5 Best VPN for China 2020

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When it comes to internet censorship, we all know China stands out among all the countries around the world. It’s because the censorship in China is on the next level. This troubles both the citizens and the expats living in China. They find it very disappointing when attempting to connect to favorite websites and services like Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. With the Great Firewall of China in place, the government blocks access to the above-mentioned international websites and leaves the users at the mercy of different proxy tools.

What’s A China VPN?

One such tool is VPN, short for Virtual Private Network; it is an online proxy and internet security tool that lets the users mask their original IP address. This makes them look like they’re accessing the internet from a region other than their actual one. So, if you connect to the internet in China on the VPN server, then you can access all the blocked content; because VPN will grant you an IP other than Chinese and this way your original location won’t be traced; hence you’ll get the access of the websites of your choice. For more information read, Understanding VPN Tunnels – A Guide to Setup VPN Tunnels

But, the Chinese government hasn’t surrendered in front of a VPN yet! Yes, this might disappoint you; but, China has started cracking down on the VPN services; in the hopes of blocking all the unauthorized VPNs working across the country. This worsens the situation, and netizens in China find it even harder to get the best VPN for China that can work for them and help them evade the most strict internet censorship in China.

If this sounds like you and you too are facing this problem; then join hands with us and follow us this till the end of this guide. In this guide, we are going to shed light on the need of using the best VPN for China and present you with the best VPN for China that is currently working correctly.

Do You Really Need the VPN for China?

The significance of VPN in China has risen more than ever before. You will require a VPN in China if you:

  • Live in China or are moving there for vacation or business plans
  • You need to utilize the Internet for professional goals
  • If you want the Internet for social, interaction, and educational purposes
  • You wish to evade being a victim of internet censorship and access blocked content
  • You wish to achieve online privacy and security on your internet activities

If anyone or more of these above-mentioned cases refer to you; then there shouldn’t be any question as to the importance that a VPN would have for you.

What Gain Can I Get With the VPN for China?

The requirement for a VPN in China is greater than in any other country. Here are the top three reasons as to why you should utilize VPN in Mainland China.

Evade Government Mass-Surveillance

Undoubtedly, the Chinese government keeps tabs on its nationals’ Internet activities. The moment you connect to a VPN server, all your internet data traffic is securely encrypted. No more eavesdropping on your internet activities.

The Great Firewall Of China

The Great Firewall is China’s system of Internet censorship. While some governments ban access to specific sites, the Chinese authorities have taken restrictions to a whole new level. They have blocked favorite social websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. You cannot even access search engines such as Google. By using a VPN, you can bypass The Great Firewall.

Geo-Restrictions

Expats and tourists traveling to China often find themselves deprived of their favorite TV shows and movies. That’s because US, UK, Australian, and Canadian streaming channels are geo-blocked outside their respective regions. You can bypass regional restrictions and watch channels such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Go while abroad by using VPN.

VPN Vs. Great Firewall

For numerous ex-pats in China, VPN apps are a daily necessity, and reliability outclasses all the other factors. The Great Firewall of China infrequently targets the VPN services, blocking VPN servers, and throttling their bandwidth. The VPN that persists in the face of recurred attempts to curb them find support among immigrants.

Bear in mind that all VPN services get obstructed by the GFW from time to time. A quick look through the comments on Beijing or Shanghai ex-pat forums will unveil that none are perfect. But the best VPN for China has evinced themselves against a well-armed opponent.

How Does China Block Websites & Filter Content?

The Great Firewall employs a variety of techniques to detect and consequently block access to the VPN servers. One of these techniques is named “deep packet inspection,” which looks at data traffic as it moves through a local ISP’s servers to look for hallmarks of popular VPN protocols like OpenVPN. Most of the VPNs we suggest above now employ some obfuscation to “scramble” the internet data and make it appear like non-VPN traffic.

In response, a 2015 Princeton study discovered the Great Firewall now goes straight to the VPN server rather than just examining traffic designed for it in a tactic called “active probing.” The report describes:

“The censor acts like a user by issuing its connections to a suspected proxy server. […] If the server responds using a prohibited protocol, then the censor now takes some blocking action, such as adding its IP address to a blacklist.”

