Best VPNs for China
Making use of the internet in China is one of the most tasking and annoying challenges that people living in China as well as visiting foreigners face. These challenges are because of the restrictions China has put in place to discontinue access to some websites in China. This restriction is called “The Great Firewall.” Nevertheless, people have managed to bypass these restrictions using one of the surest ways, Virtual Private Networks.
However, the problem remains that China’s government has also blocked many of these VPNs, which attempt to evade its restrictions. This means that not just any type of VPN will be useful in bypassing The Great Firewall. You would need the best and most effective VPNs that work in China, to successfully scale through. Many of the VPN websites are also blocked in China, so it is wise to sign-in to your VPN before visiting China.
The following VPNs have been put to the test and emerged successful as some of the very best VPNs that are effective in China:
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
ExpressVPN is one of the biggest, most popular, and most impressive VPNs all around the globe. It is no wonder then that it also deploys all its powerful unblocking services in China. This VPN comes first on the list, despite its slightly expensive pricing, because it delivers on its promises. ExpressVPN has a wide range of servers all around the globe. With over 3,000 servers in 160 great locations, in 94+ countries, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan-based servers, the network provider gives top quality geo-unblocking services that evade even the strongest geoblocks. It consistently works in China and grants users access to those essential websites that the government has blocked them out of.
After various tests and rigorous scrutiny, ExpressVPN performed excellently well and ticked almost all the necessary features that one needs in a quality VPN. The provider offers along with its broad coverage, top-notch security services that ensure that users stay protected at all times. It guarantees that your IP address is always hidden in the event of a drop in connection or connection failure. This is excellent news for VPN users in China because the government and other fraudulent eyes are always trying to snoop on your internet activities.
In addition to its IP leak protection, ExpressVPN has effective encryption and security protocols. The highest form of encryption, which is the 256-bit AES encryption, is active on the network, keeping your data secure. This encryption feature is a combination of the AES 256-bit cypher, 4096-bit RSA key, and SHA-512 HMAC authentication. This simply means that your information is almost impossible to be decrypted, even by the strongest of computers. These protocols are essential and useful to safely protect your data during transfers, for example, when you share P2P files.
In terms of security protocols, ExpressVPN makes use of some of the most hi-tech protocols, such as OpenVPN UDP protocol. The VPN instantly chooses the best and most secure protocols by default to give you a safe and secure connection (this feature can, however, be altered by its users to select manually.) However, the OpenVPN UDP protocol makes use of the most efficient combination of both speed and security on your devices. This is what ExpressVPN has to offer.
With these protocols and encryption services, you can rest assured that your data will not be tampered with. Another protocol that ExpressVPN offers is the OpenVPN TCP, but unlike the UDP, it is not as fast. It, however, still provides excellent protection and is very reliable if UDP is unavailable.
Still, on security, the provider makes use of a kill switch called the Network Lock. This kill switch is another hi-tech feature that keeps your data and IP address, secure. This is very important for users in China to avoid the restrictive Great Firewall. This Kill Switch feature is automatic and does not need manual activation. As soon as there is a drop in your network connection, or if your data is compromised, it gets automatically turned on, keeping all your necessary information hidden.
To access all the restricted websites, browse, download, and stream your favourite music and shows, ExpressVPN has got your back. ExpressVPN is super-fast. Its lightning speed makes it simply perfect for all your internet activities. After many speed tests across different servers, the VPN proved itself as the best. It doesn’t matter which of the servers you connect to, the VPN still stays on top as fast and reliable.
Using ExpressVPN’s high speed, browsing and downloading is not a problem. Not only does the VPN break through and unblock the most stringent website restrictions in China, but you can also stream and download from them too. Sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, Hulu, YouTube, Google, Facebook, and many others can be easily accessed on the platform. What’s more? The connection speed is excellent enough to play HD games. According to some user reviews, it works just as if you are not connected to a VPN!
The provider doesn’t just stop there; it also supports torrenting and P2P file sharing on any of its servers. It has an unlimited bandwidth and no data restrictions, which makes it great for unrestricted torrenting. This VPN is loaded with tons of other features that make it worth your money when you decide to subscribe to any of its plans.
It keeps a strict no-logs policy and has DNS protection. Not just that, it allows for five simultaneous connections, which allows for most of your devices to stay protected always. It is straightforward to set up and is compatible with many platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and most of your routers.
To further sweeten the deal, it comes with high-end customer support services and a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case you are unsatisfied with all these great features after purchase.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN is a big name on the VPN market. It is so good that it continually remains in the top 3 on the overall best VPN charts. NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN that offers almost as many quality services as ExpressVPN does. In fact, they are two contenders for the number 1 spot. This shows just how well users rate their services.
