China also known as the Great Firewall of China, as it has been actively blocking VPN service providers for the longest of time. Thus, the question arise as to “Can you use VPN in China?”. Those VPN service providers that you have downloaded prior entering to China, may have been blocked in China as it validates the difficulties to bypass the great firewall. Every now and then, China will actively hunt down VPN in China and block them, leaving you in want of one that’s not been blocked yet.
Before we continue, it is advisable that you download the VPN service provider and using the VPN before you head off to China. There’s a good chance you are unable to download any VPN providers while you are there and it can be very difficult for you.
On a side note, make sure you know the VPN service provider is not blocked in China. China has blocked a lot of VPN service providers so make sure you have done enough research on this matter beforehand.
At the same time, here are some things for you to consider before settling for the best VPN service to use in China.
How we pick the best China VPN
Here are some criteria for you to consider.
- Number of servers
- Speedy Performance
- Customer Service Support
Each criteria is important in a sense that it can affect your internet experience while in China. Remember to reach out of the customer support of your VPN service provider as it would have 24/7 live chat support to provide guidance and assistance to its customers in cases of emergency.
Our Top 7 Best VPNs for China
Here are our best 7 VPN for China for you to consider.
So far, ExpressVPN hasn’t been outright banned in China (yet) hence, it is still consider one of the VPNs legal in China. That’s good news considering how it’s one of the best VPN service providers you can choose from in the market that works in China.
ExpressVPN has over 3000+ servers for you to choose from. With such wide array of server choices you are spoilt for choice.
Since that there are so many servers to choose from, there should be one important thing about VPN servers you should know. When you choose to connect to a server, it can affect your connection speed.
Let’s say you have decided to connect to one in North America, that means your internet speed is going to slow down. The reason being that your data requires more time to travel over to North America before coming back to you. That’s why your connection speed may slow down when you are using it.
That’s the downside of using a VPN that is connected to a server that is really far away from you geographically. Having said that, most users reported back saying how with ExpressVPN, you won’t feel much difference in the connection speed.
Some users said they experience up to over 30% speed reduction. Otherwise the overall speed reduction does not hinder them from performing their much needed daily tasks online.
ExpressVPN has a round-the-clock customer service support ready at your service. If you have any issues with ExpressVPN, you can shoot them a question anytime via their live chat support. If you can’t get hold of their web live chat personnel, you can always call in or email them for any assistance you need.
If you are interested in ExpressVPN, they have several plans available for you.
- 1 month: US$12.95
- 6 months: US$9.99/month or US$59.95 billed every 6 months
- 12 months: US$12.95/month or US155.40 billed every 12 months
ExpressVPN has a 30 day money back guarantee feature. If you are unhappy with their services, you can choose to discontinue your subscription. Just make sure you do it before the 30th day mark, otherwise you will continue paying for the services every month, year, etc.
NordVPN is another VPN service provider that hasn’t been blocked by China yet. That is basically good news as it’s one of the other VPN service providers that has a wide array of VPN servers.
With over 5600 servers to choose from, you can easily bypass the great China firewall with ease. Users have commented that the speed is purportedly one of the best among the leading VPN service providers for China. Not surprising considering NordVPN has one of the least complaints regarding its speed in China.
Though being one of the best for minimal internet connection lags, it does not mean it is without issues. Several users have also commented that though it does not affect their internet speed, they may experience slowness in speed.
As mentioned before, sometimes the lagging connection speed while connected to a VPN service is because you are connected to a server that in geographically further away from you. Alternatively, sometimes it may be due to slow initial internet connection, so there is that too.
At the same time, if you wonder if NordVPN collects your personal data and information, it does not. Like a lot of other leading VPN service providers, they practice a 0 logs policy. If any 3rd parties requested for your private data, NordVPN will not be able to hand it over as it doesn’t hold any it anyway.
You can access popular streaming sites like Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and such without worrying about accessing blocked contents. With NordVPN you can even access popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatnot. You can easily bypass the Great China Firewall without feeling like you are missing out on contents anymore.
Need assistance or help with NordVPN? They have a 24/7 live chat available for customer support. Should you have any issues with NordVPN’s services, don’t hesitate to reach out to them for help.
If you are interested in NordVPN it has several packages for you to choose from.
- 1 Month Plan: US$11.95/month
- 1 Year Plan: US$143.40/year
- 2 Years Plan: US$286.80/year
- 3 Years Plan: US$430.20/year
VyprVPN is perhaps another really solid VPN service provider that can bypass the great Chinese firewall.
Its no logs policy means that no 3rd parties are able to get ahold of your private data and information if it were being requested. Since your private data and information will be wiped out at the end of each internet surfing anyway.
