Best VPN for China in 2022 [ExpressVPN, NordVPN & Others]
Life in China can feel boring and fragmented for foreigners accustomed to using popular social media, live broadcasting, international news media, and productivity apps. With Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Google and Gmail blocked, you can easily be cut off from family, friends and colleagues back home unless you have the best VPN for China.
The main takeaway:
- ExpressVPN is the best Chinese VPN because it works most of the time, regardless of the region in China.
- Windscribe doesn’t offer ExpressVPN reliability, but if you want a free Chinese VPN, it’s a great choice.
- Internet restrictions in China are constantly changing, and the VPN you use today may not guarantee the same performance tomorrow.
A VPN that helps you circumvent the Great Firewall of China. In this article, we are going to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the seven best VPNs for China to make it easier to choose the right one for you. We will also give you tips for using a VPN in China without running into a collision course with the authorities. Read on.
- Are VPNs illegal in China?
No, VPNs are not technically illegal in China. Although many VPN service providers are banned in China, there is no law officially prohibiting the use of VPN technology in China.
- Which VPN can connect to China?
Not many VPN services work in China. However, secure VPNs like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, and NordVPN can bypass the Great Chinese Firewall.
- How can I connect to China via VPN?
it is easy. To connect to China via VPN, you need a service that offers a server in China. The VPN will assign you a unique Chinese IP address, even though you are outside the country.
- Which free VPN works in China?
Windscribe is one of the few, if not the only, free VPNs that works in China.
Best VPN Service Providers for China
What makes the best VPN for China
The Great Chinese Firewall is getting less and less penetrable by the day, making it impossible for most VPN services to circumvent the system. It is so complicated that even among VPNs that work in China, not everyone can guarantee that it will work all the time in all locations. The safest bet is to choose a VPN that has the best anti-censorship and monitoring tools.
We’ll discuss VPN features to watch, but before that, here’s a quick look at the best VPN for China list:
- ExpressVPN – Ultra-fast VPN that works in most regions of China
- NordVPN – Reliable VPN in China with scrambled and double VPN servers
- VyprVPN – Chameleon Protocol to Bypass China VPN Blocks
- Surfshark – Budget Friendly VPN with NoBorder Mode to Unblock Services in China
- Windscribe – Best Free VPN That Works in China
- TorGuard – a pocket friendly China VPN with a powerful infiltration system
- AirVPN – Reliable VPN from China for Seasoned VPN Users
Strong encryption and VPN protocols are essential to encrypt your traffic and hide it from government censorship, hackers, and intruders. A kill switch is a good backup security tool that cuts off the internet when the VPN connection drops, preventing leaks that could blow your cover. In addition, DNS and IP leak protection add an important layer of security, keeping your digital fingerprints private.
You also need a VPN with servers outside of China to unblock censored sites and platforms. It must have servers in the neighboring countries of the Middle Kingdom. In general, connecting to the closest VPN servers will give you better performance, but if you need to access services that are only available back home, consider a VPN with servers in your country.
The multi-hop server is a nice addition as it routes your internet traffic through multiple servers, making it difficult for the monitoring system or hackers to monitor or decrypt.
We also welcome obfuscated servers. While no foreigner has been prosecuted for using a VPN in China, you have to hide the fact that you are using one, and obfuscation helps you achieve that.
7 Best VPN Services in China
While the best VPN services check the above boxes, not everyone can consistently find a way through China’s Great Firewall. We separated the wheat from the chaff to make it easier to choose the best Chinese VPN. We’ll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these VPNs, starting with our top pick: ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN offers a high level of reliability and performance in China.
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Pricing: $6.67 per month on an annual plan
- Provider’s website: expressvpn.com
- First-class security and privacy
- Works in almost all regions of China
- Light speed
- RAM servers only
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for China, full stop. First of all, it has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including some of China’s neighboring countries, such as Hong Kong, India, and Myanmar. You can find a server near China to unblock social sites, VoIP platforms, streaming services and productivity apps, and with its super fast speeds, you can enjoy excellent performance.
Anonymize your traffic with ExpressVPN
What sets ExpressVPN apart is its ability to deliver great performance most of the time. Its servers support obfuscation technology to ensure that your VPN traffic cannot be detected (although Lightway does not support it). It also uses secure protocols and encryption, and has DNS and IP leak protection to prevent leaks that can help the Chinese government monitor your online activity.
This is not all. Should the worst happen and Chinese authorities order ExpressVPN to provide details about your online activity, there will be little data to share. This is because the VPN service has RAM only servers that are flushed of data with every restart.
Although ExpressVPN is quite expensive, it is the best service to bypass VPN blocks in China.
