The Best VPNs for China
Believe it or not, VPNs have been around for quite some time. However, there are still many people unaware of their existence and their benefits. VPNs are created to safeguard your privacy as you use the internet. They are important because you are no longer safe on the internet. As you do your regular shopping, research, or send E-mails, you are vulnerable to hackers, ISPs, and governments that collect data on netizens.
Additionally, a VPN can help unblock geo-restricted websites and social media platforms. Given these reasons, VPNs are extremely useful especially in China (which is infamous for internet censorship).
Why do you need a VPN for China?
If you’re traveling to China or live in the country, you will have (or already) have problems accessing some sites like Facebook Gmail, Twitter, and YouTube. This is because China has a firewall which blocks and censors content. Because of this ‘Great Firewall” of China, ingressing some most popular websites while in China becomes a problem. Luckily for you, there are lots of ways to bypass this firewall. But out of the many ways available, using a VPN China is by far the most efficient. This is some good news, right?
The bad news is that not all VPNs can circumvent the firewall. China a few months ago conducted a crackdown on all VPNs operational in the country. And consequently, the VPNs that used to work before now don’t.
But don’t fret. We’ve taken the liberty of preparing a review list of the top VPNs that seamlessly operate in China.
Blocked sites and apps in China
Some of the sites blocked in China are a staple for some of us. As such, if you plan to travel to China, you should be prepared to be in the dark for the time you’ll be there. Shockingly, China has a reason for blocking these websites and applications.
- Google – including Google Maps, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google +, Google APIs
- YouTube – China uses Youku
- Blogging platforms – including Blogger, Blogspot, WordPress and Tumblr
- Adult sites – almost all adult content sites are blocked
- Western media – including Daily Motion, Time, The New York Times and Google News
The Best VPNs for China
Though not the cheapest, ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs in China. This is because it skillfully bypasses the ‘Great Firewall,’ ExpressVPN has thousands of servers spread out in 94 countries. The Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan servers are especially relevant to individuals in China.
In addition to the large server network, ExpressVPN also offers reliable and consistent performance via dedicated apps. If you encounter problems, there is a 24/7 live chat and Email support to bail you out. You can access support while in China as their site is not blocked.
More to this, ExpressVPN is constantly monitoring its networks ensuring that they are accessible in China and that they stay ahead of the censorship. Even better, ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all its servers and has several servers built to support Netflix.
If you are visiting China for a short period, you should try the 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you love it you can enroll in one of 3 packages;
- 12 months – costs $ 99.95 ($6.67 p/m) and first-timers get 3 months for free.
- 6 months – $59.95 ($9.99 p/m)
- 1 month – 12.95 p/m
- Consistently and reliably works in China.
- Zero logging.
- 148 server locations with some in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan.
- Supports torrenting.
With NordVPN, you are protected from China’s censorship, and your privacy is upheld by its strict zero logging policy and strong encryption standards including PPTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec and L2TP protocols. Additionally, NordVPN has several Double VPN servers which pass your torrenting data through 2 VPN servers. Unlike most VPNs, NordVPN can unblock sites Hulu and Netflix US.
The windows and MacOS desktop apps work in China. While Android users are protected by NordVPN in China, they need to download the beta version of the Android app. Unfortunately; NordVPN’s iOS app doesn’t do a great job of evading the firewall.
NordVPN recently started its operations in China. This was great news for those living in Beijing and Shanghai and who are in need of simultaneous device support at an affordable price. NordVPN offers a whopping 6 simultaneous device connection at affordable rates.
It has 3 plans;
- Yearly – $83.88 p/m
- Monthly – $11.95 p/m
- 6-month – $54.00 p/m
Additionally, it has a 3-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Supports up to 6 simultaneous device use.
- Unblock Hulu, Netflix, iPlayer, and other streaming sites.
- Has a strict zero logging policy.
- Works great in China.
The behind VyprVPN’s popularity can be linked to its Chameleon security protocol. This protocol enables users to bypass China VPN blocking and scrambling of OpenVPN packet metadata. While VyprVPN has a no logging policy, it operates differently from ExpressVPN and NordVPN. VyprVPN logs the connection times and your IP addresses. However, it doesn’t keep logs of the sites visited which is what matters most.
VyprVPN is branded as a tier 1 VPN network. This means that it owns all its servers. Speaking of servers, it features a sufficient amount (some spread out in Asia) to provide you with above average performance. Additionally, VyprVPN features solid support for the mobile apps. In case of any hitches, you can reach out to the customer service via the 24/7 live chat.
VyprVPN has two plans: basic and premium. These plans are further divided into two for ease of payment.
- The basic plan, 1 year – billed at $60 ($5 a month).
