I was having troubles with Astrill as well, but I found a solution to the problem.
1 - Open Astrill Client
2 - Switch over to StealthVPN
3 - Go to SETTINGS
4 - Go to StealthVPN Options
5 - Switch from Fast (UDP) to Reliable (TCP)
6 - Try different servers, not all of them work, but a few work really well. (I generally use Dallas or Phoenix)
I agree that it is not a huge amount of money but just the fact that it is a scam should piss you off a little bit. I am honestly very surprised at the man's reaction to call the individuals very pleasant.
This people are not pleasant at all. They act as if they are. But they are part of a mafia and won't hesitate to use violence against anyone attacking their business.
Saturday I was going to take the subway at people square and wanted to save a tourist from the scam. As he was taking a picture of 4 young chineses (2 guys and 2 girls) I went to him to tell him to not trust them and not follow them anywhere. Immediately after, one of the chinese left the group to come and insult me saying I was "so stupid" and "killing his business". 2 other guys came over and I received two kicks and was ordered to leave inside the subway. They didn't care that it was the middle of the day in people square.
It is not just me, other people tried to save tourists from the scam and received the same threats. Just look at the testimonies here : http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294211-i642-k5727594-o10-Tea_room_scam_in_Shanghai-China.html
"They started following us everywhere, making phone calls and telling us that their friend was about toarrive, he even told me that he would kill us that it was useless to tell the police"
"We decided to go and tell the tourists that they were about to get scammed. As I went over the ring leader tried to break off and stop me from coming over. She recognized me from the morning and tried to be friendly at first and said I should come and help her friend. About 30 seconds later she attacked me with her umbrella and asked me if I wanted to loose and eye or a leg and swore at me a number of times."
I hope this story will change your perspective about these people and that no matter how much money they rip you off, these people are anything but pleasant. No one should have any tolerance for what they are doing.
Just sent this list to some new coworkers:
I’ll be honest I’ve had express for two years. And Astrill for 3 months. And there is a reason I got Astrill. Basically express has always been good. But quite often the government finds and shuts down a server or two. Which isn’t a huge issue because 3-4 days later they fix it by changing the ip address. The issue comes with the fact that express has 2-3 good servers max. If the government shuts those down. Or even one of them (causing heavy load on the others) it basically makes things like watching YouTube impossible. Ever since I switched to Astrill. I’ve not had a problem. Others swear by it. But what I like is they don’t have 3 good servers. Running speed tests they have about 30 good servers. Which means it’s just never an issue. I get up to 30mbps running to Denver and other US sites.
TLDR: have express. Have Astrill. Astrill is better. Won’t be renewing express.
Things I love:
- you can live as cheaply or as extravagantly as you like
- transportation is easy and simple
- the elegant decay of the FFC
- able to eat any nation's cuisine at will
- Alipay & WeChat make life exceedingly convenient
- able to travel to the rest of China (so many places to visit, literally not enough lifetimes to do so)
- watching a cyberpunk city evolve and develop in real-time
Things I don't love:
- requiring a VPN for everything, gaming, etc (although, total yearly cost for Astrill & game boosters is about $150-175 yearly, so not a huge deal
- .... can't think of anything else
>Phone data plan? I was told I can get a wifi hotspot thing at the airport when I arrive. Is this easy to find?
Yes, but you can also get a sim card with your passport anywhere in Shanghai.
>Communication? Is Whatsapp a thing over there?
>Payment? I was told that they often use Alipay/Wechat Pay instead of credit cards. Is it better to pay in cash?
Unless you have a Chinese bank account, you won't be able to pay with those. Cash.
>Recommendations for food/night life/activities? I may be working the entire day, but just in case what are some things I have to see while I'm there?
>Clothes? What kinds of clothing are appropriate or are super out of place? Will it be warm?
Pretty warm but on the cooling side. Take jeans and sweaters. No such thing as inappropriate clothing in China, unless it reads a political message.
>Should I be more cautious as a female solo traveler?
No. China is ridiculously safe.
>Anything else I'm missing? Like I said, this is my first time in China, and Asia. I understand that these are a lot of things I can probably Google and find out, but I was hoping for maybe a quick rundown of the basics to get started.
Install Astrill before coming. Take electric adapters. Be ready to try new food and get drunk. Don't be a rude foreigner judging everything under the sun. Forget your preconceptions, go with the flow and you'll have a great time.
Edit: I signed up, just for a laugh. Using Android app. Only 10 servers (US East/West/Centre, UK, Romania, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Canada). I went down the list and tried to connect to each one. All unsuccessful - just get stuck/fail during the authorisation step. It might be an issue with my work connection (though Astrill works fine here), but judging on that I would probably avoid this.
There ya go, I just wasted 20 bucks so nobody else here has to.
Haven't used it, but the site says it works here:
> Connect to Territory-Restricted Web Resources – Connect to a VPN Unlimited server in the country of your choice and get access to all local web sites, meaning you can be in China and access US websites no problem
In their FAQ they also say that there's a 10-day trial:
> Is there a trial period before I have to purchase?
> Yes, we provide a 10-day free trial to every new customer after registration.
So... why not register an account and try it for yourself? If it works all right, sign up for the deal. At that price (~120 RMB for 3 years) it's a steal if it works all right.
As with any VPN though, there's no guarantee that it's going to work here further down the line. Now and again the government will try to stamp out the more common methods for circumventing the GFW, and that might mean your VPN's performance will go downhill. I miss the days when Astrill worked really well here pretty much all the time and never even needed a server hop.
