Welcome to my review which will hopefully help you find the answer to this very common question: What is the best VPN for China?
I have previously reviewed several VPN providers on my site and after doing some research I realized my #1 recommendation for VPN is actually the #1 recommended one for using in China too.
China is a wonderful country, from Zhangye’s Rainbow Mountains to The Great Wall. Unfortunately, there is another wall we need to worry about called The Great Firewall (GFW) 防火长城
The Chinese government places great censorship on its netizens and you will find a lot of popular sites are blocked like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Google. Email can also be restricted depending on where you are.
Imagine you are snapping away on holiday or a resident there and cannot access the internet to upload or send your photos. Communication would be pretty much lost with all your family and friends.
You may be a resident in China and cannot access UK TV streams or you may just want to free up internet content. I hope this review helps you to decide on choosing a VPN for China.
I am going to recommend PureVPN and here’s a few reasons why
One of the things you realize when you have a business online, is the importance of good research. Especially important is first-hand knowledge or experience of a particular product.
A lot of reviews are based on second-hand knowledge which is fine if it can be backed up with proof and presented as unbiased and honest in the product review content.
These snapshots below were taken from a Shanghai forum on a well-known and respected Trip Advisory website.
I have blocked out the names of the posters to protect their privacy. I apologize for blocking out the review URL on the last image but I cannot vouch for a review written by another competitor. I have left the first image link by PureVPN since they are not reviewing the product as a third party.
Note: These posts are from the end of 2015 and were the last forum posts available that I could find for using this VPN provider in China. However, there are other articles on sites written in 2016 which back up these posts with real test data.
Update Dec 8th 2016: I have been communicating with a lot of Facebook Groups with members in China and wanted to share the results. PureVPN is definitely one of the best for working in China.
I have blocked out the name to protect their privacy but as you can see it is working and with good speed. There are some connection issues but if/when this happens you can select another server.
All of the VPN companies will experience this at some point when trying to use in China.
PureVPN are a massive Hong Kong based company and have over ONE MILLION customers throughout the World. They offer advanced data encryption up to 256-bit and have thousands of IP addresses available for you.
What’s in it for YOU?
They offer the most reliable and cheap service with full internet freedom. They have over 80,000 IPs and have 500+ servers in 141 countries.
If you purchase PureVPN for 2 years you can save 73%. The monthly subscription works out at only $3.25 after discount.
Please note: The prices quoted are correct at time of writing and do get updated frequently but PureVPN are continually changing promotions so it’s best to check the correct price before making any decision.
They offer a free trial and have a 7-day money back guarantee. They have unlimited bandwidth and server switching and support PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols.
You can read my complete review on PureVPN by clicking here which includes an option to subscribe at discounted prices if you sign up for the year.
ExpressVPN for China, how do they compare?
ExpressVPN claim to be the best for China. I wrote a review on them with this claim in mind. They are having some issues with connectivity, you will see that in my review.
The thing is, a lot of these companies may have connection issues at some time. The most important thing to look for in a VPN company for China is the number of servers.
If you cannot connect to one server, try another one. That’s why PureVPN can compete with the best, they have so many servers.
So what is the Best VPN for China in 2017?
Well, the proof will be in the pudding, as they say. Clearly PureVPN have a head start. Astrill VPN was previously one of the big favorites but they have fallen by the wayside.
I like to check Reddit for updates. You can find a lot of good information especially if there are problems. It’s obvious that Astrill VPN are not investing in their servers right now.
Another good VPN which could make it’s move in 2017 for China, is VyprVPN by Golden Frog. They are incorporated in Switzerland but have a Head Quarters in Austin, TX.
I recently wrote a review on VyprVPN and was pleasantly surprised to see how fast and secure they are. They are using Chameleon technology which is an extra layer of protection, over and above 256-bit data encryption.
The Great Firewall, a little bit of an insight
The Chinese Communist Party (CPC) control the Chinese government. The government are responsible for creating projects aimed at restricting internet access in mainland China.
Since the year 2000, all domains operating in China must obtain an ICP (internet content provider) license. It is up to the ISP (internet service provider) to block a website if they don’t have an ICP permit.
From 2003 to 2006 China started a censorship program aimed at U.S. companies initially. This Golden Shield project targeted hardware some of which was supplied by Cisco Systems.
In 2008, the government started another crackdown called Operation Tomorrow. This targeted the younger population who frequented internet cafes and played games online.
If you are under 18 years of age it is illegal to enter an internet cafe in China and some of the cafes were forced underground in order to maintain business.
Where are we today with The Great Firewall?
Censorship is ongoing and still in effect. Google is now blocked since they failed to comply with the ongoing censorship and even certain keywords are blocked in other search engines. Yahoo are operating in China with a restricted service.
The government continue to monitor online activities so it just highlights the importance of using a good VPN service like PureVPN.
Clearly if it’s your intention to visit China or you currently reside there, a VPN would be a worthwhile investment. PureVPN represent good value for money and I have no hesitation in promoting them as my #1 recommendation for VPN in China.
Please bear in mind, the free VPN providers are unlikely to work in China due to lack of servers and IP addresses.
What’s YOUR thoughts?
I’d love to hear what you think about this review or your own experiences of trying to use the internet in China. Please leave your thoughts below.
Thanks for your time.
- Craig, UK TV Servicers Abroad