Nah. Most people don't even know what Tor is. Few that have heard of it think it's some kinda uTorrent alternative. Everyone uses VPNs with Astrill VPN being the most popular.
Source: I live in China
Living in mainland China. Yep it's blocked. Which is bullshit, because we mostly use it for taking pictures of food, cats, and "sparrow face" selfies. Goddamn. I'm going through withdrawal.
EDIT: As of 12:46 p.m. China time, Instagram is working in Shanghai.
EDIT 2: Nope no instagram now (7:24 p.m.). I followed the instructions Astrill has on their website to set up my VPN in my phone and I'm using instagram no problem. Look up your VPN provider and get their details to add a VPN to your smartphone and browse instagram with no problems.
As a Chinese I can confirm that Reddit isn't banned. Although for some strange reason, since summer of last year (2013), the NA and EU League of Legends official websites are not accessible at all unless we have a VPN (I use Astrill). I still don't know why they blocked those sites. Also, as I play on NA (made my account when I was still in the states), the launcher shows NA and other servers as "Unavailable" 9.999999% of the time. We basically HAVE to use the launcher backdoor (typing "thereisnourflevel") to be able to have the server status show "Online" and the "Play" button to light up in order to be able to play. Also, the Korean version of our LoL Subreddit, Inven, is blocked for some reason too (my Korean friends tell me). Yet here we have the English LoL subreddit unblocked and perfect accessible, is accessible too as well. China's internet is really weird. Nobody knows why anything is filtered by the Great Firewall of China.
Here is a bit of information to backup my post above:
Edit on March 18: The contents at , presumably at the request from someone representing Astrill
This is a SQL script I wrote while at Astrill to help us locate IPs corresponding to IPs of copyright trolls. The script pulls records from our torrent spy table (records we keep of our users bit torrent activity) to determine to which peers they are connecting.
In addition to logging users bit torrent activity we also log our users http requests, among other things.
Most of this logging is done either to identify users who are abusing the VPN network by running automated software (such as spamming or attempting to data mine google/facebook, or other nefarious purposes), or to find IPs others are using to probe our network (then blocking them).
All these comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of what they were talking about.
Whenever they send you a custom fix, they ALWAYS tell you to NEVER post it online so that their fix will not be found out for some time.
Now, people defy their request and end up posting explicitly what Astrill asked them not to, ruining it for all of you Astrill users.
So yes, if you posted the solution publicly, you're an idiot and there really is no solution for that.
When I lived in China for 5 years, I always used Astrill. They always had a solution and always said to never post it publicly. It's really not that difficult
Might look into a VPN. It's how users from other countries watch blocked youtube videos.
I don't use it but Jay from JayzTwoCents youtube channel recommends Astrill. He's a super credible dude, check him out sometime.
I live in China and this has affected us for many, many years. Though usually they just block the websites offering signups (e.g. Astrill creates new domain names specifically for people in China when the others are blocked). Also they can do deep package analysis and find patters which autoblocks (if connection is to another country). I've heard OpenVPN is relatively easy for them to detect but haven't personally detected it. Haven't yet had problems with corporate VPNs like Jupiter. Also, ssh socks tunnels are extremely unlikely to be blocked since it would make any ssh traffic be blocked (correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it's "impossible" to detect patterns for ssh traffic that could be identified as a socks tunnel, unless the have been collecting petabytes of encrypted traffic and do some deep learning on their Tianhe supercomputer lol).
The great firewall uses machine learning and deep packet inspection to discover VPN traffic. There is no way they were unaware of Astrill. The only reason it still worked as long as it did is that the government hasn't yet decided to block it. This message is thus both factually inaccurate and extremely unprofessional, and makes me question giving Astrill another dollar.
Foreign businesses operating inside China can register their VPN with the sensors, and legally keep it. They are not the current target. Commercial and free VPNs operating from outside China is.
All VPN browser plugins/extensions for all browser are currently blocked. Including Hola! VPN/P2P VPN unblocker - the only free alternative for using Netflix in China. Hola Engine for Windows (not an extension) is also blocked.
OpenVPN and SoftEther via VpnGate servers are blocked (not new) and will cut connection after a few seconds if it manages to find an open server (new).
