5 Best China VPN in 2021

It’s no secret that China is one of the most strict countries when it comes to censorship. As such, using a VPN within its borders is shrouded in mystery, with many misconceptions floating online. Thankfully, overcoming the limitations of the Great Firewall of China is entirely possible and not all that difficult. Of course, you’ll need a reliable tool for the job, which is why we’ve gathered up the best VPNs for China in one easy to follow list.

First, let’s clear up some of the most common misconceptions. You’ve perhaps heard that China blocks all VPN services and that some VPN-related prison sentences were used to make an example of what happens to those using them. The truth is that providing VPN services without government authorization is actively discouraged. However, using VPNs in China is perfectly fine, especially if you’re just visiting the country.

As long as you use VPNs without breaking Chinese laws, all you need to worry about is choosing a VPN capable enough to unblock the Internet and grant you access to websites not available in the country.

How to Find a VPN That Still Works in China?

If you’re not sure what to focus on, choosing a VPN can easily become a tedious process. Here are the most important aspects to keep in mind.

  • Availability in China: It can be difficult to find a VPN that works in China without testing them yourself. We recommend relying on hands-on reviews instead of trusting the marketing you see on VPN homepages. Asking customer support may also be a decent alternative. After you know the truth, If you are not sure on how to download it on China, then this guide will help you.
  • Server Network Size: To unblock foreign services in China, you need to connect to a VPN server outside the country. However, this shouldn’t be an overly remote server, as this can lead to a significant loss in performance. Ideally, you should connect to a server in one of the countries bordering China.
  • Stealth Servers (Obfuscation): China aggressively tries to block VPN services. As such, you’ll need a VPN that employs some form of obfuscation, so your VPN traffic is masked as regular HTTPS traffic, making it more difficult to detect and block.
  • Speed and Performance: Speedy VPN services come with plenty of servers strategically placed across Asia and the rest of the world. If you care about getting the best possible speed, we recommend getting a VPN with servers close to China.
  • Money-Back Guarantee: Finally, make sure you’re on the safe side by choosing a VPN with a generous money-back guarantee (30 days, usually). There’s no risk involved, and you’ll have plenty of time to test-drive your selected option.

Best China VPN To Use in 2021

VPNs may not be illegal in China, but the Chinese government certainly doesn’t make it easier for any providers to run their service in the country. Here are 5 best VPN that still works in china.

  • ExpressVPN – Best All-round VPN for China
  • NordVPN – Double VPN Option for Extra Privacy
  • Ivacy – Best Cheap VPN for China
  • Surfshark VPN – Works with Unlimited Devices
  • VyprVPN – Owns and Operates Its Own Servers

1. ExpressVPN – Best All-round VPN for China

Editor's Pick
Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Without a doubt, ExpressVPN is your best option right now. Whether you just want to:

  • Stop the Chinese government from collecting your data
  • Stay safe against cyber attacks, OR
  • Vault over the Great Firewall of China to enjoy all the quality content from around the world

ExpressVPN will most definitely get the job done without a fuss.

Find out: Does ExpressVPN work in China?

The app caters to both beginners and advanced users with its simple and highly polished UI, as well as a host of customizable settings. You can optimize your Internet experience to your exact preferences.

Now, most of you are probably wondering whether it can unblock the vast majority of websites out there – and the answer is a resounding yes. The provider also offers 24/7 live chat, which is hugely helpful, seeing as China’s attitude towards VPNs is subject to change at any moment.

These are the highlights, but you can always read our ExpressVPN review for a more in-depth analysis of its features and performance.

  • Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; Lightway, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP.
  • Website Unblocking in China: Google, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Skype, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and more.
  • Server Network (Near China): Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: 30 days.

2. NordVPN – Double VPN Option for Extra Privacy

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Back in July 2017, NordVPN officially announced that its services would work in China. This is a huge achievement for any VPN because entering the market requires meeting a lot of different regulations. Since then, NordVPN has become a hugely popular VPN for China, well-known for its high-end features, fast servers, and unique options to make your browsing experience as smooth as possible.

