There are many reasons to use a VPN in 2019. But for China the main reason to use a VPN is to communicate and have access to platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. In China many chat apps are blocked by the Great firewall and keeps everything inside. Long story short 99% of the apps you are using daily and even work applications will not work in China and you will need a VPN to bypass the Internet block. A VPN creates a third channel between you and the destination so China will not see what you are visiting. Also, the destination will not be able to see you IP address and can not Identify you.
Yes, all three are blocked in China, any many more:
Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, Tumblr, Snapchat, Picasa, WordPress.com, Blogspot, Blogger, Flickr, SoundCloud, Google+, Hootsuite.
Journalistic: Finacial Times, The Economist, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, South China Morning Post, The New York Times,Google News, The Wall Street Journal
Search engines: Google, Ask.com,,Yahoo
Porn website: As far as we tested all erotic websites are blocked.
This is one of the most asked questions and there is a lot of confusing information on the internet. VPN technology is NOT illegal in China, what they are doing is banning all foreigner vpn companies and want people to use Chinese vpn companies that align with the chinees regulations and policies.
*Disclaimer: The above information is for entertainment and educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create any type of attorney-client relationship. Please seek legal advice from your own attorney before investing any money or taking any further actions in this regard.
I used a VPN for 7 months when studying in Beijing and visited many parts without any problem. Also, we never heard or seen anybody getting in trouble of using a vpn in China. There are several rumours that China is punishing people for the use of VPN services in parts of Xinjiang in (West-China). The reason therefor is probably the sensitivity and pressure that is on that specific part of China for many reasons.
The cost can vary between providers and is usually around 5-10$ a month. Too expensive? The longer period you lock the cheaper the price for a vpn. For example for 3 Years you will end up paying 2,62$ a month. So for the price of a small coffee a month you are able to internet totally anonymous and without a record and will be able to communicate with all your friends outside china.
Yes, most providers also gives you access to the app that you can download from the app store and will be free with a the subscription you bought. So simply download the app on your phone and log-in with your account with the subscription and start using all the apps like Instagram and facebook.
Yes.. you can survive without using a paid VPN If you convince all your friends to install WeChat on their phones you will be able to chat and call with them when you are in China. For all social media on your phone you can use a app called VPN PROXY MASTER. Install it and activate it every time you want to connect to the internet. I did this the first week in China and it helped me allot to settle and also 100 other more important things to do at the time. Its very slow and usually takes a long time to connect but its a free option to internet in China without any problems. You only need a bit of patience.