The Best VPN Services for Japan in 2020

Japan’s virtual world, as we know it today, is brimming with possibilities and actualities. There are infinite benefits that come with plugging yourself into this digital train and moving along with the rest of the world. 

Nevertheless, it is impossible not to see its dangers. Due to the amount of information that you put online daily, you are vulnerable to anyone who has a backdoor into the platform. To protect yourself, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It protects you online by encrypting your internet traffic such that you won’t have to worry about people doing anything to your detriment on the web.

What are the best VPNs to use in Japan?

There are many of them. However, based on speed, security, privacy, etc., we will be listing only the top ten for you. They are:

#1

ExpressVPN

Score:

9.8

  • Best VPN for Japan
  • Incredible speed
  • Military grade security
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Perfect for streaming
  • Only up to 5 devices

Among all the other Virtual Private Networks in the industry, ExpressVPN easily comes out as the best. Many of its users believe this to be the truth because it has practically every feature you would want to see and have in a Virtual Private Network. 

In terms of security, ExpressVPN uses an Advanced Encryption System (AES) with 256-bit keys. This is exactly the same amount of encryption that the US military applies to their online data. This heavy encryption mechanism helps to ensure that you do not have to worry about mediocre security online. However, it is worthy of note that practically every other VPN on this list offers this military-grade encryption system. 

Among some of its other qualities comes the ability to bypass geo-restrictions owing to its numerous servers worldwide. To make things particularly interesting, it does so at optimal speeds. It is one of the fastest VPN services out there. Not only when you are using it but also when connecting to its servers. As such, your streaming quality does not lag. To help you see how fast you are going online, ExpressVPN has a speedometer. 

Besides that, it has an excellent customer service that is available 24/7 if you need to iron out any issues. Another noteworthy thing about ExpressVPN is its strategic location at the British Virgin Islands, which is outside European or American jurisdiction, and not mandated by law to keep data logs. 

Perhaps, the only downside to the service is that it is a bit costlier than others. However, they have a thirty-day money-back guarantee that saves you from having to rush into a decision you might not like.

#2

NordVPN

Score:

9.6

  • 5200 servers in 62 countries
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • No log policy
  • P2P allowed
  • A bit slower than ExpressVPN

NordVPN is one of the top-ranking and most popular services out there today. For us, it is the only VPN that comes relatively close to ExpressVPN’s quality and standard.

One of its primary features is its incredibly high standards when it comes to encryption and security. Much like ExpressVPN, it uses military-grade encryption systems to protect you. However, unlike many other VPNs in the industry, it doubly encrypts your internet traffic. Additionally, while guiding you across the treacherous waters of the web, it passes you through two servers instead of one. This, combined with the double encryption, makes it nearly impossible for any internet “assailants” to get to you online. 

It is strategically located in Panama. This part of the world has no data logging regulations. As such, you don’t have to worry about the higher authorities snooping around your information, either. More privacy for you.

Its platform is simple and straight to the point, which makes it much easier to use than some others. With NordVPN, you can bypass geo-blocks and stay connected to Hulu, AbemaTV, etc. Additionally, with multiple servers located in Japan, you can easily access Japanese platforms when you are abroad. 

Considering the quality of service you get from this VPN, its prices are some of the most affordable in the industry. To save you a bit of cost, you can opt-in for longer durations. That way you’ll get discounts. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you need some time to be sure first.

#3

Surfshark

Score:

8.9

  • Good value for money
  • No log policy
  • Over 5000 servers in 62 countries
  • Very user friendly
  • Fewer servers than the best

This Virtual Private Network is comparatively new in the industry. Nevertheless, it has somehow grown so big that it is not able to compete with the major VPN services like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, NordVPN, etc. It covers all the checklists a VPN should have, including zero-logs policy, the kill switch, and others. However, its advantages do not end there.

Among some other VPNs in the internet privacy industry today, SurfShark is quite easy to use. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to understand its basics and connect to the internet here. 

