Top-Rated VPN for China in 2022

If you’re planning to visit China (or live there), you must download a VPN beforehand if you want to have access to the variety of websites that the country’s government has banned.

This article will go into detail about VPNs that work in China, their features, subscription prices, and how to choose the best VPN for China for yourself.

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1. SurfShark VPN

SurfShark is easily one of the top VPN choices for China. It’s cheap if you get yourself a good deal and provides value for money, which is why it’s one of the most popular options and the first VPN on this list. Full Review

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • No logs policy
  • Static IP included in the subscription price
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SurfShark is easily one of the top VPN choices for China. It’s cheap if you get yourself a good deal and provides value for money, which is why it’s one of the most popular options and the first VPN on this list. Full Review

Pricing

3/5

Ease Of Use

5/5

Features

5/5

Customer Reviews

4.7/5

2. ExpressVPN

Express VPN is widely considered to be an excellent China VPN service. It’s a great pick for China due to its emphasis on speed and privacy and it has a huge number of protocols to choose from. Full Review

  • Known for its speed, reliability, and online privacy
  • Unblocks Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other streaming services
  • Excellent at evading the Great Firewall of China
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Express VPN is widely considered to be an excellent China VPN service. It’s a great pick for China due to its emphasis on speed and privacy and it has a huge number of protocols to choose from. Full Review

Pricing

3/5

Ease Of Use

4/5

Features

5/5

Customer Reviews

4.6/5

3. NordVPN

NordVPN is your typical jack-of-all-trades VPN and it’s no surprise that many users believe it’s one of the best China VPN services. It has many features, an excellent reputation, and lives up to a good standard. There are VPNs that excel in certain areas, but if you prefer consistency, this is the right choice. Full Review

  • No logging claims
  • Effective kill switch option
  • A unique feature for streaming platforms
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NordVPN is your typical jack-of-all-trades VPN and it’s no surprise that many users believe it’s one of the best China VPN services. It has many features, an excellent reputation, and lives up to a good standard. There are VPNs that excel in certain areas, but if you prefer consistency, this is the right choice. Full Review

Pricing

4/5

Ease Of Use

3/5

Features

5/5

Customer Reviews

4/5

4. Hotspot Shield VPN

Hotspot Shield might not have a lot of fancy features to offer, but it does a great job at bypassing China’s Great Firewall while maintaining a solid speed. It stands out among its competitors because it has its own protocol, which is why many say it’s the best VPN in China. Full Review

  • Consistent speed
  • User-friendly, great for beginners
  • Works well in China
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Hotspot Shield might not have a lot of fancy features to offer, but it does a great job at bypassing China’s Great Firewall while maintaining a solid speed. It stands out among its competitors because it has its own protocol, which is why many say it’s the best VPN in China. Full Review

Pricing

4/5

Ease Of Use

5/5

Features

3/5

Customer Reviews

4.2/5

5. Ivacy VPN

Ivacy VPN has a reputation for being an excellent VPN choice for China, due to its two unique features that can easily circumvent the Great Firewall of China. It does put an emphasis on privacy and has the best customer review rating on this list. Full Review

  • No logs policy
  • Torrenting and Netflix access
  • Does a good job at bypassing the Great Firewall of China
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Ivacy VPN has a reputation for being an excellent VPN choice for China, due to its two unique features that can easily circumvent the Great Firewall of China. It does put an emphasis on privacy and has the best customer review rating on this list. Full Review

Pricing

5/5

Ease Of Use

5/5

Features

4/5

Customer Reviews

4.7/5

6. Astrill VPN

Astrill VPN comes with highly customizable features which are great for advanced users, especially if you’re looking for the best VPN for Beijing. Its WireGuard connections are fast and it jas a 7-day trial, giving users the ability to test out the waters before making a purchase. Full Review

  • Extremely configurable
  • Solid encryption methods
  • Dedicated IP address option
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Astrill VPN comes with highly customizable features which are great for advanced users, especially if you’re looking for the best VPN for Beijing. Its WireGuard connections are fast and it jas a 7-day trial, giving users the ability to test out the waters before making a purchase. Full Review

