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VPN Blocked in China: The Great Firewall Strikes Again

We have heard reports from some users about further VPN providers being blocked in China. Reuters later confirmed this. The issue remains fluent, as always in China, but here is what is known right now.

VPN blocked in China – Current situation

VPNs have been used in China for years to get around the Communist government’s heavy censorship, known as the Great Firewall of China. This lead us to write up our review of the best VPNs to use in China. All of those VPNs worked at the time of writing, but what is happening now?

As of this writing, Astrill, StrongVPN, and VyprVPN (Golden Frog) VPN users are experiencing issues connecting. They are either unable to connect, or are being back to being censored for some websites. For those in China on business, this is a major issue.

The VPNs on our list are, as far as we know due to lack of complaints, still working would be:

  1. IPVanish
  2. Private Internet Access
  3. PureVPN

We have yet to read or hear from anyone using those VPNs in China as having issues.

For now, our best VPNs in China rating will remain static as the VPNs in question are aware of the issue and working to resolve the problem.

A history of blocks with the Great Firewall of China

This is not the first time that the Chinese government have worked to suppress VPN use in China. The last such instance was back in November 2013. They failed to block every VPN provider then, and they will fail now.

To quote Sunday Yokubaitis, president of Golden Frog and VyprVPN:

“This week’s attack on VPNs that affected us and other VPN providers is more sophisticated than what we’ve seen in the past.”

This is not new, or the first time that this has happened. Greater deep-packet inspection is the suspected reason why some VPNs are being blocked in China. The VPNs involved have no intention of abandoning the Chinese people and will be working on further work-arounds to stabilize their service.

With almost every foreign business and company in China needing VPNs to continue working, it is unlikely that they will ever succeed in blocking every VPN completely. There is, quite simply, too many people looking to make a whole lot of money. The average Chinese person will benefit from this as they’ll be able to access these VPN services just the same.

UPDATE: After speaking with a contact in China after this all went down, I was given confirmation that this information is correct. My contact also added that Astrill is still functioning and allowing him to access Gmail, and the rest of the web, as normal from inside China.