Accessing Facebook, YouTube and Google in Vietnam

Note from Editors: In view of the current situation, please avoid all unnecessary travel and try to stay home. Don’t worry, like all things, it will end at some point and you’ll be able to travel again. In the meantime, check out what you can do while staying at home.

Vietnam is a country where you can get Wi-Fi everywhere in a coffee shop, in a hotel/ hostel, in almost all restaurants or shops and even on the street. The Wi-Fi connections are not usually secured by passwords so if you are lucky you can browse the Internet for free.

Therefore, I spend a lot of time in bars and cafes so I can write my blog and chat with my friends while having a nice cold frappe or a fruit cocktail. It sometimes must look so funny, and I feel so awkward, when I buy one drink and stay in a place for like 4-6 hours drinking for ages, slower and slower :). But I don’t care, everyone does it- I mean all foreigners.

Accessing Facebook

Facebook, Google (except Vietnamese one), twitter and YouTube are blocked in Vietnam but not as strictly as in China. It is not an official block. Therefore, accessing them is pretty easy.

1) VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and serves as a wall between you and the world. It only lets through the information about what you’re looking for and not who you are.

Apart from safeguarding your privacy, it also protects your files and passwords so that you can use public WiFi and hotspots without the danger of getting hacked.

I’m using my VPN software. I’ve used many different providers, but that’s the only one that is reliable, fast and cheap. It’s been a great solution for using Facebook in Vietnam and China. Also, YouTube is working fast, which not that common with other VPNs.

2) HotSpot Shield

It’s a free VPN software, more info here http://www.hotspotshield.com/. You can download it for free. The free version, in my opinion, sucks as there are many advertisements coming up every time you open a new website. It was very annoying for me and it slowed my laptop down. You can get rid of the ads by paying certain amount of money, don’t know exactly how much as I didn’t do it.

3) Free proxies

Here you can get some info on how to use it http://vpnfor.us/how-to/access-facebook-in-vietnam/. It’s a great website most of foreigners use to get the info on how to get Facebook access in Vietnam. You need to set Google’s DNS first and edit HOST file of the operating system. Here are the IP addresses available: http://pastesite.com/34389.

4) Built-in proxy of the internet connection

You may find that in some places you don’t actually need to do anything to access facebook and the like. It is due to the fact that most Vietnamese people use it themselves and they have built-in proxies in their routers. Very convenient.

I recommend getting a VPN service anyway if you are planning to stay in Vietnam for a longer than two weeks or travel in any other Asian country where the Facebook access is limited or blocked. Of course, that’s if you are facebook manic like me :).

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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7 thoughts on “Accessing Facebook, YouTube and Google in Vietnam”

  1. The CounterIntuitive

    There’s some good advice here. Using a VPN is also great for security. If your email or web sites don’t use SSL (encryption), then you can be confident all your surfing, bank, flights details are all secure. I’ve not heard of GoldenFrog. I use StreamVia myself.

  2. Hey Agness,

    Any idea what’s the most popular internet access for home use in Vietnam? DSL or Cable?

    Looking forward to go there and stay at a friend’s house but his Internet is not WiFi capable. I am planning to setup my own WiFi router there strictly for my Nexus 7 tablet.

    Thanks,
    Cason

  3. I’ve never tried VPN above, but since last year, in Indonesia, we can’t access reddit & Vimeo.com , then I’m using https://hola.org/ , It’s very user friendly but I still hope they unblocked Vimeo. Have you tried Hola in Vietnam??

  4. Hi Agness,

    Thank you for this great information. I see this blog post is dated 2012, and was wondering if you have any updated information. Do you still use VPN by Astrill? I am going to be in Vietnam for a month, and want to keep up with my YouTube channel & other online business (including Facebook & Instagram). I’m getting a little overwhelmed by the VPN research. I tried downloading the free VPN Hola extension, but wasn’t able to. Then I started looking into free VPNs that might be a bit faster and more secure. Any advice you have would be much appreciated :) VPN by Astrill looks quite affordable, and may be a great option. I’d love to know if you’re still using it. Thank you!

    1. We used VPN by Astrill 4 months ago and it worked well in China. In Vietnam not everything is banned so don’t worry too much about your VPN. You should be able to access all websites even with a slow VPN.

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