The population of Shenzhen, China has rapidly expanded in the last half-century. In 1979, the Chinese government granted city status to the town and gave them the designation of “Special Economic Zone”. When that happened, the size increased from 30,000 to 10.3 million. However, that number may be higher. The city is located on China’s mainland and is directly north of Hong Kong. Only 10 miles separate the two cities. A tunnel, ferries, and a toll road connect them together. If you will be traveling to Shenzhen for various reasons, you will need to use a VPN when using the internet. Before we explain why it is important, take a look at our list of the best VPNs for Shenzhen.
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Human habitation in Shenzhen dates back to 5000 BCE. From the third century BCE, the city was a center for the salt monopoly. The area was strategically important because it was part of the main trade route to India. After that point, the city was a major naval center.
As we mentioned, the population has exploded since 1979 and the city was the first of 5 Special Economic Zones. Climate-wise, winters are mild and dry because the city is located 1 degree above the tropic of Cancer. The economic output ranks 3rd out of 659 Chinese cities and in the top twenty on the Global Financial Centres Index. When visiting, you will find almost anything you want to do there. In fact, you may temporarily forget you are in a Communist country.
However, you will remember quickly if you want to use the internet. The Chinese government actively monitors all internet traffic. Additionally, there are thieves that would just love to get their hands on your personal data. By using a VPN to create a secure and encrypted connection, you make it very hard for anyone to get your information. Keep in mind though, if the Chinese government wants your information it will find ways to get it.
Another very important reason to use a VPN while there is to get around censorship. Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that China’s Great Firewall is legendary. The firewall will block you from seeing almost all of the top sites you can think of. Instead, you can connect to a VPN server located somewhere else. There’s a little more involved when connecting from China, but the end result is accessing sites as you normally would.
Whether you want to stop the Chinese government and cybercriminals from spying on you or get around censorship restrictions, a VPN will help protect you. Now that you see why it is important to use one, choosing a provider and protocol can sometimes be overwhelming. Most providers offer a variety of protocols that you can choose to protect you. Since they are mostly different, it is important to pick the right one for your needs. Here are some basic rules to go by.
Whenever possible, you will want to select the OpenVPN protocol. It offers the best mix of speed and security. Some providers may offer special protocols for China. If that is the case, the provider typically uses OpenVPN as a baseline and tweaks it. If you see two different versions of the protocol, they both work well. The UDP protocol is the fastest. However, you should use the TCP version if you have connection issues.
Let’s jump right in and take a look at the best VPNs for Shenzhen.
ExpressVPN brings together fast VPN access with MediaStreamer which acts as a Smart DNS service to unblock access to geo-restricted content. The VPN service will help encrypt your connection and get around the Great Firewall of China. It is especially helpful when using your VPN service in Shenzhen.
ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. ExpressVPN network boasts hundreds of servers in key locations to help protect their user’s privacy. That includes locations like Hong Kong (since it is the closest in the region). You can use their network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and enjoy the content you are used to seeing.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but you do not need to choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select the fastest server in your chosen location. You will want to select the “All” tab and type in Hong Kong in the search field. At this point, you can select the servers located there. As you can see, we tested a server in Hong Kong and the speed came out to 120.65 Mbps.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using ExpressVPN is their support for a wide range of devices. ExpressVPN offers custom VPN software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Connect from your desktop and mobile at the same time with up to 3 simultaneous connections. You can also install the ExpressVPN web extension for Chrome or Firefox. Want to protect your entire home network with a single VPN account? If so you can use the ExpressVPN router app to get all set up. The MediaStreamer feature adds Smart DNS support to devices like game consoles (PS4, Xbox Onw, Nintendo Switch, etc.), media boxes (Apple TV, Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, etc.), and Smart TVs.
ExpressVPN performed very well in our speed tests. They are a great choice for privacy and to unblock geo-restrictions. Customer support is available 24/7 to provide assistance and answer any questions. Enjoy the best VPN for less with confidence as ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is based in Panama which some users prefer to using a VPN company that’s actually headquartered in the United States. You will find that NordVPN has a strong presence in the US with servers located throughout the country. Members have full access to their network in the USA and beyond for a very good price.
