7 best VPNs for Hong Kong in 2021 (dependable privacy and fast streaming)

Last updated by   Aliu Isa
Disclosure
This article lists regularly evaluated best Hong Kong VPNs for stealthy online security, privacy, worry-free torrenting, and dependable geo-restricted content unblocking in 2021.

Hong Kong has existed as an autonomous territory, but the status is eroding with the increasing interference by China. According to privacy advocacy body Freedom House, internet freedom in the region is only ‘partially’ free.

The newly introduced laws prohibit engaging in any acts that are deemed rebellious, separatist, or conspire with foreign forces. If you are found guilty, you can be arrested, imprisoned, or extradited to mainland China.

That is why it is imperative to use a VPN when accessing the internet in Hong Kong. It will encrypt your traffic so that the government and other third parties cannot see your online activities or data. This article presents you with the best Hong Kong VPNs, why you need a VPN, and much more. Let’s get started:

Quick summary of the top 3 Hong Kong VPNs

  1. ExpressVPN – Our top recommendation to everyone looking for a VPN for Hong Kong. It has apps for all devices with strong encryption and other plentiful features for security and privacy.
  2. Surfshark – Budget-friendly VPN for Hong Kong. Some of its popular features include camouflage mode, zero-logs policy, and unlimited simultaneous connections.
  3. NordVPN – Has a massive network with several servers in Hong Kong. Moreover, it is a secure premium VPN service that offers high speed and military-grade encryption.

Comparison of the best VPNs for Hong Kong at a glance

ExpressVPNSurfsharkNordVPNPrivateVPNPIAPureVPNProtonVPN
Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th
Hong Kong servers 717709681113
Monthly plan $6.67-$12.95$2.49-$12.95$3.71-$11.95$2.50-$$9.99$2.69-$9.95$3.33-$10.95$4.80-$28.80
Unblocks Netflix
Torrenting 
JurisdictionThe British Virgin IslandsThe British Virgin Islands Panama Sweden USA Hong Kong Switzerland 

The detailed review of the best Hong Kong VPNs

It is important to note that all VPNs are not the same. Actually, most of them are terrible, especially the ones that offer completely free services.

We have done thorough research and tests for picking only the top-notch services today. All the VPNs on this list work well in Hong Kong. Our ranking criteria is as follows:

  • Robust security
  • Speed and reliability
  • Utmost privacy

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Key features

  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • P2P sharing support
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Kill switch
  • Tor compatibility
  • No-logs policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is our top pick VPN for Hong Kong. It offers an outstanding balance between security, speed, and privacy with exceptional performance.

Speeds

There is a Smart Location feature that will enable you to connect to a server automatically. It will measure your distance, latency, and speed so you can get the fastest server available. Our initial speed was 38.67 Mbps before connection to the VPN.

It dropped by only 9%, which is really impressive. We were able to stream and download torrents efficiently through all popular torrent sites. Additionally, it also has an option to access all the server locations so you can connect manually.

Security

The VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption combined with SHA-512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key exchange to secure connections. Furthermore, the perfect forward secrecy will change your encryption keys every time you connect to the internet with a VPN. It will make your previous session’s activities and data unrelated to the current session.

On the other hand, the Network Lock feature will secure your traffic and IP address if the VPN connection fails. It is automatically enabled, so you wouldn’t have to go through the settings to activate it like with some VPNs. Sadly, it is not available on iOS devices.

Privacy

First of all, ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. This is a privacy-friendly country that is not a signatory of the 5/9/14 Eye Alliance. In addition, it does not retain any logs of your activities and connections. The only information that the provider keeps is the data you provide when creating an account.

Even though the VPN routes your traffic through an encrypted tunnel, your DNS request and IP address can still leak. ExpressVPN employs the necessary measures to prevent this from happening. What’s more, the VPN supports Tor over VPN for additional anonymity, especially in Hong Kong.

What we liked:

  • Sufficient security for Hong Kong
  • Competitive speeds
  • Based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction

What we didn’t like:

  • Slightly pricey

2. Surfshark

SurfShark

Key features

  • 3200 servers in 65 countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Camouflage mode
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark is relatively a newcomer in the VPN industry but has grown fast to become a formidable VPN option. Despite being the best cheap VPN for Hong Kong, it offers notable features rare to find in other providers.

