How to Unblock YouTube in Korea with a VPN (Updated 2021)

K-pop (short for Korean pop) is a unique export of Korea. It has acquired a global flavor and introduced the world to the different dimensions of Korean content. For instance, in 2012, Psy’s Gagnam Style took the world by storm. It became one of the most-watched music videos on YouTube, garnering a ton of awards in the process. 

Indisputably, social media and the internet generally were responsible for the rise of K-pop. Young people who are interconnected by the internet are pushing the frontiers of Korean art into mainstream spaces. However, it is sad that internet censorship has become a burning issue in Korea in recent times. The government restricts access of citizens to certain content on the internet.

Furthermore, even though YouTube is not outrightly banned in the country, users may experience difficulties with the platform. This is because YouTube also imposes some restrictions on users both within South Korea, and enthusiasts who want to access South Korean YouTube from their remote locations. This article examines how to overcome restrictions on YouTube in Korea. Read on!

How to Bypass YouTube Restrictions with a VPN

There are several routes to explore. The one we suggest is through using a VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates an encrypted and secure tunnel for your internet traffic. This keeps you safe from hackers and any cyber-criminal. However, a VPN is also useful for getting around restrictions. 

VPN providers usually have servers in multiple locations. Thus, while in Korea, you can access content in another location. You just need to connect to a VPN server in that location. This automatically gives you an IP address compatible with that region and makes it appear as though you are physically there. You throw off the algorithm on such platforms and remain anonymous and protected while accessing the prohibited content.

Following this, if some content is blocked for YouTube Korea but available in other locations, you can watch them. This opens you to a large pool of movies, TV shows, etc., even Korean dramas and song videos censored by YouTube in the country. You can support your favorite artists this way. 

Also, for Koreans outside Korea, this might be useful too. If Korean content is blocked in your location, you can remedy this. Simply connect to a Korean server provided by any VPN vendor, and you are good to go.

Best VPNs to Unblock YouTube in Korea

No doubt, there are several VPN providers in the market. Here are four strong recommendations for Korea.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN devices

Features

  • Number of servers: More than 3,000
  • Speeds: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • 24 live chat: Yes
  • 30 day money back guarantee: Yes

Pros/Cons

  • Fastest VPN out there
  • Strict no logs policy
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Few discounts
Visit ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a premium provider with a slew of amazing features. It has 3000+ servers in 120 global locations and 94 countries. These include popular destinations such as the United States, and also Korea. This will, no doubt, interest you if you are looking to bypass the restrictions on YouTube. With a VPN, you will not have to verify your age while using YouTube in Korea.

This provider has servers that are speedy, reliable, and safe. Whether surfing, watching your favorite Korean music video, or downloading them from YouTube, you are assured excellent speed. ExpressVPN has great security features, including the famous AES 256-bit encryption pattern, and supports various amazing VPN protocols.

You will find an ExpressVPN app for most devices in the market. The download and setup process is relatively easy, and you’ll have no problems with its pocket-friendly prices.

  • Pros: Fastest VPN out there; Strict no logs policy; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $6.67

NordVPN

NordVPN devices

Features

  • Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
  • Servers: 5342 in 58 countries

Pros/Cons

  • Lots of pricing options
  • Netflix support kept up to date
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Slow app
Visit NordVPN

NordVPN comes a close second to ExpressVPN. It has more than 5000 servers in 59 countries. A number of these are located in Korea. 

This provider has a history of unblocking geo-based restrictions. It gets around the toughest blocks on various platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, and, of course, YouTube. You can rest assured of uninhibited access to whatever content you want. 

NordVPN maintains a strict no-logs policy. Hence, your details will not find their way back to the government. It has admirable security features that will protect you at all times. 

This provider is compatible with various device types. It has competitive subscription plans and a reliable 30-day money-back window if you’d like a refund for any reason at all.

  • Pros: Lots of pricing options; Netflix support kept up to date; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $3.71

Surfshark

Surfshark devices

Features

  • Free trial? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
  • Ad blocking? Yes
  • Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries

Pros/Cons

  • No footprints
  • Allows torrenting
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Not the fastest
Try Surfshark

Surfshark is also another VPN we strongly recommend for accessing YouTube in South Korea. At last count, Surfshark has 3200 servers in 60 countries. A good number of those are stationed in South Korea. You can connect to any of them from your remote location to have unhindered access to YouTube. Even if you are in South Korea, this provider will prove rather useful also to get around the annoying verification system on the platform.

This provider makes sure that you stay safe while on YouTube Korea. It makes use of the standard AES 256-bit encryption on its servers. It also supports IKEv2, OpenVPN, and Shadowsocks VPN protocols. Other amazing security features include CleanWeb that deals with malware, spyware, etc., the NoBorder mode that works excellently for anyone looking to beat geo-restrictions imposed by governments such as South Korea, and a MultiHop feature that routes your traffic through multiple servers before getting to the final destination. This makes it harder for anyone to keep track of your data.

Surfshark is emphatic about its no-log policy. It does not retain users’ data. In addition, it has its headquarters in privacy-friendly the British Virgin Islands. This gives it greater impetus to secure users’ data.

This provider has apps for a variety of devices. It allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections to one account. Users also get a 30-day grace period to use the service and request a refund.

