The People’s Republic of China has the world’s largest population at almost 1.5 billion people. It also has the 3rd most land area in the world. The country has a major manufacturing impact on the world. All you have to do is look where something is made and there is a good chance it says “made in China”. In terms of tade, many companies consider the country to be a virtual wealth of opportunities. Whether your company is one of them or you are just going to see what this massive country has to offer, using a VPN when connecting to the internet is a must. We’ll explain the details in a moment, but take a look at our list of the best VPNs for China.
China has thousands of years of history behind it. Archeological evidence suggests that settlement took place more than 250,000 years ago. However, the first dynasty emerged in 2100 BCE. Modern Chinese characters are a direct descendant of the Oracle bone script from 1500 BCE.
Since the country fell under communist rule in 1949, many changes have occurred. Old rules have made way for progress and modern trade. Today, China has largely industrialized their society. With all the business potential in the country and the numerous things to see and do, it is easy to forget where you are. However, if you try to go on the internet while there, you will remember quickly.
China’s Internet Censorship Policy (often called the Great Firewall of China or Golden Shield Program) is very well known. The truth is, there are very few sites you can go to without using a VPN. By connecting to a VPN server located in a more relaxed area, you can trick the firewall into thinking you are someplace else. That way, you can access the 6 million plus websites that the country blocks. Of course, that includes sites like Google, Facebook, and many more.
On top of the extremely pervasive Golden Shield program, visitors of China will experience another issue. That is because the government constantly monitors the internet. The leadership of China will hold anything you say or do online against you. By using a VPN, your encrypted connection makes it harder for criminals or the Chinese government to capture your sensitive data. Keep in mind though, if the government wants the information bad enough, it will find other ways to get it.
And those are the best reasons to use a VPN while in China. There are others, but they are not as important as the two we just mentioned. From safeguarding your information from prying eyes to defeating the censorship rules, using a VPN is a must. Now that you see why it is important, we’ll help you with the best options.
We recommend connecting to a VPN server using OpenVPN. Some providers offer protocols and scrambling techniques specifically for China. We recommend using them to help get around deep packet inspection and other techniques used to detect VPN usage. OpenVPN offers the best mix of speed and security. Additionally, providers may give you the choice of a TCP and UDP version. If that happens, the UDP version is the fastest. The TCP version is slower, but it offers a more stable connection. You would only use the second if you are having issues with the first. Speed isn’t the top priority in China though. It’s all about protecting your privacy and getting through the great firewall.
If you have read the rest of this guide, you can guess that there are no servers directly under China’s control. Instead, we have chosen the best server locations for use in China. Those are located in Hong Kong, India, and South Korea. Because of the closeness and number of servers, you can expect good speeds. That is why we have given IPVanish the top spot in our choices.
|60||89||1,000||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2||$7.50||$58.49||7 day|
As well as quite a bit of coverage in Asia, IPVanish hosts servers in every continent other than Antarctica. The network produces great speeds in Asia and Europe when we perform our speed tests. You will find multiple server locations in countries all over Asia. You can select a location or an individual server from the drop-down menu.
IPVanish hosts a number of servers in the locations we mentioned above and you can choose to connect to any of them. If you see servers that have the letter “a” in the server name, those are the fastest. For example, you would look for one labeled similarly to sel-a01.ipvanish.com. (located in the Republic of Korea). In most cases, you will notice that the “a” servers are the fastest. We tested IPVanish servers in Hong Kong, New Delhi, and Seoul and found the speeds to be good in all three locations.
When it comes to value IPVanish is hard to beat. They offer unlimited access to their VPN network and custom software for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Firestick, and more for $7.50 a month or $58.49 a year. That works out to just $4.87 a month on the annual plan. A 7-day money back guarantee will cover you as a new member.
As a user, Private Internet Access (PIA) provides you with several different options. Previously, you had to set up a profile for each VPN server. Now, connecting to any server in their 28 location countries is easy. As you can see below, the PIA team has organized their servers by region, country, and city. The server locations are listed in alphabetical order by country. Once you select a location, you can connect easily to locations in Hong Kong, India, and South Korea.
|30||47||3282||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP||$6.45||$59.95||7 day|
There are a lot of torrent users who love Private Internet Access. The service includes a feature that will stop your system from communicating if the connection to their service drops. Meaning if your encrypted VPN access is dropped for any reason it will keep you safe.
