If you actually living and/or working in Japan, you might want to look into getting some VPN protection. With a VPN you will have a lot of benefits. That is, you can surf the web anonymously or bypass blocked content. This will be especially useful if you are visiting nearby countries such as China or Russia.
So many Japanese people living abroad also needs a Japanese IP address to access television content like AbemaTV, Dazn, Amazon Prime, DMM, DTV. Gyao, Radiko and so on. In this case a VPN service gives you excactly what you need.
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With today’s cost-cutting mentality, people would rather not pay for a VPN if they could help it. As such, most people look at the market for free VPN services first to see if it can suit them. In this article, we will dive into the free VPN market and see what it has to offer the Japanese citizen.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. The benefits of a VPN include increases in functionality, security, and management of the private network. It provides access to resources inaccessible on the public network and is typically used for telecommuting workers. Encryption is common, although not an inherent part of a VPN connection.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated circuits or with tunneling protocols over existing networks. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.
Can Free VPN Services Be Good?
Before trying to scout out the good quality free VPNs in Japan, it would be wise to check and see if such a thing is even possible in the first place. Most free VPNs on average are not as good as paid ones, The reason is that free VPNs usually have much slower traffic, limited traffic, not the best user experience and also some VPNs keep logs of your activities.
As a result of this we usually recommend risk-free VPN services instead of free VPN services. Risk-free VPN services are VPNs that offer a 30 day unconditional money back guarantee. Since paid VPNs in our opinion are so much better than free VPNs, we recommend testing the risk-free VPNs before you try the free VPNs.
First we will explore two risk-free VPNs, and then we will explore some free VPNs. After that we will explain more thoroughly why we usually don’t recommend free VPNs.
Recommended Risk-Free VPN Services
Firstly, we will show you the two best VPNs in the market today in this article. These VPNs are 100% risk free, this therefore means that you will get the money back within 30 days no questions asked. The reason we mention these VPNs before mentioning the 100% free VPNs it that these VPNs are a lot better than the free VPNs, and also are very cheap.
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Leading VPN lists usually count ExpressVPN among them. For those who seek privacy without intricacy and restriction, ExpressVPN comes highly recommended. The no logging policy, extensive server network, and simple layout makes this VPN very popular.
Being situated in the British Virgin Islands affords ExpressVPN the advantage of not having to keep tabs of your online activities. This therefore means that your privacy is truly secured when you go online.
The server network that ExpressVPN has is truly world class and international. ExpressVPN has over 3000 servers in 94 countries. Many of ExpressVPNs servers is located in Japan, which makes the VPN provider a good choice for Japanese users. The reliability of such a large network must also be emphasized, and the more the merrier as far as this goes.
Simplicity of usage is something that concerns people as well when it comes to VPNs. Not everyone is a tech whizz and as such do not understand the intricacies of this technology. As such, it is very helpful to users when they are greeted with a software that is straightforward and simple. One-click connections are highly preferable, and ExpressVPN is happy to oblige. On top of that, a 24/7 help desk is available for any questions, comments, or concerns.
ExpressVPN is also pretty cheap, including a 30 day money back guarantee, which makes the VPN free if you want to use this guarantee.
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NordVPN is pretty much in the same league as ExpressVPN. They are a part of the Aristocracy of the VPN world, with few others that have been able to even come close. NordVPN was established in Panama in 2005.
NordVPN routes all users' internet traffic through a remote server run by the service, thereby hiding their IP address and encrypting all incoming and outgoing data. For encryption, NordVPN has been using the OpenVPN and Internet Key Exchange v2/IPsec technologies in its applications and also introduced its proprietary NordLynx technology in 2019. NordLynx is a VPN tool based on the WireGuard protocol, which aims for better performance than the IPsec and OpenVPN tunneling protocols. According to tests performed by Wired UK, NordLynx produces "speed boosts of hundreds of MB/s under some conditions."
In April 2020, NordVPN announced a gradual roll-out of the WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol on all its platforms. The wider implementation was preceded by a total of 256,886 tests, which included 47 virtual machines on nine different providers, in 19 cities, and eight countries. The tests showed higher average download and upload speeds than both OpenVPN and IKEv2.
