8 Best Philippines VPN Services [A Filipino Expert’s Picks]

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Best Philippines VPN

The Philippines doesn’t have restrictive cyberspace. This Southeast Asian country’s government isn’t known for mass surveillance either.

But as a Filipino who currently lives in this archipelago, I can attest that a VPN can be useful on many occasions.

In my opinion, as someone who’s been in this line of work for years, here are your best VPN options for the Philippines:

  • CyberGhost – The best choice if you want to connect to a physical VPN server housed in the country.
  • ExpressVPN – A great option if you want a virtual PH server location.
  • Private Internet Access (PIA) – A dependable service if you need PH IP addresses and a tried-and-true no-logs policy. 
  • Surfshark – An excellent source of auto-rotating Filipino IPs.
  • NordVPN – A powerful premium VPN with an exceptional feature set that’s perfect for those already in the country.
  • Proton VPN – The best free VPN with no data cap.
  • PrivadoVPN – A reputable service with 12 free VPN server locations.
  • Hide.me – A convenient free VPN that requires no registration.

Let me tell you why I highly recommend them!

Best Philippines VPNs if you’re abroad

If you’re overseas and want to obtain a Philippine IP to get around geo-restrictions, I recommend these four services:

1. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is one of the few VPNs that have RAM-only servers physically located in the Philippines. As of writing, its Manila hardware fleet is 70-strong, which translates to dozens of Filipino IPs.

Plus, all of them support peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, which is good news for torrenters.

Pros:

  • Colocated Philippine servers
  • Romania headquarters
  • Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android free trials

Cons:

  • No 10Gbps servers in the Philippines yet
  • No obfuscation feature
  CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Benefit from a large Philippine server fleet and top-notch security with CyberGhost.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN can give you access to Philippine IPs through its virtual server location powered by its cluster of diskless physical hardware somewhere in Singapore.

Thanks to this setup, you can take advantage of this VPN vendor’s 10Gbps network connectivity.

Pros:

  • Self-maintained servers
  • British Virgin Islands headquarters
  • iOS and Android free trials

Cons:

  • Undisclosed Philippine server count
  • Up to five simultaneous device connections only
  • No dedicated IPs
  ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Enjoy 10 Gbps connections and virtual PH IPs with ExpressVPN.

3. Private Internet Access

By August 17, 2022, the Philippines had been part of PIA’s network of geo-located servers. This vendor doesn’t share the host countries and territories of its virtual server locations, nor does its help desk guarantee 10Gbps connection speeds.

Having said that, this VPN service provider advertises that the Philippines is included in its next-gen RAM-only server network.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Undisclosed virtual Manila server location host
  • Potentially leased servers in the Philippines
  • US headquarters
  Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Boost your online privacy and easily mask your traffic to and from the Philipines with PIA.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark is a good source of PH IPs you can set to auto-rotate regularly. This VPN company doesn’t have a single piece of diskless hardware on the archipelago, though. It doesn’t like keeping a public list of its virtual server location hosts either.

But if Surfshark lets you pretend that you’re in the Philippines by routing your data to Singapore as other VPNs do, you’ll be able to enjoy super-fast 10Gbps connection speeds.

Pros:

  • Double VPN and Obfuscated Philippine servers
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • iOS and Android free trials

Cons:

  • Undisclosed virtual Manila server location host
  • Undisclosed Philippine server count
  • Netherlands headquarters
  Surfshark

Surfshark

Access a large pool of PH IP addresses and enjoy lightning-fast speeds with Surfshark.

Best Philippines VPN services if you’re in the country

If your IP is Filipino by default by simply being in the Philippines, you can still use any of the four VPNs above to successfully encrypt your traffic and hide your online activity.

In addition, here’s another quality service worth considering:

NordVPN

Out of the 40+ services we’ve tested, NordVPN has the fifth-highest RAM-only, 10Gbps server count, and the 15th largest global network. Not only that, it has specialized pieces of VPN hardware for P2P, obfuscation, double VPN, and Onion over VPN.

NordVPN also has a proprietary protocol called NordLynx, which makes it Meshnet internet traffic routing solution possible.

Similar to all of the above premium services, this VPN vendor has impartially verified privacy claims.

Pros:

  • Strong security features
  • Panama headquarters
  • Android free trial

Cons:

  • No Philippine servers
  • Up to six simultaneous device connections only
  NordVPN

NordVPN

Benefit from great speeds and advanced security features with this top-of-the-line VPN.

