Best VPNs For Taiwan in 2020: Stay Secure on The "Beautiful Island"

article by Nicky Hoseck
January 12, 2020
Bordering the repressive regime of China with its widespread internet restrictions, Taiwan itself is liberal and well-deserving of its title of “The Heart of Asia”. Travel is cheap, the food is good, and internet access widespread and largely uncensored.
Natural hot springs and mountain hikes are the order of the day for outdoor enthusiasts, while night owls and food lovers will love the bustling night markets and their array of tantalizing treats. Sample a dish of Stinky Tofu, washed down with some Boba tea while sharing your experiences on social media – assuming you have the protection of a VPN in Taiwan, that is.

As bright and cheerful as Taiwan is, things in cyberspace aren’t quite as rosy and, like the rest of the world, Taiwan fast becoming a “dystopian cyber-wilderness” where cybercrime is rife and only the best VPN for Taiwan offers sufficient protection against the increasingly widespread threats.

What is the Best VPN for Taiwan? Here are our top picks

 

#1 ExpressVPN

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The transparency with which ExpressVPN conducts its cybersecurity business is a breath of fresh air in the current climate of fake news and propaganda. ExpressVPN is one of the longest standing VPN providers for over a decade, and is also the leading light in terms of user privacy and zero-knowledge technology.

ExpressVPN doesn’t have the largest server network in the world, but it’s more than capable of providing the fastest speeds, whether you’re in Texas or Taiwan. ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 95 different countries, giving it global reach and giving its users plenty of different fake IP addresses to hide their online activities behind.

By connecting to a secure VPN server in a specific location, ExpressVPN users can smoothly bypass geographical restrictions and access the latest Killing Eve or Fleabag action on BBC iPlayer from the US, or even the British Virgin Islands which is where ExpressVPN is based.

ExpressVPN chose the British Virgin Islands because of its privacy-friendly policies and its lack of any mandatory data retention laws. This means ExpressVPN can operate as a no-logging VPN service without finding itself on the wrong side of the law. ExpressVPN takes user privacy seriously and protects it fiercely with its TrustedServer technology and zero-knowledge DNS.

While ExpressVPN is one of the more pricey VPNs around, it’s super-fast speeds and superior protection makes it good value for money, especially if you opt for the one-year subscription which is 35% cheaper than a monthly package. If that sounds like music to your ears, sign up with ExpressVPN today, alternatively, do a bit more research by reading our full review here.

#2 CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPN

If you thought ExpressVPN’s server network was extensive, your eyes are about to pop out of your head because CyberGhost VPN has a mind-boggling 5,944 servers scattered around the world. Admittedly, it doesn’t have quite as many countries covered as ExpressPVN, but those it covers, it does properly and has 10 servers in Taiwan alone.

Not only can you access CyberGhost from anywhere in the world. It’s also accessible and user-friendly, making it a popular beginner’s choice. Advanced users will also appreciate the level of customization available with CyberGhost and can tinker with security protocols, switch from UDP to TCP to create a more stable connection, or reduce the risk of data leaks by preventing any IPv6 traffic from running outside the encrypted tunnel.

If that sounds like complete gibberish to you, don’t worry. CyberGhost VPN has provided pre-configured profiles that will automatically connect you to the best server for accessing Netflix US from overseas or to provide the smoothest and most secure torrenting experience.

Using the same military-grade encryption supported by a watertight privacy policy and a strict no-logging policy, CyberGhost is as safe as ExpressVPN. It also provides superior server security with its NoSpy technology. Rather than opting for the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands for its headquarters, CyberGhost chose Romania instead. Like the BVI, Romania has few laws regarding data retention, enabling CyberGhost to operate as a no-logging VPN.

A user-friendly interface and graphics featuring helpful cartoon ghosts make CyberGhost one of the most popular VPNs around. If you’re looking for a cost-effective VPN in Taiwan, this is it, so why not sign up with CyberGhost today? If you’re not convinced about being a Ghostie, find out more about what that really means by checking out our full review here.

#3 Surfshark

Surfshark VPN

Great white sharks inhabit the seas of the northern coast of Taiwan, but there’s another species of shark dedicated to keeping you safe online. Surfshark made quite a splash when it entered the fiercely competitive waters of cybersecurity a couple of years ago. Unlike many new VPNs that have tried and fallen by the wayside, Surfshark is sticking it to the competition with fast speeds, top-class encryption, and a commitment to user privacy that gives even the almighty ExpressVPN a run for money.

In many respects, Surfshark appears to have designed its cybersecurity software to combine the best features of leading VPNs, like ExpressVPN. Like the best VPN for Taiwan, Surfshark is based in the BVI where it can happily keep no logs at all and keep its growing customer base happy.

Despite having a network of just 1,000 servers, Surfshark produces high-speed connections that are fast enough to keep the likes of ExpressVPN on their toes. It takes security pretty seriously as well, and includes advanced features like Multi-Hop and CleanWeb to boost security and keep irritating adverts at bay.

Surfshark is one of the few VPN providers to accommodate unlimited simultaneous devices, making it ideal for gadget-crazy travelers looking for a VPN in Taiwan. All its servers, including those in Taiwan, are optimized for P2P traffic so torrenting is never a problem. Surfshark has a flawless track record when it comes to unblocking restricted content and has consistently navigated Netflix’s stringent blocks.