The internet is always good, but sometimes our government slows things down so that we go outside and enjoy the fresh air we're so lucky to have. On our little strolls we can sometimes see luxury brand stores, and if you're able to afford luxury brands in China, well then you know you have a right to shit on the streets whenever you please.
Anyways, stick to Astrill, it's the most consistently reliable IMO. But on days when GFW activity is heavy, I usually just read Orwell.
Good to see so many of you fellow distinguishers of bicycles buses and traffic lights.
Some more context: I'm actually not switching servers at all! I was with Outline/Shadowsocks the past year on the same server and it killed me, and I learned to basically or DUCKDUCKGO when things got hard. Tried Astrill and friend's NORD and am getting the same errors.
Hell, LinkedIn even banned me recently for "viewing too many profiles" (I didn't but suspect it was my VPN sending too many requests). Cloudflare sites catch me always and Vimeo is an outright nono.
Just signed up for VyprVPN. They have 3 plans, I went with the $8.33 monthly "vyprvpn pro" plan (billed annually). They have 4 protocols - PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP and Chameleon. I'm currently on OpenVPN.
On the Los Angeles server and everything seems good so far, very reminiscent of Astrill when it was functioning 3 months ago. The desktop app for Windows looks very nice and is leagues ahead of the Astrill "button". The built in speed chart is nice as well.
The Android app is nice, designed according to holo guidelines. However, I seem to have trouble connecting to their servers right now.
Will report back on OSX later, speeds in a couple days.
I like the sentimentality of your idea. If you want to err on the practical side, she might appreciate a VPN subscription so she can avoid the great firewall. I use StrongVPN.
While it doesn't have servers in China, NordVPN is a pretty good VPN service that works there as they have obfuscated servers to bypass the GFW. VyprVPN also works in China as far as I remember but I don't think you can torrent with them. I suggest trying out a few, most have free trials available
I'm using NordVPN, and so far I don't have any issues, I guess China is massively blocking VPNs once again. Usually, VPNs manage to get bypass this in time, so you can wait or just change the provider if this keeps happening more often.
Some people hate it, some people swear by it, but I've used Astrill for about 4 years now and I reckon it's the most reliable VPN service for China. In my experience, anyway. I used a bunch of others and was pretty disappointed, found myself coming back to Astrill.
HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, WE GOTTA SEARCHER HERE~!
Thanks for searching :-)
Read that thread, carefully. Pick a VPN which you think suits you. I tried wiTopia, they fucked up twice, I fired them the second time around and switched to Astrill. I've tried a couple of other ones at work places, Astrill has suited me the best so far.
Unfortunately no one is going to share their less common VPNs for obvious reasons. from my experience, Astrill is reliable and express was total garbage, taking ages to connect everytime. Chinese VPNs will definitely be cheaper
1) Obtain VPN back home (ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, roll your own shadowsocks proxy on a VPS) and ensure it's working or else you won't be able to access those services you want to use.
2) Purchase the SIM card at PVG. They speak 'just enough' English to get you sorted and have a printout with all of the available plans to choose from. For longer stays, I'd probably argue against this but you're not staying here long enough to benefit by finding a local vendor, although you will save a lot of time. It's located in the baggage claim area after you've passed through immigration. You'll need your passport for this.
3) You won't be able to access 90% of WiFi access points in China without that SIM card because you need to receive a SMS with a code prior to connecting to most networks.
If you're here for eight weeks plus a bit more for travelling, if you use tampons, bring enough here for your stay. You can get them here but they aren't exactly as wide ranging as the choice in the UK. Same for any hair products you especially like or cant live without, and make up.
When you arrive, set up a Chinese bank and phone number - both are super easy. For the bank, just walk into any bank (or one recommended by your company) with your passport and you walk out with your debit card.
Same for the phone, just walk into a China Mobile or Unicom with your passport and get a SIM with data plan. Easy and cheap.
If you have any issues about speaking Chinese, especially in a China Mobile, just call their help line and an English operator will have you sorted in no time. In Shanghai in 2016, all the big companies will have an English operator to help you.
Get a VPN before you come, Astrill is still sucky on ios so maybe Express VPN.
Smart Shanghai is a pretty good resource for places to eat and go, as well as their directory their articles are updated often and aren't all about the big fancy places.
If you're looking to socialise, YongKang Lu is a good place to go for a drink, a short road of bars/pubs/cafes rammed with foreigners but it's very easy to meet new people there (except at Cafe De Staigeries where all the French are, just keep walking).
Download WeChat as well, it is THE communication app. If you don't have it, people will think you odd.
EDIT: Also! And over the counter medicine that you have a fondness for - ibuprofen, lemsips, hay fever stuff... you can find this stuff here but it's a bit of a faff to be honest and a lot more expensive. And i know you might be thinking, 'It's summer, what do i need Lemsip for' but there's always someone with a cold and OTC cold/flu medicine is a bit basic here, they just have the day/night Tylenol tablets which are a bit pants.
I didn't sticky it, you'll have to ask Mob_King.
We stickied the Astrill freakout thread as well. Is it really that big a deal that it was stickied? For the record, we've stickied plenty of similar threads in the past if we thought it was a good cause or if the submitter messaged us and it wasn't blatant spam.
Maybe the reason Mob_King stickied it was to maybe give a little extra visibility to an event that would tend to attract the kind of dismissive attitude and idiotic comments that, well, you can see in this thread.
Anyway, I probably shouldn't have posted anything. I'm not a feminist or anything, but just reading some of the dumb predictable shit in this thread was a little annoying.
