Why China has the Great Firewall
What is the best VPN for Chinese? To answer that question let’s start with a little background. China has a strict internet censorship policy and most of the popular sites are blocked. The government has a tight leash on all registered ISPs and if you access prohibited content you may get in trouble. This means if you want visit China, you need a VPN to be able to unblock most Western sites.
Which sites are blocked in China?
Major sites are blocked in China. If you want to see the complete list, visit this resource, but if you love to use Google, Youtube, WhatsApp, Facebook or even Wikipedia, you are in for bad luck.
All these restrictions enable the Chinese government to censor any internet content in the mainland. However, you can use a VPN to bypass the Great Firewall of China and be able to access all these blocked sites.
How do VPNs bypass the Great Firewall?
For more information on how a VPN works visit this page. A VPN creates a VPN tunnel in which all your traffic is encrypted. Although it passes through an ISP in China, the ISP is not able to decrypt the data which means you access the internet privately.
Not all VPNs are able to bypass the Firewall because some have DNS leaks and weak encryption. In the end, you are not totally secure and private so your ISP can see all the sites you visit.
That is why I encourage you to use only the best VPN services that are safe and secure. You are guaranteed of zero DNS leaks, a reliable kill switch and solid encryption.
In the end, you are able to access any site without being blocked. However, you have to install the VPN before you enter mainland China because App stores are also blocked in China. You won’t be able to set up the VPN once you have crossed the border.
Are VPNs legal in China?
Contrary to what one may believe, VPNs are actually legal in China. However, the VPNs have to obtain a licence to operate in the country.
This means if you want to operate a VPN service in the country, policies like zero access to your data of your data don’t apply. Anytime the Chinese government wants to access local VPN servers they can do so and that compromises your privacy.
Which VPN is best for China?
When choosing a VPN to use in China, there are factors you need to look for and these are:
- Speed on the connection
- Distribution of servers
- Customer support
- Strong security and privacy policies
- Ability to bypass the Great Firewall
The majority of VPNs available fall short in these areas but there are some that have all the features required to unblock restrictions in China. These have been reviewed in detail on VPNAnchor:
- Surfshark VPN
- Private Internet Access VPN
- Hide.me VPN
- Hotspot Shield VPN
If you use any of the above VPNs, you are light years ahead of more than 80% of VPN services that are on the market. These providers have extensive coverage and audited policies to guard your privacy.
What to expect
Let’s be realistic, in a country that goes to extremes in-order to block internet content, a poor VPN is not going to see the light of day. Yes, speeds may be lower with a VPN, but you have better experience with a top quality VPN.
The take-home message is to install a VPN before entering China if you plan to access Western sites seamlessly. Local VPNs are heavily monitored by the Chinese government and if you use one, your traffic is intercepted.
Make sure you read the detailed reviews of the best VPNs and bypass the Great Firewall of China.