It is no secret that China is not the most Internet friendly place in the world. China has a very strict legislation when it comes to Internet use. Both people who live in China and outside its borders struggle with the geo-restrictions and censorship imposed by the Chinese government.
You might have heard about the Great Firewall of China. It refers to the Internet laws and technologies implemented in China and consists in blocking access to non-Chinese websites and apps such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Flickr, WhatsApp and many more. China has limited severely the access to outside online sources and tools.
VPNs are an extraordinary invention for Internet users who have to deal with the Chinese censorship. A VPN gives you access to myriad of servers located anywhere in the world. When you connect to one of those servers, your IP address changes according to the location of the server you are connected to. This way your IP address might be a New York one, even though you are in fact connecting from Hong Kong for instance.
People who live in China are not the only ones who can benefit from VPNs. Even those who live elsewhere in the world use VPNs too, for various purposes. For instance, if someone from any other country is delegated to work in China for a period of time or just goes in vacation there, needs a VPN, to be able to access their Facebook, Google account, Instagram and so on.
But why would anyone need a VPN to get a China IP address?
The censorship works in the other direction, too. Users who don’t have a China IP address are blocked from accessing a lot of Chinese websites and content. China has a large number of streaming and entertainment websites, but they are only accessible to users who have a China IP address. All outside IPs are blocked.
The need to break the Great Firewall goes beyond simple entertainment purposes. There are also developers who want to perform tests on their websites, in order to see if/how they work in China. A VPN is the best solution for them, too.
Aspects to consider when choosing a VPN for China
Unfortunately though, a lot of VPNs are blocked, too and don’t work in China. You have to make sure the VPN provider you want to choose has servers there and they are functional.
When choosing a VPN for China, you should also go with a provider that supports a large number of protocols and has a large number of available servers. The Great Firewall is a tricky thing to beat, because it is constantly updated, so you don’t have any insurance that your VPN won’t be blocked from one day to another. That is why it is useful to have several protocols and servers to choose from, so you can switch from one to another in case one fails.
Customer support is important, too, so make sure your provider offers top-notch assistance.
Stability is another important aspect. Read reviews and find out how reliable a certain VPN is. There are a lot of VPNs on the market that lure you with irresistible features or pricing plans, but have frequent connection drops. It is important to find a stable VPN so that you won’t lose the connection every few minutes.
Best VPNs for getting a China IP address
HideMyAss. HideMyAss has servers in more than 280 locations worldwide and China is on their list. It allows up to 5 simultaneous devices, it is fast and it offers military-grade encryption and 24/7 support. It works on pretty much any operating system: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android. Read our HideMyAss review.
TorGuard. TorGuard is another good choice if you want to get a China IP address. Other benefits of this VPN are: it has a large number of servers (over 3,000) in more than 50 countries around the Globe, a lot of protocols, a great customer support and strong security tools. Read our TorGuard review.
PureVPN. PureVPN offers multiple protocols and has over 320 servers in Asia alone. The VPN was developed by a company based in China. In China, PureVPN has servers in Shanghai and Guangdong. This VPN provider accepts a wide variety of payment methods and is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux and more. PureVPN allows up to 5 simultaneous devices. Read our PureVPN review.