VPN In China

If you're going to China, there's one thing you shouldn't overlook to bring, whether you're only passing through or an expat. Add a VPN on your smartphone and use the best VPN provider to get around China's ‘Great Firewall to make sure you can still check your mail or use services like Google and Facebook. Read our mega guide about this topic and find the best VPN for China in a few minutes.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 16:16PM 6/30/2022

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Censorship of the internet is practiced in China; this is accomplished by the Chinese government through the use of a massive internet filter known as the “Great Firewall.” In actuality, this signifies that prominent western internet services are prohibited, and as a result, they cannot be accessed from within China.

For instance, Google, Facebook, and YouTube, in addition to a variety of publications and a great deal of more internet services, are restricted. You may find a comprehensive list on this Wikipedia page, which you can access here.

A virtual private network (VPN) is the option you need to employ if you still want to use prohibited web services while you are in China. Because the Chinese government is unable to monitor your online activity while you are connected to a virtual private network (VPN), they are unable to censor the websites and services you access. With a virtual private network (VPN), you may circumvent China's internet restrictions and continue to access the internet in the same manner as before.

Which virtual private network (VPN) services are usable in China?


It should come as no surprise that China is aware of the opportunity presented by virtual private network (VPN) services to circumvent Chinese restrictions. Therefore, the nation is working on completely cutting off access to these services within its borders. On a purely technological level, the government is attempting to accomplish this goal. They make an effort to identify VPN traffic before successfully blocking it.

  • China has been successful over the past several months in its efforts to prohibit the usage of virtual private network (VPN) connections with certain VPN providers. As a direct consequence of this, certain virtual private network (VPN) services either do not work at all in China or function at a drastically reduced speed.
  • Thankfully, there are a large number of virtual private network (VPN) firms that are working hard to develop workarounds so that their users may continue to access their content while in China.
  • The Virtual Private Network firms are attempting to implement various technical gimmicks in order to circumvent the Chinese government's blocking of VPN connections. Thankfully, a few of VPN services have been successful in doing so.

The Best VPN services for China

The following is a list of Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers that are still operational in China. In addition, there are services that are persistently engaged in efforts to circumvent “The Great Firewall.” This list of VPN providers that are operational in China is kept up to date by regular updates performed by our team.


In order to circumvent China's censorship of VPN services, NordVPN has come up with a workaround. In order to prevent data traffic from being blocked in this manner, NordVPN makes use of what are known as obfuscated servers in an effort to conceal VPN traffic. This makes it less likely that the traffic will be identified as VPN traffic.

This method, which utilizes something called an obfuscated server, appears to work quite well with NordVPN. According to those individuals who have tested this and reported back to us, the VPN connection functioned as intended. This indicates that the entirety of the internet, as well as any and all online services that are generally restricted, were available for use.


When it comes to getting behind the “Great Firewall” in China, ExpressVPN is the service that proves itself to be the most reliable time and time again. Due to the fact that the VPN service uses so many servers, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the Chinese government to repeatedly prevent access to the servers using the “Great Firewall.” ExpressVPN utilizes a plethora of additional technological ploys to ensure that its VPN connections remain operational within China.

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN services that continues to function normally inside of China, despite the fact that its prices are slightly higher than those of other VPN providers. You are able to access the internet in the same manner as you would thanks to this, despite the fact that ordinarily this would not be possible. ExpressVPN is a very reliable VPN service that works very well in China.

How does China's so-called “Great Firewall” actually function?

Simply put, the Great Firewall of China ensures that all of the websites on the aforementioned list are blocked across the entirety of China. For instance, if a user from China navigates to facebook.com by typing the URL into their browser's address bar, they will be met with a blank screen. It's also possible that specific sections of the website you're trying to access are inaccessible to you.

When you attempt to utilize the applications for the aforementioned service on your mobile device, you will encounter the same issue. The application will either remain inactive or suggest that there is a problem with the network connection.

Expats and travelers alike may find a VPN to be of interest.

Many foreign residents in China are already making use of virtual private networks (VPNs) in order to keep in touch with friends and family back home. Both Skype and Facebook are often restricted in China, despite the fact that many individuals rely on these platforms to communicate with one another.

  • Additionally, a large number of individuals are interested in watching Broadcast in China as well as the series on Netflix. You will also want a connection to a VPN service in order to be able to watch these films on these platforms.
  • Even if you are going to be working or traveling in China for an extended period of time, you will still want to have an active presence on Facebook and Instagram so that you may post your amazing images and/or share your experiences with others.

You should also maintain using the email address you have with Gmail or Hotmail. The Chinese government has blocked access to all of the services listed above. You may simply get over this ban and keep using these services if you have a virtual private network (VPN).

Is it against the law to use a VPN in China?