Pricing

2/5

Ease Of Use

2/5

Features

5/5

Customer Reviews

2/5

Our Methodology

There are plenty of VPNs available online, but not every VPN works in China. To determine what VPNs can get through the Great Firewall of China and which ones are the best of the best, I’ve looked at several aspects, including:

  • Features: It’s important to know what services you’re getting and whether they’ll suit your individual needs.
  • Ease of use: Unless you’re really into networks and software, it’s a huge advantage if you can easily find your way around the various features and options of the VPN you’re using.
  • Additional features: Extra features can play a vital role in deciding which is the high-quality VPN for China in 2021, especially if you need it for work. These could include a kill switch, split tunneling, streaming, torrenting, etc.
  • Pricing: You need to choose a good VPN that matches your budget.
  • Customer reviews: Unless you’ve already tried them all, it’s essential to hear from people who already have experience with a VPN in China.

VPN for China: Detailed Reviews

SurfShark VPN
SurfShark VPN
SurfShark VPN

Best for Stable Connection, a Good Number of Protocols

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  • Access to all popular streaming platforms
  • User-friendly
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • No logs policy
  • Static IP included in the subscription price
  • Fewer servers than others
  • Limited customer service

Overview

SurfShark is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a VPN that offers a wide variety of features at a low price.

The company has more than 3,200 servers in 65+ countries, which is double the number of servers it had only a couple of years ago. Its speed has nearly tripled in 2021 as well. The company also has plans to grow its coverage further.

Features

When I first started researching SurfShark VPN, the first thing that impressed me was that it allows for unlimited simultaneously connected devices. This is a great advantage for users who want access to restricted online content both at home and at work, and the reason why it’s among the best VPNs for China.

Speed

In most cases, SurfShark VPN maintains a good speed, according to user reviews. Its average speed is 71 Mbps.

Performance

Users say that they’ve rarely experienced a drop in speed while using this VPN. Most people say it’s stable and fast. SurfShark promises 99% server uptime.

Protocols

As with most VPNs, SurfShark lets you choose from several protocols, including IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP or UDP), a protocol called Shadowsocks, as well as WireGuard.

Security

SurfShark VPN relies on AES-256, which is a widely recognized standard because there is no way to decrypt a message encoded with it, making it a good VPN for China. The company also includes GPS spoofing and a 2-Factor Authenticator.

This VPN does not keep logs and makes sure that it only holds on to as little information about you as possible.

Mobile Apps

The SurfShark VPN mobile app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices. The app offers everything that the VPN extension provides, including the option to contact the company’s customer service.

Customer Support

SurfShark has a 24/7 live chat where you can reach out to the company’s customer support team. However, there is no customer service available over the phone.

Other Features

SurfShark offers a kill switch option, which is crucial for any VPN in China. It also has an interesting feature called Camouflage Mode which hides the fact that you’re using a VPN from your internet provider and its split tunneling feature is said to be incredibly convenient.

SurfShark also has a feature called SurfShark Search which allows users to look things up online and get results that do not take into consideration their search history and preferences.

If you’re a movie fan, then you’ll appreciate that SurfShark allows you to torrent files with its VPN running in the background. Another great feature is that SurfShark VPN gives you access to streaming platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney +, HBO Max, Hulu, and others.

Ease of Use

You won’t have to wonder how to use VPN in China if you pick this company’s app.

Download and log into the app. Next, all you have to do is pick a location you want your VPN to connect you to from the list that will appear on the screen and you’re good to go. You can also save your personal location, choose to connect to the nearest and/or fastest one, or connect to a static IP.

Pricing

You can subscribe to SurfShark VPN for $12.95 a month or you can choose one of its discounts for a long-term commitment. SurfShark has no annual subscription but offers a six-month subscription for $38.94 and a two-year plan for $59.76.

Users also get a 7-day free trial.

Customer Satisfaction

Users say its VPN services in China are worth the price. Most evaluated the company’s customer support team as quick and effective. Some users reported trouble with getting their money back after a cancellation, however.

