If you are planning a trip to China or thinking of moving to this Country to live as an expat, you will shortly have to deal with the Great Firewall of China. The GFC is a masterpiece of technology aimed to Internet censorship. It is so effective that in China websites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter cannot be accessed.

Google itself is not available in China, adding up to the endless list of websites banned by the Chinese government. In a nutshell, most of the contents or websites that you love on the Internet are not available in China. Anonymster too has been banned in China.

That being the case, a VPN is an essential tool for anyone planning to visit or living in China. The Chinese government has been successful in blocking the vast majority of VPNs on the market. However, there are still a few top VPN that still work in China and can successfully go around the Great Firewall of China (even this masterpiece has some loopholes!)

In this article you will find a list of VPNs that have been tested by people living in China and therefore they are for sure working at the time this article has been published.


 ProviderPriceRatingMoney Back 
ExpressVPN review >>
Special 12+3 months 49% off

30 days
Try ExpressVPN >>
Hidester VPN review >>
7 days
Try Hidester VPN >>
NordVPN review >>
Special Offer 2-year Plan $3.29 (72% Off)

30 days
Try NordVPN >>
VyprVPN review >>
Try VyperVPN >>

What is a VPN & Why Do I need a VPN for China?

VPN is a network service that enables you to hide your internet identity to keep your sensitive data safe. Among its many functionalities, a VPN avails you content that otherwise would have not been accessible from your geographical location. This is exactly what happens in China where the government prevents access to most of web contents if you are connecting from Mainland China.

In China, you can’t access many of the most popular websites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Dropbox, SoundCloud and Vimeo. The list includes even the major news websites like the New York Times, LeMonde, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and many others. Besides that, many applications are banned like WhatsApp, Gmail and the Google Play Store itself. Here you can see a full list of websites banned by the Chinese governement.

This is thanks to China’s sophisticated censorship system popularly known as the Great Firewall of China.

List of usage of VPN in China
List of usage of VPN in China

It is understood that if you are in China and do not have a VPN, there is not much you can do online. To keep in contact with friends or relatives on social media would be almost impossible, you cannot get news from the world and even using the Internet just for recreation would be limited.

This, therefore, means that if you live in or are traveling to China, you surely need a VPN service to help you circumvent this censorship system.

The most useful service you can get from a VPN for China is the masking of your real IP address. The trick works simply.

You need to have your VPN installed on your device and when connecting from China you simply choose a VPN server locate in another country. For instance, it is just enough to connect to a server in Hong Kong and you will be able to have full access to the Internet.

When connected to a server outside China, you are given an IP address belonging to the Country where the server is located. Since the Great Firewall of China is configured to filter content mainly using IP addresses belonging to China, you’ll have got yourself a through way!

However, the government knows this too! The Great Firewall of China has therefore been updated to detect most VPN connections, and this is responsible for the fact that very few VPNs work in China.

In this article we are considering only the VPN that offers a good service in China.

You may find other VPN working besides these ones but they will be just painfully slow.

This is why we dedicated ourselves to helping you find the best VPN for China still working. We tested these VPN providers directly from inside China thanks to some of ur team members living there. We prepared a list of the VPNs that proved good at offering a good service and keeping you safe online.

Later on in this article, we will also provide you with great information that will give you insight into internet blocking in China.

It’s important to note that even though you may find other VPNs working in China, the ones we selected are the most reliable services for China that offer you great uncensored quality and are for sure still working.

The Top 3 VPNs For China

Top Rated : ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN test and review - Home page

ExpressVPN is the VPN service that we recommend the most for China. With this VPN, you’ll get clean, simple and dedicated mobile and desktops applications. The service offers some of the best VPN speeds in China that you cannot get anywhere else (7mbps-10mbps).

ExpressVPN has servers in Hong Kong and Los Angeles that are specifically designed and optimized for VPN users in China. Additionally, it also has servers in nearby locations such as Taiwan, Japan and the US West Coast dedicated for China users. All this VPN servers dedicated to China users is what makes ExpressVPN the best VPN for China.

ExpressVPN has a pretty reliable network service, and network drop-outs are rare unlike when using most other VPNs in China.

Not to be overlooked the fact that ExpressVPN has user-friendly apps very easy to use even for new users. What’s more, it has a greatly useful auto speed test feature that lets you run a test on the servers. Thanks to this functionality you can always know which one is the best performing VPN server for China.

