The 5 best China VPN services in 2020 that unblock WhatsApp, Facebook and more

Unblock WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and many more for when you're visiting China here are the best China VPN services in 2020

best Best china VPN
(Image credit: Future)

China plays host to the largest internet censorship regime the world has ever seen and completely blocks access to many of the planet's best websites. Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, Gmail, Wikipedia, Pinterest, Pornhub, The New York Times, Slack, Dropbox... you name it, they're all blocked in China and this is where getting the best VPN service comes in handy.

The reasons are pretty obvious - the government's iron grip on power in China is in part based on censoring its citizens' access to outside influences. And sadly for you that applies to visitors, too.

But VPNs are encrypted, so if you use a VPN in China to browse the internet or sign into a service it's impossible for the Chinese government to control what you're seeing, hearing or saying. The practical upshot is twofold - firstly it means that a VPN is more useful in China than pretty much anywhere else on Earth, and secondly it explains why the Chinese government is absolutely dead against them.

In March of this year in fact, as part of a long-planned crackdown on VPN use, the Chinese government enacted its dastardly plan to completely block access to VPN websites in order to make them harder to sign up to. So it's now much harder to get access to some VPN services then, but if you're already signed up and have the apps installed you can still to use it without any issues.

How to use a VPN in China:

For regular folk visiting China on holiday or going there to live, mass censorship is a major pain in the butt. You won't be able to use Whatsapp to message and call loved ones back home. You won't be able to post pictures of the Great Wall on your Instagram. And you won't be able to look up the definition of totalitarianism on Wikipedia.

And so you really need to get that butt of yours in gear and sign up for a VPN service before you fly. So how do you choose the ideal VPN to use in China?

Well when choosing you really must choose a service with excellent customer support. Sure, you could opt for one of the dirt cheap options, but that won't do you much good when your service is experiencing downtime and you're not sure how to get up and running. 

Choosing one of the big boys will not only ensure your uptime in China is maximised but will also ensure you have 24/7 customer support to help you when things aren't working.

We've chosen a small selection of the very best services here that we recommend for use in China - remember, sign up and install before you go!

ExpressVPN best China VPN

(Image credit: Future)

1. ExpressVPN

Express VPN is perfect for use in China - it's a premium service that won't let you down

Ideal for china: Yes
Number of servers: 3,000+
Server locations: 160
IP addresses: 40,000
Maximum devices supported: 5
Reasons to buy
+Available on loads of varied devices+24/7 customer support+Dial in to services in 90+ countries+Safe and secure

ExpressVPN is T3's favourite VPN service and we reckon it's the best VPN for use in China as well.

This service's huge number of server destinations means you can hop around the globe as you wish, making it look like your computer, laptop, phone or tablet is located in any one of 94 different countries. The service is known for its excellent uptime and its apps are extremely easy to use. Don't worry if you're not sure how VPNs work or how to use them - just sign up and install the service and you'll see it's all extremely straight forward even for those who consider themselves technophobes.

ExpressVPN also has excellent 24/7 customer support - so at any point you can get help and they'll sort you right out. For China specifically, Express uses a lot of its resources to stay one step ahead of the censors so attempts to block VPN connections are thwarted.

Special offer - save 49%: get three months for free when you sign up for a year

(Image credit: NordVPN)

2. NordVPN

Great performance in bypassing the Great Firewall

Number of servers: 5,500+
Server locations: 60+
IP addresses: N/A
Maximum devices supported: 6
Reasons to buy
+Great choice of server locations+Superb performance+Up to 6 simultaneous connections
Reasons to avoid
-Monthly billing is expensive

We've rated NordVPN as the second best China VPN due to its commitment to bypassing the Great Firewall. 

Not only does the VPN service have an entire team that is dedicated to getting sidestepping website blocking countries, the likes of which include China, Iran and even Saudi Arabia.

Plus, Nord actively monitors connectivity to make sure that no new blocks have emerged and if they have it works to carry out whatever needs to happen to bypass the new blocks. And the bonus is that if you're not happy with the service the VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee (much like ExpressVPN above).

Head to the NordVPN website to check out its latest prices and sign up

Vyprvpn best China VPN

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. VyprVPN

Another great VPN option for China - secure and fast!

Number of servers: 700+
Server locations: 70+
IP addresses: 200,000+
Maximum devices supported: 5
Reasons to buy
+Awesome security+Great speeds
Reasons to avoid
-Imperfect on some platforms

VyprVPN is another great option for a VPN in China. It's a tier-1 VPN network, so it owns all of its servers and can guarantee uptime and speeds - 14 of the servers are in Asia so speeds in China should be as good as they can be. It also has a super nifty "Chameleon" security protocol which it uses to keep your identity super secret. Vypr has loads of cool features and the basic plan allows you to connect with 3 devices at a time - while the more expensive option gets you 5 devices and that Chameleon super security. There's also a kill switch which means there is zero chance you IP address will leak out accidentally when connecting between networks.

Special offer - save 25%: T3 readers can save 25% off annual VyprVPN plans

StrongVPN best China VPN

(Image credit: Future)

4. Strong VPN

A super reliable VPN for China with good customer service

Number of servers: 950
Server locations: 46
IP addresses: N/A
Maximum devices supported: 12
Reasons to buy
+Fast VPN+Excellent security
Reasons to avoid
-Windows client not the best

StrongVPN is one of the most ideal providers to use in China and one of the more popular options out there. It provides apps for all of the most popular platforms and operating systems out there and provides instructions if you're on a really old or niche system so you can still get up and running. It uses a bespoke system called StrongDNS to protect you against DNS leaks and has loads of server connections so wherever you want to appear to be dialing in from it's not usually a problem. StrongVPN also ticks that box we mentioned above by offering excellent 24/7 customer support which is important if you're stranded in China and not sure how to get online. There's also a money back guarantee so you can try the service for a week and get a refund if you're not happy. We'd probably go with one of the options above but Strong will do the job if you fancy giving it a try!

PureVPN - China VPN

5. PureVPN

Specifically great for China

Number of servers: 750
Server locations: 180+
IP addresses: 300,000+
Maximum devices supported: 5
Reasons to buy
+Wide range of servers+Specific China support+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Reports of usability issues

One of the main reasons we rate PureVPN as such an excellent VPN to use in China is that it has plenty of dedicated features for people using it in China. 

Not only does it have a "for users in China" part on its support section, it also has a VPN for dummies guide and has specific tips and support for people using it in China.

That being said, we love the support and customer support that PureVPN offers - it ensures that whether you're a newbie or a veteran in the VPN game all of your questions and queries will be sorted instantly. 

And if you're looking to save as you can with PureVPN, then your best bet is to go with its multi-year plan which gives you the absolute best savings.

How to use WhatsApp, Facebook, Wikepedia and other internet services in China:

As mentioned above, most global platforms, services, and social networks are blocked in China. In practise this means that if you try to access them you will be denied access.

A VPN is the answer to this problem. By logging into your chosen VPN service, all your internet traffic is automatically encrypted which means the Chinese censors have no way to tell what you are or are not looking at.

This means using a VPN on your phone you'll be able to use WhatsApp or Facebook - if you're also looking (or specifically looking) for a VPN for streaming, make sure you check out our best VPN for Netflix and  best VPN for Amazon Fire TV guides.