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Do VPNs work in China and are they illegal?

Do VPNs work in China and are they illegal?


China is the wild west from the east when it comes to the best VPN. Confusing introduction, isn’t it? We did it on purpose because that’s exactly the situation with VPNs and China – unclear. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place to explain it all.

China places a lot of restrictions on internet access in capitalist countries. So if you’re traveling there, you might find yourself blocked from some things you take for granted like Google Maps or WhatsApp. So, the easy solution is to use a VPN, right? Not so much, because China banned them too!

But all is not lost. A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) can still help you stay secure and access what you need, even when you’re behind the Great Firewall of China.

Is VPN illegal in China?

China certainly doesn’t take kindly to VPNs. While it may have loosened the strict restrictions on content that were previously in place, it still maintains its stance on VPNs – that VPN use is off-limits to both residents and visitors in China.

Even though China put a VPN ban in place in March 2018, most VPN providers still offer their services for use within China.

So far, it is unclear whether and how China will punish those caught using a VPN. It’s also unclear how they will be discovered in the first place since anonymity is what VPNs are all about.

So if you decide to use a VPN within Chinese borders, know that you do so at your own risk.

What can a VPN access from China?

Get the right VPN and you’ll soon be able to show up somewhere you’re not – in this case, outside of China. This means that you will then bypass the Great Firewall of China to be able to access the content offered by the rest of the world.

For expats and business travelers, this is almost essential to access things like banking, information resources, messaging and – of course – the always-important access to Netflix.

Yes, tourists who want to navigate cities and country using Google Maps or need to keep in touch with WhatsApp, then VPN will be very useful for you really.

How does a VPN work in China?

Once you choose your VPN, you will be ready to dodge those Chinese restrictions. This is done by assigning you an IP address from a server outside the country. This will make it look like you are logging in from this site, thus bypassing the Chinese restrictions.

Essentially, you will use a third-party server, to place your orders and deliver information back and forth from websites and services located outside of China.

What to look for in a VPN ready for China

Some of the most important features include a large number of servers, so you can find one that works without being blocked; And multiple protocol options, to avoid being blocked and to stay safe and anonymous.

Another really important feature is customer service. If you have a 24/7 live chat, if you fail to bypass the blocks, you will be immediately guided to the best setup to get you online to do what you need right away.

What is the best VPN for China?

Through our extensive testing, we’ve found that the best VPNs are ExpressVPN, which also qualifies for the highest score as your VPN companion on any trip to China. ExpressVPN boasts an excellent circumvention of geo-restrictions and also offers plenty of international servers, high-speed connections, strong security, and great 24/7 live chat customer support.

Servers in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are especially useful here because they are close enough to get great speeds but far enough outside of China to give you the usual freedoms you’re used to online.

ExpressVPN’s customer service is second to none. You can have 24/7 live chat and the people who help you are knowledgeable and eager to help you do what you need to get done. When you are cut off from what you know within the Chinese borders, a friendly and helpful person really deserves to be.

Compare the best VPN services by specifications:

CyberGhost VPN ExpressVPNIPVanishSurfshark Similar view CyberGhost VPNExpressVPNIPVanishSurfshark Similar view CyberGhost VPNExpressVPNIPVanishSurfshark Similar view CyberGhost VPNExpressVPNIPVanishSurfshark Similar view
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