3 VPNs For Getting Around The Great Firewall Of China

Although China is the country we all love to hate for their insane control of its population and blatant disregard for human rights, more and more of us seem to visit this great country of the Orient. However, many of us have serious addictions to social media and other online provisions, and we struggle to figure out how we can go for weeks and weeks without it. However, if we really are an internet addict, we know that there are ways to get our fix. In fact, there are some relatively easy ways to get around the Great Firewall of China, so long as you know what you are doing.

One of the best ways to get around it is to work with a Virtual Private Network – or VPN. These networks can totally nullify any effort China has made to block people from accessing certain websites. Best of all, a VPN can cost as little as $9, which seems a small price to pay just to be able to stick your fingers up at the great Chinese oppressors. When you sign in through a VPN, you can access the internet, Twitter, Facebook and any other site that is stringently censored by the Chinese government.

China had a go at cracking down on VPNs, However, they failed, because they didn’t look at the bigger picture. They only considered corporate connections and universities, rather than looking at home users, who are actually the biggest users of VPNs. But we also have to understand that China doesn’t actually want to block every single user. It isn’t practical or feasible to censor all of the 513.1 million people in China who have access to the internet. However, the government will make sure that it is incredibly difficult to access social media, thereby hoping that users simply won’t bother. And it is certainly true that their strategies have always worked, because nobody Googles anything in China.

china google censor

Google has now been operating in China for six years and their version is monitored by the government from start to finish. Google took four years to say they would have no more of this and would no longer censor themselves. Since then, almost nobody still uses Google in China, using Baidu instead. There is almost no understand of how Google can help in an online search. Similarly, the Chinese don’t seem to want to access Twitter or Facebook, sticking instead to Weibo, which has similar features. Naturally, China has banned the American social networks anyway, but they always do so by providing an alternative, such as QQ for Instant Messaging.

If you do want to get around the Great Firewall of China, you need to use a VPN. There are three fantastic services that you could consider for this. These are HideMyAss, Express VPN and IPVanish. Let’s take a look.

HideMyAss

HideMyAss is one of the web’s most popular VPN services. It offers both free and paid-for accounts and is perfect to help you cloak yourself, whether you want to do this to get around the Great Firewall of China, or whether you simply don’t want everybody to know your business. It hides you from network spies and hackers, includes full SSL encryption for any site you access, allows you to search anonymously, doesn’t require any software installation, bypasses internet restrictions, completely hides your IP address, stops pop-ups and advertisements from appearing and is able to work with the various video sites such as YouTube.

Express VPN

Express VPN is also very popular. It is very easy to download and install and will work not just on your computer, but also on your mobile devices. It offers full support for questions and doesn’t require you to have any advanced computer skills. It allows you to surf the web anonymously and it keeps you safe from hackers, governments and corporations. The world-wide network is incredibly fast and it gives you peace of mind when you access the internet through a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

IPVanish

Lastly, there is IPVanish. They are able to protect all your online data, including your identity. The VPN software itself is completely free. Although it does not necessarily hide your IP address, it allows you to control its location. This means you are fully protected if you access the internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot as well. Any unwanted marketing is quickly blocked. Just like with Express VPN, you can use this software on a variety of devices. It uses three protocols (L2TP, OpenVPN and PPTP). Lastly, the connections are incredibly quick and you will receive unlimited bandwidth.

New Solution For Breaking Through China’s Great Firewall

raspberry piWhile the Chinese government invests its time and resources on Internet censorship at a massive scale, individuals in the country continue to create simple hacking solutions that give them free access to information.  A new blow to the nationwide online blackout, dubbed by many as the Great Firewall, has surfaced in the form of a small Raspberry Pi computer.

A Reddit user going by JaiPasInternet recently posted a technique that involves turning the simple single-chip Raspberry Pi into a wi-fi hotspot.  The user connected to a virtual private network (VPN) in France through the open-source software OpenVPN.  VPNs, used by many companies to allow their employees to connect to private networks when they are not in the office, are also crucial tools for uncensored Internet access overseas and peer-to-peer Internet privacy anywhere.  OpenVPN allows users to authenticate the peers who are helping them connect.  This extra encryption is a powerful tool for overcoming firewalls, as China is increasing its attack on foreign VPNs by programming its security system to discover and block such networks.  While some protocols for VPNs have been discovered and shut down in China, there are still others that offer free access to information.

With the Raspberry Pi chip connected to a VPN, the user JaiPasInternet simply plugged the device into a wi-fi dongle, setting up a hotspot like any Internet cafe.  The software daemon hostapd helped create the hotspot connection.  The Reddit user said that although it took some time initially to connect to the VPN server, the connection was strong and consistent once established.

JaiPasInternet continues to successfully use this technique to out-fox the firewall in China:

“I use it on a daily basis with my iPhone and Android tablet (way better than the included VPN client) but the good thing is that, wherever I go, I just bring my Raspberry, plug it into ethernet and to any usb plug, and after a few minutes, I have my censor-free Wi-Fi hotspot.”

The Reddit poster also claims that this method is relatively easy to set up, citing an ELinux Wiki page that gives instructions for the technique.

The Raspberry Pi method makes the Internet user and the overseas VPN client much more difficult for authorities to track and shut down, essentially hiding the activity.  As word spreads about the ease of this method, there may be many more users in China with unlimited access to websites like Twitter, Facebook, and any number of Western news media sites — at least until the Great Firewall develops a new tracking method, causing hackers in China to scramble for a new solution for their delivery of free information.