Is VPN Legal in Vietnam? Explore the Regulations & Usage

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become widely used in many countries, including Vietnam. However, the legality of VPN usage has remained a point of contention among users as the Vietnamese government has imposed strict regulations on the use of VPNs.

In this section, we will delve into the legality of VPNs in Vietnam and explore the regulations and guidelines surrounding its usage. We will provide an overview of the current legal landscape in Vietnam and discuss the prevalence of VPN usage among individuals and businesses. Additionally, we will examine the specific regulations and guidelines imposed by the Vietnamese government on the use of VPNs.

Understanding the Legal Landscape in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the government has strict regulations surrounding the use of VPNs. While the laws do not explicitly prohibit VPN usage, they do require that all VPN providers register with the government and comply with certain regulations. Failure to comply can result in fines or even imprisonment.

Since the introduction of these regulations, some VPN providers have chosen to withdraw their services from Vietnam, while others have continued to operate while complying with the government’s guidelines.

Current Status of VPN Legality

As of now, VPN usage is legal in Vietnam, but individuals and businesses must ensure that they are using a registered VPN provider that complies with government regulations.

Relevant Laws and Regulations

The relevant law governing VPN usage in Vietnam is the Cybersecurity Law, which was introduced in 2018. According to this law, VPN providers must register with the government and comply with various regulations, such as providing access to user data when requested. The law also prohibits the use of VPNs to access content deemed to be “toxic” or “dangerous” by the government.

Pros Cons
  • Enhanced privacy and security
  • Access to blocked content
  • Protection against censorship
  • Potential legal risks
  • Incompatibility with government regulations
  • Inability to access certain services

“The Vietnamese government takes a strong stance on internet censorship and surveillance. While VPN usage can provide benefits for individuals and businesses, it’s important to use a registered provider and comply with relevant regulations to avoid potential legal risks.”

VPN Usage in Vietnam

VPN usage in Vietnam has steadily increased over the years, as individuals and businesses seek to circumvent the country’s strict censorship laws and protect their online privacy and security. According to a report by GlobalWebIndex, 14% of internet users in Vietnam used a VPN in 2020.

One of the primary reasons for using a VPN in Vietnam is to access blocked websites and services. The Vietnamese government heavily censors the internet, restricting access to content that is deemed politically sensitive or inconsistent with its values. This includes social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which are popular around the world but have been either banned or heavily monitored in Vietnam.

Another reason for VPN usage in Vietnam is to protect online privacy and data security. With the widespread use of surveillance and hacking tools, there is a growing concern among Vietnamese internet users who fear that their online activities may be monitored or intercepted. By using a VPN, individuals can encrypt their internet traffic and hide their IP address, making it more difficult for third parties to track their online activities.

VPN Usage in Vietnam: A Case Study

One example of VPN usage in Vietnam is by bloggers and journalists who seek to publish content that is critical of the government or controversial in nature. In 2017, a prominent Vietnamese blogger named Nguyen Van Hoa was sentenced to seven years in prison for posting videos on social media that exposed corruption and environmental issues in the country. Hoa was able to upload the videos to YouTube by using a VPN, which allowed him to bypass the government’s censorship and monitoring efforts.

However, it is worth noting that using a VPN in Vietnam is not entirely risk-free. While the Vietnamese government has not explicitly banned VPN usage, it has imposed strict regulations and guidelines that VPN providers must adhere to. Some VPN providers have reported issues with the government’s censorship and monitoring efforts, with several services being blocked or disrupted in the past.

Additionally, individuals who use VPNs in Vietnam may face legal consequences if they are found to be engaged in activities that violate the country’s laws or regulations. For example, using a VPN to access banned websites or to engage in illegal activities like hacking or fraud may result in prosecution and imprisonment.

Overall, VPN usage in Vietnam is a complex and evolving issue. While it can provide valuable benefits like access to blocked content and enhanced online security, it also carries potential risks and challenges that users must be aware of. By understanding the current legal landscape and government regulations, individuals can make informed decisions about whether to use a VPN and how to use it responsibly.