When there's a thread about somebody wanting to know where they can play D&D or Magic: The Gathering in Shanghai, people don't pile in talking about fat neckbeard virgins playing with their ghosts and goblins. When someone wants to know where to watch the Superbowl (seriously guys, it's in the fucking sidebar), people don't weigh in with their opinion about how all sports are posturing homoerotic displays of testosterone imbalance. But someone mentions the words 'empower' and 'women' in the same sentence, and suddenly the anti-Tumblr brigade have to throw in their unwanted 2 cents to secure their position as best. Gender. Ever.
I'm just politely inquiring as to whether people can maybe grow the fuck up a bit. Like I said, probably shouldn't have said anything, just rolled my eyes and closed the tab. I'll get on that now.
You will need to subscribe to China telecom's internet service + their international VIP package. I have it and its super fast with Astrill VPN.
Edit: Do take note that this is quite "pricey", about 200 rmb a month, but well worth the money IMO. Also you will need to have a postpaid (后付）account, not a prepaid one. If you have a prepaid one, you may have to go to one of the main branches to convert your account
Been a bit odd occasionally over the past few weeks, but with Astrill on everything seems fine. One thing I have noticed over the past week or so is that torrents have taken much longer to connect.
Other than that, pretty standard.
Also, Google aren't Apple, they don't do the stupid iCapitalisation stuff. Gmail, not gMail. If it were gMail, Apple would have sued Google by now for using LETTERS
Welcome to China. Stay a while, and listen.
All Google services are sketchy in China. Why, you ask?
Basically, a while ago China asked Google to censor mainland search results, but Google didn't want to comply. So they started forwarding all Google queries from mainland China to , since the Hong Kong site gives uncensored results. This pissed off the Chinese government, as people would be able to gain totally uncensored search results - even if they weren't able to access most of the indexed sites. Yet Google is so ubiquitous that it would be ridiculous to ban it entirely as they do with other sites (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot etc.).
Since this debacle, therefore, China has been purposefully fucking up Google for mainlanders. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Most of the time it's painfully slow, even if you load your mailbox in HTML only. Viewing the cached version of sites from Google's results doesn't work. China blames Google for the poor performance, Google blames China.
The government's hope is probably that people will get so frustrated with the inconsistent, slow performance of Google services that they will move over to another (preferably Chinese) provider for their mail/search/etc. needs.
Solution? Use a VPN. Astrill is an excellent choice. PM me with your email address for an invite (you get a week's free trial, if you sign up after that, I get a free month, so you can enjoy that warm fuzzy feeling of helping a brother out).
My Gmail inbox loads in < 2 seconds with Astrill turned on. Without? Closer to 15 seconds, if it loads at all.
You're right about the process but why not go Android and get better hardware and software and not be locked down with a proprietary system? Check out the Galaxy Nexus or the new Galaxy S III if you want to splurg.
EDIT: Fixed link
"Within a few upcoming days" lol. What do you even pay them for if they're so dependent on the whims of the Chinese government? I'm no major fan of Astrill, but they've at least managed to seriously limit downtime here and they've been clear about the situation being one they're constantly looking to resolve.
Good job. I couldn't agree more about the Meetup app, it shows some cool events that you can go to, and you'll quickly add a few interesting people to your friend's circle. And your VPN recommendations are on point. As a businessman, I often need to go to China, and for doing my job right I need full access to Gmail, Facebook and other social media platforms, so NordVPN is the service I'm counting on. Most of the time it works pretty good, sometimes you need to look for better servers, but that's just how it is in China, so not complaining.
Check out what Astrill have to offer.
You need to buy the router and a subsription but it's the most stable thing i have found. Even during 'sensitive' times the router remains working no issues.
Even better if you have a smart TV and some sort of portable TV thing like an Amazon Fire stick, and then you can fool your TV into thinking you are in your home country and then have access to all the apps the Fire stick has to offer. Streaming Netflix during Chinese New Year with no issues.
Or so i've heard.
Hi there, I'm a tech reviewer and I've done my fair share of testing internet speed and vpns in Shanghai.
I found that the two best vpns are express vpn and astrill. Astrill has faster speeds but less steady though on average still faster and express has very steady speeds.
In my home I installed the 200 maps China telecom connection and I can stream 4K YouTube content no problem. Other websites I stream of also work at full resolution.
When talking about Instagram, no problems there when using all, even on 4G
I would also like to add that in the metro, using metro wifi, I can easily manage HD YouTube videos with astrill.
So that's why I always recommend astrill, though such as with all vpns in China# there are good days and bad days, but at least I'm hardly ever stuck waiting for my full HD movies to stream.
Best of luck, hope this helps.
It sure would be nice if Astrill would use a service that's actually available in China without a VPN (i.e. NOT Twitter/Facebook) to give out news about service interruptions to their (assuredly many) customers in China.
As someone who uses 4 VPNs, I'll play devil's advocate here. I have VPNs on my personal EC2 instance and DigitalOcean VPS as well as through Astrill and my work.
I find that through Astrill I can almost always find a server with lower latency than my two personal servers. I only really use my personal VPNs when Astrill's authentication is on the fritz or if I want to do something that requires increased security. The latter case I think is the true advantage of running your own VPN.
Still, nothing's perfect security- and latency-wise, so I think it comes down to an individual's preference for paying for a service vs learning how to set up and manage the service on his/her own.
It's fine for me because I was already connected before the problems started. Most servers work on OpenWeb. Watching YouTube right now, no issues.
But I know that if I log out, I'm not going to be able to log back in. So it looks like there's a problem with their connection server, not the VPN servers themselves.
Astrill's latest tweet. Maybe the update they pushed out 6 hours ago messed something up.
