A common misconception among expats is that a VPN serves no purpose and that it is a complete waste of money. We’re here to argue otherwise. Isn’t watching TV from home a needed luxury? Shouldn’t the political connection between Hong Kong and China- where oppressive online surveillance and censorship regimes exist- be a concern?
Don’t you as an expat in Hong Kong want to protect your data and online activities from Internet Service Providers like Netvigator and Pacific Internet? We know for a fact that achieving that level of security is not a far-fetched reality.
American, British, and Australian expats can avoid all kinds of uncalled for problems by installing a VPN on any of the following devices: PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, or Amazon Firestick. Being in close proximity to mainland China, it's understandable that citizens of Hong Kong might have privacy concerns, which a VPN can help with. In this guide, we take a look at the best VPNs for Hong Kong and what makes them so good.
A Hong Kong VPN service lets internet users hide their real IP address to pretend to be overseas. This makes a VPN a fantastic tool for accessing online services from all over the world. In Hong Kong, for example, Netflix subscribers get to see just 8.3% of the full US catalog. With a VPN for Netflix the whole catalog becomes available, as does BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Spotify, and all other geo-restricted services.
Why Do You Need A VPN in Hong Kong?
Maintain Privacy and Avoid Hacking Attacks
Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China has very little censorship over its users’ online activities. Although the law in Hong Kong is flexible when it comes to freedom of speech and press, there are some Internet monitoring practices carried out. Privacy issues are not a concern with Hong Kong being a separate autonomous territory, but processes of having it reintegrated back into China makes the matter of privacy rather questionable.
Bypassing Streaming Services
Living in Hong Kong denies you the privilege of accessing channels and programs that broadcast your favorite shows and movies. Being geo-restricted doesn’t mean they’re inaccessible. A VPN enables you to circumvent blocked streaming services like BT Sport and the ITV Hub from wherever you may be.
Protect WIFI Usage
Having public WIFI in each way you turn around sounds practical and useful, but many security risks arise as a result of extremely high Wi-Fi usage. Expats don’t have to suffer privacy breaches or data theft on the account of using a seemingly harmless public network. Necessary precautions must be taken on expats’ behalf so as not to encounter unfortunate hacking incidents and to ensure safe online browsing.
The kill switch shuts down your Internet connection in case the VPN server you are connected to suffers a drop in speed. In this situation, the user can be exposed to the regular Internet without the kill switch. Therefore, PureVPN is the best VPN for Hong Kong.
Moreover, its strong privacy-protecting mechanisms make it the best VPN for China as well, where users have virtually no online privacy.
How to Setup?
The task of setting up PureVPN on your devices is straightforward. Here is how you can do it:
- Right click on your LAN or Wi-Fi connection then click on network settings
- You should click on VPN> Add a VPN connection
- Provide the following information
You should choose Windows through your VPN provider’s drop down menu. After selecting, write the name of your liking and provide your preferred server address in the server name. You must select point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) or any other protocol along with the username and password.
- Provide your VPN service username and password and click Save
- Click on newly developed VPN connection
- Click on connect and wait for few moments to connect
Being a Hong Kong based VPN service; PureVPN offers reasonably good speeds to users. The speed factor is not comprised of download speed, as VPN connection server timing is also crucial. You can connect to the server of your choice in no time
The brand has 24 servers in Hong Kong that allows you to protect your privacy instantly. The server count looks appealing as you have the luxury of using your preferred server. In the case ofone of the servers not connecting, you can opt for another server.
What sets PureVPN apart from other providers is the availability of a tunneling protocols list. You may know various tunneling protocols like PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2, and most importantly OpenVPN. If you use OpenVPN, you may bring your privacy and anonymity to new heights.
This is because the said tunneling protocol provides 256-bit military grade encryption by default. Hence, you can safeguard your online activities from ISPs and other data surveillance agencies hassle-free.
When you sign up for a VPN service, you put a lot of trust in that organization. The reliability aspect is a make or break situation for any VPN service. In terms of reliability, PureVPN is fulfilling your expectations by masking your IP addresses. As a result, you can perform your desired online activities anonymously.
ExpressVPN is regularly cited by users as one of the best VPNs they’ve used. It offers fast speeds combined with military-grade encryption protocols and a pleasant design. It’s easy to setup and simple enough for even newcomers to the VPN world to figure out.
The company operates over 1,500 servers spread across 94 countries. Hong Kong is included in the list. Local residents can use this choice of server location to access local content and information services.
ExpressVPN doesn’t store any detailed user logs. The only information recorded is the metadata of the “date (not time) of connection, choice of server location, and total bandwidth used”. Your individual IP address will never be logged. This should ease privacy concerns.
Its encryption parameters are hardy. ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES-CBC protocols as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. There’s an internet kill switch included, which the company calls a ‘network lock’. This feature means all web traffic will be temporarily halted if the connection drops unexpectedly.
ExpressVPN is able to circumvent the Netflix VPN ban. It’s also compatible with both Hulu and BBC iPlayer and supports torrenting. The provider allows three simultaneous connections—which isn’t huge—but the service makes up for it.
Included are apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
How to Setup?
Here is the list of steps you can follow to setup ExpressVPN on Windows devices:
- Download the app and open the welcome email and click the link in email
- After clicking the link, click on Download for Windows again
- Before using ExpressVPN, you will need to get your activation code
- After providing the activation code, you should install the app
- You should double click the downloaded file to start the setup process
- Click “install” and click “Yes” if you see a popup window on your screen
- You will have to install ExpressVPN TAP driver, click Install ExpressVPN network adapters when you observe Windows security screen
- You will see an installation completion notification on your screen
- Click “Close” to leave the setup wizard and open ExpressVPN
- Paste your activation code on ExpressVPN setup screen and click sign in
Cyberghost Pro is a good option for beginner users because it’s inexpensive, fast, incorporates strong encryption protocols, and is easy to set up.
The company is headquartered in Romania which means there aren’t any mandatory data retention laws to comply with. It also has a stated policy of not storing any user data. This should ease privacy concerns.
Cyberghost Pro has been adding new server locations at a breakneck speed. Right now, there are 1148 servers spread across 49 countries. Four servers are in Hong Kong. Just a few weeks ago there were only about 1,000 servers online so we expect this number to keep going up.
Cyberghost Pro unblocks both Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Encryption standards are robust – the company deploys 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and SHA256 authentication. These are considered to be top-tier. An internet kill switch is also included.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as a desktop client for Windows and MacOS. One paid account allows for five devices to connect at a single time.
VyprVPN has some of the toughest encryption protocols and remains popular with users. It also offers a large network of servers, an initial free trial, and excellent speeds.
VyprVPN’s proprietary tech uses the OpenVPN protocol by default, 256-bit AES encryption, 2,048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. There’s also an option of paying extra to access the Chameleon ™ protocol, which scrambles OpenVPN metadata so deep packet inspection cannot recognize it. An internet kill switch is included with all packages.
VyprVPN is one of the few companies that’s able to bypass China’s Great Firewall. The company also owns and manages entire data centres – as opposed to other services that choose to rent or outsource. The policy means it’s in total control of all web traffic, which helps it guard against attacks and ensures minimal downtime.
There is a bit of a data retention policy – specifically “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time, and total number of bytes used.”
But it adds that all such data is only kept on servers for 30 days and is used for improving service quality. There’s no way of determining exact details of web traffic.
There are over 700 servers spread across the world including a few in Hong Kong. Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS. Premium subscribers can connect up to five devices at a time.