ExpressVPN is expensive, but that’s not necessarily a drawback. There is no doubt that their prices are much higher than many competitors. However, its reliability in China, its comprehensive feature set, and excellent performance justify its hefty price tag (read our ExpressVPN review to learn more). You can use ExpressVPN for the risk-free run, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Although not as reliable as ExpressVPN, NordVPN guarantees the highest levels of security and privacy in China.
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: $3.30 per month for the 2-year plan
- Provider’s website: nordvpn.com
- Provides obscure servers
- Double VPN
- Affordable, Affordable, Affordable
- easy to use
- It doesn’t work everywhere in China
NordVPN is a giant privacy game suitable for expats, activists, journalists, tourists and business travelers in China. Like ExpressVPN, it offers servers in countries around China to bypass censorship and uses secure protocols and encryption to keep your online activity out of the reach of Chinese authorities.
Use a dedicated VPN server with NordVPN
NordVPN offers expert servers that are adept at accessing services that are blocked in China. For example, if you want to make VoIP calls or contact remote employees on productivity apps, obfuscated servers have you covered. The server makes your VPN connection appear unprotected, which prevents Chinese government monitors and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking you.
Dual VPN servers are ideal for journalists and activists who need to send sensitive information over the Internet. As the name suggests, the servers route your traffic through two VPN servers, giving it a double layer of encryption. This makes it difficult for China’s monitoring agencies to intercept traffic or eavesdrop on emails, chats or messages.
NordVPN does not work in all of China, but where it does, it does excellently.
On a monthly basis, NordVPN is on the same level as ExpressVPN (read our NordVPN review to learn more). Fortunately, its one-year plan is about half the price of ExpressVPN, and the two-year plan is even cheaper. There’s no guarantee that NordVPN will work in the region you’re visiting, but with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have plenty of time to evaluate the options.
The hallmark of VyprVPN is the Chameleon protocol, which is adept at bypassing censorship in China.
More details about VyprVPN:
- Pricing: $8.33 per month on the annual plan
- Provider’s website: vyprvpn.com
- Chameleon Protocol gives excellent distortion
- VyprDNS to defeat DNS censorship
- More than 300,000 IP addresses
VyprVPN is not a household name, but it is one of the best VPNs for China. Although it does not guarantee the reliability of ExpressVPN or the privacy of NordVPN, it does get you into services that are banned in China, thanks to its Chameleon protocol. Besides encrypting your internet traffic, the private VPN protocol shuffles the OpenVPN packet’s metadata, making it difficult to decrypt, even by Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
Secure your VPN connection with VyprDNS
The Chinese government has monitored more than 24,000 domains, including popular platforms. In most cases, authorities use DNS “lying” – where the system redirects DNS requests to a different location – to prevent Internet users from accessing restricted domains. VyprDNS sends all of your DNS requests through an encrypted tunnel, which prevents the government and ISPs from redirecting them.
However, to unlock restricted domains, you have to connect to a server outside of China, and you have plenty of options to do so with VyprVPN. There are over 300,000 IP addresses in more than 70 server locations. You can connect to a server in the US to access social media to chat with friends or open blocked media, such as CNN or The New York Times, to keep up with events.
VyprVPN is one of the most affordable VPN for China.
When you look at VyprVPN’s ability for the price, it offers a lot for your money – as you can read in our VyprVPN review – but it doesn’t quite match the likes of ExpressVPN. You pay $8.33 per month on the annual plan, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind.
Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for China, with support for unlimited simultaneous connections.
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: $2.21 per month for the 2-year plan
- Provider’s website: surfshark.com
- NoBorders mode
- camouflage mode
- CyberSec to block malware-infected websites
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Does not work in all regions of China
Surfshark is a relatively new and reliable VPN provider for China that makes it to our list with NoBorders and Camouflage modes. When you activate NoBorders mode in China, Surfshark will provide a list of the best VPN servers to get around the Great Firewall.
NoBorders servers and camouflage mode
NoBorders servers perform well in most regions of China, unblocking services from search engines like Google and DuckDuckGo to social media platforms. For better performance, we recommend combining servers with camouflage mode. This tool makes VPN traffic look like a normal internet connection to avoid being detected when content filtering is bypassed.
Finally, if you are going to use Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat, beware of malware and spyware injections. There have been allegations that China is spying on ethnic minorities around the world using Android malware. If you are going to use a cell phone in China, make sure you activate Surfshark’s CyberSec malware blocking tool or use one of the best antivirus software.
With Surfshark, you can use the NoBorders mode to get a list of servers with a high probability of establishing VPN connections in most parts of China.
Surfshark is an affordable VPN for China (read our review on Surfshark). Its two-year plan will set you back $2.49 per month, which is nearly a dollar cheaper than NordVPN. For the price, you get all the anti-censorship tools and unlimited simultaneous connections. You can get a first-hand feel of the service, worry-free, thanks to a 30-day money-back…