Taiwan nowadays has pretty good internet freedom – one of the best in Asia, according to independent advocacy group Freedom House. This is a big improvement on where the country was in 1987, when the country was under authoritarian rule and censorship of news, media, and entertainment was strict. These days the right to free speech is protected in the constitution and there are no official restrictions on access to the internet. Internet availability is good and the country enjoys some of the fastest internet speeds in the region.
However, even with this internet freedom there are still reasons why people in Taiwan might want to use a VPN when browsing the internet. Attempts to legislate against websites which host copyrighted material are frequent, and in the political arena some Taiwanese people are concerned about the influence that China will have over internet policy in the future. For reasons ranging from privacy to security to freedom, a VPN is a useful tool for any internet user. Today we’ll talk about what you can do with a VPN, then list our recommendations for the best VPNs for Taiwan.
What is the best VPN for Taiwan?
- Subscribe to one of the VPNs in this guide.
- Download and install the VPN’s client software.
- Connect to the VPN server of choice, no matter where you’re located.
- Now you can enjoy unrestricted access to any websites.
- 1 Download In Safety With A VPN
- 2 Get Around Region Locks And Access Blocked Sites With A VPN
- 3 Avoid Third-Party Observation With A VPN
- 4 Choosing The Best VPN For Taiwan
- 5 Conclusion
Download In Safety With A VPN
Plenty of people like to download the latest movies or music to enjoy on their computer, but this can be a risky practice. Legislation against copyright infringement is getting more strict around the world, including in Taiwan. It used to be that downloading was small and new enough that copyright holders neither noticed nor cared if a few people used the internet to download material illegally, but these days as downloading has become so popular, the same copyright holders and becoming more and more aggressive about identifying and punishing downloaders.
If you’re downloading content illegally, especially if you’re using a peer to peer protocol such as BitTorrent, then it’s incredibly easy for your ISP to track what you’re doing and to provide your details to the copyright holder or to law enforcement. If you’re caught downloading copyrighted material, you could be liable for prosecution or for a steep fine.
While we at Addictive Tips do not condone breaking the laws of your country, we are staunch privacy advocates, so we always recommend you to use a VPN to keep yourself safe. A VPN works by installing a small piece of software onto the device you’re using to download, such as your computer, tablet, or phone. This software then encrypts all of the data that your device sends over the network, and this encryption means that no one can see the contents of this data unless they have the key to decrypt the data. Even your ISP can’t see what sites you are visiting or what files you might be downloading – they can only see the amount of data that you use. All of this makes it effectively impossible for your ISP to know that you are downloading, or for them to collect any evidence of your downloading. This will keep you safe from law enforcement and over-zealous copyright holders.
Get Around Region Locks And Access Blocked Sites With A VPN
Another reason you might want to use a VPN in Taiwan is to get around region locks or to access blocked sites. You might have noticed that many websites have different versions that are displayed depending on where you access them from. If you visit google.com from Taiwan, for example, you’ll be redirected to the Taiwanese version of the site, google.com.tw, whereas if you visit from the UK you’ll be redirected to the British site at google.co.uk. In the case of Google, this doesn’t matter much as you can just type in a different domain to access a version of the site from another country. But for other sites like Netflix or Hulu, there’s no way to view different versions of the site. If you visit these sites from Taiwan, they’ll show you the Taiwanese and only the Taiwanese version of the site.
This is a problem as the catalogue of movies and TV shows that are available on these sites differs in each country. Because licensing agreements have to be worked out for each movie and TV show individually, there is some content which isn’t available in particular countries. This is called region locking, as the availability of content is locked to a particular geographic region.
Understanding IP Addresses
So what do you do if you’re in Taiwan and you want to watch a show which is available on, say, the US version of Netflix but not the Taiwanese version? You can use a VPN for this too. To understand how this works, you first have to understand how an IP address works. An IP address is simply a unique string of numbers which is assigned to any device which is connected to a network. When you connect to the internet, your device is automatically assigned an IP address by your ISP.
The thing about IP addresses is that they contain geographic information. Because ranges of IP addresses are allocated to particular countries, a website can read your IP address and see which country you are visiting from. It’s then simple to serve you a version of the website adjusted based on your location.
To get around region locks, you need an IP address from another country. With a US IP address you can easily access websites which are only available in the US and force sites to serve you their US version. And you can use this same method to access content from any other country too.
With a VPN, when you connect you can select a server in the country of your choice to connect to. Because your encrypted data is decrypted at that server, you are assigned an IP address in that server’s country and your data appears to originate from that country too. When you want to get around region locks, you just need to use your VPN to connect to a server in a country which does have access, and you can use the site freely. This works for sites which are blocked too – you can connect to a server elsewhere in the world and then access the blocked site from there.