Speeds

The VPN has been expanding its network pretty fast. For example, in a period of one year, it has increased the servers from around 1,700 to more than 3200.

We started our test with local servers, where our speed dropped by only 4%. International servers also provided incredible speeds, regardless of the location we tried. This will make it easier for you to access blocked content from around the world and stream in HD.

Security

Surfshark employs top-tier security features that are highly customizable. First, it uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, which is impossible to penetrate. Second, the automatic kill switch will protect your connections if the VPN stops working.

For additional security in Hong Kong, you can use the MultiHop servers. It works by routing your traffic through two servers instead of one. However, double encryption can affect your speeds severely.

Privacy

The British Virgin Islands, where Surfshark is based, does not force companies to keep users’ data. This makes it an ideal jurisdiction for VPN companies. According to its privacy policy, the provider does not collect bandwidth usage, IP addresses, or any other identifiable information. All the data it collects is the billing information and email address you use when registering.

Furthermore, Surfshark has a Warrant Canary where it shows whether it has received any subpoenas to share user data. The company updates it regularly to keep you in the loop. That is a distinctive privacy feature that you won’t find in many top VPNs today except SurfShark.

What we liked:

  • Highly secure
  • No connection limitation
  • Remarkable unblocking capability

What we didn’t like:

  • Slow speeds on some servers

3. NordVPN

NordVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 5396 servers in 59 countries
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Onion over VPN
  • Double VPN
  • Kill switch
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN is a popular VPN service and an excellent option for Hong Kong. It is an encryption powerhouse with one of the most extensive server networks in the industry.

Speed

You will be pleased with NordVPN’s fast and consistent speeds. Because of the encryption process, a VPN will slow down your speed a little bit. However, NordVPN uses high-quality servers, and you’ll barely see any speed reduction. The company has recently introduced NordLynx, a proprietary protocol that will improve your speeds significantly.

Since it offers unlimited data and unblocks popular streaming sites, you will be able to watch the content you want. Also, it has P2P optimized servers. These servers are faster, which means you’ll download and share torrent files without issues.

Security

Security is one of the top considerations when looking for a VPN. NordVPN will secure your traffic and data with AES 256-bit encryption, the most potentincredible form of encryption available. On top of that, it has an automatic kill switch that will shut off your connections if the VPN is disrupted. Another incredible security feature is the CyberSec technology. Apart from blocking malicious ads, it also offers protection from malware and trackers.

Privacy

A VPN will prevent the internet service provider (ISP) from seeing your activities, but it can. NordVPN follows a strict no-logs policy, a claim that PWC Switzerland has independently audited. The provider is transparent and makes the audit reports public for everyone to see. It is registered in Panama, which is also not part of the 14-Eye countries.

What we liked:

  • Extremely fast
  • Unblocks streaming sites
  • Massive global server network

What we didn’t like:

  • Android app does not have a kill switch

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN

Key features

  • 200 servers in 63 locations
  • Unlimited P2Ps sharing
  • Kill switch
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Stealth mode
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

PrivateVPN is a comparatively small VPN service but with a big offering. On the website, it claims to be great for security and privacy. So, how does it measure up?

Speed

Since the server network is small, we were keen to see how it can handle intense activities such as streaming. The speed is not comparable with established brands like ExpressVPN but still decent if you connect to the correct server.

A small server network can become congested quickly, resulting in slow speed. PrivateVPN distributes the traffic load evenly to produce consistent and reliable connections. The drop in our speed was hardly noticeable when we connected to the local UK servers. However, the speed took a major hit when we used further away Australian servers.

Security

We found the provider does not have a ton of security features to offer but be rest assured that it will keep you safe. When it comes to encryption, PrivateVPN allows you to choose the algorithm you want. While AES 256 is the most common, AES 128-bit is lightweight and a bit faster. The VPN also gives you the freedom to choose the connection protocols from OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2, and PPTP.

Its kill switch is only available on Windows and is set on default. So, if your VPN connection is compromised, it will cut your traffic automatically. This will ensure you remain safe even when using a public hotspot.

Privacy

PrivateVPN is registered in Sweden, which is part of the 14-Eye Alliance. Nonetheless, the provider is committed to providing your anonymity. Its privacy policy states that the provider does not retain any user data or traffic logs. So, if you’re concerned with your privacy, you’ll be pleased with the strict zero-logs policy.

