In a bid to offer clients the best VPN service in China, NordVPN has recently implemented a new advanced VPN feature. This update has been made as the Chinese Government keeps on updating the Great Firewall to filter out VPN attempts to try and circumvent the strong internet censorship in the country.
The Great Firewall was founded around 2003 to control the internet domestically. Since then, it has hindered Chinese residents from accessing various vital internet services and websites. This has been a nightmare for travelers who have gone to China, whether for business or recreational purposes, and even for local Chinese residents.
When it comes to the Internet, they are trapped in a deep, dark hole, with access to only what the government allows them to.
The Extent Of China’s Censorship
The Great Firewall is notorious enough to not only filter selected websites, but also entirely block most of the online services that are basic in the rest of the world.
The most notable blocked service is Google. This is along with all their services including Google search, Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Maps etc. Popular social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are not spared either. Even Zuckerberg’s efforts in October 2015 to impress the Chinese president Xi Jinping by talking in Mandarin didn’t prove so fruitful.
In a figure reported in September 2015, about 3,000 sites were blocked in China. For whatever legitimate reasons the Chinese Government has, most of us can’t live without some of these services. It is for these reasons that Nord VPN doesn’t tire in trying to find the best solution for Chinese users.
NordVPN has over the years been ranked as one of the best VPN services and now is working even in China. This new feature bring NordVPN among top VPNs like ExpressVPN that works in China as well. (Check our article NordVPN vs ExpressVPN.)
This is because apart from being able to offer quality services in China, it also boasts other great features that would easily match any top service. Among these, it is the impressive 5380 Servers in 59 Countries.
To help China residents have access to better services, some of these servers are located in neighboring countries that include Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, India, and Russia.
For security purposes, NordVPN offers a rather unique feature known as Double VPN. With a Double hop VPN, your traffic is channeled through two different servers, and encrypted with AES 256 security protocol each time it leaves from one server. This means that your data is twice encrypted, hence twice more secure.
Users in China can be able to use the Taiwan-Hong Kong server combination.
Along with keeping you secure, this feature ensures that you remain completely anonymous to the Great Firewall.
For the privacy of users, NordVPN offers static IP addresses. Further, there are servers based in Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands and Romania that allow users torrent without fear of being caught. This is in addition to keeping no logs at all, and being based out of the US.
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The Update; Obfuscated Servers
As you already know, the Great Firewall of China blocks OpenVPN traffic. This therefore makes a VPN almost useless in China, unless it has other means of navigating through the system.
Nord VPN has introduced obfuscated servers in its Windows client, to help avoid censoring. This technology is also commonly referred to as ‘Stealth’, and it disguises VPN data packets as regular HTTPS traffic.
NordVPN’s obfuscated servers are an alternative server list created specifically for using VPN under heavy restrictions. This means that if you are in a region in China where your internet is highly censored, you can just turn on this feature in the Windows client and unblock your desired services.
At the time of this writing, NordVPN has only rolled out the update for Windows users, but they are working to make it available for Mac users as well.
How To Use NordVPN In China
In its attempt to restrict the usage of VPNs in China, the Great Firewall has been configured to block most VPN sites, and VPN provider websites. Being a top VPN, the official NordVPN website has been blocked in China.
However, there is a different domain that you can use to access the Website. The domain is nord-cn.org. This one has not been blocked in China, and it is just the same as the main website.
Once on the Website, you need to create an account and make an order. You can do so by clicking the “Get NordVPN” button from the Home Page.
You can then choose a plan that suits you. All their plans are covered by a no-hassle 100% Money-Back Guarantee for your first 30 days of service.
You will be required to provide your email and password for purposes of account creation.
You can then select a method of payment and enter your details.
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Downloading The Client
After you have created an account, all you need to do now is download the Windows client. You can get the option from the “Tools & information” drop down Menu.
The software will quickly download, and you can then run it.
At this point, it is worth noting that the internet censorship in China varies depending on your region, and so certain services may be available in one province/ city and be unavailable in another. You can try connecting your NordVPN in the regular way by just clicking the connection button.
NordVPN China: Troubleshooting
Sometimes this doesn’t work, and it’s the whole reason behind Obfuscated servers. Again, being an easy client app to use, the steps for using this feature are very simple.
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Select Advanced Settings.
- Enable Obfuscated servers.
When this feature is enabled, it avails an alternative server list that has been specially created to handle traffic from heavily restricted areas.
Alternatively, you can follow the tutorial that can be found in the Help Center.
With the Firewall being updated continually, VPN providers need to update their service as well, so as not to be left behind and be rendered useless. At the moment, NordVPN seems to be doing just that!
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