ExpressVPN also allows you to use the same account on up to three devices simultaneously. This means that you can use it on your computer, mobile phone, and tablet or any other device, without needing to sign off from a device and then sign into another.

ExpressVPN also features a WebRTC and DNS leak protection and a great OpenVPN encryption that has a perfect forward secrecy.

Though a bit pricier than most other VPNs, ExpressVPN offers you real value for every single cent. Their services are worth it, and they have a great customer support service that helps you to resolve any issues you may have.

Whatever plan you subscribe, you can always count on the 30-day money back guarantee. That allows you enough time to try ExpressVPN in China without risking anything.

ExpressVPN Pros

  • Zero usage logs
  • Dedicated VPN servers optimized for China
  • .onion web address
  • “stealth” servers in Hong Kong
  • Wide range of servers (In 87 countries)
  • 30-day Money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN Cons

  • A bit pricey (if you don’t take advantage of the special deal)

30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Try ExpressVPN

Hidester VPN

Hidester VPN is a new entry in our list. This VPN provider is not widely known yet, but it is one of the rising stars in the Internet security business.

Our team members living in China have been testing Hidester for over one year now with excellent results. Since the service has proved reliable for such a long time, we decided to include it in our list of the best VPN for China.

Hidester VPN has a definite advantage compared to other VPN providers. This VPN has been designed and developed by people living in China. They experience how fierce is the censorship in China every day. They have direct knowledge of what is working in China and where many VPNs are lacking to provide a perfect service for China.

Since they couldn’t find any satisfying solution on the market, they decided to create a VPN specifically designed to bypass censorship. To achieve best results they developed some customary VPN protocol.

Hidester VPN offers you CamoVPN and CamoWeb protocols that work perfectly at bypassing censorship. CamoVPN is the Hidester version of OpenVPN while CamoWeb is a protocol that proxifies the web traffic through several encrypted tunnels to spoof the censorship.

The company is on the rise right now, and they are adding new VPN servers on a daily basis. Many servers are in Countries nearby China so you can surf the Internet at a very good speed.  The app is straightforward to use and intuitive. At the moment Hidester VPN is compatible with all the major Operating Systems.

As the best VPN on the market, Hidester VPN comes with a 7-day money back guarantee. You can test the service yourself risk-free. Is something goes wrong you can just ask for your money back.

Hidester VPN Pros

  • No Logs
  • Optimized for China
  • P2P & BitTorrent allowed
  • 5 device simultaneously
  • 7-day money back guarantee

Hidester VPN cons

  • No Live Chat support

30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Try Hidester VPN


On June 2017, NordVPN has implemented a new advanced VPN solution for Windows. Thanks to this service update now NordVPN users in China can have full access to the Internet.

However, at the moment only Windows users can enjoy this new features. We inquired NordVPN about further updates for other OS, and their technical team is currently working hard to make the Mac OS App fully functional in China as well.

NordVPN for China

NordVPN is certainly one of the best VPN connection on the market, and this service update for China comes as great news. The company once again prove true to its fame as one of the best VPN on the market.

All you need to do to use NordVPN in China is to:

  • subscribe to one of its plans
  • download the app
  • run the App
  • connect to a VPN server
  • start surfing the web in total freedom

However, it may sometimes happen that the Internet doesn’t work anyway. The problem is that China’s Internet restrictions may vary depending on cities or regions.

In the case of problems connecting to the Internet, you just need to follow this simple procedure:

  1. Go to the “Settings” menu
  2. Click on “Advanced Settings”
  3. Enable “Obfuscated Servers”

This process is simple and pretty straightforward, but if you are not sure about what to do you can go to the Help Center where you will find a tutorial on how to set your VPN for China. Alternatively, just take advantage of the Live Chat support, and they will guide you through all the process.

NordVPN Pros

  • Strict No-Logs policy
  • Strong encryption
  • P2P & BitTorrent supported
  • Servers in 59 countries
  • 6 devices multi login
  • 30-day money back guarantee

NordVPN Cons

  • VPN protocol switches are not user-friendly

Try NordVPN For China
30-day Money Back Guarantee


VyprVPN, fastest VPN connection, VPN China

VyprVPN can be termed as one of the fastest and most secure VPN service available today. This is majorly due to the fact that the company owns its entire infrastructure. It also features great encryption technology across all its plans.