All commercial VPNs seem to have problems with some platforms. Astrill, StrongVPN, VyprVPN etc.
iPhones/iPads (iOS) seems to have most serious problems. But Android is also affected. The built-in VPN client on Android can not connect to anything as far as I can see.
As always, different parts of China may have different problems. It is always like that. Your VPN working today doesn't mean it will work tomorrow.
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 used to live in Shanghai and I used a VPN regularly to play any games that had to connect to overseas servers. Did you try a paid VPN service or a free one? I used Astrill VPN and it worked fine for me most of the time. Good luck man, online gaming in China is rough.
damn. sorry. posted with wrong formatting and then deleted. Here it is again. From @Astrill on Twitter:
12 hours ago: We are experiencing technical issues with our API servers. We are investigating this.
11 hours ago: At the moment everything should work as normal. We were a target of a DDoS attack. We are working on measures to prevent this in the future. We apologize to all customers for this downtime.
3 hours ago: We are experiencing performance issues with our API system. The system is no longer able to serve all customers requests in real time.
3 hours ago: We ask customers to stop trying to connect or login at this time.Please wait an hour or so. The system can't handle it.
3 hours ago: In the coming weeks we will work on total redesign of our API which will be able to handle much more request.
3 hours ago: We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding as we work to improve the reliability of our systems.
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.
You say that as a joke, but after the 439th Astrillian Rifles implemented his guidelines for more ergonomic combat fatigues, their conquest of Patrenar VII went forward 7.2% more efficiently leading to an improvement in Time-To-Compliance of 3.7 Terran standard years below the average, an improvement in the ratio of Vile Heretics Justly Slain For Their Heinous Crimes Against The Emperor to Brave Guardsmen Nobly Martyred In The Name of Him-On-Earth of nearly 12%, and an attendant decrease in Munitorum resupply/reinforcement expenditures. On top of that, they were able to arrive at their next warzone nearly 17 months earlier than similar regiments that either didn't implement the guidelines, or that implemented false placebo guidelines, with no need for an extended recruitment drive/R&R.
Oh, interesting, I'll have to check his site out.
> COUNTRY BLOCKED
Oh, that sucks, I wonder if...
>If affected by this bug, you can accurately report your country of residence by connecting to SideShift AI using a service such as:
>* Tor Browser
>* Private Internet Access
>* Astrill VPN
I fucking love this guy.
Down in Beijing; was spotty yesterday, completely down today. I suspect we will have a difficult month ahead with the National Congress now in session.
From experience, we should probably lay low and wait patiently for a fix, as I'm sure Astrill is already aware of the problem.
I recommend ExpressVPN. Its paid, about 100$ a year so kinda pricey but it's totally worth it. Super lenient device limit, and their customer service is unparalleled.
Also it's one of the few VPNs that hasn't been accused of storing user data, so that alone sets it above it's primary competitor, Astrill.
Source: Living in China and a VPN is required to get past the Great Firewall.
Yep, same problem here.
On a separate note, Astrill has been dogshit lately. Slow as hell and constantly getting disconnected.
EDIT: There are conflicting reports about it being a server crash or under maintenance. Could be DDOS? Last time Astrill went down, it was less than 24 hours - time well tell.
EDIT 2: There's an Astrill alternatives thread you can refer/submit to in /r/shanghai -
Not a personal attack or something, but are there actually people here who don't have a VPN? When Astrill went down last week I didn't do anything all day. I forgot how terrible the internet here is without a VPN.
I'm finding that rebooting the router, using Ccleaner to clear all cookies, and opening a dos box to use the old "ipconfig /renew" seems to work best. Getting some really strange behaviour with Astrill though, as some servers are now 10X as fast as they've ever been while others I've been using for the past 6 months are completely fucked.
VPNs are getting more and more difficult to use these days, since cyber-sovereignity became a big issue for the government. I have to use constant tricks and various settings to get Astrill to work, and some days it just won't connect. The gov seems also to be very hostile to HTTPS which may be the reason for Wikipedia being blocked.
You'd be surprised. When I first arrived in China many people used homemade VPNs, but even the big companies like Astrill are fighting an uphill battle now... Suffering constant service interruptions and attacks. Plus you can't download them in the Chinese iphone app store, and you need an overseas card to purchase online.
