So you’ve landed in Shenzhen and are ready for the Canton Fair. But wait, why can’t I connect to Gmail? I’m having problems connecting to Facebook. I can’t watch Netflix or my Youtube videos! Welcome to China my friend. The Great Firewall means that many of your favorite sites cannot be accessed here. Here’s the solution.
VPN – Virtual Private Network. I won’t get into a detailed explanation how it works but the 80/20 is that you need one of these to access the sites mentioned above. See my suggested VPNs below. There is no one size fits all solution. For example Astrill worked well for me several years ago but the local authorities are catching on and they are tinkering with the Great Firewall. So VPN accessibility is becoming more shaky. So that means you might be able to connect from your hotel but when you visit the factory, it may not connect on their network. Or it may not work on your cell phone’s internet plan (China Mobile, China Unicom, etc).
Honestly there is no best solution and everyones needs are different. I’ve included some paid VPN providers to get you started. I would stay away from Free VPNs because there is too much traffic on them. Even if there were to connect speeds would slow down to a crawl. Note the links below may have affiliate links – in fact it’s win-win because both you and I can get a free month.
Best practice: The real pros in China signup for multiple VPNs. Not cheap but you have a backup solution if your primary VPN isn’t connecting.
12VPN – Value solution and good for those who don’t use torrents (they don’t allow p2p or torrents).
Astrill – I found it about the same as ExpressVPN.
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