Best VPN For China: How To Bypass The Restrictions

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#1

nord

BEST OVERALL

NordVPN

#2

EXPRESS VPN

ExpressVPN

#3

astrill

Astrill

#4

Surfshark

Surfshark

#5

VyprVPN logo

VyprVPN

Did you know that VPNs are heavily restricted in China? The country’s government has been restricting foreign websites and apps for many years, and it also restricts the use of VPNs that people might use to try to bypass those restrictions.

This can make you feel like you don’t have a way to use websites and apps you love, such as Netflix or Google, when you’re in the country. 

Are VPNs completely prohibited in China? Although severely restricted, some VPNs will be able to work in China, so that’s good news for all the Google lovers out there!

This information can be useful for you if you’re travelling to the country and want to be able to have greater privacy and freedom online. But, which VPN is the best to help you achieve your goals?

Not just any will do, so let’s check out the best VPN for China: how to bypass the restrictions while staying safe online.

Best Overall: NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN usually features on lists of the best VPNs on the market, and for many good reasons. It’s accessible and practical, while offering great features to help you ensure your online privacy.

It’s also a popular choice for use in restricted countries like China.

Pros 

  • NordVPN makes the number-one spot in our list of reviews because it’s highly committed to helping people bypass website restrictions in various countries, such as China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. It monitors connectivity and then bypasses any blocks that are in place. 
  • This VPN company has servers in Japan, Hong Kong, and a double VPN feature that’s in Taiwan. This is important because by having local servers available, makes using the VPN faster and more reliable.
  • NordVPN can be used on up to six devices simultaneously, and any device will work in China so you don’t have to be restricted to certain ones. This makes it very user-friendly if you’re traveling because you’ll want to be able to carry or use different devices at different times.
  • You’ll love that NordVPN has privacy as its main focus, such as by keeping no logs of your activity online and it also uses AES-256 encryption, which is considered to be the gold standard.
  • If you happen to experience any problems with your VPN not working, you’ll be able to get in touch with NordVPN via their live chat support. 
  • NordVPN is great to test out because if you’re not happy you can make use of its 30-day money-back guarantee. This further contributes to it being the best VPN for China. 

Cons

  • This VPN for China is a bit more expensive than what you’ll pay for others. 
  • It has been said that while NordVPN does work well in China, in some parts of the country it battles to connect. 

Runner Up: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN works well to provide you with greater privacy in China, but you have to ensure that you install it on your devices before you reach the country, because its website is blocked there.

In fact, this is a common occurrence with many VPNs that you intend to use in the country. With that in mind, let’s check out some of the best features you can enjoy with ExpressVPN. 

Pros

  • ExpressVPN has a Kill Switch. This automatically shuts down your web pages if there’s a loss of connection to the VPN so that your identity is not exposed and you won’t be vulnerable to online attacks. This switch is especially important in heavily regulated countries such as China because if you don’t have protection the firewall will identify you and block your access.
  • ExpressVPN guarantees faster speeds, thanks to its use of Lightway. This is ExpressVPN’s own protocol that was built to make your online activities faster, more secure, and more reliable. As a bonus, Lightway also uses less battery life.
  • ExpressVPN ensures your privacy wherever you are by not tracking your browser history and not logging your IP address. All your network data is encrypted.
  • This top VPN for China will further protect your privacy by connecting you to Wi-Fi hotspots so that you can use them safely without any worries that you’re being monitored.
  • Should you experience problems, you can get in touch with ExpressVPN via email or use their live chat for prompt service.
  • You can pay for ExpressVPN with Bitcoin, which further makes it easy to stay anonymous online. 

Cons

  • One of the things you might not like about ExpressVPN is that there’s no phone support available if you need to get in touch with the company and don’t have online access.

Alternative: Astrill

Astrill

This VPN is considered to be one of the best anti-censorship VPNs on the market. What’s great about it is that it has features in place specifically for bypassing China’s censorship rules.

Here’s what you need to know about it and how it will ensure you gain more online access when traveling to China. 

