10 best VPNs for China to use in 2022 (the providers that actually work)

  • Author symbolDouglas Mabiria
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Thanks to these best China VPNs, you will be able to bypass the country's aggressive internet censorship and unblock all the sites you want.

China plays host to arguably the most extensive censorship regime globally and blocks access to many of the world’s best websites. As the country’s so-called “Great Firewallgets less porous and more sophisticated, using the internet in China becomes frustrating without a VPN.

Specifically, the state has tight policies regarding the online content available to the citizens. But, unfortunately, those policies apply to the visitors too.

Therefore, it’s a no-brainer why virtual private networks (VPNs) are popular in China. Visitors and locals use a VPN to get around the strict policies and access restricted websites.

However, the authorities in China are aware of this phenomenon. Hence, they have also employed measures to block many VPNs in the country.

For years, the Chinese government has been enacting a dastardly plan to block access to VPN websites completely.

Ironically, even though the country’s known professionals often use VPNs to perform their duties (and for better online safety), the country remains oppressive. For example, when people needed VPNs while being pushed to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, it reportedly became even more aggressive towards cracking down on the VPNs.

Therefore, getting a working VPN in China is now more challenging.

However, some robust service providers continue their services there. This article lists those best VPNs that still work in China.

Top 5 VPN services to use in China – Quick list

In a rush to get a good VPN before heading towards Mainland China? No worries. Here are the top 5 reliable options for you.

  1. NordVPN – Best VPN offering obfuscated server technology that evades VPN detection in China. Notable features include cross-platform compatibility, military-grade encryption, strict no-logs, and affordable price with 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark – An affordable China VPN offering ‘Camouflage Mode’ to bypass VPN detection. Top features include unlimited simultaneous connections, cross-platform compatibility, and budget-friendly pricing with 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. ExpressVPN – Fastest China VPN with automatic server obfuscation upon detecting location. Service is known for fast speed, huge number of locations, cross-platform support, and no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee.
  4. VyprVPN – Seamless working in China with its proprietary ‘Chameleon’ technology. The VPN offers tremendous cross-platform compatibility, reliable connectivity, and affordable subscription plans with 30-day money-back guarantee.
  5. PureVPN – Offers services in Mainland China and many other countries. Noteworthy features include robust encryption, cross-platform compatibility, affordable costs and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What really is a VPN?

What is a VPN 1220x745

Perhaps, a good number of individuals have used a VPN at some point. Still, surprisingly, only a few know what a VPN is and its significance in accessing the internet, especially in China.

Simply put, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows for a private and encrypted connection in any public network. It redirects your traffic through its servers via a secure tunnel protecting your data from interception. This redirection also changes your IP address, and hence, your location. That’s how it helps you evade any limitations applied to your actual IP address or location.

Moreover, you can protect your privacy when connected to an open network, such as public WiFi, using an encrypted VPN.

Why do I need a VPN in China?

China has strict policies that block access to the content of several websites.

For instance, while in China, you can’t access your favorite TV shows of a particular website, let alone obtain updates from sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube.

The country also boasts its own social media platforms and has disallowed foreign social media from operating.

Therefore, if you like surfing the internet, you inevitably need the best VPN that works in China to allow you to bypass the country’s censorship and geo-blocking of some services.

A VPN gives the impression that your computer is located in a country where the VPN server is based.

So, it means that if the VPN server is in the US, you can access websites in the US even when they are blocked in China.

However, you must ensure setting up the best VPN for China on your computer or mobile device before setting your foot there. That’s because most websites for VPN providers (where you download the software) are blocked in China.

How come China’s Firewall is the world’s most sophisticated censorship system?

In China, you don’t have the freedom to do what you can do best on the internet as everything is seen, tracked, or recorded, and what you access is highly restricted.

The country’s Great Firewall blocks you from accessing virtually anything online. That’s where VPN comes in handy.

However, China’s Firewall isn’t limited to restricting content only. Instead, the country also implements additional restrictions, such as barring VPN use to prevent online users from bypassing the limitations.