With over a thousand servers across about 61 countries in the world, SurfShark gives you a wide range of choices in locations you can connect to. With Surfhark, you don’t have to worry about speed. You can stream movies, shows, anime, and whatever catches your fancy without having to wait those annoying few seconds/minutes while your show buffers. This is mainly possible because SurfShark does not throttle your connection no matter how much time you spend on the internet.

One more thing you get to enjoy with SurfShark is incredibly pocket-friendly discounts. As you progress higher on the duration you want to use the VPN for, you get more discounts, and you can save money. So much so that you can spend as low as $3 per month. This makes it the least expensive to use in Japan. Nevertheless, it still allows for a thirty-day money-back guarantee period. This VPN is a particularly excellent choice if you would like to stream your best shows on Netflix Japan or Netflix Hulu from outside the country.

#4

UltraVPN

Score:

8.7

  • AES-256 encryption and kill switch
  • Cheaper than other VPN’s
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • Good speed
  • Few servers

Depending on the amount of time you have spent on the internet looking for a Virtual Private Network service, you should have come across UltraVPN. If you have, there would really be not much of a surprise there. This is largely so because it is one of the fast-rising VPNs from the United Kingdom. Besides having over one hundred superfast servers, UltraVPN goes on to sport more than a thousand high-speed servers in 100+ countries in the world today.

Generally, VPN services based in the UK might sometimes have their hands tied because of the data regulations and whatnot. However, UltraVPN happens to be one of the VPNs that does not publish your internet traffic logs. Essentially, even while facing difficulties from the government, they ensure that your privacy and security comes first. 

Under normal circumstances, due to the peculiarity of their services, some VPNs reduce your internet speed while you use them. Some can go several percentages lower than your actual internet speed. However, with UltraVPN, in the worst-case scenario, you can only go about 15% lower. That is, if you were browsing at about 100mbps before, your speed would be slightly reduced to 85mbps. Nonetheless, these are still excellent speeds for surfing the web. Even with the slight, almost unnoticeable reduction, you can still stream in HD.

It is available on several platforms and gadgets, including gaming consoles, mobile phones, PCs, tablets, etc. While it might be a tad complicated to use, it has efficient features that make up for this. If you are looking to do only simple things and get good security, UltraVPN is the way to go. 

#5

CyberGhost 

Score:

8.5

  • Up to 7 devices simultaneously
  • 3000 servers in 60 countries
  • Good for Netflix
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • Not as fast as ExpressVPN and NordVPN

With over fifteen years of experience in the internet privacy industry, CyberGhost is easily one of the oldest Virtual Private Networks out there. Today, it is one of the fastest-growing VPNs in the industry. Hence, its presence on our list.

It has more than 5900 servers in about 89 different countries in the world. This sheer number of servers is more than enough if you want choices to work with inside Japan. With most VPNs, you can only connect as much as five devices per subscription. While a lot of people consider this relatively sufficient, CyberGhost goes a step further by offering seven simultaneous connections on their platform. Yes, this includes gaming consoles, PCs, and mobile phones.

Due to the impressively high level of security on CyberGhost, you don’t have to constantly log out of one terminal and move to another, assuming the terminal changes. It makes use of the same military-grade 256-bit encryption that we spoke of earlier. For your protection, it has a kill-switch that ensures that you are logged off the internet if you have connection issues. This is largely so because, during those times when your VPN goes down, you are vulnerable. 

Apart from its zero-logs policy, CyberGhost is a Romania-based VPN. This place doesn’t emphasize data retention laws. As such, your privacy is guaranteed on the web. Its platform is generally very convenient and simple to use. 

It functions with virtually all Japan-based internet televisions. As such, streaming on platforms such as Tver shouldn’t be much of a problem whether or not you’re in Japan.

#6

HideMyAss

Score:

8.3

  • Military grade encryption
  • Servers in 190 countries
  • Good server connection
  • Good customer service

HideMyAss came into existence as the brainchild of a sixteen-year-old in 2005. Now, it is a member of the Avast group, which offers excellent, state-of-the-art security in the virtual world today.

