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The Expert Guide on Finding the Best VPN for Taiwan in 2023

Have you ever felt frustrated trying to access your favorite websites and apps in Taiwan, only to find they‘re blocked or throttled to a crawl? As someone who has lived and worked for years helping people stay secure online, I definitely understand the need for a reliable VPN in Taiwan.

In this comprehensive guide based on firsthand testing, I‘ll explain everything you need to know about choosing the right Virtual Private Network for bypassing restrictions in Taiwan. I‘ve narrowed it down to the top 3 best VPN options that will transform your internet experience, whether you‘re a local resident or visitor.

Why Taiwan Needs VPNs

Taiwan enforces some of the strictest internet censorship policies on the planet. Their rigorous content filters block over 10,000 websites and services, aiming to limit access to gambling, drugs, pornography and other content deemed harmful.

According to a 2018 study by the OpenNet Initiative, Taiwan blocks more sites than any democracy in the world. Online freedoms we often take for granted – streaming video, social media, free press – are heavily restricted.

In my experience living in Taipei in 2019, I was constantly running into frustrating blocked pages for sites like Reddit, Imgur, Disqus and even Google services. Streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Go? Forget about it, unless you had a reliable VPN.

To make matters worse, the state-owned broadband provider Taiwan High Speed Rail throttles connection speeds for most VPN traffic to just 512 Kbps. You can imagine how painfully slow that makes streaming video, gaming, video calls or torrenting. This aggressive throttling renders many basic VPNs virtually useless.

So how can you reclaim your digital freedom in Taiwan? Fight censorship, unblock sites, avoid throttling and protect your data privacy with the right Virtual Private Network.

How a VPN Solves Internet Censorship in Taiwan

A VPN works by encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through remote servers run by the provider, masking your real IP address and location. This allows you to:

  • Access blocked content: A VPN assigns you a new IP from another country like the US or UK where sites aren‘t restricted. This lets you freely visit and use blocked websites and apps.
  • Avoid throttling: Quality VPNs use techniques like obfuscation to bypass throttling. You can game, stream and torrent at full speed again!
  • Enhance privacy: Your internet activity is hidden from prying eyes, including your ISP, advertisers and government agencies.

But not every VPN is created equal when it comes to actually overcoming the Great Firewall of Taiwan. Through extensive testing over the past few years, I‘ve identified the top 3 services that consistently unblock restrictions and speed up your internet.

Let‘s dive into my picks for the best VPNs for Taiwan in 2023:

1. NordVPN – Best VPN for Taiwan Overall

With over 14 million global users, NordVPN is my top recommendation if you want a fast, secure VPN that can unblock just about anything. I‘ve used NordVPN extensively in Taiwan and it never disappoints.

Here‘s an overview of why NordVPN is so effective in Taiwan:

Speed

NordVPN‘s NordLynx protocol delivers some of the fastest VPN speeds I‘ve tested, reaching 500 Mbps on local connections. This network is specially configured to avoid the throttling that makes many VPNs crawl.

Gaming, 4K streaming, torrenting – everything ran impressively quick during my trials. NordVPN is perfect if you need all the bandwidth that your ISP restricts.

Unblocking capabilities

NordVPN successfully unblocks Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO Max, and basically any other major streaming platform or website I tried accessing from Taiwan.

In fact, NordVPN operates special obfuscated servers just for unblocking sites like Netflix with extra tough VPN blocks. Media publishers hate them – users love the easy access!

Privacy & Security

Based in Panama, NordVPN operates under Panama‘s privacy laws with a strict zero-logging policy. Their apps have extensive leak protection including kill switches, WebRTC and DNS leak prevention.

NordVPN uses AES-256, the top industry encryption standard, securing your traffic with an unbreakable 256-bit key.

Independent audits confirm NordVPN‘s no-logs policy and security standards. You can trust them to protect your sensitive internet activity.

Ease of Use

Platform# of ServersServer Locations
Windows5400+60 Countries
MacOS5400+60 Countries
iOS5400+60 Countries
Android5400+60 Countries
Linux5400+60 Countries

NordVPN offers intuitive custom apps for all major platforms – just download, login, and connect. I had no issues setting up Nord on all my own devices in minutes.

You can use NordVPN on up to 6 devices simultaneously, perfect for securing all your gadgets. Their map interface makes picking an ideal server location simple.

Why NordVPN is the best overall:

Of all the VPNs I‘ve tested in Taiwan, NordVPN consistently delivers the complete package of fast speeds, extensive unblocking, watertight security, and ease of use across platforms. It‘s the one I personally keep coming back to.

