Did you know about the heavily restricted Internet available to those who live in China? The government has used advanced filtering technologies designed to block, what they felt were inappropriate, sites from the Chinese people. Gambling sites, websites that somehow promoted violence, and other sites were early targets. However, the strict control that the Chinese government maintains over the Internet does more than many initially thought. Today, it blocks access to many social networking sites, most blogs with any sort of political leanings and all kinds of streaming media.
This makes life difficult for travelers to China who must have unfettered use of the Internet for everything from business and commerce to personal needs. Luckily, it is possible to work around the restrictions.
An Effective Workaround
When you are in China, the restrictions on the Internet begin with your IP. In fact, no matter where you are in the world, the amount of access you have is often determined by your IP. If you sign into the Internet through an ISP in China, your IP is also from China. This leads to all of that restriction and limited access. So, it makes perfect sense that a workaround is to gain access via a private network, or a virtual private network (VPN).
How VPNs Work
Let’s say that you are in China, but you are signed up for a good VPN service. You use the ISP available, but you then head into your VPN, which makes it seem as if you are somewhere outside of that country. You are no longer operating within a Chinese network with its blocks and limits. The VPN alters your IP address and it also encrypts and secures the connection – whether you use a mobile device, tablet or computer. This makes your Internet activity private and optimally secure.
Clearly, when you choose a VPN, it is important select one with multiple locations around the globe and one that has the most servers in countries with the most liberal Internet policies. Those in the U.S. and the UK tend to be the most liberal. So, if you are looking to work around China’s blocking mechanisms in order to use social media or streaming services like Netflix, opt for a VPN with U.S. servers.
Choosing Your VPN
Naturally, not all VPNs are alike. You have to make your choice based on your needs. For instance, speed may be essential to you if you are into gaming, but does not matter if you are just browsing or using social media. If you are someone who streams content, fast connections are essential, and that means that the speeds offered should be a factor you consider. It is also a good indicator of the VPNs reliability.
And pricing? Fortunately, most of the current VPNs available price competitively and are in roughly the same general ranges. A word of warning, though. Any VPN offering free or incredibly reduced pricing is to be avoided because their quality and security are not likely up to the same levels as the fee-based options.
Also consider the overall policies of the individual VPNs considered. You don’t want logging, and you want optimal security. If you are looking to browse the Internet in China, you need to ensure the VPN chosen guarantees anonymity and privacy at all times.
Enjoying the Benefits of a VPN Anywhere
Once you choose a provider and pay for the service, you need only set it up and get surfing. You can then work around any blocks to streaming services, social media and other blogs or sites allowed in your VPN.