China has become an epitome of Internet censorship. For freedom-loving netizens, China conjures up an image of a dystopian and authoritarian society where the population has little control over the kind of content they can consume. To regain some of that freedom, VPN services can get you through many blocked services in the country.
In this PureVPN china review, I will focus on one particular provider: PureVPN for China. I will describe how you can set up this VPN, the key benefits it offers particularly in relation to bypassing the Great Firewall of China, and solutions to some of the common problems that citizens face.
PureVPN and the Great Firewall of China
The Great Firewall of China (GFW) is the digital counterpart of the actual physical wall. It is almost as sturdy as the real one, with its primary purpose being the filtering of websites from foreign countries and censorship.
Over time, the GFW has only become more effective in blocking foreign websites as well as software services. There are only a handful of China VPNs that work in the country. PureVPN has always differentiated itself from others by its ability to hop user traffic over the GFW and provide individuals in Chinese territories access to content from overseas.
PureVPN offers the best geographical coverage with its server base having the presence in more than 140 countries. Within China, it offers servers located in the major cities i.e. Beijing, Guangdong, and Shanghai. In addition, its servers in nearby locations such as Hong Kong which is quite effective in permitting users access to content beyond the wall.
- Servers located in China and geographically close locations
- Advanced tunneling protocols for bypassing the GFW
- Strong encryption for security of user traffic
- Connecting to certain China-appropriate servers can take multiple attempts
How to Setup PureVPN in China
PureVPN can be installed on a wide range of devices including PCs, Macs, and smartphones quite easily. Here is the PureVPN setup for China:
- Visit the official PureVPN website and click the “Get PureVPN” button
- Choose from the available packages
- Select your preferred payment option
- You will receive an e-mail with your login details as soon as you have purchased the VPN
- Download PureVPN China app on your device
- Install it and enter your credentials to log in
- Connect to a server appropriate for China and get unlimited access to the web
Benefits of Using PureVPN in China
PureVPN has a wide set of features that enhance the online security of users in China while providing access to a blocked website. Some of the key benefits it offers are:
- Break the GFW of China: The most important attribute of PureVPN is that it can turn the GFW transparent to incoming foreign traffic. The GFW blocks social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter as well as many other news websites. PureVPN is perfectly capable of unlocking all these services wherever you may be located in China.
- Ensure Privacy and Security Online: PureVPN uses strong AES-256 bit encryption which makes it virtually impossible for any third party to decode your data and traffic on the web. This can ward off of potential cyber-attacks and government espionage. The zero-logging policy also effectively guards online activity sessions of users.
- Access VoIP Services: Social media is not the only platform that China finds objectionable. VoIP services such as Google Talk, WhatsApp, and Skype are also blocked in the country. PureVPN’s powerful servers can unblock these services and allow users to communicate through long-distances at low cost with these apps.
PureVPN Android app not working in China, check out these troubleshooting steps
Although PureVPN for China works flawlessly, for the most part, I’m still adding fa ew alternative manual configurations methods for Android, Mac and Windows.
Here’s how to use PureVPN in China with alternative configurations…
Android IKEV Manual Configuration
Download the StrongSwan app from the Google Play Store.
- Now launch the app and then tap on Add VPN profile.
- Now you’ll need to enter a China compatible VPN server address. To do so, you’ll need to contact their Exclusive live chat support. Do note that this is not the ordinary live chat support available on PureVPN website, instead, this team deals with China specific PureVPN issues.
- Now choose the VPN type. Select Ikev2 EAP (username/password).
- Next, enter PureVPN provided credentials in Username and Password fields.
- Next, check the CA certificate.
- Profile Name: PureVPN Ikev2 (you may type anything).
- Now tap on show advanced settings and type in server identity: pointtoserver.com
- Finally, hit save and then connect to the newly created Ikev2 profile.
To verify your new IP, head over to www.ipaddress.com.
Android IPsec Configuration
- First things first, head over to the settings option on your Android phone
- Now look for VPN
- Now where it says Name, type in PureVPN IPsec
- Now select type as IPSec Xauth PSK from the drop down menu
- Now type in a China compatible server address. You can get one by contacting PureVPN’s China Exclusive live chat support.
- Enter IPSec pre-shared key as 12345678
- Next, tap on Save
- Now tap on PureVPN IPSEC
- Enter Username and Password provided by PureVPN
- Finally, hit “Save account information” and tap on Connect
Android OpenVPN Solution
For the OpenVPN solution, you’ll need to download PureVPN Alpha. Since this app isn’t available on the app store, you’ll have to use the following drop box links:
Once you’ve downloaded the PureVPN Alpha .APK file, just follow the steps below.