Best free VPNs for the Philippines

Are you in the market for a VPN while in the Philippines, but don’t want to pay a penny for an extended period of time?

Here are my top three free VPN picks:

1. Proton VPN

Some of Proton VPN’s servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan are available to anyone for free. You can’t connect to them as a guest, though, so you need to create an account first.

Despite that, you have no data caps and speed limits to worry about.

Since you’re not a premium subscriber, you won’t be able to access this provider’s 10Gbps hardware. But if you don’t need to mask your streaming or P2P traffic or browse the web through Tor, Proton’s free servers are good enough to spoof your location and strongly encrypt your data.

In addition, you can take advantage of its kill switch, VPN Accelerator speed booster, and obfuscation-focused Stealth protocol without forking over a single dime.

Likewise, Proton takes pride in having an audited no-logs policy. Lastly, runs its own bare-metal servers that power the Smart Routing network behind its virtual locations like Manila (via Singapore).

  Proton VPN

Proton VPN

Enjoy a free service with great features and no data caps with Proton VPN.

2. PrivadoVPN

PrivadoVPN’s free version limits your usage to 10GB every 30 days. But it gives you access to a dozen server locations such as the US, the UK, Germany, and Brazil. It has physical servers in the Philippines. However, they’re part of its premium global network.

One great benefit is that it doesn’t throttle your speed. So, you can max out your data allocation on streaming and other high-bandwidth activities without this vendor interfering with you.

PrivadoVPN’s set-free features include a kill switch and fast, secure WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols. It has native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Fire OS (Fire TV Stick).

This VPN service provider has a no-nonsense, albeit unaudited, no-logs policy. That said, its home base is in Switzerland, which is outside the backyard of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance.

3. Hide.me

Hide.me’s free P2P VPN is on tap, provided that your consumption doesn’t go over 10GB a month. It requires no signup and comes with five server locations, although you can’t really choose from them.

In my experience, this Malaysia-based VPN vendor randomly connected me to the same New York server during different sessions. So, it’s unclear how big its free server network really is and how it decides where to route the traffic of non-paying users.

The Big Apple is in the Atlantic, which is oceans away from the Philippines. Therefore, if the Empire State was the closest server to me, the rest of this Hide.me’s free locations must be in Europe.

Moreover, this Hide.me version isn’t ad-sponsored. You may have to contend with a pop-up about upgrading to a premium subscription before every session begins, though.

  Hide.me

Hide.me

Enjoy a great set of features at no cost with Hide.me.

Risks of using a free VPN in the Philippines

The risks of using a free VPN in the Philippines (or any other place for that matter) are manifold.

They include getting your data collected for profit, exposing your devices to malware, exhausting your own digital resources like bandwidth, and being used for cyber attacks.

Running a VPN operation can be expensive. So, no vendor could hide your online activity and not charge you any money without violating your internet privacy and cybersecurity. Such a company must be engaging in some monkey business.

That’s why all of the free VPNs I mentioned here sell premium subscriptions too. PrivadoVPN, Hide.me, and ProtonVPN may have restrictions, but they’re not offering their cost-free apps in bad faith.

They’re simply making access to the full functionality of their VPNs as an incentive for you to go premium and for them to earn subscription fees that they can use to pay their own bills.

How I tested and ranked the best Philippines VPN services

I tested and ranked the best VPNs for the Philippines personally. Using my extensive experience reviewing such privacy and cybersecurity tools, I know what makes them trustworthy and reliable.

First, all of my picks do the basics excellently. Then, they also have extraordinary capabilities that make them superior to average VPNs when it comes to streaming, gaming, torrenting, and other high-bandwidth activities.

Save for NordVPN, all of them provide PH IPs.

CyberGhost beats the other premium services because it has physical servers in the Philippines. ExpressVPN is in second place, as it discloses the host of its virtual Manila server location.

Both PIA and Surfshark house no hardware in the country and refuse to disclose where their Filipino IPs are coming from, but the former outranks the latter because it’s been proven in court to be resistant to surveillance.

NordVPN deserves special mention, as it’s the most well-rounded VPN. While it can’t mask your location with a PH IP yet, it remains a great option if you’re already in the country.

Among my recommended freemium VPNs, Proton is at the top because its unlimited data outweighs its minimal number of free server locations.

