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One of the things you might long for after a hectic flight is to relax in your hotel room browsing the internet. Social media is one of the most widely used communication platforms across the world. Therefore, with internet services, you can catch up with family and friends, as well as check on your emails and WhatsApp messages. This is why using a VPN is extremely important for business people and all travelers.
The Government of China imposes strict regulations on internet use.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) establishes an internet connection between your device and a server in any part of the globe. As a result, you will be able to access geo-restricted websites whenever and wherever. However, in China, this may not be easy. The Government of China imposes strict regulations on internet use. It has the Great Firewall that offers strict censorship measures on the use of different apps and websites, including:
- Gmail and other apps
Since these are very important apps and websites, using a VPN is extremely crucial in the country. Google Maps, for example, is essential if you are traveling to China for the first time to get directions to your hotel. In this case, the use of a free VPN for China will help you to cut down on your travel expenses.
Unfortunately, the Chinese government is well aware of VPNs and is actively blocking them. Free VPNs are usually the quickest to get blocked as they are used by many and lack sophisticated security features. To guarantee full access to western services, you need to purchase a premium VPN from our list of Best VPNs for China.
Why you would want to use a VPN in China
Some of the reasons as to why you will need a VPN in China include:
- VPNs have been proven to be one of the best solutions to the issues related to the Great Firewall of China without crossing paths or raising alarm with the state’s security system.
- You will need a VPN to access Google, YouTube, and Facebook among other blocked websites and apps.
- It allows you to access a wealth of information. This is handy for students, tourists, and the business community. Remember, Google is an open platform that serves as an easy source of information on a wide range of issues. On the same note, social media platforms allow you to express and share information on a global ground.
- Due to the Great Firewall, the internet is relatively slow in China. With the use of a VPN, you will be able to access a faster internet connection.
- With a VPN for China, you can easily unblock restricted services like Netflix and access worldwide websites round the clock.
- VPNs also play a significant role in encrypting your data, especially for the business community. Remember, when traveling to China or any other country, you may have to use a credit card to access your bank account and to pay bills. With a good VPN, the security of your financial data is guaranteed.
- Apart from personal internet connectivity, VPNs help you in professional and business continuity. For instance, WordPress.com and Blogger sites are essential for your professional networking in China.
Is free VPN the right choice for users in China?
Free VPN in China comes with an array of benefits, including reduced travel expenses, if you are traveling to the country.
Similarly, most free VPN apps used across different parts of the globe including Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store are owned by Chinese companies. This means that you will stay connected and protected as long as the free network you are using is legal. A point to note is that your privacy on the internet is also crucial. This means you should select the best free VPN for China to keep all your data safe.
5 Best Free VPNs for China
As mentioned above, you need to use the best free VPNs in China to protect your data. Some of the best Virtual Private Networks to explore include:
1. Atlas VPN
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Good security
- 24/7 email support
- Unblocks Netflix US
- Allows torrenting
- Few countries
- Apps lack features
Atlas VPN is the best free VPN for China. What makes it a great choice is the fact that there are absolutely no data caps. Plus, the service is secured with military-grade AES-256 encryption and the IKEv2 tunneling protocol. Naturally, there are some drawbacks to this VPN as well.
First off, this is actually a freemium VPN. This means that the free version comes with some limitations. Additionally, the VPN is based in the US, a member of the Five Eyes Alliance. Although it’s not as notorious as China, It’s definitely not the perfect country for privacy. Plus, there are only three server locations available on the free version, which are New York, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam, none of which are in Asia.
Regardless, Atlas VPN is definitely worth a try if you’re traveling to China on a budget. The kill switch feature will guarantee a leak-proof experience. And if it’s ever necessary, P2P traffic is unrestricted on this VPN.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
Email, knowledge base
- Amazing security credentials
- Has a great Free version
- Very user-friendly
- Plus version will get you into Netflix and Hulu
- Apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
- 7-day free trial (Plus plan)
- Mediocre speeds
- Not good in China
ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based free VPN that’s one of the best for China in 2021. that offers unlimited bandwidth. It uses military-grade encryption and has a good number of security features, including a kill switch and IP leak protection.
