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Can I Use a VPN in China in 2024?

Last updated: July 9, 2024 12 min read
Can I Use a VPN in China

Due to the changing situation of VPN use in China, internet access has become more restricted. This article discusses the situation with VPNs, the regulatory change about these services, whether they bypass online limits, and how to choose the best VPN service in China.

China is an amazing place where using VPNs is considered extraordinary and exciting. With the implementation of the Great Firewall of China and its restrictions on internet access in China, people need help to surf through online services and other websites, making a VPN necessary. VPNs are simple to set up, and they draw a lot of attention from technical minds who intend to mask their original locations while connecting to an unblocked web.


Navigating such complex rules and technology complications of VPN and its relationship with free data flow is an important state concern and a desire for each individual’s digital liberty. For example, if you don’t know which information or sites are available in your country of residence or wish to obtain specific data outside your state or country. Therefore, it is important for your general awareness of how VPNs operate in China. Keep reading to learn more.

What is the Great Firewall of China?

Bypass Security Firewalls

Great Firewall of China is a multi-billion dollar program that monitors cyber activities inside China. It encompasses websites whose content could be antagonizing towards the administration. As such, some Chinese nationals need an opportunity to use other foreign sites like YouTube, Google, and Facebook.

The government asserts that this firewall works to promote unity among Chinese citizens. How? Limit access to data that can encourage hate threatens societal norms and people who use them as terrorist tools, among others.

Why Do You Need a VPN in China?


The great firewall of China, in its official capacity, targets only to address cyber-terrorists. However, in actuality, the system blocks content using many techniques, such as

  • Restricting access to foreign news sources and websites,
  • Utilizing computer programs that identify prohibited terms and content on social media,
  • Removing results from internet searches that the government believes to be harmful or unfriendly.

VPNs help overcome these restrictions in areas where internet usage is severely restricted. You need a VPN to post content on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook at home. Reading the news on your favorite websites, such as BBC, is essential. Additionally, a VPN is required to browse DeviantArt, Twitch, or Discord while staying at home.

Are VPNs in China Illegal?


In short, VPNs are severely restricted in China, but they are not illegal.

To discuss thoroughly, using a VPN in China is not against the law. China permits VPN providers to operate under the condition that they collaborate with the government, negating the whole point of using a VPN in the first place—privacy. Many VPN services are not allowed, and the government frequently threatens to ban VPNs completely.

The Chinese government has eliminated every VPN app from the Chinese Apple Store. Why, then, does China not completely prohibit VPNs and VPN software? This is because doing business in China—especially international trade—requires VPNs. 

It ensures that information sent from China worldwide is secure using VPNs. If all VPNs are not allowed in the country, it would hinder the capacity of international companies to engage in business operations in China.

When it comes to the rights of individuals versus businesses when using a VPN, there are still a lot of contradictions. It’s crucial to remember, though, that until now, no foreign VPN user has ever faced penalties for using a VPN while visiting China—unless they were using it to criticize the Chinese government or the state. 

Does a VPN Work in China?

Can I Use a VPN in China

Some VPN providers operate in China, but you must follow the government’s regulations to have a VPN server there. And there are problems with the VPN services even if you succeed.

The Great Firewall is ever-changing. China employs tricky strategies and constantly comes up with new ways to restrict internet access for its people. Because of this, patterns regarding what works and what doesn’t with VPNs are unpredictable and challenging to identify or evaluate. 

However, the main problem comes in distinguishing normal traffic with VPN use. Thus, the Chinese government and VPN providers are now in a never-ending conflict. It’s interesting to note that during China’s more important national holidays, such as the anniversaries of the Chinese Communist Party, there are extra problems with VPN connections.

Here’s one more interesting fact. China prohibits free VPN services because its internet regulators can quickly identify them. Establishing a VPN on the mainland requires connection protocols and ‘obfuscated’ servers that are way more advanced than the freely available VPN encryptions can handle.

How Does Censorship Work?

Say Goodbye to Censorship

Through various strategies, the government restricts users’ access to specific websites and online platforms. The easiest to understand is IP blocking. All Chinese ISPs block unwanted website IP addresses. They also employ a variety of DNS tampering techniques. These include DNS poisoning and purposeful DNS server configuration errors that result in users receiving bogus IP addresses.

The government also employs keyword filtering to monitor other online content, such as search engines, forums, and messaging apps. They filter users and websites that break the rules by looking for unwanted keywords in internet traffic. Despite being largely outsourced, there is still a large internet police force that permeates the net and removes objectionable content.

Does ExtremeVPN Work in China?


Although outside circumstances beyond our control prevent us from guaranteeing perfect access at all times, we make every effort to deliver the most dependable and consistent service possible. We consistently allocate resources towards state-of-the-art technologies and implement inventive tactics to uphold the stability and efficacy of our service.

How Do You Choose the Best VPN for China?

China Flag

You should sign up for a VPN before visiting China if you plan to do so. Additionally, you should avoid free VPN offers in favor of a very secure VPN. Thus, the following are some suggested characteristics to search for: 

Vast Server Network

ExtremeVPN provides unlimited online access through its 6500 servers in 78 countries worldwide. Hassle-free and high-speed, the connection is geo-restriction-free and network challenge-proof. Enjoy extreme freedom with ExtremeVPN’s extensive server networks.

Obfuscated Servers

ExtremeVPN offers obfuscated servers, elevating online privacy by concealing user data and VPN usage. These advanced servers are ideal for regions with strict internet restrictions and ensure confidential online activities, even from ISPs. With seamless integration and enhanced security, ExtremeVPN’s obfuscated servers provide superior anonymity for users seeking uncompromising privacy.