Although PrivadoVPN and Hide.me both have a 10GB data constraint, the former ranks higher than the latter because it offers more server locations and is more transparent about them.

Philippines internet censorship

The Philippines does exercise some form of internet censorship.

In January 2021, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered local ISP Globe to block more than 2,500 sites that had been promoting child pornography.

Nearly one and a half years later, the country’s National Security Adviser asked the NTC to cut access to sites linked to Filipino communist insurgents, which had been revolting against the government for more than 50 years.

Overall, Philippine cyberspace is mostly free.

How do I access pornography in the Philippines?

You can access pornography in the Philippines with or without a VPN. The authorities are only tough on porn sites that feature minors, so other adult content is freely accessible in the country.

However, it’s worth noting that Pornhub suddenly became restricted in the country in early 2017. It happened days after news broke out that Filipinos spent the longest time on the site among all visitors in the year prior.

The restriction was brief, though. Perhaps it’s just a move to discourage the public from consuming pornography. In fact, the country once again led the world in the same Pornhub category that same year.Although you’ll be able to watch porn in the Philippines, expect bandwidth throttling. You can avoid it without a VPN, but using one spares you from jumping through many hoops.

How do I access pornography in the Philippines?

You can access pornography in the Philippines with or without a VPN. The authorities are only tough on porn sites that feature minors, so other adult content is freely accessible in the country.

However, it’s worth noting that PornHub suddenly became restricted at the beginning of 2017. It happened days after news broke out that Filipinos spent the longest time on the site among all visitors in the year prior.

The restriction was brief, though.

Most likely, it was just an attempt to discourage the public from consuming pornography. However, the Philipines once again led the world in terms of PornHub visits that same year.

Although you’ll be able to watch porn in the Philippines, expect bandwidth throttling. You can avoid it without a VPN, but using one spares you from jumping through many hoops.

Wrap up

The Philippines isn’t a repressive regime that unreasonably censors cyberspace and monitors the internet activity of ordinary people.

So unless you’re someone who just puts a premium on online anonymity, there’s little need for a VPN inside or outside of it.

But if you must use one for whatever reason, go with any of my recommendations to genuinely get what you pay for — or even avoid spending anything at all.

FAQ

Are VPNs legal in the Philippines?

Yes, VPNs are legal in the Philippines. But it should go without saying that you shouldn’t use a VPN to commit any crime.

Which VPN has Philippines server?

Some of the best premium VPN services that have Philippines servers are CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access (PIA), and Surfshark VPN.

When it comes to freemium services, PrivadoVPN, Hide.me, and Proton VPN are safe options.

Does NordVPN have a Philippine server?

As of June 2023, NordVPN doesn’t have any servers in the Philippines.

How do I get a Philippines IP address?

To get a Philippine IP address, you can route your traffic to a VPN service provider that advertises having PH servers on its network.

Mind you, advertising Philippine servers doesn’t necessarily mean having them physically in the country. These pieces of VPN hardware may give you access to PH IPs, but are housed in another country.

They’re also known as virtual server locations.

More often than not, a VPN vendor would mark them with the letter “V” or the word “virtual” to distinguish them from the rest. But not all would disclose where the actual servers are.

What is the fastest VPN location for the Philippines?

The fastest VPN location for the Philippines is Manila, as it’s usually the only Filipino city that hosts hardware used for IP masking.

Since you may not really have any other server location to choose from when obscuring the origin of your traffic, there’s nothing you can do to minimize latency geography-wise.

Moreover, the Philippines isn’t a huge VPN market. So, it’s low on the agenda of vendors when it comes to network upgrades.

In other words, the countries and territories in more popular regions such as North America and Europe will always take priority in terms of 10Gbps server adoption.

But when your chosen provider uses a virtual PH location, your traffic won’t really travel all the way to the country. The physical servers are actually elsewhere even though you get to mask your IP with a Filipino one.

Usually, VPN vendors view Singapore as the ideal virtual server host because it offers the fastest internet connection speeds in Southeast Asia.

Does Surfshark have Philippines VPN?

Yes, Surfshark does have Philippines VPN servers. They’re advertised to be in Manila, but they’re virtual.

So, they’re really not hosted in the country for performance and/or security reasons. Although Surfshark is one of the best Philippines VPN service providers, it doesn’t disclose the hosts of its virtual server locations the way other vendors do.