Thanks for this. I pretty much never play multiplayer games but I got Deathloop this week and figured I'd try out its multiplayer mode. Boy did that go badly, completely unusable with Astrill, lagging so bad I couldn't pick up items and just kind of stuttered between two positions. I'll try it with the VPN off next time.
SwitchVPN. Works fast, connects everywhere every time (on the phone only through LA/SF tho), quite cheap.
Don’t go for express... around holidays all expat groups are flooded with whining about express vpn...
Download a VPN onto your phone (Astrill is a good option, and better than Express VPN). You can choose when to turn it on so that your heath app works. If you are doing international roaming with your phone, you wouldn't need a VPN, though I will still highly recommend getting one.
Other handy apps that you should download:
Mr Translator (Tencent translation app)
Pleco (chinese dictionary)
Mei tuan (food delivery, though in chinese)
Sherpas (food delivery for western food, in english)
Dian Ping (chinese version of Yelp, in chinese)
Didi (chinese uber, can get it in english)
Also - google maps is atrocious, so if you use an apple phone, apple maps works really well and is in english.
It gets pretty cold in Shanghai, the cold is unbelievable as it hits your bones, so bring some down jackets and thermals. Good luck!
been a bit flaky recently. For me, Astrill works mostly with the HK servers. Wireguard and OpenWeb work best for me on the PC. Everything else is hit and miss. On the phone, PlexVPN works like a charm on China Telecom. Good Luck!
Express was good but started getting raped by TGFW. NordVPN never worked whatsoever for me. So far Outline has been the best for me (Shadowsocks): . So far it's the most consistently working one.
I'm also having the same problem.
ExpressVPN are telling me China have put a block on their VPN service, however when I told them I can connect on my laptop but my phone and tablet won't connect, they then said it must be something to with an unstable connection.
Also, please can someone check this....
I think "auto-reconnect" on the phone is doubling my data usage, and costs. I only use VPN using WAN, but I noticed that the "auto-reconnect", when switched ON, will still enable WAN only apps to access the mobile data.
However, I also noticed that the "auto-reconnect" will turn itself ON. It doesn't always happen but sometimes when I reset the phone and I go to check expressVPN setting on the APP it's back to ON.
Been using ExpressVPN past 7 years in Beijing and there might be short period of time where it gets a little cranky but overall reliability is great. I always go for HK 4 or LA 4 in Shanghai.
I'm using NordVPN, and haven't run into any troubles when I use their obfuscated servers.
If you are more tech savvy, you can also try Shadowsocks. Works extremely well. However, you need to have a computer running the proxy software outside of China.
Express VPN has 30 days money back guarantee. I tried it, no questions ask, they just pay you back your money if you want to cancel the service within 30 days.
NordVPN also has a 30 days money back gurantee, and they are much cheaper than Express VPN, if you need a VPN to keep for longterm.
Most other VPN have a couple of days money back policy or free trial. Astrill, PureVPN and Vyper VPN are other popular VPNs.
Astrill works great. You can have desktop and mobile on the same account. Great choice of vpn locations
Edit: I also used Lantern, free version is 500mb per month only, when astrill was not working so good (really not often though)
That's interesting, the message struck me rather unprofessional.
As if the government deosn't have a handful of paid Astrill acounts and it using them to reverse engineer their blocking protocols and it's the fault of 'the journalists'.
Seems very childish to push this message to all of their users with no apologies for service outage of a service they push as being able to beat the censors.
10 Mbit isn't a lie - try downloading something from a Chinese site. The problem isn't YOUR internet, it's CHINA'S internet.
There aren't really many tips and tricks for Astrill. Fiddle with settings and find the ones that work best on your connection. As for overall speed:
Step 1: Find a fast server.
The speed test feature in Astrill (help > speed test) is actually pretty darned useful - scan all servers for ping only, then order by ping and do a full speed test one by one for the lowest ping servers. Some of them will be slow. Some of them will be fast. Keep going down that ping list until you find one that's fast and reasonably stable. Use that one. It'll probably be OK for a while. When it becomes shitty, find another one.
Step 2: Don't tell anybody.
The more people using a server, the worse the performance will be. If you find a good server, keep it to yourself.
For your computer, go to .
As for your phone, you have two options.
Download the .apk file and install it. Just search for astrill .apk on your phone, download the file and good times await you. Downloading apks can be a little risky though as you're trusting that the file you're downloading is what it claims to be.
Android has it's own built in VPN feature. Go to Settings, Tethering and Networks, and then VPN. It'll ask you to set up a lock screen I believe. Enter your astrill VPN settings and connect. Searching for 'Astrill android' will give you more detailed instructions. Once you have it set up, go to the Play Store and download the app.
1 device for basic plan, 2 devices for pro plan, 3 devices for premium.
You can install the client on as many devices as you want, but it will only allow as many simultaneous connections as your plan allows. If you try to connect from another device, it'll just tell you that you're already connected to the maximum number of simultaneous devices.
They don't have anything like Astrill's home plan, which allows 5 devices at once.
Source: I was annoying the hell out of one of their customer service reps this morning with exactly this kind of question.
I'll weigh in and say I've used Astrill since I arrived 2 years ago. I did it on advice of the majority of this sub.
Have I had problems with Astrill? Yes, of course but it's important to remember there is no magic VPN service here in China that will make internet usage like it was back home. That's just a cold hard fact that it took me some time to accept.
Now the good news. With Astrill yes you are going to be able to choose from a huge amount of servers. I can watch BBCiplayer from back home. I can hop over the american servers if I fancy browsing something from their stations or watch a youtube video that is blocked everywhere but the US.
