If online privacy is something you are concerned about, then you have probably already done your fair share of research on how to stay safe and protected while browsing whatever it is that you are browsing. People are increasingly starting to understand the importance of online privacy, and they are quickly turning towards the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) while surfing the Web. There are some quite good reasons why you would need a VPN, as explained here, but let us first explain what it actually is.
What Is A VPN?
A VPN is a pretty simple tool designed to anonymize your location and your traffic online so that you are better protected against any third parties that might want to have the insight into your traffic. Basically, it creates a kind of an encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server, thus changing your IP address and making it seem as if you were located somewhere else. Your specific internet traffic is then also routed through this particular tunnel, which hides it from any prying eyes that you might be concerned about.
Both your location and your identity stay hidden this way, and so does all your internet activity, which is much more important than you might think. There are a lot of different reasons why people use these services, starting from the simple fact that they don’t want to connect to public WiFis in cafes or restaurants and risk getting their data stolen. In addition to that, VPNs have proved useful in quite a lot of other things as well.
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Why Do You Need It?
As I have explained above, VPNs can come in handy for all those individuals who want to hide their activities from prying eyes, but they can also be useful for surpassing certain geological restrictions. What does all of this have to do with people in China, though? Well, those people might need these services much more than certain other parts of the country, and now we are going to see why.
This article might help you understand the whole idea better: https://www.chinaexpatsociety.com/technology/why-you-need-a-vpn-in-china.
1. Everything Is Heavily Censored
If you are at all familiar with the laws in China, then you know that the internet is heavily and extremely censored. Funnily enough, China is no longer known only for its Great Wall. Today, it’s also widely known for its Great Firewall that “protects” its residents from a lot of foreign influence. Basically, this means that a lot of content that you would normally be able to freely see and enjoy in some other parts of the world is blocked in China.
This censorship is one of the reasons why Chinese residents increasingly recognize the necessity of VPNs. I have already explained above how a virtual private network works, and if you have been paying attention, then one thing must have grabbed your attention. I’m talking about the practice of hiding and changing your IP address, which allows you to circumvent a lot of these restrictions that are imposed by the Great Firewall.
2. Access Social Media & A Lot Of Websites
We have already made it clear that the internet is extremely censored in China. Among other things, this means that numerous social media platforms that the whole world is using are blocked in this country, and so are numerous websites. This can be a problem for a lot of Chinese residents, but also for those people who are visiting the country and perhaps depend on social media for communication with the people from their home country.
There is, however, an easy solution for all these troubles. I bet that you can guess what I am talking about. If you guessed that I’m referring to VPNs, then you are definitely correct, and you seem to be picking things up rather quickly. A virtual private network will give you the possibility to access all the social media right there from China, as well as a lot of websites that you might not have been able to access previously, while you weren’t using a VPN.
3. Geological Restrictions Can Be Circumvented Too
Let us not blame it all on the Government, though. Certain services are restricted in some parts of the world with or without the Great Firewall. I’m talking about services such as Netflix, Pandora and similar. Some countries aren’t allowed to stream any Netflix content, while others can stream certain shows and are consequently missing out on others.
A virtual private network allows you to make it appear as if you were located somewhere else, remember? This means that you can connect to a server from a country in which streaming the content you want to watch is allowed and thus circumvent the geological restrictions that might have been imposed. People are certainly enjoying this feature, since it allows them to watch all of their favorite shows on Netflix, for example.
4. How To Find The Right One To Use In China
When you realize that using a VPN is the right thing to do, you might start searching for the right one for you. During the research, you might hear that NordVPN works well in China, or you might come across certain other VPN providers offering their services. In any case, you will need to make sure that the service you decide to use can actually work in China.
The truth is that, although most of the VPNs promise to be able to work perfectly, a lot of them won’t actually work in China, while they might function just fine anywhere else. The curious case of the Great Firewall is striking once again, isn’t it? Anyway, what this all means is that you will have to be rather careful and attentive in order to find the VPN that will not only work but actually work perfectly in China.
If you thought that you could do this in your sleep and that the fact that there are so many providers out there will make your choice easier, I must warn you that you are mistaken. In fact, you’ll notice that you are mistaken the moment you start searching for the right provider the services of which you want to use. You might decide to try some of those out, and you might fail, which will probably make you discouraged and frustrated, because you thought that you could do it all in a minute.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but it does take a little more effort than that. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will have to spend days, weeks and months searching for the right service. It simply means that you should do a couple of really simple things before deciding which VPN to use. Those things will help you find the best services right away, which will definitely make you happy since you’ll easily be able to trick the Great Firewall of China (additional info).
1. Ask Around
Step one is to ask some of the people you know have been in China or actually live there if they have ever used a VPN. If you are a Chinese resident, there’s a chance that some of your acquaintances might be able to refer you to the VPN that works in your country. In any case, speaking to people who have experience in doing this is certainly going to help you find the perfect provider in no time and avoid wasting your time on all those services that won’t be able to help you in your endeavor to avoid the imposed restrictions.
2. Read Reviews
The next thing you can do so that you can make sure to find the perfect VPN provider is, of course, to read VPN reviews and guidelines. There are a lot of websites out there offering all the information you need about specific providers, and those are the exact types of websites that can help you in a situation like this. Of course, this might be a bit trickier to do if you are already in China and if the restrictions are already in place, meaning that, if you are a visitor, you should do your research before you reach this country. If you are a resident, though, this might be more difficult, but it isn’t impossible and – where there’s a will, there’s a way.