This guide is for those who are dealing with Great Firewall and looking for a free VPN in China to access certain blocked websites and social apps.
China uses the most powerful censorship tool known as the Great Firewall (GFW) to control the country’s online censorship system. It blocks the range of websites and slows down the internet connection. In this guide, we’ll tell you how you can avoid these issues using the best free VPN for China For American Users.
Since China restricts access to VPN websites within the country you need to download one prior to traveling to China. There are many free VPN services that lack standard security and privacy features. But our team has personally tested a few best free VPNs that are completely free and safe to use in China. Check out the in-depth analysis of the 5 best free VPNs to use in China.
However, to be on the safe side we always recommend you use trustworthy VPN services, to counter this heavy censorship and online regulation. ExpressVPN, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, is our top recommendation to tackle Chinese censorship.
Note: Free VPNs don’t always have the resources to defeat Chinese censorship mechanisms. For a complete, fool-proof solution, I’ll advise you to use a well-reputed best VPN for China For American Users to safely access the web from within China as well as outside China.
What Americans Need to Know About Free VPNs for China
Free VPNs come with a few limitations: server limitations, bandwidth limitations, logging policies, and more. Due to these reasons, it’s always better to pay and get a premium VPN instead of using a free VPN with China server.
1. Bandwidth limitations:
Free VPNs have bandwidth limitations that one needs to cater to. Mostly, these limitations are not even enough to enjoy the VPN’s services for the whole day. One can barely sustain any online activity like streaming Netflix or playing a video game with a data limit. You cannot download or upload files either, let alone torrent.
2. Server and speed limitations:
Free VPNs offer limited servers that users can use to unblock services. These server locations can be as low as three. However, with only a few servers, one cannot expect speeds to be great either due to traffic overload.
Furthermore, limited servers do not let you unblock any service you like. So, for example, you cannot unblock BBC iPlayer without a UK server.
3. Logging policies and shady reputations:
Free VPNs d not have effective logging policies like they claim to have. While they promise they offer it, we know VPNs collect user data and sell it to third parties. This leads to shay reputation of the VPN, and it’s better to avoid them than use them at the risk of your privacy.
5 Best Free VPNs for China For American Users – [In-depth Analysis – 2023]
After carefully evaluating their reliability, performance, and security features, the following free China VPNs have been selected For American Users.
Don’t forget! All VPN websites are blocked in China, so you need to download and install the VPN you choose before arriving in the country.
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN with a 30-day Money-back Guarantee for China For American Users
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for China For American Users for 30 days trial. It deserves the first spot on this list despite being a premium VPN. With a 7-day free trial, you can definitely try out its unlimited bandwidth, unblocking features, and best-in-class encryption. We tested ExpressVPN to its limits and found it a very reliable Free VPN for Poland For American Users that gives you a free trial.
Since its inception, this VPN company has established a track record of dependability and reliability. With over 3000 servers in 94 countries including servers in the neighboring Hong Kong! It also makes use of cutting-edge TrustedServer technology.
During our tests, we were able to both unblock all the websites and streaming services we tried it on as well as block the websites we wanted to in China. You can also unblock QQ music with ExpressVPN Hong Kong servers outside China. Similarly, restricted platforms like Amazon, Disney+, HBO Max, and many more. Apart from this, you can use ExpressVPN for Netflix to be unblocked instantly.
On a 100 Mbps connection, ExpressVPN speed delivered remarkable download speeds of roughly 89.38 Mbps and upload speeds of 84.66 Mbps. These were the quickest VPN service speeds that we have ever measured.
Utilizing ExpressVPN for torrenting not only guarantees a heightened level of security but also enables you to engage in file sharing anonymously, safeguarding your online activities from prying eyes. By employing ExpressVPN’s robust and sophisticated network infrastructure, your torrenting experience becomes fortified with top-tier encryption and a cloak of anonymity, granting you the freedom to exchange files
Additionally, ExpressVPN provides cutting-edge security features including the strongest encryption protocol, AES-256 encryption. In addition, it offers malware detection, DNS leak protection, and IP leak protection. Despite its extensive features, ExpressVPN is still reasonably priced.
