Singapore has long been known to be a country with rather draconian laws and very unfortunately this has in a way resulted in it becoming an advanced surveillance state. Coupled with its close relationship to the United States in reference to the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, residents in the city-state have good reason to be edgy about their online privacy and anonymity.
Among all the countries in the world, perhaps Singapore is one of those near the top of the list when it comes to the necessity of using a VPN service. At least for now, while it is still legal there to use one.
Singapore Government Legally Uses Spyware
While Singapore seems to many a bastion of democratic process and judicial independence, few know that details in the constitution of the country grant its government extraordinary rights over its citizens and residents. This is markedly so when it comes to digital activities especially when it comes to privacy.
For example, the Singapore constitution does not specifically include any right to privacy and other bylaws leverage on that fact to empower certain government bodies the right to intrude on the activities of private citizens online. These include the Criminal Procedure Code (amended in 2012) and the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act (amended in 1997).
In a more casual manner of speaking, Singaporeans and residents of the country are not officially entitled to privacy and some government agencies may, without need of warrant or court order carry out surveillance and transmission interception.
The country has been named as one of 25 which host command and control servers for FinSpy (a type of Malware used for observation and control) backdoors. This means the government can access almost all data in the country without anyone having the right to legal recourse.
Copyright Act (Singapore 2014) is Vigorously Enforced
You may have heard that in the US, P2P file sharers are often slapped with lawsuits and that many companies have pursued files sharing activities. Because of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, Singapore is obligated to do the same in many cases.
This has been in the past done by the Recording Industry Association of Singapore for instance and I know of individuals who have received cease and desist letters from their Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
This means that not only are there companies looking to charge them, but that ISPs in Singapore are in collaboration with them to go after their own customers.
VPNs are Still legal in Singapore
In 2016 a public consultation was held in Singapore by the Ministry of Law to review the legality of using VPN services in the country. This was done with a view to update the Copyright Act to enable stricter enforcement.
Currently there are only a handful of countries around the world which have banned VPN usage outright and a slightly larger number which only permit state-controlled VPN service providers. To give you an idea of the type of countries which ban VPNs, North Korea and Iraq are among them, while China and Russia only allow government-controlled services to operate.
Yet given the fact that the Singapore government is debating the issue means that it is very much on their minds.
What We Look for in a VPN for Singapore
1. Privacy and anonymity
While Privacy is normally high on the list of needs for a VPN service provider to cater for, nowhere do I feel in the region has a higher need for it than users in Singapore. From government surveillance to ISP monitoring and the threat of rapid legal action, Internet users in Singapore are perhaps some of the most pressured groups in the entire Asia Pacific Region.
As such it is vital that any VPN service provider used in Singapore have a solid track record of user privacy such as a strictly no-logging policy and perhaps even to the extent of accepting anonymous payment types. This could include Gift Certificates, Cash or even Cryptocurrency.
Whereas some users have the option to toggle encryption options to lower rates to enable faster VPN speeds, given the advanced surveillance capabilities of the Singapore government, it might be wise to seek out a VPN provider which has a focus on security in addition to privacy.
Security in a VPN comes from two main sources – communication establishment protocols and encryption for data flow. There are various of these available and thankfully, many VPNs do have the full range open for use.
3. Speed and stability
Speed, thankfully, is not so much a major issue in Singapore, thanks to its great location in respect to global communication lines and of course the fantastic infrastructure that the country has. As such, almost any provider in the country would be able to cater for high speeds.
This is the ideal situation in Singapore for VPN users as they can choose a server with the closes possible physical location that natively supports high speed data transmission.
4. Geolocation spoofing
While server location may not be so much as an issue with VPN users in Singapore, care should still be taken to avoid depending on VPNs which have too much of a focus outside Asia. Sure, it would be great if geolocation spoofing is the intended result, but that may result in lower availability rates in the Asia region.
5. P2P Support
Perhaps the second most critical criteria for Singapore VPN service providers is the ability to cater to and manage P2P traffic well. P2P file sharing often places heavy bandwidth demands on VPNs and some do frown on it.
