Obtaining access to the internet in China is becoming increasingly difficult, making the lives of business people and expats very frustrating. While the internet is fast when surfing locally hosted Chinese sites, gaining access to higher quality webservices such as google search, maps, translate or youtube is sketchy at best or more commonly completely blocked. We at Krazychina have tried every solution out there because our business depends on it and can share the up to date methods that we rely on here:
- If you stay in hotels, then call them to see if they have VPN to allow unrestricted surfing. In Shanghai, the Langham Xintiandi is great for this. In Shenzhen, L’Hermitage hotel. And any Shangrila hotel usually is uncensored.
- Sign up for a VPN service that works for your laptop and your mobile phone. ExpressVPN is in our experience the best vpn service in China in terms of reliability and availability. Astrill is the most popular but because of this, tends to get overloaded more often. But even with these tools the great firewall is smart enough to break your connection here and there, especially during culturally sensitive holidays and political events. (Best vpn protocol nowadays is PPTP as of March 7th 2016)
- Find a proxy service, the easiest to use of which is securitales.com because it is browser based with nothing to install. The drawback is that only webpages you surf are accessible and apps outside your browser such as your email consolidators won’t be able to pull messages down. This said, we do subscribe to Securitales because it is an excellent alternative to vpn based tools. If vpn gets blocked, we turn to Securitales.
- Finally, THE MOST bulletproof way is to get a China Unicom mobile-hotspot in Hong Kong. I get 6GB of data per month and it costs about $60USD/month. You need to provide a HK address and HK credit card… try to make friends in Hong Kong 🙂 Shown here, you can get up to a 3G connection which is decent enough to even watch a youtube video. Expats living in Shenzhen or near Hong Kong will have the easiest time arranging a friend in Hong Kong to help with account registration.Above: China Unicom 3G wifi hotspot set up in Hong Kong and then brought over to mainland.