Although Singapore is a mecca for technology and business, freedom of speech and censorship is extremely harsh. More than 80% of the population has access to the web, but government oversight has been extreme and ever growing. The People’s Action Party (PAP) has had the role of supressing unwanted media and political opposition for the government since 1959, and their role has expanded online among many other sectors.
Censorship of journalists and bloggers can be counted as part of the worst in the world. Additional regulations imposed by the MDA – Media Development Authority monitor many platforms for content that may not fit the political agenda, or stir the climate in any way. Movies, television, books and general entertainment have always been subject to occasional censorship as well. Websites can be blocked at any time for any reason they deem fit. With all the various acts imposed by the PAP, the whole climate is layered with complexity and dangers of being charged with crimes against the government.
Monitoring of citizen web activity also extends to copyright infringement. Singapore is part of the TTP and ACTA agreement, and allows copyright holders to legally pursue users for monetary damages in civil courts, all the way to criminally charging those found to distribute, or sell copyright material.
Ironically, Singapore is home to many VPN servers from various providers, but due to the climate, it would be best to opt for a free and open internet country for service such as Hong Kong. Although not being the closest proximity in Asia, the location provide a safe haven for Singapore netizens to connect safely and encrypt all web data effectively. Speed loss is to be expected, but local access can always be used with Singapore VPN servers when needed. Any encryption is better than no encryption, and using a VPN in Singapore allows the public to regain privacy and remove censorship in order to access media and news sites.
Here are my top VPN picks for Singapore;
Private Internet Access – Full Review
If you want the best deal for your money, Private Internet Access provides above average speeds for Singapore users with 10 local servers and 20 Hong Kong servers alone. The software is simple and works well, customer service is good, and the price is very cheap, and allows 5 simultaneous connections per account. Over 29 regions in 18+ countries are accessible worldwide, including west coast US servers. If you’re on a budget, PIA has adequate coverage for Singapore.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
If you want the cream of software clients and customer service, ExpressVPN offers great coverage for Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Asia as a whole. 78 countries and almost 100 cities are currently offered for premium global coverage. Speeds are top notch and the service is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. Comes at a higher price but with a superb quality of service, and included SmartDNS for Xbox, PlayStation, and Apple TV, the value makes for a good investment.
NordVPN is also in the list thanks to its effective combination of high quality servers and strong encryption that will protect your online data from threats like eavesdroppers and surveillance. NordVPN has nearly 80 servers in Singapore. You can find servers that support P2P, as well as servers with obfuscated technology that hide the use of a VPN and allow you to overcome restrictions anywhere. NordVPN is a zero logs provider.
IronSocket – Full Review
Another great inexpensive option for Singapore, based out of Hong Kong, IronSocket provides excellent speeds and features. Although they don’t have software clients, OpenVPN is used to quickly connect to one of their 36+ server country locations, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. DNS Proxy service is included at no extra cost, and up to 3 VPN connections can be used per account. 3 encryption levels can be used, and P2P friendly servers are listed on the site.
BolehVPN has grown in popularity for having specifically focused services ranging past VPN into seedbox hosting for torrents and game hosting out of Malaysia. Gaming communities in and around Malaysia will experience great speeds when using the service due to direct proximity routes used between the privately encrypted servers. Singapore users can take advantage of their Hong Kong and US West Coast servers for a speedy service.
IPVanish – Full Review
Not to be counted out, IPVanish provides excellent worldwide and Asian coverage, including Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Serangoon – Singapore and more for a total of 25 servers in Asia alone. The service is medium priced allowing for 2 simultaneous connections, but provides top quality software clients designed for simplicity. IPVanish promises to provide the best possible speeds, with no logs and dependable encryption for everyday use.
VyprVPN – Full Review
If you wish to have sharp and futuristic design software clients, VyprVPN does more than just provide nice visuals. Strong encryption does a great job of bypassing censorship, and the service provides great coverage for Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and more. As mentioned, nice visual software is included, but they also provide free additional encrypted cloud storage for safe file storage. Service allows for 2 simultaneous connections.