Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Top 4 VPNs to Circumvent the Great Firewall of China

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Max Lu
Max Lu is an author who specializes in Asian geopolitics.

If you plan on traveling to China anytime soon, you should know that you won’t be able to access some of your favorite websites while in the country. Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram, BBC, Reuters, CNN, etc., are all banned in China. So if you want to access these websites, you have no choice but to use a virtual private network to bypass the government’s Great Firewall of China.

A virtual private network, or VPN, extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Here are 4 VPNs that you can use in China.

1. ExpressVPN

The company has more than 3,000 servers worldwide, with hundreds of them located near China in countries like Japan and Taiwan. ExpressVPN comes with 256-bit AES encryption and promises protection from DNS and IP leaks. The service follows a strict no-logs policy, meaning that you will be completely hidden from your Chinese ISP even when you have logged off the Internet. This ensures that no one is able to monitor your browsing activity. If there are disruptions to your Internet connection, the service instantly activates the kill switch. This prevents any accidental exposure of your activity to the government censors. The service uses RAM for storage instead of hard drives. As such, all your activity is automatically wiped off after each session. You can use ExpressVPN with 5 devices at a time. 2/7 chat support is available even when you are in China.

2. NordVPN

The service has more than 5,390 servers around the world. About 370 of them are in China’s neighbors like Japan and Singapore. All servers provide unlimited bandwidth. NordVPN obfuscates its servers, allowing you to access any website in the world without getting noticed by Chinese censors.

NordVPN offers 256-bit AES encryption. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

256-bit AES encryption hides your personal data and IP address from prying eyes. It comes with a kill switch that blocks the traffic in case of any connection issues. Every user can access NordVPN through six devices at a time.

3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN has around 700 servers worldwide. Within the vicinity of China, servers are located in Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The service deploys dynamic server switching to deal with traffic congestion. As such, you can easily browse through the Internet without any speed issues or constant interruptions. VyprVPN has its own security protocol technology called Chameleon that will mask your IP address, hiding you from Chinese censors. Customers have the option to choose from three security protocols – PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec. The company uses custom VyprDNS tech to protect all your DNS requests. Just like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN also follows a stringent no-logs policy. In the basic plan, you can connect up to 3 devices simultaneously, with other higher plans offering around 5 connections.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark has 1700 servers globally, with many of them in countries like Vietnam, Singapore, and Taiwan that are close to China. The service is known for its high speeds. The “NoBorders Mode” is very powerful and can get through even the toughest geoblocks like the Great Firewall of China. You can use the Camouflage mode to spoof your VPN traffic and location at the same time, which makes it impossible for authorities to even detect you.

Surfshark’s MultiHop feature allows you to connect to multiple locations simultaneously. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

The Cyberweb function safeguards your devices from malware, phishing, and trackers. The MultiHop feature enables you to connect to multiple locations simultaneously, allowing you to hop through servers located worldwide. Surfshark gives you unlimited connections at a time, which is very useful in case you need to use the service on a large number of devices simultaneously.

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