Competition Overview

Where SurfShark VPN dominates: Stable connection and a variety of protocols.

Where SurfShark VPN falls short: There are faster VPNs out there.

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN

Best for Speed, Consistently, Great Performance

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  • Excellent at evading the Great Firewall of China
  • Known for its speed, reliability, and online privacy
  • Unblocks Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other streaming services
  • No servers in China so it’s not subject to the country’s strict regulations
  • Slightly more expensive than other options
  • Lack of control over advanced features

ExpressVPN is one of the best options for users who are looking for speed and outstanding unblocking capabilities. The company has been working hard in the last several years to keep its reputation for speed and security. Its VPN is excellent for beginners.

ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers and 164 server locations in 94 countries, including four in Hong Kong, which is why it’s among the best VPN solutions to use in China.

Features 

Unlike SurfShark VPN, ExpressVPN only allows five simultaneous connections per subscription. However, users can choose to pay extra for an unlimited number of connections.

Speed

If you’re looking for a fast VPN for China, then look no further than ExpressVPN. As previously mentioned, this VPN is known for its speed, including for countries with heavy restrictions like China. Users say that its average speed is around 135 Mbps.

Performance

Users have few complaints about the VPN’s performance, which is not surprising given how the company focuses on speed. ExpressVPN promises 99% uptime.

Protocols

ExpressVPN defaults on OpenVPN. You can choose between UDP and TCP. There’s also IKEv2 and IPSec, and the super-fact proprietary protocol Lightway.

Security

ExpressVPN’s encryption is standard AES-256 encryption and supports Perfect Forward Secrecy, meaning it frequently changes encryption keys.

Another important feature is that ExpressVPN has a no-logs policy, making it one of the best China Firewall VPNs.

Mobile App

The mobile app is user-friendly and has excellent ratings. It’s compatible with all smart models and operating systems.

Customer Support

ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support via live chat. You can also contact customer support via the app or email, but there is no customer support over the phone.

Other Features

ExpressVPN, like many others, features a split tunneling option and a kill switch. The latter, however, is not available for iOS users. Another impressive feature is its DNS leak protection, which is why it has a reputation for being a great VPN for China on Android.

The VPN is great for movie fans, meaning you can watch Netflix and similar streaming platforms without any issues whatsoever. Users can also torrent files with ExpressVPN.

Ease of Use

The ExpressVPN interface is easy to navigate and is great for people who are new to the VPN world. If you’re new to VPNs, make sure to check the option for automatic launch on start in Advanced settings.

Pricing

ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Users can pay $12.95 a month for a subscription. At the time of writing, the company offers a discount on their annual plan for $8.32 a month. You can also get a six-month subscription for $9.99 if you want to test it out and see whether this truly is the best VPN service for China.

Customer Satisfaction

Some Mac users said that getting the VPN to work was a challenge but overall, users reported a great experience with this VPN. They say it’s fast, reliable, and delivers on its promises. Most negative reviews had to do with their cancellation policy.

Also, this VPN has a reputation of being great for torrenting.

Competition Overview

Where ExpressVPN dominates: It’s unmatched for its speed, being the very definition of fast VPN for China.

Where ExpressVPN falls short: The option that gives you unlimited simultaneous connections costs extra.

NordVPN
NordVPN
NordVPN

Best for Variety of Features, Unique Streaming Option

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  • Effective kill switch option
  • No logging claims
  • A unique feature for streaming platforms
  • Speedy live chat customer support
  • Can be confusing for beginners
  • Getting the VPN to work, if you’re already in China, is a challenge

NordVPN is undoubtedly the most popular VPN on the internet. This VPN is a versatile option with a reputation that precedes the company and undeniable global reach.

The NordVPN network has nearly 5,300 servers in over 80 locations across 59 countries.

Features 

NordVPN allows for six simultaneous connections, which is a reasonable number for one or perhaps two tech-savvy individuals.

The company does have a double VPN, meaning the data will go through several servers and get encrypted multiple times. This is a highly sought-after feature when looking for the best VPN in China.

