China is on the list of most travel junkies. After all, it is hard to avoid a country with such a rich culture and heritage.
But what most tourists forget to consider is that China has imposed strict internet censorship. And to make matters worse, the Chinese government is using some advanced tools to block VPN providers.
Luckily, NordVPN is one of the VPN providers that still work in the country. You can learn more about this VPN by reading NordVPN review.
Below, I will show you how you can unblock Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other blocked sites with the NordVPN China service. In fact here is the working list of best VPN to use in China.
Using NordVPN in China
Unsurprisingly, the official site of the NordVPN does not work in China. There is, however, a NordVPN China website that is currently functional in the country.
Nevertheless, just to be safe, I recommend that you download the VPN before you take the flight to Beijing.
Having this VPN in your device will provide you with multiple benefits. It gives you the privilege of browsing the internet safely and with added freedom.
The OpenVPN protocol combined with 256-bit encryption is in-built into this VPN’s clients. This means that you can unblock content with NordVPN whilst also escaping government surveillance.
How to Setup and Use NordVPN in China
The internet censorship in China is extremely unpredictable. It varies from one city to another, but the Great Firewall of China (GFW) restricts internet traffic all over the country. Many foreign content including social media services like Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and American Netflix in China are inaccessible.
China applies techniques like Deep Packet Inspection in order to detect and restrict OpenVPN traffic used by most VPNs. NordVPN uses obfuscation which basically disguises OpenVPN traffic as traditional HTTPS traffic, thereby surreptitiously passing through the GFW unblocked.
Therefore, NordVPN depends on its obfuscation functionality in order for it to work within China. Just keep in mind that Obfuscated Servers are only available on Windows, Mac and Android. iOS users, unfortunately, cannot use this feature.
To access the Obfuscated servers and access restricted/censored content in China with NordVPN, follow these steps:
Step 1: Run the NordVPN app and head to the ‘Settings’ section.
Step 2: At the bottom of the section, click ‘Show advanced settings’.
Step 3: In the advanced settings, enable ‘Obfuscated Servers‘.
Step 4: After you have enabled the Obfuscation server feature, connect to the following servers recommended by the providers.
- Sweden # 190-191
- Germany # 315-318
- Netherlands # 332-339
- United Kingdom # 551-556
- United States # 2679-2681
Step 5: To connect with these servers, click the magnifying glass icon and search for the servers with their respective hashtags.
Step 6: You are now connected with an Obfuscation Server and have the freedom to access sites blocked in China.
Servers that Work in China
In many cases, the regular servers of the VPN are able to bypass Chinese censorship. NordVPN recommends the following servers for China:
- Albania # 10
- Austria # 39-74
- Czech Republic # 32-35
- Denmark # 70-73
- Germany # 455-462
- Norway # 68-211
- Switzerland # 92-100
- United States # 2734-2833
- Australia # 255-266
- Canada # 420-423
- Bulgaria # 14-17
- Estonia # 14-17
- Hungary # 24-27
- Finland # 46-49
While I tried these servers, many of them failed to show up after multiple attempts. Therefore, I contacted the customer support of the VPN.
The NordVPN’s agent recommended that I log out from the client and then log in again. After doing exactly that, I was able to connect with these servers.
Other Benefits of Using NordVPN in China
While NordVPN is certainly one of the better choices out there for dealing with GFW censorship, it offers a bunch of other features as well. For instance, NordVPN supports torrenting activities. In fact, it makes p2p-networking a lot safer with its AES-256 encryption and other privacy features like kill switch.
Streaming fans will also be glad to know that NordVPN unblocks US Netflix and other popular libraries very efficiently. With fast servers, you can enjoy Netflix streams at HD quality while accessing your favorite library of content.
Having said that, it should be remembered that Chinese censorship is extremely strong and most VPNs fail to work in the country. Even the few VPNs that are working today in China might fail to work in the country the next day.
In fact, users are unable to use NordVPN within China from time to time. So no one can guarantee if NordVPN will work in China at any given point of time but one thing we’ve learned from this provider’s history is that they’re always working hard to restore functionality in China in the event of blockades.
However, if you’e had no such hope, then it would be advisable to cancel NordVPN so that you may obtain your refund (assuming you are cancelling within 30 days of subscription). You can also try some NordVPN troubleshooting tips if you want to fix issues yourself. These usually work well under ordinary non-Chinese circumstances, but might not prove fruitful against the GFW.
What Users Say About Using nNordVPN in China
The Chinese government constantly updates its censorship techniques. This means that you are never sure if the VPN is still operational in the country.
In this situation, the best course of action is to browse social media and see what the actual users are saying:
I was in China in January, it wasn't best connection but it helped a lot. I connected to server in Australia.
— JG (@Jonny69_22) June 12, 2020
The following user expressed dissatisfaction because they could not get NordVPN to work in China and weren’t able to cancel it on time either:
#nordvpn I took a 1-month subscription in October. It was only for a one-month trip to China. It never worked but this is beside the point.
I can't cancel. @NordVPN does not respond to e-mails. No facility to cancel your subscription in the app. Total fraud.
— Halim Gurgenci (@halimgur) June 15, 2020
The above user makes a good point about having no option to directly cancel subscription from the NordVPN app. Hardly any VPN offers this functionality which is extremely disappointing. I staunchly believe this needs to change. VPN providers should make it easy for users to cancel their subscription. It is the customer’s completely valid right.
Against increasing Chinese restrictions, it is a marvel that NordVPN still continues to work, thanks to its obfuscated servers. Not only that, the VPN can also be deployed for purposes such as torrenting, accessing Netflix, and obtaining stronger privacy to great effect. Overall, this makes NordVPN one of the best options for people in China.
What is your experience like using NordVPN in China? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.