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The Best VPN for China

the best vpns for china

Living or traveling in China poses unique challenges for internet users, thanks to the infamous Great Firewall. The Chinese government's stringent censorship laws restrict access to many popular websites and online services, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and many more. To bypass these restrictions, many people rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). However, not all VPNs are created equal, and finding the best VPN for China can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the best VPNs for China, with a particular focus on NordVPN and Surfshark, two of the most reliable options on the market.

The Great Firewall of China: A Brief Overview

Before diving into the specifics of the best VPNs for China, it's essential to understand what the Great Firewall is and how it affects internet usage. The Great Firewall is a combination of legislative actions and technologies enforced by the Chinese government to regulate and censor the internet domestically. This system blocks access to numerous websites and slows down cross-border internet traffic.

For expatriates, travelers, and even locals looking to access unrestricted information, a reliable VPN is crucial. A good VPN will mask your IP address, encrypt your data, and route your internet traffic through a server located in another country, allowing you to bypass these restrictions.

Criteria for Choosing the Best VPN for China

When selecting a VPN for use in China, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Ability to Bypass the Great Firewall: The VPN must be able to consistently bypass Chinese censorship.
  2. Speed and Performance: Fast and stable connections are essential for streaming, video calls, and browsing.
  3. Security and Privacy: Strong encryption and a no-logs policy are vital to ensure your data remains private.
  4. Device Compatibility: The VPN should support multiple devices, including iPhone and Android.
  5. Customer Support: 24/7 customer support can be a lifesaver if you encounter any issues.

NordVPN: A Top Choice for China

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Why NordVPN Stands Out

NordVPN is often cited as one of the best VPNs for China, and for good reason. It offers a robust combination of security, speed, and reliability. NordVPN uses advanced obfuscation technology, which disguises VPN traffic as regular internet traffic, making it harder for the Great Firewall to detect and block.

Features of NordVPN

  • Obfuscated Servers: These servers are specifically designed to work in heavily censored regions like China.
  • Double VPN: For an extra layer of security, NordVPN routes your traffic through two servers instead of one.
  • CyberSec: This feature blocks ads and malicious websites, enhancing your online security.
  • No-Logs Policy: NordVPN does not track or store your online activity.
  • Fast Speeds: With a vast network of servers worldwide, NordVPN offers fast and reliable connections.

NordVPN in Action

Using NordVPN in China is straightforward. Once you have subscribed to NordVPN, you can download the app on your device (iPhone, Android, or any other). After logging in, select an obfuscated server, and you’re good to go. NordVPN’s interface is user-friendly, making it easy for even the most tech-averse individuals to use.

User Experiences

On platforms like Reddit, NordVPN is frequently recommended as one of the best VPNs for China. Users praise its ability to bypass the Great Firewall reliably and its excellent customer support.

Surfshark: Affordable and Reliable

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Why Surfshark is a Great Choice

Surfshark is another excellent VPN for China, known for its affordability without compromising on quality. It offers many of the same features as NordVPN, including strong encryption, a no-logs policy, and obfuscated servers.

Features of Surfshark

  • Camouflage Mode: This mode makes your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic, helping you avoid detection by the Great Firewall.
  • MultiHop: Like NordVPN’s Double VPN, MultiHop routes your traffic through multiple countries for enhanced security.
  • CleanWeb: Surfshark blocks ads, trackers, and malware, ensuring a safer browsing experience.
  • Unlimited Devices: You can use Surfshark on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.
  • 24/7 Support: Surfshark offers round-the-clock customer support.

Surfshark in Action

Setting up Surfshark in China is as easy as NordVPN. After subscribing, download the app on your preferred device, log in, and connect to a server using Camouflage Mode. Surfshark’s intuitive interface ensures a smooth user experience.

User Experiences

Surfshark is gaining popularity on forums like Reddit for its reliable performance in China. Users appreciate its affordability and the ability to use it on unlimited devices, making it a great option for families or groups traveling together.

Other Notable VPNs for China


ExpressVPN is another popular choice among expats and travelers in China. Known for its fast speeds and reliability, ExpressVPN offers a wide range of servers worldwide. While it is more expensive than NordVPN and Surfshark, many users find the extra cost worth it for its performance.

