NOTE: If you see a Chinese flag here, this article is automatically edited using your device location to remove certain key words within China. If you see any other flag, you are viewing the entire article.
You NEED a VPN in China.
A virtual private network also known as a VPN is a private network that extends across the internet. It allows you to send and receive data across the network as if your device was directly connected to a network outside of Mainland China. Many Chinese internet users use VPNs to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship.
In simple terms, users in China often use one of 3 principle methods for using a VPN to access foreign sites:
- Via Mobile SmartPhone App — typically using one of many dedicated VPN apps (available on android and ios).
- Via Personal Computer (MAC or Windows) — typically using either built in VPN network sharing or a separate application installed on the computer to allow a single computer to connect (similar to ‘dial-up’ internet)
- Via Network Router — typically setup in an office or home network on the router itself, allowing all devices using the router to share the VPN connection. Many router manufacturers, such as Cisco, Linksys, Asus and Netgear supply their routers with built-in VPN clients. Some use open-source firmware such as DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato, in order to support additional protocols such as OpenVPN.
I strongly recommend the router route… cheaper and easier if you use multiple devices.
One Astrill account subscription is all you need to cover all the devices on the network, no matter iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Mac or PC.
With the 300+ VPN router families, if you live in Shanghai, to maximize the performance of the VPN router, your will want to ensure that your ISP provides you with a minimum of 20MBps connection speed.
For advice and assistance in setting up a working VPN, please contact Koben Chou at TEKShanghai — they set me up, and the TEK VPN routers offer a single Astrill VPN connection to all devices that are linked to a single home/office wifi network — you can get the benefits of a VPN on practically any device with a wifi router.