China is currently the only country in the world that boasts about having its own great firewall, because while there is a great amount of geo-blocking around the globe, none take it more seriously than the Chinese government. Truth be told, citizens in China are not at all thrilled with their circumstances, and visitors and tourists even less so; however, when there are rules and restrictions, ways can be found to get around them. If you’re planning a trip to China and want to be able to access the internet more freely, this article offers some practical advice.

Onion Routing

If you’ve never heard this term before it might sound unusual, but what it stands for can be of great help to you in bypassing the Great Firewall of China. Here, the key principle is to get through the firewall and to the desired website by peeling away the layers of encrypted protection, just like you do with an onion. What happens is that all internet activity is wrapped in multiple layers of encryption, so that the content of websites is protected, and then sent away to onion routers. Every router actually scrapes away another level of encryption, after which you are given instructions how to go to the next level of breaking the encryption, and this process goes on until you get to the onion’s centre, so to speak.

Onion routing was originally designed by the American Navy, but has since found its use in everyday protection against privacy breaches and restrictions. The most used, and probably the most trustworthy onion routing platform is The Onion Router aka TOR. This program will enable you to access and share information on the internet without being troubled by restrictions, plus it will enhance your privacy so that your internet activity can’t be tracked back to you. Needless to say, using TOR comes with certain problems, because while activists and whistleblowers of the world like to use it, so do criminals for their shady actions, so be careful.

Expat Essentials | TOR VPN | Expat Blogs


Open proxies are a valid option for getting around the great firewall. A proxy’s function is fairly simple – if you have an IP address that is based in China, an efficient proxy will be able to mask your IP so that you can reach any website you want. There are even some proxies made especially to enable you to browse the internet under the radar of the Chinese firewall, like Ultrasurf or Freegate.

Expat Essentials | Proxy Concept | Expat Blogs

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network will help you in different ways when it comes to your privacy, and this protection can be multilayered, depending on your needs and how much money you’re willing to invest. With a VPN, you will also get encryption connection so that you can surf the web freely without coming across restrictions or security and privacy issues. However, it must be stressed that a VPN doesn’t make you completely invisible nor anonymous, though there are companies who suggest they can.

On one hand, if you don’t mind paying a few dollars a month to help you not only beat the Great Firewall of China, but also practically any form of geo-blocking, then do your research and pick a VPN provider that is fit for the job. The internet is packed with VPN ads and reviews so just pick a few and get reading. If you need a head start, we suggest gathering some information over at Pure VPN review, which will help you grasp the basics, as well as present what you can expect when you have a VPN.

VPNs for Expats

Expat Essentials | Cyberghost VPN | Expat Blogs

On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend money on a VPN, there are some free versions that are easy to get and not too demanding on your computer’s connection and performance. One of the most popular is Cyber Ghost, because it offers a lot to its users, despite the fact that it’s free. You shouldn’t expect miracles, although this company keeps no logs of your internet activity, which is quite good seeing that it’s free. This is a sufficient tool to help you jump right over the Great Firewall of China, and in case you need more details on how it all works, you can read Cyber Ghost reviews to give you further insight into this company’s work and all it has to offer you.

Web development has always been something Adam Ferraresi is passionate about, and it is from his passion that he’s making his living. Thanks to his vast knowledge of internet trends and its constant changes, Adam often writes popular articles for He’s a born-and-bred Texan, who resides in Dallas.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Best Expat VPN