Sometimes I'm not so sure the government people involved with this stuff have any vision at all. According to Wikileaks cables Google was blocked after a Politburo politician Googled himself and found unfavourable commentaries. This mobile VPN blockade could be one step in a well-thought out plan (however misguided), but at the same time it could be they caught some or other undesirable who had Astrill installed on his mobile phone so they decided to block all of it.
"Sorry we called you dumb and blamed you for our failure to deliver the product you paid for but it was your fault so be smarter next time. Thanks and happy holidays!"
Best non-apology ever. Sorry Astrill but I'm still switching VPNs.
Free VPNs are risky, everyone even a bit tech-savvy can tell you that. No one knows what they're doing with its users' personal data, but they have to get money from somewhere... I'm using Nord, but heard that Astrill is also pretty okay, so I'd say to look into these, or read more articles about it, for example here.
But we shouldn't talk about DUMB CLUB!!! Because nobody in the Chinese censorship apparatus will ever have thought about getting an Astrill subscription to see how it works.... Oh no, they have too much moral probity and integrity to ever sully their hands by downloading foreign technology onto their iPhone.
But seriously, it's probably not their fault that Xi Jinping has developed full on megalomania.
Wow how the hell did you get all this data? Surely you didn't try each and every VPN yourself? I'd love to also see stats about whether the VPN is blocked in countries like China/Iran. My experience is almost everything except the big names like Astrill are blocked in China, which also makes me think Astrill somehow has a deal with China... Astrill is one of the few that use non standard protocols which helps a lot in China too.
EDIT: Also you said in the FAQ it helped you choose a VPN service, so which one did you choose?
Netflix content in Korea will still be in English, but the content is different than in the US for example. So if you want to have US Netflix, then you will need to have a VPN. And yeah you need to install it before leaving because VPNs are banned there so you won't be able to reach their sites to download while you in Korea. And you need a VPN who is working there because not all of them does. You will be good with NordVPN, Express VPN, Surfshark VPN and I think Astrill still works. So choose between these. My favorite is Nord.
Tengo contrtado Astrill como VPN, como extranjero es muy difícil vivir sin VPN porque muchas de las páginas están bloqueadas, pero fuera de eso no hago nada más como "seguridad".
Sobre que me metan a la cárcel, naaah. Mientras no diga nada en contra del partido o el presidente, todo está tranqui.
I don't agree at all that you don't need to worry about encryption (e.g. sharing your passwords with the Chinese government), but I understand the point you are trying to make.
Isn't it just common sense to use a non-shady VPN company?
Note I would put Astrill in the shady list too. They're basically a carbon copy of Express VPN.
If used Astrill for years and last month when it was up for renewal I thought I’d try Nord as it was cheaper and claimed great support.
iPhone app won’t work in China. Need to download OpenVPN app & add in server connections. Even after that the connection wasn’t great. I gave up after 3 weeks, cancelled subscription & went back to Astrill as it just works.
I've spent 4 out of the last 12 months in China, and am posting from Ningbo right now. You can use a VPN called Astrill that works on your laptop and mobile device. With it enabled, browsing is completely unrestricted. Google, Facebook, Instagram etc.
I've used it at dozens of hotels, coffee shops, coworking spaces and never had a problem.
A VPN should do the trick. Get something like NordVPN or Astrill and bypass it, it is easy. And I mention those particular ones, because they have obfuscation option so even if your guest wi-fi blocks VPNs (some do), you can obfuscate your traffic so it seems like an ordinary one. I use NordVPN and even on my last trip to China, it worked well. They are doing heft discounts, for now, such as this, maybe it will be useful.
I'm Shenzhen based, but I'd assume it'd be province-wide.
I dunno, I've lived here for nine years, and like other long timers on this sub been through a mountain of VPN crackdowns. None of them stick, we'll see if this one does.
I'm out of the province right now and can't say either way whether there's been any disruption of service. Everything's fine here in Yunnan. It seems like that letter is focused on cracking down on local VPN providers, but I dunno.
One thing I will say is that I've been a loyal Astrill customer for years. They're expensive, but their StealthVPN protocol is brilliant. Whenever the GFW cracks down on PTPP or OpenVPN protocols, Astrill keeps on trucking.
Been using them for 6 months, the server closest to me is about 100 miles, I get very low ping and my bandwidth through the VPN is almost 90% of my full ISP bandwidth. No dropped connections, no issues with logins, definitely the most recommendable VPN I have ever used.
