If you live in China or travelled there due to any reason, you already know that access to many different websites and applications is blocked. The majority of the blocking is carried out by China’s Great Firewall (GFW). It is a combination of legislative actions and technologies enforced by the People’s Republic of China to regulate the internet domestically.
Multiple websites and social media applications that internet users in their daily lives use are blocked in China due to internet regulations. The websites include Gmail, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, Google Dou, Zoom, Skype, etc.
The most easiest and convenient way to access blocked sites in China is by using a Virtual Private Network. Not only a VPN will encrypt your internet traffic but also route it through a VPN server located in China. This will ultimately allow you to bypass the Chinese censorship problem and access various sites that are blocked in China.
In this article, we’ll discuss with you four different ways including a VPN, that you can use to win your internet freedom back in China.
4 Ways To Access Sites In China
Let’s take a look at 4 different methods to access blocked sites in China, but before we continue, if you wish to access Facebook, Instagram, Google Duo, and Snapchat in China, then take a look at the following articles:
Virtual Private Network
Using a VPN is probably the best solution to circumvent the Chinese internet restrictions.
They will grant you access to multiple different websites and applications and encrypt your internet traffic with military-grade encryption and trust us when we say this; that is what you absolutely need in China to protect your online privacy.
Although the clash between VPNs and China’s Great Firewall has been going on for quite a while now, this cat and mouse game is unlikely to finish anytime soon.
While the list of working VPNs in China is skinny, you really need the best VPNs for China in 2021 that are tried and tested.
With a top-notch VPN provider like ExpressVPN, you can not only secure your digital print with state-of-the-art encryption but also access different popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more in China.
When you travel abroad, you will face no issue in keeping up with your favorite shows on local streaming services such as IQIYI and QQ Music.
Tor is a secure internet browser that offers you anonymity and your internet activity by hopping it through different relays in its network.
While its website is blocked in China, you can directly contact Tor’s developer and ask them for the Tor browser download link. There’s no denying that the Chinese government is continuously working to block Tor technology. Therefore, it is always good to use Tor in conjunction with a few VPNs’ obfuscated technology.
To learn more about this technology, we recommend you read “What is Tor?”
The next method we have for you involves one of the most popular anti-censorship programs. It allows its users to bypass China’s Great Firewall internet restriction with an HTTP proxy server’s power.
While the working principle of Ultrasurf remains similar to a VPN that creates tunneling between your device and the servers, it is still less secure and effective when it comes to hiding your internet activities from prying eyes completely.
Unlike a VPN, Ultrasurf will only be responsible for the internet traffic generated from the web browser. The traffic generated by the applications such as email clients or Skype will not be protected and will remain vulnerable to hackers and attackers.
Ultrasurf does offer encryption between your computer and its servers, but your data is not encrypted for its entire journey unless you’re accessing a secured website.
Read in detail about Ultrasurf in our Ultrasurf Review.
Shadowsocks is another open-source proxy that forms a tunnel between your computer and a proxy server running on the SOCKS5 protocol. Just like Ultrasurf and other proxy services, Shadowsocks is also designed to bypass different internet censorships but not to offer any security and online privacy.
While its protocols are difficult to detect, a VPN provides far more secure and better privacy and anonymity.
To learn more about Shadowsocks installation, optimization, and configuration, refer to our article: Shadowsocks Guide.
Few other ways to access blocked websites in China
Apart from the above 4 mentioned methods, there are 2 more methods that you can use to access different blocked websites in China. Although they are not 100% efficient, still knowing about them can be very useful.
HTTP to HTTPS
Some blocked websites can be accessed in China by rewriting HTTP to HTTPS. This trick will only work if that website is hosted from a VPN of a Dedicated server Environment and has an unverified SSL Certificate.
Go to the address bar
Instead of http://website.com try: https://website.com
You can also use different proxy websites on the internet to access the blocked website. All you have to do is to visit the proxy website and enter your desired website URL in it. The website will be opened on that site itself.
Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions.
If the suggested methods don’t work for you in China, then make sure of the following and then try again:
- Disable your device IPv6
- Disable your handheld device’s GPS or location services
- Clear your browser cache, cookies and history completely
Yes, like other social media applications, Google meet is also blocked in China. The best to use Google meet in China is by activating a Virtual Private Network.
The online freedom of internet users in China is severely threatened by internet censorship and government surveillance. The Chinese government is busy finding new methods to block different websites in their country. Simultaneously, different freedom fighters are trying to find ways to restore and protect Chinese citizen’s and travelers’ online privacy and freedom.
Although all of our suggestions are fully capable of granting you access to blocked sites in China, we’d suggest using a Virtual Private Network if we had to pick a recommended method. Not just some regular VPN provider but only a top-tier VPN provider like ExpressVPN that can 100% guarantee unlimited, unrestricted, and global access to websites for the users in China.
If you hurry now, you can avail of their “12 months + 3 months free” subscription that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. With that being said, you can always try your luck with free VPNs for China as well.