With some of the most competitive packages on the market, this is a great budget alternative to the best VPN for Taiwan, so why not sign up with Surfshark today? Not convinced? Find out more in our full review.

#4 ZenMate

 zenmate 210x100 If you’re looking for a VPN for Taiwan but don’t want to part with any of your hard-earned cash, you could give ZenMate’s free VPN a whirl. Available as a browser extension, ZenMate’s free VPN will give you access to four different servers and speeds of up to 2m./s. You won’t be able to torrent or stream high-quality movies but it’s certainly sufficient for a bit of social media action or a VoIP call or two.

ZenMate offers more functionality and faster speeds with its Ultimate subscription which, at just $1.99 per month, makes for excellent value for money. Ultimate users get the benefit of an in-built adblocker, access to P2P-optimized servers, and the ability to connect up to five devices at any one time.

Unlike some of the bigger VPNs, ZenMate doesn’t make a song and dance about its server numbers but it’s somewhere around 1,500 in over 35 countries. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include Taiwan so if you’re looking for a VPN to give you a Taiwanese IP address, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Based in Germany, ZenMate is legally obliged to keep some user information which, according to its privacy policy, may include identifying data such as the user’s original IP address. This might be off-putting for those who are very security conscious or just paranoid, but for the most part, doesn’t really impact too heavily on user privacy.

Competitive pricing and reasonable speeds, not to mention the option of a free VPN service, make ZenMate a viable option for a VPN in Taiwan and sneaks it into our top VPNs for the region. Check out our full review here.

#5 ProtonVPN

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ProtonVPN is another cybersecurity software developer that’s taken pity on the consumer and offers a free option for those a little more strapped for cash. Admittedly, ProtonVPN’s free package is limited to one device, three servers, and medium speeds but, like ZenMate, is fine for those wanting to stay safe while exploring Taiwanese cyberspace.

ProtonVPN has a choice of three paid subscriptions, all of which support torrenting and give users the best speeds available. The basic plan limits users to two simultaneous connections while the plus and visionary plans cover five and 10 devices respectively.

With just 570 servers in 43 countries, ProtonVPN is the smallest of our chosen VPNs for Taiwan, but with four servers in Taiwan itself, it’s not a bad option for those looking to browse with a Taiwanese IP address. Its speeds are consistent as well, although not quite as fast as those achieved by ExpressVPN or Surfshark.

Users keen to upgrade their email security should find ProtonVPN’s Visionary package appealing, with its inclusion of ProtonMail – an encrypted email service designed to give you extra protection against phishing and other cyber attacks. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth it if you’re experiencing a lot of spam and malicious phishing attempts.

Stay safe in Taiwan and sign up with ProtonVPN today or find out just what its encrypted email and Tor over VPN features are all about in our full review.

Taiwan’s Privacy Laws and Cyber-Nightmares

The government in Taiwan takes a relaxed approach to freedom of access on the internet. Very little government intervention is visible online, few sites blocked, and little effort is made to keep tabs on its citizens’ online activities. This makes it as inviting in its virtual reality as it is physically, except that there’s a secret war going on between the cybercriminals and the people of Taiwan.

According to a 2018 report, malware was up by 200% while malware found on smartphones increased by 54% in the previous year. Ransomware is now so commonplace in Taiwan that the average ransom demanded has dropped to less than half of what it was in 2016.

CEO of the cybersecurity consultancy, Devcore, Allen Own, said, “It’s like a war… [in which] The attackers always know more than the enterprise”. The war seems to escalating by the day and a report from a couple of months ago revealed that, while Taiwan authorities have started “shoring up government cyber units”, the heart of Asia is still experiencing over 30 million cyberattacks each month, the majority emanating from neighboring China.

It really scary stuff, although if you are foolish enough to enter Taiwanese cyberspace without the protection of a VPN, you’ll probably live to regret it but not without the loss of a few dollars or, in the worst-case scenario, your entire identity.

Streaming in Taiwan

Although Taiwan authorities let most things slide online, in recent months, security concerns led to the blocking of several Chinese streaming sites, including the popular iQiyi. It’s not the end of the world for fans of Taiwanese drama, however, and international streaming giants, Netflix and HBO have inevitably stretched their long-reaching tentacles into the heart of Asia.

Homegrown content can be found on sites like TVBS and Gimy.tv while local TV channels like CTi Entertainment, HiChannel, and NextTV also have online content available.

Conclusion

Taiwan has lots to offer whether you’re planning a business trip or simply doing a little sightseeing. While the country itself enjoys a relatively low crime rate, when it comes to virtual reality, it couldn’t be more different. With over 30 million cyber attacks each month, entering Taiwanese cyberspace without a VPN is more dangerous than leaping into shark-infested waters without a cage.

ExpressVPN is always tough to beat and is just as impressive in Asia as it is in the rest of the world. High speeds and top-class security are combined with several Taiwan servers which means you can stream away using a Taiwanese IP address to your heart’s content, knowing you’re safe from cybercriminals of all shapes and sizes.

While the government and cybersecurity experts work together to tackle the nightmare that is haunting Taiwanese cyberspace,  using the best VPN for Taiwan is unarguably the best way of protecting yourself against possible cybercrime.

If ExpressVPN doesn’t blow your hair back, though, you can choose from our other recommended VPNs and find the perfect cybersecurity solution for your individual needs.