Best VPN for China

🇨🇳

Looking for the best VPN to use in China? Want to unblock Google, WhatsApp, Twitter and many more blocked sites? Need a VPN to bypass China’s censorship laws and stay safe online? Explore below for the best VPN guides to China.

Chinese VPNs explained

VPN usage in the China is essential for all Chinese residents and visitors to get around the countries strict censorship. Online activity is the most restricted and censored in the world if you aren’t using a Chinese VPN meaning some of the worlds biggest and most used platforms are blocked. It’s often not known by visitors that a China VPN is required to access seemingly everyday services such as Google, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and many more….! Our recommended VPNs for China will mask your true IP address allowing you to tunnel through what’s known as the Great Firewall of China. The Chinese governments censorship is some of the most extreme found around the planet making it one of the biggest countries for VPN usage. The government have also attempted to clamp down on Chinese VPN applications. Our best recommended China VPNs will ensure you can access blocked websites and popular applications. (Remember to download your VPN before visiting China as many VPNs are removed from Chinese App stores).

What do you need from a VPN in China?

A VPN for China needs to be able to bypass strict Chinese censorship, be fast, reliable, and ultimately be very online privacy friendly. Our best VPN reviews for China cover:

  • Unblocks websites, applications and content blocked by Chinese censorship
  • Large VPN server choice in proximity to China
  • Military grade privacy protection and strict logging policies
  • Fast and reliable speeds
  • Well designed VPN applications and easy to use

Melvyn's top 5 VPNs for China

Numbers(One)(7)

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN are one of the most recognisable names on the market, offering best-in-class zero logs privacy, fantastic speeds, awesome features and easy to use applications. ExpressVPN is a true market leader, and whilst it comes with a premium price tag (compared to others), users are rewarded with an outstanding product! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Blazing-fast speeds, exceptional app usability and 24/7 customer support… ExpressVPN is a real force to be reckoned with! 

Our score:

4.8

4.8/5

Price from:

$8.32

per month

Pros
  • Blazing-fast servers with up to 170Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 3,000+ servers spanning 94 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and great for HD streaming
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Defeats content and government censorship
  • One of the most trusted names out there
Cons
  • Only allows you to protect 3 devices
  • Premium brand so you pay a premium price
Numbers(Two)

CyberGhost

CyberGhost are an exceptional VPN provider with industry leading levels of privacy, worldwide server locations ideal for torrenting with user friendly applications that flawlessly unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services. If you want a super-fast, zero logs, easy to use VPN… then look no further! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Super-fast, zero logs, easy to use apps and friendly 24/7 customer support… you can see why it’s our number one recommended provider!  

Our score:

5.0

5/5

Price from:

$2.75

per month

Pros
  • Super fast, reliable servers with up to 265Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 3,700 servers spanning 59 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
  • Protect up to 7 devices with one account
  • One of the best value VPNs available
Cons
  • Servers focussed around Europe & North America
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting not available on North American servers
Numbers(Three)

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the best and most popular VPN providers out there. It strikes the perfect balance for privacy concerned users and those looking for lightning fast speeds. It’s great for unblocking content such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer and also supports P2P and torrenting. Add to this its no logs policy and impeccable security, Nord sure does tick all the boxes! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Outstanding speeds, zero logs, and award winning 24/7 customer support… NordVPN is up there with the very best in the VPN market!

Our score:

4.9

4.9/5

Price from:

$2.99

per month

Pros
  • Super-fast reliable servers with up to 226Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 5,100+ servers spanning 60 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Double VPN security feature for extra protection
  • One of the most popular VPNs available
Cons
  • Alternative security protocols need manual configuration
  • Speeds can be compromised on some distant connections
Numbers(Four)

VyprVPN

VyprVPN is a remarkably secure, zero logs VPN provider that sets out to keep its users safe and secure online with an array of great features. For those locked out in areas of high government censorship, their proprietary chameleon protocol overcomes censorship barriers anywhere in the world which ideal for users in China, the UAE and India etc. And with servers in 70+ worldwide locations, decent speeds can be achieved whilst doing so.

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Unprecedented focus on user privacy, great speeds and competitively priced… if you’re looking to get around government censorship, look no further!

Our score:

4.7

4.6/5

Price from:

$3.75

per month

Pros
  • Zero logs (verified by third party audit)
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • High-end encryption/NAT firewall
  • Chameleon technology works well for users in China, the UAE, India etc
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • One of the best for bypassing government censorship
Cons
  • Top features only available on premium plan
  • Middle of the road speeds
Numbers(Five)

Surfshark

Surfshark’s rise from zero to hero has been nothing short of outstanding and has quickly become a favourite amongst VPN users worldwide since joining the market in 2018. A secure, no logs VPN with great speeds, it’s ideal for streaming & torrenting. It’s extremely competitively priced, simple to use and allows users to protect an unlimited number of devices.

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Super user-friendly apps (ideal for beginners), great speeds and unlimited device allowance… Surfshark is making some serious waves!

Our score:

4.8

4.8/5

Price from:

$1.99

per month

Pros
  • Fast, reliable servers with up to 64Mbps download speeds
  • Super user-friendly applications ideal for beginners
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to 800+ servers spanning 50 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
  • Protect unlimited devices with one account
  • One of the cheapest VPNs available
Cons
  • Speeds not quite as fast as rivals (at present)
  • Server network still has room to grow
  • Torrenting routed to servers in Canada and Holland

Chinese VPN FAQs...

