Many first time travellers to China are surprised or chocked to find out that they can’t access popular websites such as Google, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. in this country. Welcome to the People Republic of China! You might have heard of the Great Firewall of China (or GFW). In short, it means that a lot of western websites are blocked in China.
That sucks, isn’t it? Especially if you depend on Gmail and are addicted to social media posting on Twitter or Facebook. Not to mention a lot of business related services or website are not accessible either.
The good news is, there are a number of solutions for this problem. One of the popular way of bypasssing the Internet blocking is to use a VPN service.
VPN stands for virtual private network. Basically, it can help you bypass Internet censorship and visit blocked site anonymously.
However, since many people in China use VPN, many big VPN providers are blocked in China. Therefore, choosing a good VPN service is a little bit tricky. The good news is, there’re some VPN monitoring and testing websites in China that keep an eye on which VPNs work in China and which ones are blocked. One of such services I would recommend is called VPN大大, or VPNDada.com. This website not only reviews VPN services, but also recommend VPNs that work well in China.
If you plan to travel to China and plan to stay there for a while, be sure to be prepared. Signing up for a good VPN service before the trip might save you a lot of trouble.