NordVPN boasts of great network coverage of 5,100+ servers located in 61 countries. That is almost more than enough to cover all your needs. With all its top-quality features and services, and its consistent accessibility in China, it is an excellent bet if you would like to sign-up for a VPN in the country.
If you are a heavy streamer, NordVPN would be perfect for your use. Apart from the numerous restricted websites in China, Netflix is one of the toughest to evade. NordVPN has successfully and unfailingly bypassed Netflix’s new (and stricter) detection measures. Via various tests carried out, NordVPN worked seamlessly with the different Netflix variants around the globe, including the US, UK, Japan, and the rest.
Using its SmartPlay DNS feature, the provider makes itself the best choice for streaming your favourite shows. It not only works for Netflix but other streaming sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC, Telemundo, Vevo, and tons of other websites.
When we talk about streaming, your next worry might be speed. NordVPN covers that also. Despite being in China with the famous Great Firewall, NordVPN’s speed power is shockingly fast. After taking many speed tests, NordVPN still emerged with speed good enough to stream and carry out other heavy bandwidth activities hassle-free. Although there may be a little difficulty during uploads, overall, its speed is dependable and consistent.
For other services like torrenting, NordVPN has P2P servers that would deliver a great job. For this purpose, the provider has over 4600 servers in 46 countries tailored to give you the best torrenting experience. Also, the service provides SOCKS5 proxies, which provides users with more security, through extra authentication.
With all these great features, it’s pertinent to ask how safe is NordVPN for browsing in China? Very safe is the short answer. NordVPN comes complete with the strictest encryption features and secure VPN protocols. Its 256-bit encryption makes it one of the most challenging VPN services to break to. It also has the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols that keep your data safe and secure. The provider is also sincere when it claims to keep no logs. Its succinctly defined no-logs policy gives credence to this fact.
Also, being a Panama-based VPN means that it is nowhere close to the Fourteen Eyes Surveillance, inaccessible to spies and snooping sites. NordVPN also helps you get rid of all those unwanted pop-up ads that slow down your browsing. It comes with a very functional Adblocker that blocks annoying ads on the websites you visit. NordVPN comes with a Kill Switch that is automatically activated when your connection drops or has been breached.
NordVPN comes with other security features, including DNS leak protection, Auto-connect function, Onion Over VPN, reliable IP servers. It makes use of obfuscated servers that prove reliable in bypassing China’s Great Firewall. Although it is not as expensive as ExpressVPN, the network still gives great features for its pricing. It has no free version or free-trial period. Instead, users are privy to its 30-day money-back guarantee, where you get a full refund within 30 days of purchasing any of its plans.
Not to worry, you can stay connected whenever and wherever across six of your devices, all at the same time. These devices include Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and lots more.
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the cheapest around
On the VPN market, if you’re looking for a quality VPN service that wouldn’t break the bank, then SurfShark is your best bet. Although not as big a name as the two VPNs above, it is consistently and surely making a name for itself as the years go by. Currently, it has over 1040 servers in about 61 countries, and that is quite a good coverage. SurfShark is an all-purpose VPN that would be a good fit for solving your Great Firewall troubles.
An essential quality of a good VPN is speed, and after various speed tests, it is quite clear that SurfShark is better than your average VPN. It boasts of fast, dependable, and consistent connections that allow you to browse, torrent and stream as fast as you wish on the internet. It comes with a quick-connect feature that automatically detects and connects to the fastest server. The network is quite reliable.
Your next worry might be how good SurfShark VPN is against China’s excessive restrictions. The VPN scaled all its restriction tests and has many user reviews to attest to that. It is great for getting access to those geo-blocked sites like Netflix, Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, among others. Its servers also evaded many of the Firewall restrictions so that users can easily access their favorite sites and content. As mentioned above, SurfShark is excellent for torrenting, is compatible with BitTorrent and uTorrent, and also works with streaming players like Popcorn Time.
Looking at SurfShark’s security, the VPN proudly states that it has no DNS leaks, which is good because it keeps your real location and IP address safe from the government and other fraudulent eyes. Along with its highly secure encryption feature, it also has a MultiHop feature, which offers an extra level of protection. It further provides security with its no-logs policy that restricts it from keeping any user logs. Apart from important user information like your encrypted password, necessary billing information, and email address, you remain anon on this service.