ExpressVPN has great compatibility with all devices including Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, macOS, and smart TVs. The ExpressVPN MediaStreamer tool may be used to configure any device, even those without dedicated VPN software. With its MediaStreamer feature, you can effortlessly set up ExpressVPN on Apple TV and unblock streaming services from within or outside of China on devices like smart TVs and gaming consoles.
Although it’s not the best free VPN China, if you’re seeking a user-friendly and dependable VPN China free, ExpressVPN works in China and provides high levels of security, fast speeds, and built-in obfuscation.
iOS users can download ExpressVPN on iPhones, take advantage of the free trial, or test the service’s reliability for 30 days with any subscription plan.
If your ExpressVPN not working in China, contact its live chat support which is available 24/7 to solve user queries. For more information related to this VPN service, Check out ExpressVPN Review blog.
- Escape censorship and pass through the Chinese Great Firewall
- Doesn’t retain your IP address, browsing history, traffic destinations, or metadata
- Easily access blocked streaming and social media sites in China
- Blazing-fast speeds with Lightway protocol
- Cryptocurrency payment options are available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Does not offer a free version
2. ProtonVPN – Free VPN for China For American Users with Unlimited bandwidth.
ProtonVPN is another decent free VPN for China. The best feature of this VPN is its unlimited bandwidth. In addition, the VPN provides excellent security through OpenVPN over UDP and OpenVPN over TCP.
It has no servers within China but is reliable for bypassing the GFW and restrictions against foreign content within China. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a free VPN for China server, then this isn’t for you.
You can unblock Netflix with ProtonVPN with free US servers in China and enjoy its geo-restricted content. You can also unblock other popular streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer.
However, like most VPNs, its functionality within China wavers with time. As such, it might not always work within China. But the service it delivers is fast and smooth and enables access to blocked social media sites unavailable in China.
We did a ProtonVPN speed test on its free servers. It delivered an average download speed of 43.27 Mbps and an upload speed of 21 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection only. Since it’s a free VPN offering unlimited bandwidth, you can’t expect high speeds.
While its servers are present only in 3 countries, it still offers the best service a free VPN for China can. ProtonVPN does not collect any logs and has an easy-to-use app for all devices. It also offers a kill switch that ensures that your identity doesn’t leak even when the VPN connection drops.
When it comes to compatibility, ProtonVPN covers the basics pretty well. It has custom clients for Windows, along with apps for Android and Linux. You can also setup ProtonVPN on Roku , besides this you can use ProtonVPN with Kodi devices. But ProtonVPN is known to be the best free VPN for Mac .
There is a free trial of ProtonVPN for those users who want to try its Singapore server since it’s not available on its free version. You can also cancel your ProtonVPN subscription within 30 days of the money-back guarantee and get a full refund.
- Offers unlimited bandwidth
- Provides strong encryption and a kill switch
- Strict no log policy
- Based in Switzerland (Not a member of the Five Eyes)
- Only have 3 free server locations
- Average speeds
- Torrenting is not allowed with freemium
- Does not offer a Chrome extension
3. Windscribe – Free VPN for China For American Users with Unlimited bandwidth.
Windscribe has a moderate success rate working in China. Still, Windscribe is a pretty good VPN service to have if you’re looking for a free VPN for China For American Users. The service offers a 10 GB/month bandwidth limit, but you can connect to unlimited devices simultaneously.
Moreover, it offers servers, including the UK, which are quite effective for users within China that want to access blocked services like Gmail, Snapchat, and WhatsApp in China.
Empower your online freedom with Windscribe, the ultimate free VPN for Facebook in USA, ensuring seamless access and enhanced privacy. You can experience uninterrupted streaming while accessing BBC iPlayer with a free VPN in USA. Windscribe also provides you the opportunity to binge-watch Starz for a free VPN apart from that you can also stream Bet Plus with a free VPN in USA.
This VPN originating from China is renowned not only as a China free VPN, but also gains popularity as a no-cost VPN option for accessing Facebook. Using Windscribe, you can also effortlessly unblock popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, expanding your entertainment horizons without limitations. Moreover, you can also unblock popular Chinese music streaming platform, QQ Music, with this top free VPN for QQ Music in USA, ensuring seamless and secure music streaming.
