How to Listen to Radiko Outside Japan

Last Updated: April 1, 2021

Due to the scarcity of land resources, high-rise buildings cover the landscape of the archipelagos called Japan. This architectural compromise has negatively affected conventional radio broadcasts. Radiko is, therefore, an internet radio station initiated to serve the Japanese people locally.

Indeed, Radiko service is now digital, and by default, should be available to anyone with an internet connection. However, that is far from the Japanese reality. Japan is stringent when it comes to the protection of copyright. For this reason, the “IP Simulcast Radio Council” limits Radiko internet broadcasts to certain broadcast target areas. 

Radiko determines if a user can access their programs through geotagging. In simple terms, this implies sniffing of the IP address and GPS information. Radiko’s geotagging implication is that users outside Japan’s territorial target area do not get to listen to their radio programs. That is a headache for Japanese immigrants and expatriates who love listening to Radiko from outside Japan.

How to Listen to Radiko with a VPN

Since we understand the technology and logic behind Radiko’s geo-tagging, bypassing it with a VPN becomes easy. First, if your device broadcasts GPS information, please turn off the ‘locations’ feature. Next, you’ll need to subscribe to a VPN service that will assign a Japanese IP address to your device temporarily.

With the VPN service in place, Radiko sees you as a user trying to listen to their program from within Japan. All thanks to your new IP address. However, it is essential to subscribe to a VPN provider with servers in Japan; anything besides this will leave you geo-blocked from Radiko.

Below is a highlight of the necessary steps to follow when accessing Radiko with a VPN:

  1. Identify a VPN provider with servers in Japan
  2. Download and install the VPN application
  3. Connect to one of the VPN’s Japanese servers
  4. Visit the Radiko website on your browser and start listening

Top VPNs for Listening to Radiko from Outside Japan

We have assessed various pros and cons of top providers in the VPN market. This section is the result of our effort. Below is a list of the seven best VPNs to help you easily listen to Radiko’s audio outside Japan.

1. ExpressVPN

Overall best in our tests

  • Super-fast servers
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Supports private protocol, Lightway
  • Money-back guarantee

You can easily tag ExpressVPN with the second name – ‘Reliability.’ This VPN provides the best security, protocols, speed, bandwidth, and bandwidth required for streaming live radio services like Radiko. 

With over 3000 VPN servers in 160 locations and 94 countries worldwide, Radiko users have come to favor ExpressVPN.  The network of ExpressVPN servers provides unlimited speed and data bandwidth. Thus, you have the assurance of streaming Radiko without buffering. 

ExpressVPN also supports the most powerful data encryption technology available on the internet – AES 256-bit. A combination of encryption, multiple VPN protocols, and a strict no-log policy for user’s data certifies your privacy and security.

Finally, ExpressVPN provides a top-notch customer experience. There’s a user-friendly interface, 24-hour live chat customer support, and support for multiple platforms. Invariably, you can connect your Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows devices simultaneously. A single ExpressVPN subscription account can serve up to five devices concurrently.

ExpressVPN is a good choice for watching other Japanese content abroad, such as Japanese TV. If you want to watch shows like GYAO or AbemaTV ExpressVPN is a good choice.

Best offer: $6.67/month (save 49% + 3 months free)

Visit ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

Definitely the fastest in our tests

  • Incredibly fast servers
  • Great security features
  • Verified no-logs policy
  • Unblocks streaming platforms

NordVPN comes second on our VPN list for Radiko. Though a recent entrant into the VPN market, NordVPN is vigorously contesting the top spot – with several exciting capabilities. One of such outstanding features is the ability to make subscription payments using Cryptocurrency – like Bitcoin. The Cryptocurrency option protects the privacy of VPN users as the info usually required for conventional payment channels becomes unnecessary.

NordVPN has well over 50,000 servers spread across almost 60 countries of the globe. From NordVPN’s 5,000+ army of servers, 82 are within the precincts of Japan. Meaning you have 82 fast-speed VPN servers to pick from when using NordVPN for Radiko. This vast number of local NordVPN servers permits you to switch from high-traffic to lesser congested ones. 

