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Best VPN For China Travel. Still working in 2022

What is the best VPN for China travel? To answer that question, let’s start with a little background.

China has a strict internet censorship policy and most of the popular sites are blocked. The government has a tight leash on all registered ISPs and if you access prohibited content you may get in trouble. This means if you want visit China, you need a VPN to be able to unblock most Western sites.

  • Got no time? Our best VPN for China is NordVPN because it has strong security and bypasses the Great Firewall of China.

Which sites are blocked in China?

Major sites are blocked in China. If you want to see the complete list, visit this resource, but to give you an idea of the sites that are blocked, see the list below:

  • YouTube
  • WhatsApp
  • BBC
  • Wikipedia
  • CNN
  • Twitch
  • Gmail
  • Spotify
  • Snapchat
  • Google Apps
  • Slack
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Instagram

All these restrictions enable the Chinese government to censor any internet content in mainland China. However, you can use a VPN to bypass the Great Firewall of China and be able to access these blocked sites.

How do VPNs bypass the Great Firewall?

A VPN creates a VPN tunnel in which all your traffic is encrypted. Although the traffic passes through an ISP in China, the ISP is not able to decrypt the data.

That means your internet activity remains private.

Not all VPNs are able to bypass the Firewall because some have DNS leaks and weak encryption. In the end, you are not totally secure and private so your ISP can see all the sites you visit.

That is why I encourage you to use only recommended VPNs  that are safe and secure (more on that below)

You are guaranteed of the ability to bypass the restrictions, zero DNS leaks, a reliable kill switch and solid encryption. 

In the end, you are able to access any site without being blocked.

  • VPNAnchor pro-tip for travellers:

Make sure you install a VPN before you enter mainland China because App stores are also blocked in China. You won’t be able to set up the VPN easily once you have crossed the border.

What to look for when selecting the best VPN for China

When choosing a VPN to use in China, there are factors you need to look for and these are:

  • Speed on the connection
  • Distribution of servers
  • Customer support
  • Strong security and privacy policies
  • Ability to bypass the Great Firewall

The majority of VPNs available fall short in these areas but there are some that have all the features required to unblock restrictions in China.

  • At a glance, we recommend these VPNs for China
  • NordVPN
  • Surfshark VPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
  • VyprVPN
  • Hotspot Shield VPN

If you use any of the above VPNs, you are light years ahead of the majority of VPN services that are on the market. These 5 providers have extensive coverage and audited policies to guard your privacy.

Let’s be realistic, in a country that goes to extremes in-order to block internet content, a poor VPN is not going to see the light of day. Yes, speeds may be lower with a VPN, but you have better experience with a top quality VPN.

The best VPN for China in more depth

1. NordVPN – Has all essential security features (Editor’s Choice)

  • Bypasses the Great Firewall of China
Verdict: Our Rating 4.8/8 – Editor’s Choice
Overall best VPN with strong security features. Unblocks all major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and more. Security audit reports available and fast servers.

NordVPN is packed with all the essential security features you need in a VPN and is equally able to bypass restrictions in China.

There are more than 5000 servers all over the world and this makes the VPN network very reliable.

You get a perfect balance of functionality and price especially if you select the 2-year plan.

Here there is a generous 68% discount that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

With NordVPN you also get extra security features like:

  • WebRTC block to prevent DNS leaks
  • Onion over VPN
  • NordLynx protocol
  • Adblock
  • Antimalware

Make sure you install NordVPN before you enter China. Grab the best deal using the link below:

2. Surfshark VPN – Low cost VPN that is reliable

  • Bypasses the Great Firewall of China
Verdict: Our Rating 4.6/5
Highly secure VPN with a user-friendly interface and an affordable plan. Adblock and antimalware integrated in the VPN. 30-day money-back guarantee. 83% off a 2-year deal.

Surfshark has very affordable plans and offers up to 83% discount so that more people have access to premium online privacy and security.

There are at least 3200 servers located in all major regions and these servers are fast.

As expected in a top VPN, Surfshark has no DNS leaks and zero-logs policy. This means that there is nothing stored by Surfshark that ties back to you.

You also get excellent customer care should you have any queries.

To maximize your security, there is adblock and antimalware for a better internet experience.

Get the best deal using the link provided below and access blocked content while you are in China.

3. VyprVPN – Strong privacy and bypasses firewalls

  • Bypasses the Great Firewall of China
Verdict: Our Rating 4.5/5
Bypasses strong firewalls and unblocks streaming sites like Netflix. Although faster VPNs are available, VyprVPN is reliable and the 3-year deal is hard to ignore.

This VPN is based in Switzerland with servers all over the world and one outstanding feature of VyprVPN is its strong security.

Once you are connected to the VyprVPN network, your traffic is shielded effectively from the ISP and the government.

Plans are also affordable as you get 80% discount on a 2-year plan and only Surfshark beats VyprVPN in terms of low cost.

VyprVPN has Chameleon, a powerful VPN protocol based on OpenVPN and is well-known for bypassing tough firewalls.

You also get an efficient customer support with a live chat feature for fast resolution of any problems.

For guaranteed privacy and security, use VyprVPN. The link below takes you straight to the discount page.

4. CyberGhost VPN – Widespread coverage and user-friendly

  • Bypasses the Great Firewall of China
Verdict: Our Rating 4.7
Excellent, user-friendly VPN with a 45-day money-back guarantee. Servers optimized for torrenting and easily unblocks all major streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and more.

CyberGhost is another VPN giant that has extensive coverage all over the world with 6000+ servers in over 90 countries.

There are servers located in Asia so you are able to get decent network speeds.

In addition, CyberGhost VPN is very user-friendly, making it easy for beginners.

You can quickly connect to the nearest optimum server so that you get a reliable network.

CyberGhost VPN has servers optimized for specific content to ensure you get the best experience when you connect to one of those regions.

This means if you want to watch show on Netflix, there is a server optimized for that. 

You save 83% for a 3-year plan which comes with a 45 day money back guarantee.

5. Hotspot Shield VPN – Fast and a secure paid plan

  • Bypasses the Great Firewall of China
Verdict: Our Rating 4.4/5
Fast connection speed and ability to unblock Netflix and other streaming sites. Family plan supports up to 25 devices simultaneously. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Hotspot Shield was used extensively during Eygptian protests in 2011 when the Mubarak regime cracked down on social media sites.

It has a free plan with limited monthly data but for effective use in China you need to sign up for the paid plan.

This also gives you access to a least 1700 optimized servers in over 80 countries so that you can successfully bypass the Great Firewall.

Hotspot Shield VPN has the Catapult Hydra protocol, which is fast so it is easy to stream online content.

The best plan is a 1-year plan where you get 54% off the usual price.

A maximum of 5 devices from multiple platforms can be supported on one account. Supported devices include:

  • MacOS
  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Consoles
  • Router
  • SmartTV

Tip: If you want to connect more devices, opt for the Family plan that supports up to 25 devices on one account

Are VPNs legal in China?

Contrary to what one may believe, VPNs are actually legal in China. However, the VPNs have to obtain a licence to operate in the country.

This means if you want to operate a VPN service in the country, policies like zero access to your data of your data don’t apply. Anytime the Chinese government wants to access local VPN servers they can do so and that compromises your privacy.


The take-home message is to install a VPN before entering China if you plan to access Western sites seamlessly. Local VPNs are heavily monitored by the Chinese government and if you use one, your traffic is intercepted. 

To save you the headache, use our top pick for China:

Start using NordVPN

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