Security-wise, you can count on NordVPN’s double VPN feature, which gives you the highest possible protection against data leaks and enhanced privacy. Highly useful, considering the extreme lengths the Chinese government will go to in order to spy on its citizens.

Next up, NordVPN allows you to connect six devices at the same time using a single subscription, which is fantastic value for its price – especially if you go for a long-term plan. The only limitation is that those six devices cannot be connected to the same server, using the same VPN protocol.

On the geo-blocking side of things, NordVPN works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and most major censored websites in China. Make sure to check our in-depth NordVPN review for any other details not covered here – speed tests included.

  • Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, NordLynx.
  • Website Unblocking in China: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, Skype, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and more.
  • Server Network (Near China): Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days.

3. Ivacy – Best Cheap VPN for China

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

For a very long time, Ivacy has been known as the best China VPN, and it still pretty much holds strong when it comes to bypassing censorship in the country. And yes, it manages to unblock most services banned in China, including major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.

Unfortunately, it comes with a much smaller server network than the competition. Then again, it’s also one of the most affordable options on our list – so if you aren’t concerned with wide server networks, Ivacy’s still a strong option.

As always, be sure to check out our Ivacy review for complete details on their service.

  • Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, PPTP.
  • Website Unblocking in China: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
  • Server Network (Near China): Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: 30 days.

4. Surfshark VPN – Works with Unlimited Devices

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

If you have plenty of network-capable gadgets lying around, it’s highly recommended you use a VPN on all of them. Not only will you be able to secure all your data against mass surveillance and hacking attempts, but you can freely bypass Internet censorship in China without having to switch between devices.

To this end, we recommend Surfshark VPN, which is one of the best VPNs for China that allows for unlimited connections on a single subscription. It’s ideal for households with plenty of phones, laptops, PCs, and others – or sharing with friends, meaning you can split the cost of a longer subscription. Camouflage Mode also ensures that your VPN traffic is masked as regular old HTTPS traffic, the kind ISPs see every day while you visit any secure website.

Plenty more could be said about this VPN, so we recommend giving our Surfshark review a read. Get the full specs and see what makes Surfshark such a great VPN for China.

  • Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2.
  • Website Unblocking in China: Google, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Skype, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and more.
  • Server Network (Near China): Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: 30 days.

5. VyprVPN – Owns and Operates Its Own Servers

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Router
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Setting up a server network requires a significant investment. That’s why the majority of VPNs don’t own their servers (they rent from data centers instead). This isn’t the case with VyprVPN, which is one of the few providers that own their entire server network and equipment. As such, it’s not surprising that VyprVPN offers a custom-designed setup that’s suitable for users in China as well.

The fact that VyprVPN can freely customize and upgrade its own servers translates to speedy performance. Aside from that, their proprietary cloaking technology (called ‘Chameleon’) truly sets the VPN apart, as it manages to fool even advanced VPN detection methods like deep packet inspection (DPI).

Although it’s on the pricier side, VyprVPN works amazingly well against the Great Firewall, making it a great choice for unblocking content. One last piece of good news is that you can pay using Alipay, a hugely popular payment service in China.

Curious about what else the VPN has to offer? Then feel free to read our full VyprVPN review.

  • Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, Chameleon, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec.
  • Website Unblocking in China: Google, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Skype, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more.
  • Server Network (Near China): Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

How to Use a VPN in China (Quick Guide)

Getting a VPN isn’t that big of a deal. However, there may be a couple of extra steps involved if you plan on using a VPN in China. If you’re just visiting, you may want to get the VPN app from your provider’s website BEFORE you enter the country. Why? Well, as you’ll soon find out, VPN provider websites are typically blocked in China.

Follow the steps below and you’re good to go:

  • Visit your preferred provider’s website and sign up for their service. We recommend ExpressVPN, as it’s the most reliable VPN provider for China at the moment.
  • Download and install the VPN on any devices you plan on taking to China.
  • Launch the app and sign in with your username and password.
  • Click/ tap on the recommended server, or select a different country from the provider’s list.

In case you haven’t followed the steps above, or are reading this from China, try looking for a China-specific version of the provider’s website. Alternatively, have a friend outside the country email you the installer file for the VPN.