With more than 190 countries that have its servers, HideMyAss has a reach that covers almost the entire world. In every one of those servers in those countries, HideMyAss promises high-quality internet security and privacy. It does so with its 256-bit encryption keys and zero-logs policy.

Additionally, it offers stability and incredible speeds on each of its servers. So much so that this VPN is virtually as fast as ExpressVPN. In terms of cost, this Virtual Private Network does not put a dent in your pocket. Its prices can drop just low enough as you commit to longer durations in subscribing to its services. To top things off in this area, it offers you a thirty-day money-back guarantee. As such, if you use the VPN and, for some reason, you find yourself dissatisfied, you don’t have to fret. If it happens to fall within the first thirty days, simply ask for a refund. If you have any issues, you can contact their excellent customer service, and you’ll be duly attended to. 

It has excellent capabilities when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted websites. If you are outside Japan, you can always come back home by picking a Japanese IP address available on its servers. This would give you access to its services such that you can stream Japanese geo-restricted sites from outside Japan.

#7

Trust.Zone

Score:

8.2

  • Offers free version
  • Cheap paid version
  • No log policy
  • Available on all devices
  • Few servers
  • No 24-hour customer service

This VPN is another excellent companion to have in Japan if you are looking to protect yourself on the internet. While it is coming in at number seven on our list, in some ways, its qualities still rival that of VPNs like NordVPN, etc.

It has about 170 servers in 91 different zones across the world. Admittedly, this isn’t quite as much as the thousands that some other VPNs offer. However, when you really think about it, this number is sufficient. For example, if you’d like to connect to the US from Japan, you really don’t need a million servers to do so.

In addition to the effectiveness of its servers, however few, it also provides military-grade security in its 256-bit encryption system. As addendums, it has OpenVPN, the kill-switch, L2TP, etc. All of these function to protect you online in one way or the other. While its customer service is pretty good, it is not exactly available every day of every week. 

One of the major reasons it is on our list today is that it is excellent for long term commitments. At the top of the list is its one-year plan that goes as low as $3.33 per month and $39.95 annual subscription fee. Apart from this is that this VPN gives you a free trial period of three days. During those days, you don’t have to make financial commitments unless you want to exceed the 1gb data cap.

While the VPN’s servers are indeed not as much as some others, it does have its redeeming qualities. Its long-term savings is one of them.

#8

PrivateVPN

Score:

8.0

  • No log policy
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • Good for torrenting
  • A bit expensive compared to what you get
  • Few servers

With upwards of fifteen thousand terabytes of encrypted data and excellent VPN qualities, this VPN deserves its mention in our list.

It is relatively new. As such, there are just around a hundred servers in its archives. However, those servers reach about 60 different countries across the world today. They are small but just enough to work with if you are looking for a great VPN for Japan.

Like every other VPN service above, this one too does not log your internet activities on its system. It has excellent security capabilities. For your encryption, it uses a 2048-bit encryption system along the 256-bit Advanced Encryption System used by the military. It also has a kill-switch so that you can log out immediately your VPN goes down. That way, your IP address and other important details would be kept safe. 

In terms of speed, this VPN also proves its mettle during various tests. It can help you stream quality content online with little to no lag. 

Their customer service is another great reason you can make them your companion online. They promise to help you remotely solve issues with your VPN if the need ever arises. 

To make things even better, despite their newness to the industry, they offer a 100% thirty-day money-back guarantee. That is, if you find out, in your first thirty days of subscription, that they are not all that they seem or promise to be, you can ask for a refund. Upon making that request, you will get refunded of every last penny you spent on a subscription to their platform. 

