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5 Best VPNs for China That Still Work in 2019

China is well-known for internet censorship. By using a VPN for China you can bypass blocks that are implemented by the Chinese government and keep your online devices secure. Read on to see the 5 best VPNs that work in China. 

VPN China

The best way to bypass the Great Firewall and gain unblock Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in China is to get yourself a VPN that works in China.

 A China VPN service will mask your location and encrypt all of your online traffic in such a way that the Chinese government will be unable to detect what you are up to online; thus bypassing the firewall and granting you full access to the free and open internet.

The best VPN for China: Comparison

Choosing a VPN for China can be difficult, but we’ve done all the hard work for you and prepared a comparison of the VPNs we recommend for use in China. Take a look below at the table comparing the best VPNs for China. 


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These are the best VPNs for China first and foremost because of their high level of security and reliability, and of course for their ability to circumvent the Great Firewall of China. 

When choosing a VPN for China, it is important to bear in mind that the Chinese government has successfully blocked many VPNs from operating effectively within its borders. Therefore it is difficult to find a VPN that works in China. Each VPN provider in our list is confirmed to work effectively in China thanks to the technologies they employ specifically to elude the Great Firewall. 

With unchecked government surveillance in the country, it is also imperative to ensure that your VPN provides the strongest possible levels of encryption to make certain that your online activity remains safeguarded from the prying eyes of the Chinese government. 

An unreliable, unsecured VPN can leave your online activity vulnerable and exposed to government agents snooping on your internet communications. We can confidently affirm that the VPNs in our list employ the required encryption standards that will reliably secure your online activity in China.  

Other critical features an excellent China VPN service should offer:

  • Access to blocked websites

  • Well placed server locations

  • DNS leak protection

  • Fast speeds

  • 24/7 customer service

  • Killswitch

  • Unlimited bandwidth

  • No logging policy

  • Mobile app

  • Obfuscation

Top 5 China VPN services

Here’s our in-depth list detailing each of the 5 best VPNs for China.

1. ExpressVPN

BestVPN.com Score 10 out of 10
Editor's Choice

Our top pick for China is ExpressVPN. What makes ExpressVPN a popular choice for VPN users in China has a lot to do with not only their excellent customer-centric approach but also the reliability of their network and the servers they have deployed specifically to circumvent the Great Firewall. ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, and a ticketing system. They also provide a substantial troubleshooting section that covers virtually any issue you may encounter with the service. Their robust approach to customer care and technical troubleshooting is especially helpful should you run into any issues using the service in China. Furthermore, ExpressVPN boasts a healthy network of servers in 94 locations around the globe, with many servers near China to ensure top-notch speeds and reliability. Technical features include DNS leak protection, a firewall-based kill switch, and military-grade OpenVPN encryption. They also operate a network of “stealth” servers in Hong Kong with the explicit purpose of bypassing the Great Firewall. To top it off, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try it completely risk-free!

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 94
  • Average Speed 77.14 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 3
  • Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands

Likes

  • Super fast - great for streaming!
  • Very secure 256-bit encryption
  • Unlimited downloading
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 5* 24/7 customer support
  • Special Deal: Save 49% Today

Dislikes

  • IPv6 WebRTC leaks (fixed by browser extension)
  • A little pricey
  • BVI jurisdiction is not ideal

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 2000
Countries 94
Simultaneous connections 3
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 178.05
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 77.14
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

2. NordVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10

NordVPN has cemented itself as one of the most staunch advocates for the more privacy-conscious VPN users out there. Based in Panama, NordVPN is firmly out of the reach of the NSA and copyright holders. This is especially great news for VPN users in China who intend on torrenting. NordVPN keeps no logs, boasts military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, offers CyberSec protection which automatically blocks suspicious websites, and encrypts your internet traffic not once but twice with their Double VPN technology. Like the others, NordVPN also provides obfuscated servers designed to outwit the Great Firewall. They offer a vast network of 5,146 servers in 62 locations, with 462 servers spread across 12 locations in the Asia Pacific region. Other features and benefits include an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, Onion over VPN, 24/7 customer service, 6 simultaneous connections, and apps for all devices. All of this is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 62
  • Average Speed 59.23 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Panama

