Best VPNs for China in 2024

Best VPNs for China in 2024
We may receive commissions for purchases made through links on our website. We appreciate your support.

China is known for suppressing Internet freedom. It’s blocked many sites and apps over the last ten years, including Google, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

The easiest way to get around these restrictions is to use a reliable VPN.

China’s Great Firewall is responsible for regulating and censoring the Internet in the country. Most methods fail to work because of it, which makes it challenging to find the best VPN for China.

To test VPNs that actually work in China, we connected to servers that are based in the country and then ran our usual tests. After a few days of researching, we narrowed down the list of best VPNs for China in 2024 to just 5.

Top 5 best China VPNs that work

  1. ExpressVPN – Best overall VPN for China in 2024
  2. NordVPN – Most secure VPN that works in China
  3. Surfshark – Best China VPN that has unlimited simultaneous connections
  4. Private Internet Access – Affordable VPN to bypass the Great Firewall with
  5. Astrill – Best China VPN with tools for unblocking the Great Firewall

Testing VPNs that work in China isn’t an easy task. Here are some of the factors that helped us with the process:

  • Security – How good the VPN is at protecting your online traffic.
  • Number of servers – How many good-quality servers the VPN has.
  • Good customer support – Whether the VPN provider will help you with finding working servers in China.
  • Speed – How fast the VPN is.
  • Price – How affordable the VPN is.

The best VPNs for China in 2024

Finding the best VPN for China in 2024 can be hard because of how quickly these services get banned in the country. The Tech Lapse team tested many providers and found the best ones that work. Here are the results:

1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN to use in China in 2024




Pros & cons
  • Large RAM-based server network that works in China
  • Can be used on multiple devices in China
  • Security features successfully unblock the Great Firewall
  • Lightway provides fast speed in China
  • Expensive

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to use in China in 2024. It has thousands of servers, with many of them virtually located in China and other East Asian countries. It provides stable and consistent performance in China, circumventing the Great Firewall restrictions without any problem. Even when servers get blocked, you can contact ExpressVPN’s 24/7 support team and they’ll quickly tell you which ones work.

Location British Virgin Islands
Number of servers 3000+ in 94 countries
Price Starting from $6.67 per month

The official website of ExpressVPN is blocked in China so it’s better to download it before entering the country.

If you’re already in China, your best bet is to send an email to the VPN service and ask them to send you a mirror download link. They usually respond within 24 hours.

Using ExpressVPN in China

ExpressVPN is one of the most user-friendly VPNs on the market.

ExpressVPN is not just fast, but also incredibly safe to use in China. It has over 3000 RAM-based servers and multiple protocols, the fastest and most secure of which is Lightway.

The server network is regularly updated by the ExpressVPN team and if some servers get blocked (which is common in China), they’re replaced with new ones that work.

You can use ExpressVPN on 5 devices simultaneously. It has several advanced security features including a kill switch, split tunneling, multiple protocols, and a tracker blocker.

ExpressVPN protocols

Different protocols offered by ExpressVPN.

By avoiding geo-restrictions set by China’s Great Firewall, you can easily access Gmail, WhatsApp, and other blocked platforms.

ExpressVPN is available for $6.67 per month. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you could practically use it for free if you’re going to China for a short amount of time.

2. NordVPN – China VPN that will keep your online traffic secure




Pros & cons
  • Has RAM-based servers that work in China
  • P2P-optimized servers for torrenting in China
  • Built-in Onion over VPN feature to access Tor in China
  • Uses NordLynx which is faster than WireGuard
  • The UI isn’t very user-friendly

NordVPN is the second most reliable VPN you can use in China. Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN’s team regularly monitors its huge RAM-based server network to make sure it works in restricted regions like China, Russia, and Iran. It has tons of advanced security features that obfuscate your IP address and boost your anonymity as a way to bypass the Great Firewall.

Location Panama
Number of servers 5000+ in 59 countries
Price Starting from $4.19 per month

Some features that help with navigating around the restrictions set by the Chinese government include Double VPN servers, Onion over VPN servers, and NordLynx (modified version of WireGuard) protocol.