- Install the downloaded .APK file
- Once the app successfully installs, tap on OPEN
- Now enter your PureVPN Username and Password > tap login and then hit OK on the prompt that pops up
- Next, tap the connect button on the screen and wait a few seconds for the connection to establish
MAC IKEV Manual Configuration
- First things first, power up your Mac > click on Apple Icon and select “System Preferences”
- Now click on Network
- Next, click on the + icon to create a new service
- Now from interface drop down menu, select “VPN”
- From VPN Type drop-down menu select IKEv2
- Now enter the Service Name as PureVPN IKEv2
- Next, click on Create
- Now enter a China compatible server address in Server Address box. You can get one by contacting PureVPN’s China Exclusive live chat support.
- Under Remote ID, enter pointtoserver.com
- Leave the Local ID field blank
- Now check to mark the “Show VPN status on Menu bar” option
- Next, click on “Authentication Settings
- Now select Username from the Authentication Settings drop-down menu and insert the Username and Password provided by PureVPN
- Next, click on OK and then hit Apply
- Now click on VPN status icon from the menu bar and select “Show Time Connected”
- Finally, click on Connect and VPN connection will establish in a few seconds.
MAC IPsec Configuration
- For IPsec configurations, head over to Preferences > Network and then VPN
- Next, select the Cisco IPsec
- Now enter PureVPN IPsec in the description
- Now choose a China compatible server address. You can get one by contacting PureVPN’s China Exclusive live chat support.
- Now enter the PureVPN username and password
- Next, where it says Secret, enter this number: 12345678
- Finally, click on Save and turn on VPN
Windows IKEV2 Manual Configuration
- To manually configure the PureVPN IKEV2 protocol on Windows, right click on Network settings
- Next, click on VPN and then click on Add a VPN connection
- Next, Select Windows (built-in) from VPN Provider drop down menu
- Now enter any Connection name you desire. Example PureVPN DE etc.
- Now enter a China compatible server address. You can get one by contacting PureVPN’s China Exclusive live chat support.
- Now select “IKEv2” from VPN type drop down menu
- Next, choose “User name and password” from Type of sign-in info drop down menu
- Now enter the Username and Password provided by PureVPN
- Check mark “Remember my sign-in info” and click Save
- Now select the newly created VPN connection i.e. “PureVPN DE” and click on Connect
- Now wait for the connection to establish and you’re done
OpenVPN GUI for PureVPN
To make PureVPN work in China using OpenVPN GUI, you need to first download it from here. Once you’ve successfully downloaded the setup file, just follow the steps below.
- Double click on the setup you just downloaded and click on “Next”
- Next, install the OpenVPN Tap Adapters. You need to be patient as it can take a while to install
- Once the installation completes, click on “Next” and then “Finish”
- Now launch the OpenVPN GUI you just installed from the “Show Hidden Icon”
- Next, select a country of your choice and press connect
- Finally, enter your PureVPN username and Password and click Ok to complete the setup
Change VPN Protocol
The default VPN protocol used by PureVPN is OpenVPN. However, other protocols like SSTP and L2TP/IPSec are better at penetrating the GFW. You can change protocol settings on PureVPN and try these different configurations to access blocked sites.
PureVPN China 2019 Reddit
The reviews of users on Reddit can be quite helpful if you want to learn about how a VPN is performing for users. Here is one user sharing their experience of using PureVPN in China.
Recently, many VPN services, as well as websites, have suffered an increased in restrictions from the GFW. This is not a new occurrence, however, as updates and tightening of regulations have previously caused some VPNs to have trouble bypassing the GFW in the past as well. However, does PureVPN work in china. The following user points this out:
It should be noted that all VPNs suffer downtimes in China from time to time as the government presses on services allowing blocked services to leak through the wall. However, VPN services that are familiar with Chinese digital protocols know how to deal with this and these issues do not last for long.
So even if PureVPN like its counterpart is facing downtime currently in China, this problem is likely to resolve itself soon.
PureVPN China Twitter
PureVPN is one of the few providers that seems to have pleased most customers if you search through Twitter. Many users on the social media platform have praised PureVPN’s ability to work well in China. For instance, this user talked about how PureVPN can access various overseas channels for sport and news while in China:
Night shift too – watching live from 2.30 UK time. I downloaded PureVPN for 10 dollars to VPN into China (probably cheaper apps). You want CCTV-5, just Google it. Chrome gives English translation. Works a treat but only seen NBA, beach volleyball, etc the last 2 nights.
— Paul Stedman (@p_stedman) December 3, 2017
Another user recommended PureVPN for its fast speeds in China, calling it even better than its rival, ExpressVPN.
Trying out PureVPN this summer in China~ I hear it's got faster streaming/downloading than ExpressVPN~
— renka (@zrenkarts) May 17, 2017
PureVPN China enables access to the greater part of the Internet that has unfortunately been blocked in China. It remains one of the few providers that continue to offer Chinese citizens a way to cross the bounds of the GFW and enjoy great content.
I hope this blog was of some assistance to you regarding PureVPN in China. Feel free to leave your comments and feedback below.