How To Watch Korean TV Outside Korea (Updated for 2021)
Korea has a slew of streaming platforms for accessing Korean shows. This rich repository of content is, however, unavailable to users outside the country. Due to licensing agreements between these platforms and owners of the contents, non-Korean-based users are barred from streaming. That is, except you find a way to circumvent this challenge. One of the easiest ways to do so is through using a VPN.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) has the primary duty of keeping you safe online. However, an ancillary benefit you get with them is the ability to access geo-blocked content.
This review shows you how to access the full gamut of Korean TV from your remote location.
How To Unblock Korean TV Outside Korea
Actually, there are several ways to access Korean TV outside Korea. This review, however, recommends using a VPN. This is because a VPN makes sure you are safe even while getting around the blocks. How does a VPN help access Korean TV abroad? First, we would need to discuss IP addresses and how they function.
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is like a virtual address. It is a set of numbers that shows where an internet user is located. Thus, when you access any Korean TV platform and try to stream or download content, the platform’s algorithm scans your IP address, and when it finds it to be outside of the captured area, you get blocked.
How does a VPN overcome this? Well, a VPN provider usually has servers in various locations. You will need to find a provider with servers in Korea. When you get on any such service, you connect to a server in Korea. This switches out your IP address, giving you one that reflects that you are in the region. You will then gain access to the streaming platform this way. It is a rather straightforward process. Also, you get improved security as a bonus.
The step-by-step process is as follows:
- Get on a VPN subscription (Check the list below for our top recommendations).
- Download and install the VPN app.
- Connect to a Korean server.
- Head over to the Korean streaming platform. (You should have downloaded and installed it before then and also have a subsisting VPN subscription.)
- Search for Korean content, stream, and download with ease.
Top Recommended VPNs for Accessing Korean TV Outside Korea
There are actually quite a number of VPN providers who claim to unblock Korean TV for users. In the list below, we look at tested and trusted providers.
- 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
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
ExpressVPN is synonymous with quality service. Being one of the earliest VPN service providers globally, it has continued to change to meet the times. The provider offers unparalleled browsing and surfing speed, unlimited bandwidth and data, and great security for accessing Korean content from any location. It is our first recommendation if you are looking to access Korean streaming platforms such as MTV, Netflix Korea or from your remote location.
This service is noted for unblocking geo-restrictions with speed. For context: ExpressVPN is one of the handfuls of providers who can get around the Great Firewall of China. More so, it allows you to gain access to restricted content on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, and a host of other streaming platforms. Unblocking Korean TV will be a walk in the park for it.
ExpressVPN has 3000+ servers in 160 locations and 94 countries. South Korea is included in the list of locations it is present in. As stated earlier, this provider is noted for its speed and thus makes sure you do not experience lags on its platform. One other thing it guides against is security breaches. You find the AES 256-bit super-secure security encryption model on this service. Other security features include a kill switch, split tunneling ability, support for reliable protocols, etc.
ExpressVPN is a little pricier than the average VPN provider. However, it offers a remarkable 30-day window so you can test its service before committing. You get to cover 5 devices with one subscription plan. You find apps for most device types. In addition, you find extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers. You may want to go a step further to install this VPN on a router, ensuring broader coverage.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
NordVPN is the next VPN provider we consider and recommend. It is in the same league as ExpressVPN. Hence you can expect stellar service with it. While outside Korea, you can cop a Korean IP address, evade geo-blocks, and stream or download Korean TV without the slightest hitch. You can go ahead to try out this provider for unblocking MBC, SBS, or even TVING. Even recent entrant Wavve is not immune to NordVPN’s unblocking prowess.
NordVPN has a whooping 5400 servers in 60 global locations. More than 10 of those servers are dedicated solely to South Korea. They are divided into regular servers and specialty servers. The specialty ones include Dedicated IP, Obfuscated, P2P, and Double VPN servers. To unblock the encryption in Korea, you will have to connect to this class of servers. They offer the best protection you will find. For instance, the double VPN servers route your network twice on the servers, further enhancing your security, while the dedicated IP servers dedicate an IP solely to you.
Other security features you will find include a kill switch, support for Onion Over VPN, and great security protocols. NordVPN operates a standard no-log policy, retaining none of the user data you disclose on its service. It also has its headquarters in Panama, away from the jurisdiction of the 5-eyes or 14-eyes network.
You can hook up 6 devices with one NordVPN account. The provider also has excellent cross-platform compatibility, covering most of the devices you would need. It tops it off with a risk-free money-back window and great customer care support.
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the fastest
It will not be out of place to dub Surfshark the streaming-focused VPN. This is because it has unique features, making it a fan-favorite for VPN users who fancy streaming. We have tested this service and can reliably recommend it for accessing Korean TV remotely.
Surfshark recently upped its server count to 3200 in 60 countries. These servers are excellent for unblocking streaming platforms generally. Thus, you can unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and a host of other platforms with this VPN. Specifically for Korea, you can also beat the encryptions on TVING, Kakao TV, MBC, etc.