Typically, getting onto a VPN website is almost impossible in China, let alone downloading the app into your device. Nonetheless, some resilient service providers still serve their users in that country by employing stealth mechanisms. That’s why they claim themselves as dedicated China VPNs.

Precisely, a China VPN will help you bypass the blocks without getting detected by the surveilling authorities. It ensures you regain your internet freedom and shield your anonymity.

While several VPNs are blocked in China, using a VPN is still legal. Presently, there is no official ban on VPNs in China.

Although, in January 2017, the Chinese ministry announced a campaign to go down hard on VPN services. However, the notice didn’t say that using a VPN is illegal.

So, while VPN providers are not allowed to operate in the country legally, as a user, you remain unaffected despite the frequent blocking of VPNs.

How to pick the best China VPN

When picking your VPN for China, consider the following criteria;

  • Speed – a good VPN should have the best download speeds. Therefore, ensure that you choose a VPN with unlimited bandwidth and fast servers.
  • Should Work in China – it’s a no-brainer that you need a VPN that works in China. Therefore, the service must be capable of bypassing the Great Firewall of China.
  • Number of Connections – the number of devices you can connect to your chosen VPN is also essential. Perhaps, you might have several devices to connect to the VPN. Hence, you need a service that allows you to connect multiple devices with one subscription. Typically, providers offering at least six simultaneous connections are the best.
  • Supported Apps – not all VPNs support all platforms. So, ensure that your chosen VPN offers apps compatible with all your devices. The reason being, the manual configuration could hardly work in China.
  • Servers Locations – servers located nearer to China offer the best speeds. Therefore, ensure that the VPN has servers in nearby countries, such as Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.
  • Unblocking – you may primarily require a VPN to access various sites online. Hence, your chosen VPN should be able to unblock websites you’re interested in, such as Netflix. Ideally, it should unblock an unlimited number of websites.
  • Security – you definitely want to roam around accessing restricted sites without being detected. Therefore, the security capability of the VPN should be a priority. Consequently, you should consider things like the no-logs policy, encryption protocols, and private DNS servers of a VPN.

The best VPNs for China

After researching and testing for weeks, our team finalized ten exceptional VPN service providers (keeping the above criteria in mind) that will let you access your favorite websites in China safely and anonymously.

Please remember to have your VPN downloaded before you arrive in mainland China. That’s because the local networks there will have VPN services blocked. Hence, you may not get onto their sites to install the VPN.

That said, here are the ten best China VPNs you can use.

1. NordVPN

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If you need a reliable VPN for China, you should give NordVPN a try.

It supports many platforms such as Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, Router, and iPad. Besides, manual configuration is also possible.

The VPN has over 5000 servers worldwide in 59 countries, thus giving you numerous options to change your online location. Plus, it has a dedicated “Obfuscated Servers” feature, which hides your VPN traffic from detection. Thus, it’s committed to bypassing the Great Firewall of China.

Also, NordVPN actively monitors connectivity to ensure no new blocks are emerging. And if they do, then the provider works to keep everything to bypass the new blocks.

Moreover, NordVPN is very much affordable and still offers the best features. It’s also effortless to use, faster, and capable of knocking down almost any geo-block in its way.

The servers have unlimited bandwidth and unblock nearly all websites in China, such as Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, and many more with lightning-fast speed.

Besides, thanks to its 256-bit AES encryption that masks your IP address, it also keeps you secure and anonymous.

You’ll also get six simultaneous connections with a single NordVPN subscription. Also, the presence of an automatic kill switch ensures blocking your traffic if you have problems connecting with the VPN server.

There’s also a strict no-logs policy to provide users with complete privacy. Plus, it has set up responsive 24/7 live customer support with friendly and knowledgeable agents.

Finally, if you’re not satisfied with the provider at the end of it all, you can claim a refund using its no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • No-logs policy
  • Over 5000 servers with over 370 of them near China
  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Split tunneling
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Compatible with multiple devices
  • Unblocks several websites in China
  • Affordable


  • Some devices require manual setup

2. Surfshark

SurfShark Best VPNs 600x300

Surfshark will help you open a new digital world in China, thanks to its network of more than 3200 servers across 65 countries.