PIA offers a Windows client and other apps that are simple and easy to use. However, you won’t want to underestimate it. PIA offers different levels of privacy protection depending on your needs. You can control encryption levels to help you find the right balance between privacy and speed. As you can see, our speed test showed that PIA performs well in Hong Kong, New Delhi, and Singapore. All good VPN locations to connect to from China.
When it comes to their Windows client the PIA team has included an Internet kill switch. The kill switch will kill your Internet connection anytime the VPN fails. That can really come in handy for those wanting to ensure anonymity in China. Private Internet Access offers VPN from just $2.50 a month.
ExpressVPN brings together fast VPN access with MediaStreamer which acts as a Smart DNS service to help unblock access to censored content. The service will help encrypt your connection and unblock live sporting events. You will even find a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on their website.
|90||148||2,000||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP||$12.95||$99.95||30 day|
As you can see in the table above, ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. Beyond the USA, the ExpressVPN network boasts hundreds of servers in key locations to help protect their user’s privacy. You can use their network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and watch your favorite teams from anywhere.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but you can not choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select a server in your chosen location. You also need to know that some cities are not shown on the recommended tab inside the client. You may find that issue with the cities we mentioned. Simply select the “All” tab, open Asia, and then open Hong Kong. At this point, you can select the Hong Kong, India, or South Korea server location. As you can see the server in Seoul performed the best. The others were relatively slow.
While ExpressVPN is sold at a higher price point than the other services in our list, the value is high given the size of their network and service features. You can connect a computer, handheld device, router, and game console (SmartDNS) with a single VPN account for just $6.67 a month with an annual subscription.
StrongVPN may be headquartered in the United States, but it has one of the best VPN networks in Asia. Previously, the company charged the users of the service per location and protocol. Now, that has changed and StrongVPN offers its members full access to their network with hundreds of servers worldwide.
|26||46||682||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP||$7.50||$52.49||7 day|
The latest addition to the StrongVPN service is the StrongDNS feature. Everyone who signs up for a StrongVPN account also receives free access to StrongDNS which is a smart DNS service which can be used to help you get around censorship. It is a great solution for those who want to watch their favorite streaming service outside of their home country.
StrongVPN hosts a number of servers located in Hong Kong, India, and South Korea. Unfortunately, you can not select a specific server. Instead, you will want to click on the server location drop-down, choose Hong Kong and then select one in Hong Kong. We selected OpenVPN UDP for the best performance. After connecting to servers in the country, we tested our speed in Hong Kong, India, and South Korea. The performance good in two of the three server locations.
StrongVPN has been kind in offering our visitors a 25% discount. The coupon stacks on top of their normal term discounts. You can enjoy unlimited VPN and free SmartDNS access for just $7.50 a month or $52.49 a year. The annual account works out to just $4.37 a month. New users are covered by a 7-day money back guarantee.
The VyprVPN team is based out of Austin, Texas and has a long history of fighting for user’s Internet privacy. They have hosted an annual privacy panel at SXSW for several years and have even spent time in Washington, DC lobbying for privacy reforms. You will find the VPN service to be in line with their values.
|47||57||700||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP||$14.99||$74.99||30 day|
You will notice some added features with VyprVPN depending on which account you choose. The VyprVPN Premium plan includes 5 simultaneous connections, VyprVPN Cloud, and Chameleon protocol. Their cloud feature allows you to control your own VPN server in the cloud while the Chameleon protocol will definitely help you get around government censorship in China.
The VyprVPN client does not give you the ability to select a specific server number in the closest cities. Instead, you will want to switch the location to Hong Kong, India, or South Korea. From there the client will automatically connect you to the best VPN server in the respected city. You can see the results of our speed tests below. While the speeds are slower, VPN users in China will appreciate their Chameoleon protocol.
VyprVPN has been kind in offering our visitors a 25% discount. The coupon stacks on top of their normal term discounts. You can enjoy unlimited VPN and VyprVPN Cloud for just $12.95 a month or $60 a year. The annual account works out to just $5.00 a month. New users are covered by a 3-day money back guarantee.
Above, we have offered you our list of the best choices to use if you will be in China. However, you may also find a solution in our top 10 VPN list. You will want to be sure that you choose a provider with servers in the region. We made our decisions based on price, speed, security, and reliability. We also looked for providers with server locations in and near Hong Kong (since it is only located 10 miles from Mainland China). That will help you with the best speeds. No matter which one you choose, you can’t make a bad decision. By using this guide, you can make an informed choice.