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What is the best VPN in China?

Jun 27, 2017 · 3 min read

What is the best VPN in China?

China’s Great Firewall restricts users from accessing the free and open internet. A VPN can be used to browse freely, but very few VPNs actually work in China. If you need a VPN in China, then NordVPN is a great choice.

In China, the Internet is controlled by the government. The so-called the Great Firewall – a set of legal and technological censorship tools – regulates the inbound and outbound Internet traffic between China and the rest of the world. Users are blocked from many popular websites and social networks, and some keywords are filtered from search engines.

You’ll need a VPN in China to access the blocked content and protect your Internet traffic from snoopers and government surveillance.

What sites are blocked in China?

The government blocks both individual websites and entire online services. Google products like Google Search, Google Mail, Google Docs and Google Maps are out of reach for Internet users in China. Popular social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all cannot be accessed from China. Adding global news sources – such as The New York Times and Bloomberg – to the list makes the situation even worse.

Here are just a few of the thousands of websites and services blocked by China:

  • Facebook is BLOCKED
  • Twitter is BLOCKED
  • Instagram is BLOCKED
  • Google is BLOCKED
  • BBC is BLOCKED
  • The New York Times is BLOCKED
  • Wikipedia is BLOCKED
  • Blogger is BLOCKED
  • WordPress is BLOCKED
  • Whatsapp is BLOCKED
  • Signal is BLOCKED

For a more complete list, check out this article by VPN Mentor.

Is it illegal to use a VPN in China?

The answer to that question is a resounding “maybe.” It can depend on who you are, what you’re using it for, and even who in the government is asking!

On March 31st, the Chinese government banned the use of VPNs not approved by the government. However, the ambiguous language of the announcement suggests that the ban will apply primarily to companies and corporations rather than individuals. Chinese citizens found creating unapproved VPNs have received fines and sentences anywhere from three days to more than five years. However, these are applied inconsistently.

But what about visitors who bring their VPNs in with them? This is a legal grey area, but right now, it looks like you can use a VPN in China. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into any trouble if you have one. Anecdotes suggest that, during random phone searches, police may ask visitors to delete VPN apps on their phones. If a foreigner wants to use a VPN in China, they should exercise a basic level of caution.

How to use a VPN in China

Using NordVPN in China is easy

If you’re not familiar with NordVPN yet, no worries – our VPN service is extremely easy to start using. To browse the Internet securely in China, follow these steps:

  1. Choose NordVPN subscription plan that suits your needs best and create your account.
  2. Download and install the NordVPN app for your device.

It’s possible to simply run the app and connect to a VPN server. However, China’s Internet restrictions vary across cities and provinces and from year to year, so you may want to turn on one of our advanced security features. The Obfuscated Servers feature will drastically improve your chance of connecting to a VPN server from China:

  1. Go to the Settings menu.
  2. Select Advanced Settings.
  3. Enable Obfuscated servers.

This will unlock an alternative server list created specifically for using VPN under heavy restrictions. A tutorial can also be found in our Help Center. In case you’re having issues when trying to connect to a VPN server in China, contact our support team so they can help you access the free internet.

The internet was meant to be free

We at NordVPN believe that accessing the internet free of any surveillance or censorship is important. If you’re traveling to China or know someone who lives there or is visiting, spread the news about NordVPN. Everyone deserves to have unrestricted and secure access to the Internet, and this can only be achieved through a reliable VPN service.

Access the sites you love while traveling in China!


Ruby Gonzalez
Ruby Gonzalez successVerified author

Ruby is a cybersecurity expert and the Head of Communications at NordVPN. In her compelling stories, she sheds light upon the latest happenings in the online privacy and security world.


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