Facts You Need to Ponder Before Flying to China

With the Chinese government’s strict rules on internet usage, using the internet with no VPN protection can be dangerous. By connecting to one of the above-mentioned best VPN for China, you will secure your internet identity and be able to freely access the websites you need to be in touch with your family friends back home. Also check out, Expat VPN Guide – Unblock TV With a VPN for Expats

Looking for more information about VPNs? Check out our VPN guide.

What Else Can A VPN Render You?

While there are other methods to get through China’s Firewall, such as utilizing a proxy or Shadowsocks, a VPN is the best one.

Here’s what you get when you employ a VPN:

As we have mentioned before, China has some of the most acrimonious internet regulations in the world. You will even fail to access the New York Times in China! But, with a China VPN, you can switch to some virtual location to access your favorite content.

A VPN can improve your internet speed.

While China has WiFi access in various locations, the connection speeds are slower compared to the other countries. If your ISP throttles your connection, a VPN can circumvent that, providing you faster connections.

You also get strong security with a VPN.

Even though only a meager percentage of the Internet users want their activity to be sneaked from the government, a VPN’s encryption will shield you from pop-ups and accidental downloads that can infect your device. Also, see, Make Your VPN More Secure

How to Stop Chinese DNS Servers From Blocking You?

The annoying Firewall of China employs sophisticated techniques to block unwanted content. One of these ways is through DNS filtering. So, when you reach out to any website on the internet, you connect to a Chinese DNS server. This is why you become unable to access different internet services in China.

Therefore, it is essential to use a China VPN along with switching your DNS server. But, before you go onto setting your DNS server, it’s better to check your DNS using different free tools such as https://www.whatsmydns.net/ or dnscheck.pingdom.com. These tools will tell you if you are using a Chinese DNS server.

Once you have you have examined for a Chinese DNS server; it’s time to substitute the DNS server. There are various ways through which it can be done:

  1. Use the DNS server given by your VPN provider
  2. Utilize Google Public DNS: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  3. Use OpenDNS server: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

How Do I Know Which VPN is Working in China?

To quickly gauge which VPN services are working within China, it is better to inquire about their customer support system before making a decision. The best VPN for China will promptly guide you through their signup process, settle all your VPN-related issues, and grant you with any information that is needed for making their service work successfully within China.

The Best VPN Protocol to Use In China

Having said that, the best protocol that has determined to circumvent the GFW is OpenVPN. With 160 to 256 bit encryption, OpenVPN gives decent security and high-speed connection. However, the only disadvantage of the OpenVPN protocol is unavailability on some mobile platforms such as iOS.

Is Using a VPN Illegal in China?

No laws are restricting the use of China VPN. Many businesses use VPN services for various purposes to facilitate their workers. However, what you do after connecting to a China VPN is a completely different story. The GFW is very strict in filtering and blocking content that goes against their government, proclaims hate speech, or calls for mass protest.

Best VPN for China – Considerations

Now that you have known about the perks of using a VPN service in China, there’re some factors to consider before ending up with the best VPN for China(also read, VPN Buying Guide). Here is what you should look for in a Chinese VPN:

Package Plans

Pricing plans of a VPN service hold vital importance. If you are making your tour to China for a short term like a month or so, then a VPN with a monthly plan will suit you. In addition to this, various services have changed offerings in special plans, meaning simultaneous connections, VPN encryption protocols, data limits may vary in a monthly and yearly plan.

Analyzing the situation. We recommend you to carefully review the packages & plans of service before making any purchase.

Money-Back Guarantee

Some VPNs work better in specific areas but may not even connect in other regions. This is because of the GFW which is more powerful in cities like Shanghai.

To work around with the problem, we recommend you choose a VPN with a money-back guarantee; so you can demand a refund if the service doesn’t work well in your area.