Apart from unblocking the sites, you also get great streaming speed with this service. Streaming is a speed-intensive activity. Thus, Surfshark offers you unlimited bandwidth, zero data cap, and unmatched streaming speed. Rest assured, you can access HD content without worrying about being cut off in the middle of an interesting show.
Surfshark is well regarded because of its unlimited connections ability. At the moment, hardly any provider makes this available. With one Surfshark account, you can hook up as many devices as you want. This offers you one way to raise money for your subscription —pooling resources with friends. You get apps for whatever device you use and a risk-free 30-day money-back window.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
This provider is perhaps most known for its amazing security features. It is a sister product to ProtonMail, and so is familiar with securing the data of users. Beyond that, ProtonVPN also crafts a way for you around geo-blocks. If you are outside Korea, you can use this VPN to ensure that you have uninhibited access to whatever streaming platform you need.
ProtonVPN has about 1200 servers in about 50+ countries. 4 of those servers are stationed in South Korea. You can connect to any of these servers at any time to bypass blocks on JTV, Wavve, TV Chosun, or any other Korean-only streaming site.
This provider uses the AES 256-bit encryption mode and supports the IPSec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols and applies full disk encryption. Furthermore, it applies Perfect Forward Secrecy to hinder the escape of data from previous sessions. ProtonVPN has its headquarters in Switzerland. The Swiss authorities have very friendly data privacy laws. Thus, you can expect that the service will not cooperate with the Korean government to sell you out.
There are a couple of things you need to know about streaming with ProtonVPN. The first is that you cannot stream content with its free plan. Streaming is optimized on its Plus and Visionary plans. These plans have the Plus servers, which aid streaming but also make sure you are not found out. In addition, you will need an Android or iOS device to access content on streaming platforms. This is because it is just the ProtonVPN apps for these devices that allow streaming. Android TVs also work. However, you can download apps for Windows, Linux, and macOS devices for general VPN use.
- Connected devices at once: 7
- Automatic kill switch? Yes
- One click connect: Yes
- Servers: 5900 worldwide
- No logs policy
- 24/7 live chat
- Apps for mobile devices and routers
- No free option
You will be sorely mistaken to think that CyberGhost is a pushover seeing as it is last on this list. As a matter of fact, with over 7000 servers, it is one of the best for server count. In addition, you get premium service delivery, undisrupted speed, all on a great budget. For users looking to save money while accessing great VPN services, CyberGhost is your go-to provider.
CyberGhost has 24 of its servers in South Korea. Unblocking geo-restrictions on SBS, KBS, MBC, or even Netflix Korea is as easy as connecting to any of these Korean servers. You also get to stream and download content with great speed and zero lags.
The provider does not lose sight of your security while you use its service. It equips its servers with the standard AES 256-bit encryption model. You also find a functional kill switch, split tunneling features, and DNS/IP-leak prevention mechanisms.
This provider has apps for popular device types. You can download the app compatible with your device from its website or your device’s app store. You get to connect 7 devices to one VPN account, ensuring that the VPN’s protection reaches all your devices. As already mentioned, CyberGhost’s pricing and plans are affordable. More so, you get to enjoy a generous 45-day money-back window to use the service and request a refund.
Factors To Consider When Choosing a VPN to Access Korean TV Outside Korea
Looking at the list we have above, what factors should you prioritize when choosing a VPN provider?
Available Korean Servers
You will be unable to access Korean TV remotely if the VPN provider does not have available Korean servers. This is why this factor is the most important to consider. Do check that the provider in question has servers in Korea. The higher the server count, the better.
You are in for a frustrating experience if the VPN lags or reduces your speed. You may want to run speed checks on the servers to confirm the speed status of the providers. Be aware that your distance from the Korean servers and the quality of your internet connection could affect your speed.
This goes without saying: you should be able to afford the subscription plans of any VPN you choose. Perks such as money-back guarantees and free trials will also come in quite useful.
A VPN’s primary job is shoring up your security. Hence, you have to confirm that the provider you choose does this job very well. Look out for security features such as the AES 256-bit encryption model, kill switches, ability to split tunnel your traffic, etc.
Can Free VPN Providers Unblock Korean TV?
In theory, yes. In reality, most likely not. The VPNs under review, save for ProtonVPN, do not offer unpaid versions. More so, the prices for the plans range from mildly expensive to exorbitant. Hence, it is understandable if you are inclined to take the offers of free providers. However, free providers may be unable to grant access to Korean TV from your remote location.
Furthermore, you could run into security challenges when you use free providers. To make ends meet, these providers often collate and sell the data of users. Thus, your details could fall into the wrong hands. Compromising your security to take advantage of free offers does not seem like a very good trade-off.
As an alternative, you may want to consider any of the VPN providers discussed above with a money-back guarantee. They offer the best value at an affordable cost.
Accessing Korean TV outside the country is near impossible except with the aid of some external software. This review introduces one such excellent option: using VPNs. We have looked at some of the VPNs that provide reliable access to Korean content from your remote location. It is left for you to follow the steps discussed for uninhibited access.