And I can do it with decent speeds. Not fantastic speeds that really push the speed I'm paying for but fast enough. High video settings are possible but sometimes I am forced to drop down to medium.
Support can be annoying when you're frustrated as some may just try to give you bog-standard answers. Try them and then keep pushing them you'll get results.
Also they're trying to optimise for China. Even trying to sort out a server designed around China Telecom. It's not fantastic but it's a start. Stealth VPN is also a godsend. Much more reliable than OpenWeb when you want some stable connectivity.
Always go with China Telecom here in Shanghai btw for your internet line. Go with China Unicom for your mobile phone. That's a golden rule I was given when I started sorting this out for my home. Also when one ISP goes to shit (happened here this year for China Telecom) you'll still be able to access the internet on one device to find it out.
TL;DR: Internet here is a headache. No magic cure. Astrill sufficient. China Telecom for your ISP. China Unicom for your mobile. Sorted.
If you have Astrill or another type of vpn that allows you to put your IP in Canada, this website has all the events streaming on demand for FREE. Canada is making everyone else look bad. The connection can be bad at times, but I managed to watch 3 hours of Snowboarding already, so I'm pretty happy about it.
Astrill here, working fine. If it gets slow I just switch servers.
Weirdly though, over the past couple of months I have found that my internet is noticeably slower on Saturday nights for some reason.
Freegate, but it still goes. No sign up; just run the file.
You asked if anybody else was having problems, and people came and told you whether they were or not. I'm not really sure what the problem is here. If you'd posted details of what the problem was (can't login to Astrill, can log in but can't reach servers, can reach servers but nothing loads, browser returns socket errors, miscellaneous error message #53667, etc.), rather than just "is it down?" you'd probably get better feedback.
The fact is, VPN services are in a constant cat-and-mouse game with the great firewall, and sometimes things won't work quite right. As far as Astrill goes (I haven't used other VPNs in a few years), they find a workaround pretty quickly and normal service is resumed. The only time they took longer than 30-60 mintues to fix it was when they were DDOSed a while back, and that affected their servers worldwide, not just in China. Sadly, you can't live in China and expect to have a 100% reliable, fast, uncensored internet connection.
Posting about it here isn't going to get anything other than replies like 'working fine here' or 'yeah, I also had problems' - you're better off contacting their live support. Even if their website was blocked in China, you could still send an email to , or contact their live Skype support (astrillsyscorp), or call them on their support phone lines in the USA or Hong Kong.
If you want to use LTE in China, you're gonna need the A1586/A1524 or (China-mobile only) A1589/A1593 models that support TD-LTE. While unlocked, the Verizon A1549/1522 models which support fewer LTE bands and you'll only be able to get HSPA+ (3G) in China through China Unicom. Apple has an exhaustive list of the different LTE networks the various iPhone models are compatible with worldwide here.
It seems like the only major US provider that offers the TD-LTE compatible version is Sprint, which previously has been notorious for refusing to unlock phones, but should be a lot easier to do so now with the new US regulations that came out this week.
That being said, I'm using an Verizon iPhone 6 on Unicom and HSPA+ seems to be sufficient for my needs. Although I'm only staying about a month, so if you're going to be staying long term it may be worth investing in a LTE-compatible iPhone.
Empirical evidence is the only way, bro. I could just say yes right now, the internets are not meant to be clear indicators for responsible advice. My best advice comes from someone else's
You got healthier dude! Stop eating shit back home, and your hair will be nice and long in no time!
I use TimeHop for a similar thing - you link your Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. and it gives you your feed for 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 3 years ago, etc. on that day. My Foursquare goes back more than 5 years, it's pretty cool to see what I was doing back then all plotted out like that, with photos.
Technology, helping you be nostalgic every morning while you poop.
I too get weird performance on Swarm over 3G. Sometimes it takes ages to start working, sometimes it's instant.
Girlfriend used it for 2 years in Shanghai. The last 6 months it was practically unusable. She kept complaining constantly. Moved her over to Astrill once the contract was up and she hasn't had a problem since. In Shanghai I think if you go with either Express or Astrill you should be fine. Both will work fine for some and not for others.
Ok first thing is to get a VPN I personnaly recommend Nord or Astrill they work pretty well but you need to pay.
1) There is nothing you won't find in Shanghai I think, it's pretty international and if you don't find it in shops Taobao is your best friend, you can literrally find everything on that.
2) Tbh for this one I don't really know because I never lived in the US but just keep an open mind, don't jump to conclusions about chinese people.
3) You should be carefull for scams if you go to very touristy places like nanjing dong lu, but if you're with a group of friends you should be fine.
4) You can go from the fanciest restaurants that cost way too much money to having a meal for like 5$ so it really depends what way you want to spend your money. Going out was a bit expensive for me but depends on your budget.
5) The main Pudong area, LuJiaZui (where all the tall towers are) is pretty expensive so yes i would recommend going to Puxi for the fun stuff. But the metro is open until 11 I believe so you can leave with the metro and taxis and relatively cheap to go back.
Finally i hope you enjoy Shanghai as much as I have. It's truly an amazing city!
I've been having issues with ExpressVPN for the past week to two. It got so consistently bad that I wound up switching to Astrill. I'm having separate problems with Astrill constantly disconnecting, but it only takes a second or two to go back to the app and turn it back on. Would rather deal with that than not be able to connect at all.
I think the issue may be with ISP. I've had different experiences in speeds and reliability with Express, StrongVPN, Astrill, and VyprVPN. After combining through some Chinese forums, I found that Unicom "piggybacks" on top of China Telecom bandwidth when it comes to offshore traffic and thus the gateway is jammed most of the time. In Nanjing using China Mobile 100mbps, I am able to get ~50mbps downstream and 10mbps upstream using Express and VyprVPN. Haven't used Strong and Astrill for a while.