#9

ProtonVPN

Score:

7.8

  • No log policy
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Offers free version
  • DNS leak protection
  • Few servers

Founded back in the year 2014, ProtonVPN has seen major growth in its quality of service over the years. With ProtonVPN, you get access to 785+ servers in forty-eight different countries around the world. Excellent figures. Its speeds are incredible, and it has a capacity of more than 900gbps. This means that it has speed as well as stability in its portfolio.

As expected, it offers great encryption and privacy services. It doesn’t keep logs of your internet activities, and its encryption system is military-grade. These two things, combined with its stable internet connection, helps you to prevent your data from leaking into the wrong hands, or any hands at all. It has incredible speeds that can rival and beat several other Virtual Private Networks in the industry. As such, your comfort while streaming and surfing is guaranteed.

While it does come with a free version, there is an option to upgrade to premium. However, you should keep in mind that the premium version gives you full, unrestricted access to all their features. Unfortunately, with the free version, you have some limitations. 

Interestingly, ProtonVPN beats the standard of several VPNs in the industry as regards simultaneous connections. It allows its users to connect up to ten different devices at a time. This is perfect for you if you are the type of person who multitasks with activities like playing video games on your console and replying to texts on your mobile. Apart from coming along with a free version, there is a thirty-day money-back guarantee. Dissatisfied? You’ll get your money back. 

#9

ZenMate

Score:

7.5

  • Offers free version
  • No log policy
  • Software for all devices
  • Very cheap
  • Few servers
  • Only 7 days money back guarantee

The final Virtual Private Network on our list is ZenMate. It is a very affordable VPN service provided by a company named Kape Technologies. For several reasons, it has appeared on our list. However, one of them is how customer-oriented they are. For example, at the time of this article, they are offering an incredible 6-month free promo to users.

The company is based in Germany and has more than seventy-four different places in the world where you can find its servers. This, however, is not the only reason it is a great VPN service for Japan. Apart from that, it has extensions for Chrome and Firefox in addition to being available on different platforms for use.

It follows the standard and uses a 256-bit encryption system. However, in addition to that, it promises not to keep logs of your activities on the internet. This is besides the fact that they have protections for you against DNS leaks, and they also have a kill-switch.

There is a seven-day free trial. Now, when you are travelling outside Japan for about a week or so, you can easily use this to your advantage. If you are looking to save a bit of cash, sign up for the free trial, use it to stream Japanese restricted sites and have a great time. However, upgrading to a paid customer is always better than looking for the next free thing. Its speeds are super fast, and it allows for a connection to an infinite amount of devices at a time.

How can you choose the best VPN for you?

We have spent the last couple of paragraphs telling you which VPNs are the best for you to use for Japan. Having listed a full ten of them, it might still be a bit complicated to choose. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a couple of ways you can make your decision.

Firstly, you can use our list. The order of the VPNs, as we are sure you must have noticed, is not random. We took our time to research and find out which ones work better than which ones. As such, from top to bottom in the hierarchy of Virtual Private Networks.

Another way you can choose which VPN you eventually want to use is by comparing certain criteria. Those criteria must meet the specifics of what is most important to you in a VPN. For example, if you care the most about your privacy, you can choose one like ExpressVPN in the British Virgin Islands with no data retention laws. If you care about simultaneous connections, you can choose a VPN like SurfShark with limitless simultaneous connections. If you just want a lot of servers to choose from, a VPN like CyberGhost with over 5900 servers worldwide works perfectly. There are many other things to look out for, like speed, security, geo-restriction bypass abilities, etc. Simply compare and choose.

If neither of those work for you, alternatively, you could go through each VPN one after the other. You will test them out one by one and determine which one is the best for you. However, this process is rigorous, and it might just be best to read reviews of people who have done it, like us. Nevertheless, if you would like to experience firsthand, you can use their free trial periods. A lot of VPN companies offer at least one day for you to test out their services totally free. Others will ask you to pay with the option of a refund within the first thirty days upon dissatisfaction. 

There are different ways, and these are just a few of them, but we are confident that this list will help make your decision.