On top of that, it does get you to access popular streaming sites and other social media platform. Something that has been blocked in China for a very long time. It’s a known fact that China takes to banning foreign sites and platforms.
To bypass China’s great firewall in order to access popular sites is to use VPN services. VyprVPN is no exception to that and is one of the few VPN service providers that can help you with it.
If you are concerned about VyprVPN’s security, you can put it to rest. Its privacy and security features are pretty impressive, running on a very strong support with the best encryption. Its security runs on 256-bit OpenVPN on Windows, Mac and Android. The capable IKEv2 is available on iOS but not on Windows and Android.
If you need any assistance from VyprVPN, it has a 24/7 live web chat for you to reach out. Just in case if it’s unable to connect to its service, it is best to keep an email or its servicing number. That is just in case your VPN stops working, you can still at least email or call them for any help you need.
VyprVPN has several plans for you to choose from.
- 1 month: US$12.95 per month, billed every month
- 1 year: US$255.40 per year, billed yearly
- 2 years: US$310.80 for 2 years, billed every 2 years
You are entitled to 30 day money back guarantee and free trial if you are not satisfied with its services. Just make sure you stop your service and usage before the 30 days mark and get your refund back in full.
Perhaps another VPN service that is legal in China is CyberGhost. Its simplistic service is rated with the best balance of performance and affordability by people who have used it. It has more than 5900 servers across over 90 countries.
Its large servers locations means you can choose from so many server options at any time. Remember that some contents may be blocked in some regions or countries (ironically). If that content cannot be accessed on one server location, choose to connect to another server location instead.
In terms of speed, it is considered average, but not sub-standard. The minimum bandwidth for you to be able to run smoothly is 6mbps. The maximum it can reach at best is 1GB.
Though that may be the case, you will have to take into consideration your initial internet connection speed. If the initial starting speed is slow, the VPN service will of course run a bit slower than expected. Likewise, if your internet speed is initially fast, then your connection will be faster.
CyberGhost’s security is considered one of the better ones, though not as great as NordPN’s and ExpressVPN’s. It supports L2TP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. Having such strong support means it is able to deliver military grade encryption to protect its users’ important information.
Need help regarding CyberGhost’s services? You can get in touch with its customer live support team on its website. Let’s say if you can’t connect to its main website, it will be great to take down its contact information (usually an email or a telephone number) and go from there.
If you are interested in CyberGhost, it has 3 plans for you to choose from.
- 1 month: US$12.99 a month
- 6 months: US$7.99 a month, or billed as US$47.94 every 6 months
- 18 months (12 months): US$2.75 a month, or US$49.50 for the first 18 months. After that it is billed as US$2.75 a month for 12 months.
CyberGhost has a 30 day money back guarantee feature. If you are not satisfied with its services, you can choose to halt the services before the 30th day mark.
If you were to choose the 18 month plan, CyberGhost gives 45 day money back guarantee instead of the usual 30 days. Once again, if you are not happy with its VPN services you will have to unsubscribe before the 45th day mark to avoid paying for a full on subscription.
PureVPN is another VPN service provider that hasn’t been blocked by China yet. As a VPN service provider, it has more than 2000 servers across over 140 countries. With PureVPN you can access your favorite content, download securely, and remain protected all the time.
Like every VPN service providers out there, it strives to make your online safety as safe as possible. It encrypts your data so it appears completely gibberish to anyone who manages to intercept your communications or hijack your date.
While you are outside in any Chinese cafes, its public Wi-Fi hotspots can be a breeding ground for hackers and identity thieves. With PureVPN, it secures your Wi-Fi connection and protects your data transmissions.
What more China has never been known to respect privacy anyway. Don’t leave your privacy behind by leaving digital breadcrumbs around. Keep your data secure during transmission and don’t let unauthorized people get their hands on it.
PureVPN’s internet surf speed tends to be really fast. Although some users reported back saying how it’s slow sometimes. After a quick cursory glance, usually the root of slow surfing speed is because of slow internet connection.
As mentioned previously, usually your VPN may slow down your surfing speed is mostly because your initial surfing speed is slow. If it’s fast, your surfing speed would be a lot faster.
The other reason why your surf speed may be slow is because your server of choice is geographically further than your current location. If it is any closer, the travel time for your data will be immensely shorter. Hence, making your surf time a lot faster than usual.
Speaking of which, with PureVPN you can access all popular social media sites and streaming sites. Enjoy your international content with the help of PureVPN. So far there are very little to no major issues and complaints coming from users about PureVPN.
Users are able to access foreign contents without fear of missing out their favorite shows. At the same time, you can contact your loved ones wherever they are with just a VPN connection away.
PureVPN has a live web chat for you to get in touch with their customer support team. Just in case you cannot access the website, it is best to keep their contact for any further contact for assistance. An email or a phone number will be great.
