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What can I do if my VPN is no longer working in China?

Last Updated on 2020/12/06

You will have heard about the Great Wall of China, but what about the Great Firewall of China?

China has one of the largest online censorship policies of anywhere in the world. This means if you are travelling to China don’t expect to be able to log in and access your Gmail, Facebook or Twitter account. These are just three of the thousands of sites that are blocked in China. So, what can you do if your VPN stops working in China? Quite a lot actually.

There are ways to fix a VPN that is no longer working to overcome restrictions in China and here we are going to deal with some of the most common things you can try. They include:

  • Changing your VPN provider;

  • Setting up your provider outside of China;

  • Changing the port number used to connect;

  • Changing the protocol used by the server.

The above are all options that you can consider and try before and after you travel to China.

Change your VPN provider

It is important to note that not all VPN providers have the ability to be able to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

When considering VPN providers for getting around the blocks, ExpressVPN is the first that comes to mind. However, it is by no means the only one; others you might want to consider include NordVPN, PureVPN and VyprVPN.

You can find the VPNs that are still working in China here.

Sign Up for a VPN outside of China

One important consideration for using a VPN in China is to make plans well ahead of time. Do not leave it until you touch down in China to sign up for a VPN or switch providers.

This is due to China having a restriction on VPNs, so you will be blocked from visiting your chosen VPN site to sign up. With no VPN in place, it is impossible to get around that block.

With this in mind, do your homework at home and sign up for a VPN in your own country. You should also download any apps and software you are going to need to the devices you are taking with you to China, so that everything is in place for when you arrive.

If all goes well, this should be sufficient to connect to your chosen VPN once in China and overcome the restrictions. However, if you find you are still having issues and the VPN is still not working you can then go on to consider the following.

Change the port number

You might wish to check the port number you are using if you are trying to access blocked websites in China.

The typical port for SSTP protocol on a Windows computer is 433. This is a good port for VPNs, if the provider supports it, with ExpressVPN being one that does. So, make sure that the port is set to 433.

Change the protocol

Another consideration is the protocol used. You might want to look at the settings of your VPN and choose an alternative to OpenVPN protocol.

A good option is the L2TP/IPSec protocol. This is less likely to be blocked and most devices support it. This protocol also provides speeds that are similar to OpenVPN along with the same level of security.

Hopefully, one or more of the above options will have ensured that you can overcome the restrictions and you will be able to access whatever content you want while in China.

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