A good idea would be to select one which clearly states its policies on P2P usage, such as TorGuard. At the very least, the VPN should have a selection of dedicated servers set aside for P2P file sharing usage.
Ranked: The Best VPN for Singaporean
Before going through my test results, here I’d like to establish a baseline speed for my Internet. The following is my actual broadband speed based on a service line of 500Mbps, without a VPN connection active:
Singapore server speed tests are normally the easiest for me since I’m in close proximity. That combined with excellent infrastructure in the country means that Singaporeans can take these performance figures quite literally.
- Price is based on the currency exchange rate of 1 USD to 1.42 SGD.
- Price shown is lowest based on plans available from each VPN service provider.
- No Logs
- Kill Switch
- Supports 6 Devices
"Sleek interface, stable speeds and fantastic longer-term price plans."
I think I can safely say that among all the VPN providers I’ve looked at, NordVPN easily comes out top in their sheer geographic scale and coverage. It has a spread of over 5,000 servers in 59 countries with even a good number of those being in the Asia Pacific region.
You can rest assured your privacy is in good hands as it has a strict no-logging policy, so your daa won’t be kept. NordVPN is based out of Panama, which doesn’t really have any data retention laws to speak of.
The connection can also be as secure as you want since NordVPN supports not only 256-bit encryption, but also has something called ‘double VPN’. The means that you connect to a VPN server and then bounce that connection off another before heading to your destination address.
Paranoia, perhaps, but if your government is KNOWN to be legally spying on you, wouldn’t you rather be paranoid than facing the law for unknown reasons?
Singapore servers from NordVPN were extremely good as far as connections go and speeds were impressive, both upload and download. They also have specialty P2P servers that are optimized for this type of traffic.
Here’s the real kicker – Singaporeans, I know you love a bargain and if you’re willing to commit to NordVPN long-term it will love you right back with its excellent prices. With their three-year subscription prices drop significantly and are some of the best I’ve seen in the market.
Read our in-depth review on NordVPN to see why it’s Bitcatcha’s #1 VPN!
- Offers Data Compression
- Ad Blocking
- Supports 7 Devices
"Secure and private plus a very localized sense of humor in many cases, this is one VPN you can have fun with."
CyberGhost is quite well known in the VPN industry but to be very honest, I didn’t think much of it when it first came across my desk. Today however they’[ve turned night into day and bumped up performance by so much it should be illegal.
That’s right, CyberGhost has been on a rapid expansion spree and their global server network today is simply staggering. Of course, that means mostly great speeds and this is an area that SIngaporeans don’t have to worry about in-country.
In fact, their US presence is great as well, so you can Netflix and game to your heart’s content. Speeds are also great for P2P and knowing the Singapore government, you’ll need to run CyberGhost while torrenting.
Strangely enough, one of the highlights of this service is their nice snappy app and extremely friendly marketing team which makes getting even email from them such fun. I’m not the kind to usually harp on this, but their communications and marketing team has pizazz.
Speed-wise, while I managed to get pretty awesome speeds from them from Singapore, as expected. Plus with such a strong network I don’t think you’ll need to be overly concerned about server congestion for quite some time to come.
Again, CyberGhost must love Singaporeas since they throw in a lot of extra freebies as well. These include numerous security features and add-ons such as ad-blocking that come with the deal.
Like NordVPN, CyberGhost has excellent long-term pricing options which drops your monthly commitment down to as low as $3.89 a month.
See our full review on CyberGhost to learn why it one of our top picks!
- Multi-Hop connection
- Supports many platforms
- No logs
"If you’re a bargain hunter like me then snap up Surfshark quickly before this excellent provider raises its prices."
Surfshark may be one of the newer VPN providers around but it has managed to meet quite high expectations very quickly. They’ve gone from 0 to having over 1,000 servers in 61-odd countries in no time at all with more to come.