It has 3 plans for you to choose from. They aren’t exactly plans, but more like having special prices for longer times you wish to use PureVPN. Per month it costs US$10.95.
- 1 month: US$10.95 a month
- 1 year: US$5.83 a month
- 2 years: US$3.33 a month
With each plan you choose, you are entitled to the 31 day money back guarantee feature. Yes, you read that right. Most VPN service providers will give 30 days as part of their money back guarantee clause. PureVPN doesn’t and gives 31 days instead.
As usual, just in case you do not wish to continue PureVPN’s services don’t forget to unsubscribe before the 31st day mark. Once unsubscribed, you will get your refund back in full. If you forgot, you will be billed every month until your plan ends.
6. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is another VPN service provider that hasn’t been blocked in China yet. As a VPN service provider, it is considered one of the best for its speed. Some users have even mentioned how it is even faster than some of the leading and best VPN service providers in the current market.
Its lack of servers and server locations may not be popular. However, it isn’t an issue as its top notch performance makes up for it. Over 3200+ servers across 80+ countries, you can be assured that it works just as good as any other leading VPN services available.
If safety is what you worried the most for, you can be assured that Hotspot Shield have very little to no complaints regarding its privacy.
As a VPN service provider, it does not keep any browsing activity logs. It comes with a military grade encryption that supports 128-bit AES and 256-bit AES encryptions. Having said that, it means Hotspot Shield’s security is so strong that it is less likely to have much privacy breeches.
Like any other VPN service providers, you can access popular platforms, websites, and get in touch with your loved ones when you activated Hotspot Shield. Being able to access blocked contents is an innate and basic feature all VPN services should have, and Hotspot Shield is no exception to that.
So far there are no mentions of having to connect to which servers in order to access which websites and platforms. Note that some VPN service providers’ servers are not able to let you access some websites or contents, and may appear as “unavailable in your region”.
Hotspot Shield doesn’t have that problem so far from any of its users. Users have, insofar, given the VPN service provider a relatively positive review in a sense that they are happy with its overall speed and accessibility.
If you are concerned about whether if you can get in touch with its customer support team, Hotspot Shield has a web live chat available. At cursory glance, it may seem that it doesn’t have one because you can’t find it anywhere when you log on to its official website. You will need to find that under its “Support” tab, right at the bottom of the page.
However, somehow you find yourself unable to access Hotspot Shield’s official website because China has seemingly blocked it, or for any reasons that are their own. If that is the case, don’t forget to take down the contact details. It’s usually the telephone number or email address. Make sure to save it somewhere before making your way to China.
Hotspot Shield does have a free version, but of course the features are very limited. You still can access blocked contents on its free version. The downside of it is that the number of servers is pretty limited. Remember, you get what you have “paid” for, which in this case – nothing, in order to use its free version.
The paid version, however, allows you to connect to 5 different devices at the same time with 1 account. If you wish to connect more than 5 devices, you will have to get another account for it.
However, it has a paid plan available for you.
- 1 year: US$7.99 per month, or billed as US$95.88 a year.
- 1 moth: US$12.99 per month, billed every month.
Again, like most other VPN service providers it comes with a 30 days money back guarantee. Just make sure to unsubscribe before the 30th day mark to avoid any billing to your credit cards.
Surfshark is another VPN service provider that hasn’t been blocked by China (yet). That’s good news considering how Surfshark has some of the best privacy and security compared to its peers.
Surfshark does not collect data from your internet activities. That being said, that means they do not keep any of your private data and information either. The only data they have ever kept will be your email addresses and your billing information.
However, users have voiced mixed feelings towards its speed. Though there are no connection failures, connection times may be faster than average.
Users have mixed opinions towards running Surfshark in the background. North American and the UK users reported back saying the speed is slower than they have anticipated. It slows down when you have Surfshark running in the background.
Although there were reports of internet slowdown, the overall speed is not noticeable. Remember that the cause of connection slowdown is because of slow initial internet. Usually if your initial internet connection is fast, your overall speed when connected to a VPN service should be a lot faster, and slowdowns will usually go unnoticeable.
In terms of safety, Surfshark is said to be able to provide really good security. It offers an unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption to ensure your online safety and security. Not forgetting to mention, Surfshark comes with a CleanWeb function that makes sure you can access the internet with no ads, trackers, and malwares.
If you are concerned about whether you are able to unblock popular streaming sites and other foreign websites while in China, the answer is yes. Which present day VPN service provider isn’t able to do that?
Bypass China’s great firewall by connecting your devices to Surfshark. Access foreign contents. Keep in touch and updated on your friends and families who are not in China. Do your researches and access foreign pages with the help of Surfshark.