However, During Windscribe speed testing , we recorded an average download speed of 65.21 Mbps and an upload speed of 34.75 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection, which is quite less.
Windscribe offers relatively good speeds on its servers and keeps minimal essential logs. In addition, it offers 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and a built-in Adblocker in its app.
Windscribe also has an amazing feature called ROBERT that is essential to combat malware in the device. It also supports port forwarding, which can be a useful feature for downloading torrents.
You can use Windscribe through its dedicated apps on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There are also extensions of this VPN for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers.
This is not it. Windscribe can be set up manually on routers. Devices like Nvidia Shield, and NAS are also supported and you can easily Set up Windscribe on Roku , apart from that you can use Windscribe with Kodi , and Firestick as well.
Windscribe is the best free VPN to access China content. You can also read this Windscribe review for more details.
- 10 free server locations, Including the US location
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hotstar
- A Canadian-based VPN provider (Member of the FVEY)
- Inconsistent speeds
4. Hotspot Shield – Free VPN for China For American Users with 500 MB Bandwidth per day
Hotspot Shield is the best free VPN for China For American Users to browse the internet privately. It’s a free VPN for China with 500 MB of free data per day, which is not bad as it adds up to 15 GB of data per month.
However, with Hotspot Shield, if you run out of your daily limit, you need to wait for the next day to use an additional 500 MB of free data.
Its free subscription only allows a single server located in the United States. If you want access to other server locations, you will have to upgrade to the premium VPN plan of Hotspot Shield to enjoy a sizable server network of 1800 servers that are spread over around 80 countries.
Even on its free plan, Hotspot Shield can easily unlock Netflix and Hulu. It also demonstrated the ability to unblock other streaming services, but the 500 MB daily bandwidth constraint prevented us from fully utilizing its capabilities.
Another limitation is that Hotspot Shield monetizes its free VPN with ads, so you’ll be getting annoying ads and pop-ups after every minute or so, which becomes very annoying.
Nonetheless, Hotspot Shield performed admirably. It outperformed some other VPNs we tested, with download and upload rates of up to 50 Mbps and 35.62 Mbps, respectively.
In terms of security, Hotspot Shield is a great option with built-in malware protection and a proprietary Catapult Hydra Protocol that makes sure you get the maximum speeds on your PC. In addition, the provider uses AES-256 encryption to protect user data from outside intrusions.
Hotspot Shield is compatible with devices like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Similarly, the service also provides dedicated browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox as well. However, you can use Hotspot Shield on your Linux devices through the Chrome extension. To my surprise, the provider does not support Routers at the moment.
You can learn more about this service in our Hotspot Shield review .
- No registration is required
- Brilliant speeds.
- Unblock US Netflix on its free US server
- Customer support can be a bit unreliable.
5. UrbanVPN – Free VPN for China For American Users that works Flawlessly
The next VPN on our list is UrbanVPN, which is another free VPN for china that works flawlessly. It has a far smaller network of 500 servers spread across 21 countries, including the China and Hong Kong location with basic security features to bypass GFW.
Netflix can be unblocked using UrbanVPN, but only in the US. It is still a solid option for a free VPN even though it is less effective than the other VPNs in unblocking other services and apps.
UrbanVPN’s speed test results showed acceptable, respectable speeds. The upload rates frequently topped 26 Mbps, and the download speeds reached 30 Mbps.
UrbanVPN is only compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. One simultaneous connection is permitted in the free version; four simultaneous connections are allowed in the premium version.
UrbanVPN provides standard AES-256 encryption as well as a respectable no-logs policy and a kill-switch feature. Additionally, it supports P2P torrenting and offers live chat help 24/7.
For more information on UrbanVPN, read our UrbanVPN review.
- No registration is required
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Connection drops sometimes.
Quick Comparision: Free VPN For China For American Users
|Obfuscation||Yes, obfuscated servers||Stealth mode (premium)||No||No||Yes|
|Servers in China||2 servers in Hong Kong||1 server in Hong Kong (premium)||1 server in Hong Kong||1 server in China||1 server in china|
|P2p Friendly||All servers are P2p Optimized||Selected servers with premium||Some servers are p2p optimized||All premium servers are P2p Optimized||Yes, all servers|
|Data Allowance||Unlimited||Unlimited||10GB on free version||500 MB on free version||Unlimited|
Criteria for ranking and testing the free VPN for China For American Users
We ranked the VPNs above after testing all the aspects below:
Reliably bypasses the GFW
When we talk about China, we need the VPN to bypass the GFW and geo-restrictions and allow access to websites and streaming services blocked in the country.