Benefits of using a VPN

Today, Virtual Private Networks are known virtually throughout the world. They have assisted in accomplishing so many things. Mentioning them all would take quite a while but here are three major things you can benefit from a VPN:

1. Internet security

Japanese people, like virtually every other person in the world, are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Every single day, there are hackers and internet criminals across the globe that are looking to get a full meal where they made no contributions. The worst part is, some just do it for fun. They get access to your online details and do whatever they want with it. This is rather disturbing when you really think about it.

However, with a Virtual Private Network, you really don’t have to worry that much. A VPN routes your internet traffic through a different server, and this makes it quite hard for hackers to match your pace on the net. A VPN would protect you constantly by masking your IP address and encrypting your internet data. Keep in mind that your IP address is what makes you visible on the web, in a manner of speaking. With your IP address hidden and your data encrypted, it becomes nearly impossible for hackers and unsavory individuals to play around with your vital details on the web. This is how a VPN makes you more secure.

2. Internet freedom

While Japan isn’t quite as intense as some other countries, there are whole countries that restrict people from doing all that they want to do online. In some ways, Japan does it too. From Niconico to Hulu Japan and everything else in between, there are so many Japanese sites that are geo-restricted. As soon as you step outside the country, even if it’s on a short vacation, you might as well say goodbye to your favorite shows on those platforms.

However, with a VPN, you don’t have to. Usually, your IP address indicates your location, but when a VPN changes that IP address, you can appear to be browsing from wherever you want. When the servers of your streaming platforms see that you are using a Japanese IP address, even if you are in Africa, you will be given access to view their content.

3. Privacy

People are always on the lookout for what you are doing online today. Unfortunately, they are not all bad people. For example, Internet Service Providers are some of the biggest snoopers on the internet today. They give you internet services to surf the web. Afterward, they keep logs of what you do online. Those logs build up and become so detailed over time that they can actually create a profile of you. Strange, isn’t it? 

With a Virtual Private Network encrypting your internet traffic at every given turn, you know you’ll be fine. This is so because a VPN does its job so well that even your ISPs won’t be able to track what you’re doing on the internet. Your business will become truly yours.

Should you choose a free or paid VPN?

Due to the total lack of financial commitment, you might be tempted to use a free VPN instead of a paid one. However, we don’t think that idea is so great, and we have our reasons.

Firstly, some free VPNs keep logs of your activities. More often than it should be, some free VPNs, keep logs and records of your internet activities. After piling that up for a while, they go-ahead to sell them to third parties like advertisers who might need it. This is largely so because, without actual subscriptions, they need an alternate way to make money, and this happens to be it. As such, they sell information to customers’ detriment. If you are very keen on your privacy, you should not be so quick to sign up for a free VPN service. If, however, you insist on it, we would advise that you read through their terms and conditions.

Secondly, free services are often limited in their amount of servers and in terms of speed. Where a paid VPN invests highly in Japan and speed, free services are forced to be a lot more frugal than they should for a business. As such, they don’t always have what you want to see in a VPN. If they don’t have servers in Japan, how are you supposed to enjoy those quality shows when you’re abroad? The same question goes for their speed.

Thirdly, free services often restrict you to a particular data cap per day. This really sucks. Imagine surfing the web for something that catches your fancy and 300mb later, you are blocked online. Unnerving right?

While there are many other reasons, these are just a few of them. Our sincerest advice is that you should not go for a free VPN.

Are VPNs legal?

While there indeed are some countries that are skeptical about the use of VPNs in their territory, Japan is not one of them. Japan is not known for actively clamping down on the freedom of its citizens online. As such, using a VPN in Japan is legal. However, whatever is not legal without a VPN remains illegal with a VPN.

In conclusion 

There are several things you can gain from using a VPN in Japan. We have already gone through most of them in this article. We have also shown you which VPNs are the best options to choose from. Among them all, ExpressVPN is the best. Nonetheless, at this point, all you have to do is choose and get your companion for online security and privacy.