What we liked:

  • Fast speed on the right server
  • Live chat and remote control support
  • Supports torrenting

What we didn’t like:

  • Relatively small network

5. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private Internet Access VPN

Key features

  • 35130 VPNs in 77 countries
  • Full P2P support
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • 128-bit encryption
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a good value VPN with exceptional configurability. It comes with plenty of features such as great speeds, Netflix unblocking, and much more.

Speed

PIA has a massive server network and is perhaps the biggest in the VPN industry. An extensive server network is an advantage in the sense that there’ll be less crowding. We started our test with its automatic quick connect feature that routed our connection through a local server.

The internet speed dropped by only a tiny margin enabling us to stream and torrent buffer-free. International servers like in the US also provide consistent speeds. Because of the thousands of servers available, you can easily switch between them until you find the fastest.

Security

The VPN scores highly in terms of security. For example, you can choose between AES 128-bit and AES 256-bit encryptions depending on your connection. Also, it uses WireGuard and OpenVPN, two of the most secure protocols.

If your VPN is intercepted for whatever reason, your data and IP address can leak to all and sundry. So, PIA uses an automatic kill switch to cut your traffic until the VPN connection is re-established. The best part is that PIA provides the feature on both mobile and desktop apps.

Privacy

Private Internet Access is one of the few genuinely no-logs VPNs. In fact, it has received several subpoenas to provide users’ information but only provided server data. The company also publishes a Transparency Report on its website detailing whether it has received official requests for account information.

What we liked:

  • Reliable kill switch
  • Highly customizable
  • Apps for all devices

What we didn’t like:

  • Its US jurisdiction is not privacy-friendly

6. PureVPN

PureVPN

Key features

  • 6500 servers in 140 countries
  • P2P file sharing
  • 5 simultaneous devices
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • 31-day money-back guarantee

PureVPN is among the best log-free VPN in Hong Kong. Although it provides a long list of amazing features, the quality of the customer service is wanting.

Speed

Regardless of how you intend to use the VPN, you must choose a service with high-speed connections. Before connecting to a local server, our average speed was 35.89 Mbps but dropped slightly to 33.40 Mbps.

The general assumption is that a server closer to your location will be faster because your traffic travels less distance. However, our speed significantly plummeted when we connected to international servers in the US.

Security

PureVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption together with a 2048-bit RSA exchange key for defense against cyber threats. In addition, you can choose between PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN, depending on your connection. Extra security features include NAT firewall, ad blocker, split tunneling, and automatic kill switch.

Privacy

This VPN provider is headquartered in Hong Kong, which may raise privacy concerns because of mainland China’s influence. The advantage is that you can access locally blocked content and services if you have traveled outside the territory.

In the past, PureVPN soiled its reputation with reports of collaborating with the FBI. However, the VPN is employing several measures to restore its image, including revising the privacy policy.

What we liked:

  • Easy to use apps
  • Generous simultaneous connections
  • Improved logging policy

What we didn’t like:

  • Connectivity issues on some servers

7. ProtonVPN

Proton VPN

Key features

  • 1238 servers in 55 countries
  • DNS leak protection
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Tor Over VPN
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

One of ProtonVPN’s selling perks is the free plan, although it has limited features. This is just a strategy to compel you to upgrade to the paid plans.

Speed

The VPN’s server network is medium-sized, with approximately 1,238 servers in 54 countries. Like with many VPN services, the quick connect feature should connect you to the fastest server on the network automatically. Regrettably, we experienced slow speed when using the feature.

On the upside, the provider shows the traffic load on each server. So, we tried a nearby server with the lowest traffic, and our speed improved significantly. Overall, ProtonVPN’s speed is not as good as top competitors but still functional and reliable for most online activities.

Security

ProtonVPN is filled with amazing security features to keep you safe when using the internet. First, the VPN has in-built DNS leak protection to prevent accidental leakage of your DNS requests and IP address. Second, it uses AES 256-bit encryption and 4096-bit RSA key exchange to safeguard your data.  Additionally, the perfect forward secrecy will protect your connections by producing new encryption keys for each session. Other security features include NetShield, kill switch, and Secure Core.

Privacy

The VPN provider is located in Switzerland, one of the best privacy-friendly jurisdictions. On top of that, the provider has a strong emphasis on providing complete privacy to users. ProtonVPN follows a strict zero-logs policy, which means it does not store activities, session bandwidth, IP address, or connection data. You can also use the Tor over VPN feature to improve your anonymity in Hong Kong.

