Best VPN for China [Updated 2023]
Want to bypass internet restrictions and safeguard your privacy in China? In China’s digital landscape, free internet access is a rarity for both residents and travelers, with the Great Firewall erecting formidable barriers.
This restricts China-based users’ online privacy, and blocks access to popular international apps, sites, and services like ChatGPT and Instagram inside China, while also preventing international users from reaching Chinese websites like iQiYi and Youk. Reliable VPNs offer a solution catering to both residents and visitors through unbreakable AES encryption and advanced tunneling protocols. By masking your IP address with another one, a VPN unlocks restricted content, extending access to global content.
How to get a Chinese VPN? Not all VPNs can circumvent the Great Firewall’s might. Our search for the “Best VPN for China” led us to create a China VPN server list and identify top contenders that offer resilient access, online anonymity, and rapid connectivity. ExpressVPN stands out as the best VPN for China due to its ability to beat Chinese censors, work inside the PRC through its ExpressVPN Chinese Hong Kong servers, and provide fast streaming speeds while doing so.
Best VPNs for China – Quick Comparison
Wondering how to get a Chinese VPN? Here is a quick look at some of the best VPNs for China:
|Provider||Rating||Server Count||Servers in Hong Kong /China||Nearby Server Countries||No-Logs Policy||Independent Audit and Verification||Obfuscation Servers||Unblocks Streaming Services||Simultaneous Connections||Price||Free-Trial||Money-back Guarantee|
|5/5||3000+||1||Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||8||US$ 6.67 /mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan)||7 days for mobile||30 days|
|4.94/5||3200||60+||Japan, Macau, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unlimited||US$ 2.49 /mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)||7 days for mobile||30 days|
|4.87/5||5600+||75+||Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Unlimited||US$ 3.99 /mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)||7 days||30 days|
|4.78/5||35,000+||3||Japan, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||10||$2.13/month||No free trial||45 days|
|4.51/5||115+||1||Japan, Malaysia, South Korea||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||5||US$ 3.99 /mo 69% Off||7 days||30 days|
5 Best VPN for China
We tested multiple VPN providers to see which ones worked best and after much deliberation decided upon 5 final contenders for the title of the Best VPN for China:
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for China:
ExpressVPN is the Best VPN for China, tailored to fulfill all your online needs, from security and privacy to data encryption, anonymity, and unblocking various streaming services within China.
With ExpressVPN, seamless access is ensured even in China. Its network of 3000+ servers across 94 countries allows you to enjoy international content, such as American Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu with ExpressVPN, from China.
While there isn’t a VPN server within China, ExpressVPN’s Hong Kong server grants access to popular Chinese streaming content like CCTV, CHC Television, and CNC World.
This extends to unblocking social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp. ExpressVPN excels as the preferred choice for securing WeChat, and enhancing security and encryption, making it one of the best VPNs for China.
In our ExpressVPN speed test conducted on its Hong Kong servers, we achieved remarkable download speeds of 89.26 Mbps and upload speeds of 85.12 Mbps.
ExpressVPN’s commitment to no-logging and AES-256-bit encryption guarantees your online privacy, making it a solid choice for public Wi-Fi protection and private torrenting.
Our tests confirmed its reliability. Connecting to ExpressVPN’s Australian server showed that there were no DNS or IP leaks into Chinese cyberspace.
Setting up ExpressVPN is effortless, functioning seamlessly across multiple platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Linux, and gaming consoles. For devices like Smart TVs and gaming consoles, the Smart DNS feature called MediaStreamer enables streaming services on VPN-incompatible platforms. You can use the ExpressVPN Android app on all devices running variants of the popular operating system.
All these features are available for US$ 6.67 /mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan), accompanied by a 30-day money-back guarantee, which you can utilize to get a complete refund if you find the service is not for you and decide to cancel ExpressVPN. Accessing the ExpressVPN website within China requires utilizing its mirror website due to Firewall restrictions.
Furthermore, there’s a 7-day ExpressVPN free trial period on mobile devices that you can take advantage of to test it out. For a more comprehensive understanding, delve into our exclusive ExpressVPN review for further details.
- Best VPN in China with ultra-fast connection speeds.
- Passes through the Chinese Great Firewall
- Dedicated Hong Kong servers.
- 24/7 customer support via live chat.
- More expensive than competitors.
2. Surfshark – Affordable VPN for China:
Surfshark stands out as an Affordable VPN for China, providing a robust network of 3200 servers spanning 65 countries. With a notable presence in Hong Kong of 60+ servers, Surfshark offers a reliable solution for accessing geo-restricted content within China.
