For many, Japan is still regarded as the home of technological advancement, so there are few places better to take advantage of one of the internet's most useful innovations of recent years - a VPN. By using a Virtual Private Network in Japan, it's possible to appear on another IP address or even in a completely different country. That makes a Japan VPN ideal for both maintaining privacy and gaining access to otherwise geo-restricted content.
You may be connected to an open Wi-Fi connection like at a hotel, shop or restaurant and want that extra layer of security a VPN can offer. Or perhaps you're travelling away from the Nippon isles and want to watch domestic TV streamed online - there's no need to miss a thing if you can make your laptop or mobile appear like it's back in Japan.
Whatever the need, there will be a perfect VPN for you so we've narrowed down the best to a choice five for you to pick from. While ExpressVPN is our firm favorite right now, there are other services also worth a look. Read on to find out which is the best Japan VPN for you.
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Simply the number 1 VPN service (for Japan and everywhere) available right now
Number of servers: 3000+ | Server locations: 160 | IP addresses: 30,000 | Maximum devices supported: 3
Best Japan VPN 2019 - Get 3 months free with an annual plan
The best all round virtual private network is ExpressVPN, making it perfect for Japan. That's largely thanks to its superb security with enterprise-level encryption. Plus there are clients that let you run this on iOS, Android, Mac and Windows.
For accessing otherwise geo-blocked content, Express is perfect as it offers a one-click jump between countries and even has 24/7 customer support with advice to help you get the fastest connection for what you're doing. Security is excellent with DNS content unblocking and leak protection, P2P support, Bitcoin payment options, a no logging policy and a kill switch. Plus you can try it for free for a month using the 30-day money-back guarantee.
The only negative is that you can only use this on three devices at any one time. But since you can set this up on the router, that helps bypass that issue at home.
Get the best Japan VPN 2019: $6.67 per month (with 3 months FREE)
You can tell that we really rate Express - it's the VPN we'd choose if we were getting one! And the good news is that TechRadar readers can get a little perk, too. ExpressVPN has agreed to give readers three months extra free when you sign up - fantastic value for a brilliant Japan VPN.
Virtual Private Networks at their safest
Number of servers: 5300+ | Server locations: 62 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
NordVPN is the one of the most secure ways to get online thanks to its double encryption at 2048-bit. Plus, not one but two kill switches along with strong DNS leak protection. Bitcoin and Paypal payment options help add another layer of anonymity. This all spans a whopping 5,000 servers spread over 60 countries giving great performance in Japan...or anywhere else for that matter.
The special SmartPlay service helps you get around geo-restricted content for the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and so on in Japan. Speeds are generally great but the odd server connection lag is the only real downside here, especially now that NordVPN offers live chat support.
3. Hotspot Shield
Great for browser privacy
Number of servers: 2,500+ | Server locations: 80+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
Hotspot Shield is another VPN that offers great protection of identity by offering excellent security. But it's also super fast thanks to the company's Catapult Hydra protocol which ensures the fastest download speeds even when connecting over long distances like Japan to the UK or US (or, indeed, vice versa).
The clients span iOS, Android, Mac and Windows so you're covered on most devices. Some top features include the ability to use this on five device connections at once, 24/7 support, over 2,500 servers in 25 countries and no ads. There's even a free seven-day trial making this well worth a go if you want to try it before you sign up for a whole year.
Get personal with this highly-configurable VPN
Number of servers: 3,700+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 7
Cyberghost offers over 3,700 servers spread across 60 countries and comes complete with advert and malicious site blocking, automated HTTPS redirection and optional data compression to save you money on the move if you're exploring Japan.
This VPN will automatically find the best servers to suit the job of what you're streaming, meaning access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu and so on will have the best geo-restriction removals. That means you can enjoy worldwide content even in Japan. While the interface can be complex at times it does mean lots more personalisation options for those that want to delve deeper.
Impressive performance and security
Number of servers: 700+ | Server locations: 70+ | IP addresses: 200,000+ | Maximum devices supported: 5
VyprVPN is a very client-friendly VPN meaning you can use it on lots of devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android as well as routers, Android TV, Blackphone, QNAP, Anonbox and more. This is also a specialist in countries that otherwise have tough blocks, yes even Japan, thanks to its Chameleon protocol.
All that means that download speeds are fast from anywhere worldwide so for unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer and sports this works very well. Despite being Swiss-based there is some session logging, but only things like connections times and IP addresses being kept for 30 days.
- Basic: $9.95 monthly or $3.75 per month billed annually
- Premium: $12.95 monthly or $5.00 per month billed annually
- Want something without paying? These are the best free VPNs (although they may not work in Japan)