Likes

  • Christmas Special Offer: 75% OFF!
  • Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Dedicated IPs (cost extra)
  • Based in Panama (great for privacy)

Dislikes

  • IPv6 leak in macOS IKEv2 app

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 4568
Countries 62
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers Combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Panama
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 229.99
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 59.23
IPv4 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 Days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

3. PrivateVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.6 out of 10

With outstanding encryption and superb speeds, PrivateVPN is another popular option for VPN users in China. PrivateVPN takes customer care to the next level by offering free remote assistance from their developers for installation and technical troubleshooting. This is certainly useful for anyone running into issues using a VPN in China. Thanks to lightning-fast speeds, PrivateVPN is also an excellent choice for those wishing to access streaming sites like Netflix and BBC while in China. PrivateVPN offers servers in 60 locations, including 9 locations near China. Additional benefits offered are 6 simultaneous connections, unlimited speed and bandwidth, SOCKS5 and HTTP proxy, stealth mode, port forwarding, and a 30-day money back guarantee.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 58.97 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Sweden

Likes

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers in 56 countries
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
  • Zero logs
  • 24/7 customer support

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 100
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols IPSec, Shadowsocks

Privacy

Jurisdiction Sweden
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 327.86
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 58.97
IPv4 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Proxy

Support

Free trial Yes - 7 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

4. CyberGhost

BestVPN.com Score 9.3 out of 10

CyberGhost is another VPN provider with a heavy focus on privacy and advocates for a free and uncensored internet. CyberGhost boasts a strict no-logs policy and offers excellent encryption via AES 256-bit technology -- two features critical for VPN users in China. Additionally, they offer over 3,000 servers in more than 60 locations around the world, including a network of wholly-owned “No Spy” servers which provide enhanced security and faster speeds. Currently, CyberGhost offers 10 server locations in Asia, so you can easily access fast and reliable servers to un-censor the internet from within China. On top of providing great security and excellent speeds, CyberGhost is an exceptional VPN for unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime and Hulu from China. CyberGhost also offers DNS and IP leak protection, 7 simultaneous connections, and unlimited bandwidth; all with a generous 45-day money back guarantee to boot.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 61.97 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 7
  • Jurisdiction Romania

Likes

  • Christmas Special Offer: 77% OFF!
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks US Netflix + BBC iPlayer
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
  • Private: Strong no logs policy
  • Based in Romania so no government spying!

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 2750
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 7
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
Android
Linux

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Romania
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 132.01
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 61.97
IPv4 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

5. VPNArea

BestVPN.com Score 9.1 out of 10

If you need a VPN in China you will probably be looking for a service that provides obfuscation - to get around the great firewall of China. The good news is that VPNArea is a superb service that has obfuscation, a killswitch, and DNS leak protection built into its clients. It also has servers in over 50 countries that are excellent for unblocking a huge amount of content.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 70
  • Average Speed 28.08 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Bulgaria

Likes

  • Kill switch included
  • Dedicated IP available
  • Unblock Netflix US and iPlayer
  • Good security features
  • Good customer service

Dislikes

  • US speeds can be slow
  • Hosted in Switzerland

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 200
Countries 70
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols Double OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Bulgaria
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 28.08
IPv4 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

Why do I need a VPN for China?

Basically, if you want to do anything worthwhile on the internet in China, you will need to use a VPN. This is due to the strict control the Chinese government imposes on the internet via the Chinese Firewall. 

The Great Firewall of China is essentially a means for the Chinese government to censor the internet and tightly control what websites are accessible within its jurisdiction. The motivation behind this is multifold, from maintaining social control over the populace, to fostering an environment which aims predominantly to cultivate Chinese economic interests, to limiting the dissemination of outside ideas and influences. 

As a result, if you get on the internet in China, you will find that you will not be able to access most if not all of the websites you normally access on a daily basis. Websites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, along with popular communication tools like Slack and WhatsApp are all blocked in China. 