For Premium VyprVPN users, there is a stealth technology called “Chameleon,” which is specifically designed for China users to defeat the Great Firewall. The company also makes use of UDP ports in all its applications. This helps in overcoming blocking and other throttling issues.

Like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN has some strategically located servers for China users. They have a Hong Kong server which is practically the best mobile phone server for speed and reliability. It also has dedicated servers in Los Angeles and the US West Coast which offer high internet speeds.

Its desktop user Interface is also pretty awesome. It’s clean, quick and easy to use especially when it comes to changing servers. They also offer a 30-day full refund, so feel free to try them out.

Unfortunately, VyperVPN keep some logs of your traffic and that makes it not the best option if you really care about your security.

VyprVPN Pros

  • Quick 24/7 support
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Servers in 70 countries
  • Connect multiple devices
  • 30-day money back guarantee

VyprVPN Cons

  • No P2P (File sharing)
  • Connection logs

Try VyprVPN For China
30-day Money Back Guarantee

 Why Astrill Is Not Recommended In China

Astrill was at one point arguably the best VPN service you could use in China.

Probably due to its popularity some years ago, it became a major target of the Great Firewall.

Their services were then blocked, starting with the website. Astrill.com became unavailable in China, and its alternative domain getastrill.com went down the same path. Now, to get Astrill, you have to use a VPN to visit their site, sign up and download the applications.

The other way is to do that from another country which is not blocked.

However, the service itself has also been greatly affected. While it used to be pretty fast, Astrill users in China now have to deal with slow speeds and many outages due to stronger blocking.

This has made Astrill a very unreliable VPN to use in China.

At some point in April 2016, many Astrill users couldn’t even connect to the service. They received a message from Astrill saying, “Due to increased censorship in the upcoming 10 days, VPN service might not work well in China. We expect everything will get better after March 14. You will be compensated for the time service is unavailablewhen the issue stop.”

Astrill is not good in China

At some other point when Astrill was having connection problems again, many Astrill VPN users received an angry message from Astrill, which blamed them for the blocking problems that Astrill was facing.

Astrill even called them stupid, something which didn’t go well with them.

Astrill blocked in China, best VPN for China

Apart from that, their customer service is also not really reliable in China. Once you face a problem, it can take days or even forever for you to be attended to.

Once you also subscribe for the free 7-day trial, chances are that when you’ll want to cancel it the request won’t go through, and you’ll be charged.

All these issues combined together just put out one point across, ‘DON’T USE ASTRILL VPN IN CHINA!’

What Are The Best VPN Protocols To Use In China

The Great Firewall is usually updated regularly to ensure that it blocks VPN network access. However, here is a list of protocols that you can still use in China;

  • OpenVPN: This is one of the secure protocols you can find. However, it strangely is very unreliable. The GFW experts have been able to block most of its ports and therefore it’s no longer as effective as it used to be. Spoofed RST packets happen to be the main cause.
  • CamoVPN: It is a proprietary protocol developed by Hidester. Basically is the Hidester VPN’s version of OpenVPN. The CamoVPN has been designed specifically to bypass censorship and it works very well in China.
  • L2TP: This protocol currently works well in China, and it is one of the fastest you can use.
  • PPTP: This is an inferior alternative for L2TP. Unless L2TP doesn’t work for you, don’t consider PPTP. It’s slower and less reliable.
  • SSTP: This protocol is reliable for establishing a connection over secure HTTPS (port 443). It allows you to securely access networks behind NAT routers, firewalls and Web proxies. With this one you don’t have to worry about typical port blocking issues.

Is It Legal To Use VPN In China?

Yes, using a VPN in China is legal.

This is a topic surrounded by a lot of confusion and misinformation. There is no doubt that the Chinese government is at war with VPN providers.

However, it must be noted that the Great Firewall of China blocks only the VPNs that do not have the government approval to operate legally in China. If a VPN comply with their requirements, it can operate in the Country. (It is easily understood that a VPN legally recognized in China must not be used if you really want to protect your privacy and use the Internet freely!!)

Therefore, China doesn’t consider using a VPN a crime and there is no record of any VPN user who ever got in trouble because of that.

On July 2017, Bloomberg released a news reporting that China will ban all VPNs by February 2018. According to Bloomberg the Chinese government issued an order to the three main ISP providers in China – China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom – to block any personal use of VPN. The block was reported to become effective on 1st February 2018.