- The basic plan, 1 month – billed at $9.95 per month.
- Premium plan, 1 year – billed at $80.04 ($6.67 a month).
- Premium plan, 1- month – billed at $12.95 per month.
All of the above plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. But you should note that the basic plan doesn’t come with the Chameleon protocol VyprVPN is so proud of.
- Fast speeds.
- Chameleon security protocols.
- 24/7 live chat support.
IPVanish was started in 2012 and is based in the U.S. But despite having its headquarters in the U.S, IPVanish is rather popular in China courtesy of its affordable rates features. For starters, IPVanish can be used on all devices running on Mac OSX, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS and VPN-enabled routers. Data sent and received through these devices are protected by PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN encryption protocols.
IPVanish currently has over 325 servers spread out in 60 countries. While none of these are in China, those in Thailand, Hong Kong, and South Korea afford China networks incredible speeds and performance.
Like ExpressVPN, IPVanish doesn’t feature a free trial plan. However, it does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee with its 3 plans.
These plans include;
- 1 year plan – $77.99 ($6.49 per month).
- 3-months plan – $26.99 ($8.99 per month).
- 1-month plan -$10 per month.
- Optimized for Kodi.
- Fast server speeds.
- Unlimited P2P traffic.
- 5 simultaneous device connections.
Hide.me has a good reputation for providing its users with security, anonymity, and transparency. Hide.me has a strict zero log policy and supports PPTP, IKEv1/v2, SOCKS, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN. Hide.me also has a large network or VPN servers spread out in more than 34 locations.
However, only premium users have access to the 34 locations. Free Hide.me users can only access 3 server locations including Canada, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Additionally, free users have a monthly bandwidth limit of 2GB and can only connect 1 device at a time while premium users have unlimited bandwidth and can connect 5 devices simultaneously. With the Plus package, users can only connect 1 device at a time and transfer 75 GB of data.
Below are the package plans Hide.me offers;
- Premium – at $9.99 per month
- Plus – at $4.99 per month
Both packages come with a 14-day money back guarantee.
- Has a free VPN plan
- Zero logging policy
- Supports P2P
CyberGhost is based both in Germany and Romania. Germany’s branch is responsible for a large chunk of the software development. CyberGhost has over 60 server locations in the world and has a no logging policy. In addition to this, it supports P2P torrenting which most VPNs don’t.
Additionally, CyberGhost VPN supports clients on Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows. It features a free plan in addition to its 3 package plans. The 3 plans feature a 30-day money-back guarantee. With the free plan, you will have to put up with ads, bear with the 1 device connection, and slowed down speeds. However, once you sign up, the speeds improve drastically, and you enjoy a 3-day free trial of the premium package.
- Zero Logging policy.
- P2P torrenting.
- 24/7 live chat.
- 7 simultaneous device connections.
What makes the best VPN for China?
China best VPN should have a perfect balance of the below features:
- Speed – internet speeds in China are not great. For this reason, you need a VPN with speeds that will meet your daily needs.
- Reliability – the connection should be stable and secure.
- Server location – the VPN should have multiple servers in or close to China.
- Compatibility – the VPN service should be compatible with the devices you use on a daily basis.
- Encryption – the provider should offer a robust encryption protocol. However, bear in mind that high encryption strengths negatively affect performance.
- Bandwidth – get a VPN that provides unlimited bandwidth.
Why Are Sites Blocked In China?
The reasons why China blocks websites can be broken into three:
- Social control – the government wants to be in control of the messages being sent. This way they can prevent protests that may rise against the government.
- Sensitive content – the government tries to protect its citizens from information that portrays it in a bad light. It also doesn’t want its citizens consuming adult content.
- Economic Protectionism – China prefers its local companies as they adhere to the set regulations. For this reason, they put strict restrictions on foreign companies to protect their local industries and companies.
Is It Legal To Use a VPN in China?
Well, maybe. The legality of VPN use depends on who you are, what you use the VPN for and what authority is asking. But as a foreigner, using a VPN in China is a norm. For the most part, using it will not land you in trouble.
On the flip side, Chinese citizens are dealt with harshly when found using unapproved VPNs. When found guilty of this offense, you may be fined or sentenced to between 3 days and 5 years of imprisonment.
Dealing with censorship in China is no easy feat. However, some VPNs have risen to the occasion and provide means of bypassing the censorship. Of the 6 listed China VPNs, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are by far the best. Sure they are the most expensive on the list, but they are definitely worth every penny. Make use of their 30-day money-back guarantee and establish whether you will like either one of them.
Thank you for going through our best VPNs for China guide! For more VPN reviews, feel free to read through our blog frequently.