You can easily test it by running download and ping to see which service is faster with allowed offshore websites, and then make your decision.
Btw I stick to Singapore and Japan servers. Vietnam and Taiwan sometimes work amazing.
Since earlier this year, ISPs have been working with the GFW in throttling speeds when a consistent connection is maintained with a foreign server with high throughput, or just straight up reassigning a new IP without warning. This is why steaming HD video gets cut off so frequently.
Hope this helps, and I welcome any experts to correct me.
I use a Roku stick, which isnt easy to get in China. Get a router that can do openvpn and you can setup expressvpn on it, then your entire house is covered. Better still is a ddwrt router with Astrill. Another option is to connect a computer or laptop to your router with an ethernet cable then make a new (vpn protected) wifi network using that computer.
Its very unlikely you'll be able to directly install the netflix app on the TV and even less likely for the expressvpn app. Still, if you want to try, see if you can find the APK files online, copy them to a usb thumb drive and see if your tv will install them from there.
Astrill has had 0 hiccups for me lately. ExpressVPN still works, too (I forgot to cancel it and have them both for another month now), but I'm not as pleased with it.
Also, your site seems to be blocked.
Dude I got the 200mbps package from China telecom + Astrill and I can watch youtube anytime without problem. Your problem is that you use Express VPN which everyone is always complaining about.
"Shanghai boring and Shanghai has the worst food in China" are you just here to troll ?
I've been pretty comfortable with ExpressVPN. They put work into the advertising, it seems -- they kept coming up as the best choice as per top Google results and reviews -- and it worked out.
Whatever you choose, definitely get it on your phone and laptop before you hit the road. It'll make everything easier.
I'm using VyprVPN and I'm very happy with it. Paid around 60 US dollars for one year. They've got different protocols, and the Chameleon one works perfectly for me. I'm using Android, but I think it's compatible with Apple products as well. I'd advice checking it out!
They have a 30 days try-out policy, so you can get a refund if it doesn't work for you.
On Stealth on both laptop and phone right now. Though I did just get told off when I started Astrill, as will you all probably. Gist of it is, "You can't have anything nice in China and it's your fellow users' fault. Thanks a lot, jerks." or something like that.
Experienced the same problem. Solved by doing th following:
1. Open Astrill
2. Settings->OpenWeb Options: CHECK "Set System Proxy"
3. Change port to 8642
4. Restart Astrill
5. Try server USA via Taiwan
Hope this helps.
I use ExpressVPN and it's been fine.
Connection maybe dies once or twice a day, but this is actually probably my internet, not the VPN.
I haven't tried Astrill, but my flatmate uses it. It could be faster since he watches SC2 on youtube often.
I've tried Express, 12vpn, Vyper. Astrill has performed the best. Sometimes it's slow/laggy/drops. I just upgraded to the VIP service which cost an extra $10/mo. So far, no difference. Also if you need to use SSH, I think their Stealth VPN add-on is the only thing that works.
They are not switching the VIP off, they are just not giving away new ones. Good news: you can take the connection with you when you move to a new place. Pay your bill and don't let it expire.
That said, Astrill still fucking blows for me with 300kb/s the norm and 650kb/s really special for US-server video streaming. If you know a faster VPN service please do tell.
Im surprised no one has mentioned this yet.
If you frequent the interwebs a lot, make sure you install a VPN before you arrive to Shanghai. Some VPNs that are known to work in China are Astrill, Express, and Viper.
Many websites are blocked here, like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and so on.
I totally agree that Astrill isn't what it used to be. However, it's becoming harder and harder for a VPN service to be totally reliable here given that China is trying really fucking hard to kill 'em all.
When Astrill shit the bed for about 48 hours a while ago I decided to make the jump away from them since the speed had steadily declined over the preceding 12 or so months. I tried 5 or 6 other VPNs (including VyperVPN, ExpressVPN and StrongVPN) and none of them was even close to as fast/reliable as Astrill was at that point, or had anywhere near as many servers.
When Astrill got their shit together and I could log in again, it was immediately much better than any of the other ones I'd tried while it was down.
So what I'm trying to say is... if you find a VPN solution that's consistently better than Astrill, please let us know!
OpenVPN works like crap here nowadays. I'd recommend paying for StealthVPN, I use it and it works pretty well on most servers. But most of the time OpenWeb is enough.
Contact the support on their site and they can give you some config changes that might help. Don't ever use Astrill's default port for anything, it usually sucks.
I won't cast aspersions, but I've had nothing but trouble with ExpressVPN. I spend about 10-15 minutes trying different servers - once one actually connects it's usually so slow that nothing will actually load and I'll have to try another, eventually give up and just sit there angry.
Freegate 7.42 is a free stopgap measure until Astrill gets back up and running. Download it from whatever file sharing site you trust. You can directly download the .exe file.
I can't watch a YouTube video smoothly, but I can access FB and Twitter, and I can see the pages that my office network blocks.
30Mbps on Fibre Optic China Telecom here. Coupled with an American West Coast Astrill server and I can stream YouTube at 1080p.
OP, you might want to consider the following:
1) Are you using a VPN on your router, if so, disable that shit while watching CCTV.
2) How many people in your building are actually using the same line as you? You'll get shit speeds and latency at peak hours because of all the people online.
3) Your router. People can say everything they want to say but at the end of the day, good equipment will never hinder performance. Quite the opposite.
