Choosing a good VPN service provider is no easy task in general, not to mention finding a working one in China, where most of the VPN providers are blocked.

by Jolie Lenkewicz

Moreover, virtual private networks have many technical features that might not be known to an everyday user, making it difficult to understand which VPN service really guarantees full security and privacy.

As it was mentioned before, only a handful of VPN services have cracked down the Great Firewall of China, so the list of VPNs narrows down, however, it does not mean that all virtual private networks have the same set of features or offer the same level of security. Having a VPN is crucial in China, as it is the only way to browse the Internet freely, not to mention other advantages of a VPN like unblocking geo-restricted websites, streaming services and otherwise inaccessible content. Also, a VPN service guarantees secure browsing, privacy, anonymity as well as keeping personal data safe. With a VPN, you can surf the web knowing that you won’t be tracked or hacked, as even your Internet Service Provider won’t know what you are doing online.

What to consider when choosing a VPN in China?

Privacy, security and anonymity is the most important aspect of a VPN to use in China, as it must be able to overcome the Firewall and keep the user safe. VPN services use encryption protocols that have different types and strength. While OpenVPN is considered to be the best protocol at the moment, it is great if a VPN has multiple protocols to choose from. Protocol types and strength are important as well, AES being the strongest and the most reliable one, so try and always look for this one.

Another aspect to consider is the VPN’s logging policy and where the service provider is based. It’s the best if a VPN has a no-log policy but to be sure, it is always a good practice to read its Privacy Policy to understand what kind of information a certain virtual private might keep about you. Some can keep your entire browsing history logs that might trace back to you, while others keep their user privacy the highest priority and do not keep any information about them. Also, some countries do have intelligence agencies that gather user data (NSA, CIA, Fourteen Eyes Group and more), so it’s best to avoid such countries.

A loss of speed is something VPN users will experience, especially if they connect to servers that are far away from them, as due to long distances the processing becomes slower. However, premium services offer high-speed servers that will make sure that the speed drop is insignificant and is barely noticed at all, but if you’re using a VPN for streaming, be patient as it might take some time for videos to load.

Server locations and a general number of offered servers is an important feature to those who want to access geographically restricted content from various parts of the world. The more servers the better, as the server speeds will be faster, not to mention that they won’t be loaded as much.

Operating system and device coverage needs to be mentioned as well. It is nice to be able to install the wanted VPN on a device that you’re using, even better – on multiple devices, as some VPNs offer a great number of simultaneous connections, meaning you can protect your desktop computer as well as your tablet and your smartphone.

Advanced features like an automatic kill switch, DNS leak testing, the ability to engage in Torrenting and P2P activities, malware and ad blocker, the ability to whitelist or blacklist certain websites are a nice addition to a VPN as well and can make the whole browsing experience smoother and more enjoyable.

These are only a few criteria, as there are things such as price, the availability of various payment methods, bandwidth and speed limits that need to be considered too. Also, look at the whole subscription package as a whole and what is offered to you, including pricing, encryption, speed and other features.

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