The absolute best VPN for visiting China

Like most countries and China, trade is continuing to grow with the UK. While it is true that the UK imports a vast amount of products from China the reverse is also true as the Chinese market enjoys British made products and brands. If you’re part of this and are headed to China then you’re no doubt looking for the best VPN for visiting China.

As recently as September 2015, UK Chancellor George Osborne set out a plan to make China the UK’s second largest trading partner by 2025. With such close business ties and the Chinese tourism industry growing the number of travellers from the UK, Europe and elsewhere to China for business and leisure is ever growing.

Best VPN for visiting China

China unlike many other locations has an extremely restrictive internet regime. Often referred to as the Great Firewall of China the internet is heavily monitored and websites that allow freedom of information are blocked.

Sites that us in the west use on a daily basis are taken for granted such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and even email services like Gmail are completely blocked in China.

So if you’re travelling in China what’s the solution?

Keeping in contact with family via email or updating statuses and photos on social media sites is commonplace and something we take for granted. When visiting China the last thing you want to do is be cut off from the world so you’ll need to make plans before you visit.

Fortunately, there is a way to access the sites you’re used to accessing when you visit China and if you’re there on business or for leisure it will be the ideal solution

The tool you’re going to need to take with you is called a Virtual Private Network or VPN for short. A VPN allows you to create a secure connection to another location. In the case of China you’ll be creating a secure connection outside of China.

Your internet access then flows through this secure connection. Any website or services you request is then made from the location you connected to.

For example, you’re in China and you connect to Singapore, your internet access is then determined by what Singapore allow. As Singapore don’t block Google, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter or any of the other services you’re free to access them whilst inside China.

The best bit about a VPN is they’re so simple to use. For Windows and Macs they come as software you install and for your tablet or phone most good VPN providers offer apps. In any case they’re simply download, install, click on a country to connect to and then surf the web like normal.

Apart from the cost of the VPN service there are no further costs at all.

But where do I get a VPN for China?

As China are aware of VPN services they often block the websites of VPN providers so it’s best to arrange to get a VPN service a few days before you travel to ensure it’s set-up and working on your system.

VPN.ac Blocked in China

VPN.ac website blocked in China.

The Great Firewall of China tries hard to restrict VPN services due to the fact they allow both visitors and residents the ability to access a free and unrestricted internet. For this reason I’ve listed three VPN providers below that actively work to make sure their service works inside China. These are considered the best VPN for visiting China.

Just click one of the provider names below or the green button to visit their site and sign up.

Best VPN for visiting China

  1. VPN.ac
  2. IPVanish
  3. ExpressVPN

How do I use the VPN in China?

When you’ve signed up to a VPN provider the next job is to download their software or app. Most people travel with a laptop or tablet and a mobile phone and if you’re like me then you’re likely to access the internet on a combination of both.

Working on a laptop often requires access to Gmail and depending on your job possibly access to other sites like Google or news sites that are also often blocked. Your phone will more than likely be used for Social Media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

With the three VPN providers listed above you can install both their software on your laptop or tablet and their app on your mobile phone allowing you to access all restricted sites and services inside China that are usually otherwise blocked on a range of devices.

In terms of what server to connect to you’re best off selecting one in Asia that is near China as it’ll give you the best possible speed but if you want to access services from your home country like TV sites or entertainment then simply select your home country.

Below is an example of both the Windows software and Android app from IPVanish. As you can see they’re pretty self-explanatory and you’ll be able to access all restricted sites within China within a matter of seconds.

Windows Software

IPVanish Windows 10 VPN

IPVanish VPN easily accessible via software.

Android App

IPVanish Android

So grab yourself a VPN service for your trip to China because without one the connected world is going to be a very lonely one.