Whether you’re going on a short business trip, planning an extended stay, or permanently moving or living there, A VPN in China is an absolute necessity. Popular apps and websites we use daily – like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, Gmail, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Netflix – are banned in the country, and the only way to unblock them is with a VPN. But what is the best VPN for China?
You’ll need a reliable provider with excellent obfuscation technology to escape VPN detection. Our experts tested over 30 brands during their recent COVID lockdown in Guangzhou to see which VPNs work in China.
NOTE: We also rented a Chinese server in the city to keep the ‘best VPN for China’ list regularly updated from abroad.
The Great Firewall of China
China has established itself as a business hub and manufacturing powerhouse. It’s rightly dubbed ‘the factory of the world,’ thanks to low labor costs and taxes, a robust business ecosystem, a lack of regulatory compliance, and competitive currency practices.
However, it has very strict internet regulations.
American non-profit organization Freedom House labeled online freedom in China as ‘Not Free,’ with an overall score of 10/100. According to its 2022 Freedom on the Net report, the country has been the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom for eight consecutive years.
|Obstacles to access||8/25|
|Limits on content||2/35|
|Violations of user rights||0/40|
The Chinese government’s advanced firewall detects and blocks hundreds of services, news websites, and social media apps. That includes all Google apps, Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, CNN, Reuters, BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Spotify, Netflix, Twitch, Slack, Wikipedia, and much more.
Instead, it replaced some of these globally popular services with local versions. But naturally, you won’t enjoy them as the others.
Why the Best VPN for China Is Crucial
As you can see from the above table, there are severe online violations of user rights in China. As in all other countries, internet service providers monitor and track customers’ activities. But in China, ISPs and private organizations rent bandwidth from the government, which owns all access routes.
Therefore, the best VPN for China isn’t just useful for unblocking content but also for protecting your online privacy.
- Full internet access: Unblock your favorite websites, apps, and streaming services by just connecting to a VPN server outside China. You’ll instantly get a new IP address and appear as if you’re in another country.
- Strong data encryption: Protect your browsing history, passwords, and sensitive information from ISPs, hackers, and government surveillance. Premium VPNs use military-grade encryption, the best in the industry.
- Zero logs: Erase your online connection and activities for good thanks to the no-logs policy VPNs implement. No one can track you or see what you’re doing.
- Fast streaming and gaming: Enjoy your favorite shows and games without interruptions. The robust encryption prevents your ISP from throttling your internet connection if you consume too much bandwidth.
- Public WiFi protection: Never use public hotspots in hotels, airports, cafes, etc., because hackers use them to infiltrate your device and steal your data. Connecting to a VPN encrypts your traffic so that no one can access anything.
- Torrent support: You can safely and quickly download any file via torrent networks. Top VPN servers all support P2P activities.
- Better online deals: Try connecting to a VPN the next time you shop online. It opens new markets with potentially lower prices and new products.
Best VPN for China Ranked
China also blocks most VPNs, so you can’t use just any provider. You need a premium VPN with excellent obfuscation technology, which hides the fact you’re using a VPN. As a result, the great Chinese firewall won’t detect you, and you’ll get instant, reliable online privacy and freedom.
But despite their claims, few VPNs deploy obfuscation that actually works. That’s why we did all the work for you and tested more than 30 providers to see which ones live up to the expectation.
Below, you’ll find the best VPNs for China and a thorough description of each to help you better decide.
- 30-Day Money-back Guarantee
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Apps For All Your Devices
- 24/7 Live Support
Our experts’ number one recommendation is ExpressVPN, a highly-rated provider in the VPN industry. It offers more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries and can dependably avoid China’s VPN detection mechanisms. The service works with Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC IPlayer, and other popular streaming channels and supports torrent activities.
As for security and privacy, ExpressVPN uses AES with 256-bit keys, military-grade encryption with unbreakable data protection. It also follows a stringent no-logging policy and has an automatic kill switch to prevent data leaks.
The ExpressVPN app is easy to use, and you can install it on most devices, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Fire TV. First-time subscribers benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Strong streaming support
- Allows torrenting
- No logs kept
- Top encryption and kill switch
- Fast servers
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Pricier than other VPNs
- Only 5 simultaneous devices
We’ve tested A LOT of VPNs over the years, but BulletVPN was the only one with a perfect unblocking record. It managed to access all the streaming services we tried, allowing us to watch our favorite shows without buffering or connection speed issues. Servers are located in more than 50 countries and support Wireguard and P2P downloading.
And just like other premium VPNs, this Estonian provider offers AES-256 encryption, a zero-logs policy, and a kill switch. BulletVPN also allows up to 6 device connections at the same time, has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and is one of the best VPNs in China.
