China can be a great place to live, to work, and study, but that is not to deny that it is a very special country. This is not just about its traditions that seem weird to the western guests. It is also about its rules and inner laws. Some of them are a bit strange, while others are just shocking. For example, when it comes to an online freedom, China is one of the most closed societies in the world with numerous restrictions imposed by the government. Just like the Great Wall of China used to surround the vast territories of this land, its national censorship system prevents the residents of China from using the “external” Internet. No wonder this virtual “wall” has been called the Great Firewall. In this context, a VPN China is not just a whim, but a true must have.
VPN in China – is it That Simple?
Many governments introduce certain restrictions regarding their citizens’ online freedom, but the PRC has knocked off spots all of them. Not only does it prohibit apparently illegal, semi-legal, and politically sensitive web-resources, but also most western platform of general use (such as Google and its services), social media (including Facebook and Twitter), popular messengers, dating sites, news portals – everything that can distract the citizens of China from their main task – working for the good of the country.
Usually, most of these problems are easily resolved with the help of VPN services. But if you try using VPN in China, you’ll realize that many of them simply don’t work. The Great Firewall is a really powerful and sophisticated system that detects and blocks unwanted networks quite effectively. Moreover, most China VPN services are officially forbidden by the government. But don’t be desperate: it is not impossible to find a VPN that works in China if you undertake a clever approach and choose the right service.
VPN for China: Who and When Can Use it
With almost 2 billion of the population, China is among the most populous countries in the world. Though most of the Chinese are law-abiding citizens that are quite satisfied with allowed part of the world web, there are some categories of people that strive for more freedom.
- Foreign students and those who come to work in China.
- Businessmen from other countries that have their business in China. They install VPN to use in China, as for them it is sometimes the only way to communicate with their partners during business trips.
- Tourists from Europe, America, and Asia. They use VPN for China to access their profiles on Facebook and check their mail (for example, Gmail).
- Anyone who wants to access foreign sites while staying in China.
However, even the best VPN for China should never be used for something criminal or illegal, such as visiting extremists’ sites, spreading pornography, and so on. Chances are you’ll be seized and sentenced.
How to Choose the Best China VPN in 2018: Buyer’s Guide
To choose the best VPN for China one needs to rely on multiple criteria, and the price is not the most important one. On the contrary, you may even opt for a free VPN for China and get what you need. The main thing to consider is how effectively the service manages to bypass the Great Firewall. All the VPN that work in China do it quite well. Another important characteristic is speed. Many services cut down the connection speed severely. The best VPN to use in China is the one that preserves a good speed while providing a good level of security.
Another important characteristic is a logging policy. Traditionally, the companies practicing a zero-logging approach enjoy users’ confidence. Even if the government or the law enforcement bodies ask for the information about users’ actions, best VPN in China won’t provide it just because it doesn’t have any logs.
Finally, there are some other aspects to consider – from the price to the usability. You may opt for a free VPN China if you wish, but for more consistent performance, specialists recommend choosing one of the premium providers, such as Express VPN China. For more details, check our list of top-rated VPN China providers and read a brief review of each of them.
Top-5 VPN to use in China: Our Choice
We’ve done our best to make this best VPN for China review useful and unbiased. To get the most comprehensive and realistic information, we’ve studied hundreds of user reviews along with expert opinions. Our ranking includes both China VPN free and paid providers, so everyone can find a suitable option for himself.
Express VPN China: Number One for Your Protection
Other advantages of ExpressVPN include an impressive coverage of 94 countries, including several Eastern Asia states, support of several platforms – this is the VPN China iPhone and Android phones owners can use equally effectively. That said, its software is a bit more expensive than other providers offer, but it is worth it.
Tunnelbear: the Best Free China VPN
Let’s clarify it: Tunnelbear is not a great VPN, moreover, it is a leap behind top-rated services. But it has one important advantage that other providers lack: it is free. That said, the volume of free bandwidth is limited by 500 Mb per month, which is nothing for regular web-users, especially for those who are planning to use torrents or streaming sources. But for basic needs (mail, Facebook) it’s ok. With this free VPN China, IP-addresses of users are altered, so you can browse the web anonymously. But don’t expect too much from it.
Nord VPN China: the Maximum Security
This provider is known for its greater attention to security issues, and this is what Chinese users need. NordVPN is proud to offer two proprietary features for the ultimate online security: the so-called double VPN and the Onion (Tor) over VPN. Specially for China, it uses some secretly hidden servers, which (according to the provider’s claims) are impossible to find. We don’t know whether it is true or not, but the fact remains: NordVPN does work in China. However, it is not great in terms of speed, which can be disappointing for active Netflix and torrents users.
VyprVPN: a Decent Quality at a Reasonable Price
Another provider that allows using a VPN in China is VyprVPN. It uses the smart Chameleon technology that effectively masks VPN traffic and makes it virtually undetectable. The company keeps no logs and ensures the utmost privacy and confidentiality. Nobody will even know you’re using a VPN, so you can safely browse the web, use messengers, and social media sites. In general, VyprVPN is speedier than NordVPN while being cheaper than ExpressVPN. It also effectively works on all types of mobile devices, which makes it rather a flexible solution. Minor downsides of the product are its short trial period and the lack of anonymous methods of payments (such as Bitcoins) accepted.
Astrill VPN: the China-Oriented Product
If you are looking for the best VPN China, Astrill is definitely worthy of a closer look. This Asia-oriented VPN provider is better known in China than in Europe or America. It has dedicated stealth servers both in China itself and around. Needless to say Astrill effectively copes with Great Firewall of China and opens an access to a full online freedom. However, the basic plan of this provider can’t offer a good speed. But you can spend another $10 per month and get almost unlimited speed combined with the same great security protection. Yes, this is expensive, and it makes it non-suitable for many China’s residents who use VPN on a regular basis. But if you visit China, for example, for one month, why not try it.
There are some other not bad services delivering VPN to China. Some of them are CyberGhost, Buffered VPN, Tor Guard, as well as a range of smaller providers that are mainly based in Hong Kong. All of them do work in China, but if you want to enjoy the best combination of speed, security and features, we recommend choosing one of the best VPN China services reviewed.
Is It Legal to Use VPN in China?
Before using the best free VPN for China, you’ll probably want to know whether it is legal or not. After all, you don’t want to be imprisoned just for using VPN, do you? But in fact, you have nothing to worry about. Yes, there are a lot of restrictions regarding VPN services in China, but you may be quiet, as all these restrictions are for the VPN providers, not users. Generally speaking, VPN services as a phenomenon are not prohibited in China. But each VPN provider must get a license from the supervising bodies.
Well, what if it turns out that your VPN China iPhone provider is unlicensed? Chances are, it will be forced to pay a fine or, in some cases it can be closed. In practice it happens very rarely. And you as a regular user won’t be punished at all, of course, if you don’t use VPN China free for something criminal.
A Bottom Line
China is a country with weird and sometimes severe laws. It is the state that wants to control all the actions of its residents. It even has built a Great Firewall to do it more efficiently. However, the total control is evidently an overreach in the modern context. Due to safe and effective VPN services everyone can bypass the wall of the censorship and enjoy an unlimited online freedom at full. But if you are going to China for your vacation or on a business trip, don’t be lazy to install one of VPN apps in advance.