Government Regulations on VPNs

In Vietnam, the government imposes strict regulations on the use of VPNs. According to the Decree 72/2013/ND-CP of the Vietnamese Government, VPN services must be licensed by the government and must comply with certain conditions, including:

Condition Description
Obtaining a license VPN service providers must acquire a license from the government before offering their services in Vietnam.
Keeping user data VPN service providers must keep logs of users’ data and internet activities within 30 days and must provide this information to the authorities when requested.
Blocking restricted content VPN service providers must block access to any content that is deemed to be prohibited or restricted by the Vietnamese government.

The Vietnamese authorities also have the power to monitor and block VPNs that are not licensed or do not comply with government regulations. VPN users who violate the rules may be subjected to fines or imprisonment.

Recent Developments

In June 2019, the Vietnamese government passed a new law, Cybersecurity Law, which further restricts internet freedom in the country. Under this law, VPN service providers are required to store user data within Vietnam and provide this information to the authorities when requested. The law also allows the government to take down any website or social media account that it deems to be violating Vietnamese law.

Despite these restrictions, many individuals and businesses continue to use VPNs in Vietnam for various reasons, including accessing blocked content and enhancing privacy and security online.

Potential Risks of Using VPNs in Vietnam

While VPNs can provide numerous benefits for users in Vietnam, there are also potential risks and challenges to consider before using one. Below are some of the most common risks associated with VPN usage in Vietnam:

  • Legal risks: Despite the lack of specific laws regulating VPN usage in Vietnam, it is possible for the government to interpret VPN use as a violation of national security laws. Furthermore, the government could potentially monitor and track VPN usage, leading to legal consequences for users.
  • Unreliable connections: Some VPN services may have unreliable connections, which can lead to slow speeds and disconnections. This can be frustrating for users who rely on VPNs for secure access to the internet.
  • Security risks: Not all VPN providers are created equal, and some may not have adequate security measures in place to protect user data. Users should carefully research and choose a reputable VPN provider to avoid putting their personal data at risk.
  • Costs: While many VPN providers offer free services, these may come with limitations, such as data caps and slower speeds. Users who require a VPN for frequent or heavy usage may need to pay for a premium service, which can be costly.

It is important for users to carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of using a VPN in Vietnam before making a decision. By using a reputable provider and practicing responsible usage, users can mitigate many of the potential risks associated with VPN usage.

Benefits of Using VPNs in Vietnam

While the Vietnamese government may impose restrictions on the use of VPNs, there are many benefits to using a VPN in the country. Here are some advantages that VPN users in Vietnam can enjoy:

Benefits Description
Enhanced Privacy VPN usage can provide an extra layer of privacy and security for users in Vietnam, especially when accessing sensitive information online.
Access to Blocked Content With a VPN, individuals in Vietnam can bypass censorship and access blocked websites, social media platforms, and other online content.
Secure Connection on Public Wi-Fi Using a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks can help protect individuals’ personal and financial information from hackers and cybercriminals.
Improved Gaming and Streaming Experience VPN usage can optimize internet speeds and reduce buffering while gaming or streaming content in Vietnam, improving the overall user experience.

With these benefits in mind, it is easy to see why many individuals and businesses in Vietnam may choose to use a VPN despite potential legal risks and challenges. However, it is important to use a VPN responsibly and to choose a reputable service provider to ensure the best possible experience.

Popular VPN Providers in Vietnam

If you’re considering using a VPN in Vietnam, there are many options available. Here are some of the most popular VPN providers among users in the country:

VPN Provider Features
ExpressVPN Fast speeds, strong security, and a wide range of server locations.
NordVPN Robust security features, including double encryption and a no-logs policy.
Surfshark Affordable pricing, unlimited simultaneous connections, and a user-friendly interface.
Private Internet Access Excellent security and privacy features, including a kill switch and data encryption.

Each of these VPN providers has its unique strengths and benefits, so be sure to do your research and choose a service that aligns with your specific needs.


ExpressVPN is a popular choice among users in Vietnam due to its reliable performance and fast speeds. The service offers a wide range of server locations in countries around the world, making it easy to bypass local content restrictions and access blocked websites. Additionally, ExpressVPN uses robust security features, including AES-256 encryption and a kill switch, to protect user data and privacy.