Interestingly, it supports an unlimited number of simultaneous device connections. Besides, it offers dedicated apps for almost all major platforms such as iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Xbox, Windows, and PlayStation.

Moreover, it has various privacy features with a fast-growing speedy service in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore.

The connections are fast and reliable across all the servers. Also, the VPN can easily bypass the Great Firewall of China, thanks to its NoBorders mode that evades even the toughest geo-blocks.

Surfshark features AES 256-bit encryption that offers you maximum security, enhancing it further with an automatic kill switch and a complete zero-logging policy.

In addition, Surfshark’s CyberWeb feature ensures that your devices remain protected from trackers, ads, malware, or any phishing attempts. Moreover, it allows you to whitelist some apps and websites to bypass the VPN, meaning you can access domestic websites while viewing uncensored internet.


  • MultiHop feature
  • No borders mode to go through the Great Firewall of China
  • Over 3000 servers across the world
  • Camouflage Mode, adding extra security
  • Unblocks several websites in China
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Fast downloads
  • Automatic kill switch
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Could be too basic for some 

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Best VPNs 600x300

ExpressVPN is, without a doubt, your best VPN to use in China. It may not be the cheapest option available, but undeniably, it’s what you need in China.

First, the ExpressVPN app works excellently with several devices, such as Windows, Android, macOS, Linux, and iOS. Second, almost all the apps provide split-tunneling to help you connect to certain apps via VPN and leave others directly connected to the internet.

Also, the provider has several server locations in China, which are equally fast, and allows up to 5 simultaneous device connections.

ExpressVPN features the best security as it has an automatic kill switch and leading AES 256-bit encryption. You’ll also enjoy the 24/7 live chat support to all your questions, claiming a 99.9% uptime.

Additionally, it unblocks several websites in China, such as Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.

But, most importantly, ExpressVPN uses obfuscation protocols and advanced technology to provide the best experience possible for Chinese users.


  • No logs
  • Fast and reliable connections
  • Over 3000 servers across 94 countries
  • Works with most devices in China
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Excellent customer support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Safe and secure


  • Relatively expensive

4. VyprVPN

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It is one of the few VPNs that own their entire network and equipment. Therefore, it offers a custom-designed setup suitable for China users as well.

VyprVPN is compatible with multiple devices, including macOS, Windows, routers, Android, iOS, Smart TVs, and more.

It features lightning-fast connections all the time, and you can connect up to five devices simultaneously.

The VPN has over 700 servers spread globally, most of them surrounding China, including Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

What makes VyprVPN even better is its Chameleon technology that masks your IP address as you bypass the Great Firewall of China with ease.

You also have several VPN protocols to choose from, including Open VPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP.

The encryption is high-end, featuring an automatic kill switch to ensure you have maximum anonymity. Also, it has a strict no-logs policy, ensuring no traces of you left behind.

You’ll get live 24/7 support, and if not satisfied, you can claim a refund using their 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • Compatible with a plethora of devices
  • Unblocks several websites in China
  • Owns its servers with excellent speed
  • Chameleon protocol and advanced encryption to avoid the Great Firewall of China with ease
  • Automatic kill switch
  • No-logs policy
  • 24/7 support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • No Torrenting allowed
  • Not the best for gaming

5. PureVPN


Arguably, it is the best VPN made explicitly for China. It has servers in the country, and VPN users outside China can also use it to get a China IP for Chinese content. It also features more than 6500 servers in over 75 countries.

PureVPN supports various platforms such as Linux, router, Androids, Mac, Windows, Smart TV, etc. Also, you can connect up to 5 simultaneous devices with one subscription.

Besides, PureVPN speeds are second to none. Hence, you can easily use this VPN for unrestricted streaming, gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive activities.

