There are around 8,000 blocked sites in China, and there’s no way of getting access to them within the country. But, no need to worry because I’ll be highlighting the best ways to unblock websites when traveling to or while living in China.
However, the most popular way is by using a VPN, you’ll be able to access services like Netflix, or even unblock WhatsApp within China
What kind of sites are blocked within China?
The number of platforms that China has managed to block over time is innumerable.
You’ll have services like Netflix, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Twitter blocked from access. But, the biggest block among all of these is Google. Almost all of the Google services have been suspended from being reached within China.
Guess what? There’s a way to get past all these restrictions in no time! Usually, the most popular and best way to access all these services is by using the best VPN for China, but I’ll also be highlighting 4 other ways.
How to unblock websites in China
The best way for you to unblock multiple websites, apps, and streaming services in China, is by using a VPN. However, along with a VPN, there are 2 other ways to ensure access. Let’s talk about each method below, starting with:
1. A VPN
As mentioned above, the best way to unblock services within China is by using a VPN for it. However, not just any provider will cut it. There are so many choices in the industry that claim to be the most reliable, but they’re not.
There’s always a way to choose the best VPN, one that’ll get you across all these restrictions; bypassing the Great Firewall of China.
The provider you choose has to first offer a free trial. This will give you a better understanding of the app. It’ll also allow you to know whether or not the app works in China.
You’ll have to look for military-grade encryption, a Kill Switch feature, great speed results, advanced features that’ll unblock censored websites, and mainly VPN server coverage.
It’s most unlikely for a VPN to have servers in China. For that, the provider will have to offer coverage in countries that surround China, for example, in Hong Kong. There are 5 VPN providers that made the cut in 2022, for reliable functionality in China. They include:
TOR is free open-source software. It is another way for you to unblock certain websites in China, but unlike a VPN, TOR lacks in providing steady speeds when compared to a VPN.
Yes, using TOR may anonymize your identity and mask your online traffic by shielding it off, and redirecting it through different layers but accessing it in China might be a little more of a difficult task. The Chinese government has not only been actively blocking the use of VPNs but has set its eyes on TOR too.
To access TOR, you’ll have to contact its developers ([email protected]), asking them for a link. Once successfully downloaded, you’ll have to run the TOR app with Obfsproxy simultaneously. This will ensure that all your traffic doesn’t seem out of the ordinary, blending in with the regular traffic.
TOR can also be used in China, by running it with your VPN. This will provide double the encryption, but as mentioned above, will definitely slow down your speeds.
3. Use a Proxy like Ultrasurf
If you’re looking for a free anti-censorship program to unblock websites in China, then Ultrasurf is another great choice. You’ll be able to bypass the Great Firewall by using its HTTP proxy server.
Using a proxy in China will help you bypass multiple geo-blocked websites. It’s not safer as compared to a VPN and doesn’t offer servers that you can connect to for accessing services, but instead, can shield your physical location and give you privacy when trying to unblock certain websites.
This basically means you won’t be equipped with any sound encryption or security that a VPN would normally provide. Another thing to note is that a proxy won’t support apps. You can only use it through your web browser and all the activities that pass through it.
However, since the Chinese government is extremely vigilant in tracking down any software that its citizens or tourists use, a proxy wouldn’t exactly be a great fit. Yes, it does work, but, the kind of security you’re going to need has to be of the highest level.
Not completely like a proxy, but works similar to it is the Shadowsocks open-source proxy. It allows users in China and countries that harbor similar censorship laws to freely use the internet to a degree.
If you’re wondering how it works, well, it creates a secure encrypted tunnel between your device and the proxy server you’re connected to, via the SOCKS5 protocol. All traffic that runs through it is encrypted from the device to the server, but that does not mean it’s safe.
It might hide your actual location and uncensored content, but it certainly does not hide your online privacy. It’s why a VPN is the best choice to unblock websites in China.
5. HTTP to HTTPs Links
The last method is little to the point than the rest, and it’s not always the best solution because of how limited it is. The HTTP to HTTPS method can be used to access a blocked website in China, only unless the site itself is hosted from a VPN.
However, the VPN needs to be from a Dedicated Server Hosting Environment. Plus, the website hosted by the VPN also needs to have an SSL Certificate that is unverified. You could use this way to unblock websites in China, but again, it’s quite limited, which is why a VPN is often recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I access blocked websites in China?
There are a couple of ways for you to unblock websites, however, the easiest and best way to unblock sites in China is by using a VPN for it. Right now, the best VPN for China is Surfshark. It will encrypt your connection, and allow secure and private access to numerous blocked sites, apps, and more in China.
Is YouTube banned in China?
Yes, YouTube had been blocked in China since 2009. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that Google withdrew most of its services from being accessed in China because of the number of channels or websites it blocked there.
How do I test if my website is blocked in China?
There is a great list of channels or websites that are blocked in China, and the list is increasing day by day. You can even go through the list on Wikipedia or GreatFire.org. Other than that, you can use any real-time tool to run tests of whether your website is blocked or not.
What sites are blocked in China?
You’ll find over 8,000 websites blocked in China. To name a few, we have Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook. YouTube, Zoom, Reddit, Whatsapp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Skype, Snapchat, Dropbox, BBC, and many others are blocked there. However, with the best VPN, you can easily unblock them. If you’re not looking for a VPN, use any one of the methods in the guide above that’ll show you how to unblock websites in China.
Does a VPN offer a China server?
There are only a few VPNs that offer a Chinese IP address, but again, there’s no guarantee that it’ll work. If you’re only looking for a VPN that offers a China VPN server, we have Hotspot Shield, Ivacy, and VPNArea.
How can I bypass China internet?
There are 5 ways for you to unblock sites or bypass the China internet. You can use a proxy, Shadowsocks, TOR, HTTP to HTTPS VPN verified websites, or use the best VPN VPN that comes highly recommended.
What sites aren’t blocked in China?
There are only a few websites or apps that are not blocked in China. They are FaceTime, Netflix, Disney+, Banking apps, and iMessage. However, the quality and content you get from these platforms might not be the best. For that, you can use a VPN.
Online freedom is something of the past for the future of China. Censorship and online surveillance run extremely high!
The Chinese government is actively blocking numerous websites from both local origins as well as international. There might be changes to restore privacy rights in China, probably in the distant future, but for now, if you’re looking to unblock websites while in China, it’s best you use any one of the methods mentioned above.
If privacy over the internet, in China, is your main concern, then go for a VPN. Other than that, feel free to use either TOR or a proxy for simple, basic use.