It does an excellent job at unblocking international streaming sites, so to speak. Surshark claims to be able to unblock popular streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and similar platforms. It legitimately does, no broken promises. It isn’t any overblown confidence, fairly speaking.
If you really need to get in touch with Surfshark’s customer support team, you can reach them via their live chat. You can find their live web chat on their official website (obviously) and get any help you need regarding their VPN services.
Remember that if you cannot connect to their VPN while you are in China, and find that you are unable to access their website then you will have to look for an alternative. Usually we will advise that you save their email address and/or their phone number for future references. There is no knowing when you may need their assistance but find your connection in error.
They have 3 plans available for you to choose from – if you are interested.
- 1 month: US$11.95 per month
- 1 year: US$143.40 per year
- 2 years: US$286.80 for 2 years
It has a 30 days money back guarantee feature. Should you find yourself unhappy with their services, you can unsubscribe from it. Keep in mind that to avoid any future payment, remember to unsubscribe before the 30th day mark.
Conclusively speaking, if you are looking for a really good VPN service provider you should go for the better, “higher end” ones. “Higher end” ones in a sense that it provides holistic and advanced features.
Having mentioned that, that means your best choices are between ExpressVPN and NordVPN as both have really good features to offer. What’s more, their security and access to international contents are complete and all-rounded.
That is not to say the other VPN service providers are useless or not on par. They come close to ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but of course their features may not be considered top notch so to speak.
At the same time we’d like to mention how it may depend on your needs and budget as well. If you feel a mid-range or entry-level VPN service provider will suffice, then by all means it works great too.
Ultimately, your final goal is to bypass the great firewall of China in order to be able to access international contents. That and keeping in touch with your friends and family wherever they are in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some frequently asked questions for you to consider.
Can I use VPN services in China?
Yes, you can use VPN services in China. China may be one of the few countries found in the world that bans VPN services. That does not mean you cannot use VPNs while you are living, working, visiting, or studying in China.
Is it illegal to use VPNs in China since many VPN service providers are banned in the country?
The is rather ambiguous. Although you can use VPN in China, it is not considered as illegal to use it. The Chinese Government has banned a lot of VPN services, but that does not mean users in China are not allowed to use it.
China, last we’ve read up, has explicitly allowed and described who may use VPNs and for which purposes they are allowed to use them for. That being said, a number of VPN services and other VPN implementations that do not comply with the Chinese government has been banned.
To that end, several international corporations like Apple has pulled a number of VPN apps from their Chinese app stores. Chinese telecoms have been asked to block all VPN traffic starting March 2018. That never really happened or went into action. Though that happened, that means there are still quite a number of VPN services available to individuals who are planning to go to China for different purposes.
Also to mention, although VPNs are banned in China, that does not mean it is illegal as mentioned before. Instead, the Chinese government has agreed and decided to ban VPNs that operates in China without a license.
That means you still have quite a wide range of VPN services to choose from to bypass the great firewall of China. Even then that is no reason for concern. No one knows the exact relationship between licensed VPNs and the Chinese government. Even us.
How much is a VPN for China?
That depends on which VPN service provider you choose. Of course the better and more advanced ones that offers more features will usually be more expensive. Mid-ranged VPNs can be a bit more cheaper than leading VPN services so to speak.
Then again, it all depends on what VPN needs you have and how much your budget is. The average VPN service provider costs around US$10+ a month. That means if you really need the VPN service, you will have to shell out that much money a month for it.
Also remember that you get what you pay for. The better your VPN service provider is, the better access you have to international contents. So on and so forth.
Should I leave my VPN on all the time while in China?
It is not always necessary to leave your VPN on at all times. It is beneficial to switch it off in some situations. If you are really concerned with security and privacy, then by all means leave it on all the time.
There is no harm to leave it on 24/7 or forever. After all, it will not affect your PC or your overall internet experience.
Do any free VPNs work in China?
We recommend you to stay from free VPNs especially if you are looking for one that works in China. Most of these so called free VPNs would be making money by collecting online browsing footprints and selling them off to other parties. Also, there are free VPNs operated by China companies which you would want to stay away from as it might get you into trouble.
Will China block all VPNs?
It’s China’s policy to block VPNs especially if users are using them for issues viewed as controversial by the Chinese government. That is the main reason why it’s difficult to actually find a VPN that works. However, the few VPNs listed above especially ExpressVPN has been known to work for a long time, probably because they have the technical resources to overcome blocks by the Great Firewall.
As a Master Degree graduate in the Internet Technology field, Stefan is highly dedicated towards improving the overall web security so internet users can browse freely without having to be afraid of technical loopholes. With over 15 years in the internet security industry, you should definitely take his advice seriously.