Notably, PureVPN never logs your visited sites and doesn’t reveal the files you download, ensuring your privacy. In addition, it has numerous features adding to your online security with more control, such as split-tunneling with a wide variety of customization options.


  • Stealth VPN browser
  • Affordable
  • Excellent speeds and stable connections
  • Up to 5 connections simultaneous
  • Compatible with several devices
  • Unblocks several websites in China
  • A plethora of servers
  • 24/7 live support
  • Split-tunneling option


  • Poor user interface
  • No free trial

6. Astrill

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Astrill is another fantastic China VPN offering numerous impressive features.

First, Astrill is compatible with multiple devices like iOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, routers, and Android.

Then, like the other best China VPNs on the list, this VPN unblocks several websites. These include Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Netflix, and many more.

Also, Astrill is reliable as you’ll enjoy fast download speeds with added security. Plus, it features a Stealth Mode that masks your VPN activity; hence you can easily bypass the Great Firewall of China.

The VPN has numerous servers in 57+ countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and other countries surrounding China. Therefore, you can access the local sites as well within China.

Also, Astrill has a “Smart mode” feature that automatically activates the VPN when opening an international site. Therefore, you can bypass the geo-blocks without extra configuration.

An automatic kill switch also prevents DNS or IP leaks; hence, you remain hidden from snoopers.

It also offers a Multi-hop feature that you can use to connect at once to several locations for more anonymity.

Another impressive feature is that you have unlimited simultaneous connections.

Besides, you have access to P2P sharing on various servers. The 24/7 live chat support is a plus, together with a 7-day free trial.


  • Fast speeds
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Stealth mode for VPN invisibility
  • Compatible with several devices
  • Unblocks several websites including Netflix
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Smart mode for automatic connection of VPN
  • Free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24-7 live chat support


  • Cluttered and unintuitive interface
  • Some servers are difficult to connect (few took more than expected time in our test)

7. PrivateVPN


PrivateVPN is a secure service with a customized client that can connect six devices simultaneously.

As the name suggests, it offers advanced security and privacy features. Hence, it can help you access foreign content or bar the government and your ISP from secretly spying on your browsing habits. Also, this service provider implements a strict no-logs policy.

Moreover, PrivateVPN has more than 200 servers worldwide in 63 countries. Furthermore, you can use any preferred mode of payment when subscribing to the service. The provider also respects your anonymity by accepting payments in Bitcoins.


  • Offers a secure service
  • Has a fast connection
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Access to foreign content easily
  • Impressive encryption options
  • Affordable
  • A 7-day free trial
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Shorter server network
  • Fewer locations offered

8. Ivacy VPN


Ivacy VPN has over 3500 servers in 50+ countries globally. Moreover, the VPN supports several devices, including Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android.

Also, it unblocks several websites in China, including Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, and others you may want to access.

It offers up to 5 simultaneous connections with one subscription and no data caps. In addition, the connections are not only stable but also feature fast download speeds.

Interestingly, Ivacy is one of the cheapest VPNs you’ll get for China.

With Ivacy VPN, you have several encryption protocol options to switch, such as OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2, and L2TP.

Also, it doesn’t track or even store the profile data, and with 256-bit AES encryption, the risk of your data theft is minimal.

Besides, according to its policy page, it doesn’t log or monitor your online activities.


  • Compatible with almost all devices
  • Intuitive interface
  • No logs policy
  • Unblocks nearly all websites in China with ease
  • Supports up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • Simple installation
  • Cheaply affordable with a low monthly price
  • Fast speeds
  • Several servers
  • A 7-day money-back guarantee


  • Inconsistent connection speeds

9. Buffered VPN


Buffered VPN is a good VPN reported to perform excellently in China. It has apps available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Linux, Android, and routers.

The VPN allows up to 5 connections simultaneously. Also, its speeds are second to none, thanks to an array of servers spread in over 50 countries globally.

Buffered VPN also has 256-bit AES encryption and a standard kill switch, which makes it an excellent option for bypassing the Great Firewall of China.

