Using VPN on PS4 in North Korea: Facts and Guidelines

An illustrated guide on how to use VPN on a PS4 console under the Northern Lights in North Korea, with facts and step-by-step guidelines displayed around the edges.

Understanding Internet Censorship in North Korea

North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is one of the most tightly controlled countries in the world when it comes to internet access and freedom. The government employs rigorous measures to regulate content and communication, affecting various online activities, including gaming. For PS4 gamers in North Korea, the restrictions significantly impact the availability of games, online multiplayer functionalities, and even access to gaming updates and patches.

Internet Censorship and Its Impacts on PS4 Gamers

The North Korean government maintains stringent control over the internet, allowing access only to a handpicked list of websites that align with its ideology and propaganda. This limited internet, often referred to as Kwangmyong, is a state-controlled intranet that is entirely isolated from the rest of the world. Consequently, accessing international gaming platforms, online communities, or any content that hasn’t been explicitly approved by the government is practically impossible for the average North Korean resident.

For PS4 gamers, this means severe limitations. Not only are they unable to access global gaming networks like PlayStation Network (PSN), but they’re also restricted from playing the vast majority of international game titles, participating in online multiplayer sessions, or downloading game updates and DLCs (Downloadable Content).

Geoblocking and Filtering

Geoblocking is another common issue encountered by gamers worldwide, including those in North Korea who can somehow access the global internet. Geoblocking restricts access to content based on the user’s geographic location. For PS4 gamers, this could mean being unable to purchase games, access certain online services, or play with friends outside their region. While primarily a tool for content licensors to control their markets, it also serves as an additional layer of restriction on top of the existing censorship.

Circumventing Restrictions with VPN on PS4

Given the circumstances, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) appears to be a viable solution for circumventing internet censorship, geoblocking, and content filtering to access global gaming content. By routing your internet connection through a server in a different country, a VPN masks your real location, making it appear as though you’re accessing the internet from somewhere else. This can enable individuals in North Korea to bypass restrictions and enjoy a broader spectrum of online gaming experiences.

Setting Up a VPN on PS4 in North Korea

Setting up a VPN connection on a PS4 in North Korea (or in any country, for that matter) involves a few steps, as the console does not support VPN apps directly. There are two primary methods to establish this setup:

Using a Wi-Fi Router

  1. Choose a VPN Service: Select a VPN provider that offers strong encryption, fast speeds, and servers in multiple countries. Given the stringent restrictions in North Korea, choosing a VPN with a proven record of bypassing government censors is crucial.
  2. Install the VPN on Your Router: The setup process varies depending on your router model and the VPN provider. Generally, you’ll access your router’s admin page through a web browser and configure the VPN settings manually.
  3. Connect Your PS4 to the VPN-enabled Network: On your PS4, go to Settings > Network > Set Up Internet Connection, and select Use Wi-Fi. Choose the network you set up with VPN and enter the password.
  4. Test the Connection: After setting everything up, check the connection to ensure your PS4 is correctly connected through the VPN. You can do this by looking at the network settings or using online services that display your current IP address.

Using a Computer

  1. Connect the VPN on Your Computer: Install the VPN software on your computer and connect to a server.
  2. Create a Shared Network Connection: On Windows, you can go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings. Right-click on your VPN connection and select Properties, then share your VPN connection with your PS4 over Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable.
  3. Configure Your PS4 Network Settings: Similar to the router method, go to your PS4 network settings, select either Wi-Fi or LAN cable (depending on your setup), and follow the instructions to finish setting up.

More detailed guides for these methods can be found on the websites of most major VPN providers, such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark.

Country-Specific FAQ

Given the unique circumstances surrounding internet usage in North Korea, here are some frequently asked questions that might help clarify concerns specific to using VPN on PS4 in the country.

Question Answer
Is using a VPN legal in North Korea? The use of VPNs in North Korea is subject to the country’s stringent regulations and is likely considered illegal, especially if used to bypass government censorship.
Can I purchase PS4 games online in North Korea? Due to the extreme internet restrictions, purchasing PS4 games online within North Korea’s official network is highly improbable. Accessing international marketplaces would require a VPN.
Are foreign online gaming services accessible in North Korea? Access to foreign online gaming services directly is impossible through North Korea’s state-controlled internet. A robust VPN setup is necessary to circumvent these restrictions.
What risks are associated with using a VPN in North Korea? The risks include legal repercussions from the North Korean government, including penalties and severe punishments for bypassing state censorship and accessing foreign content.
How can I choose a safe and effective VPN for use in North Korea? Opt for VPNs known for strong encryption protocols, no-logs policies, and the ability to bypass high-level censorship. Prioritize services with a track record of working in highly restricted environments.

It’s imperative for individuals considering the use of a VPN in North Korea to weigh the potential risks and benefits carefully. Given the country’s tight controls over internet access and the severe penalties for unauthorized use, proceed with extreme caution and at your own risk.