Last Update: June 12 2016.
The Great Firewall of China has been blocking more than 2,700 websites for years, and they are still continuously adding more blocked websites. The list of banned websites in China includes Google, YouTube, tons of Wikipedia pages, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Skype a is allowed in China, but its version is different from the international version. Line and many others popular VOIP services are blocked in the country. As of 2013, the more than two million people have been closely monitoring Internet activities. This is why you should choose a very reliable VPN service.
Generally speaking, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to bypass any kind of Internet firewalls including China’s Great Firewall. This means you can easily have access to any website you want. While there are other ways to unblock restricted sites in China, VPN is considered the best option. With VPN for China, your online activities are encrypted so almost no one can intercept them. The level of security you can enjoy depends on the VPN you need. But obviously, you need to pay more for a higher level.
China has no laws against VPNs, but they have blocked a lot of websites of VPN service providers. OpenVPN, which allows users to different ports for bypassing firewalls, was blocked in China sometime between 2011 and 2012. There are also VPNs that are being partially blocked by the Chinese government. For this reason, you should be very careful in choosing a VPN service provider. But again, VPN remains to be far more reliable way to surf the Internet anonymously as compared to the others.
You should also understand that the Great Firewall of China is constantly being updated, which means China gets stricter as time passes by. So, if your traffic is not encrypted the way VPN does, you will only waste your time and money. Apparently, there are also free VPNs and you can also use them. But for obvious reasons, you don’t expect a free service winning against China’s very strict policies. You will also encounter tons of advertisements simply because it needs money for its operational expenses.
So, if you really want to have an access to blocked sites in China, you have to invest money. After all, there are many paid VPNs that offer very affordable service fees but can meet your requirements. The key here is to know first what you really need in a VPN. What websites do you want to visit? Are you going to visit them frequently? Will you also watch videos? Will you use it for your personal needs only? If have a business, will you allow your employees use VPN too? How much is your budget?
When choosing a VPN for China, make sure it can provide immediate customer support. To reduce downtime, choose also the one that can instantly provide you a new IP address in case the first one was blocked. These days, VPNs are already applicable to smartphones. But some of them only work well for iOs but not for Android. So, make sure your VPN has been tested for all operating software. Lastly, your VPN provider should always make regular updates and does not keep users’ log details.