When it comes to bypassing China’s internet censorship specifically, NordVPN does so with the help of its obfuscated servers.

Speed

The overall global average speed for this VPN is 91 Mbps, which is a fairly good speed.

Performance

NordVPN is on the top of the list of the fastest VPNs, second only to ExpressVPN. It promises 99.9% uptime, unlike most VPNs that only offer 99% uptime.

Protocols

The VPN uses NordLynx by default but also has OpenVPN on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. IKEv2 is available for macOS and iOS only. These are all excellent options for a VPN app for China.

Security

Like many other top VPN services, NordVPN utilizes AES-256 encryption.

Mobile Apps

The company has VPN apps for Android and iOS. They’re easy to use, protect your IP when you use public Wi-Fi, and offer protection from malware, among other things.

Customer Support

NordVPN has 24/7 live chat and email support. The company also has a lot of guidelines on using a VPN in China on its website.

Other Features

In addition to the usual kill switch and torrent options, NordVPN has a feature called “Pause” that allows you to close the VPN connection and then instruct the client to automatically reconnect after a specified number of minutes.

It also has additional protection against ads, malware, and phishing as well as a Dark Web Monitor feature that alerts users if their email shows up on the dark web. I found that its SmartPlay feature might be its most popular one because it was specifically designed to help users with streaming troubles, making it a great VPN for streaming.

Ease of Use

It is important to remember to install and activate NordVPN before arriving in China. Things get trickier if you’re already there.

In such a case, the company proposes using the Linux strongSwan system to get access to its VPN services in China. You will also have to choose the OpenVPN protocol and manually activate the obfuscated servers in the Advanced Settings. iOS users can use NordVPN’s service via an IKEv2 connection.

Pricing

NordVPN offers a subscription of $9.56 per month, an annual plan at $3.93 per month, and a two-year plan that costs $2.93 per month. The first three months of the two-year plan are free of charge. All subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Customer Satisfaction

NordVPN has an average 4-star rating.

Users lauded its customer support services, saying that the support team was quick to respond and helpful. Many of them liked the sheer number of features that NordVPN offers, which can come in handy if you need a VPN for China.

On the other hand, some found NordVPN’s deals, re-subscription, and general instructions on how they should use the VPN confusing. The reviews suggest that it’s a good VPN but it’s best for the more advanced users.

Competition Overview

Where NordVPN dominates: NordVPN offers a double VPN, a useful tool when searching for the best VPN to use in China.

Where NordVPN falls short: It can be confusing for novice VPN users, especially if you’re trying to install it in China.

Hotspot Shield VPN
Hotspot Shield VPN
Hotspot Shield VPN

Best for Has Its Own Protocol That Promises Fast Connections

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  • Works well in China
  • Consistent speed
  • User-friendly, great for beginners
  • Limited configuration options
  • Pricey given what it offers

Overview 

Hotspot Shield VPN is not one of the big names among the China Firewall VPNs but it definitely has been improving with regular updates. The company has boosted its speed and streaming support in recent years and managed to bring some attention to itself.

Hotspot Shield VPN has more than 1,800 servers in over 80 countries. It’s an excellent VPN to rely on while in China, especially for new VPN users.

Features 

Hotspot Shield VPN offers five simultaneous connections.

It’s best known for being a great VPN for streaming and torrenting. Those who sign up for Hotspot Shield Elite receive unlimited data and bandwidth. The company has successfully managed to stay out of the China VPN ban list.

Speed

Hotspot Shield VPN’s average speed is 48 Mbps. Despite being lower than others on this list, most users say they are satisfied with the speed.

Performance

Tests show that the VPN is consistent and maintains a good speed, including across different times of the day.

Protocols

Here’s where Hotspot Shield VPN really stands out. It relies on a unique protocol called Catapult Hydra, which is similar to OpenSSL but is optimized for faster connection speeds.

Users also get access to OpenVPN and IKEv2 on both Windows and iOS, providing a solid China VPN service.

Security

Hotspot Shield uses AES 265-bit encryption as well as forward secrecy. The VPN does not keep logs per se, but it does retain some information.