Free VPNs for China: A Cautionary Note

While searching for the best free VPN for China, you might come across several options. However, it's essential to approach free VPNs with caution. Many free VPNs have significant limitations, including data caps, slow speeds, and questionable privacy practices. That said, there are a few reputable free VPNs that might be worth considering, but always prioritize your security and privacy.

Device Compatibility: Best VPN for China on iPhone and Android

Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer apps that are compatible with iPhones and Android devices. Their mobile apps are just as robust as their desktop counterparts, ensuring that you can stay connected and secure on the go.

Staying Ahead of the Game

As we move into 2024, staying ahead of the Great Firewall's advancements is crucial. NordVPN and Surfshark are continually updating their technologies to ensure they can bypass censorship and provide users with reliable, secure access to the internet.

Let's Compare VPNs

Ability to Bypass Great FirewallExcellentExcellentVery GoodGood
Speed and PerformanceFastFastVery FastModerate
Security and PrivacyTop-notchTop-notchTop-notchGood
Device CompatibilityiPhone, Android, Windows, MaciPhone, Android, Windows, MaciPhone, Android, Windows, MaciPhone, Android
Customer Support24/724/724/7Limited
Price (Monthly)Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceFree with premium options
Unique FeaturesDouble VPN, CyberSecCamouflage Mode, MultiHopMediaStreamer DNS, Split TunnelingSimple and straightforward

Final Thoughts

Navigating the internet in China can be challenging, but with the right VPN, you can regain access to your favorite websites and services. NordVPN and Surfshark stand out as top contenders for the best VPN for China, offering a blend of security, speed, and reliability. Whether you’re an expat, a traveler, or a local seeking unrestricted access, these VPNs provide the tools you need to overcome the Great Firewall and enjoy a free and open internet experience.

By considering your specific needs and staying informed about the latest developments in VPN technology, you can choose the best VPN for China that suits your requirements. Whether you opt for NordVPN, Surfshark, or another reputable provider, the key is to ensure you have a reliable and secure solution to keep you connected and protected online.


Which VPN is better for China?
VPNs like NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN are often recommended for their ability to bypass the Great Firewall and provide fast, secure connections.

Do VPNs still work in China?
Yes, several VPNs still work in China, but their effectiveness can vary. It's essential to choose a reputable VPN that frequently updates its technology to stay ahead of censorship measures.

Is NordVPN usable in China?
Yes, NordVPN is known for its reliability in China, especially with its obfuscated servers designed to bypass the Great Firewall.

Can China use ExpressVPN?
Yes, ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable VPNs for use in China, providing fast and secure access to blocked websites.

Is there a penalty for using a VPN in China?
While using a VPN in China is not illegal for individuals, the government does crack down on VPN providers and unregistered VPNs. It's crucial to use a VPN that complies with Chinese regulations to avoid potential issues.

Does China own NordVPN?
No, NordVPN is based in Panama and is not owned by China.

Does Norton VPN work in China?
Norton VPN may not be as reliable as other options specifically designed to bypass the Great Firewall. Users generally prefer VPNs like NordVPN or ExpressVPN for China.

What happens if you set your VPN to China?
Setting your VPN to a server in China won't help bypass the Great Firewall and might reduce your access to unrestricted content.

Can I use Surfshark in China?
Yes, Surfshark is effective in China due to its Camouflage Mode, which makes your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic.

Does Hide Me work in China?
Hide Me VPN can work in China, but it may not be as reliable as other top-tier VPNs specifically designed to bypass the Great Firewall.

Does Google One VPN work in China?
Google One VPN is not known for its effectiveness in China. It's better to use VPNs like NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

Why is CyberGhost blocked?
CyberGhost may be blocked in China due to its inability to consistently bypass the Great Firewall, which targets VPN traffic.

Does McAfee VPN work in China?
McAfee VPN is generally not recommended for China as it may not reliably bypass the Great Firewall.

Is it illegal to use VPN China?
Using a VPN in China is not illegal for individuals, but it is heavily regulated. The government targets VPN providers and enforces restrictions on unauthorized VPN services.

Is ExpressVPN good for China?
Yes, ExpressVPN is highly regarded for its speed, reliability, and ability to bypass the Great Firewall in China.

Can NordVPN be used in China?
Yes, NordVPN can be used in China and is effective due to its obfuscated servers, which help bypass internet censorship.

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