Do in need a VPN in China? What even is it?
If you are thinking about living and working in China whilst doing your research you have probably stumbled upon these three capital letters VPN. The questions that may have popped into your mind are:
What does VPN stand for?
What does a VPN do?
Do I need a VPN in China?
Well, it’s lucky that you came across this article then, as I will go ahead and explain everything you need!
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. The key word here is Private. Well… I guess they are all Key words but Private is the reason most people buy VPNs.
Most people like using the internet, however, most people don’t want those pesky internet hackers having a look at everything they are doing online. They especially don’t want people looking over their virtual shoulder when it comes to bank details or top secret emails. Sadly Google Chrome’s incognito mode just doesn’t cut it.
The most worrying thing is that any public Wi-Fi puts you at risk and sometimes even your own home ISP collects your data to sell!
This is where the VPN comes in.
If you use a VPN all of your web traffic goes through it. Whilst you are browsing the internet all the traffic is securely forwarded through the virtual private network. This means it will seem like you are surfing the net virtually through the Virtual Private Network and not your own local network. Your computer will treat the internet as if you are connected in a different location.
For example if you select a server in Japan your computer will treat the internet as if it was based in Japan. This can come with various advantages to the VPN customer.
So why do I need a VPN?
If you want to stay private – Your internet service provider can see and record all of your internet browsings. Using a VPN will help encrypt your internet traffic so others can’t read it
Save money on online deals – Sneaky online stores or ticket booking websites will give you higher prices depending on your location, with a VPN you can teach them not to mess with you and change your location to outsmart them.
This kind of thing is particularly prevalent among airline booking websites.
Security – If you use public Wi-Fi then it is possible for someone the same network to use software to intercept your traffic. Using a VPN will encrypt the data so that these nosy snoopers won’t be able to gain anything.
These are the reasons that the majority of VPN customers use a VPN, and it certainly seems very useful indeed if you do anything relatively important on the internet. Even more so if you ever use public Wi-Fi!
So it seems like the answer to “Do I need a VPN ?” is most likely a yes!
But you wanted the answer to “Do I need a VPN in China?” Didn’t you? Well, that brings us neatly onto…
The China Factor
It’s not just evil hacker nerds that want to watch you when you are on the internet, sometimes it’s whole governments too!
The Chinese government goes to great lengths to prevent its citizens from seeing various websites (social media, companies it has fallen out with, newspapers that publish unflattering articles, you get the idea). This means that a large portion of the internet, that most westerners probably take for granted, is blocked!
Google – Blocked (including Google services so that means Gmail, Google drive, Google Adwords.
Facebook – Yep, Blocked
Twitter – Blocked
Instagram – Also blocked
Reddit – Sometimes blocked depends if anyone has posted anything controversial recently
Youtube – technically a google service so yep blocked
Dropbox – Blocked
Vimeo – Blocked
Flickr – Blocked
Tumblr – Blocked
Wall street journal – Blocked
New York Times – Blocked
And much more! I imagine you use a number of these regularly (most people do).
If this list has put you off coming to China have no fear. Download a VPN before you come to China and bam as soon as you switch it on you can pretend you are in Hong Kong, and use them all as much as you like!
So the question is “Do I need a VPN in China?” If it was me I would say a resounding yes. Although your thoughts may differ!
Which company do I use for a VPN in China?
How nice of you to ask! Since coming to China I have used Vypr VPN. Whilst my friends and colleagues’ VPNs have been unreliable, or shut down by the government, or otherwise crashing down all around me, Vypr VPN has stayed strong, allowing me to see what memes people have been tagged in on Facebook (as well a much more important stuff!).
Vypr VPN is rated as the best all around VPN in China plus its cheaper than most of its rivals.
Whats more if you get a subscription you can use it on other devices with apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, TV and your router. I included in on the list of must have apps in China.
Vypr is currently doing an offer which you get the first 3 months for free and then the rest of the year for 25% off. Just click the banner below.
Full disclosure this is an affiliate link so if you want the 25% discount and sign up through my link I will gain commission. If you would rather pay full price and prefer not to use affiliate links click here and go to the VyprVPN website.
What do you think, can you live without a VPN in China? Answers in the comments!