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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Astrill VPN Works in China, But Only If You Do This First

Kristina Perunicic Updated on 6th February 2024 Managing Editor

From social media to news sites to video streaming services, the list of banned websites and services in China would stretch out for kilometers. With search engines like Google blocked, too, even clearly harmless, basic information can be out of reach.

Worse, China also bans most VPNs, aggressively screening for them with deep packet inspection (DPI). Only a select few VPNs can sneak past this Great Firewall. My team and I don’t condone any illegal activity. However, you should be aware that the Chinese government focuses on blocking access to VPNs and usually doesn’t go after individuals for using them.

Fortunately, Astrill VPN has what it takes – IF you use one crucial trick. Read on to learn how to set up and use Astrill VPN to gain access to the content you want while you’re in China.

Pro Tip: If your traveling to China download your VPN BEFORE leaving your country.

Important! VPNs in China may intermittently face challenges due to changing regulations. Although there may be temporary disruptions in service for any VPN, Astrill VPN has consistently demonstrated high reliability in our testing. Still, using Astrill VPN in China is a gray area since only VPNs approved by the government are allowed. However, there have been no public reports of tourists getting into trouble using Astrill VPN in China. Nevertheless, you should read up on the rules regarding VPN use before launching Astrill VPN. vpnMentor is firmly against breaking any laws.

Quick Guide: How to Make Astrill VPN Work in China

  1. Go to Astrill VPN website.
  2. Install the VPN and choose StealthVPN as default protocol.
  3. Launch Astrill VPN before accessing the internet, to bypass censorship and geoblocks and keep your browsing anonymous.

Why Accessing Content in China Is So Hard

The Chinese government blocks access to any website that it deems dangerous or offensive, or that portrays an “un-Chinese” way of life. These terms are defined incredibly broadly, and the bans are enforced on residents and visitors alike.

Without a VPN in China, you won’t be able to access news services, social media, messaging apps like WhatsApp, or any other sites that could be used to organize people or demonstrations.

International news outlets are regularly censored, along with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Gmail, and VoIP services. You can use our online tool to see if a specific website is currently blocked in China.

To enforce all these bans, Chinese authorities restrict access to technology that can be used to bypass censorship. It’s impossible to purchase or install a VPN in the country – except for state-authorized VPNs, and those won’t get you access to the content you want.

And since the agencies that enforce internet restrictions use DPI to block unapproved VPNs, most VPNs won’t work in China even if you install them before traveling there. However, Astrill VPN has a few very special features that allow it to escape detection.

Why Astrill VPN Works in China

Seychelles-based Astrill VPN launched in 2009 with the stated goal of overcoming online censorship worldwide. With that end in mind, the VPN has been designed to support an especially wide range of tunneling protocols.

In addition to the gold standard OpenVPN, Astrill VPN hosts OpenWeb, StealthVPN, Cisco IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, and SSTP. The reason this variety is so important is that in spite of its proven security, using OpenVPN in China would be a mistake.

OpenVPN’s one flaw is that it’s easily identifiable under DPI, and that means your unauthorized VPN use will be visible to the authorities. To bypass the Great Firewall, we recommend using StealthVPN, which is just as secure but much more difficult to detect.

Before you can choose StealthVPN, however, you need to get the Astrill VPN app for your device. Remember, you can’t sign up for Astrill VPN or download the apps in China! Follow the Quick Guide above to make sure Astrill VPN works without difficulty.

More About Astrill VPN

Astrill VPN's success in China is primarily due to the availability of StealthVPN and a network specifically designed to obscure traffic. These features allow for a secure and private connection. Additionally, the VPN provides numerous other impressive features to enhance your browsing experience.

  • Public wi-fi security – added protection when you use shared networks
  • Split tunneling (Smart mode) – allows you to access local Chinese sites without the VPN for improved speed, while keeping your international traffic safely hidden
  • Customizable kill switch – ensures that your data never leaks to the public internet if your VPN server connection drops
  • Strict no-logs policy – guarantees there will never be any record of your activity
  • 120 servers across 58 countries – allows you to connect to regions all over the world to keep up with friends and family, bypass censorship, and access geo-restricted sites like Netflix.
  • Cross-platform capabilities – support for an unlimited number of simultaneous device connections across all major operating platforms
  • Fast connections – to minimize the speed loss caused by the StealthVPN encryption process

Summary

By installing Astrill VPN and choosing the StealthVPN protocol before arriving in China, you'll find that it easily bypasses the Great Firewall.

I want to emphasize once more that I do not endorse or support any illegal activities. It's essential to thoroughly research and understand the laws in China, as well as any other country you may be in, before making a decision regarding VPN usage.

To make sure you get the best possible deal on your Astrill VPN subscription, make sure to visit our coupon codes page. And for more great VPN options to keep your online activity safe, check out our experts’ complete report on the VPNS you can trust in China.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Kristina Perunicic is a former editor for vpnMentor. She’s a cybersecurity expert with an interest in VPNs and their importance in the digital privacy landscape.

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