James Patterson | 23 Dec 2019
For those who don’t know too much about the internet situation in China, it can be put quite simply; the country’s government filters just about all web activity and blocks websites that may sway public opinion on the Chinese Government.
In short, this means that just about all western social media and news websites are blocked, along with film websites and even parts of Apple’s own App Store and iTunes websites. As you’d expect, this can be a real issue if you’re in the country for business or a holiday.
If you were to tally up all blocked websites in China, you’d find that somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 sites have been blocked in the country, with more added on a routine basis.
Although we can’t go over every blocked website here, we can take a look at a few of the most popular blocked domains that you may want to access while in China.
Streaming and Video
As you can see, a large swathe of the web most of us access multiple times a day is blocked in the People’s Republic, and unless you’re doing a digital detox while in the country, you’re likely looking for a way to access these sites.
We also would like to point out that content and data found on unblocked Western sites is often altered for the Chinese market. This essentially means that you’ll be able to access websites like Netflix, for example, though you won’t find any content on the site.
In other circumstances, news outlets may alter or remove a number of stories at the Chinese Government’s behest in order to keep their domain alive in the country.
To bypass this, we suggest that you either forgo accessing these sites, and choose another that may have the content you need; or make use of a VPN that connects through the a country where these sites are NOT blocked in – e.g. USA, Canada, England, Australia, etc.
We’re glad to say that although China deeply controls the web, the government hasn’t yet put a nation-wide ban on VPN services. The country does however actively block a number of VPNs from working, though our often-recommended leading VPNs get by these filters quite easily.
Although VPNs may make all of China’s domain blocking useless, the country still has no official ban in place. What this means is that you’re able to install a VPN on your device before you leave for China, and use it to access sites back home.
With double VPN features and a kill switch, our top VPNs will keep you safe when browsing in China as there’s little way for anyone, even government authorities, to see what you’re doing.
Now that you’re a little more informed on how VPNs work in China, we’ll go over our top VPNs for when it’s time to travel to China. Our recommendations below take all security and speed features into account, as well as the ability to work well in China, of course.
Our standout VPN service for China is NordVPN thanks to its vast network of servers, high speeds and an array of security features.
You’ll find DoubleVPN on the NordVPN service, as well as a kill switch, military-grade encryption and Onion over VPN which re-routes your traffic through a number of VPNs to completely block any chance of tracking.
The following NordVPN prices are correct as at: December 2019.
Note: All prices are in USD, and are Per Month.
For those with speed as their top preference, ExpressVPN is for you. The service boasts a worldwide fibre-optic network and a fantastic suite of security features that will have you browsing the web from China in no time.
You’ll find split-tunnelling to keep your movements safe, a kill switch and TrustedServer tech that prevents the storage of your activity and any and all trace of your movements online. All in all, ExpressVPN is just about as secure as they come, though a little more costly, the service is fantastic for China.
The following ExpressVPN prices are correct as at: December 2019.
Note: All prices are in USD, and are Per Month.
Our third outstanding VPN service for those travelling or moving to China is CyberGhost. This VPN is ideal for those who love to consume media and would like unrestricted access to websites back home.
The CyberGhost service boasts servers explicitly designed for streaming video content, and with dedicated anti-censorship features, CyberGhost is going to be your perfect partner in China. The company’s NoSpy servers are also here to keep your browsing genuinely secure from prying eyes, ensuring you’re free to browse anything out of China.
The following CyberGhost prices are correct as at: December 2019.
Note: All prices are in AUD, and are Per Month.
With all the above said, China might be one of the most censored countries in the world when it comes to the web, though with a reliable and anti-censor VPN you’ll be able to stay safe and walk around the Great Firewall of China with ease.
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