However, the China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released an interview to clarify the matter and he denied Bloomberg’s news as false. Up to now, no such a ban has ever been put in place by the Chinese Government.

In reality, VPNs are widely used in China by the expat communities, academics and foreign companies. In consideration of that, it is quite unlikely that the Chinese Government will ever target single users for using a VPN.

When Do I Install The VPN?

If you are traveling to China, we strongly recommend that you install the VPN on your computer and mobile phone before traveling. This is because the Great Firewall is blocking several VPN sites. Therefore, you cannot visit the website from China to buy the service.

Buying the VPN through some App store is not an option too. Google Play Store is blocked in China, so if you are an Android user you cannot access it to buy a VPN.

The App Store is still working, but in 2017 Apple was forced to remove from the store most of the best VPN. The VPNs you can still find in the App Store have been approved by the Chinese government and for this reason you must avoid them altogether since they will put your digital security at risk.

How To Get A VPN From Inside China

Unfortunately, there are many travelers that realize how bad is censorship in China only after they enter the Country. If this is the case, your problem is how to get a VPN while you are in China.

Of course, you cannot visit the official VPN website and buy your subscription because they VPNs websites are all blocked. If they are not blocked in China, it is because the VPN service has compromised on security and privacy in order to obtain the legal requirements to operate in China and therefore they must be avoided.

To buy a VPN in China you need to resort to a few options.

One of this is Shadowsocks. This is an open-source proxy widely used in China to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

You can also use Tor with obfsproxy. That means that Tor can be used in China but you need to set up bridges to spoof the Great Firewall of China.

The other way is to create your own server. This, however, requires you set it up using a laptop in another Country before you leave for China and will limit you to only one server choice.

All these options can be used to access a VPN website and buy the service. However, they are not straightforward to use and you need some technical skill to use them.

If you are planning to go to China, make sure you buy your VPN in advance to save you some headache.

Free VPNs In China

The cheap or free VPNs out there are not really designed to by-pass China’s great filter. They are only put together using the basic OpenVPN protocol for security, but they have a limited number of servers and offer a small bandwidth.

Bypassing the Great Firewall of China is an expensive business. Companies invest a lot of resources every year to keep working in China. Nobody will spend such a big amount of money for a free service.

We do not know of any free VPN working in China and able to bypass the Great Firewall of China. If some do, they are extremely slow and, most important, will not be of any value to protect your privacy and access the Internet without restrictions.

Is Torrenting Allowed And Working In China?

Almost all the commercial video streaming companies based in China use torrent protocols to enable the service.

Torrenting in itself is not blocked, but some torrent search/ index sites and torrent trackers are blocked. For instance, The Pirate Bay doesn’t work in China.

The Great Firewall locks out almost all non-China torrenting sites, leaving only the ones based in China.

To access full torrenting services without fear of getting caught, you have to use a VPN.

On this regard, we recommend you to use ExpressVPNHidester VPN, or NordVPN because they are the only VPN providers still working in China that allows torrenting or P2P.

Which Internet Service Provider (ISP) Is The Best In China For Fast And Reliable Internet

China Mobile

This is arguably the best ISP in china, and most of VPNs work on it and the speed is very high. It also the only provider that allows you to use 4G when connected.

Its base stations are widely distributed and has different tariff packages to cater for the needs of different users. Due to its quality services, it however charges higher than both China Telecom and China Unicom.

China Unicom

This provider is the best to use VPN on, and it also has high speeds and reliability. It offers quality signals for 3G cards and charges relatively lower than China Mobile. Its signal for 2G cards is however poor.

China Telecom

This provider is famous for controlling international traffic and throttling it. It however has the best signals for 3G cards among the three operators.

It’s important to figure out all the specific services of the package you choose, in order to avoid spending unnecessary money on the unwanted service.

Blocked Websites In China

Just after around almost 4 years of gaining internet access in 1994, the Chinese government started working on ways to restrict the free flow of information. It became operational in late 2003. The project started as the Golden Shield Project but later came to be known and despised as the Great Firewall.

Over the years, it has been continuously updated to deal with the advancement in technology, especially which is meant to circumvent the filtering. Chinese internet users have therefore been blocked from some of the most important internet resources. Even billion-dollar companies like Facebook and Google, are just some shuttered dark rooms in China.