Mobile Apps

There’s a mobile app available for iOS and Android users and it protects your internet connection with HTTPS encryption.

Customer Support

The company has 24/7 live chat support. Users say they’re quick to respond, friendly, and helpful.

Other Features

While it deservedly ended up on the list of the best VPN options for China in 2022, Hotspot Shield VPN does not have that many extra features. It promises anti-virus and spam blocker features and a kill switch for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Ease of Use

Hotspot Shield VPN has a modern and user-friendly interface. As with other VPNs, make sure that you download and install it before arriving in China. Also, don’t forget to set your VPN server location to China.

Pricing

Hotspot Shield VPN is the only VPN on this list that has a free version that comes with limited features and speed, which is not enough if you’re looking for the best VPN service for China.

The company charges $7.99 a month for an annual subscription and $11.99 for a family package. It’s meant for five members and allows for 25 simultaneous connections.

The VPN’s monthly subscription costs $12.99.

Customer Satisfaction

Users say Hotspot Shield VPN offers a stable connection and a promising performance that makes it one of the most efficient VPNs to use in China. Some said the process of unsubscribing was unnecessarily complicated and confusing.

Users also noted that Netflix can detect this VPN and that it does not offer split tunneling.

Competition Overview

Where Hotspot Shield VPN dominates: It has its own protocol called Catapult Hydra.

Where Hotspot Shield VPN falls short: Lacks certain features like split tunneling and access to Netflix.

Ivacy VPN
Ivacy VPN
Ivacy VPN

Best for Effective and Easy to Use

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  • Does a good job at bypassing the Great Firewall of China
  • No logs policy
  • Torrenting and Netflix access
  • No WireGuard protocol
  • Mac app is lacking

Ivacy is not as popular as the other options on this list but this VPN has proven itself to be quite effective. It still works quite well in China and is excellent for people who are looking for a cheap and easy-to-use VPN.

Ivacy VPN has around 3,500 servers in more than 100 server locations.

Features

Ivacy VPN supports up to 10 simultaneous connections. Another impressive feature is that the VPN has no bandwidth restrictions, which is what many users look for in a China VPN server.

Speed

The VPN’s average speed is 83 Mpbs. Users say, however, that the speed can drop below average in some locations.

Performance

Ivacy guarantees 99% uptime. This VPN has a reputation of being a not-so-well-known VPN that provides a superb service.

Protocols

Windows users have more options, including OpenVPN (UDT and TCP), L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 protocols. iOS users can choose between IKEv2 and IPsec.

Unfortunately, the only available protocol for Mac is IKEv1, which does not have a good reputation. Mac users should look for a different VPN to use in China.

Security

Ivacy VPN boasts 256-bit military-grade encryption, a solid feature for China’s Great Firewall.

There is no kill switch option on Mac, which can be a huge drawback.

Mobile Apps

Both Android and iOS users can download Ivacy VPN on their phones. The mobile app offers everything the extension does.

Customer Support

The company has 24/7 support via email, ticket, and live chat.

Other Features

Ivacy VPN comes with access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer and dedicated servers for torrenting and Kodi. It’s a good VPN for China if you prioritize streaming services as well.

Ivacy VPN offers a kill switch option. The company also promises safety when connecting to public Wi-Fi and deals with ISP throttling, provides IPv6 Leak Protection, protection against DDoS attacks, and has a secure DNS feature. Dedicated IP and port forwarding are optional.

Ease of Use

Installing the VPN is simple and quick. The app has a search bar where you can look for specific server locations and a left-hand toolbar for particular tasks.

Like most VPNs, the company’s website is blocked in China, so make sure you download the VPN before getting there.

Pricing

Ivacy VPN has a 7-day money-back guarantee for their one-month plan, which costs $9.95 a month, giving users the ability to check if it’s a VPN that works in China. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee for its two-year plan, which costs $2.40 a month.

Customer Satisfaction

Ivacy VPN has near-perfect reviews. With a 4.7-star rating, customers say that the VPN maintains a good speed most of the time, is reliable for secure downloading, streaming, and torrenting. Some users complained about slow customer service response.