Do I need a VPN in China?
Yes you really do need a VPN in China! The Chinese government’s approach to western influences such as social media, streaming video content and availability of information on websites it’s viewed as a threat to Chinese values. Only a good VPN for China allows you to access applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many more… (see below for a consolidated list). Usage of VPNs in China is at record levels and growing fast, readily available technology that VPNs have brought to the table open up so much of the internet for Chinese citizens and visitors alike at minimal cost. A Chinese VPN will also protect your online activity from being monitored by the Chinese government and protects your online safety from hackers.
What are the best Chinese VPN features?

China VPNs are packed with features to help protect you online and unblock content. We are confident that all 5 of our China VPNs will perform well and have extensive server locations nearby for reliable use. We do recommend those VPNs with extra security features like VPN kill switches. Our favourites are simple to download, very easy to use and have strict log polices.

Are Chinese VPN servers fast?

Usually for the best speeds you would want to connect to a VPN server in the country you are in for or that of the countries content you want to access. This isn’t possible in China as VPN servers can’t be located in mainland China. Our best VPNs for China offer the high speeds by having VPN servers in neighbouring countries such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and India. A VPN will slow your connection slightly but with readily available fast internet speeds in China you shouldn’t notice much difference.

Are there any free VPN apps in China?
Yes. However, we can’t in good conscience recommend any free VPNs for usage in China. Some popular free VPNs applications are reported to have links that potentially originate in mainland China. Therefore, in our view, it’s too risky to download a free Chinese VPN. We have negotiated some of the best VPN deals available on the market so our users can benefit from great VPNs at the best prices. We also recommend you view our free VPN guide here.
Are VPNs legal in China?

This is a slight grey area for the VPN market in China. VPNs are needed and are knowingly used for many Chinese companies to conduct business internationally on a secure basis. The government have tried to clamp down on businesses using VPNs for illegal purposes and rightly so. It is possible that an individual could be fined or even imprisoned for using a VPN in China. However, there is very little information or history of individuals being tracked down. Instead the government have tried to block the VPN providers themselves from working in China.

Is there a VPN ban in China?

Yes. The government have made many attempts to ban Chinese VPNs. This included removing China VPNs from the Apple App store and Google Play (which can’t be accessed in China without a VPN). The VPN providers have to use “stealth servers” to ensure that their own server IP addresses aren’t blocked by the Chinese allowing VPN usage in China. We strongly recommend downloading a VPN before you visit China as it may be more challenging to access a VPN providers sites once you are there.

What is the ‘Great Firewall of China’ (GFW) and how can a VPN help?
To put it simply the GFW enables the Chinese government to block a huge range of websites and applications from being used in China. The main purpose is to block international websites and slowdown cross-border internet traffic. The GFW is operated under the Golden Shield project and restricts access to popular resources such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and many others. A Chinese VPN will enable you to connect to the internet in China as you would normally, then change your location to a server outside of mainland China. By doing this blocked content can be accessed freely. This assumes that the VPN servers IP address hasn’t been blocked too! But don’t worry our recommend VPNs are constantly updating their technology to overcome this enabling smooth reliable online coverage in China.
Can I use a VPN in China as a Tourist?

Overseas visitors will face the same challenges with VPNs as Chinese citizens if they want to download one on arrival in China. Its therefore highly recommend and advantageous to equip yourself with a best China VPN before you leave so that you aren’t restricted by the ‘Great Firewall of China’.

Can I access Google in China without a VPN?

No. You will need a VPN as Google is banned in China following major fallout with the government in 2009. It is thought that Google and the Chinese would allow a censored version of the platform which is very unpopular with the Google hierarchy and doesn’t look like it will materialise anytime soon.

Can a VPN unblock US Netflix content in China?
Yes. If you are outside the USA and want to access geo restricted content. A VPN allows you to connect to a USA server so all our Top 5 China VPNs have good US server coverage meaning you can access geo-restricted content. See our full Best Netflix VPN guide here. You can also access BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming sources with a VPN in China.
What content is blocked without a VPN in China?
Wow… where do we start? It’s estimated that there are in excess of 10,000 websites and popular applications that are blocked by Chinese censorship. Here is a brief summary of what is blocked in China and what you can’t access unless you install a best China VPN:
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google +, Quora
  • Streaming & Content Providers: YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, Twitch, Periscope, Spotify, Soundcloud, Pandora
  • Messaging Services: WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Signal, Line, Slack, KaKaoTalk
  • Search Engines: Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Amazon (Alexa)
  • Business Related: Gmail, Dropbox, All Google apps (Calendars, Drive, Docs, Maps etc), Hootsuite, Google Play, Microsoft OneDrive
  • News Media: BBC, New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNN, TIME and many more
  • Blog Platforms: WordPress, Blogger, Medium
  • Others: VPN websites, porn websites, politically sensitive websites
What applications don’t need a VPN in China?

Thankfully there are some sites and applications that can be used without a VPN in China. These would include Netflix/Hulu (technically, although most content isn’t licensed or allowed in China so you will need a China VPN), Online banking, iMessage, FaceTime, LinkedIn, WeChat (Chinese owned).

I have read about China VPN stealth technology what is this?

Most VPNs are banned in China so it’s critical for the ones to work to use stealth protocols. These cleverly add additional layers of obfuscation to help disguise VPN traffic from Chinese censors.

What happens if my VPN is blocked in China?

During testing its evident that on occasion a VPN can be working fine one day and then blocked the next in China. Our VPN providers are constantly working on keeping reliable access in China by continually outwitting the government who block their IP addresses. If your VPN stops working its likely to be only temporary but if you do have long term issues consult your VPN provider’s technical support.

How do I access Line with a VPN in China?

Line, the Japanese messaging service, is hugely popular in China despite it being banned and firmly on the governments blocked list. Therefore, the only method know to us is via a VPN. You will need to download a recommended VPN for China to successfully use Line.

Have your say...

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email