the audit report was as per their claims.
- P2P-Optimized Servers: The VPN offers more than 160 P2P servers that allow downloading torrents at a higher speed.
- Stealth Mode: It is a unique feature that helps in bypassing strict censorship.
- Streaming Abilities: ExpressVPN is the best choice to stream content from Netflix. It unlocks US Netflix along with many other countries’ Netflix libraries. It also works well with Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney Plus but fails to access BBC iPlayer.
- Zero-Knowledge DNS: It protects against DDoS and phishing attacks.
2- Surfshark VPN
Surfshark is the cheapest VPN provider which will protect you in Thailand. Despite being new in the market, Surfshark performs exceptionally well and competes with the top VPN provider of the industry. All credit goes to its striking features. Some of which are as follows:
- Security & Encryption: It uses the industry’s highest encryption level with RSA 2048 bit key. Along with using the OpenVPN protocol, Surfshark also uses WireGuard and IKEv2 for safeguarding user data.
- Jurisdiction & Privacy: Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark also has its headquarter in the British Virgin Islands. The VPN also adheres to a zero-log policy and has undergone a log audit by a Germany-based audit firm in 2018.
- Supports Torrenting: It offers 18 P2P-optimized servers with sufficient speed to download torrents without any connection lags.
- Streaming Abilities: Surfshark is among the best VPN for streaming. Upon testing, it unblocks all popular streaming sites. These include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and Hulu. But, since its server network is minimal, this can be troublesome.
- Camouflage Technology: The VPN uses this unique technology to circumvent content censorship. It hides your traffic and makes it difficult for anyone to track your online activities.
- CleanWeb: It protects Thai users from cyber criminals and potential cyberattacks.
- Whitelister: It’s also called split tunneling mode. It enables the users to control their connection by choosing which activities and websites they want to route via the VPN.
- No Border: By enabling this feature, you can use the VPN service in any restrictive region without any issue.
4- Private Internet Access VPN
Private Internet Access has been in the industry since 2010. It has been the best choice among the users for its low price and offering remarkably privacy and security-focused features. Some of which are as follows:
- Security & Encryption: It uses AES-256 bit encryption to safeguard your traffic. Also, it uses various levels of encryption protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec- you can choose according to your need and use. Upon testing the VPN for encryption, I found that the data was encrypted with OpenVPN (UDP), so it is the most secure one to use.
- Jurisdiction & Privacy: PIA VPN belongs to the US, a prominent member of the five global alliances. The company claims to exhibit a strict no-log policy. The company conducted a third-party log audit and published a transparency report leaving no doubt on their privacy status to prove their claim.
- Ad and Malware Blocking: It comes with a built-in feature that protects against unwanted ads and malware aiming to infect your devices.
- P2P-Optimized Servers: It comes with several features that favor torrenting. Such features include port forwarding features and split tunneling.
If you are looking for a VPN in Thailand that is easy to use and install and much quicker to connect you to the server of your choice, then you should try PrivateVPN. The VPN has gained popularity in the VPN industry because of the unpolished experience it offers to the users. It is yet another the best VPN to use in Thailand because of the following mentioned reasons:
- Security & Encryption: The service provider is living to its claim of providing the industry’s best security standards. They use AES-256 bit encryption along with OpenVPN protocol to encrypt your data traffic.
- Jurisdiction & Privacy: Though it belongs to Sweden, a member of the 14 eyes alliance, it still follows a strict no-log policy. According to its website, the company doesn’t record or share user activity data, which is quite relieving. Also, they accept payments in bitcoins, which means your identity remains hidden while you buy a VPN subscription, and thus, no one can ever know that you’re using their services.
- P2P-Optimized Servers: PIA comes with 19 dedicated P2P servers that enable users to download torrents at a higher speed.
- Stealth Mode: It allows users to circumvent the content filters by maintaining strong security levels.
- Streaming Capabilities: If you search for a streaming VPN in Thailand, then PrivateVPN is the best option to go with. Upon testing, it successfully unblocks Netflix libraries of the UK, US, and Canada.
Reasons For Using a VPN in Thailand?
Government control over the internet in Thailand has increased over time and has drastically decreased internet freedom. For this reason, the Freedom House Report for 2020 has ranked Thailand as ‘’Not Free’’. Several websites related to gambling, unauthorized VPN services, and violations of intellectual property rights have been blocked by the government to maintain national security.
The restrictive political environment imposes heavy internet restrictions and censorship on both local and international travelers. Since 2006, the Thai authorities have had a right to interrupt internet access and the flow of information at any given time.
