Find out which is the best VPN to use Facebook and unlock all censored websites in China and in other countries.
If you are planning to travel to China, you might probably know that many websites and social networks are censored: Gmail, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and WordPress, just to mention a few. At the moment there are more than 2600 censored websites in China but as you can imagine the number keeps rising… If you want to know whether a website is available in China or not you can check here.
Some of you may think that this is good news: spending some time without social networks isn’t that bad after all. This might be true but if you, like me, use the internet to work or to keep in touch with your family, then censorship can be really bad.
So the question is: how can you bypass the Great Firewall of China (there is no censorship in Hong Kong and Macau at the moment)? The answer is quite simple: you should get a VPN: a Virtual Private Network. Before talking about the actual choice of the best VPN let me briefly tell you what is a VPN and how it works.
A VPN can also be used to unlock Tik Tok and WeChat in any country where they are blocked.
What is a VPN and how does it work?
You don’t have to be a hacker or a nerd to use a VPN or to understand how it works. To put it simply, rather than connecting to a censored website while you are in China, or any other country where a specific website is not available, a VPN allows you to “trick the system” and make it believe that you are in a different country, one of those where the website is freely available.
You make your Internet Service Provider believe that you are outside of China while in fact, you are not.
If this is not clear enough for you, just keep in mind that most of the time you don’t have to do anything: just buy a subscription from the VPN service and install the App. Turn the App on and enjoy your freedom. The VPN will take care of all the rest…
Another reason why you should get a VPN anyway, no matter if you are traveling to China, Iran, Pakistan, or any other country in the world, is that you can use it to stream your favorite TV shows or movies even if the content you want to see it’s not available outside of your country. Just to give an example: many Tv series available on Netflix USA is not available on Netflix Italy unless you use a VPN and connect your PC to an American server.
There are tons of VPNs out there. Some of them are free while others offer a free trial after which you have to pay. I usually tell my friends NOT TO GET a free VPN. Why? For the simple reason that you get what you pay for… There is a reason why some VPNs are free and others are not. Developing a secure protocol, designing the App, setting up dozens of servers worldwide, granting speed and privacy to all the users, and running all the systems takes time and thousands of hours of work of professional developers. This work it’s done by developers that will have to be paid. If a VPN is free it usually means that make money by selling your private info gathered while using it.
Whichever VPN you chose don’t forget to get your VPN BEFORE entering China: most of the websites of the VPN providers are censored too so it can be more difficult to access them, though not impossible as you can read later.
Is it legal to use a VPN in China?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are new regulations in China and according to them if a VPN is registered in China has to be approved by the government. But this law applies only to VPN services that are based in China. All other businesses are not subjected to Chinese laws. As far as I’m concerned I’ve never had any problem. The government is aware that there are foreigners living in China that need to access all western websites and I believe that it turns a blind eye to them.
Selling VPN services on the other hand is strictly forbidden and usually punished by imprisonment.
Which is the best VPN service to use Facebook and other censored websites in China?
Which is the best VPN service to use on the internet in China? VyprVPN is in my experience one of the best. I’m using it right now and, even though the connection with a VPN is slower than normal, the Internet speed is quite good. Using VyprVPN it’s very simple. Just choose the right subscription for you, log in, and download the App on your devices. Really easy.
VyprVPN: which version should you get?
I suggest getting the 12-month version: with one subscription you can use up to five devices at the same time, (for example tablet, PC, and Smartphone) and you can change protocol if for some reason the connection doesn’t work. You can download it here.
Another good thing is that you can use Chameleon, a proprietary protocol useful in China to circumvent the great firewall.
VyprVPN uses its own servers (unlike other VPN services) and this means more privacy and more speed. They also have great customer care service.
How to set up your VyprVPN App
Once you log in to VyprVPN you can download the App (or the software) for your Android or iOS devices. You can change several options but most of the time you won’t need to.
The only thing you really need to care about is the Server. You can either let the App pick the fastest server or you can connect to a specific server located in a specific country according to your needs. Keep in mind that usually, the fastest servers are those located geographically closer to the country where you are. In the case of China, the fastest servers are in Hong Kong, Japan, or Taiwan. Some other times South Korea. If you want to access a website that is only available for a specific country then you can pick up that country from the list of servers.
Another option that you can customize is the type of protocol you want to use. With VyprVPN you can select one of these 4: Chameleon, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP.
By default, the App will choose OpenVPN (not supported by iOS) which guarantees a good level of safety and speed. If you need more speed and are willing to sacrifice a bit of safety then opt for the PPTP protocol. There might be some sites that won’t work even once the VPN is on. Don’t worry. Play a bit with the options I just mentioned and I’m sure that everything will finally work.
So if you want to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Gmail, etc in China and other countries where the Internet is censored (such as Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, etc…) get one of the best VPN services: VyprVPN.
Using a VPN can also help you save a lot of money when you book a hotel room or an airplane ticket: some websites in fact increase the price of the ticket according to the country where you are located or the number of times you searched for a specific route.
I’m not in China, why do I need a VPN anyway?
To conclude this post I want to remember that using a VPN is recommended not only if you are planning to travel to countries where the Internet it’s censored but it’s fundamental even if you are using a Wi-Fi connection in your city. Why? The number of Internet hotspots keeps rising and so are the risks associated with Wi-Fi connections. Even if the Wi-Fi connection it’s protected by a password you never know who can spy on what you are doing.
Virtually anyone can come between your Pc and the hotspot and see what you are doing unless you are using a VPN. This is a real risk for all of us, but especially for those who work using the Internet. Not long ago a journalist was hacked while using the Wi-Fi onboard an airplane. Someone accessed his private emails and read the story he was working on. This happened because He didn’t protect its connection with a VPN.
I personally prefer using a VPN every time I’m connected to Wi-Fi, whether I’m in China or in Italy.
Which are the best alternatives to VyprVPN
- Of all the VPNs I’ve tried so far, the best alternative is ExpressVPN. It has fewer options compared to VyprVPN and it doesn’t use the protocol Chameleon but it’s a valid option to access the Internet from China. If the main reason for you to use a VPN is to stream content online, then again, ExpressVPN is a good choice.
- Astrill it’s a very popular choice for those who live in China but it’s in my opinion too expensive.
- Finally, TorGuard is ideal to use anonym P2P software like BitTorrent. You can find my review of Torguard here.