So, you’re coming to China – that’s great! What’s not so-great in China is the Great Firewall, in short, it is a combination of government filters that block apps and websites. Being online in China is not prohibited but restricted by a myriad of reasons; all the foreign websites including Facebook, Google, Tinder, Youtube, Netflix, Whatsapp, etc. are blocked in China. But with best VPN for China, you can easily bypass these restrictions.
Only the best China VPN can maintain your accessibility intact and circumvent blocked sites and apps that you can’t live without. If you’ve visited before, you must’ve experienced it; China’s advanced censorship system has turned the Great Firewall into a hotspot for VPN usage, both expats and natives are supposed to use VPN China.
Let me die your connectivity hopes a bit further – It’s not only streaming or entertainment sites that are restricted but also the VPN sites which are blocked by the Chinese authorities. When you google China and it’s online security, you’ll come across growing phenomena; China VPN ban, yes! It’s true that since Xi Jinping became president, authorities become more active to curb VPNs, leaving providers into continuous lags in connectivity.
So, do critically analyze your VPN selection, or you can trust our experts to serve you the best; it’s all up to you!
Popularity of VPN in China
The usage of VPN increased rapidly across the globe. Over the last decade the usage of VPN increased immensely in China, but after the government launched the ‘Sweep Campaign’ many VPN providers failed to provide their services in China and couldn’t be able to bypass the Firewall filtration.
Still, China is covering a significant chunk of VPN market share. Here’s a graph showing the usage of Internet in China increasing way higher compared to the USA.
List of Best China VPN – Still working in 2019
There are many fishes in the pond who claim to have great support for netizens in China, but many claims are over-shadowed or has already targeted by the China VPN ban. Finding the active VPN China is quite tough and we’re sure you don’t have enough time to test every claim-holder, so to make your life easy, our VPN-specialist team has finalized a list of best VPN in China; all of these VPNs are currently working.
All these VPNs are tested to ensure whether all the banned websites are working or not.
Websites and Social Sites you cannot Access in China
- Google Play (i.e. no downloading Android apps)
- Google Apps (Drive, Docs, Calendar, Maps etc.)
- Microsoft OneDrive
- New York Times
- Amazon (Alexa)
- Financial Times
- Wall Street Journal
- Google (text and voice)
- KaKao Talk (Korean)
- Skype (although it sometimes works, it’s not reliable)
- Google Hangouts
- Adult websites
- VPN websites
- Facebook Messenger
- Politically sensitive sites
The most-visited sites are blocked! The only connectivity allowed in China is online banking and yes, you can use iMessage and Facetime too.
From the last few months we have been personally testing different VPN services for China.
We’ve ranked the VPNs based on the following factors;
- Download speeds: Faster = better
- Reliability: Connect when you need it, but how far the connection is stable?
- Usability: Are all the given apps or interfaces are easy to install and use? Be skeptical, you’ll be using the app 24/7.
- Security: Can you trust the VPN provider? Here you need a second yet expert opinion.
- Customer service: How fast your query will be responded and resolved? Again it depends on a number of factors.
Back in 2014, all the given VPNs used to unblock the web, but after the Great Firewall had grown its sophistication, it started detecting and blocking/throttling VPN connections. There are some peak periods (Chinese New Year, political meeting, etc) when almost all the VPNs face crackdowns.
Fast forward to 2019, only a limited number of VPNs work in China; thanks to their special technologies that’s potential enough to mask our VPN connection so the Great Firewall cannot detect it.
If you want to be your own boss and test your favorite VPN providers by yourself, look for the following areas before connecting to a VPN service for China.
Features A Best VPN for China Must Offer
Here a couple of factors to consider when choosing the right VPN for your stay in China;
- Bandwidth – This refers to the amount of data (in GB) allowed to download (includes streaming) and upload per month; sharing an account also mean sharing of bandwidth. Ideally try a VPN plan that offers unlimited bandwidth; dedicated bandwidth usually offers faster speeds, but at the cost of a fixed number of gigabytes.
- Simultaneous Sharing – How about sharing the VPN subscription among friends or flatmates? It will help save you some bucks.
- Reliability – Is the service consistent? Mostly, VPNs get flakey and require consistent re-connections to different servers; height of frustrations. Pay a little extra to achieve some semblance of sanity!
- Easy To Use – Different VPNs use different procedures to connect to the uncensored internet. Sometimes this can take a while and can be very confusing for a non tech-savvy user; make sure you can easily setup the VPN across your devices.
- Speed – Broadband speeds in China aren’t the best, so get the fast VPN to cutdown on bottlenecks. If your work relies heavily on the internet (building websites, blogging, E-commerce, SEO, or online media) then you need the fastest VPN you can afford.
- Mobile Apps – Some newbies don’t offer dedicated apps for mobile devices, instead require manual configuration via 3rd party apps. To avoid such a huge hassle, it’s highly advisable to choose a VPN that has their own Apps.
- Customer Service – This is quite important, as where VPN ban is on the rise and VPN closure is happening more than often. Some VPNs have live chats for immediate reachability; make sure the intended VPN must have means of communication to help you from the Great Firewall of China.
- Encryption – A VPN must afford a protocol that has at least 128-bit encryption; higher the encryption, nicest the strength, but somehow results in slower performance. 256-bit is considered the standard in most VPNs.
- Server locations – This is important for China as closer the server location, speedier the connections; look for a VPN with servers located close by – South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, or the West Coast of the United States.
- Compatibility – Is your VPN compatible with Mac OS? Windows? Linux? iOs? Android? And what about your favorite tablet? Make sure your VPN is friendly with all your devices, otherwise this will a huge headache. Some VPN have free trials, test if all your devices are compatible before going for its longer subscription.
What Are the suggested Protocols To Use in China?
Most VPN services have different options in protocol – it’s the “language” or method in which the data is transferred by the VPN server. The most popular protocols you will encounter includes:
- SSTP is also found, but it only works on Windows
It is highly appreciated to have a VPN service with multiple VPN protocols. The Chinese authorities knows the presence of VPNs and the Firewall is constantly shutting down VPN connections. Sometimes a certain protocol targeted and result in slow speeds or the inability to connect so, if your VPN supports more than one protocol, then you can simply switch to another.
OpenVPN is favoured VPN protocol because it balances the speed and security, supporting a variety of devices / operating systems. The sad reality is that the Great Firewall is now detecting basic OpenVPN connections and either blocking or throttling them. Thankfully, all the top-notch VPN services offer additional security on top of OpenVPN to get around the Firewall. Check out these features in the chosen VPN;
Is Using VPNs in China Illegal? No, They Are Not!
VPNs use in businesses and are more than just accessibility weapon to unblock Facebook or Google. However, chinese government generally allows businesses, and users to rent licensed VPN connections from the allowed yet authorized ISPs.
Note: It is a crime for a VPN company to operate within China without the proper registration; not a single VPN which is being used to jump over the Great Firewall are based in China.
No No…. Proxy Isn’t Recommended!
The main reasons we don’t recommend proxies over VPN is security and encryption; a VPN is far more protected with the most robust encryption, again your VPN selection matters the most. Proxies also slow down your internet connection; which is important for the freedom to be enjoyed against the Great Firewall.
The Chinese govt is smart and there’s no definite escape plan to sway away all the potential threats and scams, even surveillance cannot be ignored entirely; the Great Firewall will be more stricker in the future.
We hoped this article would make your stay in China, more protected and enjoyable!