Competition Overview

Where Ivacy VPN dominates: An affordable VPN service that provides safety and average but satisfactory speed.

Where Ivacy VPN falls short: It doesn’t offer as many features as its competitors.

Astrill VPN
Astrill VPN
Astrill VPN

Best for Secure China-Optimized Servers and Features Specifically Designed to Circumvent China’s Great Firewall

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  • Is reliable in China
  • Extremely configurable
  • Dedicated IP address option
  • Solid encryption methods
  • Hefty subscription plans
  • Doesn’t unblock Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, or Disney+
  • Not all servers work with Netflix

Overview 

Astrill VPN has specific features that make it a perfect VPN for China. Its servers for the country are tight and secure and it boasts a significant number of features to make sure your information stays private.

This VPN is better suited for more advanced users. It has a total of 109 servers in 58 countries.

Features 

What makes this VPN great for China is its StealthVPN and Smart Mode features, which are specifically designed to bypass China’s Great Firewall. The Smart Mode automatically connects users to a local IP address when accessing local websites and an international one when accessing content that has been blocked by the government in China.

It’s no wonder that Astrill VPN is a top VPN for China. Astrill VPN also allows up to five simultaneous connections.

Speed

Astrill VPN’s average speed is 80 Mbps. However, multiple tests showed that it’s inconsistent.

Performance

Users say that the connection can be unstable and that the VPN’s speed can fluctuate at times.

Protocols

Astrill VPN has four main protocols, including StealthVPN, WireGuard, OpenWeb, and OpenVPN. OpenVPN, despite being great for VPN China services, is not available on Android.

Security

Clients can choose between encryption ciphers, including AES-128, AES-192, and the sought-after AES-256 encryption.

This VPN collects logs only for the duration of the VPN session.

Mobile Apps

The mobile app is available both on Android and iOS. These apps are more minimal and have fewer customization options but do not sacrifice security. Users can still choose between several protocols and use P2P-optimized servers.

Customer Support

The company has 24/7 live chat. Astrill VPN’s customer support team has largely good reviews, with many users saying that they’re quick and efficient.

Other Features

Astrill VPN is thought to be among the best VPN solutions for China because it comes with many options, including ad-blocking, port forwarding, and VPN sharing. It also allows for DNS server customization and has a kill switch.

Ease of Use

This may not be the best VPN app for beginners. It has many features, can be challenging to navigate, and allows for a great deal of customization for desktop clients.

Pricing

Astrill VPN charges a whopping $20 a month for a monthly subscription. Its annual plan costs $10 a month, and its six-month subscription $15 per month.

Customer Satisfaction

Users say that Astrill VPN is a fair performer and has some unique features. Many pointed out that it’s great for bypassing the Great Firewall of China and consider it to be one of the best VPNs for China. However, there are also many users who claimed that they were unable to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. Some users said the customer support team was slow.

They were generally satisfied with its WireGuard connections and many say it’s the best VPN for Chrome.

Competition Overview

Where Astrill VPN dominates: Unique VPN features for China and fast connections.

Where Astrill VPN falls short: No reliable access to popular streaming platforms and quite expensive.

Best VPN for China – Buyer’s Guide

Here are some of the things you should consider before making a final decision on which VPNs to use when in China, why you need a VPN in the country, and how to use it while you’re there.

How to Choose the VPN to Use in China

Each VPN has its advantages and disadvantages. The top choice for a VPN for China is the one that meets all of your needs.

  • Research VPNs that work in China: Internet censorship is an issue that internet users in China, the world’s largest internet population, have been facing for a long time. Thus, there are many VPNs out there that have been tested and tried in China.
  • Compare the options you chose: The next step is to narrow down the list of VPNs. After you find a VPN that works in China, look at its features. Make sure it has the features you need. This includes checking if it really works on servers in Asia, whether it has good speed and whether it prioritizes security.
  • Look for VPNs that offer a money-back guarantee: VPN services are paid every month and if you’re not satisfied with what your choice has to offer, then you can opt for the VPN that was your close second.
  • It should have 24/7 customer service: Customer support is especially important if you need a China VPN server for work. It should be reliable in bypassing the Great Firewall of China.

