If you’re looking for the best providers of VPN services in Japan, you’ll have to choose from a long list of companies willing to offer these sorts of security services that shield IP addresses or otherwise hide user activity.
VPN services in Japan and elsewhere are popular for various reasons — many use them to get access to American content, where providers like Hulu and others are not offering legitimate services for those in foreign countries. Others are entering Japan wondering about how they will download torrents or otherwise enjoy various kinds of Internet activity, without running afoul of censorship rules or other laws. Whilst others are simply seeking a Japan IP address to play Japanese games.
The services of VPN providers vary based on many factors. Customers are going to want to look at pricing, as well as the features packages of what providers’ offer, how fast their servers are, and what kind of bandwidth is involved. In a country where Internet service can go up to 2 Gb per second, there’s a lot of potential for fast service, but you want to check out providers’ metrics to see what they actually will give you. Different VPNs also have different security policies, which can affect the service.
IPVanish – Full Review
Being that Japan has very fast broadband infrastructure, a fast VPN service is needed to match. IPVanish has built a very strong infrastructure to provide the best possible speeds, while retaining strong 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN. No logs are kept, and the service is very simple and straight forward. The software clients work well across all platforms, and can be used on two simultaneous devices.
The network spans over more than 60 countries, and provides over 180 servers total. A strong presence in Asia, including Hong Kong and 3 servers in Tokyo alone, as well as great coverage of US west coast.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
Another massive provider with excellent software, ExpressVPN provides worldwide coverage, a strong team of network engineers ensuring fast speeds at all times across a high bandwidth network. No logs and 256-bit encryption across OpenVPN ensures your data remains protected. SmartDNS is included for streaming only needs, and simple setup tutorials are included in the member’s portal to get you going on a large variety of hardware.
78 countries are covered including local access in Asia, and west coast US servers. Fast speeds to match local ISPs, great software and superb customer service make up for the slightly higher price. A 30-day money back guarantee allows you to try the service risk free.
Hide My Ass – Full Review
HMA has been around long enough to have developed a very good software client available on all major platforms; Apple, Windows, Android, iOS. Easy to use with great security and connection features. Straight forward signup process that includes up to 2 simultaneous connected devices, up to 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN across a massive network covering 182 countries and 300 locations.
The very large network ensures you will never lack location access, and with more than 850 servers, Hide My Ass’s VPN service is fast enough to keep up with Japan.
Private Internet Access (PIA) – Full Review
Lower on the list, but still a great choice for Japan is Private Internet Access. They cover a much smaller list of countries, 17 to be exact. US, UK, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore make the list, ensuring local and streaming access. 5 simultaneous devices can connect to a single account, and software is provided for all platforms. No logs, good encryption over OpenVPN.
Can be slower than other providers, but costs less than most while still providing more than 3000 servers to keep up with bandwidth. Great choice for a budget or multiple devices.
VyprVPN – Full Review
Another great choice is VyprVPN. They provide strong extra layered 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN, and probably the coolest looking VPN clients. Up to 3 simultaneous connections per account, and a 7-day money back guarantee included. Service also includes encrypted cloud storage to securely backup your personal files. A little more expensive than some, but valuable service overall.
More than 700 servers ensure very fast speeds. Great coverage of Asia including Tokyo and Hong Kong, as well as Los Angeles and other west coast locations.
Internet Use in Japan
With the majority of Japanese citizens heavily linked to the World Wide Web, Japan is a country with a lot of technology at its disposal. Japan was ranked number four in Internet use in a survey of developed countries, and over 80% of residents have the standard kind of Internet and smartphone connections necessary to access the global Internet. But although this kind of access is fairly universal, there are still issues about using digital connections within the country.
Censorship and Piracy Laws in Japan
Like other countries, Japan has its own laws regarding the piracy of content, and what’s legal online. However, there’s also a sense that government officials do engage in some types of censorship. These concerns have led visitors and others to use VPNs where they believe sensitive activity may be monitored or censored. Japan also has relatively new laws including the Computer Network Monitoring Law and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, both effective in 2011 (Read about these laws at the Electronic Frontier Foundation). In addition, there are reports that the Japanese studio industry has put pressure on ISPs to monitor users for piracy.
Censorship is also an issue: this article from Japan Times shows how much of the work actually put into censorship policing is around the idea of pornography. With that in mind, other sensitive types of political activity may also be monitored online in some cases, as in this post from Washington’s Blog.
Businesses in Japan
Sometimes, Japanese businesses may use VPN services as a networking service. These secure tunnels may link up different business locations, or business hardware systems. This is another element of VPN service in Japan that providers may cater to, in addition to consumer customers.
Look for superior offers from VPN providers in Japan, to get more for your money and enjoy a better quality of service.