Double VPN servers route your online traffic through two servers. This method admittedly slows down the speed a little, but it greatly increases your privacy and security.

Using Onion over VPN servers, you can combine the power of the Tor network with the security provided by NordVPN and unblock any site you want.

NordVPN onion over VPN servers

NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN servers.

NordVPN is also great for downloading torrents and unblocking geo-restricted streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. It has P2P-optimized servers which are especially created to handle the downloading and uploading of large data.

If you’re having trouble deciding which VPN to get, read our detailed comparison review of NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

You can get NordVPN for $4.19 per month and use your subscription on 6 devices simultaneously. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. Surfshark – Unblock the Great Firewall on all of your devices




Pros & cons
  • Can be used on unlimited devices in China
  • NoBorders mode unblocks China’s Great Firewall
  • Rotating IP hides your online activities from Chinese government
  • Includes advanced features like Multi-Hop and an ad blocker
  • Based in a 14 Eyes country

Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections and multiple security features that help make it functional in China. It’s been externally audited many times, which makes it trustworthy and reliable. With over 3200 servers in 100 countries, you can easily find one that’s capable of getting around the Great Firewall.

Location The Netherlands
Number of servers 3200+ in 100 countries
Price Starting from $2.49 per month

One of the features that makes it possible to use Surfshark in China is the NoBorders mode. It’s automatically activated if the VPN client notices that your Internet is being restricted. It’s essentially an obfuscation feature that hides your online traffic from your ISP and other third parties.

The Android version has another feature that’s unique to Surfshark called GPS overriding. It changes the coordinates of your Android device to match the location of the server you’re connected to. This makes it even harder for your ISP to find out if you’re using a VPN.

Other advanced features like kill switch, split tunneling, Multi-Hop servers (or Double VPN), and ad blocker are also present in Surfshark.

Advanced features in Surfshark

Some advanced features you can use on Surfshark.

Surfshark automatically refreshes your IP address after a while without changing your location, making you even more anonymous on the Internet.

You can use the VPN on an unlimited number of devices, which makes it perfect if you’re moving to China with your entire family.

It’s available for $2.49 per month and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. Private Internet Access – Cheap VPN with 10000 servers to use in China

Private Internet Access



Private Internet Access
Pros & cons
  • Has 10000+ RAM-based servers that work in China
  • MACE removes ads and stops trackers when you’re in China
  • Inexpensive China VPN
  • Based in a 5 Eyes country

Private Internet Access isn’t as consistent as the top 3 VPNs in China, but many of its servers managed to break through the Great Firewall during our testing process. It’s an inexpensive VPN that has over 10,000 RAM-based servers. The apps are highly configurable, so if you’re looking for a China VPN that gives you more control over your settings, Private Internet Access is your best option.

Location Colorado, USA
Number of servers 10,000+ in 84 countries
Price Starting from $2.03 per month

We reached out to Private Internet Access’ customer support and asked them if the VPN works in China. They admitted that not all servers will work all the time.

Private Internet Access lets you use WireGuard and OpenVPN, and more often than not, the former will do a better job of unblocking geo-restricted sites and platforms in China.

If both protocols fail to work, you can manually set up OpenVPN using this official guide for Android by Private Internet Access.

PIA protocols

PIA’s protocols.

WireGuard will give you better security and speed. Private Internet Access also has essential security features like kill switch, split tunneling, and a built-in ad blocker called MACE. Check out our detailed review of Private Internet Access to see how fast it is.

You can get PIA for as little as $2.03 per month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. Astrill – Includes tools created specifically to bypass China’s Great Firewall




Pros & cons
  • Dedicated features for unblocking sites in China
  • Has advanced security features for extra protection in China
  • Free version available on Android
  • Most expensive VPN on this list
  • Server network isn’t that large

Astrill is an often overlooked VPN that’s capable of bypassing the Great Firewall. It’s not as popular as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, but it’s one of the best VPNs to use in China. The dedicated features for accessing blocked sites and apps in China that you get with it make it a top VPN for accessing geo-restricted sites.

