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Are VPNs Banned In China And Can You Still Use Them?

Are VPNs Banned In China And Can You Still Use Them?


It’s a baffling topic, and one about which visitors and residents alike baffle when faced with the stringent internet restrictions imposed by China. However, the fact of the matter is that using the best VPN is the only way that anyone on Chinese soil can unblock Google, Facebook and many more essentials of western daily browsing.

So what are the rules, how are they enforced, and can you bend them? That’s what we’ll explore on this page and – if you need – send you in the direction of a couple of Chinese VPN providers that you’ll be able to rely on.

What is the law of VPNs in China?

Best VPN to use in China

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

The best VPN to unblock the web in China is ExpressVPN, so if that’s all you can do Register on the site now. You’ll get great speeds, complete internet freedom, and great customer support to make sure your browsing is hassle-free.

We’re in murky waters here, but the VPN technology itself isn’t entirely illegal in China. This is due to the fact that businesses and possibly the government itself need to use VPNs for international affairs in addition to accessing static IP addresses for office work. However, a license is required for this – something that few individuals have.

It seems that having a personal VPN is prohibited. But while there were reports of local Chinese nationals facing punishment, no foreigners were subject to scrutiny. This is good news for travelers and expats looking to access the internet as they used to.

However, VPN apps have been removed from the Android and Apple app stores, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to access any VPN provider’s website in China without – you guessed it – a VPN. This means that if you want to use a VPN in China, You will need to register and download it before entering the country.

Why do I need a VPN in China?

If you want to access – deep breathing – Facebook, Gmail, Google Search, Wikipedia, PornHub, Twitter, Slack, YouTube, Netflix, SoundCloud, BBC, New York Times, and literally thousands of other websites, you’ll need to use a VPN.

What is now known as China’s Great Firewall was first designed in the late 1990s, shortly after the Internet came to China, as the Communist Party sought a way to control what citizens could access on the web. Over the decades, this ban has developed into a force that severely restricts sites available for public consumption.

By using a VPN to anonymize your activity and spoof your location (check out our article What is a VPN? for more information), you can look outside the Great Firewall, which then gives you access to everything you want to read, or watch online.

Is it worth the risk?

It is said that over 30% of China’s internet users also use a VPN, so for a large portion of the population the answer to that question appears to be “yes”.

For those traveling to China, or expats who have relocated there, the risk is low – no non-Chinese nationals have ever been prosecuted for using a VPN. However, it’s definitely worth weighing your options, and if you choose to use one of them, we recommend signing up with the best sites out there to make sure your stay is anonymous and secure.

What are the best VPNs that work best in China?

The Great Firewall is powerful, and uses deep packet inspection and protocol identification among other tools to detect and block VPNs. After that, many services that work great elsewhere are rendered useless when it comes to China. However, there are still some excellent options available to you.

Compare the prices of the best VPNs today

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