> I got the impression that if i contact the gov't and tell them how amazing China is and I want to tell friends and family back home about it, they will be lenient.
hehe, it doesn't work like that. All traffic to certain sites is monitored/blocked for everyone outside of a few high-tech centers. No exceptions are made on an individual basis.
Your best bet is to sign up for a VPN while you are still home. Astrill VPN is a good bet. Just make sure you sign up for it before you get on the plane. The websites to a lot of VPN companies are blocked from within China.
> PLEASE CHECK THE /R/SHANGHAI FAQ, AND SEARCH/LOOK OVER PREVIOUS THREADS BEFORE POSTING GENERAL QUESTIONS
Source: right there in the sidebar!
PM me your email address and I'll send you an invite for a week's trial of Astrill, which will allow you to browse these sites.
Meh, don't use IFTTT. Just use the Asia AQI widget app and look in the settings. There's an option to push you a notification every time the AQI in your location goes above a certain level, which you can set.
I mean, you could use a IFTTT recipe, but it's a bit pointless when that widget has the option to do that. No need for persistent notification, just set the threshold in the settings.
It sticks out.
It's at the intersection of Yueyang Lu, Fenyang Lu, Dongping Lu and Taojiang Lu. Other popular places nearby are Abbey Road, Di Shui Dong, Simply Thai (restaurants), The Beaver (bar), and Hollywood (club). Here's the exact location on Google Maps.
Conveniently, it's literally just around the corner from Inferno (5 mins walk, max) - just walk down Yueyang Lu from the Camel, turn left at Yongjia Lu, and it's about a minute's walk, down the alley on the left side.
Mob_King and I will almost certainly be there watching the match and then heading to the meet afterwards, so you're welcome to join us, so long as you'll also laugh and shout "wahey" every time an Aussie player knocks on from a scoring opportunity.
if you're stuck or want to pay a lot more for luxury, you can try Uber. Base fare starts at ¥30 and a short ride from Fuxing Lu to Suzhou creek would cost you ¥60. But if you're in a bind, or you want to ball out give it a go.
Full Disclosure: If you sign up through the link above you get ¥100 credit and I get ¥100 credit.
have you tried maps.me? It downloads the offline version of your chosen location - not sure if there will be a problem, I did that while I was in Europe. But anyway I suspect you could just use vpn to do that, all is offline afterwards. http://maps.me/en/home
In Shanghai Astrill has Japan 3 & Korea 2 that more often than not on paper provide a very fast connection. Which, to be fair, isn't bad for streaming videos or general browsing. J2 isn't bad but J1/4 is awful.
JP3 doesn't resolve with Ubisoft servers for Rainbow 6 Siege however. It may give you the connected sign in the menu but even with the region set in to serverhint=EAS it won't resolve. You can try for hours and you may often get into a game only to get booted then lose your MMR.
This is a trend you'll find with other games too. Some work - like CSGO for example can play OK. Apex though is disgustingly laggy and is unplayable for me.
It's nice you have a perfect connection and it's flawless for you but I'm sure you may be aware that some people suffer from issues. Be it ISP, the GFW, or perhaps their own apartment f2c installation.
If you search /r/china & the regional subreddits you will find thousands of posts complaining that Astrill doesn't work. For those people this may be handy.
I've usually just been using v2ray servers the past couple years, for general purpose browsing, as well as trading stocks (via TOS). Most of the popular commercial options (Astrill, Express, Nord, etc. ) have been too inconsistent. Although, it's been a few years since I've done heavy gaming, so I'm not sure how well that would work. I'm curious as to whether you've extensively tested this route.
A few years back when I was gaming heavily, I found the best option was just to set up my own SSR server in Hong Kong. I don't imagine that would work too well now though considering it's current state of usability in China.
Oculus quest has frequent software updates and you also need to be logged into Facebook (which requires VPN) just to use it. If you don't have a router that supports Astrill VPN then you're outta luck.
Not a Sketchup user, but a trick that sometimes works for me is to turn the VPN off before the redirection to the Chinese bank website happens - get your timing right if the site uses automatic redirection. Then pay on the Chinese site. On the re-direction back, turn the VPN on again (or hit refresh in the browser if you're too slow). Sounds hacky, but it should be safe as long as all websites involved use HTTPS and you only do the switch when your browser re-directs between different websites.
Other things to try:
use a different DNS server
use 'smart mode' e.g. in Astrill
The TV OS doesn’t matter, you just switch the TV to the appropriate input, the key is that the Chromecast needs an internet connection of its own. look into getting VPN setup at the router level (Astrill has details) and any device connected to that router will be on the VPN. I had a Xiaomi TV and had both Chromecast and AppleTV running.
Hongta Hotel seems to be next to the Century Avenue metro stop. You're in luck because that means it's a direct metro ride from the airport via line 2. Personally that's what I'd do: it's faster and more practical than a taxi. Concretely what you could do is withdraw cash at an ATM from the airport and then buy yourself a metro ticket at the machine with that cash. Afterwards it's more or less a 30min metro ride.
Make sure to have downloaded a VPN on your phone (choose Express VPN or Astrill) before leaving your country so you can use services such as Google Maps (in order to, for instance, find your hotel from the metro stop).
Also as the others have said, you can't use dollars in China, you need to use RMBs. Just withdraw cash at ATMs (for instance at any HSBC, ICBC or Bank of China atm, there are many) and you'll be good.
Keep in mind Didi BOUGHT Uber China around 2015. So everything in China is Didi now. Get the Didi Greater China app on your App Store.
You will need RMB for everything. There is only one currency.
Get a VPN, such as Astrill. Remember that Google Facebook YouTube etc will not work without a VPN, and sometimes even with a VPN it may be very slow or may not work. As we approach October 1st, the national holiday of the PRC, expect that they will have a tighter grip on VPNs.