I think the most important part though for picking a VPN is just testing the connection quality you get, because different locations will vary. Other good ones I know of are Astrill, PrivatVPN and
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.
A vpn is a service that allows you to tap into their servers before browsing the web. It makes things anonymous for you by scrambling data. Everything related to Google is blocked here. Also any major news organization and in general, good shit.
Have her get Astrill. That's the go-to service. It cost $70 for a year but less for smaller amounts.
If the Internet on campus sucks then she can always go to a cafe like Starbucks. Either way the Internet is not free (in terms of browsing) like at home. You hit roadblocks all the time.
The same goes for her phone. Using an android phone without a vpn means no google play or maps.
I lived in China 5 years, using Astrill and Witopia. They all get blocked because the government gets good at blocking it.
Don't complaining about Astrill, do you think they purposely let their VPN go down?
As someone living behind the Great Firewall for the last 7 years, spring for Astrill VPN.
There's cheaper options, but the lower cost services seem to all fall by the wayside whenever the censors up their game. Meanwhile, Astrill keeps chugging along. Heartily recommended.
As an aside, online censorship sucks. To everyone in Europe or Stateside, don't take what you got for granted.
Ok. I read somewhere else that a lot of the people who are getting kicked have Astrill VPN service installed. Do you?
"Yup, thats 4+ people now that have been using the VPN. You guys might be crap out of luck, you got banned for having the same IP has a hacker that got caught red handed, it will be hard to prove you are not the hacker."
As a Chinese VPN user, I have to point out that you are completely wrong.
Tor can only give you very limited access of the free internet because it's too slow. Also it's too complicated for average users, and bridges are constantly banned.
Most people use VPN providers like Astrill or proxies like shadowsocks. These solutions works not just for westerners but for everyone including average people like programmers or researchers who has to get outside of the GFW.
Hey there, i lived in shanghai for a year and had the same problems in the beginning.
As for your 1st question, definitely go check out W.Y.W.K. () Its a huge lan-cafe chain and you can go play league there while sipping some delicious milk tea, in Shanghai alone there are probably 20 or more. If you cant google use chrome translation and youll get the addresses off their website. Staff ususlly speaks english and they can help set you up with an account (which is SUPER difficult).
VPN: I used Astrill (~5$/month) or Hotspotshield (free).
If you got any other questions, just PM me.
They've actually been really good thus far. Never had a serious issue with connectivity until today. However, because it seems Astrill is acting up for a crapload of people in China today, their service staff is probably spread super thin.
Been a loyal Astrill customer since 2011, recommended them countless times on this sub and offline.
I'll be finding a new VPN after my current year expires, suck a G8 Astrill, this is not the way to treat your customers.
When you figure this one out, you might want to contact the Chinese Government because they can't figure this out either.
I work in a school also and we have problems with students using Astrill. The main issue with a lot of them is they use multiple different VPN servers e.g. OpenVPN, OpenConnect.
At this stage it is a disciplinary issue and no longer a technical one.
Buy a cheap VPN like Astrill. No, you won't get in trouble for using it. Reddit is not blocked but imgur can be buggy. You can fix that by replacing "" in the link with "".
You won't have any problem torrenting. Sometimes you need to turn your VPN on to access torrenting sites but once you've got the download started, you can turn it back off again.
You should avoid drinking tap water. But there's no reason to avoid salads to my knowledge. A little salad washed in tap water isn't going to kill you.
The thing I find stupid about don't talk about Dumb Club is that it is predicated on the belief that not one person in China's 3 million strong censorship apparatus doesn't have an Astrill account, for research purposes. They're probably reverse engineered the entire thing.
Basically, there is no alternative to those you mentioned. Not many VPNs work in China and NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Vypr are the ones who do. If you don't like these ones you can also check Astrill VPN and Surfshark VPN, they should also work. I use NordVPN myself and it works, but all of them mentioned above are also good. On more recommendation would be to get two of them, because sometimes one can get banned for a short period of time, so you would have a backup plan.
For Chinese, we are the lucky ones who can continue play our games behind the Great Firewall.
Sorry for the red ping, but that's the best we can get.
The situation is getting worse, every good VPN that can bring us green connection will always be banned by the GFW (maybe I should write government instead) in days, so we have to use Astrill which can't make our network faster but can save us from dropping again and again while playing, especially in the middle of Trials.
