The major problem with the internet in the Philippines is the restricted access that streaming servers and games sites impose on their users.
While you don’t have to defeat government blocks in the Philippines, you do have to trick overseas media servers into letting you in. The best method of getting around the regional restrictions on streaming sites is to employ a VPN.
A VPN protects your identity and tricks remote servers into thinking that you’re located within their regions of operation. Bypassing access controls on media sites is technically a form of copyright infringement. Although no one has been convicted for this practice, it is always better to be careful.
Similarly, downloading with torrents exposes you to the risk of prosecution. That is why the privacy protection that VPNs provide is so important.
You can read more about regional restrictions below. First, let’s take a look at the five best VPNs for the Philippines.
- ExpressVPN - The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round
- NordVPN - Large brand with very good value, and a budget price
- CyberGhost - Longtime top ranked VPN, with great price and speeds
- PrivateVPN - One of the cheapest VPNs out there, but still a good service
If you require more information on any of the VPNs we feature on this page, check out our in-depth list below.
Best VPN Philippines
Philippines VPN Considerations
Freedom House classifies the internet in the Philippines as “Free.” The government doesn’t place many restrictions on internet access there. There are some concerns about the powers that the government gave itself in the 2012 Cybercrime Prevention Act. However, the country’s Supreme Court struck out the more restrictive clauses of this law in a ruling handed down in 2014.
The Cybercrime Prevention Act includes clauses that prohibit piracy. These are concerning to those who download copyrighted material with torrents. Penalties for copyright infringement include fines and jail sentences. However, arrests are rare, and the use of the BitTorrent protocol is widespread in the Philippines.
The only reported instances of website bans in the Philippines occurred in 2014 when the dating site Ashley Madison was blocked for a month, and in 2017, when the government banned many porn websites, including Pornhub and Xtube. Those blocks are ongoing.
Unlike many neighboring countries, the Philippines doesn’t block chat or internet telephony apps. Social media sites are similarly unmolested. However, the government has issued many warnings against posts that are offensive to politicians. The only aspect of internet use that seems to concern the authorities is the distribution of child pornography.
A Fast VPN for Philippines
Internet connection speeds are not always mind-blowing in the Philippines. For this reason, one of the most important attributes of a Philippines VPN is extremely fast servers. The VPNs that we have recommended in this guide all provide access to fast VPN servers that will slow down your internet connection by the smallest amount possible. However, remember that even the fastest VPNs tend to slow down an internet connection a little. Thus, if the internet connection you pay your ISP for is slow in the first place, you will need to ensure you get the fastest Philippines VPN possible.
Streaming services have to take all possible steps to prevent cross-border access. It includes detecting and blocking VPN traffic. As such, it’s difficult to find a VPN that can get into overseas streaming services. Netflix has some of the most advanced VPN detection software in the world, so very few services work with that site. All of the VPNs on our list have invested in cloaking methodologies that defeat detection procedures and get you access from overseas.
Successful VPNs give you a bonus if you don’t yet have Netflix. The price of Netflix varies by country. If you sign up in the Philippines, you pay less than customers in the US. You can then apply a VPN with a US server to your Netflix connection and watch the US service, even though you have a subscription in the Philippines.
How to Watch American Netflix?
A VPN makes it seem that you’re in another place. When you turn on the VPN, you have to select a server from a list of locations. Once the VPN is running, your location appears to be that of the VPN server, not where you are. You connect to Netflix with the same address wherever you are: Netflix.com. When the Netflix server receives the request from your browser for the site’s home page, it delivers the page that is available for the location you’re in. If you access the site from the Philippines, you will get the Netflix site for that country, and not the country that you have your subscription in.
Unfortunately, streaming services (including Netflix) are bound by agreements with copyright holders. These specify in which countries they can put a show on the air. That is why some of the shows that you can watch on Netflix US aren’t available on Netflix Philippines. The company is also bound by the laws of each country in which it operates. That’s why it can’t allow customers in one country to watch the shows that it has made available in another country. The shows available in the US are not all suitable for viewing in the Philippines because of different libel and blasphemy laws. Thus, even if you see a show on Netflix Philippines that’s also available on Netflix US, it may well be edited differently, so won’t be the same.
For more information on watching US Netflix abroad, check out our Netflix VPN guide.
Alternatively, for information about watching US amazon prime, take a look at our VPN for Amazon guide.
The censorship implemented by the Philippines government isn’t too severe. The 2017 ban on certain porn sites, however, could be an indicator of more restrictions to come.
All of the VPNs in our list of the five best VPNs for the Philippines are excellent at avoiding detection in very restrictive countries, such as China and Iran. Getting one of these services will future-proof your internet freedoms and keep you prepared for any web access restrictions that the authorities in the Philippines might add to their current list of bans.