Customer Support

Customer support is the first source of help that a subscriber wants at times of inquiry. We advise users to pick a service with a variety of support channels, including FAQs, email ticketing, and live chat support. Furthermore, we suggest users test the support system of a VPN, ask them about service features, and check if they give a prompt response.

5 Best VPN for China

1. NordVPN

VPN
NordVPN
Location
Panama
Servers
5,800+ in 59 Countries
Price
3.49$/mo
Support
24/7 Live chat
Refund
30 days
Website
  • Double encryption for added security
  • Automatic kill switch
  • A variety of platform support
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Zero log keeping policy of internet activities
  • 3-Day free trial
Get 70% off NordVPN (drops the price down to $3.49 per month)
(Discount is applied automatically)
(See the NordVPN review for more test results and analysis.)

2. ExpressVPN

VPN
ExpressVPN
Location
British Virgin Islands
Servers
3,000+ in 94 Countries
Price
8.32$/mo
Support
24/7 Live chat
Refund
30 days
  • Unlimited Bandwidth with Ultra Speed
  • Provides all VPN protocols OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP
  • Dedicated VPN Apps for Android & iOS
  • High-End Security with OpenVPN 256-bits
  • Zero log keeping policy of internet activities
  • 3 simultaneous connections
Get 35% off ExpressVPN (drops the price down to $8.32 per month)
(Discount is applied automatically)
(See the ExpressVPN review for more test results and analysis.)

3. Surfshark

VPN
Surfshark
Location
British Virgin Islands
Servers
1,700+ in 63+ Countries
Price
1.99$/mo
Support
24/7 Live chat
Refund
30 days
Website
  • AES 256-Bit Network Encryption
  • Chrome Extension Available
  • Kill-Switch functionality
  • A variety of platform support
  • Zero log keeping policy of internet activities
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
Get 83% off Surfshark (drops the price down to $1.99 per month)
(Discount is applied automatically)
(See the Surfshark review for more test results and analysis.)

4. CyberGhost

VPN
CybberGhostVPN
Location
Bucharest, Romania
Servers
6,200+ in 87+ Countries
Price
2.75$/mo
Support
24/7 Live chat
Refund
45 days
  • Uses AES 256 Encryption
  • Supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP
  • DNS & IP Leak Protection
  • Uses 2048 Key & MD5 Authentication
  • Zero log keeping policy of internet activities
  • Up to 7 Simultaneous Connections
Get 79% off CybberGhostVPN (drops the price down to $2.75 per month)
(Discount is applied automatically)
(See the CybberGhostVPN review for more test results and analysis.)

5. Private Internet Access

VPN
Private Internet Access
Location
United States
Servers
3,320+ in 30+ Countries
Price
2.85$/mo
Support
24/7 Live chat
Refund
7 days
  • Offers all Protocols PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec including SOCKS5 Proxy
  • IPv6 Leak Protection & DNS Leak Protection
  • Kill-Switch functionality
  • Encrypted Wi-Fi Protection
  • Zero log keeping policy of internet activities
  • 10 simultaneous connections
Get 71% off PIA (drops the price down to $2.85 per month)
(Discount is applied automatically)
(See the PIA review for more test results and analysis.)

Conclusion

China has the world’s most influential internet censorship system, and nothing like you have ever seen. It uses many people in its Internet Police team and put the internet censorship to an incredible level. From various websites to web hosting services, online streaming services, VPN providers, and anything holding blacklisted keywords will be filtered and then blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

Subsequently, to surmount the hazards of GFW, the best VPN for China is required. The providers that we stated earlier are currently working well for Chinese users. Their comprehensive server spread along with excellent performance will let you enjoy the internet in China to its fullest. Also check out, Best VPN for Digital Nomads

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Sandy Roberts is technology admirer and a computer specialist who is always curious for new technological advancements in the IT industry. With her extensive experience and apprehension of IT industry and technology, she writes after concrete research and analysis with the intention to aid the reader the content full of factual information. Being so ambitious to facilitate the readers, she intermittently tries her hand on the tech-gadgets and services popping frequently in the industry to reduce any ambiguity in her mind related to the project on she works, that a huge sign of dedication to her work.

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