It's hell here.
And that's the real reason why we want to end the game as fast as possible, anything might happen in every mins, maybe the next second we will lose one teammate who is caught by the GFW.
GFW will cut you down as soon as it found you are using a VPN.
Americans can get 10-year visas. I was just there for 2 months and did not have a single issue while using a VPN.
Other issues are valid though. I only go because I need to for work.
Astrill is the best VPN in case anyone needs a recommendation.
Astrill has always been the best for me and I've been here close to five years. The amount of times I've been at a friend's houses streaming stuff and them having to reconnect to Express VPN time and time again due to constant disconnections is ridiculous. But some still swear by it.
I would suggest downloading trials if you can, maybe different areas of Beijing work differently for different vpns? But I would never change from astrill.
A virtual private network. Basically a program you run in the background that connects you to a 3rd party server first, then to your web page you entered and vice versa. It keeps your browsing history 100% private from an ISP. But be sure to keep using incognito mode to keep the local history off your PC
Private Internet Access is probably the cheapest one that's reliable.
I use Astrill myself but they're almost twice as much. But Astrill is much more "pirate" friendly.
Good luck with everything, man.
A VPN will enable access to afltv for best results, however California will work fine as well.
You have to set the VPN to any country outside Australia as they don't allow streaming to be within Australia (insert witty foxtel slander here). I use New Zealand as a server because its close so the ping is low, reliability seems good as well.
In essence, you'll probably be paying for VPN access (assuming you don't have one already) and for the subscription to afltv. In my opinion its worth it simply to avoid adds but I'm also able to watch my team every week, even when its not on free to air tv.
worth noting that afltv does not allow concurrent streaming.
*edited with links as promised. merry christmas!
This is the first time I ever had a problem with Astrill. Been with them for over a year now, and usually runs very smoothly. At least Openweb still functions normally, so on the laptop it still works perfectly, but my Android tablet is out of luck right now.
Astrill works fine. Contact their customer support and they can help you switch over from PPTP to IPSec for your mobile devices, which works perfectly. One of the best things about Astrill is their spot on customer service; use it whenever you have a problem.
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.
Astrill user in Beijing. I can still connect to the service but over the pas few days I have had horrible latency issues - I guess the tightening control on Internet here is what is causing it. That or I just have a shitty ISP :)
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.
Shouldn't be a problem. Have taken my computer in and out of China. Put motherboard, graphics card, harddisks etc in carry-on. Didn't have a problem. They took the graphics card out to check but other than that it was fine. When I first went to China I put everything in check-in - nothing stolen or damaged but carry-on better. Didn't take a power supply or monitor. Power supply should be fine, may as well buy a monitor in China. Pack everything well.
Shouldn't have a problem with downloading Steam games although occasionally mine went from downloading pretty fast to awfully slow. Maybe download games you are most likely to play before going.
Adaptors for plugs easily bought in China.
Astrill only VPN that worked well enough for me. Shadowsocks also worked well but speeds can be slow. Get VPN before going to China.
Enjoy your time there.
I use Astrill. It doesn't appear on your list, but I've never had a problem with it in China or any other country. And if the govt ever blocks a particular IP, it's very easy to switch which location the application routes through. the only downside is it doesn't work well on my tablet (samsung galaxy 2).
Because Astrill is a highly unprofessional organisation that never invested much in their server infrastructure nor did the encrypt their data well. This was one of the main reasons their speeds were always great because they had limited encryption.
This has now caught them out and like a child they are blaming others for their mistakes. Other companies OTHER than Astrill are completely fine......because rhe actually have OK encryption.
If anyone wants a free month of Astrill VPN, pm me your email address (throwaway). I can invite you for a free month trial. May help some of you feel more secure with downloading it. I used astrill and the file downloaded in around 20 minutes.
Element fresh franchising
No. Wait. I got it.
Being a mod of ccj2
No No. Earlier. It goes back earlier.
Nixon visiting china
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
Was just wondering if you were making the suggestion as a VPN user outside of China is all. If you don’t mind me asking, for how long were you in China? Did it work consistently well throughout your stay? Does NordVPN offer a website that is accessible without a VPN from China?
I’m just wondering how I’ve never heard of the VPN. Everyone I know has used Freegate or Hotspotshield in the early days, and then Astrill or Express and that’s about it.
