China has some of the most strict internet censorship laws in the world, and despite being designated a free trade zone, Shanghai is not exempt. These government mandated content blocks prevent you from accessing lots of websites and services. However, you can use a VPN to get around them, and even conceal your identity. A VPN does this by encrypting your connection and hiding your IP address, so you surf safely and anonymously.
Best VPN For Shanghai, Express VPN
Why Is My Shanghai Access Limited?
China has become world famous for another great wall-the Great Firewall of China-a government instituted censorship program that ranks as one of the most restrictive in the world.
The program bans access to a number of very popular websites, from Twitter to Facebook, and particularly focuses on political blogs.
In addition, the government keeps a very watchful eye on all of the internet users, logging and tracking activity, and sometimes using it to prosecute usurpers of their censorship laws.
However, you can get around their content blocks and do so in total anonymity by using a VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for virtual private network, and what it does is put you on your own separate network through a host company’s servers.
The company you subscribe through will then encrypt all of your data so your information is protected and encoded, even if someone does get ahold of it.
In addition, they conceal your IP address, so your geographic location is never revealed.
Top 3 Best VPNs for Shanghai
If you plan on visiting Shanghai, check out one of these companies, and sign up for a service plan before you go, so your access won’t be limited, and your online activity will be totally private.
#1 Choice: ExpressVPN– 9/10 Best VPN for Shanghai
For the very best protection from things like fraud and identity theft, Express VPN can’t be beat.
Their encryption is rock-solid, giving you the freedom to explore forbidden realms of the internet in Shanghai without fear of repercussion.
Plus, they have the fastest connection speed around, so you can use services like Skype and Hulu totally seamlessly.
Their customer service is great too, with support staff available 24/7 via live chat and e-mail.
Plus, there’s never any waiting all day for a response if you e-mail them with a question, because their average response time is less than 30 minutes.
If you’re not sure about signing up for a VPN, take a deep breath, because Express VPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee. If you subscribe to their service and decide it’s not for you, they’ll give you a full refund, no questions asked.
They also have a referral program that gives you and a friend 30 days of free service when they sign up for a plan.
With a VPN that’s compatible with all of your favorite devices, and server locations all over the world, Express VPN stands above the rest for quality and value.
To protect your privacy and give yourself access to everything the Internet has to offer in Shanghai, get Express VPN.
#2: IPVanish – 7/10 – Not compatible with iOS
If can’t access Express VPN for whatever reason, IPVanish would be my next go-to choice.
Their connection is incredibly fast, and their plans come with unlimited bandwidth, making them perfect for streaming Netflix and using Skype in Shanghai.
Keep in mind though that IPVanish isn’t compatible with iOS, so iPhone and iPad users will have to use Express VPN.
Their software only works with Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux systems.
The good part about IPVanish though is that they have customer support that’s pretty similar to Express VPN’s, with staff available 24/7 if you need assistance.
I would try their live chat feature though – you wait considerably longer for e-mail support with IPVanish than you do with Express VPN.
With their sizeable network of servers and low monthly rates, IPVanish is another great VPN to try in Shanghai.
IPVanish can be found at this website.
#3: HideMyAss – 5/10 – Slow connection
HideMyAss is one of those VPNs you definitely want to use as a last resort.
Though they have a pretty massive network of servers, their connections are just notoriously slow, making Skype calls almost impossible and streaming movies and TV shows very frustrating.
The worst about using HideMyAss is that if you run into problems, their customer support is never really helpful.
You’re either going to get a copied and pasted response from their FAQs section, or wait overnight for an e-mail response. Either way, their support isn’t anywhere near as helpful as Express VPN’s.
One good thing about HideMyAss though is that they do have a 30 day money back guarantee – something to keep in mind if have any of the problems I did with their software.
If you can though, try to only use this one as a last resort. Express VPN is still the best option for privacy and security in Shanghai.
HideMyAss is here.
Conclusion: Best VPN For Shanghai
The Chinese government restricts access to a number of very popular websites and services-even Facebook and Skype.
Even though Shanghai is designated as a free trade zone, the ever unpopular Great Firewall of China still extends its reach there, with all of the government monitoring and tracking to boot.
If you want to do something as simple as keep in touch with friends while you’re on vacation, you’ll want to sign up for a VPN service before you cross the ocean.
For the best of the best, sign up with Express VPN to:
- get access to whatever online content you want-including online communication services like Skype or Google Voice
- protect your privacy by surfing in complete anonymity
- hide your location from prying eyes
- protect sensitive personal information, like credit card numbers, from identity thieves.
If you plan on visiting Shanghai, be sure to sign up with the fastest, most reliable VPN available – Express VPN.