For use in China, SurfShark’s NoBorders feature is highly essential for eluding China’s censorship. It automatically reroutes your data to access blocked content. The VPN is compatible with popular devices such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and others. You can also manually set it up for other platforms like smart TVs and routers. Its pricing is affordable and comes with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. SurfShark offers a 7-day free trial once you download the app via the Play Store or Apple store.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
ProtonVPN is another right provider to use in China. It prides itself as the VPN solution for torrent fans. Some of its selling points include its easy-to-use user-interface, top-notch security, and no-logs policy. These are very valuable when you’re looking for a top-quality VPN. Not only does it break through China’s restriction laws and geo-blocked sites, but it also supports torrenting too! With 600+ servers in 44 countries, ProtonVPN has an average-sized server coverage that is doing a great job at unblocking the essential sites and streaming services you need.
This VPN is not slacking when it comes to streaming. It unblocks sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. It also dutifully unblocks many of those sites that have been censored by China’s Great Firewall. Although its speed may be a little discouraging when you try to stream or download, it makes up for this with other necessary features. If you’re looking to download or stream at neck-breaking speed, any of the VPNs above is a great choice.
When it comes to security, ProtonVPN is clean and transparent. Being a Swiss-based VPN, the provider does not keep any logs. This is further emphasised by its honest no-logs policy and the Swiss law that requires that none of a user’s information or online activity is stored. It has tons of security features that assure you that your data is highly secure. With the DNS leak protection, the IP address is hidden. AES-256 encryption plus 4096-bit RSA key exchange also makes sure that your data can never be accessed even though the government and other malware sites try.
Alongside the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec protocols, it has other security features like Secure Core. This Secure Core feature helps to instantly pass your data through different servers in secure and privacy-conscious countries. Sadly, you may yet have to battle with your annoying pop-up ads because ProtonVPN does not have an ad blocker, but it comes with a Kill Switch option that gets activated automatically.
ProtonVPN has a good number of servers close to China. To use ProtonVPN in China, seeing as some of the server locations may be restricted, you may need to contact the customer care support via email so that they can give you a recommended list of servers that are functional in China. Speaking of customer service, ProtonVPN does not have a live chat support feature, which makes it cumbersome to get assistance on the website. It, however, offers a mail or support ticket option instead.
Great news, ProtonVPN has a free plan! Although it has premium services at paid rates, you can use the VPN free of charge, but with lesser features. The paid plans don’t have an open trial plan, but they offer more security and anonymity features. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee for users who wish to get a refund after they have subscribed to any of its plans.
This VPN also checks the multi-device compatibility feature. It offers excellent compatibility for different apps such as iOS, Windows, Mac, and Android. It also has manual installation for the Linux operating system. The number of devices you can connect to at the same time on the VPN depends on the pricing plan you are subscribed to. On the free plan, you can only connect one of your devices to the VPN. The most expensive plan, which is the Visionary plan allows up to ten simultaneous connections all at once.
- Complete anonymity? Yes
- Unblocking of all websites? Yes
- Pricing options: 4
- Servers: 164 in 80+ zones
- Free trial: Yes
- Military grade encryption
- Bitcoin accepted
- App for mobile devices
- Lesser known provider
Last on our list is Trust.Zone. This provider has almost all the qualities you need in a VPN. Although it has a minimal 128 servers in 31 countries, it offers pretty affordable pricing plans with lots of sweet deals and discounts. When it comes to security, this VPN is laden with great features. It uses the 256-bit AES encryption to keep all your data encrypted and safely locked in. It also adds an extra feature with OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols to make sure that you are further protected.
To protect you while streaming and torrenting your content, Trust.Zone will do an excellent job. It unblocks and grants unrestricted access to sites such as Netflix. The service is straightforward to use, and thankfully, compatible with major platforms, like Windows, iOS, Mac, Androids, and others. You can connect 3 of these devices simultaneously. It has a 3-day free trial period where you get 1GB and access to 108 locations. It has three paid packages, which gives you access to all the available servers.
User reviews confirm that this VPN is very functional in China and that it does not give any problems to its subscribers. If you’re looking to cancel any of your paid subscriptions, it is essential to note that the service does not offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Instead, it provides a 10-day money-back guarantee where you can get a refund within ten days of purchase.
With all the challenges internet users in China face when trying to access the internet, it would be even more tasking having to review every VPN on the market trying to get the right fit. This article has helped to ease that burden with the VPN list above. In a nutshell, ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer surplus, trustworthy services for a slightly higher price than usual, and you get great value for your money. The rest of the VPN are affordable with slightly fewer features, but also excellent services.