It’s advised to setup your VPN connection — before you enter the country and become subject to the restrictions of the “Great Firewall of China“. Access to any website of a major VPN provider is blocked within China, including ExpressVPN and StrongVPN. This guide should help out!
The block prevents registration to such services and downloading the VPN client software and app needed to jump over the firewall. If you are already in Chinese mainland without a VPN, the only way to get around the restriction is to use another temporary route for the duration of setting up the connection, or choose a new method to go beyond the wall.
- FreeBrowser Access Method
- Unblocked VPN Provider Method
- Recommended VPN for China
- VPN services blocked in China
- End Notes
Note: Below can work for Saudi Arabia & other VPN censoring countries..
FreeBrowser Access Method
The ‘FreeBrowser’ run by the internet freedom fighters at GreatFire.org — is a convenient method for browsing the ‘free’ web with your Android phone. It’s basically a separate web browser that will access the uncensored internet from anywhere in the world. It’s completely free as it relies on donations to keep running. While not always stable, it’s a very good alternative and certainly enough to get a VPN connection up and running.
On the downside it’s not available for iOS devices such as iPhones or iPads. However it is possible to borrow an Android smartphone, to sign up, download the necessary program and send it to the laptop/device you want to be using. On the Apple’s ‘App Store’, most often VPN connection apps can be downloaded in China with an overseas iTunes account. In which case registration should be enough.
To download FreeBrowser for Android within China — see this link.
Look for the link where it says “自由浏览” to download freebrowser.apk file to your phone, and please note that you need to allow app installs from unknown sources.
Otherwise you can grab it directly from — Google Play Store here.
Unblocked VPN Provider Method
Some smaller providers are not blocked and with a bit of luck, you might get through the signup process. The below websites have not been specifically targeted by the great firewall. At least not yet. Unfortunately, the best working VPNs are much more propable to be blocked, so one way is to sign up for the simple purpose of gaining access to a recommended VPN for China.
This is a smaller company with just a £5/monthly fee. Servers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and around the US should have the best connection.
Bigger provider with more rotating IP addresses. While there are no asian server locations, the US servers are a good bet.
Recommended VPN for China
Circumvention Central is a joined project between GreatFire.org and VPN users within China. They release daily updates of statistics from a list of providers which are from actual VPN users. Tests are made for both speed and stability.
Because the reliability of any VPN provider can constantly change, it is the most reliable way to determine the most stable service. Two providers have been constantly on top of the list with average speeds ranging from 600-700kbps and a stability measured around 99% which is outstanding.
Most recommended for speed & stability by Circumvention Central
Both are blocked and require above circumvention methods to access when located within the mainland.
VPN services blocked in China
Golden Frog VyprVPN, PureVPN, Private Internet Access, Hide My Ass, NordVPN, IPVanish, CyberGhost, IVPN, Astrill, VPNSecure, TorGuard, Proxy.sh, Smart DNS Proxy, ExpressVPN, StrongVPN and many more..
While VPN is not the most stable method to circumvent the great firewall, it’s still very popular because of it’s familiarity and easy to use connection clients.