The Chinese government is known to follow the “What happens in China stays in China” principle so much that it even censors and actively monitor everything that happens on the internet. Now to keep things in control they have established ‘The Great Firewall of China’ that blocks citizens in china from exploring the outside world and the same thing goes for tourists who visit China.
No wonder why VPNs are so famous. There’s a cat and mouse chase to block them from functioning. But here we have a clear winner. Allow me to introduce Express VPN which works flawlessly even in China!
Censoring information is necessary to curb the fake news, false information, hate speech, violent NSFL (Not Safe for Life) content from the public domain but the steps that China takes are quite far-fetched.
They even block authentic journalism by keeping news sites like NYTimes, BBC, and The Guardian under censorship. You literally don’t know what’s happening outside nor you can connect with your friends and loved ones.
Hence, it’s quintessential to use a VPN service like ExperessVPN to help you stay ahead. Now there’s a catch to this, you need to sign up for the service and install their app before you visit China.
How can ExpressVPN work in China?
Well, VPNs do not work in china mostly due to their data sharing policies which make VPN lose its primary function of anonymity. ExpressVPN does not host any server in China, which simply means that the Chinese government can no longer track any activity as their policies do not stand.
Why ExpressVPN is your best bet to access blocked websites in China?
ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted services that does not log any information and keeps you secure by encrypting the connection. It will unblock each and every restriction that the Chinese government imposes and thus it will open the outside world while you travel in the Chinese territory.
But what makes it so special and why not use other VPNs? There are only a handful of services that work over there. To answer what makes it so special, let’s have a look at the features that you get when you choose ExpressVPN.
Virtual Server Location:
It hosts 3000+ servers in 160 different locations which are spread across 90+ countries, and they are continuously expanding operations and installing more servers so as no service can blacklist their system.
You can also get a virtual server location where your IP address will be of whatever country that you select but the connection will route through a server in some other country that has a better connection. Almost no other VPN has this feature.
VPN Split Tunneling:
With Split Tunneling, you can use VPN for some of the apps that you choose and the rest of the traffic will be exchanged regularly from your ISP. Here you don’t need to disconnect and reconnect VPN again and again to access any local services.
It will come in handy when you travel, like if you decide to use some Chinese apps then it won’t work when you connect with VPN but the Split Tunneling here is to solve such an issue.
Generally, people tend to use a VPN so that they can hide their internet activity and stay anonymous. All VPN services show their server IP address and thus hide your original IP from any website, or services that you try to access. ExpressVPN takes a step further by introducing its own private DNS servers.
Private encrypted DNS helps you stay secure from DNS filtering, blocking, hijacking attacks. Furthermore, they don’t store any activity logs or connection logs.
Your DNS queries are encrypted so the possibility of DNS leak is completely ruled out. Most of the VPNs use third-party DNS services and protect only your browsing history leaving DNS queries hanging. Here you can be sure of complete protection.
Here ExpressVPN does not log any sort of data. Right from your IP address, browser history, DNS queries, and even metadata, absolutely nothing is logged or stored anywhere.
Things that are logged include the choice of a VPN server, date when you connect, the app version through which you are using the service and the amount of data exchanged. Generally, this information is needed to keep the services running without any errors.
Furthermore, they even have offshore VPN servers located in BVI (British Virgin Islands) as the data regulation laws are much less strict and thus helps in maintaining complete user privacy. If we look at technical aspects, they use only RAM powered servers.
With hard disks, there is a risk of information getting logged and stored but with RAM, everything is wiped after each reboot and complete technology stack is re-installed. With such a state of the art implementation, you can be sure that even the data that they collect is regularly wiped, though no can say it was you from the data itself.
ExpressVPN comes with a Kill Switch. Your VPN connection can drop because of many reasons like you switching between WiFi, or turning your data on and off, and even due to ISP network outage.
Here, by any chance, if your VPN gets disconnected, then it activates a network lock. With the network lock in place, no traffic can leave or enter your device. It is an important feature that helps you stay anonymous from your internet service provider even when your VPN disconnects. The network lock will be automatically lift-off when your VPN service starts to function. Plus, it is activated by default so you don’t have to worry about anything.
When you use ExpressVPN, your traffic is mixed with other users. By mixing traffic no one can know what you are surfing or downloading as whoever if tries to monitor will see a lot of random mixed content along with the sites that you open. Again this is if they are able to get past the security placed by ExpressVPN. So it hides your IP address and mixes all the traffic but what else does it do to make everything secure? They encrypt the traffic.
256-bit AES encryption is used to encrypt all the traffic that you exchange with the VPN server and your device. It is the same encryption that is adopted by the U.S. Government and other security professionals to keep their data secure. To give you an overview, it will take about billions of years to decrypt 256-bit encryption, making it completely impossible to be hacked.
What all things can ExpressVPN unblock in China?
As a tourist who visits China for the first time and unable to upload their stories on Instagram, Facebook, or even Snapchat is clearly sad, but we do have the Express VPN to the rescue. Here’s a list of things that you can’t access while inside of China:
P.S: It’s a list of top things that we use on a daily basis. There are way too many services, websites that China censors.
- Email and Messaging (Gmail, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, Messenger, Line, Discord)
- Video and Music Streaming Services (Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Twitch, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video)
- Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Tinder)
- Blogging Platforms (Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, WordPress.com)
- Cloud Storages (Google Drive, DropBox, Mega, Amazon S3)
- News Sites (NYTimes, BBC, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg)
- Information repository (Wikipedia, Quora, Archive)
- All the websites hosted on Amazon AWS, Google Cloud.
You can actually check if a website is blocked in China. Visit ChinaFireWallTest and enter the website to see if it can be accessed or not.
Is it even legal to use a VPN in China?
VPN is a technology. Even the Chinese government uses it to keep its network isolated. Additionally, China has no such law that bans an individual from using a VPN. There are authorized VPN services made available by the Chinese government. If someone is caught using any other VPN then they impose a fine (Information Source) on the person depending on the circumstances.
China has also introduced a bill back in 1997 which states that it is illegal to access foreign internet without permission. (Wikipedia).
But regardless of all these things, China comes under the top 10 VPN consumers worldwide. So at thetechhacker, we won’t encourage you to do anything illegal with a VPN regardless of wherever you are in china or abroad.
Honestly, it is a cat and mouse game between VPN providers and the Chinese government. With the implementation of the Great Firewall of China, they sure have a slight edge by making most of the VPN services disappear.
Now its all in the VPN provider’s hand to keep their users secure and ExpressVPN has cracked this down by allowing anyone to easily access the censored websites inside of China. If you are ever visiting China, make sure to signup for ExpressVPN and keep the app installed beforehand.