At an impressive cost of US$ 2.49 /mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan), Surfshark offers exceptional value as one of the cheapest VPNs on the market. By utilizing Surfshark’s Hong Kong server, users can easily bypass geo-restrictions on exclusive Chinese content, ensuring seamless streaming without interruptions.
Surfshark’s Chinese servers flawlessly access geo-blocked Chinese content, including platforms like Youku, iQiyi, Tencent Video, and more. It’s especially effective for accessing Chinese streaming services, while its global servers also unlock international content from popular platforms like Netflix with Surfshark, Disney+ with Surfshark, YouTube, and Hulu with Surfshark.
For those interested in local events and content, Surfshark provides optimal Chinese servers for smooth, buffer-free streaming. Additionally, the service allows you to unblock various regional variants of streaming services.
Surfshark speed tests on Chinese servers demonstrated impressive results, with download speeds of 81.32 Mbps and upload speeds of 76.12 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. This ensures high-quality video playback without interruptions.
Setting up Surfshark is effortless on popular operating systems like Windows, Android, iOS, and MacOS. Its compatibility extends to various devices, including smartphones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles, enabling simultaneous usage. Install Surfshark on Smart TVs, FireStick, Roku, and Kodi devices to enjoy Chinese streaming services on larger screens.
Surfshark’s commitment to user security is evident through features like an internet kill switch, MultiHop, AES-256-Bit encryption, CleanWeb, and secure DNS, ensuring complete privacy and security. Notably, Surfshark supports an unlimited number of simultaneous connections with a single subscription.
Conducting DNS and IP leak tests on Surfshark underscores its dedication to user safety, effectively safeguarding user data throughout testing. Moreover, the service offers a week-long Surfshark free trial for mobile users and extends a 30-day money-back guarantee to all users, enabling risk-free exploration of its capabilities, making it the best VPN China with a cheap price. Cancelling Surfshark is hassle-free, making it an enticing option for those seeking an affordable and feature-rich VPN.
For a comprehensive understanding of Surfshark’s capabilities, refer to our detailed Surfshark review.
- Unlimited devices supported.
- Works in China
- No data logging.
- Hong Kong servers.
- Slow customer support responses.
3.NordVPN – Massive Server Network VPN for China:
NordVPN shines as a Large Server Network VPN for China, boasting an expansive network comprising over 5600 servers in more than 59 countries. It’s an exceptional choice for accessing Chinese services, with an impressive array of 75+ servers strategically located in Hong Kong. Renowned for its cutting-edge security and privacy features, NordVPN offers an unmatched solution.
By utilizing NordVPN’s Hong Kong server, users can effortlessly overcome geographical restrictions and access a wide range of Chinese services, such as Youku and iQiyi. Streaming preferred content within China becomes a seamless and enjoyable experience, devoid of any buffering or interruptions. Unblocking content from Chinese streaming services was a breeze with NordVPN’s Hong Kong server.
Beyond China’s borders, NordVPN’s diverse network empowers users to access popular international streaming channels and websites. For example, users can easily change their IP to regions like the United States to access American content. You can easily unblock Disney Plus with NordVPN,
NordVPN subscriptions support up to 6 simultaneous connections, making it easy to set up on various operating systems, including MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Its compatibility extends to devices so you can use NordVPN with Firestick, NordVPN on Kodi, and NordVPN with Mac Smart TVs, routers, gaming consoles, computers, and smartphones.
NordVPN Speed Tests reveal that while maintaining robust security measures, it delivers impressive speed performance. Our tests demonstrated download speeds of 83.82 Mbps and upload speeds of 44.64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection.
In terms of security and privacy, NordVPN excels as one of the best no-logs VPNs, employing military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption, a strict zero-log policy, Multi-factor authentication, and double VPN protection.
Private DNS on each server prevents data leaks, and obfuscated servers ensure that your ISP can’t detect VPN usage, making activities like torrenting with NordVPN safe. Our Chinese IP remained secure throughout our testing with this VPN.
Thorough DNS and IP leak tests on NordVPN highlighted its unwavering commitment to user safety, ensuring the protection of our data throughout the testing period.
Experience top-tier security, privacy, and Chinese IP addresses for unblocking content with NordVPN, available at an affordable price of US$ 3.99 /mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan), backed by a comprehensive 30-day money-back guarantee which you can avail to get a full refund should you decide to cancel NordVPN. Mobile users can take advantage of NordVPN’s 7-day free trial on iOS and Android devices. 24/7 live chat support is also available to assist you whenever you need it.
For a comprehensive understanding of NordVPN’s capabilities, delve into our detailed NordVPN review.
- Large server network.
- Dedicated IP address.
- Best VPN China with Hong Kong servers
- Optimized servers for streaming platforms.