Please do not tip. The tipping culture only exists in the US (and I am an American so I know it firsthand haha).
Remember that none of the locals speak English. English is NOT used anywhere in China. Try to know some basic mandarin before you go there, and have all important names and addresses written on your phone beforehand, so that you have quick access to them when needed.
ExpressVPN is a great option. Don’t do PureVPN. I have both... gave up on PureVPN after it took them forever to get service working during one of the crackdowns. ExpressVPN gets going quickly and communicates about issue/resolution very well.
Re: the sim stands, I usually see them manned at some pretty late and early hours, so I would guess you’ll be ok.
Egads, I just got back from Shanghai and this screen is giving me PTSD. I tried ExpressVPN, Astrill, and ProtonVPN while in Shanghai. Astrill outperformed them all by a long mile.
The ExpressVPN app has a 7 day free trial. So if you’re only there for a week, you can use it for free. (Only allows you to use the phone app though, no PC).
Also, my ExpressVPN has been working fine for the last week or so.
I'm having some issues too, but not really surprised as I figured that the screws might get tightened in the lead up to the Import Expo. In the past, it seemed like ExpressVPN was able to respond pretty quickly to any gov't actions, so I wouldn't be too worried. I had PureVPN for a while, but it would take them significantly longer to find there way around Great Firewall changes when they would happen. Regardless, it is always annoying...
For me, what makes Astrill head and shoulders above the rest is the mobile version app filter meaning that you don't have to keep switching it on and off when flipping between Chinese and overseas apps. Does anyone know of any other VPN apps that provide this service? If not then I'd stick with Astrill
Why not try getting another VPN that doesn't need an extensive verification? Not to mention that it's unsafe and yeah, most probably your payment history will remain. At least I'd be put off by this and try smth else for sure. Also, providers like NordVPN accepts Alipay, Bitcoins, Paypal, ExpressVPN and Vypr do so too. I recently went to China and was looking for a VPN, so checked a few of them, they offered alternative payment methods
It's hit or miss - I'm in Shanghai and yesterday it loaded no issues today it's sporadic at best without VPN. For those who want to get VPN I use Astrill. (china friendly mirror) but hear good things about Express VPN but is slightly pricier. Good luck
Honestly most VPNs are still working decent... for example I use and can only think of half a dozen times when I couldn't connect. If you're techie enough to set up a shadowsocks server, go for it!
I second u/archiminos. I've had both for the past month, and Astrill is miles and away the better option. One thing that really helps, too, is that it's far less frustrating when there's a bad day or bad few hours: Express has had only 3 servers to connect to for MONTHS now (they aren't doing shit about it), so your options are way too limited. Most of the time, only 1 or 2 of them work for me, but there hasn't been a day that I haven't had "downtime" across all 3. Sometimes on Astrill, I'll switch the server if it doesn't take me to sites or does so slowly, but there are so many up that it hasn't ever left me totally screwed
I'd been using Astrill for years, but decided to switch to ExpressVPN this year due to glowing reviews. I couldn't connect to any server on either my phone or Mac. I contacted support and we finally got partial functionality on my phone, but after a day it still didn't work on my Mac. I cancelled it, got a refund, and went back to Astrill.
I am with China Telecom (200mb/ps download plan), in Shanghai just north of Peoples Square. I get online loading issues when playing barebones, but I set my location to Hong Kong and it reduces that, and then also use my VPN sometimes.
It's annoying because the things that help with connection screw up my latency or download - so still finding the right balance.
I recently got a Linksys router from taobao to use my ExpressVPN for Xbox. I also port-forwarded all Xbox & Destiny ports which seemed to help.
It was removed from the Chinese iOS App Store. Doesn't affect Mac.
Internet in China is fast on paper. The problem is that 100 Mbps is only for local connections to sites like baidu. If you want to access sites hosted abroad (like yahoo or Reddit), then yes, it's super slow, especially at night. If you want to speed things up, get a shadowsocks account. ExpressVPN's Hong Kong servers are also quite fast.
Huh, I'm also starting some research at Jiaotong in Feb! Xuhui campus for me though.
In my case, I can get an apartment on campus through the university - ask your supervisor and maybe they can offer you something similar.
As for the interpreter... you will likely find that there are many people happy to help you for free.
And for VPN - the best I tried in China was Astrill.
I've lived in China before (1 month in Shanghai and 1.5 years in a different city) and might be able to help you with some things while you're setting up - hit me with a PM if you fancy meeting up or if have any questions I'll do my best to answer them! (I'm no expert on Shanghai though)
I agree with what's been said. It's hard to recommend them when they pull customer service stunts like this (if you fight them they usually give in, but who needs that hassle) and the fact iOS Astrill is still basically unusable is disgraceful.
That said I still find their desktop version very reliable. Being able to live stream bbc iplayer and get YouTube at 720p+ without constant buffering makes it bearable. Also I find the desktop version doesn't go down that often really and you can usually find some server for access even in heavily censored time periods.
Maybe I should branch out and try others but it works for me (lucky area perhaps). You're right they got too big and we've seen evidence of their childlike behaviour but I'd still verge on the side of pretty good vpn.
And remember, ultimately, it's not the vpn service provider who's making your life hard in China....
Astrill always worked for me, even during the gov. meeting session when they got the crackdown, but I have the "stealth" package plus you had to switch to their slower TCP protocol. I still may shop around however because astrill very popular with mainland chinese at this point and so is really in the government crosshairs. I dont think they will give up trying to shut it down anytime soon.