North Korea is a totalitarian state, and that is not a secret. Its leader, Kim Jong-Un, is known for his ruthlessness and unforgiving attitude, punishing those that don’t follow his rules. Naturally, he has made sure that the Internet is not widely available in his country.
It’s not just that there is Internet censorship in North Korea: it’s that the nation has been so isolated for so much time that most of their citizens aren’t quite familiarized with the benefits of the World Wide Web. They didn’t grow up in social media networks or watching news portals, much less streaming movies or general content.
Of course, just in case, North Korean authorities block access to numerous sites, streaming networks, VoIP services, social media outlets, and global news websites to its citizens. The restrictions are said to be lifted for foreign visitors, although the country government is very active in spying what people visit, so you still need to be careful while you are there.
One of the platforms that are blocked in North Korea is YouTube. The Google-owned video streaming network, available in nearly all the countries in the world, is banned in the land of Kim Jong-Un. It is too bad because YouTube represents a fantastic learning and entertainment tool.
To unblock YouTube in this totalitarian country, you need to hide your real IP address, so Internet Service Providers in the country think that you are entering the page from a different location, and not from within North Korea.
There are several ways to achieve your goal: for example; you could implement a web proxy or a Smart DNS service. However, you won’t get to enjoy the security offerings and features that a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can provide, and being in a nation with so much censorship and surveillance, you are going to need them.
VPNs: your best friend, and North Korea’s worst enemy
VPN stands for Virtual Private Networks. They are online services that can encrypt your content from end to end, so external agents can’t decipher it and use it to their benefit. The traffic that the user generates, as well as its IP address (the element that makes current location public) are rerouted to remote servers that the VPN company manages.
Usually, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the one managing connection requests through its servers, but if you use a VPN app, those will be handled by the VPN’s virtual servers, thanks to “tunneling” action of the technology. That way, everything you do, see, or visit while you are online will be kept from the claws of hackers, malware developers, government surveillance, law enforcement agencies, or even content filtering techniques.
VPN apps provide privacy, security, and anonymity, while also offering the chance of accessing content from foreign nations by disguising the user IP address and lending it a temporary one.
Free VPNs vs. paid VPNs: which one to choose?
VPN technology comes in the form of clients or apps, offered by online security companies. Some of those services are free, while others are paid. In general, if you want to unblock YouTube in North Korea, the best VPNs you should hire are paid, not free ones.
Free VPNs often keep and share logs of your activity with third parties, which can be a privacy risk. They usually have annoying bandwidth caps that make data-intensive activities such as watching YouTube not worthwhile. And since the paid options are faster, more secure, and more versatile, you should hire one of those.
Best free VPNs to unblock YouTube in North Korea
Initially developed to help activists and bloggers bypass censorship measures, you can tell that ProtonVPN is among the most secure VPN brands in the market. It is a freemium service that prioritizes data privacy without sacrificing much regarding speeds, which makes it one of the best free VPNs to unblock YouTube in North Korea.
The interface is modern, there is support for P2P activity and TOR, there are no DNS leaks, and it has the Secure Core feature, although not for the free plan. Speaking of modes, there are four: Free, Basic, Plus, and Visionary.
- Excellent security and top encryption
- Speeds are more than acceptable
- Easy to install and use
- It supports P2P and TOR
Free plan limitations:
- The free plan is limited
- The Plus ($8 per month) and Visionary ($24 per month) plans are relatively expensive
- No Secure Core
- Only three countries available for connection, the paid plans have significantly more
- No simultaneous connections
- Low speeds
- No Secure Streaming or ProtonMail
While technically a paid VPN service, SaferVPN is known as one of the best “free” VPNs to unblock YouTube in North Korea. Because it has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free, unrestricted Google Chrome browser extension.
SaferVPN comes with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, automatic Wi-Fi security, unlimited speeds, bandwidth, and server switching, 700 servers in 35 countries, great speeds, and Netflix compatibility.
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Good speeds
- A free Chrome extension and a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with Netflix
- A kill switch
- Five simultaneous connections
Free plan limitations:
- Torrenting is limited
Best paid VPN to unblock websites in North Korea
If you are looking for a VPN with a broad server network to watch YouTube videos in North Korea, NordVPN should be at the top of your list. It has more than 5,000 virtual servers in 61 countries. Additionally, it is among the safest alternatives out there, with double VPN protection, AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a no logging policy.
NordVPN isn’t cheap if you hire the monthly service ($11.95,) but with long-term plans, you can end up paying about 3.29 per month. It has unique, specialized servers and allows six simultaneous connections. NordVPN also allows P2P activity, blocks ads, and other web threats. It has a strong customer privacy stance, a useful thing if you are in such a censorship-heavy nation.
- Six simultaneous connections
- Secure encryption and privacy
- Security features are excellent
- Among the broadest selection of servers available
30-Days Money-Back Guarantee
Arguably the best combination of security and speeds is IPVanish, which is why it is one of the top VPN providers in the industry. Thanks to its encryption quality and no-logging policy, it can help you unblock YouTube in North Korea.
Additionally, IPVanish has DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and other advanced configuration options that you won’t easily find in another top brand. It has almost 1,000 servers in 60 nations, making videos in remote locations available.
- Private, secure, and reliable
- Among the fastest VPN in the industry
- Excellent security features
- Allows torrenting and works with Netflix (some servers)
7-Days Money-Back Guarantee
In conclusion, North Korea is a country in which you can face legal punishment. Even if you have the authorization to watch YouTube. It is mind-boggling that there are societies in the 21st century that ban or restrict the video streaming platform.
You need to use one of the best free VPNs in the business to unblock and watch YouTube in North Korea. You can consider a couple of paid alternatives, as well.