The Great Firewall has blocked over 3000 websites, and this number continues to grow. The major websites and services that have been blocked include;

  • Gmail.com
  • Youtube.com
  • Facebook.com
  • Twitter.com
  • Soundcloud.com
  • Vimeo.com
  • Blogspot.com
  • WordPress.com
  • Wikileaks.com

Most search engines have also been blocked. These include;

  • Google
  • Baidu Japan
  • Yahoo Hong Kong
  • Yahoo Taiwan
  • Baidu Brazil
  • And most recently, DuckDuckGo

There are no guaranteed sites that can’t be blocked, and you can use services like blockedinchina.net to see if a website is blocked in China. Or you can find here the complete list of websites blocked in China.

Is Google Blocked in China?

Google is blocked in China. Some of your search queries may be redirected to Google.com.hk, but at the moment Google is basically banned in China. This is true even for all Google related services like Gmail, Google+, YouTube, Google Docs and so on.

Having become a major target of the Great Firewall of China, in 2010 Google decided to leave China and abandon this massive market. There are rumors about Google planning to come back soon but at the moment Google doesn’t work in China.

To access the full service of Google, you have to use a VPN network working inn China like ExpressVPN or HidesterVPN.

Is Gmail blocked in China?

Gmail is completely blocked in China. Unless you use a VPN working in China you cannot check your mailbox.

Is Snapchat blocked in China?

Most social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter etc. are blocked in China. Snapchat is unfortunately not an exception. To use it, you have to go through a VPN network.

Does WhatsApp work in China?

WhatsApp has made it to the list of Apps blocked in China.

The popular messaging app cannot be used inside the Country unless you have a VPN for China. Keep in mind that the Google Play Store is blocked too in China so if whatsApp is not already installed on your phone before you enter the Country, you cannot install it while in China. Unless, of course, you use a VPN to unblock the Google Play Store in another country

Does Instagram work in China?

Being a popular and major social network, Instagram too has been targeted by the Great Firewall of China.

At the moment, Instagram is blocked in China. You can still connect to the App if you use a VPN for China to connect to a VPN server located outside China.

Does Viber work in China?

Viber fell under the tough trap of the Great Firewall way back in 2014. Since then, you cannot use the application for you calls or messaging. To access this service, the only option you have is to subscribe to a VPN still working in China.

Is Skype blocked in China?

As of now, Skype is not blocked in China and some of our team members use it on a regular basis.

However, your calls and messages on Skype may be monitored by third parties. For this reason we strongly advice you to use Skype only with a VPN activated to protect your privacy. Using a VPN can even enhance the quality of the service that in China is known to be poor at times.

Is Twitter blocked in China?

Yes, Twitter is among the social media blocked in China. Once again, unless you have a VPN working in China you will not be able to circumvent the Great Firewall of China and use Twitter.

Are iTunes and the App Store blocked in China?

iTunes and App Store are the major services that provide you with applications for iOS and macOS. Even though not banned, the App Store is censored on what applications they feature.

For instance, you will not find all the best VPN still working in China since the government has pressured Apple to remove them. They can offer only VPNs that comply with Chinese legal requirements, which means these VPN providers compromised on security and privacy and therefore need to be avoided.

To have full access to the Apple store you need to use a VPN for China and connect to a store based outside China.

Can I use Facetime in China?

Facetime currently works in China. It however faces quality of voice and video issues, just like Skype.

Even for Facetime it is recommended to protect all your conversations from prying eyes and hears activating a VPN.

Is Yahoo and Yahoo email blocked in China?

Yahoo search is at the moment available in China. Even the local versions Yahoo Hong Kong and Yahoo Taiwan have been unblocked now.

However, all the researches that goes through this browser are filtered and you will get only the results that the Chinese government consider appropriate. Therefore, you can use Yahoo bat you will not get full access to Internet content. What you have to do is to activate a VPN to bypass the censorship.

Is Quora blocked in China?

Quora is one of the few services that have not been affected by the Great Firewall so far. You can access it without any problems, and it’s also not filtered. However, this may not continue for long!

Is Dropbox blocked in China? Why?

Dropbox is blocked in China and you cannot use it unless you use a VPN for China.

It doesn’t matter if you have installed the application before entering China, synchronization will not work and you cannot receive or send any file.

