It is well known that China operates a strict internet censorship policy. Living in China or visiting the country means that you will be restricted in what websites and content you can view.
A VPN service can give you full access to the internet and allow you to bypass these restrictions and view blocked content.
Our pick for Best VPN For China: ExpressVPN
Why can’t I access things in China?
Are you living in China or simply visiting for a while? If so, you will probably notice right away how restricted the internet can be in that country.
I used to teach English there for a few years before I came back home and it really annoyed me that I couldn’t access certain content.
This included news websites, social media where I wanted to keep up to date with my friends and family and also streaming services such as Netflix.
The good news is that I have the perfect solution for accessing restricted content in China and it comes in the form of what is known as a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. This works work cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou
Let me explain this in more detail.
A VPN Bypasses China’s Internet Restrictions
When you try and access content that the Chinese government deems unsavory, you receive an error message saying there is a problem with your internet.
When I lived there I wasn’t trying to access anti-Chinese content or anything like that. I was simply trying to get onto popular sites like Facebook and YouTube.
A VPN works by telling these websites that you are in another part of the world.
You see, the VPN services I list below allow you to choose an IP address on a server in another country so that the blocked websites think that you are actually in that other country.
This allows you to access content that is normally restricted in China.
Some websites that you cannot access in China include:
- News websites from abroad to keep up with latest developments
- Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter
- Blogging platforms such as WordPress
- Streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu
Without a VPN, you cannot access this content. However, with a reliable VPN for China you can visit restricted websites and have full access to the internet.
Not All VPN’s Work In China
I am guessing many of you are new to the whole concept of a VPN. That’s fine because I was as well at one point, until I went to China to live.
It can be a confusing market because there are so many VPN services out there. However, not all of them are equipped to deal with Chinese internet.
I have listed my top 3 VPNs for China that are guaranteed to work in the country.
They have special settings that are tailor made for using with a Chinese internet connection and this is not something every VPN has.
Moreover I have tried all of them myself and I know just how well they work.
My 3 Best VPN’s For China
So I have done all the hard work for you. Instead of spending hours reading through various VPN websites you can find all the information you need about effective VPNs for China right here.
#1 ExpressVPN– 9.5/10 – Specially designed for accessing restricted content in China
Without a doubt Express VPN is the absolute best service to use for accessing content in China.
I used this extensively when I was living there and I can vouch for their excellent service and really simple, but effective, software.
One major bonus when using Express VPN is that it uses ‘stealth servers’ that are located in Hong Kong and can therefore hide the fact that a VPN is being used at all.
This adds another layer of protection and means that you can still access content that is specifically restricted in China and the region.
Apart from this I really loved the customer service team at Express VPN. They were absolutely fantastic and when I sent them some questions regarding their Chinese service.
They responded in less than an hour with all the details I needed.
They also showed me how Express VPN has been set up with China in mind and offers a high level of encryption to secure my personal data as well.
Finally, I need to mention how easy it is to use Express VPN. When I was living in China I didn’t have much time to learn some complicated program.
However, Express VPN can be set up in just minutes and it only took a few seconds for me to connect to another server and have full access to the internet.
For anyone who isn’t sure about VPNs or doesn’t have a lot of technical knowledge but still wants fast connection speeds, Express VPN is definitely the best software to use.
If you want to bypass China’s Internet restrictions and ensure a high level of protection, get Express VPN now.
#2- IPVanish 7/10 –Backup VPN For China
If you need a VPN to use as a backup for China then you can get IPVanish but it doesn’t offer as good a service as Express VPN.
If you are not happy with IPVanish then you only have 7 days to get your money back. Express VPN provides a whopping 30 days for you to make up your mind about their software.
IPVanish does not work with iOS, so Apple users beware. The connection speed with IPVanish was below par as well.
Anytime I tried to use IPVanish to bypass China’s content restrictions and watch a YouTube video for example I had to put up with lots of buffering.
Seriously even a 3 minute video of YouTube took me nearly 10 minutes to watch because of the poor connection.
Lastly their customer service is not good either. It took hours to get my confirmation email sent to me with my login details. For that whole time I was stuck behind The Great Firewall of China.
IPVanish is OK as a backup but I would always recommend using Express VPN as the first choice to bypass content restrictions and protect privacy in China.
IPVanish is available from this link.
#3 – Hide My Ass – 5/10 – Poor Quality Connection
HideMyAss is available in China and you can sign up to their service if you live or are travelling there. This is perhaps one of the only redeeming features for these guys.
They do offer a 30 day money back guarantee like Express VPN but that is where the similarity ends.
HideMyAss offer many servers but the connection quality is poor. If IPVanish took 10 minutes to stream a short YouTube video then HideMyAss will take 20.
I could barely get any content to work beyond simple text with these guys.
Their customer service takes an age to respond to you as well. It was nearly 24 hours before I got a response when I sent them a simple email enquiry.
Express VPN has a 24/7 live chat feature where you can talk to one of their staff at any time. HideMyAss advertise this but I don’t think it is monitored all day and night.
Conclusion: The Best VPN for China
I know how much of a culture shock it can be to move to China. Not only is it a very different place compared to back home, but you don’t have the same freedoms on the internet either.
For people living in China permanently, or even if you are simply visiting for a short period of time, using a VPN is a must.
Express VPN provides the best way in which to get around the censorship and will allow you to access services such as Facebook, blogging platforms, streaming websites and news resources as well.
Benefits of using Express VPN:
- Reliable customer support, faster than the rest
- Optimal streaming speeds
- Hundreds of servers to choose from
- Best to use when traveling and vacationing in China
- High level of encryption and protection
For the most reliable and anonymous browsing in China, get Express VPN today.