NordVPN is another popular VPN provider with a strong reputation for security and privacy. The service uses industry-leading encryption protocols, including double encryption, to ensure that user data remains safe and secure. NordVPN also operates a large network of servers worldwide, providing users with a high degree of flexibility when it comes to accessing content from around the globe.


Surfshark is a newer VPN provider but has quickly gained a following due to its affordable pricing and user-friendly interface. The service offers unlimited simultaneous connections, making it an ideal choice for users with multiple devices. Additionally, Surfshark uses advanced security features such as anti-malware protection and a kill switch to ensure user privacy and security.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a well-established VPN provider known for its strong security and privacy features. The service uses AES-256 encryption and a no-logs policy to protect user data and privacy. PIA also has a large network of servers in countries around the world, making it easy for users to access content from anywhere with ease.

How to Choose a VPN for Vietnam

If you’re considering using a VPN in Vietnam, it’s important to select a provider that meets your needs and preferences. Here are some tips for choosing a VPN:

  1. Consider your usage: Before selecting a VPN provider, determine what you’ll be using it for. Do you primarily need it to access blocked content, or do you require enhanced security while browsing? Different VPNs offer varying features and capabilities, so it’s important to select a provider that aligns with your needs.
  2. Check for server locations: If you need to access content from specific regions, ensure that your VPN provider offers server locations in those areas.
  3. Consider speed: VPNs can sometimes slow down your internet connection, so it’s essential to select a provider that offers fast speeds to ensure a seamless browsing experience.
  4. Check compatibility: Ensure that your chosen VPN provider is compatible with the devices and operating systems you plan to use it with.
  5. Read reviews: Before selecting a VPN provider, be sure to read reviews from other users to determine their experiences and assess the quality of the provider.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can select a VPN provider that meets your specific needs and enhances your online experience in Vietnam.

Using a VPN Responsibly in Vietnam

While VPN usage can provide many benefits in Vietnam, it is important to use this technology responsibly and with awareness of potential risks. Below are some guidelines for individuals who choose to use a VPN in Vietnam:

  • Ensure the VPN is legal: Before using a VPN in Vietnam, make sure that it is legal and complies with government regulations.
  • Choose a reputable VPN provider: Use a VPN service from a reputable provider that has a proven track record of protecting user privacy and security.
  • Do not use a VPN for illegal activities: Do not use a VPN to engage in illegal activities, such as hacking, fraud, or accessing restricted content.
  • Be aware of potential security risks: While VPNs can enhance security and privacy, they can also introduce new risks, such as malware or phishing attacks. Make sure to use a VPN with adequate security features, such as encryption and malware protection.
  • Protect your personal information: When using a VPN in Vietnam, be cautious about sharing personal information and avoid logging in to sensitive accounts that contain confidential data, such as banking or social media accounts.
  • Use a strong password: Create a strong and unique password for your VPN account to minimize the risk of hacking or identity theft.
  • Regularly update software: Keep your VPN software up to date with the latest security patches and updates.

By following these guidelines, individuals can use a VPN in Vietnam with confidence and enjoy its many benefits while minimizing potential risks and challenges.

Current Developments and Future Outlook

As of now, VPN usage in Vietnam exists in a legal grey area. While the government has implemented some regulations and guidelines around VPN usage, enforcement has been uneven, with many individuals and businesses continuing to use VPNs without consequence.

However, recent developments suggest that the Vietnamese government may be taking a firmer stance on VPN usage. In late 2020, the government announced that it would be stepping up efforts to crack down on content deemed to be critical of the government or promoting anti-state activities, which could potentially impact VPN usage.

Looking to the future, it is difficult to predict how the situation will evolve. It is possible that the government could implement stricter regulations around VPN usage, or take steps to block VPNs entirely.

At the same time, there are also signs that the Vietnamese government may be looking to attract more foreign investment and promote internet freedom in the country, which could lead to a more permissive stance towards VPNs.

Regardless, it is clear that VPN usage will continue to play a significant role in Vietnam’s internet landscape, with individuals and businesses continuing to rely on these tools to protect their privacy and bypass online restrictions.

