Best VPNs for Japan

JapanJapan is an island nation that is comprised of almost 7,000 different islands in the Pacific Ocean. Despite being made up of islands, the country is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Chinese texts mention Japan dating back to the first century, A.D. The country is also known for having a public perception of honor, as well as for their “cartoons” referred to as manga or anime. Though there are new rules governing anti piracy, there are also data “preservation” laws that are in place. That said, you can help keep your data safe with a VPN.

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1IPVanish$4.87IPVanish9.9CheckboxCheckboxCheckbox
2ExpressVPN$6.67ExpressVPN9.8CheckboxCheckbox
3CyberGhost$3.50PIA9.6CheckboxCheckboxCheckbox
4PureVPN$2.99SaferVPN9.4CheckboxCheckbox
5Private Internet Access$2.50PIA9.4CheckboxCheckboxCheckbox

Japan has passed some new rules regarding online piracy with up to 10 years in prison and up to a ¥10 million fine ($81,053) for the big violators. There are 580 sites that primarily focus on anime or manga. The problem is that none of them are located within the borders of Japan. Though there are other countries causing problems, one of the biggest problems Japan faces is China. Though the entire legitimate sector is said to be worth approximately three billion dollars, the US and Chinese component alone is worth almost two times that. Beijing seems to be uninterested in breaching their own laws, even though they have signed all major treaties on the matter.

The bottom line is, much like the other countries that have enacted harsh laws, sometimes they make a difference for a small period of time, but the end result is very little change in the online piracy market. Even in supportive countries like the US, it is almost impossible to catch infringers. Though anime/manga is huge in the US, for many years the Japanese refused to admit there might be potential there at all. The Japanese feel they may be better served by trying other alternatives.

Japan also has what they refer to as a data “preservation” policy. This policy is similar to the US policy but states that preserved data may be kept for up to two years. In other words, everything you do may be monitored. That is an excellent reason for using a VPN. No matter what reasoning is used for the “preservation”, the fact remains that it is still being done. Whether you are traveling to Japan or have moved there recently, you can protect your privacy with a VPN.

Speaking of being in Japan, what if you happen to be there and want to watch one of the streaming channels like Netflix? The premium streaming service will not be available there until the fall of 2015. Even if you decide to wait that long, it would be no surprise that the number of titles you would have access to would be dwarfed by available content in the US. With a VPN, providing you had a paid subscription of course, you don’t have to wait and you could stream as much as you want. When it finally does launch there, keeping your subscription to the VPN would not be a bad idea either because of the different regions you could access.

If we have convinced you of the definite benefits, your next question may be to ask how a VPN works. That is the easy part. Once you pick a provider, you will want to download the software. After doing that, you simply pick a country to connect to and push the connect button. Clicking the button will create a private and encrypted connection to the server. By doing this, it will protect your privacy. Just pick the country you want to use, connect, and you will be able to unblock content that is restricted by geo-blocking. If you wanted to watch Netflix in the US, all you would have to do is connect to a server there and gain access to things as if you were physically in the US. The same could also be said for any other region or area you wanted to connect to.

Now that you understand how a VPN works, how do you sort through the various options? That is the hard question. As with anything, the options you look at when choosing a good VPN service depend on what you are looking for. We have some good thoughts for Japan. Though these options use secure encryption, using the OpenVPN protocol would be your best idea whenever possible. If you are planning on using one of the many streaming services, OpenVPN (UDP) is the best for streaming. If you plan on connecting to a VPN with a mobile network, you can also look into other protocols including IKEv2 and L2TP for security.

For protecting your privacy or unblocking content, we suggest ExpressVPN. They don’t keep logs and have a kill switch feature, therefore making sure your web activity is secured. If you want to try streaming services like Netflix or others, ExpressVPN again is the best choice. They have a large network, and offer a mobile client as well, so you would only need to connect, and you would be able to stream from the markets with the biggest number of titles. There is no need to wait for the Japanese version if you do not want to.

for simply unblocking geo-restricted content, we suggest ExpressVPN MediaStreamer. Their mart DNS feature will help you unblock channels without the overhead of encryption. However, with one of the fastest internet speeds in the world, (2gbps) encryption overhead would be the last of my worries. The added security you get for the little bit of speed reduction that may occur is well worth it.

Please hop in to our top 10 VPN services list if you want different options, but we know you will be happy with the choices we provide here. We picked these providers over others based on security, speed, price, and locations. We also looked for services with a good network of VPN servers you might wish to connect to. Reliable VPN providers will insure your data is secured, and provide fast networks for streaming high definition content from other countries. You will want to pick one that does both. So, whether you have relocated to Japan or just plan on visiting, make sure to protect yourself with a VPN.