Location Liechtenstein
Number of servers 300+ in 57 countries
Price Starting from $12.50 per month

StealthVPN, Astrills’ proprietary protocol, offers an additional layer of obfuscation to your online traffic. It’s a modified version of OpenVPN that uses AES-256 military-grade encryption to hide your data.

Astrill VPN for China use

Use Astrill’s dedicated features to unblock China’s Great Firewall. (Source:

Similar to Surfshark’s NoBorders mode, Astrill’s StealthVPN was especially created for people living in restricted regions like China and Iran.

Astrills stealthVPN protocol

Use Astrill’s proprietary protocol StealthVPN to bypass China’s Great Firewall. (Source:

Astrill has many other features, too, such as split tunneling for filtering sites and apps, Multi-Hop servers, and DNS leak protection. In addition to that, all of its servers run on RAM.

You can use your Astrill subscription on 5 devices at the same time.

The only thing we don’t like about Astrill is that its cheapest package costs $12.50 per month and there’s no money-back guarantee. It does have a free 7-day trial version for all platforms and a free version for Android devices.

Comparison of the best VPNs for China

In a hurry? We’ve added a table below that lists some of the major features of our best VPNs for China.





Private Internet Access



British Virgin Islands


The Netherlands

Colorado, USA


5/9/14 Eyes member






Number of servers

3000+ in 94 countries

5000+ in 59 countries

3200+ in 100 countries

10,000+ in 84 countries

300+ in 57 countries

No-log policy






RAM-based servers






Kill switch






Split tunneling






Simultaneous connections







Starting from $6.67 per month

Starting from $4.19 per month

Starting from $2.49 per month

Starting from $2.03 per month

Starting from $12.50 per month

Money-back guarantee

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days


Methodology: how we tested these VPNs

Testing VPNs that work in China can be hard because most of them get blocked on a regular basis. We connected to servers in China and tried over 20 services. Here are the things we took into consideration when testing them:

  • Security – VPNs that work in China tend to have some security features that make it possible to use them in the country. All the VPNs on our list have some sort of obfuscation tools that hide your online traffic.
  • Good customer support – The VPN should have good customer support so if some servers get blocked in China, you can easily contact them and ask them to give you new ones that work.
  • Number of servers – Having more servers means you get access to wider geo-restricted content libraries. It also makes it easier to find a server that works in China.
  • Speed – VPNs that use advanced techniques to boost your security will often slow down your connection. We only included those services on the list that give you the highest degree of protection without compromising your connection’s speed.
  • Price – The VPNs on our list have affordable packages and free trial versions that you can easily try before making a big commitment.

How to use a VPN in China?

Using a VPN in China is an easy process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Pick a VPN which suits you best.
  2. We recommend ExpressVPN because it works in China and has an excellent customer support team.
  3. Download and install the VPN on your device.
  4. Connect to a server where you can access geo-restricted sites and apps.
  5. Start surfing the web without any restrictions.

What is the Great Firewall of China?

The Great Firewall of China refers to laws and technologies the government of China uses to censor and regulate the Internet in the country. It blocks and restricts sites and apps that go against the Chinese Communist Party’s ideas.

It’s part of China’s “Golden Shield Project,” and is directly operated by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). Note that it only censors the Internet in mainland China and not regions like Hong Kong and Macau.

The Great Firewall monitors transmission control protocol (TCP) packets and looks for specific keywords that it considers sensitive. If any keyword is found, the source is immediately blocked and other links associated with it are also banned.

Great Firewall on China URL tester

The Great Firewall of China blocks sites and apps that don’t align with the government’s views. (Source:

There are many other techniques used by the Great Firewall to censor the Internet in China such as using fake DNS servers and blocking IPs. In many cases, if a website is blocked and you try to access it, it’ll just never open and you’ll only see a blank page.

As a result of the Great Firewall, most foreign apps and sites including WhatsApp, YouTube, Google services, and Facebook don’t work in China.

How does VPN bypass China firewall?

A VPN bypasses China’s Great Firewall by changing your IP address and replacing it with a fake one. This makes it appear as if you’re located outside of China. Most VPNs have powerful security tools that work together to circumvent Internet censorship in China.