Kill Switch

If your VPN connection disconnects, Kill Switch safeguards your privacy by cutting you off the internet. It guarantees that our industry-leading encryption and security measures protect your sensitive data. Your data will remain safe even if China’s VPN connection is erratic.

No-logs Policy

To guarantee that your information does not end up in the hands of outside parties, Extreme takes your privacy very seriously and does not retain data records.

DNS Leaks Protection

Protect your online privacy with a reliable VPN like ExtremeVPN, featuring built-in safeguards such as DNS leak protection, IPv6 and WebRTC leak prevention, and a kill switch. Ensure a no-logs policy, periodically check for leaks, manually configure DNS servers to your VPNs, and keep your software updated for secure, encrypted internet traffic and peace of mind.

Tips to Use and Connect to ExtremeVPN in China


We advise setting up a VPN in advance if you require one while visiting China. If not, you may not see your VPN provider’s website. Additionally, confirm that all devices you intend to use, such as mobile, laptop, tablet, etc., are covered.

If you currently reside in China, the following advice will guide you on how to use a VPN in China: 

  1. Download and Install the ExtremeVPN Application: Visit the official ExtremeVPN website to download the application. Install the VPN application on your device.
  2. Create an Account: Sign up for an ExtremeVPN account if you haven’t already.
  3. Open the Application: Launch the application on your device.
  4. Log In: Enter your login credentials to access your ExtremeVPN account.
  5. Select a Server: Choose a server location from the available options. For better performance, select a server geographically closer to your location.
  6. Connect to the VPN: Click the “Connect” button to establish a VPN connection.
  7. Bypass China’s Internet Restrictions: ExtremeVPN bypasses internet restrictions in China. Once connected, you should be able to access blocked websites and content.

What Websites are Inaccessible in China?


The internet significantly impacts our everyday lives. So much so that we frequently take the resources available online for granted. Regretfully, China’s Great Firewall has blocked several well-known websites. Look at a few of them below. Are there any websites that you visit regularly?

Sr. NoBlocked WebsiteSr. NoBlocked Website
13SoundCloud14The New York Times

It is not an exhaustive list of all the websites blocked in China; some may be surprising. To get around the blockage, you can use a VPN.

Can I Still Use My Other Apps if I’m Traveling to China?

The apps that the Chinese government blocks will determine which ones you can and cannot use or access. Fortunately, apps are subject to the same regulations as websites. Even if your apps are inaccessible in China, you can still use a VPN to access most of them.

Can I Bypass the Great Firewall without a VPN?

Without a VPN, you can indeed get around the Great Firewall. The most popular methods for doing that are:

  • Employ the Tor or Onion Router. Using a variety of global nodes, the Tor browser reroutes your traffic. The main drawback is that it will significantly reduce your internet speed. For this reason, many people favor using a VPN over Tor.
  • Employ a proxy. VPNs and proxies function similarly. Although they usually leave your connection vulnerable, they can assist you in avoiding censorship.

Will a Free VPN Work in China?

Free VPN

VPN service providers must employ various technologies and encryption techniques to get around China’s regulations. These features are typically unavailable on free VPNs, and it’s doubtful they will ever be. Their rudimentary connection protocols and encryption techniques are easily discovered, making them ineffective against the formidable forces of China’s internet police.

The unreliability of free VPN services is another issue. They frequently lose contact, which leaves you vulnerable online. A kill-switch feature in the best VPNs keeps you hidden even if your connection drops. They typically don’t provide customer service, so if you have any problems, nobody will be able to assist you. Furthermore, the internet speed will be sluggish, and your data won’t be securely encrypted, even if you can establish a stable connection.


In conclusion, connecting to a Chinese website through a VPN is difficult, especially because of its legal aspects. But, China regulates VPNs, which are closely monitored by the government, even though these services are accessible. Great firewall strategies keep changing, making it difficult for VPNs to go past these limitations, and this collaboration clause also undermines VPNs’ benefits for users.

Yet, the use of VPNs by international companies operating in China indicates a delicate equilibrium between an individual’s rights and their business needs. Users must choose an appropriate VPN with extra components like obfuscated servers, a kill switch, and no logs policy when connecting to the internet in this country. The relationship with VPNs by The Great Firewall keeps shifting, so one should be aware of what is going on and choose a trustworthy VPN service to browse in China.


Can I use a VPN in China? Up
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN in China. Even so, the Chinese government only accepts VPNs that meet its standards, prohibiting those that don’t. Compared to foreigners, Chinese nationals have to pay fines for using unapproved VPNs.
Do free VPNs work in China? Up
Free VPNs will likely function in China if the government has authorized them. These VPNs won’t grant you the privacy you want or allow you to access blocked social media and news websites.
Is using a VPN in China necessary in 2024? Up
You should always have a VPN if you are fond of using public WI-Fi services, need unrestricted geographic access, and do not wish to disclose your private information and online presence to hackers, governments, and ISPs that can turn out very dangerous.
What is the best VPN for China in 2024? Up
The best VPN in China is the one that can bypass the restrictions imposed by China’s Great Firewall. ExtremeVPN uses various technical strategies, including state-of-the-art encryption protocols, obfuscated servers, and VPN tunneling through which you can circumvent censorship and surveillance implemented by the Chinese government, ultimately making it the best among others.
Is there any punishment for using a VPN in China? Up
While VPN usage in China is severely restricted, the government doesn’t penalize individuals for using VPNs, especially if they use them to bypass geo-restrictions and access blocked content rather than for illegal purposes.

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Ellie George is an IT expert passionate about finding, utilizing, and managing software solutions fo...
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