Combat Censorship in China by Using Top Rated VPN Services

Get a VPN in China

China never fails to astonish the rest of the world with its intensifying internet censorship practices that basically put its citizens’ freedom at such great risk.

So, if you are planning on visiting China soon, might as well equip yourself with a VPN to get around with such internet restrictions.

4 Best VPNs for China

The land of the Great Walls

The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic infrastructures that man has ever built. The 21,196 kilometer-wall was built for one main purpose and that was to keep invaders and outsiders out of the Chinese land.

Today, Beijing is trying to do this same old tactic - this time in the form of digital repression. The Great Firewall of China is the government’s way of blocking foreign websites and content from being distributed within its jurisdictions.

Censorship is the legal way of controlling the people’s political and social stance and China is making the most out of this instrument. So with the country’s surveillance and blocking powers, there is now a need to make use of a VPN that works in China.

Blockage of virtual private networks in China

When a VPN works, it can definitely work wonders. Unfortunately, China is taller than any service providers across the world.

The Chinese government has vowed to block unauthorized VPNs this 2018, and so far, it has been extremely effective in doing that. Countless VPNs in various places have already been affected by this campaign to control internet access in the country.

The good news is that despite this nationwide ban of virtual private networks in China, there are still several service providers that still work in being able to unblock the entirety of the internet in the country. 

The best VPNs to use while in China

In this article, we will feature seven VPN services that will provide you with the best browsing experiences while you are in China.

These recommendations were based on various criteria including price, compatibility, speed, server stability, and most especially the workability of the service in China.

Let’s dive right to it!


Among the few providers that still work in bypassing China’s censorships is ExpressVPN. This VPN service provider has been around for years now and so many users are already confident in what Express has in store for them.

ExpressVPN logo

​Express is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) – which is an ideal headquarter location for tech companies. There are certain BVI laws that specifically protect the people’s privacy and online security. Thus, Express users can very well enjoy an absolute no logging policy.

ExpressVPN is a top choice in the Chinese market for several reasons. Aside from the fact that it still provides seamless VPN experience in the country, it also comes with tons of features that can help get maximum online security.

Device compatibility

​Express is the go-to VPN service for anything and everything about online restrictions. ExpressVPN offers an easy-to-use VPN client app to help even the non-tech individuals use this service in a single click.

ExpressVPN is compatible with the most popular devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. This VPN company also supports other devices such as wireless routers, Apple TV, Gaming consoles, and many more!

If your device does not support the VPN app, you can still make the service work by manually configuring your device. Just follow the step-by-step instructions provided on its Setup Page.

Express supports four main protocols. These are OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec. The VPN uses the best encryption system available today.

When you are using the VPN client app, you may choose to set to automatically select the best protocol that suits your network.

Cost of monthly subscription

Express offers its VPN service for $12.95 per month. Although users can also get discounts by subscribing to Express’ 6 or 12-month plan.

The 6-month plan is currently priced at $59.95 or equivalent to $9.99 per month. But if you want to save up to 35%, opt for the 12-month plan that costs roughly $100.

ExpressVPN users are also entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case they don’t get satisfactory service – but that should be unlikely.

Server locations and speed of connections

Express offers a wide selection of servers all over the world. The VPN service currently has over 2,000 servers that are located in 94 countries.

ExpressVPN typically provides fast and stable connections. Just make sure that you are connected to the right server. It is advisable to connect to the closest server to your location. The virtual private network also offers virtual server locations.

Accessibility in China

​While there are currently no servers in the mainland, Express still a great choice for a VPN in unblocking the internet in China. For best results, it is recommended that Chinese users connect to a nearby server location like Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau.

The quality of aftersales support

​ExpressVPN offers various customer support system through the following: live chat, setup guides, and a comprehensive troubleshooting page.

We were able to get a response time of 15-20 seconds with the live chat support. While there is a troubleshooting page available on its website, getting assistance from a live representative makes it faster to solve certain concerns.

Summary of ExpressVPN service

Overall, Express provides a great VPN experience to keep the internet free from censorships and restrictions.

Here is a rundown of what you’d get if you subscribe to this service provider:

Pros

Cons

  • 2,000+ servers
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Great speed
  • Kill-switch feature
  • check-circle-o
    256-bit AES encryption
  • A bit pricey
  • ban
    No dedicated China servers

StrongVPN is among the most highly recommended services that can truly provide a legit VPN experience. The service provider has more than 10 years of experience in providing top-notch security tools.

strongvpn logo

​Today, Strong is still on a mission to deliver the most honest VPN service in the market. The company has one main goal in mind – to keep people safe from mass surveillance and to help them achieve a totally free internet.

StrongVPN promises a no-log policy to its userbase who are located all over the world. Let’s look at what Strong has to offer.

Device compatibility

​In term of usability, StrongVPN will work well on almost all devices. This virtual private network is compatible with desktops, mobile devices, routers, and well as other media platforms.

StrongVPN offers a straightforward for iOS, Android, Windows, and MacOS devices. For other devices, Strong provide specific setup guides on how to make the service work on various platforms.

Strong users are allowed to connect to the VPN network using either L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IPsec, or IKEv2 protocols.

To get the best speeds with Strong, users are advised to connect to the closest servers to their current locations. Otherwise, speed connections are decently fast too.

Cost of monthly subscription

​The average cost of subscribing to a VPN service is $15.00 per month. Strong offers a good working service for as low as $10.00 per month.

But if you are looking for to avail of massive discounts, then might as well purchase a 12-month plan that costs only $69.99 or $5.83 per month. This will allow users to save as much as 42%.