The reasons why Dropbox has been targeted by the Great Firewall of China are unclear. Most likely the only reason is to favor local cloud storages services.

Is LinkedIn banned in China?

Currently, LinkedIn works just fine in China. Unlike other allowed services, it doesn’t have many problems. However, it’s important to note that websites hosted outside China tend to load slowly.

Is Reddit accessible in China?

As of now, Reddit is not blocked in China. It has however been blocked intermittently in the past. This is probably because it’s not so popular in China, and therefore not perceived as a threat.

Accessing Facebook In China

VPN China Facebook blocked

As mentioned earlier, Facebook is blocked in China. This, therefore, means that to reach it, you have to find a way of going around the firewall, by using a VPN or a similar anti-censorship technology.

China is one of the largest countries in the world and has billions of people with internet access. It offers a large attractive & un-tapped market for Facebook. Due to this, Facebook is considering censoring its content, in order to be allowed to reach the Chinese Internet market.

If this goes through, you may be able to access a censored version of Facebook from China. However, if you want to access the full services of Facebook, you still have to use a VPN service.

Alternative Ways Of Getting Around The GFW

Though there can only be 1 or 2 effective ways, there are many ways of killing a rat. Other technologies have been developed to elude internet censorship in China.

They are not as effective as VPNs, but you can at least use them to get to a blocked VPN site if you are in China. You can, therefore, be able to sign up and download a VPN software.

Shadowsocks is one open-source proxy application that is worth of mention. It is widely used in mainland China to circumvent the GFW. You can also use Tor with obfsproxy services for this purpose.

The other way is to create your own server. This, however, requires you set it up using a laptop in another Country before you leave for China and will limit you to only one server choice.

Using proxies, however, can be slow or provide you limited bandwidth. The only reliable option is to use a VPN service.

Conclusion On Best VPN For China

The Great Firewall is an effective system, and therefore you can expect it to work effectively to some point.

However, there can only be a few things that the experts out there can’t get around with. You can use the information provided here to get yourself a favorite VPN for China.

Though you won’t get the exact service as other unblocked countries to the dot, with a VPN, you will be sure to get a pretty effective service.


 ProviderPriceRatingMoney Back 
ExpressVPN review >>
Special 12+3 months 49% off

30 days
Try ExpressVPN >>
Hidester VPN review >>
7 days
Try Hidester VPN >>
NordVPN review >>
Special Offer 2-year Plan $3.29 (72% Off)

30 days
Try NordVPN >>
VyprVPN review >>
Try VyperVPN >>


  1. I am not sure that you are a vpn user from China. Because Express is not a choice for Chinese users. I am user of Astrill, they had some issues in mid 2016 with iOS app however Stealth was working fine on my Mac device so I purchased Express because I mostly use my iPhone. Purchasing Express was a big mistake. Astrill released new iOS app within a week and I applied for refund from Expressvpn but they refused to refund my money.

    Since you guys are guiding people through your platform, I would suggest you to please do proper research and use the service yourself before posting such articles. Your writing leads people to make decisions so don’t post without enough research.

    • Dear Sarah,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      I am personally living in China and using Express VPN on a daily basis. I am also having a subscription with Astrill, VyprVPN, Hidemyass and several others VPN Providers. All the VPNs we shall recommend on this page are tested on a Weekly Basis from China using different ISPs (China Telecom & Unicom) and different devices.
      From our tests, ExpressVPN has proven to be the most reliable VPN in China mainland. Actually, I am currently answering this message while being connected to ExpressVPN from Beijing, on a China Telecom internet connection with their Tokyo 2 Server and getting good performance (streaming on YouTube in HD, good ping, good download speed).

      About iPhone (IOS):
      From our tests, Astrill does not tunnel your APP Traffic but only web traffic on IOS which could cause issues if some of your APPs are blocked (some newspaper or game apps are not working without VPN as the Great Firewall is blocking them).
      With Express VPN, you have a choice of protocols which is not the case with Astrill where you can only change ports. Changing protocols can be useful in countries like China as Open VPN connection, for example, is heavily blocked or throttled.

      On desktop version with Astrill, I am facing reliability issues. Most of their servers are not usable and their support has not been able to help.

      Most of the expats I surveyed in China are as well facing a lot of issues with Astrill and complaining about their support being inefficient.

      Could you please tell us what the issue you are facing with ExpressVPN on your iPhone is, as I tried it just now and it’s working very well from our testing.