Besides this, the government agencies use various surveillance technologies; some of them they bought from a Hacking Team belonging to Italy. All this has led to increased VPN usage in Thailand.
Some other prominent reasons for using the best VPN for Thailand include:
Thailand Cybersecurity Bill
Back in 2019, the Thailand government passed a harsh cybersecurity bill that violates the individual right to digital privacy. The bill allows the higher authorities to access users’ emails, searches, messages, and telephonic records without having the courts’ order.
There is a great fear among the locals and the visitors about the government using information without their knowledge. If you’re a visitor, it’s riskier because it might be that your online data has something that’s against Thai law. Here a VPN comes into play. A reliable VPN encrypts your entire data traffic and makes it impossible for anyone to spy on what you are doing online. In this way, you can prevent being tracked by the Thai authorities.
Bypass Thai Government Censorship
Unfortunately, if you’re in Thailand, you can’t access the popular British website Daily Mail. The authorities banned the site because they revealed the lavish lifestyle of the Crown Prince of Thailand. If you’re from the UK and want to remain updated about the current political or Pandemic situation, how would you access the UK news sites?
Well! With a VPN, you can easily spoof your location and IP address by connecting to the UK server and can read all the latest updates on Daily Mail.
Securing Your Online Data
Thailand imposes mandatory data retention laws on the netizens. Even if you’re using a public Wi-Fi network, your data will be stored for 90 days. It is something alarming for a person who’s on a 10-15 days visit.
By using a Thai VPN, you can conceal your VPN traffic. It also prevents the ISPs from knowing on which sites you’re connected. Moreover, you can fight against the Thai surveillance programs and tactics by encrypting your data and communication. No one can see your files, downloads, or the streaming content you watch with a VPN.
Accessing Blocked Streaming Content
If you plan to watch your favorite streaming shows and movies while relaxing in the calm environment in Thailand, then sorry you can’t. In Thailand, you can only watch Thai content. It means that even if you had your Netflix account, you can’t access the content libraries of other countries. It mainly happens because of copyright restrictions. To watch content from other streaming sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, and Disney Plus, you first need to buy the content. Of course, this is something you can’t do.
With the best VPN for Thailand, you can change your location and access the content libraries of other regions.
Fight Against Cyberattacks
A famous cybersecurity firm has identified various advanced persistent threats that attacked Thai websites between 2018 and 2020. In 2019, a group of online attackers infected the Thai Lion Air and Malindo Air system and leaked sensitive information of 35 million passengers. The leaked data included their names, addresses, email address, contact details, and passport numbers.
It is not the first time that such data theft incidents have taken place. In 2016, more than 2000 foreign nationals living in Thailand were subjected to data theft. Only a VPN can protect the users’ data from all potential threats and vulnerabilities. A VPN encrypts the data, and in doing so, it uses solid algorithms and encryption protocols. Thus, making it impossible for any threat actors to compromise your data.
How to Use a VPN in Thailand to Access Geo-Blocked Content?
After visiting Thailand, you might get shocked to know that you can’t access the streaming content from your home country or abroad. For instance, Netflix isn’t banned in Thailand, but it allows users to access the Thai library rather than other countries’ libraries. Here again, a VPN comes into play. By spoofing your IP address, you can stream content from anywhere. But the question is how to use a VPN in this way?
Here are the step-by-step instructions for using a Thai VPN to access the blocked content from the streaming sites.
Note: To illustrate how to unblock content from streaming sites, I’m using ExpressVPN, and the streaming service is Netflix.
- Select a reliable VPN provider for Thailand from our above-recommended list. As mentioned earlier, I’m choosing ExpressVPN.
- Subscribe to the service provider and sign up for a new account on its website.
- Download and install the VPN app on your device.
- Wait till the installation process gets completed. Now, open your VPN app and log in to your VPN account.
- Choose a server of your choice. I’m selecting the US server because I want to unlock the US Netflix library.
- Tap to connect and wait for a few seconds till the connection gets established.
- Check your VPN icon; if it turns to green means, you’re now connected to a VPN. Now, log in to your Netflix account. You can now stream your favorite American TV shows and movies that were not available in Thailand. Enjoy!
Internet restriction has been a significant problem in Thailand. The government imposes different laws and uses various surveillance software to spy on the netizens.
By using a Thai VPN, you can ensure your privacy and right to internet freedom. There are several benefits that the best VPN for Thailand offers to its users. The above-listed VPNs work exceptionally well in Thailand. All of these are tested and reviewed unbiasedly. It’s recommended to use any of the VPN mentioned above in Thailand and enjoy the wonders it offers you.