What made them even more impressive was the fact that they did all of this seamlessly. My first experience using Surfshark was trouble free and I’ve maintained my own account with them ever since. So far there have been no connection or service issues and I did note reasonable app updates from time to time.
Singaporeans who are budget conscious will especially appreciate Surfshark’s no-frills attitude when it comes to the VPN service – a good price for exactly what a VPN service should be – without charging for unwanted (or unneeded) extras.
The fact that they’re able to also hide P2P traffic on all servers gives them a big plus as well.
Although Singapore VPN traffic might not be faster on Surfshark than some other providers, where it excels is in its stability. Surfshark speeds are constant across almost all their servers. This makes them an idea choice for a VPN since it isn’t likely you’ll be sticking to one country server all the time, right?
Still, 200+ Mbps for a shared line VPN isn’t something to sneeze at and unless you plan to only use a single location at maximum speed, the consistency found here is a major boost. Of course, their low pricing makes them a very attractive pick as well.
Learn more of its excellence at our thorough review on Surfshark!
- Offhshore Privacy Protection
- Full 256-bit Encryption
- 148 VPN locations
"ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive choices around but they make up for that by offering a smooth experience all-round."
I know that the first thing Singaporeans will scream about when it comes to ExpressVPN is their pricing. However, consider the fact that it offers a very streamlined experience right out of the box – no headaches necessary.
Keeping that in mind, you’ll also be happy to know that it places performance as a top priority as well and has strong stable speeds across all their servers. Appreciate it for what it offers and you’ll have silent protection running in the background at all times – you will hardly know it’s there.
I have seen many VPNs excel in one or two areas only to fall flat in others and I was wondering, at the end of the day, why would I as a user want to tie myself in with a service that couldn’t perform as reasonably as could be in as many areas as I needed it to?
For that reason, as well as its stellar reputation in VPN circles (certainly well deserved), I have no hesitation to recommend them as a top contender.
As we see from the speed, it may not match my ‘naked’ line speed, but Singapore infrastructure certainly gives it a leg up. ExpressVPN is also known to be able to manage relatively stable speeds across many of their servers, so you are not likely to be stuck with a single location.
It might not be the cheapest, but it certainly isn’t the most expensive. As a fantastic balance of price-performance, this VPN service has come far.
Read our complete review on ExpressVPN to learn more!
- Built for P2P
- TorGuard Stealth Proxy
- Supports 5 Connections
"TorGuard is very old school and will fulfill the inner geek among many of us."
I was first attracted to TorGuard due to its marketing as being a P2P-friendly VPN service provider but once I had installed the Windows client that soon turned to wonder if perhaps, I’d made a mistake. This was caused in a way by its rather dated looking interface.
This VPN doesn’t come with a lot of the modern marketing bling that grace its contemporaries, but I soon found out that in performance was where it excelled. This is highlighted by it having grown to provide over 3,000 IPs in more than 50 countries.
With P2P support as its foundation and a host of other outstanding qualities – stable speeds, deployable even on routers, enhanced security services and even the ability to bypass VPN blockers – I would say that TorGuard is at or near the Top, especially for Singapore-based users.
As you can see, even with a solid downstream speed, I was able to even boost my upload speed from my baseline. This, while not something everyone might want, or need could be useful for P2P users in some cases (maintain those ratios!).
I feel that the only major downside of this VPN service lies in its old-fashioned user interface and it’s lack of good (or should I say outstanding) prices for longer-term customers. Nevertheless, prices still fall in the low range of top-tier VPN providers.
Read our thorough analysis on TorGuard for more information!
- Forced 256-bit Encryption
- Unlimited P2P
- Supports 10 Devices
"Great for the Paranoid and for yet another plus point it has strong performance in Singapore as well."
If it were based purely on history, I would never have let this VPN onto our list of Best VPNs for Singapore. IPVanish has in the past been accused of providing user logs to authorities, and that’s a major no-no as far as VPNs are concerned. While that is bad enough, the new owners of IPVanish tried to sweep the incident under the carpet by saying they had no knowledge of prior incidences that might or might not have occurred.