What we liked:

  • Strong security
  • Cryptocurrency payment option
  • Fast speed on selected servers

What we didn’t like:

  • The IOS app does not have a kill switch

Why do I need a VPN in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong residents’ civil rights and democratic freedoms are protected in the constitution. They include free expression, free press, and the rule of law. This is what differentiates the territory from mainland China that oppresses the rights of its citizens.

Regrettably, Beijing’s growing interference is threatening to deteriorate Hong Kong’s fundamental democratic values. One area that has been severely affected is the media landscape. As a result, the relatively open media environment in Hong Kong is coming to an end.

Generally, private conversations are open and free. However, there is suspicion that mainland security agencies are monitoring communications of pro-democracy activists.

The Hong Kong government had proposed a law that would give local authorities powers to arrest and deport citizens to the mainland. This triggered a massive protest where over one million people took part in June 2019.

Due to the increased risk of censorship and tracking, Hong Kong political activists keep a low profile online. In addition, the arrest and charging of protestors have made people cautious of their internet activities.

The good news is that Hong Kong is not affected by the oppressive internet censorship in mainland China. In fact, the territory has an internet penetration rate of over 92.0%. Moreover, the government has launched the GovWiFi initiative to make Hong Kong a wireless city. This is meant to provide citizens with free wireless internet access at designated premises, including libraries, sports centers, community halls, etc.

On the downside, such internet expansion presents cybersecurity risks, especially when using unprotected public WiFi hotspots. That is why you need to use a Hong Kong VPN to protect your online security and privacy.

A VPN for Hong Kong will encrypt your traffic, stopping the government and other third parties from snooping on your web activities. Additionally, when you connect to a VPN server, it will conceal your location, enabling you to pretend to be somewhere else. By maintaining your privacy and bypassing geo-blocks, a VPN will help you access content worldwide without being censored.

What to look out for when selecting a Hong Kong VPN

Hong kong VPN
(123RF)

Settling down on a particular VPN service is a headache due to the hundreds of options available. The majority of them are a total rip-off with few servers, slow speeds, and inferior encryption. Here at PrivacySavvy, we review the VPNs frequently, which means we understand the features you should look out for.

Security

This is perhaps the first thing you should consider when selecting a Hong Kong VPN. With the increased censorship and surveillance in Hong Kong, you’ll want a service with dependable security features.

In that regard, many VPNs use AES 128 or 256-bit encryption to protect online connections. Others strengthen the encryption with additional features such as double VPN, split tunneling, perfect forward secrecy, etc.

Privacy

Read the finer details of the privacy policy to see the kind of information the provider retains. A good VPN for Hong Kong should have a strict no-logs policy to keep you completely anonymous. The jurisdiction of the provider is also a crucial privacy issue.

Preferably, choose a VPN in privacy-friendly countries such as Panama, the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, etc. Avoid providers based in 14-Eyes Alliance countries because governments force VPN companies to retain users’ data.

Connection speeds

Besides protecting their security and privacy, many people in Hong Kong will use a VPN to access content abroad. For example, the US hosts a wide range of geo-blocked streaming sites.

With a VPN, you can unblock these sites and other restricted content from anywhere. Connection speed is a vital consideration if you want to have a smooth streaming experience. Our list has fast VPNs that will allow you to not only stream content but also torrent and play games.

Cost

Many VPNs claim to offer completely free services. However, nothing in this world is free. The majority of them make money by engaging in suspicious activities like selling users’ data. Instead, go for the free version of premium VPNs like ProtonVPN if you are on a budget.

However, you don’t have to pay a fortune to get the best service. Currently, there exist several cheap VPNs that offer superior features. The money you spend will improve the services to ensure you get fast speeds and robust security. Many services provide great discounts on more extended plans.

Customer support

Interruptions and other issues can occur at any time, even with the finest VPN. So, you would want a VPN with good customer support, or else you will be stranded in times of crisis. The method of getting in touch is also essential. Many VPN providers are adopting the 24/7 live chat to offer customer support around the clock regardless of your location.

Copyright controls in Hong Kong are stringent and your ISP can usually see the websites and apps so that it can aid authorities when needed. For instance, under copyright ordinance, you commit a crime if you distribute copyrighted material without the license of the copyright owner.