If you fall among the category of Radiko listeners who listen to programs via iOS or Android devices, NordVPN is your best bet. This provider has smartphone-friendly plans and supports up to 6 simultaneous connections on one account. With support for Windows and Linux operating systems, you can enjoy hitch-free streaming of Radiko, made possible by NordVPN’s unlimited bandwidth. Also, with the 256-bit AES encryption, your anonymity while using NordVPN is sure. 

NordVPN is also a good choice for accessing other similar shows such as Japanese Netflix or Japanese Hulu overseas.

Best offer: $3.71/month (save 68% + 3 months free)

Visit NordVPN

3. SurfShark

Best for connecting multiple devices

  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Integrates Stealth mode
  • Multihop feature available
  • 3000+ servers

Claiming the third spot on our list is Surfshark. It has about 3500 servers in 60 countries, with some of this lot physically operating from Japan. Therefore, Surfshark can assign Japanese IP addresses to Radiko listeners outside Japan. Surfshark does not only bypass Radiko’s geotagging; it also provides the high bandwidth connections required for streaming live internet radio broadcasts. 

Surfshark also allows using multiple devices on a single subscription plan. An internet connection always initiates a two-way relationship between your device and some other device on the network. By implication, your device is actively sharing information that could be exploited by cyber assailants. Not with Surfshark on guard, though. Your online security is almost impossible to breach with the impregnable AES 256-bit encryption technology. Coupled with an Automatic Kill Switch and DNS leak protection, Surfshark remains your go-to for data integrity when using Radiko over VPN.

It is improbable that Radiko users would use their VPN subscription for internet radio streaming alone. If they have to send sensitive information via the internet, Surfshark’s Double VPN feature protects Radiko users.  

New users of Surfshark may find it challenging to install the client app or browser extension. Picking the best Japanese server may equally pose a technical challenge for Radiko listeners; thus, a 24/7 customer support chatbot is always at hand. Overall, Surfshark applications and browser extensions are user-friendly. They have app versions for Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. In case you do not know, there is no limit to the number of devices you can connect to a Surfshark simultaneously.

Best offer: $2.21/month (save 83% + 3 months free)

Visit Surfshark

4. PIA

Broadest server reach in our tests

  • Great unblocking ability
  • Supports WireGuard protocol
  • Decent streaming speed
  • Affordable subscription offers

PIA is short for Private Internet Access. This VPN was recently acquired by Private Internet, the owner of CyberGhost. As part of the PIA VPN revamp, there was a scaling up of its server network. From the 3,300 servers in 30 countries, the server network rose above 17,000 in 75+ countries. 

PIA is not just about the numbers; we are concerned with how the high connection speed benefits Radiko listeners. This provider also supports the latest VPN protocol. PIA has detailed tutorials on their website explaining how to set up Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, and browser extensions on Opera, Chrome, and Firefox.

A family of Japanese expatriates can use a PIA to listen to Radiko programs since PIA supports up to ten devices at a time. All source codes for PIA apps and browser extensions are open source. Developers can copy the code to tweak it into more user-friendly scripts. The PIA interface allows the option of picking encryption and authentication methods. But if you happen to run into any hitch, you can quickly consult the 24/7 customer support.

As we mentioned earlier, PIA supports AES-128 and 256 encryption technologies. Hence, you can choose one of the two. You even have the choice of turning off encryption entirely if your priority is Radiko streaming speed. ISP services often provide their subscribers with DNS protection, but PIA VPN has its DNS. Using the custom DNS cancels out any possibility of data leakages. 

Several other protective features like an Automatic Kill Switch make PIA the right choice for the Radiko listener.

Best offer: 1.94€/month (save 83%)

Visit PIA

5. UltraVPN

Easiest to use based on our tests

  • Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Cheap subscription plan. Starting at $6.99, save 22%.

We strongly recommend UltraVPN for first-time users of VPN. Most of the features on UltraVPN are preset and require little or no tweaking from the user. Hence, for a Japanese expat accessing Radiko from outside the country, installing and using the VPN app shouldn’t be a problem. 

UltraVPN has an estimated 1000+ servers in up to 100 countries. Their Japanese servers make it possible to get a local IP address for your devices for streaming Radiko radio. The vast server network allows access to high-speed connections and high bandwidth for quality streaming of internet radio. 

