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Can you use a VPN in China? Answer your questions

Can you use a VPN in China? Answer your questions


China is known for having some of the strictest internet censorship laws in the world. The Great Firewall of China is used by the Chinese government to restrict access to information and to monitor the internet traffic of its citizens.

Many people get around these limitations by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It’s easy to install and configure VPNs to hide your location, protect your data, and unblock websites and other web content.

However, VPNs are a taboo topic in China, and whether or not you can use one of them depends on many factors. This often raises a lot of questions. Are VPNs legal in China? Do they work at all? Let’s get into it.

What is the Great Firewall of China?

The Great Firewall of China, also known as the Golden Shield Project, is a censorship and surveillance project. Web pages and content that may lead to anti-government sentiment is prohibited. This means that it restricts Chinese citizens from accessing some foreign websites, including Google, Facebook and YouTube. It is the largest national firewall in the world.

The government claims that this firewall exists to create a sense of unity among Chinese citizens. how? By not providing access to content that may incite hatred, disturb the established social order, advocate terrorism, and many other reasons.

This system uses a variety of methods that China uses to block content, including:

  • Access Restriction To foreign websites and news sources.
  • Use of automated algorithms Which reveals blocked content and keywords on social media.
  • Filter online search results which are considered “unfriendly” or “harmful” to the government.

Are VPNs in China illegal?

short answer: VPNs are not illegal in China, but their use is severely restricted.

long answer: China allows VPN providers to operate as long as they cooperate with the country, which goes against the privacy purpose of having a VPN in the first place. It’s not officially illegal to use a VPN in China, but many VPN services are blocked, and the government often threatens to ban VPNs altogether.

The Chinese government has gone so far as to remove all VPN apps from the Apple Store in China.

So why doesn’t China ban VPNs and VPNs completely?

VPNs Needed for Business in China, particularly international trade.

VPNs protect data sent between China and the rest of the world. Turning off all VPNs in China will greatly limit the ability of global companies to do business in China.

There are still many contradictions regarding individual versus business rights to use a VPN. But it is important to note that so far, No foreigner has ever been punished for using a VPN While they are traveling in China unless they are using it to speak out against the Chinese state or government.

Does VPN work in China?

Some VPNs work in China, but you cannot own VPN servers there unless you abide by the government’s rules. And even if I did, There are ongoing issues with VPN services.

The Great Firewall is constantly adapting. China’s tactics are complex, and it is always finding new ways to restrict its citizens’ access to the Internet. Hence, patterns of what works and what doesn’t are inconsistent and difficult to detect and analyze.

The biggest problem is that you can distinguish between VPN traffic and normal traffic. Therefore, it becomes an ongoing battle between VPN providers and the Chinese government.

However, it is interesting to note that there are additional issues with VPN connections during China’s most important national holidays, such as the anniversary of the Communist Party.

This is another fun fact. No free VPN services work in China. In China, connecting to a VPN requires obfuscated servers and far beyond the basic encryption and communication protocols used by free VPNs. Internet authorities in China detect free VPNs easily.

Does Surfshark work in China?

In general, Surfshark operates in China, but the connection may be inconsistent. Of course, this is true of all VPN providers, even if they claim otherwise. However, we are always on the lookout for connectivity issues and how we can fix them. We use the following methods to ensure our users are always protected, even with an inconsistent connection:

NoBorders mode

NoBorders enables you to use Surfshark in geo-restricted areas. If you try to use Surfshark in China, our app detects it and instantly switches to NoBorders mode. This provides you with a list of servers that perform well with network limitations.

kill switch

Kill Switch protects your privacy by cutting off your internet connection if your VPN connection drops. This ensures that our industry-leading encryption and security measures always secure your important data.

RAM servers only

Since all servers run on volatile memory (RAM), any data on the hard disk is immediately erased when the server is shut down. Therefore, no one can actually take the data from the servers.

No-logs policy

No log VPN does not track your movements or behavior on the Internet. Instead, the VPN server only keeps enough data to keep the VPN connection active and then deletes it. This protects IP addresses and Internet traffic from snoopers, including ISPs.

camouflage mode

From the outside, camouflage mode makes your connection look like a traditional internet connection by eliminating any VPN tracking using the OpenVPN VPN protocol. This option does not affect your security in any way.

Tips for using and connecting to a VPN in China

If you are planning to travel to China and suspect that you may need a VPN, I recommend setting one up in advance. Otherwise, you may not be able to access your VPN provider’s website. Also, make sure you have all the devices you plan to use covered like mobile phone, laptop, tablet, etc.

If you’re already in China (or live there), here are some tips on how to get and use a VPN:

  • try the Manual download and setup. Since access to websites and apps is often restricted, look for manual settings online. If you cannot access the website, you can contact your VPN provider via email (for example, [email protected]) and ask them to send you the manual configuration and manual.
  • Use the OpenVPN protocol. Surfshark’s OpenVPN protocol is designed to mask your connection. This means that whoever monitors your traffic will not see that you are using a VPN.
  • Use the NoBorders mode. If you are using the app, make sure that NoBorders mode is turned on. This will show you a list of servers that perform best under government restrictions.

What websites are blocked in China?

The Internet is an integral part of our daily life. So much so that we often take what we can access on the Internet for granted. Unfortunately, many popular websites have been blocked by The Great Firewall in China. Take a look at some of these sites in the table below. Are there any sites you frequent?

blocked websites in china

Some of these sites may come as a surprise, and this list doesn’t even scratch the surface of China’s internet restrictions. However, You can use a reliable VPN to access blocked websites.

Can I still use my other apps if I’m traveling to China?

Which apps you can or can’t access or use in China depends entirely on whether the government is restricted or not.

Fortunately, the same rules apply to apps as they do to websites. You can access most of your apps with a VPN, even if they are restricted in China.

Can I bypass the Great Firewall without a VPN?

Yes, you can bypass the Great Firewall without a VPN. The most common ways to do this are:

  • Uses Onion Router (Tor). Tor is a browser that redirects your traffic through different nodes around the world. Its biggest drawback is that This will greatly slow down your internet speed. This is why many people prefer to use a VPN over Tor. If you want to know more about this, I invite you to check out our Tor vs VPN article.
  • use agent. Proxies work similarly to VPNs. They can help you bypass censorship, but they will generally do so Leave your connection unsecured. Take a look at our article on proxy vs. VPN if you are interested in learning more about the differences between them.

Both methods can help you bypass censorship. However, both pale in comparison to a good VPN service in terms of performance or security.

VPN is the best solution for internet access in China

Do you want free and unrestricted internet access? Get a VPN that fights for your freedom whether you live in or travel to China. We take precautions to ensure your private data is always protected, even if you are disconnected from your VPN.

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