Appreciably, Buffered VPN can unblock many websites, including Netflix, Facebook, Google, and more.

Customer service is also exceptional as you’ll instantly get what you seek. The provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to let you test the service without fearing for your money.


  • Supports almost all devices
  • Unblocks several websites
  • Fast speeds
  • Easy to install
  • Allows P2P
  • Exceptional support
  • Refunds for up to 10 GB data
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • No free version
  • No customizable features
  • Relatively expensive

10. Hotspot Shield

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Hotspot Shield protects you from online privacy and security threats when connected to WIFI hotspots. The service makes it impossible for snoopers to point out single users and spy on their browsing activities.

This robust protection also makes this service helpful for businesses using virtual offices. It allows the staff to access their intended websites and apps and protects them from hackers aiming to steal confidential data.


  • Online security and privacy are guaranteed
  • Has a fast connection speed
  • Unlimited connections
  • It’s cheap
  • Supports several devices like Windows, Android, Mac
  • Does not require an expert to configure
  • Automatic kill switch


  • It cannot be subscribed for a long time

Can I bypass China’s aggressive censorship without a VPN?

Perhaps, a VPN is the only viable way to bypass the Great Firewall of China. However, you may also try other methods to evade it without a VPN (but expect limited success).

Can I Bypass China’s Aggressive Censorship without a VPN?

For instance, you can use Lantern, a free P2P internet circumvention software.

Also, Tor can be another solution when the advanced configuration is deployed. Therefore, you need to step up the bridges. Otherwise, its exit points are easily identified and blocked by the Great Firewall.

Moreover, some free web proxies or SOCKS proxy applications can work for you, such as Shadowsocks. However, they don’t provide the best speeds.

Likewise, Surge for iOS can also work. However, being built for developers, it has no intuitive UI.

Nonetheless, remember that these alternative ways may work with limited success only. Some may even get identified and blocked later.

The apps and sites blocked in China

China has arguably the harshest policies online as it blocks most foreign websites and apps. However, thanks to the VPNs that, you can unblock most of them.

The websites blocked in China include but are not limited to;

It’s important to note that sometimes the Firewall blocks some sites permanently while others are only blocked temporarily.

Also, some sites can be blocked in a given region and available in another, meaning that censorship is not uniform across the country.

VPNs that do not work in China

The best China VPNs will get you past the Great Firewall of China. But some VPNs don’t work in this region at all. They may either be blocked, have connectivity issues, or maybe complex to operate within China.

VPNs that work in China with a little hard work

  • IPVanish VPN – using IPVanish in China will require you to connect manually to the servers, which is overwhelming as most IP addresses are blacklisted in China.
  • HideMyAss – this is another VPN that won’t be recommended here as it can’t bypass the Great Firewall of China. In fact, HMA officials have said it themselves, and most of their servers are not working.
  • Shadowsocks – it requires advanced knowledge that is difficult to acquire.

VPN providers that do not work in China (didn’t work during our tests as we rented a server in China to test VPNs)

Our go-to VPN for China

Many services work in China, but the one that surpasses all is NordVPN. It has the most accessible software to use in China, and the download speeds are second to none.

The bottom line

With the ever-increasing technology dependency, the internet is where everything seems to be moving.

Unfortunately, in China, you don’t have the freedom to access rich internet platforms due to heavy restrictions on the sites you can access and the apps you can download.

Therefore, having the best VPN for China, such as NordVPN, SurfsharkVPN, or ExpressVPN, will prove to be a godsent opportunity to get past the Great Firewall of China.

Consequently, there is no way out for you in countries like China to protect your privacy. It’s only with the top China VPN that you can surf the internet without worrying about the snooping government.

Featured Image via Pixabay.

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About the author

Douglas Mabiria

Douglas is a freelance writer with over six years of experience in article and blog writing who has written in almost every industry with cybersecurity being his primary interest. Mabiria is an advocate for internet privacy, sustainable development, and a green environment. He is very social and enjoys trying new sports as well as implementing new ideas.

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