Conclusion: Understanding VPN Legality in Vietnam

Overall, VPN usage is legal in Vietnam, but there are regulations and guidelines that users must adhere to. The Vietnamese government has taken measures to monitor and restrict VPN usage, particularly in regards to accessing blocked content and potentially sensitive information.

However, the benefits of using a VPN in Vietnam, such as enhanced privacy and access to censored content, may outweigh the potential risks for some individuals. It is important to choose a reliable VPN provider and use it responsibly, following best practices and guidelines to minimize any potential negative impact.

As technology and regulations continue to evolve in Vietnam, it is important for individuals to stay informed and up-to-date on any changes that may affect VPN usage. By doing so, users can continue to enjoy the benefits of VPNs while remaining within the bounds of the law and regulations.

Additional Resources

If you are interested in learning more about VPN legality and usage in Vietnam, the following resources may be helpful:

1. Vietnam Briefing

Vietnam Briefing is a website that provides up-to-date news and information on legal, tax, and operational issues affecting foreign businesses in Vietnam. Their article “Navigating Vietnam’s VPN Crackdown” provides a detailed overview of the government’s regulations on VPN usage.

2. Freedom House

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that advocates for democracy and human rights around the world. Their annual report on internet freedom provides an overview of digital rights and censorship issues in various countries, including Vietnam.

3. Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is a non-profit organization that promotes greater understanding and engagement between Canada and Asia. Their report “The Cyber Landscape in Vietnam” provides in-depth analysis of internet governance and cyber security issues in Vietnam.

4. Virtual Private Network

Lastly, don’t forget to consult your selected VPN service provider for additional resources and information on using VPNs in Vietnam. Many providers offer helpful guides and tutorials on setting up and using their software, as well as tips for staying safe and secure online.


Q: Is VPN usage legal in Vietnam?

A: Yes, VPN usage is legal in Vietnam. However, there are regulations and guidelines surrounding its usage.

Q: What is the legal landscape of VPN usage in Vietnam?

A: The legal landscape of VPN usage in Vietnam is constantly evolving. While VPN usage is generally allowed, there are certain restrictions and laws that users should be aware of.

Q: Why do individuals and businesses in Vietnam use VPNs?

A: Individuals and businesses in Vietnam use VPNs for various reasons, including accessing blocked content, enhancing online privacy and security, and bypassing censorship.

Q: What are the government regulations on VPNs in Vietnam?

A: The Vietnamese government has imposed regulations on VPN usage, including requirements for VPN service providers to register with the government and restrictions on using VPNs for illegal activities.

Q: What are the risks of using VPNs in Vietnam?

A: While VPNs can provide privacy and security benefits, there are risks associated with their usage in Vietnam, such as potential surveillance by government agencies and the possibility of using unreliable VPN services.

Q: What are the benefits of using VPNs in Vietnam?

A: Using VPNs in Vietnam can offer several benefits, including enhanced online privacy, access to geo-restricted content, and the ability to browse the internet anonymously.

Q: Which are popular VPN providers in Vietnam?

A: Some popular VPN providers in Vietnam include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark. These providers offer a range of features and benefits to users in the country.

Q: How can I choose a VPN for Vietnam?

A: When choosing a VPN for Vietnam, consider factors such as server locations, connection speeds, security features, and customer support. It’s also important to read reviews and compare different providers.

Q: How can I use a VPN responsibly in Vietnam?

A: To use a VPN responsibly in Vietnam, follow best practices such as respecting the laws and regulations, avoiding illegal activities, and choosing reliable VPN service providers.

Q: What are the current developments and future outlook for VPN usage in Vietnam?

A: The VPN landscape in Vietnam is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay updated on any new developments. The future outlook for VPN usage in the country will depend on various factors, including government policies and technological advancements.

Q: What is the conclusion regarding the legality of VPN usage in Vietnam?

A: In conclusion, VPN usage is legal in Vietnam, but it is important to be aware of the regulations and guidelines imposed by the government. Users should use VPNs responsibly and choose reputable providers.

Q: Where can I find additional resources on VPN legality in Vietnam?

A: For additional resources and references on VPN legality in Vietnam, refer to the following sources: [List of additional resources]

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