Pros

  • Astrill has many features in place that work to bypass censorship in countries such as China. An example is Stealth VPN protocol. It adds an extra layer of obfuscation to hide your traffic. It can also bypass firewall blocks and deep packet inspection, both of which are types of censorship you’ll find in China.
  • Another important feature to know about is Smart Mode. This is a split tunneling feature that uses IP addresses in the country to bypass censorship and it also unblocks international websites, so it’s great for when you want to use messaging apps or streaming websites.
  • You can use this VPN to access the Tor browser. It makes use of an Onion Over VPN feature that directs web traffic through a system to enable access to deep web domains in a secure way. This means you don’t have to use Tor at all.
  • This VPN company is located in the Seychelles, which is great because it’s not subject to data retention laws or mass surveillance agreements that have been made between other countries.
  • Astrill offers flexibility when it comes to its IP addresses. Whenever you connect to the VPN you’ll have a new IP address so that you don’t have to worry about being monitored online. But, some email providers and websites don’t accommodate shared IP addresses, so it’s really useful that Astrill offers dedicated IP addresses to its users as an alternative. This means you can choose which one you want based on what will work better for you. 
  • You’ll be able to connect all the devices you want with this best China VPN. Although you can only connect five simultaneously, you can use as many devices as you want, which is a bonus. 

Cons 

  • Astrill doesn’t work for unblocking Amazon Prime, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer, so this good VPN for China might be a bit limited for you.
  • Astrill does record some data on its users during their VPN sessions, such as the type of device they’re using, the bandwidth used, their IP address, and connection time.
  • You can’t use the Stealth VPN feature on your iPhone or iPad, so this is something to be aware of before you sign up to the service. 

Alternative: Surfshark 

Surfshark

Surfshark is known for being one of the best VPNs, but will it work well in China? Here’s what you need to know about it and why you should consider it.

Pros

  • Surfshark doesn’t log user data and ensures that your traffic is excellently encrypted every time you use the internet.
  • It makes use of obfuscated servers so that the fact that you’re using a VPN won’t be able to be identified. This is great for use in restricted countries such as China because people can be fined for using VPNs and you definitely want to avoid that.  
  • You’ll be able to enjoy unlimited bandwidth with this VPN, and it’s fast so it’s especially great for downloading and streaming purposes.
  • Surfshark comes with a built-in adblock, so you don’t have to worry about annoying ads or feeling like you’re being tracked whenever you’re online. 
  • One of the best things about Surfshark is that you can connect an unlimited amount of devices to it. You never have to worry that you’ll have to choose certain devices over others, which makes Surfshark ideal for large households and for when you’re traveling because it will ensure safe internet access on the go.
  • You’ll be able to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu with this best VPN for use in China.  

Cons

  • Surfshark can be difficult to set up to work in China. This is especially the case when it comes to apps, as these tend to not work in the country, so you’ll be required to set up manual connections. This can be tricky if you’re not an advanced user.

Alternative: VyprVPN

VyprVPN

While you might not have heard about VyprVPN as much as some other VPNs on the market, it has good features that you’ll be able to make use of in restricted countries such as China.

Pros

  • By signing up for this VPN, you’ll be able to make use of secure protocols such as Wireguard to encrypt your data and ensure you stay as private as possible on the web.
  • The VPN offers a Kill Switch to further protect you if your connection to the VPN fails you, preventing you from having your private data exposed.
  • This VPN makes use of a no-log policy so no third parties can get access to your data. This is important to look for in a quality VPN.
  • By making use of the VPN’s Chameleon protocol, you’ll be able to access apps, websites, and streaming services that are blocked so government restrictions can be successfully bypassed.
  • If you need to use public Wi-Fi you won’t have to worry about your data being exposed, thanks to how this VPN provides a secure connection. It will automatically connect whenever you access unknown Wi-Fi networks.
  • The VPN makes use of high-speed streaming and has servers in over 70 countries.

Cons

  • It’s not always one of the fastest VPNs you can use. If high speeds are important to you, then you’ll have to choose a different VPN.
  • You can’t pay for it with Bitcoin. This ensures that you’ll be able to stay safe while also remaining anonymous. 

VPN For China FAQ 

Now that we’ve explored some of the best VPNs that will work well in China, let’s answer some questions about using VPNs in this restricted country.

Is a VPN Legal In China?

Is a VPN Legal In China?

The issue of whether VPNs are legal in China is not cut and dry.

The technology used by VPNs is not illegal and VPNs are used by some companies as well as the state to be able to access international websites, such as for political purposes.

However, in order to make use of this technology you will require an official license. 

If you’re making use of a VPN to bypass internet restrictions or to view banned websites and you don’t have a license, this is illegal. If found guilty of this, you will be fined.

If you still want to go ahead and use a VPN in China, you will need to ensure that you download the VPN software to your devices before you enter the country, as many of them are banned.