How to beat China's Great Firewall

The good news is that there is indeed a way to get around these blocks and access the open internet while in China. The best way to circumvent the Great Firewall and regain access to all of these websites is to use a VPN.

China Firewall VPN

A VPN will not only help you bypass the great firewall, but it will also help you hide your online activity from Chinese government surveillance and hackers. This is because the VPN will fully encrypt all of your online communications in a secure “tunnel” to a remote server through which you access the internet. 

Since all your internet traffic is encrypted through the VPN while connected, neither the Chinese government nor the ISP (Internet Service Provider) you are using will be able to detect what websites you are visiting. This is truly a win-win because you are effectively shielding your online activity from any form of government surveillance and hackers, while at the same time unlocking full uncensored access to the internet.

Are VPNs in China illegal?

Although the Chinese government certainly aims to curtail and regulate the use of VPNs as much as it possibly can, using a VPN in China is technically not illegal. Rather, they attempt to make it difficult for individuals to use VPNs that are not licensed or government approved. 

While Chinese residents may find themselves in trouble with the law if they are caught using an unauthorized VPN service, foreign visitors to China shouldn’t fear any legal implications for using a VPN there. The Chinese government has, perhaps deliberately, made the legality of VPN usage in the country a bit of a grey area. Regardless, as of now, there is nothing ostensibly illegal about using a VPN in China.

The main reason that the Chinese government hasn’t made VPN use illegal is because international business operations would effectively be rendered unfeasible without the ability for Chinese companies to use VPNs. It is therefore in China’s best economic interest to allow the use of VPNs for businesses.

China VPN Ban

The Chinese government threatened to crack down harder on VPN use beginning in April of 2019. Despite the threat of a more hardcore VPN ban this year, we can confirm that VPNs still do indeed operate effectively in China. 

That said, the Chinese government has done their best to ban VPNs, in that most “unauthorized” VPN websites are not accessible from behind the Great Firewall. Additionally, last year Apple caved to China’s demands to remove most major VPN apps from the Chinese App Store. This was seen as another huge blow to online freedoms in the already highly regulated internet landscape. 

If you plan on using a VPN on mobile, then take a look at our iPhone VPN and Android VPN guides for more information. 

Essentially, anyone who only has access to Apple’s Chinese App Store or anyone with access only to the standard state-controlled internet in China is going to have a difficult time getting their hands on a quality VPN. It is therefore especially important for anyone traveling to China to sign on with a VPN provider before entering the country.

These government VPN crackdowns seem to appear every so often in China, especially surrounding important political meetings or events, presumably in an effort to quell the circulation of anti-government discourse or protest. Certain VPN services may experience temporary outages as a result, but usually are able to get back up and running within a matter of a day or two.

Can I get a free VPN for China?

If you want to use a free VPN in China, there are a few things to consider as using one is not without its inherent risks. 

  • Many free services sell their users personal data to the highest bidder.
  • free providers don’t always provide the same level of encryption as do high-quality paid services, leaving your digital security in jeopardy.
  • Providers will significantly limit the speeds and number of servers their users can get.
  • Providers put bandwidth usage restrictions on their free service.

Having said that, if you do insist on using a free VPN for China, then take a look at our list of the best free VPN services

What can I unblock with a China VPN?

A VPN for China is the key to unblocking all the sites and apps you use on a regular basis, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, and WhatsApp. If you’d like to check out the table below to see what popular websites are blocked in China. 

WebsiteWhen was it BlockedBlock status
Google services2014All services are blocked
DuckDuckGO2014Blocked
Youtube2009Only Available in cities Haikou and Sanya
Facebook2009Only Available in cities Haikou and Sanya
Twitter2009Only Available in cities Haikou and Sanya
Instagram2014Blocked
Pinterest2017Blocked
Tumblr2016Blocked
Flickr2014Blocked
Whatsapp2017Blocked
Pornhub2012Blocked
Xvideos2011Blocked
Xhamster2011Blocked
BBC2014Blocked
HBO2019Blocked
Line2013Blocked
BestVPN2017Blocked

If you want to unblock streaming services when in China, take a look at the guides below:

FAQs

Below, we’ve listed a few frequently asked questions regarding VPN usage in China that we’ve curated using questions from Reddit.


