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-   -   Great Firewall of China (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-technology/1975812-great-firewall-china.html)

Pepperlater Jun 27, 19 2:50 am

Great Firewall of China
 
Hello, I'm traveling to China for a few months or maybe even more and I've heard about the Great Firewall of China. I need to access Facebook and a few different sites for work purposes, so I think that I need a VPN. And there are so many! I am thinking about Nord, Express or Surfshark, the last one is the cheapest so I am leaning to it. So anyway, what are your thoughts? Do you use anything?

Lifulty Jun 27, 19 4:01 am

I'm afraid we don't have many options for VPN in China. Can't speak for the other two, but the last time I was there I used ExpressVPN and everything worked as expected. Found it easy to use and I could connect three of my devices without any problems.

moondog Jun 27, 19 4:10 am


Originally Posted by Pepperlater (Post 31244348)
Hello, I'm traveling to China for a few months or maybe even more and I've heard about the Great Firewall of China. I need to access Facebook and a few different sites for work purposes, so I think that I need a VPN. And there are so many! I am thinking about Nord, Express or Surfshark, the last one is the cheapest so I am leaning to it. So anyway, what are your thoughts? Do you use anything?

How did you miss the enormous thread on this topic?

StuckInYYZ Jun 27, 19 11:21 am

Here's a link to VPNs that MAY work in China. It's a spotty thing at best and most vloggers do advise that...

https://www.techradar.com/news/best-...-5-top-choices

That said, if you have a spare computer at home, maybe set up something with teamviewer or anydesk that you can remote into. Also, set up a hotmail or yahoo email address so you can transfer files back and forth. Google related services will not work and with spotty VPN coverage, you should have a backup.

TWA884 Jun 27, 19 6:26 pm

In the China forum:

bocastephen Jun 27, 19 7:49 pm

I would suggest getting a data SIM in Hong Kong that also works in China - you can use your phone as a hotspot, or get two SIM cards and buy an unlocked hotspot to use as a home router plus your phone. The data will route through Hong Kong and will not be censored.

moondog Jun 27, 19 7:55 pm

A lot of my friends do the HK thing, but a local SIM plus express works pretty well, as long as you optimize.

Leeroy75 Jun 28, 19 4:22 am


Originally Posted by Pepperlater (Post 31244348)
Hello, I'm traveling to China for a few months or maybe even more and I've heard about the Great Firewall of China. I need to access Facebook and a few different sites for work purposes, so I think that I need a VPN. And there are so many! I am thinking about Nord, Express or Surfshark, the last one is the cheapest so I am leaning to it. So anyway, what are your thoughts? Do you use anything?

I asked the same question in this forum before a month. Just came back from China. I can confirm that Surfshark works without any problem there.

bocastephen Jun 28, 19 12:31 pm


Originally Posted by moondog (Post 31247207)
A lot of my friends do the HK thing, but a local SIM plus express works pretty well, as long as you optimize.

Wouldn't a VPN connection slow things down vs a SIM card running LTE without a VPN, but routing through HK?

moondog Jun 28, 19 4:13 pm


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 31249422)
Wouldn't a VPN connection slow things down vs a SIM card running LTE without a VPN, but routing through HK?

Not ime.

StuckInYYZ Jun 30, 19 10:08 am


Originally Posted by Leeroy75 (Post 31248168)
I asked the same question in this forum before a month. Just came back from China. I can confirm that Surfshark works without any problem there.

One thing to be careful about. Connectivity doesn't always work. I've had VPNs while visiting and the consistency isn't there. A corporate one from my employer would work fine. But the commercial ones are a bit flakey... one would work fine, then stop a day or two later. Another one took a half hour before establishing a connection... Depends on the load of the GFOC as well as amount of activity and type of connection I suspect.


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 31249422)
Wouldn't a VPN connection slow things down vs a SIM card running LTE without a VPN, but routing through HK?

Commercial VPNs are pretty responsive these days. You might experience a bit of a slowdown, but not much (maybe 5% if at all). My concern with a VPN (at least with phones and tablets) is that they run down the battery faster. Getting a SIM card to route through HK would bypass that issue...

Dread Pirate Jeff Jul 1, 19 8:52 am


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 31249422)
Wouldn't a VPN connection slow things down vs a SIM card running LTE without a VPN, but routing through HK?

That really depends on the VPN. A good VPN with quality servers and good bandwidth into and out of their endpoints won't cause any appreciable bottleneck. A cheap VPN with low in/out bandwidth on their endpoints will slow things down significantly.

Personally, I use VyprVPN using their Chameleon protocol when I'm in China... it's the one my company IT recommends for employees travelling to China, and I've never had an issue with that being blocked by the GFW.

Fliar Jul 1, 19 11:19 am

Did not have much luck with Nord in China - very, very difficult to get a connection and sometimes it didn't work at all, either on computer or Android

hfly Jul 2, 19 6:55 pm

Firstly, not all hotels are equal, some hotels have their own solutions, by routing their traffic through HKG for example. This is not something that they advertise, but is something that you can ask before checking in. Secondly, it is my understanding that the HK SIm thing referenced above is NOT currently working in China.

Coolers Jul 3, 19 3:24 am


Originally Posted by hfly (Post 31263500)
Firstly, not all hotels are equal, some hotels have their own solutions, by routing their traffic through HKG for example. This is not something that they advertise, but is something that you can ask before checking in. Secondly, it is my understanding that the HK SIm thing referenced above is NOT currently working in China.

Roaming on a HK sim most certainly does work. Full access to Google and other blocked/censored services.


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