  2. I deliberated strongly over VPN choices before coming to China. Last year in the States, I’d purchased ExpressVPN but its Internet kill-switch ruined my Macbook Pro. The only help the company could offer me was via email–and of course this means waiting days even to get a reply with som superficial fix that doesn’t work. I finally cancelled my account (during 30-day trial), and had to shell out over $300 total for Apple to fix my machine. The LA Genius Bar told me the issue (Internet freezing even after VPN software is removed from system) is common. I work online, had projects due, couldn’t get online regardless what ExpressVPN advice I followed, and worst of all, the company stopped replying to my emails once it became clear their LIMITED TECH KNOWLEDGE (among the email help department) couldn’t assess, let alone fix, the problem. Being without my computer and missing deadlines cost me 6-projects worth in excess of $21K.

    But I got transferred to China, so here I am. EVERYONE online recommends ExpressVPN for China, so despite my apprehension, I contacted their support team to ask what they’d do for me to prevent similar issues in the future. They guaranteed me the problem wouldn’t happen again–and if it did, they’d be certain to be there for me. Well guess what? Since coming to China with ExpressVPN on a brand new 2017 Macbook, the VPN keeps disconnecting. That’s not so much of a problem (it is, but perhaps it’s just to be expected here). I disabled the Internet kill-switch, but whenever the VPN disconnects I AM LOCKED OUT OF THE INTERNET. Again! I’ve even quit ExpressVPN, restarted… but, ironically, I have to be connected first and choose to disconnect in order to change servers or other settings.

    On any given day, I’ve been bumped off EVPN at least a dozen times. I’ve tried the Tokyo1 & 2 servers; the LA1, & 2, & 3 servers; the Hong Kong servers; even the Frankfurt servers. Doesn’t matter. I realize the company is trying to get around active protocols by the Chinese government, but what I find unacceptable is the lack of customer service. Of course, after each major incident, I email the support team, sending them the diagnostic files–once I’m able to get back online. I’ve received word back from them ONCE since my arrival in China. Once more, they’ve abandoned me because the problem is persistent. Despite the specious sales pitch they gave me when I was still in the US.

    As a result, I have no faith in ExpressVPN and very little faith in companies that continue to recommend them as the best VPN service. I’m not a technician. If your product I’ve paid full price for doesn’t work, someone from your team should be available to help me. Either together we learn the problem can’t be fixed–and I’ll respect your honesty–or we fix it. Don’t just keep emailing the same shallow, vacuous tech advice and then ABANDON your customers because the problem doesn’t go away.

    Maybe you (article author) and your acquaintances have had good luck with ExpressVPN, but since I am in contact with a large US/European expat community here with our multinational company, I’m hearing a LOT of similar complaints about ExpressVPN as I’ve articulated here. More people need to know that not only is ExpressVPN not a guaranteed solution to accessing the Internet reliably (even when ExpressVPN is active, many of us are having trouble attaching documents, sending files, moving files to the cloud…), but also when they’re stuck with a real problem, ExpressVPN may simply abandon them–despite the yearly subscription fee that’s already been conveniently collected.

    • ExpressVPN has been always inferior in VPN scene, instead of improving the service they spend their money on sponsoring VPN blogs and reviewers. (Check the privacy guy guide and leaks)
      The best VPNs are those you dont hear of them in blogs, they are well known and reliable.
      the best advice forget about ExpressVPN and VyprVPN.

    • Hi Tom,

      sorry to hear you had a bad experience with ExpressVPN. Sometimes not everything turns out as it should.

      However, we recommend ExpressVPN because we use it daily to connect from China and we’ve never experienced any major issue.
      For instance, I am a Macbook Pro user and the Kill Switch works totally fine on my machine and on all the other devices I use.
      Anyhow, I totally understand that if you’ve happened to have some bad experience you may now prefer to explore a different path.

      For your reference, NordVPN has announced today that they managed to enter the Chinese market and their connection is now working in China. We didn’t have a chance to test it ourself yet but I will shortly update the article. Keep in mind that NordVPN has a 30-day money back guarantee so you can give it a try risk-free.
      Hopefully you will have better luck.

  3. So much hate in there… I’m using Express VPN and what has been said in this article is true. the VPN is reliable… I’m in Hong Kong as so far i am happy with it. My 2 cents…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here