Shanghai. As far is VPN services are concerned, I don't think it's only about the geographic. Sometimes they do get selectively blocked, based on your location or your ISP, I don't know what's the logic behind it. My broadband works with Astrill most of the time, but my mobile doesn't at the moment.
Even though, most people use VPN instead of Tor.
Netflix acquires licenses for media based on the region. For example, a show might be available in the US but not the UK. Since Netflix doesn't operate in China, they don't have the license to distribute media over there. As u/Meganstefanie said, use a VPN and connect to a server from your country to watch "your" shows. We use Astrill and it works just fine 85% of the time.
Only gonna be a problem for people using commercial VPN services like Express or Astrill. Unapproved solutions like SSR or obfuscated openVPN that work now will likely be unaffected. Can't block what you can't detect, unless you block the whole internet.
Point by point:
No. I believe it puts me at equal footing with people who claim to have good hit detection. It seems that lots of people have no problems and there's only a minority of people who have terrible reg like me.
From what I've seen, a 100 doesn't seem to have any disadvantages.
No. I think part of my hit detection issue may have been that without my VPN i had some fluctuation in ping. My ping would go from 19-30 a lot of the time. Could be why others with similar ping don't have my problem.
No, i'm just using the application that Astrill provides me, which allows me to connect to different areas. if i change the location with the MWO client open, i lose connection to the MWO servers.
I would add a few visits to your stay in Beijing - or at least recommend some places :
- the Temple of Heaven
- the 789 Art District - pretty far from the inner center but it is quite nice to explore
- Jinshan Park (it is a must) climb at the top of the hill and you will have a breathtaking view of the Forbidden City
- You can also visit Beihai park which is next to the Forbidden City
- Wangfujing - huge pedestrian street where there is the night market and street food (insects etc.)
- Explore Hutongs (traditional homes) around the Drum Tower
Nightlife in Beijing is all around Nanlouguxiang and Salitun.
For VPN, Astrill and NordVPN should work. But there’s no guarantee in China!
Have fun there ! I have been to most of the places you’ll visit, China is just amazing.
Great Firewall is China-wide. Beijing is no exception. Not sure where you heard that Facebook isn't blocked there.
Not sure which is the best VPN for Mac, but I use Astrill on PC and it works well for me. Apparently not everybody is /r/china is satisfied with it but I haven't had any problems.
NordVPN usually works, just sometimes takes time to find working servers, but I always ask their customer support which one to use. But I think all the VPNs struggle with Netflix. Also heard good things about Astrill and Vypr.
I haven't had any problems at all with Astrill lately.
Everybody talks up Express as the better one, but the long-term limitation of servers you can connect to from within China really annoyed me.
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
Some gems in this one:
Quality boilerplate FYIL post.
I definitely had frustrations living short term in China, and I don't think I'd go back or really recommend it to others tbh (maybe I was unlucky with my experiences as well), but the Internet overall was OK for me. I was in Shanghai, and I used Astrill. Never got anything more than 1 mbsp anywhere, but it was still good enough at all the cafes I would regularly work at or AirBnBs. Thinking about it, yes Internet at hotels definitely sucked, and you have to avoid any chain cafes because apparently there is a law that any publicly accessible Internet requires you to first authenticate with your Chinese mobile service provider (EDIT - but every boutique or ex-pat owned cafe ignores this).
Right, I definitely came across that several times. But the fact that he's based here doesn't worry anyone at all? (yes, I read the interviews where he's stated he's willing to shut down the entire thing instead of handing over information).
I don't know the veracity of /u/p00dah's assertions that Astrill logs IPs, but I am a bit more cautious now than I have been before.
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.
VPNs are a basic necessity for a foreigner living in china. Since you moved to China, you should definitely get one, just make sure they have Android service. I use Astrill, and I definitely recommend it. PM me if you want an invite (it gives me a free month).
I am able to connect briefly to some Astrill servers via Stealth Mode, but usually, after a few minutes, my download speed drops to 1-5kb/s, and my upload speed jumps to 25-35,000kb/s. Good thing there's nothing at all sensitive on my computer D:
It's worth noting that any little-known VPNs mentioned in this thread will magically stop working shortly after they are mentioned here.
I've used Astrill which has always worked to some extend but very spotty and only on the highest/slowest encryption setting.