- Top choice for streaming
- AES-256 encryption, no logs
- Kill switch + BulletShield
- WireGuard support
- 6 device connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Smaller server network
- Not feature-heavy
Another top choice if your main concern is bypassing streaming geo-blocks, Unlocator offers both VPN and Smart DNS services. But to bypass the Chinese firewall, you need to subscribe to the VPN or mix both together with Unlocator Hybrid. As a result, You’ll guarantee unlimited internet access and privacy at the click of a button.
In addition to the above, you’ll get a kill switch with Unlocator Shield, five simultaneous devices, torrent allowance, live chat customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Excellent for streaming
- AES-256 encryption
- Unlocator Hybrid
- Best Smart DNS
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Small server network
- Few features
- Based in Denmark
If privacy is your biggest concern in China, then NordVPN is a top VPN you should consider. In addition to AES-256, zero logs, and kill switch, you get double VPN encryption, an ad-blocker, Onion over VPN, and more. The provider also has excellent obfuscation technology and is one of the best VPNs for China – not just for privacy.
NordVPN has 5,000+ servers in 60 countries and works with the most popular streaming platforms. It has dedicated servers for torrenting and allows 6 device connections at the same time. The app is easy to use and compatible with iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and more devices.
- AES-256 encryption, No logs
- Double VPN, ad blocker
- Six simultaneous devices
- Streaming access
- P2P support
- 30-day refund policy
- Some servers are slow
- Can’t unblock some services
How We Rate the Best VPN for China
We created a testing methodology that only guarantees top recommendations for the best for China. Our experts would like to share their knowledge with you so that you’ll know how to choose the right VPN.
- App functionality and features: After subscribing to the VPN, we download the app and put it under the microscope. It should be easy to navigate and have beneficial features.
- Streaming support: Bypassing geo-blocks and watching content online is a significant reason why people use VPNs. Hence, we try to access popular sites like international Netflix catalogs, Hulu, HBO Max, and more outside their respective markets.
- P2P support: We check if the VPN allows torrenting or has dedicated P2P servers, then we try to download files using the network.
- Military-grade encryption: AES encryption with 256-bit keys is the strongest in the VPN industry. We. only recommend providers that use it.
- Customer support: Whether it’s email, ticket, or live chat support, we try them all to see response time and the quality of the answers.
Best VPN for China – Devices to Use
Get your best China VPN on your favorite device.
Download the VPN in 5 easy steps:
- Visit the VPN website
- Subscribe by entering your email, password,
- Select a subscription plan and payment method
- Connect to any VPN server outside China
- Get total internet access and privacy
To download the VPN app on your mobile or tablet, you must:
- Get the best VPN for China
- Go to the Play Store or App Store
- Install and open the VPN app
- Connect to any server
- Get privacy and freedom wherever you go
There aren’t any compatible VPN apps with Fire TV, Apple TV, or similar devices. To stream from abroad, you must:
- Set up the VPN on your router
- Connect to a server location
- Download your favorite streaming app
- Enjoy international content inside China
Since there aren’t any VPN apps for Smart TVs, you must set up the VPN on your router (see how in the Fire TV method). Then, connect to a VPN server from the same country as the app you want to download, install it, and enjoy.
If you can’t find your favorite app or game on the PlayStation Store or Microsoft Store, you must manually install the VPN app on your router to get it. After that, connect to any foreign server and download it.
Best VPN for China – FAQ
Do you have any questions about VPNs that work in China? Check these answers out.
Are VPNs legal in China?
Although China blocks most VPNs, it is legal to use government-approved VPN providers. However, these services don’t have the same privacy and unblocking features as the premium VPNs we recommended.
Do I need a VPN in China?
Many popular websites and services are blocked in China, like Netflix, Google apps, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Furthermore, the government owns all the access routes that ISPs use, meaning they can monitor all your internet activities. The only way to avoid geo-blocks and privacy intrusions is with the best VPN for China.
Can China detect VPNs?
China’s great firewall detects most VPNs. That’s why you need a provider that hides the fact you’re using a VPN, a.k.a. obfuscation technology. All the VPNs on our list work reliably in China.
Can I use free VPNs?
All the free VPNs we tried didn’t work in China. We don’t recommend these services either way because they don’t offer encryption or a no-logs policy. They also can’t bypass streaming geo-blocks.
What is the best VPN for China?
We highly recommend ExpressVPN to access the internet without restrictions or snooping in China. The other options on our list also worked perfectly in the country.
Best VPN for China – Conclusion
The internet in China is full of restrictions, censorship, and invasion of privacy. You can’t open most social media apps, streaming sites, or foreign news outlets, not to mention government agencies watching what you do online. Therefore, your only choice is a premium VPN because the other options are detected and blocked.
The best VPN for China will give you access to your favorite apps and websites while maintaining your online privacy and security. Follow the above steps in this guide to significantly improve your internet experience instantly.