You will find that NordVPN has perhaps the best mix of services for the price if you subscribe to a longer term account. All users have full access to their network and custom software. You can connect using the VPN client for Windows or Mac. They also have an easy to use mobile app for both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices.
NordVPN hosts a number of servers in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the NordVPN client does not show the city of the server. The easiest way to select a specific server number is to select the “Servers” tab in the app and then sort the results in alphabetical order. You can then scroll down and select any of the server numbers we have listed above. You can see the load time percentage and the distance to each server. We tested the Hong Kong server and found the performance to be 112.20 Mbps.
Want to access streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world? If so NordVPN is a great choice. They are one of the only VPN services that can still unblock Netflix. You can sign up for unlimited VPN and SmartDNS service from just $2.99 a month with a 3-year membership.
Shenzen has been one of the fastest growing cities in history. However, there are no servers in the city. Instead, you will need to connect to a server across the bay in Hong Kong. The servers located in Hong Kong are great because they are only 10 miles from Shenzen. Their speed makes IPVanish one of our top choices of VPN services to use while in the city.
IPVanish hosts servers on every continent other than Antarctica. The network has consistently been the fastest VPN in Asia and Europe in our speed tests. You will find multiple server locations in countries all over Asia. You can select a location or an individual server.
IPVanish hosts 12 servers in Hong Kong and you can choose to connect to any of them. If you only see 6 when making a choice, try looking for the servers in China as the country or Hong Kong as the country. Both locations have servers you can use. We tested an IPVanish server in Hong Kong, hkg-c09, and found the speed to be 90.14 Mbps.
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 covers all new members.
CyberGhost was founded in 2001 by 7 enthusiastic young team members in Bucharest, Romania. Since that time the company has grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world. The team of 50+ members is focused on protecting users privacy. Robert Knapp, co-founder and CEO, continues to lead the team even after they joined the Crossrider group in 2017. Since that time the CyberGhost network has expanded quite a bit.
CyberGhost offers a nice mix of server locations, strong encryption, and the ability to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime. Some of the channels even let you unblock geo-restrictions for multiple regions. For example, you can access Amazon Prime video content in the US, Germany, or UK. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf anonymously, protect WiFi, torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites (Google, Facebook Instagram, etc.), and choose a server.
Since we wanted to test a server in Los Angeles, we opened the Windows client and clicked on the “Choose My Server” option. From there you can expand any country and select a specific server. The CyberGhost network includes a number of servers in Hong Kong. We connected to one of them and tested the performance. As you can see, our download speed was 62.69 Mbps.
The CyberGhost VPN client is one of our favorites. It is very easy to use and includes a number of advanced features to help protect your online privacy. They have a development team in Germany that is continually adding features to the client and mobile apps. You can sign up for full access to the CyberGhost network from just $2.75 a month during their current promotion.
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.
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. The VyprVPN Cloud feature allows you to control your own VPN server in the cloud while the Chameleon protocol helps users in countries like China get around government censorship.
The VyprVPN client does not give you the ability to select a specific server number in Hong Kong. Instead, you will want to switch the location to Hong Kong. Now, the client will automatically connect you to the best VPN server in the city. You can see the results of our speed test below. We were able to achieve a download speed of 15.89 Mbps after connecting to a server in Hong Kong.
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 30-day money back guarantee.
The providers we listed above will give you the best options to use while in Shenzhen. However, you can feel free to take a look at our top 10 VPN list for other options. Just be sure the provider you choose has servers located close to Shenzhen. We made our decisions are based on security, price, speed, and reliability. We also looked for providers with servers in Hong Kong. That way, you can get the best speeds possible. Since it is 10 miles away, you should have no issues. All of our choices have good networks, so you can’t go wrong with our choices. If you plan on streaming content, good speeds are important. By using our guide, you can make the best decisions for your situation.