What Is the Great Firewall of China? 

The Great Firewall of China is arguably the most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.

China is known for its notorious censorship and monitoring practices. It has banned a significant number of websites, including popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Other banned websites include Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Flickr.

Well-known search engines have also made it onto China’s list of blocked sites, including Google, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. Streaming websites such as Netflix and YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and Vimeo, as well as messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal, cannot be accessed unless you’re using a VPN in China.

China’s government has also banned many VPNs. Fortunately, there are still enough that successfully avoid China’s radar. Using a VPN is not illegal in China. In fact, China allows businesses to choose from a list of pre-approved VPN providers so they can work with international companies and employees.

Unfortunately, China frequently updates its restrictions. This means that a website that is currently available may not be by the time you arrive there.

How to Use VPN in China

The Great Firewall of China is no joke. It’s an incredibly complicated combination of legislative actions and technologies implemented by the Chinese government. Here’s what you should do to ensure you have access to the online world while in China:

  • It’s advisable to use more than one VPN: If one goes down, you will always have a backup. It’s the best way to make sure you never lose access to restricted internet content.
  • Download and install VPNs while you’re outside of China: Don’t wait until you get there to download your VPN app for China. You may not be able to do so when in China where internet control is the tightest in the world.
  • Troubleshoot the connection to make sure it works: Once you arrive in China, check whether the VPN functions properly. This will give you the time to contact customer support to resolve any issue with your VPN.

VPNs for China at a Glance

VPNs for China Price Streaming services unblocked Compatible devices Supported platforms No. of servers Ranking Best for
SurfShark VPN $12.95 a month Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, ESPN Phone, Smart TVs, browsers, consoles iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, 3,200 in more than 65 countries 1 Stable connection, a good number of protocols
ExpressVPN $12.95 a month Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ESPN Routers, consoles, mobile devices, computers iOS, Android, Mac, Linux More than 3,000 in 160 server locations in 94 countries 2 Speed, consistently, great performance
NordVPN $9.56 Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ESPN Mobile phones, Smart TVs, browsers, consoles Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux 5,300 servers in over 80 locations in 59 countries 3 Variety of features, unique streaming option
Ivacy VPN $9.96 Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer Mobile phones, consoles, Smart TVs, extensions Mac, Android, iOS, Windows, Firefox, Kodi 3,455 in more than 100 locations 4 Effective and easy to use
Astrill VPN $20 It doesn’t unblock any of the popular streaming platforms Mobile phones, extensions, routers Linux, Android, iOS Has VPN servers in 107 cities 5 Secure China-optimized servers and features specifically designed to circumvent China’s Great Firewall
Hotspot Shield VPN $7.99 Claims to unblock Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, but users say it doesn’t unlock Netflix Routers, browsers, mobile phones iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, Windows More than 1,800 servers in over 80 countries 6 Has its own protocol that promises fast connections

In Conclusion 

When in China, it can be quite challenging to access your favorite sites because of the Great Firewall of China. However, there are many VPNs to use in China that will allow you to circumvent the bans imposed by the Chinese government and enjoy forbidden streaming websites and social media platforms.

When choosing a VPN for China, make sure that you look at the price, what features it offers (because some have features specifically designed for the Great Firewall of China), and whether you can find your way around the apps (as some are better suited for advanced users.)

FAQ

Is VPN in China illegal?

No, using a VPN is not illegal, including in China. However, it’s important to note that the Chinese government has managed to block a significant number of VPNs, meaning they don’t work to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

Which VPN has a server in China?

There are a lot of VPNs that have servers in China, including Ivacy VPN and Hotspot Shield VPN. This allows users to get an IP address for the country to get access to content exclusively available to Chinese citizens.

Is NordVPN good for China?

Yes, NordVPN works in the country and some users even argue that it’s the best VPN for China. It has some unique features but when it comes to using it in China, it’s generally recommended for advanced users.