Full Guide: How to use VPN in China without breaking the law

Can VPNs Really Unblock Websites in China?

It’s no secret that China strictly controls what its citizens can do online. This trend has reached its peak with a newly introduced set of laws called “Provisions on the Governance of the Online Information Content Ecosystem.” To nobody’s surprise, the new laws go even further when it comes to restricting Internet freedom in the country. This means using a VPN has become more important than ever before.

VPN services work by taking your Web traffic and encapsulating it within a secure tunnel. Essentially, they mask your incoming and outgoing traffic, making it impossible for anyone to see what you do online. Of course, the Chinese government is well aware that people are using VPNs to skirt around its restrictive policies. They’ve been actively battling against VPN usage for a long time now. As such, you need to choose your VPN provider carefully, especially if you need a more long-term solution.

Fortunately, several VPN services can still help you unblock websites in China. More importantly, they maintain high security standards and help protect your privacy against the Chinese mass surveillance machine.

Does Free VPN Work in China?

Yes, some VPNs offer their services free of charge. However, we highly recommend avoiding free VPNs due to several good reasons. The most obvious one is their inability to work in China, as free providers don’t have the means to battle against the Great Firewall. Even if you manage to find one that unblocks a couple of websites, they typically do so by using less secure protocols.

Your privacy is incredibly important, and doubly so if you live in China, where having the ‘wrong’ opinions can have dire consequences. If you decide to use a VPN in China, make sure your provider will keep your data safe and sound.

FAQ

There are many misconceptions about using a VPN in China. We will try our best to clear any doubts, so keep reading to learn more.

What Is the Great Firewall of China?

Aptly named the Great Firewall of China (and officially known as the Golden Shield Project), this is the world’s most advanced Internet censorship system. As reported by Bloomberg, this censorship system is based on Internet Service Providers limiting all Internet access to a handful of access points. This gives the authorities greater control over incoming and outgoing data.

Is It Legal to Use a VPN in China?

Contrary to popular belief, you can use VPNs in China without legal consequences. The only problem is that you have fewer options than Internet users in other countries, as VPNs are highly regulated by the Chinese government.

Which VPN Works Best in China?

Based on our readers’ feedback and hands-on tests, the best VPN for China is ExpressVPN. This VPN is capable of unblocking websites and online services within China without any problems, offers reliable service stability and a wide network of high-performance servers.

Does ExpressVPN Work in China in 2021?

With each passing year, there are fewer and fewer VPNs working in China. However, ExpressVPN fully works within China, without any restrictions.

What’s the Best VPN Protocol for China?

As we mentioned earlier, the Great Firewall is a highly advanced censorship system. Some VPN protocols are more successful than others at bypassing, but it also depends on how well the provider implements them. In general, OpenVPN is more successful than PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2. WireGuard is a newer protocol that may have some success in China, though few providers fully support it at the moment.

Does Tor Work in China?

The Chinese government has blocked Tor within the country, and there’s currently no way to circumvent this blockade. Even though some bridge relays used to work until recently, all published relays are now fully blocked.

At the moment, your best bet to go beyond Chinese digital borders is to use a VPN. And most importantly, you need a VPN that hasn’t been blocked by the Great Firewall, such as ExpressVPN.

Can You Use Google in China?

There is a huge list of websites and apps that are blocked in China. One of the biggest victims here is Google, as it seems. Numerous Google services are not available in China, including Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, and more. Of course, you can use any of the VPNs found in this article to overcome this roadblock.

How to Watch Youku From Outside China?

The Chinese equivalent of YouTube is Youku. With hundreds of millions of monthly views, the website is the #1 destination for video-related content in the country. However, the problem is that Youku is either blocked or strictly regulated in other countries. If the service doesn’t work in your area, you may need to use a VPN and connect to a server in a different country.

Keep in mind that most (if not all) VPN providers don’t offer servers within China itself, as they would be subject to Chinese data collection laws, putting your privacy at risk.

And thus concludes the hunt for the best VPNs for China in 2021. Anything you feel we haven’t covered? Leave a comment below, and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

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