China is well-known for its strict internet censorship, which essentially restricts internet freedom to Chinese citizens, visitors, and expatriates. If you’ve spent any time in the country, you’ll understand how valuable your internet freedom is.
Since the beginning of the internet age, China has maintained a rigorous internet censorship regime. While in the country, you will be unable to access some internet services, including
- Google Play
- Numerous others…
This kind of censorship is carried out via the use of a program called “The Great Firewall of China.”
China’s Great Firewall
The Great Firewall of China (abbreviated as GFW) is the result of the 1997 Golden Shield Project. It is also known as the National Public Security Work Informational Project. It is a collection of legal and technological measures aimed at controlling the Internet in Mainland China.
The initiative is being pushed by the country’s Communist government and forced telecommunications firms.
The GFW’s primary objective is to ban foreign websites and other internet resources, as well as to monitor and regulate internet use in China.
As a consequence of all of this, China now has a heavily regulated internet, with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter being blocked, as well as Google and other popular resources.
Which websites and services are blocked by the GFW?
The Great Firewall is very effective at what it does. It is constantly updated to include new technologies and block newly discovered websites. By May 2018, more than 8000 domains had been banned.
There is already a long list of services that have been banned, some of which you simply cannot fathom living without. This includes multibillion-dollar businesses such as Facebook and Google, which remain mostly unknown to the majority of Chinese people.
To begin with, all VPN websites are often banned to guarantee that there is no simple way around China’s censorship. As a result, unless you have previously registered for NordVPN, you should not expect to view this blog article while in China.
Apart from VPN websites, the following list contains other restricted websites and internet services:
Among the search engines that have been blocked are the following:
- Yahoo Hong Kong
- Baidu Japan
- Brazil Baidu
- Yahoo Taiwan
The number of websites banned in China continues to increase daily. To determine if a certain website is functional, you may use the following website: https://viewdns.info/chinesefirewall/
While blocking helps local businesses thrive, it is very detrimental to ordinary internet users like you and me. As a result, we must search for a means to circumvent the GFW, and the only viable option is to utilize a VPN.
Bypassing China’s censorship using a VPN
A VPN may be used to bypass China’s Great Firewall.
When you connect to a VPN server, the VPN encrypts and tunnels your data to a VPN server in the location you choose. In this manner, you will no longer be able to connect to the internet through your ISP’s filtered connection, but rather over the VPN server.
The Chinese government, on the other hand, is always looking for ways to circumvent censorship, and as a consequence, they have banned VPN usage in China. The Great Firewall now includes certain enhanced methods for detecting and blocking VPN connections.
This has caused a severe blow to the majority of VPNs that attempt to provide their services to Chinese citizens yearning for internet freedom.
As a result, the majority of VPN services are unavailable in China. Only a select handful of the finest VPNs provide internet access in China, and NordVPN is among them.
This is not to imply, however, that there are no loopholes. As long as technology advances, there will always be an escape route.
A few sophisticated VPNs, such as NordVPN, can now guarantee that they will unblock the Chinese internet for you by bypassing the GFW.
Using NordVPN to avoid Chinese censorship
To operate in China, a VPN must go above and beyond what the majority of VPNs have done so far. This is the direction NordVPN has taken with the best protocol.
Since the GFW is intended to prevent all OpenVPN traffic, NordVPN changes the protocol by introducing additional obfuscation techniques.
NordVPN’s obfuscation technology masks the VPN’s OpenVPN transmission as standard HTTPS traffic. Since the Great Firewall permits all HTTPS traffic to flow, the VPN is not banned in China.
NordVPN is one of a select few VPN providers that can guarantee internet freedom in Mainland China.
Why choose NordVPN over other VPN services?
There are a variety of reasons why NordVPN is more effective than other VPNs in circumventing Chinese censorship. Here are a few examples:
If you had to choose a location for the best VPN for China, Panama would be it. Panama has very lenient data retention rules that, among other things, do not compel ISPs to retain user data. This enables NordVPN to maintain a stringent zero-log policy, which guarantees that no record of your online activity is kept.
NordVPN operates dedicated servers in Panama, ensuring that speeds and performance are never compromised. Since VPN performance is constantly influenced by the distance between the client and the server, NordVPN will always guarantee that you get the fastest possible speeds.
Is it legal to use a VPN in China?
To be honest, this is the most difficult issue when it comes to circumventing Chinese censorship. The only response you can safely offer is a ‘maybe.’
The answer to this question is very subjective and is contingent upon who you are, what you use it for, and even who in government is asking!
On March 31st, 2018, the Chinese government issued a statement indicating that all VPNs would be prohibited. They subsequently proceeded to delete all VPN applications from China’s Apple Store.
However, the administration, as usual, chose vague wording that allowed a great deal of opportunity for interpretation.
However, the wording used implies that the prohibition extends only to businesses and organizations, not to people. Businesses having a presence in the country are restricted to using only “government-approved” VPNs, which are VPNs that comply with the government in the event of an inquiry.
Individuals should be aware that it is not unlawful to utilize a VPN. However, you may encounter a few roadblocks here and there, but as an ex-pat, you will not encounter any significant difficulties. If you are visiting China just as a tourist, you are not required to use a VPN.
How to use NordVPN to get around China’s censorship
One thing to keep in mind is that among the websites that the Great Firewall bans, VPN websites are at the top of the list. It is a mechanism designed to thwart individuals attempting to circumvent Chinese censorship.
As a result, obtaining NordVPN while in the country is very tough. However, as long as you can read this, you may get NordVPN.
If you’re traveling to or staying in China, we recommend setting up your VPN before leaving the country.
The following section details how to utilize NordVPN to circumvent China’s Great Firewall.
- Create an account with NordVPN.
- You may then go to the download area and choose the appropriate VPN software for your device. NordVPN is a cross-platform application available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- Install the software on your smartphone appropriately. This will take around a minute.
- Utilize your NordVPN credentials to log into the app.
- Connect to a NordVPN server located outside of China now.
When in China, you are not obligated to accept the Chinese government’s limitations. With NordVPN, you may finally circumvent censorship in China and fully use the internet’s potential!