In December 2020, NordVPN started a network-wide rollout of 10 Gbit/s servers, upgrading from the earlier 1 Gbit/s standard. The company's servers in Amsterdam and Tokyo were the first to support 10 Gbit/s, and by December 21, 2020, over 20% of the company's network had been upgraded.
Besides general-use VPN servers, the provider offers servers for specific purposes, including P2P sharing, double encryption, and connection to the Tor anonymity network. NordVPN offers three subscription plans: monthly, yearly and bi-yearly.
Signing up and setting up the program on your device is easy as pie. All you need to do when settling down on a server is to tap the country of choice with your touchpad, and it is good to go. Then, within a matter of seconds, the NordVPN system will hook you up with the best server choice of said country.
Recommended Free VPN Services
If free VPNs are still on your mine, some pretty decent selections do still exist out there if your situation abinds for it. You might try a free VPN just to test the waters and see if this is your cup of tea. You might also just need a one-off cover-up. Here are the three services we recommend.
In as much it is free, Tunnelbear does also have a paid alternative. While the free version is decent, it does come with the usual limitation anyone would predict with free VPNs. After being recently bought up by McAfee, Tunnelbear’s status as a serious market player is expected to only grow.
Without been supprised, Tunnelbear does carry a monthly data cap on its free VPN, just like everyone else. 500MB of data a month is the set limit. You will have to subscribe to the paid version if you wish to exceed this limit. 500MB is usually seen as miniscule, but of course it really depends on the nature of the usage.
The other side of that coin is that Tunnelbear is well known for being user-friendly. The interface is a popular and a well known one, where you simply select the country by clicking on the screen. The whole thing is all done in just a few seconds, and nothing fancy is needed to use this program.
ProtonVPN is a VPN service operated by the Swiss company Proton Technologies AG, the company behind the email service ProtonMail. According to its official website, ProtonVPN and ProtonMail share the same management team, offices, and technical resources, and are operated from Proton's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland under the protection of Swiss privacy laws.
ProtonVPN actually stands out from other free VPN services. This can either be good or bad. Their data limits are the biggest benefits they have on the market.
ProtonVPN’s free version does not carry a data limit as well, so you will not be oplaged to upgrade. There is a catch however: the free version is only good in 3 countries, and the program operates at a relatively slower speed without the paid upgrade. As with many other aspects, you do get what you pay for. The huge upside is that one of those countries actually are Japan.
When it comes to safeguarding your information, ProtonVPN is among the best, and that is true even when compared to the paid versions. When it comes to following their starting mission of opening up the internet for everyone to enjoy it with online privacy at the very center of it all, ProtonVPN is greatly respected within the industry.
ProtonVPN does limit you usage of its free version to just one personal device, but it does make up for it with quality. A single click is all you need to connect to this so as to easily navigate. On top of that, to guarantee online anonymity even in the event of a server crash, ProtonVPN has safe measures such as Kill Switch to back it up.
Trust.Zone is the last free VPN for Japan that we will be going through, after which you can decide for yourself which VPN suits you better. Not only does Trust.Zone adequately conceal your online persona from third parties, it also does so from your ISP and even government agencies. The free version comes in the form of a 3-day free trial of the paid subscription.
The 3-day limit is actually quite reasonable when you think about it. This is because with average daily data use, the 1GB limit provided by Trust.Zone provides the user a reasonable data limit. Having 141 locations around the world is a go-to selling point for Trust.Zone.
Another important selling point for Trust.Zone is where they are domiciled. Having their main location in the Seychelles puts them outside the jurisdiction of the dreaded 14 eyes countries. What users should translate from this is that they have nothing to worry about as Trust.Zone will not track the IP addresses you cycle through, and because they simply do not have your information on file, there is possibly no way they can share it with anyone.
observing as their target market consists of newcomers to the internet and technology, they made it a point to offer a system that is quick and user friendly. Simply settle on a country of your choice, give it a click, and you will be transferred to the optimal server.