Because it's a cat and mouse game, larger organisations will probably stay online longest as they'll have the resources to get new servers, research new workarounds etc.
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.
>Social Impact Researcher - China, SE Asia
You're a goddamn month late, stories, experiences, and speculation have already been posted. That little "war" was fought and now it's over. Astrill works fine in the Mainland.
You think they don't know? You think they don't have accounts to every paid VPN service available in China? You think they don't get the updates popping up in Astrill each week?
Pffft! You sound like an informed person delivering a PSA.
EDIT: You think they aren't reading this?
Someone will say Astrill, and yeah it was good maybe half a year Astrill utilizes bait and switch tactics now, dirty ass company.
I suggest Pandapow or Witopia.
or for free you can use Chinese government run freegate
Your VPN connection will never be good enough to play US based games in China. (At least those which require a decent ping speed anyway).
Is it possible your internet connection is slow? I also live in China and my "unshared" internet connection is definitely shared as it slows down when people get home from work.
I use Astrill and it's pretty quick and very beginner friendly.
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.
Yeah, shhhhushhh guys, the government will find out!
Leave it to Astrill to write a ridiculously pissy message that will now be shared among every English-speaking Astrill user on WeChat. The gov won't pick up on that at all.
I think ExpressVPN are.
I have suspicions about Astrill.
Give ExpressVPN a ring, or contact their online support, and ask them are they Chengbao in Hong Kong. They will deny it. They will claim they have no presence in Hong Kong, even though their HQ is in Hong Kong.
A tad shady, right?
I heard from Astrill that the firewall blocked a TON of vpn stuff. Both of my mobile vpns were down the same day and have been down the whole month. Half of the fast server locations on my pc vpn are down, and the ones that are useable are slow and spotty.
I can't wait to get the hell out of this country.
I'd be careful about Astrill, according to a former employee (or maybe he is lying who knows):
Astrill is working fine here in Beijing. As usual, there are quite a few possibilities, and you'll probably never know for sure:
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.
With Astrill and several other free and paid-subscription virtual private networks (VPNs) that make leaping China’s Great Firewall possible now harder to use themselves after government interference “gummed” them up, the world wide web just shrank a notch for 600 million Chinese web surfers. Or did it? Do average Chinese care about the wider, Western presentation of the Internet? Will they accept so limited a tool while living at home? How does the latest tightening of China’s Internet policy relate to Beijing’s stated desire to use the media to “go out” and present a positive image of China to the world? — The Editors
Dear China customers,
Due to increased censorship, use of VPN from China may not be possible at this time. We believe the situation will be back to normal after the holidays. While our engineers worked tirelessly to fix "issue" with our iOS app, some users were not that smart and helping Chinese censors by spreading news about new Astrill software all over the web. It appears some of the customers show no appreciation for our efforts nor they want open internet. Now you got what you asked for... It's not working anymore.
We can invent new technologies, we can defeat GFW but we don't have a solution for stupidity. Dear "journalists" please spread this message as usual, all over the web and join DUMB CLUB.
We wish you great holidays!
I have had fantastic results with Shadowsocks + my own VPS. Using a package called Streisand () to run it. I use it on all my devices, Wifi or 3G no problems, as if I never left the US. And it's smart enough to bypass the proxy for Chinese sites. Don't worry about connecting/disconnecting, just set it and forget it.
The only issue is that Netflix realizes my VPS is at a known data center, so I get the normal error message. I switch to Astrill for Netflix, but they seem to have picked up on most of Astrill's endpoints. Usually I have to pick a tier 2 US city like Phoenix or Denver whose data center they don't know about it. When I get around to it, will probably run some experiments and move the Streisand instance to some other data center that Netflix doesn't know about and resume using that for everything.
Astrill claims OpenWeb is a proprietary VPN solution, i.e., one not conforming with standard VPN implementations, at Astrill 2.0 with OpenVPN is released.
VPN is a good way to go. I also use it for work since I tend to "work" where ever I can find an Internet connection. I use Astrill because it supports the Mac, and so far with my new 50/5 connection, I get full line rate when I'm downloading stuff either directly or via bittorrent.
Sounds like maybe the ISP is detecting the VPN and throttling you, never had it happen to me but have heard of it before.
Or it could be a problem with Astrill.
Do you have a wireless router? If so you could try using two devices at the same time, one with Astrill running, one without.