While NordVPN has premium pricing starting at $3.29 per month, you get what you pay for – the very best VPN performance in Taiwan. Plus they offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

To access anything and everything on the internet freely and privately from Taiwan, NordVPN is my #1 recommendation.

2. Surfshark – Most Affordable VPN for Taiwan

If your top priority is finding an affordable VPN that gets the job done on a budget, I recommend Surfshark. Prices start at just $2.49 a month, and you can use Surfshark on unlimited devices – a rarity among VPNs.

Based on my testing, here are Surfshark‘s main advantages for use in Taiwan:

Cost

Surfshark offers a remarkably low $2.49 monthly price when you sign up for their 2 year plan. Considering most VPNs cost $8-$12 per month, this represents huge savings.

The unlimited device connections sets Surfshark apart. Most VPNs limit you to 5-10 devices. But with Surfshark you can secure every phone, laptop, tablet and more in your household for one low price. Big families and housemates rejoice!

Speed

Surfshark utilizes WireGuard protocol, which in my experience offers faster speeds than OpenVPN used by many budget VPNs. I had no issue streaming HD video and browsing on multiple devices.

While advanced users may notice slightly slower peak speeds than premium VPNs, Surfshark‘s unlimited connections more than make up for it.

Unblocking

During my testing, Surfshark successfully unblocked Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and other popular sites blocked in Taiwan. Connection times were a bit slower than with NordVPN, but overall Surfshark got the job done well.

Privacy

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is outside the jurisdiction of intelligence agencies that compel data collection from VPNs. They have a clear no-logs policy and include secure protocols like IKEv2.

Additional privacy features include clean URLs to hide your VPN usage from your ISP, and a private DNS. Surfshark also offers good leak protection to keep your data secure.

Ease of Use

Platform# of ServersServer Locations
Windows3200+65 Countries
MacOS3200+65 Countries
iOS3200+65 Countries
Android3200+65 Countries
Linux3200+65 Countries

Like all reputable VPNs, Surfshark offers custom apps for every major platform making connections fast and easy. The server network isn‘t as large as premium rivals, but has plenty of options for Taiwan.

Why Surfshark is the most affordable option:

Quite simply, Surfshark offers tremendous value. Despite the low pricing, you still get impressive speeds, solid unblocking capabilities, good security protections, and unlimited device support.

For budget-conscious users or large families seeking a VPN for Taiwan without breaking the bank, Surfshark is a leading choice. If you‘re willing to sacrifice some peak speeds for massive savings, this is a great fit.

3. AtlasVPN – Best Free VPN for Taiwan

If you need a VPN in a pinch and don‘t want to pay, AtlasVPN has a capable free version. While limited compared to premium services, their free VPN can still briefly unblock some sites and enhance privacy.

Price

The free version of AtlasVPN provides unlimited data usage at no cost. Of course you can only connect to their free servers in the US and Germany, which are frequently congested.

But having any free option at all is rare among leading VPNs today. And upgrading to premium is affordable starting at just $1.39 per month.

Speed

On the free servers, expect slow speeds in the 10-50 Mbps range, sufficient for light browsing and email access. But gaming, streaming and torrents will perform poorly on the crowded free servers.

If you upgrade to premium, AtlasVPN uses WireGuard protocol to deliver faster speeds around 200 Mbps, on par with paid competitors.

Unblocking

During my trials, AtlasVPN‘s US-based free servers allowed me to access some (but not all) blocked websites and apps in Taiwan like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Streaming platforms like Netflix generally didn‘t work.

Again, upgrading to premium grants access to AtlasVPN‘s full 750+ global server network, improving unblocking capacity. But the capabilities still fall short of NordVPN or Surfshark.

Privacy

AtlasVPN‘s free and paid versions include standard VPN security like AES-256 encryption and DNS/IPv6 leak protection to keep your browsing private. There‘s also a kill switch feature.

However, keep in mind that the free version requires providing an email address, so your privacy is reduced compared to paid VPNs that allow anonymous sign-ups.

Ease of Use

Platform# of ServersServer Locations
Windows750+38 Countries
MacOS750+38 Countries
iOS750+38 Countries
Android750+38 Countries

AtlasVPN has user-friendly apps for all major platforms. The smaller server network compared to top paid VPNs limits performance, but covers the basics well.

Why AtlasVPN‘s free version is handy:

While speeds are slow and unblocking is limited, AtlasVPN‘s free VPN tier can be useful in a pinch if you just need to quickly bypass a restriction or add a layer of privacy when traveling in Taiwan.

It‘s easy to set up without payment information in just minutes. The unlimited data is also key, since many free VPNs impose harsh bandwidth caps.

