Do I need a VPN in China?
Whether you are travelling in China, or working in China, the answer is mostly likely, yes.
Even though the internet is quite advanced over there in China. But as a foreigner over there, you are probably going to want to access the same social media networks and websites that you look at back home.
However, in order to do that, you are going to need a VPN. Due to the famous firewalls in China, it will prevent you from accessing quite a bit of the internet that the country deems as unsafe.
What is a VPN?
In case you do not know, a VPN is a Virtual Private Network that will allow you to bypass the current regional restrictions that China has in place for certain websites.
How VPN does that is to make it look like the computer or device you are using is located within the country of your VPN server instead of where you actually are.
Using VPN in China
When to install?
While there are a couple of free VPNs still available, they are not recommended due to their overwhelming popularity and the fact that they can be easily blocked once you arrive.
Therefore, you should purchase your VPN and install it prior to leaving for China. This will ensure that you have everything ready to use when you arrive, and you won’t have any difficulties later on.
How to choose a VPN?
When you are choosing a VPN to use over in China, it is recommended that you find one that connects to a location in Asia or on the Western Coast of the United States. These locations are closer to China, so the connection speeds are better.
You may need to have a few different VPNs on your devices, as sometimes certain ones will not work then you can switch to the other.
How to use a VPN?
We recommend you logging in your VPN every time you surf the internet, this will ensure that you are always connected to the wider web when you want to access some of the prohibited sites in China (such as Facebook and Google – links to the ban).
Without logging in, you will need to sign in and wait to be connected, which will add time to the process. While that might not be an issue all the time, it could be if you are supposed to be online messaging with a friend on Facebook at a specific time.
Is VPN safe?
Besides allowing you to access different websites in China, a VPN will also help keep your information secure when you are connected to public Wi-Fi.
This is an excellent feature, as it will allow you to safely and securely access information on your phone, and you never need to worry about that information falling into the wrong hands.
Is VPN legal in China?
There are also some legal issues recently been brought up about using VPN in China, however, due to the shear amount of businesses needing VPN to stay connected with overseas, as well as expats living in China, the usage of VPN is still inevitable.
Stay connected without a VPN:
The rules over in China for the internet are tricky, so be prepared with at least one VPN before you arrive.
Alternatively, you can also install WeChat and ask your friends and family to do so, so that you all can stay connected with a VPN!