China does have the internet and hotels and shopping centres and most places you go will have wifi.
It’s so awesome until you realise you can’t Google. You can’t get into Gmail or GoogleMaps.
Your Facebook account won’t come up and Instagram doesn't exist. What is wrong with the wifi you wonder and call the front desk at your hotel to complain that it’s not working.
But the internet IS working - you just can’t access certain sites in China because they are blocked. These include Google, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram plus WhatsApp, Netflix and Pinterest.
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. It routes you through a server that hides what you’re looking at.
A lot of people use VPN’s for privacy and for additional security.
When you go to China you use them to be able to access the sites you want to.
When to get a VPN
It’s best to sign up and download your VPN before you go to China cause it can be more difficult to get it when you’re there, although I have managed to.
How to get a VPN
I’ve always used a company called Express VPN. It’s consistently ranked as one of the best providers for China for:
Express VPN is a really schmick operation. They are always available to chat and help you if you need a hand connection. They are super responsive which I find handy given I am definitely not technological in any way.
They have servers all over the world and if the connection is not working well in some parts of the world you just change to somewhere else. I always found the US, Singapore and Hong Kong to be really fast and reliable.
Just go to the website and sign up. You can do it month by month or sign up for six to twelve months. Ive only ever been in China for a few months so I always sign up for the monthly package. It’s $12.95 US so very affordable.
Remember the billing cycle is continuous so make sure to cancel once you no longer need it.
You’ll then get an email with all the download details for your phone, iPad and laptop. It’s literally that easy.
Just download the VPN and activate it when you log into wifi or use your internet connection.
You can also use the Express VPN app on the App Store.
So there you go, you can remain happily addicted to your phone in China! Enjoy!
*This post contains an affiliate link.