China has some of the harshest internet censorship of any country in the world. These are continually changing and evolving.
It is for these reasons, and it becomes harder for many western VPN providers to come up with reliable working solutions.
The top VPN’s can bypass the Great Firewall of China, yet anyone visiting the country will need their VPN in place before they visit.
The issues many users face when they visit, or for residents on the other side of the Great Firewall find it isn’t only blocking anything harmful to the government.
Social media platforms and communication apps like Skype, Twitter, YouTube, and most of all, Facebook face a block from going into or out of the country.
Here, we will see “is Facebook banned in China?” Moreover, how you can get around such restrictions with a VPN to access Facebook.
Why Do I Need a VPN in China?
If you visit China, you will quickly find out the internet is nothing like you know from home. We already know the common question, “Is Facebook blocked in China?” Unfortunately, we also know the answer. That to access Facebook in China needs a good VPN.
What many visitors don’t know is the extent of other apps that are also not working, and the number of blocked websites there are.
Such is the extent of these restrictions; there is blocking on FB messenger, so keeping in touch with family for friends would be impossible.
If you wish to do any work in China, then you need to bypass restrictions set by the Chinese government. Getting an error when trying to make a Google search will be frustrating.
Additionally, there is no Google Play store, and you can’t access Google in other areas either. Hence, if you work on Google Docs, you can be in big trouble. (Looking for Google Alternatives?)
Traveling to China ought to be a fantastic journey; however, if you have issues with your Android phone, then you may find yourself spending too much time looking at how to unblock from messenger.
There are many other services, which have blocked sites in China, these are:
Wikipedia, Quora, Washington Post, Reuters, The Guardian, Netflix, Spotify, Bing, Google Instagram, Telegram, WhatsApp and many more.
VPN Tips When in China
Rather than trying to use a Chinese Facebook (RenRen), or Chinese Chat application (WeChat), users will want to know how to unblock from messenger and get all their contacts.
Travelers to China need to make sure their phone software and VPN have the latest updates. If these are older versions, then they may not bypass The Great Firewall successfully.
Reasons for doing so are:
- No Play Store (Google)
- Unable to download VPN apps (most places)
- VPN provider website access blocked (no signup when in China)
The best protocol to use on your VPN service is UDP on OpenVPN. Any VPN needs to allow users to change this
The closest servers are generally the fastest. The overall speed will depend on the distance between your location and the exiting VPN server.
Choosing a VPN for Use in China
Now, the crux of the article is “Can you use Facebook in China,” that we know. Using a VPN can make accessing Facebook in China possible.
Nevertheless, choosing any VPN provider can give you a service that is blocked in China. You can find this out when you arrive, and then it is too late.
Here are some of the things to check when searching for your VPN for China.
Does the VPN work in China? It sounds obvious, yet you do need to check updates, which work and which don’t. This can change from one day to the next for some VPN services.
Does it Have Fast Connections? VPN’s do slow all connections a little. However, in China, server numbers will be small so that speeds can be dreadful. You will need a proven VPN that uses optimized servers.
Is it Reliable? Any VPN needs to be robust and stable. If the connection is not strong, it can be disconnected easily.
The service also needs a Kill switch to prevent IP address leaks. If your Chinese IP is seen, it may make it harder accessing Facebook when you have your connection back.
Does the VPN have 27/ Support? 24/7 support will be vital. If users have issues with their China VPN, they will need help straight away. Because of the time difference, this will need to be an around the clock service.
Does the VPN Have a Large Network and Use good Protocols? Any VPN that wants to allow access to content banned in China will need a large network while using the best encryption protocols. China is preventing VPN usage, so any service needs to blend in.
China and Free VPN’s
Some users may think it is possible to use a Free VPN when visiting China. While there are a couple of reliable ones, these are cut-down versions of premium VPN’s that have data caps associated with them.
Additionally, a lot of free VPN’s are less safe than the threats they are supposed to be protecting users against.
A VPN company has access to every drop of your data. Some companies sell this on to marketing firms, or they use it for their ad placement.
Some are known to sell user bandwidth to other individuals as a means of making money.
It isn’t a good recommendation for using any VPN when you have sensitive data, while it does cost for a premium service.
VPN’s are one area where you do get what you pay for, and to be sure, your data is as safe as your connection, then it will cost something.