  • Pros: No footprints; Allows torrenting; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest Price: €2.09

CyberGhost

CyberGhost devices

Features

  • Connected devices at once: 7
  • Automatic kill switch? Yes
  • One click connect: Yes
  • Servers: 5900 worldwide

Pros/Cons

  • No logs policy
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Apps for mobile devices and routers
  • No free option
Try CyberGhost

With over 7000 servers in 91 countries, CyberGhost has the highest server count of all the providers on this list. It is also one of the oldest and has the highest South Korean servers with 24 stationed in the country. Over the years, CyberGhost has proved to be reliable for carrying out a variety of functions, accessing YouTube Korea inclusive. This provider is a trusted service for accessing YouTube Korea regardless of any hassles.

CyberGhost equips its servers with the best speeds. You need to have a high amount of streaming speed to enjoy your time on YouTube; CyberGhost makes that possible. In addition, this provider has superb unblocking abilities. Thus, from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer, this provider unblocks libraries in different countries. Its large server count also helps to make sure that you do not run out of options to choose from.

Security is also at its peak with this service. Thus, you have the AES 256-bit encryption model, a kill switch, support for split tunneling, DNS/IP leak prevention features, and adware blockers. In fact, CyberGhost has specialized NoSpy servers that comes in handy in high-surveillance locations like South Korea. With such security features in place, the government cannot access or block your access to the internet.

This provider has compatible apps for macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux mobile devices and computers. Also, it allows you to connect 7 devices to one account. While other providers give a 30-day money-back guarantee window, this provider gives you 45 days, no questions asked. You can refer to its customer care team if you need to have any problems sorted.

  • Pros: No logs policy; 24/7 live chat; Apps for mobile devices and routers;
  • Lowest price: €2

Why Do Restrictions Exist on YouTube?

The restrictions you may find on YouTube are of two types: location-based restrictions/geo-restrictions and platform-based censorship. 

1. Geo-restrictions

Geo-restrictions are algorithms that prevent people from a specified region from accessing content outside of their location. Thus, if geo-restrictions are in place in a location, say the United States, people in that country may be unable to access the content of other areas. Geo-restrictions are usually employed by streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. This is why some content available to users in the UK may be unavailable for users in Korea.

One major reason for geo-restrictions could be copyright challenges. Some of these platforms, such as YouTube, only have the license to broadcast their content to certain regions. Thus, the licensing agreements of the various contents can prohibit broadcast in some regions. Thus, these platforms identify and block users who try to access these contents outside of their locations. This mostly affects users outside Korea. 

With a VPN, you can connect to a server in South Korea. This makes it appear like you are physically in the country. The geo-restrictions employed in such situations will then fall away.

2. Platform-based Restrictions

Certain content on YouTube is regarded as adult content. Thus, users will have to verify their ages. For this, you will have to input your mobile number to indicate that you are above 19. There could be other requirements too. The process is not always straightforward and can be frustrating. However, when you connect to a VPN, you can bypass this requirement and stream content freely on YouTube in Korea.

How YouTube Discovers Restrictions Violations

Before we dive into a solution to beating internet censorship and geo-restrictions, it is important to discuss how defaulters are even found out in the first place. The giveaway is your IP address. When you use the internet, your IP (Internet Protocol) address is akin to a virtual address. These addresses have location identifiers tied to specific locations. A platform with restrictions, e.g. YouTube Korea, scans the IP addresses of users. Once it discovers any attempt to access content not meant for its location, it blocks it. 

Thus, if you are in Korea and want to access content available in the United States, you’ll be unable to. 

Free Proxy Servers vs VPN

A VPN is not the only means to bypass internet censorship or YouTube’s restrictions. You can use a proxy server to achieve the same purpose. Some people prefer this option, especially the free proxy servers.  However, a VPN provides a safer route. We will show you why below. 

A proxy server provides a detour before channeling internet traffic to your device. In this instance, a browser connects to the site you want, then routes the traffic through a proxy server, bypassing the geo-restrictions and hiding your details before returning to your device.  Thus, with a proxy server, you can access prohibited content on YouTube Korea.

However, connecting to a free proxy server can be dangerous. This is because it could compromise your security. Companies that build proxy servers spend a lot of funds to get them up and running. They ostensibly need to make money for upkeep somehow. Thus, when they offer free services, you should be wary. First, it is either the services will be subpar. Alternatively, they could be selling your details to data mining companies. 

VPNs, on the other hand, prioritize the security of their users. In fact, that is their primary job. Most of them operate a no-log policy. This means they wipe off your data immediately after each session. This keeps you safe from hackers and government entities. Furthermore, most are located in privacy-friendly countries. This means that they’ll have no obligation to share your data with their host countries’ governments. 

When it comes down to it, free proxy servers are seldom truly free. Your internet freedom is a high price to pay to access blocked content. Instead, you can pay a small subscription fee to any VPN service and rest assured of great unblocking abilities and stellar security.

How to Install and Use a VPN in Korea

The setup process for most VPNs is the same. Please find the general guidelines below.

  1. Select a compatible VPN service. We will give you two strong recommendations below. 
  2. Pay for the subscription of the VPN of choice.
  3. Download and install the VPN app. 
  4. Toggle the settings to suit your preference.
  5. Connect to a server in any compatible region.
  6. Start streaming content on YouTube

Conclusion

YouTube’s Korean restriction may be unpalatable to you as a Korean content lover. This is because some of the restricted Korean content is available in other locations. The ban on some of these contents in Korea is in response to the government’s stipulation. You can get around this challenge with a VPN. This article has shown you all you need to know about YouTube’s restrictions in Korea and how to get around them.