- Limited number of P2P servers.
4. Private Internet Access – Best Torrenting VPN for China:
Private Internet Access (PIA) stands out as the Best Torrenting VPN for China, offering an excellent security for torrenters. With its intuitive interface and straightforward setup process, PIA makes it easy for novice users to dive in. The user-friendly app streamlines server connections through a few clicks, ensuring a secure and private online journey.
PIA boasts a vast network of 35,000 servers spanning 84 countries, with a dedicated server location in China as well as Hong Kong. Alongside its budget-friendly pricing, PIA places a strong emphasis on privacy and security, providing an appealing option for users seeking a hassle-free VPN experience without compromising on protection.
Through its effective VPN into China, you can bypass geographical restrictions. PIA enables easy access to various streaming sites within China. By leveraging its server network, you can enjoy uninterrupted access to popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. This means users can delve into a diverse array of entertainment content that would otherwise be restricted due to location-based limitations.
In our PIA speed test, it achieved a download speed of 65.78 Mbps and an upload speed of 57.16 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. This empowers users in China to engage in smooth and uninterrupted online activities, enjoying the perks of the fastest VPN service available. These optimized speeds maintain convenience, efficiency, and, most importantly, security and privacy.
Tailored to support P2P file sharing, PIA offers optimized servers and a secure environment for torrenting activities. Users can download and share files without compromising their privacy or exposing their IP addresses, making it the Best Torrenting VPN for China.
PIA’s compatibility extends to a diverse range of devices, making it one of the best VPN in China. Whether using Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, or securing connections through routers and other devices, PIA adapts seamlessly. This versatility ensures that Chinese users can safeguard their online presence, access content without restrictions, and uphold privacy and security across various devices.
PIA offers robust security features that provide a strong shield for users within China. Advanced encryption protocols ensure sensitive data remains confidential and protected from potential threats. The inclusion of a kill switch feature prevents accidental data exposure by immediately disconnecting the internet if the VPN connection falters.
Moreover, PIA’s strict no-logs policy assures users in China that their online activities are neither stored nor monitored. These security measures collectively create a secure online environment, allowing users in China to browse, stream, and engage in online activities with confidence, knowing their privacy and safety are upheld.
- Large network of servers in Hong Kong
- Fast connection
- Best VPN China with Easy-to-use apps
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Based in Five Eyes jurisdiction
5. Astrill VPN – StealthVPN Protocol for China
Astrill VPN serves as a secure VPN service tailored specifically for China, boasting a robust network of powerful servers. It features a dedicated Stealth VPN feature designed exclusively for users within China, allowing them to navigate the digital landscape with greater privacy and security.
The VPN boasts a widespread network comprising over 300 servers strategically positioned across 65 countries. This compact yet diverse server network offers the convenience of unlimited server switches.
Employing an adapted version of the OpenVPN protocol, Astrill VPN has been meticulously crafted to bypass VPN detection mechanisms and formidable firewalls. This exceptional attribute enables seamless usage even in countries such as China, where VPN traffic often encounters restrictions.
We used Astrill in china to unblock content on Start using its Russian servers. Chinese content can also be easily unblocked using its Hong Kong server.
Astrill VPN’s applications come equipped with an array of security features, including robust encryption, comprehensive protection against IP leaks, the flexibility of split tunneling, and a reliable kill switch. Moreover, users can take advantage of advanced functionalities such as the ability to select different ports and define MTU values.
With swift speeds that have earned it a position in our list of the fastest VPNs, it remains crucial to note that while not the optimal choice for streaming, it excels in offering a secure and private browsing experience.
However, our evaluations did uncover a limitation related to streaming. While access was successfully granted to US Netflix, the VPN encountered challenges in unblocking platforms such as Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.
On a positive note, Astrill VPN effectively supports various social media apps. Furthermore, the service accommodates the connection of 5 devices simultaneously, offering configurable applications for multiple operating systems including Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux.
Based in Seychelles, it has a StealthVPN feature to circumvent censorship and geo-restrictions for users located in China and outside the country, who want to access local content.
In a comprehensive assessment involving connection to its US server, we subjected the service to IP leak tests, revealing the impressive efficacy of the network in concealing our actual IP address throughout the duration of the session. Similar positive results were observed with Astrill VPN’s UK server, as it demonstrated no instances of IP/DNS leaks during our evaluations.
AstrillVPN strongly supports P2P file sharing and torrenting on specialized servers, particularly catering to users in China. This ensures encrypted and anonymous data, safeguarding against legal and security concerns.
Customer support is a top priority, evident through 24/7 live chat assistance. Users benefit from immediate help by knowledgeable agents across different time zones, enhancing peace of mind.