Written by: Attila Tomaschek

Attila is a Hungarian-American currently living in Budapest. Being in the VPN game for several years, he brings a deep knowledge of the industry to share with BestVPN readers. When he's not writing about VPNs and digital privacy, Attila enjoys listening to music, cooking, and road-tripping through Europe.

93 Comments

  1. Louis Coleman
    on July 27, 2018
    Reply

    I went to china months ago and I used VPN free application to still access my SNS accounts while in there. It's quiet cool how it works and I did enjoy accessing my accounts using it. Anyway, thank you for this informative article, I learned what are the best VPN apps to use aside from what I'm using.

  2. Al
    on April 26, 2018
    Reply

    I live in China and been here for a while and now and have tried just about every vpn to see which one works. First you have to understand with VPNs in China they are very location and ISP specific. You need to try out which one works for your work or home. I actually use two one for work and one for home. Different ISPs so different results, even though my home and my work are only a few Km apart. Take advantage of the trial periods. Make sure they work and get good speeds where you need them. Even then you may have difficulties a few months later. China is always adapting against VPNs, so what may work now might not work later. I know it sucks. Different areas in China will have drastically different results. Even building by building. China's internet infrastructure is very chaotic. When I first got here I found a fantastic VPN worked wonderfully but I don't use it now, because China blocked it and after I couldn't get the same speeds and connection stability I had before. The one I would recommend is ExpressVPN. In my experience, and out of all the expats I know, around 80% use it. I work with a few hundred expats, and that is the go to VPN for most. It is very reliable and stable. Also it is a larger company so they have the resources to adapt quickly to China's ever changing Firewall. The smaller VPN companies usually have difficulties in that area. You have Vypr ranked best in China, I would rank it one of the worst for China. I had it for a year no matter where I was at or what city it wouldn't connect or if it did was very slow. Almost all expats download tv/movies from their home country and Vypr will suspend your account if caught. Right there is huge con against Vypr in China. Some tips if you are going to China and will be there a while get a VPN before you go, just a monthly sub. Just a monthly sub because if doesn't give you speed or stability you need you can cancel and not be locked into a year. When you get there use that VPN to download other VPNs, only ones with a trial, preferably at least 7 days. Try them all out so which one works the best and go with that one. Remember to uninstall ones you tried, they may interfere with each other. I wouldn't pay for more than a year. Because if it gets blocked or slows down you aren't stuck for two or more years of a useless VPN.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Al
      on April 27, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Al, Thanks for that great post, which, I think, confirms much of what I have said in this article. You make a good point about VyprVPN's policy on copyright infringement, although it is my understanding that it works well in China.

  3. qx
    on March 29, 2018
    Reply

    I have used Vypr for a month. Actually, the connection speed is fine(I'm not in Beijing, fortunately). However, just like some users mentioned above, it might have some issues with privacy, etc. It seems kind of creepy that I have used it for a month, logging onto all kinds of accounts. Besides, it does not allow users to change their subscription plan once they paid. That means that after a user paid for a month, he/she can't switch to a yearly plan afterwards. That's ridiculous...The customer support is 24/7, but often they don't help much. I'm using freevpn.pw on my Mac now, which is free and stable. However, I'm not sure whether it is safe. Does anyone mind sharing some info about this software? I'm not sure now which VPN I should use. I have tried ExpressVpn, however, it is sometimes not very stable. I guess it is because it's so famous that it gets the attention of GFW...

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to qx
      on March 29, 2018
      Reply

      Hi qx. - Can you please explain what you mean by "it might have some issues with privacy." - When your 1 month subscription is fished, what is stopping you from simply taking out a new 1 year sub?

  4. A.S
    on March 9, 2018
    Reply

    Just came back from China last week. Tried Vyrl, Express, and Nord and none of them worked in Beijing. But as soon as you got out of Beijing, they started to work.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to A.S
      on March 12, 2018
      Reply

      Hi A.S Thanks for that insight - we value on-the-ground reports.

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