We checked if the VPNs offer decent to high speeds on all their servers or not. Of course, we want the services to offer better services in China, so speed was our major concern. Unfortunately, throttled speeds are annoying and much harder to use.
VPNs have certain data limitations on their free versions. Users can only use their VPN until the data limit runs out. We mentioned some VPNs above with unlimited data limits, so you can enjoy watching Netflix for a long time.
Reliable customer support
In case you experience technical difficulties, having a live chat option available round-the-clock is useful. If that isn’t an option, it ought to at least offer support for your inquiries via email, a contact form, or a searchable knowledge base.
Alternative download methods
I verified that each VPN on the list provides a link to an APK file so you may download it secretly from China. Some VPNs, like ExpressVPN, also feature mirror URLs enabling an additional method of downloading and signing up.
Free trial period
If a VPN is offering a free trial, we would recommend you use that instead of using a free China VPN. Because the free trial includes security features and unlimited data to safely bypass the Great Firewall.
Internet Kill Switch
Having a kill switch feature is important in case your internet connection drops. Your VPN IP can leak which might cause problems in countries like China. The VPNs listed above offer basic to premium security features like a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, etc. While some of the VPNs above keep essential logs, they don’t put you at risk of anything.
Tips for Using a Free VPN in China For American Users
Americans might need to use a free VPN with extra caution there since China is not a VPN-friendly country. We’ve included some key pointers for using a free VPN in China:
Installing a VPN app on your device before traveling to China
This is due to the fact that accessing a VPN in China is far more difficult because you won’t be able to download VPN apps from the websites of the majority of VPNs because those sites are also prohibited. Additionally, China blocks Play Store, App Store, and Google search engine so you won’t be able to download any VPN app there.
However, If you are already in China you can go to any hotel and use their wifi to download VPN apps apk versions from Yahoo because they are mostly connected to VPNs.
Choose your VPN carefully
Before selecting a free VPN, you must weigh the benefits of your selection. The first factor you should take into account is whether the company has servers in China or other surrounding nations. The speed of your browsing, as well as the reliability of these servers’ connections, must then be considered. Finally, advanced features, protocols, and servers need to take into consideration. Only in this way, you can bypass the Great Firewall.
Connect to the Nearest Servers
The speed of a server increases with proximity to its location. So it’s a good idea to connect to servers in nearby countries when using a VPN in China. Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong are excellent alternatives for this. You must connect to a server in the nation where the geo-restricted content is available if you wish to access it. For instance, you must establish a connection to a server in the United States in order to access Netflix US. Similarly, you can keep yourself safe and secure while using Omegle by using a trustworthy and free VPN for Omegle .
Always have another VPN as Back Up
Since China often blocks VPNs it’s better to have more options than have one VPN app. So in case of any censorship, you must have a backup free VPN if you intend to reside in China or travel there frequently.
VPNs Americans Need to Avoid Using in China
Free VPNs already come with a bunch of risks. However, some VPNs put you at a great risk instead of offering quality services. Some of these might steal your data, and they might put you at risk of being caught. So let’s check out which one they are:
This VPN is known to reveal your identity and data to third parties. This VPN is also accused of giving people malware and ransomware on their devices. Therefore, it’s better to avoid Betternet than any other. Check out more in our Betternet review USA.
Nothing you have is secured through Hola. Hola is one VPN that has been collecting user data and bandwidth for a long time. Unfortunately, this VPN doesn’t offer secure services and does not protect your IP from leaking. Apart from privacy violations, Hola does not work with Netflix or other popular streaming sites. Read more about this service in the HolaVPN review USA.
Hide.me is another VPN to avoid using in China because of its dubious logging policy. It does offer a good amount of free data, but you cannot access Netflix or use it to stream or torrent. You can get more details in this Hide.me review USA.