One significant aspect deserving consideration is the pricing structure of this VPN service. The one-year plan is available at $12.50 per month, while the monthly plan bears a price tag of $25 per month. In contrast to options like ExpressVPN, the higher cost associated with Astrill VPN takes into account the relatively fewer servers and its limitations in terms of streaming services.
Diverse payment methods are made available to users, encompassing familiar options such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express, UnionPay, PayPal, Perfect Money, and Bitcoin. However, it is important to note that, as of now, our trials have been limited to the conventional credit card method.
For individuals residing within China, the Astrill VPN warrants consideration, given its widespread recommendations on platforms like Reddit and various online forums.
- Fast and reliable Free VPN servers in Hong Kong for seamless browsing and streaming.
- Robust security with encryption and DNS leak protection.
- Extensive global server network.
- Best VPN in China for easy setup and usage.
- Simultaneous connections on multiple devices.
- Get a Hong Kong IP VPN for enhanced privacy.
- AstrillVPN’s advanced features are pricier than those of other VPN providers.
Why Get a VPN for China?
Getting a VPN for China is essential due to the government’s internet control through the Great Firewall. This regulation restricts access to numerous websites and platforms, and certain keywords are filtered in search engines. A dependable China VPN ensures unrestricted internet access, allowing you to bypass content blocks, stay connected with international contacts, and safeguard your online activities from surveillance and monitoring.
On a similar note, Chinese citizens abroad may want to keep up with the latest happenings and incidents in the country. VPNs allow users to surf the Chinese web just like a local and provide you the ability to download and install Chinese-specific apps that are geo-restricted access to users outside the country.
Chinese cinema is quite famous and has a huge following even outside the country. By using a VPN that provides access to the digital realm of China, you can finally gain access to your favorite streaming platforms like PPTV, CNTV, QQ Video, Sohu TV, iQiYi, Tudou, and Youku.
Additionally, VPNs that provide access to the Chinese web provide great incentives to website and app developers around the world. Working services allow them to test if their apps/websites are blocked in China. In short, a VPN allows you to visit China, not physically but digitally!
How to Choose the Best VPN for China
To choose the best VPN for China, prioritize security features to avoid government monitoring. Here’s how to get a Chinese VPN:
- Stable Connection: Opt for a VPN like ExpressVPN that is known for consistent performance and quick issue resolution in China. This ensures reliable access even during occasional blocks.
- Strong Encryption: Select a China VPN with robust protocols like OpenVPN or WireGuard and advanced AES encryption. This shields your online activities from interception.
- Specialized Servers: Choose a provider with a broad range of specialized servers optimized for China and beyond. These servers bypass the Great Firewall, offering fast, uninterrupted connections.
- Traffic Obfuscation: Combat constant VPN monitoring by the Great Firewall with a VPN that incorporates effective obfuscation technology to mask your VPN usage.
- Leak Protection: Ensure your privacy by picking a VPN with solid DNS leak protection and a trustworthy kill switch to prevent accidental exposure.
- No-Logs Policy: Opt for VPNs with stringent, audited no-log policies to safeguard your data from third-party access.
- Customer Support: Prioritize VPN providers offering 24/7 support. This ensures prompt assistance if issues arise while browsing in China.
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FAQs: Best VPN for China
What VPN should I use for China?
As of August 2023, the top recommendation for a VPN to use in China is ExpressVPN. It holds the leading position for its speed and dependability. Personally, I have been using ExpressVPN for an extended period, primarily to successfully access and upload YouTube content in China.
Which free VPN is best for China?
ExpressVPN is a free-trial VPN that is best for China. It provides robust encryption for network security and IP address concealment. ExpressVPN is compatible with various browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, as well as operating systems like Windows and Android.
Can you legally use a VPN in China?
Yes, using a VPN in China is legal, but there are significant government-imposed limitations. Chinese regulations dictate that domestic VPNs must obtain official approvals, while those lacking such approval are prohibited. Citizens might face penalties, whereas foreigners using foreign VPNs might escape punishment even if caught.
What VPN is blocked in China?
In China, the government blocks VPNs that lack official registration and licensing. This often makes it challenging to access VPN websites for subscriptions. Notably, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN are widely used by many in China. These VPNs have proven effective here. It’s worth trying them out, and if they don’t meet your needs, both Surfshark and NordVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Wrapping Things Up
And thus, we conclude this comprehensive guide on the best VPN for China. This guide primarily targets expats and users residing outside China who aspire to access Chinese websites and content seamlessly, mirroring the experience of locals.
Should you have inquiries or improved recommendations, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Feel free to share this guide with fellow Chinese expats seeking reliable VPNs and servers for their country.