Best VPN Choices for China
Here are four of the market leaders. We will see by the end, which is the best VPN for China.
Although these are all working at the time of writing, and the first couple on the list continually grant access to social media in China, it may be a case of checking the others.
ExpressVPN is seen as the best in the industry in many areas. Customer service, download speeds, best streaming VPN, and most reliable to work in China. These are some of the accolades bestowed on this VPN Company from the British Virgin Isles.
They are under no jurisdiction and stick to their strict zero-logging policy. There is a network of over 3,000 servers across 94 countries. With servers in Macau and Hong Kong, they have lots of coverage.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming and P2P file sharing. There are no DNS thanks to the Kill switch, and users can easily change protocols from the easy to navigate interface.
Device compatibility is higher than any other VPN company has. Therefore, no matter what device you use in China, you can encrypt your internet connection.
If your trip to China is not for an extended period, you can sign up and test how they perform in China and then use the 30-day money-back guarantee if the services aren’t for you. You can also connect 5 devices, so the family back at home can still have secure connections.
It is good news and bad news for the world’s second-best VPN. It was a recent declaration that NordVPN was working in China; however, this is only on certain devices. Both Windows and macOS do work, while iOS isn’t able to bypass the restrictions.
Android users may have some luck if they use the latest version, or any beta version, which may be available.
Users can have 6 simultaneous connections, and there is lots of device support that covers most of the common devices.
Speeds are great for P2P, and streaming is relatively stutter and buffering free. Kill switches are available, and these go a long way to making this one of the more, secure VPN’s there is.
For the number of servers, NordVPN ranks among the highest with over 5,000, which the company spreads across 60 countries. Around Asia, there is a decent number, yet they only have servers in Hong Kong and not further into China.
For conscious security users, there is a double hop feature that bounces connections over multiple servers before exiting. Users can also use TOR with the VPN for more private access to the internet.
CyberGhost is popular around the world because of the ease of use. It has a decent-sized server network of over 3,000 and spreads these around 60 countries.
In China, they have a couple of locations, so they should be sitting pretty to bypass any Great Wall restrictions.
This virtual private network, like the others, doesn’t offer a free trial, yet it does offer a whopping 45-day money-back guarantee.
When using this VPN, they make it easy to carry out some of the functions such as streaming or torrenting. Users will find dedicated options in drop-down lists. Streaming sites are listed separately, such as Netflix, BBC etc.
The same military-grade protocols are used, so all data is safe and secure. There are seven device connections available, so there are more than enough for a family.
It runs on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, comes with Browser extensions and runs on Amazon devices and more.
Speeds are good in areas where there is a buildup of servers, and unfortunately, these areas are Europe and the USA. There is one of the best zero-logging policies of any VPN, so it is a great option for a VPN to access content from the west while in China.
4. Private Internet Access
When you use PIA VPN, you find the apps are designed well. There is an ad-blocker built in and a kill switch.
Torrenting and streaming make use of decent speeds, and these are delivered through the 3,000 plus servers that are scattered across 30 countries.
Encryption is the same level as many other top-tier VPN’s. They also use the same AES 256-bit encryption; however, they do have 128-bit set as their default.
There are ten device connections for each account, so this is more than sufficient. The company holds a strict zero-logging policy, which is good because the company is based inside the USA.
Signing up is straightforward, yet unlike the other VPN’s in this list, they only offer a 7-day refund window.
This means you can’t check the service while travelling to China unless you are on a fleeting trip for less than a week. In testing, there were some issues, so it may not be a reliable option in comparison to the other VPN’s here.
When you begin looking at features, there are not many additional, so it does come across as a barebones VPN.
Anyone heading to China may think the entire country is blocked. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau don’t face the same restrictions. It is for this reason; these companies need to have servers in those locations.
If these are the areas you are visiting, it is still worth having a VPN for privacy. Aside from this, then you will see the restrictions, and there is no way you can access your Facebook, Messenger or the other services that are blocked.
Because things change so quickly on which VPN’s reliably work in China, the above list is in order of reliably unblocking censored content and bypassing the government restrictions.
ExpressVPN continually proves to be the best VPN for use in China. With all the other industry-leading features, it has.
Any visitor to China can use the internet unhindered and access websites and services as if they were at home.