The Best VPN For China 2019
China’s VPN ban means many popular services no longer work. We’ve tested hundreds of services to find the best VPNs for China that consistently evade the Great Firewall so you can access blocked sites and apps including Facebook, Google, Gmail, Youtube, WhatsApp, Skype and others.
If you plan to visit or live in China and want to maintain access to western sites, apps, and services, then you’ll need a VPN. Not all VPNs work in China, and some that do are frustratingly slow.
China’s advanced online censorship system, known as the Great Firewall, has made it a hotspot for VPN users. Both expats and native Chinese use VPN services to circumvent blocked sites and apps like Facebook, Google services, Tinder, western news media, Netflix, and even Comparitech.
Tip: Many VPN websites are blocked in China, even though the VPN itself will work, so it is best to sign-up to your chosen VPN before visiting China if you are not currently residing there.
We’ll cover each VPN that works in China in detail. If you don’t want to read the whole article these are the 5 best VPNs for China:
- ExpressVPN: Consistently works in China. Fast and works well with Netflix and other sites.
- NordVPN: Recently working in China and offers good value
- StrongVPN: A small but reliable VPNs which works in China. Most servers are US-based
- VyprVPN: Own all their own servers for excellent speed and uptime
- Ivacy: Affordable China VPN option that unblocks Netflix US.
Our main considerations when curating this list include factors we believe are of utmost importance to China VPN users. The top priorities are:
- Customer support,
- Range of servers (especially in Asia)
ExpressVPN is possibly the most popular VPN service in China. It’s not the cheapest VPN on this list, but it remains popular among users in China for good reason. It has a huge range of VPN server locations, excellent and consistent speeds, allows three simultaneous connections, offers 24/7 live chat support and claims 99.9% uptime.
The ExpressVPN app works across all major desktop and mobile platforms and is very simple to use. That includes Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux (command line), Fire TV, and compatible routers.Torrenting is allowed on all VPN servers, and Express usually has a handful of servers that work with Netflix. If you’re only visiting China for a short period, consider the 30-day money-back guarantee.
BEST FOR CHINA: ExpressVPN is our #1 choice for China. Reliably avoids China’s Great Firewall and unblocks Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram & Skype and more. Extremely fast connections and a huge range of countries available. Try it risk free with the 30 day money back guarantee.
Based in: British Virgin Islands | Number of servers: 2,000+ | Server locations: 148 | Simultaneous connections: 3
NordVPN recently announced it now works from China, which is good news especially for Beijingers and Shanghaiists who want a lot of simultaneous connections for a low price. NordVPN offers great bang for your buck, offering six simultaneous connections on one inexpensive subscription. It can also unblock streaming sites like Netflix US and Hulu, which block most other VPN connections. Torrenting is tolerated, and servers are available in more than 60 countries.
NordPVN keeps zero logs of user activity and maintains strong encryption standards. Some servers are specialized with speed and security optimizations like anti-DDoS, ultra-fast streaming, double VPN, and Tor over VPN.
Both desktop apps–Windows and MacOS–work in China. Android users should opt for the beta version of the newest app. Unfortunately, NordVPN’s iOS app cannot evade the Great Firewall at this time.
Based in: Panama | Number of servers: 4000+ | Server locations: 60 | Simultaneous connections: 6
- Exclusive 36-Month Plan – $2.99 A Month
- 24-month plan – $3.99 a month
- 12-month plan – $6.99 a month
- 1-month plan – $11.95 a month
StrongVPN is another long-time favorite among expats and travellers in China. It offers over a dozen VPN server locations in the United States alone, although other countries are more limited. We aren’t huge fans of the desktop app, but the L2TP and SSTP protocols work well enough. Speed and uptime are reliable and the company is small enough to sometimes be overlooked by censors while the bigger companies get hammered.
Prices are mid-range, about the same as Astrill but with fewer paid extras. Each subscription comes with a 5-day money-back guarantee. The support team is available 24/7/365 but can only be reached via an online form.
StrongVPN was blocked for the longest time, but I just found out recently that they have some mirror sites up for users in China. You can find the link to one below. This is a well known VPN service, and they have a huge range of VPN accounts available. Their PPTP and L2TP will work in China, and they even have ‘Lite’ package that’s cheaper than some of their other options. Fast servers, fast service, and tons of features. It’s an awesome VPN service.
Though they scored high on a lot of categories, there are some drawbacks to the service. Price, features, and server options depend on which package you choose. They also limit you to how many times you switch servers, and charge different prices for PPTP & OpenVPN.
The point is, you might be able to get a great deal on a great VPN service if you fit into their discount-priced plans. If not, you’ll still get a great service, but you’ll pay a price you’d expect from a great VPN for China.
Based in: USA | Number of servers: 650+ | Server locations: 47 | Simultaneous connections: 5
VyprVPN has always been, by far the most reliable VPN on this list. They used to rank lower down (back in 2012), but in the past five years have made some HUGE improvements to many features of their service.
The most important feature they’ve added that concerns users in China is called “Chameleon”. You can read details on their official site. Does scrambling meta data and deep packet inspection confuse you? Don’t worry about it. It works in China, and it works better than a regular VPN connection.
VyprVPN is privacy focused. They own and run their own VPN network, unlike some services that which use ‘hosted’ solutions. What this means that they have full control over all aspects of their private network: software and hardware.
It’s newbie-friendly! Not only do they have easy install & setup for Mac and Windows, they have also created apps for your mobile devices, which means using a VPN on your iPhone, Android, or tablets much easier than before. Everyone can work an app, and it means you don’t have to worry about configuring the VPN.
VyprVPN has definitely worked hard to make their way to #1 on my list.
VyprVPN is one of the few tier-1 VPN networks with support for users in China, meaning it owns all of its own VPN servers and doesn’t rent them. That equates to fast, consistent speeds and excellent uptime. The Pro version includes a proprietary “Chameleon” protocol that masks VPN traffic to make it less susceptible to the Great Firewall’s deep packet inspection technology. It’s on the pricier side, but residents of China will be happy to know the company accepts payments from Alipay, a popular payment gateway in the country similar to PayPal.
VyprVPN offers a decent number of locations. Live chat support is available. Our only complaint is with some of VyprVPN’s less-than-private logging policies, so frequent torrenters and Popcorn Time VPN users might want to look elsewhere.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
Ivacy is a Singapore-based provider that recently added the ability to bypass the Great Firewall to all of its apps. Ivacy unblocks Netflix US, allows torrenting, and comes with 24/7 live customer support. It fared well in our speed tests and operates over 450 servers in 50 countries.
Ivacy keeps no logs and secures connections with un-crackable encryption. Leak protection is built in, as is a kill switch. You can also set up split tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps go through the VPN and which go through a direct, unencrypted connection.
Ivacy allows you to connect up to five devices at a time, and apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
If you are in China, you can sign up for an Ivacy plan using the Exclusive Offer link below.