Attempts are being made in China to control the usage of virtual private networks (VPNs). In actuality, this signifies that it is forbidden for Chinese citizens to launch a virtual private network (VPN) company within China. As far as we are aware, using a virtual private network (VPN) in China as a consumer is not illegal.

On the other hand, there have been reports of citizens of China using a virtual private network (VPN) to ban Chinese phones, which were only able to be unblocked once the VPN program was deleted from the phones in question.

There are no reports of tourists or business travelers utilizing virtual private networks in China getting into difficulties with the local authorities as a result of their activities. This is likely due to the high use of virtual private networks (VPNs) in commercial settings. If all of this were to be banned, it would be impossible to conduct business in China.

Using Social Media networks in China

In China, social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook are banned. As was previously established, China blocks access to a number of social networking websites based in the West. This makes traveling across China quite difficult for a good number of individuals.

Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular platforms among the expats now living in China for communicating with family and friends back home about their experiences there. It is quite vital for many individuals who travel to China to be able to stay in touch with their friends and family via Whatsapp while they are there.

Censorship of the internet in China assures that none of these things can take place. The Chinese government has not provided an official explanation for why they are limiting access to this social networking platform.

It is a widely held belief that China does this in order to prevent its citizens from having access to unfavorable news on the nation and its politics. Thankfully, if you have a connection to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), it is still feasible to access all of these different social networking sources.

Google, YouTube, and Gmail are restricted in China.

Popular Google services such as YouTube, Gmail, and the search engine itself are typically inaccessible in China. This includes the majority of the time. When it comes out that Gmail cannot be used in China, it is a huge setback, especially for those who need to use Gmail for business or other critical things. This is a major setback for such people.

A Virtual Private Network connection can also circumvent this sort of online filtering. Because of this, if you have a virtual private network (VPN) in China, you will be able to continue using Gmail, as well as watch videos on YouTube and use Google as a search engine.

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access China's censored online services

Thankfully, there are ways to circumvent the digital firewall that China has put on the rest of the world. You can continue to use Facebook and other services in China in the same manner that you would normally be able to if you access to the Internet using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In point of fact, there are no limitations on how you can use the Internet in any way.

The easiest way to describe how a virtual private network (VPN) connection works to get through the Great Firewall of China is as follows:

  1. Your electronic device (computer, phone, or tablet) establishes an encrypted connection to a virtual private network (VPN) server located outside of China. You can only do this if you have an account with a VPN service.
  2. You establish the connection by utilizing the software that is made available to you by the VPN service that you have selected. The VPN providers described above all offer software compatible with Windows, MacOS, iOS (iPad, iPhone), and Android.
  3. Once the connection has been made, the VPN server will process all of the data. This information is transmitted to the VPN server over the encrypted connection.
  4. Your device will receive data that has been encrypted before it is sent back to it from the VPN server. This may be data from Facebook or Gmail. It makes no difference whether you're on a desktop computer, a smartphone, or a tablet.

By doing so, you ensure that the censorship system in China is unable to see which requests you are sending over the internet and, as a result, is unable to obstruct those requests.

Considerations before utilizing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in China

As was noted before, China is exerting a great deal of effort to prevent various VPN services from operating within its borders. One of the strategies that they employ, for instance, is an attempt to identify VPN traffic and then to restrict it. For instance, the OpenVPN protocol may be identified with relative ease. If you would like to utilize this protocol, you must always communicate over an SSL tunnel.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the functionality of a virtual private network (VPN) service may differ from country to region. It is not at all unusual for a service to function properly in Beijing but not in Shanghai, for instance. It's also possible that it works today but won't function again tomorrow for whatever reason.

However, if you have an account with one of the VPN service providers listed above, you will always be able to access Facebook, Google, Gmail, YouTube, and other websites and services that are normally prohibited in China.

Before you go to China, you should make sure you have a membership to a virtual private network (VPN). Once inside China, it is typically hard to view the websites of the major VPN providers, making it impossible to sign up for a membership to one of the services.

Frequently asked questions

VPN traffic can be recognized by the Great Firewall in China, which will prohibit the server you're linked to. The firewall in China is a living organism that continually evolves and seeks new ways to limit online freedom.

VPNs are an essential component of conducting business. This is especially true for foreign businesses operating in China. VPNs are what keep corporate information secure as it travels between China and the rest of the world.

Since then, the government has prevented anybody from accessing VPNs that haven't obtained a formal license. As a result, it might be tough to connect to VPN websites in order to renew your membership. ExpressVPN's website is inaccessible in China.

A VPN uses encryption to keep your data secure and also allows you to access geo-restricted material such as watching Netflix in China or viewing all of the sites and apps that are prohibited in China.

Furthermore, China is a country with vast internet usage. According to reports from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), China has more than 30% of internet users utilizing VPNs. Given this, there is a hazard that you must consider before deciding to utilize a VPN in the nation.

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