What You Need To Know About Free VPN Services In Japan
There is nothing without short comings, and free VPNs in Japan are no exception. Whether it be logging policies, speed of the server, nature of traffic, or anything else really, unfortunately short comings are the nature of free VPNs. Most free things come with a catch and ultimately you get what you pay for.
Free Means Limited Traffic
Traffic is by far the most common drawback. There is usually a finite limit of how much traffic a free VPN will enable users each day. Regardless of what the amount is, it is almost certainly far below what most people need during any given day. Sure, just sticking to internet surfing will get you by, but the moment you start streaming, you will drain the cap quickly. If you want to use a VPN to stream TV like Abema TV or Amazon Prime, a free VPN will probabaly not help you much.
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Downloading and uploading are just as hard on data usage. A single long Youtube clip can be enough to alone to put you over the limit. You might actually just get paused by the VPN if you keep trying to push your limits.
Free VPN short comings On Servers and Speed
The server speed, and even the servers themselves, can also experience quality compromise with a free VPN. Server quality on paid VPNs will always beat out their free counterparts. In fact, if you are trying to get, say, American Netflix in Japan, there might not even be a free VPN that can penetrate the Netflix IP ban.
The limit to the amount of servers is usually worse for those immigrants who wish to watch content from their country of origin. Smaller countries are rarely included with free VPN services, meaning you will have to upgrade to get availability to this content.
Another aspect is that free VPNs do not have too many servers in the larger markets, which so happen to have the content range that people are actually looking for. If you are a VPN searcher in Japan, presumably you would want a VPN with many American and/or British servers to enjoy more content.
As a general rule, the more servers the merrier. If one goes out, another can take its place. While paid VPNs try their hardest to have that feature, the same cannot be said of free VPNs, which is why they are far more prone to service disruptions if just a few of their servers are put out of commission.
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What VPN Should I Choose For Japan?
Observationally, there are several good options out there for good free VPNs for Japan, depending on what your needs are. Tunnelbear, ProtonVPN, and Trust.Zone are the recommended alternatives. While being free of charge is really nice, in this day and age, it does indeed come with its downsides.
With the global surveillance state becoming ever more present, people will find it even more important to stay private. Increasingly, having a good server park and no-cap high speeds will be taken for granted. Seeing as it is not a large chunk of change, paying for a VPN will usually make sense.
Using trail versions to test VPN technology, onetime usage, or simply taking advantage of the money back guarantees, are still terrific ways of making use of free VPNs when you are in Japan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is VPN use legal in Japan?
Yes, there are currently no laws that criminalize VPN use in Japan. However, you have to be careful to make sure that you are using the VPN for legal purposes. This is because, even though VPN use is legal, if you use the VPN to carry out criminal activities, you could get into trouble with the government.
Do the Japanese authorities monitor the internet?
User privacy laws in Japan are fair. Citizens have free access to the internet, social media platforms, etc. More so, the government does not monitor users’ traffic or censor content. However, this may well change in the future. The Japanese authorities have a strong leaning towards conservatism. Thus, it might be unsurprising if the authorities censor the internet or monitor users’ activities in the future.
Do free VPN providers work in Japan?
In theory, free VPN providers should work for users in Japan and those looking to connect to Japanese servers from remote locations. However, in reality, that is hardly the case. Free VPN providers are notorious for offering subpar services. Hence, the average free VPN user will have to grapple with slow speeds, porous security infrastructure, and many other drawbacks while using the service. Paid services offer you the best shot if you are looking for a VPN to connect to Japan with.
What’s the best VPN service for Japan?
The VPN services we discussed above are all great for Japan. However, if it comes down to one, then our pick will be ExpressVPN. The provider has shown consistency over the years, providing excellent services.
Conclusion on closing remarks
Based from the above, VPNs are a more secure way to keep your information safe. This also protects your self from scammers and criminals from seeing your activities online. That says if you go through the above carefully, you will get the best alternative the suits you and also do not forget to click and check out the related articles as well.
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