To sound what might be their final death knoll (I know Singaporeans love to complain!) is their customer support, which is absolute rubbish. I live in Malaysia and even I am disgusted by the level of support which IPVanish provides its customers.
However, IPVanish performs surprisingly well in Singapore-based speed tests AND combines that with forced 256-bit encryption. Though some of you may be thinking that you don’t need that level of encryption, we can say that it’s saving you from your own folly (perhaps).
Both uploads and downloads are remarkably fast on IPVanish servers and there was no complaint here. However, issues I had with their speed to Malaysia-based servers was where their customer service really got to me.
The difference in levels of increased performance combined with their terrible customer service makes IPVanish a real hit or miss. I would ask you if you are prepared to take the chance it will work fine out of the box for you. If you think so, that’s great. If not, you might have to end up demanding a refund.
Read our in-depth review on IPVanish to find out more!
- Secure Core Servers
- Multi-tired Plans
- Double VPN
"ProtonVPN may be from Europe but as with most VPNs they show great strength in Singapore."
ProtonVPN is based out of Geneva, Switzerland, and has been around for some time now. Yet despite a lot of conversation seen about them, slightly weak marketing seems to be a bit of their pain point.
Yet despite a more limited network compared to may not providers they do show some decent numbers in speed tests – depending on location. Their speeds in Singapore are good, plus Singaporeans can also access a fair number of regional servers nearby.
To be fair though, the speeds (even though quite good) aren’t the best we’ve seen which accounts for them slipping so many places in my rankings. Of course, that is keeping in mind that we expect quite a lot for our money! Speeds to an in-country server were noted at areound 116 Mbps.
In the past there was a downside for younger users since the original ProtonVPN interface looked like something from the past. Today they have it in a sleek, futuristic map laid out nicely within the application frame.
Read our complete ProtonVPN review for more information!
- Optimized P2P Servers
- Server Hopping
- Supports 10 devices
"FastestVPN struggled in the past but today it has shown great strides forward."
With a number that makes such a bold claim, FastestVPN came under my targeting crosshairs with a vengeance in the past and I’m unashamed to say I bashed them well. However, taking a re-look at the service of late I found that they have actually improved on the service quite a bit.
Add to that the fact they’ve managed to keep prices extremely as well – it’s only $1.58/mo on their 3-year plan. While it’s true that the FastestVPN network may be quite limited, Singaporeans in general don’t have this issue for any VPN provider I’ve come across yet – thanks to your strong location in context of Asia Pacific region data traffic.
This latest iteration of FastestVPN also seems to have resolved many earlier problems such as the hiccups in service when trying to use Netflix. Now, everything streams just peachy and at these speeds – enjoyably so.
Speeds on FastestVPN when connected to a Singapore server for me exceeded 100 Mbps. While not the best, that is certainly a mark up from where they used to be in the past. Combined with their great pricing, bargain hunters can opt for this to get a great deal.
Head over to our FastestVPN review to learn more!
Final Thoughts: Do You Need a VPN in Singapore?
The thought of suggesting a VPN service provider in Singapore at first concerned me. The country does indeed possess advanced technology and in the hands of the government, well, anything can happen there.
As such in my recommendations, the top three players had to be based on companies with solid offerings and a proven track record. My bias in part has been driven by personal experience and that of friends who are in the country, but honestly, it is better to be safe than sorry.
With solid infrastructure in the country, it should be easy to find almost any VPN provider you can use there and get at least decent speeds but do pay more focus on security there. 256-bit encryption may slow down your performance, but at least any intercepted data will remain safe.
To recap, here is the top 3 VPN Singapore:
SECURITY & PRIVACY
I believe that I have made my stance clear when it comes to VPN necessity for Singapore based users. Whether you are a P2P file sharer, video streamer or just want to be anonymous and safe in general – go for it.
There is too much at stake when a government starts debating whether to eliminate your last chance at Internet freedom in the name of national security.