If you are caught, the maximum penalty is $50,000 per infringement and incarceration of up to 4 years. Therefore, if you intend to download pirated content, we recommend using a VPN to protect your privacy.

Can I use a free VPN in Hong Kong?

If you are constrained financially, you might be tempted to choose completely free VPNs. However, it is better to understand what these VPNs are up to before committing to something you’ll regret later.

Inferior security

One of the main reasons for using a VPN in Hong Kong is to avoid censorship and surveillance. That is why we encourage you to choose premium VPNs because they provide advanced security features.

However, many free VPNs don’t have the resources to employ crucial measures to keep you safe. This means government agencies can easily collect your data. Moreover, a CSIRO study found out a majority of free VPNs have malware.

Don’t work with Netflix

Netflix and other popular streaming services use advanced techniques to block VPNs. Only a handful of premium VPNs can bypass these restrictions. However, many free VPNs lack the capacity to unblock blocked content. So, what is the point of having a VPN if you can’t access your favorite movies and TV shows?

Data limitation

As you can see above, the VPNs on this list offer unlimited bandwidth. This means you can stream movies in HD, torrent large files and play games like League of Legends. On the flip side, many free VPNs have limited data to handle such intensive tasks. Some premium services like TunnelBear deliberately throttle data on the free version to only 500Mbs per month.

Slow speed

Establishing and running a reliable server network requires a lot of resources. That is why most free VPNs operate only a few servers. Since the number of users is more than the servers available, there is always massive congestion. This will cause a nosedive in your internet speeds.

Irritating ads

In one way or the other, free VPNs need to make money to survive. The common technique they use is to sell ads, so you will be bombarded with a stream of popups. They are not only annoying but may also affect your speeds or contain malware.

VPNs you should avoid in Hong Kong

One of the primary reasons for using a VPN is the guarantee that no one can infringe on your privacy. All the VPNs on this review have a good reputation for maintaining the confidentiality of their users. However, some VPNs are known to offer questionable services. Below are the VPNs you should avoid in Hong Kong.

HolaVPN

HolaVPN is an Israeli-based service. It was once trendy with millions of customers around the world because of its free Chrome extension. However, it took advantage of the numbers to deploy a vast botnet army. The provider stole a part of users’ bandwidth to distribute pornography, attack websites, and engage in other dubious activities.

Betternet

Betternet is a prominent Canadian VPN service with a large following. However, it has made a bad name for itself by offering poor services. For example, the provider has few servers that offer slow speed, and it cannot unblock Netflix or protect your connections. Additionally, the apps leak DNS and IP information, which is detrimental to your privacy.

Zenmate

A recent study found out that Zenmate VPN suffers from DNS and IP leaks, which could easily expose your identity. This, coupled with the unclear privacy policy and poor security measures, is the reason you should avoid it.

How to get a Hong Kong IP address from abroad

  1. Peruse our recommendations above and choose the service that works for you. ExpressVPN is our number one recommendation.
  2. Purchase your preferred plan and complete your VPN account creation.
  3. Delete your cookies in all the web browsers on your device.
  4. Download and install the VPN app.
  5. Open the VPN app and log in.
  6. Choose a Hong Kong server and connect.
  7. Give it a few seconds for the connection to establish.
  8. That’s it, you are now all set surf the web and do all your online activities securely.

Wrap up

If you are a Hong Kong resident or planning to travel there, it is imperative to have a quality VPN (Virtual Private Network). Besides protecting you from government surveillance and censorship, a VPN will also help you in many other ways. We researched and tested extensively to come up with the list of the 7 best VPNs for Hong Kong that are fast enough to handle most online tasks with rock solid privacy policies. We hope that you’ll find the one that meets your needs.

FAQs

Is it illegal to use a VPN in Hong Kong? 
How do I save on Hong Kong VPNs?
Can I get a Hong Kong IP address with a free VPN?
How else can I use a Hong Kong VPN?
Is Netflix available in Hong Kong?

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About the author

Aliu Isa
Aliu Isa

Isa is a Nigeria-born professional writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience under his belt. Having worked with some of the most renowned organizations worldwide, he’s been able to produce and publish hundreds of high-quality articles across a wide range of niches. Over time, Isa has developed an immense interest in digital security and privacy. He has always been a privacy enthusiast, and now, he's giving it all to educate people on privacy, security, and geo-blocking issues around the world.

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