Avoid Third-Party Observation With A VPN
Finally, plenty of people are concerned about the government keeping tabs on their internet use. Despite the fact that Taiwan is not known for having an aggressive internet surveillance program, it’s still advisable to be careful if you want to protect your privacy. When you use a VPN, the same encryption which stops your ISP from seeing if you’re downloading also prevents the government from monitoring or recording your internet use or electronic communications. As a matter of principal, it’s a good idea to use a VPN at all times to prevent any unwanted snooping into your online activities.
It’s also worth mentioning that Taiwan is a hub for economic activity, and as such attracts the attention of all sorts of cybercriminals. Fierce competition from mainland China warrants stepping up security measures when doing business or traveling through Taiwan. Using a VPN is an effective countermeasure against theft of your business’s trade secrets and secret information.
Choosing The Best VPN For Taiwan
All of this makes it clear why users in Taiwan might want a VPN. But choosing a VPN can be a challenge as there are so many providers out there. To help you select the right VPN for your needs, these are the factors that you should keep in mind:
- Fast connections. No one likes slow internet, and a VPN will necessarily slow down your internet to some degree. But a great VPN will offer connections so fast that you don’t even notice they’re there, letting you use the internet as quickly as you did before.
- Servers in many different countries. In order to get around region locks, you need access to servers all around the world. Look for a VPN provider with a large network of servers in many different countries for maximum flexibility.
- Strong security measures. A VPN should keep your data safe with strong encryption and a no logging policy to ensure the provider keeps no records of your internet use.
- Good software. You’ll use your VPN provider’s software to connect to servers, so this software should be well made and easy to use, have use features, and support a variety of platforms so you can protect all of your devices with one account.
We have reviewed a range of VPN providers and based on these factors we have identified the best services for users in Taiwan:
ExpressVPN is a popular choice among serious internet users. For those who want only the best in terms of speed, security, reliability, and flexibility, this is to go to choice. With all these strengths, as you can imagine, the cost of this VPN is somewhat higher than others. But it’s money well spent if you want top of the line in all areas.
The server network on offer is massive, with more than 1000 servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries which means it’s no problem for you to get around regional locks and find the content you want. The security of the network is also good, with strong 256-bit AES encryption and a no logging policy so you ca know that you data will be kept private.
The modern, easy to use software has handy features like a kill switch and a speed test, and is available on many version of Windows (including Windows RT, Windows XP, Widows Vista, and Windows 7, 8, and 10), plus Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
When what you’re after is the fastest VPN in the game, look into IPVanish for lightning fast connections that will make your internet a joy to use with no slowdown. As well as this excellent high speed, the security is also strong, with 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy.
The server network is not the largest of all, but with 850 servers in more than 60 countries, there are still plenty of options to find servers to connect to. You can use the clean, informative software on a variety of platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
We have an exclusive deal on IPVanish services for Addictive Tips readers: a 60% discount on the yearly plan, bringing the price down to just $4.87 per month. There’s also a seven day money back guarantee so you can buy in confidence.
When you’re concerned about security and you want to be sure that your internet activity will be hidden from the government and from other outside observers, we recommend NordVPN. This company has a killer feature in its double encryption service, in which your data is encrypted once, then sent to a server where is it encrypted again, before going to another server for decryption and onward to its destination. These two layers of encryption are almost impossible to crack for your ultimate security and peace of mind, and the service has a no logging policy too.
The server network available is large, with over 1070 servers in 60 different countries so it will meet all of your location spoofing needs. The software can be used on a range of platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Get a huge 72% discount on the two year special of NordVPN, for a total cost of just $3.29 per month, with a 30 day money-back guarantee.
If you travel to China for business or for pleasure then you’ll know how restricted the internet is there. The Great Firewall not only cuts off access to huge swaths of the internet, but it is also common to find VPN detection software on internet networks which prevent you from using a VPN to get around these restrictions.
If this is a worry for you, you should try VyprVPN. This company has a special feature called the Chameleon protocol which hides the fact you are using a VPN, so that you can use the service even when you’re on a network with VPN detection. It achieves this by encrypting not only your data, but also the metadata – that is, information about the data such as its origin and location. Because the metadata is encrypted, it is almost impossible to tell that you are using a VPN and so you can use the service even on restricted networks.
As well as this key feature, VyprVPN has a no logging policy and strong encryption. Their provider-owned server network covers more than 700 servers in 70 different counties so you’ll have sufficient options to get around region locks, and the software supports Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android.
Take advantage of 50% off your first month with VyprVPN, in addition to a three day free trial.
Internet freedom in Taiwan is pretty good, but given concerns like increasingly strict anti-piracy legislation, the potential for government observation of communications, and the possibility of Chinese internet restrictions making their way into China, security and privacy are still major issues for internet users.
To protect yourself from observation and to get around region locks, you can use a VPN to take the fullest advantage of the internet. Any of the VPNs that we have recommended are great choices for services which are safe, reliable, and trustworthy.
What’s your favourite VPN for use in Taiwan? Or is there another method that you prefer to protect your privacy online? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!