The laws in China, regarding most everything, are very strict; unfortunately, the internet is no exception. Censorship of the internet is scrupulous to say the least. China has no less than 60 regulations regarding the internet that are enforced by different branches of government; so much so that the control of the internet in China is considered to be the most implemented and advanced of any other country.
Nevermind the fact that China blocks a significant portion of web content in general, it is no less invasive when it comes to monitoring the internet activity of private citizens and individuals. Note that China “has the largest number of imprisoned journalist and cyber-dissidents in the world”. Hence, the importance behind the term you no doubt have already heard, The Great Firewall of China.
What is the Great Firewall of China?
Also known as the National Public Security Work Informational Project, the Great Firewall of China is a term referring to the strict censoring of the internet in Mainland China. Rules of the internet are upheld by “enforcement technologies” as well as legislative actions. The enforcement technologies include keyword filtering, IP address blacklists, packet inspection, DNS poisoning, as well as manual enforcement.
The Firewall blocks foreign/Western websites, apps, messaging, emails, VPNs, social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Gmail; essentially anything the government could deem offensive or inappropriate or that makes the rule of a Communist Party look unfavorable. Social media may be accessed if the user agrees to comply with rigid rules and laws.
The thought seems to be that the Great Firewall does not alienate foreign students and residents, but makes it difficult for the average Chinese citizen. This is because the only way to access the web freely in China is through an excellent VPN service, which may deter locals due to expense and effort.
Nonetheless, in the past year it looked as though the Chinese government is making it increasingly difficult for any body to find and subscribe to a VPN provider. As of now, the sale of VPNs has been strictly limited and is part of a internet ‘clean up’ process that will supposedly be complete in March of 2018. Due to the pressure from the authorities, many of the VPN providers in China only market to businesses.
In July of 2017, Apple removed more than 60 VPN services from its Chinese app store. Android also seems to be ridding themselves of the services, but at a slower rate. As of the end March 2018, foreign VPN providers have been completely eliminated so users cannot access them to manipulate the Great Firewall. This means, that only VPNs officially licensed by the Chinese government will be allowed, anything else will be blocked. All major Chinese telecoms have already been instructed not to allow any of their 1.3 billion subscribers to access VPNs to get around the internet censorship.
So What Now?
Despite the crackdown on VPN providers, that is still the best and only way to get around the Great Firewall in any capacity. Your concern now is to decide which one is best; and so we have narrowed the choices down to the TOP THREE that are STILL successfully used in China.
The front runner, best all around VPN for most everything, including access in China is ExpressVPN. The best features of this VPN include its excellent speed (opt for the Los Angeles server), reliability, unlimited bandwidth, and top security protocols. There are 1500 servers in 94 countries, access to Netflix, and a 30 day money back guarantee trial. Follow the link for a thorough review on this top of the line VPN service!
The next choice is VyprVPN. Speed and reliability are decent and top security protocols, such as OpenVPN, are also employed. VyprVPN does include unlimited bandwidth and access to Netflix. Check out the review to see if this provider will suit your needs.
Finally, you may consider Astrill VPN. It is not as reliable as the above two choices, but the speed remains good in comparison to VyprVPN. Astrill comes with unlimited bandwidth, OpenVPN security protocols, and Netflix access. There are less servers to choose from (150 in 50 countries) and unlike the above mentioned VPNs, only one connected device is allowed at a time; but depending on your needs, this may be adequate for you. Click here to visit their website and begin your 7-day free trial.
By far, and despite its steeper pricing option, ExpressVPN is the way to go when it comes to bypassing that pesky Great Firewall. It has the fastest desktop and mobile apps and amazing customer support. You definitely get what you pay for, and you won’t be disappointed.