Access to the internet in China and VPNs


Hi All

Does anyone who has travelled in China before have some advice for GOSH 2018 participants or any good resources you can point to about internet access e.g. what restrictions exist, recommendations on VPNs?

Thanks very much!



A friend of mine was in China a while ago and told me that commercial VPNs work for some time (GOSH duration is fine) but after a while stop working. I used my university VPN, it worked for 6 weeks perfectly on several devices in all kinds of networks (hotel, university and private networks).
I highly recommend using those of you can. And install the corresponding software before hand. The Google app store will not work there. Anything Google does not work. The have alternatives for everything and they are mind boggling fast but if you need your Google mail take care before hand!


I was in Shanghai two years ago and my experiences were the same. My Private Internet Access VPN was blocked, but my NYU VPN access worked well. They tend to block the end-point IP’s of the large popular free/public VPN’s but not universities.
You should also note that if you do get google stuff to work, the google maps (and maybe some other mapping applications) have their map tiles offset to make them difficult for GPS navigation.
When I was there I used the Locus Maps android app and downloaded offline maps of the city and then was able to shift the map tiles to align them with my location.


Was just reading this last week, scroll down and there’s a section on VPNs:


The ultimate developer VPN

SS Client setup

iOS ss client: BestWingy

MacOS ss client: ShadowsocksX-NG

Windows ss client:


SS or Shadowsocks server setup

Setup one set of credential on a server and share it with your team, it usually contains,

  1. server public IP;
  2. server port;
  3. encryption type, such as aes-256-cfb;
  4. password



Instead of everyone buying separate VPNs or using potentially dodgy free ones we could make a server, give people SSH access and let theme use an SSH/SOCKS tunnel.

The setup above only routes web browser traffic through the tunnel but it’s a really simple solution in terms of setup for us IT geeks (I’ve never set up a VPN – maybe it’s easy too, but this just works for me).


For those travelling through Hong Kong, one option is to pick up a Hong Kong SIM card which includes roaming into China:

eg, Three - 2G for 30 days:


PureVPN and Express VPN are only those VPN Services which actually works in Hongkong and China