Standard security features of top VPN services are available on UltraVPN. There’s the Kill Switch feature – which the user has to turn on manually. The AES-256 encryption and zero-logging data policy give an assurance of the user’s anonymity. Just like PIA, UltraVPN also has its DNS servers to prevent exposure of your actual IP address. 

Whether you want to listen to Radiko using your Windows, Mac, Android, iOS devices, or SmartTVs, UltraVPN got you covered. You can use up to six devices on an UltraVPN subscription. For Japanese residents in China, we suggest trying out the 30-day money-back trial on UltraVPN before paying a full subscription. This advice is because of the embargoes on VPN usage in China. 

Best offer: $2.99/month (save 60% + 6 months free)

Visit UltraVPN

6. CyberGhost

Offers the best money-back guarantee

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 7000+ reliable servers
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Tough security features

The high-speed connection offering of CyberGhost gives it a place on the list of VPN recommendations for use with Radiko. The high connection speed is made possible by the company’s 6000+ servers spread across 90 nations. With their servers located in Japanese territory, Radiko users can easily acquire a local IP address. 

CyberGhost, like other VPNs on this recommendation list, offers top-notch security. Their Kill Switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption ascertain users’ online safety. Users can also interact with customer support round-the-clock when any challenge arises. 

Similar to UltraVPN, Chinese cyber-surveillance authorities have successfully blocked CyberGhost usage. So, if you are trying to access Radiko from China, please pick from some other provider. CyberGhost, however, works seamlessly from different locations.

Best offer: 2€/month (save 83%)

Visit CyberGhost

7. Trust.Zone

Best VPN with a free version

  • Offers dedicated IP addresses
  • Allows torrenting and P2P file sharing
  • Great pricing
  • Free version available

Trust.Zone is not famous; however, that takes nothing away from its quality as an excellent VPN service for Radiko. With four different pricing options, Trust.Zone offers one of the cheapest services relative to rate. Below are some of the features that mark Trust.Zone as exceptional.

Security and privacy are not something to worry about when you decide to listen to your favorite Radiko programs with Trust.Zone. Their services come with a 256-bit AES military-grade encryption; they accept the Bitcoin payment option – enough to grant users anonymity. Furthermore, Trust.Zone has its headquarters in Seychelles, protecting the lean log of user data from the surveillance teams of the 14-eye countries. 

Trust.Zone boasts 1000+ fast-speed servers in 85+ locations globally, and the population is daily scaling. This vast server network offers Radiko users the speed and bandwidth they require to stream radio programs. However, of all mentioned Trust.Zone features; the pocket-friendly plans endear it to Radiko users living outside Japan.

Best offer: 3€/month (save 65%)

Visit Trust.Zone

What to Consider When Selecting a VPN for Radiko

Searching through your device’s app store will bring up hundreds of VPN apps calling for your patronage. However, only a few of even the reliable ones sport the necessary features for streaming Radiko from remote locations. 

The essential factors to consider when making a pick of VPN are as follows:

Physical Presence of VPN Servers in Japan

‘Physical presence’ here implies the presence of the provider’s server(s) in Japanese territory. Connecting to such servers from outside the country helps the VPN user automatically get a Japanese IP address, and by extension, unblock Radiko.

Connection Speed

Please avoid providers that limit or cap users’ connection speed and data bandwidth. Streaming services require a high-speed internet connection and unlimited data bandwidth. With good speed, you can avoid the accompanying stress of buffering connections.

User Security and Privacy

It is not enough that a VPN helps you bypass Radiko’s geo-block, the integrity of the data going from your device also requires protection. So, be on the lookout for services with standard security and privacy features. Examples of such qualities are Kill Switch, DNS Leak Protection, and 128- or 256-bit AES encryption.

Cost of Service

The most reliable VPN services, with servers in Japan, come at quite a price. However, several VPN services provide flexible subscription plans from which users can pick. If you only need to use a VPN for Radiko briefly, we’ll suggest using the money-back guarantee option.  

Conclusion

Radiko is an aggregation of several Japanese radio stations, making it a hotspot of many captivating and indigenous programs. Though not available to Japanese citizens resident outside the country, our VPN recommendations list is an easy way out of Radiko’s geo-restriction. Follow the guide in this article, and enjoy seamless radio streaming on Radiko!

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