China internet restrictions

Old Jan 14th, 2019, 06:49 AM
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China internet restrictions

Hello everybody!

Going to keep it short. I'm planning my first trip to China in the next few months. I heard, that there are crazy internet restriction laws in China, the likes of Google, Facebook, and other daily major websites are banned. The only solution that I found is to use a VPN.

Here comes the problem. I tried looking for a VPN provider, but there's so much of them, it's hard to pick one, especially when different review sites state different things. One of them says that a particular provider works in China, the other that it doesn't.

So my question is to whom have been to China before. Did you use a VPN over there, if so, which one?
gordby is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2019, 07:09 AM
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It will be true of any VPN service provider that sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. There's a constant war between Chinese blocking and finding ways around it. The free VPNs are the least reliable, and are frequently shut down. Some of the commercial ones are unable to stand the cost of constant innovation.

I've successfully used Witopia in China on several occasions, including the free coverage for the phone which can be started up once in China. This company seems to have been willing to continue the struggle, but I'm not in China right now to say whether it's working or not. Its site does have live chat, however, so if you find nothing set out there you can ask.

https://www.personalvpn.com
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Old Jan 14th, 2019, 07:16 AM
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Contact the provider beforehand to make sure that they cover China. Some have specific instructions for a trip to China. Also make sure to install the VPN BEFORE you arrive in China. Have the provider's email address somewhere if you need to contact them if you have issues while in China. This is important as you will most probably not be able to access their website.
If you can live without Facebook, and it's not a bad thing for a couple of weeks, then you don't need a VPN.
This site can help you check if the websites of interest to you are banned: http://www.blockedinchina.net/?siteurl=facebook.com
CanadaChinaTraveller is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2019, 09:28 AM
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I've had success with Witopia.
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Old Jan 14th, 2019, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadaChinaTraveller View Post
Contact the provider beforehand to make sure that they cover China. Some have specific instructions for a trip to China. Also make sure to install the VPN BEFORE you arrive in China. Have the provider's email address somewhere if you need to contact them if you have issues while in China. This is important as you will most probably not be able to access their website.
Thanks, some important stuff shared, will be noted.

Did a bit more research and found recent reviews that state Surfshark, Witopia and ExpressVPN are currently working in China as other several providers. Thinking about getting all 3 of them before the trip, as they are offering a 30-day money back guarantee.
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Old Jan 20th, 2019, 05:41 AM
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I am currently using Express VPN with success. Gmail, the New York Times, and the Washington Post are my priorities. I don't use Facebook.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 06:39 AM
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For $10.00 per day on top of my normal call and data coverage thru Verizon I had full access while in China including facebook and google. No issues.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 09:55 PM
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I used Express VPN sucessfully and it worked most of the time. And it was a bit difficult to connect at nights sometimes. Overall performance is good.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 05:33 AM
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How long will you be in China? It just might be that your life would be improved without the internet for 1 or 2 weeks.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sarahontheroad View Post
I used Express VPN sucessfully and it worked most of the time. And it was a bit difficult to connect at nights sometimes. Overall performance is good.
Good to know, unfortunately, Express is a bit over the budget for me. I tried Surfshark as they are offering a free trial, been happy with the service so far and thinking of getting it before the trip to China. I hope they are going to work as expected.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 12:33 PM
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"Good to know, unfortunately, Express is a bit over the budget for me..." - 30-day free trial. Hard to be cheaper.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 03:54 PM
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Try WindScribe. You got 10G free per month if signing up with your email. Works also well but only several connection points are available.
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Old Apr 26th, 2019, 08:27 AM
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I just returned from two weeks in China and used Express VPN, which I was told by many sources was the best one at this time. I had also downloaded Nord VPN, but never had to use it since Express VPN worked fine for me.
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Old Apr 29th, 2019, 04:58 AM
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I just got back from China as well. I got a Chinese SIM card installed at the airport and had excellent 4G coverage even outside big cities. Never bothered with a VPN as everything I needed actually worked very well. I installed WeChat before leaving and asked the people I wanted to send pictures to that didn't have WeChat to install it. Big success with the under 12, they loved the stickers. WhatsApp wasn't entirely blocked but it took forever to send/receive messages so I never used it.

Then I used Bing instead of Google and Maps instead of Google Maps.
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Old Apr 29th, 2019, 10:41 AM
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I was in China few months ago and What's App worked very well for me.
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Old Apr 30th, 2019, 03:55 AM
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Most of the time WhatsApp is blocked.
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