China, China, China, China, China!
If you have lived in China for a long time, you are probably a lot like me. You love the culture, people, food, and just about everything else, but you hate the internet here. How does one deal with accessing the internet in China, one might ask? Well, the easiest and most effective way to scale the Great Firewall of China is to use a VPN service. I currently use Astrill, but the business development/marketing guys over at VyprVPN asked me to review their service. They bribed me with a free trial and an affiliate link (This site can be easily bought… we like free things and potential money).
So what is a VPN?
If you don’t know what a VPN is and you live in China…. Go home! Really, just leave, you will save yourself time and sanity by making a run for the boarder. If you are new to China and you are having trouble accessing the Internet in China and you are trying to educate yourself before you lose your sanity, then read on.
According to our friends at Wiki (we don’t really have friends there. Sad times.), “A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables a computer or network-enabled device to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if it were directly connected to the private network, while benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network.”
What does that mean? Your computer will connect with the VPN’s servers and then access the “free” internet without the government blocking access to sites like Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Twitter.
Accessing the Internet in China: VPN services
VyprVPN: Like I said, the company asked me to promote their link on my site and they gave me a free trail. So, what do I think of it? It is okay. I was not impressed with it, but it worked comparably to Astrill. Things I didn’t like about it was how difficult it was to switch servers and the speed bursts (it didn’t seem to hold a consistent connection). Things I did like was it seemed more secure than Astrill. The company seems more concerned about security, which is important. Will I use it? Not sure, I will play around with it more and see, which is better (VyprVPN or Astrill).
Other VPNs: When I first came to China I was a newbie and I didn’t know anything about internet censorship. So, my new friends provided me with a free VPN called FreeGate and that worked okay at first but after time it wasn’t cutting it for heavy internet usage. My next step in internet freedom was Panda Pow. Panda Pow really was the next step, it worked better then FreeGate but I still had trouble watching YouTube videos and sometimes it had problems connecting to the outside servers. It wasn’t until I moved to Beijing and started working for an IT company that I found a reliable VPN and decided to invest the money.
Individuals Accessing the Internet in China
Individuals using a VPN, like Vypr, are usually pretty safe to go about their business, but businesses might want to look at the laws before they get started. According to the laws in China, anybody using a VPN should register with the government, but most individuals will not get into trouble unless they spread “unwanted” news or information about the CCP. If you are an expat living in China there really is no reason to run your mouth about the Chinese government. Chances are you don’t know how it works and you are just sharing others opinions you loosely agree with to sound smart or informed.
Buy a VPN, if you live in China or plan on living in China.
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Spring is coming be sure to buy a facekini, if you plan on going to the beach. (Try not to have nightmares now!)
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