Best Free Services for Other Regions
In case you’re visiting another country, here are a few free VPN guides for other countries:
|Free VPN for Argentina||Free VPN for Bahrain|
|Best freeVPN for Pakistan||Free VPN for Sri Lanka|
|Best free VPN for the Philippines||Free VPN Denmark|
|Best free VPN for Canada||Free VPN Romania|
|Best free VPN for Australia||Free VPN for Austria|
You can find a reliable paid-for service and free VPNs offering free accounts in our exclusive guides.
Best Free VPN for China For American Users: FAQs
Which free VPNs have servers in China?
No free VPNs have servers in China. The reason is having servers in China would make a VPN’s no-logs policy worthless due to the nation’s intrusive data retention laws. Additionally, free VPNs often only offer a small number of server locations, primarily in the US or Europe. However, some free VPN services provide secure servers in close-by locations like Hong Kong. Using these servers will let you access banned websites with a quick connection since these regions are not covered by the GFW.
Should I use a free VPN to bypass internet censorship in China?
Using a free VPN to bypass internet censorship in China is not recommended. Most free VPNs are ineffective within China unless they are specifically authorized by the Chinese government, and even these government-approved options may not provide the desired level of privacy.
It’s advisable to opt for a reputable, paid VPN like ExpressVPN with a track record of working well in such restricted environments.
Which free VPN works in China For American Users?
A free VPN that works in China is ExpressVPN. Although it’s not entirely free, you can still benefit from the 7-day free trial and the 30-day money-back guarantee. Using ExpresssVPN in China will let you stream, torrent, or play games risk-free without a ban or interruption for at least a month.
How to get free Chinese VPN in USA?
To get a free Chinnese VPN in USA you need to;
- Install a VPN. Our suggestion is ExpressVPN because it offers limitless data and built-in obfuscation on every server to get around the GFW. ExpressVPN is supported by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out risk-free.
- Connect to a server located outside of China. As well as turning on obfuscation if necessary, the kill switch and leak protection should all be enabled.
- Start using your apps and browse websites normally. In China, almost 300,000 websites and apps are restricted, but with a VPN, you may still avoid all these restrictions easily.
How to install free VPN in China?
To install a free VPN in China, follow these steps:
- Download APK File: Visit the VPN provider’s website and download the APK file for their app. APK files are Android application packages used for manual installation.
- Enable Installation: On your device, go to Settings > Security, and enable “Install from Unknown Sources” to allow the installation of apps from sources other than the Google Play Store.
- Install and Connect: Open the downloaded APK file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the VPN app. Once installed, launch the app, log in, and connect to a server of your choice for secure and unrestricted browsing.
Most websites sharing these files remain accessible in China without being blocked. If you’re looking to download apps while in China, you can simply visit a platform with open access, such as Yalp Store found on F-Droid. Afterward, acquire a VPN .apk file and proceed to install it on your mobile device.
Is it legal to use a free VPN in China For American Users?
No, the most effective free VPNs in China are not compliant with the law. The Chinese authorities exclusively permit VPNs sanctioned by the state. Regrettably, these approved VPNs don’t ensure private internet usage due to government surveillance.
While instances of foreign nationals facing legal consequences for employing non-approved VPNs are rare, such occurrences cannot be entirely ruled out. It’s essential to exercise prudence when employing a VPN in China and strictly refrain from engaging in unlawful activities through a VPN.
Windscribe is the best free VPN for China For American Users owing to its powerful capability to counter Chinese censorship technologies. As such, if you’re traveling to China or living in the country, you can rely on this VPN to free the internet in China from pointless government restrictions. Apart from this, you can also use these best Risk-free VPNs for China For American Users .
But, a free VPN provider comes with many limitations, so to Chinese internet users, we recommend using top-tier premium VPN providers such as ExpressVPN to circumvent the Great Firewall of China.
ExpressVPN possesses the capability to easily bypass the Great Firewall of China restriction and offer you ultimate online security, privacy, data protection, and unblocking experience. ExpressVPN is known all over the world for offering excellent VPN services with state-of-the-art security, features, accessibility, and performance to its users.
If you hurry up, you can also avail of ExpressVPN’s limited-time “12 months + 3 months free“ subscription that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
More Free Resources: