The Communist party of China bans the use of VPN networks. This is largely due to the government's desire to control every citizen's freedom. A VPN network allows Chinese citizens to bypass strict government censorship and access sites such as Youtube, Facebook, and more. Finding the best VPN for China isn't that hard, but you can't just use any VPN.
The Chinese communist government blocks access to 1,000s upon 1,000s of websites by way of one of the world's most sophisticated firewalls. A VPN that works in China means you can't get around this censorship.
But although China's ability to suppress content is remarkable and unmatched by any other authoritative regime in the world, it can be broken. In order to break China's firewall, you'll need a top VPN.
A VPN can help you access content in China regardless of how powerful the “great firewall of China” is.
There are three main VPN services which can break China's firewall. Let's quickly discuss those before we breakdown the rest of our China – VPN guide.
The Best VPN for China
NordVPN – This is one of the top overall VPN experiences and it comes at an affordable price. NordVPN can bypass China's firewall without any issue.
NordVPN's use in China is top of its class. As a VPN that works with China, NordVPN offers a heck of a lot more in benefits and for the absolute best pricing you'll find. Nord is definitely the best VPN for China you'll find.
- 370 servers in close proximity to China
- Lightning-fast speeds
- A Kill switch that protects your identity in cases of server downtime.
- No log policy, so even if China got into NordVPN, they'd find nothing.
- Compatible with Macs, PCs, Androids, IOS, Linux, Apple TV, Firestick…
ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN, much like NordVPN, is a top-selling, extremely popular VPN option. It can bypass China's censorship machine with the best of them. But it is more costly than NordVPN. That said, I have a NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN comparison which may help you decide.
When it comes to VPN quality and reliability, it is difficult to rival what the folks at ExpressVPN have accomplished over the years. ExpressVPN is a great option for China.
- They don't keep logs, browser history, etc.
- Memory storage assists in making sure no data remain anywhere.
- 256-bit AES encryption
- 100's of servers in close proximity to China
- Fast, reliable servers
Surfshark – One of the cheaper VPN options that truly works. Surfshark can not only work to access content in China, but it also does a great job at unblocking streaming platforms.
Surfshark's popularity has grown over the years as people continue looking for cheaper VPN options. Surfshark is a top cheap VPN service. It works competitively alongside all the big dogs, but for half the price.
- Multihop feature allows app filtering.
- Uses NoBorders mode to break through China's firewall.
- Affordable price including VPN free trial.
- Many servers located near China.
- Decently fast speeds.
China's Firewall Stops Most, But Not All, VPNS
Chinese government officials track citizens and tourists at all cyber levels. The people of China do not have access to Facebook or Google, some of that is because these companies play nice with communist regime restrictions. Google has even been accused of indirectly helping to build China's military. But its important to understand, China's censorship influence extends even into the United States. For example, Facebook censored Dr. Li-Meng Yan by placing a warning label on her content.
My point is, the China censorship machine is a global issue. A VPN can help thwart these authoritarian efforts by hiding your IP address. But you must use the best VPN for China, which comes down to a handful of handpicked selections.
Naturally, the obvious question becomes, how does a VPN work in China?
If China's ability to censor content is unprecedented and highly sophisticated, how can a VPN help?
The fact is, most VPNs do not work in China. This is why I listed the above three VPNs right off the bat. VPNs worldwide struggle to break the chains that is China's elaborate firewall. But some VPNs do work in China, particularly the three I listed above. There are more VPNs that work in China, I'm just keeping things simple for you.
Its important to understand that a VPN also hides your IP address and inevitably, your identity. And it works across your entire device, not just in the browser. Such deep encryption helps conceal your ID from Chinese officials.
Are VPNs Legal In China?
VPNs are not legal in China. And furthermore, the content used to access through a VPN is most likely illegal in China. Just because you're using a VPN doesn't mean you circumvent China's harsh censorship laws.
This is an important point to understand. Yes, a top VPN can help you access restricted content in China, but that doesn't make it legal. You don't want to get caught.
This is why I would not trust a free VPN in China. You need to stay with quality given what's on the line. There is no way to be sure that a free VPN in China isn't logging your info or won't turn over your data to Chinese authorities. You get what you pay for, and sometimes what you don't pay for.
Using a VPN in China (Final Thoughts)
I recommend the use of three prominent VPNs in China. All the best VPNs for China do charge a monthly, or annual, fee. You want to avoid a free VPN in China given how strict the country's censorship laws are.
VPNs are not legal in China and their firewall does a good job at blocking many VPNs. It's important to make sure you are using a high-quality VPN that actually works in China if that's what you want. In other words, don't assume that any VPN works in China, that's most certainly not the case.