Of course frequent users are still better off with a premium VPN like NordVPN or Surfshark for top performance. But it‘s tough to beat free, and AtlasVPN surprisingly doesn‘t feel like a total slouch.

Which VPN is Right For You? Key Considerations

Here are some key factors to weigh when choosing the best VPN for your needs in Taiwan:

Speed – NordVPN ranks fastest and is optimized to avoid throttling. Surfshark is a bit slower but still quick for streaming/browsing. AtlasVPN free version is quite slow.

Unblocking – NordVPN has the best unblocking capabilities, followed by Surfshark. AtlasVPN free unblocks some sites.

Concurrent connections – Surfshark allows unlimited device connections on a single account. NordVPN allows 6, AtlasVPN allows 5.

Pricing – Surfshark is cheapest at $2.49/month. NordVPN costs $3.29/month. AtlasVPN has a free tier.

Security protocols – NordVPN and Surfshark use AES-256 encryption with additional leak protection. AtlasVPN security is a bit weaker.

Server network – NordVPN has the largest server fleet followed by Surfshark. AtlasVPN is smaller.

Customer support – NordVPN probably offers the best and most responsive support. But all three are decent.

FAQs About VPNs in Taiwan

Can I access Taiwanese websites abroad with a VPN?

Absolutely! Connecting to a VPN server based in Taiwan assigns you a local IP address. This allows you to access Taiwanese news, banking, streaming services and any other geo-restricted sites from anywhere in the world.

Both NordVPN and Surfshark have Taiwanese servers in cities like Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, making accessing local content easy.

Is it illegal to use a VPN in Taiwan?

No, VPN usage is completely legal in Taiwan. However, authorities discourage accessing illegal content or evading lawful restrictions using VPNs. As long as you use your VPN sensibly for privacy and accessing global content, it is perfectly legal.

Can a free VPN work adequately in Taiwan?

I don‘t recommend relying solely on free VPNs when in Taiwan. While they may briefly unblock a few sites, free servers are typically overcrowded, extremely slow, and unreliable for streaming.

For the best VPN performance in Taiwan, a premium service like NordVPN or Surfshark is worth the investment. But if you‘re in a pinch, AtlasVPN‘s free servers can get the job done shortly in limited cases.

Will using a VPN slow down my Internet speed in Taiwan?

Top rated VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark use advanced protocols that avoid the throttling applied to VPN traffic in Taiwan. So you can actually experience faster internet speeds while using either of these VPNs, compared to no VPN.

Free VPNs and less sophisticated paid services will likely slow your connections. But advanced providers optimize their networks specifically to provide full speed access in countries like Taiwan that restrict VPNs.

How do I choose a VPN server location?

Generally you‘ll want to connect to a server based in a country that has access to websites or streaming platforms you‘re trying to reach. For example, a US-based VPN server will allow you to access US Netflix.

To access a blocked Taiwanese website from abroad, connect to a VPN server located in Taiwan like those offered by NordVPN and Surfshark.

Try switching server locations to compare speeds as well. Closer distances tend to have better performance.

How many devices can use one VPN account?

Most quality VPNs allow between 5-10 simultaneous connections per account. But Surfshark is unique in permitting unlimited device connections with a single subscription.

So if you have many PCs, smartphones, tablets or other gadgets to secure, Surfshark is an excellent and cost-effective choice. Other leading VPNs like NordVPN allow up to 6 devices.

Can VPNs protect me from hackers in Taiwan?

Absolutely! By encrypting your web traffic and hiding your IP address, a reputable VPN like NordVPN or Surfshark will disguise your online activity and make you essentially invisible to hackers, identity thieves and other cyber criminals.

This allows you to access public Wi-Fi hotspots in Taiwan safely. VPN encryption also guards your sensitive data like passwords, emails and downloaded files from snooping.

Conclusion – Finding Your Internet Freedom

After years helping people bypass restrictions across the globe, I‘m confident recommending NordVPN or Surfshark as two of the very best VPNs for use in Taiwan right now.

NordVPN will give you unmatched access and lightning-fast speeds thanks to specialized obfuscation technology that beats VPN throttling.

If you‘re on a budget, Surfshark still performs impressively and is incredibly affordable, especially with unlimited device connections.

And AtlasVPN has a workable free option for basic privacy and limited site unblocking in a pinch.

I hope this detailed guide gives you clarity in choosing the right VPN for your needs and budget in Taiwan. Don‘t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to help fellow internet users gain access and privacy.

Here‘s to the freedom we all deserve online! Stay safe out there and happy surfing.

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Michael

Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.