All of your online traffic is encrypted, which makes it difficult for third parties to spy on you. Using a VPN, you can easily gain access to geo-restricted sites and apps like Google and WhatsApp.

Using a VPN to access geo-restricted sites in CHina

VPNs encrypt your online traffic so no one can spy on you. (Source:

Most premium VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have advanced security features that use complicated methods to obfuscate your online traffic.

NordVPN, for example, has a feature called Double VPN. It passes your traffic through two servers, which significantly boosts your security.

When a server gets blocked in China, you can easily switch to a different one or contact customer support who will help you find one that works.

Why do you need a VPN in China?

You may need a VPN in China if you want to access sites and apps like YouTube, WhatsApp, and Google services when you’re traveling or moving there. Here are some other reasons why you should use a VPN in China:

  • Bypass Internet restrictions - The Internet in China is heavily restricted by the Great Firewall. There are many foreign sites and apps you can’t use. The only way to access them is by using a VPN.
  • Hide your online traffic It’s well known that the Chinese government spies on its citizens by monitoring their online traffic. By using a VPN, you can encrypt your online data, making it nearly impossible for any outside party to track your online behavior.
  • Stream geo-restricted content – If you’re traveling in China and want to watch content from back home, you’ll have to use a VPN. You can connect to a server from your home country and gain access to its geo-restricted content libraries.
  • Torrenting – If you want to download torrents while you’re in China, you’ll need a VPN. Most premium VPNs like NordVPN have P2P-optimized servers that are ideal for downloading and sharing large P2P files.

What websites are blocked in China?

The list of websites that are blocked in China includes Google, Facebook, Gmail, Reddit, and more. New sites and apps are added to the list on a regular basis. Here’s a table that lists some other sites and apps blocked in China:

Social media








Wall Street Journal



New York Times










VPN not working in China? Here’s how to fix it

If your VPN isn’t working in China, here are some things you can do to fix it:

  • Connect to a different server – If a server you use regularly stops working, it’s because it’s been blocked. In many cases, you simply have to keep looking for a server until you find one that works.
  • Contact your VPN’s customer support – If you can’t find a server that works in China, we recommend contacting your VPN’s customer support team. They’ll help you find specific servers that work.
  • Switch to a different VPN – VPNs get blocked in China all the time. If your VPN suddenly stops working and you haven’t been able to find a working server, there’s a good chance it’s been blocked by the Chinese government. When that happens, it’s time to buy a different service.
  • Try alternative methods – There are other things you can use to bypass the Great Firewall. If a VPN doesn’t work, try using the Tor network, get a Hong Kong SIM card, or use Shadowsocks proxy.

Does a free VPN work in China?

No, free VPNs won’t work in China as they have limited servers and it’s very likely all of them have already been blocked by the Great Firewall.

Your best option is to get a free trial version or a premium VPN that comes with a money-back guarantee.

Most premium VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN don’t have a free version, but they have a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can request a refund within 30 days of your purchase if you’re not satisfied with the VPN’s performance.

If you’re traveling for only a few weeks, you can use a VPN while you’re in China and then ask for a refund when you don’t need it anymore.

Bottom line

If you’re traveling or moving to China, using a VPN is the best way to bypass the Great Firewall. It’ll change your IP address so you can use foreign sites and apps like Google, YouTube, and WhatsApp.

After testing many different services, we found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for China. It’s fast, reliable, and gives consistent performance. The customer support team is always ready to help you find a working server in case the ones you use get blocked.

Other VPNs you can use are NordVPN and Surfshark. They both have excellent security features that make it extremely difficult for third parties to know you’re using a VPN.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to use a free VPN when you’re in China. We recommend buying a premium one that has a money-back guarantee so if you’re traveling for a short amount of time, you can get your money back after using it.

Frequently asked questions

ExpressVPN can access China and help you unblock geo-restricted sites and apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, WhatsApp, and YouTube. It has thousands of RAM-based servers that are regularly updated to make sure you can use them in China.