All plans are subjected to a 30-day money back guarantee. Just see to it that you ask for a refund before your subscription ends in case you are not fully satisfied with the service.

Server locations and speed of connections

​The location of the servers is an important aspect to be considered when shopping around for a VPN to use. Check out the provider and see to it that they have the necessary server locations you are interested in connecting to.

Strong’s VPN network is comprised of more than 650 servers in 20+ countries. Most of the servers are stable and working well too.

Accessibility in China

​Like any other VPN in this list, StrongVPN does not have dedicated servers that are physically located in the Chinese sovereign land. In order to achieve complete anonymity in China, users should connect to the closest servers available.

Hong Kong is the best server that Chinese users should use in unblocking the internet in their country. There are 9 Strong HK servers in total as of this writing.

The quality of aftersales support

One thing we love most about Strong is its customer support. In our experience, we were able to get concise answers regarding our concerns.

While response might not be the fastest, we still give Strong our two thumbs up for providing quality and accurate aftersales support.

Customer support can be reached via live chat or email.

Summary of StrongVPN service

​We like StrongVPN for whatever it offers. Although there are certain aspects of the service that we are just not sure of (lagging servers), we still think Strong is one of the best options for unblocking the Chinese Great Firewall.

Pros

Cons

  • Tech support is awesome
  • Secure connections
  • Cheaper than competition
  • It is P2P friendly.
  • check-circle-o
    It allows up to six connections at the same time.
  • Unstable servers
  • ban
    Limited server switches
  • ban
    No China servers available

NordVPN is another amazing service provider that is dedicated to providing the best VPN experience in existence. This virtual private network was established in 2012 and it has ever since been helping people protect their online privacy.

​The service provider claims that it has never experienced data breach attacks ever since it was born. This is definitely a good indication that the company’s infrastructure is as secure as it gets.

According to NordVPN, it also has never received gag orders obligating them to share user information. Nord mentions not receiving warrants from government organizations as well.

NordVPN is 100% committed to an absolute zero-log policy. If you are looking for a good VPN in China, then Nord is one great choice!

Device compatibility

​NordVPN is compatible is the most widely used mobile and desktop devices. This virtual private network will work well with Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and browsers as well.

Users may download the client app for their Windows, or Mac machines. You may also take NordVPN anywhere with your via the mobile app that works just as good as the desktop version.

NordVPN uses two standard protocols namely OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec for its desktop and mobile app. TLS v1.2 is used for browser extensions. NordVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption to secure the network connections.

Cost of monthly subscription

​Nord offers competitive prices for its VPN plans. Nord offers a monthly service plan that costs $11.95. While this plan may seem to be bang for the buck, there are still better deals that Nord has to offer.

Subscribing to an annual plan will let users save up to 52%. The 1-year plan only costs $69.00 or $5.75 per month.

But wait, there’s more! Opt for the 2-year VPN plan and get as much as 72% in savings! For only $79.00, users would already get a 2 years’ worth of Nord VPN accesses.

All plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee.

Server locations and speed of connections

​NordVPN offers access to 4,482 servers across the globe. Nord has its servers strategically located in 62 different countries.

This virtual private network also offers a feature to send internet traffic through two servers – making such connection the most secure with double encryption as well.

Accessibility in China

​Using NordVPN in China is the way to go in bypassing the country’s notorious censorship campaigns.

There are no specific China VPN servers that Nord has in its server list though. However, Chinese users can still connect to the Hong Kong, or Taiwan servers in order to achieve internet security while in China.

The quality of aftersales support

NordVPN has three main support channels that users can ask for help from.
There is the standard live chat feature that is reliable 24/7. Users may also create a ticket to get assistance with their concerns.

There is an FAQ section but it does not seem to have all the necessary information about the service though. Users can get the best aftersales support through live chat.

Summary of NordVPN service

​NordVPN definitely takes security to a different level. With the looming VPN crackdown in China, users residing in or visiting the country can take advantage of Nord’s awesome features.

Pros

Cons

  • P2P support
  • Affordable VPN plans
  • Double encryption
  • Military-grade encryption
  • check-circle-o
    No logs policy
  • check-circle-o
    Automatic kill switch
  • check-circle-o
    Lightning speed connections
  • Needs to improve FAQ / Setup pages
  • ban
    No China VPN servers
  • ban
    P2P only works on certain servers

Free VPNs to use to bypass China’s Great Firewall

We don’t really recommend the use of free virtual private networks especially when it comes to unblocking China. Aside from the fact that most free VPNs offer limited connectivity, they are basically pointless.

In general, free stuff are not usually effective. That is just how it is.

However, there is an exemption to this rule. Free VPN services that work well are hard to find. Luckily, we have found two services that might work for you.

Tunnel Bear and HotSpot Shield are two of the best free virtual private networks out there. Both providers offer a limited (and ad-supported) services but that’s just what you get for using a free service.

Ever since China began
banning VPN service providers, users of Tunnel Bear and Hotspot Shield have reportedly been struggling to establish stable connections. Both providers perform regular maintenance though so issues like this are not usually long term.

If you are not willing to shell out some cash for a VPN service, consider these free options. Tunnel Bear and HotSpot Shield also offer paid services as well.

Unblock Netflix in China: Use a reliable Virtual Private Network

Whether you are trying to access sites like Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter in China, you can do so by using the top VPN that still works in the country.

Chinese users should never settle for what the government wants for them. It is now or never. Users all over the world should already fight back censorships and online restrictions.

Do you need the best VPN in China? Give StrongVPN, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Tunnel Bear, and HotSpot Shield a try.

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