Its connectivity and speed are commendable, and it instantly breaks through the GFW. Proton VPN also covers all the internet basics well. It can be used on Mac and Windows, as well as via apps for Android, iOS, and Linux.
For a deeper investigation of ProtonVPN, read our ProtonVPN review.
3. Hide Me VPN
- Good security credentials
- Decent geographical variety
- Works in China
- Not bad for torrenting
- Minimal logging
- Good connection speeds
- Free version
- No router app
The other great VPN China you can explore for free is the Hide.Me. The free version comes with a limitation of only 10GB/month, which is still pretty generous and should be enough for the most essential services.
It also comes packed with a bunch of great features, such as split tunneling, a kill switch, and Stealth Guard. Plus, it has many tunneling protocols to choose from, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, SoftEtherVPN, and SSTP. Premium users gain access to WireGuard as well.
For a deeper investigation of Hide Me VPN, read our Hide Me VPN review.
4. Windscribe VPN
- No identifying logs
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Very fast speeds
- Great free version
- Works with Netflix & P2P
- Ad and malware blocking
- No live chat support
- Complicated refund policy
Windscribe is among the best free options to explore in the country. It is not only free but also offers a 10 GB/month bandwidth limit. Additionally, the free version allows torrenting and has plenty of server locations to choose from.
When it comes to compatibility, Windscribe is reliable as you can use it on different apps including Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. It works best with different browsers including Opera, Chrome, and Firefox.
For a deeper investigation of Windscribe VPN, read our Windscribe VPN review.
5. Avira Phantom VPN
24/7 live chat
- Very easy to use
- Free version lets you check most features before buying
- Decent ping and download speed from nearby servers
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Company and more than half of its servers are in 14 Eyes countries
- No support for free version
- No live chat for paid version
- Pro version price is similar to what you pay for top VPNs
- Doesn't work with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Mac version uses less secure LT2P/IPSec protocol
You can also explore Avira Phantom if you are looking for a free VPN for China that has solid security features. It is a highly functional VPN developed by Avira Antivirus developers. The VPN has the ability to support up to 5 devices simultaneously. What’s more, it comes with an in-built kill switch that helps to protect its users from exposing their data to different Chinese agencies.
In regards to compatibility, Avira Phantom VPN works efficiently with dedicated apps including IOS, Mac, Android, and Windows. It covers these platforms allowing for fast internet connectivity. Recently, the network released a Chrome extension to help its users to enjoy the best secure browsing.
For a deeper investigation of Avira Phantom VPN, read our Avira Phantom VPN review.
- Free version (500 MB/month)
- Kill switch
- Genuine and easy-to-use interface
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Founded in Canada (Five Eyes)
- Only 20+ countries
- No money-back guarantee
- No support for gaming consoles, Fire TV Stick, or routers
- No live chat
- No support for P2P
- No Netflix
For a deeper investigation of TunnelBear, read our TunnelBear review.
Therefore, with heavy internet censorship regulations in China, you can still access your favorite internet services using the above Free VPN for China. However, to make the most of VPN services, it is vital that you define your needs. Imperative to note is that these VPNs come with varying bandwidth limits.
As a result, if you are a business person, you can always choose a bandwidth that will allow you to enjoy business and professional continuity.
As a tourist or a traveler, you can always choose a VPN that will allow for free and fast access to useful travel apps. This will make your visit and stay in the country worthwhile.
With the right VPN, you will bypass the strong Great Firewall of China efficiently.
How do I use a VPN in China?
Due to online censorship, VPN traffic usually gets blocked in China. To circumvent that, you need to use secure tunneling protocols, proxies, or other digital stealth features. Many of which are only available on premium VPNs.
What is the best free VPN for China?
The best free VPN for China is Proton VPN. It has plenty of security and privacy features that make it a good choice against the Great Firewall. Also, the free version comes with no data cap.
How can I get a Chinese IP for free?
Getting a Chinese IP for free is not recommended as a lot of unsafe free VPNs originated from China. Instead, you’ll be much safer by getting a premium VPN and connecting to their servers in China.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.