This will enable you to bypass the restrictions that China has placed on the internet, via the Great Firewall of China that prevents people within its borders from being able to access websites and apps, such as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter, to mention just a few. 

You should also make sure that the VPN you choose to download to your devices before you go to China will be able to offer you good support, such as with the use of a 24/7 live chat option, because you never know if you’ll encounter problems that you need to sort out urgently. 

Is Google In China Banned?

Google is one of the many websites that have been banned in China. This is as a result of the Great Firewall, which forces people to use VPNs in order to access the content they want to see.

Many U.S. tech companies have been regulated and banned from doing business in the country, and this has been the case for years. 

For a short while, a Chinese app called Tuber was available to people to bypass these restrictions so that people could access Google in China, but it soon disappeared.

There was also Google.cn, which was the company’s search engine in China, but this was banned in 2010 after censorship disputes related to search queries occurred.

Back in 2018, Google was said to be developing a censored search engine for Chinese users but it was cancelled after outrage from human rights groups and Google employees.

Since Google is still blocked in the country, this also means that its other products, such as Google Drive, Google Play, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps, are also unavailable.

Why Is Netflix Banned In China?

netflix 1

China is one of the few regions in the world where Netflix is not available.

The streaming company has reported that getting permission from the government in China is a difficult, time-consuming task.

What makes this even more difficult is that some media companies become legal in the country only for their services to be shut down shortly afterwards.

This is what has happened to both Disney and Apple and the circumstances surrounding why their services were shut down remained mysterious. 

The tricky business of gaining permission from the local government is just one issue that prevents Netflix from being made available in China.

A few years ago, Netflix did have an agreement with China to distribute content in the country, but as a result of users’ tastes it wasn’t successful.

This broke their agreement, and it has caused Netflix to put its attention on other, more favorable, locations for its service. 

If you’re holding thumbs that you’ll be able to access Netflix in China, it’s worth pointing out that the streaming giant has no plans to try to enter the Chinese market and isn’t invested in doing so.

So, you’ll have to try to make use of quality VPNs to watch Netflix within the country’s borders

Is Super VPN Chinese?

If you want to use a VPN, you might be tempted to purchase and install a free VPN instead of having to pay money for one. But this is always dangerous, as VPNs that don’t charge their users are notorious for mining their data.

SuperVPN is an example of a free VPN that many people have warned others against. Here’s why.

  • SuperVPN doesn’t have a clear developer or location of origin, both of which raise red flags for users. The developer is said to be SuperSoftTech, but there’s no website for it. It does have a Gmail address linked to it, which, when searched for online, directs people to Jinrong Zheng, a developer who has created many apps – and it seems that the SuperVPN app can be traced to Beijing.
  • This VPN, which has been designed for mobile devices, offers a complete lack of transparency. For example, it has an unclear logging policy, so you won’t know what data of yours it will store.
  • There are many other drawbacks that should make you concerned about using this VPN, such as that it requires users to accept a variety of unnecessary permissions before they can use it and it has a limited number of locations. You also won’t get any information about how many servers and IP addresses are used by this VPN. 
  • When it comes to being able to bypass China’s online restrictions, SuperVPN will leave you out in the lurch. It doesn’t have any obfuscation tools so it won’t work well in countries that follow strong censorship regulations. 
  • SuperVPN has also been found to allow hackers to intercept communications that are occurring between the user and VPN, and they can even reroute users to malicious servers, so it’s clear that you should completely avoid using this free VPN. 

Conclusion

If you’re traveling to China, you’ll want to enjoy the same level of online freedom that you have in your home country.

But China is a country that’s heavily restricted when it comes to online activities and foreign websites, which is why you need to make use of the best VPN to help you move around all its restrictions.

In this article, we’ve provided you with the top VPNs that will achieve this, but we’ve featured their pros and cons to help you avoid experiencing drawbacks when trying to use them.

We’ve also given you more information about China’s censorship rules and why they’re in place, so you can understand the situation and how best to deal with it. 

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Paul Stephens

Paul Stephens

Paul Stephens is a veteran internet security expert who has worked with many security research companies across the world. During his career, he has helped thousands of individuals and organizations to retrieve their infected devices and stay away from potential threats. He wants to continue his legacy via ComputerPrivacy.org, focusing on privacy-related news, how-to guides, and hands-on reviews. With the core objective of making the internet a safer space, Paul Stephens keeps himself up to date about everything related to digital security and privacy. When he is not checking out new hardware or doing some research, Paul can be found with his favorite piano lessons.

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