We’re covered a lot of things related to China on our site – updates about the Great Firewall, how to use VPNs in China without breaking the law, a list of the best VPNs for China, and more. But recently we realized that there is one thing – an article explaining how to download VPN in China.
We’ve already told you many times how useful VPNs are in China and what features you should have to protect your privacy there, but none of them will help if you do not know how to get your hands on VPN space.
So in this quick guide we will share seven ways to download VPNs in China. If you are in a hurry feel free to use our TOC to skip the part that interests you the most.
Are VPNs Blocked in China?
Yes and no.
The point here is – China is blocking VPNs, not the government 24/7 does not do that. According to people who live or travel there Often, executives focus their preventive efforts on VPNs during sensitive anniversaries, government meetings, major holidays and other major events.
But even then, they cannot successfully block VPNs at all times. However, it makes them harder to use and download. As far as we can tell, the Chinese government is blocking:
- VPN server IP addresses
- Websites owned by VPN providers
- Ports used by VPNs
- VPN download links
- VPN traffic
So, the bottom line – during important events, it can be even harder to use a VPN.
Why is there so much news about China blocking VPNs?
Well, here’s the thing – the Chinese government regularly blocks VPNs, but it’s mostly corporate VPNs. While they target commercial VPNs, they focus more on business-oriented solutions.
Because China really wants companies operating within its borders to use government-approved VPNs instead of third-party services. That way, it will be easier for the authorities to monitor their data
Does ambiguity allow you to download VPNs in China?
No, Unfortunately, it does not.
VPN opacity is only useful when you already have VPN installed on your device, but cannot be used because the Chinese government uses DPI (Deep Packet Check) to block your OpenVPN traffic.
With ambiguity, ISPs can no longer detect OpenVPN traffic because all VPN-related metadata is removed from your data packets. So the exclusive OpenVPN signature is no longer visible. What’s more, your traffic is covered in a further encryption layer and redirected to port 443 (HTTPS port).
tl; dr – Blur makes your open VPN traffic look like normal internet traffic. So it doesn’t stand up. But it cannot unblock download links because blocking that look is IP-based and opacity Does not adjust IP settings at all.
How To Download VPN In China (7 Solutions)
Before we begin, Make sure your email works in China. You need this to sign up for a VPN account. If you use Gmail, you need to switch because the service does not work there.
Based on what we hear from our readers and the public at Reddit, Proton Mail and Tutanota Work in China, so create an account with them first. If you want more “anonymous” options (ie, burner emails), try to use Guerrillamail.
Thus, here is how to download a VPN in China using seven methods:
1. Use mirror links
Let’s start with the simplest option. If you do not know what the mirroring links are, they are exact copies of the VPN provider’s site, but In a different URL.
For example, instead of “https://www.expressvpn.com/order, ”URL looks like this“ https://www.puoodzz.com/order ”.
The links in the mirror are not set in stone. They change often Because China’s firewall will eventually block them. If they no longer work for you, please contact us. We will try to contact the provider you have a problem with to see if you have changed the URL. Please leave some contact details so that we can send you a new URL.
Alternatively, if you have any foreign friends, ask them to help you.
2. Use hotel wifi
Surprisingly, some hotels in China do not censor the web as heavily. Even if you do not have access to everything you normally can in other countries, you can at least download VPNs.
If you’re a tourist, you don’t have to do anything special – just use the hotel’s wifi and you’re good to go. If you are staying in an apartment or living in China, go to the nearest hotel, grab a cup of coffee or beer at its cafe or bar and use the VPN to get your hands on a VPN.
Hotels to check out
- Pangu 7 Star Hotel
- Crown Plaza
3. Ask a friend for setup files
If you have a foreign friend, you will be asked to download the installation files and send them to you via the Internet.
If you are unable to sign up for an account in China, you will need to do so Send them money to do this For you. Some transfer options include Western Union, Chinese banks, PayPal and cryptocurrencies (probably the best option).
If you already have an account, send them login credentials. Once they have downloaded the setup files, they can send them to you In an encrypted .zip archive (You open them 7-Zip).
WeChat Apparently works well for file transfers. If for some reason they need to send large files (25 + MB), they can try to use Weun (Runs by the same company that made WeChat). If you do not know Chinese, they will need help from you or Google Translate.
Or have them Send you the archive via email To Proton Mail or Tutanota account.
If that friend ever plans to visit you, they can transfer setup files using Bluetooth when you meet them. Or they can bring them on a USB flash drive or an external HDD / SSD.
Once you’ve got the files, install the VPN app and start using it to unblock the web.
4. Use APK files for smartphones
If you are using Android and can not find the download link in any of the app stores for your VPN, try searching for .apk files online. Use search engines such as Baidu Or Sogou. If you are a tourist and do not know Chinese, try to use Baidu translation.
Once you find it, download the file and install it. You probably won’t get the latest version, but it’s not a big issue. Update to the latest when you run the app.
This is not the best way to get your hands on setup files, as some sites you may find may be malicious. Always use antivirus protection when doing this. Or try Tip # 3 instead if possible.
5. Download the app before leaving for China
If you are planning a trip to China, the easiest way to download a VPN there is to do so before departure. That way, you have it installed on your phone and ready when you arrive.
Now, there are cases Chinese police are uninstalling VPN applications From people’s phones. That shouldn’t happen to you, but if you want to back it up, bring a USB flash drive or memory card with a copy of the VPN’s installation files.
6. Use a SIM card from your home country
Still have a SIM card from home?
Perfect – Insert it into your phone and Use roaming To download the VPN app you want. Then, switch back to your Chinese SIM card and start using VPN.
If you do not have a SIM card from another country, you can try Buying one on Alibaba.
7. Take a quick trip to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan
When all else fails, you have to Take a day trip To one of these nearby places. If you are going to China, you wanted to visit those places anyway.
Although those areas have their problems with Chinese intervention and surveillance, the Internet is not yet heavily censored. So you can use it to download the VPN applications you need.
A very expensive alternative, we know. That’s why we put it last.
Can you download a VPN in China with another VPN or proxy?
If none of the tips we have discussed so far work or are a good fit, you can try this method. Unless the proxy or VPN is already blocked, you can use it to unblock the download link for the VPN you want to use.
In this case, it is It may be worthwhile to use a free VPN. If this is just a one-time use, there is not much point in paying for the extra subscription. Not all free VPNs are reliable, so make sure you use our guide to find the best one. If it does not look attractive, use a free trial VPN instead.
For free proxies, we recommend avoiding them. They are really unreliable (very slow speed, suspicious tracking, potential malware, etc.), so a free or free trial VPN is a very good choice.
Alternatively, use paid VPNs or proxies With convenient money-back guarantees (Such as relaxation requirements or non-asking policies). You must pay in advance, for sure, but you will get your money back once you are able to download the VPN you want. And at least you don’t have to worry about slow speed this way.
If you plan to use ExpressVPN in China, here is a useful guide that will show you how to get a “free” trial by taking advantage of their convenient refund policy. Follow those steps and you can use ExpressVPN to download the VPN of your choice. Then, use this step-by-step tutorial to get a quick refund from them.
How can you download a VPN in China?
If you know of other ways to download VPNs in China, please let us know in the comments. If the descriptions are a bit long, don’t forget to count the steps. Oh, and if you use any special tools, please include links.